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237 Total Reviews Given
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1
Review by Joe Nelson
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Hi JulianBenabides

I took a look at the first part of your story, RYUKI’S RAGE and I wanted to give you some feedback on what I think.

Cyberpunk is one of my favourite sub genres within science-fiction and I felt this was a solid beginning to a larger story. So far I’ve only had time to read the first chapter but I’ve enjoyed what you’ve written. I’m not sure why but it reminded me a lot of Akira, which is no bad thing.

The two stand-out areas of your story for me are the depth of your characters and the description of the environments.

I feel the relationship dynamic between Ryuki and Rajiana is excellently done, and this is portrayed particularly well in the dialogue between the two. They both seem believable in their personalities and within the larger world that you have created. You have managed to create deep and interesting characters, and also capture a child’s perspective on a seedy and violent world. I find myself hoping that the two would be safe within Kambangang as they do seem quite vulnerable.

Personally, I would have liked a bit more physical description of Ryuki as there is little to go on. I also felt that it was strange that he was walking the city at night with bare feet but that he also had to be in school the following day. I had pictured him as a street-wise orphan, using his wits to evade gangs and hide from killers. The notion that he could be sitting in a classroom the following day didn’t quite seem to align with that image, but I've only read the first part so far, and these are just my first impressions.

Your description of Kambangang is very well done, and I found the city easy to imagine. Your attention to small details such as the missing ‘E’ on the strip club sign, and the smell of noodles and shrimp really draw out the atmosphere. It’s the little things like this that bring any world to life, and I feel this was really well done.

There were a few grammatical issues that I spotted:

"You want that blue. You want that salt. I got that new fire salt, twist your head for days."
-I feel like the first two statements are actually questions. If so then they should end with a ?.

“We took in long slow, breaths as we moved.”
-Comma is in the wrong place. It should be after the word “long.”

There came a sudden, laugh out of nowhere.
-No need for a comma here.

"Oh, don't be afraid of little, old me. I won't cause no trouble for you."
-No comma needed here.

"Now!" I barked, as Rajiana and I ran around me in a wide arc.
-Wasn’t really sure what you were trying to say here. How can Ryuki run around himself in a wide arc? I’m assuming this was a typo.

"You got girl spit. That'll kill a boy. I have to spit on my own cut."
-I loved this line. It shows the child-like mentality of your protagonist really well.

“He had willingly given up his right eye to be replaced with a state of the art, military mod.”
-No need for a comma.

“I felt her rubbing my back in soft, slow circles. And then my stomach tightened and vomit gurgled in my mouth. my stomach flexed again, I dry-heaved, and green bile spilled out of me; I didn't have any actual food to spit up as I hadn't eaten since breakfast.”
-Third sentence should start with a capital “M.”

“I knew that she probably hadn't and wasn't ready to be bested by her yet again.”
-This sentence is unclear. I would suggest: I knew that she probably hadn't and I wasn't ready to be bested by her yet again.

We stopped in front of a shop, whose neon read 'Real medical mods sold here.'
-The word “whose” is usually only used in relation to a person. It doesn’t quite work when describing a building.

In summary, this is a solid tale with great characters and excellent descriptions of the environment. The city of Kambangang is already a fascinating place to me and I would be interested to see more of its seedy little corners. It’s a great setting for a dark and gritty sci-fi (which also happens to be my favourite type of sci-fi) with plenty of opportunity for expansion in later chapters.

I hope this review has been useful.

-Joe.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
2
2
Review by Joe Nelson
In affiliation with Horror, Inc.  
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Jonathon.

I am reviewing this story as today's judge of The Daily Slice. Congratulations on the win.

Please know that my opinions are only those of a humble reader.

This was a very creepy story about something I find to be quite a harrowing subject, that is the murder of one's parents. In the short space you have you do an excellent job of setting up the characters of both Dr. Calibak and his mother and exloring the motives and emotions of the protagonist.

As a reader I felt a great sympathy for the old woman, particularly when you point out: "She gave me a look of embarrassment and shame."

Similarly I could sympathise with Calibak's anger after being abandoned by his family to look after his failing mother. At first it seems that there may be a good side to Calibak and that his frustration and heartlessness is down to the stress of the situation he finds himself in, however it seems that as the story progresses we discover he really is quite heartless and a murderer to boot.

If I'm honest the really frightening factor of this story to me is the dilemma and eventual decision that Calibak takes to kill his mother rather than the transformation of the nurses at the end. I should point out that I was unsure what mythological beast they became but that's more likey my fault as I seriously need to read up on Greek mythology.

As a story I felt the 1st half was better than its latter half. Calibak's decision to murder his mother seems to be too quickly made where I feel perhaps there should have been a stronger emotional conflict within him. You start well with excellent characterisation and I felt this could have been better expolited to depict a story of how much a person can take before they think the unthinkable. Personally I've always found that sort of psychological horror to be far more frightening than monsters, but you did have to work to the prompt and the word limit and I feel you did an excellent job of that.

Technically this story is quite well written but you should change "there" to "their" where you have made that mistake. One example is as follows:
"Was the last thing I heard before there claws ripped into my stomach" -In this instance "there" should be "their." This was an error I noticed you made a few times throughout the story.

In conclusion I think this was a chilling little tale that could be reworked into a fine example of psychological horror. Now that you are no longer limited to a prompt I feel this would be a good story to really expand on and examine the kind of evils that Calibak could subject his mother to.

Thanks for entering The Daily Slice Jonathon. I hope to see more of your work in future.

-Joe.
3
3
Review of One Upmanship  
Review by Joe Nelson
In affiliation with Horror, Inc.  
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
I am reviewing this piece as today’s judge for The Daily Slice.

This is an nice little story of envy. I particularly enjoyed the way in which you describe all the little things that have made your protagonist so bitter and angry over the years. The characterisation is quite impressive and I could feel a strong connection with your main character and a feeling of empathy for all the little insults he has had to endure.

One of the trickiest challenges in writing a horror story in under 1000 words is pacing. I find that if you take too long describing one thing you risk losing focus on another aspect of your work. In this instance I feel that you put a great deal into your characterisation of the protagonist but left very little room for the actual horror at the end.

In my opinion good characterisation is a fundamental part of any good story and I have no complaints with this aspect of your work. But the horror elements seem slightly lacking here, specifically because you tend to describe them quickly at the end in a summary fashion.

This is an excellent tale of envy but I feel it could better in terms of providing a sense of horror.

Thanks for entering The Daily Slice. We hope to see more of your work in the future. Want to write a longer story? Try
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Review of Screaming silence  
Review by Joe Nelson
In affiliation with Horror, Inc.  
Rated: 18+ | (3.0)
Review for “Screaming Silence.”


I am reviewing this piece as a judge for Bad Moon Rising. Please know that my opinions and suggestions come only from my own opinion and experience. I am not a professional but just an amateur writer who knows what he likes.

Zynab

This is a good story but it seems to read more like a crime-thriller than a horror story. There are some excellent elements in this tale and the one gruesome scene that does stand out is very horrific but not necessarily indicative of a horror story. Even so I found this one piece to be very chilling.

Both eyelids had been cut off, leaving Phillips eyeball bloody, inside a bared socket. Blood dripped from his eyes like tears, falling and pooling to join the other macabre on his laps. A knife had been run down the front part of Phillips body, right from the neck and down to his stomach. His gut sprawled out ad over his laps.
-I also want to point out that this paragraph needs some corrections.
“Phillips eyeball” should be “Phillip’s eyeball.”
“His gut sprawled out AND over his LAP.”

This brings me onto my main point that this story is full of minor errors. Although it is not a big thing when comparing it to more significant elements like story and character, it does have a negative effect on the reading of it.
The errors are nothing that a proof-read wouldn’t fix though.

This is not an exhaustive list but here are some of the more significant errors that need fixing:

“Dylan gave a long, suffering sigh” -Who’s Dylan? I think you mean Dean. This was very confusing. You need to be consistent with aspects of the story to avoid confusion.


“The silent was loud” -I see what you were trying to say here but this is a bad line. Silence can’t be loud as you say it but can seem to be loud. This line should be “The silence seemed loud.”

“It was bared with a burglar proof metal.” -“Bared” should be “Barred.”

“insecure eejit like Jeff would use metal to bar the windows.” -Eejit is not a real word but is representative of an accent. Therefore it can be featured in introspection, description or speech but should not be placed in narrative text. In this instance you should use “idiot.”

“he didn’t have trouble sporting the tracks of blood on the floor.” -I think you mean “spotting.” This mistake is made more than once in your story.

“bathroom opened and Dean sported dark” -As above.

“But he All his friends were gone”. -This line needs changing as it doesn’t make sense.

You also use a lot of lower-case I’s when they should be capitalized. This need revising.

As I have said the mistakes in this story are nothing a good proof-read wouldn’t fix.


I do feel that this was a good story of an escaped convict relying on his best friend to help him out. Your characterisation of Jeff is excellent and the little ticks that you put into his personality really make him stand out.
Things like his high-pitched squeaking and his continuous use of the word “Lord” when he is agitated really emphasises his personality. I think you really nailed this and did a great job of presenting him.

You build up the suspense by suggesting the presence of the “silent partner” and this kept me intrigued as to the true identity of that person. The fact that it was Jeff and that he was also the killer took me by surprise and was an excellent twist to the story. I really didn’t see it coming.

In short I believe Jeff was probably the best part of the story for me.

I think you need to better explain the character of “pretty-eyes.” I was left a little confused as to who she was and at first assumed it may have been Sara (who had survived). Her presence needs to be explained in the story as does her relation ship to Dean.

In conclusion this was a good tale that could be much better with just a little editing.

Thank you for entering Bad Moon Rising. We hope to see more of your work in future.

Joe.
5
5
Review of Bad Things  
Review by Joe Nelson
In affiliation with Horror, Inc.  
Rated: 18+ | N/A (Review only item.)
Alexander.

I really liked this story and I felt that it was a well written and suspenseful tale of a woman victimised by a stalker. The start is particularly excellent as it grabs the readers attention and drags then straight into the situation before elaborating later on.

Your characterisation of Bridgett as protagonist is excellent and I believe that she felt very real and believable within the context of the story. I also enjoyed the character of lieutenant Drake and did not see the twist coming at the end. A very nice touch, particularly as in re-reading the story it seemed that Tommy was actually just being over zealous but not crazy and that the real threat is Drake.

I would suggest perhaps using a page break just before Drake arrives at Bridgett's apartment as it more clearly defines the passing of time between the paragraphs.

Asides from that I feel that this was a very well written piece and a fun read.

Thank you for entering The Daily Slice. We look forward to seeing more of your work in the future.

Joe.
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Review of Macabesity  
Review by Joe Nelson
In affiliation with Horror, Inc.  
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
Robert.

Well I can honestly say that I didn't see that coming. What starts off as a fairly normal day out for an elderly couple quickly escalates into a terrifying encounter with what can only be described as a feral child.

I found your charactersiation of Clare and the protagonist and the description of their feelings for each other to be very well done. It is clear that these are two individuals completely at ease around each other in such a way that only time can bring. Their trip to feed the ducks at the pond is another excellent way of depicting the sort of peaceful and happy existence that these two lead and is a further indication of their innocent characters and the contrast between that and the horror they are about to face.

I felt you built up the suspense very well for such a short piece and were able to give the reader a great sense of character, suspense and horror all in under 1000 words. By introducing the terror slowly through a series of bizzarre sounds and the slow approach to the boy at the lake, you ratchet up the tension quite effectively before hitting us with a savage and bewildering attack. One of my favouritre aspects of this story was that you did not even try to explain the boy's origins or the reasons behind his attack. I felt this added a strange mystery to a horrifying incident that stayed with me after I'd read the story.

Congratulations on winning The Daily Slice we look forward to seeing more from you in the future.

Joe.
7
7
Review of Garden Children  
Review by Joe Nelson
In affiliation with Horror, Inc.  
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Fille

I am reveiwing this piece as today's judge for The Daily Slice.

This was a story filled with a gothic tension. I took a quick look at your bio and noticed that you write a lot about New Orleans. Though I have never been there myself, I felt that your descriptions were something very special. You really nail the feel of the garden in this tale and I found it easy to imagine the sights and smells of Ursula's surroundings. I felt that even before the arrival of Paddock into the story, the environment held a certain creepiness that could only be described as gothic.

The character of Ursula is well done and Paddock is very sinister, adding a supernatural layer to the story.

I wasn't entirely sure about the ending though as I felt it was unclear as to wether or not Ursula would become the cherub statue. I thought Paddock was a vampire but this made me unsure. I would reccomend making this a bit clearer. If Ursula does become the new cherub statue then that is VERY frightening.

Thanks for entering.

Joe.
8
8
Review by Joe Nelson
In affiliation with Horror, Inc.  
Rated: 18+ | (2.0)
Review for “A Bloody Little Secret.”

I am reviewing this story as one of the judges for Bad Moon Rising.

Please know that I am by no means a professional reveiwer and that these words are only my opinions as a reader.

The first thing I noticed about this story was the text. As you have posted it, the story appears incredibly bulky and difficult to read. I dreaded reading it purely because of this. It is worth considering more paragraph breaks and indents when you post it as a story’s appearance makes it much easier to read.

Consider this for example. You write:
“Well, isn’t that interesting?’ he said, checking again at what he saw. Climbing from the bed he wiped his hands on his jeans and reached for a cigarette from the pack sitting on the three-legged nightstand that was supported by leaning against the bed frame. Careful not too get it wet from what was still on his hands he crossed to what was called a spacious patio in the motel’s outdated brochure. The sliding glass door that gave access to the four-foot cement ledge had a spider web shatter in it that showed where it had been hit by something and was never repaired, but then nothing in the Fountain of Youth Motel got repaired. Putting the cigarette to his lips he snapped the fingers of his right hand. Looking perplexed he shook his hand and snapped them again.
“Must be out of fuel,’ he said over his shoulder to the woman lying on what passed as the room’s king sized bed. If she heard him she didn’t comment.
“Just kidding. I’m never out of fuel.’ He snapped his fingers again and the end of the cigarette flamed briefly before receding into a cherry.

By adding paragraph breaks and indents in the correct places the text becomes much easier to read. For example:
“Well, isn’t that interesting?’ he said, checking again at what he saw.
Climbing from the bed he wiped his hands on his jeans and reached for a cigarette from the pack sitting on the three-legged nightstand that was supported by leaning against the bed frame. Careful not too get it wet from what was still on his hands he crossed to what was called a spacious patio in the motel’s outdated brochure.
The sliding glass door that gave access to the four-foot cement ledge had a spider web shatter in it that showed where it had been hit by something and was never repaired, but then nothing in the Fountain of Youth Motel got repaired.
Putting the cigarette to his lips he snapped the fingers of his right hand. Looking perplexed he shook his hand and snapped them again.
“Must be out of fuel,’ he said over his shoulder to the woman lying on what passed as the room’s king sized bed.
If she heard him she didn’t comment.
“Just kidding. I’m never out of fuel.’ He snapped his fingers again and the end of the cigarette flamed briefly before receding into a cherry.

You also need to be much more concise in your writing. As it is now, you wander off topic a lot and provide a great deal of detail in a rambling manner.
For Example, you wrote:
Climbing from the bed he wiped his hands on his jeans and reached for a cigarette from the pack sitting on the three-legged nightstand that was supported by leaning against the bed frame.
Consider something like this:
Climbing from the bed he wiped his hands on his jeans and reached for a cigarette from the nightstand. The old and worn table only had three legs and leaned precariously against the bed frame.

Later on you write:
It wasn’t until she had been secured to the bed naked with her arms and legs bound to the four corners and her head propped up with the two well used pillows and had pulled a box of tooth picks and a very sharp, very old looking blade from the bag that she knew it wasn’t kinky sex he was after.

This is a very long and tedious sentence but by sharpening up the words you can provide just as much detail and keep the story sharp.
Consider something like this:
It wasn’t until she had been secured to the bed that she knew it wasn’t kinky sex he was after.
She lay there naked with her arms and legs bound to the four corners of the bed and her head propped up with the two well used pillows.
Slowly, he pulled a box of tooth picks and a very sharp, very old looking blade from the bag.
(Notice that I have also used spacing and paragraph breaks to make the text appear more appealing to the reader.)


In considering the story, I notice that you give almost everything away at the start. You tell us that an evil man with strange powers is the murderer of a young woman. That the murder occurred in a hotel room and that the victim was tricked.
After learning all this there seems to be no real reason to continue reading the story other than to find out how she was murdered.
Therefore there is little fun to be had in the revealing of the story and little to encourage the reader into it.

You put a lot into your descriptions of things and I could easily imagine the setting you put before me. This would be greatly improved by more concise writing.
But I was unsure as to the country this was set in. You seem to indicate that the
action takes place in Mexico, but I was unsure.
Similarly you also put a lot into the character descriptions in this. I must say I was fond of the way you didn’t reveal the true nature of your protagonist. This kept me wondering about the source of his powers. Was he a vampire, the devil or perhaps just magic. I found this was a good way of establishing an aura of mystery and was instrumental in building the tension.

The final scene in which the victim dies is horrific. This part really creeped me out
“He smiled at her and then sewed her lips together.”
It was most certainly a violent and nasty end.

In conclusion this was an excellent idea poorly executed. By considering what you write and how it reads you will improve on fundamental aspects of your storytelling. It would have been a good idea naming your characters or at least giving them a descriptive name. For example, if you wanted the man to remain anonymous you could have named him the smoker, or the cigarette man. A name for the maid would have been particularly advisable as it would have given the reader a stronger connection with her character and identified her more as a person.

Please don’t take my criticisms too personally and know that I mean no harm when I say there is room for much improvement in your writing. Since being on WDC I have found my writing skill has increased greatly due to criticism and help. I wish you all the best with your work and look forward to seeing more from you in our future competitions. Thanks for entering Bad Moon Rising.

Joe.
9
9
Review of A kind of Joe  
Review by Joe Nelson
In affiliation with Horror, Inc.  
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Hello Nick.

I am reveiwing your story as today's judge for The Daily Slice.

I love a good noire story and I feel that is what this could have been had there been just a bit more detail. Although it can be hard to write a decent story in 1000 words I felt that this pece was quite short by most standards (743 words) and it really could have used an extra hundred or so to give a greater depth to the characters and their reasons/motives for doing what they do. I wasn't really sure why Tommy the Gun (love the name by the way) was so quick to shoot the blonde or what exactly he was going to do with her.

The ambiguity of what the blonde's true nature (I assumed a vampire but wasn't sure) is well placed as it provides a mystery that adds to the horror but in other places that ambiguity seemed to make the story a bit vague. Tommy the Gun's motives and intentions being by my main concern here.

Apart from this your characteristion is superb and I could instantly recognise the familiar characters of the noire genre. Particularly the beautiful yet deadly female which you used to provide the Horror element of the piece. A very nice touch which seems to be an easy and flawless fit when crossing the two genres. I liked it!

The banter between these characters is also very good and evokes the sharp and witty communication of so many noire movies of yesteryear.

In conclusion this was a good story that played well on both the Noire and Horror elements but ultimately felt a bit too vague in what was really happening and came across as more of a single scene unfolding without any background context of why. I feel this could easily be remedied with just a couple of hundred more words.

I hope this reveiw was of some help to you. You have inspired me to write some Noire of my own.

Thanks for entering the Daily Slice. I look forward to reading more of your work in the future.

Joe.

10
10
Review of Lion's Tooth  
Review by Joe Nelson
In affiliation with Horror, Inc.  
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
Sorry I took so long getting this reveiw done.

I really liked this piece. Its very well written and has an excellent flow.
The characters are both incredibly well done and the sexual tension between them is strongly evident. I could feel the tension of the conversation and I think you really captured the essence of two old spies and their love/hate relationship in a late cold war setting.

I can't really fault this piece and my favourite part was the conversation between Graeme and John. But after: "they made their way beyond Graeme's Peugeot 205 to a stretch of slush extending hundreds of yards off into the sunrise" the text seems to be purely dialogue with no descriptive elements. I felt it could have done with just a couple more dialogue tags or third person descriptives as more than once I lost track of who was talking.

As for the dialogue itself however, that was fantastic. I'd have to say that was probably my favourite part as it is filled with character and subtle emotion. The relationship between the two characters seems to be really well depicted through their conversation.

One other bit I really liked was “It's winter, John. It always has been.” - LOVE this line. Hints at Graeme's ageing body but also at the cold, dark world in which they exist. I felt it worked on a number of levels and sets up Graeme's perspective perfectly.

In conclusion I feel this was a brilliantly atmospheric tale of two elderly spies and their feelings about each other and their personal demons.

Joe.
11
11
Review by Joe Nelson
In affiliation with Horror, Inc.  
Rated: ASR | (3.0)
There are some really nice ideas in this story such as a child being the protagonist (always unsettling in horror) and the use of a child's bedroom as the setting. Instantly evoking childhood fears that most of us had to deal with when we were young.
In terms of your ideas for this story, I have no issues. There are some excellent concepts which inspire a fearful atmosphere and I particularly like the description of the demon as an ovoid mass.
My main issue comes with the way it is written. You start well with an excellent description of Ollie in his bed being terrified by the presence in his room but then you launch into long segments of speech with no dialogue tags and no descriptions to seperate them. Unfortunately the text became quite tedious in these parts and I was left wondering as to how the characters were feeling and what they were doing.

An example of this is the conversation between John and Anne at the start:

Anne woke up, sweating. “John, there’s something---someone in this house! Wake up!”, she shouted.
“What? That’s impossible.”
“I saw it in my dreams. It was evil, John.”
“Come on, Anne.”
“In my dreams I asked it, “Who are you?” It said it was a visitor but I knew it wasn’t. So I said, “What do you want?” It said, “Him.”
“Him---who?”, John asked.
“Him, the “little” one, it told me.”
“Anne...”
“Don’t you dare not believe me, John!”
“Alright. I will take a look.”
“I am coming with you. I know that there was someone else – awake – in this house. I can still feel it. As a matter of fact, I feel it's presence all the time.”
“But how...”
“You know - I "know". We must go to Ollie’s room first.”
“Look. The door is closed! He never likes it closed.”
“Open it, quickly.”
“Oh He’s in bed. He’s sleeping peacefully. Relax, Anne.”
“John, there is something in there with him.”
“What are you talking about?”
“I can see it; dark, eerie - it is right there, in the corner of the room, on the ceiling. Turn the lights on, John!”
“OK. See? There’s nothing there. Nothing.”
“It was there, John.”
“But how could it have disappeared so quickly, whatever it was?”
“I can still feel it’s presence...”
“Anne, there isn’t anything. Come on.”
“But...”
“Come on. Let’s go to bed. He’s OK.”

- All of this happens with no descriptive elements telling the reader what is happening. Some moments could have really used some more depth and would answer such questions as how they were feeling as they made their way to Ollie's room? and what Anne saw when she looked inside?

I liked the concept of the tale and what you were trying to do. My main issue with this piece is the technical aspect. By better combining descriptive elements and character interaction you will improve the flow and enjoyability of reading it. Instead it just seems to be seperated into chunks of dialogue and descriptive elements. In some regards it feels more like a script than a literary piece.

Joe.


12
12
Review of Zombies  
Review by Joe Nelson
In affiliation with Horror, Inc.  
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
I like the classic ideas you use in this story. Zombies rising from their graves evoke images of Night of the Living Dead and the first ever incarnations of zombies.
There's not a great deal of story here but I felt the action was well written and suspenseful. I found myself glued to the screen as your main character desperately tried to escape the horde of undead. Perhaps there could have been a greater emphasis on emotions when he saw his zombified mother at the end.
It's fairly well written. I saw a few minor errors with punctuation but nothing major. There was this:
"maybe I'd inadvertently walked through the set of a Ramero feature." -Should be Romero. Spelling the masters name wrong like that will only get you eaten by zombies! :)

Zombie horror has been done to the death and its VERY hard to find originality within this genre. This piece had no originality but was enjoyable for that reason. A similar story to others which we all know and love. This was zombie action in its purest and most basic form. That kind of stuff never gets old and is always fun to read!

Liked it!

Joe.
13
13
Review of Ethel's Birthday  
Review by Joe Nelson
In affiliation with Horror, Inc.  
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
Great story. I really like the way you used care home politics and the desire tob popular as the centre point for this story. The character of Mildred is truly excellent and the story was told in such a darkly humerous way that I feel I must congratulate you on its tone.
That you played this for dark laughs was a genius idea as to be fair, I don't think it would have worked as a serious piece.

Criticisms:
"The plastic wrap crinkled in her hand as she slide the walker" -Should be "slid the walker"

Also you may want to space out the text. It was quite bulky and closely packed making it quite trying to read. By spacing the text out a bit more it would become a lot easier and more enjoyable to read.

Praise:
"You had to be resourceful enough to keep life going or, truth be told, clever enough to take it away if the actual duty served you right." -Loved this line. It sets out Mildreds character perfectly and made me smile.

"funny how mixing your feces in the coffee maker" -Hilariously disgusting and another fine example of Mildred's ruthless cunning.

Good story.

Joe.



14
14
Review by Joe Nelson
In affiliation with Horror, Inc.  
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
What caught my eye about this piece was that it was listed as a tragedy about a girls first day at school. Intrigued by that description I decided to give it a look. I was quite blown away.
There are a couple of critical points I will get to in a moment but first let me say that you managed to describe the effects of racism in such a personal and poingnant way that it really hit home. By using the family dynamic and viewing the hatred through the eyes of a child the whole thing seemed a lot more tangible than if you had just written about social upheaval and politics in a blanket manner. I find it's always better to personalise an issue. That way you really get the feeling across to the reader. You did this perfectly.
My favourite part of this story is Big Daddy's speech about conquering fear.
Truly inspiring. Well done.

A few critisicisms:
“We ain’t having no nigras at our school, ya hear?” -"Nigras" should be "niggers" unless you were going for the accent of the Clan memeber. If it was meant to be like that then just ignore me.
I felt that the paragraph break between Big Daddy's death and Sally getting ready for school should have stronger definition as it is a substantial amount of time between the two. I find it helps to divide such parts like this:

* * * * *
Finally, when you write:
"A year ago, she had almost been dead set about going to the white school." -Makes it sound like Sally originally wanted to go to the white school. I think you mean "dead set AGAINST going to the white school."

Other than that it was a pretty flawless piece with an emotional gut-punch.

Well done.

Joe.
15
15
Review by Joe Nelson
In affiliation with Horror, Inc.  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hi.
I liked your story. Your descriptions are excellent I had a really clear image of the old Victorian house. I could realy feel the atmosphere of the piece. I also liked the characters, particularly Abner although I wasn't sure at first how old the two main characters were and wether or not they were childeren or adults.
The scene with the old lady in the mirror was truly frightening and I love stuff like that. Its always good to read a good old fashioned haunted house story. But I did feel it could have been scarier towards the end. It seems the main characters just get away with a little fright instead of something truly terrifying happening to them. Maybe it wasn't supposed to be terrifying but that's just me. I like it when evil things happen to innocent people in horror stories.
Pace, spelling, grammar, characters etc, were all superb. I think your a really good author, please don't stop writing.

A few mistakes I picked up on at the start:
"sore tore" -I think you mean "sore toe"
"forbidden House Next Door" -HND shouldn't be in capitals.
Nothing major though and nothing a read-through wouldn't fix.

Nettie tells me your wanting reveiws. Getting reveiwed on here can sometimes be frustratingly hard. Try entering a competition, joining a group or reveiwing other people's work; they might return the favour. Also try posting on the Request Reveiw page and offering a GP reward for reveiws of your work. It'll help you get noticed but whatever happens don't give up writing. This story was really good and you have some real talent.

Good luck with your work!

Joe.
16
16
Review by Joe Nelson
In affiliation with Horror, Inc.  
Rated: E | (2.0)
This really needs some kind of character description. I found it quite funny but I was unsure as to who exactly these people were. As it is its just a conversation between two nondescript individuals. The dialougue is good and there's nothing wrong with your spelling or punctuation but it really does need more meat to the story.
For example:
"That one goes on top." Tom said pointedly.
"Nuh-uh! It goes in the middle. Or else it doesn't look right." Harry argued.
Tom stared at his brother incredulously "You're the only one who cares about looks. It needs to work. Just put it on the top."
"Hold your horses! I need to get the bottom done first. This one is the bottom, right?"

By adding just a few descriptive lines about character and emotion the story becomes a lot more enjoyable.

Having just read your other piece "Demon Hour" I know for a fact that you could easily make this piece a lot better.

Hope this helps.

Joe.
17
17
Review of Demon hour  
Review by Joe Nelson
In affiliation with Horror, Inc.  
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
I liked this piece. It starts very well with Daniel waking in the night, a good setting for scary stories as it reminded me of things that go bumb in the night and isnstantly made me feel uneasy.
The ending was horrific. The violence inflicted upon his wife giving us reason to be afraid of whatever it was that was terrorising Daniel. Another point I liked was that you didn't tell the reader exactly what the creature/creatures were. By leaving it up to the readers imagination you made it even scarier than if you had said 'vampire' or 'gremlin.'

There are some technical issues with the writing. Most notably you often say things like "he then did this" and "he then went here."
One example is this:
"He then dropped to the floor and clutched both sides of his head, rocking back and forth, letting out hysterical sobs. He then pulled off his glasses and smashed them on the ground."
Perhaps a better way to have said this would be:
"Clutching his head, Daniel fell to his knees and began rocking back and forth while sobbing hysterically. He pulled off his glasses and shattered them on the floor."
- Notice how I only used the word "floor" once and eliminated the phrase "He then."
When writing, if you use the same words and phrases too often the text becomes tedious and repetitive so its a good idea to try and find another way of saying what you wanted to say. By injecting a bit of variety into the text the story becomes a lot more enjoyable to read.

Other than that this was a very good piece.

I hope this is of some help to you and good luck with your writing!

Joe.
18
18
Review by Joe Nelson
In affiliation with Horror, Inc.  
Rated: 13+ | (3.0)
Your story is fairly good. Its well written and it has some really creepy horror elements like the crazy little girl with evil powers and the insane mother.
The piece was very short and moved too quickly to build any real sense of tension or dread. By building Lexxie's character you could have really gone to town and had some terrific moments.
I wasn't sure what the “Nobody likes a tattle-teller…Especially not Lexie” had to do in relation to the rest of the story. Unless Lexxie was warning the main character not to tell the police but it seemed really unclear what tattle-telling had to do with it..
I think that the biggest problem with the story is that it all moved too fast and was more like a scene or a chapter rather than an actual story. The idea certainly has legs though and if you were so inclined to expand on it I feel it could be a really good horror story.

I hope this helps a bit and good luck with your writing.

Joe.

P.S. This was entered in the SCARE ME contest but it follows the prompt and word limit of The Daily Slice. I think you may have mistakenly put it in the wrong competition. If you are interested in writing a longer piece SCARE ME has a 5000 word limit. I find writing stories under 1000 words (The Daily Slice) VERY difficult myself so I prefer writing for the SCARE ME contest.
19
19
Review by Joe Nelson
In affiliation with Horror, Inc.  
Rated: 13+ | (3.0)
It was an interesting piece. Though I regret to say I didn't really find it that scary. For the most part it just seems to be about a man with a hair stuck in his throat and I was expecting a bit more of a shocking ending.
I wasn't really sure what to make of the end. Was Walter imagining it all or was there some kind of monster/curse that effected him? If so then why? It certainly adds a bit of mystery to what happens to Walter but if there was some kind of supernatural/medical/abnormal reason it would have been much creepier to know it.
A strong premise was let down by a quick ending that lacked any sense of surprise or explanation.
I see no technical problems with your work but you don't use speech marks when your characters are talking and you really should.

I hope this helps and please don't take my criticisms personally. I just feel it could have been a lot scarier.

Joe.
20
20
Review of Those Blue Eyes  
Review by Joe Nelson
Rated: 13+ | (3.5)
Your story was very creepy but I thought it was a bit too fast paced. I felt it could have benefitted from a slower build up of tension and a better examination of Amy's growing terror. An example of this is:

"Day after day, the girl with the ice blue eyes followed her. She tried to go to a guidance counselor, but the girl was in the room there as well. Amy was sent home having had an anxiety attack."
- There's a lot of wasted potential here. Instead of saying "day after day" you could have described an occurance where Amy sees the ghost in school. It would have been a lot scarier than just leaving the hauntings up to the readers imagination. Also you missed a really good oppurtunity to write a scary scene in the guidance counselors office.

I think it would work very well as a longer piece as you could examine the reasons behind the girls presence and gradually build the fear through more detailed scenes.

Asides from this it was a good piece with no spelling/grammatical errors. The premise for the story is terryfying and reminds me of Japanese films like The Ring and The Grudge. In my opinion this is the best type of horror. As for the story and the characters; they definately have potential.

Hope this helps.

Joe.
21
21
Review of The Chase  
Review by Joe Nelson
Rated: E | (5.0)
I really enjoyed this piece.

It speaks to me on many levels as I too am a dog person and I also own a Golden Retreiver. He was also bought in similar circumstances as he was returned by the first family to own him and then bought by us. I love my dog greatly and the simple joy of watching him bound around searching for stuff that seems pointless to us is always something I'll value. One example is he always brings me this filthy, chewed up brush after I've been out. The brush is truly disgusting but he loves it and he always gives it to me as a present!

Anyway, that's enough about my dog. Its obvious your story comes from the heart and it is a simple and uplifting tale of the relationship we share with man's best friend. But more than this it is a deeper realisation of what happiness in life really is. For my money; boundless love, companionship, loyalty and joy. As I always say "Knowing something never made anyone happier" and I beleive dogs are testament to this.

Excellent piece.

Joe.
22
22
Review by Joe Nelson
Rated: 18+ | (3.0)
Your story is a pretty decent high fantasy. There is obviously a lot of depth waiting to be explored in the diferent races of the world and strong potential amongst that. I see no real problem with the spelling or punctuation.

The prolouge is good, its obviously done as a narration and contains a lot of detail and background information. I understand why this is important to the story but perhaps you should consider covering only the main points at the start and leaving some of the lesser points (like the creation of the dragon halflings) for a later point. Perhaps when your heroes actually encounter one you could explain exactly what they are and why they were created.

"Mwahaha! What's wrong, Dragoon of Orochi?"
The dialouge is... cheesy. But perhaps thats the way you intended it. After all, high fantasy is often very cheesy. Not fussed on that aspect myslef but if you wanted the events of your story to be taken more seriously you absolutely MUST drop the cheese!

Finally, the action is good and you describe the characters well.

Anyway I hope this is of some help.

P.S. If your looking for reviews try joining a group, offering a GP reward or entering competitions. Reviewing other peoples work is another good way to get noticed and they might return the favour. But don't quit, there's potential here and perfection takes time.

Good luck with your writing.

Joe.
23
23
Review by Joe Nelson
Rated: E | (4.5)
At first I wasn't sure where the story was going but it developed into a touching account of two people's love for each other. It moved quite quickly through the years and it felt like a montage of the best bits of their life. This complimented the ending very well but it would have been nice to have seen the relationship in greater depth from time to time. I found the ending particularly poignant and it also reflected my personal beliefs about heaven and the afterlife. I'm generally quite a solid person emotionally (I thought the Green Mile was dull) but this touched me. What Joe and Violet felt for each other was true love and the inevitable end of their lives came about as both a happy and sad affair.

You say its a true story and if that is so its all the better for it. A truly heartfelt piece.

Joe.
24
24
Review of Sleep  
Review by Joe Nelson
Rated: 18+ | (3.5)
The way the story jumps about is an excellent representation of the main character's shattered mind. I found it hard to work out exactly what was real and what was in his mind. This feeling of confusion helped me to identify with the protagonist though I felt it would have been better if you examined Jacob's grief and denial in a deeper context, particularly through the use of other characters and their relationship to him. Also I felt that you could have better built the feeling of complete despair towards the end, thus enhancing the reasons as to why he attempts suicide.

Because you asked for a review on the character's I felt that Jacob's grief and borderline insanity was very well done but you could have put more into representing other key characters like Dr. Field and Felix.

Generally I found it a good piece about a tortured soul whose life is nearly destroyed by a tragic accident that wasn't his fault. It was very dark and the psychological aspect of fragmented storytelling was very effective.

Joe.
25
25
Review by Joe Nelson
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
I liked it, it was a very creepy story. It reminded me of a film I saw a couple of years back called "Skeleton Key" that creeped me right out! I thought the tension was well built, I particularly liked the idea of the old man coming after the protagonist in his dreams. It provided a fear of sleep, something that is natural to us all.

I'm never very comfortable giving criticism so I'm sorry in advance if I cause any offence.

The only criticism I can think of is that you seem to use capital letters a lot when its not necessary. For example:

"He carried only a cane, and a Blue Duffel Bag."
- The B,D and G don't need to be in capitals because its not a name or the start of a sentence. Also you don't need the comma in this sentence because you use the word "and" directly after it.

One final thing. When you talk about "wolf's" it should be wolves, otherwise it means your talking about something the wolf owns, like a wolf's claw.

Anyway, I hope this helped a bit and you don't find it too critical. Sorry again if it is.

Good story!

Joe.
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