Reviews for Cheating at Checkers
Souffle Girl chapter 1 . 5/28/2011
Ooh, nice ending! The whole time I was reading I was cycling through all the different supernatural creatures I thought Leonard, Alice, and Kenny might be. I should've honed in on ghost, given the foreshadowing at the beginning, haha. Oh, well, I'm terrible at predicting anything. :P

I love how quickly you develop great characters with such a short piece. The contrast between Kenny and Leonard is great, and everyone's dialogue was spot on!

Every time I read one of your short pieces I end up wishing it was a full length novel. You should write one of those, I would read it!
C. Tattiana H-H chapter 1 . 5/31/2010
From WRR

Kenny watched morosely as a ghost, a witch and what looked like a giant banana rang the doorbell and were greeted by a smiling woman with a bowl of candy and chocolate.

-Personal preference: Place a comma after “banana”

Lmfao. I really like Leonard’s character. He’s so dry.

I figured they were ghosts, but it was nice to nod my head and chuckle a little.

As always I have very little to say about your work, because it’s just too damn good. Your writing’s always top-notch and there aren’t any grammatical errors, just a tiny suggestion above.

I love your descriptions, you’re really amazing at painting a setting in my mind. I particularly like the peeling wallpaper; that description just felt especially real to me. Keep up the amazing work!
Classy Broad chapter 1 . 11/26/2009
Two Words:

Great Story!

I was kept wondering what the 3 kids were doing alone in a house not trick or treating

Did I get a great story!

I always like things like these things... Stories that have a very nice twist in the end...

I love all three of your characters, Especially Kenny!

Oh man, Just Keep On writing!
Royal Bliss chapter 1 . 11/13/2009
Hey, yo.

I'm not sure if I'm digging your opening sentence. It comes off sounding odd and stiff, especially combined with the sentence following it.

"The house had an unlived-in air. The atmosphere was dank and musty, as if it had been years since anyone had set foot inside."

You're basically saying the same thing twice, when talking about unlived-in air and years since anyone was inside... Pick one and roll with it or re-word it.

"“Terrifying, Kenny,” the man said, without turning around."

Nice job on this piece of dialog. It's the first we see/hear of Leonard and it shows a great deal of his personality. Props on Kenny's dialog as well. I'm glad the contrast between him and Leonard's is so great, it's obvious who is talking and proves that you are very skilled.

Anyway, I suggest you go through this and pick out some of the adverbs. There are better ways to improve your sentences rather than sticking in an adverb. Adverbs are cheap and don't take a lot of thought to use.

Overall, this story was cute. I was not expecting the ending... even though I suspected something was off. I'm not sure if 'impediment' helps the last sentence though, maybe because most of the words preceding it were 'basic'. But yeah, cute story and congrats on winning the WCC. Sorry for taking forever to review you, I am a lazy bastard.
Lani Lenore chapter 1 . 11/3/2009
O nice story. I was wondering why you never mentioned who these people in the house actually were or what they were doing there, how they were related...but it all comes together with a nice little twist at the end. An enjoyable read. )
Kneecap chapter 1 . 10/30/2009
AHAHAHA, ok, first off, the dialogue was EXCELLENT; I loved how realistic and humourous it was xD. Even the opening dialogue was a clincher:

"“Wo!” wailed the white-draped figure, waving its ghostly arms at the man who sat in the high-backed armchair.

“Terrifying, Kenny,” the man said, without turning around."

xD, I loved his deadpan delivery.

I also absolutely loved how some lines you could read a lot into, like "April returned to her crossword, but she was not solving the clues; instead, she was colouring in every square until the white blocks were indistinguishable from the black." - I'm not sure if that was intentionally meant to be quite as resounding as it is, but I thought it was kind of...it made me think that she was making a reference to society? She was trying to get delineate boundaries and stuff...get rid of the whole 'black and white' labels and stuff? xD, I'm talking rubbish. I just loved lines like that because they gave another dimension to your piece :).

"One by one, they stood up. Then, just as they had for so many years, the three figures slipped out of the room, the solidity of the wall no impediment to them as they moved to greet their guests." what a beautiful clinching line. Seriously.

I just, I think, most of all, what I loved about the piece was the flow of it. It was so elegantly written, and made me kind of think about images from 'The Nightmare Before Christmas' for some reason xD. You put a new twist on the whole 'haunting thing', and it was just lovely.

You know, I can't even think of a proper piece of criticism to give this. It was pretty much perfect :D. Really loved that.
The Five chapter 1 . 10/30/2009
Can't say I didn't expect the twist at the end, but it was marvelous all the same! Kudos for great depiction of group dynamics, realistic dialogue, and humour. A little more description might have been nice, but it'd be easy to detract from the plot that way so perhaps the story best as it is. Anyways, keep up the great work!
Cottia chapter 1 . 10/29/2009
I really enjoyed this story–I thought it was adorable, and it was especially well suited for reading now, since it's Halloween themed. I like the fact that the opening was intentionally left vague, so that it wasn't immediately clear to the reader that the characters were ghosts. On the other hand, based on the, "'Trick-or-treating? Us?'" line, I was fairly sure that the characters were supernatural in some sense. That's ok, though, because it was still fun to see how you laid your clues so that the reader would (hopefully) slowly figure out just who April, Kenny, and Leonard are.

I also liked the interactions between April, Kenny, and Leonard. They seemed fairly believable (to the extent that a group of ghosts living in a house together is believable), but I did question _why_ they were all in the same house together, as the story never explicitly said. Not that it needed to, as that may be left to the reader's discretion, but the lack of explicitness did get me thinking about the ghosts' relationships and why there were all together. Maybe that's a good thing, actually-it meant I was more involved in the piece, and processing it.

I also thought your writing style for this was good-the simple prose seemed to fit well with the simple characters and action? Not that it was simple-minded, more that it wasn't full of intrigue and mystery and plotting. And the fact that you used short and clear sentences to illustrate that was nice.

One small semantic quibble-your use of 'Hallowe'en,' rather than the more common 'Halloween.' It's not that the word itself is incorrect, just that it seemed a little odd coming from Kenny? I think it would have bothered me less if it had been Leonard saying it. Since Kenny is basically a modern boy, his use of 'Halowe'en' seemed a little...outdated. Although I suppose the fact that he's a ghost could account for it...

Overall, I really enjoyed this piece. I'm afraid that this review isn't very constructive, since it's mostly 'this was good! I liked it,' but I honestly didn't see much that I would suggest changing.
Patricia Louise chapter 1 . 10/28/2009
That was a great story! I really enjoyed this! I cracked up at the ending of it...and I loved your characters...very well written. The part about the apple people being dentists cracked me up! Great job!
xenolith chapter 1 . 10/27/2009
Wow! This is freakin awesome! It's such a great idea, and you really pulled it off. I had no idea what was going to happen. You conveyed each of their personalities brilliantly, and I particularly liked Leonard. I could see the scene vividly, I really, really enjoyed reading this.

Wow that was great. Well done, you made my night :)