Written Response to: "On A String" by Uwe Hoeppe

Ben Nysse

At first this story confused me with its point of view changes between characters but it was far clearer on second reading. The length of the last two sections are what threw me. The first section does great job of slowing the reader down and providing vivid detail about setting. There is a great deal of tension set up in the opening section as well. The reader can feel how nervous Grakk is because it is shown very well. I really got into the first section so I could understand Jeff’s disappointment when the end came so abruptly. The sudden ending of the first section made the second section work but I'm not sure what to do with the last section. The dialogue in the second section as well as the first work well since we can picture the characters with the description you have given us. The third section I do not really know who is speaking, I am guessing it is the music teacher but then I wonder why he would feel the responsibility to prevent the accident. The three sections could work together if all of them were at least as long as the first section and possibly continually switched off. I see this being the beginning and end of a short novel where the first and third sections represent fictive imagination and remembering the past while the middle section is a bridge between the two. The fantasy and past parallel one another and are grounded in reality only through a section taking place in the present. The third section gives us the opportunity to learn a lot more about Jeff, through a close friends eyes, so we feel more when he dies. The reader is hooked on the story of Grakk when he dies and we need to be equally hooked on Jeff.

Wonderful beginning, especially the first section, that part is beautiful. If you made the other sections work this way this could really be a great story. The description is simply fantastic and the details paint a superb fantasy picture. Good luck!

Note: This review refers to the earliest release version, which still said "I've just had one of my protegees killed" at the beginning of part 3. When I became aware of the confusion potential of that phrase, it took me quite some time to figure out the solution I later adopted: By having Asmira say "I've just had one of my humans killed", I make clear the essential premises for this part: a) that Asmira herself is not human, and b) that she is responsible for Jeff's life, thus establishing the association with the "guardian angel" concept.

Zurück Heim Nach oben Weiter