Reviews for Outlet
LorrahBear chapter 1 . 1/6/2016
I love the phrase "His ugly everything." Wonderful.

This whole thing is disturbing, in a terrifyingly beautiful kind of way. It's well written with just enough of a hint of information that I am interested and wanting to continue. You've done a really great job.
Victoria Best chapter 1 . 1/6/2016
Wow, this was great. Very impressive start, filled with lovely imagery, and it felt clean, powerful and I love the psychological elements.

Taylor is a great character and I can already tell that I will enjoy reading about her. I love the way you write her struggle against herself and how she wonders whether she is someone to be scared of, whether she is a destruction waiting to happen. This section really allowed me to delve into her mind and understand her thoughts, and it is intriguing how she is clearly a psychotic character, yet is also chillingly sane. A very unusual combination and makes for a complex, intricate plot.

The second half regarding the killer was also well-written. It felt fast and nail-biting and brought with it so many mysteries - who is this killer? What are his motives? What is his history? What made him the way he is? I am looking forward to finding answers.

Lovely pieces of writing in this. I enjoyed the sentences, "Sunlight was angled towards them," "phantasmal, an extension of herself," "choking on her own dread," and "her eyes roared to life." Wow! Rich, gorgeous imagery, allowing me to clearly visualise the scenes, and I hope we will see more of this in future chapters.

Having said that, be careful of veering into over-description or "purple prose," which we call it here in the UK. An example of this, in my opinion, is the line "a killer waiting to slice open her cocoon... and weave the threads of nightmares." This is very over-dramatic and is just a bit too much. I did not take it seriously, which drew away the intense feel of the rest of the piece, if that makes sense.

Otherwise I really enjoyed this and will certainly be reading more when I can. Keep writing!
sophie-stead chapter 5 . 12/13/2015
Very unique - apologies I didn't get around to reading this sooner! Your characters are just wonderful - Taylor was thoroughly intriguing and entertaining - and constructed well. Really enjoyed reading.
Waxing Shadow chapter 1 . 10/28/2015
I found this piece unique and fairly interesting. It's a fairly disturbing and deep dive into someone that, if the circumstances were just right (or perhaps, a few more things went wrong), she'd be a serial killer or otherwise locked away. I like I can sense how Taylor views the world with such cynicism and, at times outright scorn. While I agree with the previous reviewer in that you should work on your "showing" skills a bit more (as I should as well), what you manage to pull off reasonably well is to me a picture of girl that's basically teetering on the edge of either going completely insane or lashing out and doing something really horrible. I really do look forward to seeing you improve. Good luck, and keep on writing!
Murphy Chapelwood chapter 1 . 10/25/2015
I'm going to the first line break. I'll use the first paragraph to discuss my take on general writing style, and then go on to point out anything that strikes me. This isn't piece by piece. I'm going to skip over a lot of things that catch my eye.

"Taylor wore a nice smile, one honed by trial and error, mishap and success. It masked bent and twisted intentions as always. She could feel the deadly emanations of the knife in her hand. It would be over in a matter of seconds; it had to be, or things might get messy."

*Taylor wore a well-honed smile, the knife emanating death in her hand. Bent and twisted intentions would be fulfilled in an instant. They had to be, or things might get messy.*

Without adding any of my own embellishment, this is how I would structure that paragraph. It switches heavy, protracted sentences for ones with more immediate payoff. The word "honed" already encapsulates "trail and error, mishap and success." Well-honed just means she knows what she's doing. Also, basically never say "a character feels such-and-such." It's just better to describe the emotion and move on. "In a matter of seconds/minutes/hours" is a stock phrase, one of the things all writers should avoid (unless they're trying to be ironic or something). We are the ones that invent these. So, go with something basic, as I did, or really craft something of your own. I'm not thrilled with "get messy," but that's up to you. What you did well were the opening and closing images, the fake smile and the implication of gore. The beginning and ending of any paragraph are the most important, especially so for the first of a chapter or book. I think you set the story's tone well with yours.

"Just the quantity of bodies left under the tree when she exited the stage from this macabre dance concerned her."

Don't TELL us what concerned her. Just let the writing's focus, her focus, be ever tightening on her intended victims. Her obsession will become more than evident.

"One of them was a black teen...encircling the ring finger."

All this information should have taken one-third the amount of words, if not less. I find this is a huge problem on Fiction Press. This minute kind of detailing isn't important, and drags the reader away from the stream of the prose. The paragraph feels like work to read. The color of hair and hoodies and pants and sandals aren't really important. These are things that are best included piecemeal, when the article in question becomes important. Stick with dreadlocks, generic stoner, ugly head and keep the sentence about the eyes because it makes the reader wonder if the protagonist has a history with the oriental chick.

"...her demeanor was intimidating when it fit the situation..."

TELLING. SHOWING would read like this: "Her quiet stillness had dreadlocks shifting uncomfortably in his seat." No sweeping, all-encompassing personality declaration. Just one instance that displays a trait for the reader. That's all there is to it.

"Taylor imagined him as what Shaggy Rogers would look like if torn from the sixties..."

Cut it off there, and that's a really good sentence. It took me a second, but then I figured out the Scooby character and felt smart, which is always great to make your readers feel.

"She was somewhat glad he'd run."

Somewhat, maybe, almost, seems, suggests are all qualifiers that weaken the words we write. If she wasn't glad, then find a word that really describes her condition. Was she contented he'd ran?

I was a little shaky on what was going on in the beginning, but I think that was intended. Was Taylor their waitress? Also, I'm not sure how you intended Taylor to come off as, but she seemed to possess a superiority complex. I guess that was intended. Her condescending inner monologue was the main reason. She's offended by their smoking, their lifestyle, and seems to be very much concerned with the environment around her. To me, you are painting a picture of a judgmental, fairly unlikable character. I think if she's going to slip into murder and you want to write that decline, then you should hold back on the condescension and let that grow with her confidence as she becomes more comfortable with who she's becoming.