Hi Gabriel Wolfbane Phoenix -
I had a chance to read your item today, and have enclosed the following "Showering Acts of Joy Group" review for your consideration. Please keep in mind that these comments are only my own opinions.
Overall, I really like the concept of the story. You set up an interesting world and backstory to play around with and I love the thought that went into creating it. The story did feel a little rough, however, with quite a few technical errors and some larger creative issues you might want to consider. For example:
At the very beginning of the story, it was a bit confusing to have Merida and Donovan referred to (and interact with one another) as "the figure" and "the stranger" since both are rather nondescript terms. I would recommend trying to come up with a detail you can include with the descriptor... for instance, "the female figure" or "the grumpy stranger" or "the blonde-haired one" so that the reader can denote a specific physical difference between the two of them. Without any additional information, it can be difficult to remember which one is the "figure" and which one is the "stranger" while we're waiting for their true identities to be revealed.
I also found the story to be a bit anachronistic. Donovan pays with gold, rides a horse and sometimes uses a sword, but he also has a rifle and makes reference to radiation being the cause of the Dark Riders. While fantasy (including post-apocalyptic) worlds can have any dynamic that you want, I think it's helpful to explain any unusual choices to your audience. In this case, since there's clearly modern technology (guns), why does he ride a horse and arm himself with swords? If this is part of the fact that he himself is ancient and old-fashioned, that detail should be included. Otherwise, the reader needs to understand the dynamics of the world you're creating... why are swords and horses preferable to cars and guns in a melee?
There's also a little confusion about who's in charge. Merida and Donovan alternately take charge of the narrative, leaving it feeling like they're both experts and amateurs at their jobs. I would recommend picking a particular relationship dynamic (either they're equals, one is the 'leader,' or the other one is) and sticking with it so the reader can get a clear sense of which character serves which purpose.
I think you're off to a great start with this item, but it definitely feels like an early draft that could use some work developing the finer points of the story. I think you should stick with it; it was an intriguing story that made me want to keep reading!
I hope that you've found my comments useful. Thank you for the opportunity to read and review your material; keep up the good work and keep writing!
Please check out these groups:
"The Screenwriting Group"
"Unofficial Erotica Newsletter Group"
"The Dark Society"