|Reviews for a light left on|
| Ernest Bloom chapter 1 . 6/3/2008
Great story. I can't believe no one's reviewed this. But it's something of a roll of the dice on FictionPress. But I assume writers always think their work is perfect, so it's more helpful to point out weaknesses than to pour on too much praise; still, this is a great job you've done.
Now...Let's just look at the first paragraph, only by way of example; no special need to single it out compared to any other...
"So this is how it ends," he thought distantly,
These -ly adjectives are almost always poisonous. The fact that his thoughts are distant becomes apparent as you go along. For that matter, "he thought" is unnecessary. Just put his thoughts in italics and eliminate the quotation marks. "he thought" is unnecessary duplication; "he thought" is unnecessary duplication. See? Distracting.
"after a lifetime thrice the size of theirs!"
No one thinks the word "thrice;" nor does anyone think of the "size" of a lifetime, even though that's how you-the-author think of it.
Beaten to death on a fairly deserted street
Don't be squishy. I've never yet seen a fairly deserted street. It's deserted or it's not. Maybe cluttered with crap...
by money-hungry kids, hungry, tired, old, hurt,
Last 4 adjectives at first seem to apply to the kids. Distracts the reader determining your intent, breaks the spell you're out to create. Unclear antecedent.
and with wounds so deep not even cave spelunkers could plumb the depths...
No wound in flesh is so deep. Unnecessary exaggeration. It's not the depth of the wounds that is relevant; it is the pain, the screaming nerves.
He thought that the stars had never looked so beautiful. Orion, Sirius, Pisces, Taurus, infinite combinations of old.
Nice touch, superimposing natural beauty on agonizing pain and dying. Maybe substitute the word "constellations" for "stars." Think accuracy & precision. "Infinite combinations of old" is a bit vague. Of old stars into constellations? Or old mythological heros injected into the present? Or both? What? Anytime a reader gets caught up in this kind of uncertainty his attention is broken and how he perceives your story suffers; his mind is elsewhere.
But hadn't he felt that way before about her? That there was nothing as beautiful as her smile? Pearly white teeth, full, pink lips; black hair and a chocolate grin in her eyes. Ah, there was his girl. Bold as brass
Bold as brass is a slightly intrusive figure of speech here with nothing obvious to contribute. Once more, beware these vagueries.
down the end of the alley now, as he lay there detachedly
evil -ly adjective. Learn to see them as strobing neon targets and nuke them during 2nd draft.
aching on the sidewalk. So many good memories, so many bad memories. So many things about her that, once he died, would never be remembered again.
I hope you don't think me over-critical. If you didn't have a lot going for you, I wouldn't make the effort. I admire your talent and hope you can sharpen it.