FimFiction Link - Short ID: 486697/maud
Published: Jan '21
'Maud' is a two thousand and three hundred-word shortfic in which Maud explains her weird behavior in a soliloquy.
I find the story's approach to her character interesting. Most people from, what I've experienced, simply consider Maud to be autistic and I can't exactly fault them for that. She does display from trademark traits and some characters even directly call her "built different," if I'm not mistaken. This story, however, takes a very different route. Instead of an inherent psychological quirk, she only became stoical and incapable of displaying emotions after witnessing (and in a way accidentally causing) the death of her own sister and suffering head trauma herself. While said sister doesn't do much other than being a plot device that sets the story in motion, I still really like that instead of coming up with an OC, the author just used a cut character to be her - called Surprise - that came right from Faust. I also like the idea that she actually isn't a fan of rocks, but chooses to still invest herself in them because of her trauma and because it requires no display of emotions. It's a bit contrived, but nothing you can't accept with a bit of suspension of disbelief.
The story also has a few words being left out, but the more pressing issue is that the prose feels rough. I'm not sure if this is because of the author's inherent style or perhaps an intentional artistic choice to represent Maud's inner monologue, but while there is nothing I'd explicitly call bad, the story still isn't particularly pleasant to read. Most of it is made up of extremely brief sentences stacked on top of each other, almost completely foregoing compound sentences. This does not make the story unenjoyable, the drama still works pretty well, but the actual writing leaves a lot to be desired.
Overall: 6/10 The story has a nice concept and features some competent drama, but the experience is marred by awkward prose. If you have the patience, I do recommend it.