SHARE: DSF – Contractual Obligations by Jessica M. Kormos

This is an interesting story. I’ve always thought of writing a story that dealt with demons. The morality of religion and their mythical components are often so black and white. Modern retelling of myths like Lucifer’s Fall are often recast with more ambiguity and humanization (which is weird to do with demons and angels, isn’t it?).

This story is fun. I like how it is all done in back-and-forth dialogue, to the point that there is no need for dialogue tags. But I think it is way too long, by as much as a third. We know what is going on almost from the start. Explanation is the biggest burden for a flash story. I find a flash story to be essentially just two things: setup and finish. Usually the setup takes a long time–getting the character down, creating the world and backstory (for fantasy especially).

However, the moment this story brings up Christian demonology, we already know what is going on. Lucifer’s Fall is one of the most well-known myths in the world (at least for the audience reading DSF, I assume), and one of the most cliched repetitions in modern fantasy. I don’t think it was necessary to even mention it here, especially not at such length.

I would have cut the whole middle part of this piece, starting after””No, you talk funny.”” and ending just before””Don’t worry about it, kiddo. “”  Some of the middle character stuff is interesting, and could be kept in shorter form, but it isn’t necessary. The moment Lucifer is mentioned, we know the politics. We already know this is a reformed demon. Maybe give us one anecdote about his quirky character and then give us the inevitable redemption. Don’t drag it on.

Flash fiction needs to be concise and efficient. If certain details are not deeply related to the central crisis going on with the character, they probably should be cut.

Anyways, head over to the site and give the author some rockets.

Source: Daily Science Fiction :: Contractual Obligations by Jessica M. Kormos


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