Author's Journal:

A Quick Note About Comments

After a lot of hard work, and even more writing, my website is finally open to the public.

However, there are two things that I feel very strongly about when it comes to my website. So I’d like to make this clear before anyone writes a comment.

1: I believe in the separation of an author and their work. This website is about my stories not me. If you happen to know me personally, please don’t post anything related to me or our relationship outside of my writing. Please talk about this stuff elsewhere. Thank you for your understanding.

2: This website is meant to be a relaxing place, to escape from political arguments and looming deadlines. Sometimes a little escapism can be helpful. Please don’t drag in cold hard reality, or things that will spark arguments.

That’s all, thanks in advance for your understanding. Hope you enjoy the stories!

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  1. Hi Seamus,

    Thank you for sharing your work with us on Bouncing Sock. I’m impressed with the volume of work you’ve put together and the variety of stories collected here.

    I have one piece of what I hope you’ll take as constructive feedback. It’s something I did as I was learning to write, without even realizing it, so it jumps out at me right away. It has to do with connecting sentences with indefinite modifiers, one to another. To make this concrete, let’s take a look at a selection I’ve copied from Dreamwalkers:

    “Andie glanced downward, peering at the busy streets below her dangling feet. They were laid out in a cold, efficient, uncaring grid pattern and swarmed with faceless humanoids dressed in business suits. Packed between the roads, were the bases of the many skyscrapers. Most of them were actively selling stationary or other practical goods, but there were a few worn down and rotting shops that were cloaked in a myriad of faded pastel colors. It wasn’t quite clear what they used to sell, but they gave off the feeling of a childhood long abandoned.”

    Let’s take a look at this sentence by sentence: read the first sentence, that ends with “…her dangling feet.” The first word of the next sentence is “They.” What I think you’re going for with the word “they” is to modify the subject “the busy streets.” But the reader only hears the last thing they’ve read, which is “her dangling feet.” So when you say “they” it sounds at first like the next sentence is talking about her feet, rather than the streets.

    So let’s do it again with the sentence “Packed…many skyscrapers.” The first clause in the next sentence is “most of them.” What I think you’re going for is modifying “humanoids,” but the way it reads it sounds like the skyscrapers were selling stationary. Which I think is not what you’re intending 🙂

    This is something I have to be really careful about–making sure that the first few words of your sentence are modifying or clarifying or continuing the thought about your intended subject from the previous sentence. Once you’re aware of it, you’ll likely see it all the time (like I said, it’s something that had to be pointed out to me in my own writing, so it jumps out at me here).

    Anyhow, I hope that helps. Anything that takes away from the “verisimilitude of the fictional dream” can take your reader out of the story. Which none of us wants 🙂

    Keep writing–there is so much good here!


    1. This is pretty much the textbook definition of constructive criticism, actually. Thank you very much for taking time to share your advice.
      The problem you mention shows up quite a bit in my work, and I think I fix more cases of it than I miss…
      Still, there’s always room for improvement, and if writing was easy people wouldn’t get paid to do it.
      I actually WAS referring to the buildings when I mentioned selling stationary. I intended to communicate that the skyscrapers were filled with stores selling stationary… but in retrospect I see how potentially confusing my phrasing was.
      I’d love it if you continued to read, since it’s been over two years since I wrote the first chapter of Dreamwalkers, and I think I’ve improved a lot since then.
      Thank you again for your constructive criticism, I always appreciate this sort of thing.

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