Warning: This work has been rated 18+ for violence and mature content.
Hellooo, Cate here to give a review.Personally I am not a huge fan of horror, not movies, books, or real life. I am always to scared for it. But I really enjoyed this, it wasn't to the point where I had to stop reading it. The monster inside the head is a really good idea and I think that it will play out perfectly. Its a great start, can't wait for more. Keep writing! ~CATE~
Hey Amadeus, Thanks for the request over at my WRFF thread! I'm so sorry that this took me a while to get to -- usually I'm much more prompt on requests over there, but I had an insanely busy week at school followed by a visit from an out-of-town friend so I just now have time to sit down to do some reviewing. I'm super excited to see what you have for me, though! You're already familiar with my reviewing style so I'll just jump straight on in...
She was reaching her last stand, her last great hurrah before dying of old age. I could feel it in the air when we were in her giant house. I could feel that she was going to die. I don't know how I knew it but I knew it.
I don't know what made me this way, but ever since the night of July 13th, 1988, I wished I didn't have that disorder. Ever since that night, I considered it a curse, a constant torture that never goes away. Because of that curse, I remember that night so vividly as if it happens every night.
Something about that darkness, riddled with bullets of light, made my heart stir, my soul flutter.
I feel haunted every second of every day by the memory of that night. I don't know how to rid myself of it.
My father knew he was next.
The voice was masculine, therefore I considered the monster to somehow be a man.
"What, no response? You must be scared out of your mind!" His voice suddenly changed colours to a darker, more malicious tone. "Good! Now you will be haunted forever by the memory of this night, and you will never sleep! You will never sleep until I die!"
I really loved this beginning! You've hooked me in and now I want to know more!You really nailed the description in the story, but however I feel as though there is a lot of unnecessary description that makes the beginning drag on a little. I also would perhaps change the beginning so there aren't two sentences in a row that start with "I remember" because to me it sounded a little but clumsy.Perhaps rather than call it a "mental disorder" you could explain how he has a highly superior autobiographical memory (HSAM) which is the proper name for it?Overall I did really enjoy it, and the premise of it!
This was fun to read, in a creepy Lovecraftian sort of way. The ending was intriguing.I obviously don't know much about the larger narrative context here and where this is leading, but many of the bits about the MC's grandmother, astronomy, his father's jacket-wearing habits, his opinions about darkness, etc. seem irrelevant to the central progression of events leading up to the monster, and I encourage you to think about what information is really essential and do away with what isn't. It felt as if you were caught between telling a story about the MC's family and telling a story about his encounter with this monster, and because of this end up doing a half-job of both. You'll do a great job of building a sense of foreboding for a bit, for example, then break this tension to talk how the MC appreciates how his parents raised him. Do you read HP Lovecraft? If not, check out some of his short stories (pretty sure you can find them free online) and look at how he formulates and develops tension. He's very single-minded, which is why he's so good at it.You have a strong impulse toward verbosity, which is awesome but also something you'll have to work on honing as you develop as a writer. Focus on the accuracy of your language. I'll pick out a few examples for the purpose of this review, but see if you can identify other instances of wordiness, redundancy, and imprecision in your prose and work on either paring them down or refocusing them."His voice suddenly changed colours to a darker, more malicious tone." - Here your color-tone metaphor gets snagged in your vocal-tone description: a color cannot be malicious. Also, "more malicious" doesn't tell me very much at all, because he already comes across as quite malicious — "sardonic" or "icy" or "mocking", or something along those lines with a higher level of specificity, would be better."In that silence, in that trance-like darkness, a loud, male voice suddenly boomed in my head. The voice wasn't my own. The monster's lips never moved once, but I knew it was the monster who spoke." - I have a hard time picturing what a "trance-like darkness" might look like. Again, think about the precision of your language. In the last sentence, "never" is already absolute so "once" is unnecessary."I couldn't help but blame myself for the tragedy, the agony, the gloom and the despair. I could see no light of hope, I could see no bright future. All I could see was the darkness of the past, and thus I barely continued living." - "Agony", "gloom", and "despair" are all used synonymously here, so you don't need all three. Similarly, the next sentence about seeing no light of hope and no bright future is redundant. In the last sentence, "I barely continued living" is not a necessary logical consequence of "all I could see was the darkness of the past", so "and thus" as a conjunction doesn't quite fit."There have been many times where I considered killing myself to set myself free from the agony, but an inner voice within me told me no. I could never bring myself to commit suicide. I was afraid to, I suppose. During those seven years between now and the night back then, I had contemplated suicide more times than I can count, but I never attempted. Somehow I knew that it would be a mistake to do such a thing. I don't know why, I just knew." - "Inner voice within me" is a bit of a word salad. The second sentence is already implied by the first, so it isn't needed. Same thing with the last sentence and its predecessor. Replace "now and the night back then" with "that night and now/today" — you generally want to go chronological when demarcating a period of time.Try applying this same critical eye to the rest of the piece and see what you come up with. I wrote a story called "Country by the Sea" a few years ago when I was about your age, which was my own manifesto of over-the-top verbose storytelling. If this piece was ponderous at times, mine was virtually unreadable. You can probably still find it in my portfolio on here (yikes) and see how self-indulgent I used to be with description and exposition. I think it's often a necessary stage for a writer — not to say it isn't a valid one. You'll learn to reign yourself in and let the characters and their world, not the prose, govern the story.Good job, and keep going with the novella. Hope this helped!
I really liked this piece and overall the quality of the writing is pretty good. My only suggestions would be to vary sentence starters and word choice. For example, in the first paragraph you repeat 'the night' several times and although I assume it it done for effect it comes across a bit repetitive and boring. This is like where some paragraphs are started with the same line. For example, in paragraph one it starts with the sentence: I remember the night of July 13th, 1988and then in paragraph two it starts with : The night of July 13th, 1988This does emphasise the importance that the date holds, which shows how vital it is. However, it seems unnecessary to repeat the exact date, so close together.I found the sentences to be quite lengthy in places too. For instance, in the last paragraph it would create a better effect if they were shorter. Such as, "The monster grinned, then continued walking away, melting into the shadows, out of sight" which could be split up into shorter snappier sentences, to help build with tension and the ending. For example, "The monster grinned. It continued to walk away, melting into the shadows. Out of sight."Other than these personal preferences, it was a well rounded piece. I enjoyed reading and hope this helps a little
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