Reviews for The Intruders
JaredB chapter 1 . 8/2/2015
JL Reaper,

As always, I'm a fan of the ideas you have, and execution wise this is one of the better stories from you I've seen.

Let's start there. First, your hook was solid. I liked the interaction between Alice and Andy. The fact there was conflict in this scene made for a pretty entertaining read.

The ending brings up questions, but I like it - it sort of allows for the reader to draw his or her own conclusions. This is usually a tricky technique, because you run the risk of leaving *too* much to the reader and simply ending abruptly, but I like you pulled it off okay.

Now, onto the stuff I wasn't a huge fan of. One of the biggest distractions - for me - was the awkward dialogue tags, both the selection and the placement. The word 'stated' as a constant dialogue tag throughout this piece is very annoying. 'Said' is almost the exact same thing except 10x better. Readers can look at 'said' and accept it as easy as they can a period. It's almost one of those words that blend into your brain so you don't even notice it.

Your other dialogue tags - stuttered, laughed - didn't really work for me. I'm not sure how you 'laugh' a sentence. Likewise, I'm not sure how you stutter something without it being put in the sentence itself "I-I-I don't know," he said.)

You also have a habit of giving your characters a lot to say and placing these dialogue tags at the end. This is more of a pacing issue. Instead of:

"Oh? Is that so? Say, now that I think about it, you two look very familiar. By any chance, did you rob that bank a few days ago? The police are loooking for you, probably in every state. So, what are the odds that you should walk into my cabin, eat my food, waste my fire, all in the name of conquest and crime? Now, I could give you to the police, collect the reward money and all that, or I could keep you for myself," he laughed.

I would include a bit more action in between, a bit of pause. Something more like this:

"Oh, is that so?" the old man said. His steely black eyes swept the cabin once before locking again onto Alice. "Now that I think about it, you two look very familiar."

Alice didn't say anything.

The old man's lips twitched into a smile. "By any chance, did you rob that bank a few days ago?"

etc. etc. Notice how my dialogue tag is in the middle when there's a lot a character needs to say (by a lot, I mean more than a few sentences).

This sort of segues into my next thing: your use of dialogue as a way to explain the situation is good, but to me, it's sort of clunky. As in, It's plainly obvious you're manipulating these characters to divulge all this information to me.

I find it very hard to believe that Andy would not know that they didn't have the money if he was with Alice the whole time. If he was not with Alice the whole time, then you need to clarify that for us. Likewise, I find it hard to believe Alice doesn't know much about the safe-house if they "went over everything step by step".

Finally - what is up with Andy being shot? Where is he shot? The way his wound is treated in this story it's almost like he isn't really that hurt at all. If someone is bleeding out from their midsection, they are dead almost certainly within a half hour. If not, the wound still needs to be tended to in order to prevent infection and further injury. The wound should have really added more tension in this scene, but it almost felt like just another small detail we shouldn't care about.

Just a few things to think about. As always, do whatever you want.

Happy writing!
cardiff1984 chapter 1 . 7/18/2015
Sounds like the owner of the Cabin is more criminal than Andy and Alice, if not a complete nutcase.