Author Topic: FEAT OF FATE  (Read 1608 times)

Offline Kennedy

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FEAT OF FATE
« on: October 28, 2019, 10:30:21 AM »
I request that you review part of the short story entitled Feat of Fate

Yes, I killed him! But I honestly had no intention of killing him. Believe me, I did not because I am not a criminal, and neither do I hail from a family of criminals. My father was a fulltime born again Christian, who also was a lay preacher and dedicated his entire life to doing good for humanity. He preached love and urged everyone to love not only their friends but also their foes. He encouraged those with broken relationships to forgive each other and mend their ways as he considered love to be the best weapon or tool for mass reconstruction. It never occurred to him to ever contemplate destruction. As he always thought that those who used their time in designing weapons of mass destruction were less human by both nature and conception.

My mother considered herself fortunate and always the stars for linking her to the life of my father. For her, marrying my father was an act of pure fate. Her family had no Christian background to help her understand that there was a God who dictated the happenings in human life. This was because her parents were a perfect example of a pagan family. Despite not believing in a God, they were far from being barbaric as they cherished a more harmonious and peaceful life than most of those who considered themselves Christians. Even when she was introduced to the Christian faith by my father, she was not convinced that it was the right thing to do but only did it to appease my father. She thought like others that religion was just opium of the mind.

Both my father and mother earned whatever they had through hard work. They had no qualms in making their hands dirty with laborious tasks if that was the noblest way of filling our bellies and we were very proud of that. At no time did they encourage me their only offspring to beg as beggary was but a bag of shame to them. Life, however, was not always rosy as the thorns of life took a severe tore of suffocating even the good intentions that my father held dear at times. The fact that we dwelt in the area that lacked what could be referred to as plenty in every aspect encouraged rather than discouraged my family to work extremely hard. We were woken up at twilight to damage the land with common tools made of a metal slate fixed to a wooden handle. Which we used to scratch every part of the bare ground that was known to belong to my father.  Our crops grew and bore more than what we bargained for as a family, and this resulted in our family harvesting just more than what we seemed to deserve. Having a barn full of Cassava, Millet and Maize almost throughout the year did not resonate well with our neighbours. They ended up accusing my father of using witchcraft to rob those that barely had enough to feed their families and hiding in the name of Christianity. Our bountiful harvest caused the majority of our neighbours to hate my father with a passion even when he loved everyone unconditionally.

They tried with all their might to isolate him so that he could be considered anti-social just to satisfy their ego. They pursued with great vigour the mission to justify their claim that he used ‘juju' or witchcraft.
Like an Angel, and with a permanent smile on his face, my father gave food to his adversaries. He told them that he forgave them just the very moment they were spreading false rumours about what he was not. Time without number, he entered his hut we used to call the main house and came not only with food to give them. But also with a bible and read to them his most cherished scripture which he liked quoting from Paul's letter to the Romans, reading from chapter eight and verse twenty-eight. Deliberately, he would read the scripture loudly for everyone within the hearing range to get the message lucidly. The scripture would read, “All things work together for good to them that love God and are called according to His purpose.”

Yes! Indeed they praised and thanked him most profoundly, but that was only when they received from his hands whatever he was able to give them. The moment they returned to their homes and feasted from the sweat of our hands, they changed their language. They continued scorning my father to the extent of blaming him even for his generosity. But, he was always adamant, and he never, at any time, thought about giving up on his mission of sanctifying humanity through his acts of charity. My mother knew better than to insist on forcing him and usually she was left with no option but to recline and follow my father's footsteps. I credit my father on his excellent naturalness. He pursued good causes to leave a permanent print on the sands of time. I am convinced that we all learnt the importance of being the right people through practice.

Lovemore was the name given to me by my uncle my only father's brother Steve just a few minutes after I was born, my father Jackson Songolo did not protest even when it was within his right to do so as our culture demanded that the name of the first child of every family should be given by the biological father. This was purely meant to acknowledge paternity, and it was a way of showing appreciation to the man responsible for fathering the child. Without any doubt, the only reason my father accepted the name was that it depicted the values he held dear, which was to love people more regardless of who they were and what they did to him.

Offline PIJ1951

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Re: FEAT OF FATE
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2019, 07:44:39 AM »
Yes, I killed him! But I honestly had no intention of killing him. Believe me, I did not because I am not a criminal, and neither do I hail from a family of criminals.

That's an eye-catching opening paragraph. Unfortunately, it's a false start because what follows is a condensed history of the narrator's parents and it's not particularly interesting reading, I'm afraid.


Offline Jaden_Michael

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Re: FEAT OF FATE
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2019, 11:12:07 PM »
Hiya! I’m new on here, but read a lot and edit and approve reports daily. It seems to me that everything you wrote after the first sentence had absolutely nothing to do with the opening line. If you’re going to have an eye catching opening line like that, I’m going to want to keep reading to find out what happened and why. When you go on and on about the MC’s family it seems like your story is actually about the family. I felt a bit bamboozled.

You could have stopped at saying he came from a good family. Everything else is unnecessary and not related to the story. If your story is about your family, I personally would get rid of the first sentence and make it a story about family. If it’s about killing someone cut out everything about the family and talk about what happened. Good luck to you! You’re at least putting words to paper which is more than most people can say. Keep it up!

Offline Kennedy

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Re: FEAT OF FATE
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2019, 10:19:57 AM »
Thank very much for find time to review my story. I have taken note of the observations made.

Offline Krispy915

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Re: FEAT OF FATE
« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2020, 05:18:30 PM »
I love the flow of this story, there is definitely an overabundance of family in this first chapter?  I'm only assuming that. I think if there was more about the killing and bringing the family in as a 2nd chapter it might work better.  Maybe describing the killing and at the end of ch. 1 start discussing remorse.  It would work a better flow into a 2nd chapter of family.  Only a few rough spots:

"Life, however, was not always rosy as the thorns of life took a severe tore of suffocating even the good intentions that..." Not sure of the word tore, did you mean tear or toll?

"fixed to a wooden handle. Which we used to scratch.."  Which should not begin a sentence.  Either make 'We' capital or comma after 'handle'

"quoting from Paul's letter to the Romans, reading from chapter eight and verse twenty-eight."  I might use Paul 8:28.  It condenses the language a bit.

" we all learnt the importance of being..."  I would use learned rather than learnt.  It sounds less from the bible, and although you're speaking of the father and the bible, you're also confessing to a murder.  Just a bit of easier language

The only other thing I might say is that you've introduced a lot of characters into a first chapter.  When you speak about your name, towards the end, and how you obtained it, might I suggest that someone asks your name and wonders why it's so unusual, you could respond with that story about your uncle. 

Please know that I am a newbie, these are truly critique and not put down in any way.  I enjoyed the read.  Thank you




Offline Kennedy

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Re: FEAT OF FATE
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2020, 08:17:52 AM »
Thank very for finding to review my work. I take note of your observations and advice.

Offline pclark333

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Re: FEAT OF FATE
« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2020, 10:22:59 AM »
Hi.  I wanted to give feedback on just one paragraph.  Making changes like I suggest here will make this more fun to read.  Here’s the paragraph:

Yes! Indeed they praised and thanked him most profoundly, but that was only when they received from his hands whatever he was able to give them. The moment they returned to their homes and feasted from the sweat of our hands, they changed their language. They continued scorning my father to the extent of blaming him even for his generosity. But, he was always adamant, and he never, at any time, thought about giving up on his mission of sanctifying humanity through his acts of charity. My mother knew better than to insist on forcing him and usually she was left with no option but to recline and follow my father's footsteps. I credit my father on his excellent naturalness. He pursued good causes to leave a permanent print on the sands of time. I am convinced that we all learnt the importance of being the right people through practice.

At the start you went from a specific thing, thanking him, to a general thing, being grateful only when he gave them things.  It reminds me of an old phrase regarding writing, “Show, don’t tell.”  A writer can say that someone is generous or scorned.  Or, a writer can show the actions and let the reader come up with that feeling.  Could you write about specific examples of your mother’s and father’s actions and reactions and let your reader come up with the feelings?

This applies especially at the end of the paragraph, as in “He pursued good causes to leave a permanent print on the sands of time.”  Could you instead write out a specific example and let the reader come up with his  or her own idea about it?

When you write out specific examples I think you’ll find that you’re writing a story rather than providing descriptions.  A story keeps your reader hooked!

Offline Kennedy

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Re: FEAT OF FATE
« Reply #7 on: March 17, 2020, 04:35:04 AM »
pclark333, am greatly humbled that you could find time offer guidance, I will proceed as advised. Thanks.