lovin’ the learnin’

I mustered enough courage to turn my little work in for critiquing in another writers’ forum, and got the following reviews:

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I’m a man (I try)but I sympathize with that woman. Receiving and having limerence is not fun.
Thanks for the read.

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Flash Fiction is awesome. You’ve got the right idea, and this is certainly the right kind of subject matter.

My opinion: your problem is that this is too abstract. It’s not so much “she” and “her husband” and “that awkward boy,” as “kisses” and “weeping” and “infatuation”.

What you need is something more concrete. What you need is imagery which expresses in hints, in suggestions, in similarities of form, the feeling you’re trying to capture, which you describe here explicitly, clinically.

The best ride at the fair was the Gravitron. It cost twenty cents a ride. Easy enough, but it always seemed to finish too early. You’d exit the centrifuge feeling queasy but just a little unsatisfied. You rode it again and again, every evening, until, at eleven, the fair closed, and everyone went home.

He never knew how to place a kiss. The beautiful moment arriving, the kiss already gone. Why not save it for the walk? But he always did it at the fair. You always left feeling queasy.

Only once was he too late. She kept the tear-stained letter in a drawer for years.

Now she understands. Eleven in the evening, the time her husband returns from work, is never a good time for a kiss.

Not the greatest, just something off the top of my head. In essence what I’m saying is this: if you try to go for the general concept represented by the instance, you’ll always fall short. Instances, on the other hand, are always pregnant with many general concepts. You tie a few isomorphic concretia together in a hundred words and you’ve got yourself a story.

Does that make sense?

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A.J. is spot on. Only a few things to add:

She kisses her husband, whispers her love, gets nary a response.

The word feels out of place.

Whereas his loving gaze used to make her blush, soon it made her feel like kicking him on the shin.

You’ve misused this construction. It could be rewritten as, “Though his loving gaze had once made her blush, soon it made her feel like kicking him on the shin.”

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You’ve got the core of the story right but it could use some more “flavoring”.

Otherwise, I think you’re on the right track.

Just curious…is it “hit on the shins” or “hit in the shins”? I’ve heard it said both ways.

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Originally Posted by JSchwartzkopfView Post
Just curious…is it “hit on the shins” or “hit in the shins”? I’ve heard it said both ways.
Hit him on the shins.
Give him a kick in the shins. Either way, hurts like the dickens.

I’m really appreciating getting all this feedback. I’m seeing how much I have to learn and how much I really need to keep practicing if I’m to be even a bit better at this.

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