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Anything said in this review is given as one reader's opinion only and meant simply to provide you feedback on your story. Good luck in the Contest, it has been a pleasure to share your work! With that said, here is my review;
TITLE: DESCRIPTION: Excellent title, sharp, interesting. Description is interesting and a fantastic hook into story!
FIRST IMPRESSIONS: I liked the way the story unfolded, you did quite a nice job of creating suspence, particularly in middle of story. Begginning in particular is a bit slow, the pacing seems just a couple beats too slow for a short adventure story, although the information is great! Maybe try mixing in some shorter, punchier sentences with the long ones? You do have alot of comma spliced sentences and use the word 'and' very frequently.
CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT: I liked both your characters, they seem to have fairly different personalities, but I couldn't really see them in my mind to connect. Maybe add some physical details of looks, do they live together, with parents? Haeden's age only becomes apparent later in story. Why does Eric consider Haeden irresponsible? Only because of his enthusiasm? Haeden seemed pretty responsible at end.
PLOT: This is a great plot, very original in content! It has both action anddark aspects, more action/adventure I felt. I also thought it had enough complexity to become a much longer story with the ending greatly extended. [ maybe you plan a sequel?] This ends rather abruptly, more details on Eric's condition and whether they escape would be good, more satisfying to readers.
DIALOGUE: Dialogue between boys is crisp and believable, but I'd like to see more of it rather than narrative flows to tell what's happening, show us through boys dialogue and actions. Add in some emotion in voices and thoughts.
CONTENTS,[Flow,Clarity]: Events unfold logically, but pacing feels more methodical than usual in an action tale like this one. I'd like to see brothers talk of what creature might be, it's first threatening moves. Does it move fast, stealthy, two-legged? I also felt they'd discuss coffin a bit.
Near the end, I felt a stronger description of attack would work better, and some clue as to extent of Eric's injuries would be good, wouldn't Haeden check him closer?
EMOTION:IMAGERY : I didn't feel strong emotion from either brother. What made Haeden so intent on revenge?
hills of Georgia, for caves...no comma here
Typically The brothers... try to use less 'and' sentences.
at dawn; pack a large lunch...too many commas, can you break it up some?
'entered the hole' how? walked in, climbed in by ropes?
Show by dialogue Eric convincing Haeden to walk behind him, put us in thier heads and world
Why couldn't he see ceiling of cave? Did it expand? let us see through the boys eyes.
If Eric doesn't want Haeden to know it's a coffin, why does he comment on it later? Seems more likely they'd talk about possibilities of how it got there.
I'd try working this coffin scene and sentences beginning 'The same curiosity; wondered where the body was' into dialogue between brothers.
And, of course...He wondered...
perhaps a metal object. let readers speculate what made marks, spookier.
reflecting off of in the light.
in a voice too loud to be a whisper. said loudly.
not as startled by the noise as Haeden. delete, doesn't really add anything to story.
He became aware of an intense pain. Intense pain flared in his back. describe attack in detail, this is a defining momment in story.
show us more detail of creature, claws, fangs, is it biting? Smell to it?
He shined shone the flashlight.
crouching over and resting partly on ... awkward sentence, can you refine it to clearer image?
climbed off.. how, slow, fast, threatening?
What condition is Eric in as they leave cave, bleeding, half-conscious, needs splints, bandages? Give us a reason to understand/ connect with Haeden's need for revenge- they obviously expected something might defend it's home/cave.
not alone- but he wasn't alone this time. Do you mean armed, with group of people? Isn't he curious even a little what it is?
FINAL THOUGHTS: This is a chilling adventure story! With some edits, tweaks, it will be awesome! I'd like to see ending extended to thier return, hunt/capture of creature to learn what it is, but maybe you plan a sequel? I'm looking forward to reading this again!
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