Sunday, October 12, 2008

More Founder Critiques

Last night my online writing group met. They gave feedback on Founder, my experiment in mood fiction. All the news was good. They found it basically sound, but had questions that pointed toward improving the story.

In particular, from my Gang of Three and from the online group, I got feedback that the husband, Mason, seems too controlling of the wife, Jenna--that she seemed more like his child. I was mostly OK with that. He is a "fixer." However, without too much effort, I think I can amplify the theme--that trying to live in the past can be harmful to your health. After all, if I more plainly bare Jenna's actions as running contrary to Mason's preferences, then she is clearly more culpable for the unfortunate outcome.

Related to Jenna's clear choice, is her motivation--that her family is dead, so she feels as if she has lost her mooring. This makes a more accessible motivation than racial guilt.

I also got a few tidbits that amplified the Gang of Three. I had an extraneous red herring that I did not spend much time on--the villain's name is also that of a dead poster artist. In this story, which should be like a car's emergency brakes coming off and rolling downhill, it's better not to have the distraction. Also, I called a light bulb a "helix bulb"--those curlicue bulbs that are so energy efficient. Two people have not known what those were from my description. However, any more precise description would involve technical language that is out of place in the story.

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