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for Trigger Man

8/3/2012 c3 63RedactedNoLongerWriting
My identity, who they gave that job to, is about as confidential as information comes for my employer.
-I may just be dense right now but I didn't understand this sentence.

I don't know if you have a target chapter length in mind when you write this or if you just write and post as you go. To me, this chapter felt like it could have easily fit on the end of the previous one. Content-wise it's practically identical to the last one and stretching it out into another chapter felt a little weird to me: at this point I'm 3 chapters in and seen Cliff drink and save a woman, get a sketchy file sent his way, talk about the sketchy file, think about the sketchy file, drink, and think some more about saving women and sketchy files. The first chapter stood well on its own and introduced the character and plot direction while easing the character into the story. Two and three, in my opinion, are simply developing that plot direction without much sense of movement. I think by combining these two you'd be able to have the necessary plot development (because I realize all his thoughts about previous jobs and stuff are needed and the ending was definitely important) without the story seeming to lag a little.

I liked the ending of this. It makes me think things are going to get exciting soon. Maybe some digging and torture or torture with digging and a little bit of information thrown in... It's a very promising ending in a way I don't see often on FP because people either write a chapter with a sense of finality in the ending or a cliffhanger. I think this leans toward the latter but it's not a huge dramatic revelation; I still get the cue that things are gonna get real in the next chapter but you're not throwing some ill-timed twist at me to lead me onward. It's subtle, and I like that. Very refreshing for FP and a good use of a logical buildup to that point.
8/3/2012 c2 RedactedNoLongerWriting
Aha, and so he dances around the point but at least we got a more detailed look at his niche. I liked the little details you wove into this chapter. I'm not an expert on hitmen in fiction but it seemed to ring true with what I've seen in a few movies but also added details I'm less familiar with, like his clientele/targets being mostly men and never kids. It makes sense, but I've never thought of it that way, so it's a nice touch. I also liked how whoever did this sent the threat as one of his own hits. I dunno if that's a normal thing for fictional hitmen but it was new and cool to me, haha.

This is EF so I'm trying to think of a like/dislike. I don't really have a dislike as I'm reading this but now that I'm thinking about it I wonder a little at Clifford's reactions to things. He doesn't seem to have much in the way of emotional range; granted he's a hitman so probably not likely to be fazed by much, but even when he was supposedly alarmed or at least intrigued/worried by that name I couldn't quite gauge his reaction (as you can see by my inability to put a name on what emotion was trying to come through). Like I said, this is nitpicky, but maybe something to work on. He might be a more relatable character if his reactions were brought out a bit more. Cynicism is fun and all but can make it hard to understand the impact of something if the character doesn't show the impact.
8/3/2012 c1 RedactedNoLongerWriting
Sadly I totally forgot to read the summary of this before I read the chapter so I spent the whole time thinking he was a surprisingly well-off PI of some sort and I was like 'wow, this guy's pretty hardcore' and then it made sense, haha. I don't know that I'd consider that a fault of any sort, but it seems a little strange that he makes so many references to his work with the assumption that the reader knows what he does. In-story, I have no clue yet, so the 'irony' of the situation was totally lost on me. Maybe that was the effect you were going for or maybe I need to actually read summaries, but I thought I'd mention it.

I like the way you phrase some of the things in this. Your descriptions are really interesting because you stuff that's really mundane like texting and look at it a new way. It made this a fun read to see the quirky perspective the narrator has.
7/31/2012 c1 4Rogue Energizer Bunny
Well this description is something else. I usually get grumpy with people who lead with a description of the setting, coz that's so boring but man. It works here. I love the "it gave the impression of being underwater". Such a clear image.

The narration works well, too. It's a bit slower-paced than what I usually read, but everything flows nicely, and it's got nice punch to it. The description doesn't damage the pacing, either, it adds to it if anything.

" 'Hey!' I gruffly yelled." I'm waging a war against dialogue tags, and here's an example of why. How do you gruffly yell? I think a lot of people would stop here and wonder that. It's a bit odd.

Loving the character so far. Great job.
7/17/2012 c3 13VelvetyCheerio
Yayayayay! :D

Now this could just be me, but I felt that the writing got a little hard to follow towards the end.

[Only a handful of people knew that it was me who'd taken the Abramov job in early 2009, hot on the heels of speculation about his associates being flipped by the feds.] I had to read this sentence three times just to understand and I still think I only mildly understand it.

I get the idea of what you were getting across, so I don't know. My brain is probably really jumbled up right now.

Now, I do really like how careful Clifford is about his line of work. I mean, if he doesn't want a bullet in his head, he has to be; but I mean, the way he recalls this stuff to mind is cool. He has such a meticulous nature about him, and I really like that.

[I added another cigarette butt to the small mountain beginning to form on my coffee table.] I did lol at this, though. xD Poor guy is a nervous wreck.

I'm hoping he'll have at least one person on his side to get down to the nitty gritty of it all. It sounds like it'll be exciting.

Really glad to see you updated. :)

5/30/2012 c2 58Inkspilled
Alright, I've come back for a delayed review. Insomnia proves useful for once.

""I'm sorry, Anna, did I wake you up?" I asked, my diction dripping with mocking care." - I'd change that last part to either "mock care" or even "mock concern".

"What remained of the night [hours] wasn't going to yield much sleep, and the morning creeped closer, as did [too] many unanswered questions." - stuff in brackets I might remove, but that's only me being picky.

"A crucifix stood watch to greet me, carved in relief into the archway before the entrance[.] [as if] [I]ts eyes were just as much part of the security as the three cameras I counted on my way from the sidewalk."- Make it into two sentences for clarity.

""If I did, I'd have even more problems with sleep than I already do. [But] I've seen too much death to think about it like most people would." - Using the word 'but' to start a sentence usually means you can combine it with the last sentence to make a larger one. Try to start it with something else or make do without it, if possible.

"[But] I've got a feeling that death might be catching up to me. Got a contract for a dead man last night. A dead man who died because I made it so. He's been dead for sixteen years, and whoever sent me this... They didn't have a job for me.""

- a slight excess of the word 'dead' in there. I might re-word so there's a little less repetition.

"Usually this sort of thing doesn't fly under the radar of people who notice things."- 'people who notice things' is very general. It doesn't give us any new information, when I want to know what he does. Does he keep a look out for information? Know certain people?

"Worried wasn't the right way to describe my state of mind. But the Priest not knowing" - also should be one sentence, though it does get a little long.

"He didn't earn a reputation as an information broker for no [apparently] good reason, after all." -remove what's in the brackets and change 'didn't' to 'hadn't' to keep the tenses consistent.

"This meant that the people behind the so-called job were (either) very subtle, assholes, or probably both. I was going to assume both until proven otherwise."- just added a word there.

Again, I apologize for the huge amount of nitpick in this review. As for the issues I'd pointed out before, I think it's really improved in this chapter. Most of the things I mentioned are grammar this time. I think your descriptions and atmosphere building has really improved. There's no more unnecessary details or actions in here, which makes for a well paced chapter. The way the events are developing is also quite interesting. Great work! :)
5/27/2012 c2 13VelvetyCheerio
Aah, so we jump straight into the plot. I will admit that I don't quite understand how having the dead man's name brought up means a hit has been put on Clifford. Is it that the name is a sort of like a trace back to him?

Also, who would send him a contract for himself? Either the bad guys are getting sloppy, or there is something greater going on here.

I like the relationship between Clifford and the Priest. It makes me wonder about the Priest's past and how he came to know so much about Clifford's line of work. It also makes me wonder how Clifford came to know him since they are on such friendly speaking terms.

[He didn't earn a reputation as an information broker for no apparently good reason,] Hrm, this sentence read awkward to me. The "apparently" part, mostly. I've usually seen it as "no good reason" so maybe it's just a style thing.

Anyway, great chapter! I hope Clifford starts getting some answers.
5/25/2012 c2 14000kills
niceee, i like this kind of plot. keep going (quickly)
5/24/2012 c2 29YasuRan
I think you're on your way to a good, solid story. For now, we have an interesting protagonist and the start of what may or may not be something life-altering for him. Bit by bit, things are revealed pertaining to his personality and background, so I'm finding nothing wrong with the pacing so far.

A correction:

'and the morning creeped closer, as did too many unanswered questions.' should be 'and as the morning crept closer,'

I'm not sure about describing the priest's eyes as 'cobalt discs'. There's nothing wrong with 'blue eyes' in this context. That being said, I like how his countenance is compared to a refrigerator dressed as a man of the cloth. Creative and it rather fits the narrator's voice.

I also enjoyed the brief interaction the two share, discussing the Clifford's past sins. From the sounds of it, he's set in his ways and the Father is aware of that. That someone like Clifford still bothers to make confessions strikes me as unusual and adds another dimension to his character. I'm definitely looking forward to more.
5/23/2012 c1 58Inkspilled
Review for Fight for the Freebie:

Interesting MC; I wish we could have seen more of his personality a little earlier on. It wasn't until the fight outside that I really noticed or took note of it.

This is probably me being picky, but I found the pacing a bit slow at the beginning. I think first person always gives the risk of telling more than showing because you're always using "I did this, then I did that" (which may be purely my own preference, anyways). As a reader, sometimes I get bogged down by unnecessary details, for example:

"[Taking a pack out of my jacket pocket,] I stuffed a cigarette between my lips. Just as I lit the tip, my phone announced itself with a faint, electronic chime. [I unholstered it and brought the black plastic brick to eye level.] My shoulders dropped [an inch] after seeing the name on the screen."

Anything in square brackets I might remove, mainly because simple actions or insignificant details don't need to be spelled out for us. If you stick to only the significant actions, it helps keep the story at an even pace. This is the same for describing the setting. We don't need logistics of the building when everyone will interpret it own their own, but the atmosphere can only be described by the author. So the first paragraph is good in creating a mood for the bar, but the details about the south side, etc. isn't necessary.
5/15/2012 c1 4lookingwest
I agree with Fang. Do not tease me with this. Especially Matt, because I feel like I've read this before-it was awfully familiar, but I might have been imagining things.

Enjoyed the narrative voice and liked the way you opened with the aquarium visual. I think that gave a cool original vibe to this, and if that was in the other version/original posting of this, I remember thinking that last time too. But again, I could be really just making things up in my head, haha!

Anyway, so yeah, liked the bar imagery and the setting too, I think you did a great job with that. Was entertained by the paragraph concerning the drinking six whiskey cokes and gauging the taxi pick-ups, haha. I thought that also gave a good indication of the setting because it shows that the story takes place in a more urban area even though it isn't explicitly said right away.

Liked the paragraph where Cliff attacks the guy, I think fight scenes are hard to describe, especially if they're just squabbles too, and you handled it well. The visuals were clear, and I was entertained. I liked the situation where he meets this woman too, and the hero part-it was a good realistic observation. Whatever I read before, if it was similar, left me wondering what the contract part was too-and I really want to learn more with this story and the character of Cliff.

I also want to know how the woman might tie into the story-or if he'll really just drop her off and let her go. She was introduced in the first chapter so I can't help be feel she might come back at some point! Anyway, thanks for the read, glad to see you writing! :3
5/14/2012 c1 13VelvetyCheerio
Okay, first off, what a voice! That's what I like about your stories, the characters have such distinct voices. You know who's who by the way they speak and act.

On Clifford, if that is his real name, I find him enjoyable. I'm very surprised with his personality, especially. I was almost certain he was going to leave the woman there and just drive off, but I think his sticking around proves that he has a heart, and the ability to judge how much force is needed on the offhand drunk guy.

[I like paying for once nice car and not several, plus legal fees.] *one

I did think it was funny, the way you normalized the whole, "hero gets the girl" thing. I just think it's so unrealistic, that every woman the hero ends up saving instantly falls madly in love with him and it's like, "but that doesn't always happen!" Plus, this makes it more fun, haha!

Don't tease me with this story, Matt. xD I want to know what this contract is. I'd also like to know why Cliff has been out of work for so long. I can sense a connection, but I'm not quite sure what it is.


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