Hey, my name’s Ed, and I came across your micro-prose story and I really enjoyed it. So much so that I thought I’d write a quick critique about it, giving a couple of thoughts. I hope you find something in it useful!
-Your repetitions of why you do/don’t like winter are slightly different. Would it not be more effective if they were exactly the same?
“It's cold, and dark, and unreasonably depressing."
“It's cold, dark, and unreasonably depressing.”
I do like it though, it explains a lot about their characters, by juxtaposing their feelings about the same thing. Real people rarely agree, either.
-“Do you not…” is a little bit jarring. Ordinarily, you’d use the contraction:
‘Don’t you like sitting by the fireside with me?’ – but that changes the word order. It’s interesting that you’ve chosen to use a negative, rather just ask through a positive. It conveys more about character than you think. Not only does it say that there’s two people sitting by the fireside, one of them is enjoying it (the I) By using a negative, it actually implies more concern for ‘her’ feelings too.
-“"Benny should still be here with us(comma)" she replied.” – corrected punctuation. It’s strange that by using ‘still’ it could easily imply that Benny is dead. Of course, it could mean he’s had to go home early from wherever they are. It’s ambiguous, and I like that.
-“…dozing off into the fire.” – you’ve already said that they’re ‘by the fireside’ so it’s a little bit repetitive. Because this (dozing etc) contains more meaning, and you’r small word count, I’d consider removing ‘by the fireside’. It is slightly expositional anyway. I mean, if you were sitting with someone in front of the fire, and they said: ‘Do you like sitting by the fireside?’ You’d be thinking, why not just say ‘here’? If that makes sense.
-You never know if the ‘I’ is a man or woman. I think that would be interesting to include, because then it drastically changes the meaning of the scene, and how we perceive their relationship.
Overall, as I said, I really liked it. You manage to get a lot of characterisation across through not only speech, but a tiny amount of action. Your technique is impressive to fit everything you did in such a small amount of text. It’s intimate and is surprisingly filled with small details that make the world of the narrative feel real.
Keep up the good work!
Oh, and just as a shameless, and helpful, plug, I work for two groups: #GrammarNaziCritiques and #SuperWritersHelp. It’s our aim to critique everything, in this depth (or answer whatever questions you have about your own work) that is submitted to us. I hope to see you there!
Thank you so very much for the wonderfully indepth critique. Although I do have a question about one part:
"Benny should still be here with us(comma)" she replied.” why would you put a comma there rather than a period. Because it is inside the quotation marks it has to signify the end of her sentence, putting a comma there wouldn't do that. If it were outside the quote marks I could see it, but it doesn't make sense to me as inside the marks it doesn't signify the end of the whole sentence.
Oh and yes, I am familiar with those two groups. I am actually a poetry critic for the second. xD
I hoped the critique helped you in some way. And sorry for not noticing you're already part of the groups! I must have got too far into plugging mode haha
As far as the comma goes, it's standard punctuation. The speech tag 'she replied' belongs as part of the speech, and so the speech needs to end with a comma to continue this idea. You say the sentence is over, but it's not, you need to include the speech tag in that sentence!
There's a good article on it here: [link]
That all make sense?
Yes, indeed you did. And it's perfectly alright.
Thank you for that clarification. I now have some major editing to go do. -__- But thank you. I will remember this.
It seems quite a lot of people are unaware of some of the rules of punctuating speech. It's one of the most common things I point out when critiquing! It's not too hard to have a quick edit though, if you're just changing some periods to commas and the like. It's pretty simple once you know how