Writer's Life, Writing Classes

Best and Worst of Critique Comments #6

Here we are, ladies and gents: the last Best and Worst of Critique Comments. It’s been a load of fun and I love all the wonderful reactions you’ve posted here or on Facebook. Thank you very much to everyone who has been reading this mini-series since it began!

This final story was only 500 words. It’s in the more romantic vein of work I’ve produced, focusing on a moment between a husband and wife a few months after she’s had a miscarriage. I spent a few weeks on this one and I’m very happy with how it came out — especially since everyone underlined the sentence I spent the most time crafting. There was some dissent on whether or not I should have dropped an F-bomb at the end of the story, but I haven’t decided what to do about it (if anything).

So without further ado, I give you the best and worst of the comments:

“This is a very soft, romantic piece. It suits your romantic voice. I was a little bit confused as to what exactly was going on, but I appreciate the subtlety you use to convey your ideas.”

“Such a truly wonderful short-short. You captured a moment, a history, and a hope in a small space as well as I think was possible for this.”

“While somber, you balanced it with such great humor. Because, well, when something is just too damn sad to be funny in life, that’s the moment that it has to become funny if progress is going to be possible. So beautiful job with that.”

“Aw this DID hit me right in the feels!”

“Weddings are murder.”

“It’s engaging the whole way through and the ending made me smile. Also, the coworker is a DI**. Don’t change a THING.”

“I want a hint of how/why she miscarried, if it just happened, or if something external caused it. It would be easy to include here.”

“I like that the dialogue is very casual and funny, but what’s going on is deeply emotional. You made it touching and sad without being melodramatic at all.”

“What does this mean?” Written next to an underlined piece of dialogue that says, “I said you’ve never been easy.”

“There maybe could have been more descriptions of their body language and their comfortability with each other. There’s a lot of dialogue, so add some descriptions.”

“Good dialogue. Good chemistry between characters. The amount of ‘I’s can be cut down.”

“I presume Maelyn was their child that died or was a stillbirth. I presume she wants to forget the nightmare through sex.” 

“Excellent story. Really tells a lot about the couple and their marriage without a bunch of ‘fluff.'”

“No! It was a sweet story, don’t spoil it with foul language.” Written next to the F-bomb, but not near the word “di**” a few paragraphs before.

“I would have wanted to know more about their past, but due to the word restriction, see that’s impossible. You could consider making the father losing his job somehow related to them losing their child.”

“Maybe change the title. It sounds to romance-novel-esque and the story is so far from that. :|”

“So sad… :(” Written next to the sentence, “It’s something I can only see in my dreams.”

“I don’t know. This line seems too rough for this piece. It’s a little jarring. I understand what you’re trying to say though. Maybe ‘f***ing’ is too strong of a word.”

“Love this whole thing. You say so much with so little.”

“Genetic flaw/virus?”

“I do like page one more than I like page two, though — there’s something about that conversation that just seems off when compared to the trauma but, then again, it’s a way of dealing with it.”

“Also, why was Tom such a di**?? Maybe add a little line about him, that describes his relationship to the narrator/his wife. But this was beautiful okay?!”

“The relationship between the two is so descriptive and lively. There’s a crucial AND symbolic meaning, even in the rhythm of your voice.”

“This was a really interesting take on what I assume to be a pregnancy? Or abortion? Or miscarriage? Your writing is so quiet and really beautiful.”

“I love Maelyn, she seems so genuine. When she curls back up in his arms and just giggles — aw, dead. I also loved the transition from touching her head and wanting to touch another. Nice subtleness with the information regarding a failed pregnancy.”

“The only part I’m unsure about is the ending. It seems like this would be in the realm of her character, but it doesn’t fit here. It tears away from this tender moment you have given us.”

“?” Written next to the circled phrase, “I hope to God.”

And there we have it. Thank you very much for reading! I wish there had been more outlandish comments, but there was only one person who seemed to be reading a completely different story.

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