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for Heart to Heart

4/4/2011 c1 9Narq
He took a step back, afraid of the insightfulness of the comment, and kept his eyes on the ground.

- consider: "He took a step back, kept his eyes on the ground." in a new line to capture the tension.

His voice came out hoarse and whispery, so he stopped and cleared is throat.

- consider rephrasing without the "so" it makes it sound casual, but you want tension!

She folded her hands on the top of her cane, leaning on it and peering into Daniel's eyes with such intensity that he felt naked even though he wore two shirts, a thick coat, leather gloves, sturdy boots, and a woolen scarf. He lowered his gaze. From the forest, the bird shrieked again.

- Again, some issues with you letting your tension leak. Consider: "She folded her hands on the top of her cane, leaned on it, and peered into Daniel's eyes." New line for Dan's reaction, "He felt naked/her eyes stripped him(?) even though he wore two ..."?

Surprised at the commotion, the horse whinnied.

- for tension: "The horse whinnied at hte commotion."

The crow dug its talons into James's face, and his yelps turned to screams as blood ran from the wound. Daniel watched, frozen in terror, as the horse reared at the noise and threw James to the ground.

- Keep the sentences short. Sharp. This is an action scene. Consider new sentence at "his yelps" New sentence again at "The horse..." (without 'as')

But eww... such a horrifying end! XD

I like though!


P.S. Would be grateful if you paidback via Twisting Parallesl.

2/8/2011 c1 this wild abyss
Spelling/Grammar) "Catching sight of Daniel, [James's] sneered."

Not sure if you skipped a word in this sentence, like "James's eyes" or "James's mouth" that would fix the sentence. Unless this was just a typo, and you need to get rid of the plural.

Plot) Wow, this was a really interesting piece. I think you managed the whole "heart eating" aspect of this fairly well. You executed this unique idea quite nicely. No complaints on this end.

Writing) As always, your writing was nearly flawless. But I didn't think you adapted it to the scene, so to speak. Maybe if you had used a creepier, more sinister tone from the first and gave the piece more of a mood? It certainly would have bettered the story. If anything, you should have made it more "old-fashioned" in order to both convey the time period and add a gothic sort of feel to the piece.

Ending) A very nice closer with this. I loved the eerie feel and the doomed plight of the main character. Great way to finish things off.
1/30/2011 c1 2Elsbeth Lagrange
My, my, what an uncommonly good story! I have a very soft spot for pieces that capture an old-school fairy tale tone, and this story has that in spades. The one place where your mood falters, in my opinion is when your crone says, "to make such a big deal out of that," which strikes me as a very modern turn of phrase. But that is a small quibble in a darn good yarn. I particularly enjoyed the way Daniel changes his story when he is forced to repeat himself, a very well-played piece of story-telling, that. Thanks for posting this!
1/4/2011 c1 99Dreamers-Requiem
I really liked this - it really had that feeling of 'old' horror, especially with the idea of duelling, and the stories of Lady Willow, who, I have to say, is a very interesting character. I loved the attention to detail, it worked really well to build up the scene and the suspense along with it. Overall, a great piece.
1/2/2011 c1 3WanderingElf
That crow is awesome, where can I get one? :)

As you know from reading my story I suck at grammar so I can't critique you that way.

I love the detail you use.

Daniel sighed, watching his breath fog in the morning air. Dew and frost clung to the trees surrounding the clearing where he stood. A bird cawed from inside the forest, its cry hitting Daniel's ears like shattered glass. - I was able to very clearly picture this in my mind and it set the tone for the rest of the story very well.

It's nice to see that Daniel's on edge and Lady Willow is so casual about everything.

Very enjoyable. Good job.
11/14/2010 c1 63RedactedNoLongerWriting
I really liked this. The ending was brutal! I felt rather bad for Daniel for unintentionally entering into this agreement without knowing what he was in for. The heart thing was a nice touch, and I loved that the crow's talons stained his shirt at the end. It's a nice creepy little detail that makes it all the more ominous-sounding.

As far as writing goes, I didn't see any mistakes. The only thing I found a little strange was "He'd heard stories of her. Everyone had. Stories where snakes slithered down throats and murmured secrets to their hosts, plants had lovers and spoke of the future, and people grinned like bandits and riddled like prophets." I didn't get the connection between those things happening and Lady Willow. I assume she causes those things? In what way? There was just a slight disconnect (for me, at least) between the odd occurrences and her part in them that I would've liked elaborated on. She's obviously some sort of trickster so coming out and saying that would be helpful.

Overall, great job! Good luck in the WCC!
11/10/2010 c1 4lookingwest
D: Holy. CRAP! XD I loved this, haha. Wow, I just finished reading Sohpie's, which was also set in this setting of English-ness, and this one also had that same wonderful aire about it that I liked a lot. I loved the image of Daniel in his clothes with the scarf and the ease of the conversation with the dueling-I loved how he had to "speak up", XD, that was clever and provided some comic relief though I must say this piece did end with an element of horror. I actually feel quite sympathetic towards Daniel because he never actually said yes to the offer, at least not in a vocal overt way, but perhaps the Lady Willow could read what his heart really wanted! The story and fable-like quality of this is so unique! You could probably follow this up with a multi-chapter story or novella, no doubt.

I liked the ending too, snappy and well fit for an end. It's just all around really cool and I love the sadness of the trapped immortality and the fact the crow eats hearts o_o''. Daniel would make a fantastic anti-hero, haha. Loved how that tied into the prompt too, how dark and almost Gothic the setting and subject matter was. Gothic in the sense of Wuthering Heights Gothic or Frankenstein Gothic. Overall wonderful. Best of luck in the WCC!
11/9/2010 c1 12lianoid
A bird cawed from inside the forest, its cry hitting Daniel's ears like shattered glass.

-Nice description! Dude, that’s a powerful simile you have there, serious. I really like that.

I love the part where Daniel first says James thinks he had slept with his sister, but then when he has to repeat himself says he did sleep with James’ sister. That was a really cool part of this story that I think spoke loudly of Lady Willow’s power and influence. It was like she knew he was lying. Nice, I really like that.

"What's the catch?" He hissed, suspicion gnawing at his heart.

-Edit: Tiny error, I believe. Change “He hissed” to “he hissed”.

Gurgles replaced screams now, and as James stopped moving the crow's attack slowed and red covered the earth.

-Edit: Toss a comma after “moving” I think.

The wind rejoiced at the chance to chill him to the bone and swirled around him like a storming adversary.

-Another brilliant line. I love the personification here.

I always love your WCC submissions; they always manage to surprise me. This was an interesting story, for sure, and I especially enjoyed your descriptions. I definitely sensed something was up with the bird since you kept going back to it before formally introducing it. Nice work there, for sure.

Overall a really interesting piece. Best of luck in this month’s WCC!
11/8/2010 c1 Dreamer caster
that was quite interesting ina odd way=) i like willow=D shes really kick ass=)
11/7/2010 c1 75thewhimsicalbard
The WCC sure has been gruesome this month... I'm telling you.

This was a really interesting take on the prompt, the way I think you've done it. Correct me if I'm wrong, but you had the same thought that I did when you looked at the prompt: "She looks like a bird."

If not, then... Well, now at least you know what I thought. But, either way, this is a really fresh take on it.

I had mixed feelings about your characters. Lady Willow was quite intriguing, but I feel like I've seen Daniel hundreds of times. He doesn't really do it for me. He's really flat, and you can't have that in a story that's this short. The crow-thing, however... That made me sit up in my seat.

"She eats hearts. One a day."

And here I am eating leftover Halloween skittles and thinking wtf just happened?

I'm really glad you got a piece out in time for the WCC! It's been several months since you missed one, hasn't it?

Best of luck in the voting!


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