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Flashfiction #35 Rating Thread

Discussion in 'Reader's Corner' started by afgpride, Jun 24, 2018.

  1. afgpride Retired Staff

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    Critiques for #35: Horror


    Entrants:
    shit
    Mider T
    afgpride

    -Reviews must be at least 50 words per entry and accompany a rating to qualify for reward points.
    -Entrants who do not give full reviews will be disqualified from reward points.
    -Non-entrants/lurkers who participate in the rating process will be awarded 1 point for their feedback (updated in the Prize Nook).


    Deadline is Tuesday.
     
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  2. afgpride Retired Staff

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    @shit

    Really like how descriptive you were here, and was pleased that you didn't succumb to purple prose while doing it. However, I felt a couple lines could've done with some retouching. For instance, "Seath clawed at the acidic flesh in a panic, for being strangled instantly was not the culmination of his plan" - this is a bit of an awkward clause since you used "for" which is is used in personal speeches more than describing what's happening; "strangled instantly was not the culmination of his plan" also seems off, as if it uses a vaguely appropriate but verbose word to describe something self evident. There's also, "She frowned, faint realization seeming to taste sour" - I know what you were going for here, but the phrasing was lazy and didn't clearly describe what you likely meant for it to. Aside from these nitpicks, I enjoyed your prose here, you did a good job fitting a lot of the scene in and the narrative was action packed as a result.

    7/10


    @Mider T

    I'm not quite sure what's going on here. Is Erica late as in she's late on her pregnancy? Is she late because she just came late to the house from work and Dante got suspicious? I know you were going for a little suspense here but keeping mystery and also keeping the reader following along with what's happening is tricky.

    This paragraph was very hard to follow dialogue-wise because you sort of had to infer who was saying through by solving puzzles instead of the punctuation and syntax making it clear. For example, it could've been written as:

    "Bullshit!" He replied. Erica flinched ever so slightly. "Unless you've been fucking around on me there's no way you're actually pregnant! And if you have been sleeping around..." Dante grabbed the back of Erica's neck and squeezed as she began to tremble. "You better hope I don't find that fucker."​

    You used "eyes" twice in the first sentence, which sort of cramps up the prose a little. The second comma is also a comma splice. Could be rewritten as:

    Dante stared at her for the better part of a minute, as if he were looking for any hint of doubt or aversion in her emerald eyes. Erica fixated her gaze right back into his own chocolate irises; whether it was due to fear or shock however, she could not say.​

    Another comma splice (it's a very minor thing but makes a difference which is why I mention it).

    Neither he nor she had remembered fully until a few days later; she had dared not bring up the details now.​

    Not gonna nitpick too hard at this excerpt because I'm positive it was rushed. I tend to "yolo" the final parts of my entries a lot too, so I don't think going over why it's off base and doesn't quite hit the mark is going to do much. Maybe I should say instead that you could've ended it without a plot twist and the narrative would've been more wholesome.

    Overall, the prose was very shoddy here, you're capable of much better as you've already showed and you'll likely continue to show with your next entry if you manage the time and put in the effort to revise. Your biggest strength here was in how the characters behaved. I liked the description of Erica immediately using the opportunity of a slight release of grip to throw her arms around his torso. Little stuff like that is subtle but has strong narrative weight, both for the suspense of the situation and the abusive dynamics of the relationship. However, the strengths had a difficult time shining through with problematic prose throughout, though I'm positive this is more an issue of time and revision than ability. The last part also took away from what could've been a pretty good literary theme for horror (abusive relationships).

    4/10
     
  3. shit shit is the ne plus ultra

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    @Mider T
    Well first of all, this is very messily written. There's a lot of grammar mistakes, but with new people in the contest I try not to hold that too much against them. At first I liked how real and uncomfortable the scene was, something a lot of writers shy away from and frankly can't pull off. Then the transformation came super rushed at the end, so rushed it was ridiculous, and it made the preceding part feel like it didn't fit at all with the end. I think you should've considered how your whole story was going to turn out, and then you should've made a decision whether to go with a disturbing tone or something tongue-and-cheek. The ending wouldn't be good on any story, and of course the piece is begging for a grammatical revision, but I think the jarring change in tone is the biggest flaw since it taints the good parts of your story.

    @afgpride
    This is really good. I feel like you have a very disturbing scene while also taking pains to sidestep the details that would make it truly agonizing to read. Honestly I get impatient when I see these stoic sociopaths in movies and books because they're so shallow even when they strive to be unique, and I like that you didn't try to reinvent the wheel here. The father summarizes my feelings on this trope, just exasperating to the point that there is absolutely nothing to say about this kind of character that literally no matter what atrocity he commits there's no way to react except to ignore him until he goes away. I like the irony there and that it's lost on the main character. I have to deduct points and award myself the win (if no one else rates) though because obviously you only have half a story here at 300 words. You could've easily knocked it out of the park with this set up, and what you have already is clearly above average, but not trying for the swish (mixing sports metaphors here) is cause for deducting even more, so I don't even feel bad.

    mider 3.5
    afg 6.5
     
  4. afgpride Retired Staff

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    1. shit - 7
    2. afgpride - 6.5
    3. Mider T - 3.75

    @shit gets to choose the next theme. Mider misses out on points by not joining in crits :catsad

    Will update points in the prize nook.
     
  5. shit shit is the ne plus ultra

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    Let's go with the exciting topic of Business.
     
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