| Summary of what I read:
Two men, old Boy Scout chums, set out on a sea voyage and are shipwrecked in a torrential storm. Using their skills, they find the first of many important things they will need to survive, food.
Even though the plot of this story lends itself to great drama, there is not a lot of feeling here. It reads like a documentary.
The story is told in the third person. It doesn't appear to be limited to any one point of view, but doesn't seem omniscient either. I'm stumped about that. We don't have much insight into what anyone is thinking.
Kendall and Tobias, as characters, are a little flat. They are not shown with much emotion, despite the direness of their circumstances. Their excitement about the trip was initially shown by their forgetting to give a copy of their chart to their wives, so we are told. The only little potential flare up is at the end when Tobias is a little irritated to be instructed in how to cook the fish. He swallows his irritation, however.
We do not know what kind of boat they had, but I pictured a sailboat. We know that the island must be very bleak with a straight shoreline, or they would not be able to see each other 100 yards away. There are no animals, but we don't know what kind of plants grow there, other than something with sticks to make fishing poles from.
The conflict in the story is how to survive, and they begin to figure it out together. They seem to be in agreement about all of this; and so, on the island, there is no protagonist, not even the weather or wild beasts.
The pace is even, no part seeming rushed or slow, maybe too even.
The subtitles throughout the story promote the illusion that this is a non-fiction article. Fiction doesn't usually have subtitles, and this isn't long enough for chapter titles.
The author moves the people from one scene to the next with skill.
I think I'd chuck that word "mere" though.
Punctuation and Grammar: Excellent. I remember seeing one word that I thought should be hyphenated, but I can't find it right now. Something -making, I think. Oh, there is a typo in the third paragraph: "thr."
What I liked best: The scenes are well plotted out. The two friends may find a water, or make a raft, or somehow be rescued. The ending is up in the air. I like that better than trying to tie up all the ends, at least in a short story.
What I think the story needs most is emotion. They have to be scared, both of them at some time or other. What do men do when they get scared? I'd say, get angry. Blame themselves, or blame each other, something. How might they show that? With dialog and actions. Let's hear what they're thinking, even. They probably don't agree on everything, unless one is dominant and the other a yes-man. If they don't argue a little, why not? Is one afraid of the other? Is it against their religion to show anger? Is one secretly afraid the other might cannibalize him if they don't find any other food source?
Let your imagination roll. Think of all sorts of things each could be angry about, for starters. They've suffered a terrible loss. How do they cope with the knowledge they may not survive? What wild ideas crop up in their heads?
You get the idea. Now make your story come alive: write on!
It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.