Kite flying, Norfolk Beach, Writer's Blog

The Kite Flyer’s Lighthouse

A short story of just over 7200 words. I hope you enjoy it.

The Kite Flyer’s Lighthouse

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4 thoughts on “The Kite Flyer’s Lighthouse”

  1. This is a very nice short story! I do hope you keep writing fiction. I also read “Escape” and feel that your style of writing is more balanced in a story of this length than for flash fiction. Not to say that you shouldn’t write flash fiction, just that I can tell you’re more comfortable here. I have a few suggestions if you are open to critique! If you are, let me know and I can either post them here or email them to you. Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Great! Now, keep in mind that I am not an editor and I mostly write genre fiction which has slightly different style expectations. But this feedback is from my POV as a reader, not a writer. I hope it’s helpful!

        -Your imagery is quite beautiful, but there is a lot of it, which bogs down the pace a bit. I think you could limit some of your scene-setting descriptions (don’t be afraid to leave it up to the reader to decorate a room!) and save your lovely words for key images: symbols, thematic elements, important moments in the story. This slows the reader down when you want them to pay attention and notice something, and allows the story to move along at a brisker pace the rest of the time. For a generic example, don’t tell a reader the curtains are red unless their being red tells us something else, too: indicating a characters mood “the curtains throbbed as Annie’s blood-pressure rose so that the whole room seemed bathed in red,” reminding of something else “the curtains were the colour of fresh picked strawberries so that Marc could almost smell his mother’s homemade jam cooking on the stove,” foreshadowing a future event “thick, crimson curtains spilled down from the windows and pooled like blood on the floor.” Particularly in shorter fiction, you want your imagery to do double duty: Describe the scene and reveal something about the character.

        – There are a couple of story elements that I think you could have introduced earlier to give the poignant ending even more emotional weight. Harriet being an artist should be mentioned earlier, otherwise it just seems like a convenient way to wrap up the ending. I think you could give her drawing even more impact if drawing was something that she used to love but had given up since her husband died, so that picking up the pencil again is a symbol of her newfound desire to live. In a similar vein, her ambivalence toward life without her husband is so real and heart-breaking, and it really gives the story resolution a lot of emotional impact. You could capitalize on that by hinting at her emotional state throughout the rest of the story, it would add tension for the reader as we aren’t sure what she will do, particularly when she is staring out at the sea and when she dives in after the boy.

        -The balance of the story is a little off. The ending feels a bit rushed compared to the detail we get at the beginning. I think this could be fixed by digging into some of the earlier imagery and re-describing through her newly opened eyes, so that you can use the contrast in her perspectives to signify the transformative moment she has gone through.

        -With imagery, be wary of some common descriptions that might lead your reader astray. To me, her noticing Gareth’s piercing blue eyes signifies that he is a romantic interest (it’s a common trope in romance writing). When that doesn’t develop, it feels like something is missing from the story or that it was a red herring to make us think the story was something it’s not. Gareth’s piercing eyes could lead her to wonder if it would be possible to move on from her husband’s death, and be a good segue into her emotional state. Like the curtain example above, if you are going to draw our attention to Gareth’s eyes, make the image do something more than just describe him.

        I’m sorry for the long-winded response. They are actually very minor suggestions in the scheme of things, I think you have a great story here. There’s just a few little tweaks that will bring it up to the next level. Well done, and thank you so much for sharing it!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Please dont apologise, I value your comments and they make good sense. I will keep these in mind. I really cannot thank you enough for taking the time to pen these valuable words.
    You are awesome! Xx

    Like

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