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Improve & Encourage #14: Bliss

Renee Stevens


Well, we're getting closer to wrapping up the Improve & Encourage feature. Working toward that goal, today we've got a critique on CassieQ's story, Bliss.  If you missed out on the opportunity to sign up for the Improve & Encourage feature, don't worry, there are other features available for you!  Let's take a look at what Mann Ramblings had to say about Bliss.





Critiqued by: Mann Ramblings


Please give us a short summary of the story you chose.


Logan is preparing an elaborate evening to celebrate his anniversary with his husband, Connor. Unfortunately, a severe bout of influenza has complicated the plan.


What do you see as the strengths of the story/poem?


One of CassieQ’s strengths is her ability to write characters and scenarios filled with legitimacy. At no time did I ever feel like any of the story’s moments “couldn’t happen.” You can empathize with Logan’s efforts to save the night to his own detriment because he’s determined to make it a night to remember. Real people do this.


What do you see as the weaknesses of the story/poem?


It’s rare that I find something that I can call an actual weakness in one of CassieQ’s stories. The only thing I can see as a weakness is the ending. Not because it’s written poorly. It’s not. It flows well and tells another part of the character’s histories. The fact it’s written as a flashback (which in and of itself is not a flaw) completely in narration that takes us away from Logan and Connor’s intimate conversation and never comes back to them. It makes the short story feel slightly unfinished for me. This is less of an issue than it sounds really. LOL


How do you think the story/poem could be improved?


I would love to see the flashback turned into a revelation through conversation mixed with narration. That way we’re not pulled away from their wonderful interaction and we can just get more of it while we learn of their background and competitive natures.


What was your favorite part? (scene/sentence/etc)


Logan’s attempt to not ruin the night with his illness even as Connor starts to try and seduce him resonated with me. In my 20s, I missed 5 New Year’s Eves in a row by coming down with the flu, including staying home while my partner at the time went out.(I insisted, and he came back early.) So Logan trying to hide his condition reminds me of some of those times and strikes home CassieQ’s ability to make believable and likeable characters.




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  • Site Administrator

This story is classic Cassie.  You won't be disappointed if you read it. :) 

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I very much enjoyed this story, as well as the thoughtful ideas Mann offered. 

Edited by Parker Owens
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I loved this story, I thought it was very sweet. I get what Mann is saying about the ending, though I didn't think much about it at the time... I just remember hoping that we'll get more Logan and Connor one day. :) 

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Thank you @Mann Ramblings!  I do love flashbacks but you are totally right about how out of place it is.  I should have brought things back to their present relationship instead of dwelling the past for the ending.  Thank you for pointing this out!  

  • Like 3
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i'm particularly fond of this type of slice of life story

i love peeking into the neighbors house to see what's going on there description of the flu was spot on and i appreciated the bit of humor with Logan hiding the bucket

the realization that cuddling and holding hands was just as nice as as an elaborate celebration was a nice ending



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