Sorry it took me a bit to get to this, but here I am :)
Right from the start I wanted to know what had happened to erase pretty much all feelings. It was very intriguing and the writing was very fluid. It read very easily.
You set a clear tone by using blankness and darkness for her feelings. It immediately made me envision a gloom setting and a broken heart. Yet I did not see where this was going, where she really was, who she really was. That mystery worked really well for this story! It was nice to figure it out after you read about her emotions. Because it somehow emphasized the feelings. They were already very powerful before the character was named.
When you spoke of a prison I thought Azkaban...but a man with a yellow umbrella wouldn't pass her window then...in fact I don't think she'd even have glass in a window if there was a window to begin with. It made me really curious.
What I really love in this story, is that despite the depression she feels she still wants to comfort her sister the moment she notes a sad tone in her voice. It's a really nice detail, which suits a sisterly bond. In fact all the interactions with her siblings were really great. Very realistic.
The emotions you describe seem very realistic to me. The numbness that is depression, being sad about said numbness. Not being able to react, even when you want too. And then, breaking, letting it all out. When Victoire cried...it was actually quite powerful. You didn't make it more then it needed to be. The moment was simple and that made it all the more powerful if you ask me!
And her interaction with her father. That is exactly how I pictured he would interact in such a situation! Sitting next to her, saying nothing. Waiting for her, waiting with her is more accurate perhaps. And going with him, because she knows she is safe with him.
It's been a long time since a story touched me like this has. Really! I know you said you thought it was waffly, but really it reads so easily even though the subject is so dark and sad. You used enough metaphors to describe her situation, to be drawn in as reader, to understand. How the arms of darkness embrace her, for instance. It was very compelling.
I wish I knew what happened that night. Not because this story needs it but it made me wonder. It made me question what would happen for her to be so broken. I always saw Victoire like her mother. Strong. Passionate in love. But perhaps a bit more guarded in showing her feelings. This story did not change that view, it showed that her love for Teddy was strong and passionate. And once she let the emotions out, she is ready to stand up and be strong again.
It was really beautiful in it's own dark way. Although I saw the ending as very hopefull and a lot less dark than the beginning. A strong piece and I really wouldn't be able to point out anything you'd need to change in this.Author's Response: Hey there! Thanks for the review:)
I'm so glad you like this! What I'm especially happy about is that you think the emotions I portrayed seemed realistic. I rarely write dark pieces like this, so when I do I'm always very nervous about the emotions I try to get across.
You have no idea how tempting it is to write a prequel to this, about what happened that night! I am seriously considering it!
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Here for review tag, and also for your challenge review!
Aw this was such a heartbreaking piece. I loved your portrayal of Victoire, and the way grief seemed to completely consume her. I can't believe Teddy is dead =(
The feelings were so intense throughout, and I was absolutely sucked in the emotions. The disjointed sentences in the narrative here and there really added to the mood of the story. It showed how disconnected Victoire had become.
I liked the inclusion of Dominique and Louis, and also of Bill. I loved seeing the familial ties.
The end just broke my heart. It was so vivid I could almost see Victoire crying her heart out. I especially liked how she resolves to get better for Teddy though, that was nice.
Your descriptions and imagery were amazing throughout and I was engrossed while reading. The whole thing had a very sad and brooding mood which tied in well with the narrative. I liked your plot a lot as well (I love me some angst after all), and the way things played out. The entire piece flowed smoothly and it really was a pleasure reading this. Apart from a few grammatical errors and sentence phrasings, this was a very well-written one-shot.
You've really improved as a writer and I am pleased to see that. Keep writing more stuff and you'll be great one day!
I will announce the challenge results in a few weeks. Good luck =) Whether you win or not, know that this was a very beautiful heart-wrenching piece.
(AditiDraco95)Author's Response: Thanks so much - and sorry for the late reply. I can't believe how slack I have become - thank goodness the holidays begin in one day!
Thanks for creating the challenge! I had a lot of fun writing this, it was quite different to anything I've written before, and I'm glad to hear you think I've improved!
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I thought it was a really interesting way to start the story. The sense of confusion we were feeling seemed to echo what Victoire was feeling, and that was a nice touch. It her descriptions were interesting as she noted that the man was free, so it made you think that she was tied to something, and then it was revealed that she, in fact, in a prison of some sort, and I liked the gradual revealing process.
I liked the dialogue between the siblings, as it was funny to see it was Louis who appeared to be the more caring and considerate one, not Dom. I liked Domís characterisation, and it made me laugh about how insensitive she was. I also liked how you showed how much Vic wanted to be comforted by her father, as the parent child relationship isnít explored much, so I enjoyed the brief hint at it here.
I really liked how you played with the mood of the story, at first there was confusion as to where she was, and what was happening, then almost annoyance and anger with the sibling scene, then there was the cute part with her reminiscing about her first date with Teddy, then the sorrowful part when she reveals what had happened to him. That brought tears to my eyes.
The only CC I have is perhaps consider a prequel to this which showed his death scene, as I was curious about how he could have died protecting Victoire.
-Kiana :DAuthor's Response: Thanks so much for the lovely review - and sorry for how long it took me to reply. But never fear: if you leave me a review, I will ALWAYS reply. At some stage.
Okay, sorry for my cheesiness. OMG, now you have put the idea of a prequel into my head! So tempting...hmmm...
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Wow. You were really in your element with this story. Sometimes when I read something, I feel like I can tell when an author is outside of their comfort zone. When they're having a difficult time getting things to turn out the way they want. In this story, I didn't feel any struggle or indecision on your part. It felt like you knew exactly where you were going with this and what you wanted to say and it all flowed beautifully.
The dark, grey imagery you built around Victoire at the start of the chapter was a perfect compliment to her mental state. I liked the hazy way that you blurred the details together, putting sort of a soft focus on everything. Then the man with the yellow umbrella comes along and made for a great contrast. But he quickly goes away, like all of Victoire's flashes of emotion.
Dom and Louis were really well written. If Vic is 25, I suppose that would make Louis no older than maybe 18 or 19. Their dialog sounded right at home in the middle of a very tense, uncomfortable moment where they're both trying desperately to think of the right thing to say to help Vic come out of her shell without saying the wrong thing that will only make things worse. Visiting a loved one in a hospital is always awful that way.
Having her father be the one who finally manages to start to get through to her was a good decision, I thought. I've always imagined her as more of a daddy's girl, not in the tomboyish sense but in the sense of having him wrapped around her finger. The way she responds to him -- mechanically at first, and gradually with more feeling -- reinforced that bond.
Her weeping confessions to Teddy were heart-breaking, but also really positive in a way. But the end of the story, I was really rooting for her. It felt good to see her break out of her shell and come back to the world, even if it happened in a very sad way. You wrote that section with a lot of finesse and sensitivity.
As far as suggestions, I have one very small thing and one thing that's more far-flung and theoretical. The small thing is a typo I noticed while reading:
Says you willingly took you meds yesterday! - your meds
My crazy idea is that I would have loved to see you write this in first person narrative. To me, it would have fit so perfectly with the way that Victoire had turned completely inward for so much of the story. The way that she was mostly a passive observer to her own life. I also think it would have increased the emotional impact. But that would also be a major rewrite, so take it for what it's worth.
Overall, a very nice job!Author's Response: Ugh, you have no idea how frustrated I am right now (not because of your review, your review is amazingly awesome) but because I had just written a long, thoughtful respond and then my internet crashed and I lost it all!
Anyway, thanks so much for the review - and I'm sorry it takes me so long to get round to responding to them, especially when they're so great. I'm so glad you thought I was in my comfort zone with this piece, because I felt really nervous writing and even posting it. I'd never written anything like it before, so it's a relief to hear that it's not a total fail!
I'm glad Dom and Louis are characterized well because I was a little anxious that they'd stick out like a sore thumb - and I couldn't imagine anyone but Bill getting through to her, so I'm happy you thought it was a good decision.
Funny enough, I had actually decided before writing this that it was going to be in first person. But then I started and...third person happened. I don't really know why, but that's the way it came out. But I agree, it would be interesting to see how this story, at the end especially, works in first person.
Courtney:) Report Review
I am... absolutely blown away.
I was so excited about taking your banner request (I'm abeille.reveuse back at TDA ;) ) I came to read this story to get a better feel of it. I've never done that before xD And honestly... wow. I'm yeah. exactly that, blown away.
The words you've used just struck me so deeply... "And darkness. It surrounds her always, its twisted arms wrapped around her fragile body, refusing to let go. She wants to feel something, so she reaches out a hand. Itís shaking slightly, but not from the cold. She presses it against the icy glass, wishing she could open the window. " this is... absolutely perfect.
I can tell you've been through a lot just by reading this, just by the sensibility you've demonstrated writing this. A true gem! You know I haven't reviewed anything in over a year? I've dusted off my old HPFF account just to tell you how much I was touched by your story.
I promise the banner I make you will be the best I've ever made ^_^
~JuneAuthor's Response: Wow, thanks so much! I really appreciate this amazing review!
I'm so happy you decided to read my story (and the banner is absolutely perfect for it, by the way) and I'm glad you enjoyed it.
You haven't reviewed anything in over a year? Wow, I'm humbled that this is your first story in a while! I'm very glad you were touched by it.
Courtney:) Report Review
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