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Printed from http://www.writing.com/main/profile/reviews/kaminariyari
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Public Reviews
Review by Kami-nari Yari
Rated: 18+ | (3.5)
Alright, just a warning: I am incapable of writing any sort of constructive criticism in less than a page at the very least, so I have a lot of it.

First off, the beginning sentence is good. Nice and descriptive and it got my attention. The next sentence, however, kind of ruins that effect. “I'm turning 30 and daydreaming of a vampire being devoured by his Sire.” Forgive me for being blunt, but that makes no sense. In the first paragraph, one would normally describe the physical characteristics of the main character, what the character is doing, or where the character is. By telling us exactly what the main character is thinking, and then just leaving it at that confuses the reader and leaves them wondering. That is a good tactic to keep the reader interested, but only later on in the story, not so much in the beginning when the focus is to draw them in slowly and keep them enraptured.

“Except for a library, The Newton and Carter Family Farms, each of which had their own roadside vegetable stand, were the only signs of civilization for miles to the north.” This sentence is a tad bit confusing. I had to read it three times to figure out what was being said. Commas are used too frequently. If you have to have an appositive, then I would suggest using two underscores in stead of commas when you are renaming two or more items.

“Every sound was kept within the twenty mile long valley by centuries old oak trees. It was one of those bone chilling days in February; no one went out. If they heard a gunshot, which wasn’t uncommon this time of year, you’d be lucky if they peaked through the blinds. A lifeless quiet wrapped around the town, a blanket of snow was arriving that night from the northwest that sent everyone to the store for bread, eggs, milk, and then barricade themselves indoors.” Don't use 'they' without first revealing whom you're talking about. I assume the townspeople, but I could be wrong. 'Better to be clear and poetic than plain and confusing.' I tell my sister that all the time, and I get in a tad bit of trouble for applying that when being poetic in writing isn't the best option...i.e.: English Class,

“I went right to the Thorn Public Library’s lone Librarian, Mrs. Gladys Brown; perhaps she could help me find out what I needed to know about The Blackburn without fingering through dozens of books. Gladys looked the part; she was easily in her eighties, wearing a new gray pant suit and comfortable black Velcro sneakers. Her short gray hair was properly kept. She was quite stylish for her generation, even with a pair of vintage cat’s eye glasses that hung around her neck by a string of home-made beads.” Alright, be poetic. Show, don't tell. You say that the librarian was easily in her eighties, but what clued the main character in on this? Is she bowed ans shriveled, does she have a name tag that says “Hi! I'm Eighty-something years old!” or what? The reader can't read your mind, so describe the characters, the more detail you put into everything they do the better the story is.

'“That park is older than me young man”, she chuckled at her attempt of a joke. “Hope died in her teens, drowned in Aeternam Lake, she had an older brother, August, who disappeared a few months later, but that was back in 18…….something. The family owned Blackburn Mansion; it was a summer resort for the rich and famous back in my day.” I followed and listened as she returned some books to their appropriate shelf.' Okay, this is more or less a drop line, to use a drama term. Like I said, show, don't tell. Show us what he did. You jumped from describing the librarian to her speaking tot he main character about a question that hasn't even been voiced yet. Describe the two of them as they talk, write down reactions to word, ticks, anything to paint a picture of the scene in the readers' minds.

“Brandy looked at me and gave a small huff before getting out of the truck. Putting my hand out to calm her, my fingers could feel the thick chocolate brown hair rise, making a perfect line from the top of her head all the way down to her tail. Dogs have a keener sense of people and their surroundings then we give them credit for and her instincts were vigilant. She high tailed it for the grass while I took a more detailed look around.” Be a bit more descriptive, tell us what exactly made Brandy freak out, you just kind of drop that on us without warning. Also, you go straight from Brandy freaking out about something she doesn't like, to her playing and romping around like any other go-lucky dog. It would seem to me that if she were agitated by something that may be a threat to her master, that she would stay by his side to try to protect him.

“The combination of the moon’s glow and the lights gradually exposed Augustus; he was about six foot one, heavily built. I’d guess about 280 pounds, maybe more. Once the figure is a few feet away, a massive hand extends from the shadows, reaching out for mine.” you change tenses here and throughout the story. Choose one, either past tense or present tense__switching between the two tends to be confusing to most people. Describe August more thoroughly, you describe him as being heavily built. What does that mean? Is he fat? Chubby? Built like a wrestler? OR is he just extremely tall and gangly? Show us, paint a picture of him with your words. You can do it, I know you can. You've done just that in small amounts in your work, it just need to be more evenly spread. And a side note: There is no such thing as too descriptive.

“Brandy ran around, smelling and playing with anything she could find, paying little attention to us.” Again, she's so happy when an instant ago she was like a bloody guard dog that's smelled a murderer. It just doesn't seem to me that she would play around when a creepy guy like August is hanging' around with his master.

'“Ok so your ‘the’ Augustus Blackburn,” looking at my notes once more. “So you’re telling me your 212 years old. You look damn good,” I laughed; there was no way I believed this, he wasn’t getting the joke.' you missed some words before 'looking at my notes once more' that doesn't make sense. And there a couple more grammatical errors, but I won't go into that. Here would be an excellent place to describe August's emotions. Show us his reactions to Zeke's words, I can't imaging he'd be very happy about them, so show us that, show us his anger, stoicism, fury, whatever he's feeling.

'“Look at me,” he said, while I checked and rechecked the dates. His tone summoned my attention.' What was his tone? Show, don't tell...and certainly don't give us something that interesting and then leave us hanging...

'“My name is Augustus Theodore Blackburn, born April 30th, 1799. My parents, Ezra and Evangeline Blackburn bought the land then built the mansion in May of 1802. Hope drowned on Halloween of 1815.” He stops to think about that day. “She was playing, climbing the trees that overhung the lake.” Augustus looked to his right; vivid glimpses of recollection could be seen in his gaze. “I had a first edition of ‘Gulliver’s Travels’, I couldn’t stop reading it. Next thing I know the limb she is sitting on breaks, she fell into the shallow part of the lake, broke her neck. My parents never forgave me, so when I turned 16 I left, headed south, As far as my legs could take me.”' You changed tenses again. The description you have about the recollection images is good, but it could be better. What I do when I'm stuck on something like that is to go online and look up synonyms for words that sound more interesting. Instead of using 'could be seen', use 'flicked through' or 'flitted across', just a suggestion.

'“August, what the hell is going on? You can’t be a vampire, this is the real world. They don’t exist, just, just like Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and Jesus.” I now sat on the concrete bench, “why are you telling me this?”' Show, don't tell. Did he just plop down on the bench? or did he slowly sit down, attempting to stay as far away from August as possible?

'Getting to his feet, he looked around 360 degrees, there were still sounds coming from the woods and now the faint of echo of cracking ice came from the lake. Blackburn was changing. Two fangs protruded from his upper jaw, his cheekbones and chin became more defined as he stretched his facial muscles. Blue eyes were now a complete and perfect black. A strong bark came from Brandy as the cracking of ice continued to get louder and closer.' Put a lot more detail into his change. This is important, the main antagonist((is he?)) is turning into a blood-thirsty beat and you've just said that he grew fangs and his eyes changed colour. Also, give us Zeke's reaction to this; I don't know about you, but if that happened to me, I would've wet myself and either run away screaming bloody murder or fainted. What did Zeke do?

“‘Where is it?’ Taking in slow breaths to calm down, pendulum of cramps would fade and return, while he rummaged through the elbow deep drifts. The sun is getting closer.” Where is what? and Who the devil are we talking about? Is it Raines? or is it Zeke? A note, explain who Raines is a bit more. You've switched from first person to third person omniscient, so give us some insight on Raines' thoughts and emotions so we get a better feel of him.

'“Where are you?” Crawling like a babe to the bench, the tips of his fingers feel the leather. All the pages were accounted for, but the book is soaked.' Who are we talking about? And don't change tenses...

“Once hearing Brandy, the creature shattered its granite tomb, stood erect, and then knelt for but a second to launch himself from the roof....

The sea maidens’ pedestals shatter with ease allowing them to saunter with poise towards them. The Gothic beast nods to the maidens and they reply in turn with a grin.” Describe this more, it sounds terribly interesting, but we the readers are getting jipped. Show us how they changed. Show us how the bark/howl made them come alive. And more than anything, tell us what happened to August? he just sort of disappeared on us...

Alright, it's good altogether. There are a few grammar issues, and issues on description and keeping one's facts straight, but that's about it. Take what I wrote above and apply it to the entire thing and it'll be amazing. it's alright to write a chapter one that encompasses five or six pages, details will do tat and believe me they make the story all the better.

I hope this helps and I sincerely apologize for the face that this review is nearly longer than the story itself...I have a sort of unofficial mental-disorder that makes it impossible for me to write anything of significance in 2000 words or less.
Review by Kami-nari Yari
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Cool! First chapter done and I like it! I know exactly how Tommy feels. We have thirteen horses and about three of them are broken. I do the feed bucket thing all the time when I need to catch them! It totally works!

I wish I could read the rest right now, but I have to get off and to my math....stupid math, I hate it, but I suppose that I must enjoy Geometry while it lasts before I have to go into Algebra II next year.....gah, a fate worse than death. It gives me the willies just thinking about it...
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