This is an in-depth review of "The Night" item #1439685
|This is a review of "The Night"
Review To: sisterofmercy (37) sisterofmercy
Date and Time: 09-26-08 @ 11:08am
Content Length: 4,369 Characters
DISCLAIMER – ALL OF THIS IS STRICTLY MY OPINION – DO WITH IT WHAT YOU WILL
You have the who. You have a where. You hint at a what. You give us nothing for the why or how.
We have no when, which can be okay because you could play with that using the setting…backwards and/or out of date, off the map.
The writing is very blocky and boring. You give a couple of references to what we can see but we get no taste of the area. There are 5 senses and you can play with all of them. Do we hear traffic in the background? Did the fog taste like anything? Did it burn his eyes when it rolled in? If a sudden thick fog rolled over him during his travel did he almost wreck because it was so thick?
There is one mention of a southern drawl. That’s it??? If this town is so small that it isn’t on the map then we would expect it to be very backwards and behind the times? What type of phone is on the wall? Is there music playing in the diner if any? Is Ms. Webster tall or short or fat? Is she old? Plus, for that backward a town is she really that friendly to an outsider or is she overly friendly to an outsider? What is his reaction to her actions? Does he travel a lot? If so does he travel a lot in the South? Is this common behavior that he is used to?
He sees mention of a curfew but doesn’t question it?
He meets this female with two different colored eyes, who says she is the mayor, carrying a broom and she offers to take him to a club when there is a curfew in effect. She is willing him to break the law.
AND HE QUESTIONS NONE OF THIS?
With him not questioning his situation there is no conflict…no conflict means no drama and no drama means no story.
What you have here is an outline for a story. You have a base skeleton of a story concept. Guy ends up in town, meets people and ends up being whipped by the devil.
Now on to the distinct technical issues…
“…asked the fair-haired man…/replied the raven-haired lady…” – very basic, bland, common and repetitive descriptions. If you want us to care about the characters then we need more than this. Fair-haired gives us very little. Is he blond or white or gray haired? A combination of both could tell us more about the main character.
“…said "H curfew nine p.m"…” – what is H curfew???
“…noticed the shops were opened at this…” – Why are the shops open if the curfew is about to go into effect. If there is a point to them being open than please make that clear. If that was just to be filler than it is unnecessary to the story.
Inside the club there are blue notes hence the name “The Blue Note”. That’s good. But why is there a
“…town after robbing a bank…” – this reads like it was thrown in there as filler. If the bag was so important to him then why is there no mention of other than the opening and him carrying it into his red car? Did they break into his car to get it? You have so little here to grip the reader and increase the tension.
“…As he felt the agonizing pain…” – starting out a sentence with ‘as he felt’ indicates that something else is going to happen in that phrase but in yours nothing does. If the ‘as he felt’ is a further phrasing to him being in ‘some kind of hell’ than it should come before him thinking or speaking.
“…Let's turn him over. I want…” – this statement indicates that he was lying or chained to the wall with his chest facing the wall. There is nothing that says so. You allude to him waking up in the room and standing against a wall. If someone is standing against a wall you naturally expect them to be facing away from the wall. This would be a great spot to show is terror. Imagine how you would feel if you woke up chained against a wall and all you could see was the wall you were chained to.
All writing requires you to play on the reader’s emotions. Good horror writing plays to the deeper, baser emotions of terror. There is none of that here.
You have a good outline that gives you a good starting point. If you want the story to work and be ‘real’ then flesh it out.
Thanks and write on!