Feedback Wanted: Kevin and the Chook

Hi all Green Wizards,

I'd really appreciate all and any feedback for either of the two stories that I submitted. To date I have only written non fiction which gets published here and there about the place, but I have not written fiction work before, so obviously have a lot to learn about fiction writing and would appreciate some help.

I'll offer - if you'd like - to review anyone else's works upon request as long as they also critique one or both of my own stories. Please leave a comment on this thread if you would like this option. No stress, I'll be gentle in critiquing.

The stories can be found on the Internet here:

Thanks. Chris

Hi Chris, I just read your Kevin and the Chook. It's a good tale. It kind of reminds me of a fairy tale in that it has a moral at the end, or even bush poetry Banjo style but in short story form. I don't think of it a being so bleak, because it kind of just seems like a day in the life of cray country people. Not so far from reality, where old John so and so has done something old Curtis such and such thinks is dumb.

From a writers perspective, there was abit of confusion of tense in there in parts, and it seemed a little more like a sesries of short notes on the story, than the story itself, if you know what I mean. It is a good style actually. Captures the feeling of the protagonists disposition; this is this, and that is that. The starightforwardness of a work-to-eat life. Sometimes though, it's good to let sentences flow together, and flesh out the environment that the story occurs in. But it does depend on the mood you wanna set, which as I said was quite well captured with the terseness of your writing. Hope that's constructive. Keep it up.

The Sturgeon story was also quite enjoyable, an evocation of a harsh but vigorous society. However, it seemed to rely on too much luck or co-incidence, - the fence who saw it all, the bookie who minded more than his business, the dying thug who told the truth. Surely they would all have been more close mouthed, especially with a stranger, or would have told lies?

Perhaps the whole story is a lie, intended to deceive Madame and drive a wedge between her and Sir Julian?

I liked this story. It is realistic and unsentimental. Tough, versatile and well organised people like that will survive and eventually thrive. The sick chook might be a metaphor for current civilization and it's effects.

Do Australians really say, "You ALIGHT mate?" or should it be 'alright'?

I read both stories tonight. I'm not a writer so the best I can give is a reader reaction. I didn't like the chook story so much because it was too bleak for my taste. The Sturgeon story was more to my liking. I enjoyed the end, where it was revealed that the protagonist was something of a rogue and well able to take care of himself in that rough world. By the way, it was hilarious to read the phrase "I meant to meet a mate of mine..." because I thought of how it would sound when actually spoken.

Thanks. Chris