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Not a whole lot for me to dissect with this short. A couple auto-correct spelling errors (I think) but overall, a very solid entry. The one weakness is the subtle scream that when the parcel is chucked on the table. Very poor tic-of-the-box to meet the challenge criteria! Points off? Hmmm...we'll see.
That said, great work. This will be a contender, I think.
Haha, just kidding. I found this enjoyable. I like this, a lot! I find your writing smooth and easy to read. Luv your character descriptions. The banter between Frank and Carla is effective at characterizing the two and creating a secondary element of interest in the opening sequence.
Enough of the gushing...
You gotta be careful with too many flashbacks, if anything, for clarity. Maybe it's just me, but I had to re-read them to confirm my understanding of the story.
Picky stuff... you have to watch out for your grammar.
I ain't no pro, though, can you believe it? So please take that into consideration.-Andrea
"When I dive... I go deep, only to surface the hub when necessary."
Suburban Estate? This might be a cultural thing. I'm familiar with Suburbia and housing estates that are gated. ?
not over-looked. Do you mean not easily overlooked? Or, not easy to overlook?
and rather be in bed. and would rather be in bed.
the last cutlery back in a draw, the last of the cutlery back in a drawer.
Two instances of draw when it should be drawer. Watch that auto-correct if it's the culprit.
shuffles out the house shuffles out of the house
a feint female scream faint
I miss you, mom Mom needs to be capped. The rule is if you can replace Mom with the person's actual name in the sentence, you cap it. Example of not: His mom doesn't like brussels sprouts.
Okay, enough line by line. Bit sloppy so far. Maybe rushed?
This was just okay for me, mainly because Carla just isn't likeable, which might be your intention. I needed more hurt and emotion from her part. Have her overhear the conversation with Frank and Helen - fight back tears.
Definitely more to work with here, it just didn't get me where it hurts. I needed more light and shade, some humour, compassion. And your denouement indicates Carla will use her powers for nefarious means only. A promising premise.
P.S. Maybe call it Fatal Desires or Desire, singular?
Nice clean writing, easy to follow the action, clear descriptions, characters that seem and act like real human beings - nice work
Great story here, enjoyed it. A newish witch casts a spell to make her husband lust for her, but his desire is to be rid of her - so the spell backfires. I like it, the story is nice with plenty of conflict and turns, things don't always right and the characters are flawed and interesting... all making for good reading.
I appreciate the attempt at a different narrative with the flashbacks of reality and she obviously telling the detective something different. But for me, it doesn't work and takes away from the story, rather than adding to it.
The detective is the worst character, with no purpose, and bad dialogue. You can cut him right out. Have the events play out in chronological order (no need for the flashbacks), with the ending of her being led out by the detective (first time we are seeing him) for her to deliver the threat ending. Just my 2 cents anyway.
Not much to say here. I liked almost everything about this. Enjoyed the story, thought the flashbacks were woven in well and it had a good ending. Saw everything you wanted me to see, even though it wasn’t necessarily scary. Thought the husbands burning death could have been ramped up and that might have helped in the scare/creepy/gore factor.
Obviously a good writer with this one. Very good work!
This was definitely written well. I loved the first half. You did an excellent job introducing these 2 characters and showing us how they feel about each other. Both want very different things.
So she summoned Frank's innermost desires and as it turns out, it was him wanting her dead. Be careful what you summon for. I love that idea, but for me after that it seemed rushed. And her interaction with the detective was odd. She sounded guilty as hell, especially when she said it could have been drugs.
In my opinion, the second half needs more work...but it's definitely worth spending some time on.
Oh yeah...the scream...it felt like you threw it in. She never really acknowledged it and it was never explained.
Lots of little things that need correcting that has been mentioned already.
I liked this one. I'm wondering though if it wouldn't be better without the flashbacks. You sort of give away the whole thing with that first scene. If you just wrote it from the beginning to end and let the tension build and things escalate along the way, it might just workout even better. One of my favorites so far.
Really liked this one. Very creative and suspensful. Writing was clear and mostly clean, save for a typo I spotted on the last page.
I liked that the ending implies more is to come, but I think Carla's dialog is pretty bad. Kinda brings it down a bit. And maybe I'm missing something, but the scream had no impact on the story what so ever.
So, we start with SUBURBAN ESTATE here, as opposed to the oh so dull and common, SUBURBAN HOME. Let's see if the fact that this is the biggest home on the street comes into play here.
"neighbors" should be CAPPED, as all characters' 1st intro should.
Hmmm, so now we go to "CARLA'S HOUSE", and I actually did a quick scan ahead and don't see this estate again, which is very confusing.
Page 2 - uuhhoo..we go to a Flashback, and it's poorly formatted...and, apparently, we're still in the same locale, which is not going to look good visually at all.
bottom of Page 3 - lots of dialogue going on and for me, it's not really working very well. Alot of it is OTN.
So, I guess if it's a Flashback, it will be in the Slug, huh? Makes for a tough read and I can't wait to see how you handle multiple Slug Flashbacks.
"A large garden backing onto a woodland." - Do you know what's wrong with this line? First of all, it repeats your Slug, which is a waste, obviously. Secondly, it's not a complete thought, so basically, the whole line is a waste.
Hmmm, now I'm really confused - is this still a Flashback? If so, you've totally fucked things up by not formatting your Flashback properly.
"Carla shuffles out the house, the present in one hand,a glass of wine in the other. Slumps down into a chair." - The writing is getting stilted, missing little words here and there, sentences missing subjects. I really dislike this kind of writing.
It will be very difficult to unwrap that present while she's holding a glass of wine, you know?
"Inside, the first page reads;" - since you're using an insert, this line isn't necessary.
The wrylie, "to herself" is obviously not needed. Carla is alone. Who else would she be speaking to?
Again, this Flashback is not properly formatted - you should learn how to do it as it makes the read so easy.
Page 5 - Why is Jones yelling? I never understand when peeps use "!?"
"We made vow..." - "a vow"
"games console" - ? Why plural?
Page 9 - when you transition from an INT scene to an EXT scene, you have to have a new full Slug.
"A gentle winds blows." - "wind"
"You made me a promise Frank." - You always have to offset a name with a comma in dialogue.
Page 11 - Lots and lots of mistakes here - too many to note, but obviously written in a mad rush?
"Carla pushes Frank backwards into the fire." - It didn't seem like Frank's back was to the fire, and he hasn't been able to move.
Page 12 - And once again, we have the dreaded Slug, "FRONT DOOR".
Dialogue on Page 12 is absolutely terrible.
"What can she do?" - I have no idea, why don't you just tell us?
The end. Well, it's not for me, sadly, but it ain't half bad either. Writing is ok at times and bad at others. Same with dialogue, sometimes just fine, other times terrible. Flashbacks are a mess and rally, this was a big mistake to even use them here. Starting at the Suburban Estate was also a mistake. The structure doesn't work here, and what we're left with is a very forgettable script.
To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
Definitely one of the better entries. But, I find it inconsistent. The structure needs reworked. You've got a great Twilight Zone kind of idea here: the old be careful what you wish for. So, I'd recommend playing it straight. No flashbacks. No detective. Just the story of a woman using spells to manipulate her husband... only it backfires in a most dramatic way.
I also like that you chose to go with a couple in a broken relationship. It was a nice changeup from what most everyone is doing. (Including myself.)
Obviously drop the scream on a rewrite. You don't need it. And, definitely clean up the typos, etc.
I highly recommend doing the rewrite. There's a real gem here with just a bit of reworking.
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Carla has somehow gone all through life believing that love is eternal. Or should be. And Frank seems like a loser who doesn’t deserve anybody, contrary to what he tells Carla on page 10: “You never deserved me.” Some of the lines that Carla and Frank speak sound like they’re straight from an old melodrama.
And why does Carla want Frank in the first place? We don’t see him do or say anything that would lead us to think there’s something good in him. So why does Carla believe that Frank’s “inner desires” have anything to do with her?
When she finally realizes that it’s over between them, she pushes him into the fire. Kind of harsh, but it was impulsive. But the very last line — “A sly grin creeps across Carla’s face.” — makes her seem like an evil bitch. Which she wasn’t.
I like it overall. I think the flashbacks worked well enough, and would have been even better if the payoff wasn't so weak. That last bit of dialogue was terrible. A little more subtlety and a more veiled threat against Helen would have been much more effective.
This isn't the first time she's done magic, is it? She's very comfortable with it. Maybe she knows what the spell book means, maybe she's finally ready for it to be handed down to her, but as written it seems to come out of the blue and she doesn't even know she can do magic. Except she's very connected to spirits and such, so there's something not jiving.
Considering the violence of the fight, simply pushing a paralyzed Frank into the fire was anticlimactic. If it was to make it look like an accident, then let it fool the detective. Then the twist, that Helen is going to suffer a similar fate, is more potent because the police think it's over but we know it isn't. The detective might even suggest it might be drug related, maybe there has been similar cases (and so others with this "gift"), which basically gives Carla permission to do it again. "Gee, I hope no one else in the neighborhood is using that stuff!" as she casually glances over at Helen...
Typos and grammatical issues aside, it's written pretty well and I love the tone.
thanks all - to was nice to write again and go through the pain of not knowing what to do, how to take it, can I produce something in time etc etc
Re - the scream - I tried to use it a foreshadowing device to show the book had mystery, that carla was connected to it, that Frank wasn't, and to a degree, pain would arise.
I appreciate most wanted more from their scream, so to speak, but I can reassure those that thought it was an after thought, that actually quite lot was put into its use.
I may have a look at a re write. if I did I think I would expand it to have more police investigation, more background to the magic, and probably lose the party angle, but keep halloween as that tends to be a seller. And maybe keep the faint (not feint - thanks libby) scream.
thanks all for the reads - I will be bearing the comments in mind with any new version
The Elevator Most Belonging To Alice - Semi Final Bluecat, Runner Up Nashville Inner Journey - Page Awards Finalist - Bluecat semi final Grieving Spell - winner - London Film Awards. Third - Honolulu Ultimate Weapon - Fresh Voices - second place IMDb link... http://www.imdb.com/name/nm7062725/?ref_=tt_ov_wr