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:iconevilpixiea: More from EvilpixieA


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July 22, 2013
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I caught a mermaid in a net under the docks when no one else was looking.

She was small, fragile, and her ribs gaped in gills that fluttered uselessly in the open air.

A small necklace made of shells and a skirt of woven seaweed told me she wasn’t a dumb fish. Long, curved, nails told me of her last dinner still snagged between her soft flesh and the protruding claw. A checkerboard scar on the arch of her fins told me my net wasn’t the first she’d swum into.

Her mouth, open and round like a goldfish, told me nothing.

Huge black eyes, blind in the sunlight, flirted meaninglessly around the underside of the pier.

I told her I loved her. I told her she was beautiful. I told her I would take care of her and never let anyone hurt her ever again.

Scaly body smacked desperately against pebble laced sand.

And I told her I was sorry.
A short piece of prose just to shout out to the world 'I'm not dead' despite the amazing amount of time I can spend without moving.

I'm experimenting with using different hemispheres of my brain.

I hope you all enjoy, expect a few more short little pieces like this, and please - if you have the time - tell me what you think.

-

Critique for tWR: thewrittenrevolution.deviantar...

Questions:

1. How did you find the 'voice' of the character? Was it too childish or laboured?
2. Did the whole piece flow from start to finish? I am concerned about the lines of description near the end. Do they interrupt?
3. Was it too repetitive?
4. Any spelling and/or grammar mistakes?
Add a Comment:
 
:iconilyilaice:
ilyilaice Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2013
1. The voice didn't seem childish. I can't really get the character of the person speaking just from this, other than he or she is perhaps an unreliable narrator? Or something? Someone who lacks self-control.
2. I love the descriptions. A lot. I'd normally imagine mermaids as beautiful, childlike, and dreamlike, like the perpetually singing, clueless Ariel in The Little Mermaid, but this mermaid has another story - she seems feral and exotic and abused by mankind. That's the impression I got, but I confess I don't think I understood the story entirely, so I wasn't quite sure what to make of the ending. Did the narrator kill her? Sexually abuse her? I'm kind of lost. Sorry.
3. Nope, not repetitive. It's concise, and I like it that way.
4. I don't have any real critique on grammar. But as a small note, the second sentence violates the rule of parallelism. I guess you can consider rephrasing it, as in: "She was small and fragile, and her ribs gaped in gills that fluttered uselessly in the open air." And though I loved the gritty description of the mermaid, I somehow felt like this was phrased in an awkward way: "Long, curved, nails told me of her last dinner still snagged between her soft flesh and the protruding claw."
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:iconevilpixiea:
EvilpixieA Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2013  Student Writer
Firstly, thanks so much for the feedback. It's really brilliant to hear of and understand the reader's experience of my work.

I don't think you misunderstood the story. The ending is left intentionally incredibly ambiguous. I am also a strong believer than an artist or writer has no sway over the interpretation of their work post release.

I'm thrilled you liked the mermaids description. It took me a bit of bashing out but I am actually quite proud of it.

I'll take a look at those sentences.

Thanks again.
Reply
:iconamrgalal7:
amrgalal7 Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
1- Neither really. I found it more like as if he was sympathetic for her.  It was rather full of emotions and regret. 

2- Yeah, it did flow. The sequence started with the sea (The dock being their), followed by the net , and the sand being the finish line. The  description was amazing, I can't imagine it without it. So no, they didn't interrupt.

3- No. I didn't see any repetition. I quite enjoyed the detailed description of the mermaid.

4- None.
Reply
:iconfortheloveofsound:
ForTheLoveOfSound Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
1. I didn't find the character childish at all, I actually found the voice masculine and dazed or lovestruck. 

2. "Huge black eyes, blind in the sunlight, flirted meaninglessly around the underside of the pier." I love, love, love this line, it's gorgeous. The piece flows very well in it's description, and it wasn't as if you were describing her movements, I've always found that it's much more difficult to describe appearance with uniformity- this does a pretty good job. But, it'd be more fluid if you'd added 'her' to the second last line, just to make it seem more personal. 

3. I loved the repetitive 'told', it kind of felt like the fisherman and the mermaid were saying nothing and everything all at once. 

4. "Long, curved, nails told me of her last dinner; still snagged between her soft flesh and the protruding claw." I don't really know why, but the line sort of freaked me out a little, even though I'm sure it is actually grammatically correct as you had written it, for some reason I felt like it should be there.

This is such a beautiful story told in very few words, congratulations on your talent :)
Reply
:iconevilpixiea:
EvilpixieA Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2013  Student Writer
And thank you for such a heartwarming review! I'm honestly thrilled you liked it and it's brilliant to get some feedback to help me understand the experience you, as the reader, had.

Your answers are interesting, especially the first one. This piece wasn't really... planned and thus the characters more or less just happened on their own accord. So, while I know as a writer I shouldn't admit this, I have no idea who or what the main character actually is. It's fascinating to see what you saw while reading.

Thanks again! :D
Reply
:iconakkajess:
akkajess Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2013  Student Writer
Hello! Your beautiful work has been featured here :heart:
Reply
:iconalphabetsoup314:
alphabetsoup314 Featured By Owner Jul 23, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
1. How did you find the 'voice' of the character? Was it too childish or laboured?
No, I don't think it was childish at all. The way the speaker describes the mermaid and reasons out what she's like shows some maturity in the speaker. Aside from that, I can't say a whole lot else about the speaker character. I am not sure if this was what you were aiming for, wanting to focus on the mermaid rather than the speaker, in which case, mission accomplished. It was a very vivid description. 

2. Did the whole piece flow from start to finish? I am concerned about the lines of description near the end. Do they interrupt?
I'm not sure what you mean by 'Do they interrupt'. But I don't think the lines near the end hurt the 'flow'. The only thing you could do would be to put 'Her' at the beginning of certain sentences, but that may or may not be the effect you were aiming for. 

3. Was it too repetitive?
There was the section in the middle with the "A ___ told me that she ___" sentences that could be considered repetitive, but it is in the middle of other passages that don't follow as much of a pattern, so I didn't notice it on my first read through. 

I think the part with "I told her that ___" needed the repetition. It enforces this feeling of wanting so much to get something across, but it being meaningless. 

4. Any spelling and/or grammar mistakes?
None that I can see. I will leave that to the hardcore grammar nazis. 
Reply
:iconevilpixiea:
EvilpixieA Featured By Owner Jul 23, 2013  Student Writer
Thanks for that. :D

I'm really thrilled you enjoyed it.
Reply
:iconstarija:
Starija Featured By Owner Jul 23, 2013  Student Writer
awww, i rather enjoyed reading this piece. i literally don't think you need any improvement or constructive feedback on this at all. but no, it didn't sound too repetitive or contained any mistakes.
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:iconwordmincer:
wordmincer Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
It's refreshing how you take a creature that's usually more like a siren and make her more like a fish...counterintuitvely, it adds depth...like the truth of her situation is found more in the zoomorphizing than the anthropomorphizing. It reminds me a little of the animals in Lfe of Pi. Nice writing!
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