I am not a professional editor or critic. All the opinions in the following review are just that; opinions.
ALL ALONE :: INTRODUCTION
"From even the greatest horrors, irony is seldom absent." - H.P. Lovecraft
Hello SleepySerpent ,
Your item "Ol' Billy" was linked on my Newsfeed page by Angus with the comment that people might want to give it a read - and I'm so glad that I did.
This was a fun, creepy little tale that I thoroughly enjoyed.
So let's get right to reviewing!
IN THE DARK :: WHAT I LIKED
"Terror is the desire to save yourself, but horror is rooted in sympathy." -Joe Hill
What I liked best about the piece was the approach you took to telling it.
It reads like a tale being told to someone in person, and I don't think it would have been as effective had it been written any other way. Not only was the tone appropriate because it matched the content of the story so well, but it was a great way to get a little characterization of the narrator in there as well.
You did a great job writing it so that it felt very natural, but a little folksy.
That kept the story moving along as a quick pace without it ever feeling rushed and as a result, you were able to get a lot done without using up too many words.
I don't question what Billy is–I know better than look a gift horse in the mouth.
This was a particularly good example of why the format works. It raises the audience's suspension of disbelief a little I think, to have a story told like this. We're forced to move forward without answers, because the narrator has a personally justified excuse not to go digging around (pun intended) for answers to the questions we might otherwise have been tempted to ask.
The other thing I really appreciated about the piece is the way you went about describing the creature.
You put enough details in there to make it convincing that the narrator has really seen something, and that the creature is a regular in the graveyard, but you kept it vague enough to let your reader's imagination really fill in the details.
I think overall, that's my favorite approach to any kind of creature story, and it worked really well here.
SOUND OF SCREAMING :: MY SUGGESTIONS:
"Horror is the removal of masks." - Robert Bloch
I don't think that the story is lacking anything, so this should be taken more as a personal commentary on my experience with the piece than as a suggestion, but I thought I'd include it anyway in case you were interested in a little insight.
I think a lot of the creepiness element in this piece comes from the reader's imagination, and their differences to the narrator. His willingness to accept something unexplainable (and furthermore his hope to one day be eaten by it) casts a rather ominous shadow about the people who watch over our bodies once we're gone.
It was something I didn't consider initially in reading the piece, despite being the most unsettling aspect for me. I think hitting that note a little harder would have detracted from the levity of that piece, but it also might have made it chilling more immediately.
Of course, more chilling doesn't necessarily mean better, this has just been some food for thought.
WAKING FROM A NIGHTMARE :: CONCLUSION
"We make up horrors to help us deal with the real ones." - Stephen King
All in all, I'm so glad that this piece was brought to my attention. It was fun, and it got me thinking about graveyard creatures, so it gets two thumbs up from me.
I hope that I get to read more of your work in the future, and thank you so much for sharing this piece!
All the best.
My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!" .
| You responded to this review 09/29/2019 @ 2:26pm EDT