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for After the End

6/15/2011 c1 1A. Gray
This was an intresting take on the prompt. It was amazing how well you captured the main, and all her conflicting emotions. It made me wonder what happens after this? Where does she go? Does she get free? I liked being left with these questions. Nicely done.
6/11/2011 c1 63RedactedNoLongerWriting
Love the transition the narrator is going through here. I think it's great that you're showing her still working up the courage to change something for herself, but still showing enough of the why and her personality to give hope that she will indeed be free someday. The awakening was a great thing, but it's also fitting that she's frightened of it. Overall, I think you did a great job fitting the right emotions to the scenario. Some more specific feelings would have been nice, but I still really liked this. :) Good luck in the WCC!
6/9/2011 c1 21Sercus Kaynine
"Was I was the only one who had opened my eyes?"

-You have an extra "was" in there.

This is an interesting take on the prompt, and an interesting after thought to all crazy thinking. I loved the details and imagery you used in describing this narrator's secret personality and secret doubts. She seems like a smart person, even if I only ever get to see her peeling potatoes.

Good job and good luck in WCC!
6/8/2011 c1 16Dragon made me do it
Well done, great idea.

I think you did a great job of describing how the character felt about moving away from this organisation, as well as the obstacles she faced in doing so, and the fear of returning to a more independent life after being institutionalised.

What I would have liked to have seen more of, however, was the reasoning behind why she joined in the first place. It is not surprising that somebody might want to leave a cult that controls their life. What is more unusual and difficult to understand, is the mental state that they were in when they decided that it would be a good idea to get involved in.

We like to portray people in these situations as gullible and brainwashed (not to suggest that you are doing this here though), but quite often they have rational reasons for joining, and perhaps the alternative option was even more unpalatable, which you hinted at in this case. I would like to see that drawn out a little more. If you had trouble finding a space for this, you could cut out a bit of the repetition on how she felt now.

Another aspect could be events in her life which brought about this shift in her viewpoint, and how they played out in the story. I understand that you have limited space here though.

Well done and good luck in the contest!

lines that I liked:

He pronounced Jesus with the first syllable a few milliseconds too long.

none of us stopping to see what would happen if we just rubbed the cobwebs away

Was I was the only one who had opened my eyes? Or were there others, like me, staring around at this strange, new world with no one to tell about it? I had no way of knowing.

I found its logical counterpart, the absence of heaven, equally liberating. No more fear of eternity.
6/7/2011 c1 12Deedee Elle
I really like this detail: 'He pronounced Jesus with the first syllable a few milliseconds too long', it makes the narrator seem very observant but also you've captured something about that sort of fervour which seems to go with the preaching style.

This is a very intriguing idea and I think it could definitely be taken further. I don't think it is something I've really seen explored in fiction (though I have ex-JW friends who describe very similar excuses made as the ones you give here).

There is enough backstory to the character to draw the reader in without overloading with info.
6/7/2011 c1 Boy at War
Your connection to the image must be really buried, because I can't seem to find it, I think it might be the reaction of the faces of the people, but I could be wrong.

I liked your soliloquy with your character, detailing her doubt and her disattachment from the rest of the people in her home.

I would have liked a little dialogue just to add another dimension to this story, since it is difficult to show when your just describing.

Your character was memorable, she had a style of thinking that just made me believe her thoughts and understand her feelings, I could relate to her as thought while peeling potatotes even though it's clearly not something I do for a living.

Your character's piteous confliction was also interesting, the struggle to moderate between shameful pride and overwhelming modesty caught my attention as another struggle many of us find today, it's relatability made it so much more believable and likeable.
6/6/2011 c1 6Ezekiel Finch
Hello from the RG!

I first want to say that you executed the conflict of "doubt" extremely well. Some authors will use doubt in the absence of reason which causes the character to be outright hysterical or insane. Other authors will use doubt and have the characters use a chain or reasoned thought which may cause them to break character. This main character is afraid of the world outside and that is doubt and the fury that is contained because the character's worst fears are achieved is well executed. Doubt is difficult but I find that you handled it very well.

I also want to say that the usage of "peeling potatoes" was absolutely perfect. You could have had the character sewing clothes or digging holes but there is something about the meninal and mindnumbing labor that is peeling potatoes. You didn't go into an intense elaboration of peeling potatoes (the shape of the potato, the color, the smell, the feel, the friction of the peeler against the potato, ect.) and instead you let the action go into this auto-pilot of sorts. This allowed for inflection and reflection and I am a big proponent of characters using really boring activities to have really profound thoughts and moments of inflection.

Great job and good luck!

Ezekiel Finch
6/5/2011 c1 kljhlkkjhug
Ok, I really liked this story. I really liked the idea, it seems that everyone focuses on whether or not the end is coming, and how it will happen, but this presents something deeper, it depicts a person under the rule of a charismatic cult leader. It seems we always look at the perpetrators, never their victims.

Normally I like to have more details, and many writers don't do so well at what I call "artistic ambiguity" but you nailed it with this story, the lack of specifics (names, places, dates) really helped focus the message and vision of this story. As the reader, I can fill in the specifics for myself, and yet still get the full impact.

Keep writing and good luck on the contest!

-D.J Wu

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