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17 Public Reviews Given
Public Reviews
1
1
Review of Ticking  
Review by nomlet
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
ty,

Not really a story per se, but I got a kick out of your character building. Sheila seems like quite a character, and well built. I like the way you describe her through exagerations: She's tall but likes to wear high heels (was the "dawn" at sunset a typo?) and the short shorts and mini minis. But I liked the description though contrast and contradiction even more. Bare legs, but described as "wearing" a tan. Her blouses don't cover her stomach or chest, but for different reasons, very nice. The curtains are drawn and the lights are dark, but the door is ajar. Nice conflicting invitation. And the prominent bicepwatch coupled with the disregard for time, especially that of other people, was my favorite part.

The motion of the hips mirrored in the structure of the sentence describing them is clever, but kinda distracting too. Not sure how I feel about it.

Overall very stimulating read. Thanks for sharing!

nomlet
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Review of The Box  
Review by nomlet
Rated: 13+ | (3.5)
Bluesman,

I like the possession angle you took with your wristwatch story. Ken's paranoia and defensiveness is a nice subtle way to turn him violent when Steven confronts him. Instead of just having Ken immediately change into a killer when he puts the watch on, the possessor twists an innocent situation into a fight.

My main suggestion would be to work on the setup. Hard to do much in 300 words, I know. Maybe have the box be found in a basement. No one will question two guys curious about an old box found in grandma's basement, but it seems strange to be digging around in the bushes. And you might hint at why the watch and journal were left in the box to be found in the first place. For example, if it is grandma's journal and the watch was her son's. She knows it's dangerous but can't bear to part with it. Some hints to let the reader know while a killer watch is odd, everything has a reason, even if you don't spell out the details.

Last thing. It wasn't clear to me if Steven saw Ken take the watch from the box. I'd make it clear that everyone knows Ken has the watch on, so it will seem clearly odd when he denies it.

Thanks for sharing the story. For Steven's sake, I'm glad you decided on a happy ending!

nomlet
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Review of Dead Of Winter  
Review by nomlet
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Incorporating the double meaning for "dead of winter" is brilliant! It draws attention right away to the heart of what you want to portray in your scene. Makes for a very appropriate title as well.

The bit with the attraction/repulsion to the bonfire is also nice technique. The fire encompasses the same dual meaning as your title. Nicely done.

The contrast with how the dead would normally be handled is a good way to reference the civil war: "but these were not normal times."

The part that lost me for a bit was where you talk about Kiel's company approching the village. For one, you backtrack in time and that takes a second to register. Part of the problem is the reference to "the company of armed, mounted men" is not obviously inclusive of Kiel. Then there is the phrase "drawing nearer." I think of a thing as drawing nearer to the observer, rather than the observer drawing nearer to something else. Probably just me, since I can't think of why it would be incorrect to use it your way. I vaguely recall some rule about come/go usage but that doesn't apply here. Anyway, it was confusing at first as to who "the company" was, and if the village was a new one or the same as at the beginning.

I like the part about Kiel feeling useless, until the part about "no spells could find the elusive band." I think that calls for some more explanation as to why he is not able to use his spells to help find the rebels. Instead I would focus on feeling useless in the immediate situation at hand, dealing with the aftermath of coming too late to the village. It's the differnece between "why did I come along at all?" and "I can't help this village, so let me focus on divining the rebel camp so this doesn't happen again."

Three other points:

* "On this cold, cold afternoon..." Sometimes I think repitition is good for effect, but in this case if you want to stress the cold I would throw in some other adjective. "Bitter cold" wouldn't be very original, but something like that.

* "As scouts were sent to look for survivors and the rebel trail, the rest of the men were sent gather up the bodies." Rather than have men "sent" to do this and "sent" to do that, I would put the action on the men rather than on the "sender" and describe their "scouting" and "gathering." Doesn't have to be any more than the one sentence, but would provide a more immediate view of their actions rather than just their orders.

* You use both Kiel and Keil (at the beginning) in this piece
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Review of Ol' Fat Charlie  
Review by nomlet
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
Excellent horror story, W.D.!

I like the no-nonsense descriptions of the attacking dogs at the beginning and ending. I think violence is most effective when you leave it stark and don't sugar coat it or flower it up like with other types of descriptions.

Dialogue is excellent, of course. I like the line where Charlie says has wanted to get out of town too, but hasn't been able to yet.

"...I’ve been trying to get outta here for years,” he said, then let out a laugh. “But this is as far as I ever got."

It's a nice touch when Charlie switches to calling the boy Jackie from Jack at the end, when he confirms their earlier connection.

I like your description of the dogs on the porch. How they lie quietly and then stir as the climax builds. Their actions mirror the rising tension well. In fact, the whole casually waiting on the porch thing works well with Charlie's character. The way he takes events in stride (like losing the two fingers) and is just sitting around, spitting tabacco and waiting... for Jack.

Nice finish. Poor Jack. *Cry*

nomlet
5
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Review of The Shepherd  
Review by nomlet
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Hi W.D.,

A nice little vampire story. Believe it or not, the first one I have read on this site! Unusual in that Apocalypse results in vampires instead of zombies. *Smile*

A part of me does wonder where Shepherd came from and how he became a vampire in the first place, but I guess that is beyond the scope of this story. I just mention this because in a 'typical' vampire story, they have been around since the dawn of time or the whole setting is a bit more fantastical. The question of origin is more glaring here because it is so recent.

I like the opening few paragraphs where the situation is laid out very succinctly. A little bit of a biblical tone from the Shepherd seems very appropriate for his character. His speech where he demonstrates feeding on the girl has a couple of lines that don't quite mesh with the rest.

“There are certain major organs within the body that hold the contamination of the Old Ways, that even now kills you. The liver and the kidneys are an example.

The reference to the "Old Ways" is good, but I think some of the rest could be couched in different terms. More zealous and less antiseptic in tone. I also think it would add a realistic touch to have some negative reaction to Shepherd among the Forgotten. Maybe someone could flee in disgust from the demonstration, only to be hunted down offscreen when the Shepherd's followers break their little huddle.

Any unauthorized people caught trying to enter without permission must be shot on sight. A little redundancy in this line.

I like the Susan and Frank tension. It might be nice to set up a little closer connection between Frank and Shepherd. Both leaders are realists, unlike Susan who doesn't seem to have completely come to grips with the reality of the situation.

Feeling the pangs of hunger himself, he waited for Daniel to return, and licked his lips. This line sets up the Shepherd as cold-blooded leader about to feast on Daniel. But... then it doesn't happen and no explanation is given for the apparent change of heart.

Which leads me to the next Forgotten scene with Daniel drinking from his master's blood. I didn't get the effect that was suppposed to have. If you explained the reason for this, I must have missed it. Was it merely symbolic?

Then Frank does his inventory and finds out that his safe haven is just a one year respite. I'm not sure what that says. Is it that the way of the Forgotten is the only way? But what happens when they run out of feeding stock? I think that is why I didn't really get closure with this story. I don't get a feel for how the world turns out.

The writing itself is good. You do have a reference to 'newbies' that I thought was a little out of place though. I especially like the last few paragraphs where you show Frank's reaction as he comes to realize what is going on. That and the opening I thought were very effective.

Thanks for the story!

nomlet

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Review of The Dialogue 500  
Review by nomlet
Rated: 18+ | (5.0)
Dialogue is a key ingredient in writing fiction, no doubt.

"Don't stifle me," my characters always tell me.

"We can help your stories if you just let us speak," they insist.

"Besides, that narrator guy is so dry. Who wants to listen to him anyway?"

FORUM
The Dialogue 500  (18+)
Dialogues of 500 words or less.
#941862 by W.D.Wilcox


Thank you, W. D."is for Dialogue" Wilcox, for a great contest! I have been enjoying the fun and challenging prompts since my first week on Writing.Com. Talking dogs, the Grim Reaper—who could ask for more?

The aliens are going to help me with my next dialogue. I hope that's ok.

nomlet

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Review by nomlet
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
W. D."is for Double Entendre" Wilcox,

This poem cracked me up. The first stanza is very good, but the second is absolutely brilliant! "...he rode his scurrilous missile like an amiable vertical bone." That is genius!

I do think the title should be something more like: "The Final Climactic Voyage" but maybe that's just me.

Good luck in the contest!

nomlet
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