Hi, my name is Bertie. I am reviewing this short story on behalf of WDC POWER REVIEWERS GROUP. I am not an editor or expert in the field of writing. These are only my opinions meant to aid you in making your work the best it can be. Remember, you make take some of my opinions or none at all. In the end, only you know how you want your work to read.
THEME: A story about a man's relationship with his shadow.
STRUCTURE: The story's structure could be tightened up a bit. In this review I hope to alert you to some of the fine points that will subtract from the wordiness and compact your story so that the finely stated eerie qualities shine through.
SPELLING, GRAMMAR, AND PUNCTUATION: I understand from our correspondence that you enjoy long sentences. However, structuring a sentence in the right way makes all the difference in the readers ability to appreciate the story.
"I swear I have never, ever, trusted any human being, for they are all selfish evil things, products of this terrible world,that is and always will be nothing else but a foul and pestilent congregation of vapours, exactly like the old Danish prince once said. "
I have never, ever trusted any human being; for they are all selfish, evil things; products of this terrible world; that is and always will be nothing else but a foul and pestilent congregation of vapours, exactly like the old Danish prince once said.
Note the use of the semi-colon. It is very good for long sentences and for joining sentence fragments together so that they are better understood.
"Anyway, from humans I have been able to stay away, except for myself, for that I am human, still I wish I were not."
Omit the word (Anyway) it serves no real purpose and weakens the sentence.
From humans I have been able to stay away, except for myself; for that I am human. Still, I wish I were not.
Once again the use of the semi-colon is helpful here.
"However there is one creature who follows me, stalks my very soul everywhere I go, at least everywhere with lights on: my shadow!"
Place a comma after (However)I would also italicize (my shadow!)
However, there is one creatue who follows me, stalks my very soul everywhere I go, everywhere there is light: my shadow!
Note: I did change the phraseology a bit as to the light. I believe it adds to the impact and highlights the words (my shadow!) better.
" . . . still the racionalization of my paranoia is not enough to end it.
Spelling error: rationalization
"And I don't even trust myself, for I am human too, so how can I know if this rationalization that fearing my own shadow is something insane isn't a plan created by myself... to fool myself into not fearing it?"
Omit (And) begin the sentence with (I)
I do not even trust myself, for I am human too. Begin the next sentence with (So)
So, how can I know if this rationalization of fearing my own shadow is something insane? That it is not a plan created by my self to fool me into not fearing my shadow?
Note that I separated the sentences and added *my shadow) at the end of the sentence instead of (it) to be more explicit about what the man fears.
"Also, the paranoia might had been created by myself, just to destroy, this time completly, all I still had left of sanity!"
Omit (Also) Begin the sentence with (The)
This paranoia might have been created by myself just to destroy completely, all I still have left of sanity.
A spelling error on (completely) and keep the sentence current to the action with changing (had) to (have)
"Still, I can not get rid of this fear, this panic: everywhere I go, I feel like the shadow is stalking me, haunting me, watching me, just waiting for... for what?"
Still, I cannot be rid of this fear, this panic; everywhere I go. I feel the shadow is stalking me, haunting me, watching me, waiting . . . for what?
The changes I have made to the above sentence make it more dynamic. I know you are a fan of Poe. He used long sentences, but every word he wrote counted toward the reader's understanding of the mood he was creating. Economy of words does not need to take away from the story's ambience.
"That I don't know!"
To keep that archaic feeling you are fond of, do not use contractions.
That I do not know.
"And that is the worst part, what is a shadow capable of?"
Omit (And) Let the sentence stand with (That) as the first word.
That is the worst part; what is a shadow capable of?
"Everyone tells me I'm insane, and I pretty much know that, still I don't trust anybody, neither myself, as I've just said."
Everyone tells me I am insane; I pretty much know that. Still, I do not trust anyone, even myself.
There is no need to tell the reader that you've already said you were insane, omit that phrase.
"So, I keep being alert, paying attention to the shadow's every movement, I'm sure there is something wrong with this thing."
So, I keep alert; paying attention to the shadow's every movement. I am sure there is something wrong with this . . . thing.
Note: I did separate the sentences, but this adds to the flow. Also placing elipses after (this) makes the reader pause and amplifies the word (thing) making it stand out as something foreign to the protagonist.
"During the day, and everywhere where there is any light at all, the thing has my own shape, with some odd distortions, and follows my every single action. However, what does this thing do at night, when all the lights are out?"
Note: This is the sentence that first gnawed away at my imagination and made me cringe. Therefore this has to be stated clearly.
During the day, and anywhere there is light, the thing has my own shape. It follows my every action. However, what does this thing do at night when all the lights are out?
"'cause it imitates me in the light, it has a pratically human shape, that I can see, but what about in the dark?"
(Because)it imitates me in the light; it has a practically human shape that I can see . . . but what about in the dark?
In this sentence, the use of elipses (. . .) set the final statement apart, causes the reader to pause and delivers impact.
"What if does not have any shape, and once the lights are out, the shadow can take over all the space of an entire room?"
Very spooky sentence.
What if it does not have any shape? Once the lights are out the shadow can take over all the space of an entire room?
Just a bit of tweeking with the punctuation.
"And if I'm in the street, in the dark, at night, can this shadow take all the space of the street?"
And, if I am in the street in the dark at night, can this shadow take all the space of the street?
I have never thought about a shadow in this way and it adds to the spooky feeling.
"Oh no, I know, this is too insane!"
I would italicize, I know, this too is insane!
"I should not keep on thinking about these things, now I'm only getting worse, this paranoia is killing me!"
I should not keep thinking about these things, I am only getting worse; this paranoia is killing me.
"All right, were I sane at all, I would not even be considering this murder, since I am not sane, I have to wonder, it is possible to kill a shadow?"
Omit (All right) Were I sane at all I would not even consider this murder. Is it possible to kill a shadow?
"I mean, is it alive, does it really have a life of its own?"
Omit (I mean, is it alive) Does it really have a life of its own?
"Well, it if is alive, it shall be alive no more, not being around me, and there is no other place this thing can be!"
Omit (Well) If it is alive, it shall be alive no more. It is around me constantly for there is no other place this thing can be.
Note: This sentence seemed a bit muddy as stated, I changed the wording a bit.
"That should be the time for my evil laugh, but something worse comes to mind now... a hideous thought that frightens my very soul... the thought that this thing, this shadow, might be already dead! What if... what if it is a ghost, or a spirit, or even a demon that imitates human shape to walk around among humans unnoticed?"
I laugh; an evil sound, but something worse comes to mind now, a hideous thought that frightens my very soul. The thought that this thing, this shadow, might already be dead! What if . . . what if it is a ghost or spirit . . . or, even a demon that imitates a human shape to walk about unnoticed?
Note: I did not change much above except for punctuation and the beginning of the sentence.
"However if it its alive, what frights my soul anyway, then at leat I can kill it, or so I hope."
However, if it is alive, that frightens my soul. At least then I can kill it, or so I hope.
"After all, it's only a shadow, it has no solid substance I could cut through with a knife, a bullet,"
After all, it is only a shadow; it has no solid substance I could cut through with a knife or bullet; I could not make it drink poison. Omit (for it has no mouth or stomach) the reader knows this.
"I could not push it to the edge of an abism, for it has no body of its own . . ."
abyssis the word you are looking for.
"Or is it right?" Omit this sentence it adds no information and muddies the content.
"That's right, tonight I shall kill it."
Omit (That's right) Leave (Tonight I shall kill it.) to stand alone as a stronger statement.
"There are only a few seconds left to midnight."
Change (to) to (till)
"After the clock strikes midnight, I'll attack it, I'll atack my own shadow!"
After the clock strikes midnight: I will attack it; attack my own shadow"
"I am in the dark, all the doors and windows of this house are closed, so the shadow has no shape now, it can be anywhere. Or, as I believe, it must be everywhere, so it must be easier to hit it and kill it."
I am in the dark; all the doors and windows of this house are closed; the shadow has no shape now, it can be anywhere. Or, as I believe it must be, everywhere. So, it must be easier to hit it and kill.
This is where you want the most dynamic after creeping the reader out with the information on how the protagonist feels about his shadow.
I am holding a knife, a very big and sharped one, and at any moment now, after midnight, it will be the time for my release, this paranoia shall end.c}
I am holding a very big, sharp knife. At any moment now it will be time for my release and this paranoia will end.
"I move forward with the knife, attacking the darkness, then I fall to the ground... or maybe something pushes me?"
I move forward with the knife attacking the darkness. I fall to the ground; it feels as though something has pushed me."
I would be more definite here that this man was pushed. It gives more substance to the Shadow as an entity, and it is the right time to make the shadow more solid.
"I drop the knife in the dark, then, when I fall... all I feel is the knife cutting through my throat,"
I drop the knife (he has already fallen to the ground) and feel the knife slice across my throat.
"I feel a terrible pain, the unique taste of blood in my throat, taste of pain and silence."
I feel a terrible pain in my throat and the unique taste of blood in my mouth: the taste of pain . . . then, silence.
"The taste of my sweet relief, my dear bloody ending, because now I'm free. The shadow is gone, I'm gone. The madness is finally over, at least for me. The world is over now."
The taste of sweet relief (release), my dear bloody ending; for now I am free. The shadow is gone; I am gone. The madness is finally over. The world is over, now.
MY OVERALL IMPRESSION: This story impressed me with its potential to be a very good story in the manner of The Tell Tale Heart, or the poem the Raven.
MY FAVORITE PARTS: I enjoy the way the man's mind decends into madness and the his end is mysteriously caused by either himself or his shadow.
MY SUGGESTIONS: Understand that I am not trying to re-write your story, but that I am trying to make it more dynamic by utilizing punctuation.
Thank you for permitting me to review your work. If you disagree with my review, that is fine. Take what you need and leave the rest. If you revise, please email me so that I may read. Keep writing and offering your work for review. Blessings, Bertie