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for Wanderlust

5/15/2013 c1 4lookingwest
Review return

I can really see the inspiration from Ride in this piece, and I thought that inspiration fit in really well with the characters from "Gracie". It makes me wonder if you took inspiration from Ray to create these characters in general and then from Ride specifically for just this piece, or if the characters came first and then you heard the song and got inspired. I'm always fascinated about that kind of thing - and Ray works really well with these two and even their relationship.

I always really enjoyed the father figure in this, and I love the way that the two of the talk and their dialects. I said this with "Gracie" too, but I always think dialects are so hard to pull of and you pull it off really well with this group of characters, you make the dialogue and the narrative voice feel very laid back and natural, and there weren't any tense spots in that voice that felt out of character - it stayed true through the whole way, which was really cool to see.

The descriptions are some of your best setting descriptions I've seen, actually, especially regarding the desert. I could really feel the heat and get the visuals through the way you described in, and I thought it was even more unique that you're describing it through the voice of the father and through his literal dialogue. That's such a cool technique with this since it's so abstract in a way - there's no really place for where the character is narrating this, except we get such a vibrant setting embedded inside of the story at the same time. Very cool.

I thought this was another strong piece of yours. You're really impressing me these days with your new stuff. The overall theme of this was also conveyed wonderfully, I thought the end sentence worked really well. I'd love to see more from these two, even though I know how it ends for them. Still, this vignette-of-sorts worked super well, and knowing the inspirations really set the tone and mood for me, since I could really visualize Ride and hear that story too. This came together really well!
5/4/2013 c1 12Skye Hawthorne
There hasn't been a story by this author that I truly haven't liked.

There have been quite a few, though, that have made me feel depressed at the end. This was not one of them. At the beginning, you think it is a deadly disease or something that the dad has and is trying to hide from the kid. But then you realize it is something that we have all experienced in some dose, wanderlust. Whether in the mountains, when you realize there's a moonscape of rocks, trees, shrubs, and snowy peaks, or in the rainforest, with trees as tall as skyscrapers, we've all experienced wanderlust. And sometimes, when you can't wander, it begins to feel like a disease.

The author captures this perfectly.
5/4/2013 c1 10Complex Variable
Style: You definitely have a mastery of the folksy/rural "voice" that you give your characters in this piece. It's thorough, authentic, and consistent—all of which are good things. Too often do I see people using a particular "register" or tone just because they like it as icing. Here, the use of a backwoods helps to make the language come alive, as well as paint a picture of what's going on in the reader's mind, in spite of the near total absence of direct descriptions of the setting.

Structure: I have to admit, I don't like the way you've structured this piece. From what I can tell, there are two tensions that you're using here to create a sense of "plot". One: the daughter's incompatibility with her father's mindset—her "difference". Two: the "suspense" created by holding back the name of the disease until the very end. Of these two, the first one, I like; the second one irritates me. I re-read the story AFTER reading it through the first time, and, I must say, it was FAR more enjoyable—and moving—to read, knowing what the "disease" was, beforehand. It provides an intellectual context with which the father's poetically-written longings become more grounded—something very important, given the minimalism of this piece. I would take the information that the disease is wanderlust and place it at the BEGINNING of the story, not the end. As is, it's rather annoying. xo

Writing: Minimalistic. I don't like minimalism (both in writing, and in everything else), but, it works here, given the brevity of the scene and the terseness and clarity/simplicity of the ideas/themes you're conveying.

Dialogue: The father's descriptive-y lines are quite beautiful. However, the are a few places where the meaning becomes unclear, or contradictory, and I think that you should try to fix this. For instance:

[The red like blood, ] - - - Try as I might, I'm struggling to see how to fit this phrase into the rest of the sentence. If it said "They red like blood" (Which would fit with the 'tone' you've given the speakers), it would make sense.

[I wanna see the city again.] - - - This one confuses me. You talk at (relative) length of the father's love for the desert—and, presumably, the beauty and wildness of nature. But then you have him longing for the city?—cities being the traditional "opposite" juxtaposed against nature and rural life.

Ironing out these few rough patches will get rid of the confusion, no doubt about it. ;)

5/4/2013 c1 14Shampoo Suicide
I really enjoyed this, especially in the context of it being inspired by the song. You did a good job fleshing out the emotions she expressed in the lyrics through the father's own ramblings of wanting more and having that need to just get away. I also found it very relatable in that way.

I love your descriptions in this piece. The way you say the disease takes a chunk out of his heart, the way he describes the desert and the words used to describe the need to escape are all very well done.

It also helps to characterize the father further, and even touches on his relationship with his daughter, the part about better times before she was born. It was nicely executed, very good read.
5/4/2013 c1 1k+Faithless Juliet
I really enjoyed the stylistic choices that you made with using all dialogue. I liked this especially because you focused so much of the attention on the landscape by making the desert this almost mythical place but you never honned in on the particulars so I think it really enriched the scope. I do think, however that you have a lot of character development but not a lot of space. I think you could easily have added 2-300 more words to even out the pacing. Great job overall, keep up the good work.

Much love
5/3/2013 c1 Cacuu
Alright, this is something.
I don't usually like short stories, but this one is particularly beautiful.
Although I could guess the end after being half in, it was a pleasant read.
I like, also, how you write the accent of the character in the actual dialogue.
I have little to criticize, this is simply art.
5/3/2013 c1 TheOneAndOnlyBangBang
Well with the title I should have seen that coming, but somehow you managed to keep the suspension going all the way through the story. At first I thought it was a demon and then I thought it was depression but that does make sense. I think the fact that you refrained from explaining it before the end definitely helps with the drama.

It was a little brief though, then again you can't really do that much more with it, I think it needs more of a basis behind it. You didn't really explain how much of the world the father had seen but I think that's mainly down to the writing style that you used. The father also seems quite 'anger issues-y' due to the look he gave her when she asked why she had to run away so maybe you could have expanded on that

This was definitely a unique story and I wasn't expecting it to end like that. Good job and very enthralling.

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