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Posted April 7, 2012
Apollo did not launch.
I think I see what Barry Chessick aimed to achieve in "Apollo Crashed", but the rocket did not fire up. I am not certain that it even made it to the launch pad. This short story reads more like a preliminary thumbsketch of an idea inspired by a metaphor than it does a polished story. I firmly believe in the "show, don't tell" school of creative writing in which the writer invites the reader to experience the story by appealing to the five senses. The premis of this story offers an excellent chance to practice that craft, but Chessick prefered to simply state the pertinent data. An unfortunate result is that it also lacks characterization. It should never be assumed that the reader will care about a character just because it is the protagonist; well crafted characterization is vital to every story. Since Chessick did not give me an opportunity to care about the main character, I did not care what happened to the character. If the story had been much longer, I might not have finished it. I suppose that's better than a crash and burn.
Barry Chessick, if you read this review, glean constructive criticism from it and try again. The premis has potential to be a bittersweet prose piece. As you rework it, allow the reader to experience the date. Allow the reader to smell her cologne, hear their voices, taste the food, feel the menu, and see the restaurant. Do not get too carried away, though. Choose vocabulary carefully to pack the maxumum power into the fewest words. Give the reader a reason to not only care, but to root for the protagonist. That will give the ending greater impact. And remember, every writer must endure negative reviews while developing the craft. That common misery is part of what bonds writers together. The positive reviews will be all the sweeter in the future.
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Posted July 6, 2012
Posted April 18, 2012