Not Quite What We're Looking for Right Now
by Jana Bianchi
Edited by Yanni Kuznia
Copyedited by Chelle Parker
312 words — Reading time: around 1 minutes
Thank you for the opportunity to read “The Night is a House with a Single Window.” Unfortunately, it’s not quite what we’re looking for right now. It was close, though, so we’d like to offer you some longer feedback.
The descriptions are really vivid — the scene in which Marcela drinks too much (and later realizes her friends left her alone at the party) was so competently written that one of our slush readers was knocked out. He needed to spend a whole afternoon in an Adverse Effects Room — and, according to him, the hangover was awful. Congratulations!
The characters are really well developed, but we feel you pushed too hard on the stalker’s verisimilitude — all the women on our staff received calls from him all week, and one of our assistant editors saw an unknown man roaming around her house yesterday. (We’ve already called the relevant authorities.)
And finally, the prose is very mature and well-knit — well, mostly. This was the main problem we had with your text: Some stuff escaped from the pages. The shadow monster, which starts to slowly devour the protagonist after that scene, got away from the plot and almost ate our senior editor’s left arm. He’s an extremely serious professional who could have had his life ruined because you dared to write about too-dark themes, if you know what I mean.
Our recommendation is that you think a little bit more about the consequences of what you write. We know it’s important to tell all kinds of stories, especially if they’re meaningful to you, but there are words (I guess you know which ones) that we all should avoid — just for the sake of everyone’s comfort and safety, of course.
Anyways, we hope that you’ll keep us in mind again in the future.
Howard Klein (he/him)