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We'll see, in time.

by Kiami


I’ve always been fastidious but misunderstood as such when my fastidious nature was turned to unusual directions. When I was a child, I was caught between a dichotomy of being pleasing to adults in a childish fashion by way of promise and pleasing as an adult by way of being receptive to their world. I would spend my free and personal times trying to find love for maths, science, literature, and anything my child brain considered “high academia”. But at nights when I was taken to the pub by my early 70s parents, I learned another kind of impression I could hone. It’s left me slightly ajar of people my own age in a way that looks like pomposity and the refusal of things that give my generation identity, but really it’s a quite self-pitying vein of the loneliness I overcame unusually when I was young, and a coverable personality scar remains. I was, in the optimistic and earnest way that only children really can be, intent on being someone that adults could be comfortable around. This may have been from a push towards by my access to my parent’s friends or a push away from not having my own, or probably both, but it culminated in me learning to roll (but certainly not smoke) cigarettes at age 5 and develop a kind of outrageous comedy that straddles the line between charming and concerning in small children. I tried to keep it tuned to the audience, and struggled with the strange and expansive list of things adults liked and could relate to; Muffin the Mule, West Ham football club, Simon and Garfunkel, château neuf du pape (and speaking French for that matter), window shopping, Jeremy Corbyn and being told they look 30 (unless in the circumstances you’re supposed to say 20). All of this served to make the disillusionment of adults being omnipotent, benevolent, rich e.c.t. all the more sudden. I felt righteous in the wool being pulled off, and at the same time aware that the unwitting haze was something I would wish for just an ounce of once I was old enough. I was right.

Note from the author: Whether or not you know if I'm a first time writer or published author (not that that always guarantees quality), I would like some honest feedback, unlike that which you can receive from people who know you personally. Is there anything compelling or distracting about my writing style? Is the narrative honest, detached, touching or corny? Thanks in advance. K.


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Wed Jul 01, 2020 8:30 am
Liminality wrote a review...



Hi there! I thought that this was a charming and unconventional piece. It's got an unusual voice, and that was what drew me to read and review this piece. It is interesting, if a bit unrealistic, and perhaps the satire comes from the absurd nature of this character.

1. I liked that the voice remained consistent throughout the text. The character consistently talks with high-brow vocabulary, which helps carry the impression of their unusual precociousness as a child. The large number of complex sentences makes them seem a little dated, which sort of lines up with the old-timey setting that the references create.

2. As a whole, the side-comments the narrator inserts into sentences are pretty humourous. Some of my favourite bits in this piece were "I was, in the optimistic . . . comfortable around." and ". . . roll (but certainly not smoke) cigarettes". Again, the style comes across as a little dated, which likely has more to do with the character's background than that of the author, so it works pretty well.

3. Sometimes the run-on sentences run on for too long and create confusion. For instance, the very first line could do with some commas and rephrasing. With the way it is now, it is difficult to say what the "as such" refers to. It seems to self-contradict, making it difficult for the reader to pick up on the point of the story from the get-go. Commas could also help break up long winding sentences and make them more readable without compromising on flavour.

4. I would also say that breaking the text up into more than one paragraph is generally a good idea, because it helps structure the story arc so you see a beginning, middle and end. That being said, you could still use maybe one long body paragraph if you want to have a heavy stream-of-consciousness moment.

5. I think the sentence lengths could be more varied, if you want to avoid sounding too 'detached'. For instance, the last bit had the most impact on me, because you go from a long sentence to the short, impactful "I was right." and this sudden switch creates drama. Other than that, most of the text seems to have the same sentence length, which maintains the reader's mood at an even kilter all the way until the end. It might make the piece come across as more true to the narrator's emotions if there were varying lengths of sentences (and thus, varying levels of tension) throughout the piece.

Overall, this comes across more as a sketch than a full-on short story - but definitely an interesting and pretty well-written one, nonetheless. I think the main reason for that is that the character/ narrator doesn't seem to have a problem or antagonist to overcome throughout, so it doesn't fit into the conventional frame of a story. Hopefully some of these comments are helpful and will help you with your writing.

Cheers!
-Liminality




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Tue Jun 23, 2020 12:32 am
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EternalRain wrote a review...



Hey there Kiami!

Interesting piece, and it’s a bit unlike what I normally review but I’ll give it a go!

I really like the vocabulary used here; it creates an atmosphere that makes the character seem in parts academic, philosophical, and pretentious, and also lends itself to the idea of him growing from a child to an adult (typically adults have stronger vocabularies). However, because of the formatting and wording of some sentences, I was left a bit in the dark? For example, the second to last sentence here:

I felt righteous in the wool being pulled off, and at the same time aware that the unwitting haze was something I would wish for just an ounce of once I was old enough.


It’s a bit long, the break between “for just an ounce of” and “once I was old enough” is not super clear, and overall I’m left a bit muddled. Our narrator seems as if he feels good or relieved that this false veil has been pulled off his eyes—adults really aren’t as great as they’re made out to be! However, the second half of this is leaving me a tad confused. Is he wishing for this “haze” again, now that he’s old? The first sentence of the story left me a bit confused too—I wish it was a bit clearer and sharper because it’s the first sentence of the story!


Concerning your last question in the Author’s Note—I found this to be a fairly honest story. We’re reading about someone who was keen on becoming on adult a bit too soon. And who was almost dragged into it, too: visiting pubs, rolling cigarettes. It’s a classic theme of growing up too soon and I think that was captured in an honest way. I didn’t find it remarkably touching in the way a more emotional story is, but it is honest. I’m not sure what exactly you were going for- if you were going for the touching route, I would say to throw more emotion in here (is the narrator bitter? angry? defeated? I feel like it was a more practical, this-that happened tone).

Lastly, I would recommend breaking that first paragraph up into smaller ones! It’s a bit chunk, as well as has a bunch going on in there, so it could really help the flow and understanding of the story.

I hope this helped a bit! This definitely isn’t my typical read just because I don’t see this kind of stuff around YWS much but I did enjoy it! I also think this has a lot of potential to be expanded upon—it’s slightly short as it is, and definitely has room for more exploration of these themes and this character if that’s something you want to do.

Peace,
~EternalRain




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Sun Jun 21, 2020 1:25 pm
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IcyFlame wrote a review...



Hi Kiami!
Welcome to YWS, I hope you're enjoying the site so far.

I'm here to give you a review. I'll try to give my honest opinion so hopefully some of my points will help you.

Firstly, you've posted this in one big paragraph which makes it less appealing to read. Try and break it up into sections. I've done this for you in the box below, but you can split it differently if you chooses to.

I’ve always been fastidious but misunderstood as such when my fastidious nature was turned to unusual directions. When I was a child, I was caught between a dichotomy of being pleasing to adults in a childish fashion by way of promise and pleasing as an adult by way of being receptive to their world. I would spend my free and personal times trying to find love for maths, science, literature, and anything my child brain considered “high academia”.

But at nights when I was taken to the pub by my early 70s parents, I learned another kind of impression I could hone. It’s left me slightly ajar of people my own age in a way that looks like pomposity and the refusal of things that give my generation identity, but really it’s a quite self-pitying vein of the loneliness I overcame unusually when I was young, and a coverable personality scar remains.

I was, in the optimistic and earnest way that only children really can be, intent on being someone that adults could be comfortable around. This may have been from a push towards by my access to my parent’s friends or a push away from not having my own, or probably both, but it culminated in me learning to roll (but certainly not smoke) cigarettes at age 5 and develop a kind of outrageous comedy that straddles the line between charming and concerning in small children.

I tried to keep it tuned to the audience, and struggled with the strange and expansive list of things adults liked and could relate to; Muffin the Mule, West Ham football club, Simon and Garfunkel, château neuf du pape (and speaking French for that matter), window shopping, Jeremy Corbyn and being told they look 30 (unless in the circumstances you’re supposed to say 20).

All of this served to make the disillusionment of adults being omnipotent, benevolent, rich e.c.t. all the more sudden. I felt righteous in the wool being pulled off, and at the same time aware that the unwitting haze was something I would wish for just an ounce of once I was old enough. I was right.


See how much easier this is to read?

Now for a couple of specific nitpicks:
I’ve always been fastidious but misunderstood as such when my fastidious nature was turned to unusual directions.

This is a really confusing sentence... it almost feels unfinished. Think about what you're trying to say here and maybe give it another go.

It’s left me slightly ajar of people my own age in a way that looks like pomposity and the refusal of things that give my generation identity, but really it’s a quite self-pitying vein of the loneliness I overcame unusually when I was young, and a coverable personality scar remains.


Super long run on sentence here. Perhaps you could split between 'identity' and 'but'.

This may have been from a push towards by my access to my parent’s friends or a push away from not having my own, or probably both, but it culminated in me learning to roll (but certainly not smoke) cigarettes at age 5 and develop a kind of outrageous comedy that straddles the line between charming and concerning in small children.

I would write the word 'five' rather than putting the number 5.

Overall impression here is that narrative style is very specific, but the constant use of long and intricate sentences make it harder to read and harder to focus on. As such, I think your overall message here is lost. The piece isn't long, and the detached style of delivery means that it's very hard to connect with the narrative voice here.

You start to describe the character as a child, could you play on that more? If we see them interact with parents/adults (perhaps during some kind of flashback) it helps to build a connection to the reader, and helps the reader to sympathise and empathise with them throughout the rest of the piece.

I think you have a good start here, but personally think there is still some work needed!

Hope this has been helpful to you, feel free to tag me if you edit and repost this at any point.

Icy :)





My tongue must tell the anger of my heart, or else my heart, concealing it, will break...
— Katherine, The Taming of the Shrew