Post January 02, 2008, 01:02:03 AM

Re: Meltdown - Vincent Scarsella

I thought the story an interesting one, but have a few concerns with the writing.

The beginning seemed a little ‘wordy’ and at times the story-line was hard to follow. For example the sentence ‘Jerry seemed particularly annoyed by Stan's question that night.’ doesn’t need the adverb particularly!! The sentence ‘Jerry seemed annoyed by Stan’s question that night.’ works and the reader doesn’t loose action by having to read an adverb! Think about that for a sec.

Another example: ‘We fell into a glum silence as we downed our round of drinks. Finally, Stan suggested that we blow Riley's and head for the Starlust Lounge, a new strip joint near the old casino downtown.’

Possible improvement:  We fell silent as we downed our drinks. Stan suggested, “Let’s blow Riley’s and head downtown for the new place the Starlust Lounge.”

Another possible improvement: We downed our drinks in silence, then Stan suggest we move on to the Starlust Lounge a new place downtown.

Some might argue the comma use without a coordination conjunction, but remember: Story telling is not academic writing, and fragmented sentence or other infraction of grammar are Okay if they keep the story alive and clear.

Some order of words that keep the action going with every word is needed!

The old casino downtown didn’t have anything to do with the story, yet it diverted the reader’s attention for a moment!

Those small diversion in a story add up!!

Try to avoid the past perfect tense when possible, for it has a tendency to slow down the reader's train of thought.

Starting with the dialogue of Marilyn's file, the story showed improvement. I thought the dialogue very good, and the description of Marilyn’s death also better than the beginning.

And the remainder of the story better than the beginning.

To recap, the ‘Wordiness’ of the beginning of the story diminished somewhat, and the reading became clearer. Your thoughts were more focused from the middle of the story to the end.

I hope my suggestion will help, but I admit that I am not a professional writer, and others might disagree with my critique.

Aphelion has many superb stories in it archives. Robert Moriyama’s guidance has steered me toward better writing and I owe him for his informative critiques.

One story that always crosses my thoughts is ‘Billy Goes To Werkworth’ by Robert Starr. A well written, moving tale that has many of the qualities of professional writing.

Not a bad story!
Tesla Lives!!!