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WonBlackGuy's picture

MONSTER

By WonBlackGuy in Scare Us

How It Rates

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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.

Description

Jonah's just a typical twelve year-old. Well, other than the fact that he hardly ever says a word...and people have a nasty habit of turning up dead around him.

Comments

Jane Wiseman's picture
Jane Wiseman from living outside of Albuquerque/in Minneapolis is reading Look to Windward by Iain M. Banks July 26, 2012 - 5:58pm

i really enjoyed your story and found the narrative voice very believable. im sort of on the fence about the ending, though. i liked its ominous quality and admired you for stopping the story when you did, but then again, i found myself wanting to know more about the boy and his relationship to the monster. this is a very minor point, but i was alsop bothered by some of the italics in the story. sometimes i knew why you were using italics, but sometimes their use seemed completely arbitrary and i found them distracting.

WonBlackGuy's picture
WonBlackGuy from Tulsa, Oklahoma is reading Between the World and Me July 26, 2012 - 6:50pm

Thanks for the feedback! Perhaps you're right about the italics. I was trying to give the effect of listening to a tape recording but wasn't quite sure how to go about it. Maybe I can get the same effect without them.

WonBlackGuy's picture
WonBlackGuy from Tulsa, Oklahoma is reading Between the World and Me July 26, 2012 - 7:48pm

Per your suggestion, I went back and removed some of the more egregious examples of italic misuse. Thanks again for the input! It helped me improve my story.

Jane Wiseman's picture
Jane Wiseman from living outside of Albuquerque/in Minneapolis is reading Look to Windward by Iain M. Banks July 26, 2012 - 8:01pm

Glad it helped, but your story doesn't need much help. It's really good.

WonBlackGuy's picture
WonBlackGuy from Tulsa, Oklahoma is reading Between the World and Me July 26, 2012 - 8:04pm

Tysm for the kind words!

Jonathan Riley's picture
Jonathan Riley from Memphis, Tennessee is reading Flashover by Gordon Highland July 27, 2012 - 5:15pm

The Italics for the tape recorder didn't bother me at all. I enjoyed the whole tape recorder aspect as well. It was a great way to develop and give perspective of a character that has already passed. The boys' dialogue was strong as well. Overall I thought your story was a great concept. I thought the execution was good. The lead up was a little slow and felt too much like you were telling it to us. It could benefit from a little more sensory detail. I also wanted to ask if you were impartial to the title, if not have you considered "The Jonah Paso Sessions," for a title. That appeals to me. But Monster works just fine.
I loved your microwave simile in part 1.  One edit I would suggest, something that stood out. Replace the word ‘something’ in the sentences below. Maybe with one of these suggestions or something better that you come up with. I think it paints a more vivid scene:
“The room looked like a microwave oven’s insides after someone baked (spaghetti/lasagna/meatloaf and ketchup) in it too long. In this case, (‘spaghetti’/’lasagna’/’meatloaf and ketchup’) was a human being.” Use the same word twice though like you did with 'somthing' or it would be confusing.
Thanks for sharing. Keep up the good work. This piece could really be something great.
--Jonathan--
 

WonBlackGuy's picture
WonBlackGuy from Tulsa, Oklahoma is reading Between the World and Me July 27, 2012 - 7:51pm

Thanks a lot for the insightful comments.

I definitely think you're right that I may have done a bit too much telling, as opposed to showing, in regards to the detective's investigation. In my defense, however, I was a bit constrained by the word limit.

In the description of the crime scene, I initially had 'chicken' instead of 'something'. I used it twice, as you suggested. Didn't like how it sounded, though. I still may try to figure something else out, because, as you say, specifics are usually better.

Thanks again for reading and for the feedback!

Emma C's picture
Class Facilitator
Emma C from Los Angeles is reading Black Spire by Delilah Dawson July 28, 2012 - 7:06pm

Fantastic work! The characters are vivid and real. The monster isn't described which I love because I imagine it being whatever it needs to be to accomplish what it wants. This is my favorite of the detective stories in this contest, and though I know nothing about police investigations this one feels the most authentic of what I've read so far. 

My favourite touch is the tape recorded sessions, which build tension and suspense. I could hear the rustling, muffled sounds and clicks as I read. And the last line? Chilling. 

Great, unsettling story.

 
WonBlackGuy's picture
WonBlackGuy from Tulsa, Oklahoma is reading Between the World and Me July 28, 2012 - 8:30pm

Thank you so much for the kind words! It's funny that you read my story because I downloaded yours earlier today. Haven't had a chance to read it yet but I'm looking forward to it. Thanks again for the feedback!

Sancho LeStache's picture
Sancho LeStache from El Paso is reading Hunger July 31, 2012 - 2:45pm

The tape recorder sections were really engrossing. You should think about expanding it because my only real thing with it is that the ending felt abrupt, but that's pretty much due to the fact that I really liked it and wanted to kind of explore the world a little more.

WonBlackGuy's picture
WonBlackGuy from Tulsa, Oklahoma is reading Between the World and Me July 31, 2012 - 8:14pm

Thanks for the feedback! I'm definitely considering expanding the story at some point. Thanks again for reading! Your comment is much appreciated.