2016 September Comments/Reviews/Thoughts


Having read all the stories this month and being surprised by the variation in them, I decided to look again at flash-fiction and what it was all about.

I like the following paragraph from the Bridport Prize and the article Flash fiction – all you ever wanted to know, but were afraid to ask…

A good piece of flash fiction, for me, is one in which I, as reader, am not just complicit, but necessary. I am needed to add something important — to fill in the spaces left in the weave of words. Just as the short story is often described as being akin to poetry, flash fictions (or any of the other names they go under) are that little bit closer to poetry again.

There is perhaps only one question that needs to be asked: Was the story an enjoyable read? The same question that (to my mind) applies to any story. Choosing 3 to score this month proved especially difficult — in the end I resorted to my notion of flash fiction but it didn’t make my choice any easier.

Java Lava By Peter Barnett: I wasn’t quite sure how this piece should be categorised. In the end I concluded that it was more an essay that a short story, being somewhat semi autobiographical and a rant about cappuccino drinkers.

The Road To Hell By Charles: A nice rounded story Charles but rather too predictable, I have a feeling of déjà vu with a man lying in the road  . . . .  Why did the notion of hell have to be so predictable and the notion of heaven so Koranic with a beautiful young woman waiting at the gate to paradise and why a tunnel? Rhetorical questions Charles!

Teeing Off With A Boiled Egg! I’m reminded of Rumpole and she who must be obeyed. If it was your intention that Hugh Bottomley aroused little sympathy you succeeded Atiller, but then neither does his manipulative Harriet. I assume Brenda is Brenda James. The characterisations in this story came across really well.

Bethany’s Chair By Capucin: I’m glad to see a story with a sea theme Capucin, in 1968 I became involved in a conversion with a woman on a train whose husband was killed in WWII and was returning from a trip to visit her mother-in-law. The mother-in-law (80+) claimed to have been shipwrecked 3 times on a tea clipper. I enjoyed the story having voyaged through a frightful storm in the Bay of Biscay (circa 1954). I’m sure that I’ve said this before, but hell would be reincarnation as a women (especially having to endure childbirth).

A Funeral By Colmore: A well written and complete story and a good template for the denouement to your novella Colmore. I’m thinking that understanding is not the same as knowing and what precedes this piece should be interesting.

The Persistence Of Memory By Araminta: I wish that I had your gift with words Araminta, you have expressed what I find myself incapable of writing — to the point of questioning my emotional involvement in a story.

The Auchenshuggle Bird By Lostinwords: I liked the story Lost, perhaps it’s simply the idea of Billy really turning into bird, something that only a child can turn into a virtual reality and a story into reality itself. The story also caused me to spend some time thinking about parent’s reactions a child’s behaviour, they are rarely the same. PS —  He needs to avoid France when he flies south — they eat songbirds.

The Final Meeting By Tp_Archie: I spent a long time over this piece Archie — concluding in the end that it didn’t quite fit with the following note on the demise of writing groups (although it may not have been intended to).

The Red Sweater By Expatangie [5]: I thought this a fine example of flash fiction Angie. Although the story was complete I though that there was so much hidden between the lines.

Two Sides Of A Different Coin By Danthemann: The juxtaposition of the two characters made this story Dan but I liked your other story better.

Brian Lara Loves Batting By Danthemann [3]: Not being a sports fan I had to look Brian Lara up on he net. I think it was a fine story whether or not the character of Lara was real but him being a real character gave the story an edge and made me wonder how autobiographical it may have been (especially about the cricket bat).

Inventory Of A Beach Bag By Seadams [1]: I recently discussed this story and other writings with a friend Seadams — concluding that I wasn’t quite sure how metaphysical your stories are intended to be. I actually struggled with this one to the point of not scoring it but came to see it as a flash fiction in which I was necessarily complicit to fill in the spaces left in the weave of words.

Mme. Rose By Expatangie: I thought this an unusual and unexpected theme from you Angie but one which I think you should use more often. It would make a good longer short story. What happened to Didier? Was his father the role model for his behaviour? What were her thoughts about Laurent?  I can imagine it being a French radio or television play, even a French film.

2 responses to “2016 September Comments/Reviews/Thoughts

  1. Peter November 4, 2016 at 20:50

    You have made me wonder Seadams about comments/reviews/thoughts — something that I really struggled with in the beginning. Thanks for your feedback but I wonder if a writer should feel any outward emotions regarding what is read in their work and should, perhaps, only indulge themselves in some self analysis about how something has been read.
    In such a disparate group and apart from short stories not really being my first choice of a read, I’m not surprised at the distribution of the marks. The hard part, from my point of view, is that of encouraging people to write because they want to and deciding where quality of writing fits into this.

    Like

  2. seadamss November 4, 2016 at 19:52

    Good evening, Peter, and thank you for your comments on all the September stories: I look forward to your feedback every month and am ashamed I do not make the time to review as faithfully as you do.
    Like many (indeed, most) of my stories, this one set off in one direction and then took quite another. I suppose that happens to most of us, though of course suppositions are dangerous.
    I find these shorter story limits both stimulating and frustrating, which is a productive admixture. As to “metaphysical” – ooft, well, as with your comment on “The Island” – you graced it with metaphorical possibilities I had not intended – you perhaps think me smarter than I am. I’m OK with that 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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This site was created for members and friends of My Telegraph blog site, but anyone is welcome to comment, and thereafter apply to become an author.

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Join our monthly competition and share story ideas...

The Real Economy

Hello, I’m Ed Conway, Economics Editor of Sky News, and this is my website. Blogposts, stuff about my books and a little bit of music

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