|Reviews for The Girl in the Red Dress|
| inwardtransience chapter 2 . 9/4/2012
There's nothing wrong with "fibre." Your spellcheck is lying to you.
[...teachers who hardly spared two words for him outside class holding him up.]
That should be "who had hardly." The way it is doesn't make any sense to me, but maybe I'm picky about the pluperfect.
[And, of course, all of them looked at the square of gauze his elbow adorned.]
It sounds like you're saying his elbow is adorning something. "gauze that adorned his elbow" sounds more natural.
[...bony articulation where the three longest bones of the right arm met at a common junction.]
What an interesting and unnecessary way to say "elbow."
["See a Doctor."]
"Doctor" shouldn't be capitalized.
[...the last the only welcome colour protruding his vision, until at last the wound was patched up and a cool glass of water and some sort of tablet cleared up the blurred vision.]
I have a couple problems with this sentence. The first is "protruding his vision," and the second is "cleared up the blurred vision." Neither of them make any sense to me. The first could be changed to "protruding into his vision" or "intruding upon his vision" (I prefer the second), but I'm not sure about the first. I don't know what the intent is.
[...leaving the open doorway in favour the inner workings of the school.]
"Of" or "for" should follow "favour."
[The bindings generally unravelled...]
"Generally"? I think you mean "gradually."
[...of her pencil of felt-tip pen.]
"Of" should be "or."
[...which carried the disjoint in distribution...]
I have no idea what this is supposed to mean.
[...and walked himself ragged even when his feet refused to carry him: the traitor, the murderer, the coward, attached to them.]
I don't know what that's about either.
Sorry, my brain just crapped out. I'll try to be coherent.
There's not a lot I can say that I didn't already say about the previous chapter. I will reiterate that your narration is of very high quality, though there are, once again, a few awkward passages. You could probably catch them all just reading it out loud.
I like how you described those small ways his life had changed, especially the use of the word "stifling." I can't find the words for what I'm trying to say, but I was struck by the whole thing, in the good way. This story so far has had that effect on me.
[The light propagated darkness better than the medium itself.]
| inwardtransience chapter 1 . 9/4/2012
I'm returning that review of yours. Finally.
[...even if people looked at him as if he was a ticking time bomb set to explode.]
Minor thing, but I would delete "time." I think it feels better.
[Okay.., he amended to himself...]
I don't like the confluence of punctuation there, but I'm not sure what should be done about it. Perhaps just deleting the ellipses?
[He simply hand the wrong shade of skin;]
That should be "had."
[...slammed it shut in a as the sprawled form...]
Was there a word that began with "a" you wanted to put there?
[ – the book wound up in his bag. And it was the weight of a mass of stones in his bag.]
I would delete the second "in his bag."
[A droplet of blood had now begun to form and he determining forced his gaze away.]
That one should be "determinedly."
[And she'd somehow balance atop that picket fence, uncaring that it could easily collapse on his weight…but it never had.]
"collapse on his weight" doesn't make any sense. I think you ended up splitting the difference between "under her weight" and "on his head." Either of the two would work.
[Red eyes glared at him, glistening with crusted blood with the edges already drying into blood.]
I'm not sure what you were getting at with this. So it's definitely awkward, and I would reconsider that wording.
Over all, I think it's very well-written, enough so that I was pleasantly surprised. The quality of your narration is exceptional. There were a couple places of awkward wording that I didn't mention, but nothing so serious it has to be changed. Some of the metaphors were somewhat strained, I thought, applied with something less than finesse, and ended up a little distracting. If metaphors aren't perfect they end up being just that—distracting—so if you can't make them flow with absolute smoothness you should just omit them. But other than that, nothing comes to mind.
I like how you handled his random musings on his sister, especially the conflict over the notebook. You portrayed the emotions surrounding it plenty well, and the repeated mentioning of how heavy his bag felt adds to it in a way that turns out quite nice.
I'm not sure what happened at the end there. Of course, that might have been intentional, I don't know. To me, it feels like the narration suddenly fell apart into randomness, and ends up feeling less coherent than it was previously. From what I gather, it's not a situation he would be very coherent in, so it's likely justifiable, though I just ended up confused.
Nice final sentence, though, I like it.
| this wild abyss chapter 4 . 8/12/2012
I thought the punctuation for the phone conversation was weird. It made the phone call hard to understand, and on a technical/grammar standpoint, I'm not sure it was necessary. I still think you use too many ellipses in your writing. They lose their effect if they appear in writing as often as they do here. I still don't know what I think about your main characters. He doesn't make much sense to me. Well, since this is 10,000 without a plot, I didn't like that. That's a long time to go with just aimless, plotless rambling.
| this wild abyss chapter 3 . 8/12/2012
With your writing, some of your metaphors are a little out there. They seem far-fetched and don't make sense in places, which makes your writing harder to get through. I'm not really sure what's going on with your character, either. His characterization doesn't feel consistently portrayed to me. And I still don't feel like there's a unifying plot between all these "parts." The lack of plot tends to make these scenes pointless. I thought the scene in the beginning might have been better explained. Some of that scene didn't make sense.
| this wild abyss chapter 2 . 8/12/2012
Again, I feel like your description is too much here. A truly good writer shouldn't need paragraphs upon paragraphs to get their point across, which is what you've done here. It's also hard to get a feel for your character here. He's been buried beneath too many words so I have no idea what his true personality is. I'm still not feeling much of a plot here. And since a plot is the number one tool to engage readers, I kind of think this piece needs one. Your dialogue could have been better as well. It was very flat and didn't stand out to make the scenes more real, and I didn't get a feel for your characters through conversation.
| this wild abyss chapter 1 . 8/12/2012
I feel like your writing is too florid here. Most of the time I have no idea what you're actually driving at, because everything is so complex and showy, the way you've written it. I'm also not sure what the plot of this is supposed to be. Mostly it's just a lot of description, and while description is fine, a short story needs conflict and plot otherwise it's boring. Pacing wise, I feel like this chapter was too slow. You dragged things out a lot, which wasn't very engaging and started to get dull. On a technical standpoint, I don't see why you have so many ellipses. They're nice every once in a while but here you've overused them.
| lookingwest chapter 1 . 8/8/2012
HOkay, so I'm putting my honest pants on again, I hope that is okay with you.
I am not so sure I knew what was going on in this story. I followed along with everything up the third to last paragraph. That's where you completely lost me - and maybe a tad before that. So then I decided I'd check to see if what I thought happened, really happened (went to look at other reviewer's comments) and as it turns out, no one said anything about your actual plot or what happened in the end. There was a lot of stuff on style. And yadda yadda, yeah, I agree with most of it but then I've said all of it before in your other pieces, so honestly - what exactly happens?
This boy is talking about how he dislikes the color red because of something that happened to him last month. So then we get this transition from the present into the past (which I thought was really smooth and I liked that). So we learn he doesn't like red because of his sister Abby. And I like how you fleshed them out through their conversation. Enjoyed their dialogue about his hair - I'm on her side, I think it's hard to see naturally black hair on caucasians, and I liked the little comment about him being like something behind a rock with a calculator, haha, great moment there. Okay, so up to this point I'm following. We get their conversation and then a brief insight into Abby at the age of 3.
Then we get the description of boots. Which - I assumed during this paragraph Abby gets hit by a car. It isn't explicitly stated but I got that from the descriptions of the concerete slab, etc. Then we get the description of the boots in the next paragraph being "off"...that's where things get weird. We get the brown eyes - those are our narrator's. So he's reeling back from her being hit by the car, yes?
And then we get the red eyes. Which I believe goes back to the moment with her eyes turning red from hemorrhage of getting hit by the car? That detail, while mentioned in an earlier paragraph, was drowned in the rest of the paragraph I think. I'd like to see it stand out more so we can make that connection better. But then all of the sudden we get this super super graphic description of Abby's body after(?) she's hit by the car and then the description of this "creature" in the last sentence - and that's where you've lost me completely. I don't know whether or not the descriptions are of Abby's fallen body as a metaphorical "creature" that has now lost identity, or if it's a literal creature that is a monster that comes out of her body - or er, something to that effect. This story is in the horror genre, so it could be either way for me. I like the intense description and the gore, it's a good side of your writing I haven't read lately, but all in all: what exactly happened at the end?
Because then we never even go back to the present - to the narrator who told us "after what happened last month". Which is okay and all, but it also loses me a bit time-line wise.
Things I did like: This character is my favorite of anything I've read of yours so far. Love the little details about him at the beginning, etc. the brown canvas bag, the way his hair is bleached, that sort of stuff. I got a complete picture that in the beginning wasn't drown out by other details or larger paragraphs, so it gave me a crisp view of him. When Abby gets introduced things start to get a little muddled, but in a way that wasn't displeasing. I think I'm getting used to your style, so I'm glad that I didn't review this earlier on when we were first exchanging in the Games. I feel like I can appreciate it better now, anyway.
So I liked this overall. I think it's one of the better pieces I've read of yours, and I apologize if I disappoint you by reading something that's kind of an older piece - but really, this has a lot of potential. I'd like a little more clarity on that plot, and I'm not sure, but by your reviews for this first chapter, I think attention to that would be good seeing as almost no one commented on it - which can mean it was good, or it could mean they weren't sure what happened and didn't want to bring it up.
But yeah, eh, I hope this was okay! See you around! :)
| VelvetyCheerio chapter 4 . 8/2/2012
I didn't really enjoy the way this story ended. I found it confusing, and I also didn't understand the techniques you were trying to use. I'm really not sure what happened at the end. Did he get hit by a car, too? Was it all just one big crazy made-up hallucination? I couldn't fully appreciate the ending to this story, because I didn't really understand what was going on.
I did like the phone conversation between Tania and Ed. I thought it was unexpected that they wouldn't get back together or something like that. I found it refreshing. The conversation itself read naturally, as well. You did a good job on that.
One thing I noticed:
[the long brown braid whipping around a corner] I thought it was mentioned she had white hair in the previous chapter. Just thought I'd point that out.
| VelvetyCheerio chapter 3 . 8/2/2012
Again, I loved loved loved the emotion expressed in the scene where Abby steps backward into the street. Actually, I think I was holding my breath a little in horror when she got hit. o: The timing for that scene was what did it for me. Between one paragraph and the next was a second of weightlessness and anticipation. I almost couldn't make myself read on because I didn't want to know that she had died.
Another thing I'm liking so far is this apparition Ed seems to be seeing everywhere now. I think it's realistic that he would have some side effects from being so close the scene of Abby's death. Not only that, but he's harboring the guilt of killing her, so I think it's very interesting the way this is all manifesting for him. It makes me wonder what he'll do to rid himself of his demons.
| VelvetyCheerio chapter 2 . 8/2/2012
I really liked the emotion in this chapter. The particular scene where Ed is thinking about how his sister will no longer be there to throw her things in his room moved me. I know the feeling of missing a sibling, and I think you conveyed the feelings in that scene very well.
I will say that you lose credibility in the scene about Ed falling on his elbow. Your prose is beautiful, but it doesn't convey action as well as it does emotion. Talking about the "bony articulation where the three longest bones of the right arm met at a common junction." is wordy and unnecessary. Nothing about this scene jumped out to me even though I felt like there should be something happening. In a way, it felt like watching a person get hit by a car in slow motion. Even with dramatic music in the background, there's nothing particularly exciting about it.
An otherwise interesting place to start out reading.
| professional griefer chapter 2 . 7/10/2012
Opening: It's a good hook. I like how you open with the dialogue, it gives a really great setup without an infodump and without too many words. However, the first real paragraph _did_ feel like an infodump. I think you should have had a flashback about what happened to Abby rather than just stating it.
Dialogue: Surprisingly natural for the situation. You can feel Edward's not wanting to talk, it's really nice and natural. Maybe a bit stiff on Edward's part, but overall it feels good.
Characters: Again, nailed. Even without much of Abby in this chapter, her character really shines through from the few things you say about her. Edward's also starting to develop, his constant references to Abby gives him a good reaction to her death and he feels really alive.
Ending: I wasn't too keen on the ending of this chapter. The last two paragraphs were just far too wordy compared to the rest of the chapter. There are a few lines I like in the second to last, but you just use so many words that I feel are completely unnecessary. And maybe I'm an idiot, but the last sentence didn't make much sense to me. You should probably dumb it down a bit, not use words like propagated. But that's me.
Really great work.
| professional griefer chapter 1 . 7/6/2012
-Opening: I'm not sure quite how I felt about the opening here. It was very descriptive and a bit poetic, but it didn't grab me, and I had to convince myself to keep going. It's not much of a hook. I think it could have stood for more action, even though most of this is thoughts. I do like how you transitioned from the weather to how he doesn't like black, that was very interesting because it just was an interesting character thing.
- Characters: Your characters were really brought to life. You never mention the main character's name in the story, which feels a bit odd because the entire story's from his POV. I really liked Abby, though. You brought her to life by talking about how she couldn't cook noodles and her drawings. I felt like I could see her and that she could be real. As for your MC, he was interesting too. I like how you talk about the colors, and how you take the colors to memories.
- Writing: Beautiful, your style is so poetic and easy to read. However, I think all the figurative language takes away from the action, which you don't have too much of until the end. It's a bit hard to distinguish the action from the thoughts/narrative, which was slightly confusing, though that may just be me. I do really love the poetic style though.
- Enjoyment: I really enjoyed it. I do think it was a bit slow and that you could have moved faster, but the style mixed with your two fascinating characters and the fact you don't explain much makes it a really enjoyable read. I don't know where you're going with this, but I think it's interesting and I'm looking forward to more.
| OneOriginalThing chapter 4 . 6/11/2012
Wow, that was just a great . His conversation with Tania was just amazing, it really added another layer of depth to the story. The feelings he was having, how he was going to push her, until he saw what happened. And then he regretted it. And it was just so sad, it made me cry. I loved this story I thought it was amazing. I loved it, and it was realistic, and It follows on how one obsess over the death of someone close to the process of healing and finally finding your own normal knowing that their gone and you can't do anything about it, except try and be happy even though it's hard. This story was AWSOME.
| OneOriginalThing chapter 3 . 6/11/2012
I really feel bad for Edward. I like how you gave quick short little flashbacks on their past. As well as showing more of Abby's personally as well, I really enjoyed reading this chapter. And Edwards guilt feels very natural as well. He seems to be very close to her and you prove that by the flashbacks you did great in this chapter as well.
| OneOriginalThing chapter 2 . 6/11/2012
I like how he just hates that everyone is trying to make him feel better, because in turn they are just making it worse. I like how you tie his sisters interests into this chapter. And show how they were best friends and how close they were by her drawing him repeatedly. I think it was very well written and it makes me want to read the next chapter, quick note I like how you talk about how he hates red because it reminds him of when she was sick.