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for Guns pointed towards the moon

1/6/2009 c4 4rainhailsnow
all throughout your chapters, i have to say that i'm impressed with the way you portray jake. i felt sorry for him, frustrated with him, and happy when he tried to help alan instead of using his weakness to gain an advantage. =) his emotions hooked onto me and i wanted to know more about jake.

one thing i didn't really like was how alan got over his wife's miscarriage so quickly. it doesn't make sense to me. i think you passed over it a little too quickly because you wanted to also focus on alex this chapter. but yes it's all up to the author.

once again, very well written =)
1/6/2009 c3 rainhailsnow
i really enjoyed the way you characterised Alex. His family situation seems real and the emotions are raw. very well written =)

i've noticed that throughout this story, you have quite a talent in describing things and making them pop out of the story so that the reader can visualise it. however, in this chapter, one of the images you used was just a little too crude for my liking. the one about the baby's ass? but that's just a personal opinion. =)

otherwise, very enjoyable to read.
1/6/2009 c2 rainhailsnow
wow this story is really quite intense~

one thing i liked - you really know how to create such vivid images. It helped me to get more involved and actually feel for the characters and their situation =)

one thing i didn't like - once again, i'm sorry to be pedantic but certain mistakes with grammar and spelling really broke the flow of the story. for avid readers, it's kind of difficult to avoid noticing those kinds of mistakes. e.g. 'It's shine' should be 'Its shine' / 'Inside there was...' perhaps 'Inside, there was...' would have a better effect

okay next chapter!
1/6/2009 c1 rainhailsnow
for the review game =)

wow...intense...

i really like where this plot is going. it's already quite complex and intense, full of conflicting emotions. This situation is quite relevant to our modern context so i'm in anticipation to see where this is going to lead =)

okay...i just have a little comment about your grammar and spelling. the flow of the story was great until there was a blatant mistake in front of my eyes and that was when i got distracted. just an example - 'he felt a biterness' should be 'bitterness'/ 'sprawled across his navy green..' a better word might be scrawled? / 'Jake begun' should perhaps be 'began'?

i'm sorry if it seems like i'm being pedantic about these things =) if you want to leave it the way it is, that's fine =) okay onto the next chapter!
1/4/2009 c5 1Narc
I didn't expect Jake to tell Alan at this point. It was a nice tension relief, though, that he finally got it off his chest. I think this was a good point in the story for it to happen.

You describe Jake's feelings really well. It's very easy to picture him, to understand what he's feeling, especially in the paragraph right after he says 'I like you.'

The dialogue where he's trying to say it is a little awkward to read. I think you use the ellipses just a bit too much there. I understand that you're trying to portray that he's awkward, but it's just a little overdone using the ellipses. In this case, I would recommend breaking up his stutters with actions or thoughts, things where he's actually doing something to interrupt his own sentences. It might flow a little better that way.

Alan's reaction actually surprised me. I think I would have expected it more had I realized that this was the last chapter. I expected him to react the same way Jake did. Which is good. I think you probably want your reader to expect that.

I thought this chapter moved a little too quick, overall (which I don't normally say). But I think there actually could have been a little bit more regular interaction between them to build up the tension before Alan remembers to ask him about what he'd been trying to say.
1/4/2009 c4 Narc
It was interesting how you described the night sky from Jake's POV. It really showed what his mindset is, how he compared both the stars and the moon to something that relates to war. Not the normal comparison a person would make about the night sky. I liked it.

'Jake's entire squad would be deployed at anytime now.' - They're already deployed. They're in a war zone.

If they're in the same Comapany, even if not the same platoons, I don't think they would be that split up. The whole Company would probably go to the same area.

I didn't realize until now that Jake didn't know Alan was married. I kind of assumed that that was something he would have known about his buddy. I thought Jake knew he was in what was probably a hopeless situation. This changes the plot a bit, since it'll definitely affect Jake.

One thing that you haven't really addressed is the war itself. I understand that isn't really the plot, and I don't think the whole background of the war is important, but all we know is that a lot of people are getting killed. It might add something to give us some information. Are they losing? Are they winning, but just having a lot of casualties? How long has the war been going on for? It could add a lot about the general morale of the whole army.

I liked the scene where Jake is trying to comfort Alan. He buries his own thoughts in order to help his friend feel better, which makes him very likeable.
1/4/2009 c3 Narc
One comment I meant to make in the first chapter (for some reason it didn't go through, huh) was that I really like all three characters and the fact they're very distinct, instead of just a main character and two people who exist to converse with the main character. I think it works better for this kind of story that they're all kind of main characters. Anyways. Back to chapter three.

Great description of Lex there at the beginning. It really shows him in contrast to the other two guys, who are still uneasy about the war, but don't really react in the same way. They're both talked about as being mouthy. Lex seems completely different.

You talk a lot about commanding officers at basic training, but really, a basic training company would have very few officers. Usually just two, and only one of those would be the commanding officer (the other being the XO). The main force in a basic training unit is the drill sergeants. Those would be the ones interacting with the privates daily, gigging them for things being out of place, making them do push-ups. And I'm pretty sure that's true for most countries with similar militaries (although they might not be called drill sergeants).

I don't really like the grandfather. He gave really bad advice, for one thing. :P

At first I thought that the thing he saw in the sky was an artillery round. Especially when he fell to the ground. But then you mentioned the moon, so at the end I wasn't really sure if the camp was about to get hit or Lex was just having a breakdown. A little confusing.

This chapter was a little confusing, but I think it was meant to be. It really showed the kind of mental state Lex was in. We already know he's not eating, so it adds to the image of what he's going through.
1/4/2009 c2 Narc
'He walked down the shoe polished floor of the mess hall'

Why would a floor be polished with shoe polish? That would be very greasy.

Ah, poor Jake. Alan has a girl back home. Well, that certainly makes the story more interesting, and much more difficult for Jake. You kind of forshadowed that with a locket (I can't imagine a guy buying a locket for himself. It's definitely the sort of thing a girl would buy for him).

On one, not really important note, none of the U.S. services do much boot polishing anymore. Everyone's switched over to suade leather. The drill sergeants hate it. :)

Wow, she's pregnant. Well, that certainly adds a plot twist, especially if Alan decides he really is interested in Jake. That would make everything a lot more difficult. Poor Jake.

Another minor note: Doesn't really matter on fictionpress, but if you ever really decided to get this published they actually made laws about numbers having to have 5-5-5 as the first three numbers, or at least that's what I heard. Apparently, after a really popular song had a number in it, the people with that number got harrassed and prank-called all the time.

I really like Alan's character. He seems very sweet, very loving of his wife. I can imagine how her miscarriage might affect him.

Pretty good chapter. The pacing was very smooth, and you showed a lot about Alan from his perspective. It makes me wish Jake didn't feel that way about him, because it means there can't really be a happily ever after for anyone (call me a sucker for happy endings).
1/4/2009 c1 Narc
This story definitely covers a tough subject. It's political, and current, and is definitely very common. I'll give you kudos, because I think this will probably be a hard story to write well. Mainly because it's a story that won't be all that enjoyable to read for most people.

'Snapped to attention like a soldier on patrol.'

That line didn't really make sense to me. I think the last thing a soldier on patrol would be doing would be snsapping to attention.

Not sure if this is meant to be the U.S., or just an ambiguous military similar to the U.S.'s, so you'll have to forgive me if I correct something and it's not the case in whichever country this is written about.

'Camouflage, the normal color for those who are off to battle.'

Everyone wears camouflage uniforms all the time, whether they're sitting in an office or deployed to war (at least in the Army). The only time they don't is for special events.

A cadet wouldn't be in a war zone. A cadet is an officer candidate. They might have pulled a cadet out of officer training and made him a private or something (in an extreme situation), but they wouldn't deploy someone -as- a cadet, because a cadet is completely outside the normal rank structure.

The descriptions of the wounded soldiers were very vivid. You did a good job of sticking to Jake's POV with that. You described it as he saw it, rather than an encyclopedic sort of description.
1/3/2009 c5 2The Jab
You have some your-you're mistakes again. All of your grammar mistakes are just simple accidents. And that's overall. In every chapter it was just stupid meaningless mistakes.

This is a great chapter of closure. Great. Overall. This is one of my favorite long fictions I've read. At first it was just for the review on The Review Game forum, but after like two chapters I was getting tired of reviewing and just wanted to read. Haha. Nice job. Maybe I'll check out your other stuff.

Check out The Jabbe Chronicles on my page if ya can.. I'd appreciate it.
1/3/2009 c4 The Jab
Grammar:

Alan handed his the locket. Handed him the locker. Simple mistake.

a voice that he's probably never taste again. Do you mean a voice that he'd never taste again?

He had ben lying. Been lying.

Thats Alan, right? And the smaller man, young and full of energy. Jake? Forgot the contraction on "That's"

cieling is spelled ceiling.

that danced an dswayed Your space jumped around. it should be and swayed.

His arms streching and moving, as if he were trapped. streching is stretching

Alex fell silent. He didn't speak he, he didn't asked for another story. Alex fell silent. He didn't speak. He didn't ASK for another story.

Style:

Nice. The grandpa stuff was strange, but totally plausible.

That's all I have to say about that.
1/3/2009 c3 The Jab
Again, I'll interview the whole Chapter

Grammar:

Tucked away in a corner like a sock. His mouth... Once again, that first sentence should end in a comma. That'sd a fragment.

Didn't find anything else. That is a good thing.

Style:

Great. I love how this whole story covers all the woes of war. It's a great idea. I really do like it. It goes from the gays in the military issue to the leaving your family issue to the maintaining distance from your fellow soldiers issue. It's great.
1/3/2009 c2 The Jab
This time I will just review the thing as a whole. The paragraph by paragraph thing was getting to be a pain.

When Lex is being described do you mean that he was the quiet soldier? That's the worst kind of spelling mistake. Because spellcheck won't catch it. Haha.

Also, right above that non the less is spelled nonetheless.

"had an heir of bitterness" Do you mean an air of bitterness? I don't quite get the phrasing.

Your still weak from the pregnancy? Once again it's "you're"

Style:

Wow, I liked this chapter a lot more. The echoes of a heartbeat quote at the very end was impressive. His emotions come across a lot easier to me than Jake's. I liked this chapter a lot.
1/3/2009 c1 The Jab
Chapter 1

P is Paragraph

P1-

Grammar:

1. Biterness is spelled bitterness

2. What was worse, was that it wasn't even warm. Comma is unnecessary here.

Style:

Good. It starts the fiction off well. Nicely descriptive. I like that you don't go on without first describing the scene. That's good.

P2-

Grammar

“You shouldn't be ashamed.” Al said. This is a little harder to explain. In quotations, a statement is ended with a comma not with a period so it'd be "You shouldn't be ashamed," Al said. Also the next quote should start off with a comma

blah blah blah,“You should be proud, you get to serve your country.” Also I think it would roll off the tongue better if it was You should be proud THAT you get to serve your country. It just sounds better. Also I understand that this is dialogue and the guy may have said it like that, but...

Style: This paragraph is small yet, it seems to get a multitude of points across. It not only introduces the character well, but it seems to comment on the nature of the war that "over time he didn't really mean it". If ya catch my drift. I like it.

P3-

Grammar:

Nothing

Style:

I like the hockey puck comparison.

P4-

Grammar:

None.

Style:

Great facial description of Lex.

P5-

Grammar:

None.

Style:

While the last paragraph gave physical description, this lets us into Lex as a person. Good job.

P6-

Grammar:

Once again, you're, not your.

What's "the a makeshift"?

Style:

Good once again. The locket seems to set off one of the sub plots, I guess. I dunno, I'll have to keep reading.

P7-

Grammar:

None

Style:

Short. What's there to say? Haha.

P8- Grammar:

None

Style:

I know a guy whose superior got kicked out for being gay. Bummer.

P9-

Grammar:

None

Style:

I like the gateway thing. Nice.

P10-

Grammar:

None

Style:

Nice insight to military life..

P11-

Grammar:

None

Style:

Okay, nice.

P12-

Grammar:

Last sentence, you accidentally put "his" twice.

Style:

Okay, getting into the story now. This is good.

P13-

Grammar:

P14:

Is it really worth saying anything about? Haha.

P15-

Grammar:

None

Style:

Okay.

P16-P21:

Grammar:

None that I noticed.

Style:

Okay, the reason I grouped them together is because I got hooked and read through to the number signs. That's a good thing.

P22-

Grammar:

Walking through the halls into the mess hall. This should end in a comma, not a period. It's a fragment.

Style:

I've nothing to say.

The Rest:

Grammar:

Alan's foot cut off from battle, nothing left but a nub that satined his pant leg with blood. He'd never run again. Jake stood to the other side and waited for him to pass. It took all his strength just to hold himself back and keep from running to the guy scremaing "Al!"

Stained. Not, satined. Also screaming not scremaing. I can tell these are unintentional mistakes. No prob.

Jake's STEPS not stpes. Again, not a big deal.

He must of sounded like This is a VERY common mistake. Because of the way we speak, we make the phrase "must have" sound like "must of" However, must of is wrong. It's must have.

Nothing else seen in the remaining part.

Style:

Nice. The story is moving along nicely.
1/3/2009 c1 Elementer
This, is a pretty good piece of work here, no real problems or errors that I could spot.

Pro: The characters I feel is the backbone of this story so far, not that it's a ban thing I'm really feeling that I'm getting to know both Alan and Jake. And the line: "This is my rifle, this is my gun..." cracked me up.

Con: No real probelms that I could see, I am a fast reader but I'm sure you have your grammer covered. Could be a bit longer, it could be just me, but I love to read long stories.

All in all a 9.7/10
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