A Conversation for Workbook 4

Alternative Writing Workshop: A6007628 - Angel Dust - Autumn'06 Crit Run

Post 1


Entry: Angel Dust - Autumn'06 Crit Run - A6007628
Author: get that wa'm [What's the UnderGuide? Find out here A1103329 ] - U168592

Crit Run entry (see A16273820), do your worst guys, Crit Runners and non-Crit Runners all, I'm ready for it. (And I've sworn to do the same back at least three times.)

This got a run in <./>ThePost</.>. I wrote it some time ago, and it did actually get scripted and made into a short film (that I never saw or got a copy of), but I always felt it was missing something. Looking back on it I think it has potential, but maybe the dialogue is a bit stilted, and it is altogether a little naive.

A6007628 - Angel Dust - Autumn'06 Crit Run

Post 2

Dmitri Gheorgheni - Not Banned in China

What I really, really liked about this entry: I could *see* that room. And feel the character's pain.

The ending reminded me a bit of Wim Wenders' film 'Wings of Desire' - the idea that angels envy human experience.

What I wanted more of:

1. A deeper build to the dialogue. I get it that the reasons why an angel would be delivering drugs should be kept vague, but I wanted a few tantalising glimpses into a hidden agenda.

2. A little, just a little, more about Chris. A touch of physical description might be all I was missing. Ditto for the angel (suggestion: could he be named Ashrael rather than Ashreal, since angel names usually end in -el?)

3. At the end, an indication of what giving Chris the drugs meant to Ashreal. Was it an experiment? Was it done out of misplaced affection? I don't mean I wanted you to give me the answer - just to point me in the general direction.

On the whole, though, a fascinating read. A story that leaves you wishing for more of it is a good start for something truly great.

Nothing wrong with a little naive.

A6007628 - Angel Dust - Autumn'06 Crit Run

Post 3

TRiG (Ireland) A dog, so bade in office

El is an anglicisation of the Hebrew word for God, which is why many Biblical names end on that syllable.

I found this story very ... strange. But I don't feel competent to say more about it than that. Sorry, no help.

TRiG.smiley - smiley

A6007628 - Angel Dust - Autumn'06 Crit Run

Post 4

Wilma Neanderthal

Wow, I found this very disturbing. I also could 'see' the room. It is very visual in the beginning... not so true later in the story (when the landlord comes into the picture). I agree also that the motives are very blurred.

I'll tell you part of why I found this disturbing. The thought that someone has the opportunity to find his way to peace/personal happiness in life, perhaps guided by an 'angel' perhaps through an epiphany, is pretty central to most people's beliefs/faith/abilty to function. This story pretty much shafts that concept in its entirety: here also can the conman intrude.

Very sad, somewhat scary. Brilliant story.

A6007628 - Angel Dust - Autumn'06 Crit Run

Post 5


Hi Matt

Fair self-crit up there. It's a very powerful idea, but the execution doesn't do it justice.

Biggest problem - you've got a structure in here that just don't work in a short story - a main character dying halfway through. You haven't got the space to move events along like that in this format.

Beneath that, you need a good structure. You're trying to write it as i) seeming redemption that ii) turns to dust (literally). OK, that could work, but you didn't really do enough set-up. Redemption from what? Short-story plotlines really do work best in 3 scenes : i) look at Chris's sh*t life ii) redemption is offered iii) redemption turns out to be anything but.

If you play with this some more, you might find other twists that offer more bite and/or interest you more. For example : the angel as mysterious redeemer/the angel revealed as a cynical predator/the angel further revealed as actually believing himself to be an angel. I personally think this would work better from the angel's perspective, but that call's yours.

The dialogue, as you suggested yourself, is also one of the weaknesses. Think how the discussion might have gone for real. It wouldn't be an exchange of sentences of sentences of equal length and weight. The angel would have had to have done most of the talking, justifying himself, cajoling and persuading. Wouldn't it be more interesting too, if Chris was more aggressive and sceptical?

If this starts to come right, too, it'll get nastier. At the moment, it alludes to nastiness, but it's too clunky to shock. Don't be afraid of making it dark and horrible. The underlying idea is truly horrible. If you're going to develop it, you'll have to bring that out, or else you'll fail.

You can write, Matt. You're close to being there on your own, I think. You recognise your own good stuff and not-so-good stuff, and you half-know why it's good or not. Self-criticism's another thing to work on, then - maybe *the* thing.

Thanks for offering this. Keep writing, whatever you do. You've got a hell of a work-ethic, a passion to motivate and an all-round nice-guy persona. You'd make a dream editor, in fact, but you'd be wasted as one.

Pinsmiley - smiley

A6007628 - Angel Dust - Autumn'06 Crit Run

Post 6


Thank you everyone for all the input! I promise I'll get on to my critting in return soonish. I've wanted to get back into creative writing properly for some time, and I felt this story was perhaps the doorway to that world, so all the feedback has been really positive smiley - ta

But, time is a precious commodity. I promise I will work on this, and perhaps one day more of my work may be collated into a proper book made with real paper. If it does, you guys wil be the 37th to know smiley - winkeye

A6007628 - Angel Dust - Autumn'06 Crit Run

Post 7

LL Waz

That was a read and a half! It was disturbing and intriguing. What I really, really want, thinking back over it, is to feel why Chris wanted the angel to be true, why he was susceptible or exploitable. Other than that, I can't add to what's been said already without getting into specifics that general comments have already covered.

Or, well, just one - a memorable bit is the picture of the angel spreading its wings suddenly in the dark. Liked that a lot, but I'd knock the 'confused' off the end of the paragraph, as not being enough and slowing the pace down...

Good title too. Ok, so that's two specifics. I'm stopping now for smiley - coffee.

There's something to work on here... I mean it's good as it is in being interesting, reaction and thought provoking, holding interest - all that. But there's definite opportunity for it to be more. In a film, the setting and actors would have, or could have, provided that. It's a shame you didn't get to see it.

Thanks for this, it was a good read, and rewarding to work through,


A6007628 - Angel Dust - Autumn'06 Crit Run

Post 8


Autumn leaves falling
Winter approaches quickly
Smoke and ashes soon

Just a little haiku to say the Autumn Crit Run '06 may be over soon, how is everyone doing with their submitted pieces?

Anymore comments?

A6007628 - Angel Dust - Autumn'06 Crit Run

Post 9


I'm going to have a bit of a look through this tonight, no promises though smiley - smiley

A6007628 - Angel Dust - Autumn'06 Crit Run

Post 10


Right, I've had a look at this. smiley - erm Taking in the great feedback (thank you all, it IS what I wanted for this story) I think I need to let this one simmer. It wasn't one of those pretty much completed pieces that needed a tweak here and there, it is something that may turn out to be writing I can be extremely proud of, but it will take time, and proper thinking and effort.

It may return in later Crit Run's in different forms, progressing along as I do. Bits and pieces added her and there. And it'll need some coddling, which I'm sure you are all capable of.

Looking at the theme, it's not really a short story is it? This has the makings of a novella.

Thank you once again. I will leave it here for now, for further comments over time. Don't dismiss it, pop back now and then, take a dip and see what I've done (I'll post and say if I've added more work in).

It's a complex theme that I took on about 10 years ago (or more) and back then I really was innocent to the world. Now I think I have the experience to take this to the place it needs to go. Thank you Pin especially smiley - winkeye

Keep an eye on this is all I'm saying.

Thanks guys!

A6007628 - Angel Dust - Autumn'06 Crit Run

Post 11


I think this is potentially a great story. However, I agree that we need to know more about Chris's life. What has happened to him to make him so ready to believe in the angel's promises? He seems to move too quickly from scepticism to complete credulity.
It is interesting that, at the end, Ashrael injects himself with the drug. Why? Has he been doing as he was told and then regretted it? Could the drug bring happiness to some but destruction to others? There are all sorts of ideas here that could be explored. Try expanding it, giving it more context and exploring some of these ideas. Best wishes

A6007628 - Angel Dust - Autumn'06 Crit Run

Post 12


I'd like to Propose Back to Entry as this has been deleted.


A6007628 - Angel Dust - Autumn'06 Crit Run

Post 13

Dmitri Gheorgheni - Not Banned in China

smiley - ok

A6007628 - Angel Dust - Autumn'06 Crit Run

Post 14


Oh. Back to Entry? What does that MEAN? I think I nkow, but it's been a long time.

A6007628 - Angel Dust - Autumn'06 Crit Run

Post 15


smiley - yikesAre you back? I must be seeing thingssmiley - cdouble

We had a sort through the Alternative Writing Workshop earlier this year and some entries like this one were removed from the workshop - the conversation is moved back to the entry it is about rather than staying in the workshop. In this case as all the content had been deleted, there was nothing for anyone to read.

If you come back and undelete the content this will be welcomed back - and PeerReview has been very quiet these days...


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