Reviews for Seeking Vengeance
Ioga chapter 1 . 9/15/2011
Hi, dropping in for a dose of something different. :) I never knew the WCC prompts could be imagery! Urgh.

I liked the flow of this story, it feels like you're moving more freely when the Tudor-style isn't confining the narration and dialogue.

Some commentary hopefully somewhat of substance:

"Soaking her white tank top" in the running really made me first think of soaking it in sweat, and then gave a strange mental image of blood pouring from her parents on top of her by the bucketful the minute she got to them. It feels like together in the sentence with "running" she doesn't have enough time to get anything soaked in blood yet.

"Each time she was forced to relive the memory, the more time elapsed in the dream world." I had a bit of trouble following the cause-and-effect in this sentence. The dream world was where she was reliving the memory, but it sounded like each time the outside world forced her to remember, she spent more time _sleeping_. Maybe help the reader see that she saw more of the memory in dreaming every time she was hitting it, and she was hitting the memory a lot more often lately.

Minor nitpick: "Babe are you sure" - Babe, are you sure. (The first word is a prompt, the comma is a breather before the actual thing about to be said.) Also, nearby "out for drinks instead with my brother" - I'd leave 'instead' to be last, otherwise it gets easily read as "instead of doing stuff with my brother, let's go have drinks".

The transition from the car-driving discussion to issues with sexual tension and onwards again felt like it could be softened a bit - or given some kind of prewarning for earlier in the text so it doesn't appear as a new and quickly passed entire plot item. Especially when we jump straight from there to how "he looked so sexy" - if she's focusing on how his urges need to be controlled, it feels strange that she'd think of him that way within seconds of being in the opposite mode. (Of course if the narration reflects that she couldn't help it that he looked sexy, i.e. it shows that something unusual happens here and it's not just the reader who is confused, it's completely fine again.)

Ok, now I promise I won't pile up more reviews on you before you get a chance to find something sensible to return them on; you should have some time to write too! (I posted a second chapter of transformers-dragons, and a random new piece last night, in case the crawling opossums and otters aren't treating you all that well.)

Thanks for this!
Stephanie M. Moore chapter 1 . 9/7/2011
I think you have a great concept here. I really like the opening section with the murderer (in my opinion, it's the strongest section of the piece.)

Once we return to Sylvia's point of view, however, it doesn't feel like a standalone story. It feels like a prologue of sorts with a bunch of introductory information about her character. For a self-contained piece, there isn't anything the reader can latch onto. I couldn't find a plot or a really capturing conflict.

The last line, especially, cements the "prologue" vibe that I was feeling all along. I think I would enjoy this more if it had more heart to it, more independence, even with an open ending that could allow for future additions.

But I don't want to dwell on the negatives. I think the time you do spend developing Sylvia, you do well. There actually seems to be a real tenderness between her and Tony, and her internal dialogue over her parent's death was believable.

Good work and best of luck with the WCC!
Dragon made me do it chapter 1 . 9/5/2011
This is an interesting approach to take to switch the point of view between perpetrator and victim like this, it takes a from one mindset to a completely different one at the flick of a switch. Great idea and you have executed it well.

Your idea of using the nightmare as a window in to her past works well.

It is sad the way Sylvia feels guilt about something that clearly wasn't her fault, but realistic, survivor's guilt. I felt myself wanting to jump into the story and say 'Sylvia for God's sake it's not your fault!' As it is particularly interesting given your flick between perspectives that you show that the actual perpetrator feels no guilt, but the surviving victim does. it says more about the way the two characters think than about any real causal relationship as to who feels the guilt.

I got a little confused when you switched perspective from third person to first person with 'Tony walked into the room, ready to drive me ...' and again when you go into 'he heard the anguish in her voice ...' we don't really know who this 'I' who is telling the story is, or what their role is in the scene. I don't see a need for them unless, as you say you turn it into a longer piece and they become important later on.

Spelling/grammar/punctuation:

'desire filled' this might be better with a hyphen.

drive way should be one word

'parent's double-homicide'- ' should go after the s

'Would she the nightmares ever cease torturing her?' - Take out 'she'

'Would the law ever catch up with the bastard who'd killed them.' - Use a ?

great work and good luck in the contest!
Dr. Self Destruct chapter 1 . 9/2/2011
The comment near the beginning about how her mother had been the one to cause the divorce between her parents was a nice change from what I normally see - usually it's the dad taking the rap for the break-up. It's a refreshing twist.

Only thirteen and she already has to put up with this stuff. Poor girl. At least she has her boy friend, and it's reassuring to see he's an understanding person at that. She's lucky to have someone by her side willing to take care of her, though I do think it's a bit fishy she was allowed to live with him when she was only thirteen. Perhaps mentioning his parents adopted her would help with this? But I dunno... that still sounds a little weird to me.

I think you do a good job in portraying her emotions when trying to deal with her loss. I can feel her pain, and it makes me sympathize with her situation. I'm wondering who this man was that killed her parents, and if there was any motive behind his actions. From the way this ends, it sounds like there could indeed be more to the story.

Here are some nit-picky things I noticed:

[A knife's blade glinted in light as Sylvia rocked back and forth]

Edit: Should be a 'the' between 'in' and 'light'.

[Tears rolled down her cheeks swiftly and fell onto his elderly face contorted in pain.]

Style: I recommend removing 'swiftly'. Because of the tension in this part of the chapter, it's normally best to use as little words as possible to explain the situation.

[to form words with his severely trembling mouth was more than he could handle.]

Style: I recommend removing 'severely' for the same reason as the one above.

[His final breath released, the [stab] wound in his chest killed him.]

Edit: The comma should be a period or semi-colon. I also recommend taking out the word 'stab' since the mention of the knife already makes it obvious he was killed by a stabbing.

[She needed closure about what happened, and seeing as the investigation into her parent's death had gone stone cold and it seemed they would never catch the psychotic, homicidal bastard responsible, so this seemed to be her only available course of action.]

Edit: This is a run-on sentence. I recommend breaking it down into a few, smaller sentences.

[Tony walked into the room, ready to drive [me] the hour ride back to her hometown.]

Edit: 'Me' should be 'her'.

["Babe[] are you sure you're ready for this?]

Edit: There needs to be a comma after 'Babe'.

[It may be...difficult, but I, I need this[] Tony."]

Edit: There needs to be a comma before 'Tony'.

[They'd gone to the same middle school for, like, ever.]

Style: This sentence struck me as odd considering it clashes with the tone of the rest of the story.

[he'd finally taken the step up to ask for more than just friendship [from her].]

Style: I recommend removing the 'from her' at the end of the sentence.

[They were more [like] love-sick and worried.]

Style: I recommend removing 'like'.

[Would [she] the nightmares ever cease torturing her?]

Edit: Remove 'she'.

Good luck in this month's WCC!
RavenclawMoose chapter 1 . 9/2/2011
I found it difficult to really get engaged in this piece. Sylvia just has too many things going on. Her parents were randomly and mysteriously murdered (after having randomly (in her mind) divorced, no less), and then she lived with her older boyfriend and his beer buying brother for three years. I don't want to help this girl, I want to smack her, as well as the idiot social workers who decided it was okay for a girl who's parents just died to go live with her boyfriend, especially when she was THIRTEEN years old.

The dreams, too, are a bit over the top. When something that horrible happens, it's understandable to occasionally relive it and be sad. But if you are reliving it over and over without a week's respite for three years, you've probably gone crazy by the time those three years have passed.

Lastly, it was unnecessary to include the lullaby. It was sort of long and did not add anything to the story to write as much of it as you did, unless you plan on using it in some sort of thematic way later on (such as objects from the lullaby somehow being significant). Even in that case, however, you still probably could have cut it down or introduced it later on. Right now it just sorts of adds to the crazy angst-fest of your character.

Lastly, I wanted to point out a rather large grammatical error that really drew me out of the story. Near the middle of the chapter, you wrote

"Tony walked into the room, ready to drive -me- the hour ride back to her hometown."

Whenever an author accidentally inserts a first person pronoun into a third person narration, it immediately makes me wary of a Mary Sue.

RM
too.much.of.water chapter 1 . 9/2/2011
Why are you always so good? Seriously, I mean it. I'm actually dying to read what happens next and I'm hoping from the fact it doesn't say that it's completed means you'll be writing more.

The guy really is psychotic and the line "C'est la vie, darling" sent shivers down my spine. I also loved Sylvia, she's a really good heroine, brave but not rash and I really hope she finds the killer. All in all, excellently written, good job :D