7 thoughts on “JOURNAL # 17

  1. urnal 17

    Mackay Comments:

    I like the description in the first few sentences (but I would make sure to capitalize the “I’s”). I think that there is a possibility this could be broken up into two paragraphs maybe-or some way to sort of ease the reader into the setting and the killing/mutant part (without ruining and/or elongating the intro). I was also wondering about the last sentence-I am not sure I know what you mean though I like the details and way you’re writing. Okay, I like the build up here and how we get an understanding of the time. I might also suggest making the paragraphs shorter and breaking them up because I think when the writing is so full of description it helps the reader “take a breath” almost (like when he is with the wolves and gets shot at that could be a separate paragraph). Would the raider guy have given up so easily? Especially is he is almost dead? I think you could make the part that starts with “it’s a couple hours after dark…” into a separate paragraph. One thing I would be careful of, though you have great detail, is having too much at once; it makes it a little hard for the reader to follow easily. On page 7, when he is shooting, I feel like given what you said before about them being better than raiders and also maybe on psycho, he would be more strategic in fighting them? Though this isn’t necessary to change, I was just wondering. I think you have a great story idea, I like how there is climax and a resolved ending. I also think that the voice of Vickey is really well written. But I am curious, is Vicky a man or a woman? And is that name intense enough for a character who is a fighter? Overall, I thought you had a really great story with some awesome description and detail.

    Sara comments:

    I think the set up for this story is really intriguing. I like how you give us context, setting and a main character (where we even learn some about her past) and yet it’s still slightly unexplained which makes me want to keep reading. I also thought the dialogue when Bea meet Guy and the nurse is really effective. I also like the part that talks about Bea not being able to “raise her eyebrow for emphasis.” I wonder if there is a way to make the action happen sooner; I think that the build-up is really good but I want to do know what happens. Is this the ending? It seems sort of incomplete and I want to know what else happens…why is Guy there? Why does he talk to Bea? What’s the significance of this? All of these seem to be raised but none answered. The story is really well written but I think it could benefit from something “pushing” it or “moving” us through it. Does the model career come back? Could this be incorporated in later in the story? I think there is a ton of potential and I really want to read more as it almost seems like it just sort of ends.

  2. Mackay

    I like the set-up of the story in the first paragraph. You created a nice sense of juxtaposition by discussing the calming things like the sound of crunching dirt under his boot and the clink of the canteen, but he/she is also discussing their close calls so this builds a sense of tension in the beginning well for me. “Next time I get to kill…” powerful line. “no changing what I am, better to just move on and collect myself.” I think this sentence could use a comma or space break in order to keep it flowing well. Some sentences seem a little dragged on or over wordy, I think this is fine as long as it remains consistent throughout the story. “US and China covered the Earth in nuclear fire” nice description. Pages 3 and 4 have a very long run on paragraph. I like the action a lot but it seems to work in this guys’ favor too well almost. I like how your story continued on with the “drugs” theme lol, I really like the post nuclear – every man for himself- way of life that is going on in this story. Also, tension and suspense is working very nicely by introducing the kid and slavers without yet giving us any more detail. It would be a lot easier if there were more clear paragraph breaks. I like the buildup to the action, the climax of the scene and an appropriate ending to the story. I think the voice in the story comes off as casual, which it would probably be if someone were still alive in this time, but some times I think you could benefit from some more structure, punctuation, and clarification in the paragraphs.


    I really liked how this story began. Many words I could not read but I understood the concept and it does a really nice job of building the suspense and helping the audience set the scene. I really liked the way that you depict the hospital environment. I think that, although I have never been in one long term, it does seem like this is how someone would act if they were stuck in a hospital for a while. The mundaneness of the daily life and her need to find something else to do but stay in her room. I think there is a nice dynamic between the two stories of B being in the hospital and her also being a model who is about to be featured in a magazine. The tension that is created just from that, being a model and having her face messed up, is something that can draw the audience through to see what happens. I also really like the storyline between “Guy” and “B”, but I would love to see something more happen between them, or a better reason for him to be sitting on her bed at the end. Some questions I am left with are
    What happens to her model career?
    What happened to her face in the first part?
    What role does Guy play? What is his background like?
    Is something going to happen between them?
    I think that this story is very well written, and depicts the lives of people stuck in hospitals very well. I would like to see something more happen however, something to drive the reader along to get to the end instead of just getting an insight into their lives.

  3. Sara: I really liked this story. It was really intriguing and drew me in. I was so curious and I wanted to keep reading to know what happened. I love the way you incorporated the lack of communication. I think dialogue can sometimes become a crutch in stories, and I loved the idea of Beatrix only having her thoughts, or the whiteboard for us to see her thoughts and feelings. Your detailing was also really good and I liked the flow of the story. Choosing to not show every single detail of Beatrix’s hospital stay really helps move us through the story. I do have some questions on Guy’s importance, and the significance of Elle magazine to her, and I think a little more explanation on those could really impact the story greatly. I also really, really want to know what happens next. Does she become a writer? Is her new face good or bad? Does she adopt Guy? I want to know!
    Mackay: I really liked how descriptive the story was, and how it really felt like a different world from what we’re in now. The way you made the main character was really good, and I loved the depth you gave them by not just having them be a killer, but one with a heart who had fears and goals. It makes you want to root for them a lot more. The time jumps also really helped the story and helps you not feel stuck in a certain moment of time, unless you want to be stuck- like the ending shoot out scene when he went to save Kyle. It really draws you into the story and made me want more. I think some more dialogue would really help the story move along, as I got kind of lost in all the heavy detailing and descriptions of him going on this journey. I also want more. I didn’t think the ending ended in a perfect bow, which works, but I want more. I’m not really sure of what, maybe more fight? More conflict? I just think the falling action came a little too quickly.

  4. Mackay:
    This is a story about a woman named Vicky who is on a “mission” to save a boy from raiders, and then later slavers. Vicky has also been offered a position by a man named Derrik, asking her to teach people how to protect the land. She denies it, but by the end she’s starting to consider it. As for what’s working, I really like the tone you establish for your character. She has a very laid back, go-with-the-flow personality. She loves the hunt and it clearly comes across. I also love your imagery and description, you did a great job of painting the scene through all senses. A question I have is will Vicky take the job or remain wild? She seems to consider calming down at the end, but after seeing the wolves again and having that moment- predator to predator- I’m uncertain of which she’ll choose. Suggestions I have would be adding more moments where we gain some of Vicky’s perspective. I know she’s laid back, but I don’t feel like I really know her. What does she think of saving this kid? Sure it’s another job, but does it resonate with her or is it more of a bother? Things like that. I also would consider relying less on luck. She seems to get lucky a lot and it feels sort of like lazy writing. You can come up with ways to get where you want without always calling upon luck.
    This is a story about a model after an incident that left her face mangled, and her after her first surgery. I really liked your description, especially at the beginning. The use of anatomical terms makes it seem like we’re hearing it straight from the doctor. I also like the possibilities Guy holds within this story. I think he offers a good contrast to the main character. Some questions I have is what caused the injury? What is Guy’s interest in Beatrix? Why is he drawn to her? How is he escaping so easily? I would suggest making the effects of her injury more profound to her. She seems to handle the fact that she has lost her career very well. She doesn’t sulk or fall apart like most people would. Instead she picks up some books and decides to just learn to write, something she apparently was never good at. I would also suggest perhaps calling the story a modern Frankenstein because it has a stronger tie. With the mentioning of that book, I think you could draw a lot of parallels between Beatrix and Frankenstein’s monster (Didn’t ask to be/look this way, misunderstood, possibly feared as seen by the one nurse).

  5. Sara

    I rather liked the plot of the story, the structure, and the diction, but when it came to the ending everything just fell sort of flat. I detected many wants of the character, but none of them seemed to ever be fulfilled. While I like the idea of ending it with Beatrix reading to Guy, it seems too abrupt and there is no form of resolution. Why did Dr. Janus come into the room? What was she going to say? What emotion did the nurse tie to seeing Beatrix’s new face? Where did Guy come from? Why does Beatrix accept him? There are too many questions and not enough answers. I would suggest trying to resolve a few. I’m not recommending that you tie it up nice and neat, but the story went in too many directions and never really settled at all.


    I really enjoyed some of your descriptions and metaphors in this story. However, I found it hard to engage in as it is littered with grammatical and structural errors. It is amazing what sentence structure (including length, punctuation, etc) can do to lift up the story. On another note, while the story itself is rather interesting, I believe that it is more of a post apocalyptic/dystopian work than it is a piece of literary fiction. For its genre, it fits great, but for the purposes of this workshop I was left feeling a little disappointed. I feel like a different ending, even just changing the last sentence, would dramatically lift the story up and really bring it to that next level.

  6. Sara: really liked the story set up of a model who loses what she views as her only future in life. I like the detail at the beginning which helps to really specify how physically damaged this person has been by their injury. I like the direction this story can go. I liked how there was the subtle implications that the characters mother didn’t really care about her daughter. my main issues is that nothing really happened, i feel like it could have used a few more pages to explore some more things. but overall I felt it was a strong start.

  7. Journal #17: Mackay- I thought this story was an interesting moment-in-time piece from what could work perfectly well as a short story or a chapter from a much longer one. I was strongly reminded of the Fallout universe, and I think that was intentional with the mentions of caps, old corvettes and shoppes, and the psycho. It is a very expansive world and one thing I would definitely want to see more of is imagery of the physical world surrounding Vicky. The billboard gave me a good taste but I really want more. I added a few comments in the paper on how I think the audience could get a better feeling of what Vicky is like as a person by how he partakes in some of the action scenes and writing in first person is a really good way to initiate that. Going back to more descriptions, I think if we saw through that how Vicky sees the world he (she?) now lives in, it would be a really great viewpoint in his head and how he thinks. Overall, I think the plot of the story works really well with the length it was written in and I think it has a lot going for it.

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