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Critique A Short Descritpion Story


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I have an idea for a story. I've had it bubbling in my brain for years now, almost as long as the 3D work I ultimately decided I wanted to have accompany it. I don't know how I want to tell it yet. This is a writing-critique request for one of the ways I am experimenting with telling it: through series of short descriptions accompanied by a visual work. A sort of vignette, I guess. I don't really know how much these 'vignettes' should convey. I want to keep them concise and tightly coupled to the topic being depicted. I don't really want them to be simple info dumps, but I don't know if they can really stand on their own as little short stories either.

I completed the first of these little vignettes back on Valentine's Day. I would be most appreciative of any feedback on the writing portion of it. A lot is left open or unsaid in it, and I expected that, but I don't know if I've said enough to make at least something meaningful out of it.

The Description:

(Since the visual/audio component is meant to help set the mood for this vignette, I'll leave it up to the critique-giver to decide whether they want to view it along with the text.)

"Rederick and Blythe, together at last.

There's a curious beauty in that the careers which so often kept them apart should for once bring them together. He the Science Team Lead and she the Program Manager. Desynced in time by their respective duties, they barely were ever able to sleep at the same moment let alone spend any time together. With me, we comprised the tripartite council which governed the development of the Bezgalīga Tāle project. The weekly 3-hour council meeting was often the only time they had with one another. Time spent deliberating and debating; pushed apart by practical reality. And yet, still pulled together through their love.

With successful ignition came the political festivities. The massive space station housing the project grew with a flurry of activity and guests. It's grand, spacious plazas bustled with dignitaries from across the solar system of the Prīma Lapsa. Celebrations accompanied by a supernova surge in responsibilities for the two, pulled them even further apart. They prepared, then executed, and finally attended events, capped off by the grand inaugural ball.

There they stood in their white tuxedo and white gown as dictated by the standards of their posts. As that same standard demanded, they shared the first dance of the ball. For the first time in a month, they were face to face without a video screen between them. I remember every minute motion they made. They moved as though they were one inseparable entity; as if they always had been. How lost they were in each other, leaving behind everything else. Their schedules at last in sync, they shared their first evening in over a year after that ball.

They don't remember the ball, the evening, nor the terrible events that followed. They don't want to. But I remember for them. I remember everything they have forgotten about themselves. It was beyond all pleasures, then, that this simple moment of happiness between them was replicated unwittingly in the humble setting of the Apophysis living quarters. Alone with nothing to come between them, no memory of what they had and sharing not even a true continuity with their existence in those events, they danced. They danced a waltz of synchronicity with their blissful moment in a foreign universe."

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I can say that I also have a similar idea as you have here, writing a story with some art accompanying it. Though I'm nowhere close to starting it yet as I still have a lot more to prepare, but enough about me. The whole "how much story should accompany the art?" and "how much art should accompany the story?" subjects is something I've been thinking about every now and then. Although I don't know what'd be the "best" choice, I can try to help as much as I can.

The story itself will be the main actor of the two, while the art adds some visuals for the reader to build the story around. The art could show a scene from anywhere in the text as you build the story up to that point and beyond it. It would be good if it emphasised a point where the added art would strengthen the story being told, when words alone wouldn't do the scene justice. You could have just one piece of art, big or small, to your story, to focus on one specific point where the art would benefit the most. Alternatively you could have several (maybe smaller) pieces to show many different events as to give them all their own moment to shine, or just to help visualise whatever event that just transpired. An example related to your story of just this would be if you showed a few of the many events which kept Rederick and Blythe occupied, with a bigger piece at the end displaying their dance. 

Else you could just do like you did right now; the text accompanied with only one piece of art to really set the mood of the story. Which makes me think of another important aspect of including any art like this. They can enhance the mood of whatever scene they're displaying, which can both work with and against you. What I mean is you'll initially set the mood of the story with the first image, which you can use to your advantage if you can build the story around that mood. And then advance it with the next art piece you make.


I admit this isn't critique on the actual writing portion (which you actually requested), but since you did mention you weren't sure how much the vignettes should convey, I felt I could try to help you with my own thoughts on that point. I'll try to give some feedback on the story itself here below.

The first thing I think of as I read it is who is the person retelling what he/she saw that evening? This person is obviously important as the story is written in first-person perspective, though maybe that's one of your "unsaid" parts. Maybe if you hastily included the narrator in its own narration so the reader won't have to guess who it is. Although if this part is already made clear at the beginning of your whole story, and not just this chapter of it, then this argument is moot.

Another thing I struggled with is trying to figure out what the areas look like, or rather trying to imagine what it "should" look like. I can understand if you didn't want to write too much right now, though I felt it was missing for me to really get into the story. This would actually be a good aspect to include in your art, to quickly show off the scene without having to write a short novel trying to describe it. Of course this means you'll actually have to draw/model the scene itself to do this, though I don't know right now how far you're intending on taking the art part, but there's certainly a lot of potential there.


... I have a feeling I can't just write a few lines when I really get into things like this. I hope this'll help you towards what you're aiming to do, as I'm quite interested in seeing how you'll progress with this.

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