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.