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R1 #20 YO: A House Presence

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Kate Moxon View Drop Down
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    Posted: 02 Feb 2019 at 11:56am
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stephenmatlock View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote stephenmatlock Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Feb 2019 at 9:47pm
Huh. Intriguing story with Tessa remembering and seeing so many things.

This line just gave me the creeps:
"A break to the chilly atmosphere, a word, a breath, possibly even a touch on the arm. It could be delicate." -- I have to say NO to such a thing for me, no matter how delicate that touch is! :)

You have some very interesting similes and descriptions, and I loved how you use language. This was one of them that just struck me:
"...a sea of annoyance on her arm." - That's exactly how I'd feel with all that stuff.

And I loved how you remind us of Tessa's abilities to see what we cannot see with your sly allusion to the common ghost trope of clinking chains:
"If they wore noisy, clinky jewellery..." Very clever.

One thing for me--the story really snapped alive for me when Yokai ("NOT YUKI!") entered the picture. I don't know why, but somehow the story seemed more vivid and crackling with energy. If you ever decide to work on this to extend it further, for my taste, I'd like to see more of this interaction. It was so interesting.

Nice work.  I'm glad you shared it.
Love takes off the masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within. ~ James Baldwin

2019 SSCR1 The Cold Truth
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Kate Moxon View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kate Moxon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Feb 2019 at 12:10am
thank you so much - I was very unsure about sharing!!! Especially when others' work is so good!
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ravensview View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote ravensview Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Feb 2019 at 5:13pm
Wow - this is overflowing with imagery. Quite a feat. I enjoyed reading it.  However, the assigned Donations and Child Psychologist elements weren't that obvious until the end. OK for me, but maybe not the judges. I felt the jump from Tessa to Sal was a little abrupt too - maybe mention her in passing earlier?  
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Kate Moxon View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kate Moxon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Feb 2019 at 1:08am
Thank you - yes I struggled with the transition between characters.   I was aiming to have the child psych and donation at the end of the story, to make Yo a sort of human ghost.   
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote thesaura73 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Feb 2019 at 3:51pm
Ghost Story / A donation / A child psychologist
 
Hello! I liked your use of the prompts, though with the end it doesn't seem to be a ghost story after all! In the opening scenes I thought that Tessa was a psychic or empath, and I even thought the descriptions of how clanking jewelry annoyed Tessa hinted that she sympathized with the ghosts who probably also found it annoying. The vivid unsavory descriptions (like putrescent meat) also gave that impression strongly. (Spoilery comments follow, whited out) 
 
Yet on a second read it seems clear you're using the poltergeist as a metaphor for the problem child, which I think is a great comparison! Especially the people being worn down and defeated, and despair clinging to them. And it still makes me wonder what you mean by the spirit and cloven hooves-- Is it still a metaphor, just this time for the child's bad temper, or could there really be a bad spirit in these problem children?
 
Then even when the mom is breaking down and the ghost taunts her for not being perfect-- What a great illustration of that hideous pride some moms can have (looking down on other moms and thinking, "I'll never be that pathetic and my children will never behave that way"), never realizing that they aren't truly in control until too late! And the fear of being found out! That was great too.
 
I think the only time the metaphor seemed a little hard to handle/jarring was the part with the butcher knife. While I can see a daughter and mom getting into it and the daughter maybe taunting her in that way, I found it hard to believe the mom would go that far. (But then, you later describe her heavy drinking so that probably explains it.)
 
I think the only thing that took me out was the order. I think just putting things in chronological order, starting from Sal's POV, her family's experiences and then introducing Tessa, would have still conveyed the ghost story as strongly, maybe drew me in even more (as I often paused to try and figure out why the scene or POV changed, and I'm not sure it added to the experience). With the current order, when Yo is introduced, it seems like a game changer and totally changes the tone of the story...So wondering if chronological order could ease us more into the realization?
 
I see why you "hid" the donation and child psychologist prompts till the end, but do wonder if at least the donation could have been more clearly spelled out (I got by the end the child psychologist part.) Still, that's really minor for the story you created! Good job and thanks for sharing!
 
Edited to add: This may be just me, but I was distracted from the beginning by wondering why the letters "Y" and "O" were at the beginning of your story title...Maybe make it "Yo" instead of "YO"?


Edited by thesaura73 - 11 Feb 2019 at 4:00pm
SSP Ch3 - Innovations in Pediatrics (Comedy)
SS Ch1 - A Curated Experience (Suspense)
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