|Reviews for The Voiceless|
| Pulp-Wreckage 4/13/13 . chapter 1
This holds a great message. Good job!
| PlainlyInvisible 3/21/13 . chapter 1
Wow, this has a lot of symbolism in it and I like it!
:D Thanks for your wonderful story!
- PlainlyInvisible -
| Anihyr Moonstar 3/21/13 . chapter 1
I read this the first time you posted it (before the edit), and I will say I think removing the girlfriend, Janice, was a good move. She didn't seem to serve much purpose and as a character she was only a cardboard stereotype of an awful girlfriend, so plucking her out of the prose tightens the story and narrows the focus down to what you really want to present to the reader.
I'm a little torn about the manner you go about tackling this issue. If I look at the entire story like a giant metaphor, then it works. The passage about people taking up a cause, getting extremely fervent about it, and then abandoning it a short while later when they're no longer caught up in the rush of it is very true-to-life and frankly irritating when it comes to a lot of 'activists' for various causes. Particularly young ones (teens) whose patience and dedication for such things tends to be (on average) more limited. I also think the story does a good job of at least getting the reader thinking; it basically bludgeons us over the head with the issue at hand and makes it impossible to ignore.
On the other hand, to me at least, the style feels too blunt, and the issue that you're trying to tackle feels far to big to be condensed into such a small story. There are a thousand factors that weigh into problems like this, and the girl trying to bring the narrator around feels like a preacher who's slamming the audience with an un-asked-for guilt trip without any depth or background information. "Doing something" isn't as simple as pulling tape off the mouths of imaginary kids - it isn't even as simple as not buying a pair of shoes - change has to happen at the root of these issues, and I think the story condenses and simplifies the depth of the problem while focusing instead mostly on shock-factor.
BUT, again, I do think it at least forces the reader to think a little about its message and maybe, if they're the sort of person inclined towards wanting to take up a cause and do something, they might go research it. It does feel more like a lecture than a story, though.
| lookingwest 3/18/13 . chapter 1
"Please, help us." She requested in a small voice.
"I-I don't know how." I replied, shaken.
"Yes, you do." She answered quietly. [All of these have incorrect dialogue/speaker tag grammar. You always need to have a comma after your dialogue and un-capitalize the speaker tag (with some exception of course, but this is always a good rule). Remember that "She requested in a small voice." is not a sentence by itself (so it shouldn't be capitalized), what did she request? That someone "please help", so the request needs to be attached to the dialogue - look at it as one coherent sentence, two halves working as a whole.]
This is a very abrupt and in-your-face didactic short story. I'm wondering if perhaps the message is a little too blunt and straight-forward, but I think one goal of this story was to teach the reader a lesson, and I think it definitely did that, or at least, it really illuminated a problem in our current society today. The message was crystal clear and I think so was what you wanted the reader to take away from it. Will this story change lives or help someone make the right decision when purchasing items at a grocery store? Probably not. But I think overall in writing-terms you do a good job setting up a hook opening and also going into details about the settings - then using the settings as the means of the thematic center, and I liked that. However, if anything, I'm wondering if this story is almost too much theme and not enough exploration. I don't have much of a time to get to know either of these characters, and I think the problem with first person (I can relate) is that we don't even know for sure what the gender of the narrator is (though I'm leaning towards it being a man). I think though, that you did characterize the woman really well at the beginning of the story and I also liked her introduction because of that, but the surrealism that follows the entire situation becomes a little absurd and it's interesting that they characters, especially the woman, take it so seriously.
| YasuRan 3/18/13 . chapter 1
This was an interesting concept to tackle. Child labor has long been a topic fraught with landmines on as to how to present it in a light that showcased the harshness of their suffering. In this regard, I think you opted for the safe route in depicting the theme in a surreal manner which is both good and lacking. The good, to me, lay in the realistic setting of the scenario and the voice of the protagonist - who comes across as a decent enough regular guy the reader can relate to - but what the tale lacked was a sense of cohesion in narrative. The transition from the narrator's conversation with the girl to the sudden dream-like epiphany he has in the middle of the store could have been handled more smoothly, with his realization being more gradual, therefore maintaining the realism you set up earlier.
I didn't like the girl in the store much, to be honest. She felt more like a statement than an actual character, but then again, that may have been your purpose to begin with. Perhaps lengthening her encounter with the narrator would have made her appear more real and thus, a bit more likeable, especially with her message being so important.
| Faithless Juliet 3/17/13 . chapter 1
Hmm interesting concept here.
First off I don't like or understand Janice. She acts like such a witch I can't imagine why he stays with her. I feel like not enough was explained to excuse her behavior. was she having a bad day? It felt off. She appeared to be one dimensional and vapid. You may have wanted her to be that way and if that's the case then good job.
I'm a little bit baffled by who the children were. I got the sense that they were representing ideas and situations rather than actual living breathing children. I'm sure more will be reveled in time but a bit more background on that wouldn't hurt. Keep up the good work.