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Re: [Mar 2015] - Rogues - Voting Thread Finally read them all and made my 4 votes. I won't say for which, but I'd like to add a positive comment about each story for the authors as I know how rare it is to get feedback in general, let alone nice stuff. Hopefully it won't end up being longer than the stories themselves!

Spoiler for Hiden:
@Jmacyk - This made me smile so much. I thought it was a really fun escapist story with outrageous yet oh so appealling characters. The very idea of a playboy scamp besmirching a bunch of women who then gang up to get revenge on him through a séance just amuses me to no end. I think the larger than life characters really reflect well on the person I imagine is sitting behind the keyboard when I read your posts.

@SJ Budd - This story had a great twist. I've always been a fan of gals getting one up on guys and this was as good as it gets. Scarlett had a really great personality too--confident but with a heart. Really well done.

@Raptori - This one scores the prize for giving me the biggest grin. I'll admit I suspected halfway through that the kid wasn't a human, but the revelation of it being a goat still caught me completely by surprise. I dunno why, but something really tickles me when I imagine a veteran rogue justifying his career choice to an animal for self esteem.

@Giddler - This was a well paced piece with a really nice narrative between Stubb and Bligh. There's always something appealing about the innocent rookie coming in and questioning the morals behind what a vet takes for granted, and Stubb was about as lovable as they come. The interactions between the pair made me smirk pretty much every time.

@Doctor Chill - If I had to sum up a story in one word I think this one would be brave. By the end I was sitting back thinking deeply, which is only ever a good thing in writing. You got across the moral point of what is a serious modern day issue of a kid who carries a knife without ever thinking of the consequences of using it. I thought the end scene was really, really well done. It caught me by surprise, and gave a good dose of reality when it's often too easy to take killing lightly as just a plot point to move a story on.

@TOMunro - I felt the characters here were well developed and delivered nicely in a subtle manner. It's hard to give feedback for full novel characters in short stories, but for Kaylan at least, I got a good feel for a man who seems comfortable with the monster he knows himself to be, but at the same time has that internal struggle for what he knows is right when he sees someone he respects as a good person suffering at the wicked hand of another. You get bonus points for the blood eagle, though I don't think the Vikings ever actually did that :p. Not while the person was still alive at least. Nobody would want to be friends with anyone who could actually pull that off!

@Nora - The atmosphere of this world just blew me away. In fact I'm rather envious of how anybody can stuff so much world detail so naturally into a short story. I got a really vivid image of this ruined city, it's derelict Plant, and those botanical sanctuaries where the survivors of a cataclysm are holding out in. The moral struggle of the protagonist at the end was just icing on the cake to what was a grand piece.

@RussetDivinity - In answer to your concern, I thought this was as roguish as any other and quite beautiful to boot. You really got across Mina's love for Tristan battling against her subconscious knowing that something wasn't quite right. Then when the ruse is exposed the final bond of trust is formed which allows her to find true happiness with the person rather than the body they exist in. I found this to be a rather touching tale of what love is and should be.

@wakarimasen – This was a really interesting world. The idea of forced aging as a form of punishment rather intrigues me. You really delivered on the protagonist's personality of a jaded youth who's come to realise and despise how people look upon him when his 'beauty' has faded. The mushroom tower metaphor was also fantastically done to describe setting while also revealing the character's feelings for the world around him.

@Elfy - The character descriptions in this piece were just so great--especially the horse. I could really picture this noble, his wife, and daughter all sitting together in that carriage. Liam was a likable ruffian in every way, and the very idea of a leprecaun highwayman... how can anybody not grin at that! This was a delight to read.

@Mikaela A. Ingram - This was a really sweet story. When so often boy + girl = love interest, it's refreshing to see a brother sister bond instead. You had a great dynamic between Ashe and Sonata. They truly felt like a team on the same page playing up to each other's strengths and weaknesses. Brother had sister's back, yet she still came across as the one in power calling the shots. I liked this a lot.

@TravisGGAnderson – The opening paragraph in this story was simply amazing! It did a great job at setting the tone of the scenes to come. I loved how dwarfish the dialect felt, and you struck a really nice balance between speech and action. Both scene and characters felt truly alive as they chatted away while playing cards.

@Rukaio Alter – This was a really well structured story built around those seven tenets. I suspected early on that there would be betrayal, but I found it particularly well done the way both rogues ended up double-crossing each other. This was as solid and enjoyable short story as you can get, and one I think would make a fine addition to pretty much any media that runs fantasy tales.

@Carter – Sometimes you read a sentence that just sticks out and stays with you. “Curiosity and annoyance scratched at him with questioning claws” was that sentence for me. I thought that was such a great line to sum up Matthao's internal mindset at that point in the story. Overall I found this an intriguing piece, and couldn't help but feel a tad disappointed I didn't get to know more of what had gone on in the brothers' past.

@ArcaneArtsVelho – I was really impressed with the amount of characters in this one. Short stories this length don't favour high character counts, but you managed to stuff at least six in all of which had unique personalities and relevant parts to play in the tale. There was a nice amount of 'will they, won't they' when the wife learnt of the crime... and, crude as it may be, I couldn't help but chuckle at “You put your pick into every lock you see.” That was quite a clever line considering the topic of the tale.

@C R Alexander – I liked how developed every character in this story felt. It seemed each had their own motivations and goals that were unique to themselves. I thought there was a fine rapport between the three bandits in the final scene which gave me a real sense of a greater plot going on in the background.

April 09, 2015, 12:18:55 AM
Re: [Mar 2015] - Rogues - Voting Thread Big congratulations, Rukaio!

There were some truly remarkable stories in there, but I really want to congratulate @Raptori and @Carter, as I absolutely loved your submissions  ;)

May 03, 2015, 12:52:21 AM