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for Don't Think Twice, It's Alright

9/11/2013 c1 5Dr. Self Destruct
I think one of the biggest strengths of this story is definitely Ryan's voice. You remain so consistent with his tone and his slang, that it portrays him perfectly. I felt like I was the interviewer sitting there listening to him. Not to mention you pack a lot of emotion into what he says, especially when he gets to the part where he talks about Luke dying and has to stop and say "fuck" before he keeps going. Since we only get his voice we can't really *see* what he's doing here, but you phrase the dialogue so well that I can imagine what's happening. I also enjoy how you utilize the bold to show the interview questions - it's a very simple yet effective narrative device. I recently read this short story which is told in an interview format called "Brief Interviews with Hideous Men," and I really suggest reading it if you can get your hands on it. Like this story, it's not very long, but I think it might give you some additional ideas/inspiration for if you ever come back and want to revise this or try something new.

At first I thought this was just going to be the cliche "sex, drugs, and rock n roll" lifestyle that all rockstars supposedly live, but I think you broke away from that cliche enough to make this situation unique. Mainly due to the quiet relationship between Ryan and Luke - it's a very unique circumstance that I've never seen before, but I've always wondered if stuff like that has happened. I also think the fact that Ryan ends this interview sober, whereas Luke still died as a user, makes this unique, too. It's nice to see that Ryan was able to crawl out of the perpetual habit of substance abuse, and it's also tragic that Luke was able to break it but then fell right back into it - but like Ryan said, there really was no saving Luke from himself by then. You can only try to help someone so much until it really falls to them on whether or not they want to get better.

I also think it was a good decision to leave it ambiguous as to how in fact Luke died. Leaving it up to the reader is interesting, because I'm sure people can come up with a bunch of different scenarios. Me, I think he shot himself. Or maybe OD'ed on some drug - or maybe a combination of both.
9/10/2013 c1 deadaccount2019
I found the weakest part of the story is a combination of summary, author's note and opening of the interview. Not quite sure what it is, but the three together just left me feeling very leery about the story.

After the first question is asked the story really takes hold, though. It is by far a more interesting than most "behind the band" stories. Once I got past the first question I didn't want to stop reading (I don't think I could have, tbh), and Ryan's crassness really drives home the ugliness of the situation, while highlighting the more positive experiences when he becomes more candid.

Given the interview format, the pace was a pleasant surprise. It covers all the essential information, and even includes a touch of detail without ever feeling rushed. I think you really nailed the format, and I can't help thinking that this would make an amazing prologue for a full story, if someone wanted to write a fictional biography piece about the band.

A really enjoyable read, all around. Very glad I read it. :)
9/9/2013 c1 4lookingwest
Yeah, I dig this. The ending gave me chills when it got down to Ryan listening to Luke die and everything because I could really sense the emotion there, so I think it was just kind of picking up how it effected him after he found out Luke died during their phone call. Good scene depiction, too, for those reasons.

Really cool formatting because I've never read a short story quite like this, so I like the unique structure. The narrative voice is really amazing, very consistent. Ryan sounded like a real person, and so did the interviewer. Kind of had this Rolling Stones interview feel to it. I like how the story unfolds, how it starts really positive in a sense, and then just snowballs and snowballs into detailing Luke's death and the people it effected.

I didn't think Ryan was a guy until his name was mentioned (summary reading fail on my part, and even then, I was like 'Oh maybe Ryan is a girl name' so I wasn't 100% until the "Mr. Nielson" at the end) - so the whole time I was assuming it was a woman being interviewed. It's interesting that they unfold the "gay" rumors after they ask about the night they hooked up though, since it was obvious he was bi-sexual before that - but eh, that's probably debatable for some people since it's a "one night stand" kind of deal, whereas the actual relationship with Jake lasted longer. Anyway, I thought the surprise twist on that was cool actually, even if it was a summary reading fail on my part, lol. Hopefully you'll get a reviewer who looked at the summary closer before diving in so you can get another perspective on it.

Anyway, great job Elric, this was a really uniquely written piece, I think you should feel positively about the outcome :)

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