|Reviews for The Gallowhands|
| Skyward Ending 8/16/12 . chapter 1
The way you began the story was unique and caught my attention, especially taking in what the summary said. However, the wording was a bit convoluted - something I am quite guilty of myself - and would benefit from cutting down on similes/metaphors.
It was interesting how you tied in animals to everything, but at a certain point it became too much (going back into what I said earlier about metaphors and similes). I also thought you used too many ellipses; a teacher once told me that everyone is allowed only three ellipses in a lifetime (obviously no one's gonna do that and he probably didn't, but you get the point).
You used so much space driving in the same somewhat melodramatic points over and over that I found myself skimming, and several parts seemed superfluous altogether. It would've been nice if you capitalized on the scene (could've used more description), history, and/or present and active thoughts rather than ideology and philosophy. I think you were going for mystery about the character but a little more information would've been better. I do wonder what she's up on the chopping block for.
I think if you used the animal comparisons more sparingly it would be really effective; a lot of the ones you did use were good, but you repeated them. I really liked the last two sentence-paragraphs. I'm not sure why, but I did. There's attitude to it.
Nitpicks: pray, not prey. I think you meant Bobcat instead of bobcat this one spot. Dominoes, not dominos. Adverbs instead of adjectives here and there.
| Ebony-Bones 8/14/12 . chapter 1
Well that was certainly interesting. I like the choppy style, but it was a little hard to keep up with, so maybe put the paragraphs together a bit more? Other than that, I must say I like where the story started, all the animalistic analogies were nice since was essentially a caged animal. Would like to see how she fights now that she's backed into a corner, though.
| AThousandPromises 8/7/12 . chapter 1
I liked the detail and depth of the narrator's musings, it gives the whole thing a kind of haunted feeling, which I like. I didn't like the second half, when the narrator is moving and speaking, because it's like reading it through a window; I didn't really get into it. You don't quite give the reader a sense of what the main character is feeling, just what he's thinking. I do like the backstory and how you give the details of it to the reader slowly. My favourite part is the beginning, especially the line "Or maybe I'll toss that wad of blank paper instead, the mark of defiance of a youthful girl entering her rebellious stage in the hands of a woman drained of the thing called "humanity"." Keep writing, you're great at it :)
| Do Play With Fire 7/21/12 . chapter 1
This is interesting, cool, and good writing even though it is slightly disturbing.
| natalieward 6/20/12 . chapter 1
Ok first up - really intriguing. You can tell from your writing that you are a scientist at heart - like your profile says. I am one too and I loved your description of nature v nuture, reproduction and evolution. The second paragraph is really fabulous.
There is something about the first paragraph though that just doesn't flow. The second sentence is very long and then the end of the last sentence just needs to be reworded somehow. I get what you're trying to say, but it just feels a little stilted.
I do love the kind of science lecture we get until the fourth paragraph where your narrator is finally revealed - and what a tease! I want to know more about her and then you take us on another science lecture. Maybe that is a tiny negative of the prologue in my mind. We get to hear all about what's in her head and yeah she has a great inner monologue and a superb, snarky and bitter attitude, but I want more of her! But hey, maybe that's my impatient personality and my need to know things now!
You mention at the start in your notes that you feel like something is wrong with it, but can't figure out what. To me, it's just maybe some rewording that leaves it a bit hard to follow, it doesn't quite flow in some parts. Some examples would be:
- repeated themselves - in that sentence it just feels like it should be repeat themselves
- needle burying in my skin - feels like should be needle buried in my skin
- vultures and meet - should this be meat?
But apart from that, I do think it pulls you in and you want to know why this person is here, what she has been accused of and what the hell is going to happen to her now - oh and bobcat, please explain?
A very cool and unique intro.
| this wild abyss 6/13/12 . chapter 1
[Opening] I liked how you opened with that sort of philosophical passage. It was very interesting and thought-provoking. I don't think I've ever seen nature/nurture put quite like that.
[Dialogue] You used you conversation as a tool for characterization here. I really liked that and thought it was good tactic. It's easier for me as a reader to come to know someone by how they talk as opposed how they look.
[Characters] The woman in this looks like a strong female lead. I'd be interested to learn more of her backstory/life. Based on the title of this, I get the feeling that it would be pretty unique and different.
[Enjoyment] For my taste there was a little too much frills and furbelows, but not so much that I completely missed the point. Your narrative was pretty clear for the most part, and I liked watching the scene unfold.
| Jewelvine of the Many Worlds 5/20/12 . chapter 1
If you read it many times and can't find anything wrong, from my perspective there's nothing wrong.
It pulled at my heart and made me depressed about my life for a good ten minutes. but then, not all writing is supposed to be happy.
Anyway I thought it was different, intriguing, and I liked it.
| VelvetyCheerio 5/20/12 . chapter 1
Wow, I really loved the voice in this piece. They say there's a fine line between genius and insanity, and I think you captured it perfectly in this character. I was entranced by the psychology theories and the underlying science to her words. It was like reading the diary of a madman. The voice definitely kept my attention with this one, so good job with that.
Another thing I liked was the symbolism used. First with the dogs and then with the "enticing piece of meat" and blood. Especially when the vegetables take on more meaty characteristics. Your sentences produced such vivid imagery that each word took on a new meaning. That really put the story in a whole new light and it makes me wonder and consider this character's philosophy.
Awesome start to this story, keep up the good work!
| Rogue Energizer Bunny 5/18/12 . chapter 1
I don't see anything majorly wrong with it either. It's a bit confusing if anything. All the dog references have me a bit confused: is Domino actually a dog? I don't think so, but then...
Whatever. I think all prologues should be confusing anyway. Otherwise, they're just stupid and boring.
| lookingwest 5/16/12 . chapter 1
For a first sentence, I found it inconsistent with the narration in your second. The first sentence doesn't use contractions, but then the second sentence starts with "That's", so the narrative voice was a little off for me. I would stick with one tone, formal or informal, and stay with it. I found that happening with "it is" throughout the chapter, so maybe keep an eye, especially because once the narrator gets going, he starts to use contractions.
I feel like in some places you over use the ellipses too. Why not use an EM dash or just a period? For instance:
Bent double, labouring over the points that will later be covered with soil to grow again…and we think our little...
Or even an EM dash might work better than an ellipses in that one.
...striking the ground beside my ear. [Edit: "ground" should be "floor" if he's inside.]
A sharp blue, but shadows lurked. [Awkward description/sentence fragment, just because I'm not sure what it's describing exactly]
I roll my eyes back to stare at him. [Edit: present tense, needs to be "I rolled".]
There's some tension in this first chapter with present tense and past tense. While I get that the narrator is narrating to an audience and that can be in present (the first paragraph) because he's also writing down on a paper as a "last will" sort of thing, sometimes I feel disjointed when it suddenly goes into past tense (the end scene). Like...what happened with the letter?...I would almost maybe take the audience "you" out of it and try to stick with present or past. It makes me wonder if he's specifically re-accounting his story and speaking to someone rather than just the reader. Unless some of this is a memory and some of it is happening now. I'd be interested to see what tense your first chapter is in, though. I feel like once we get to the end and Domino is about to die, the past tense became more natural.
For instance, until this sentence "A crash echoes on the walls..." I thought that Domino was writing down his thoughts on a pen and paper that he mentioned they gave him. But then why would he start narrating action like that? The crash "echoes" is still in present tense too.
I'm a little confused as to that list line with the disembodied voice. Is that the voice of Bobcat or Domino? Or someone else? Since you say the first chapter doesn't follow after the prologue, I'm guessing that question won't get answered for awhile, so maybe consider making it more clear. I'm assuming it might be Domino because earlier in the chapter he said "Come little doggy" or something. Then again, it could be because I'm at fault at missed something (entirely possible).
I'm also confused as to who Bobcat is. I know you mention him two times-a third in passing as an aside. But I didn't quite fully comprehend what that was about. A fellow inmate come to rescue him? You say he's Domino's last defense. That makes me think maybe he's there to bust him out? Escape plan? Those questions don't all need to be answered, of course, but I was a little uncertain even with his hinting about dogs and feeling treated like one, and then the involvement of Bobcat. It could be a literal Bobcat for all I know at this point, haha.
I'm intrigued about how Domino got here and I'm intrigued to see where you start in the first chapter but the opening paragraphs of this didn't quite grab me in, and I think it might take another chapter or two before Domino does too. I didn't find anything particularly fun enough about him to have me invested in his character yet, and felt no sympathy either. Starting with him about to die with the pendulum and then a prison break might have been fun, but I'm not completely sold on starting with him writing a note and then walking to the pendulum.
Overall I think you have a good start, you do have a good situation where I think it pulls in the reader because someone is about to get killed, so that's always good, but it wasn't as exciting as I would've hoped.
I do understand this is still in the draft stage though, as most things on FP are, and of course a lot of what I mentioned was stylistic so feel free to ignore whatever you want-even all of it, xD. So far so good!
| Writing In Ink Forever 5/15/12 . chapter 1
Interesting... I'll be following this.
| thetabbykitteh 5/15/12 . chapter 1
This is amazing, no beyound amazing. Loved it.