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At Arm's Length

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Reading of a short story I wrote last year. The seed for this story came from the realization that I felt very alienated from people in my own subcultures and in-groups, so this was an exercise in framing that experience in a way that was accessible.

The lack of dialogue tags and the way the narrator's thoughts are injected directly into prose make this somewhat confusing to listen to in the absence of quotation marks, but I think the story remains mostly coherent.

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I really enjoyed the way you told that story. I couldn't particularly relate to the subject matter, but the characters felt very tangible.

I wasn't a huge fan of the time skips, but it served the narrative flow well. You managed to flesh out the relationships between the characters nicely (I especially enjoyed the part about the paused vortex queen and Ferris' alternate voice) and I felt like it could have lead to some climactic scene between Sam, Kyle, and Ferris.

Great exercise in writing!

Kwing responds:

It's interesting you say it was hard to relate, because I actually wrote the theme around a subject I thought would be easier for the average person to digest. The underlying "point" of the story is about someone who belongs to a minority group that doesn't feel connected to other people even within that same minority. Homosexuality was really just an arbitrary costume that the story put on to carry that idea.

The time skips were mainly a product of revealing information when it became relevant. It's pretty common for me to get frustrated in the exposition of short stories because I don't see why a lot of the information is useful, so I wanted to take a greedy algorithm-esque approach and wait until the reader had a reason to understand something before delving into it. This is the only story I've written that has such an erratic style, but I'm really happy with how it turned out.

Sam and Ferris meeting is something I never considered at all. Even though Kyle alludes to it in the beginning, it never made sense to introduce them to each other, mainly because I never imagined Kyle and Ferris ever being close enough for the latter to get acquainted with his family.

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Waiting for 1 more vote

Jul 9, 2018
7:12 AM EDT
File Info
16.8 MB
18 min 19 sec

Licensing Terms

Please contact me if you would like to use this in a project. We can discuss the details.