|Reviews for Not Too Far Down|
| Dr. Self Destruct 6/16/12 . chapter 1
What really struck me right away was the tone of the narrator. I really liked how you included his slang and made the dialogue sound like he was speaking directly to me. I think that made his voice all the more powerful, to be honest. I know some people don't like too much colloquialism, but I love it. The more the better, in my opinion.
I find this prospect of being able to dig down to Hell very interesting, because that raises the question on whether or not Hell is a place a human can reach while still alive. I think it gives the place a very mortal feel, if that makes any sense... kinda brings it down to our level and doesn't make it seem as menacing. But then there's the fire and devil that comes out of the hole, and I can't help wonder if this is all metaphorical or literal. I'm leaning more towards metaphorical.
Very cool. :)
| S. Jacks 6/14/12 . chapter 1
This looks so familiar, like I've read it somewhere before. Late night wandering might have led me to it and I forgot to say anything!
Very short, very sweet. Mentioning the cigar at the beginning and end wraps it all nicely. The nervousness you describe in the beginning, that fear that Danny tries to hide, reappears for me in the end without you having to say a word. Poor Danny, his nerves being the cause of his own death.
I think if you wanted to look through it you could probably stretch the accent a little further. I'm typically not one for heavy drawls in writing (I was complaining to the school librarian about my frustration with Tom Sawyer just the other day haha!) but I think it could benefit the story. Some examples of that might be..
"So did his cigars." - "So'd his cigars."
"I ain't seen her do anything like'at since her first-born son died in the war." - "I ain't seen'er do nothin like'it since her first-borned son died in The War.."
"Then I asked him, I said, 'Danny...'" - "Then I asked him, I says, 'Danny...'"
Most of my relatives drop pronouns as well. Such as..
"He laughed. 'I dunno, son...'" - "He laughed. 'Dunno, son...'"
Where are you from? If you live with the southern drawl observe it a bit and experiment with it. Take my suggestions with a grain of salt and determine what will work best for you.
| this wild abyss 6/12/12 . chapter 1
Very strong piece of flash fiction. Your diction and writing were crisp and fluid, and you got your point across in a very engaging way. The first sentence caught my attention and held it all the way to the end. I also liked how there was a definite meaning to this; so often short/flash fiction just seems to be pointless images and metaphors thrown out on paper with some dialogue thrown in. Not so here. There was a definite message and I think you got your theme and intent across fairly well.
The last sentence was great, especially, because you tied in the beginning to the end (which you did in the other piece I read as well). It really tied off the piece.
My only complaint is your first sentence. "Sometimes Danny got scared." That's great, really interesting and got my attention. But it didn't seem to have a lot to do with the rest of the piece. What was he scared of? I didn't really get why that was important. It would be good if he was scared of a devil, because that you be a good stage for the rest of the piece.
But in any case, I really liked this.
| lookingwest 6/12/12 . chapter 1
Unless this is on purpose, which could be totally true, I don't mean to criticize style too much, I'm not quite surt I like your opening sentence if only for the word "got", which I felt was a tad bit heavy when paired with a more wordy "He never did like to admit it" instead of "He didn't like to admit it" which feels more natural to me. I do like the shortness of the first sentence though, as it comes across as being quite bold. I also can see the use of the "got" and the odd sentence structure in the second sentence as being a stylistic deliberate choice, following on what the rest of the language for that paragraph is about, so I think you have a totally valid point to keep it the way it is too.
The accent voice for this feels a tad bit forced to me in the beginning few paragraphs until it gets into the dialogue. I feel like it relaxes more there. I can't exactly put my finger on why it feels so tense at first and in all honesty it's probably just because it's not an accent I hear on a daily basis, you know? It could also be that the beginning comes across as a story that will take place in third person, but the first person then comes in on the second paragraph and threw me off too. Maybe consider introducing it as a first person narrative sooner? I think this shows promise and a bold move for your writing though, and it is ambitious, which I appreciate. By the end I think it really succeeded, the beginning just felt a tad rocky.
I like how you put political/cultural messages into your writing, I think it's something a lot of people are afraid to do and I really respect that. Your messages are also easy to get at and easy to understand, the examples well thought out and well delivered. I really like how you extended the metaphor of thE Devil as Oil in this piece and you wove them together from the dialogue of the narrator to the explanation of the oil spurting forth. Really well done there. I like how the narrator was so easily able to see the correlation between the evil and the oil too, especially when you paint a picture through the narrative voice of this piece, as Danny and his community being comprised of those who might not have the best access to education, etc. A tragic ending, but a memorable one for sure.
| IcarusForgotten 6/5/12 . chapter 1
very simple and very effective. love it!you have been able to do in 430 words what activists have been trying to accomplish in 10,000. brilliant. i'd love to read more of these formatted portrayals from you! :)
| Punslinger 6/5/12 . chapter 1
This is a compelling mood piece, with the characters' simple dialects adding to the atmosphere and making the tragic conclusion seem so natural.
| electrical moon 5/22/12 . chapter 1
Wow. This is short and too the point. I absolutely love your comparison of oil to the devil and "He came squirtin' up out of the ground all black and smelly, showerin' down on Danny and his wife's grass like a fountain.".