Short Story by: GraceBuchanan
Genre: Literary Fiction
publish, history of civilization
Submitted: November 28, 2012
© Copyright 2016 GraceBuchanan. All rights reserved.
I read this twice. The first time, I was a little put off by the little introduction. It seems a bit meta for my tastes, esp. the line, "This is the story of how those two women meet." After a second read, it made more sense, but unelss you're deliberately invoking a storyteller style, I find that sort of thing unnecessary.
The good-- again, as with the "My Vacation" piece, I like very much the idea of getting a glimpse of meeting someone towards the end of her life, and then, seemingly, poised at the start of a major turning point. It is, indeed, meeting two very different people, so I like that you present it that way.
The bad-- I would caution against focusing on writers writing as a subject. I find it a bit self-indulgent, it has been done to death, and I doubt if anyone who isn't a writer would be so interested to hear the minutiae involved in editing a manuscript, getting published, and so forth.
Having said that, I don't think it's such a bad move to write about a writer who's getting published and is excited about it-- other artists can relate to the thrill of knowing that their career is about to take off. But I wouldn't make the work itself such a focus.
But that brings me to another quibble-- you hint that Sarah's career is about to take off, but there's no payoff! Does her gamble with e-publishing work? You hint at the adulation of a crowd at the beginning, but I would like to see more of it. Are there any pratfalls? Or is it all smooth sailing? MORE.
Ditto with characterization. This is a story about a person's journey from adulthood to old age, but I don't know her. Who is Sarah? You talk of a divorce, of this extreme rage in this woman. How does she express it? How does becoming a success help her triumph? Or does it-- is it a hollow victory? You talk of her fascinating friends who travel and produce art. I would love to meet them.
You present these intriguing, meaty topics, but then you don't dig in. I am left feeling teased.
Thank you for your comments. I am glad you want more. You motivated me to re-think the paragraph about her reviewing the manuscript. I will enjoy the challenge of fleshing that out.
I wrote this story as a result of seeing a friend get "taken" by a company that she paid to publish her newest books. Previously, she had been paid to write a number of books. She was delighted when the company in question asked her to write more, and perplexed and gullible when they sent her bills. I wrote this as a warning for writers here. This is meant to be a few snapshots, not a story of a person's life journey or of that of her friends.
Notice that the audience is only momentarily captivated, as public speakers whom I know find audiences tend to be. Getting audiences to follow through and "stick with it" is a huge challenge. I implied that her project did not give her the results she hoped for. After all, who was the person who rescued the copy from the library bag sale?
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