|Reviews for Experimental Story|
| lookingwest chapter 2 . 2/25/2013
Normally I dislike the form of diary-entry writing, but I think here things tend to take on a more realist craft and I think I prefer that above more contemporary contexts. The idea of keeping a journal has been so lost on me throughout my life (I've tried but never for long), and when I did journal things were very brief - so when I see a chapter like this, it just feels realistic for the kind of action and writing that would happen contained in a journal-space. The sphere seems appropriate and the dialogue and action realistic for someone writing sporadically throughout the day.
I especially liked the last two entries, as I thought they reflected the meditational side of journal writing very well, and they capture a sense of urgency and nervousness on behalf of Helen's character (especially the last entry when she worries over the stories that can be gossiped and made up). I'm glad that we also see the fruits of her father's promise when she receives a letter and also the locket.
One element I thought was very well done was the sense of foreshadow in this chapter, too. The action and the apparent murder that may or may not have taken place is well crafted and the theme of death runs throughout the chapter, even if Helen wishes it weren't so. I think it shows a lot of her personality and characteristics when she frets over writing the gruesome details that she overhears - I can almost see her expression when she heard the gossip. She comes across as a woman with a sheltered disposition, and I look forward to seeing if these foreshadowed monsters might rear up in her story and how she might confront them, especially if she finds her father threatened. Their close relationship became very apparent in this second chapter - although it seems like Helen clings and craves for his company more than he might with her (judging from their interactions in the first entry). You're definitely crafting a complex character!
| Anihyr Moonstar chapter 1 . 9/13/2012
I like the opening line, since this "If I go before you wake..." reminded me immediately (intentionally or not) of the prayer before bed, "If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take..." etc.. Quickly it veered off from that, obviously, but it gave it a sort of weighty, poetic feel.
I also like the mentions of what this girl (Helen) might do with the journal and the reference to sketches that her mother used to do. It makes it feel more real and sentimental - a touch of homeyness that a father's letter should have.
In the first paragraph you say, [I promise that I will write to you the moment I step inside Joseph's home.], and in the second paragraph (early on, too) you repeat the same thing, [I will write as soon as I get to Joseph's home...]. I don't think it's necessary to repeat the same thing twice in such short order. If it was intentional, it's up to you whether to keep it or not, but the letter itself is already short, and it feels a bit clunky to me.
Other than that, not bad. :)
| Collen chapter 6 . 8/31/2012
This story is quite different than any other I have read. I think that this more unique style of storytelling works good for the story. I especially like how all the characters speak (and write) in a more... old-fashioned way. You kept things realistic for the time period and that most certainly works in the story's favor.
I'm not sure I can really find anything to criticize. I suppose the story feels a little... slow? It's odd, because this is only around five thousand words long, but it does feel a like it drags a little. It's barely noticeable, so feel free to disregard this.
Good job. I hope to read more.
| jt121 chapter 1 . 8/13/2012
Wow this is quite different to other stories I have read and I think it really works this first chapter, this has really made me interested in reading the other chapters :D
The note to Helen is believable if that makes sense, I mean the way he writes it really does sound and feel like the words someone in that position really would use, it's a good talent to have so well done for that. I can't really find anything to criticise, I can't question the length considering it was just a note. I like the character of the father, although the note is directed to Helen you get an understanding of what this man is like, he sounds a good father and a caring man. Your ability to portray a character and make him realistic in such a short chapter is admirable.
If you are looking for constructive criticism sorry, this is just so good that I can't fault it. Well done, I will continue reading this soon, it's really good and so different. :D
| Roka Polaris chapter 6 . 8/4/2012
First of all, I would really read a chapter out of Simon's perspective. Somehow I have the feeling this could reveal the one or the other very interesting thing ...
I enjoyed reading this chapter, it makes me want to know more about this very mysterious case. I also like your portrayal of John, as someone who's body is decaying but who still holds on to his mind not wanting to give up so easily, even though he seems to see things in a quite realisitc way. It makes me as a reader wish for him to be saved even more then before.
I just wondered, why Robert as his first question asks him something that he does not find of great medical interest, that he just asks out of personal curiousity. That does not make a lot of sense to me, having seen Robert as a character for a few chapters now, and given the fact that John's strenght might not hold on for too long, so Robert might want to be more effective with his questions. But I like the question itself, after all it is what whe all really like to know at this point. It is just his motivation for asking that made me wonder. Maybe it would make mores sense, if you either just did not give a reason at all, just let him ask. Or he thinks that the nature of Johns terrors might give him some idea about his medical condition too. (as he already tried to rule out the one or the other thing without much sucsess it could be likely that he hopes for some hints in knowing a little more about those terrors, after all they can be seen as a symptom too.)
Otherwise - very interesting. I am looking forward to read more. (Oh, and I am also starting to wonder how Helen is doing now, we have not heard of her in a while ...)
| A. Gray chapter 1 . 8/1/2012
An interesting way to open a story. I got the inklings that this letter was from a father to daughter through this so that was very good.
I'm kinda curious about a father that would leave his daughter home alone in maybe victorian times. It seems like a hook, but it isn't much of one. I would have liked to see a much strong hook to keep me reading.
| Rogue Energizer Bunny chapter 1 . 8/1/2012
I think the note does a good job of starting off the journal. It explains the backstory and some of the situation well, and it eliminates the need for the character to write "so I decided to start a journal" or something stupid. The voice sets the tone right, too. I can totally see this in 1897, but it isn't obnoxious either.
I'm not sure about the father's reasoning to get her the journal. She's so dependent on him that she has nothing to do when he's gone? I'd picture it more as a going-away present, myself.
| wisedec4u chapter 1 . 7/29/2012
I like the how you started this out. I gave me important information about Helen's father. From reading this I can tell he's a attentive doctor, a loving father, and is (or was) a devoted husband. You quickly set the tone of the story and gave us some background in a clever way that didn't bog the reader down with a lot of unnecessary detail. I don't think you need the use (...) after dying or the - after woman. They seemed unnecessary in the sentences. Other wise a great opening to what I believe will be a very intriguing story.
| The Autumn Queen chapter 6 . 7/28/2012
I like the somewhat harried way you’ve written this chapter because it really brings out the physical and emotional stress Robert is going through, as a doctor, a friend and a father away from his daughter.
I don’t like the brackets as you’ve used them for two different purposes. The first instance dispositioned me as a reader towards a certain use, so using it in another way (ie. outside the narration/journal) was rather distracting – it made me backtrack a little.
| professional griefer chapter 4 . 7/16/2012
I really liked the one image you had to show how thick the fog was, it gave me a really clear mental picture and showing how his thoughts always drift back to Helen really was sweet.
The dialogue in the last part was great, just one edit: '"John get the clap!' (I feel like there should be a comma between 'John' and 'get'.
Back to the dialogue, it flowed very nicely. I also quite enjoyed Joseph's reaction to Robert's question, it felt genuinely like what a father would do if told (or implied) that his son had an STD.
Very nice work.
| Guest chapter 2 . 7/16/2012
I like how the entries in this start off very normal but then when get the description of what might be a murder, I could see where a more supernatural element might later be involved in this story and I like it overall because it captured my interest and makes me curious to see what might lie ahead for Helen. I also liked the realistic nature of the entries, because they don't touch on a lot of things but they discuss stuff that I realistically could envision someone writing in a journal - not too detailed, but not overly short, so that was well done. The inclusion of Jack the Ripper is also interesting and I find myself wondering if he might come up again in the future, the image evoked paired well with the later maybe-murder.
| Roka Polaris chapter 5 . 7/15/2012
I read this already quite soon after you posted it, just did not have much time for commenting until now. I enjoyed this short piece, it enhances my curiousity to find out, what's going on. I have the one or the other idea, but let's see whether it will be confirmed or not.
I don't have many ideas on improvement, just a little one: maybe the reconciliation between Robert and Joseph comes a bit too soon. There would be more weight to the conflict if you had a few things happen in beween, maybe a few situations of coldness between the two of them. But I suppose this here is more of a draft (and that is why you call it 'experimental'?) There is still some room for later rearrangement of the material.
And another small thing: the names John and Joseph sound and look kind of alike to me, of course they are not, but I found myself confusing them at times when reading so I had to look again who it was now.(Though I know from my own experience renaming characters is a hard thing ;-)]
So again I was being a little picky here and it's only been small observations (as I know you appreciate suggestions), as actually there is not much to complain about here. I am still very curious to see how the story will go on. Keep on the good work!
| The Autumn Queen chapter 5 . 7/14/2012
[well: Feet apart,] - I think that should be a lowercase letter.
I like how you described Joseph's nervousness in apologising because it makes the scene really realistic and reasonably placed too because it also demonstrates how such things as illness in the family can affect people both physically and mentally, and a little more about the social context within which they were.
I also like the ending, because it speaks out for a desire of knowledge and at the same time imparts a sense of patience and quietness that comes with being at the bedside of a sick person. It really gives the feel of /being/ at the bedside.
Ohana from the Review Marathon (link in profile)
| The Autumn Queen chapter 4 . 7/14/2012
I like the way you've started out with a short and direct journal entry before moving on to the longer and more informative ones because they give us a good overview of Robert's emotions and his situation, more so than the letter which serves as a good starting place.
I also like the dialogue here because it really shows/portrays a lot of things: stress from the unknown sickness, doubt, panic of sorts and how ties of friendship can be easily damaged in such tense situations, without dragging any of it. Instead, it's all nicely built up with natural flowing words.
| The Autumn Queen chapter 3 . 7/14/2012
I don't like the use of "didn't" in this because it begins the break of the formal tone that you employed in the previous later, and with the beginning of this. You seem to follow through somewhat, but the "didn't" is the most marked example of /not/ doing so, so I dislike that consistency. Also, the use of "so" on that same line is somewhat disruptive. "therefore" perhaps?
[commonplace; loss of appetite,] - that's more of a place for a colon than a semicolon as Robert's listing the symptoms.
I like how you've gone into the depth of the symptoms because it shows the tone of a worried friend and a doctor as well as giving us a good and interesting insight into the sickness and the context within which it is.