Reviews for Writing Challenge Contest Collection
Nesasio chapter 4 . 9/11/2010
I think this story has a lot of potential. It's a bit melodramatic at times and the paragraphs are rather dense (long without much action) but I thought it was interesting.

I think it tells too much: you could turn some of this into scenes and it'd make everything flow well and probably add to the somewhat mysterious/tragic feel of the ending. As it is right now, with you telling everything that happened, I got a glimpse of these characters and I wanted to know more. By giving specific scenes you'd be able to more fully develop it and thus make the ending more shocking and memorable.

Good luck on WCC! :)
Sercus Kaynine chapter 4 . 9/8/2010
"I figured it out the second you entered through the window, the glass all over the floor in front of your feet, the sill gathered with the smallest pieces of sharp transparency, and twelve or so men all standing fore me, all with sharp and silver weapons pointed at my dinner guests."

Did you mean "before"? If not, add an apostrophe before "fore" so we know it's an abbreviation.

"Ore than just the onlookers that stood to close lost their beats that night, and for the paper to not immediately realize that is a striking truth. "

Forgot the "m" in "more".

I like the narration and tone you chose for this. It works well for a short, sweet story and for catching the reader's interest right off the bat. It was good how you hooked us with the mystery right off the bat and used the middle to explain what was going on. This is definitely something out of the box, a romantic tragedy of fate. A very touching story, and your use of description fit well with it.

Good job and good luck in WCC!
lianoid chapter 4 . 9/5/2010
Straight up, I'm not in a huge reviewing mood right now, so you'll have to forgive the briefness of this.

I think you should try and make a lot of your paragraphs smaller. Right now they're a tad large, and it makes it somewhat difficult for me to remain engrossed in the story because there's just so much in each paragraph; did that make sense?

Also, I think you could omit some lines here and there because I found myself drifting through this piece a bit. But, maybe if you just break up the paragraphs, I wouldn't have that drifting problem that plagues me when I meet huge paragraphs.

I found the tone to be somewhat inconsistent because of your word choice. In some places it felt modern, other times it felt a tad... formal? Like, uhm, it just didn't read as smoothly as it could of. I might suggest reading it aloud just to get the rhythm and flow of it clear in your mind so it's easier to smooth out those bumps, so to speak.

I'm thinking this was something like Mr. and Mrs. Smith? They were both spies or some sort of assassins and they ended up developing a relationship not knowing that the other one was a spy. Forgive me if I'm wrong, but that was my interpretation of it.

So, yeah, interesting piece. I think your take on the prompt was fairly straightforward, but that's all; so was mine. XD Best of luck in this month's WCC!
notveryalice chapter 4 . 9/5/2010

1. You need an apostrophe after James Quincy Adams to show possession: "James Quincy Adams' daughter".

2. "Our family's were dead" - "Our families were dead"

3. "Ore than just the onlookers" - "Other than just the onlookers"

If you wanted to say "O'er", then perish the thought - it's a contraction of "over", not "other".

4. "that stood to close lost their beats that night, and for the paper to not immediately realize that is a striking truth."

Huh? I can't parse this sentence at all.

5. "Locales are calling it the massacre" - "Locals are calling it the massacre"

Locale, (n): venue, the scene of any event or action (especially the place of a meeting)

6. "From the very first one; that breezy morning" - " From the very first one - that breezy morning"

A semicolon is used to join two sentences that are part of the same idea together. "From the very first one" is not a whole sentence; use a dash.

7. "shyly hiding yourself behind your carousel" - "shyly hiding yourself behind your parasol"

OK, so I'm beginning to suspect that you're consciously swapping words for inappropriate words that sound like the word you intend, for the purpose of surrealism. If you are, either do it with more words, or not at all; at the moment, it's far too subtle. You don't want your audience thinking that you don't know what these words mean, so you should do it often enough that they get the point.

8. "was as messy as our families relationship" - "was as messy as our families' relationship"

9. "obviously not noticing at least one of two things about your surrounding" - "obviously not noticing at least one or two things about your surroundings"

The "s" at the end of "surroundings" is necessary; changing "of" to "or" is a better construction.

10. "When I had collected myself to my feet"

Style change: this sounds awkward, not poetic.

11. "The tear amongst you might have been fake" - "The tear on your mask might have been fake"

"The tear amongst you" makes no sense as a phrase in this context. It would make sense as a poetic phrase when speaking about relationships within a close-knit group, and when meaning "tear: to rip" rather than "tear: a drop of water", and when "you" signifies multiple people, but here it's nonsensical.

12. "were entirely only a sweet tasting water"

I hate this extension of poetic license, in virtually every piece of writing. Tears are salty. Unless you're a spectacular writer, you don't get to use this trope. (But that might be just me.)

13. "would be shouted by town criers amongst all of Italy" - "would be shouted by town criers throughout all Italy"

Pretty sure now that you don't know what "amongst" means. You use this word when it is directly followed by a plural noun: "amongst friends", "amongst enemies", "amongst speakers", "amongst us".

This story reminded me of that silly TV show with Bruce Campbell that got canceled after one season - "Jack of All Trades". This means that unless you intended for the story to be a melodrama, you should probably tone down the language here. If you want it to be dramatic, consider subtler descriptions of environment. Also consider when you might be telling us the narrator's emotions rather than showing them to us.