Author Topic: 15-12-08 - Cold Feet  (Read 2337 times)

Hayley

  • Level 6
  • *
  • Posts: 187
  • Fell Points: 0
  • Things are meant to be the way they're gonna be
    • View Profile
15-12-08 - Cold Feet
« on: December 15, 2008, 04:32:49 AM »
Hi, all.

Just posting this up for your comments on "Cold Feet".

Think it's been sent to everyone, but if I've missed you off, just let me know and I'll get it sent out asap.

Thanks,
Hayley :)
"The rats on the street
They dance around my feet
They seem to say" Hayley "It's up to yooooou!"

Duel! All the cool kids are doing it!

Necroben

  • Level 14
  • *
  • Posts: 633
  • Fell Points: 0
  • What use the ability to read if one never uses it?
    • View Profile
Re: 15-12-08 - Cold Feet
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2008, 06:09:58 AM »
Well as it rather short there is not much for me to really comment on.

But I'll give it a go.

There was a lot of introspection, but nothing really happening.
I was also kinda confused about gender, I got the feeling that the narrator is female but that could be because you've said your female and I just intuited that into your story.

But, for all that, it is well written in my opinion.† I could actually feel the despair of your character.† Very moving, now just take it some where. ;D
« Last Edit: December 15, 2008, 06:22:04 AM by Necrobells will be ringing »
I don't suffer from insanity...† I enjoy every minuet of it!

It's ok to be strange, as long as it's on paper. :)

Flo_the_G

  • Level 6
  • *
  • Posts: 173
  • Fell Points: 0
  • Wait, what?
    • View Profile
Re: 15-12-08 - Cold Feet
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2008, 12:08:31 PM »
"It took all the courage in my body" - reads a bit as if the narrator were somehow seperated from their body.

I had the same vague impression that the narrator was female, but I can't really say why.

Near the end the thoughts seemed a bit too sombre and gloomy. I would have expected a touch of self-mockery when the comparison of the narrator to the cigarette stub came up. As is, it's a bit over the top.

I too think that it's well written, but a tad too short to say for sure whether I'd be interested in the story or not. But I'd be willing to read on to find out.† ;)

Frog

  • Level 13
  • *
  • Posts: 578
  • Fell Points: 0
  • "Have a popover, Froggie!"
    • View Profile
Re: 15-12-08 - Cold Feet
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2008, 12:37:04 PM »
Now I'm depressed...
Some good stuff going on. It seemed a bit too wordy over all (by the end I was kind of feeling 'she is sad and alone...I get it already! Stop beating me with it!'), but it certainly makes its point. Might want to tighten a few sentences (or delete a few) than move on to some more action or dialog to really draw people in (maybe even put that first and give us the introspection after where already engaged). Good image with the  cigarette.
Anyway, I hope that was helpful and good luck :)
I've already conquered the world. This is exactly the way I want it.

M

  • Level 4
  • *
  • Posts: 64
  • Fell Points: 0
    • View Profile
Re: 15-12-08 - Cold Feet
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2008, 05:09:02 PM »
I enjoyed the story. Very sad.  I wonder if you can draw more emotion into it without having to repeat the "alone" and "lonely" sentences.  I like the character reminiscing about the past, it was more effective than telling me she/he was lonely. 

I also enjoyed the fact that (and I hope I'm right on this) the main character's lover isn't possibly dead but has left this person.  I felt at first they were dead, but the cigarette part at the end kept me wondering.  Good work.  It is short and it needs to go somewhere quick, but I'm not worried about that (as you already told us it was short).  Good luck and thanks for letting me read this. 

Reaves

  • Level 23
  • *
  • Posts: 1226
  • Fell Points: 1
    • View Profile
Re: 15-12-08 - Cold Feet
« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2008, 10:01:17 PM »
Wow, I am very impressed. I think this is very good. I didn't think it mattered that no events happened; the character introduction was great. You really put us inside her head.

I say her because:
Quote
Even though I had the quilt wrapped tightly around me, it did little to flatten the goose bumps on my arms or warm up my cold feet
Men don't wear quilts. Women get goose bumps often/er than men.
and:
Quote
It took all the courage in my body to step out from under the duvet and pad across the room to pull the dressing gown off the hook on the back of the door, before opening it and walking into the lounge.
Men don't wear dressing gowns. A bathrobe, absolutely. But a gown?

Also the narrator definitely sounds female. That could easily be explained by the fact that Hayley is female, but...

It was very sad. That is a good thing. You accomplished exactly what you wanted. It was a bit short, only a thousand words, but you used those words well. The rest of the chapter can be used for...well, whatever you want.

I think you've really set yourself up well for some character growth along the line. In my opinion the "worse" you make your main character, the further they can grow over the course of the book. Looks great!!

I really did like the ciggarete analogy, but somehow it felt too...scientific. I'm not sure if thats the right word, exactly, but it didn't feel like the character was emotionally involved enough. Maybe its the "human equivalent" part.
Quote
Was I the human equivalent to the cigarette stub?

It might seem like not much happens in this segment, but it is only 1k words, which depending on who is writing it is about 1/3 of a chapter.

All that said I really like what you've shown us so far. Thanks!
Quote from: VegasDev
RJF: "AHA! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders! The most famous is never get involved in a land war in Cairhien, but only slightly less well-known is this: never go in against a warder when he is only the distraction! Get him Rand! Buzzzzzzz!

wcarter4

  • Level 5
  • *
  • Posts: 105
  • Fell Points: 0
  • I didn't do it I swear.
    • View Profile
    • technight
Re: 15-12-08 - Cold Feet
« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2008, 09:03:54 PM »
I'm also on the "narrator's a female" bandwagon. You do a good job setting the tone of the story, but a bit more description needs to be added to the narrator like gender and possibly what the fight was/is about. That's about all I have to say since the story was short and sweet...err sad...
If you ever find yourself in a fair fight, your tactics suck.

Silk

  • Staff
  • Level 31
  • *
  • Posts: 1798
  • Fell Points: 0
  • ...no room for someone in second place...
    • View Profile
    • Beyond Impossibility
Re: 15-12-08 - Cold Feet
« Reply #7 on: December 17, 2008, 03:24:26 AM »
A critique for you. Again, not organized, just giving thoughts as they come up.

The stand-alone paragraph thing is a great technique, I think, but I would caution you against over-using it. I think each of the times youíve used it would stand up well individually, but youíve used it four times in only a thousand-word piece. Remember, this is something you use for emphasis, and it loses its effect when you see so many in quick succession.

When you talk about the proposal, the narrator describes the event in the past perfect (or whatever that tense actually is Ė I had done, we had done, etcetera) which lends a feeling of detachment that seems out of sync with the small, intimate details provided. If you want to keep the feeling of detachment, maybe describing the event more clinically. My instict (though of course itís up to you) is that the narrator is so emotionally involved, it would be better to maintain that, and so it seems to me that this bit about the wedding would be better written in straight past tense.   

You also seem to use a fair number of passive tense sentences. Nothing wrong with those occasionally, but stay away from using them too much, Iíd say. Theyíre more wordy and take us a step back from the action.

I think you have pretty much a complete story here Ė that is, I donít think anything else really needs to happen. It would be nice to know a little bit more about the actual argument, and it seems weird that the narrator, who is obviously very wrapped up in this still, doesnít give the conflict itself much thought, other than telling us it was her fault. It would show us a bit more about both characters and ground us a little more in the narratorís world. You walk a fine line there, of course. As far as Iím concerned, the story isnít about the conflict but the aftermath, so if you do decide to do this, be careful you donít put too much of it in there, or weíll end up with a story about the argument and not what followsÖ

I think thatís about all I have for you. I agree with the comments about the piece being a bit too wordy Ė itís not a huge problem but I think in a piece like this every little bit counts Ė and about the fact that you repeat that the narratorís alone an awful lot. I think you could probably fix both these things with a lot of the same edits. And remember, those little details, like the empty wine bottles, the cigarette packs, etcetera, are very telling. Showing us more things like that will really drive the ďaloneĒ bit home without telling us over and over again.

Nice work.

maxonennis

  • Level 8
  • *
  • Posts: 273
  • Fell Points: 0
    • View Profile
Re: 15-12-08 - Cold Feet
« Reply #8 on: December 17, 2008, 07:41:38 PM »
Good things: I like establishment of the character and conflict. Your writing style is very nice, easy to read, little if any uses of cliques, and not too wordy.

Bad things: This reads like a short story. And as a short story, Iím sorry, I donít really like it. All it is, presumably, a female moping around. My dislike for it stems from my history in foster care. Iíve always made a point not to mope despite how bad my situation got, thus I find it hard to sympathise with the narrator for that reason. (Iíve said so before, and Iíll say it again: Iím not a sympathetic person. Either you man-up, or woman-up if you will, or not. Either way, I find it hard to care about someone who wallows in self-pity.)

As short story, I would like to know about the fight. She, or he, talks about how they gave and gave for not, but I want facts. Iím not a patient enough person to read about someone griping without facts regarding the situation. As a novel, you've set this up nicely for a bring-along-reveal story.

I apologize if this sound like an attack (trust me, it I toned this way down after Iíd first written this critique), but Iíve had to listen to far too many people over the years complain about stupid things while I had been wondering where my next meal would come from. And the character is fictional.
"Don't argue with ignorance. And when you argue with me, that's all you get!" Mike

Maxonennisí soliloquy on Frog relations: ďHow can I bake the hall in the candle of her brain?Ē

Manyang

  • Level 3
  • ***
  • Posts: 42
  • Fell Points: 0
    • View Profile
Re: 15-12-08 - Cold Feet
« Reply #9 on: December 18, 2008, 09:56:43 AM »
Your use of telling details is really good. I read it as a short story and as such I really liked it up until the cigarette analogy part.

At that point the character switches from self-blame to self-pity and the latter is very hard to sympathise with as somebody pointed out already.

What I miss in this story is closure and the poetic justice of that. On the one hand Iíd like to see the open doors analogy reflected in the end as you have her pick herself up and reward her for that. On the other hand Iíd like to see her punished for her moping about.
As it is, I find the cyclical ending you have now very unfulfilling, in the end weíre right back where we started without any progress or change made.

Dangerbutton

  • Level 5
  • *
  • Posts: 122
  • Fell Points: 0
    • View Profile
Re: 15-12-08 - Cold Feet
« Reply #10 on: December 18, 2008, 06:54:48 PM »
Well, due to how short it was, I don't have too much to comment on. However, I'm kinda glad it was short, because, otherwise, I wouldn't have had time to finish it before I go to work in five minutes :)
  Anyhow, it was good. Well written. I could feel the despair and loneliness she felt (yeah, it was definitely a girl). I agree with others that it didn't seem to go very far, but that is, of course, because of how short it is. Stories don't have to go very far by page 2.
   The line about flattening goosebumps stood out to me. I liked it.
   Unfortunately, i have to end here. I have to go to work.
   Keep it up, you're off to a good start.

Karl

  • Level 5
  • *
  • Posts: 134
  • Fell Points: 0
  • Rolling. Speed. Scene one, take one. ACTION!
    • View Profile
Re: 15-12-08 - Cold Feet
« Reply #11 on: December 27, 2008, 06:07:20 PM »
My, what a bucket of cheer to warm the night! But I sure liked it.

Raethe -- the use of "I had done" or "we had done" tends to be a Brit way of speaking. At least that's how I took it. And my few friends in the UK tend to talk like that. But it may still sound odd to us North Americans. However, it doesn't hurt Hayley to be aware of it.

I like your various uses of sense memory -- smells or sights that invoked tender or painful past events. With that in mind, is there a way to use a similar technique to avoid using the actual words "alone" or "lonely"? You sort of do it when you describe the empty spaces where something used to be. If you expand on that a bit you could give the impression of being very alone without having to tell us as much.

My one guilty addmission: I had to look up the word "duvet". Can't say I've ever heard that word before, believe it or not.

Like maxonennis, I am one who advocates sucking it up and moving on. However, I can still empathise with this character because there are times when, if for a short while, the depression can overcome a person. This works in a short story, but would not work in anything much longer.

My only real complaint is with the last paragraph. I guess I associate people outside talking with daytime. Perhaps you could separate out your description of the streetscape and expand on it a little bit. I wasn't aware this was an urban location, therefore would not expect much nighttime disturbances.

Also, the last paragraph was a bit of an abrupt ending to the story.
"When I came to this town five years ago I didn't have a nickle in my pocket. Now I have a nickle in my pocket."

Hayley

  • Level 6
  • *
  • Posts: 187
  • Fell Points: 0
  • Things are meant to be the way they're gonna be
    • View Profile
Re: 15-12-08 - Cold Feet
« Reply #12 on: January 05, 2009, 12:13:47 AM »
Hey,
I'd just like to say thanks for reading it to start off with :)

I'm aware it was a very sad piece, unfortunately written in a bit of a rush after a very bad week - hence the downbeat nature to it.

Think the reason I didn't put a gender in there, was so that both male and female readers could relate to it, without having to put themselves in what could be a gender that isn't their own, but thanks for pointing out how other pieces of language led towards the assumption of a female narrator. It's definitely good to get feedback on that.

Using the "I had done" etc is something that has been pointed out in the past... apparently a bad habit of mine, but something I'm working on.

This'll be a piece I'll go back and work on with your comments in mind.

Thank you :)
"The rats on the street
They dance around my feet
They seem to say" Hayley "It's up to yooooou!"

Duel! All the cool kids are doing it!