|Reviews for Cigarette Smoke|
| Raiger chapter 16 . 5/29/2013
Oh, god, the feeeeeels. Mas, por favor.
| Starty chapter 16 . 5/18/2013
You said you had the final chapters written yet no new chapters since January? Arr don't keep us waiting any longer
| Guest chapter 16 . 2/11/2013
| TiltingAtWindmills chapter 16 . 1/8/2013
That's it. I officially love Kathy. I didn't think there'd ever be another good human being in this story besides the boys, but I'm feeling all warm inside thanks to her! I still feel bad for Hilyard, poor thing doesn't even know how to be treated right. I hope Roland's okay, wherever he is. He needs a Kathy too... Thank you so much for getting back around to this, please update soon!
| Bahiyya chapter 1 . 12/20/2012
Interesting choices, of which I have helped with about half... but I still say that the use of George Michael will haunt me to my dying day. Thank you for endeavoring to be realistic in all things. You have really broken some of the glass ceilings in this genre.
| Bahiyya chapter 15 . 12/20/2012
This chapter, after that last one with Chris, was actually a bit redundant. I think it would be better if you split the flashbacks somewhat, especially within this chapter. Well, perhaps the next chapter will make the decision more apparent, but you really need some action to break into the emotion, you're beginning to wallow.
| Bahiyya chapter 14 . 12/20/2012
My dear, the end of this chapter literally had me in tears. Knowing that feeling firsthand, you captured it so wonderfully simply, I give you credit for the imagination and mind it took for you to write this, not having a personal experience in any way similar. Wow, this is amazing. Really. You have so much potential as a writer, I would really like to see this published in the future. There is nothing I can really suggest, again, you have a very "scenic" (as I like to call it) style. You seem to write as if you are describing a play or film, and it works perfectly in this situation.
| TiltingAtWindmills chapter 15 . 12/19/2012
I can't even begin to describe how upset-ly sad I am right now. These two, their lives have sucked. So very, very much. And the people that made their lives suck- well, they can just burn in hell. Ugh, I'm not sure whether I'm more angry than anything. These are my boys right here, and they need some help. Thank you. Please update soon.
| Anihyr Moonstar chapter 8 . 12/16/2012
[A slice of sunlight creeps through the crack in the door, and bleeds over the ratty carpet] I love this opening line. Fantastic imagery and great choice of verbs; very powerful.
I'm kind of surprised Chris has so many sweet spots and is so sensitive and interested in sex. Having to f-ck for a living is kind of like anything in that the more you do it, the less of a thrill it gives you; I would think he'd be more interested in cuddling and kisses, but eh - what have you. I do enjoy seeing him and Rory happy together, however brief it feels fated to be.
And ah, the bloodbank! That was mentioned before and I feel silly for not remembering it earlier when I was musing about how Rory got his money. Of course, selling his blood won't (I don't think) make enough money to live off of, but it certainly brings in something - nothing to scoff at. Needles creep the mess out of me so I can understand Chris's panic even if he probably has a heck of a lot more reason to be upset than I do.
Still, I look forward to Rory gradually bringing him out of his scarred mental state. Despite the fact that he's physically nineteen it's still disconcerting for me how young he acts. One of a couple reasons why this is one of my favorite lines this chapter: ["I'm sorry..." he whispers, and you realize that for the first time he sounds like a man, not a child. "I – I don't know why I –"] When I read it I thought "This, I want to see more of *this*..."
I also think it's an important step that he's come forward to Rory about that crucial loss in his past. He's really opening up to Rory and - as tragic as their situation is - I can't help but cling to hope and root for them anyway.
- Moonstar, courtesy of RG's Review Marathon (link in my profile)
P.S. Sorry, busy day - didn't end up getting nearly as much read as I intended, but good job so far. :)
| Anihyr Moonstar chapter 7 . 12/15/2012
Huzzah, Biker Guy finally has a name! Well, technically I already knew his name since I accidentally saw a different reviewer mention it, but I'm happy to have officially stumbled upon it. I like Roland (the name, but the character also); I think it suits him.
Huge relief to see that Roland's worked something out with Dave so that Chris didn't have to bear the brunt of something nasty, and it's cute to see them living together. It makes me wonder though what (if anything) Rory's doing to make a living. (Yeah, he's homeless but he must be getting the little cash he did have from *somewhere*.)
["No you're not." you mutter.] - ["No you're not," you mutter.]
Poor Roland. :( I kind of suspected it was something fairly serious, but I was hoping it wasn't something fatal. On the one hand, I was irritated with Chris for his initial violent reaction, but on the other, it does fit with his character so far - particularly the part that hasn't quite grown up yet, and from all the trauma he's been through, it's understandable.
I do think you should cut back/cut out the use of "?!" though. It was an intensely emotional exchange and we (the readers) can tell that just through the scene, build-up, and dialogue. We don't need to have an overload of punctuation marks to tell us. (Same general idea with all caps and even to *some* degree italics, though those can be used well, sparingly.) As much as possible, you want your dialogue to speak for itself (if that makes sense).
I have some compliments and critique as far as this sex scene in particular is concerned. On the one hand, I love how emotional it is for them; I thinking the timing was handled well and there are some really beautiful sections in it. I especially loved their first kiss and Chris's admittance at the end.
I think some of the dialogue is a bit too much in it sometimes, though. Not the places where they talk to each other, that's fine, but more the sound effects. In general, I think just *saying* that a character is moaning, that they're crying out, that they're shuddering or stuttering their words, is enough and when you try to actually write the sounds out, they become fairly awkward to read.
This in particular: ["Ooouggghhh..."] I just...I think of a fog horn there, honestly. Dx I couldn't help it. And when the dialogue is extremely cut up: ["Ro –Oh Guh- Ro- I can'- I'm- 'm gonna –Ugh! OOOUGHH! – "] I think it distracts from the subtler parts - the emotional build up, the descriptive passages, etc., and doesn't add much/anything in its place.
Other than that, though, I think you did a good job with this chapter. I do love that we finally know both of their names and they're moving officially on from the impersonal and sexual to the personal and intimate. :)
| Anihyr Moonstar chapter 6 . 12/15/2012
Intensely satisfying to see Dave socked a good one. Gave a good mental whoop for that. I hope he does lose a tooth or two. Also felt good to see some money go into Biker Guy's pocket, although that whole scene does make me worry what the consequences will be for Chris if BG isn't there twenty-four seven to protect him, like. I have no doubt Dave would be happy to take all of that out on Chris. I was kind of hoping Biker Guy would just scoop him up and cart him out of there, seriously. Take him away ANYwhere and it'll be better than where he currently is.
I liked the opening insight into BG and his past relationship though (as well as the closing insight - poor guy). It makes me wonder what tipped Quinn over and made him resort to suicide - whether it was just the stress of being gay in an unwelcoming society and his own personal circumstances or whether it happened in a way that caused BG to directly blame himself somehow. 'Cause he certainly seems to have a lot of pent up guilt.
Here's to hoping BG will stick around long enough to pull both himself and Chris out of their gutter situation.
| Anihyr Moonstar chapter 5 . 12/15/2012
[You owe him everything.] This is telling. And infuriating...makes me wonder what Dave's done to get this thought stuck in Hil's head.
["Come on in, hot stuff." He drawls] - ["Come on in, hot stuff," he drawls]
[The place stinks of cigarette ash and chemicals and beer and hairspray] Can I say how awesome it is that you use so many smells in this? I think smell is one of the sensory details that's far too often overlooked, but this story is packed with them and it really makes it stand out. Smells stick in a person's head, effect us, and say a whole bunch about a place, so it's great that you're adding them in.
[down on the job." he grubs] - [down on the job," he grubs] (Although...what kind of a dialogue tag is "grubs"? XD It works I suppose, but it's odd.)
["Hey, Grant!" He yells] - ["Hey, Grant!" he yells]
Urgh, this whole chapter makes me want to bludgeon Dave (and his 'friend') upside the head with something hard, heavy and possibly sharp. It makes me wonder what's in that syringe, though. Ecstasy? Wouldn't that be a little expensive to "waste" on a guy as frail as Hil (which he can obviously take advantage of regardless of whether or not he cooperates)? Then again, I don't know anything about drugs, so.
I just hope this eventually leads to a happy ending. I hate tragic endings, especially if terrible things happened all along the way - I just want the characters to end up happy. Dx
Until next time. :)
| Anihyr Moonstar chapter 4 . 12/15/2012
Mmm...and suddenly I hate Dave. Jesus, what an asshole. I'm starting to wonder what Biker Guy is wondering - why the heck is Hilyard stuck here? How come he has to pay so much that he can't afford to feed himself? It's ridiculous. I look forward to finding out. And possibly to having Biker Guy knock a few teeth out of Dave's face.
The childlike factor to Hilyard really put me on edge this chapter. I was kind of hoping he just *looked* really young, because while I don't mind age difference (in fact, I think it's fascinating and can be awesome), whenever the younger one is seriously really young and ACTS it it just...gives me a bit of the creeps, since it feels more like pedophilia then (which I do not have a kink for - it doesn't appeal to me at all, even in fiction).
So on the one hand, I really love that Biker Guy is sticking up for this kid and getting him fed, but some of the emphasis on Hilyard's underlying innocence makes me uncomfortable.
I loved this line right in the opening, though: [He should be smoking joints by the secondary school and pretending to study for the maths final, and strumming riffs at the local electric strat store, and kissing on a public bench under a coat so that his straight-laced, traditionalist parents wouldn't find out that he was into blokes instead of birds...] Especially the last bit and how that lead Biker Guy down memory lane. It peaks my interest and makes me wonder more about his history. I also just think it sets up a great mental image and pulls at those heartstrings when you think that neither Biker Guy nor Hilyard is in any position to make that dream become a reality.
If you ever go back and edit this, I would strongly consider getting rid of a bunch (if not nearly all) of the ellipses in the prose though. Ellipses are best used sparingly in dialogue and almost never in prose unless for some special reason you feel they're *absolutely* necessary. They usually don't do much for it and just stretch it out and make it look kinda choppy.
Oh, and dialogue tags! I don't remember if they've been messed up from the beginning or not, but I noticed some issues with them this chapter:
["Hey baby." You murmur] Should be: ["Hey baby," you murmur]
["Umm- mm." He mumbles] Should be: ["Umm- mm," he mumbles]
["Calm down, baby boy." You murmur] Should be: ["Calm down, baby boy," you murmur]
You get them right some of the time though, so just, yeah: if it's a dialogue tag, comma before the closing quote, not a period, and lower case the beginning of the tag since it's still part of the same sentence, not a fresh one. Also:
[It looks like it can't make up it's mind about] *its, possessive
Good chapter all around though; again loving that sort of gritty tone you've got going. You're great with descriptions and I can picture all the scenes perfectly. :)
| Anihyr Moonstar chapter 3 . 12/15/2012
I like how gradually the pieces fell into place that this was from a different perspective. One of the things I never really grew to like in writing is when someone'll tell a story in first person perspective and then switch characters throughout the story. To me that defies the entire idea of first person and among other things the fact that they have to label each chapter/section with "Okay, this is from Thus And So's perspective..." is jarring and irritating. But here you don't go right ahead and tell us, you just let us figure it out, and I like that more.
[he used to smell like coffee and pancake mix and tears and watercolor and crayon... Now it's gasoline, cigarette smoke, tears, and garbage] This is one of my favorite descriptive lines this chapter. So telling in just a few short lines of comparative description, and it makes my heart hurt for Hilyard. (Really odd name, by the way, is that his last name? I've never heard of it as a last or a first name.)
When the girl cheated him on that money with the bag of marshmallows I wanted to slap her. I think the gritty little details - with the good people and bad people and every shade in between - adds a nice depth to this and makes it that much easier to dig into and feel real.
["Don't get too attached, sweetie – you're just somethin' warm for them to sink their dicks into."] Another one of my favorite lines. Very apt, I think.
| Anihyr Moonstar chapter 2 . 12/15/2012
Review courtesy of the Review Game's Review Marathon (link in my profile).
Really enjoyed this first chapter. I will say, the second person narrative was tough to get used to. For the first quarter or so probably I kept squinting, my head trying to switch it to first person without my permission, and that was distracting. But the writing itself had enough raw promise that I stuck with it and after getting dragged into the story itself, the POV faded into the periphery.
I love your...narrator? Haha, I don't know what to call him, since he's "me" - but seriously, I like him. I have a terrible soft spot for big, gritty, down and dirty guys who - under all their grunge, leather, and emotional body armor - have hearts bigger than they are. And he fits into that perfectly so that I'm honestly really concerned about him by the end.
The dialogue - especially for the MC, but for the hooker too - despite being brief was great. It felt spot on for the most part and really emphasized the tone and scene. I think his opening line is still my favorite line though (along with the come back): ["Your mum know you're skipping class?" / "She wouldn't care."] Just perfect, seriously.
And all the little fragments of detail and description just do an all around good job of keeping up the tone of the piece while dragging me ever further into their world. I look forward to seeing where this heads. Lucky me, you already have thirteen chapters posted. :)