Short story: The Building

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SirMustapha
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Short story: The Building

Postby SirMustapha » Tue Feb 25, 2014 5:34 pm

This one-page story was the result of me wondering why every story must feature either human or humanized characters, and deciding to build a story around an inanimate body. It was actually quite fun. I originally wrote it in Portuguese, and translated it exclusively for sharing here and seeing the responses. Criticism and opinions are welcome as always.
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The Building, by Fernie Canto
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"Inside the museums, Infinity goes up on trial
Voices echo this is what salvation must be like after a while
But Mona Lisa musta had the highway blues
You can tell by the way she smiles"

-- Bob Dylan, "Visions of Johanna"
c_nordlander
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Re: Short story: The Building

Postby c_nordlander » Tue Feb 25, 2014 10:12 pm

A couple of typoes and grammar issues:

"Its front door open and closed all the time" should be "opened"; "The sun hit the building rain fell on the building" needs a comma. In the last three paragraphs, there are a couple of places where it just says "building" where "a building" would be more appropriate (for example, "remained building"), but that might be a translation issue. Still, if you want me to point them out to you, I can do that in a PM.

There are also a couple of places where you alternate between "it" and "he" to describe the building, but I don't know whether that's a typo or just a stylistic choice.

I really like the idea of a story with no human characters, and you've got a good story here. The only thing I don't like about it is that it feels a bit repetitive at the start, but after that it either got less repetitive or I got used to it. The style is a bit workmanlike: not bad in the least, but not remarkably beautiful, either. (On the other hand, that's hard to judge in a translation.) However, the ending is very well-written. I like the philosophical subject the story deals with at the end: very deep stuff, but not hard to understand.

The last line is very nice. I'm not fond of splitting it up into two sentences, but that's your choice. Other than that, I love it.

Oh, I'm probably overanalysing here. Tl; dr: this is a very good story and I enjoyed reading it. Gave me a couple of things to think about, too.

(Feel free to send me the Portuguese original, by the way. I'm not very good at the language, so I probably won't be able to say anything more substantial about it, but I wouldn't mind trying my hand at reading it.)
The noose draws tighter;
This is the end;
I'm a good fighter
But a bad friend;
I've played the traitor
Over and over;
I'm a good hater
But a bad lover.


Elinor Wylie, "Peregrine"

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