So last week I got a rejection on Atlas Shagged that came with feedback. One part of which was silly to wit that “Ayn Rand wouldn’t like your title.” I’m sure she wouldn’t; given her ego, I doubt she’d like being parodied at all. Even if she were alive, I wouldn’t care.
But several comments (it was a multiple-readers thing) were to the effect that they couldn’t get into it, it read more like a synopsis or an article than a story, and there’s truth to that. It is very much like an article — no protagonist, just an accounting of events. I always figured that at flash-fiction length that wouldn’t be too big a problem, and it gets a snarky tone in my writing that I don’t think I could pull off from a regular POV.
However, this is far from the first time that It Doesn’t Read Like a Story has been brought up. So even though my writing group and others love it, perhaps I need to change that.
If I stick in some White House bureaucrat as POV character, I can get a more personal perspective on what’s going on … but given the nature of the story, it’s only going to be a perspective, not an active agent. It’s not like he can influence the power of Big Johnson Galt to stop the engine of the world. And that’s something I’ve had complaints on in stories too, that the character is just carried along by events.
And if anything, if I actually put a person in there rather than watching from a distance, the sexual element will probably feel rawer. And the sexual element has definitely turned off a few readers, too.
So would a thorough rewrite do any good? Maybe I should just post it here and let people download it if they like, for free. Or put it on Smashwords or a similar website and charge 99 cents maybe? Or is that too much for flash?
I shall give it some thought.