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for Echoes

10/30/2015 c1 17whispers of lowlit flames
I found the summary of this ficlet quite interesting, so here I am. :D

OPENING: It's a great hook; it sets the character and the setting up without mincing words, and adds a liberal dose of despair as well, so it winds up as an opening that is both setting and emotionally invested. And you follow it through nicely as well, with the past and the impending doom of the future following on from that single flash of present.

RELATIONSHIPS: For a fic that features a single character, you do an impressive job in showcasing relationships. The first one I think is the relationship between the MC and the earth itself, and you show that through the MC's engagement with the setting. He is emmersed in the setting, at some points to the extent that the setting itself almost becomes a character, and that's a fragile balance you've kept up. Then there's the "mother in the back of his head" which gives no indication towards his real mother or motherly fingers, but rather a conscience he's given an identity to because he's alone and there are no other voices to listen to. And then there's Elizabeth, which slowly becomes more prominent than the setting and is the only one named and the only one who directly interacts with, instead of being interacted by and that makes, despite her technical absence, relationship with the MC stand out beautifully.

DIALOGUE: I felt the dialogue was the weakest part of this ficlet. Not to say it wasn't strong - it was, especially in some places, but in others it became overly poetic and didn't seem to match with the sleet the setting was. Elizabeth's bits suit that slight softness - her voice is a memory, in the past, but "Carry on, carry on" especially doesn't fit the overall tone of the piece - too poetic in that aspect. My favourite line from the dialogue is Elizabeth's "It's not too bad" - it makes a stark contrast with the setting, and highlights the theme of loneliness and despair. But things like "I just want to keep one last promise" are a bit verbose as well - "One last promise" is really all you need from that line.

ENDING: A circular ending again - "The last human on Earth" is how it begins and how it ends, and that works very nicely for this piece, especially since he's the only character physically in the scene (unless you count the setting). And the twist is in the smile/sink as opposed to the desperate scramble to avoid that - the difference between despair and relief and hope (because it's not the typical sort of hope). The smile at the end winds up being quite depressing, and it doesn't take many words at all to show that. Like the beginning, you end on a powerful picturesque and emotional line - sums it up quite beautifully. And it works wonderfully as a ficlet as well - you might even be able to make it shorter, into a flash fic and more impactful because the setting lends itself nicely to that, but the current length is okay too.

Congrats for winning the WCC!
9/9/2013 c1 1Saraarena
The whole story gives off a feeling of sadness and hopelessness, but I also find the ending really romantic. I like the way it's written, and the ending. I love the ending.
6/10/2013 c1 12Deedee Elle
From the Review Game I like the concept of what you've done and your opening line is catchy. I was wondering if it was going to be the first chapter but I see it is completed which is a shame as it did make me wonder where you could go with it.
I like the way you have lots of lists of various things, they have a nice rhythm to it and add to the sense that the character is trying to categorise and remember things.
I liked the repetition of the three lines '...he told the storm/Elizabeth/the memories...'.
I wish you had expanded this as it is a great snapshot, though very bleak and I'd like to have spent a bit more time with the character to understand more about how he had ended up like this. If you ever have the time I think you should do more with it, even if it ends with his suicide and we learn what has led up to it.
6/10/2013 c1 1k+Faithless Juliet
Very interesting concept here. I loved the sense of hopelessness that you conveyed throughout. You also showed little pockets of hope as well and I liked how those moments, both the then and the now played off each other to create the greater picture. I did find myself wanting to know more about Elizabeth. Because she is such an important part of the narrator I thought that she should have a bigger role in the story. I'm not clear on why shes not with him, did he loose her, did she die? I also wondered more about the storm in general and wished that you had gone into more detail about how it started and how it got so bad. I liked the ending. I liked how you were unapologetic about the 'destruction' of humanity, I thought that it made sense in the context.


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