Furry Writers' Guild Forum

Beta readers wanted for Infurno story (In the Name of Science)

This is historical fiction based on Unit 731: Japan’s equivalent of Nazi medical experimentation. Of the nine circles in Dante’s Hell, I chose to write about violence. This story is not an easy read, so I appreciate if you still offer to give it a look. PM me your email and I’ll send it as a Word file so you can use the Comments tab.

My concerns/questions to guide your critique:
[b]Does the plot and theme tie well to the Dantean concept of violence?

Are any parts of it too graphic? If so, how can I tone it down?[/b]

Did I go overboard with the medical jargon?
My judgment in this is somewhat clouded due to my background in biomedical science. I’d like to know if it’s readable and understandable to the average reader.

[b]What do you think of the style and format of the storytelling? The alternating contrast between medical charting and diary-like writing?

What is your reaction throughout the story? How do you feel about the main character?[/b]
I’ll tell you more about my intent once you’ve finished reading, to see if my expectations and your actual emotional reaction match up or not.

Is it furry enough that it can’t be easily replaced with human characters?

Thanks again!

I am willing give it a look. I will send you my email over PM.

As am I. Expect my email address via PM/DM.

Emails sent! I ended up finishing the story at 4560 words, which may change depending on the feedback. I’m open to more beta readers; the more, the merrier!

When do you need feedback by? I can certainly read it by Sunday.

wit_kraai [a] hotmail.com

Sent you the file with more details in the email. :slight_smile:

If you still want people to look it over, I’d be happy to read it. My email is atrumk(at)gmail.com.

First round of comments are in! I’d just like to send a huge thanks to everyone who volunteered their time and energy to critique my story. I particularly appreciate everyone’s promptness and formatting answers according to the questions/concerns I had. I’m glad everyone seems to have enjoyed reading it, considering the content.

My goal was to make the reader feel torn between disgust and sympathy towards the main character. I wanted the medical charting (based on my own experience taking histories for patients) and her thoughts to contrast in style and content, giving the narrative a sort of jarring and unsettling glimpse into how she attempts to distance herself from the atrocities she’s witnessing and conducting. Regarding this literary method, I took inspiration from the memoir of a Jewish pathologist who was forced to work for the SS in Auschwitz. The procedures progress accordingly with the MC’s level of aptitude and responsibility, getting worse and taking a toll on her until the MC reaches her breaking point. The gap in dates toward the end, as opposed to the consistent, frequent dating at the beginning, is supposed to reflect her going from an eagerness to learn to her inability to take anymore.

As for improvements, it seems I need to add more depth and nuance to her shift of conscience/change of heart, as well as add more to the side characters. Now that I have a tentative word count still within the 8k word limit, I have more room for character interactions. I could also make a few medical terms and procedure a bit more clear.

I will take this feedback, especially suggestions, into consideration for the next few weeks, and make the edits needed for the work to be at its possible best before the August deadline.

Let me know if you need something critiqued and I’ll be happy to return the favor. :smiley: