Riddles and Songs of Mahogany Town

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Offline Dj Gopher

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Riddles and Songs of Mahogany Town
« on: March 07, 2012, 04:31:12 »
hello! A while ago I challenged myself to write a short story. The rules were to use the full setting of a game, cartoon, movie or other form of creative work while using none of its plot or characters. I finally finished, some year and a half later. Commentary would be greatly appreciated. :)

Spoiler: Chapter 1 (click to show/hide)

Spoiler: Chapter 2 (click to show/hide)

Spoiler: Chapter 3 (click to show/hide)

Spoiler: Chapter 4 (click to show/hide)

Spoiler: Chapter 5 (click to show/hide)

Spoiler: Official Art! (click to show/hide)
« Last Edit: April 04, 2012, 01:01:59 by Dj Gopher »

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Offline egomassive

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Re: Riddles and Songs of Mahogany Town
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2012, 07:16:44 »
Maybe it's due to my complete lack of knowledge with the world this story is set in, but I had a hard time following the story. The language is too dramatic. Between the metaphors, the dreams, the fantasy setting, and the gaps between chapters I couldn't tell what was real. I started wondering if the inanimate objects were in fact animate.

I think you could have something good here if you worked on the descriptive language and the transitions between chapters. The boys history peaked my interest, and the timing on the surprises worked rather well. There was also a good balance between the action and the back story.

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Offline Dj Gopher

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Re: Riddles and Songs of Mahogany Town
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2012, 01:01:37 »
Maybe it's due to my complete lack of knowledge with the world this story is set in, but I had a hard time following the story. The language is too dramatic. Between the metaphors, the dreams, the fantasy setting, and the gaps between chapters I couldn't tell what was real. I started wondering if the inanimate objects were in fact animate.

I think you could have something good here if you worked on the descriptive language and the transitions between chapters. The boys history peaked my interest, and the timing on the surprises worked rather well. There was also a good balance between the action and the back story.
Thank you for the comments. :)
A main theme I aimed towards was unreality vs reality.. Though I can see where it might become overwhelmingly unclear at times.
To explain a few things.. 1 and 2 overlap in time, and 3 picks up where 1 leaves off, ending with Moku falling asleep. 4 is during this sleep while moku is dreaming, and the beginning of 5 concludes the dream while the end of it picks up after the end of 3.
One could assume that between the third and fourth paragraph of chapter 3 there was a sort of dream that changed his thoughts. This unmentioned dream is rather similar to the one in chapter 4.
Hopefully that clears up some chronological problems..
Inanimate objects being alive is part of a life/existence vs death/nonexistence theme, and is moderately intentional..
As for the language itself, I don't really know. Perhaps you could give an example of it being too dramatic?

Thanks,
Dj
« Last Edit: April 04, 2012, 01:06:18 by Dj Gopher »

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Offline egomassive

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Re: Riddles and Songs of Mahogany Town
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2012, 04:08:52 »
Spoiler: (click to show/hide)

Hope that helps. I don't mean to be overcritical. I just can't give you more detailed criticism without nitpicking.

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Offline Dj Gopher

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Re: Riddles and Songs of Mahogany Town
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2012, 06:36:20 »
Spoiler: (click to show/hide)

Hope that helps. I don't mean to be overcritical. I just can't give you more detailed criticism without nitpicking.

I don't mean to be the guy who can't take criticism and says "no it was intentional"..
but a lot of it was.
The language preference like "the dark walls shivered" is something I would be able to agree with much easier, but the story is supposed to force re-reading to understand what it means. I like the idea that an image of something changes, develops and redevelops as the story expands. As for chapter 4, the entirety of it was dream. He never awoke, he merely appeared in a world with pink skies and unrealistic physics.
I don't know.. I guess my objective was for it to seem scattered and abstract, and it seems as though that is what you are noticing..
I don't mean to fight your criticism; I do appreciate it, I just feel as though a lot of it was by design...
Whether or not it was a good design is a completely different question :P

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Offline egomassive

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Re: Riddles and Songs of Mahogany Town
« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2012, 07:49:04 »
I realize he was asleep for all of chapter 4 now, but it's hard to make that distinction even when re-reading the whole story. He wakes up in the dream to a world more bazaar than his own. His world actually seems to be pretty normal when you know that his dream isn't part of it, but the surreal descriptions make it seem just as weird.


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Offline Dj Gopher

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Re: Riddles and Songs of Mahogany Town
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2012, 03:10:00 »
not wrong at all :)
The reuse was indeed intentional, the two waking sequences are supposed to seem very similar..
I think those last two sentences in the spoiler are pretty spot on..

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Offline Dj Gopher

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Re: Riddles and Songs of Mahogany Town
« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2012, 10:20:21 »
Going to bump this..
Hopefully I can get a few reads :)
I'd appreciate a comment, even/especially if you dislike it