Reviews for Once Upon A Nightmare
musicbox chapter 12 . 11/2/2013
What a range of emotions in this one!

I was a little confused as to why Armand and Violet couldn't keep themselves under control at the table. Were they still giggly from the race? It seemed like they had time to recover from that. Maybe clarify a bit.
musicbox chapter 8 . 11/2/2013
Also, this is super nit picky, but "J'ai peur non, cherie" is a literal translation of "I'm afraid not, dear", but it's actually gibberish in french. I think you're looking for: "J'ai bien peur que non, ma cherie."

Unless the point is for Armand to not be very good at french, since he doesn't speak it. At which point, ignore me. :P
musicbox chapter 11 . 11/2/2013
Loved the interaction between Armand and Violet, of course.

I also love the justification Violet gives for snooping, but would have liked to see it be a little more of a spark instead of a side thought. Perhaps Violet can start by noticing she's about to let her curiosity get the best of her, then resist it, choosing to respect his privacy, at which point her flame itches and she suddenly becomes furious at the situation he's put her in and the fact that he has not respected her privacy at all. Which drives her to quite smugly feel that of course there's no harm in her snooping a little, considering how little Alexander discloses and how much he takes.

Just a thought. :)

Again, lovely lovely work though.
musicbox chapter 10 . 11/2/2013
I feel like we were slightly bombarded with characters in this chapter. Considering that Vince, Simon, and Johnny (and another one? I don't remember) don't make too many appearances from here on out, I would maybe consider trimming the number of characters down. Maybe consider picking one or only really NAMING one (Johnny, probably).

Otherwise, this was an excellent chapter. The tension between Alexander and Violet is such a driving force in this story.
musicbox chapter 9 . 11/2/2013
You have a real knack for depicting action. And I love how Armand just undermines everything in this moment.
musicbox chapter 8 . 11/2/2013
I thought this concept was amazing. OF COURSE dreams and nightmares don't dream.
Genius move on your part. What better way to keep us connected with Alexander and introduce more of his story to us than to perfectly make it so that Violet can tap into his memories when they're both asleep.
Bravo!
musicbox chapter 7 . 11/2/2013
Also, I realized that "City of Nightmares" could also be an interesting title choice.
musicbox chapter 7 . 11/2/2013
What a perfect meeting between Violet and Gloom. It was at this point that I think your quality of writing became it's best and sustained that amazing quality for the rest of the story.
musicbox chapter 6 . 11/2/2013
"Fear is an anticipatory feeling, not an actual one." What an excellent moment.

But these two really didn't plan this out too well, did they?

This was a perfect chapter. Except for the fact that it might have been interesting to move the beginning of this chapter with her father to the end of the previous chapter. End on a good note before diving into the insanity of this chapter.
musicbox chapter 5 . 11/2/2013
"It tastes a little different when they're scared for you not of you."

Loved that.
musicbox chapter 4 . 11/2/2013
I loved how the dream Violet crafted showed how the two have some common ground. Superbly done.

I also loved the ending of this. Considering how people who do have sleeping disorders are often met with skepticism and delayed diagnosis, I think you did a very good job of shocking Violet's parent and teacher.
musicbox chapter 3 . 11/2/2013
I have little to say about this chapter, it was very well done. I enjoyed the nod towards the fateful kiss which seals their souls.
musicbox chapter 2 . 11/2/2013
I loved this chapter. The first paragraph was an amazing introduction to Violet's inner character and imagination, and the interactions between her and Violet were phenomenal.

I think I would have been more interested if Violet DID know how to play chest (particularly considering that she's a lit buff and chess is not an uncommon game metaphor in the type of literature she's drawn to), but chose not to once she saw the board he created.

So, I'll confess something else: Not too fond of the title of this story, or the majority of the chapter title's, for that matter. Also, I noticed in your amazon version that you don't have a table of contents, not so needed for a digital version, but still an important formality. For the chapters, I'd just keep it simple: Chapter One, Chapter Two, etc. If you want to sizzle it up, stick some quotes from gothic literature etc. at the beginning of each chapter which fit the tone/themes of each chapter. That would absolutely fit Violet's character, would reference the interaction she and Armand have later on, and would add to the tone of your story as a whole. Plus, it would add a certain amount of expertise to your piece.

As for a title, I might draw from something that's critical to the plot and/or the premise. Perhaps "The Circadian Clock" or "A Stitch of Time"? Something that gives your story a little more credit than "Once upon a nightmare" and, furthermore, somewhat fits the title structure you'll be establishing with "The Nightmare King".
musicbox chapter 1 . 11/2/2013
I love your story, but I felt your talent for story telling improved as you went along. You seemed so caught up in explaining the premise in this first chapter that you forgot to *show*, while in later chapters you knew quite well that you could show first then explain later if needed (such as with the first appearance of the Night Terrors). Even in this chapter, you present us with the Circadian Clock without getting hung up on telling us everything about what it is. I only wish you could use this same approach when introducing us to the nightmares, the need to live on fear, the pill, etc. Just throw us in.

Don't get me wrong, you definitely show hear, and much of the explanation is very well done (e.g. I loved "An average mind..."). Just consider if some of the things you are explaining are truly necessary to explain now or if they can be explained through action or imagery instead. For example, the riff on convicts is interesting, but could probably come up later in the conversation with Violet about the famine and how feeding works.

The thing I loved most about this chapter is that it was from Alexander's POV. Using the prologue as an opportunity for the reader to get familiar with his character was genius on your part. Loved the last paragraph in particular.
musicbox chapter 24 . 11/2/2013
I am going to go back and review the rest, but had to start here since I just breezed through your unique story. Loved the concept and the execution. While I think you did a great job of ending this story with a lingering feeling which doesn't necessarily require a sequel, believe me when I say: PLEASE WRITE A SEQUEL! I would love to beta it (I'm mostly a poetry writer, but got a degree in English Literature and was trained to give feedback), so feel free to contact me at if you're interested in sharing drafts with me.

I am curious to see what you end up doing with Gloom's power and what comes of Alexander's royalty. Meanwhile, I'll be seeking out this story on Amazon so I can give it another read to offer you feedback.

You should be very proud of this work. Thank you for sharing it.
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