You are my past self. I am writing this letter two weeks in the future in order to alert you that you will fail your mission. Therefore, read carefully. What you read here is essential to your success. Learn from your mistakes that haven't happened yet. Please read this, figure out what not to do, and stop being an idiot. We'll start with what happens in your meeting this morning:
You didn't come for the jelly donuts. You didn't come for the jelly donuts. You didn't come...yeah, keep telling yourself that. The truth is, they are a nice addition to an otherwise nondescript meeting room. You and five other new couriers sit along one side of a long table. The other couriers chat about sports, both physical and virtual, food and television. Meanwhile, you sit quietly, seriously weighing the pros and cons of eating a jelly donut.
The week before last, you completely gave up sugar for five days. That was terrible, not because you craved sugar, but because you were hungry. Actually, the more accurate term is HUNGRY. You had the type of hunger that consists of dizziness and twisting pains in your stomach. You wanted to yell at everyone. Your cat mewed at you once with just a little defiance, and you felt like saying "Oh, meow you, too! Get off my meowing back, you meowing meowster!!!" Instead, you just frowned sternly, and your cat got the message.
Post by harleyquinnhq75 on Feb 4, 2017 18:24:05 GMT -5
Hello! These are my critiques for Sliding Block.
1.) I like the the narrator struggling with his desire for donuts. It paints him as human. We all struggle with wanting a delicious, sugar snack sometimes! Does this personality trait, this vulnerability to give into temptation, factor into the rest of the story? If not, you may want to consider that being the protagonist's flaw, which influences his actions in the rest of your narrative.
2.) The concept of a letter and the urgency in the writing is a good hook. A reader would probably be immediately curious by the phrase "You are my past self" as this instantly tells you who is writing and who the letter is for. Then you move right onto the whole point of the letter -- that the hero will fail his mission. That shows the urgency in the narrative.
3.) Nice description of what's happening in the room. I can imagine your protagonist staring hungrily at those donuts while people carelessly chat about nothing.
1.) Despite the fact that I like using the temptation of donuts to characterize the protagonist, I think after you've said "seriously weighing the pros and cons of eating a jelly donut", you should move onto the next part of the story. Unless the 5-day abstinence story is important to the plot, I would remove it. It doesn't seem necessary and it slows the pace.
2.) Is the whole story told in a letter? If so, I'm not sure an entire story told in the past tense like this would grip readers. Even when a story is told in past tense, there's forward momentum. Your letter is recalling the past without they're being any progression into the future. Consider how long you want to make the letter and what crucial bits of information are necessary for the protagonist to know. Will you be following the past self of the protagonist or the future self that wrote the letter? If the story is about the past self changing the future, then that would definitely be interesting. Also, last question, why does the author of the letter not address himself by his own name? Why does he address himself by his occupation? If you want to show that these couriers are just nameless workers, then you might want to add numbers to show that. For instance, "Dear Courier 569." That shows he's a number and yet that he's someone in particular. Just a thought.
3.) What kind of room are you describing? Are the characters on a spaceship? On earth? I'm just unsure of the setting. You may want to clarify that so as not to confuse your reader.
Thanks for sharing! Hope my critiques are helpful to you. Good luck!
I liked the humor in this piece. The jelly donuts and the cat bits were fun and give insight into the type of protagonist we're dealing with.
Receiving a letter from his future self was intriguing and makes me want to know how this is possible. Time travel, etc.?
I was a little confused by him addressing the letter to Dear Courier - why not use his own name? Is the letter written to any courier - you mentioned that the room was filled with a few - or to his actual past self?
So far, only about 2000 words of the book are written, and I'm sort of trying to test the waters to see if it can be 2nd person without getting annoying. Here are some answers to the questions:
1) I will consider taking out the sugar story, but harleyquinnhq75, you've just given me a great idea about sugar being a weakness!
2) I was debating whether to use "Dear Courier" or "Dear Rachel". The courier's ("your") name is Rachel, but I guess I wasn't sure if the reader would understand that he/she is Rachel. I can change it to "Dear Rachel". I think I also want to do as little as possible to distinguish the gender of the character, because I want the reader to feel like it could be him/her. I'll give it some thought.
The idea is that the whole book is the letter. We're following the past self. You choose your own path (by which I mean you choose certain chapters), and if you end up writing a letter to yourself, you've failed (again? Haha). The whole choose-your-own-path thing is tentative, but I think it will be the best way to write this story.
3) Good question. I figure that it's just a meeting room on Earth, but I do need to iron out the details.
Again thank you! This will be challenging, and fun.