Reviews for Into The Night
taerkitty chapter 5 . 12/31/2009
Hm. I thought this was written for WriMo, and hit the 50k words already. Oh, well.

Writing in accent is a delicate balance. This one has a little much for me.

Italics worries me. It's usually the sign of a neophyte author, one who discovered a word processor instead of just writing things down longhand. Maybe I'm just dating myself and no one uses longhand anymore.

'iJesus' - again, need to watch the formatting as the text is migrated from one format to another.

Okay, the last italicized block of text lost me utterly. Where did that come from? What happened to our narrator? He's suddenly behind a door. Who's this then? Where did the carnage come from?

I my eyes, this is not fatal, but barely. It may lose other readers, and lose them in that final sense. Not good.
taerkitty chapter 4 . 12/31/2009
I'm dreading reviewing these last few chapters. Either the story is going to end, or I'll be faced with an interminable wait as the author creates new ones. It's an excellent story, one I don't want to see end (or that I've run out of chapters.)


The new character looks impractical and self-centered. Realistic, but I don't like her based only on her looks. We'll see.

"They may not want you smoking in there." I'd think, with the problems with usable air, smoking would simply be prohibited.

Uh, so the girl follows the soldier down the stairs, over to Jake and Chuck, then back up for a cig? I don't see it.

Very smooth way to get Jake and the nameless girl some alone time. Well done.

"If the world is going to end..." Yep, I don't like her. It's good writing to get a strong response from the reader in so short a time. Excellent.

"iBack at school". Need to fix the formatting, or lose it altogether. I used to spend as much time HTMLing my stories as I did writing them. However, I see it as more a crutch these days. If I can't show that the character is emphasizing some words, then all the bold or italics won't help.

"Or how to talk to girls, who were incredibly hot." With the comma, it generalizes to all girls. I think you want Jake to mean only this girl, so lose the comma.

"Get in. Now!" Great tension. Snapped me up into the action, even if it's hurry-up-and-wait.

Blu-Ray is still not ubiquitous even today, so if it's available to him sixteen years ago, that's a great way to 'date' the setting without explicitly presenting it.

Aladdin. Lion King. Jake's dad's favourite. Oy, I feel old...

"But my mam would always be there..." Previously, it was "mum." Unsure if this was intentional.

Distributing the sleeping stuff. Good actionto build admiration, and with it, attachment to the characters.

Good description of a drunken Chuck to corroborate the line about joining the Army messes you up.

A low-key ending. Normally, I'd say it's weak, but this contemplative and subdued manner fits this story.

Good chapter. Some good character development. Not a lot of action. There's a danger of some readers finding it dragging. I'm not sure - I'm constantly 'popping out' to write down my thoughts, so I can't say if the whole flow is unbroken, or if I broke it at weaker points.

As I said before, looking to see it continue.
taerkitty chapter 3 . 12/29/2009
"The wind whipped ... slowly I rolled." That's a seeming contradiction - perhaps a mention that the wind died down, or they found someplace other than a fallen tree to sit and savour their stash.

"Army Personal" should probably be "Army Personnel".

"Mam and da? Jesus, I hadn’t called them that for ages." Nice bit of characterization.

A downbeat ending, very fitting for this sort of story. Excellent tale. I don't have any suggestions for improvement in terms of dialogue, characterization, or pacing. The pacing is too slow for my comfort, but that's part of its effectiveness - this is a very uneasy piece, so taking it slow and forcing the reader to both contemplate the possibility, and to become bonded with the sorry saps in the soup benefit the story a great deal.

taerkitty chapter 2 . 12/29/2009
Good opening. Introduces the setting, the time, and starts the characters moving.

Very realistic and well-played complication (Claire's relocation).

Good monologue after she leaves. I was wondering if there was a contradiction brewing compared to yesterday's description of how he felt toward her.

Very nice parallel development, both of the events and his (failure to) coping with them.

"We were quick in the toilet, for once, it was actually unnerving that the urinals were not full." Run on sentence.

"Don't Fear the Reaper." Very nice.

Very good ending.

Again, a silky-smooth read. A set of difficult circumstances, with realistic dialogue and the right amount of description. Excellent story, if only it wasn't so hard to consider...
taerkitty chapter 1 . 12/29/2009
Cool, a NaNoWriMo success! Looking forward to reading your novel.

Decent opening chapter. It gives a little bit of character voice, and a little indication of the state of things, specifically, poor.

Very, very smooth description of his day, the train ride, etc. Excellent.

"As usual, Clara bounds out" tenses shift. Until now, it was past tense.

"Although I knew it had gone to far to remedy that situation." Sentence fragment. While we all think in sentence fragments, this clause fits with the previous sentence. When writing it down, the logical thing to do is to join them. When the eye sees them not joined naturally, the mind starts to wonder why. This distracts from the illusion the author is trying to weave, so deviations from the common rules of language must be carefully weighed against this cost.

Also, we're back in past tense again. I think the last point was a one-time error. Tense shifts are a common bugbear in writing.

"...but I knew he'd also kept a lot quiet." I'm not sure 'knew' is the best word here. It's difficult for our protagonist to -know- unless Chuck out-and-out said, "I can't tell you," which seems against his character.

"Whose playing" is a homophone error. "Who's playing?"

"Russia have given" is a plural/singular error, whatever it's called. "The Russians have given," or "Russia has given."

Powerful closing line. Gives us a very deep idea of our protag.

All in all, the first chapter introduces the protagonist and supporting characters, and sets the stage for the Main Event, but doesn't actually show us what parts the prinicpals play in the unfolding international drama. Yes, her mother has the potential to be held as hostage, but that's a descriptor, not an active role.

The writing is very strong, with the few noted exceptions above, all of which are common writer's errors. The characterization is good. Jake is too 'normal' for him to have any sort of memorable voice, so the ending with him coupling with Clara so fiercely gives us something distinctive to remember him by. It may not be nobility, but it is memorable.

I will have to read the rest another day. It's already too late for me to be up.
Experiment101 chapter 1 . 12/28/2009
very awesome! Congratulations on completing your NANOWRIMO. I've also been trying to complete that for the longest time.

This is starting of excellent.
Palm Tree chapter 2 . 12/28/2009
Oh, this story brings me back to the school year I read Alas Babylon. X3 I love nuclear war stories and you're really doing a good job building this up. I hope good things happen for Clara, or, if nothing else, that she at least makes it to Australia. In my own mind, I'd like to imagine Chuck and the protagonist enduring a lot, the protagonist changing, then eventually discovering that Clara didn't get on the plane but managed to survive. Then he'd be a better man worthy of her and they could be so cute. I dunno. XD I'm just pretending. Anyway, the character interaction in this was very well done and I enjoyed all the exciting political details related through the radio and whatnot. Chuck I've come to love even more since he's so... he's just the guy you want to have around in a situation like this. And then the protagonist. He warmed up on me with his concern for the animals and how his whole way of thinking sort of changed after he realized death was so close. This was a good chapter and I wonder if the bombs'll go off in the next, or if they even will at all.
1.21 Jigawatts chapter 3 . 12/28/2009
Before I begin, I'll make my universal disclaimer that I'm no expert at writing / storytelling, so you should take everything I say with about 10 metric tons of sea salt.

Writing Impressions:

I honestly don't have too much to talk about here. Your dialogue is great, level of detail is good for focusing on what's important, and the only attribute that stood out to me is that your pacing and writing style seemed very relaxed. I suppose that isn't the right word, but the words and dialogue seemed to flow in a very easy-going manner. For the types of scenes I've read so far, it makes them seem really natural, so that's a good thing.

Story Impressions:

One thing that I'd like to comment on - which I found interesting, is that this story had a feel which was very down to earth. As in, I didn't notice any elements of escapism which is usually found in sci-fi stories (and my own stories, which are downright cartoony) - this helped to create a mood / feel that readers could get into more easily. Nothing was too out-there, and the situations portrayed (relational and plot-wise with Russia/America) are things that I can easily imagine happening - and this made it an easy read. That being said, I didn't really get the impression that this was a sci-fi story. I know it is because it's set in the future, but I haven't gotten that impression.

I love your characters. They're great, and they're written with that same kind of easy-to-grasp-ness that everything else is. Characterizing Jake by his relationship with Clara did really well to cement his type of mentality to the reader. And I must say, he's a good portrayal of a very real type of person (as opposed to idealizations) - not something that many people do well. I could honestly see Jake, Chuck, and Clara as people that are walking around in my town.

Plot-wise, I'm getting a post-apocalyptic survival vibe. At the current points in the story, the hints at what the story will be about are relatively subtle - I don't know if this is alright with you, but I'm guessing that this is probably intentional to reflect Jake's outlook (not paying too much attention to such things until it affects him), and also because I've only read the first three chapters. I feel like the progression of the story is being set up for some instantaneous shock-factor event - which is something that is tricky to pull off well - but I think you'll be alright whatever you choose to do. But yea, I'm thinking wastelands, something like "The Road" or "War of the Worlds" type stuff.

Anyway, good job and keep at it!

Mizzuz Spock chapter 2 . 12/24/2009
I really enjoyed Jake's character development here. And I just KNEW he'd be relieved to see Clara out of the picture. XD

I was kind of hoping for a little more introspection when it came to listening to the news. I mean, some more thoughts on the situation might help to slow the pace a bit there, because I felt it went pretty fast after Clara left.

Maybe a little more detail, especially during the getting high thing. I mean, don't people think too much when they smoke? Maybe you could show more of Jake's thoughts on the current situation in that mood, before you jump into Chuck's appearance. You did a good job of building the suspense, though. Ah, yes. Experts don't know jack.

I'm still getting a zombie vibe from this, even though it's a Cold War. XD

Your dialogue is spot-on and you really know how to develop your characters through it. I think just a little bit more detail as far as inner monologing would be great. :]
Jake Crepeau chapter 5 . 12/22/2009
No worries here; the going back and forth between sites is smooth. One suggestion, though: You need to put some kind of scene-break symbol when you do this; the first time I ran into it, I thought we were still inside Jake's head and got confused until I figured out we had shifted viewpoints. Maybe a couple of o's, or a row of asterisks with spaces between them (the spaces are necessary, or they won't show up when you post).
Kobra Kid chapter 2 . 12/22/2009
Great Chapter, Jake and Chuck are an epic duo! :D

(Btw, Living on a Prayer is me and my best friends theme song xD)

I can't wait until i have more time to review this, this story is really amazing because can sorta feel it coming, the nuclear war that is.

Great dialouge, and Jake is cute when he talks about the animals 3

Great work!
Kobra Kid chapter 1 . 12/22/2009
I love this story! _

You can feel what Jake is feeling and even get scared from US vs Russia. I also love Chuck, he's so strong and cool. I like him already (and he looks like a hottie [;) I'm gonna go read the very next chapter now! *runs off*

P.S. Please review my story, "Rise from the Ashes". Thanks! :D
Mizzuz Spock chapter 1 . 12/18/2009
Going to be totally honest: When I read the summary, my brain immediately screamed, "ZOMBIES!" (Eh. It's been doing that a lot lately...)

So, um...obviously, this isn't about zombies at all. But that didn't stop me from enjoying it! xD

I love Jake's personality, and you portray it very well. He's a very fun, interesting character to read. Your info-dumping actually works. I didn't find it annoying at all. The writing style flowed smoothly and there were few bumps.

Probably the biggest problem I had was with dialogue. There were periods after someone talked, like [“Great.” I mumbled.] It should be ["Great," I mumbled.]

Also, there was one tense problem: [“Morning baby.” She croons, a bright smile lighting up her pretty face.] "Croons" should be "Crooned" to fit the past tense.

Other than that, this is pretty good. Even without the zombies. xD

Oh, and a huge congratulations on NaNoWriMo! *has failed epically the past three years* x]
Palm Tree chapter 1 . 12/8/2009
Jake is such a cruel character! So dispassionate and lacking in sympathy. To be honest, I love it. XD It's great to read of someone with such a starting point. I can easily see how he'd develop over the course of your novel but I don't know the details and it's that that holds my interest. Your opening was very strong as it was just filled with so much voice. It was on a level so personal, like a secret story was seriously being told and I, the listener, did everything in my power to prepare to learn of said story. That was great and I sure hope I'm not the first to mention it. The situation described was very believable and the characters introduced were realistic. I mean, these are people you'd expect to see on a bus and it's always a joy to read of those sorts. Chuck seems a pretty cool guy and at this point I feel strongly for Clara and her crumbling world. Then, like I mentioned in the beginning, there's Jake who is such a jerk but, still, is in no way impossible to sympathize with.

The only thing that caused me to pause was the statement that Russia may possess nuclear weapons. Since this is still technically our world I thought it would already be established that Russia indeed possesses nuclear weapons but I'm not sure. Did that change in this world? To be honest, I'm quite curious to know the answer to this.

Anyway, it was a good starting chapter for sure and congratulations on completing NaNoWriMo! 8D
TymCon chapter 3 . 12/7/2009
"Apparently I had shouted out that her ‘supernatural beauty will not trick me’."

Lol that made me laugh.

Well a good few intresting characters so far. And we get a bit more info on the tension between russia and america. Only one small complaint. When the seargeant was looking the main character and then looked aprovingly at chuck...well that seemed awkward and unless chuck was gay i guess...but the army have a dont ask dont tell policy, so he wouldnt have commented at all. Maybe if they ask him for something later on in the story it might work, like i dunno planning or something. Im ranting arent i? Well this storys very good:P
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