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for Night of the Witch - Extended Version

9/22/2013 c1 1Gunning for the Buddha
Your characters read to me as teenagers - you haven't written them either too old or too young, and that's well done (oftentimes teens will either read like adults-but-fifteen or extremely large grade schoolers, both of which are immediately recognizable and annoying. You've also introduced a decent-sized cast of characters: I don't feel overwhelmed at the amount of people you've introduced, and I'm not scrambling to remember which name is which.

I think that there are certain points the pace could be improved. I feel like your first paragraph could integrate description more smoothly, rather than stopping and telling me what people look like. It's a bit too telling. See if it can be more showing, to use the cliché. Similarly, watch your adverbs at the end: "serenely" and "tersely" could be made into actions or expressions, which would also add to the last part, which feels a little too short and dialogue-driven compared to the first part.

You asked for thoughts on how the epilogue should go, and even though I'm reviewing ch. 1, I'll toss them your way as far as what I'm predicting here. This reads like a teen supernatural novel, obviously, and so anything that's too dark and grisly would feel overwhelming. You've also incorporated some humor into the first chapter, and as a result anything that's just flat-out horror would feel like a switch in tone. Not having read later, I can't say whether such a tone switch would work, but if it's just gore and darkness out of the blue, that wouldn't work.

Nitpicks:

Watch your punctuation within dialogue: "New here, I see?" and "Oh, don't mind Amber; she's often..." for instance. Nothing that makes it entirely unreadable, but things that stop people for a few seconds. In particular, watch it with forms of address: obviously, "put your eyes back in, Kat" and "put your eyes back in Kat" (as if Kat is Frankenstein) are two different things.

If you want this to be US, we call them "grades," not "forms" - even if your story is set in New England as you suggest, which has held on to certain British terminologies a bit, that one was created after the American Revolution and so is different. Similarly, freshman classes don't tend to do chemistry - "earth science" (aka beginner's geology) or biology would be more common, due to the obvious safety concerns more apparent in chemistry - that's usually either 10th or 11th grade, and physics or advanced chem is 12th.
8/25/2013 c4 7Vladvonbounce
Well, that didn't hold back at all. I apologise for asking for more detail in the previous chapter :)
I liked how confronting this scene was, it didn't shy away from what was going on and too often in books or movies it does. Although squirming vulva is perhaps a bit much... I still feel like the Kat we read about in the first chapter is too much of a nice girl to have done this though. Overall I think this is a pretty good chapter in providing a different and original perspective.

""Jason!" she cried, falling to her knees beside him" Just a suggestion, what if rather than falling to her knees and being (upset?) by seeing him tied up she was more laughing at him and mocking him here?
8/24/2013 c3 Vladvonbounce
"I've just woken up Leo," said Kat pushing her long black hair out of her face and glaring at her friend. "Why you'd let me stay here all night-"
- need a comma before Leo. As she isn't waking Leo up. also the contraction should be Why'd you or why did you

"You understand English?" said Kat, her voice trembling again.
This comes off as a bit sarcastic but I am not sure if Kat is in the mood to use sarcasm considering things. Perhaps a brief nod or whisper?

" that she and made him ask me out for a joke"- had made him.
The previous chapter makes sense now! Jerks! Who does this sort of thing? Poor Kat.

And I found Jason in one of the rooms off this hall tied up- maybe split this into two sentences? Leo definitely has the right idea. That is a great line. Everyone should remember it.

But I think I should be in big trouble now- could?

I like what you have got so far in this chapter. I think you could make it even better by expanding it a bit more. Give a bit more of Kat's thought processes and maybe descriptions of what she did to Jason . It seems a rather extreme thing for a girl like herself to do. I could easily see her kissing him while he was tied up but to jump straight to sex just because he pulled a prank on her is a stretch, even if she was wasted. it needs a bit more build up I think with her attraction and interactions with Jason. Will be interesting to see Jason's side of things. It is definitely intriguing having the opposite side to the generic date rape situation.
8/23/2013 c2 Vladvonbounce
I am not sure how realistic dumping a guy for making a fumble in a football game is but then girls are pretty crazy :P.

I thought it was a bit odd Jason had to go all the way over to Kat's house just to ask her to the dance then leave immediately. Couldn't he have just asked her at school?

I like the way Kat is so completely obsessed with Jason and he seems to be not quite so enthusiastic. it's refreshing having it the other way around I think.

I also like the length of your chapters. Nice and to the point. So it doesn't drag at all but still lots of nice descriptions.
8/18/2013 c5 4lookingwest
...You don't have a license. "It's not as if you're a real Batman. ..." [Typos here, your "You don't have" sentence needs to be part of the dialogue quotations, and then hmmm, saying "a real Batman" implies there's more than one Batman? Maybe "It's not as if you're [the] real Batman" - that's a nitpick though.]

"Are you ready to give Jason is much deserved hazing?" [His]

Huh, okay - so, yeah this seems like it's a lot different pace-wise than it was the last round I read this. It's more clearly to me a rape scene. I don't think there's any question here about whether or not it was rape - clearly it was. I was a little surprised that since your story has its big focus on that scene, that it actually only got maybe two paragraphs? Interesting that you chose to do it from this Nobby character's perspective rather than Kat or Jason's too, but then I think that changes the trauma of it and dulls that aspect in a way that adds a level of chilling-ness. I mean, essentially this Nobby guy just witnessed a rape and he didn't do anything about it! He could get accessory or some shit to this, for sure if it was reported to the police, especially because he video taped the entire thing. What a mess. I feel horrible for Jason.

I like that we do actually get to see what happened at the party here (you showed us rather than told us) instead of just re-counting what happened, like in your last draft. I think that's a good idea. The issue of this story: can a man get raped? is a little bit of a no brainer though (yes of course a woman can rape a man), and I'm wishing there was a bit more of a conflict/story here. That it was more about their relationship or the relationship she had with other people, even Amber, that might lead to complications with just this act and make her more dynamic. Hopefully I'm making some sense.

Honestly, regarding the actual rape itself, I found some of your language a little odd. The line with the "I want your hose" felt laughable to me - not a great tone to start out with, and then later: "pierced herself on his lance"... Calling his penis "erect manhood" is a little problematic too - it buys into the idea that to be a man you have to have a penis, and I dunno if I agree with that. Especially if you think about those who are transgender, etc. My advice: I just wouldn't be afraid to actually just say the word "dick, cock, penis" whatever you want to call it. You use a lot of euphemisms, and I think they're getting in the way of the serious of the situation. Maybe wait and see what other people say, as I'm only one opinion.

The best part of this chapter though, was the way you slowed down to tell us the whole story, and I really did appreciate that because I think it evens out the pacing. I also really liked how you introduced the characters in the opening, like Nobby and his friends, because I thought you introduced them in a clear manner. Good progress here, and thanks for the read!
8/17/2013 c4 2Kicks-and-Giggles
Per your request on the RG, I thought I would read chapter 4 and post a review, but after reading chapter 4, I had to go back and read the rest! So... nice job making the plot very interesting and provoking such thought! I liked how you described Jason's vulnerability in the situation and how he emotionally hated the situation though he physically enjoyed it. That's one of the worst feelings when your body wants you to think one thing and your mind is vehemently against it. You described that dichotomy well!

In terms of improvement, I think the story could have been more powerful given some more explanation and time. The first few chapters were rushed. One second we see Kat as the new girl falling after a cute boy and the next second we see the boy asking her out. Yes, it makes sense in Chapter 3/4 when it's explained that Amber put him up to it, but taking more time in explaining Kat's feelings and what she saw in Jason's eyes during that interaction would build more suspense in the reader's mind and alert them to the fact that something bad's about to happen. Also, giving more time to what Leo thought about what Kat said would add more impact to the story. What did the impartial best friend think about the fact that the new girl raped the dream boy of the school? Or just the fact that a girl raped a boy? The way you write this story reminds me of Jodi Picoult's work and she's fantastic in presenting multiple sides of a debate through internal character monologues. If you ask me, there's really just one side to this debate-rape is bad no matter who rapes whom-but there's a debate to be had about society's views on a girl raping a boy. It would be interesting to see more of that discussion unfold in the characters' minds.

Nice job with the story! I'm really interested in getting Amber's perspective in this considering she was the initiator of this series of events. Or the football players'-I see them either laughing at their friend for getting raped by a girl but internally feeling guilty because they put him in the situation and also scared because girl raping a guy is a very real possibility and they should feel pretty vulnerable knowing one of their own had to experience that. Keep writing!
8/17/2013 c1 7Vladvonbounce
I really like your descriptions. It is very easy to visualise the scene taking place.
Although I am not sure about watery sunshine , sunshine isn't watery? it is usually the opposite.

I am a bit concerned that in a high school chemistry class they got their hands on some Rubidium. That stuff is dangerous and probably very expensive to obtain.

Am keen to see where this goes from reading the summary. Witches are cool.

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