|Reviews for The Horror of London|
| MrxAwesomexSauce 8/7/09 . chapter 1
You are doing really great and i will definitely look into more of your stuff!
| Fractured Illusion 12/25/08 . chapter 1
First issue is a style issue:
The italics. They aren't necessary, and are actually destructive. To me, when I see a chapter almost all in italics, I press the back button. Why? It is hard to read italics on a computer screen. Remember it is a computer screen. Normal text (not italics) should be used for large parts of text. Italics are used to emphasize a word or two, not paragraphs.
To signify the change of scene, just use a line to break. One of those - thingies in the edit bar here on FP. That way you get what you want, and the readers' retinas are intact XD
"Although it lies back some years now"
I have problem with the "lies back". It doesn't read smoothly to me. Maybe "Although years have gone by" or "years have passed by now". It feels more natural.
"veiled and ghostly through the hazy atmosphere"
Two remarks of this sentence:
1. I can't really make sense of the word ghostly, since the rest of the sentence doesnt connect with this part of the sentence, except that this part of the sentence does indeed urge to be continued. But it is just left as a subordinate clause.
2. "ghostly" should not be said. I got the impression of ghostly through your descriptions. You do not need to tell what you show. So ditch it, please :) So just have "veiled through the hazy atmosphere".
I think you are a bit wordy and have long sentences. How to remedy this? Easy! You see, most people got to have long sentences one way or another. But you need to balance, just as with everything else in writing. So to make the long sentences bearable, you add short sentences as well. It helps create a smoother flow when reading, and it is easier to follow!
Looking at your writing, you have a lot of subordinate clauses. If you ditched those, it would be more to the point and less wordy. Maybe make an entire sentence of the subordinate clause, and that way you have a short sentence to mix with the longer ones (because I dont suggest you create sentences just to be short. You re-group what you already have). A way to see if a sentence is long or not, is to see how many commas and "and" you have in it. The commas and "and" extend a sentence; if they are less, the sentence is thus usually smaller.
Example of rewording:
"Among those who had not found a bed for the night was a young woman, maybe twenty years of age, and perhaps even considered by some to be beautiful, despite the layers of dirt obscuring her face and the grease in her light brown hair."
"Among those who had not found a bed for the night was a young woman. She was around twenty years of age, and perhaps even considered by some to be beautiful. However, layers of dirt obscured her face and there was grease in her light brown hair."
"After another moment, he invited her to follow him, indicating so with a nod of his head. "
"After another moment, he invited her to follow him with a nod of his head. "
Not perfect examples, but I am just showing you the mechanics. So try to do this with at least one sentence per every other paragraph to prevent wordiness :) More if necessary.
In your first italics-paragraph, I find that you re-use a lot of the descriptions and vocabulary that made you unique in the non-italics part.
1st paragraph: veiled, cobblestones, narrow streets
2nd: curtain, cobbles, narrow alleys
So it is already repetitive, and its only 2nd paragraph. Try to cut out from whichever paragraph so as to not be repetitive.
"the man continued to stare at her with an odd expression that made her shudder, with a mixture almost of avidity and rage"
I am a bit confused here in your wordings... Maybe if you tried;
"the way the man continued to stare at her made her shudder. His gaze held a mixture almost of avidity and rage"
? It becomes more clear that way (and is also less lengthy)
"Suddenly she sensed that someone was nearby"
"Suddenly" is one of the most hated words in literature from what I can gather :P Because when you think about it,everything happens suddenly if not in slow motion, and it is also doesnt bring out any urgency. So I suggest you cut out the word.
"she felt what she knew had to be the warmth of her blood running down her neck"
Oddly worded. Can't really make sense of it. How about just being simple?
"she felt the warmth of her blood running down her neck"
It could be debated if "warmth" can run down someone's neck, so even better would be:
"she felt her warm blood run down her neck".
It is a bit awkward to have the part of the person speaking to Lizzie divided. I think it should be united. Maybe just have it all together at the end? It leaves a more unified impression rather than this scattered one. It is kind of hard though, because then it spoils the events in the flashback part Lizzie has. Its a tough choice.
I liked the ending line the best of all lines: very omninous/foreboding. That is why I think you should save the present-day talk til the end. That way the reader will fully realize that "wow, she really did survive!" you know? Instead of knowing it right from the start.
*shall submit review without proofreading it haha XD*
| Jasion Drake 12/20/08 . chapter 1
First off, the most noticable part of your stories is the descriptive writing. There is such a lot of it! And far from being tedious, it actually drew me in further, which is a rare quality for such quantity.
The tone of this story, to use the colloquial term, scared the heebie jeebies out of me. Eerie, tense and only somewhat ruined by the upbeat music I was playing. I'll read it again listening to some orchestra pieces. That should help. ;)
Interested to know what happens next!
| karma-dollie 12/19/08 . chapter 1
Heya, Net! This is a review for the Freebie in Dolly's place as she requested. Merry Christmas from her!
That chill you wanted when you asked about that opening on the forum? You totally got it. This is a chilling piece. And in order to help you make it even better I need to point out a few things that just made it a little difficult for me to read. I still enjoyed it though. :)
When you went to the flashback, I know you're talking in the past tense, but you switched tenses sometimes. "Today had not been a good day." Maybe you could say "That day" to keep it past tense. Same thing with "she decided to sell something else tonight instead."
Also, you've got a lot of commas throughout that make the story a little choppy. "...she noticed a rather small man in a dark suit and a moustache, who had been staring at her for a little while now." I don't think you need the comma there. Or here: "...asked the landlord to save her a bed, and she told him that she would return soon with the missing money."
The other things are trifles like sentences that are a little awkwardly phrased, spelling (crepingcreeping, formfrom) and writing words twice. "...her remembrance of the man's stare from before began began to encourage the fearful thoughts..."
The story in itself looks good. I guessed Lizzie was going to prostitute herself, but I wasn't sure at first. Desperate times call for desperate measures, right? I was going to yell at my screen for her not to follow the man as if I were watching a movie. Haha! And I like how the police didn't believe her because of what she was doing. It's realistic and I felt scared for Lizzie. Overall, nice job! Just needs a little clean up.
| CrimsonxShadows 12/17/08 . chapter 1
I didn't really see a hook. While your writing style is beautiful, the first couple sentences are drenched with cliches, and the story is written in a passive sense that turns the reader off.
The first paragraph in italics is the same. I want to see the dirtiness of the area, smell the rotten, decaying plants. There's a phrase that goes "Show, not tell." This is an extremely important phrase to be used in literature.
As the story progresses, I see intense scenes unfolding. If events are stressful, it's easier to depict that with shorter words, shorter sentences, and harsher vocabulary.
The ending of the chapter is quite nice-puts a nice hook to it. If I were to find a hook here, that would be it. However, in the paragraph before it, you go back to a passive, monotonous speaker. It doesn't sound realistic.
I'm sorry if it seemed harsh. If I didn't like it, I'd just say it was good and move on. I hope it helps!
| elennie 12/17/08 . chapter 1
Oh! I liked this story; it had wonderful description and a true aura of horror. It was wonderful.
The only thing that detracted from this chapter were a few gramatical errors. There were very few. Here they are.
Maybe that is why I am still here and able tell you my story, my beloved daughter... There should probably be a to there.
she wished that he had made up his mind, for the atmosphere
of the night and her remembrance of the man's stare from before began began to encourage the fearful thoughts crept into her mind... You may want to remove one of those begans and change crept to creeping.
But all in all it was a wonderful start.
| itsanawkardlife 12/16/08 . chapter 1
At first when i began reading this i wasnt sure the direction it was going. however, i loved the ending, i assume that you're insinuating that Lizzie was almost a victim of Jack the Ripper? in any case, it was a good ending line.
As for your writing style, i like it, i think it's simplistic when it needs to be, but vivid enough to paint a picture for the reader.
You also kept me interested, i was almost certain that the man was going to have his way with her and that he was her daughter's father, but the fact that there was a plot twist kept me interested.
One thing I would say for this would to maybe consider word choice. It's not that it was bad, but it became a little repetitive towards the end.
all in all, a very well-done story.
| Munch Magic 12/16/08 . chapter 1
The opening line is interesting; it attracts the reader by posing questions that they will want answering. Namely, what’s so unique about this day? Then the narrator progresses to state that this day is one of the events (if not the catalyst?), that led to the meeting between the narrator and the farther. This intensifies the initial interest of the opening sentence.
You seem adept at describing the locations. The descriptions are vivid and utilise different words to further paint the image in the readers mind. There is always the danger of ‘overdoing it’ but I feel you strike a good balance between detailed description and information overload.
The characterisation appears to be well thought out. In desperate times, people resort to desperate measures, in this instances prostitution; which she does to put a roof over her head and ale in her belly. You also factored in the survival instinct, when threatened things go two ways you freeze in fear or you gain a heightened (I believe adrenaline helps). This lends creditability to the character.
One minor issue (from my personal perspective) is that the narrator jumps from a first person perspective in the present, to a third person perspective when recounting the actual story. This seems a little strange; if I was telling a story about myself to someone I would tell it in first person.
There are also two mistakes I noticed during reading. While in themselves they are minor, they do detract from the immersion. I have listed these below.
Typo: “indicating so]with a no” – sixth paragraph
Repeated word: “from before began began to encourage” – eight paragraph
| SuzannaR 12/16/08 . chapter 1
I like this. Sounds like the beginning of Jack the Ripper.
It was sad too, you do a good job with bringing across the poverty of the area and Lizzie.
I see a few places where the wording is perhaps a bit ackward, but you're not writing in your native language so it's quite understandable.
Also I wonder why you changed the point of view of the flashback. It starts out with Lizzie telling her daughter the story of that night. Probably you could have continued in the first person and not have it be a flashback. It was distracting to have the pov switch and the flashback in the middle of the story.
Apart from that I quite liked it. The closing line was really good too.
| Pink Parfait 12/16/08 . chapter 1
I really enjoyed the descriptions. Stuff like:
Even though it was still winter, there was no snow; instead a thick curtain of mist was wafting through the narrow alleys of Whitechapel.
really stood out. I could get a very clear visual image. Lizzie's emotions all the while were very well described also.
Historical accuracy is on, pat. Well at least it seems so to me! It's off to a very interesting start and I liked the nice, even pace at which it was set.
| Selarose 12/13/08 . chapter 1
I liked this. The descriptions are nice, the action flows, and the suspense is dangled before the reader. I will say, though, that it was rather easy to see the attack coming.
I noticed two things wrong: a word ("began") was repeated somewhere (in the flashback, when "Lizzie" starts following the man or thereabouts) and a bracket was inserted where it shouldn't be. A bit of the grammar was off but still good, for the most part.
The flashback... I don't necessarily find fault with it, but I think it needs to be better introduced. One moment you go from a person talking with her daughter to a shift in POV and scene. I think it'd work better if the main character started by speaking of the flashback, painting the scene as it was, and the rest sort of blended in from there.
Anyway, so far, so good. This was a great start.
| Lin 12/11/08 . chapter 1
It truly had the suspense that kept me leaning forward on the edge of my chair. The flow of the story is marvelous and I really enjoyed it.
There felt to be a rhythm throughout the story and it's rather different than normal fictions that I have read. Not to say that's it's bad or anything, on the contrary, I find it well to experience another show.
The only part that had me confused was when you finished your first paragraph and entered the flashback, going from first person to third person. However, I do think that the flashback was well done and that I feel third person was the best choice to bring more of the thrill into the story.
It’d be interesting how that event would lead up to Lizzie meeting her daughter’s father.
I very much enjoyed reading this. Keep up the good work, :)
| Interrobang 12/9/08 . chapter 1
I don’t really think anything is wrong with the flashback, it goes well with the story and is set up fine. It just happens to be a story told mostly in a flashback which is perfectly fine, in fact splitting it up might make it confusing.
Some grammar is a bit off: ‘Although it lies back some years now’ might be better as ‘although it was many years ago’ and ‘way that I had to go during that night’ could be ‘path I had to take that night’. Also: ‘dirt of the pavement’ is it dirt or pavement? Dirt on the pavement? And ‘The cobbles in this area’ cobblestones in this area, I believe.
I like the description of Whitechapel, the dirt of the homeless people and the dejected feel set up the suspenseful aura nicely. It set up a nice mental picture of a place almost too destitute to live in, but at the same time filled with so many people.
The suspense is pretty good, it builds at a steady pace, but the climax is a bit expected. That is to say, you can see it coming; you know when she loses sight of him that he’s probably right behind her. I recommend you try to make it less that she is chasing him and more that she is guiding him down the alley, and just when she’s about to turn to speak to him he stabs her.
Altogether I liked this story, Lizzy was introduced well and characterized as a character who is likeable (she had her priorities in order, sleep being more important than drinking). It acts as a sort of haunting prelude to the historical events this is still poignant today.
| Saana 12/9/08 . chapter 1
I rather liked the story, and the proofreading was nicely done. My favorite was especially the beginning, since you used a lot of description and active verbs over there. One thing I think you might to consider though is the use of language. You tend to use similar structure (for example, it almost appeared as if...). A few time is okay, but for the sake of not repeating yourself all the time, it might be a good idea to try to express things a bit differently.
Yet, once again, nice descriptions. You know how to breath life to surroundings and environment. That's a true gift, you know?
| FuckMeAlice 12/8/08 . chapter 1
Ooh, good starting chapter. The only thing I would complain about is having the whole flashback in the middle. Do you think you could split it up between what's currently happening? It would flow much better.