Reviews for A Declaration
Guest chapter 1 . 7/21/2012
My name is Ariel and I’m part of ProjectFiction’s staff. PF is a site that looks for, and recognizes, good fiction around the web. We link to stories (and take nominations from authors and readers out there), look for betas, put up writing guides, and a lot of other cool things. What do I do there? Well, I work in PF as a reviewer, basically going around picking stories to read and, obviously, review. Your story A Declaration is one of them. Hopefully, the feedback I can give you will be of use to you.

This was a very powerful one shot and I could literally feel the emotions coming from the screen. At first I was thinking the man was either a lunatic or a crazed murder. I hadn't even thought about him being supernatural. Haha even though that's clearly what the genre says.

Really there isn't much to critic. No mistakes. The message is pretty clear and the emotions of the priest and the man are clearly displayed. I really enjoyed reading it because not only did it catch my attention, but it kept it and had me wanting to know more about this mysterious man that just confessed to murder.

I wouldn't change a thing! It's really great and I know I've mentioned the emotions before, but they were just so there.

Great work!
Ariel
this wild abyss chapter 1 . 6/13/2011
I liked your opening. It was very thematic and really set the stage for the coming narrative. I’m not sure what it was, but the style or manner of presenting the facts immediately told me that I was in for an atypical confessional experience.

And I wasn’t disappointed. You worked the scene quite nicely. The description was tempered very well with the dialogue, and it was interesting from beginning to end.

I don’t have much to say. I liked it; wasn’t exactly my cup of tea, but there wasn’t anything wrong with it. So good work—don’t suppose there’ll be a sequel? XD
C. Tattiana H-H chapter 1 . 11/28/2010
I'm afraid you have mistaken my visit for something other than what it is Father. I did not come hear seeking forgiveness for my past.

-Edit: Comma after “is” and change “hear” to “here”.

Greetings God

-Edit: Comma after “Greetings” I believe.

I have walked this Earth for a very long time God..

-Edit: Comma after “time”.

I'm sure that you are well aware of my various doings.

-Personal: I would remove “that”.

The extinguisher might as well have been a child's water gun for all the good it did him. The fire was just burning too hot and spreading too quickly. He may as well have been spitting on the fire for all the good it was doing him.

-Personal: I would reword the third sentence so it’s not so similar to the first. I really enjoyed that wording, but twice in one brief story is too much, I feel.

"You could have avoided this God,"

-Edit: Comma after “this”.

Dude, this story was awesome. There was something rather comical about the man at first because although I had a feeling he was serious, what he was saying was just so different from my perception that I couldn’t but help be a little perplexed. I love how you characterize him. His tone is consistent and you somehow imbue him with a really commanding presence. Even though you didn’t provide physical descriptions of him, you have the reader much more through his dialogue and tone.

I especially like how he had grown to love someone because I felt he was a pretty powerful person/being, so it was nice to see he had a bit of a soft spot, and I think you wrote that part in really well.

Overall, I think this is a kickass short. Your writing style is engaging and refreshing; I’ll definitely have to check out more of your work soon.

Review courtesy of The Review Game’s Review Marathon. For more info, visit the link on my profile.
0Tabby chapter 1 . 7/26/2010
Well, it definitely wasn't yesterday or the day before like I'd planned, but at least I'm getting around to it sooner rather than later.

I very much like your writing style - it's simple, but effective and paints a nice image in my head, and your plot progression/pacing is great. The character is quite intriguing, as is his lead up from 'confessing his sin' to, well, committing more, and the ending definitely keeps me interested as well - I'd want to read more if there were any.

Of course, it could do with some tweaking here and there - but every writer knows that 'perfect' doesn't really exist, despite never-ending attempts - but overall, it's pretty impressive.
PapaMike chapter 1 . 7/7/2010
"Well, if this is God's house, then that must make you God's butler." XD A brilliantly balance piece of work, that one bit of humour in amongst the poignancy really worked for me. Having been in a confessional booth many a time when I was younger, when I first started reading I though it was going to be an inevitable forgive me father for I have sinned yadayadayada, but it wasn't that at all. I was so pleasantly surprised I'm adding it to my fave lists right... NOW! :)
dx713 chapter 1 . 6/5/2010
That's a chilling story, I did not regret reading it, but I've got a few gripes with it.

First, you have a few typos to catch: I noted following suit and not suite, and raining down and not reigning down.

Second, I've got a problem with the "power of love" cliché. I don't mean it's a bad cliché to use, it's even part of my beliefs, but it got me upset here. I think, and it's also my third gripe, its because the main character is established as too otherworldly, too ancient evil. Maybe it would work better if he was closer to human?

On the other hand, I like the story progression, from the strange confession to the horror. I like how you can write such a plot in a single space and time, through the use of well-placed dialog.
ZyggyGirl chapter 1 . 5/21/2010
Good description and pacing. Very well-written. A little disturbing.
Phantom Rottweiler chapter 1 . 3/20/2010
Okay, here we go. Round one.

Overall, the plot in and of itself is very interesting - so much so that it could be the basis of a full-fledged novel. The characters were very believeable and easy to identify with.

There were some parts that threw me off, though. Let's start with "I have sinned Father." Maybe...'Forgive me, Father. For I have sinned. At least that's what I can gather from (lack of) experience.

"However," (H)e began again suddenly, startling Father Richards out of his thoughts."I have changed...

Father Richards was cut off there by (the or a?) short bark of humourless laughter.

I also noticed a few sentences that could be tweaked a little, possibly replacing a lot of commas with periods, that would help it to flow a little better. As would dropping a couple of "and's"...it's kinda like, he did this and this and this - all at the same time?

I see you've put a lot of thought into this piece and I hope I'm not being too harsh.

"With one final look up at the starry night sky, the man turned and disappeared into the darkness." Wow what an ending. That's a deal sealer right there. Overall, a few tweaks here and there, other than that, it was pretty dawgone good.
PlatinumPrincess1 chapter 1 . 2/10/2010
Very intriguing. The hook did it's job nicely. You could feel the emotion in the scenery very well. All in all, well done.
MidnightLights3-7-12 chapter 1 . 1/25/2010
Wow. Never have I read anything quite like this. Such emotion and imagry practically jumping off the page. If this is just this beginning of this story, and you plan on writing other chapters, I will certainly read them all. I liked that you choose to write a topic that no many people would even dare try to write about. Great job. And keep them coming!
troy chapter 1 . 1/13/2010
yo man it's pretty good. the main thing i found (other than your typical theme of super powered beings :P) was that alot of your sentences ramble on for a long amount of description.

You might want to try using some well placed short two or three word sentences and maybe play with the structure of the paragraph for a more interesting effect, as all of your sentences are combined with commas and it makes the reader feel like theyt r dragging on and on trying to progress through the plot.

I also noticed that the part with "this long that to do so would not be in much nature" should be in 'my' nature probably, otherwise it doesnt make sence to me.

Those are the most outstanding things to me with one read through, so yeah if you need me to beta ur stuff on some sites just let me know i have alot of unfilled time and can get in some editing if u need it.
xenolith chapter 1 . 1/13/2010
Okay, this guy is almost immediately interesting. I like the idea of him delivering a message to God, and out loud, no less. I thought this sentence sounded wrong, 'Father Richards was cut off there by the short bark of humourless laughter that suddenly issued from the man’s throat and boomed though the small confessional booth.' - just too long, maybe, could be broken up for a better effect. Also... 'and the vast majority of my time has been spent doing things that you seem to severely frown upon.' imho, that severly is unecessary. His dialouge so far seems curt, cordial, and that sounds a little out of place.

And now, onto the good shit :)

This, is awesome: 'If it takes me two weeks or ten thousand years, I will destroy everything you have ever touched or loved, and then I will come for you.' Rawr, so righteous, like a cold, dangerous anger. Very cool.

And that ending with the church, gave me goosebumps. Oh, the poor Priest! You know, I think it would be good if you ended it there, it's quite emotional and I think the 'walk off into the darkness' adds a touch of the corny to an otherwise impressive scene.

So, nice job with this. It would be great to see what happens next!
lookingwest chapter 1 . 1/13/2010
Hello! This is the first thing I read this morning, before work, and woo, it was deep!

I like the whole character of the man, and I appreciated the mystery, I kept trying to figure out what he was and I liked his idea of really taking war with God.

With the character of the priest, I kept thinking back to one of my favorite books, Pillars of The Earth, and I think that you did capture the priest in a believable fashion, as being kind of meager and just too shocked to react, though I do think it was out of character for him to not interrupt the guy's speech to God-that's just an opinion though, and nothing else.

I didn't think that the climax of the fire was built as much, I was actually much more tense during the gong scene, though I agree with Sophie and Mick, I wasn't a fan of the writing out of the gong noise. Maybe just writing the word: GONG, would do for me, that would be my suggestion if you still wanted to keep them!

Grammar wise/spelling wise this was great, there were a few bumps but I think Sophie and Mick pretty much covered them all, and besides that, this was excellent and smooth. I had no problem reading it and it made me want to keep reading.

I look forward to finding out more concerning this guy, especially if he's immortal, the concept is original as something I've never read before, and I think it's interesting he's taking up this war because of a woman he loved dying. I wonder if you'll take us into the past or keep moving us forward-either way, I'd be much interested in reading more!
008 chapter 1 . 1/13/2010
I quite like how you started this off. But, it may be a bit creepier if the stranger was more formal with his confession. For instance:

"Bless me Father for I have sinned." rather than "I have sinned Father."

But, that's just a suggestion. The character of the stranger is intriguing. It is hard to feel for him as a reader though. We understand that he isn't of this world and that he is "evil", but there needs to be more to him. Within the first bit of this he is speaking but we aren't shown any mannerisms,speech-patterns, quirks or what-have-you that make him more round and "real".

I think you mentioned this a little late: "The usual note of remorse was completely absent from this man’s voice; it was as though he had been commenting on the weather"

Maybe if somehow something similar was mentioned before the stranger says how he's done "many terrible things etc" it would have more of an impact thus make him "round" earlier on. I read the confession bit a different way and then you mentioned he had a lack-of-remorse several lines after the fact.

Then there's this:

"With a silent sigh"

A sigh is a sigh because it's audible. Sorry, I had to point that out.

I have to say, as well, that the writing of the gongs didn't quite catch me. It is an intense concept though. Anyway, I like that you didn't show the priest actually dying and just mentioned the roof caving... it leaves the picture of the death up to the readers imagination.

This was an intriguing read, no doubt and it had me thinking after wards. Nice job.
sophiesix chapter 1 . 1/11/2010
The plotting here is really interesting, but I think you could do some more showing to liven it up a little. E.g. “It quickly became evident to him that the extinguisher was completely useless.” It would be nicer to be shown this than told it, if poss, makes it more immediate to see the story unfold before your mental eye , and helps the reader identify with it more.

Grammatically I found it pretty darn smooth. Just at the beginning there, the use of commas could be polished: “I have sinned Father.” Needs a comma before Father, and likewise with the next one ‘my son’

My main beef was I never really got a good enough grip on who the confessing guy was? At first I thought he didn’t believe in god, so then I got confused when he was talking about gods creations and such. The idea of him, with the little tidbits we got, was really interesting and I wanted to know more. I thought he might be a vampire at first, but that didn’t necessarily gel with the fire at the end. I like that idea of immortals vs God, it could be a pretty epic battle! Like the Crusades modernified or something.

a minor beef, but writing out the gongs like that didn’t really catch me. I lost count, and just skipped to the end of them. The concept is great, them all waiting in silence, heart in throat, I just thought the execution didn’t do it justice. Have you read Xenolith’s Charlie of the Dead? It has a similar situation there, just worked a bit differently, and I found it really suspenseful.

So a great idea, powerful characters, smooth writing overall. nice work!