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significant ramblings

by rosette

A/N: I don't consider this a poem or a story; I'm not sure what to consider it, tbh. Any ideas on how to make it fit more into a specific structure would be appreciated. 

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24 Reviews

Points: 4033
Reviews: 24

Sun Mar 31, 2019 2:45 am
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paperforest wrote a review...

Hey there! I really like this. I'm not sure what to say about it just yet, but I like it! On the subject of what this is, you could just call it a prose poem and leave it at that. I don't know a ton about them, but I'd say that's what this is, because there's no reason I can see to change it to arbitrarily fit a more poetic format/style, but it's also not quite a story in the usual sense - the closest thing I can find to a climax is the very last line. But now I'm thinking about the whole comedy vs tragedy thread you've set up, and I don't know if this is on purpose or just a neat coincidence, but I actually think that you could say that it's formatted like a joke, with a setup and a punchline.

The setup gives us some things to think about and foreshadows a little (with the thread of looking for x and kollin's breakup and the "live life like we're supposed to" line), and then the very last line, though in no way funny, works effectively like the punchline does in a joke. It connects the dots that the setup gave us in an unexpected way, and it punches you in the gut not only by making the setup make more sense, but by expanding the story to fit into the larger world.

So many people have lost friends or family to cancer, it's something that the reader automatically knows about and understands and possibly feels on a very personal level. It's really effective. Almost so effective that you want to be careful about making your reader feel emotionally manipulated, because you've dropped this bombshell and then left them with it, but I think that the rest of the story has enough things of its own to say that it's ok. It might not be ok for a reader who's read more cancer stories or just doesn't like being emotionally manipulated (I have to say that I'm usually pretty bad at noticing it, but I also don't mind when it's in stories that aren't pushing an agenda or anything), but I don't know, so I'm going to say that it's fine.

As for specific things that bothered me, the very first bit made me feel pretty overwhelmed by having to figure out who northrop frye is and what was meant by the comedy and spring metaphor (what makes spring like life and comedy? spring is life because plants and animals are waking up again, and life is comedy because? because people are funny?). I think I get the gist of it, but it's a bit of a hard way to start because not only is it confusing, but it's not even your words! I like how it ties in again at the end, but maybe you could start by easing us in with the classroom and the concrete details and thoughts. I have to say that I love the finding x thread and the little detail of kollin's dirty fingernails and especially the line "find x like we're supposed to and live life like we're supposed to". Or maybe there's a clearer way to explain the comedy bit. You could also make the comedy vs tragedy thought thread a bit stronger, I think, because it's a pretty important setup to the very last line of the piece, but it's only mentioned once at the very start.

Also the waldo bit seemed to come a bit out of the blue, although I realize that it's in that train-of-thought/stream-of-consciousness style so it's not wrong, it just felt a bit extraneous when you're already looking for x. Or maybe it's actually working really well to bridge that jump between a lost x to a lost person to a dying mother. I don't know. I like it but it felt random but it's also really good, so, um, maybe it's just that there's other semi-random things that are extraneous (like kaitlyn, and northrop frye) and could be simplified to make it feel less tangled. Unless that's an intentional effect because I think I'd be feeling the same way in that situation and it even says in the last line that the narrator is trying to thinks of anything but their mother's diagnosis.

Ok, overall I really liked this piece! Although, as you can see, I'm very conflicted over how it could be improved. :) I really enjoyed reading and reviewing this, and I hope I've said something helpful!

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130 Reviews

Points: 216
Reviews: 130

Sun Mar 31, 2019 12:46 am
Anma wrote a review...


Hmmmmm, that's a hard one but I would most likely think it would be a poem.

It seems more poem then short story specially because of the emotion from it. As well as the way its explained isn't really in a story telling way.

Well I mean a little bit but hard to decide!
I do think its in a art category though sooooo if that helps.

Also there is a few punctuation errors and everything. I'm not sure if you want it to be professionally written but if you do make sure to capitalize! :)

Anyway this is great!

Keep up the good work!

Sincerely Anma

rosette says...

Thanks, Anma! No, I didn't want it to look professionally written - kind of more like the rambles of a person's thoughts. Somehow, capitalization didn't feel right. It was an experiment for me, since I usually like my grammar/punctuation to be perfect. :]

An arrow can only be shot by pulling it backwards. So when life is dragging you back with difficulties, it means that life's going to launch you into something great, so just focus and keep aiming.
— Unknown