|Reviews for Fight or Flight KHG Challenge 3|
| thefilmchick 4/1/08 . chapter 3
Both positive and critical comments on previous chapters are still true for this one so I won't repeat myself:
'Aw, heck' seems too soft. I'd have her bust out a 'hell.'
'ekeing out a pitiful life (...) albeit in vain' doesn't fit stylistically with the rest of the chapter.
'northwestern,' one word.
It strikes me that Natasha's only reason for pushing herself is because of her brother now. While it's good that you gave her MORE motivation, I'd have at least given her something to start with. She doesn't seem to have it beyond thinking of her brother, and I would round that out a little more.
'in war soldiers died.'
'harebrained,' not 'hair-brained.'
The cat-and-mouse game doesn't quite work, because Natasha never gets ahead in the game. One step forward, two steps back.
The soldier who corners Natasha feels very cliche, cackling and all - and a girl who can't do first aid and panicks at the drop of a hat shoots a well-trained soldier? I'd put a little more depth in there; such as it is, it comes off a little bit facile.
Mikhail's dialogue also comes off as a bit corny as far as the accent - it is OK to drop contractions, but there's no reason to believe that, if he's 2d in command militarily, his English (or whatever language they're speaking) isn't stellar.
Hope this helps, too!
| thefilmchick 4/1/08 . chapter 2
The plot still moves briskly here. I know I'm one to talk about long chapters, but I think this would have been more effective split up into two chapters; your action just keeps on going and there seems to be a natural break in there (when Gaige is OK? something) that could be exploited for a chapter break.
Characters: Natasha seemed stronger in the first chapter than in the second. She seems more a puzzled observer than an actor in this chapter, and you built her up well in the first chapter, so this chapter feels a little odd in comparison. Natasha should know basic first aid, and the whole scene with her splinting Gaige's leg feels a little too childish. I'd make her more competent.
Plot: The risk to Natasha seems to vary. At one point she is watching people die before her; at another she is saying 'Okay' and heading back to the safehouse? Danger is danger, and it doesn't feel constant within the chapter. When you do describe the danger, you do it well, but if there is danger like that - constant threats, enough for a safehouse - it should be consistently THERE. If Gaige is going to die, I'd hurry up his death a little bit more - the conversation seems too slow for the rest of the action.
Writing: Still generally well-written and solid; if there were any grammar/writing mistakes besides what's listed below, I didn't spot them. Gaige's thoughts in the paragraph that begins 'Minutes passed' should not be in this chapter. It is all in Natasha's POV and the head-jumping, for a single paragraph, doesn't work. You're a little too said-bookish, esp. with 'interjected.' 'His brother's death knifed into her soul' is a little too purple/florid for the rest of the chapter. I do like that you ended this chapter with a repeated burst of action, though, as that's good to keep people reading. I'd caution you to make sure you don't do it every chapter, though, as if you do it might start to feel episodic.
"dimly lit by luminescent military lightsticks" is repetitive/awkward.
"The LF" in thought or in description should be spelled out.
The names don't seem to fit together: Mike, Bex, Tommy are English/American/Australian/Canadian/etc.; Gaige is I don't know what; Jean-Luc is French; Natasha is Eastern European/Russian.
... hope this helps!
| thefilmchick 4/1/08 . chapter 1
Plot: I am not sure that the timeshifts add anything. I know you probably intend them to be cinematic, but it strikes me that the chapter might flow better if it were arranged chronologically, as your big cliffhanger happens in the first few paragraphs and then the rest of it is just filling in the details.
Writing: Flows briskly, not a lot of extraneous description. I think that the -0- section could be chopped a bit, though, as a lot of it feels extraneous. If you're writing in a cinematic fashion, it should all be fairly glib and surface-level, and the big diatribe about 'Where am I? I want my brother' feels a bit too ponderous for the rest of the chapter.
Grammar: I didn't come across any grammarfoo that I noticed at work; if I get any upon rereading ch. 1, I'll drop you a PM.
Hope this helps. Ch. 2 on its way!
| LafilledeShakespeare 3/31/08 . chapter 1
I think it's quite good. I must admire how you put the action into it, it seems effortless, it's brisk but it flows. It something I cannot do.