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5/25/2013 c1 Romantic Hazard
I'm very confused by the starfish hand and whatnot. Is the narrator supposed to be insane, if so maybe you should show that. Because right now I don't know if I'm reading a story about someone who's mentally unhinged, or someone who actually lives in a world where girls with bat wings try to gnaw on you. Despite this I like the really weird descriptions, like [that old lady that turns into a vulture every time I turn my back on her] which tells me the character is probably suffering from paranoia. Right now I'm going with mentally unhinged, as it seems more likely, but if I'm wrong you should exaggerate the fact this actually is the world the narrator inhabits. But I'm gonna stick with insane for now.

I also doubt Dawson's real, which I feel you hinted at with this line: [I get a weird look from a woman] after the narrator talks to Dawson. It feels like that should be a part of the mystery at the moment, if dawson is in fact a figment of the narrator's imaginaton, which is how I'm perceiving him right now.

As I can guess I may have just made a large amount of incorrect assumptions about the story here so if that's true I would definitely recommend clearing it all up.

Good luck with it and keep going, it seems it'll become really interesting very soon.
5/25/2013 c2 12Skye Hawthorne
This is awesome. I love Dawson's character, and the interplay between Dawson and Josh. Josh clearly is antisocial, and Dawson is the opposite, but the author managed to make the dialogue flow well, which is hard to do.

I find Dawson's obsession with all things...bad, I guess, a little bit annoying at times. And when he went so quickly between being naughty and being such a good friend...well that just felt a little unnatural. And so far, the monsters don't add anything to the story. They are fun, but don't add anything meaningful. But I know there is another chapter coming so maybe it will make sense.
5/24/2013 c2 5Dr. Self Destruct
Writing: I know I probably bitch about this a lot and you don't care by this point, but I think the paragraphs near the end, everything from after Dawson crawls out of the Hole, would read a lot better if they were just bunched together into bigger paragraphs. If you do that, the ones you actually want to stand out and have emphasis, like "This will likely be the same." or "Then I decide to smoke his joint" will actually have that emphasis instead of blending into the single sentence paragraphs you use. Plus the reading won't be as choppy, because a paragraph break gives the reader a natural pause, and some of these paragraph breaks just don't make sense. I don't know if this is an adamant style choice or something, but I don't think it's very effective.

Relationships: I'm glad we got to see a little more of the soft spot in Dawson in this chapter, because I think it helps him become more three dimensional. Instead of just being the perverted asshole, I can see he's actually gone through some hard shit and he cares about his friend. Because of this I feel like I can actually sympathize with Dawson instead of just thinking he's funny or really over-the-top. But I also wonder what he's like when he's not being an asshole or not being sympathetic to Joshua, like the grey areas. I wonder what he's like when he's alone. Of course, that's not going to really be something you can include in a scene because this is first-person from Joshua's POV, I'm just curious.

Plot: While reading this chapter, and while I was reading the last one, this thought went through my head of whether or not Dawson is actually real. Maybe I'm just paranoid, but up until this point it seems like the only person Dawson has interacted with is Joshua. And it would make sense that the other people glare at Joshua and come to Joshua when "Dawson" pisses them off if Dawson isn't real. No idea if this is what you intended or if I'm correct, but I think you handle that idea really well and subtly. I'm excited to see if I'm right, so I hope you continue this. That would be a total mind-fuck, and I love mind-fucks.

Setting: I would have liked some more setting description in this chapter. The previous one I didn't mind the scarcity of it because you filled it with those more surreal descriptions, but I think this chapter lacked that bizzaro touch, so some more concrete setting might be something to think about. Like the Hole. I get it's inside the roots of an oak tree, but more sensory detail would be nice, like smell or touch. Is it dark in there? Damp? Does it smell like dirt and bugs? And just how much room is there? You mention there's enough for them and whoever they bring with them, but that's very broad and vague. Do they need to stand really close? Is it a tight fit? Can they lay down without touching each other?
5/23/2013 c1 Dr. Self Destruct
Dialogue: I think your dialogue comes across really naturally, and some of it is just hilarious. I love the things Dawson says to get under the narrator's skin, and from the way they talk to each other I can tell a lot about their friendship, like close they are and what type of contrast there is between them. The way they kept blaming each other about the cow-tipping thing and building on each other's comments was awesome. I think that's my favorite part of this chapter.

Beginning: Your beginning really drew me in. I love the images you provoke, especially the man with the carcasses hanging from his house. I think that type of imagery sets the tone really quickly, and by the time I get to the other things, like the Booty and the strange street names, I'm already willing to believe in them because you show me from the start what type of story this is going to be - almost bizarro. Plus I like how you create tension really early on with the mention of Dawson, segregating that paragraph to show its importance.

Characters: This has a very "Hills Like White Elephants" sort of feel to it, where it's mostly dialogue and the reader is left to piece the story itself together through the dialogue, which is really nicely done. I get a great sense of the characters and their relationships throughout this story, even if there isn't too much exposition. And the exposition you do provide is all action which does a great job keeping the story itself moving and keeps the pace up. But yeah, as for the characters, I feel like I know both Dawson and the narrator really well by the end of this chapter. They provide wonderful foils for each other.

Enjoyment: I really enjoyed this! Probably one of my more favorite things from you. I think the humor is great (I got a kick out of the Booty mobile - fucking classic. And i also loved the Sticky Monkey thing). I also enjoy how you explore this concept of friendship between two people who make you think "why the fuck are they friends?" Kinda like Gregory House and Wilson from House. The only thing I caution is making sure to provide enough of a reason for the narrator to be Dawson's friend, which I'm sure you'll probably bring up in the future. I think it'll help make Dawson more...likable, I guess. And it'll make their situation more believable.
5/23/2013 c2 1k+Faithless Juliet
At first I had trouble imagining what connected these two, because they are so drastically different but now I get it. In a very short amount of time you've woven a lot of intriguing connections between them. Most close friendships are interconnected in strange ways and I liked how your playing up that angle. I really didn't like Dawson at first but I think you made it clear (in a subtle way) that his bravado and 'personality' are really just a mask and in fact he is dealing with a lit of pain. I thought that it was great how you didn't shove this realization in to the readers mind, but rather, let it unfold naturally. I think it worked well with Dawson's already boisterous vibe. Really great work overall, although again it felt a bit short to me. I'm intrigued by Rebecca and I think you have a lot if development room with Josh's character. I cant wait to see what happens. Update this!

Juliet.
5/23/2013 c1 12GossamerSilverglow
Your summary is really catching, to me anyway. That whole “tree that kept moving into my path” is totally how I feel about walls. *Sighs* Anyhow, on to the review:

“Take Chestnut away from my house to avoid that old lady that turns into a vulture every time I turn my back on her,” I did one of those snorting laughs at this. I looked back at the genre to see if I had humor in it, but found supernatural. So even if this came off as funny I’ll bet it’s true. Anyhow the introduction is catchy and really pulls the reader in.

“Sometimes there are complications—like that tree that kept moving into my path that one time, or the little girl with bat wings that wanted to snack on my ears.” What? This is hilarious! Are you sure there’s no humor in this? I love it!

Dawson pulls up next to me in his fake cop car, all smirking glory. The car says 'booty patrol'…” Lord! *Rolls eyes*

“…invitation for girls to climb in and fuck him.” Yep, I saw that one comin’ didn’t make it any less funy.

'I like putting my hot dog in other peoples' buns'. *Face palm*

"You're the one who killed the cow," Dawson says, examining his nails. …Aw, poor cow.

“…pissed on my leg.” Ugh, gross!

"Nah. Saw the movie with Candy the other day. Almost passed out from boredom." How? I read the book and saw the movie? I can see with the book how boredom would follow, but the movie was great! Oh well…to each his own.

A starfish hand? Really? Okay so these just aren’t this kids imagination he really is seeing this? I thought it was incredibly funny at first that his imagination was running. I think the fact that he really is seeing it may be even funnier. And that ending wrapped it up really nicely. I would definitely like more from this story though. I don’t see that it’s complete, so does that mean it’s a chaptered story? Anyhow, great job and thanks for taking the time to write and share it!
5/22/2013 c1 4lookingwest
This setting kind of reminds me of an Eisley song, actually. One from Marvelous Things. I like all the different surrealism moment with the imagery, like the bat wings and the starfish hand and the skull girl. I think it also prompts the question of whether or not the reader should be reading this setting as literal or if these things are more ambiguously figurative from the narrator's point of view. I like that open room for interpretation because I think it also asks whether or not we should be trusting the narrator too.

Dawson (I have a cousin named Dawson! O: ) seems like a real character - pun intended I suppose :3 I liked the dialogue and conversation between him and the narrator, which, frankly, pretty much dominates this piece. I agree with Juliet that it does feel more like a specific scene from something than an overarching story in itself, but I like how it has a center. I think what we're supposed to take away from it is the friendship between these two, and maybe even how they've grown apart throughout the years, like friends sometimes do when they grow up. The theme of "last summer" was good, and I thought it showed something of Dawson that he was even talking to the narrator still, even though the narrator would rather not be friends with him. Dawson seems like he still wants the narrator around.

I think my favorite part about this piece though, was the last line. That last line is great, and I'm really jealous of it, actually. I like how it kind of describes not only the narrator, but also say, Dawson too. And how maybe as you grow up things have the potential to "go to the dogs" and everything regarding responsibility. I liked the tension that you built up to that ending too, especially when the narrator turns around and leaves in a hurry. Good last line to end on, for sure!
5/22/2013 c1 1k+Faithless Juliet
I really loved the undercurrent of complexities in this relationship between the narrator and Dawson. They are so strikingly different personality wise but their interactions are very fluid and natural. I really liked how you made this such a strong feature, and I appreciate the difficulty of that when crafting a story.

I feel like the whole piece was just a scene though, not a chapter or a one shot, more of a scene from either of those two. It left me wanting to know more about them, an what kind of story this would develop into. Length wise I think you could add a bit more to make these moments punch more off the page. You allude to another chapter, but as I mentioned it’s just not clear from reading it. Hope you continue!

Much love,
Juliet.

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