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Alyxbee View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Alyxbee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jul 2020 at 7:41pm
My story: 

While he lies there looking harmless, I stare at the monitors. 

Heart rate. Oxygen. Blood pressure. 

The whoosh of the ventilator punctuates every passing moment.

A nurse comes. She taps machines and updates his chart. She adjusts the bandages around his shaggy hair before glancing at the pathetic couch I inhabit. My cage. "Don't worry. Your husband's stable. Quiet, too. He's perfect."  She winks.

I pretend to laugh. The hollow trill makes me cringe.  

Perfect, I think. Perfectly stable. Perfectly comatose -- while I stay trapped.

I watch his closed eyes, his moving chest.

Maybe it's time to take my freedom.





The feedback: 

Sleeping Albatross'' by Alyson Tait -   


WHAT THE JUDGES LIKED ABOUT YOUR STORY - 


{1788}  The author provided several arresting images to help the reader visualize the husband's condition. In particular, the nurse adjusting the "bandages around his shaggy hair" was an original and vivid description.

The wife's internal dialogue was engaging as she weighed her options. Though the reader's not certain what she'll do, her desire for freedom was understandable. 


{1699}  I love the tension in this scene. The hospital setting, and the husband's vulnerable state, create a foundational layer of tension. On the surface level, the narrator must face the reality of her husband's compromised health. Yet, as the scene progresses, a new emotional tension emerges. The narrator is not looking forward to her husband's recovery, and she is unhappy being trapped with him. News of his stability prompts the narrator to consider how she can reclaim her life before her husband is fully back in the picture.  

{1943}  This was a very thought-provoking, compelling story. I loved the hints that this man was not what he appeared. The opening sentence, where he "looked harmless" was a great way to alert us to the fact he was an abuser. I loved the irony of the nurse's description of him being "perfect". The protagonist's thought of him being "perfectly comatose" was very powerful. This was strong writing - well done.


  WHAT THE JUDGES FEEL NEEDS WORK -


 {1788}  More exposition would strengthen the narrator's motivation. The author may want to include the length of time she's stayed in the hospital or what she's missing by staying by his side. Has she been there for a year, after leaving her job? Have their finances taken a huge hit? There's most likely a lot of issues popping up while she inhabits the couch, and addressing them would reinforce her feelings of entrapment. A couple sentences touching on these hardships would suffice and develop the relationship as well.

"Sleeping Albatross" has a notable amount of realism and wonderful imagery. Once the author includes more exposition, it will be a fantastic microfiction work. 


 {1699}  While I love the last line, I want a little more clarity on its significance. Is the narrator considering tampering with the ventilator, or is she considering bailing and running off? If it is the former, I'd also like another hint about what has happened in the past ("harmless" implies he has harmed her, but I want to know more). 


 {1943}  I was curious about the fact that the wife was sitting on a "pathetic couch". This was surprising, as it seemed that they were in a hospital. The description of this couch then being her "cage" was also puzzling. If they were at a hospital, I would maybe look for different ways to portray her feeling of being trapped by this man.

I would have loved to have seen something more decisive than a "maybe" at the end of the story. I wonder what would happen to the tone if the woman got up and left at the end?



*** 


I have pretty strong feelings about my feedback this round.  To get told to flat out "add more sentences" to a strict word count feels like a slap in my face.  You would rather I scrap the 100 word story to add in a bunch of exposition? 


I also vented well about the couch argument.  While i understand i could have chosen  a different/clearer adjective , i am relatively certain they've never had to spend time in a hospital room.  


The couches for family *are* pathetic.  Its not glamerous because its in a hospital,  and not all rooms even have that small comfort. 


Ahh well.  Next time i guess!

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ampheebian View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ampheebian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jul 2020 at 10:14pm
Hi all,

First time responder! This is also my first microfiction challenge, so didn't really find the forums til yesterday!

I have also for feedback on both R1 & R2 been asked for more backstory... I feel this misses one of the intrinsic points of microfictions, that they become kind of an "every" story... that you can transpose them. We think of the classic example (over-referenced perhaps) of: For Sale: baby shoes, never worn. The reader is asked more questions than being delivered answers... I feel like some of the judges want all questions answered when the skill of a microfiction is that it evokes, rather than explains... Does that make any sense?

I thought after the first round that maybe I was just being a bit precious... but seeing that others received similar feedback, I thought I'd add to the conversation!

Phoebe


Edited by ampheebian - 23 Jul 2020 at 10:15pm
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jennifer.quail View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jennifer.quail Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jul 2020 at 10:20pm
Originally posted by ampheebian ampheebian wrote:

Hi all,

First time responder! This is also my first microfiction challenge, so didn't really find the forums til yesterday!

I have also for feedback on both R1 & R2 been asked for more backstory... I feel this misses one of the intrinsic points of microfictions, that they become kind of an "every" story... that you can transpose them. We think of the classic example (over-referenced perhaps) of: For Sale: baby shoes, never worn. The reader is asked more questions than being delivered answers... I feel like some of the judges want all questions answered when the skill of a microfiction is that it evokes, rather than explains... Does that make any sense?

I thought after the first round that maybe I was just being a bit precious... but seeing that others received similar feedback, I thought I'd add to the conversation!

Phoebe

FWIW my feedback to the judges for R1 was, for all three, "Do you explain to your judges that contest word limits are hard limits, not suggestions?" Because they don't seem to understand that 'Loved all of this' in the good parts followed by 'you need more exposition/explanation' under needs work suggests they're saying dump the parts they liked to make room for spelling out exposition. 
FFC 2020 Ch 1 Gr 21: Cellared
Ch2 Gr 21: The Spy Who Came in For The Cake
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Patrick L View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Patrick L Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jul 2020 at 10:40pm
Originally posted by Alyxbee Alyxbee wrote:

My story: 

While he lies there looking harmless, I stare at the monitors. 

Heart rate. Oxygen. Blood pressure. 

The whoosh of the ventilator punctuates every passing moment.

A nurse comes. She taps machines and updates his chart. She adjusts the bandages around his shaggy hair before glancing at the pathetic couch I inhabit. My cage. "Don't worry. Your husband's stable. Quiet, too. He's perfect."  She winks.

I pretend to laugh. The hollow trill makes me cringe.  

Perfect, I think. Perfectly stable. Perfectly comatose -- while I stay trapped.

I watch his closed eyes, his moving chest.

Maybe it's time to take my freedom.





The feedback: 

Sleeping Albatross'' by Alyson Tait -   


WHAT THE JUDGES LIKED ABOUT YOUR STORY - 


{1788}  The author provided several arresting images to help the reader visualize the husband's condition. In particular, the nurse adjusting the "bandages around his shaggy hair" was an original and vivid description.

The wife's internal dialogue was engaging as she weighed her options. Though the reader's not certain what she'll do, her desire for freedom was understandable. 


{1699}  I love the tension in this scene. The hospital setting, and the husband's vulnerable state, create a foundational layer of tension. On the surface level, the narrator must face the reality of her husband's compromised health. Yet, as the scene progresses, a new emotional tension emerges. The narrator is not looking forward to her husband's recovery, and she is unhappy being trapped with him. News of his stability prompts the narrator to consider how she can reclaim her life before her husband is fully back in the picture.  

{1943}  This was a very thought-provoking, compelling story. I loved the hints that this man was not what he appeared. The opening sentence, where he "looked harmless" was a great way to alert us to the fact he was an abuser. I loved the irony of the nurse's description of him being "perfect". The protagonist's thought of him being "perfectly comatose" was very powerful. This was strong writing - well done.


  WHAT THE JUDGES FEEL NEEDS WORK -


 {1788}  More exposition would strengthen the narrator's motivation. The author may want to include the length of time she's stayed in the hospital or what she's missing by staying by his side. Has she been there for a year, after leaving her job? Have their finances taken a huge hit? There's most likely a lot of issues popping up while she inhabits the couch, and addressing them would reinforce her feelings of entrapment. A couple sentences touching on these hardships would suffice and develop the relationship as well.

"Sleeping Albatross" has a notable amount of realism and wonderful imagery. Once the author includes more exposition, it will be a fantastic microfiction work. 


 {1699}  While I love the last line, I want a little more clarity on its significance. Is the narrator considering tampering with the ventilator, or is she considering bailing and running off? If it is the former, I'd also like another hint about what has happened in the past ("harmless" implies he has harmed her, but I want to know more). 


 {1943}  I was curious about the fact that the wife was sitting on a "pathetic couch". This was surprising, as it seemed that they were in a hospital. The description of this couch then being her "cage" was also puzzling. If they were at a hospital, I would maybe look for different ways to portray her feeling of being trapped by this man.

I would have loved to have seen something more decisive than a "maybe" at the end of the story. I wonder what would happen to the tone if the woman got up and left at the end?



*** 


I have pretty strong feelings about my feedback this round.  To get told to flat out "add more sentences" to a strict word count feels like a slap in my face.  You would rather I scrap the 100 word story to add in a bunch of exposition? 


I also vented well about the couch argument.  While i understand i could have chosen  a different/clearer adjective , i am relatively certain they've never had to spend time in a hospital room.  


The couches for family *are* pathetic.  Its not glamerous because its in a hospital,  and not all rooms even have that small comfort. 


Ahh well.  Next time i guess!


I feel your pain! I'm in the same boat. Give 'em hell next time


Edited by Patrick L - 23 Jul 2020 at 10:41pm
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theinquisitor View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote theinquisitor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Jul 2020 at 4:29am
Originally posted by Alyxbee Alyxbee wrote:

I also vented well about the couch argument.  While i understand i could have chosen  a different/clearer adjective , i am relatively certain they've never had to spend time in a hospital room.  


The couches for family *are* pathetic.  Its not glamerous because its in a hospital,  and not all rooms even have that small comfort. 



Having spent several weeks 'sleeping' on folding beds next to my son's hospital bed, I entirely agree with you on that part. It's concerning that someone should be marking you down from a position of ignorance - as you say, they've obviously never been in that position, in which case they should either do a little research (probably not realistic with the number of stories they have to judge) or give you the benefit of the doubt. (I kind of see what they mean by 'cage' though - presumably your MC could at least move round the room, so that doesn't quite work.)
FWIW from someone who didn't make it past round one, I think it's an amazing story.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote nod1v1ng Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Jul 2020 at 9:02am
FOLKS! Do not post your stories here!

This section of the forum is public. Anyone can read them and it technically counts as being "published" now. If you leave your stories here, and you want to submit anywhere, they could ding you for having previously published on a public platform.
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Alyxbee View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Alyxbee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Jul 2020 at 10:06am
Its a good reminder. 

Im not worried, since i wasn't going to shop mine around but I think its easy to forget which parts of the forum are public :)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote momjourno Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Jul 2020 at 3:06pm
When are we supposed to have feedback by? I haven't recieved mine yet... Is it too soon to reach out to them asking where it is?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote emilymyoga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Jul 2020 at 11:19am
My feedback was shockingly short!!! WAY shorter than my round 1 feedback. I can't complain because I moved on to the finals, but I did review my judges for the first time to say that their feedback was extremely brief. And only one of them offered a critique (suggesting I remove the one line the other two judges said was their favorite LOL).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote emilymyoga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Jul 2020 at 11:21am
Originally posted by momjourno momjourno wrote:

When are we supposed to have feedback by? I haven't recieved mine yet... Is it too soon to reach out to them asking where it is?

I got mine Thursday afternoon. You should reach out to them if you still haven't received it!
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