|Reviews for Flash Fiction|
| Dr. Self Destruct chapter 28 . 7/24
Hey there, AJ! Grats on your WCC win! I know you wanted to donate your reviews, but I thought you at least deserved one for yourself to keep. :)
Ending: I really loved the ending and how it cuts off at what some might consider to be the climax. It leaves a lot of implication and the rest of the story up to the reader's imagination. Like, what does he end up trading with her? And why is she so willing to toss away the ability to "love"? Does she end up making the trade? Makes you also wonder what happened to her to make her so callous and drive her to this man to begin with.
Setting: I think you do a great job developing the setting near the end, like with the fetus in a jar over the man's shoulder. I would've liked some of those details a little further up. I think, were you to focus on the man walking around while he talked, you could have him approach a few different things around them in order to describe them. More details of the setting will help make this more immersive, IMO. Doesn't have to be a whole lot because I know you were trying to keep this under a certain word count, but I don't think it would've taken more than 3 or 4 sentences to flesh out their surroundings some more.
Dialogue: I like the way you formatted the dialogue, dropping each line to its own paragraph. I think it makes the man's musings leave more of an impact, and it visually marks each shift in his thoughts. Also adds a bit of interesting drama to his voice, which helped add a layer of depth to his character. He definitely seems to like to make a show out of their engagement, especially since he talks for awhile before he finally gets to the point of what she wants.
Theme: It's interesting how a lot of these "things" that the man talks about trading or giving her are characteristics and not physical, tangible somethings this woman will be able to touch. Like money. The thought of trading one intangible sensation or personality trait for another is pretty neat and gives this story a unique veil of magical realism. I'm curious whether this man is actually magical, or if he's just a con artist, haha.
| lookingwest chapter 20 . 1/31/2013
Well this is heartbreaking! I liked the opening tension that you keep going all the way to the end, you have a really good command on that and I think it made for an intense read, which is why I liked it. This works really well for a flash fiction and I liked that you were able to add in more characters than what one might normally see in flash because it gave it the expanse of a bigger story in a smaller punch. I also like how in these flashes you seem to have the idea of a bigger world but can self-contain it, which is cool to see. I also liked the description of Landy towards the beginning - the sentence about the hair falling out and death, that stuck out to me as a stark image of this little girl and I was sorry to see her die at the end. It came together great with a lot of good subtle characterization.
| Nesasio chapter 2 . 9/17/2012
And here's your very-belated freebie. Honestly, I kept meaning to do it and I think I read like half your stories before I settled on one to review. I never knew you were such a prolific writer! Kudos on that. I really like all the variety you have here. I dabbled in like 12 shorts/stories and none of them ever felt the same. Very cool.
Opening: This was a really cool opening scene. I liked how you had that stand-alone line for a hook and then the narrator's reaction. I was right along with her in that sort of breath-held pause of 'oh no, what's going to happen next?'
Characters: Since I didn't know much of what happened before this, it was a little hard to gauge either of the characters' normal personality, but I think you established them pretty well to start with. It's interesting how they almost become symbolic in this, because we have so little information of what led them to this point. We have the devoted but damaged mother and the daughter who must be shunned to be saved; I think you definitely succeeded at communicating your stated intent, showing the heartbreaking choice a mother might have to make.
Relationships/Dialogue: I was a little surprised that the daughter left so quickly. The conversation seemed awfully short for the magnitude of her reaction (and the mother's desired reaction at that). Maybe play that up a little more and have the mother be a little more vicious?
Setting/Other: I think you had a good start here with the prison thing but I wasn't sure what was going on there. I'm not sure it matters in a short like this, but I felt like I was lacking a bit of context to place this encounter. I wasn't sure if this was a literal prison, if she was being held captive or something, or if she was mildly insane. That little bit of uncertainty kept this from being completely engrossing but it was still a good read.
| lookingwest chapter 15 . 8/8/2012
This is hands down my favorite from your collection so far - excellent, and it works so well as a flash fiction. There isn't a whole lot else to tell in these last moments and I think you captured all of it perfectly. It was also well edited, which is a plus I appreciate, and it was concise. There weren't any unneeded characters or descriptions - it kind of reminds me of what could be a one act play too, the choice to keep this tight and simple was a good one. I liked the opening and the ending - especially the ending - great imagery with the falling and the smile too. The setting gave me a complete picture without being overly-detailed, which was another great balance I enjoyed. I also liked the concept too, because it was creepy but made me want to continue reading all the while. Overall, good job with this, it's truly one of my favorite things you've written!
| lookingwest chapter 14 . 8/7/2012
"It's a mouse trap, get another one." Nila replied sweetly. [comma after "one"]
"Alright, show mw where this trap was." [me]
"What's so important about this one trap. [missing an end quotation]
With this piece, I think I would've appreciated it better edited. I know you know how to write correct speaker tag punctuation, so when I see it in your Flash Fictions I have to admit it becomes a little disappointing to see things a little sloppily edited. Even though these are short and to the point and they're not your work that you're really focused on right now, I think since they are on your profile for people to read, it does take a certain amount of presentation for them to earn being there. Just a thought, and sorry if this comes off as harsh, it's just a lot of these were simple easy fixes and I wanted to note it.
Anyway, content-wise. This was also not one of my favorite pieces that you've done with this collection so far, but I did think you captured the attitude of children and the mother well. It just felt quite anti-climactic by the end, and I was reading expecting something quite clever to unfold, but it never did. I liked the details about the mousetrap because I could clearly see it - the antique details were cool. I also liked the details about Jacob being so quiet and everything - you did a good job staying consistent with that characterization. Overall, while I would've appreciated better presentation for a writer of your caliber, I think this had great characterization and very crisp clear descriptions that made it worthwhile!
| Mia52 chapter 10 . 8/6/2012
I like this piece because it shows that when a person does wrong, they can create their own personal prison that treats them worse than what an actual prison could ever do.
I also like the style this was written it because I could actually feel the pain this person is going through.
Overall, you did a good job with this chapter.
| Highway Unicorn chapter 16 . 8/6/2012
I really like the tone of hopelessness and lust you've created. Your diction is beautifully crafted, allowing the readers to perfectly imagine this woman's alluring dance.
I'm still trying to figure out how he died at the end. It's such a unique way to go; just disintegrating into millions of little particles...very interesting.
Even though it was short, you managed to create a wonderful read that hooks the readers in from the very start, or at least for me. :)
| professional griefer chapter 14 . 8/6/2012
I really liked the characterization of Nila, you just give a great feel for her from your dialogue and narrative.
I also liked the concept, having a kid detective like that was like a cracky Nancy Drew.
Also, I absolutely adored the fee for her skills. That was hilarious.
You have a few places where you need commas, and one place ('"What's so important about this one trap.') where you need a question mark instead of a period and another quotation mark, but in general I really liked this.
It was a cute idea, and you executed it very nicely. Good work.
| professional griefer chapter 11 . 8/6/2012
I liked the narrative style in this, it's a very good blend of action and description, and the emotions really come through. It was very emotionally driven, and I quite liked it.
I love this sentence: 'He let the rain stream down his body washing him of the blood and sins he was drenched in.' It needs a comma between 'body' and 'washing', but other than that it's a really poetic sentence and gives me a nice strong image.
One more sentence nitpick: 'This wasn't a nightmare this was real, he realized.' There should be a comma between 'nightmare' and 'this'.
Overall, really nice job, especially on the emotions and description.
| lookingwest chapter 12 . 8/5/2012
"...any form is illegal." The short one said. [comma after "illegal"]
I liked the second ending better than the first because I thought it kind of hints at a wider plot - like something that could be turned into a short story. Honestly I did feel this piece didn't work well as a flash fiction because you put so much into the concept of a world with restrictions on singing that I didn't feel satisfied in the ending with knowing it's only a flash. I feel it could really benefit from being expanded into a short story instead, or even a novella work. I really liked certain images you had this, like dissecting her name when she says it. I also liked the concept of the reeduction classes and the fact Lily has already taken them because it gave her solid character background/development to see where she is now as opposed to where she's been - another reason I'd like to see this one expanded. The concepts here are really cool!
| Rogue Energizer Bunny chapter 15 . 8/5/2012
I love the opening. Catches attention immediately, and it's soo interesting. The feeling of resignation's great for setting the tone.
I love some of the details, too. The ears bleeding, the the cracked scene... they're so dark, and they create a great tone of hopelessness, without needing internal monologue or anything.
I think the ending falls a bit short. It seems sudden, with the pace of the rest of the story, and I don't know that I'd jump off a building when I was about to die. Maybe I would. I guess I wouldn't be able to tell you if I did. :/
| Inkspilled chapter 16 . 8/4/2012
I liked this, it was a bit abstract but the imagery and writing evoked a lot of beautiful ideas. Occasionally, there's a lot of "he" and "she". I don't know if this sentence has an error in it, either:
"Together they walked to the largest crack in reality, but his eyes were only for him."- 'were only for her', I think.
Anyways, I think this piece created some lovely images and I really enjoyed some of the descriptions near the beginning. Nice work and good luck in the WCC!
| Rogue Energizer Bunny chapter 12 . 8/3/2012
I like the idea, haha. I can't imagine a society without music. That'd suck. I'm awlays humming all over the place, and singing. Ask Wick about my singing. It's amazing. So the central idea/conflict is very interesting, and I like the exploration of society.
["Sometime you have to get it out or you'll die. Never be followed; never sing anywhere but there."] I love this part. It's an interesting conclusion. I think my braind might kersplode if music wasn't allowed. It ties in the theme of the story well.
I like the first ending better, I think, because it's a little more understated. Quiet tension rather than loud.
| Rogue Energizer Bunny chapter 11 . 8/2/2012
Merp merp merp MERP. MEEEP.
So this is cool.
I like the violence in this. It's punchy and unique. I don't think I've ever seen this side of your writing. Hm. Very interesting. In a good way.
I think you use the length of this to your best advantage, too. Short stories take a different touch than longer ones. Your description/characterization is heavy here, which is exactly what's needed in a breifer piece.
Good emotion, too. I like it. The ending's nice. Good twist.
| Guest chapter 7 . 7/20/2012