Posted by: Matt Y | 06/16/2015

Self Reflection

Before I get into the novella category I wanted to have a little fun and take one of my stories and rip at it just like I’m doing with the nominees because turn about is fair play. I’ve posted the story right below this. The metrics again are what one Sad Puppy posted that I’m utilizing to try and understand what work they like.

This Old House is a story about breaking and entering, consequences, and remodeling.

Early Immersion – Begins by introducing the main characters and the lore of the house on the block. Characters and setting are established but there’s no real strong narrative hook.

Immersion is maintained – I think so. It’s a short story where the events take place within a specific amount of time so there’s not much room to break immersion.

There is a plot – Not really. The character encounter conflict and yet don’t overcome it, learn anything, or grow as characters. Best you could say is that in a way they do encounter change at the end.

There are characters – Two main ones, and while work was done to differentiate it’s hard to say they’re characters with dimension. It’s a horror story and as that there’s enough to try and make the audience empathize with them but they’re never more than potential victims.

There is foreshadowing and it doesn’t suck –I tried to convey a sense of superstition and dread about the house in the beginning so I hope I managed to do so.

There are no gaping plot holes – None aside from the fact that the connection between the house and Old Man Johnson isn’t explained.

Pacing is appropriate –For a horror story I thought so.

The piece has an emotional payoff – It’s supposed to end right as the reader can connect the dots of what happened to one character and what is about to happen to the other and give off a sense of doom. That’s the emotional payoff and I thought it worked.

No early narrative hook, no real plot aside from trying to manipulate the reader to identify with the characters, and the characters themselves are kind of generic. Could use some more editing re-reading it.

One Puppy Metric of Judgement: Unworthy.

Of course it’s horror and not sci-fi anyways. This was for a submission for a month of Halloween stories on Clayton Smith’s website Dapper Press. It was fun to write and I think I managed to successfully convey what I was aiming for and I’m happy with the story itself. Certainly not award worthy though. Thankfully I write because I like to!


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