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Thread: The Perfect Thief

  1. #16
    Registered User Calidore's Avatar
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    My thoughts:

    * I'm going to agree with you and disagree with 101 fountains about the three robberies you mentioned but didn't detail. If you felt they interfered with the story instead of adding to it, then you were right to leave them out.

    * On the other hand, I'm with 101 fountains about the missing important details, especially at the end. I was as much in the dark as he was. The fact that you had to explain so much of the resolution yourself should be a clue to you; all necessary information should be in the story.

    The thief/thieves issue he brings up is also valid. I very much like the idea of a homeowner hiring a burglar with neither knowing of a surprise party that night, but it takes quite a suspension of disbelief to accept that the thief would not be caught by one or more of the people hiding, who he would not know to sneak past. I think this part could use some more detail to make it work, especially if you add the other thief to the mix as well.

    * I'm uncertain why you even need three nested storytellers. The criminal psychologist telling the story to his daughter, fine; the thief Sushant, who is the source of the stories, fine; but the classmate in the middle serves no purpose. You even mention that the multiple layers gave you trouble. I suggest deleting the middleman entirely since he has nothing to do with anything that's happening.

    * I second 101 fountains' recommendation of "The Little Hunchback". It's hilarious.

    Overall, it's an enjoyable story. Thanks for posting it!
    You must be the change you wish to see in the world. -- Mahatma Gandhi

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Calidore View Post
    My thoughts:

    * I'm going to agree with you and disagree with 101 fountains about the three robberies you mentioned but didn't detail. If you felt they interfered with the story instead of adding to it, then you were right to leave them out.

    * On the other hand, I'm with 101 fountains about the missing important details, especially at the end. I was as much in the dark as he was. The fact that you had to explain so much of the resolution yourself should be a clue to you; all necessary information should be in the story.

    The thief/thieves issue he brings up is also valid. I very much like the idea of a homeowner hiring a burglar with neither knowing of a surprise party that night, but it takes quite a suspension of disbelief to accept that the thief would not be caught by one or more of the people hiding, who he would not know to sneak past. I think this part could use some more detail to make it work, especially if you add the other thief to the mix as well.

    * I'm uncertain why you even need three nested storytellers. The criminal psychologist telling the story to his daughter, fine; the thief Sushant, who is the source of the stories, fine; but the classmate in the middle serves no purpose. You even mention that the multiple layers gave you trouble. I suggest deleting the middleman entirely since he has nothing to do with anything that's happening.

    * I second 101 fountains' recommendation of "The Little Hunchback". It's hilarious.

    Overall, it's an enjoyable story. Thanks for posting it!
    I am thinking of writing a new end which explains the story more clearly as both you and 101 fountains and some of my friends whom I narrated the story found the end quite confusing.

    But for the first theft, you have to assume that no one saw him stealing because that itself is the story. Each time he escaped without proper planning.

    And the classmate narration was something I have to agree with you. It came in as a major hindrance without serving any purpose. But thank you so much for giving your valuable suggestions as I am quite new to writing. These tips are really useful.

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by 108 fountains View Post
    Nice to engage with you, Gaurav. Actually, I lived in Mumbai form 1992-94, and had quite a bit of interaction with the Indian police during my stay. (The interaction was both good and bad. One officer, Mr. Manicham Sekar, in particular was a real jewell, and I've often wondered what happened to him and if he was ever promoted). So anyway, I know what you are talking about there.

    I don't think your story is all that long and do think it would benefit by replacing those sections that you deleted. For the ending, even though I am familiar with Indian police, the thought never occurred to me that Sushant bribed them (although I guess I should have thought so), so you might want to just come out and say much more directly that because bribes were paid, all charges were dropped, and that is what made Sushant the perfect thief.
    I have made a slight change in the climax, please reply if you feel it's better than the previous one.

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Calidore View Post
    My thoughts:

    * I'm going to agree with you and disagree with 101 fountains about the three robberies you mentioned but didn't detail. If you felt they interfered with the story instead of adding to it, then you were right to leave them out.

    * On the other hand, I'm with 101 fountains about the missing important details, especially at the end. I was as much in the dark as he was. The fact that you had to explain so much of the resolution yourself should be a clue to you; all necessary information should be in the story.

    The thief/thieves issue he brings up is also valid. I very much like the idea of a homeowner hiring a burglar with neither knowing of a surprise party that night, but it takes quite a suspension of disbelief to accept that the thief would not be caught by one or more of the people hiding, who he would not know to sneak past. I think this part could use some more detail to make it work, especially if you add the other thief to the mix as well.

    * I'm uncertain why you even need three nested storytellers. The criminal psychologist telling the story to his daughter, fine; the thief Sushant, who is the source of the stories, fine; but the classmate in the middle serves no purpose. You even mention that the multiple layers gave you trouble. I suggest deleting the middleman entirely since he has nothing to do with anything that's happening.

    * I second 101 fountains' recommendation of "The Little Hunchback". It's hilarious.

    Overall, it's an enjoyable story. Thanks for posting it!
    I have made a slight chance in climax, please reply if you feel this is better than the previous one.

  5. #20
    Registered User 108 fountains's Avatar
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    Yes, it's much improved, including your combining the classmate with the police officer who tells the story. That makes for a much smoother beginning. The ending is better, too, as your intention in telling the story is more clear. I would still think about adding more detail to some of the later incidents to help explain to the reader questions that might pop into his mind while reading, such as "What was it that made the police suspect Sushant of the murder?" and "Why are the robbery victims willing to bribe the police to not press charges?" (You say it's because they themselves would get into trouble, but don't say exactly how, except for the first victim who planned the robbery of his own house.) I think you have the ability to add those details in an entertainig way that would not negatively impact the pace of the story. In fact, I think finding interesting/unusual reasons for the robbery victims to want to cover up the robberies would add a lot to the entertainment value of the story. If the story ends up being quite a bit longer, I wouldn't worry. I would let the story unfold naturally and not be in any hurry to bring it to a conclusion, as long as the passage to the conclusion is entertaining.
    I see what you are doing with the indirectness thing and know that it's difficult. I've written a couple of stories myself where I purposely tried to be indirect so that the reader him/herself had to figure things out, hoping that in the end he/she would have that "Aha!" moment. It's very difficult to know how much to expect from the reader in these types of stories and how much the reader should expect from the writer. Best way is to let people read the story and get their feedback, which is why a forum like this can be so valuable.
    A just conception of life is too large a thing to grasp during the short interval of passing through it.
    Thomas Hardy

  6. #21
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    The reason I kept it short is because of my self critical behaviour. While reading any story mostly I lose my attention from the story if the narration is slow. So I didn't want that to happen with my story.Thats way I edited almost have of the original story. I am glad you are expecting something more from me, which means the story fascinated you.

    Sushant being caught is just pure coincidence because of the inefficency of the police department. Actually I edited that scene as well. It was supposed to be that police get misinformation about the murderer and end up in a wrong place and catch Sushant. Again police are too stubborn to admit their mistake and want to frame Sushant as the murderer.

    The other two men involved in bribery and the man who had stolen the car originally, were also criminals who escaped punishment.

    Actually the story was supposed to be an over the top comic short, which doesn't need a lot of logic to understand. But the climax changed it upside down and it ended as a black comedy instead of a satire. But this forum has really helped me a lot as this is my first short story.
    Last edited by Gaurav Joshi; 02-12-2014 at 12:38 PM.

  7. #22
    Registered User Calidore's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gaurav Joshi View Post
    Actually the story was supposed to be an over the top comic short, which doesn't need a lot of logic to understand.
    I have to correct you on this part: Logic is always important. What's happening may be silly, but it still needs to make sense internally, and you need to communicate that sense to your readers.
    You must be the change you wish to see in the world. -- Mahatma Gandhi

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Calidore View Post
    I have to correct you on this part: Logic is always important. What's happening may be silly, but it still needs to make sense internally, and you need to communicate that sense to your readers.
    You got me wrong. What I wanted to say is that the story was supposed to be a hilarious one, but the climax made it grim.

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