Date: 06/02/17 01:18 am Title: Spirited Away
Full disclosure, this is the first time I've ever read a Mix-tape before. I'm still not entirely sure what they are or why they exist. Even so, I wanted to read some of your work, so I went ahead and ventured into this wild Mixtape world. I'll start with some of my surface-level observations, and then dive into specifics. I will be needlessly nit-picky, because that's what I've chosen to do. I will preface all of this by saying that you definitely are one of the strongest writers on this site, based on this short story.
- The first thing that struck me about this story: bold use of the 2nd person POV. It's something that I would certainly never attempt (too far outside of my comfort zone). Isn't it funny how so many songs are written in 2nd person, yet so few pieces of literature?
- You have great command of language and strong mystery-construction skills.
- Excellent paragraph rhythm. You alternate sentence length creatively, which maintains interest and makes for a unique writing style.
- Good pace (albeit a tad slow at parts).
- The foreshadowing at the beginning was well-executed and the details subtle enough to maintain readers' attention.
- Strong ending
- My favorite paragraph in this story: "Only now you are in this situation do you feel that the sounds of torture would be a welcome release. The darkness blocks your vision. The silence penetrates to your core. At least with torture there would be screams and with screams you must have other people, most likely your abductor and fellow victims. The silence however is much crueller. It reminds you of how alone you are. How isolated you are from the rest of the world. The silence hammers into you how futile it would be to try calling out for help." Great rhythm in this paragraph, along with vivid descriptions. ('however' should have commas around it, though. Any time you have an introductory word in the middle of a sentence, it must be distinguished)
- I'll start with something that kind've bothered me. The tense seems to vary between past and present. That sent me for a bit of a loop, and I don't know if that was done on purpose. If yes, then I guess that's a bit avant-garde for my tastes. Changing tenses is generally reserved for specific circumstances. Here's an example of a mid-paragraph tense change in your story: "The alley is dark and quiet, the lack of activity giving it an ominous, spooky vibe. Despite entering close behind Janet, she was nowhere to be seen."
- The story starts off like a summary. That's okay, but it's a bit jarring to start with vivid, slow pace and then drop into summary mode.
- I would have liked to see more character descriptions for Janet. Why is she beautiful? Perhaps we could get some physically descriptive hints that would serve as foreshadowing? That being said, your MC character descriptions are wonderful, after the transformation.
- Some redundancies, both in word usage and in descriptions.
Now, into the specifics. These are the lines that I think could be re-worked. I only found 7 of them, which is a amazingly low considering how closely I combed through this story:
1. "Your legs collapsed, sending you sprawling across the squalid cobblestone alley path. The pain was too much to stand. Unable to organise your thoughts, never mind control your legs." Too much bear? Talking about pain, legs, and then standing makes all of this confusing with some avoidable ambiguity. Also, the last sentence could be reworded.
2. "Having seen only the insides to your own room" Could be reworded. The interior of your own room? The inside of?
3. "A small wooden door stands ajar, allowing you inside." Might have been a bit more powerful to say 'beckoning' here, or something to that affect (but that's just my personal opinion)
4. "All the rooms on this floor appear to either offices or barracks." appear to be*
5. "You couldn’t use the gear that were several sizes too large, but you should at least be capable of lifting and moving them around with a little difficulty." 'Gear' is a collective noun and therefore singular. 'were' should be 'was'. Also, half of this sentence is in the past-tense.
6. "...you make out a small carving in the handle. Unfortunately, the dagger has aged too much to make out any clear details." 'make out' redundancy. This is a fairly minor, though.
7. "At first you thought just the design of the doors were odd." 'Design' is the subject of this sentence and a collective noun and therefore singular, so 'were' should be 'was'
I'll finish by saying that the ending was incredible, and now I want to read the rest :D You've built an enchanting word with visceral descriptions, and you've generated fantastic suspense.
You're a great writer!
Author's Response: Thanks for the vote of confidence and the comprehensive analysis. I am now working on fixing some of the issues you have brought forward to further improve my writing. May take me some time but I still plan to follow up with a part2 and hope for more readers of the mixtapes to leave some reviews of their own to everyone's benefit, readers and writers alike :)
Date: 09/25/16 05:22 pm Title: The Curse: Loose Ends
Thank you so much for continuing that story and not leaving us with any unanswered questions whatsoever. Nope, no hanging chads here. We know exactly what happened now.
Really, I had fun reading it but you so totally know that ending was a blorping troll move.
Author's Response: If it helps, Dean decided to stay the way he is now. ~ Hikaro