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General Category >> Front Page Stories >> KEEPING UP APPEARANCES by Shawn Murphy & Tana Lyman (2011)

Message started by paulXray on Jul 15th, 2011, 5:15pm

Title: KEEPING UP APPEARANCES by Shawn Murphy & Tana Lyman (2011)
Post by paulXray on Jul 15th, 2011, 5:15pm

What did everyone else think about this story?
To me, this piece came across as very Twilight influenced.  And since I'm neither female nor under 14, maybe I was not quite the right target audience for it.

It was OK, I guess ---at least the authors took the time to fill us in on a little backstory towards the end, since I had some nagging questions.
Still, was this really much of a story at all?  Are we inclined to believe that Jenny is aware of the wolves' true nature?  Was Kyle's crime that he hit her after she broke up with him?  Did he always beat her or something?  Was she being threatened at that moment?  These things are a bit unclear.

And the two main storylines don't really rely on one another as I would hope: A girl breaks up with her boyfriend. And two "wolves" easily escape/ walk away from a zoo...
Basically, this story did have potential, but it was just OK for me.

Title: Re: KEEPING UP APPEARANCES by Shawn Murphy & Tana Lyman (2011)
Post by ShawnMurphy on Jul 25th, 2011, 6:13pm

Twilight? Twilight??? Dude. Dislike the story if you like, but that's a low blow...

I think maybe you're over-analyzing what was intended as a vignette, not a complete story arc. We didn't want to delve deeply into back story and such, as we were keeping it short.

As to Jenny...can you point to where you felt that she knew the wolves' "true" nature? This is not a rebuttal, this is a request for information. If there's anywhere that implies this, then we definitely need to tweak the story.

Title: Re: KEEPING UP APPEARANCES by Shawn Murphy & Tana Lyman (2011)
Post by Gary A. Markette on Jul 26th, 2011, 5:43am

I didn't see the "Twilight" thing. If I had, this story would never have made the front page. Maybe I need to improve my reading skills. The problem with doing a werewolf, vampire, or zombie story these days is falling into the "moonstruck teenager trap." I thought this tale did a decent job of avoiding it. Maybe I was wrong. (I don't think I've read a single "Twilight" tale or seen a single movie . . .)

I'm interested in other opionions, here, and I certainly respect Paul's. How about some other ideas. Ahmed? Jean? Webbie. Anyone else?

Title: Re: KEEPING UP APPEARANCES by Shawn Murphy & Tana Lyman (2011)
Post by ShawnMurphy on Jul 26th, 2011, 8:31pm

Believe me, Gary - if Tana and I had seen the "Twilight" thing, we'd have never written the story! Of course, neither of us has read or seen "Twilight", so...

Title: Re: KEEPING UP APPEARANCES by Shawn Murphy & Tana Lyman (2011)
Post by paulXray on Jul 28th, 2011, 10:54pm

Haha ---sorry, man.  It certainly was not my intent to offend.  
Just trying to say that it wasn't my cup of tea.  

Perhaps I should have phrased it thus: I would much rather read your story than any Twilight book.  I would also rather read your story more than listen to any Justin Bieber song.  Hell, I'd even go as far as to say it was way better than any Eragon novel...
Sorry, if that doesn't raise the bar much, but believe me, your story was not a struggle to get through ---though a few others I started failed to hold my interest to the end or enough to even comment on.

So yeah, you should be pleased in a way to have gotten some feedback and acknowledgement that someone actually read your story.  And I am happy to have gotten some feedback on my feedback too...
Hopefully this discussion will spark more people to read and comment on your story.  

To be honest, I haven't been at this site for some time and am surprised at how slow things are here these days.  
I encourage more people to read at least one story on the front page and give any sort of feedback.  
I'm sure the authors would appreciate it.

Title: Re: KEEPING UP APPEARANCES by Shawn Murphy & Tana Lyman (2011)
Post by Jeangoldstrom on Aug 2nd, 2011, 6:49pm

PaulXRay, you aer so right about comment being slow here. Yes, we have definitely noticed it. But check other zines somewhat similar to Anotherealm -- for example Bewildering Stories, a fine zine -- and they have the same problem. Where have all the posters gone? Some here proposed Facebook (agh!) but that doesn't seem to be the case. The question remains unanswered so far, but seeing you here is a definite PLUS!

Don't stay away so long!

-- Jean

Title: Re: KEEPING UP APPEARANCES by Shawn Murphy & Tana Lyman (2011)
Post by ShawnMurphy on Aug 2nd, 2011, 10:11pm

Well, Paul, I do appreciate the feedback and the confirmation that it's being read.  And seriously, anything you can pinpoint as an example of the criticism you had, please do quote it or PM the quote to me if you don't want to put it here. I'm interested in seeing where some of your feedback came from.

Title: Re: KEEPING UP APPEARANCES by Shawn Murphy & Tana Lyman (2011)
Post by monsoonster on Sep 18th, 2011, 10:11pm

I gave this one a go since this is the only story that has thus far had a back and forth. I wanted to see what was up.

I really had to struggle through this one. What jumped out at me wa the "eyes". One sentence, I had to reread three times. Stopped me completely.

Red ignored him completely, her eyes busy scanning the room. They landed on a security camera high on the wall and she growled a little until Zorro followed her gaze.

For the first two readings, I thought "They" meant the two wolves; that the wolves had landed upon the security camera. Then understood you meant their "eyes". Another one, in the following paragraph

Zorro, on the other hand, watched the human intently, his eyes following the man around the lab.

made it appear that the wolve's eyes had popped out of his head and were walking of their own volition.

From there, every other paragraph, two or three times there were descriptions of eye movements or eye descriptions that were unneeded. Or could have been worded differently. So that the "eyes" didn't seem to pop out and jump off the screen at you.

And towards the end

His eyes began to wander again, tracing the curve of her spine down

The home-spun jocularity seemed forced and lacked wind-in-the-sails. The jokes sagged, in other words. Drooped. "In the doghouse...", "sleeping on the couch..."

I've never seen Twilight (nor will I), so I can't speak to the editor climbing aboard that train, but it seems the initial reviewer may have. However, as he inferred, I agree that maybe this story was intended for a younger audiance. Maybe that's why it wasn't my cup of tea.

Title: Re: KEEPING UP APPEARANCES by Shawn Murphy & Tana Lyman (2011)
Post by Bren on Sep 23rd, 2011, 6:57am

I like to read a variety of fiction including paranormal romance. I've read the whole twilight series, and I do not see any relation between those books and this story except for there being two werewolves. The human did not fall in love with a werewolf, and there were no vampires. Many werewolf novels have mates mentioned in them, so that's nothing new. I liked the story. I only had one problem. I thought that the wolves escaped from the zoo a little too easily. Someone should have noticed that they were gone, especially since there were cameras. There could have been a chase seen. Of course, then you'd have to leave out the part with Jenny.

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