Reviews for Drawing Out Monsters
YasuRan chapter 1 . 1/24/2014
Very nice. I dig your stream-of-consciousness approach to the subject of a relationship-long-past-but-not-quite: deep, but not heavy in the sense that it's overloaded with unnecessary clutter. Being someone who's also quite socially awkward, I really could relate to the narrator's wary approach to the boy, the creepy-crawly sensation of not just being watched, but observed, and the mental chanting wanting-but-not-completely-wanting him to back off and leave her to stew over her thoughts in peace. The act of drawing adds another layer of intimacy, unwarranted but not consciously unwelcome by her as well.

A simple story, but it packs a great deal. Thanks for writing!
L.Shan chapter 1 . 8/16/2011
I really enjoyed this! The writing flowed well and the inner monologue of the main character's made for a realistic and somewhat humorous insight into her mind.

The dialogue read easily off the page (or, should I say, screen) and I enjoyed that the questions that sprung up throughout the piece were met with an unexpected answer in the final paragraphs.

This piece was unique and mysterious, and definitely a worthwhile read!
RedactedNoLongerWriting chapter 1 . 7/9/2011
The shift of his trainer soles scuffing over the linoleum floor of the Art room.

-Fragment. Not really bad but since there're no other examples of description like this I figured I'd point it out.

- take in a face so familiar yet so alien at the same time.

-I wouldn't say there's anything technically wrong with this but it did seem a little odd to me. I wasn't sure if it should be 'takes in' (for proper verb tense) or omit the - and use a comma for ', to take in'. Obviously it worked well enough as is but it did stick out a little to me.

I really liked the way you showed her hesitance to be around him in the beginning. You really gave the sense that she feels very awkward around him now, to the point of barely-contained hostility in her thoughts. It was sad to see that the relationship had changed so much, as the story went on and you revealed that they had been much closer. I was a little surprised by that (at first he just seemed like some random guy who had an annoying/unwanted obsession with her) but I thought it worked in the end. That said, I did want to know a little more about what drove them apart. You hinted at something, obviously, with the monsters she/he doodles and the 6-year absence but it was hard to tell if the MC was overreacting or if there was a good reason (other than annoyance) for her sudden dislike of him. I don't think it needs too much, maybe a reference or two of what happened, but there is a little bit missing as it is right now. Overall, very interesting and well-written. It works well as a scene but still feels developed enough that you could expand it into something more if you wanted. :)
neekie89 chapter 1 . 6/9/2011
I love the idea of drawing things that scare you. I write down nightmares, turn them into stories, so I can relate. The broken friendship is interesting, the hardness of her.

It's wonderfully written, excellent flow even though you think it has rambled. It's very easy to read and includes information that is needed without distracting.

Wonderful pace and visual creation.

A neat short piece )
Shero chapter 1 . 5/26/2011
Whoa. That was really unique! What an interesting portrayal of... of... I'm not even completely sure yet! Thanks, I'm sure I'll be thinking about this all day!
lookingwest chapter 1 . 5/24/2011
Ah, Austen, I really enjoyed this! It was written very clearly, so no problems there at all-it was cool that you chose to do this in present tense, I don't see that executed too often in third person situations anymore, and you did an excellent job with it. Was very smooth narration.

Also, with what you've done with the prompt itself, I like how you took it! The theme of monsters was also woven into this in a way that I feel was two dimensional... of course, I'm familiar with your style and writing, so I was seeing this as a way that was literal with monsters (in fact this made me think about Zack...hopefully I spelled his name right, haha, but yeah this guy character in here realllly had me harkening back to thinking about him, and just having a generally troubled past). I also feel like it can also be figurative with the obvious ideas of "the inner monster" and then obviously that transfer into art, which I *also* think is awesome because the title is sort of double-meaning too, it's literal about a young woman "drawing" monsters or "drawing them out" (literally or figuratively) but it also kind of breaks this fourth wall with the writer drawing up monsters in a narration or story (literally or figuratively) and can really just reflect the universality of the author in projecting their own troubles and thoughts into their own writing/art.

So yeah, anyway, sorry for ranting, but this was just super awesome and written wonderfully, and it really made me think. I like how you balanced the narrations with the inner-narrations of the "she" with her thoughts-the ones at the beginning and end really balanced it out and worked as a foil for the dialogue, illuminating how much his presence was annoying her, and also how things have changed from the past to the future.

The whole thing just has this dark tone (really comes from the prompt) in a way that you characterized wonderfully. I had a fun time reading this, and it's refreshing to finally get into your work again and also come up with ways that it might tie into the intricate world that you've created with all your characters. I feel like this can fit both ways, in and independently from your cannon. Really wonderful! And let me know if you have any specific questions! much love!
Kristin Li chapter 1 . 5/22/2011
This is very good. I liked you use of italics, and how they were different than the words that came out of her mouth. It makes me more curious about their history together. What happened that made her dislike him so much? Why did they have a falling out?

I also liked your choice of setting for the story, and the descriptions of the drawings-it added and almost creepy feel to the story.

If you wanted to you could easily add more description, even adding to the feel to the story, along with developing the story further. It was interesting, and I would certainly like to read more.
Henry Palmetto chapter 1 . 5/22/2011
I simply adore the inner monologue, the italicized thoughts as well as the narration. Brilliantly portrayed and it is even better with more than a singular reading.

I don't think your story gains anything by keeping your audience in the dark about what this man's 'monsters' are or why he needs to see therapists. If you gave a little more about his condition or why he should be feared then I think your work will become stronger.

Also, your first sentence sounds a bit run-on; I don't think "with each stroke" is entirely necessary. In addition, I didn't understand the sentence "Two things it is definitely not are confused or surprised:" consider clarifying
Rainbow35 chapter 1 . 5/22/2011
I really liked this, because it's so dramatic, and kind of vague, but then it all makes sense at the end. I also like how you didn't say their names, because it adds to the vagueness/mystery of it.

I really liked how the girl is thinking things like "fuck off", like she hates him or something, but is staying polite enough out loud, because it's kinda like there's a big contrast between what she's saying and what she's thinking, and also because I do that too. :P

I also really like the relationship between them, because it's kinda awkward-ish, and it kinda makes you wonder what they used to be like, and what happened, and all that.

Anyway, really good story-thing, I love it! :D
Deedee Elle chapter 1 . 5/22/2011
I really liked it, despite being short there was a lot of backstory going on and both characters were well rounded.

The italicised internal monologue was very effective alternated with the speech and made me laugh on a few occasions.

(Maybe it is my own background here but I read these as the staff not pupils).
slashedkaze chapter 1 . 5/22/2011
I have to admit, I'm a little confused. Intrigued, but confused. I enjoyed reading it a lot, probably because there was a lot of mystery and you wrote it in a way that made me curious. The whole time I was wondering who is he, what's his relation to her, what happened between them etc. and it kept me reading to find out. I also found your main characters reactions very relatable.

At the end, I'm not sure I understood everything perfectly, though. I guess it's about a friend who turned into a stranger over the years...or due to seperation or a bit of both? I like that theme. I guess we all know the pain of that. :/

Very enjoyable piece, good work!