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My Brother Critic

So, about two weeks ago I finished writing a short story (just over 8,000 words). It’s my first short story in about a year, and it is my first attempt at a 3rd person point-of-view short story ever. Usually, I don’t bother editing my short stories, nor do I tend to revise them in any way. Except if it’s for class, which most of my short stories have been for. This time, I wrote this story outside of a classroom, and, therefore, feel some special attachment to it. Oddly enough, I desire to edit it. I desire to revise. I want this one to be good enough to publish somewhere.

Following this desire, I chose to give the story to my brother, who is an avid reader like I am. I wanted him to read it and not do edits, but tell me what he thought of it. What is wrong with it? What is good about it? Now, this was a huge step for me, because I don’t particularly like people I know well reading my works of fiction (nor do I even like them knowing I attempt to write fiction!). But, since I feel so attached to this story, I felt I owed it to the story, and to future readers, that I pass it through a judge.

So, today, my brother became a critic.

I asked him what he thought of the story and he told me he liked it over all, but that he thought it ended abruptly (a bad habit of mine). Also, he said he wasn’t sure he felt attached to the characters. Neither of us was sure it mattered if he felt attached or not. Normally, I would say it would be fairly important, but we agreed it’s difficult to create characters which people attach to in such a short amount of time. I’ve read plenty of short stories that I enjoyed, but didn’t feel attached to. Finally, he explained he would re-word some portions, which will be something I take a look at specifically when I edit.

I was worried there wasn’t enough action, but my brother assured me there was enough for the content of the story. So, although I didn’t get a lot of feedback, I did get some important feedback: no sympathy for the characters, too quick of an ending, but a good story overall. My brother critic has given hope to my story and am ready to dive into the editing and revision process once and for all.
Let’s hope this story will have enough in the end for a publication somewhere.

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  1. July 29, 2012 at 4:44 PM

    “Now, this was a huge step for me, because I don’t particularly like people I know well reading my works of fiction (nor do I even like them knowing I attempt to write fiction!).”

    I’m the same way. Congratulations on taking the big step and good luck with it all.

  2. August 20, 2012 at 1:28 AM

    Well, at least your brother can give you honest feedback about your work! I’ve had people “read” my work, tell me it was good, only to find out how much it lacked in story and character development after studying it myself. You are lucky to have a critic of a brother. 🙂

    • August 20, 2012 at 11:32 AM

      I am very glad to have a brother who is willing and able to critique my work, but I wonder how many eyes should view it in order to find that perfect revision. It’s just his eyes and mine and we can’t pick up on everything, I’m sure. =)

  1. September 1, 2012 at 7:15 PM
  2. October 2, 2012 at 8:23 PM
  3. October 20, 2012 at 5:41 PM

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