Thank you all for taking the time to read my story and giving me constructive feedback.
I am very happy to hear that most of you basically liked the story and were not too bored reading it. As positive aspects you named the weirdness of the characters/story and some descriptions (Lucky’s eyes, the burnt man). On the other hand the descriptions was also the part where some of you thought I could cut. During revision, I will check for descriptions that are repetitive. At least three characters were described by their eyes, maybe that’s a litte one-sided. Also, I am sure I can condense existing descriptions or choose different approaches for describing.
Some wished for more background information regarding the dogs. The reader has only to take the Hunt’s word for it. Others did not get right away that the dogs are supposed to have supernatural abilities. Also unclear is the fact that Harvey’s skin is a prophecy that is deciphered by Haimi. Those are certainly aspects that need to be made more clear as they are essential for understanding the story. However, I also need to make sure not to be too much on the nose with that as other readers found the hints to be sufficient. That is certainly a challenge.
I will have a look at each time I use the verb to be. It was pointed out to me that I could replace those with more active, descriptive words. That was a good point and goes onto my check list.
For the next draft, I will rethink the following aspects:
- How can I supercharge the weirdness of the piece? One reader pointed out to me that the story would benefit if the Hunts would enter the scene earlier.
- How can I make clearer that the dogs are supernatural and Harvey is a prophecy?
- Clement does not have to loose much in the story. I think his pride in doing his job well must be emphasized more. He gives up his professional pride to help Edith, even though she won’t come back to her. After that, there won’t be a way back to Westminster. And he needs to begin a new life. That’s were the new ending will come in. Clement joins the Hunts in their cause to find other Eppingers.
- Lucky needs to die (an be reborn) to make his nature more clear. The hunts will allude to the fact that the future of the line depends on Lucky mating with Salvatora. “He’s already alive longer than usual,“ said Haimi. “He can’t stay alive much longer,” said Harvey. “If this does not happen, it’s the end of the line.” In the end, there is also a new puppy with Lucky’s eyes.
- Maybe just use the eyes to describe Lucky and something else to describe the others / use long form only for the dogs, the Hunts – Edith needs to be described differently; maybe her fragility. She feels to Clement as if she is something so fragil that she will break under his touch. The (unnecessary) abortion is on her mind, as is the constant fear of the shadow that is following her.
- Although most of the readers liked the beginning, I want to rewrite the beginning of the story. I’ll set in later (when Clement meets Cynthia) and work in some of the characteristics there (for example that he dresses up every year just in case he has to fill in)