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Message to Readers
I wrote this piece for my recent creative writing English assessment and would greatly appreciate some further feedback regarding development opportunities. Thank you so much.
A refugee at sea is deeply in grief mourning his son when he finds meaning in life again through a storm.
The potential for the depth of emotions
It was unclear that the protagonist was a father and refugee until some time in - I feel that you can play with the themes of "home" contrasted with being afloat at sea indefinitely as you open the scene. The relationship with Izhan can also be further contextualised so we empathise more with the protagonist - how they hoped to reach a safe place, maybe, or how Izhan died and what reminds the protagonist of how his son died.
I'm really curious about the relationship between Izhan and Adel-jan too: how old was Izhan when he died, where was their mother, and how their relationship changed if they hadn't been refugees when Izhan was born.
It might just be me, but I thought that since you've made Adel-jan the maker of the boat, you could insert throughout the piece about the meaning of the boat - what it meant to him as a refugee, for instance, or about how his previous identity redefined his identity as a refugee (maybe the others look to him for strength since he has the means to help them escape and now feel sorry for him who has now seemingly lost his strength).
I really like the premise of this story because I feel like we don't read enough about refugees who might not have the chance to voice out their stories. You have some really nice turn of phrases that I would love to see throughout the piece! :)
On the whole, the narrative is quite clear, but I think more specificity can add to the engagement of this piece. Don't be afraid to add details! Gritty and grisly details will make the scene more real and engaging. Go really deep and imagine as though you are there at sea on the ship - what would you notice? What would you, as Izhan's father, think of? What would you as a refugee feel and desire? What the one thing that is driving him on? Knowing your character can add depth to the descriptions and their thoughts!
I think it would be interesting to drop vague details of how Izhan died - and what reminds the protagonist of his death. It would give us a glimpse of the added pain and suffering and cause the reader to sympathise more with Adel-jan.
One last suggestion would be to spend a little more time shaping the characters emotionally and physically, so as to make them seem more real and significant. Mama Aiya feels a little convenient for me now haha so I'd love to understand more about their relationship dynamics and who she is - did she know Izhan, for instance? How close were they?
All in all, commendable effort!! I hope you do well on your assessment hehe and all the best in your future writing endeavours!