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Mwc12:October: Discussion

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Roxxar
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Response to Mwc12:October: Discussion 2012-10-31 21:05:59 Reply

At 10/31/12 08:35 PM, Deathcon7 wrote:
At 10/31/12 08:09 PM, Roxxar wrote: I posted my story. Can you guys give me opinions or something? I need some experience, whether my story was horror or not(it didn't feel horror to me)
Never uploaded my file to dropbox... -___-

Procrastination has destroyed me. I'll have to post it late.

LOL. Umm...what is dropbox?


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Deathcon7
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Response to Mwc12:October: Discussion 2012-10-31 22:31:46 Reply

At 10/31/12 09:05 PM, Roxxar wrote:
At 10/31/12 08:35 PM, Deathcon7 wrote:
At 10/31/12 08:09 PM, Roxxar wrote: I posted my story. Can you guys give me opinions or something? I need some experience, whether my story was horror or not(it didn't feel horror to me)
Never uploaded my file to dropbox... -___-

Procrastination has destroyed me. I'll have to post it late.
LOL. Umm...what is dropbox?

No worries you did it right. Dropbox is how I get my files between my office and home. No sync, no access from home.

It works out this way. I can put polish on it and try to submit it somewhere :)

starwarsjunkie
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Response to Mwc12:October: Discussion 2012-10-31 22:39:00 Reply

I've read up to 4urentertainment's so far. Got some good stuff in there! I'm writing reviews as I go, I'll post em after I get through em all.


Grungy Mech action in 1940s Russia! Read Iron and Ice!

Roxxar
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Response to Mwc12:October: Discussion 2012-10-31 23:04:28 Reply

At 10/31/12 10:31 PM, Deathcon7 wrote: No worries you did it right. Dropbox is how I get my files between my office and home. No sync, no access from home.

It works out this way. I can put polish on it and try to submit it somewhere :)

Oh, thank goodness. Thought I messed up on posting. Thanks for...reassuring me. :P


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EKublai
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Response to Mwc12:October: Discussion 2012-11-01 01:33:42 Reply

DeftandEvil, I'd still like to read yours :D.

Looks like we have 12 entries. and about 23k words. This will be quite a bit to read.

Also, to RapeMuffin, Roxxar, Starwarsjunkie, and Depes7448, do you still want to keep your stories untitled?


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Roxxar
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Response to Mwc12:October: Discussion 2012-11-01 02:02:26 Reply

At 11/1/12 01:33 AM, EKublai wrote: DeftandEvil, I'd still like to read yours :D.

Looks like we have 12 entries. and about 23k words. This will be quite a bit to read.

Also, to RapeMuffin, Roxxar, Starwarsjunkie, and Depes7448, do you still want to keep your stories untitled?

Oh crap, I forgot to write a title.


Hola don't copy this signature plz thx

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DeftAndEvil
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Response to Mwc12:October: Discussion 2012-11-01 03:35:05 Reply

So much wasted opportunity... Whatevs, man. I'm going to bed.


Despite the name, I'm actually good--Deft, and good!

Giving out reviews to anyone who wants them (exception: poems. I'll find you).

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Labraxadores
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Response to Mwc12:October: Discussion 2012-11-01 06:41:06 Reply

I'l try to give some reviews soon. For now, the story that I liked more was Starwarsjunkie's ( I can call you SWJ, right?) one. While not being particularly original, it was definitely the most well written.

Don't talk about procrastination. I actually had a much longer plotline for my story, how the man lived that much, why Tommy was alive at the end, why he was burning, what the Klan was up to...
Ah well. I'l try to make something better next year. I'l surely keep the characters though.


Some may never live, but the crazy never die.
- Hunter S. Thompson

starwarsjunkie
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Response to Mwc12:October: Discussion 2012-11-01 08:52:19 Reply

At 11/1/12 01:33 AM, EKublai wrote: DeftandEvil, I'd still like to read yours :D.

Looks like we have 12 entries. and about 23k words. This will be quite a bit to read.

Also, to RapeMuffin, Roxxar, Starwarsjunkie, and Depes7448, do you still want to keep your stories untitled?

Thinking of a title is always hard for me... but I guess "Reaper". Keep things simple.


Grungy Mech action in 1940s Russia! Read Iron and Ice!

RapeMuffin
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Response to Mwc12:October: Discussion 2012-11-01 12:30:32 Reply

At 11/1/12 01:33 AM, EKublai wrote: DeftandEvil, I'd still like to read yours :D.

Looks like we have 12 entries. and about 23k words. This will be quite a bit to read.

Also, to RapeMuffin, Roxxar, Starwarsjunkie, and Depes7448, do you still want to keep your stories untitled?

I am just awful at thinking up titles, so I will leave my story untitled (unless someone here can think of an appropriate title?).


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Labraxadores
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Response to Mwc12:October: Discussion 2012-11-01 13:40:17 Reply

At 11/1/12 12:30 PM, RapeMuffin wrote: I am just awful at thinking up titles, so I will leave my story untitled (unless someone here can think of an appropriate title?).

What about "Pain Of The Living, Delight Of The Death"? Or something simple like "Infection"?


Some may never live, but the crazy never die.
- Hunter S. Thompson

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Response to Mwc12:October: Discussion 2012-11-01 16:30:34 Reply

At 11/1/12 06:41 AM, Labraxadores wrote: \

Don't talk about procrastination. I actually had a much longer plotline for my story, how the man lived that much, why Tommy was alive at the end, why he was burning, what the Klan was up to...
Ah well. I'l try to make something better next year. I'l surely keep the characters though.

"Obscured" was my work in progress title, not my final title; I left out the entire exposition for my story--the exposition developed the protagonist's fear of the dark, relationship to his mother, background to his blindness, and the fact that he was actually blind; I left out all references to Halloween except for 2, but those don't really have any significance in the plot line or setting; the final product was an untouched, unedited rough copy and about 500 words short of my original goal; I didn't even get to reedit it or get someone else to look at it (I posted at 11:59 pm).

... so I win. Ha ha! Ha ha. Ha ha...


Despite the name, I'm actually good--Deft, and good!

Giving out reviews to anyone who wants them (exception: poems. I'll find you).

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RapeMuffin
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Response to Mwc12:October: Discussion 2012-11-01 18:38:57 Reply

At 11/1/12 01:40 PM, Labraxadores wrote:
At 11/1/12 12:30 PM, RapeMuffin wrote: I am just awful at thinking up titles, so I will leave my story untitled (unless someone here can think of an appropriate title?).
What about "Pain Of The Living, Delight Of The Death"? Or something simple like "Infection"?

I like keeping it simple - lets go with "Infection".

Thank you! :)


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Roxxar
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Response to Mwc12:October: Discussion 2012-11-01 18:42:47 Reply

At 11/1/12 02:02 AM, Roxxar wrote:
At 11/1/12 01:33 AM, EKublai wrote: DeftandEvil, I'd still like to read yours :D.

Looks like we have 12 entries. and about 23k words. This will be quite a bit to read.

Also, to RapeMuffin, Roxxar, Starwarsjunkie, and Depes7448, do you still want to keep your stories untitled?
Oh crap, I forgot to write a title.

Alright, I got my title. Name it "Living Diary"

Cheesy.


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starwarsjunkie
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Response to Mwc12:October: Discussion 2012-11-03 11:13:49 Reply

Here ya go! Keep in mind these are very basic reviews based on my overall impressions. If you want something more in depth, where I go over specifics and line-by-line stuff, just ask or PM me. Great job everyone who participated!!

Dakota by zXzFIRELORDzXz

This isn't really a story as it is a short synopsis of a film. It lacks any characterization and is basically just a list of things that happens. In order to be scary we need more of the emotion and suspense of the scenes themselves. Describe what happens in excruciating detail, don't just say it happened.

Petite Mort by Celix-Requin

Well you definitely got the gore part down. The part in the bathroom of the plane was disgusting. However you need to build up the suspense too. There are many parts of this story where the writing could be improved. Sometimes the incorrect word is used or a word is used over and over. (For example: occurrence) Your strength is in imagery, so you basically need to work on the technical parts of writing, like sentence structure. Also make sure to proof read your stories. There are a lot of little mistakes that detract from the story as a whole.

Forsaken Hopes: City of the Dead by nbomb

This story is very vague. I wasn't sure if everything took place inside of a ship or a base or what. You start out with some pretty bold plot points: Living on Mars, zombies all over the place, and the government using zombies to quell unrest. However, you don't follow through or explain any of these so they lack significance. Characters are introduced and killed off in the same sentence. Laughably unlikely things happen, like having a coworker get killed by a zombie and then everyone else goes off for a "bite to eat". The actual writing quality itself isn't bad, you just need to work on being more clear with your plot. If the story was longer you could develop some of the ideas you introduced.

White Doves by Jennaskook

This story was quite enjoyable to read. It is well written, and very dark. I like the alternating between the two characters. It's a bit short and this makes it difficult to create suspense or tension. The plot, while good on its own, just doesn't have enough in it to make a creepy or scary story. You have some nice imagery though, and as I said before, the basic writing is good.

The House that Belonged to Him by HiryuGouki

First off: Proofread!! Especially if this is something you're posting online for everyone to see. There are many small grammatical and spelling errors which really take away from the story. While the premise of a haunted house is cliched, the monster was inventive. When writing dialogue you really need to put it on separate lines, this makes it easier to tell who is speaking. The main character seemed a little unbelievable. She didn't react to the creepy and horrifying things that were going on around her. She even makes a joke when she loses an eye. If you want your readers to be scared, you have to let them see the fear your protagonists have.

Untitled by Depes7448

You've got gory details galore in this one and a real ability to build tension. However, you may have gone a bit far with the whole torture stuff (I was never really one for that kind of horror) but I'm trying not to judge on content. One thing which confused me is that every time you referred to the sister you said "his" sister. I thought Shara was a girl. There's a bit of excessive wording in the beginning, but it can be overlooked because the rest of the story is well written. I think the shock ending kind of falls flat after reading the story. How can a single grilled kidney be more terrifying then a hollow girl with a hole in her?

Infection by RapeMuffin

Of all the stories I've read so far, this one does the best job of building tension and actually making me feel afraid for the protagonist. While it is a rather generic set up (zombies/28 days later) the level of writing is so high that I don't really care. Edward's character is very well thought out and the reader can get a real feel for his emotions. The pacing is done perfectly and I breezed through this one even though it is by far the longest submission. All in all a very well written story that rises above a premise which has been done to death.

Long Live the Klan! by Labraxadores

My first concern with this one are the numerous grammar and spelling errors. I'm not sure if that was intentional or just poor editing. The poem at the beginning is somewhat confusing and I'm not sure if it's related to the last line of the story. In any case there really isn't a strong plot here. So much happens and many details are given that seem to have little importance to the story as a whole. If you're gonna go for something really short, you have to make everything count. I did find the main character's sense of humor somewhat entertaining though.

Kitty by 4urentertainment

This story does a pretty good job of getting inside the character's head. From the details you've given it is easy to feel the anxiety and fear that the character feels. I feel that the ending is a little bit of a let down, as I wanted to know what was happening, but that's just my personal preference. The cat is definitely creepy and the imagery when it jumps in the fire is very gross. I just wish it had been a little longer so as to reveal what was going on.

Ornithophobia by Zombie445

At first, when I was reading this, I was thinking: He just wrote âEUoeThe Birds!âEU But there was a twist at the end which changed things up a bit. There are some unfortunate word choices, like "facial orifice". I know you don't want to use the same word over and over, but sometimes its better then choosing odd sounding phrases. Also, when we move from the classroom to lunch, you should make sure to have some kind of marker. I thought he was talking about chicken wings in the middle of class. One other thing I found odd was the absurdly fast descent into chaos. A few birds got loose in the cafeteria and a girl starts slitting her wrists. It seemed a little far fetched, maybe move that part after the huge flock breaks in. The two main characters had good dialogue and interaction, but again sometimes the word choices seemed a bit strange.

Living Diary by Roxxar

This story was very confusing. It changes settings without telling the reader and it's not really clear who is being referred to. For example he says a cop is puking and then he says he turned him around. At first I thought he was turning the cop around, but then realized he meant the corpse. Be sure to be very clear on what you want to say. Some of the reactions also seem a bit off. He finds a beaten in face to be horrifying but has almost no reaction to a man's chest mysteriously exploding. There are many parts which don't seem to have significance, like the fact that there are no street signs. Since its so short, you have to make sure that everything you put into it has a purpose. Lastly, I fear there is some confusion: The limit was 7,000 words, not characters.

Obscured by DeftandEvil

A very well written story here. I especially liked the little details given to show how the character functioned. I was left wanting more from the ending however, a bit more of an explanation as to why the character felt that they needed to gouge out their eye in order to get rid of the figures. But, maybe that was just how the character saw the people around them? I don't know, and sometimes its fun to leave things up to the reader. Some things which occurred, such as not being able to find the alarm and the dead phone, also left me wondering as to their significance. There were a few mistakes, but you said you submitted it at the last second, so it makes sense. :P


Grungy Mech action in 1940s Russia! Read Iron and Ice!

RapeMuffin
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Response to Mwc12:October: Discussion 2012-11-03 14:22:26 Reply

At 11/3/12 11:13 AM, starwarsjunkie wrote: Infection by RapeMuffin

Of all the stories I've read so far, this one does the best job of building tension and actually making me feel afraid for the protagonist. While it is a rather generic set up (zombies/28 days later) the level of writing is so high that I don't really care. Edward's character is very well thought out and the reader can get a real feel for his emotions. The pacing is done perfectly and I breezed through this one even though it is by far the longest submission. All in all a very well written story that rises above a premise which has been done to death.

I'm really happy that you enjoyed reading it!

I always tend to write longer stories, and sometimes that is a negative for readers, so I'm ecstatic that it didn't take too much of an effort to make it through despite its length.

I don't normally do reviews, since I don't have a background in literature or writing (and don't really know how to properly critique someone's work), but I would be more than happy to review your story in exchange.

Also, may I copy/paste your review onto my userpage?


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Roxxar
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Response to Mwc12:October: Discussion 2012-11-03 14:54:24 Reply

At 11/3/12 11:13 AM, starwarsjunkie wrote: Living Diary by Roxxar

This story was very confusing. It changes settings without telling the reader and it's not really clear who is being referred to. For example he says a cop is puking and then he says he turned him around. At first I thought he was turning the cop around, but then realized he meant the corpse. Be sure to be very clear on what you want to say. Some of the reactions also seem a bit off. He finds a beaten in face to be horrifying but has almost no reaction to a man's chest mysteriously exploding. There are many parts which don't seem to have significance, like the fact that there are no street signs. Since its so short, you have to make sure that everything you put into it has a purpose. Lastly, I fear there is some confusion: The limit was 7,000 words, not characters.

I know. I need to read the limits better :P

I hope I can write a better one next year...or something. I procrastinated on reading so many stories(I have my sources, but its not CreepyPasta) that I lost track on the contest. Thanks for your review though. I wasn't prepared and I just needed some experience. Y'know...I'm not the best at writing horror stuff.


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Response to Mwc12:October: Discussion 2012-11-03 15:12:40 Reply

At 11/1/12 01:33 AM, EKublai wrote: DeftandEvil, I'd still like to read yours :D.

Looks like we have 12 entries. and about 23k words. This will be quite a bit to read.

Also, to RapeMuffin, Roxxar, Starwarsjunkie, and Depes7448, do you still want to keep your stories untitled?

My story's title was "Death List 3." I didn't realize titles would be such a big deal.

~Depes Crystalline~

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Response to Mwc12:October: Discussion 2012-11-03 17:33:40 Reply

At 11/3/12 11:13 AM, starwarsjunkie wrote:
Obscured by DeftandEvil

A very well written story here. I especially liked the little details given to show how the character functioned. I was left wanting more from the ending however, a bit more of an explanation as to why the character felt that they needed to gouge out their eye in order to get rid of the figures. But, maybe that was just how the character saw the people around them? I don't know, and sometimes its fun to leave things up to the reader. Some things which occurred, such as not being able to find the alarm and the dead phone, also left me wondering as to their significance. There were a few mistakes, but you said you submitted it at the last second, so it makes sense. :P

I didn't really get a chance to explain it, but the whole point of the story was that darkness is a physical entity, and that it was torturing the blind guy every Halloween (darkness was moving his alarm and was pushing the receiver on the phone). That's why he was afraid of the dark when he was a child and that's why he is blind (this was in the exposition, which I left out). Also, he regains vision when the darkness enters his eyes, which is why he feels pain and bleeds from his eyes, which also explains why he tried to gouge out his eyes. The first paragraph doesn't really make sense without the exposition but I decided to leave it in because it somewhat explains the entire premise. Thanks for reading, yo!


Despite the name, I'm actually good--Deft, and good!

Giving out reviews to anyone who wants them (exception: poems. I'll find you).

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Response to Mwc12:October: Discussion 2012-11-03 21:14:28 Reply

Dakota by zXzFIRELORDzXz

The entire story is told versus being shown. That is a foundational understanding of storytelling that you really want to research and learn how to apply to your writing.

Petite Mort by Celix-Requin

The story combines a passive voice and a lot of telling. The story itself is very visceral and gory, but baseless. You make connections but you never bother providing at least a satisfying amount of explanation or closure. Remember that a plot is cause and effect. At a lot of points you're only giving the effect and hinting at the cause, but you never go further than that. A small example would be the silverware triggering episodes. Given my own inclinations, I thought this was somehow tied into being a werewolf but the end proved otherwise.

Forsaken Hopes: City of the Dead by nbomb

Another case of telling too much and not showing at all. If you're serious about writing, read more and study up on the necessities of prose.

White Doves by Jennaskook

More poetic than expository. As far as critique, remember to hold your imagery tightly. You want to use metaphors and draw images, but if the reader can't relate to them, or make sense of them, then the writing becomes either melodramatic or confusing. For example:

He licked his lips, tasting the tang of his salty tears, wearing a crooked grin.

We don't know who "he" is, and he's crying, but grinning. It's difficult to relate or to paint the mental picture. This kind of granular attention to detail should say or do something, but it only fogs the overall understanding. Perhaps you can claim creative license, and perhaps it's outside my taste, but this type of abstract language doesn't do it for me.

The House that Belonged to Him by HiryuGouki

Two items of note: first, no one is entitled to anything. I'd dispel that notion if at all possible. Second, for future contests, post your work here. It's easier on everyone, and helps with oversight.

As for the story, the writing needs to be tightened up. The fourth wall flexes a falls periodically throughout the story. If you're trying to write a horror, you're not doing yourself any favors. You break all the tension, and you undermine the conflict when you do that. As it stands, the story reads more like a parody of itself.

One point that you did well on was narration. You maintained a consistent character for the narrator which would be great applied in any other situation. Unfortunately, given the theme, it just didn't work out. If you were going for something silly and fun, then you did a good job.

Death List 3 by Depes7448

I want to avoid commenting too much on content, but I do think that content very heavily affects the reception of a story. That being said, you focus on gory details from the perspective of someone being operated on, but somehow only dies when you want them to without any reasoning in the story. Seems very self serving and breaks the suspension of disbelief. Ultimately this could be considered under the umbrella of creative license, but I felt compelled to point that out.

As for the writing, you want to avoid being redundant. For example:

Her ears could not hear anything...

Versus simply, "She couldn't hear anything..." It's implied, with regard to hearing, that it's being done with ears. This is similar to saying someone "shook hands with his hand..." or "ate with his mouth..."

Other than that, overall the story was well written. There were some points that you rushed into that could have been shown versus being told, but I can't really complain. For example, I've never personally seen a grilled organ so I wouldn't be able to identify it without guidance.

Also, and I guess this is more a note for the organizer than you, these contests are meant to inspire writing, not to recycle or edit something already written. Keep that in mind for your next entry. I've seen this before. I think I'd really be able to provide more pointed advice if I could contrast between works.

Infection by RapeMuffin

There are some really strong writers on this forum and you definitely fit into that group. That being said, once a person reaches a certain level of skill, on a forum such as this, they start to experience diminishing returns. What I mean by this is that I can't really provide much critique without nit-picking. I'm sure, given free reign you could have come up with something more original, but I think in this case you wrote to your audience. Zombie stories are really popular at the moment so why not?

Now to the nits. Between the first and second post you're doing a lot of telling and not much showing. I think this was a detrimental choice overall as it closed off a lot of mysteries. Besides, a zombie story doesn't need that much set up. Ultimately it's a creative license thing, but I think a bit more mystery to the story, the "What the fuck is happening?" element, would help to heighten the conflict and suspense.

As for the structure, I think this was a good choice, but I also think you missed out on a great opportunity. You could have made the twist at the end a lot more satisfying if you did more to build on the relationship, on their caring for one another, so that when his wife is set to kill him, it strikes deeper. Again, creative license, but I figured I'd make the recommendation for future consideration. Small shifts in characterization, and situational emphasis could really change the meaning of the story and enhance reader manipulation.

Reaper by starwarsjunkie

Like I told RapeMuffin, all the little things I comment on for other writers aren't very applicable when critiquing your stories. So the best I can do is talk shop, make the conversation a bit more high level and contemplative because that's really the only way I can help.

The standout issue with Reaper that I noticed was motivation. Motivation is really the only thing I can comment on, which is directly connected to characterization. You want to make sure that actions are rooted in character. The evil being in this story seems very friendly and civil and I think that works against you. You could have done a lot more to mislead Oswyn, or to undermine his beliefs, or to, in a word, suffer. As it stands, it seems this manifestation takes place simply to fill the requirements of the plot. I think this is a symptom of starting a story in the wrong place. You had this creature in mind, and you have Oswyn, and I think if they met under different terms (namely, a stronger, willful Oswyn), their clash could have been more intense and purposeful.

Long Live the Klan! by Labraxadores

I'm not sure how much of Thompson's work you've read but the story seems inspired by gonzo. Your structure tries to invoke a sense of motion and imagery, but as far as any unifying factors, I can't see any. The story is very thin and passes by too quickly to make any sort of impression. It does, however, have a very poetic nature. If you worked toward infusing more prosodic elements, this would make a pretty decent poem. What impressed me the most, I think is the circular structure used. I'm not used to seeing new faces able to use that type of technique without losing the reader.

Point being, you need to choose which side of the fence you're on and shape your approach to fit it.

Kitty by 4urentertainment

Another exemplary submission. The only item that I could really comment on was the cerebral nature of the narrator. A lot of the tension was diluted by the narrator's observation. There was also the way the narrator is looking backward in time as if the story already happened. It's hard to empathize with him knowing everything is going to be okay.

Other than that, great job!

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Response to Mwc12:October: Discussion 2012-11-03 21:16:18 Reply

Ornithophobia by Zombie445

Avoid dialog tags and adverbs. Also, you're weighing down your dialog by trying to clearly paint a picture of the situation. You don't have to dictate every character's actions. You can hint to it, try to make things more fluid, and above all let the reader imagine the scene. For example, each piece of dialog has an attached piece of action where you clearly state something is being said, to whom, how, and any accompanying movement. You just have to let your dialog flow.

Aside from that, you want to make sure that the building action is based on appropriate cause. I liked how you picked a theme and stuck with it (birds), but the reaction from the characters seemed melodramatic. For example, the scene where Robin flips out because a bird looked at him and pecked at a glass window. It's out of character for a bird, but it shouldn't have elicited such a violent reaction, especially since you don't establish that Robin has an irrational fear of birds. It seemed more like enmity and perceived malice.

Living Diary by Roxxar

The story is being told as if it were a movie or TV show.

But let's flash back to 2 days ago.

That is the offending line I'm basing this analysis on. This is symptomatic of an ill perspective on the differences between visual and written media. I'm a visual writer, but I understand that I have to translate this into a written form that has rules. The quote breaks the fourth wall and it seems neither you nor the narrator realize this. This comes down to technique.

Also, you need to carefully consider what's happening in your story. The main character seemed so underwhelmed by what was happening. For example, he's mentally disgusted for a paragraph seeing a victim beaten faceless, but he spends five words reacting to witnessing a coronary explosion.

I recommend reading more and studying the craft. Structure would be a good starting place.

Obscured by DeftandEvil

Another heavily cerebral story. My one gripe is the characterization of the narrator. I know you were trying to make him blind, but from the start you introduce colors that don't really make sense until it's learned he used to be seeing. Also, a blind person literally could not go a day without their cane. No matter how ritualistic they are, or how well they are at counting/measuring steps. If not for the red-tipped cane, a blind person looks like anyone else. Not much hope of safely crossing a street, either.

It's well written and moody, but there are a few considerations to be made to iron out the story.

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Response to Mwc12:October: Discussion 2012-11-04 00:45:11 Reply

At 11/3/12 09:16 PM, Deathcon7 wrote: Living Diary by Roxxar

The story is being told as if it were a movie or TV show.

But let's flash back to 2 days ago.
That is the offending line I'm basing this analysis on. This is symptomatic of an ill perspective on the differences between visual and written media. I'm a visual writer, but I understand that I have to translate this into a written form that has rules. The quote breaks the fourth wall and it seems neither you nor the narrator realize this. This comes down to technique.

Also, you need to carefully consider what's happening in your story. The main character seemed so underwhelmed by what was happening. For example, he's mentally disgusted for a paragraph seeing a victim beaten faceless, but he spends five words reacting to witnessing a coronary explosion.

I recommend reading more and studying the craft. Structure would be a good starting place.

Yeah...I needed more work. A LOT more work. I just wrote it down for some opinions. But y'know...procrastination and confused reading(7000 words, not characters) got the worst of me...

That definitely wasn't my best work. Quite possibly one of my worst :( But...experience is needed before getting anywhere, right? I hope I can get my hands on a horror novel and make a better(MUCH better) one next year :|


Hola don't copy this signature plz thx

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Response to Mwc12:October: Discussion 2012-11-04 10:03:15 Reply

At 11/3/12 02:22 PM, RapeMuffin wrote:
Also, may I copy/paste your review onto my userpage?

Go ahead. :3


Grungy Mech action in 1940s Russia! Read Iron and Ice!

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Response to Mwc12:October: Discussion 2012-11-04 10:05:20 Reply

At 11/3/12 09:14 PM, Deathcon7 wrote:
Reaper by starwarsjunkie

Like I told RapeMuffin, all the little things I comment on for other writers aren't very applicable when critiquing your stories. So the best I can do is talk shop, make the conversation a bit more high level and contemplative because that's really the only way I can help.

The standout issue with Reaper that I noticed was motivation. Motivation is really the only thing I can comment on, which is directly connected to characterization. You want to make sure that actions are rooted in character. The evil being in this story seems very friendly and civil and I think that works against you. You could have done a lot more to mislead Oswyn, or to undermine his beliefs, or to, in a word, suffer. As it stands, it seems this manifestation takes place simply to fill the requirements of the plot. I think this is a symptom of starting a story in the wrong place. You had this creature in mind, and you have Oswyn, and I think if they met under different terms (namely, a stronger, willful Oswyn), their clash could have been more intense and purposeful.

Yeah, I definitely had the idea for what I wanted the creature to be way before I thought up this story. I was basically tapped for horror ideas and kinda shoehorned him into one.

Thanks for reading and thanks for the advice!


Grungy Mech action in 1940s Russia! Read Iron and Ice!

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Response to Mwc12:October: Discussion 2012-11-04 13:45:20 Reply

At 11/3/12 09:14 PM, Deathcon7 wrote: Infection by RapeMuffin
There are some really strong writers on this forum and you definitely fit into that group. That being said, once a person reaches a certain level of skill, on a forum such as this, they start to experience diminishing returns. What I mean by this is that I can't really provide much critique without nit-picking. I'm sure, given free reign you could have come up with something more original, but I think in this case you wrote to your audience. Zombie stories are really popular at the moment so why not?

Thank you for the vote of confidence - and I'm still trying to figure out this whole "writing" thing so I appreciate all of the feedback I can get, especially the nit-picking. I always want to learn how my story could have been more enjoyable for the reader.

Now to the nits. Between the first and second post you're doing a lot of telling and not much showing. I think this was a detrimental choice overall as it closed off a lot of mysteries. Besides, a zombie story doesn't need that much set up. Ultimately it's a creative license thing, but I think a bit more mystery to the story, the "What the fuck is happening?" element, would help to heighten the conflict and suspense.

You know, I never really thought of that. Usually I try to close up as many plotholes for the reader as possible, so he's not left asking, "But how?" throughout the story - but I think it's a good point that I should leave more mystery for the reader. Let their imagination fill in some of the gaps.

As for the structure, I think this was a good choice, but I also think you missed out on a great opportunity. You could have made the twist at the end a lot more satisfying if you did more to build on the relationship, on their caring for one another, so that when his wife is set to kill him, it strikes deeper. Again, creative license, but I figured I'd make the recommendation for future consideration. Small shifts in characterization, and situational emphasis could really change the meaning of the story and enhance reader manipulation.

Yeah, I agree - this is one of those moments where my instincts told me to shorten up the flash-back portions. I actually had a few paragraph detailing some loving interactions between the husband and wife, but decided to remove them. I was concerned that there was too much flash-back between the (attempted) suspenseful present-day portions of the story.

I really appreciate you taking the time to read and review my piece. Let me know if you want me to read a story of yours and write a review.


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Response to Mwc12:October: Discussion 2012-11-04 14:02:25 Reply

Heads up! Reviews ahead!

Also there are massive spoilers for most of the stories below, so if you're planning on reading any. DON'T READ AHEAD.

Dakota by zXzFIRELORDzXz:

It's pretty short, and it really feels more like a script than a story. At the end you even say "and the next scene shows.." you should never really say anything like that unless you're writing a play or a script of some sort, because it really takes away from the immersion of the experience.

Like I don't want to be reminded that I'm reading a story, I want to FEEL like I'm there with the characters.
I also really feel everything was a bit forced. Like you never really leave anything up to the reader to think about or ponder. Like the time when she mysteriously finds herself killing people, and JUST as I began to wonder you offered the explanation in the same sentence.

It does remind me of the stuff I used to write when I first started writing creative fiction, sooo just keep writing! You'll get better.

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Petite Mort by Celx-Requin:

I think it's a nice story. And I even learned some new vocabulary! I noticed a few things though. You had some minor grammatical errors that would have been cleared with some more profreading, but what ticked me a bit was the way you pause in sentences. For example:

a feeling so overwhelming that while he proceeded to eat it made him nauseous. [I feel there should be a comma after "eat"]

Surely they would think he was insane, and suicidal he thought. [the comma should be removed and put after suicidal]

I also didn't really connect with the protagonist. I think if you had given him a name, and sort of made it more personal it would have made the story more engaging.

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Forsaken hopes: The City of the Dead by nbomb:

It wasn't a bad story, but I think it's pretty short. Everything also happens too quickly. Taking the time to describe a scene before jumping in it is really important to get the reader to feel like he's there. Like how a lot of writers could describe a single moment in hundreds of words. Describe what the zombie looked like, describe how it smelled, describe how you FELT as you saw it etc..

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White Doves by jennaskook

My first reaction was that this was too short, but after reading it, I think it's just the right length! I really like how poetic this story is. And I can't help but think that it's all a metaphor for something greater, although I can't put my finger on it. It's rather well written though, so kudos on that! (And I really would like to know how it's supposed to be interpreted :P)

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The House that Belongs to Him by HiryuGouki

First of all, I really wish you would have just posted your story in the forum thread like everyone else, but moving on.

Ok so I read both parts of the story (and since wattpad apparently doesn't let you copy stories, I couldn't tell how many words the entire story was). It could be just me, but the way you address the reader directly really only serves to break the immersion and remind me that I'm just reading a story.

I also feel it's one of those stories that would have been better as a movie. Like, the plot itself is interesting and everything, and it's not badly written, but you never really flesh out the beauty of writing. I mean at one point you even say "You had to be there to see it" , well, the whole point of writing (in my humble opinion) is to emulate this experience as if I was there! I also felt it got pretty reptitive halfway in, seeing aparitions, then seeing freaky pictures, and repeat.

The good though is that it at least piqued my curiosity to want to know what happens in the end.

Another thing that annoyed me was the scene when her eye was cut out. Now I can understand not really dwelling on the description of the eye being cut out, because it's hard to imagine how it would feel like, but the way she reacts afterwards really isn't realistic at all. She just falls down and jokes about her missing eyeball. If you were writing a comedy this might be fitting, but for a horror story I don't think it works.

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Untitled by depes7448

Well, you did it. You had me holding my hand over my mouth towards the end. The story is really well written and definitely really interesting. I think the thing that got me the most was her inability to do anything. How all she could do was sit and watch her gruesome awful end approach. It was really horrible feeling that she couldn't even speak or scream. Very nice story!

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Untitled by RapeMuffin

Despite this being one of the longest stories, I didn't really feel it was that long at all. In fact I was actually half-expecting him to make it out, reach his car and continue the story! I really like the pacing of this story, and how you build tension. My heart actually started beating quicker at that final bit! I also really like how you told the two timelines of the story in parallel until they matched up, and it was really nice reading about the state of a room, like those nylons on the bed, and then seeing how they came to be in the first place.

The only useful critique I can make here is that, I was comparing the tension I was feeling as Edward was moving through the house before and after I knew what could have been lurking up there, and before I knew, things were a lot more tense and interesting. Perhaps that's simply due to that, when you leave the reader in the dark, he'll start to wonder and eventually his mind will reach exciting places, and maybe the author's explanation would be always be hard pressed to live up to that. I don't know, all I know is that the more mystery there is, the more curious I am.

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Untitled by starwarsjunkie

Maaan, this story really made me sad. Like, man, it makes me yearn for a cliche ending where a hero, against all odds, rights all wrongs and saves all the people of the universe.

I really liked this story, and perhaps I'm a bit biased because of my love for these epic fantasies, but I really do like how creative it is. I especially liked the part where it could read his mind, the mind being the narrator's voice. Kinda broke the fourth wall in a really awesome way that only writing can do.

Overall, awesome. And now I'll be waiting for the alternate ending for when he saves everyone and everything lives in eternal happiness :D

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Long live the Klan by Labraxadores

There's a lot of grammatical errors here and there and "lotsa" is not a word. It was slightly interesting, but I felt the story was cut too short.

What I *did* really like about the story however, was how you put the ending at the very beginning, but how at the start it seems like just some poetic jargon, but is actually a perfectly reasonable ending to the story. I felt that was well played. But aside from that, you need to work on your main story telling more.

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Ornithophobia by Zombie445

I think that ending just blew my mind. I really admire how this story managed to deliver "scary" without relying on much gore or any of the conventional scare tactics. I really love how the story itself escalated, going from a casual day at school, do a slightly disturbing story about birds, to a complete post-apocylyptic scenario to science fiction and finally, swiftly delivering closure.

While character development is pretty hard for a short story contest, I really liked the characters and felt they were pretty life-like. Especially the ever-optimistic Liam, and seeing how he reacts in the dire situation.

Awesome story.

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Response to Mwc12:October: Discussion 2012-11-04 14:06:08 Reply

Untitled by Roxxar

Despite out what you think about your story, it actually isn't that bad at all.

I felt the part where the officer's heart exploded..and a diary popped out, to be a bit surreal and wasn't really done well. Like, no one even cared that someone died, and he just read the diary and didn't look twice at his partner's corpse.

And I don't think I really got the symbolism at the end. But overall, I felt your story was well written, and if you hadn't gotten confused about the word limit, perhaps you would have created something even more impressive.

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Obscured by DeftAndEvil

Short and intense! I really really like how you delayed declaring how he was blind, in fact I wish you had delayed it even more. Perhaps making him do stuff that would be out of the ordinary for normal people and finally when we realize he's blind it all makes and sense and clicks like that.

I'm assuming it was on purpose, but the way you shifted from "I saw" and "I felt" really hit home how his vision was coming and going.

I feel this is really good as like, the beginning of an awesome story though. If you had more time I think this could have been way awesomer.

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Response to Mwc12:October: Discussion 2012-11-04 18:17:11 Reply

At 11/4/12 02:06 PM, 4urentertainment wrote: Untitled by Roxxar

Despite out what you think about your story, it actually isn't that bad at all.

I felt the part where the officer's heart exploded..and a diary popped out, to be a bit surreal and wasn't really done well. Like, no one even cared that someone died, and he just read the diary and didn't look twice at his partner's corpse.

And I don't think I really got the symbolism at the end. But overall, I felt your story was well written, and if you hadn't gotten confused about the word limit, perhaps you would have created something even more impressive.

Well, that's what I'm thinking. I pretty rushed through it. Wrote it in 2 days, cuz I was procrastinating. THEN, I accidentally threw it in the trash(I have a Notes section in my browser) and I lost it. THEN I rewrote it all AGAIN. Rushed, all in technically 1 day.

Still hoping I can do better next year. Or something D:


Hola don't copy this signature plz thx

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Response to Mwc12:October: Discussion 2012-11-04 21:51:19 Reply

At 11/3/12 09:14 PM, Deathcon7 wrote:
White Doves by Jennaskook

More poetic than expository. As far as critique, remember to hold your imagery tightly. You want to use metaphors and draw images, but if the reader can't relate to them, or make sense of them, then the writing becomes either melodramatic or confusing. For example:

He licked his lips, tasting the tang of his salty tears, wearing a crooked grin.
We don't know who "he" is, and he's crying, but grinning. It's difficult to relate or to paint the mental picture. This kind of granular attention to detail should say or do something, but it only fogs the overall understanding. Perhaps you can claim creative license, and perhaps it's outside my taste, but this type of abstract language doesn't do it for me.

Yeah, I suppose it's not for everyone, I do think I made it a bit "thick" in places. I wanted to make it a story where it unfolds as you read it, but I suppose I need more practice.


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Response to Mwc12:October: Discussion 2012-11-04 21:57:21 Reply

At 11/4/12 02:02 PM, 4urentertainment wrote:
White Doves by jennaskook

My first reaction was that this was too short, but after reading it, I think it's just the right length! I really like how poetic this story is. And I can't help but think that it's all a metaphor for something greater, although I can't put my finger on it. It's rather well written though, so kudos on that! (And I really would like to know how it's supposed to be interpreted :P)

It's not "supposed" to mean anything. There isn't a "right" or "wrong" interpretation. This was kinda written on the spot, and it's my style to put in metaphors without realizing it, haha. I didn't really take the time to try and figure out what it means, so I guess it's up to you. (I would love to know what other people think it means, though.)


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