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for Guns pointed towards the moon

7/29/2015 c5 20Ventracere
Last review! And this is a shorter chapter, huh. Anyways, onwards!

Enjoyment: I think this was a fitting closing. It lacked the excitement, I think, compared to the last chapter, but it worked. I especially liked how you tied up the little endings, from Alan's locket to Jake's confession. Admittedly, Jake's confession isn't a little thing at all. But the locket is a good symbol for things coming back together. Not just Alan, but for the three of them as well. They've put Alex's mind back together - well, we don't know that for sure. Jake's made sure that he's alright with Alex, and Alex, he's reconciled that fact that he's making the world a better place. He's fighting for his family. I think the symbol right there is what made me the happiest, ahha.

Grammar/Spelling/etc: Again, you have a few hiccups here and there. This one had a few more styllistic errors than the previous four chapters, but it's no big deal. It doesn't hinder the story too much or detract from the scenes. You drop some punctuation after a few sentences in the beginning as well as misplace a couple of quotes. Something that I noticed is that you tend to use a lot of ellipses. While that's okay, (I'm nitpicking here again, sorry), perhaps describe that he's pausing or that his thoughts are trailing off instead of telling us that he's drifting off with the "..."

Description: this one lacked the same amount of description, but I think that's another thing that made me like this chapter a lot more. You made it up for the reader to interpret a bit more of what was surrounding them. You don't overload us with senses, and it makes it easier and quicker on the eyes to get through. That said, the descriptions that you do have, such as the shoe shine smell, the moon, all go to help create this closing atmosphere that I liked because it helped give an air of finality. As for the shoe-shine, that wasn't what I would have thought it would smell like, but it's something that stuck in my mind, haha.

Ending: "That night, their gun were pointed at the moon" - I'm not sure what this means, but I think that they're ready for this night to end. They're ready to close out the night and open it up for a new day, something where they can take a step into, away from tonight's fears. Again, it's a fitting closing to the day's turmoil. The death of the night mans that they can move onwards, which they have already begun doing. The story has come full circle, from the afternoon to the night. Reminds me a bit of the story, Saturday...

Thanks for the read!
7/29/2015 c4 Ventracere
Scene: I had to read the part where Alan lost his temper a couple of times. To me, it just seemed that Jake was a bit out of it, a bit detached with what exactly was going on. Did he not feel the pain? It was just a bit surreal for me. That said, that was an emotional scene for Alan. That came across well, with the way you volley between Jake's words and Alan's thoughts. You showed us and didn't just tell us that he was losing his temper that Jake's words weren't helping him all that much.

Character: Jake's an interesting one. I understand that he's trying to get through this, trying to get the words out. And I feel like he's a bit naive in this chapter. It's like he doesn't necessarily understand the gravity of the problem until he gets a punch to the face, and like that's when he really gets it. His world is completely encompassed by Alan, and to me, I feel like that's the one thing about him that really sticks. He hasn't exactly changed from the first chapter, though it is nice to see that he wants Alan to smile again. Because to him, Alan is his world.

Pacing for me, this chapter is the fastest by far. You've certainly slowed down considerably in the beginning, but that's not too much of a problem since you have a scene that quickly flips the switch to amp up the action as well as the emotion. Nothing was too rushed or dragged on too long for me. Nice job!

The last section of the story was slower, but I think that's a good thing as you're prepping us for the last chapter. It definitely hurts to see that Alex has turned in this direction, like a child, but then again, it's also nice to see that this is what brings them together. "JJ" to Alan and both of them to Alex. They're magnets for each other, so to speak. As the ending of the chapter, you've highlighted and brought them back to the beginning of the story. The three of them are a tight knit group. They depend on each other. As simple as the story that Alan tells Alex is, it's the three of them. While it's no hook, it's something that ties up the chapter well.
7/29/2015 c3 Ventracere
Alrighty, so now we have an idea as to tall three of these men. We've got Alex, Jake, and Alan. Each of them have their problems, each starkly different, but at the same time, they're all so close. They're all similar in the idea that they want the love that they are due. Alan misses his wife and is hit the with news that he lost his baby. Jake is a closeted soldier with little way out. and Alex is haunted by memories of his grandfather. I feel like Alex is the one who puts up the greatest facade, the one who puts up a face that every thing is okay, when it seems like he is tortured the most by the war.

Relationship: And I think that brings us here. When he talks to Alan, we can see that he's willing to talk to Alan, willing to try and bring Alan out of his shell-shock. At the same time, their relationship is tense. Alex is constantly telling himself that he can't get too close, that he shouldn't get too close. I like that it's the constant battle between his thoughts, he wants to help Alan out at the same time, helping his comrades would let them get under his skin. And he can't do that.

Technique: With all the flashbacks, you're jumping around a lot. It's not a bad thing, especially since you use it to your advantage here. We get to see just what is making him think to not get close. We get to see the impact his grandfather's words had on him, from the moment his grandfather said it, to the present day, Alex fighting with his own mind. It's twisted, and that mirrors Alex's mind, the way that he seems to have twisted those words and images around in his head until he doens't know what is up and what is down. The way you've painted his grandfather's face on his own as he stares into the glass is strangely horrifying, but it captures what hwe need to know about Alex's mind.

And lastly, that brings us to description, again. I think this time, the amount of description really worked. In the previous chapters, it served (for me) to drag on the pacing, but here, it helped to speed it up. You were able to make his imagination bloom into a horror story that he lives in. It was easy to picture and easy to get across just how tortured Alex is by his own experiences.
7/29/2015 c2 Ventracere
Opening: This is a good way to remind us of what happened the previous chapter. You left us off with Jake's thoughts and it's nice to see that we're going straight into Alan's thoughts. That said, looks like Alan had a reason for leaving Jake. He's got something going on in his head - it's nice to know it's not because he guessed what Jake was going to say. If anything that's heartier note in a darker chapter.

Grammar/spelling: Again, you've got a couple hiccups here and there, but nothing a quick read won't fix. "I'll cal back later."- spelling
"It's shine pointed toward being gold" - This sounds a bit funny. I'd stay away from "to be" verbs, which is something, since stronger verbs will help strengthen the story a bit more.
"Alan's heart nearly leap towards the sky" - leaped.

Pacing wise, I felt like this chapter dragged on a bit for me. We get to see that he has something back at home for him. He has a wife, he has a child waiting for him at home. He has something that is worth fighting for and going home for. For me, that's where it dragged on. The phone call, it took a bit long, though I do understand you wanted to get the emotion through to us as well as hit your readers hard with the news of the miscarriage. Building up to it, though, was a bit long, and dragged a bit for me.

That said, the scene was well written. We get to see how excited he is to hear his wife's voice, how it's like a dying man receiving water in a desert. He's got all this love for Janet and just through his thoughts and you showing us without too much telling we get to see that. To the point he's making excuses for her. Then it all comes crashing down, and you highlight that explicitly though the repetition of Miscarriage.
7/29/2015 c1 Ventracere
First things first, I think you've got a solid chapter. You've got a few grammatical/spelling errors here and there, but they're nothing too big. For example, "Are you sure your okay" - your should be you're. It doesn't detract from the writing/enjoyment too much, so you're good there.

Dialogue wise, I liked how they flowed evenly and smoothly. It's easy to see that while Jake is close with Alan, and the friendship is reciprocated, Jake is tense about his own situation. It's difficult for him and it carries through into the dialogue. Another thing I liked is that you were consistent with the way your characters talked. You didn't have them start with an accent or way of speaking that didn't carry through the entire chapter. Nice.

Style/Writing: This chapter is mainly description based. We get a lot of introspection, which isn't a bad thing. I liked how we got to see into Jack's head, his wishes and his wants, when he is so close, but he can't touch. That's painful :(. Your descriptions also did a great job with blowing out the picture of what is going between them as well as the setting. The only nitpicky thing I have to say is that the descriptions did sometimes feel a bit too much for me, but that's not always the case. It was a little much at the beginning, but it smoothed out a bit at the end.

Scene: oh man, :( I do feel bad for jake. Like I said, he's so close, but at the same time, he can't touch want he wants. He has to deny the things that he wants because of his duty to the military. The fact that Alan rebuffs him - accidentally it seems, is equally as harsh. I don't know, actually. Perhaps Alan got a whiff of what Jake was going to say? The fact that we can literally hear the longing from Jake doesn't help with the heartstrings.

Endingwise, I think this isn't exactly a hook. It's not the best at pulling me in, but at the same time, I do want to know whether or not Jake ever gets the words out of his mouth. For me, it felt like it was so abrupt that Alan left and how Jake just sits there, waiting for Alan to come back. It's like he's frozen, which is understandable. Mainly, it's the introspection and the description for me that puts me off- it dragged a bit long. That said, you've got a character that I want to root for, so while the ending falls a bit flat for me, the build up is enough for me to want to continue reading on.
3/24/2009 c1 32Star the Foxhound
I liked this story because of the war part. I'm a bit history buff and the war story interested me. Also I like the way you introduce the characters because they made them seem life-like. The converstation was really lively and I really liked that because it helped develop your characters.
3/20/2009 c2 Tawny Owl
‘Thump. Miscarriage. Thump. Miscarriage...’ that was a killer line, especially the way you built up to it with the idea of the heart beat that the baby doesn’t have.

Again, I liked the way you described things. Especially Janet’s voice. I think you have a way of picking on single things and looking at them in an original way that still makes sense and gives a good image. Am I getting carried away? I’m just excited by the idea of being able to taste someone’s voice.

How recently had the miscarriage happened? Because I know Janet had chosen not to tell him, but it did seem like they hadn’t spoken on the phone for a long time, which seems weird considering how much Alan seems to love her. That may just be me being dim though because I don't know much about being in the army.
3/19/2009 c1 Tawny Owl
Texture of syrup – I’m loving that description in a sort of repulsed way. Actually there were some very evocative descriptions in this. I especially liked the locket being held like it was a doorway to another world. The small things about the characters, like Lex nodding his head all the time, also gave them more substance.

There were quite a few spelling mistakes, a lot of which looked like typos which was a shame because they detracted from your writing, which was really enjoyable.

The ending seemed sudden at first, but it was really poignant, especially because Alan’s locket implies he’s already involved elsewhere, and a good place to end. I loved the way you built up to it as well.
2/10/2009 c5 1DeidaraXTobi
Prevert=pervert. I laughed so hard at that. That's... not a good thing, though, because I'm pretty sure that wasn't a part of the story you'd want people laughing at. Actually, this story is very dark and melancholy, so that would be out of place.

It's good that Jake got the words off this chest, but it did feel a little... I don't know, rushed? This whole chapter felt really short compared to the others. I don't know. I felt kind of cheated, after all the emotional investment in the previous chapters, and we never do find out what the heck was wrong with Alexander.

Is this the end? I like how the end has the title in it. It ties everything up nicely, except the whole Alexander thing, of course...
2/10/2009 c4 DeidaraXTobi
I am actually still wondering about the war itself. Did I miss something?

That conversation must have been a really hard one, for both men. Since Jake is finding out the guy he likes it straight, and Alan is still in shock over his wife's miscarriage. The whole scene has a very hollow feeling. Not a bad hollow, like a hollow that makes me want to comfort them... Even though war always ends badly for somebody and changes everyone involved... (Can you tell I really hate war?)

You slipped a little out of POV there, from Jake to Alan. Not that I can chastise anyone for that. I have a bad habit of doing the same thing.

I feel bad for Jake, since I know how hard it is when people are sad, and become quiet and you want to say anything to fill the silence. And maybe end up saying something to tick them off instead.

I'm even more worried about Alexander. He really seems to be sick. I don't think he should still be in the military like that. I don't know much about the military, though.
2/10/2009 c3 DeidaraXTobi
I like this alternating between the three characters. It lets us get into each character's heads, rather than just guessing how they are thinking. They form out their little trio.

Curdled=curled. Curdled is rotten. Haha.

The left right left right thing ties all three points of view together. Nice touch.

Aw, that's sad. He won't get close to anyone because they all might die?

Is Alexander very sick or mental, or what is going on with him? The shaking is kind of scary. I'd be worried about him if I were the others.
2/10/2009 c2 DeidaraXTobi
By the way, in my first review, I meant to say I'm NOT good at coming up with good titles. Sorry about that. Ugh.


You might just want to say "polished" floor. Shoe polished floor sounds kind of weird.

Instead of she and he used to go to the beach, you could just say "they", the way you have it now, it's a mouthful. Same with he and her were engaged.

"he felt a small blackness in his heart, and a sour taste in his mouth. The same places where honey and love used to reign supreme. But now, he wasn't so sure." I love this passage. It's so sad and lonely. You seem to have a knack for portraying the sad and bitter side of war. Really, that's all there is to war.


Oh wow. That last part gave me shivers. That's really horrible. You don't even have to describe his expression, because I can see it clearly in my mind. The thump Miscarriage is a really great way to portray it, we can feel the back drop melting away, all that he can register is "Miscarriage." Kudos to that emotional passage.

On to the next chapter.
2/10/2009 c1 DeidaraXTobi
First off, I really like the title of the story. It's interesting, and it calls to mind a very specific image. I'm not sure yet if it fits the story or not, but I'm always in awe of people who can come up with attention grabbing titles. (It's something I'm particularly great at.)


In the sentence "You sure your okay?" the your should be you're.

I like the sentence "He held it gently, as if it were a doorway into a world he had lost." It makes me think that he is lonely, and he really did leave behind something he's afraid or knows he'll never get back.


His bunk smelled of dog sweat=made me laugh out loud. Gross, but nicely put. It evokes the reaction you want. (I think)



I'm wondering if he ever said "gay" aloud, or too quietly for Alan to hear? That wasn't entirely clear to me.

All right! So, over all, I noticed a few spelling errors within the story, but nothing really huge. I might have missed some. I am left with a few questions, but they will probably be answered in the next chapters. Like what war are they fighting? What is their country? Is this in the future, past, fictional world?

The gun=penis metaphor was amusing.

Also, I was blindsided by Jake being gay. I thought it was just me reading too much into it at first, but then it was clear. It was a good surprise, don't worry. I'm definitely not against that material... Seeing as my story is nothing but. Haha. Anyway. On to the next chapter!
1/28/2009 c1 11Z451
Dramatic and interesting, good work.
1/6/2009 c5 4rainhailsnow
i love how your characters seem so compassionate, loyal and understanding of each other. they're broken but still...is honourable the right word? =) the depth at which you explore your characters is not too melodramatic but not too vague either. perfect balance.

a little note about the use of 'your'. i think you used it a couple of times in the wrong context. They should have 'you're' as in 'you are' rather than 'your' as in possession. but i have to say that your grammar/spelling has improved drastically and it made reading this a lot easier.

what an intense story this is! keep it up!
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