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Frankenstein (prologue)

by reneehope

Maybe if I had just stuck to my instinct, the fibers of my body that screamed what I was doing was wrong and unnatural- none of this would’ve happened. Maybe if I had tried a little harder to fit in, stand out a little less. Maybe if I had thought about something other than the triumphant sneer on my face as my father looked at me in shock and adoration. If only I had craved friendship the way I craved the possibility of attention from the only person whose opinion I cared about.

But I didn’t. I couldn’t leave well enough alone and in penance I am forcing myself, on the shoreline of the Gulf of Bothnia, to watch the life and people I had finally accepted as home being taken up into flames.

As I stroke the pages of this journal with my pen, I am creating the last piece of evidence that a girl named Francesca Steen ever lived.

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129 Reviews

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Reviews: 129

Thu May 04, 2017 7:45 am
Wriskypump wrote a review...

I see you're kind of a new member. Cool!

Okay, so when I read this it seemed to kind of strike the wrong chords with me. The introductory sentence is really really really vague. But that's perfectly fine. Prologues are founded on the element of mystery. My problem is that I was expecting a bit more information to be divulged. Even from all the things you told me about father, about friends, about standing out... I find myself just kind of exasperated until you tell me that she's burning some house to essentially fake her death, and possibly go out and create a new identity and life for herself.

Now I feel like this prologue would be pretty vital to the rest of the novel. I wonder if you would consider making this a little more of a narrative? Maybe it's just me, but I had to read this twice for sure, to make sure I understood clearly. It's just sort of written in a rhythm that has kinda like one extraneous piece of information that distracts me from the main issue of the sentence, so it kind of messes with the flow and seems to cross my brain up a little bit. Personally I could go for witnessing maybe a flashback of sorts here before the home goes up in flame, and I think others might agree on that. I also no zero zip nada about Francesca, except that she's just become an arsonist. But who is this character to me? For that reason I only feel 50% bound & attracted to this story. Now surely I'd give the next chapter or 2 a chance at least (as the idea does seem to stand apart from the usual plot). I do wonder if Francesca is going to keep decorating the journal as the story develops onward: that would definitely be interesting. Especially if in the rest of the book, whenever she's interacting with people and stuff, you conceal her thoughts from us in the moment, and later in some quiet time, she breaks out the journal and we see how she was really taking in the situation when it was going down!

I hope this helps. I do despise a hollow review

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559 Reviews

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Reviews: 559

Mon Jan 02, 2017 10:47 pm
erilea wrote a review...

Hey, reneehope! Lupa here for a review. :D Let's begin...

1) "Maybe if I had just stuck to my instinct, the fibers of my body that screamed what I was doing was wrong and unnatural- none of this would’ve happened." Here, you don't need a comma after "unnatural," although it works okay in this context. Just thought you should know. :)

2) The name of your character is quite subtle, which is nice. Francesca Steen is quiet enough to be taken as a regular name, but then the reader is struck by its similarity to Frankenstein. However, I'm not sure how the notion of Frankenstein ties into this short little blurb. If you made this clearer I think it'd be good.

3) Is this meant to be a prologue? Because if it is, I can't wait for the chapters that follow. It seems a bit cruel to give us this captivating teaser and then leave us with nothing else to read. Turning it into a story would elaborate on the Frankenstein idea and generally be a nice piece added on to YWS. I encourage it. :)

4) How is this categorized in to Lyrics? I don't see that aspect in your work, so I would classify it better if I were you.

Overall, there wasn't much to review because it was so short, but I enjoyed reading it and wish you would add more. Keep writing, welcome to the site, and happy new year!


reneehope says...

Thanks Lupa! Actually, I clicked the wrong button when I went to publish this. And it is indeed a prologue, and was trying to decide whether or not to publish it. As for the notion of Frankenstein, well, we'll just have to wait for the first couple actual chapters I suppose.
Thank you so much for the glowing review. It is appreciated :)

erilea says...

You're very welcome. I'm so glad that there'll be more! :D

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1334 Reviews

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Sun Jan 01, 2017 7:14 pm
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Hannah wrote a review...

Hey there!
Thanks for sharing this small teaser with YWS. First of all, I really like how subtle the character's name is while still alluding to the source material. When I first read the name Francesca Steen, I did not feel like it was abnormal; it was a name that could naturally exist, so I think that'll be a good name to go with.

The one suggestion I have when you go over this material again is to consider what you, as the AUTHOR know about the situation and what the NARRATOR would actually be able to reflect about his/herself. For example, the sentence "If only I had craved friendship the way I craved the possibility of attention from the only person whose opinion I cared about" seemed, when I read it, something that you as the author would be able to say about the narrator, but not necessarily something that the person would be able to express about him/herself. In order to build credibility from the very first opening, I agree that there should be a degree of reflection in looking back, but with careful consideration about what is realistic for the narrator to have considered.

What might help you in pursuit of this goal is to check out some pieces with unreliable narrators, where the narrator tells lies about the events of the story, so the reader has to piece it together on their own.

Other than that, I really appreciate the suspense you've created in such a short space. The line about watching the city go up in flames immediately makes me, as the reader, wonder what happened to get to this point, and encourages me to keep reading. Skillful! Just don't lose my attention with lack of credibility in the first paragraph.

Let me know if you have any questions about this review.

Thanks again for sharing,


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235 Reviews

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Sun Jan 01, 2017 6:11 pm
inktopus wrote a review...

You should definitely continue this! I think that for a beginning of a story, this is pretty strong. I like how you let snippets of the narrator's personality come through, I think that's impressive considering how little is written. You've really set up something interesting, and I'd like to see more.

I have two nitpicks. The first is, " ...to watch the life and people I had finally accepted as home being taken up into flames." 'Taken up into flames' is a little awkward. Replacing 'taken up' with something more appropriate would help.

The other nitpick is, "As I stroke the pages of this journal with my pen..." I think that's also a little strange. I understand what you're saying, but the way you're saying it is weird.

But those were just nitpicks. Overall I really liked it and want to see more.

We do have funerals for the living. They're called birthday parties.
— Jill Biden (fictitiously), Hope Never Dies