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  • Anthony commented on the post, Model by Anthony 1 month ago

    Hi Seyi. Thank you for reading this story! I’m always open to feedback, especially when it’s so constructive and generous like yours is ๐Ÿ™‚ Well spotted on the age thing – that was purely a continuity mistake (my bad). I think it’s always a fine balancing act between showing and telling – but your insights made perfect sense. Thank you again,…[Read more]

  • Reading through the comments, it’s amazing how your story has people talking and debating the subject – I think that is what a good writer does and what this energetic, ambitious story does very well.

  • Thanks so much for all your wonderful feedback throughout the year, Nicole. So chuffed you think this could be part of a longer series!

  • Thanks so much for the valuable input here! I really appreciate it.

  • Thanks, John!

  • Thanks, Monica. And thanks for the edit-notes, really appreciate that the most. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Oh, I love that it is historical. Maybe a line or two to give it time and place (eg, ‘the Spanish Flu had taken so many people’) or a date stamp at the start – 1885 etc.

  • A brilliant, smart ‘out-there’ sketch; I almost saw it as a short movie. Enjoyed it!

  • I got a sense of a character on the threshold here, maybe breaking her complacency – and you created this tension in such a natural way. Lovely! I liked this story because it was so relatable, honest and clear and good. So often writers try to write ‘fancy’ (I’m probably guilty of this!) – but this is the writing readers respond to – real people,…[Read more]

  • I liked the setting, and the characters of Solomon and Annie really came alive. It read very well. It provoked a lot of questions – why would the baby not survive past three or four? Why was Annie in confinement. (Not sure how ‘hyped’ fit in here – but as long as it got you writing, why not? :-))

  • Excellent story, Nicole. The image of the red heels tied it together so well. I also liked the misdirection; I was expecting Frank to be the real killer. The idea of a Robin Hood killer is also very clever – you could explore this more in a longer form narrative. As to Jane’s point, maybe a bit more flavour of what crimes are being avenged here…[Read more]

  • A great adrenalin-driven, masculine story – lots of tension. I loved the simplicity of the plot and the clearness of the characters’ motivations. Lots of clean, specific writing. Just watch out for your concords – often nouns and verbs don’t agree. But, a great story overall, John.

  • Model by Anthony#โ€œThey have to shoot me,โ€ he said.Liane Canning stared at the young man slouched opposite her and wondered how such an unreasonable amount of beauty could be given to such an unmerited and nar […]

    • I enjoyed reading this romp through a Svengali retelling. Ross is a believable character, as is Liane, along with his dramatic tension furnished by fading beauty. I like the chemistry between these two characters – how she admires him, but is not taken in by him. She understands him better than he understands himself – and indeed has spies to backchannel her even more valuable information about his personal life as it intersects with his professional arc and future success. The reader understands that, but Ross doesn’t, which is delicious.
      A couple quick points, if I may, on craft. 1 – Cull about half your adjectives. 2 – Omit dialogue tags when they don’t serve, such as the last two lines of speech.
      Other than that, bravo. Lovely read. I can feel the bones in this story.

    • Hi Anthony,

      You did well to make the story feel juicy. Great opening line! Loads of attitude! Spot on description in the second line which sets the scene well for the negotiation that follows. Liane’s understanding and manipulation of Ross is entertaining and feels like a window into that world.
      Well done! A fun story!

    • Love the drama! Felt like I was watching this play out on the big screen: your thoughtful details add to the rich descriptions and history: her white oval swivel chair; the thin white Vogue cigarette; the age spots on Liane’s hands. Having spent a few years in Cape Town, I could also 100% imagine these characters as real people, you got their mannerisms and ambitions spot on. Great story and would definitely read on if this were to become a longer series.

      • Thanks so much for all your wonderful feedback throughout the year, Nicole. So chuffed you think this could be part of a longer series!

    • Hi Anthony,
      I was drawn in by the image with your story. I like the title, it has lots of meanings, more than just the fact that Ross is a model, but that Liane is a model of controlling her environment that Ross wants
      So some pretty powerful themes.
      Overall, it’s a very satisfying story–I love getting into the mind of an evil “genius” who manipulates and is a few chess moves ahead of their prey.
      This definitely delivered.
      I like the pace of the story.
      The power dynamic where Liane knows how to get Ross to come to her is a great way to set the stage for the story. It was an economical way to show who is in charge.
      This was an interesting point:
      For the male, beauty was an ambivalent gift. Sheโ€™d seen it before. They saw it as a curse and a commodity. And for Ross it wasnโ€™t about the money. It was a lot more complicated. Sheโ€™d noticed it the first time she scouted him on Camps Bay Beach.”

      I would edit it down a bit…
      “For most men, beauty was an ambivalent gift-a curse and a commodity”
      We don’t need to know that she’d seen it before, we can guess from the reflection itself.
      The sentence, “She’d noticed it…” left me confused. What did she notice? His ambivalence about his looks? Or his attitude towards money?
      we don’t find out what she had noticed.

      Another question for you: “Don Juan couldn’t live with his mirror”…did you mean without?

      I love this type of story and you did a really great job with your story.
      It is very enjoyable.

    • Seyi replied 1 month ago

      Hey Anthony and how goes it? A very cool storyline and a nice twist on the usual powerful, older, male gatekeeper wielding all sorts of power over a young, hungry female striver. I liked the ways you showed Liane’s power and her standing in the industry with the way Ross pretty much begged for a break from her. In fact, I think you may not have needed those paragraphs interspersed with the great dialogue, where you told the reader about her power, and her background in the industry. Your dialogue did more than half that job and perhaps you could have relied on this and the body language more? I really liked the sentence ending ‘…rolling down the silk of her flamboyant sleeve to cover the age spots on her frail hands.’ It showed her age, and gave a great clue about her income bracket, but allowed the reader to figure it out. Another thing that held me up was how you confirmed Ross’s age as twenty-five early on but allowed him to protest ‘Iโ€™m only twenty-six,’ later in the story. Perhaps you could have used this opportunity to show his narcissism and his values by having instead, try to bring his age down? (He could have said, ‘I’m barely in my twenties’ or something like that?). I hope these comments help, otherwise do feel free to discard them. I live in Johannesburg and am a frequent visitor to Cape Town, and can see a lot of that city in your writing. All the very best, and regards, Seyi

      • Hi Seyi. Thank you for reading this story! I’m always open to feedback, especially when it’s so constructive and generous like yours is ๐Ÿ™‚ Well spotted on the age thing – that was purely a continuity mistake (my bad). I think it’s always a fine balancing act between showing and telling – but your insights made perfect sense. Thank you again, you’re a rock star!

  • Thank you so much, Amy. I’ve never been that great at suspense, but your comments have motivated me to try more in this genre. Thanks again – and sorry for the late reply.

  • NetaQ and Profile picture of AnthonyAnthony are now friends 1 month, 3 weeks ago

  • PS: Believe it or not, I took too random names from book titles I had on my shelves. But I guess it is a play on words LOL.

  • Thanks so much. You really took the time to analyze this story, much appreciated too. I agree with the UK spelling, I should keep it US. You picked up on a ‘niggle’ I myself worried over – and that is the last lines.

  • Thanks, Kim. I really appreciate the feedback. I’m going to make that edit. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Ah, Fizza. I was so pleased to read your comment. Truth be told, I struggled with this prompt. I was worried that the story would seem ‘silly’, so I’m glad that readers are enjoying it.

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Anthony

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