This is printed on very nice paper. The letters are detailed, elegant and pitch black with slightly blurred edges. You can feel the ink soaking gently in the fibres, right after it was punched by masterly cut metal heavily into the paper. You can imagine an old fellow with a magnifying glass studying the meandering symbiosis of shape and however you want to call what is not a shape. At first glance the letters look like handwriting, you wonder why, and then you realise that they are all different, even the letters you thought ought to be the same. An 'e' should be always an 'e'. But it never is. Letters never are the same, their nature is changed with every word. It is only natural that, here, they emphasise their unique meaning with a unique form.

It is weird that I cannot decide what I want. The core of my self ignores my wishes. The core of my self never changes its mind, how often I beg doesn't matter. The core of my self is pure and flawless and I wish it wasn't part of me; constantly it reveals the truth of my desires. To. My. Self. Shit. Fotzenherz. Most of all I hate it for loving you. Yes, I am still talking about the core of my self which I hate. It is ridiculous and makes to sense. It would be so much easier, if it would just change with my present needs. If I could just move on with my life. I would direct it to where I feel light and comfortable. Be happy. Instead my naked feet haunt dust and tiny rocks. My core is stuck in the past. The problem is that the past is nowhere to be found. It is gone, and does it ever come back? I don't think so. I play with a wooden stick. I rip off its leaves and throw the remains over the edge. One step further and I would be weightless. Airstreams would flow through my hair like magic pillows. And then. Nothing. I would go back to where I came from. I would like to go home actually, but over the years I got so used to being with you, that I feel like you took my home with me. My home is indivisibly linked with you. It is you. And that makes makes makes me angry. It is my home after all, and I have no power over it. I feel stupid and weak and there is nothing more to say. Seriously, that's it. This is the reason why this is a short story and no book. Some truths can be neatly arranged in just so many words. I'm not sure if these were enough though. What do you think? Do you recognise who I am now? Would you like to know more, should I tell you something about myself? I am as old as you are. I live where you once lived, and I am in pain like you are or will be or have been. We share this. My heart pumps pulsing blood through my fragile body until I feel my veins exploding, but they don't. I am alive. Fuck. After all I am not you. My core, my soul, my self, still thinks we are one. But apparently we are not. And I don't want to love you anymore. But do I have any saying that? No. I open my eyes and then I jump.

You don't need to worry about me, this was just happening in my head. I didn't really jump. In reality I didn't do it. I swear. I like living in general. I sit on one of the rocks, rest my hands on its cold surface and sigh. An older couple with walking sticks passes by, laughing, arguing and teasing themselves. And I think that I just hate living now.

Hello hello, this was my short story. I have no idea if this is more something for a diary I will never show to anyone, and just read it from time to time with shameful tears in my eyes. I guess my technique is terrible, and it is obvious I am not a native english speaker. But the words still mean something to me. I hope that it is not redundant for other peoples minds, but honestly - I have no idea. But I am curious.


The paragraph above was still part of the story, it's a character I created recently. His name is Hank, but he calls himself Finn to stay anonymous. He posts short personal stories online and hopes for positive response. What do you think?

  • Is it disturbing that the story jumps around from being on a mountain and thoughts of Hank/Finn, or does it read fluently?
  • Also, I introduce a "you". Is it understandable that Hank/Finn is talking to a lost love?
  • Does the introduction of the author Hank/Finn ridicule the story, or does it help to identify with it?
  • After reading this, do you feel interested in more Hank/Finn stories?
  • 2
    Critique questions here need to be specific. See What are the guidelines for asking for a critique of my work?. In general the Stack Exchange Q&A format does not work well with open-ended questions, and this post is almost certain to be closed. Asking, e.g., whether the passage conveys specific traits of Hank/Finn or if the story reads like it was written by a non-native English speaker might be more on-topic.
    – user5232
    May 24, 2014 at 21:42
  • 1
    I don't have enough for a full blown but I liked it, and i like the concept of posting parts of your story on different forums as "Hank/Finn" who's also a character.
    – Sheraff
    May 25, 2014 at 1:25
  • Can you break down those walls of text? Aug 2, 2014 at 19:56

1 Answer 1


I don't want to critique the story, but the concept.

Obviously, what you're doing is not mainstream fiction. You are experimenting with form and media. You don't mention and I don't understand the unifying concept behind your approach, but if it makes sense within the framework of your project, it would be absolutely fitting, if you emulated the awkward style of amateur attemps at literatur posted all over the web.

Authors (of mainstream fiction) writing in the voice of different characters use slang terms and grammar or eloquent academic terminology. The choice of linguistic form is based on the type of character that language is supposed to convey. Since you write not as an omniscient narrator, telling about the short story writing of your protagonist, but rather let him speak for himself, it is not only appropriate but neccessary that your language reflects his style and level of competency.

What you must make sure, though, is that your errors are not your own, but his. If the story, as you say, "jumps around", that must be intentional: it should show that your protagonist cannot write better (or wants his story that way), not that you cannot do better.

So put your pen (or keyboard) aside for a moment and reflect on what story you want to tell. That is your first question. Then, from there, define the details of your story: Who is your character, what is his goal, how does he go about it, where does this lead him, and how does he develop and grow in the process? When you have answered all this for yourself, then decide which literary devices can best transport your story to your readers. Maybe you'll need the jumping around, but maybe, at this point in the story, your protagonist needs to write "better" or differently. But you must be clear on this, else you are just an amateur writing around.

I'd like to add that I find the idea of having your protagonist publish short pieces on the web quite interesting. If you manage to tell his story through this, this could become a quite engaging book.

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