|Reviews for War Paint|
| Katsurou Shimizu 10/10/12 . chapter 1
I really liked the minimalist approach you adopted for this piece, which kinda reminded me of Chuck Palahniuk's writing. The imagery used is also very apt on different levels: the spiderwebs reflecting the veins of the dying patient and also perhaps representing a slowly closing deathtrap of cancer (Not sure if I am reading it right though haha).
| Anihyr Moonstar 9/25/12 . chapter 1
I think the abrupt ending works. I've always wondered how a first person narrative ought to end if the narrator *died*, and I think this is, well, exactly how it should be. You stop. Wherever it was, whatever was going on - suddenly it cuts off and that's it; no apologies.
My favorite description in here is of the "spider webs". It's such a vivid - and accurate, if twisted - description of all those wires in a hospital patient in such a severe condition.
Sad story, but well put together. I enjoyed many of the various layers you managed to weave into it.
| Who Is This Girl Anyway 8/1/12 . chapter 1
First off, well done on experimenting a bit. It's always good to try out new things as a writer. This time I think it paid off. I think the symbolism of war paint was pretty clever here, and I think you did a pretty good job of conveying the struggle against cancer.
I liked the imagery of spiders here. The idea of think spiders' webs worked really well here to convey the feeling of being trapped. The dash at the end was also clever, as it conveyed the suddenness of death well.
By the way, is the line "The hardest part is leaving A," an allusion to MCR?
| YasuRan 7/27/12 . chapter 1
I liked that the 'war paint' theme was resonant throughout the piece. It cements the narrator's constant struggle in his/her fight against the disease ravaging his/her body. The imagery you chose highlights the fragility of their mental state with things like cobwebs and bombs illustrating the possibly volatile nature of the treatment.
I'm not I sure the abrupt ending was right for this kind of abstract piece, as it doesn't leave a clue as to the narrator's eventual fate. Since the piece is so figurative itself, I feel that a more solid ending would have added a greater sense of finality.
| cellophanediamond 7/26/12 . chapter 1
Wow. This is seriously amazing.
I love the symbolism of the war paint and the colors. There are so many awesome images and feelings in this... one of my favorite line would have to be: "It wouldn't be dying, my life belongs to A now. On his cheeks forever."
This piece is eerily beautiful. I love it:)
P.S. the hardest part of this is leaving you...
| Dr. Self Destruct 7/26/12 . chapter 1
I thought you addressed the senses very well in this story, most particularly the sense of touch and sound. I liked that reoccurring of the beeps, and the mention of it turning into a drone. The way you addressed how they put the paint on was very cool as well, because I think the sense of touch is something that often gets ignored when people write. But you utilize it very well, and the terminology you use when describing it was very effective - I could almost feel the paint on my own fingers.
I liked the spider webs at the ending, because I thought the inclusion of the spider webs created a very eerie tension. Kinda creeped me out... I hate spiders. haha. And I'm wondering if the story cuts off like that because there was an explosion. Very interesting. I'm not too sure what the A, the cat, and Estelle symbolize, but I feel like this is one of those short stories that are very open to interpretation.
[They don't need to see if I'm there, the beeping will tell them that.]
Edit: This comma should be a semi-colon.
[It would be like deactivating a bomb. Maybe it would all blow up and the drone would start.]
I don't know if it's just me, but the 'would's sound a little strange to me. Maybe replace them with "will" so it sounds more like she's pondering something that WILL happen in the future? I dunno. Like I said, maybe it's just me. It doesn't feel like those two sentences match the tensing of the rest of the story.
| this wild abyss 7/25/12 . chapter 1
I think you had a good handle on your character's emotions, which were definitely very prevalent in this piece. I personally don't care for this level of angst, but I liked what you did here because it's well-portrayed. I didn't like the lack of conflict, though, because without a plot a piece of writing generally feels like fluff, so there's nothing to ground me to it.
| Recontre Destinee 7/16/12 . chapter 1
I love that you're trying to do something different. I had to re-read the story a few times before I really seemed to grab the concept, but I didn't mind having to read again and again - it hooked me that much! So, well done with your experimenting, it's definitely paid off.
However, I think that it was a little too vague to be experimental and really click for some people. I was left with so many questions at the end and even while I was reading the story. Not inherently bad, but maybe something to consider. All in all, though, I really appreciated the read. :-)
| lookingwest 7/11/12 . chapter 1
Writing- The shorter sentences at the beginning were attention-grabbing. I liked them because they were poetic.
Characters- The first person was well done, I really like how it's narrated. I also liked how you used the name "A", it reminded e of Belano's Last Evenings on Earth, so it was a cool idea.
Opening- I liked how this started because of the stark imagery of color. The first line really sticks out too because the idea of "war paint" is violent and something associated with fighting, so that made sense.
Experimentation- I like to se experimentation with fiction and though this was short, I really like how you paid attention to the detail of color and it standing in as fighting against cancer. The whole thing was unique and I think you succeeded in what you were attempting.
| Small Wings Flying 7/10/12 . chapter 1
O/T: Experimenting's good. Whether it works for others or not, you've stepped out of your comfort zone and tried something new. I think that's reward enough.
Opening: I think there's too many page-breaks in the first few lines. They seem a little unnecessary. Having them in the same paragraph would nicely link them. If you're going to do it the way you have, the second line in particular would need rewording. If you do it right, the others might be fine. But that second line really screams that it belongs with the first. Apart from that, it's a nice metaphorical and colourful beginning.
Spelling/Grammar: [It wouldn't be dying, my life belongs to A now.] - semicolon instead of comma.
[So it's not deactivating a bomb, it's activating one.] - the comma kills it there. Try a fullstop; more punchy.
[I wipe my face as hard as I can, then examine the spiderwebs as closely as I can] - I don't think it's a good idea to repeat "as I can" in this particular circumstance. Again, it kills the effect.
And tense agreement (which I think comes under grammar). Be mindful of that. Do/would for one. Present/past.
Ending: [Then-] - you know, my english teacher once told me to end my pastiche the exact same way. With the dash and all. But definitely nicely placed. Good, effective and open ended without leaving the reader entirely unsatisfied. The metaphor above reminds me of the religious one where the soul is pulled out.
Writing: I like the simplistic nature of this, despite its metaphorical content. It's frank and direct, and it makes the scene that much sadder as it somewhat seems like a child hallucinating from illness. It's not the metaphorical description but the metaphorical image being physically endured, so that gives a powerful image, but also one of youth. Childness really. Depressing, but somewhat uplifting for some reason. Probably because of the innocence in the writing style that permeates the green and red. Sickness and death as well as war.
| Nanumi 7/10/12 . chapter 1
Firstly, I like the opening focus on colour because it gave me a strong mental image of the scene and the characters, not to mention the loaded symbolism of the colour red.
I felt you could have included speech marks to denote when characters were verbally interacting, but that could just be a personal style idiosyncrasy, in which case, keep it.
Didn't like the double line spacing because it made reading a bit of a pain, and affected the flow of the story somewhat.
Thought the description of the narrators' connection with A was beautiful; touching without being overtly sentimental. Stylistically, the narrator seems verbally castrated but in a deliberate way rather than it simply being sloppy writing.
This chapter left me with many questions, but not in a bad way.
| Theo K 7/10/12 . chapter 1
I like how you started this story out, talking about the war paint. It made me want to keep reading, wondering what the war paint represented. Then I realized that it represented what it says: blood and fighting.
I like how you use spiderwebs, probably representing stitches or something of the sort. Or it may be representing the cord that is keeping the patient alive. It's really an interesting story, and the abrupt ending made me want to ask you for another chapter, but I know that you can't, because the patient is gone.