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6/28/2013 c3 1k+Faithless Juliet
Very interesting developments here.

I liked how practical Nora was throughout this. I don't think she seems like the basket case type and I'm glad that she kept her head in these moments. I also think it matches with the personality that she displayed in chapter one.

I also liked the action and pacing in this chapter. The sequence of events were creepy, but not so creepy as to interrupt the natural flow of the story. The only critique I have thus far is that I feel like I don't have a clear enough image in my head about what the creature looks like. I think you could add a few sentences of sense memory details: touch, smell etc.

Juliet.
6/28/2013 c2 Faithless Juliet
I think looking/ finding the dog was really good character development for Nora. I liked how you showed her sense of caution in looking for a dog who, although hurt, could be a potential danger to herself as well as intermingling with her overwhelming guilt for hitting him in the first place.

I think the yellow eyed *thing* is the man from the vets office (Dusty's allusive owner) although I'm really only guessing at this point it seems odd to introduce a character at this point and then discard him.

Ideally I think I would have liked to see more of a reaction from Nora when she encountered the creature. True, you leave it open for the cliffhanger at the end, but the scene didn't feel as strong as it could have been for me - I think she should be more shocked/scared.

Juliet.
6/23/2013 c3 5Whirlymerle
Freebie review:

After the cliffy on the second chapter I just had to read on.

Opening: I really like the nice, accessible imagery of the mallet. I think it’s incredibly well done to begin the chapter with a sensation—it sets the mood nicely, and acts as a simple and very effective transition from the surprise of the last chapter’s ending into the new scene. I also really like “cutthroat rhythm.”

Character: I like that Nora has a habit of talking to herself. This consistent characteristic plays out really nicely when she’s alone in a scene, which so far seems to happen a lot. This monologue thing makes the scene a lot more interesting. Also, I get that Nora is smart from the little details that she takes note of, like the fact that someone might poke her eye out if she looks through the keyhole. I especially like the part where she starts making justifications for the beast kidnapping her like he’s a misunderstood dog or something. Her character just feels very multifaceted and real.

Scene: I love the cat urine and lavender detail—old lady smell plus something that’s so beastly Fresh Step can’t cover is a fantastic combination. Personally, I’m not a big fan of the part where she sees the beast in a photo and compares him to a happy orangutan. The 2-3 times where the beast has appeared before Nora, all we really see is his yellow eyes and he’s snarling and it’s pretty dark (maybe not in the hotel room, but even then you focus on the eyes). And while I totally get the vibe that Nora is a sympathetic person, every memorable interaction she’s had with the beast thus far is pretty scary, so I feel like the casual way in which “happier” is thrown in there is a little startling. Maybe if you added a little more to the orangutan description, this wouldn’t be a problem.

Technique: I really like how twice in this chapter, your sentences are longer and without breaks and end abruptly on a dash. It conveys the intensity of the moment really well. Reading it, I feel like I’m out of breath, like Nora must be in those moments, and the dash works well heightening the drama.
5/3/2013 c1 TheOneAndOnlyBangBang
Well this is a very grabbing start to a story. I liked the fact that the ending of the first chapter contrasted with the beginning. It starts off completely normal with her and the dogs etcetera and then all of a sudden throw in some yellow eyes a car crash and a mysterious thud, very well done and it made me want to continue reading (which I will by the way).

The vocabulary was very good, it definitely added impact to the story, specifically this part [The van's windshield wipers worked furiously at the pouring rain but it was a losing battle] because if you'd just said it was raining then you probably wouldn't see the windshield covered in rain and pretty much un-see-through-able, which probably went towards the crashing business somewhat, and you would just picture little drops that play no part at all.

It certainly has my attention and I'll check out the next chapter the next chance I get!
4/25/2013 c1 1k+Faithless Juliet
I really enjoyed the way you presented scope in regards to the landscape. I thought you did a great job at showing the reader the physical journey, as well as the metaphorical journey. I also liked your characterization here. Your protagonist is both likable and interesting. I do feel that towards the middle of the piece the prose got less exciting and the ending was although interesting, not really something that will get every reader onto chapter two. Overall I thought that you did a great job. Keep up the good work.

Much love,
Juliet.
4/19/2013 c1 16Plej
Hello again! I have to say your writing style is very good, you give many details about what your character is doing and are very concise with the language throughout the story. Sure, you are describing a lot but it makes sense for your story since it is leading us up to the conflict, which is where your plot really takes place. The scenery in your story is very clear too, I can see in my mind your main character driving along in the rain before this ominous creature darts out and causes her to veer off the road. You also described the setting clearly, so it is hard for the reader to not have an idea that Nora is in driving in "nowhere land". I myself have always lived in a large city and it is very rare where I drive on a road with no one else for that long. I did not think her situation was that bad since she had no traffic, but I could see how it might be difficult since everything is far apart up north.
4/3/2013 c5 19Alaeryel
Another to make me think and ponder over-LOOOOOOOOOOOOVE it! I have to know everything and will be watching for this also-you Nes are an AMAZING WRITER!
3/31/2013 c1 2Mia52
This was quite an interesting read! I really enjoyed your style of writing. It got right down to what is what and who is who without sounding boring.

Nora sounds like an pretty solid person. Even though there was a vague description of her, I still feel that she is a likeable character.

There isn't any abrupt stops to show that time had passed, I still can tell that it did just by the way it was written.

All in all, I liked this chapter (especially the way you did the cliff hanger. So well done!).

-hassi128
3/16/2013 c1 9Infected Beliefs
I really enjoyed the matter-o-fact style of writing and dry humor of this first chapter. It helped develop the feeling of boredom brought on by the long drive that Nora is experiencing and added ambiance to the dreary state of the area of the country she is driving through. I had a good time reading your descriptions, which give less information towards the actual look of things and more towards their feel. It was a nice change from the usual things I read around here.

You do a good job addressing the progression of time, something I struggle with myself. Quite a few hours pass in this relatively short chapter, yet I never felt that your story became jumpy or chopped up in any way. Your transitions were fluid and made sense, and I was never left questioning how we got to a certain place or time. Nicely done there.

Through your little snippets of dialogue I got a good feeling for the sort of character Nora is. Optimistic, I would say, and a real go-with-the flow type character. I did not, however, get much of a sense for her physical appearance. You don't describe how she looks at any point within the chapter and I am left with only the mental image provided by my imagination, and it would seem my imagination is not so creative.

In fact, physical descriptions in general were my one disappointment for the chapter, but maybe that is just my own readers preference. You do a good job with brief descriptions of the country she passes, but much of what is focused on is passed up in favor of action (character movement). Like I said though, maybe that is just reader preference.

I liked the little dream reference. Funny. Very funny.

You do a good job finishing the chapter with some excitement as well. No slow development for you. I definitely was encouraged to continue reading to find out what happened. Nicely done.

Sharing some love from RH.

Best of luck to you and your writing,

-Infected
3/15/2013 c1 5Whirlymerle
I quite liked this! I thought it was clever how you began with a not particularly interesting discussion about Wisconsin highways that makes for a rather ironic way to end—great ending, also.

I also really liked how you used Nora asking the dogs about song recommendations to segment into the background info. I thought the transition was very smooth and natural and made the whole scene really endearing to read.

I’m surprised that a shelter running on limited funds would make one of its workers deliver pets to shelters from Georgia all the way to Wisconsin. It’s something I’d like to get more of an explanation about, merely because it seems strange to me, but maybe it’s a regional thing.
3/15/2013 c5 13VelvetyCheerio
Back at home already? But the adventure can't end here! Things have barely gotten started. D:

At least this chapter did not fulfill my deepest nightmares of monstrous old ladies with gnashing teeth and wall climbing abilities, like in that movie, Legion. ._. But it did make me very curious about the setting and the world and just, what is going on? xD I like that Nora asks herself a lot of the questions someone might wonder if they found themselves the supernatural and mystical in real life.

There was also one part about Bray's backstory that really stuck out to me: the fact that Ma referred to Bray as a "toddler" when she first found him. If their words have similiar meanings to the ones in the real world, does that then mean that at some point in Bray's development, he was human? Because I mean, you wouldn't really call a baby beast (regardless if it can talk and walk around on two legs) a human, right? It is very curious to me what Bray was like before he got all big and well, Bray-like.

Also, Beast of Bray Road makes me think of Grendel and his mother, heh.

But aww, how nice of Bray to want to help his adoptive mother. It kind of makes me wonder what will become of him when she dies. Will he attempt to remain "human" or will he live up to his bloodline and haunt Bray Road?

Another thing that kind of confused me: when Ma cuts in about her Alzheimer's.

["I had Alzheimers, now I don't, and we should really discuss why my Bray held someone hostage in the basement for two days,"] Maybe I'm missing something here about the way the magic worked, but how exactly did she know that Bray held Nora hostage for two days? o.O I know at one point she saw Nora in the basement, but with the Alzheimer's wouldn't she just forget? And so I'm not really sure, even as the disease is subdued, how she remembered that. Or perhaps what I am not understanding is the mechanics of Alzheimer's. I always figured it was the short term memory that goes kaputz, or perhaps the person simply just can't recall anymore.

[Bray clapped his paw on Malcolm's shoulder so hard she thought his knees smashed together,] This read awkwardly to me. She *thought* his knees smashed together? But can't she see his knees?

[she hadn't just seen a magic glow ritual heal someone of-] I find the wording here awkward. Is it *magic glow ritual* or *magic glow* ritual?

[was going on?Would people just] Missing a space.

[how she would reach it, After a week, a month] Change comma to a period.

[and she gasped above consciousness just long enough to hear, "I'll see you soon," before she went under.] I really really like this line. Very descriptive and original.

Overall, nice chapter. I anticipate Nora and Malcolm's next meeting. Hopefully it won't be because Nora gets kidnapped again. xD
3/15/2013 c4 19Anihyr Moonstar
I've always had a thing against chase scenes where, logically, it doesn't make sense that the runner isn't caught almost immediately. He's faster than her and was on her tail already when she was dashing out the door, so it feels unlikely that she could avoid him long enough to draw out the chase to the stalemate in the tree...but I digress. We wouldn't have much of a story if she didn't nearly get away there.

[A big, grey dog leapt into view, hackles raised, and he bared his teeth in a fierce growl.] Had a little mental cheer going on here. Dog man to the rescue! I also like Nora's initial comeback/reaction to their appearance when she recognizes them: ["'Deer', my ass! What the hell is going on here? What did you drag me into?!"] Felt very believable, hah - pretty much exactly the question I expect would be going through my mind under the given circumstances. And funny. The humor in this is fun and consistent (in its scattered places) throughout each of the chapters so far.

["My name is Nora, asshole," she called down helpfully. / "Problem," Bray insisted.] *snicker* The dialogue in this chapter is pretty awesome. Bray's a lot of fun once you get past the hulking monster routine, and Nora's is spot on for both relaying her stress and confusion as well as reinforcing things we've already learned about her character.

[I never met you before you charged out of the woods 3 days ago.] Write out "three".

I like the irony in the fact that, although I laughed out loud last chapter when Nora thought to herself, "Maybe he's just misunderstood..." Bray actually *is* just misunderstood and wants to help get his...'mother'...a healer. Very clever in retrospect and I didn't see it coming.

I look forward to seeing how Nora ends up getting further tied into all this and where you take the plot from here. It's been a fun ride so far.

- Moonstar
3/15/2013 c3 Anihyr Moonstar
[You're in some yeti thing's murder basement now.] Heheheh...murder basement.

[...she clutched the nail-and-board club like a demented teddy bear and crouched under the stairs.] Lovely description. Pefect for the situation and amusing in a deranged way at the same time.

['What if that thing is just misunderstood? Maybe it's insecure because everyone just thinks it's a monster and-'] LOL. I laughed out loud, quite loudly.

[...a dark-haired woman and what looked like an orangutan but she realized was a younger, creepier version of the beast...] Creepier? Why would a younger version be any more creepy than the current version that beat her head into a wall, kidnapped her, and locked her in a basement? Just curious.

Jesus, well, that was exciting. You definitely got my heart rate up right at the end there. The build-up of rising tension was expertly handled for the final delivery of the cliff-hanger ending. You write really smooth action sequences, which is great and perhaps something I need to learn from, hah - I always feel like I want to shove so much detail in there, but when I'm reading action, my eyes want to move fast because I'm excited and want to know what happens next, and I think you strike that balance between clean, just-detailed-enough description and easy-to-follow style so that it never trips up the pace.

- Moonstar
3/15/2013 c2 Anihyr Moonstar
[It wasn't a human scream but a canine whimper she heard.] Definitely nitpicky, but you just said she heard it in the last sentence, so tagging the "she heard" on again here feels redundant.

[...she hoped it wasn't too late to still get a room at the motel for the night.] Most motels in my experience are open twenty-four/seven, but that might not be accurate everywhere, I dunno. I just know I've pulled in at two in the morning and still gotten rooms before when the weather was too bad to continue driving.

Wow! Hah, well, you certainly have a habit (so far, at least) of taking a reasonably easy pace through most of the chapter and then closing with a bang, (this time literally).

I enjoyed the whole scene in the shelter as Nora waited for the verdict on the dog; I feel like her concern came off really strongly and realistically without going overboard. She feels very human and real to me as a character already and I've only known her for a couple thousand words so far.

I also liked the introduction of the brother. The way he "mirrored" the dog in certain ways was amusing - dramatic irony in this case since I got spoilers for this story ahead of time, but still. It made the image of him as he walked through the door, long hair, sopping wet all very vivid.

And I think Nora's conversation with her boss was a nice touch. Just one of those little details of realism that give the story depth.

Nice work.

- Moonstar
3/15/2013 c1 Anihyr Moonstar
Haha, I immediately like the tone you set with your opening paragraph. Straight forward easy reading, but still humorous, and it got me smiling. I like the quick introduction of the dogs, too; I feel like you made maximum use of a few words to make them stick out so that I got a little mental "awww..." for the dog that didn't know his own name.

[Khan began whining so she reached back to scratch behind his ears.] Wouldn't he be in a kennel for travel? And she's driving...it feels like it would be awkward to be able to scratch him and immediately made me think she was going to crash herself. If it was her own dog, I would understand him being loose in the van, but since they're shelter animals, I assumed automatically they'd all be kept safely contained just in case. I dunno, though, maybe that's nitpicky.

[This one-" She pointed at the pinscher. "-is a little sweetheart who wanted nothing more than to crawl on my lap the whole time."] Comma, not a period after "pinscher" because you're continuing your dialogue sentence afterward; the sentence of action is treated kind of like it's in parenthesis, sandwiched inside a bigger, outer sentence that is the dialogue in this case. I don't know if that explanation made sense, but I hope it did.

[The steady plink-plonk of raindrops on the metal roof woke her from a dream about naked people laughing around her as she froze to death.] I found this intensely amusing.

[...she muffled a curse when she smashed her toe into one of the plastic crates stacked along the van.] Oh, she's clumsy, too. I like her already.

Nice closer. Way to end on a cliffy. You certainly jumped right into the action with things. Fun stuff.

- Moonstar
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