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Whyend's picture

Duplex

By Whyend in Scare Us

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Description

When an out of work man and wife move into a duplex, the other tenets and universe throw a curve ball straight from Hell.

Comments

Jane Wiseman's picture
Jane Wiseman from living outside of Albuquerque/in Minneapolis is reading Consider Phlebas, by Iain Banks July 27, 2012 - 6:11pm

This is an intriguing premise, although you've left a lot unexplained in the plot. I really didn't understand the story's ending--why your narrator does what she does. She also strikes me as a pretty stereotyped character, at least at first. I think most of all, though, you need to work on the writing and polish it more. Right now, it's full of cliches. At first I thought all of the cliches were just how the narrator thought-- like maybe she's intended to be a sort of Stepford Wife-- but by the end, I was thinking this is something you, the writer, need to work on: "slowly but surely," "reared its ugly head," "crying my eyes out," etc. I could be very wrong about all of this, though.

Scott MacDonald's picture
Scott MacDonald from UK is reading Perfidia August 1, 2012 - 12:50pm

I've given a thumbs up on this for the story idea, but the style needs some work.  But then again, style can be learnt, whereas imagination is something that tends to be a bit more nature than nurture. 

My main complaint was that I couldn't empathise with the characters.  They felt a little two dimensional and a lot of the early elements about why the house move maybe could be seen a little more from the characters' perspectives to give some insight into them as people.

I really liked the feng shui moment.  It's only on finishing the story that it becomes apparent that she was compelled to mirror the house that her neighbours were going to set up.  Bringing this element in gives the rest of the story a sense inevitably - a course that can't be changed.

I really think a rewrite would do this some good with a focus on pacing and a bit more of a pickiness about the words you are using and the sentence structure.  But the creativity of the plotline is undeniable.

M.E.Prince's picture
M.E.Prince from Georgia is reading A Stir of Echoes August 2, 2012 - 12:36am

SPOILER WARNING

The general idea is really cool, but the execution needs a lot of work. There's far too much telling rather than showing. For instance, instead of telling us about her husband buying all this useless crap, we could see her packing it up for the move or throwing it out and thinking about the wasted money.

Style-wise, I'd suggest paying more attention to proper grammar and punctuation, avoiding cliches (humble abode), and working on dialogue. Say the lines out loud and think about whether or not it sounds like something you'd hear someone say.

The ending felt too abrupt and, like a few other situations, unlikely. As far as I knew, she had no emotional reaction to her husband's sudden death or to seeing her own eye through the hole. The discovery of the mirroring could have been more gradual, too. Maybe introduce the concept of string theory earlier on and build up to it, rather than having an infodump toward the end.

All that being said, with a lot of work on the delivery and the characters, this could be a very interesting piece.

ArlaneEnalra's picture
ArlaneEnalra from Texas is reading Right now I'm editing . . .. August 2, 2012 - 11:28am

I'm not sure what I think about the premise of this story.  The idea of the evil twin has been used decent effect in other venues, including the idea of a complete mirror universe.  There are just a few things about this tat bug me:

* Way too much forshadowing.  There is so much premonition in this story that it gets in the way of learning about the characters.  I couldn't really get a feel for what they were like through all the dispair Caroline projected.

* The flow of the text tripped me up too many times.  Things like the over use of typical really bugged me.  I had difficulty getting around that and some sequences of repitious descriptions.  There were several places I felt like I was reading the same thing stated in slightly different words without really adding anything to the story.

* The character of the wife bugs me.  I get the feeling that she's nuts from the very start of the story, which really doesn't make much sense.  There should be more of a progression to her madness, a sense of building paranoia and instability.  That would make her feel a little more realistic, at least to me.

* It would help to explore the neighbors more and the history of Geoff and Caroline a little less.  There's too much emphasis on things that really don't build up the story overly much.

* This one's just a tip, you might look at adding more about the duplex itself.  Take a look at Firefly: The 10th Character for what I'm talking about.

Hopefully I'm not being overly critical . . . :(

Still, its a good effort.  I'd say let this sit for a while and give it another draft or two.