This was interesting, but it sort of divided me. On the one hand, you did really well establishing such a dark mood and at times, I loved your description, for example the line ‘the dark, dank feeling that cloaked the room like mildew, grew like death’ is wonderful and so emotive. Lines like this really set the scene for me. However, I felt that often, the dark mood was spoiled by what your character was thinking, like thinking about the pumpkin pasties when she’s in that sort of situation, or about her friend asking for an autograph just before she’s going to kill someone. It felt immature and frivolous at such an important time, and didn’t felt too light hearted to be realistic. Sure, people would think about their friends and families at such times, and later on, when the character was about to kill the man, you did it very realistically, but those examples I’ve given really felt out of place.
I was also wondering how the character came to be in the situation in the first place. I think there ought to have been some background to what was happening rather than throwing the reader into the middle of the action because I found it confusing, and also I was sceptical. Sceptical about the chances of those sorts of things actually happening to your character because there’s nothing there to tell me why someone would be in that situation. Along the same vein, a little more detail about who your character is would have been good as well, just so I had something to go on; her age, her situation, whether she was still at school or not. Perhaps things like this come up in later chapters, but it would have been nice to have a couple of hints here.
Overall, I thought this was interesting, and you certainly have a gift for description, but I think you need to work how your character’s thoughts and actions impact on your writing and the mood you’ve created.
Author's Response: Hi, first off, thank you for coming by and giving me your honest opinion. I really appreciate your concerns and thoughts.
I understand some of your concerns about disrupting the flow and it had been something I thought about after it had been written and worried that people might be annoyed at it. But the more i thought about it the more i felt like it fit with my character and how she relates to life. I don't know if you've ever been in a really serious situation and had the most inappropriate thought cross your mind? That's sort of what's happening here. I haven't gotten much flak for it so I've left it all in.
Anyway, I also find that it's easy to write a scene that's super dark and super intense emotionally but it just seems really typical. I didn't start it out with this in mind but it sort of came that i wanted to try and balance out a few different feelings at once.
Anyway, about the confusion, it's hard doing it the way i'm doing it since it's in reverse chronologic order. So we start the story knowing the answer but not the question. Which isn't what our minds are used to, we want to know what leads to this moment first, we want that background info, but back to one of your other points at the beginning of the review, in this moment, will she actually be thinking about her age? Or thinking about going to school? That seems, to me, extraneous thoughts for something like this. I started writing this to see if I could explore in those moments when your life is about to change what things will flash before you mind in that moment. We'll be finding out a lot of the things you asked as she starts remembering back onto her life in later chapters. I actually like the ambiguity here. I don't necessarily think that a whole bunch of background information is needed in the first chapter. It really annoys me sometime when the author just shoots out a lot of info at you in the first chapter and forgets to put in the plot because i'm not going to keep reading if there is just a bunch of stuff about the character that isn't important to the immanent moment. I may be wrong with that thought though.
Again though, i do really appreciate your comments and opinion and you have given me something to think about. :D I hope you haven't taken my comments back harshly or anything i'm just trying to explain where i'm coming from with this as well. Thanks for stopping by! ;D