May 4, 2013 at 11:49 pm #41887
Short Story: “My Magnum Opus” by Harshith Mallya
Dear Writer, thank you for asking us to review your short story ‘My Magnum Opus’. Please find below our objective review comment based on five key elements of short stories:
Character: Story has two main characters – alcoholic scientist and his friend, the narrator. There are few more characters such as waitress and three patrons but they appear for very little in the story. It is very important to restrict number of main characters to one or two in a short story as is effectively done in this story. Further, although scientist apparently is main character, narrator brings a surprising twist to story giving impression of him being the hero of this story. Characterization of main character for the theme is must, and to an extent is done very well.
Setting: Although it is an intriguing read, story failed to appeal to senses of reader. Setting is grossly missing in this story. Plot offers many scopes for a good setting such as AA meeting and cafe but there is hardly any description of surroundings. It is essential to describe few lines about the setting to provide a fulfilling sensory experience to readers by portraying how scene looks, how does it smell, is it cold or hot weather, etc. Further, story uses bit longer timeframe but it is apparently suitable for the chosen theme. Having multiple time frames, however, adds additional payload to describe surrounding of each frame and thus may make story bit boring or digressing from the theme. Therefore it is always a better choice to select a single and very short time frame for short story.
Plot: Story has very powerful and interesting plot. Two guys become very close friend and start sharing their personal life details with each other and then out of the blue story discloses whole episode to be a ploy, a well planned trap, by the one. Well done.
Conflict: There is good amount of conflict and it very well supports the beautifully written plot. Poor scientist never comes to know that he is conned by his very close friend. Icing on the cake is showing how much the scientist is caring even in great pain about his friend when the mastermind friend is about to sip adulterated coffee while the science genius is loosing conscious.
Theme: Theme is a well thought and skilfully executed interesting ploy, and very well supported mostly by all other elements.
Few real life dialogues and vivid descriptions of scenes and objects used in the story would have made this story a perfect short story.
Having said the above, we strongly believe that story is an art and every art is invaluable – there is nothing good or bad as art is beyond boundaries of these adjectives. Therefore the creator is the best person to decide whether the creation meets her expectation. We like your story in total and our comments are just objective comparison with the patterns we observed in most liked short stories. We recommend you to write travel experience or memory of any one hour from your past for practicing detail setting.
We also recommend you to read 10 Tips for short story writing by our Chief Editor.May 5, 2013 at 2:20 am #41896
Dear Chief Editor,
Thank you for taking time out to review my short story.I now have a really good idea,how I could have made my short story more interesting with better and more use of dialogues and also adding a short description of the surroundings.I now realize the importance of those 2 elements in making the story more readable and interesting .
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