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3/10/2013 c4 13VelvetyCheerio
Oh look, a wild update! :D

I'm actually starting to like Bray, ahah. He's kind of funny with his limited speech and big, brutish-ness. xD

[Splinters stabbed her feet as she impacted in the crook of the first branch, five feet up.] Nuuurrr. x-x I really hate the feeling of splinters, just, ugh. It bothers me to think of sharp slivers of wood sliding deep into flesh with just, *collapses* I couldn't walk with splinters in my foot. I would die. xD

Dusty and Malcolm to the rescue! Malcolm takes all these beastie craziness in stride. Now I'm also curious to find out exactly what's going on. Did they go to another dimension? Did housekeeping ever stop by to find Nora's disheveled room? Poor service, that motel.

[You'll need to leave town and lay low from now on. You know the rules, yeah?"] This line confused me when I read it, though in retrospect I get that Malcolm was talking to Bray. When I read it, though, I figured he was talking to Dusty, as I didn't have a sense as to who/where he was looking at when he spoke.

[morbidly fascinated, as they extended and retracted like a cat's.] I thought this was interesting. So, why didn't Bray just climb up the tree after her like a cat or a squirrel? xD Unless he doesn't have back claws, but the impression I get from him is that he has like, body builder shoulders and a tiny lower half. Kind of like Johnny Bravo, haha.

["Problem is clever monkey."] LOL

The problem with Ma. I'm a little scared, actually, that she's going to burst out of her skin and become this monster like Bray, only she'll be fierce and possessed by a blood rage. o.o Yeah, I just don't like it when old ladies sit in front of TVs with their backs to you because you don't know what they're plotting on those wrinkly faces of theirs.

I can see how you had some trouble with the closing line. Personally, I liked the closing dialogue, and I think it could stand on its own as a sort of cliffhanger. But introducing the powers/magic without actually showing what happens with it works as a good lead in for the next chapter as well.

Anyway, I enjoyed this chapter. Good work!
3/10/2013 c4 19Alaeryel
Ok it is official now-I like this story and am looking forward to more and will be watching for it! GREAT JOB!
3/10/2013 c2 Alaeryel
Quite interesting story here. Something I think I will enjoy reading and the writing is very well done. I am curious tho that the one that attacks Nora here-is it the same one she hit or the guy that came to get Dusty or if it is a different creature/person?
3/10/2013 c4 3TheClosetWriter16
I saw your answer on yahoo so I thought I'd check out your stories :) I am really liking this actually! Keep updating :D
Oh and check out my stories if you want!
2/17/2013 c3 Stylistic Nightmare
Think I’ll start with the ending this time. Another solid use of a cliffhanger. I think what I like most about this ending is there are several outcomes that would all make a lot of sense if they happened. Keeps the reader on their toes, which is a good thing, and really works as a hook to keep them invested for the next chapter. And it also works well with the earlier encounter with the beast, when it spoke to her. If she’d escaped before then, common sense would probably have the reader believing it would pursue her when she made a break for it. But when you factor in that it apparently has her much lower on its list of priorities, it opens up the possibility that it’ll just let her run away. Or at least not try so hard to catch her haha.

Getting repetitive again, but I think it’s worth saying that your description was awesome again in this chapter. It’s a fine line between not a lot and not enough, and you keep on the right side of that line really well. I could easily picture the cellar she was in, and even the upstairs during the brief time she was up there.

Really liked the little bit of genre savviness from Nora in regards to trying to look through the keyhole. It was a nice touch.

I was surprised when the beast spoke. That’s a good thing. I wasn’t expecting it at all, though I’m not sure why. I guess I just assumed it was some kind of ravenous monster, with only enough brains to keep it from ripping apart every single thing it sees. I mean, the fact Nora was captured and not eaten or just straight up killed shows the thing had to have at least a little intelligence, but until it spoke, it could have just been like an attack dog. Just enough brains to follow commands, but still mostly animalistic fury and hunger. Which it could still be, but definitely not as mindless as I originally assumed haha. That’s a good… I guess twist would be the word. Revelation maybe fits a little better.

The addition of the old woman was a good one. I think it too opens up some possibilities for the future of the story. For instance, is it a case of her finding the beast when it was a child and raising it as her own? Or did she actually give birth to it? Depending on which of those is it (or perhaps a different option altogether), it could shape how the beast acts. If it’s just a monster raised by a human, it would still have monster/animalistic instincts. But if it’s just a deformed, fucked up human, it would have human instincts. That could really impact how you write its behaviour as the story progresses. Good stuff.

There were another couple places in this chapter that could have used m-dashes instead of hyphens.

There you go. I’m officially caught up on one of your stories. I feel all productive and shit now.

Later.
2/17/2013 c2 Stylistic Nightmare
Another review. I’m going to apologize in advance for this one, and pretty much every other one you’ll ever get from me. They seem all right when it’s just a single chapter, but they quickly get repetitive when I start reviewing multi-chaptered stories. So, don’t expect this one to be significantly different from the one I left on the first chapter. Sorry about that.

Your description is very good again in this chapter. It’s not overly wordy, and yet it still paints a really clear picture of each scene. It was a pretty simple matter for me to picture everything in my head, especially the scene at the beginning. The heavy rain, the mud, the dog; clear as day, man. Definitely a good thing.

And that leads into the next thing: the mood. Or maybe mood’s not the right word. The... I don’t know. What I’m trying to say is through the clear description and the scene itself, it really drew me in. I’ve never run over a dog on a rainy night, but I still felt for Nora at the beginning, with the overall shittiness of her surroundings, and feeling full of worry and panic ‘cause she thinks she might have just seriously injured/killed a dog. I’m not even a particularly big fan of dogs, and I still felt for her. That’s some good writing.

I liked the ending, though I felt it could have been extended a little. It’s weird, actually, because I do like it. I think it sets up the next chapter pretty damn well. You told me before you like how I employ cliffhanger-type endings for chapters of South of Heaven, and I’m saying that back to you. Pretty classic clliffhanger, and I think it works well. But something about the whole thing seems a bit abrupt. I can’t really explain it better than that, which makes this whole thing I just said completely useless. It’s just a feeling. So, sorry, I guess. Criticism with no suggested solution sucks. I’ve just got nothing.

Character-wise, I liked that there was a bit more to work with than last chapter. Obviously, we get a little more of the dynamic between Nora and Mark. I think it adds a little reality to the whole story. It would have been easy to just keep a simple employer-employee interaction between Mark and Nora and still accomplish what you needed to accomplish, but giving their relationship that “unwanted sort-of advance from a weird boss” makes it all seem a little more real.

Still on character, I really liked Nora’s various breakdowns into run-on sentences. It’s charming, and again, puts a little reality to things. I know people who babble when they’re nervous. It’s another little touch, little quirk that makes the character seem more three dimensional.

The beast. You knew that’s what I was waiting for haha. It didn’t disappoint. Given how quick the ending went down, the small amount of description you used worked really well. Yellow eyes, big, hairy: for something that happened in a matter of seconds, it’s the right amount of description. And it definitely makes me want to read on to find out more about the beast.

One last thing: glad to see the pacing stayed quick throughout this chapter as well. Hope you keep it up.

‘"Easy boy," she cooed to him, for it was a him, and carefully slipped...’
I’d add a comma after ‘easy’. Also, maybe m-dashes instead of commas around ‘for it was a him’.

There are several places where you use -, and I think they should be m-dashes. I found three places where either thoughts or dialogue cut off.

That’s it. Not very helpful, but hopefully not unappreciated haha. I don’t know. Lately I’ve just been wishing people who read my work would leave something so I’d at least know they checked it out. That’s what this is. Me letting you know I am actually reading your shit finally haha. I did say I would. It may have taken me nearly three years, but here we are.

Later.
2/15/2013 c1 Stylistic Nightmare
Surprise.

I don't really have a lot to say, but I figured it was about time I reviewed you. So this is probably going to be pretty shitty, but it is what it is.

The characterization on Nora is solid. It's not a particularly long chapter, and yet I think I still managed to get a pretty good grasp on her. Obviously, I expect more to be revealed as the story progresses, but for a first chapter, I think you managed to show quite a bit. Little quirks, I guess, like the the talking to herself or the dogs. Stuff like that.

Quick pacing, all things considered, which I am a fan of. Ironic, actually, given how fucking slow shit generally goes in my stories haha. There's no wasted narration or going on about stuff that isn't important to what's going on right now, so it works really well. I'm curious to see if you keep it up, or if it was unique to this chapter. It's pretty easy to look at this one and see how boring it could have become if you wanted to drag things out, so I'm thinking that might have played a part in keeping things quick. I guess I'll see come chapter two.

I don't think I need to comment much on the dialogue. I like it, obviously. It's solid. Doesn't drag, and know what I know of you, it fits.

Big fan of the ending. Really sets things up well leading into the next chapter. Anybody with half a brain can make the connection between the ending of this chapter and the summary, and in my opinion, stories that can work the first thing people generally read of them into the mix so quickly are better off for it. There's a reason people read shit after looking at the summary and making them wait for it to come together doesn't always work so well. I think anybody who checks this story out because of the summary will almost certainly stick around past chapter one.

And I think it would be strange if I didn't mention the setting. I'm not particularly knowledgable about Wisconsin, and you are, so I'm not going to comment on that. But I think you know I have a pretty pronounced preferences for stories set in the real world, but with supernatural influences. Any story that does that immediately gets bonus points in my eyes. Curious to see how you portray the supernatural aspects that crop up.

I don't have any complaints about this piece. There are spots where I would add in commas, but that's just me. If you really want to know where, I'll tell you on Skype, but I don't think not having them hurts you. I just like my commas haha. Probably too much.

'...Enjoy the rain," Mark laughed a goodbye and she echoed it before hanging up.'
I'd change that comma to a period.

Overall, really solid start to the story. I know I seem to say that for pretty much every review I give, but it's true. I like this. It's interesting, and that's a Hell of a lot more than I can say for most of the shit I've read on this site. I'll try to keep up with it. We'll see how that goes.

Later.
2/5/2013 c3 13VelvetyCheerio
Wat. What is going on? XD

I liked the beginning with the description of Nora sort of coming to her senses and inspecting the place she was in. It sort of keeps me on my toes, wondering whether or not she's in the real world or some alternate universe.

What a strange old lady that came to visit her! o.o Though, judging by some of the photos Nora saw, perhaps that old lady is married to the beast? It's all getting very surreal, haha. I was surprised the beast thing could talk. But who is "them"? Hmm. Perhaps Dusty and the man that came to get him? But then, why take Nora?

I'm curious to learn what Nora discovers in the outside world. Hopefully there aren't worse monsters skulking around in the darkness. o: She probably should have kept that makeshift bat, haha. xD
2/1/2013 c2 4lookingwest
Plot - After this chapter, it's hard to tell, but it is a second chapter, and I think the last paragraph definitely sped things up for me on at least wondering what direction this story might take, especially because the summary teases that something happens after the car wreck that's more supernatural than anything. I like how you carried this chapter from the van and the hit dog, to this eight foot tall monster mash that decides to break down the door in Nora's hotel room. Skillz. The transitions, though they can be difficult to write, were good.

Writing - You've got a very plain style for this story, I think it's a little more matter-of-fact than some of your short stories where you might play with more language, and I think I could use a little more of that here (says the poet in me), give me a little more sensory details when we get the descriptions of the settings, that kind of thing. Sense of smell might be fun to work with, since she hits a dog with her van and it's raining. Maybe we could get more from her car ride with the wet Dusty sensory-wise.

Characters - I'm curious about ponytail. And also about the one-leg, but maybe that's your other story. I keep hearing things about one-legged people. Probably not this one. Oh well, lol. Anyway - ponytail shows some potential. I wonder what he's up to - and if he'll come to Nora's rescue in the next chapter. I kinda hope not, but at the same time I do, ha! I want more of him. Nora is still pretty cool, I how you characterize her as very caring and I think she's super relatable, which will be fun when the more fantastical things sart unfolding more around her. We get to kind of see how a normal sane person would act...

Dialogue - Nora likes to talk to herself, as we all know. While I was a little skeptical in the first chapter, I like how things turned out with that in this one, especially at then end when she gets off the phone with her boss - we can see her annoyance through what she says. That lays things out for us really well. I also liked when she was talking to Dusty of course, to coax him after she hit him. I wonder if he was really chasing a deer or this eight-foot thing that just went bonkers in Nora's hotel room. We shall see!
2/1/2013 c1 2Jalux
Despite being short I felt this was a good start which hooks you in.

I liked the descriptive language used and the plot itself seems interesting, the language in particular because it made it a lot easier to visualize the setting of this story and Nora herself. The plot seems very interesting as well as I have no idea how the dog will connect to supernatural monsters.

Dialogue is good but I feel it can be improved to be a little bit more natural and flow better. At the moment it's good but it does feel forced at times. Something like "Rain away, sky," could be worded better in my opinion.

Good read.
1/30/2013 c1 4lookingwest
Nora slammed on the brakes as a large dark figure darted across the road. [Hear me out! Suggestion. "Slamming on her brakes, Nora swore she saw a large dark figure dart across the road." I'm thinking this because the clause before "Or she tried to." also starts with Nora. This seems more sudden or surprising, and might also give Nora some doubt to what she saw because it's raining. As it is now, I didn't feel any surprise in her actions, and I think that would be a good place for it.]

Really great atmosphere in this first chapter. I like the storm. I wish it was raining here. It's all very foreshadowy. Apart from that above suggestion which is still just a suggestion, this is also your usual solid writing, which I'm always happy to read :3

The yellow eyes were fun. Are they belonging to an animal or humanoid figure? O: The suspense! Dog-theme says animal to me. We shall see.

Nora. I like her. She does talk to herself a lot, and I'm still deciding on that in excess, BUT, I think starting right away to show that when she's talking to the dogs is a super duper way to transition to her doing a lot of talking to herself. It's subtle so we don't notice until we're midway through a scene. Also, she seems nice. I like this. I think I will feel distressed when unfortunate things happen to her, if they do.

Dogs. Dogs! The dogs were cute. Potter likes dogs. Will they come into play more in the story? I sure hope so! Also, I just reread the summary. So duh. Yellow eyes were not humanoid, hit a stray dog. Are dog's eyes yellow? O: Is the dog supernatural? Is it a werewolf? Ehrmergrd. I'm excited to see this world unfold.

Overall: yay a new Lyra project!
1/22/2013 c1 1Vagrance
Opening: you managed to sum up locale, setting and character concise manner. It is lively and entertaining.

Character: again, it took a very short time to understand the characters. The dialogue alone provided sufficient insight into Nora’s mind.

Style: the narration is direct and casual. To be honest, that’s the first time I’ve seen “scarfed” used in the context (had to look it up). Again, I feel this is in line with Nora.

End: this is a good place to end the story. I felt it was a sound conclusion to what felt like a gentle prologue. I felt perhaps you could replace "echoed" with "resounded" or something since you have already used "echoed" for the van a while back.

Anyway, this was a quick and interesting read.
1/19/2013 c2 13VelvetyCheerio
o.o! Is this a dream? D:

I thought the introduction of the dog was realistic. He wasn't immediately suspicious, even though he is pretty big, heh. I don't think it was Dusty at the end, though. xD Or maybe it was. o.O Aah!

I thought the blue eyes hint was resourceful. It's not uncommon for dogs, especially husky mixes, to have blue eyes, but it was curious that Dusty's owner would also have blue eyes.

Poor Nora, though. Her day is getting progressively worse. Was her boss hitting on her or was that all part of the dream state? xD Jeez. At the very least Mark probably didn't hang up so maybe he is hearing all this? If it's not a dream he could send in police or something.

On thing I do wonder about is what type of character you were hoping Mark would come across as. To me, he didn't seem that bad in the first chapter. He actually seemed nice and professional, but the way he's perceived in this chapter might be because of the bad day Nora is having. I don't think it's weird that he called to make sure she got to the motel, but I do think it's weird that he wanted to "chat". xD

Well, I hope this monster doesn't rip out her throat and drink her blood or something. D: Or worse, take her to its lair!

[She trailed off when she realized he wasn't paying attention to her anymore but eagerly awaited news] I thought this sentence read awkwardly with "awaited". Most of the other verbs are in the past continuous, so it was awkward to see "awaited" instead of "awaiting". Anyway, I read it out-loud a couple of times and I'm not entirely sure what should be done now, but it's just my opinion plus it's a pretty minor detail to begin with so... ._.

But I love it so far! :D I enjoy the description and voice and I like the pacing as well. Good job!

Fang.
1/19/2013 c1 VelvetyCheerio
I enjoyed the quirky humor in the beginning. I thought it immediately set the tone for the kind of character Nora is.

["I don't suppose either of you know some good songs, do you?" she asked her cargo.] LOL, when I read this line I swear I thought she was talking to luggage and I kept re-reading the previous paragraphs trying to search for any hints of crazy. Eventually I just gave up and kept reading and was all, "Oh, that makes sense!" xD

But yeah, I really like Nora. She comes across as a very solid character and I really like the interactions she's had with the other people in the story so far. Plus, the plot seems to be moving right along and I'm excited to see what direction you decided to take things.

[woke her from a dream about naked people laughing around her as she froze to death.] Also, lolwat? XD Poor Nora.

Fang.
1/19/2013 c2 InsanityAndBeyond
wow awesome start, im very intrigued to see what connection the dog ang guy have to the werewolf, and f that Is the guy.
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