I’ve been working most of the day on tonight’s issue of my e-zine. Then I went to my critique group. I’ve got time to do a quick critique tonight, especially since it’s an easy one. Mark posted this one which appears to be part of a fantasy:
Once again Alenia sighed. It would be like the lemmings all over again. He realized he should know better. The long-term repercussions of his uncle’s life dramas were of no concern to anyone save himself. Why, the extras could embrace the plot as reality and no one would care. Well, that would be his loadpouch of younglings to carry across the hatchery beach.
Wannel continued. “The plot is most satisfactory. A downtrodden population, persecuted and humiliated. Then a shining light, a redeemer, who will lift them out of their oppression, for a price. With this new generation of emotional manipulation added I would not be surprised to find many accepting Profit Maker as fact rather than fiction.”
Randy sez: As always with fantasies, it’s a little hard to know what’s going on. But we don’t need to understand it in order to analyze the MRU structure. Paragraph 1 is one complete Reaction. The paragraph is mostly interior monologue. Editors will sometimes incorrectly call this “telling” when in reality it’s merely showing the stream of consciousness of the viewpoint character. The one hazard is that if it goes on too long, then it starts to suffer from the same problems as telling–namely that it gets boring. I would judge this paragraph to be about right in length.
Paragraph 2 is a new Motivation. (It’s external to our viewpoint character, so by definition it’s a Motivation.) The dialogue tag is a little awkward: Wannel continued. I think it would read better to say what Wannel is continuing (i.e., he’s continuing speaking.)
The one issue I see in Paragraph 2 is that the dialogue is quite formal and stilted. There are no contractions and a few longish words that are typical of academic people. I’m going to guess that this is just Wannel’s voice, not the author’s voice. (If it were the author’s voice, then Paragraph 1 would also be formal and stilted, but it’s not.)
Bottom line: Other than the dialogue tag, this snippet works pretty well. I would need to see more of the story to find some problems that need correcting.