Short Story: Illegal Aliens by Michael J. Edwards


Tell us what you think about the December 2015 - January 2016 double issue!

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Post January 06, 2016, 09:50:33 AM

Short Story: Illegal Aliens by Michael J. Edwards

Nice intro, gets one’s interest. Real life situation with a government job and concerns about retirement!

Nice use of dialogue and narration. I see no major problem with this story, only different techniques that other writers might use, for example: the paragraph-----

A spaceship. Joe's mental gears ground to a halt while he tried to absorb that--tried and failed. He couldn't get his mind wrapped around it; it kept slipping out and slithering away from him. There was some rustling on the other end, and Joe was vaguely aware that Coleman was saying something.

could be shown-----

Joe looked into the phone’s receiver! His eyebrows contorted themselves, his eyes grew larger and large and his hair, always well groomed, started to stand up a little. He slowly kept moving the phone away, but kept both eyes locked onto it---- waiting for a sensible response to his question leave the receiver. None came!

Of course this isn’t set in stone and this is my opinion only. Critiques are often other ways to tell the story which are not better or worse, only different.


Good story, one that held my interest from beginning to end, and it was entertaining. That’s all we really need in a story, isn’t it?
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Post January 10, 2016, 04:01:48 PM

Re: Short Story: Illegal Aliens by Michael J. Edwards

Hey! Where's the rest of it?

Seriously, this has nothing at all of the feel of a whole story. You've created an unfolding disaster, stuck a couple of characters into it, and then—just—LEFT. This is a great way to start a story, but it's no way to end one.

You have done a great job of starting the story, too: placed the MC in a very nicely described setting, involved the reader in his personal dilemma, and upset his apple-cart with rude finality. All very smoothly, too. In doing all this, you've achieved the first goal of any writer: to hook the reader, but making him care about the character(s). And I. Am. Hooked. I'm already on the edge of my chair; I've GOT to see how this plays out—

—but, instead of reeling me in, you CUT THE LINE. You've cut the story line, you've cut the character arc. Resolution is way off over the horizon somewhere. And, man, do I feel cheated.

FINISH this thing. Grab that worthless desk-jockey before he gets to the door and make him do his job! I really want to know what happens, and there are as yet no clues as to how it's going to go, but it has to go somewhere.

The things you've left out are vitally important to a good story. This book explains why:

http://www.amazon.com/Wired-Story-Write ... +for+story
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