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for Short Stories: 2012-2016

12/28/2013 c5 44professional griefer
I kinda have mixed feelings about the progression in this. I thought Marina's was done well, I really empathized with her through the whole thing, but Jason's attempted suicide and suddenly being kind of nice to Marina just didn't feel too realistic to me, I guess. Maybe if you'd dragged it out a little longer or somehow shown more problems with Jason? I don't know.

Your writing style flows beautifully. Everything is so functional, I don't think you wasted a single word in this, and that's really something. Your descriptions are extremely effective in helping me visualize everybody. Heck, even your describing what they were wearing (which is normally a pet peeve of mine) was done well.

Great work!
12/27/2013 c5 5Whirlymerle
Hey! Returning your review!

[matching trip pants] I think it’s spelled “tripp.” I love the sarcasm in this line.

[and listened My Chemical Romance's Cancer] listened to?

[Jason turned to fast her] face her?

There were some inconsistencies with the capitalization of “uncle”

Technical details aside, I like this a lot.

Marina genuinely feels like a fourteen year old girl. She tries to be tough by wearing chains and whatnot, but she’s also really vulnerably and I think you do a great job reminding readers that. I love the paragraph about Marina being invited to Holly’s 13th birthday party and what a miserable time she had there because no one actually invited her to show up. The polite isolation feels truer than any bullying scene could be.

I laughed at the line about lack of hot teachers. Keep it real. ;)

My main suggestion is to tighten up the writing a little bit. I think the piece drags in some areas and makes the overall story lose momentum. The weed conversation comes to mind. I felt like it went a bit too long.

I didn’t really get a good sense of passage of time between when we’re told by Paul that Jason tried to commit suicide and when he comes back. We’re told that Jason came back the next week, but the fact that this detail comes immediately after Paul’s announcement, it feels like he came back immediately so the whole recovery thing felt a little overly fast, so I don’t feel like I got a good sense of how serious it was.

I love the ending, how the kids are being nice to Jason, and catch themselves at it, and the way the last line of the piece was phrased.

Nice job!
12/17/2013 c5 4Jitterbug Blues
Writing: Your writing is clear and easy to get into for the most part. I could harp on about how I'd like more detail, or how you could tell less, but – in all honesty – your writing was good for this story; it conveyed the right sort of tone for the story, and it read well. I think it could be tightened a bit at points, just so that your story could provoke an even stronger effect within the reader but your writing is really good. I would probably have written this story differently, but I cannot say that this was badly-handled :)

Pacing: The pacing, sometimes, seemed a bit rushed. Especially towards the end, and there were things that I felt that you could have shown us more interaction between Marina and Jason. I wouldn't say that his decision to kill himself came out of nowhere, but you could have build up more towards it?

Technique: The way you break up this story is interesting. While I'm confused by the decision as to why you chose to do it this way (because you could have just told this story straightforwardly), I kind of liked it. Though, personally, I think you could have structured this differently (maybe more smaller scenes, just showcasing her high school life), but then – as I said before – the way you did it is not necessarily bad.

Characters: I could say that I hate Marina, but I can relate to her at lot. Probably more than I'd like because, minus the eye-liner, she's exactly what I was like in high school. A lot of her resentment towards her peers rings true.

Enjoyment: I liked this story. It was meaningful and I really appreciated the last line. It was a bit rushed at points, and I think the writing could have been stronger/more subtler, but it's still a good read.
12/17/2013 c5 13alltheeagles
For the Review Game, Easy Fix

I like how you sustain the angsty mood throughout without being over-dramatic. High school is supposedly a horrible experience for many teens - I say supposedly because that's how it is portrayed in the bulk of YA with contemporary settings - and your writing strongly supports that premise.

On the other hand, I had a mild feeling of disorientation from reading the story. The attempted suicide happened REALLY suddenly, which is good as a plot twist, but the subsequent reactions of the others did not seem cohesive as a whole. Perhaps that was deliberate, to show how meaningless Jason's life is, but I just felt that the basic premise could have been better developed.

For improvement, I'd suggest some editing:
- pills were sprawlED about
- ARE such assholes
- had WORKED during Marina's concert
12/17/2013 c6 4writer 145
You know, I'm not a big fan of the change from imagery to personal in the first line. I don't know why, but the 'at least that's what the priest told me' is a little jarring.

The 'what she thought of as her eyes' line does get a little bit confusing. Maybe it would be better to mention the dissociation with her body only once?

The 'able to pump an ocean through her body' is a little unclear. I'm not entirely sure what it's meant to mean?

Hmmm, I wonder does Anna save him, or at least doesn't kill him? I did get that vibe, from her remembering his daughter, but I do think it needs to be outlined more?

I do think Casey's last lines could be improved. There's no real proper ending. And, I'd wager that wasn't the point? I'm guessing there's meant to be a conclusion for Casey as there was one for Anna? Bizarrely, I think you could end it with Alice's perspective? Casey does have an ending, the fact Lania came back, but the actual ending kind of ruins that conclusion.

You'd need a bit more to end it, and to change the pacing slightly, but i honestly think it would offer more of a conclusion. I imagine it ending with one sentence on it's own.

I'm being negative barbecue you're handing it up.

Everything else, is top notch. The imagery, the characterization, the pacing, the sensuality, the reality, all of it is top notch.

You've got talent.

And, a little bit of selfishness here, you've reminded me about why I love description so much.

I reckon I'll read the earlier stuff in this anthology. I might review, but don't payback the little reviews I leave. I've noticed being in critique mode lessens the enjoyment, so I'd rather just enjoy the way you write.
12/17/2013 c5 writer 145
Oh, I thought they were separate stories. Ah well, they have the separate story feel, so I reckon I can keep up.

'In addition, he wore striped arm gloves that Marina doubted covered scars'. Ohm that's a good line! It jars you a little, but it's meant to, And really hints that Marina does cut. The description of Jason was quite sensual. I think it's just your writing style, and I like it.

'Splashing water on her car and asphalt'. Damn, you've got style. I've noticed it before, but your descriptions are to the point and atmospheric.

I'm writing this as I read, so it may come across as disjointed, but I like the dynamic between the uncle and Marine. The long hair, she cut her long hair, the suicidal feelings, it was very well done. Also, you really got across the dynamic of school groups. The 'Emo' crowd, the posers, and all other groups.

'She wanted him to help her cheat', I reckon there's mixed up he/shes in that line?

Damn, when his friends said he tried to kill himself...I actually cursed. The scene of the boy crying on his football jersey really underlined the relationship they had, and the nervous smile when Jason came back.

I'm so caught up in this story I'm finding it hard to right a review. But I'd just like to finish by saying the character dynamic between Marine and Jason is very interesting, and most importantly, very real.
12/17/2013 c4 writer 145
I like the beggining. You get the characters voice across perfectly and the fact he's holding her drink in his hand shows the dynamic in their relationship. The contrasts with the movie was also a nice touch.


I love the imagery in this chapter. The glow as she leaned forwards is described nicely.

The scene where he's hiding in the closet progressed nicely. It had that fear that it might develop into abuse, but never really enters into that realm. It was well done. Also, the fact that he thought about kissing her in her sleep was a nice touch.

One small, small quibble. Cleavage is more something you see than you feel.

I may have zoned out, but the transition from past, theh choir class, to present is rather rocky. I got a little bit confused about what time did we meet Jay's brother.

Wow, this is some story. Your descriptions are beautiful. Your characters dynamic is rather interesting. I only really realized the creepiness of the 18 year old with the fifteen year old at the end. It was a nice touch to have her want to says he's come fare, and how she made him feel taller.

You have a good sensuality in your prose. You managed to get the interest in the dress with the slit without going into too much detail.

Honestly, this story is brilliant. It;s reminded me of why I love description and atmosphere. Damn, it's like a teaching method for the show don't tell rule. You get character info across without explicitly shouting from the rooftops.
12/15/2013 c5 12GossamerSilverglow
The first thing I noticed is that you tell more than you show in your writing. Also, in the beginning in particular, a few of the sentences seemed kind of awkward. For example: “Several pills were sprawl about his kitchen…” I think you meant ‘sprawled’ and it’s redundant to say, in that same sentence, that “he hadn’t bothered to clean them up,” because they wouldn’t be ‘sprawled about his kitchen’ if he had. Just a suggestion, I can do this sometimes too in my stuff.

I would suggest sticking with he said/she said tags instead of ‘her uncle told her’ or ‘Marina told her uncle’ just because the he said/she said is less distracting and keeps the general flow of the story more constant. I’m also a little confused, because if this is a scene she’s remember from the past and her uncle is dead in the future how can he be pulling her close only for Marina to smell the stench of death? You might want to work that out a little bit better.

“She took off her shirt off in front of me…” remove one of the ‘offs’. I say the biggest thing you should work on is your lack of scene showing and jumping from locations too quickly. I really liked that Jason didn’t back off given her first initial response to him. Most people wouldn’t have given her the time of day. It makes Jason seem like a really good guy. Good luck and keep writing.
12/14/2013 c5 1k+Faithless Juliet
I really liked the progression of this story. I like how it slowly builds and crescendos with Jason's suicide and eventual transformation. Despite the shortness of the length I think you pack a lot of characterization and story detail into this. I noticed that each of the characters aren't stereotypical but have human flaws. All in all it was a very interesting read. Keep up the good work.

8/9/2013 c3 5Dr. Self Destruct
I really like how you build the characters by using really unique and specific details about the different things they like, especially when it comes to the music. I think it says a lot about them and knowing these little details about the characters makes them feel a lot more real. I also find it adorable how small and short Julian is. That's another nice detail that sets him apart and makes his character easily memorable. And Rae with her purple hair. While I did think the whole "like a ray of light" thing was cheesy, I still like how Rae had a sort of story or saying behind her name, because I think it shows confidence in her self-esteem, whether or not she really has it. That's one thing I found hard to place - sometimes she seemed really strong and confident, but other times she just kept crying and I was wondering what was going on with her emotionally and mentally.

The biggest suggestion I can make is to maybe hone in on a few of these interactions between the characters and really focus on those, because I feel like there's way too much summarizing and telling instead of scene and showing. There's nothing wrong with summarizing so long as it's also paired with enough scene, so finding a nice balance is really important. Things went so fast in this story and the timeline seemed to jump around a lot. I saw mention of high school and college - was this going back and forth in time, or was it just because Jay was in college and the others were still in high school? The fast pacing skimmed over some important questions that caused confusion. Also, I didn't feel too much emotional attachment to the characters because I feel like things went too fast. When it got to the end and Rae broke up with Julian, I felt more like it made sense considering their age different rather than sad she wouldn't stay with him regardless of the age gap or that he made her happy, ect. ect. Considering all the events and how much you skip around in time, I feel almost like this could be its own novella. The trick of the short story is to be narrow and deep. Narrow, as in a few examples of their interactions, and deep, as in a lot of layers are packed into those few interactions. I'm also not sure I really see a theme here, other than the theme of being young and what you might go through while growing up. I can see the potential for a theme in the age different between Julian and Rae, but I don't feel like it was approached or mentioned enough to be one. I wasn't even aware of the age difference until the end when Rae said she was breaking up with him because of it - but I think that's because of the fast pacing. Some things went right underneath my radar because they were happening really quick.
7/8/2013 c3 Guest
I'm laughing at myself right now, reviewed the wrong chapter. Anyway, I'm in a reviewing mood so you get two chapter reviews (claps).

I liked the labeling of the characters you did for the third person, it made it easier to understand who it was from and helped me follow the story. I enjoy sectioning of pieces.

I didn't like the way the story started in Marina's point of view. I admit that it was easy to understand but I feel like it was disconnected with the rest of the story. Though, I think it was to show she was no longer innocent.

-Thanks for sharing, continue to write.
7/9/2013 c3 44professional griefer
Opening: I liked the beginning. You hook the reader in-I want to know what Marina's not ready for and what's happening. But I thought that her reminiscing about Jay didn't last long enough. I saw the note about you cutting it down, but honestly, I would like to have read more about him and the relationship between him and Marina.

Techniques: I really don't like the POV switching. I think, if it were just from Julian's POV, you could build up a lot more intrigue about Marina. I would have been more interested in her if we didn't know some of her story right off the bat. I don't know, it's just my opinion, but I thought the switches were unnecessary.

Enjoyment: I really did enjoy this. I liked Marina's character, I definitely thought she was interesting enough to carry the story. I noticed the John Green reference, and I thought that was cool, because Marina reminds me of Alaska and Margo.

Pace: I thought this could be a little longer. I would have liked more specific moments of them being together, I think that would make the ending more impactful. You summarize their relationship well, but I felt like you didn't zoom in enough.

Scene: I didn't like how Julian first noticed Marina. I thought it was really cliched, and it made me cringe a little. It just seemed a little too Glee, and I know it's hard with a story set in highschool to make the meeting not cliched, but I feel like you could have found some other way.

Great work.
7/9/2013 c3 1k+Faithless Juliet
I have to agree with other reviewers who feel like the shifting of POV's is distracting. Its not to the point where I don't enjoy the story, but I feel like just as I'm getting into one scene/character it shifts and changes to another. I also noticed that the voice structure between Rae and Julian is very similar. True, Julian is a bit feminine, but I think you could work on strengthening the maleness of those sections.

I think your characterization is very strong here. I love how complicated and newly broken Rae is. I got the strong sense that she was breaking herself just to fail in any attempts of fixing herself. I think its interesting how you made her so likable and relatable despite her sense of self loathing. Nice work here, keep up the good work.

Much love,
7/8/2013 c3 70Naver
I'm laughing at myself right now, I reviewed the wrong chapter. I'm in a good mood so I will review the correct chapter (yay free reviews).

I liked the names given before each point of view. It helped me understand who it was directed to and stay into the story. I love sectioning in stories.

I didn't like the way the story opened with Marina's character. I felt as if it didn't go with the rest, probably just my opinion. I did stay in the story and I think it helped show she wasn't young and innocent like the boy.

-Thanks for sharing, continue to write.
7/8/2013 c2 Naver
" Even the one of the guys that called me a theatre freak tells me he likes my shoes." I didn't like the why that was phrased. Maybe try "Even the guy that called me a theatre freak tells me he likes my shoes." It just made me pause and I was stuck on that. I enjoyed your descriptions and the scenes you created. I think overall it was a good chapter.

-Continue to write.
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