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Printed from http://www.writing.com/main/profile/reviews/caleb42
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12 Public Reviews Given
Public Reviews
1
1
Review of The Calling  
Review by Elbo Carbert
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
This was MOST excellent! I almost wish it had been longer, but it works so well just the way it is! A truly memorable piece of classic short horror.

Honestly, I was skeptical at first, with the main character seeming so juvenile and naive, but this worked PERFECTLY. The gradual, but noticeable decline into the violent occult was WONDROUS. The schick, thud/sh'ok th'du but was GENIUS. I also liked the deliberate mention of the woman handling the rose bush with "all the care of a mother protecting an infant", only to have her kick the plant aside to further facilitate her mad quest for the box. Radical, dude. Super awesome.

This is such a well-planned, but beautifully simple story, which, as such, is so freaking memorable - really.

It wasn't cluttered or verbose - is was... Simple. And usually, as a fairly pretentious reader, I stray away from that sort of thing. But, SERIOUSLY, this was amazing. Amazing.
2
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Review of White Horses  
Review by Elbo Carbert
Rated: 18+ | (3.0)
I feel like the main strength of this piece is it's unconventionality. Even before I reached the end it felt like a dream - or rather how one might explain a dream. At first I was annoyed by the amount of similes and analogies and adjectives [some of the adjectives still sound a little forced/excessive], but I realized that, with a story like this, it's the only way to properly describe what the character is seeing, as he himself is really feeling more than seeing anyways.

Really, though, once you get past the novelty of the writing style, this piece could use some work in the originality department. A sea of eyes? Evil embodied in the flesh of man? A dream where you ride a horse, or a whale, or you drown? I feel like it's all kind of been done.

When I read this I feel like I'm just reading a bit from my friends dream journal, and I don't really feel like it has any super memorable moments.

Other than the "clapping" of the eyes closing. I liked that. That was a nice moment. Truly.

This is not a bad piece, but it's not quite something I'd publish or publicize.
3
3
Review by Elbo Carbert
Rated: E | (2.0)
Man, I thought that was going to end WAY differently.

I feel like this story serves it's purpose - it's short, it's somewhat unpredictable [maybe it's just me, I was predicting a bloodbath], and it's kind of cute. Fun. As someone who hasn't trick-or-treated in a very, very long time, I have to say this story carries with it a welcome sort of nostalgic feel.

On the other hand, this piece could definitely use some simple proofreading, and maybe some more elaborate description - just to make it a bit more memorable to the reader. I mean, I know it's a short story, but it kind of starts here and ends there with nothing that really stands out in between. Other than the ghost thing - which isn't super-duper exciting.

If this was a true story, maybe I'd walk away from it with a different perspective, but as creative fiction I feel like there's so much more to explore.

And like I said, really just beefing up the descriptions, capitalizing on the nostalgia of childhood Halloween, would totally turn this story into a solid 5.

Real potential to be a great little piece.
4
4
Review by Elbo Carbert
Rated: 13+ | (2.0)
This piece has it's moments, but it kind of plays out like a cold open from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. You know what's going to happen, you know when it's going to happen, and, as a reader, you kind of accept it and your mind begins to move along.

The real strength lies in the writers potential ability to tell the story in a different way, to lure us in with elaborate and elegant descriptions, to woo us with their style. This story almost has that charisma, but I would definitely suggest that the writer go back and reread the entire piece out loud. There were some cheesy phrases and some shoddy sentence structure, as well as some bits that just need some simple cleaning up.

I would say the writer really just needs to spend some time on getting Faye to properly seduce US as readers. If you can make ME want to get in the car with her - if you can convince me I wouldn't care if she took me out of town on some mysterious, clearly dangerous expedition, I'd be willing to allow myself to enjoy the ending.

As it is now, I feel like I can all too easily just shrug this piece off - like a cold open on Buffy.

I wouldn't give up on this piece, but I would give it some serious work.
5
5
Review of Going Home  
Review by Elbo Carbert
Rated: 13+ | (3.0)
This was kind of an interesting story. But I feel like, for some reason, I was drawn more to the anguish of Jen than the generic nostalgia of Mr. Jenkins. I would've liked to spend more time with him in the old folks home, and seen more of his confusion, frustration, and anger at his reluctant captivity. My grandfather was once in a similar situation in the years before his passing - with the face replacement and such, and I would've liked to see more of that.

I couldn't tell if it was intentional or not, but the pacing was somewhat juvenile and rather taxing at times. Was it supposed to exemplify the childlike nature of Mr. Jenkins? I noticed it let up slightly when we shifted away from his perspective, but not altogether. I dunno. Sometimes sentences and phrases seem to just drone on, each following the an identical, monotonous structure. You know? Maybe a few thoughts here and there could be combined to create a less inhibited flow?

I dunno. Not my usual fare, but not a regrettable read. Definite potential.
6
6
Review of Trick or Tweet  
Review by Elbo Carbert
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
MOST EXCELLENT! Easily read, easily processed, and an excellent message. And what a relevant plot. The story in and of itself had a very Richard Matheson-esque feeling to it, which is VERY good thing.

A story like this is really something to be admired, in that the depth of the characters, and the scope of the situation are provide an adequate emotional catharsis, while the simplicity of story guarantees it's long-lasting impact. Definitely an inspiration to fledgling short-story writers.
7
7
Review of Imagination  
Review by Elbo Carbert
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
This is quite excellent. The scenes flow nicely, there's some really strong visuals, it's short and sweet and a little disturbing. The structure is clear and easily swallowable. I'd watch this, and I definitely show it to my friends.

I do find it slightly unbelievable that a 10 year old would be prescribed medication so hastily because of something as innocent as having an imaginary friend. But it's questionable enough to make me tune out, and given that the story is told from the perspective of the boy, it's hard to tell exactly how strange he's been acting, or how long he's been mucking around with Matt.

I would've like to see a more drawn out climax/catharsis. In the watchtower we see a somewhat abrupt turnaround, and the main characters earth-shattering realization of who the beast is and the nature of Matt is sort rushed.

I almost feel like the final fantasy scene should incorporate more of the other fantastical characters/locations, in a sort of cerebral onslaught of imaginary creatures/characters. I dunno.

I feel like the greater the scope, the more impressive the daydream, the harder it falls away. And I really would like to see a bit of pain in Oscar as he murders his best friend in favour of his mother. It's kind of a huge breakthrough, and I'd maximize the catharsis, no matter how fleeting it is - and I'm glad you made it fleeting. It's not cry-worthy. It doesn't seem to be meant to tear your heart out, but it should tug a little. I dunno. I dunno. I ramble. I'm sorry.

Kind of loved it, though, and I could super-duper relate to the main character. Like I said, if this were a film, I'd watch it. Heck, I'd buy it.

Great Job!
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