I am not a professional editor or critic. All the opinions in the following review are just that; opinions.
Hello jdennis ,
Thank you so much for taking the time to make a formal review request for your item "Bo Dockett" . This was an interesting read, and I liked that it got me out of my speculative fiction craze, if only for a short while.
I don't have much to compare it to in terms of tone, but I do have some thoughts. So let's get right into it.
WHAT I LIKED:
I really liked the tone in the opening paragraphs of your piece, and the way in which you approached describing the importance of the "one thing."
It was very different than the style in which you approached the main body of the story, and at first I found it a little jarring. You'd been dealing with these sort of larger, ubiquitous themes at first, but then shifted into a mundane tax audit, and the sort realistic anxiety/confusion. It didn't seem, at the time, like it was an appropriate introduction.
By the time I got to the end of the story however, I saw it's purpose. It tied in very well to the style in which the conclusion was written, as well as the themes. Sometimes ordinary events in one's life, (or even stressful occurrences such as those experienced by Bo in the story) can break the existential issues of never going after the things we want to do in life.
It was a good message told in a unique way, and overall I think it worked in your favor. It was a gripping introduction to lure the audience in, and it left them with a satisfying conclusion.
Overall I don't think there was anything that needed changed in your execution of the story, but there was one line that didn't read quite right in my opinion:
she paused while grimacing, then shielded her eyes against sickening sounds gushing from the bathroom.
I think I grasp what you were trying to say here, but people don't normally shield their eyes from sounds, and that sort of tripped me up while reading.
Overall though, it was technically clean and your approach to the tale was effective!
Overall, I liked the story a lot.
It's realistic fiction, which is not necessarily a genre that I seek out, but there was a good takeaway and positive message - not to mention an engaging and approachable style of writing.
I think you did justice to the idea, and I thank you for sending this one my way.
I hope that I get the chance to read more of your work in the future.
All the best,