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Author Topic: [OCT 2016] - Corpses - Critique Thread  (Read 49774 times)

Offline m3mnoch

Re: [OCT 2016] - Corpses - Critique Thread
« Reply #60 on: December 04, 2016, 09:39:29 PM »
You can't reproach yourself to not have made corrections to please me, and maybe only me.
No, you're not wrong. But it has nothing to do with critique input. As for most of what you said, you were right. You're the only one who picked up on them, but that doesn't surprise me. Technically, you were right - I didn't explain why he went from one mental state to another well enough.

My issues arise from illegitimate comments, the "not enough cowbell" crap. Arbitrary and irrelevant, at best. Insulting at worst. Pushing that kind of judgment onto someone else's work falls outside a legitimate critique, because it's not relevant and it's completely subjective. But drive on, Blue Falcon. Drive on.

I am not the only one that sees agression in your responses. It can do more harm than good when attacking someone that is willing to drop a comment or two on your work. If you feel insulted, that is unfortunate, because I don't think anyone is trying to insult you.

This would be a good time to just say thanks to the comments, or not respond at all. This is the second time in this thread I felt the need to say something to one of your posts as I see it as detrimental to the development of these threads as a more popular aspect to the contests and bringing in crits from individuals that may never have done so before.

Comments like those above are not a welcoming sign to someone wanting to take part, but doesnt, because they might get hasseled for their opinion.

i wanted to chime in one last time on the subject.  mostly in regards to the "not enough cowbell" being an illegitimate comment.  i feel like this is a common enough response to critiques that it merits a reply.

i may be interpreting that incorrectly, but i'm equating that to "criticizing creative choices" as being "Arbitrary and irrelevant, at best. Insulting at worst" and "completely subjective".

yes.  yes, it's subjective.

also, the creative choices an author makes in their storytelling -- and the execution of those creative choices -- is the large, large, large majority of that author's commercial success.

packing up the prose in a clean delivery method is important only so far as it delivers the story without confusion.  once an author can safely deliver their creative, any excess focus on mechanics brings diminishing returns.

as proof, you only need to look to best-selling authors in the modern era.  if precise and flawless presentation of storytelling was a requirement, we'd not have the commercial successes of neil gaiman, stephen king, james patterson, j.k. rowling, john grisham, dan brown, stephanie meyer, danielle steel, etc.  none of their prose is seen as anything remotely approaching "perfect".

the mechanical quality of the prose itself is useful merely as a delivery mechanism to the storytelling aspect.

of first and foremost importance -- tell a good story.  if your target audience is missing the main thrust of the story's creative content, that seems to me like a valid criticism.  and not in any way irrelevant.  learning and applying rules of grammar is the easy, objectively-scored part of writing.  using those rules to tell an amazing story is the actual hard part.

if you think about it, there's probably a reason why editors are editors and authors are authors.

so, i would think that any help you can get from your target audience in the more subjective aspects of storytelling would be useful.  it's certainly not insulting, nor arbitrary.

personally, i LOVE when people tell me they missed some critical piece of my work.  that gives me the ability to go back and analyze why that happened.  what key piece of foreshadowing or description didn't make it from my brain to the page.  it's incredibly helpful.

above all tho, the path to success isn't telling every critic "you just read it wrong."

Offline Lanko

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Re: [OCT 2016] - Corpses - Critique Thread
« Reply #61 on: December 04, 2016, 09:53:43 PM »
Blink, by Anonymous  ::)

Spoiler for Hiden:
Selected Quote:
Quote
Corpses are everywhere. They're much more common than the average death fearing citizen thinks. It's people like me who are rare.
The dead clutter, live together like we do. They converge in morgues, hospitals, research buildings, cemeteries, houses, the odd back alley.

Something Awesome: - Great use of present tense, it does change a lot how a story is read. Mood was also greatly set up.

- The magic eyes are pretty good as the source of magic in the story. It's unique, but at the same time it doesn't solve anything by itself, as Sorensen has to use her own intelligence, reflexes and experience (needs to know specific types of plants and wood, has brief windows of time to describe house interiors, people's descriptions, streets and buildings around the city and etc... and a also a great deal of luck, like the woman killed and remained dead with her eyes open). She also needs to do all this at the same time she's experiencing a sensation of herself being chopped off.

Theme Appropriateness: High. Magic eyes who see what happened to dead bodies. Ability highly desired by the FBI. Sees bodies whenever she blinks. Even dreams with bodies. But it's not the amount of corpses that makes it fill the "theme checkpoint", but how they can help move the story forward thanks to the magical eyes.

Conflict and Tension: Very High. It's actually discretely done, maybe because of the psychological or the pace not simply moving at breakneck speed. Various kinds of conflict, to Sorensen trying to hide and the FBI finding her everytime.
Psychological conflict: MC's mind slowly falling deeper and deeper into the abyss because of everything she saw and still sees and will continue to see.
Moral conflict: her own sanity or the lives of innocent victims.
Physical conflict: time ticking to save the victim.

Something Confusing: When Sorensen agrees to help, she says her job now is just to blink while they drive her around town. When she finds the killer, she says she "is blinking through many morgue drawers, freezers, closed and open casks". And one of the bodies is a victim of the serial killer.
But they had autopsies and bodies of eight women in the beginning with various information, why instead of driving her around town they just didn't brought her to look at the bodies they already had? Wasn't that body in there? EDIT: I guess she wasn't experiencing what a past victim passed through, but the one they were searching for was killed.

« Last Edit: December 05, 2016, 01:24:08 AM by Lanko »
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Offline Captain of the Guard

Re: [OCT 2016] - Corpses - Critique Thread
« Reply #62 on: December 04, 2016, 10:07:33 PM »
Hi
If here is anyone who want to take a stab at critique my
story, I'd appreciate it.
The man walked with a limp, it defined him and his appearance, the rest of him was unremarkable .
  -The Realm  by George Dover

Offline Nora

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Re: [OCT 2016] - Corpses - Critique Thread
« Reply #63 on: December 04, 2016, 10:16:05 PM »
Blink, by Anonymous  ::)

Spoiler for Hiden:
Selected Quote:
Quote
Corpses are everywhere. They're much more common than the average death fearing citizen thinks. It's people like me who are rare.
The dead clutter, live together like we do. They converge in morgues, hospitals, research buildings, cemeteries, houses, the odd back alley.

Something Awesome: - Great use of present tense, it does change a lot how a story is read. Mood was also greatly set up.

- The magic eyes are pretty good as the source of magic in the story. It's unique, but at the same time it doesn't solve anything by itself, as Sorensen has to use his own intelligence, reflexes and experience (needs to know specific types of plants and wood, has brief windows of time to describe house interiors, people's descriptions, streets and buildings around the city and etc... and a also a great deal of luck, like the woman killed who looked over her shoulder). He also needs to do all this at the same time he's experiencing a sensation of himself being chopped off.

Theme Appropriateness: High. Magic eyes who see what happened to dead bodies. Ability highly desired by the FBI. Sees bodies whenever he blinks. Even dreams with bodies. But it's not the amount of corpses that makes it fill the "theme checkpoint", but how they can help move the story forward thanks to the magical eyes.

Conflict and Tension: Very High. It's actually discretely done, maybe because of the psychological or the pace not simply moving at breakneck speed. Various kinds of conflict, to Sorensen trying to hide and the FBI finding him everytime.
Psychological conflict: MC's mind slowly falling deeper and deeper into the abyss because of everything he saw and still sees and will continue to see.
Moral conflict: his own sanity or the lives of innocent victims.
Physical conflict: time ticking to save the victim.

Something Confusing: When Sorensen agrees to help, he says his job now is just to blink while they drive him around town. When he finds the killer, he says he "is blinking through many morgue drawers, freezers, closed and open casks". And one of the bodies is a victim of the serial killer.
But they had autopsies and bodies of eight women in the beginning with various information, why instead of driving him around town they just didn't brought him to look at the bodies they already had? Wasn't that body in there?


Great review, but funny insight : Lone is a Danish name... for women. So your Sørensen is a she.  ;D
"She will need coffee soon, or molecular degeneration will set in. Her French phrasing will take over even more strongly, and soon she will dissolve into a puddle of alienation and Kierkegaardian despair."  ~ Jmack

Wishy washy lyricism and maudlin unrequited love are my specialty - so said Lady_Ty

Offline Lanko

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Re: [OCT 2016] - Corpses - Critique Thread
« Reply #64 on: December 04, 2016, 10:42:21 PM »
DRIN, by @Osahon

Spoiler for Hiden:
Selected Quote:
Quote
The closet had several corpses in it, all stacked together like they were a pack of sardines.

Something Awesome: The mystery of who was the Wagonman and the grimness of the setting were pretty well done.

Theme Appropriateness: Low-Medium? I was totally unsure how to rate this. There is Drin's body, a whole wagon full of it and even more on a closet, and even that the MC is gonna become one inside there too, but body count by itself doesn't do anything for the story.
However, it was because of Drin's body that Harrap joined the Wagonman and moved the story forward, so there's that...

Conflict and Tension: Low. It begins with Harrap worried about Drin's body and what Wagonman was gonna do with it. But Drin's story was never explored, I don't know who he is besides being Harrap's brother. How or why he died.
The Wagonman doesn't seem to antagonize or oppress anyone, he just travels to villages collecting their dead. People seemed to treat the whole thing naturally or with conformism. Even the strange creatures didn't dare fight him.
While understandable, I'm not sure if I believe in Harrap's reasons for going alone with Wagonman, specially with only a knife. The ending has a little plot twist, but it was a bit too late.

Something Confusing: ---

Extra:

- I didn't understand why the title DRIN is in full caps. When I first read the story last month I wondered what that meant, but it was the name of Harrap's brother, Drin.

-
Quote
Harrap grunted, folding his arms.
"There's no soul anymore. Let him take them and dispose of it," Ma said. A cold chill went down her spine when she heard the fourth bell ring: a cruel metallic song.

The story was told through Harrap's point of view, so he couldn't know his Ma's cold chill down her spine, that was a head hop!

Hope this was helpful.
Slow and steady wins the race.

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Offline m3mnoch

Re: [OCT 2016] - Corpses - Critique Thread
« Reply #65 on: December 04, 2016, 10:44:24 PM »
i'm loving the "selected quote" part, lanko.  well done!

Sent from my LG-H811 using Tapatalk


Offline Lanko

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Re: [OCT 2016] - Corpses - Critique Thread
« Reply #66 on: December 04, 2016, 10:59:18 PM »
Great review, but funny insight : Lone is a Danish name... for women. So your Sørensen is a she.  ;D

Corrected!

i'm loving the "selected quote" part, lanko.  well done!

Thanks! As someone who heavily highlights passages in the Kindle (something I simply couldn't and can't do with my physical copies) I think it's extremely helpful to let people know they wrote some amusingly unique and memorable!
« Last Edit: December 05, 2016, 12:49:42 AM by Lanko »
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Offline The Gem Cutter

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Re: [OCT 2016] - Corpses - Critique Thread
« Reply #67 on: December 04, 2016, 11:26:30 PM »
Thanks Lanko
The Gem Cutter
"Each time, there is the same problem: do I dare? And then if you do dare, the dangers are there, and the help also, and the fulfillment or the fiasco. There's always the possibility of a fiasco. But there's also the possibility of bliss." - Joseph Campbell

Offline Lanko

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Re: [OCT 2016] - Corpses - Critique Thread
« Reply #68 on: December 05, 2016, 06:39:24 PM »
Job Gone Wrong, by @shadowkat678

Spoiler for Hiden:
Selected Quote:
Quote
"Once dead, the mind no longer restricts how far the body can go."

Something Awesome: The scenery descriptions were well-done. The plot twist was pretty good as well, but I did need to re-read it three times to finally understand it.

Theme Appropriateness: Low. There's a body but the central part of the story was the magical artifact they were hired to steal. It can control the dead, but it's still about the ring. Durum at the end was nice, but I felt a hired goon could do the same thing - the only thing that could make it work was if we had know Durum better for more dramatical effect, or better yet, if they were betrayed and the reanimated body was Frank.

Conflict and Tension: Low. Now, this doesn't mean it's a bad thing.
One can have a calm story seeming to progress without much trouble then a massive plot twist shows how wrong it actually was. You don't need a duo bickering at each other in every story for the sake of conflict. Rob and Frank get along very well and it's nice and cool. Their boss doesn't betray them, and it's cool too.

But from the starting point to the ending point when Louis reveals himself, there's no conflict, no danger, no moral questioning, no second thoughts, no ticking clock or something new.

Maybe you could have started with the robbery itself, since that was the event that led to their current situation. Something like Rob and Hank sneaking around a mansion, disabling traps and bypassing other things, finding the ring, fighting Durum, who is a wizard. "Shit, that guy used magic! Did you see that?" They put the body on their card to dump it and continue where you started. And then we know more about that reanimated body at the end.

Something Confusing:When Louis mentioned Durum for the first time, I thought it was the guy who hired Rob and Hank. Then he appears as a controlled body and I was like "What? Who is this guy, where did he came from?"
It took me three reads to finally figure out who Durum actually was, he was the corpse inside Rob and Hank's car from whom they stole the ring.

You did say you run out of time and rushed it a little, so that's what probably caused that confusion. Overall, your writing is pretty good, you also describe very well and even foreshadowed a good plot twist.
Slow and steady wins the race.

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Offline Lanko

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Re: [OCT 2016] - Corpses - Critique Thread
« Reply #69 on: December 05, 2016, 07:37:41 PM »
Fashion Monsters, by @NightWrite

Spoiler for Hiden:
Selected Quote:
Quote
Did they suffer each time they saw familiar features hidden in a stranger's face?

Something Awesome: That concept was really amazing. A society that uses models with dead bodies. An activity glorified in the media, but with gross hidden realities. Fleshcrafter dens. The plague seemed pretty good too, although we could've known the symptoms or how it killed, it looked a bit generic as "fatal disease with no cure", but it had a pretty cool name.

Theme Appropriateness: Very high. MC works with bodies. A modeling agency that works with bodies. A society that appears to have a thing for them. They even appear to move a good part of the economy, and maybe it's the only story with such implication.

Conflict and Tension: High.
- Psychological conflict: Working in such a place day and night it's obviously wearing her down more and more. Fear of her boss and for her family. I would like to know a lot more about Tya, though.
- Moral conflict: Tries to sabotage the agency. Keeps working, but wonders a lot about it. One thing that could've improved this even more would be knowing why Rema accepted this job. Besides a magical contract, the money could've been helping her family or something.
- Physical conflict: Takes action, risk of punishment and death, not only her but for her family. Highly infectious disease probably caught her too.

Something Confusing: Probably caused by lack of time, since it did have space to add more things.

- The first paragraph says the conditions of work that she never expected for a modeling agency or the media's portrayal of fleshcrafter dens. Since they are so deplorable, the image they have on society must be glamorous and excellent.

- Since they have a positive view (maybe a large part of society doesn't approve, but it's no said or implied so we can only speculate) and it generates a lot of money and seems to have an absurd high demand, then the own families of the bodies would be selling them for a good price, the famous or more beautiful ones could even have large auctions, idols both in life and death.

- So this made me think why they're hidden, unless a good part of society simply don't like it and they have to steal the bodies, which is probably the case, but I would like the "dystopia" style a little more with dead worshiping.

- The magical contract would supposedly know when Rema talks about the place to the police, but does nothing to prevent her from actively sabotaging the agency from the inside constantly. She even burned some bodies and even passed along the plagued body.

- Tya complains about the media portrayal of fleshcrafting and her works. Maybe to avoid some confusion with the initial media portrayal it would be better if it was just for her own works. Maybe that was the intention.

- Just as Rema wondered, why the Weeping Grin body wasn't reported and the media wasn't raving about it. I suspect of vengeance by someone who had the body of someone dear stolen and processed and it had extra luck it made it's way to Rema, but again, it's speculation.

Overall, great idea!
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Offline LightRunner

Re: [OCT 2016] - Corpses - Critique Thread
« Reply #70 on: December 06, 2016, 04:15:08 AM »
I would also be interested in getting some feedback on "Some Called it Freedom." What was confusing? What was boring? Are there any scientists out there that couldn't handle my inadequate knowledge of the brain and body?

Here's a critique for @Captain of the Guard

"The Raid"

Things I liked: The sister dynamic, and I would have liked more of it. I think it would have helped with making the characters more distinct too.

Also, after Sam fell in the hole, you did a good job ratcheting up the tension and increasing the urgency of the situation. That was the most engaging part of the story for me.

Things I had trouble with:

-Confusing POV switch

Spoiler for Hiden:
She fell and slid across it’s surface into an opening. As she fell down into the pitchblack hole, she thought… this is going to hurt.

But it did not, but it did knock the wind out of her.

Marai sat rubbing her legs, when she heard the strange crashing sound. She instantly stood again and stared about her; she saw or heard nothing out of the ordinary. “Sam!” she called…no response.

-There were occasional grammatical errors that threw me out, like this one:

Spoiler for Hiden:
Her head was not far from, what she perceived as the ceiling of the cave.

or when two different people were speaking without a paragraph break between.

As a note, I am definitely a reader who has a hard time moving past grammatical errors, so it might negatively affect my reading of a story more than it might for another reader.

-How do the girls (women?) know the goblin's names?

-I wasn't quite sure what I was supposed to understand at the end. Is this the end of the goblins, and the people didn't know it?

I hope that's helpful!


Offline Captain of the Guard

Re: [OCT 2016] - Corpses - Critique Thread
« Reply #71 on: December 06, 2016, 12:15:19 PM »
I would also be interested in getting some feedback on "Some Called it Freedom." What was confusing? What was boring? Are there any scientists out there that couldn't handle my inadequate knowledge of the brain and body?

Here's a critique for @Captain of the Guard

"The Raid"

Things I liked: The sister dynamic, and I would have liked more of it. I think it would have helped with making the characters more distinct too.

Also, after Sam fell in the hole, you did a good job ratcheting up the tension and increasing the urgency of the situation. That was the most engaging part of the story for me.

Things I had trouble with:

-Confusing POV switch

Spoiler for Hiden:
She fell and slid across it’s surface into an opening. As she fell down into the pitchblack hole, she thought… this is going to hurt.

But it did not, but it did knock the wind out of her.

Marai sat rubbing her legs, when she heard the strange crashing sound. She instantly stood again and stared about her; she saw or heard nothing out of the ordinary. “Sam!” she called…no response.

-There were occasional grammatical errors that threw me out, like this one:

Spoiler for Hiden:
Her head was not far from, what she perceived as the ceiling of the cave.

or when two different people were speaking without a paragraph break between.

As a note, I am definitely a reader who has a hard time moving past grammatical errors, so it might negatively affect my reading of a story more than it might for another reader.

-How do the girls (women?) know the goblin's names?

-I wasn't quite sure what I was supposed to understand at the end. Is this the end of the goblins, and the people didn't know it?

I hope that's helpful!


Thank you, every advice helps. It seems to me that my most consistent mistake in all my stories.
Is that do a occasional thought leap without explaining how I got there =) I'll try to do better =)
The man walked with a limp, it defined him and his appearance, the rest of him was unremarkable .
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Offline Crystallynnfairy

Re: [OCT 2016] - Corpses - Critique Thread
« Reply #72 on: December 07, 2016, 04:48:21 AM »
ok, I'll go ahead and throw Affinity in as well for a critique. I know that there are quite a bit of grammatical errors and some tense mess ups, more interested in story stuff. Thanks for any of you thoughts

In no particular order, the below aren't full reviews/critiques but more what I liked and what I didn't care for.

DRIN by Osahon
Spoiler for Hiden:
I enjoyed the creepiness of it, especially the bit about knowing if all the dead were out.
I was confused about the end. Does Har get out of the house, become one of the bodies, become a new Wagonman, or something else.

The Bridge Battle by The Gem Cutter
Spoiler for Hiden:
The only thing that threw me a bit was picturing the action in the opening, I had to reread it a couple times to get straight and see it clearly.
I enjoyed the inner turmoil of the character thinking his friends had betrayed him than finding out the opposite was true. I really wanted more story when it ended.

Job gone Wrong by Shadowkat
Spoiler for Hiden:
I enjoyed this story more on my second read. I enjoyed the dialogue especially the "not the employee guy" bit. Easily pictured the story in my head. The twist of the meeting place and dead controlling ring were nice. I don't really have any critique.

Fashion Monsters by NightWrite
Spoiler for Hiden:
I enjoyed this story, it had a smooth flow and good pacing.
Just a personal preference, I would have liked a mention of the sickness and just how contagious it was so that when she opened that box the reader would know what's up at the same time.

Soul Speaker by Bradley Darewood
Spoiler for Hiden:
This was one of my top voted stories. My only critique is that the boy talked older than his age. Though the part about him being proud of his ability to not need the bodies helped, it is a kid bragging.
I would very muck like to read more in this world.

Harry by Lord of the Word
Spoiler for Hiden:
I enjoyed this one quite a bit despite Harry being more of a supernatural corpse than a basic corpse. Imagining a visible to only me corpse that just hangs out on my dresser watching over me without moving every night would creep me out.  I liked that by the end I liked the corpse. The girl was written like a girl and acted/talked that way.

Wainacawnathun by m3mnoch
Spoiler for Hiden:
I know that it was need for the story but reading the busted nose speaking bits was tough because I had to think about it, that prevented me from slipping into that forgetting your reading state. I adored the idea of a magical fixer/cleaner. Loved the comical ending.

The Raid by Captain of the Guard
Spoiler for Hiden:
I liked the interplay between the sisters, it felt like a real relationship. I wasn't sure what happened in the village and what they were running from, are the dukes men bad or not? I like the unexpected of the goblins and goblin king. I would have read more.

Some Call it Freedom by Light Runner
Spoiler for Hiden:
I liked that it was an unexpected take on a corpse story. I enjoyed the struggle of keeping everything else going until it just fades away. I liked the viewpoint character.

Blick - Anon
Spoiler for Hiden:
It flowed nicely. While it wasn't my normal style I enjoy it kept my interest. I wish there had been a bit more explanation of how she got those eyes or what she was if that was the case.

Memories by Anon
Spoiler for Hiden:
The use of animal corpses, taxidermy intrigued me. I know people whom it terrifies. I enjoyed the end, that a dead bird they found she saw the beauty in letting nature take its course while he wanted to preserve it.

Pit of Forgiveness by Anon
Spoiler for Hiden:
Interesting, I liked the premise. I think it is relatable to most people in that at some point we may be alone in our life and while not everyone will I think suicide is a that more people than you'd think at some point think about suicide even if not seriously. I would have liked  a to know more the creatures that are trapped in there with them.

Offline Lanko

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Re: [OCT 2016] - Corpses - Critique Thread
« Reply #73 on: December 07, 2016, 11:33:33 PM »
The Soulspeaker, by @Bradley Darewood

Spoiler for Hiden:
Selected Quote:
Quote
It was his earnest eyes that made him good at this job. No one ever suspected a man with earnest eyes.

Something Amazing: Creative magical ability, six year old boy that looks much older than he is (influence of the spirits?), royal assassin. Sadly that bodies aren’t needed, it would be cool if he had a mausoleum of some sorts, like a “libraby of bodies” he used to study.

Theme Appropriateness: Low.
Surprising? First, the reason the assassin is sent is because his target is able to speak to… spirits. Second, he doesn’t even need bodies. Third, apparently even Aaris didn’t (I will talk about that later). But a corpse did allow him to approach the Soulspeaker, but there are still questions about this.

Conflict and Tension: High.
The curious thing is that conflict and tension isn’t really high for the assassin that serves as our POV. He already commited many murders. He does think “damn, an old woman and a six year old”, but shrugs it off very quickly.
The brilliant part (whether was intentional or not) was allowing us to see the conflict in the boy through the assassin’s POV. His conflict is clear. He only conforms at the end “you won’t be the last”, but before that he even speaks and asks about Aaris (and others) as a way to justify the poison, so not even killing in his own self defense was justifiable for him. The assassin could’ve lied and said he didn’t find the Soulspeaker and other difficulties, but the boy didn’t have that choice and still weighed the choice much more. Pretty damn good part.

Something Confusing: You gave us some confusing - or downright contradictory - information in some parts. Sometimes I thought “Wait, but previously you said X”.

Quote
The Nightravens sang for the dead, it was said. It had taken him months to discover the price of admission. His fellow Southlanders kept their secrets carefully.

Quote
”He told me the Queen ordered you to bar the doors of the Bearwynd House and burn it to the ground. The dead cried out to him (Aaris), and the next night you sliced him apart in his sleep. He just wants to know —”

This kept me wondering that if he killed the previous Soulspeaker, he would know the secrets and already be in the hidden “inner circle” of the Soulspeakers. Specially since it took eighteen years to kill Aaris (although only one day after an arson), and it was done by him. If he already was inside (took only months to find Dowen, after all), I kept thinking he wouldn’t need another price of admission.

Quote
”Two questions for Leck Meggragor.”
She knew the corpse’s name! He hadn’t even unwrapped the corpse! Still, she more than likely heard of his demise.

Quote
Merric pulled the wet bundle of rugs and cloth from the back of his cart and heaved it over his shoulder. Gods, it was heavy! He had hoped to find a lighter corpse, a child maybe, but maybe this was freshest dead man he could find on short notice.

This led me to believe that initially he didn’t have Leck Meggragor with him, but some random person he killed or a body unburied or bought for the meeting. He had even hoped to bring a child’s corpse because of the weight, but couldn’t find one.
And then how would he find out the Soulspeaker if his questions were for another person or if the Soulspeaker talked about the name or something else of a person he didn’t know?
Because it turned out a specific corpse for specific questions was needed to confirm the identity of the Soulspeaker.

Quote
”Aaris needed the bodies, but I don’t.”

Quote
””He told me the Queen ordered you to bar the doors of the Bearwynd House and burn it to the ground. The dead cried out to him, …”

This led me to believe he actually didn’t need the bodies too (there wouldn’t be any left). Unless he was passing by and got into contact with the spirits before the bodies turned to ashes or skeletons, or maybe some charred carcasses.

Addendum: Overall this was pretty good, very well-written, specially the conflict and tension you managed to put into it.

Hoped this critique helped you!

Cú Sith, by @Saraband

Spoiler for Hiden:
Selected Quote:
Quote
He was breathing, and warm to the touch once more. And his eyes… they looked at her, full of life, with a hint of the same defiance she had witnessed that night in Moibeal.

Something Amazing: Bleak atmosphere. Magic acting in mysterious ways, with powers, consequences and limits only implied and left to the reader’s imgination. Some social issues briefly explored in the beginning. Great ending paragraph.

Theme Appropriateness: Very High.
Nothing to say here. No baby corpse, no story.

Conflict and Tension: High.
Physical conflict —> Moira mentions the dangers of the forest, specially on a moonless night (maybe something could’ve appeared on their way to the Cú Sith). It was also a very cold night that could’ve killed the mother. Moira’s sacrifice.
Emotional conflict —> The mother’s for the baby. Moira for the mother. She tries and wants to help, but…
Moral conflict —> The Cú Sith can help but from Moira’s information, it’s obvious the price is not a good one. He is not a good guy either. Worse fates than death, but it’s for a dead child. Even if Moira didn’t care for her old body to bring the baby back, she still didn’t want the Cú Sith receiving power or whatever it was he gained with a body or soul.

Something Confusing: ——

Addendum: The internal monologue of Moira kinda of spoiled the ending and what was gonna happen, unfortunately (at least for me). After I read that I knew what was gonna happen: Moira was gonna sacrifice herself to bring the baby back and her soul would be put inside the baby.
That reduced a bit of power from your last paragraph. It would be much more impactful if we were just wondering what was gonna happen and what happened. And then discovering in the last line what Moira and the Cú Sith did. And her sacrifice.
Hoped this critique helped you!

Harry, by @Lordoftheword

Spoiler for Hiden:
Selected Quote:
Quote
She saw Harry’s back, a mixture of yellowed skeleton and gangrene flesh covered by a tattered layer of green and burgundy cloth. He was rooting through the top drawer, and when he found what he was looking for he held it in the air in triumph. It squirmed in his hand like an over-sized, pink slug, and when he turned around to face her, Harry put it in his mouth, rolled back his skull and shook his jaw side to side. After five seconds he let out a haunting sigh. Scarlet wailed louder than she thought she knew how and peed herself.

Something Amazing: That was a very creative approach. Pretty good creepy stuff. Child-parent abuse theme also explored in the story. Good resolution.

Theme Appropriateness. Very High.
Nothing stated the corpse needed to be real, just like the boy in The Sixth Sense and similar stories. It only happens to her. Corpse makes her mother think she has mental problems, makes step-father beat her, corpse doesn’t allow her to fully use her dresser. Corpse revives and kills abusive step-father.

Conflict and Tension: High.
Physical conflict —> Scarlet and Trevor. Harry and Trevor. Children’s body limitations (can’t reach certain drawers, lack of strength).
Emotional conflict —> Scared of Trevor. Lost her father.
Maybe she really doesn’t care seeing something nobody else sees at the age of 10, but at some point (if she isn’t already) she’s gonna think there’s something wrong with her, that she’s a weirdo, etc, and that will lead to all kinds of problems. Her own parents already see her as such. While amazed, she is also afraid of Harry.
Moral conflict —> Her thinking is correct, who knows what would happen to her after Harry was gone and Trevor regained his senses. But maybe the decision was a bit too quick and without much deep though. She’s 10, though.

Something Confusing:

Quote
Mother told Scarlet she would get a new bed when she turned ten. But instead mother took her step-father, Trevor, to Mexico and left her here with grandma and grandpa. Scarlet hadn’t minded though. She hated Trevor and she’d been glad he wouldn’t be here for her big day.

Quote
… Scarlet screamed and dropped the eyes on the ground before running into the hall and calling for her mother.

Oh no! She remembered, making it only halfway down the hall. Mother was out of town for the weekend! She turned to go back to her room when Trevor lumbered around the corner.

Wasn’t Trevor in Mexico? Where are Scarlet’s grandpa and grandma?

Maybe Scarlet is remembering what happened in her birthday, but “she’d been glad he wouldn’t be here” implies it’s now or within the weekend, considering the second quote.

Or the whole confusion is because of typos.

Hope this critique was helpful to you!

Is it Really Graverobbing if it’s for Science? by @Rukaio_Alter

Spoiler for Hiden:
Selected Quote:
Quote
”You create one unkillable murder zombie and suddenyl your work is considered ‘questionable’. Or ‘insane’. Or ‘illegal in most of Europe’. It’s a mess.”

Something Amazing: The comedy effect, of course. Some reflection on scientific research and business.

Theme Appropriatenes: High.
“What? But Lanko, there’s not even a corpse in this story!”
Yes, I know. But I looked at the situation and the intent.
Why were they in a graveyeard at that time? To dig a body. For what purpose? For Dr.Calstein’s experiment. What was it? Strike a corpse with lightning. Why they were caught by the groundskeeper and probably arrested by the police? They were attempting to dig a corpse. Why did Sam shoveled Calstein in the face and most likely turned him into a real corpse? There wasn’t a corpse in that grave.
It was never said the body needed to exist, or to be a specific body. If we remove the search for the body, this story wouldn’t happen. They wouldn’t be there. They wouldn’t be caught. Sam would not even shovel Calstein in the face, because he most likely wouldn’t even be holding a shovel and wouldn’t be angry for digging for hours for nothing.

Conflict and Tension: Medium-High?
With comedy and satire the conflict and tension lies more on the questioning and reflection it provokes about the theme being explored, or an aspect of the theme.
We have the physical conflict of experiments going wrong and causing unforseen havoc. The emotional conflict of the main character for studying, getting a medical degree, expected a bright and clean career, but it’s not what he expected and he even gets used to do criminal stuff in the stead of his employer.
The moral conflict is a questioning of scientific research without any regard for consequences, laws or ethics. One of the labs get buried 50 feet (witness/evidence elimination) and the disregard of the doctor for “paperwork” (legal way) and he just goes for it in the hopes no one sees it.
Maybe that could’ve been explored just a little more.

Something Confusing:

Hope this critique was helpful to you!
Slow and steady wins the race.

Lanko's Year in Books 2019

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Re: [OCT 2016] - Corpses - Critique Thread
« Reply #74 on: December 07, 2016, 11:38:50 PM »
Lanko is pulling out all the great work and putting us all to shame!
"She will need coffee soon, or molecular degeneration will set in. Her French phrasing will take over even more strongly, and soon she will dissolve into a puddle of alienation and Kierkegaardian despair."  ~ Jmack

Wishy washy lyricism and maudlin unrequited love are my specialty - so said Lady_Ty