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coded's picture

The Demons That Fill You with Fear.

By coded in Arrest Us

How It Rates

Once you have read this story, please make sure you rate it by clicking the thumbs above. Then take a few minutes to give the author a helpful critique! We're all here for fun but let's try to help each other too.



Liam Hogan's picture
Liam Hogan from Earth is reading Hugo Nominations July 6, 2014 - 3:53pm

Hi Crazy,

Would love to give you an upvote, for the username, and story name, but this reads as overwritten, and would profit from being pared back a bit. Try reading it out aloud, and cut anything that can do without, without changing the meaning. You're brushing the 5000 word limit, and it feels like it, especially at the end.

Try this for example:

“Because I want you to be the one who touches me.” She tried to move my hand, probably to put it on her lady parts but she wasn’t successful since her strength was in no way superior to mine.

“Please, don’t,” I looked at her “don’t do that.”

You could trim this to :

“Because I want you to be the one who touches me.” She tried to move my hand.

“Please, don’t,” I looked at her “don’t do that.”

 - it says (I think) the same - that she's trying to get him excited, that he's physically strong enough to stop her, (because she tried, this implies she didn't succeed) without labouring the point. And you don't NEED to labour the point, because your dialogue is mostly good enough to make it for you! (Particularly between Blake and Myah)

Other issues :

8 years pass at least between the start of this story and the end, but this is skipped over when you go from where it all started to where it is happening -  you might think he immediately became editor. (It's all a bit easy for him, right from the moment his boss enters the cafe - 1000 dollars to an unknown barista for reading a magazine?). And are you telling us that the bosses daughter has been phoning him for 8 years?

Awkward break at page 6 between “No I wanna stay here with you.” and watching as she dresses. You need to indicate the break in some way. There are a few sections similarly difficult to fit into the shape of the story.

Couple of tense issues, 'But I’ve got an emergency meeting' should probably have been "I'd", couple of typos - 'even oven my eyes; should be "open".

The show down with Carlos and the boss doesn't ring true. It's a little cliched, and it begs to have you put your own spin on it. Also, I'm really not feeling the love between Blake and Myah - I think you need to put a few thoughts in his head to make that clear.

Myah injecting something into the IV? Surely a nurse would be doing that?

The ending I guess is rushed because of the word count limit. It's all this happened, then this happened... but it should be more. The car being so rubbish, is only put in at the end, to explain him being caught - put it in much earlier, and it feels like a natural consequence. The fact he knows where her bedroom is in the mansion could be hinted at earlier on as well.

The 5 million in his bank account - for a crime contest I assumed this was embezzled. Alas, no! This is just his stupidly good earnings over 8 years, right? As it is, to a large degree, your main character is a straight as they come, which given he's supposedly had a rough upbringing is a little unexpected. Heck, have him embezzle, and have his boss threaten to use that against him unless he disappears. Give it some extra edge.

Hope I haven't been too harsh, There's some good stuff in here, but you need to make room for it in your writing.



coded's picture
coded from Earth is reading Purple Flame July 25, 2014 - 11:10am

Thanks Liam
You deserve a cookie for first comment! and no, your comment isn't harsh. I'm open to criticism.
However, I could've incorporated everything if the word count was 10,000. I hate word limits and short-stories aren't my thing. :/ bleh...


I wrote that piece on June 29th at approximately 11 o' something pm. I didn't really had much time but i was determined to post my entry.

About the tense issue. I love writing in the past tense. When when my characters speak (dialogue) it obviously has to be in the present tense.


  • Pssttk, Myah is filthy rich, she has a lot of resorces surely she can put her hand on IV and some medical supplies. She is also obsessive; thus that night at the party. I just couldn't make it a better love story than that. **sigh** I thought I did it when Blake finally attended one of the many parties he was invited to.
  • Didn't it dawn that maybe John and Carlos is in some kind of mix-up and the solution is Myah? **raised eyebrow**
  • Besides that fight was bad-ass in comparison to the rules of don'ts the competition provided. I originally wanted Carlos and John to walk in on Myah and Blake in the office but, it would've took a whole different turn.
  • I also didn't want my crime to be embezzlement, fraud, money laundering, drugs or anything of that sort. To me it's over used and boring.
  • The writing typos, yes I realized them late. after I had converted to pdf. **curses computer's autocorrect**
  • T'was written, Blake was poor he worked at a coffee shop, earning $5 an hour. I don't think Mr. Thomas hurt his pocket when he gave the money.



I could go on, but I think I've made my point.

should they decide to publish, I'll make the necessary corrections and maybe add a few hundred words, if they allow. ;)



The CrazyRabbit Lady


Juice Ica's picture
Juice Ica from Rhode Island is reading The Twelve by Justin Cronin & Beautiful Creatures July 9, 2014 - 9:57am

I had to give this a down vote because I agree with Liam's critique. This story suffers the writers "curse" of too many words. I do it too and it takes a lot of time and effort to sit down and omit the needless words. Or even the "lady bits" part - that struck me as untrue and I have to say, there is no spark between King and Myah - all they do is have sex. That is not love (to me) and it would be nice to see their love more. 

I have to agree that while I see your point about embezzelment and drugs being "overdone" it would have been nice to see something more impactful between the father and King - as it stands, I wasn't moved by the conflict.

I won't belabour the points that Liam has already made, since he made them quite well! 

I hope this isn't harsh and I wish you lots of luck with your story and the contest!


coded's picture
coded from Earth is reading Purple Flame July 9, 2014 - 10:40am

What can I say?
No Jess, you comment isn't harsh.

In my defense I only know how to use words.
C'mon, isn't that what writers do?

In all, I was trying to keep my character straight, you know, not get his hands dirty. He is a good guy, who didn't have much but grew humble.

How could you not see the love? and yes love isn't sex, blah blah blah...

point of correction; all Myah wants to do is have sex, not forgetting the fact of her being obsessive.

*sigh* It's hard to incorporate a full-blown love story, a crime and an epic dispute/ battle royale/ conflict in 5,000 words when I had to give y'all a back-story of how this started and fill in the gaps up until the part I was originlly playing for.

Anyways, I've decided to turn it into a trilogy. ;)
Enough said!



The CrazyRabbit Lady


Juice Ica's picture
Juice Ica from Rhode Island is reading The Twelve by Justin Cronin & Beautiful Creatures July 9, 2014 - 11:03am

:) yep, writers gotta use the words! 

I'm glad you didn't take my critique as too harsh and I truly wish you luck in the contest and good luck with your trilogy!

EdVaughn's picture
EdVaughn from Louisville, Ky is reading a whole bunch of different stuff July 12, 2014 - 8:47am

Hey Crazy,

I'm going to have to say that this didn't work for me. It's a little overwritten and didn't really grab my attention. I think it needs a better hook. Even a quarter way through the story I never got a sense of what the story was about. The entire section before the first break I was lost. I didn't really know what was going on. I would suggest cutting the opening and re-writing. Also, the dialogue is overwritten and should be a little punchier. It didn't come off as the way people talk to me. Formatting is off too, but that can easily be fixed. There's missing punctuation in a lot of places, but could just be first draft errors that are also easily fixed. There's a lot of telling. For instance the line, "she whispered in my ear then licked it sexually." Sexually how? Poking it in the ear canal? Sloppy like a dog with the whole tongue wiping against the ear? Lightly along the edge? Stuff like that is throughout the story, and needs more showing than telling. There's plenty to work with here for sure. Well, I hope this gives you an idea what to mess with if you decide to re-work the story at least. Good luck.

Aud Fontaine's picture
Aud Fontaine from the mountains is reading Catch-22. Since like, always. July 12, 2014 - 7:49pm


Wonderful screen name by the way. Love it. As far as your story however, I'm so sorry but I had to give it the dreaded down vote. For me, most of what your other reviewers said I agree with but even more than that I couldn't get over Myah's behavior. I'm sorry. Maybe if you had fleshed out their first meeting a little bit more and told us why and how they fell in love (maybe he's a little perverse too and came onto her when she was thirteen and all the stalking and shit has been some warped, eight year long foreplay) it would've been okay but as it is it honestly made me sick. I can't stand sexual predators, no matter the gender. If you had reversed the roles in this (King persuing Myah), King would've been any woman's worst nightmare and as it reads I'm extremely disappointed in him that he not only tolerated that behavior but fell in love with her in spite of it. I could buy them having a romance where she's the more aggressive one and he slowly warms to her but as you've written it it's a little... disturbing. And, as I think someone else pointed out, unbelievable. Sure, I can see a man being turned on by a sexually explicit and forthright woman but Myah's behavior goes well beyond that into territory that I don't think anyone should enter. No means no, Myah.

Your dialogue was also a little problematic for me. It read kind of like a rough translation of a foreign language and came off as far too much exposition. I think if you scaled that back and put more into the actual narrative it would flow more naturally. Just some word feng shui, yeah? That also might help with a little of the soapiness. With almost all of your action occurring in dialogue, it makes the events of the story themselves that much more unrealistic. I think if you just worked on grounding it a little bit more, it'd be much better. 

I like Liam's idea of paring the writing back because I feel like then you'd be able to add more back story, making the events themselves believable. With the room you'd gain from clear cutting any unnecessary stuff you could answer questions like.... Why does this guy make SO much money for an editor? Why has Myah kept her relationship with King secret for 3 whole years even though they're head over heels? Why is Myah so into King? What exactly makes King decide to go for it with Myah, after years of rejecting her?  Why didn't she just do that tongue thing sooner? Where did Carlos come from and why is it so essential that he marry Myah? Is he really a basketball player or does he just resemble one? You know, stuff like that.

Overall, this has the potential to be a really interesting read and I think that if you had a 10K limit (or more) it could've been just fine. As it is though it's a little much to wrap your head around. I'm sorry if I came off like an asshole, I really think you have the makings of a good story here it just needs work. Best of luck. With a whole trilogy to fill, I think you can turn this into something really interesting.


Adam Jenkins's picture
Adam Jenkins from Bracknell, England is reading RCX Magazine (Issue 1 coming soon) July 14, 2014 - 12:39am

I think there are some good ideas at play here, but it’s just too much story to squeeze into 5,000 words. It feels condensed, certain key points but taken without the context needed to make them meaningful. We get to see the CliffsNotes version of Myah and Blake’s relationship, so the depth of feeling between them doesn’t come across in the story. We never find out why she is so obsessive about him, why he changes his mind about her, or why he would risk his life just to save her from marriage. Nor do we get a handle on who Carlos is, or why Myah’s father is so keen on their relationship when Carlos is clearly a psycho willing to kill his daughter rather than let her disrespect him.

Given room to breathe, I think this will be a good story. As it stands at the moment, there are too many unanswered questions. I can see what others are saying about it being over-written, but from your replies it is clear that this is a very early draft.  You’d expect the dialogue etc not to be as polished as it could be. Perfect one draft stories are about as common as unicorns.

Keep plugging away, because this shows promise. Definitely a longer piece beckons though. Best of luck with it.

Seb's picture
Seb from Thanet, Kent, UK July 15, 2014 - 10:29am

There's some good stuff here, and it was an enjoyable read. You do have some things to work on but I think the other reviews have already covered those. This needs to either be a massive piece, or be trimmed and streamlined to make it work as a shorter, snappier one. Also, you don't have to lose the ebb and flow of your words, nor your voice or style. It's more a matter of redrafting, for example:

My heart thumped violently in my chest when I saw Carlos take the stage.

You could change chest to ears, or mouth, or even just drop it as we all know where your heart is.

Anyway, a solid effort. Best of luck.

coded's picture
coded from Earth is reading Purple Flame July 25, 2014 - 11:13am

Honest criticism is hard to take, particularily from a friend, an acquaintance or a stranger. I just thought you should know that I'm enjoying the comments, keep them coming, I'm okay because I've realized my errors.

And yes, it's overwritten and there are a lot of unanswered questions. blah blah blah ... but how about we use our seventh sense; let's imagine the countless, mindless and endless possibilities that has manifested from this awesome piece. ;)

because maybe, it was my intention to make you cudgel your brains out.



The CrazyRabbit Lady