|Hello BIG BAD WOLF I found your story on the Power Reviewers’ “Review Me list”
Please note that I am only trying to offer a reader’s perspective, as best as I can. You are, of course, free to ignore my opinions and suggestions but I hope they help!
Here are my views:
The last five minutes of a person’s life can be an interesting premise. I think your story had the novelty factor, but there were a few things missing, which could’ve definitely made a bigger impact on me, as a reader. The story has a logical flow, it doesn’t sag anywhere. In fact, it seems just a little rushed, and I felt it should’ve been a little longer.
I really liked this simile you used:
As high as a kite
All in all, it was a good read; only it felt a little incomplete.
Although the grammar and punctuation were perfect, here are a few corrections I’ve made in red:
I didn’t bother wasting time- I charged at him
“Very well. Your five minutes was up anyway.”
“See you in the next life.”
A few suggestions
In the beginning I mentioned lack of a few things. Description would definitely be one. For example here:
I lifted my head to look at the person who had talked to me, and put my good hand on the hole in my chest.
You could write more about the excruciating pain he might be in, blood gushing out, his agony, distress, fear etc. But the way you write it sounds way too casual.
Also, you have a lot of scope to describe “Death” as you would imagine the character to be, but you provide no description at all.
Basically, you could give the reader more details to imagine your characters and surroundings in the story the way you do in your head.
Another issue I think was the use of too much passive voice. Passive voice kind of distances the reader from the action, and thus, the story. A few instances of passive voice in your story are here:
That was when I saw the figure in the black robe,
It was when I was serving in Iraq and the humvee I was taking a ride in had triggered an IED
After I was discharged from the hospital, I was given a medical discharge
I found this link pretty helpful, hope it helps you too!
I did not know what IED was, but I found its meaning. However, not all readers might want to do that, as they regard books and stories as sources to learn more from, and they’d like their authors to give them the information, not Google it. Thus, I think you should mention the full form in the story. You could even tell the reader what it exactly is, briefly, of course.
My former coworker turned and saw me, his face in a state of shock.
“Impossible,” he said, as he turned towards me again, his face full of fear.
In both these instances you use almost the same expressions to describe the co-worker’s feelings. Maybe you could change that to avoid repetition.
In the climax, you can add a lot of drama, to make a better impact. You know, like having your hero stutter, the boss at a loss of words, the bittersweet feelings he experiences, his happiness at being saved himself, but grief losing a dear employee. All these things would heighten the drama element and help the reader connect with the scene and actually feel it.
“No, but my son did during the first Gulf War…... I accepted it in his stead.”
“Coffee and water is all I’ve got at the moment.”
The above parts of dialogue seem too inappropriate in those moments; the first one is too casual and rather long, given the circumstances. The second one is casual again. Since this the end of your story, you could revise the dialogue in this part to have a long-lasting impression on the reader. I do like the part about his writing a last note to his wife and kids, though.
That's all! Thank you so much for sharing this. I hope you'll edit it soon. I'd love to read the edited version!
"WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group"