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for A Warm Summer Story

10/26/2018 c1 1C.M.F. Wrighto
I agree with prior reviewers that this story has a very sweet, nostalgic, autobiographical feel to it. The narrative voice definitely felt very real and true-to-life.

I thought the week-by-week nature of the story started feeling a bit repetitive after awhile (e.g. "The first week we did this, the second week I didn't see her that much, the third week...") Is there is a way to make the transitions a bit smoother and less repetitive?

I also agree with a prior reviewer that the ending felt a bit odd. I think what was weird for me was how the tension sort of peaks in the middle of the story (when the MC asks the girl out - will she say yes?) and then dwindles from there. Most readers are probably more accustomed to stories where the peak in tension comes toward the very end of the story. Maybe I'm a bit of a pessimist, but I kept expecting something to go wrong in their relationship, an unforseen twist at the very end of the story, and when that didn't happen, it threw me a little off-balance. Perhaps you could restructure the story such that it ends when they decide to be a couple?

Overall, I was impressed by the strong narrative voice and realistic details interspersed throughout this story. Although a few tweaks might make it even stronger, it was still a very sweet and enjoyable read. Well done!
5/2/2018 c1 VSPHelix
First thing I noticed about this story: it seems absolutely real. Every sentence—every word, even—seems like it’s told from the perspective of a person who really went through the summer-camp-counselor experience. I actually had to scroll up a couple of times to check whether this was a nonfiction story, since it felt so realistic. In particular, the attention to detail gives the narrator’s experience a three-dimensional quality that allows the reader to hear, see, and feel almost everything that occurs. Instead of writing, “I saw _” or “_ happened,” you strengthen the experience with three or four examples/descriptions that significantly clarify the particular flavor of the experience: e.g. in the “side note“ bit, or in the little descriptions of Trisha (the pretzel, the running, the name, the narrator’s blossoming attraction). The story has an impressive way of making every little instant and example stand out like a gemstone, yet all of them still tie together into one coherent tale.

The one minor gripe I have is that, after all of the incredible buildup and detail about the camp, the ending seems a bit rushed. It would be great to see more of the road trip in the moment-by-moment stream-of-consciousness that defines the rest of the story. Covering it in just a couple of sentences seems a bit anticlimactic.

On the whole, amazing writing!
4/30/2018 c1 19Ckh
I feel that the autobiographical-lite nature of this piece lends a more grounded feel, which distinguishes it from other romance one-shots. The piece also feels all the more personal because of it - and for that, I am more invested into the story. I like that the protagonist has his own style of thinking and how we can see that through the way he tells his story in universe. While some might say that the narrative suffers because of the pacing in which the protagonist adopts, I feel that that adds up to the personal style of the protagonist, if I'm making any sense.

Oh, and the fluff was cute too I guess.
1/8/2018 c1 2Murphy Chapelwood
Opening: So I started out reading this as a short story. I even compared it's style to Biomass to see how the narrative voice was different (it was). But after a few paragraphs, I came to figure this was more an autobiographical piece, which altered my take on it. I could still be wrong, but if not, I might mention that somewhere in the summary. I think that would add to the cuteness of it.

Writing: There are a few clean-up edits (six or seven; a repeated word/plural instead of singular/etc.) a fresh read through could easily fix.

Also, the beginning threw me off with the numbers. Generally, anything that can be written as two or fewer words (seventy/seventy-five/one hundred/one thousand/etc) should be written out in a story.

Pace: There are parts where I feel the pacing suffers. I don't mind the asides as they give insight into the narrator, but a few of them don't seem to necessarily tie in with the main thrust of the piece. The two paragraphs on income, room, and board, and savings for instance: in a more traditional short story, those would need some payoff, like "all this money I saved and worked hard for, I'm willing to spend just on a plane ticket for a single weekend with Trisha." That sort of thing, but as it is, it just doesn't go anywhere. The paragraph about God/religion/believers is fine as the narrator and Trisha talk about faith, and all the stuff about biology is fine because it's so ingrained into who the narrator is. But the stuff about the dynamics of romance at the camp also doesn't seem necessary to repeat and doesn't particularly go anywhere, they just don't engage with one another while working—again, in more traditional stories they would be discovered and it would make things awkward/difficult. Good stuff to think about if ever you wanted to use this as the foundation of a larger narrative.

Enjoyment: Funny is tough. Humor is difficult to write well, even for a naturally funny person. Maybe, if I was into biology more the narrator's asides would have better hit home with me? I'm not sure.

So when I read DMI 35 (and I am no student of the sciences) I thought, That seems high. Of course, I immediately looked it up; it was one of the first things that made me go, Oh, this seems real. Which is good. The very grounded nature of the piece is what I think gives it its cuteness and definitely, it's innocence. Given one word to describe it, I would say "Innocent."

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