Now that I’ve spent a month reviewing stories for eFiction (as a thanks for being published by them), my reviews look at stories that stand out from my weekly readings around the internet. I choose stories based on what they can teach about the craft of writing.
I also like to review stories by people who comment on my posts or review my stories. Hint, hint.
Right, so now I turn back to Every Day Fiction and look to the flash fiction http://www.everydayfiction.com/gravitys-edge-gifts-by-j-c-towler/.
Right away, the scene is set in great detail. The author uses strong imagery with lines like “gnarled woman with skin like old beachwood” to create a clear mental image of the setting and scenario.
I can feel the desperation of this poor guy going into this shop as a last resort, and then there’s this darkly funny kicker when the shopkeeper offers him a ‘solution’ to all of his problems.
The kicker at the end gives a nice little zing, an exclamation point at the end of an enjoyable, easy read.
As good as this story is, there are, of course a few areas for improvement. As the scene is set in the starting, we get the line ‘George Moss barely registers any of it”. Really? All that scene-setting, and it’s totally lost on the character? While such failure to notice can be used to characterize, I think it’s much better to have the setting trigger some reaction in the character. All the dream catchers around remind him of his hippie days? The incense reminds him of a girl he dated? Any reaction that tells more about where the character is coming from is better than failure to react, in my opinion.
The story is well established in the first three paragraphs – I can see a character, know what his problem is, and understand in detail the setting he’s walking into. This story shows how I can quickly establish a strong foundation for a quick, meaningful story.