Hey Shelby! I'm finally here with your review. Sorry I'm running so behind (suprise, suprise), but I'm so glad you requested this review. I love reading your stuff :)
If I were you, I wouldn't worry about description or imagery. Your prose brings out some really striking sensory details, like the ant bites and the broken diamonds of her heart. And you've got some really gorgeous lines in here, as usual. I especially love "prison halo", "through the cosmos and the years and shabby veil", and "each bubbling emotion." I'm going to use the word striking again, because it's the best word I can think of to describe the style of this piece. Even if some parts don't make a lot of sense (which is the point, I'm guessing), the emotion carries through loud and clear. I loved reading it :)
I love the contrast between the paragraphs, the quotes in italics, and the little lines in parentheses. Not only is it just interesting to read, it adds a visual element to the piece that I really enjoyed. However, I almost felt like the parts in parentheses didn't really add much to the story, except just unexpected visual details. Does that make sense? With the quotes, I felt like I was learning more about the characters and that the story was moving. With the parentheses parts, I didn't get anything that I couldn't have gotten from the paragraphs. It kind of seems like they're just there to be there.
With a piece like this, I think the style and the writing itself obviously takes center stage, and characterization is sort of a background element. I felt like you could have inserted any names into this story and it would have fit just as well as Eileen and Tobias. But I'm not saying that as a criticism; I think that ambiguous feel is really cool. Even if you took the names out altogether and just left the characters anonymous, that would be interesting too. It would get our imaginations going even more :)
So overall, I'd say you can call this experiment a success :) I loved reading it! It's so creative, and I had a lot of fun delving into the experimental prose. Awesome job with this! Keep it up :)
Author's Response: I'm so sorry that it has taken me this long to reply! The last month of a college semester is just so crazy!
I'm really glad that you liked the imagery. I'm always trying to cultivate my voice as a writer and the imagery I use to convey that voice. It's so difficult - so, I'm glad you liked it! ("Prison halo" is one of my favorite phrases!).
You know, they are just sort of there just to be there. I used them in another, slightly older story ("Come, Sugar") - it's a stylistic technique I've been playing around with. Some readers really enjoy it and some don't like it at all. For me, it seems to add another perspective/voice to the story. Maybe I need to reevaluate?
Yes, the writing does take center stage. Some have said that it really takes away from the characters, but the focus isn't really meant to be on them. It is, but it isn't. It's one of those stories where I'm trying to expand the boundaries of my writing by looking into serious literary expression while still within the realm of fanfiction. Very complicated! :P
I do hope you liked the story! Thank you so much for taking the time to read and review, Maggie! As always, I appreciate your insightful feedback! :)