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Gloves Off: Round XIX
Grounding the fantastic
Today we’ll take a longer look at Seeing Is Believing by Gale Huxley. To read the story as originally published, please click here.
Seeing Is Believing
There’s silence when Marnie appears on screen. She hugs herself and looks at something behind the camera, presumably the light illuminating her. No one tries to get her attention. There’s faint static. Her character is established in these seconds. This understanding reaches Marnie’s consciousness and breaks the space. They want crazy more than they want her story. She blinks, uncrosses her arms, and sits up straight.
My Comments: Let’s talk about point of view. Here we’re outside of Marnie’s POV. We’re seeing her on a screen and must guess at what she’s likely looking at—the lights? “Her character is established in these seconds” also indicates a POV outside of Marnie. But who gives us “They want crazy more than they want her story”? My point is that the POV is muddled.
Marnie is dressed for a job interview. It’s obvious that she had opened her closet that morning and chosen an outfit that she thought would make her appear respectable. Her auburn hair is slicked back into a french twist. She’d put on a turtle neck first, but worried that she would look pretentious. The blazer she wears is too tight on her arms. She can’t comfortably stretch them. The cream-colored crew neck she chose nearly blends in with her skin. A brown eye is tattooed between her breasts—the same shade as her eyes— but no one knows that except her and the tattoo artist.
There isn’t an interviewer. A man wearing a Canadian tuxedo instructed her to tell her story from start to finish when she first arrived. Now he stands in the corner of the room watching her with his fingertips in his mouth.
My Comments: Okay, here we seem to settle into Marnie’s POV. Only she would know what clothes she chose not to wear. And that she’s got a hidden tattoo. “Canadian tuxedo” took some research to understand. When using good insider terms, consider giving a beat of specifics before the punchline of the term. For example: A man wearing jeans and a denim jacket—what locals called a Canadian tuxedo—instructed her….”
And the glass vial on the chain needs to be here as she dresses.
“That’s it?” Marnie asks once more.
“Just tell it how you remember it,” he says, frustrated but Marnie doesn’t know what she has done.
She looks into the camera. A woman standing next to the cameraman waves. “Look at me,” she mouths.
Marnie looks at the woman’s shoulder, which is bare and freckle-less. She starts from the moment before the beginning.
My Comments: Where is the screen? If it’s in the same room, consider Marnie looking at it, seeing herself, and being able to disassociate, i.e. The her on the screen lifts a hand to… Or The Marnie on the screen… If an object/element is introduced it must be present and used throughout the story so the object accumulates meaning.
This includes the static, the table of snacks, the lighting mentioned earlier.
“I was watching Boy Meets World after returning home from my job at Eckard’s. It was the episode when Topanga cuts her hair. It made me realize that Cory isn’t that great. He was so insecure about how beautiful Topanga looked and the attention she received after the chop. But she did it for him! Because he was insecure.”
Marnie pauses and bites her cheek.
My Comments: I can accept this because it stays within the “horse” or theme of screens—the taping, a television—that you’ve established.
But I will always hammer on you to use attribution to break up and pace dialog. Even if it’s a gesture done by the Marnie on the screen. Or a Marnie seen reflected in the camera lens.
“Well, I guess I shouldn’t be so hard on Cory. He’s just a teenage boy. I was awful at that age. That’s probably why I haven’t had a friend since I was 16. It embarrassed me to think about how fearful I was, as if fear was my core identity, but I’ve made peace with it now. The problem is that I don’t know what eye to view Cory through now that I’ve seen him differently.”
The woman next to the camera moves her wrist in quick circles, her hand flails, indicating that Marnie needs to get on with the story.
Marnie looks at the camera. It’s a stare that will make viewers glance away from the screen.
My Comments: Again, attribution. Be careful of such expository self-awareness. It’s telling us the character is fine, and that will prevent any tension from building. By stating now that she’s enlightened and comfortable, you thwart any sense of menace you might earn later.
“It’s my story,” she says, then pauses until the woman puts her hands behind her back and the man in the corner stops biting his nails.
“I’d ordered pizza that night. I usually picked up because I couldn’t afford delivery, but a man had slid ten bucks over the counter that night at work. He said it was a tip for the good service I provided. All I did was make small talk as I rang up his Funyuns and cough syrup.
“I jumped up when I heard my doorbell ring. I’d ordered stuffed crust and cinnamon mini donuts, so I was excited. Pizza nights were my favorite part of childhood, but we were never able to order anything but a medium pepperoni.
My Comments: Here, why not paraphrase:
Marnie had ordered pizza that night. She usually picked up because she couldn’t afford delivery, but a man had slid ten bucks over the counter that night at work. He said it was a tip for the good service she’d provided. All she’d done was make small talk as she’d rung up his Funyuns and cough syrup.
She’d jumped up when she’d heard her doorbell ring. Marnie had ordered stuffed crust and cinnamon mini-donuts, so she was excited. Pizza nights had been her favorite part of childhood, but they’d never been able to order anything but a medium pepperoni.
If you’re going to jump into the past—childhood, the tipping customer—paraphrasing works better because you’re just delivering information. This breaks up the story with a new texture, and it saves your quotes for special, more important moments. Consider how print journalism never delivers the facts via quotes. Instead it states the who/what/where/when/why, and then uses quotes to depict emotional response and emotional language. That said, save your quotes for the most emotional bits.
Also, switching to the third person will help introduce the disassociation about to occur.
“A woman was at my door when I opened it. She wore a dark cloak. Silver hair poked out of the hood. I couldn’t get a good look at her face, but
I know she was old because theshadows fell in the hollows of her eyes and the creases around her mouth. That was my first impression of her. I saw her a lot better later.‘You’ll get your pizza. Don’t worry,’ the woman said.
“Next thing I knew I was floating in space, covered in eyes.”
The figure appeared in space, a private corner of the universe, where shimmering liquid spilled out from a child’s toy and floated by in the otherwise darkness, the only illumination an imagined star.
My Comments: Now things get confusing, sorry. Marnie seems to become “the figure.” Either that, or the aged woman at the door becomes “the figure.” We need a slower transition, for instance:
Who Marnie found herself, rising, floating, was the Marnie of a dream. A half-awake story in which everyone is and is not themselves. This Marnie, hovering, she amounted to just a figure…
Gradually step us into this transformation. Also, the generalized “child’s toy” adds nothing because we’ve no idea what this toy is.
Was she nude? No. She was dressed in eyes.
Every inch of her form peered out at the darkness. Eyes covered her, leaving little space, only rivulets of flesh. If observed, one would wonder if all she was only observation and what kind of monster that would make her.
She possessed each shade of a human eye, an ostrich eye, a milky eye, a snake eye, a new moon eye, an eye with three pupils, a bulging, cartoon eye, a spider eye, a Sauron eye, a cat eye, an all-iris eye, the deserted eye of an angry lover, an evil eye, an eye in a tree, a melting eye, an owl eye, Horus's eye, a mother’s eye, a crocodile eye, a clever plant’s eye, a wound-turned-eye of Palden Lhamo, a high eye, a pink eye, a butterfly eye, an all-seeing eye, Ra’s eye, a fish eye, an embryonic eye, a frog eye, a dead eye, a heart eye, her baby eye, her teenage eye, her yet-to-be eye, her scarred eye, her wide eye, her woman eye, her eye, all her eyes.
My Comments: Okay, I’m with you. Consider that in this void there’s nothing to see, so she examines herself. She lifts her hands to look at the eyes on her fingers. The eyes on her fingers look at the eyes on her legs. Her arms twist so the eyes on her hands can see the eyes on her back… After this physical process, only then you can lapse into the wonderful long list of eyes.
The physical process of inspection will ground us much better than “possessed".
The woman looked at herself, running her hands over her body, her hands hovering just above the hip bones, the thighs, elbows that watched without blinking. She didn’t dwell too long on her form. Her attention turned to circumstance.
She was floating.
How hadn’t she been aware of the relief? It’s difficult to find a comfortable position when you’re made of eyes.
How had she not been aware that her body was covered in eyes? It’s common to see someone else in photos, in the mirror, in the world she did not engage with.
She reposed in a starfish position. There was no pressure on her thighs, her ass. The figure had never been able to get comfortable in bed at night—maybe this was why. Even the air had put pressure on her face and chest.
My Comments: Careful. A character alone is tough to keep interesting. And don’t repeat what you’ve told us. We know she’s floating. We know she’s covered in eyes.
One thing working against the story is the lack of emotional response. No confusion. No fear. No tension. By inspecting herself, the character could keep us engaged with physical gesture, but there needs to be something at stake. Even intense joy and excitement would create tension.
Each part of her allowed ease inside. A little longer in that place without time, the paradox of that, she would have settled into becoming a part of it all.
But then, the hags appeared.
The figure sensed their arrival. She knew that they had been there all along. She didn’t have to move to see them approach. There were five at first, then two more joined the circle. The hags crawled on their hands and knees. They extended their arms and fingers fully before placing them down on the nothing that supported their bodies.
The hags were not all the gray-haired old women resembling the witch from Snow White or the withered woman we’re supposed to fear in a horror movie. Only one of the hags was such a stereotype, the one who appeared at her door forever ago or right now.
One of the hags appeared young. Her face was made of circles. Her eyes were like two mugs of black coffee. This hag didn’t blink as far as the figure could tell. Her hood was embroidered with animals, like giraffes and frogs and bunnies and creatures that the figure couldn’t identify.
My Comments: Again, no fear. No tension. No physical verbs. Only: knew, appeared, was, sensed, identify. The key to making the incredible engaging is to use physical verbs and objects you’ve established, for example:
The eyes on her back saw them first: the hags. The goat’s eye on her elbow, with its yellow glint and slit pupil blinked twice, and squinted for a better look. The hags were not all… The milky cataract-clouded eye on her hipbone flew wide open at the sight of a young hag…
She was Baby Hag, and she approached behind a hag whose beauty would be considered evil on earth. This hag would be the disguised witch in a story leading a young hunter into the forest— the new queen of a recently widowed queen. Wise eyes paired with ethereal beauty are punishable by death in this hag’s word, and the figure’s, too.
Fairytale Hag would be the gentlest, though she used her long, curved nails.
Baby Hag would be the most enthusiastic when it came time for removal.
Another hag was not of the earth that the figure knew. The hag’s skin was violet with gold circles all over the exposed parts of her body. The gold was suction cups. She had three eyes that were lined up vertically down the center of her narrow face. The figure thought that there were three or two or four of this hag because she moved in an impossible, blurred way. Overseer Hag hung back and observed. In the same moment, she was beneath the figure, placing a suctioned fingertip over a lower back eye, or above, trying to get the figure to focus all of her attention on only her.
The hag that will return to the figure and leave her wondering as she sits in traffic or washes her hair, is the one who resembles her uncle. Uncle Hag didn’t have the eyes, the nose, the hair, nothing of her uncle’s appearance, but she looked just like him. The figure waved at Uncle Hag, but she did not wave back.
My Comments: Still no tension. Every fantastic element is simply accepted.
Twin Hags broke the quiet of this shimmering space. They whistled as they approached. The figure’s ears rang at a high pitch. This reminded the figure of all of the times her ears rang as she sat in a group of acquaintances or stared out of a window, gone and without access to where she had traveled. The Hag Twins were completely identical. They were tall and muscular. The figure could tell by the bulk of their arms as they reached for her. They each had a long, dark braid that connected them. This braid ran down the length of their bodies and was long, long, without end. The figure looked and the twins were shoulder-to-shoulder on their hands and knees. She looked again and they were on opposite sides of her and far apart. The Hag Twins were spiders. Their role was to weave.
My Comments: Okay, I’m with you, but why not demonstrate the twins weaving, rather than state their purpose?
There were other hags present. These hags were like shadows, even when they were near. They were there to assist, but they weren’t the hags primary to the figure. Their care was not as particular, not yet. These were the shadow hags. They are always everywhere.
The figure felt pressure on the entire back side of her body again. It was cold and smooth and hard beneath her. She was no longer in space, but she remained in a place that belonged to her. The figure looked around and could see the room with one circling of her eyes. The room was small, but with a high, steepled ceiling. She squinted and thought that she could see the glitter in a needle point above her. Everything was made of stone except for the small and numerous wooden drawers on each wall that began on the floor and ended wherever the wall met the ceiling. There was also a wooden door that was made for a short giant. Beneath the door, a light.
My Comments: Again, if she’s covered with eyes, use them:
The small compound spider eyes on her feet saw that the room was small…
Particularize your objects (the eyes) and keep them present. This physical sense will keep the reader engaged.
When the figure rolled her eyes backwards, she saw a stained glass window. Blue, red, yellow, and green light fell over the floor and covered her body. She couldn’t make sense of the window’s design. It was geometric, and she felt like she needed those glasses that she wore to see Starchaser: The Legend of Orin to appreciate it properly. The image made every eye in her body ache.
The figure strained to sit up once during the beginning of the removal process. She saw the fine braids wrapped around her body. They affixed her to the floor, as if the strands contained an adherent. The Hag Twins were the creators of the strands. What held the figure down was still attached to them, connecting them in an ever-moving triangle.
My Comments: Yeah, this is why we need to see the twins weaving. That process would build dread and menace.
The first eye that was removed reminded her of her humanity. It took her breath from her and then returned it. The removal was a sharp pluck from her side. She looked and saw the pink, wet socket where the eye had just been. It made her think of chewed bubblegum, still soft from a wet mouth. She wanted to caress it, to put her fingers into herself to see what she was made of. The figure reached for the socket, but a hand batted her away. A pain rose from her fingertips all the way through her arm. The eyes on her hands closed.
My Comments: Careful of thought verbs. Gesture will always work better. Instead of “She wanted to caress it…,” consider, “She reached to caress it…” Likewise, instead of “It made her think of chewed…,” consider, “Pits dented the soft pinkness of it, like teeth marks, as if the eye were a wad of bubblegum plucked from a wet mouth.”
The figure looked at the hand that touched her. It belonged to Fairytale Hag. Her hood and dark hair shadowed her twitching face. Fairytale Hag put her hand over the figure’s chest, just above her right breast. It hovered there until the figure felt warmth and her body relaxed. Fairytale Hag’s long, curved fingernail slid into another socket, then plucked out the eye. This time, the figure felt like a splinter had been removed. She understood that the pain she felt at the beginning was relief too.
Fairytale Hag held the eyeball in her palm. Baby Hag handed her a silk pouch the color of the Nickelodeon robot. Fairytale Hag deposited the eye into the silk pouch, then walked over to a drawer, opened it, placed it in the drawer, then closed it.
My Comments: Consider giving us some detail of the drawers location. Near the bright window? Near the door? You can keep the details of the room present by linking them to each drawer that’s used.
The figure looked at the drawers. None of them were labeled, but the Hag appeared to choose the drawer deliberately.
The next pluck was from the padding of her big toe. When the figure peeked, one of the twins had an eye in her mouth. An eye by her ear was removed as she looked. The other twin tossed the ear eye to the twin holding an eye in her mouth. The figure exhaled when the twin caught it in her hands.
The removal process didn’t appear to have logic to it. Logic didn’t make sense in this space. An eye was removed from her chest, then her cheek. Each eye was given its own pouch and drawer. There were more drawers than the figure had eyes. She wondered if this room was shared with the eyes of others. It occurred to her that just like the corner of space that belonged to her, so did this room. She may have never left where she began.
My Comments: Again, you did such a great job of listing the types of eyes. Why not continue to particularize them as they are plucked? Thus each type of eye would more clearly suggest an aspect of the character. Her animal nature, say, or her religiosity.
There was pain. There was release. The energy the feeling evolved into was not something the figure could identify at first.
It made her scream. The Hags didn’t stop her. They paused and allowed it. When the figure stopped screaming, they did not immediately continue their work. The feeling began in her stomach, then rose to her chest. She could not stop herself from shrieking when the energy caught in her throat. The screams radiated throughout her body. Her being relaxed so deeply when she was finished that she believed that she was melting, losing the limits of herself.
Uncle Hag came over to her and cupped her hand around the figure’s chin. She put her fingers into the figure’s mouth and pried it open. Uncle Hag extracted an eyeball that was the size of a baby’s fist. It had numerous pindrop pupils covering a yellow iris. This was the only eyeball that wasn't saved. Uncle Hag held the eyeball between her index finger and thumb as she walked to the stained glass window. She turned a latch and a panel opened. Uncle Hag tossed the eye out of the window.
The phrase “for the wolves” entered the figure’s mind.
My Comments: Okay, good action sequence.
The energy spiking inside of her became manageable, but it was still uncomfortable. The figure wanted to move, to run it off, but the Hags were still at work. She imagined her structure as a shapeshifter. There were spikes, goo, decayed muscles, and vibrating tendons.
Was it fear? Absolutely.
Joy? Is it distinguishable from fear?
What about strength? It is weightless.
My Comments: Instead of so much thinking, why don’t we feel the bindings? The stone floor? A smell? The taste of the hag’s fingers as they go into the character’s mouth? We’ll accept the fantastic if it’s grounded in physicality.
These thoughts distracted the figure. When she looked down, She was mostly chasms. Hag Hag removed an eye that resembled her childhood chihuahua’s bulging eyeball, dark and expressive even as it was being held in the air. She wanted to ask to keep that one, but she didn't.
The Twins were at her side, as the dog eye was put away. The dark braids covering her were released from her body and returned to the twin’s splitting braids. The twins stepped away from her. The figure sat up and pulled her knees to her chest.
Overseer Hag stepped forward and kneeled in front of her. She placed a hand on the figure and guided her to lay on her stomach.
My Comments: Yeah, still no tension. No attempt to resist. No speaking; just a few lines of dialog from the character would help ground this dream-like world.
People yearn for meaning and order. Witness how we “find” castles in clouds.
It was time to remove the eyes from the backside of her body.
One of the Hags took an eyeball from her right butt cheek. It tickled, and the figure laughed. She heard laughter in the room, one small giggle that she thought could be a cough, then a chorus of laughter that lasted a few seconds, but stretched time like a good song does. Her ears felt clear and empty.
The figure rested her cheek against the cold floor. She felt hands on her body and the slight resistance of eyeballs as they were removed—the sockets being stretched and then falling back into place.
The figure had never let anyone give her a massage before. This was as close to a massage as she had ever received. She drifted off to the feeling. The hands were a mother’s on her back. A lover’s caress. The hands of a professional just doing their job.
It was when an eye was being plucked from her left shoulder blade that she wondered why. This question hadn’t occurred to her yet, though it was usually the word ever present in her mind. She hadn’t asked why every inch of her body was covered in eyes, nor why they needed to be removed.
The figure decided not to think about it.
My Comments: Careful. Your reader will tolerate the unexamined (the figure decided not to think about it) and the unexplained, but only if you establish authority with specific, physical detail.
Even plucking the eyes from the character’s face doesn’t generate tension. And if the character can actually see from these eyes, she shouldn’t need to “sense” anything. We should simply be aware of how her overall vision is dwindling, and the fewer things she can see. Thus, at last all she can see is the vaulted ceiling since she’s been turned to lie on her stomach, right?
There came a moment-less moment when there was only one eye left to be removed. She sensed its lone presence. It was at the base of her spine. Baby Hag grabbed it and ran with it. It was thrown into a drawer like it was a hot potato. Baby Hag kneeled before the drawer when she closed it and leaned her forehead against the brass handle.
The figure stood up and looked at herself.
She was not eyeless. There were eyes running down the center of her body, from the top of her head to her pubic bone—not quite aligned. The line split and wrapped around her legs. She still had the two eyes that she had always peered out from. There were two other pairs of peepers, one in each palm, as well as an eye in the arch of each foot. These were hers to keep.
My Comments: Careful. By depicting her last eye being removed, then depicting her covered with more eyes, you don’t gain a lot of reader trust. There seem to be no rules, so the reader might feel helpless in trying to understand the scene, and therefore stop reading.
Hag Hag approached her, holding a red pouch. She handed it to the figure. It looked like an apple, but it was an eye. She put it in her mouth and swallowed it whole. Her stomach tingled, as if she had a shot of tequila. She placed her hands over her belly. Her intestines didn't gurgle, though they’d been noisy since third grade.
All of the Hags were gone when she looked up except Overseer Hag. Overseer Hag had stripped off her robe. She was nude, all of her suctions exposed. Where the figure was once all eyes, now cavities. The Overseer was all suctions. Overseer Hag opened her arms. The figure was hesitant. Still. Even now. But she moved forward.
Overseer Hag embraced her. She had seemed like a giantess, but she was at eye level with the figure. She held eye contact as she wrapped her arms around the figure tight, then tighter. The Hag’s suctions aligned mostly with the figure’s cavities and where they did not, the suctions extended, searching. The first pop was satisfying. The figure felt like a child’s toy. They smiled at each other as the suction brought each cavity from the removal process back to its original state—plump, vulnerable.
My Comments: Again, sensory detail. How did the eye taste?
The Overseer Hag stepped back when she was done and took the figure’s hands in hers. Her eyes scanned the figure. The figure looked over her filled body and saw faint outlines— the puckered flesh of what had been. She crossed her arms over herself. When she looked up, Overseer Hag was gone.
The figure looked around the room. She walked over to one of the drawers and pulled it open. A green pouch was inside of it. She took it out and removed the eye, which was the color of dirty sea water. She touched it with the tip of her tongue. It did taste like pollution. The figure replaced it and closed the drawer.
She looked through the drawers for a while. They were hers. Each eye belonged to her. Many of them had been given to her. Many of them she was born with. All of that seeing, all of the time, had made it impossible to live, so she had stopped trying to do anything other than survive. The figure had feared the loss of the eyes, sensing that even though they brought her pain and constant discomfort, they held vital information.
She looked at all of the drawers and laughed a laugh that rose from belly to her throat. They were still hers. She could return anytime to pick an eye up and see through it when she wanted to. Or she could crush it beneath her small foot.
That was the end of that.
My Comments: This is a tough one. A character having an epiphany alone. If anything, can she state the epiphany to the video crew? It would allow you to ground the incredible in the camera’s gaze and quotation marks. Stating it to the video crew would also allow for their reaction — not rebuttals per se — but evasive looks and fingernail biting.
Marnie takes a breath and lifts her eyes from the thin and faded carpet she’d been staring at since she began her story. The woman next to the camera has a Game Boy in her hands. She slides it into her back pocket when Marnie pauses. The man in the back corner has disappeared, replaced by a middle-aged woman sitting cross-legged with her chin in her hands, watching Marnie. Fairytale Hag is in the room, but no one knows that.
My Comments: So Marnie was “the figure.” The video crew’s distraction also undermines any tension or reality of the story. And since Marnie never seems frightened of the hags, their continued presence doesn’t add any tension.
“And then I was back in my apartment, standing at my open front door. A pizza delivery guy, a young guy, maybe about 19, was standing in front of me, saying ‘that’ll be $17 ma’am.’ I thought I’d at least get a free pizza out of the experience. The Hag Hag had been holding it. I tipped the delivery guy well, though he had been staring too hard at my face throughout the whole exchange. I wondered if my eyes had turned blue or otherworldly. He leaned in closer. ‘Just to let you know, there’s a lot of gunk around your eyes. And in your eyes, too.’ He turned around and left without another word.
My Comments: Yeah, I’m always going to hammer on attribution. What’s become of the Marnie on the screen? The way she could watch and tailor her own performance. The eye of the camera?
“My vision was blurry, but I thought it was because of how tired I was. Or wherever I was in space, whatever dimension, had done something to my body. I ate my pizza before I dealt with my eyes. I’d have the experience again just for pizza to taste the way it did that night. A thick-crusted pizza topped with feta, black olives, and hot sauce is the food served in a paradise buffet.
“I took a foundation compact out of my purse. I didn’t want to see my face for the first time in my bathroom’s harsh lighting.”
My Comments: If you really suspected you were becoming a monster, would you eat a pizza? And the glass vial on the chain around her neck needs to be present right from the getting-dressed scene.
“I thought I’d become a demon. My eyes were purple and gray and black scribbles of marker. I swiped a finger over my eye. It was gunk. All eye boogers. I took some of the gunk and put it in this little vial. The rest has been flushed.”
Marnie holds up a tiny, glass jar attached to a silver chain. Before anyone can get a good look at it, she tucks it back into her shirt and looks around the room.
“Well, that’s all. It’s fine if you don’t believe me. Seeing is believing.”
My Comments: Sorry, I don’t get it. The vial is supposed to make the whole story credible? Instead, why can’t she look at and somehow interact with the hag now in the room? Keep the hag present.
Marnie stands and removes the lavalier mic she had been given at the start of the interview.
She walks over to the refreshment table and picks up a cinnamon donut before walking out of the room.
My Comments: What? You had two great objects to interact with. She could’ve been adjusting the mike. The tuxedo guy could’ve been leaning close to adjust the mike, breathing fingernail breath in her face. We have a whole table of lovely snacks she could be smelling and longing for. Such are the objects that will ground the story up front.
Afterwards, a yellow pouch is returned to a high drawer.
My Comments: With all the camera phones and CCTVs and RING doorbells in the world, this story should resonate more. Consider that it’s a metaphor for how people must now curate their media intake and limit their perception to remain sane. The fantasy sequence goes so long, would you consider cycling in and out of it at least once? Bring us back to the video crew for some expository Big Voice that will help confused readers feel caught up. The idea of cameras watching cameras on an infinite loop, and the character watching herself watch herself watch herself is a strong idea.
If that’s your intention, I encourage you to state it overtly at some point.
Thank you for being our guinea pig. Thank you for the story.
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