Reviews for Monochrome
Monty Mason chapter 2 . 4/6/2017
Hello,

Before I begin, let me preface this review by saying that some things stated in here may come off as too blunt, but they are written with the intention of helping you improve your work as well as your skills as a writer.

Also a fair warning for other readers, this review will probably contain spoilers for the chapter so read at your own discretion.

Consider reworking this sentence: Ironically, he probably looked more relaxed than me at the moment, but then again he was dead.

We the readers already know he is dead, and it kind of defeats the sense of subtle and somewhat morbid humor when you add in the “but then again he was dead” bit in there.

The repeat usage of ‘baby’ can get quite dry to read. Perhaps consider trying to express the bar in more creative ways after initially stating that it is the baby of the business.

Now this point is very subjective to what we as writers consider how much information is enough in terms of a recap. You talk about how the job went wrong and how they gained a new employee in the process. While stating that the job didn’t go exactly as planned, there is no need to state that they gained a new employee. We read about this in the last chapter, plus it’s not that hard to find again should we need to. Right now it seems nothing more than just fluff text taking up unnecessary space.

When Shiro is explaining the situation to Jenelle, the dialogue is too long. You need to break it up with action in between to better help pace the dialogue out and make it sound more natural. No one person can just sit there talking for that long without short breaks for breathing in between.

What you did well:

- Characterization, while we don’t get to see much of Shiro’s character in a deeper sense, it was still interesting. Although due to Jenelle’s minor appearance, the same cannot be said for her.

- Spelling, I didn’t pick up on any typos of any sort. Great job, it helps to maintain the immersion.

What needs improvement:

- Some of the wording could definitely use improvement. Some sentences just sound awkward in terms of their word flow.

- While it logically makes sense for the pacing to be slow in this chapter, in comparison to the first chapter it seemed a little too slow. Almost as if someone hit the brakes abruptly on the pacing car.

- This chapter can use more detailed descriptions. While the first chapter was basically brimming with them, this one seemed to lack the same polish in this aspect.

Overall this chapter was not as impactful nor as exciting of a read as the first one. The little bits of information on the characters is appreciated, but more could have been done with the material such as give us information on this “Princess” or the organization itself. You don’t need to reveal everything, but give us something while being subtle about it. But it certainly was not as bad of a chapter that it becomes unreadable.

I hope that this review has helped you a little if not given you something to think about. If you have any questions, concerns or clarifications, please do not hesitate to PM me :).

Kind regards,

~ Monty Mason
Monty Mason chapter 1 . 4/4/2017
Hello,

Before I begin, let me preface this review by saying that some things stated in here may come off as too blunt, but they are written with the intention of helping you improve your work as well as your skills as a writer.

Also a fair warning for other readers, this review will probably contain spoilers for the chapter so read at your own discretion.

So good opening with great description to help immerse the reader, however why is it that the car suddenly appears in front of our MC with the following lines?

“Finally, a lot longer after […], I saw the bright glare of headlights and a car door open in front of me, […].”

The above excerpt implies that the car was just dropped on to the scene rather than actually roll up to her. Perhaps adding something like “I saw the bright glare of headlights approach closer, […]” might work better in conveying a clearer picture.

There are certain places where you are missing a space between your paragraphs. This is more so evident when it involves a dialog. I have also noticed that while not a wide spread issue, you have broken out of the past tense and some of the wording does come off as awkward. These are all very easy fixes of course if you decide to edit this chapter.

The exchange between Nora and Lily after Connor’s murder was well done. However the one between Nora and Shiro not so much, the dialogue that gave a feeling of mystery and intrigue in their words seemed to lose the completely in favor of predictability. Also another issue is, why would Nora choose to recruit Lily rather than just kill her? There was certainly no reason to do so other than the fact that Nora felt sorry for Lily and saw her as an innocent girl who deserved a chance and the offer was that chance.

I know I mentioned awkward wording issue before, but this takes the cake: Shiro looked tired with this all.

That line definitely needs to either go or be heavily revised. Reading that particular line broke me out of the immersion of this quite well done tense situation.

The ending paragraph honestly is rather weak in comparison to the rest of the chapter. I wouldn’t imagine any sane human being thinking that joining a group of people who just murdered someone be a new beginning unless they do it of their own will, not when threatened. I imagine you are kind of going for a poetic feel with the words in the last paragraph, but it just doesn’t work as well.

So let’s look at what you did well:

- Great use of details and description in your writing to help paint clear images in the reader’s mind.

- Atmosphere was built up well throughout the whole chapter.

- The events taking place were interesting and intriguing to read with a few missteps here and there.

What can be improved upon:

- Awkward wording, there are some here and there which can definitely benefit from chapter revision.

- Tenses, try to keep them consistent. This was not a widespread problem, but on rare occasion it was there.

- Dialogue is great for the most part, but then there are also very few that could benefit from a rewrite.

- Ending paragraph does not have the power to act as a hook that would make me just drop everything in my day and continue reading the story. Instead of creating more mystery and intrigue, it felt like a mini-resolution to the character’s story.

Overall this was an interesting start with room for improvement. When this story does things right, it does them really well. But with those few missteps along the way, it really bogs down the experience unfortunately. But I do hope you consider going back and revising chapter 1 to improve upon it.

I hope that this review has helped you a little if not given you something to think about. If you have any questions, concerns or clarifications, please do not hesitate to PM me :).

Kind regards,

~ Monty Mason
zanybellecloudo chapter 1 . 10/1/2015
I was hooked by the prospect of a cuppa, poor Lily really should have stayed in! You describe things well creating a scene of feeling, environment, tone. Joining this "gang" is just the beginning of her troubles, besides the dead boyfriend of course. Thanks for sharing your work!
Aske Nat chapter 1 . 9/10/2015
I liked the beginning as it shows planning to hint at later happenings, but there were parts I didn't really get. Why would Nora and Shiro kill Conor when Lily is at the club as well? It seems a bit random. Then there were a few missing words here and there, but nothing truly disruptive.

Happy writing.