| Hey There Nathan Peterson
Greetings! I found your story on the Request a review page and stopped in for a read. I hope you find my comments helpful. Please know I offer suggestions in the spirit of encouragement with the intent of sharing one reader's perspective.
One of the first things I want to say is please don't get discouraged by the low rating! There is a lot to be excited about with your story. I think you have a great story-line and your main character is endearing because she's sad and dejected and made a mistake and lives her life in regret but, so many readers can relate to her. She is easy to care about and connect too. I think you did a great job with helping the reader identify with her situation and empathize with her. We want her to live and overcome her conflict! So excellent job with characterization and emotion for emerald!
Too, I found your opening paragraph exciting and intriguing. I caught my attention and encouraged me to read on. superb job with opening paragraph!
In addition, you have maintained your theme throughout the story, given the readers a opening, the body and the end with a few surprises along the way, so Bravo! You have some successful elements of short story writing!
So, you ask, why did I give you such a low rating? While there is substance to your story, overall, it wasn't such a smooth read. There were issues with grammar and the mechanics of writing. By grammar, I mean issues with sentence structures that were a bit confusing, wordiness, errors in tense, too many shifts in point-of-view and in the mechanics, there were some issues with punctuation, commas when you should have used either a period or a semi-colon ,ect. These 'issues' all influence whether a story unfolds with ease...and whether a reader is engaged and becomes an active participant of the story, envisioning the settings, the characters, the conflict; whether the reader can sense the emotions in the story and ect.
May I make some suggestions?
Two things I noticed which aren't necessarily incorrect but I'd like to comment on anyways are how many adverbs you used in your story and the use of 'that.' Neither of them are incorrect. And oft times both of them are necessary. However, both can weigh a sentence down and both can be distracting to the reader. let me expand. Adverbs can create a laziness in our writing because it's oft times easier to ad an 'ly' to the end of a word rather than use more words which may be more descriptive. Adverbs tend to 'tell' a story rather than 'show' the readers the story unfolding. Too many adverbs weigh down a story with details. More times than not, adverbs can be removed without losing any of the sentence's meaning.
For example, what can the reader's learn from the three adverbs you used in the following sentence?
The wound is grievous but not deadly in it’s own right, but coupled with the inwardly-protruding bone and the other injuries she sustained it could prove to be deadly. Perhaps the scene and the conflict would be more believable and easier for the reader to envision if we could see it rather than being told it's happening. For instance: The wound itself isn't life-threatening though it is oozing a lot of blood. It's the internal injuries that are threatening to suck the life out of her because broken bones have punctured precious organs and so she has internal bleeding. Ok, you may not like my words, but I'm sure you catch my meaning. Oft times,more words in the
place of an adverb can be more effective to the sentence as a whole. just a thought for you to consider.
The other observation, is the use of that. Too many that's are distracting and as i mentioned, weigh a sentence down. Take the following sentence for instance. I copied this from your story. You wrote: "Ron realized at that moment[,] that the intruder is crazy, believing that he is some kind of deity or devil, and with that realization[,] he understood that he might have to kill the boy anyways." I crossed out a few of the 'thats' and I also suggested some commas in brackets which may help in how the sentence reads. These are only suggestions, but 'that' isn't always necessary to the success of a sentence and oft times can just be omitted or even replaced with 'which'
The night found her, opening her loosening consciousness possibly for the very last time. with the underlined word, there was a bit of confusion. I'm not sure what you meant, needs clarification.
just like his boys bum satisfied that urge for a good long time after, I know what you meant with the underlined word but it seems rather elementary in word choice for such a devious and disgusting act. it's not wrong...just may want to use a stronger word . ?
He’s not a drunk at all, usually only having one or two beers a night, but not tonight. He already called in to the office stating that he wasn’t feeling well and wouldn’t be in tomorrow (no one would say a word if they figured he had a twelve hour flu), and now all there was left to do this evening is enjoy the gentle waves of his fine _____and the wonderful throbbing of his knuckles that beat the bitch half-to-death, and get drunk. With the phrases i colored in blue, I just wanted to make you aware of the contradiction, or what appears to be a contradiction. He's not drinking and yet he's going to get drunk...sends mixed messages to the reader.
As far as a few issues with grammar, I wanted to mention, the abrupt change in tense and in point-of-view. In the following excerpt I copied from your story.... You wrote :The perfect set of teeth that had been there only a few moments before was now yellowed and aged, the two K9’s on his top teeth were now long, pointy vampire . Perhaps the sentence would be more successful such as: The perfect set of teeth he had just moments before, were now yellow and crooked; the two k9 were now razor sharp, like a vampires.
The following is another tense issue, you wrote I tried finding you over the years, but I can’t. I tried finding you over the years but, the more I searched the less I discovered.
More than anything, the constant interruptions from a narrator, were distracting. All the interjections in the parentheses were not really necessary and, as I mentioned distracting. As an example...your wrote:
"She wanted to live, even if it meant the agony of a few more years of pain and torture, loaning herself out for two-fifty an hour. She believed the stranger (angel, Death, whatever) had told the truth when he said that she would have more heart ache and finally some peace and quiet.
And then, for a moment before passing out again (or being fed a lovely thing called morphine through a tube being inserted into her arm) she saw him: a well dressed man standing in the hallway... ." The narrator interjected in almost every paragraph. A bit of a overkill. Just thought you may want to know.
As far as the mechanics of writing...I made a few suggestions in punctuation, there were more. I'd suggest another proofing for punctuation and wordiness as well. It's best to make every word count and make each word as active as possible so the reader in enthralled and engaged in the story as if it's happening as they are reading.
Your story has a lot to offer a reader. It is dark and disturbing...debased even. However, unfortunate for humans...there are a lot of disturbing and debased things in and of this world. Your story rings true in many disturbing ways and can be considered a brutal exposition on the dark and the distrubing world of abuse that can provoke a life of prostitution,self-destruction, murder, and other serious social crimes such as incest, rape ect.
I think you have the makings of a fine story here but it isn't without a few issues which could use some refining and polishing so it can shine as bright as you intended.
I do hope you found this review useful and helpful yet encouraging.
Write on and then write on some more.
kjo just groovin'