Reviews for Lights Out (Volume 1)
Kicks-and-Giggles chapter 3 . 3/31/2014
I think the exchange between the MC and the boy could be truncated by quite a bit. The dialogue seemed to go in circles over and over - why are you here? Why are *you* here? *Fight a little* Will you tell me why you're here? Why are *you* here? *Fight some more* Just tell me what you're up to. Tell me what *you're* up to! etc. I know that's pretty much what they were doing, but it was a bit tedious to read them hash out the same argument again and again.

Also, I like how you showed that the guy was a bit weird (his mood swings and all) but I think that could be elaborated on more. Instead of just mentioning it in a sentence here and there ("he gave in too quickly"), it would help to elaborate more on how the MC was taking it. Was she getting confused? Was that making her even more wary of him? Was she changing her approach because of it? Etc. Basically, I think this chapter could use more of the MC's inner voice just in terms of how she's dealing with the new danger.

I was a tiny bit annoyed with the MC in this chapter because she really was acting very rashly. When faced with a gun, I'd have expected her to be more smart about how she handles the gun-wielder. I know she wants to be "in control" but she came off as just provoking him more and more. Like she was goading him to do something stupid like just shoot her in the face. :P I think if you made her a little less stubborn about not giving him a straight answer (I didn't quite understand why she didn't want to give him a straight answer?) and instead just have her calmly try to get him to put his gun down, that would make her seem strong without being stupid.

So she has gun training, huh? That's cool! This is making me wonder if she *is* just hallucinating all of this... just drawing in things into her hallucination from her previous knowledge (like her experience with her father trying to calm her down and her knowledge of the guns her father told her about)?

There were a handful of grammatical errors throughout the story. I think going through it a few more times to catch the errors and taking others' help to catch them too will definitely improve that!

I also like that you took time between introducing new characters (the little girl and the new guy)! It allows us time to really get to know each one and kind of concentrate on them before we're forced to move onto the next character. This guy you introduced in this chapter was definitely very interesting! I'm wondering about his mood swings and why he was so wishy-washy with wanting to talk to her, then wanting to kill her or at least hurt her, then being almost scared in terms of why he didn't want her to leave, etc. I do hope he comes up again in the rest of the story? :D

A pleasure reading this story! :D I hope you don't think anything I said was too harsh! And if you do think that, please just ignore it. They're all just my opinions on your story and you don't have to take anything that you don't want to! :)
Kicks-and-Giggles chapter 2 . 3/31/2014
This sentence didn't quite make sense to me… what is the MC dreading exactly?: "…I only dreaded on the disappointment of getting either of us out of this place."

These fragments could be condensed into a sentence to avoid breaking grammar rules: "At the nineteenth - or was it the twentieth? - I finally managed to find the storage." Otherwise, they read a bit awkwardly.

Footsteps without anyone actually seen running?! Scaaaaary! God, I got shivers reading that part! Again, you build suspense very well in your writing! I have so many more questions now! I also like how smoothly descriptions of the setting fit in with the story. You don't waste too much time bringing out every single detail, which helps to keep the pace moving along while still giving us enough of a feel of where the characters are.

Your writing style is also pretty easy to follow, and I really like that the MC's "voice" is consistent throughout the narrative and also her dialogues. It helps us really get into her head even more so than the italicized *thoughts* you've interjected the story with.

Your MC seems like a pretty strong gal! She's sufficiently scared by the weird things happening around her, but not so much that she's paralyzed by it. I like that!
Kicks-and-Giggles chapter 1 . 3/31/2014
There was a slight bit of tense-inconsistency in the beginning there. (Ex: "Goosebumps [run] up my skin…")

Very interesting story! I'm interested to see who this shadow is and how it/he is going to play into the plot! You didn't list "horror" as a genre (but you listed humor! Even *more* intriguing!) so I'm guessing this isn't my typical supernatural-horror story!

I love how you built up the suspense *right* off the bat! I also like how you revealed a lot about the main character just by showing how she reacted to waking up in an unfamiliar place with a "not again"! :P I wonder how many times she's woken up like this? Or does she frequently hallucinate such things? *Is* this a hallucination? Basically what I'm trying to say is that I love how there's more than one mystery here - the one you're bringing into focus with the girl (re: the shadow) and also the one that you hinted at and let drop into the background (re: the MC's "Only a month has passed since the last time..." comment!) Can't wait to read more about that!

I like how you described the little girl, too. I can imagine her being dirty and skinny and very horror-movie like. I'm also glad that you showed that it took time for her to trust our MC. Typically people skip over that part, like the girl just *automatically* trusts our MC, but that's really not at all realistic. What you did was much better! Nice job!

Another proofread would be good, I think. There were a few minor grammatical errors here and there. I listed a few that I found (if you'd rather I focus on enjoyment of the story, just let me know!) :)
"As she [thrashed] around, I grabbed her arms…"
"… biting my lower time I checked, sharks didn't [lend] their teeth to humans!" (I know lent is past-tense, too, but I think it's more suitable for "had not lent"?)
"With [a] lot of effort, I finally succeeded in tying up…"
"'Why shouldn't I [be]?' I grumbled…"
"I let [out] a deep sigh as the heat on my cheeks…"

So sorry that these reviews are taking so long! :\ I'm working on them now and hope to be finished very soon! :)
Faithless Juliet chapter 3 . 1/15/2014
Nice long chapter again, yippeeee.

I liked how we get to see more characterization here for your main nameless one. I liked the snippet about how she was in school having an episode and her dad had to be called to calm her down - it makes me think that event is connected to this current situation that she finds herself in. As I said before I like how resourceful and no-nonsense she is. Nothing phases her which makes it fun for the reader.

I'm Wondering if the boy/man in this chapter is one and the same with the "shadow" mentioned in the first chapter...

The only thing critique wise that I want to point out is that you have a lot of heavy dialogue use in this chapter without a lot of descriptive stopping. Example:




But that can be strenuous for a reader, so maybe stop every once in a while, or add things like: he raised his eyebrows (dialogue) or I could feel the blood dripping between my fingers (dialogue. Things like that.

Faithless Juliet chapter 2 . 1/15/2014
Super short chapter! Lol!

You have great characterization in this. I'm really attracted to how fiesty and no-nonsense your main character is. I do think its a bit odd that she doesn't have a name as of yet. I like how this is first person and I don't think it would pack such a punch if it were anything but first person, but I think it would help to give both these girls names. You could have a main girl ask the little girl what her name is, then reply back with her own, something that simple really adds a lot to the narrative.

I don't dislike how short this chapter is, but I worry that the two scenes don't feel finished. It feels like the first is needed to lead into the second. Maybe use the first to utaluze a bit of filler detail? Character/world building etc. I liked the foreshadowing of the tools being hung from the ceiling as well.

Faithless Juliet chapter 1 . 1/15/2014
Hello from the Labrynth :)

What I really liked here was how you just dropped the reader immediately into the story. I loved the action and pacing and I like how you protagonist is really in the same position as the reader (finding things out together as the story progresses) having said that though I must confess that for a lot of the first half I was a but overwhelmed and more than a little bit intimidated by *everything* that was happening. I think you had one quick sentence about a sidewalk turning into a dark corridor, so I think expanding on that a bit would even out the plot and pacing a bit.

I'm really intrigued by this little girl and the ferral-cat personality that you've given her, as well as the shadow. All very interesting elements. Off to chapter 2!

LightningBolt21 chapter 2 . 10/6/2013
(from theinside!) space between the and inside

(Is this some kind of twisted joke?,) Remove the comma after the ?

("Alright then; it's time to open this bloody door!") Rewrite it as ("Alright then. Time to open this bloody door!")

(I stopped on my tracks,) Replaced 'on' with 'in'

This chapter was VERY fast paced and in a good way. Keeping the chapter short was a very good idea, since there wasn't much that happened, except looking for a key and finding a way out of this place, it was a good. I do wish there was a little more suspense, like she heard footsteps behind her, or saw something out of the corner of her eye. But other than that it was fairly good.

I'll be certian to read the next chapter and see what happens.
GossamerSilverglow chapter 2 . 8/12/2013
“ The chains with the padlock were placed from theinside!” need a space between ‘the’ and ‘inside.’

“Is this some kind of twisted joke?, I thought when I saw it.” Remove that comma. "What are we going to do, now?" I’m not so sure that comma is needed there either.

It’s a little strange that there aren’t any windows in a secretary’s office, but consider this is probably another world maybe it really isn’t.

“I lift my gaze from the paperwork (I hadn't find anything that resembled an opening device) and met hers.”This sentences reads funny, I feel like (though I’m not 100% sure) that you might have changed tenses with the ‘lift’ in there. The stuff in the parenthesis sounds like it’s missing a word too.

"Yeah, this isn't the right time for me to be doing this" Missing a period after this sentence.

"I'll go find something to open it" Missing another period.

I think you could add some more in the area where she feels like someone’s behind her. A little more suspense, some toe curling freakiness…you could really play on that and it would add more meat to the story. More mystery. It would definitely make the reader curious. Should I say more curious, since I’m already a little as it is. I want to see what’s beyond this bolt locked door. I want to comment on the short chapter—I appreciate that it was short honestly. Reading over five pages and it starts to hurt my eyes on the computer, so as a reader/reviewer I want to say thanks for taking that into consideration. It’s something I’d never thought of as a writer. Good chapter.
GossamerSilverglow chapter 1 . 8/11/2013
Right after the first line, the first three sentences should be joined into one paragraph.

“Even the irritating buzz of a mosquito flying around my ear… would be bearable.” I don’t understand why the ellipses is here. It’s not necessary in this sentence so I would suggest removing it unless it’s the way it’s spoken. In which case I’d say be careful. This is an issue I have because not every one gets what you’re emphasizing (in my case, it’s my humor/sarcasm). Anyhow, just be careful in writing the way you think it should sound because it’ll come off as wrong. Maybe italicize a word instead.

Though it’s not necessarily wrong I think chunking the sentences starting from “I took a deep breath and opened my eyes…” and ending in “I took a deep breath,” would be the best idea. Personally for me, if I stumble on a story that’s spaced like this I don’t always read it. It’s something I’ve been working on too, not putting sentences in a paragraph. So I understand, but keep it in mind is all.

“Sunny sidewalks didn't turn into creepy hallways in a flash.” This was good. It gave me a better idea of the scene and location of the narrator. Usually I don’t care about location or what things look like, but I know other people do, so you might want to include more of the scene going on.

I think after the scream happened you could use more descriptive words to show what the narrator is feeling, I mean instead of just saying she’s panicked. Maybe the hairs on the back of her neck rose or the blood rushed from her face, maybe she has a weird quirk she does when she’s panicked? I too am someone that would run IN the direction of a scream, luckily it’s never gotten me into trouble, but usually I’ll have someone beside me and make them go first.*_- Also, maybe a little more about the scream. I’d say compare it to something, like nails on a chalk bored (so used I know) or include blood curdling, hair raising, anything to make it seem like the person who did scream was being tortured. I also think it would happen more than once, maybe it’s muffled the second time, but the narrator should hear something, so mention that too.

“Oh… how hadn't I see it earlier?” See should be seen.
So this child is in an abandoned hospital?

“"My, my; what a great smile" I said softly.” Comma after smile was forgotten.

“ Is it… Is he making you stay here?" In this sentence I get how you’re saying (I think) so I would actually italicize ‘he’ to put emphasis on it.

I would’ve liked a little more from the abandoned hospital with identical walls. Add some strange echoing in the halls (like that scream from before), running feet from a direction they aren’t coming from, horrifying laughs…you could work on making the scene a little more meaty in the suspense category! Overall I like the idea and while this seems like something I’d rather watch than read about I am curious about where they are. It sounds like Alice Returns, that X-Box game of a knife wielding Alice that slices bees and shoots pepper at pig nostrils. Anyhow good chapter!
Guest chapter 1 . 7/28/2013
this is very interesting please keep writing more stories
Unxious Custard chapter 1 . 7/29/2013
Hi, I think that some of the sentences in your first few paragraphs could be more successfully joined into a single paragraph. This would make them less disjointed. I am quite interested in the hallucinations. Why does your character have them, how long have they been around, and what is their cause? (Ultimately, it wasn't another one of my hallucinations. It was too cold to be one anyway.) With these sentences I think there is more room for a slow realisation of reality. Instead of using these sentences, perhaps you could write something like. Yes, this had to be a hallucination. But my arms were cold, and when I looked closely at them I could see the hairs sticking up on end. There were goosebumps too. This felt very real for a hallucination. Then perhaps go on to feel other physical symptons, before finding out, horrifically, that this is real. I love your imagined world - it has something of an Alice in Wonderland quality and we never know what will happen next. The relationship between the small girl and your character is also very well written, and full of surprises. A nice touch. Some good ideas here. I do hope you will also review my story, Psychcis v Terrorists which is a modern fantasy set in England. Good luck with your writing. You have some very interesting ideas.
Nullbound chapter 3 . 7/29/2013
This chapter is amazing! I'm truly impressed by the way you placed out the dialogues throughout the chapter. The way the protagonist kept retaliating by words made me chuckle; her personality is somewhat different compared to those from the standard survivalist who'd only have the word "escape" embedded in his/her mind. To put it plainly, it's as if she can hit back whatever gets thrown in her way! And the things she says for self-assurances are a very creative insight on how she goes through her ordeals.

How the confrontation played out was well put, even after the surprise turn of events that I thought I'd never expect. And I'm also thrilled to see new characters coming into light. I can't help but get curious.

I've noticed that some paragraphs were lacking punctuation marks, just some commas here and some full-stops there. But in an overall sense, the chapter itself is top notch and definitely worth my time reading. Keep up the good work!
lookingwest chapter 1 . 5/23/2013
from Labyrinth

Hey I like your avatar - that series is great, I've seen it around!

The summary could maybe be worded a little clearer, or more condensed, anyway. I would suggest the following, but of course you don't have to use it, it's just a suggestion, haha: [In this dark narrative with humorous overtones, a girl wakes up in an abandoned building in search of an exit, only to meet a variety of peculiar and weird people - some of whom are not entirely human.]

Even the irritating buzz of a mosquito would be bearable. [Do mosquitos actually buzz unless they're being zapped by a mosquito zapper? Maybe a fly would be more appropriate? Kinda like, Emily Dickenson's poem "A fly buzzed when I died", heh.]

Still in the same corridor... [Needs to have an extra paragraph spacing]

I thought in the first portion you did a good job integrating the narrator's thoughts into what they were witnessing, and I did like the opening because I think it starts intriguing with what exactly the clock is all about. The first portion before the page break was a little disorientating though, detailed-setting wise, but I think that improves once the narrator walks into the room, and I like how you establish the hospital beds and stuff right away because it gives good visuals. It was also kind of creepy because of the dust detail, very creepy opening setting!

Gasping in pain, I jumped up and tried to pull it out... [What is "it" supposed to be in this context? I get that the little girl bit the narrator in the preceding part, but this was awkward for me to visualize. Was her hand completely immersed in the child's throat? That's what it sounds like here, but that's a very odd visual and I'm not sure how I should picture it. I would maybe be more detailed here - replace the word "it" here with what "it" actually is to help ground us in your description.]

In response, the girl fell back a little in fright. [Needs its own paragraph spacing]

As far as the narrator, I felt some of the initial responses of being lost in an abandoned building left something to be desired, especially in the opening. If it wasn't for the summary, I wouldn't have been able to detect that the narrator was worried or trying to look for a way out - I felt like maybe response-wise she should be panicking more? Or more scared? She does have moments were she questions things - like the very end when she doesn't understand where she is, but she seemed to take most of her surroundings in in a very calm way, even after having her whole hand bit by a small child...her reactions didn't seem completely realistic or relatable in that scene. The strongest moment with description though I think was the hospital room where the narrator found the girl. Like I mentioned above, you did a good job with that, so I'd love to see a bit more of that woven into the latter portions!