5 thoughts on “Short Story for Critique 003: Mrs Boffa by Rose Mary Boehm

  1. morgenbailey January 12, 2013 at 8:07 pm Reply

    Reblogged this on Morgen Bailey's Writing Blog and commented:

    Short story no.3 for critique is now online… we look forward to your comments.

  2. courseofmirrors January 12, 2013 at 10:10 pm Reply

    The rhythm of this story kept me reading, and the significance of the ‘seal’ (nice pun,) held the tension. Mrs Boffa’s motivation to steal the object was out of character, not totally convincing, while her fear that the guilt would light up above her head like a flame was well put. How she carried the guilt-cursed object continuously with her in the bottom of her bag, out of sight, made psychological sense of the ending, but I also liked Morgen’s idea.

  3. rosannedingli January 14, 2013 at 3:48 pm Reply

    This story, its atmosphere and the background given to the protagonist are really very good. The ending does them no justice. A more considered ending, which does not resemble the facile conclusions one might see in a 5-minute fiction inside a cheap magazine, is necessary. This great writing merits an ending that brings together all the travels, sacrifices, and culture the reader tastes and wants to see fulfilled.

    Now – about the nitty gritty. Because this is so well-written, some things leap out and are noticeable. The description at the beginning is too long – try to start with her doing something. I would start at “She tries to remember the heat of Egypt…” and then weave in her appearance into what follows.

    These days, we write for an international audience (I am Australian) – so we must try to offer writing what pleases most readers in the English language. There are about 12 “Englishes”, so compromise is necessary. The punctuation in this story can be annoying to some. Try not to separate adjectives with a comma – only British English does this, and DO try to capture your adverbial phrases behind or between commas. It makes for more comfortable reading.

    The shifts in tense made me wonder. Perhaps the parts in the present tense should be separated by central asterisks? I don’t know… it bothered me.

    I am from Malta, so the title caught my eye right away. Boffa is an unusual name, but if you’re from Malta it’s familiar. This story had my attention after I used my patience to get through the initial description, and I was rewarded with quite a lot. Atmospheric literary stories with unusual locations are rare. The audience for literary short fiction is not large – my own five or six collections do not sell as well as my novels – but it can be very rewarding to receive good reviews for work which is an obvious labour of love and ability.

    I am sure I will see this author’s name in some conspicuous places soon. Well done.

  4. Rosse Mary Boehm January 14, 2013 at 8:57 pm Reply

    Thanks you for that thoughtful criticism, for taking the time. I shall re-write the story with your advice in mind. I’ll also separate the ‘now’ from the ‘then’ with asterisks to make it more obvious. Again, much appreciated.

  5. NyNy February 12, 2013 at 1:59 pm Reply

    Have you ever thought of adding your stories (preferably short but you can add novel-type stories too) to ReadWave.com?

    For story writers, it is a great website to sign up for and post your stories. If you are aiming to be an author, novelist or writer, this is a great way to start marketing your stories online and gaining an audience. Please check out the site here: http://readwave.com or you can email me @ submissions@readwave.com

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