Brutally Honest Reviews | 03 | Extract Edition | READ THE FIRST POST BEFORE POSTING

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#41

I didn’t see any massive structural/content concerns, so I went through and line edited. Overall, this is pretty good, and it’s definitely at least a 7/10. I can’t make any major heart warming comments since this clearly isn’t my genre, but the ending made me feel really mellow and I don’t know why. You really have a voice for dramatics. No major concerns from me aside from a few grammatical edits and, even so, some of them were done solely for flow, so they might be stylistic.


Child's Play | 03 | Fall EXTRACT (Click to open)
Then, he left in search of the Servant child. He was chasing loose leads at this point—all he knew was that the child was likely from the northern district and was therefore extremely likely to have no close relatives to flee to. If that was the case, then they'd either move to the hazardous streets and risk assault, or they'd return home to the outskirts of the northern district. To return home, they'd have to pass through the central district, and there was fighting here.

Maybe they were already dead.

Hidayat pushed onwards down the street. He heard gunshots behind him, and that heightened his alertness. There was no guarantee how long the current position would be held. Eventually, the rebels would advance. And his safety would be lost with that.

He ran when the final wave of anxiety hit, thudding through dusty, unpainted streets. There were still people here, strewn about outside their own houses, chewing leaves and collecting their belongings. However, at the end of the street, he saw what he was looking for. The Servant child and his father, hand and hand, standing straight in the line of fire.

Hidayat then realised he didn’t know the child’s name.

“Servant child!” he called, running to the edge of the buildings, but no further. The Servant child turned to look at him, wide-eyed, though soon his gaze softened, and he gave a grimace portraying only one thing—the desire to give up.

One thought immediately struck him. Are they suicidal?

“Servant child!” he called out again. His words had no positive effect. The Servant child shuddered and turned away. It was clear that those words hurt him, but Hidayat had no idea what else to call him.

His father turned too, waving his hand and giving a faint smile. His unkempt hair and scraggly beard betrayed his previous grievances. Hidayat felt sympathy but, at the same time, his mind had stopped functioning.

A bullet pierced the air. Loud, like thunder. In a flash of crimson, his father fell. It took a while to register—the Servant child fell silent for a few moments. Then, he screamed. Hidayat tried to motion him out of the line of fire, but the Servant child just fell to his knees, coiling his father’s fingers around his own. It was then that Hidayat realised he had to take more drastic measures.

He headed out into the battlefield himself. Glancing around, he noted a sniper. There was no time to make a contingency plan, though; Hidayat gripped onto the Servant child’s shoulder and tried to pry him away. The child screamed louder.

“No!” he cried. Hidayat didn’t immediately respond. Instead, he let his hand atop the other boy’s own, locked eyes with him, and said with absolute certainty,

“You will die here.”

“Then let me die!” he screamed back. Tears, like stardust, slipped down his cheeks. Then they grew heavier, like a storm. “I don’t care!”

“You will die here—”

“There is nothing left for me here! I give up! I give up!”


#42

Lol, I was under the impression it was good to be flowery. But idk anymore, that’s how I write naturally though.

Thanks for the review.


#43

First time trying this new critique thread. Sorrysorrysorrysorrysorry if I mess it up.

Off the bat: 5/10.

Then, he left in search of the Servant child. He was chasing loose leads at this point—all he knew was that the child was likely from the northern district and was therefore extremely likely to have no close relatives to flee to. If that was the case, then they’d either move to the hazardous streets and risk assault, or they’d return home to the outskirts of the northern district. To return home, they’d have to pass through the central district, and there was fighting here.

Starting with the transitionary “then” makes me wonder what exactly was happening before Hideyat left to search for the Servant child. This might just be an issue of excerpt starting in the wrong place, but it really cuts the context in half. I like how information is given in this paragraph. It gives key details about the setting and characterizes the POV at the same time (critical-thinking Detective type). Kudos.

Maybe they were already dead.

Always a fan of punchy one-sentence paragraphs to create rhythm.

Hidayat pushed onwards down the street. He heard gunshots behind him, and that heightened his alertness. There was no guarantee how long the current position would be held. Eventually, the rebels would advance. And his safety would be lost with that.

He ran when the final wave of anxiety hit, thudding through dusty, unpainted streets. There were still people here, strewn about outside their own houses, chewing leaves and collecting their belongings. However, at the end of the street, he saw what he was looking for. The Servant child and his father, hand and hand, standing straight in the line of fire.

Very clunky telling in this passage, I thought. Hidayat’s reaction to gunshots is very abstract, and with no concrete details to pull us in, we’re not grounded in the danger. That said, I like how you broke up your sentences in the second paragraph to pick up the tempo, and it ends on a real wham! of a line. Still, one complaint: it was established that the child had no close relatives and that they were essentially stranded on the streets, and yet the child is with their father here.

Hidayat then realised he didn’t know the child’s name.

He can’t just be realising now. He’s been thinking exclusively of the child up until this point. Which begs the question, how does he know so much about this child without knowing their name? I’d likely cut this line if I were in your shoes. It brings up too many questions you don’t want the reader thinking about just as the action’s about to pop off, and it lengthens the time between Hidayat seeing a dangerous situation and reacting, which weakens the proactivity he shows in the next paragraph.

“Servant child!” he called, running to the edge of the buildings, but no further. The Servant child turned to look at him, wide-eyed, though soon his gaze softened, and he gave a grimace portraying only one thing—the desire to give up.

One of those rare instances where showing rather than telling would actually reduce your word count. The desire to give up, that could be shoulders slumping, or head hanging, or even just a deep sigh. Alternatively, if you want “the desire to give up” to be your punch, how about cutting the ‘and’ between ‘softened’ and ‘he’ and making them separate sentences. I think the tell would be fine if allowed to stand on its own rather than coming in at the end of a nearly paragraph-long sentence.

One thought immediately struck him. Are they suicidal?

“Servant child!” he called out again. His words had no positive effect. The Servant child shuddered and turned away. It was clear that those words hurt him, but Hidayat had no idea what else to call him.

His father turned too, waving his hand and giving a faint smile. His unkempt hair and scraggly beard betrayed his previous grievances. Hidayat felt sympathy but, at the same time, his mind had stopped functioning.

A bullet pierced the air. Loud, like thunder. In a flash of crimson, his father fell. It took a while to register—the Servant child fell silent for a few moments. Then, he screamed. Hidayat tried to motion him out of the line of fire, but the Servant child just fell to his knees, coiling his father’s fingers around his own. It was then that Hidayat realised he had to take more drastic measures.

I could buy a kid being stuck after seeing their father get shot. I could buy confusion then realisation. But “coiling his father’s fingers around his own” suggests the Servant boy understands that someone has just mortally wounded his father, in which case, a cinematic ‘grieve over the corpse’ isn’t the first reaction any rational being would have, not when there’s still a gunman on the loose/a kid processing what just happening literally two seconds ago.

He headed out into the battlefield himself. Glancing around, he noted a sniper. There was no time to make a contingency plan, though; Hidayat gripped onto the Servant child’s shoulder and tried to pry him away. The child screamed louder.

“No!” he cried. Hidayat didn’t immediately respond. Instead, he let his hand atop the other boy’s own, locked eyes with him, and said with absolute certainty,

“You will die here.”

Really doubt there’d be time for this either. It’s grab now, explain later.

“Then let me die!” he screamed back. Tears, like stardust, slipped down his cheeks. Then they grew heavier, like a storm. “I don’t care!”

“You will die here—”

“There is nothing left for me here! I give up! I give up!”

_And again, I could totally buy this – two minutes later, when not still in the crosshairs. And even if this kid is prepared to die, there’s something that strikes me as a little… off about his reaction. “I give up! I give up!” releases all the tension in the scene. If Hidayat failed to save him, I’m not sure I’d feel all that bad, because I was told that the boy didn’t care. Yet if he just sat there silently, there’s an element of doubt that unbalances the scene in a really compelling way. Hidayat asks if the father-son pair are suicidal, turns out they are, but it’s played with such melodrama that it threatens to fall into narm territory. _

That said, there were some great touches here. The running paragraph: super. The moment just before the father got shot (assuming he knew the sniper was there): outstanding. However, there were some weaker moments that made me question the structural integrity of the narrative. Still, nothing that can’t be fixed.


#44

Title: The Three Deaths of Brunhilde
Chapter 24

First light came as death did, inevitably and too soon. Standing on the crest of a low hill, Brunhilde could still see the last stars high above Old Tooth. Like all good things of the night – sleep, silence, peace – they were fading. Still, the grass beneath her boots was soft with dew and the wind promised one of those balmy days that stitched winter to spring. All things considered–

“It’s not the worst day to march to your death,” Sailla said.

Brunhilde looked down at her. “What?”

Sailla shrugged, eyes on Old Tooth. “I’m just saying. It could have been raining, with howling winds and grey clouds hanging low and heavy. Very dramatic. This… This is nice.”

Brunhilde rolled her shoulder to adjust the shield strap digging into it. Willun’s shield was heavier than it had been yesterday.

“It’s fine.”

They settled into a silence that suited her better than it did Sailla. The Seer drummed her fingers obsessively on the scroll she had saved from Crow’s thugs. Her shoulders sagged and there were bags under her eyes. Not that Brunhilde’s night had been any easier. Despite being treated to a bed, her body had looked sleep dead in the eye and told it to fuck off. Sailla started raking her nails along the rolled parchment in her hand…

Brunhilde sighed. “Are you alright?”

“Not really,” Sailla said.

“Okay.”

“You’re not going to ask if I want to talk about it?”

It was Brunhilde’s turn to shrug. “If you wanted to talk about it, you would have already.”

Sailla chuckled. “Indeed. Are you alright?”

“I’m fine.”

A breeze drifted around them. It smelled of sweet grass and things being reborn.

“Do you want to talk about it?” Sailla asked.

Brunhilde looked down at the foot of the hill. Lagertha, standing beside her grandmother, had her back to them. Someone had given her a new shift, one of thick, white wool with a heavy fur collar that tussled in the breeze. Her daughter’s hair, usually worn long, was done up in a messy warrior’s knot. A poor imitation of Brunhilde’s. It struck her that her hair had been that same pale gold at Lagertha’s age.

She rolled her shoulder again. “No.”

“It need not be with me,” Sailla said. “In fact, whatever has your face looking like your mother’s, I’d suggest you take it up with your daughter.”

“I look nothing like my mother.”

“Most days,” Sailla said. It was almost a lament.


#45

@MiloMaia Thank you! ^^

A N O U N C E M E N T

So, I realised halfway through this that I didn’t want to kill off what the Wattpad BHR has been all these years, but with the results at 83% to 17% I also didn’t want to eliminate the possibility of there being a chapter edition of the BHR.

So I created an entirely new thread for it. I did say that, in ideal circumstances, this would be considered the ideal solution–the only thing I question is whether this’ll be considered spam by the mods. But, hey, the EBG has about seventy editions; why can’t the BHR? The scroll wheel won’t murder navigation, either–there’s a code to condense text listed.

Giving the first person to post the permission to post without critiquing first. Although I’m fine with posting an initial 300 word extract, I’m not quite sure how I feel about posting an entire chapter without critiquing one first.

Note: It states more about this on the thread itself, but I see this thread for more generalised critique. If you go in-depth with an entire chapter, you will likely die. It would therefore make sense if this thread is reserved for more in-depth critiques.

Chapter Edition Link.


LAST EXTRACT: #44


#46

Thank you so much! I appreciate the time you took to help me with this!


#47

I’m the same way.


#48

Am I supposed to review cai or milo.-.


#49

(Milo, if you haven’t figured that out yet).


#50

Ooh I recognize you from the list of people who requested a review from theC0VEN ;u; someone else in the group did the review but I forgot who…

Your writing is really better than I expect—I guess I just judge things by their covers too much. And titles. Sorry^^

I really like how your spacing, descriptions and speech parts are really well balanced (I’ve seen books that got published that only ‘he said’ ‘she said’ and that really sucked. I mean even I can write better than her—how did she get her stuff published.-.)

I don’t really have much to comment on… I guess one of the only main things that drew me away from your books was the title? I prefer reasonably fluffy reads because I usually only have time to read these days to de-stress but thats just me. Oh and I also thought your characters’ names were really strange and although you must have a good reason for it, its a bit meh for me.

I think I’ll rate your extract 8/10? The writing style is better than most and stuff so… but of course, it still has a lot of room for revision and improvements. I always come across things I want to change every time I re-read my stuff so I try not to do it too often as I’ll end up being behind on other matters cx


#51

I did.


#52

Anyways, here is my thing; an extract from the very start of Hazel, already a very short story.

The overhanging branches blurred together into dark splotches as a splash of red hurried past, foreign in the smudges of greys and browns. The young girl brushed through the jagged mess, not pausing to untangle the brambles that clutched desperately onto her, until the woods opened up to a small valley, a fast flowing stream cutting through it.

She stood there panting for a while, her eyes dilated and her pale face distraught. It was only after a while that she took another step, carefully lowering herself into the little valley. She sat at the edge, half submerged in the icy water. Maybe the cold would numb the burning core of her heart. She slowly lifted her delicate features, her bright emerald eyes now focused and searching.

The snow seemed to hang still in the air as she saw him, its intricate edges glistening in the weak sunlight. He stood with only a thin white tunic and dark shorts despite the freezing shower. Light haired, with almost translucent skin, he could have been invisible, blending, yet somehow stark against the scenery. His bright blue eyes were slanted towards the sky, lashes catching a few of the snow flakes and they clung there as they did on his hair that hung down in waves to his ankles.

It was a strange sight, a freeze-frame in the middle of molten chaos. Then his lips curved into a small smile, eyes flickering down.

“I know you’re watching.”

The simple words had serenade-like quality to them.

He strode down gracefully into the valley to sit near the girl, not touching the water.

“Come out. You’re going to freeze to death.”

The girl stared at him blankly but answered, “That’s my objective.”

His blue eyes twinkled as if her statement amused him.

“I’m Hazel,” he introduced.

godh i want to change so many things o.o


#53

Btw why do you have “1” and “3” versions on this thread but no 2?


#54

This is the third version of this thread. It’s carrying over from the old forums.

The other thread has a different system, therefore it’s ‘01’.


#55

ooh… would you like to ‘review’ my extract? I kinda want bubblez to do it bcs woah that wus brutal o.o but it looks like she hasn’t been on here for quite a while so ;-;


#56

Thanks so much. :slight_smile:


#57

Would you be opposed to me reviewing you extract? It doesn’t look like anyone has done it yet but if someone has and I just don’t realize it sorry. I’m new to the new threads.


#58

As long as you promise to say exactly what you think without hiding anything, being especially brutal with the things you don’t like; sure~


#59

Okay. I will do it now.


#60

I feel like this flows a little weird, and would sound better if you said until the woods opened up to a small valley with a fast flowing stream cutting through it.

What Its was was a little confusing here for a second and I had to reread it like twice to understand that it is the snow. That may be my own fallibility or you need to reword it so that it is clearer. I think it was so confusing cause you went from talking about the snow to the dude she was seeing and then back to the snow very quickly.

I feel like this was very weirdly worded. You just kinda jumped from talking about the eyes in detail to deciding you wanted to also mention his hair. Just maybe don’t connect them, and find some other way to add the detail about the hair in by itself.

I feel like the use of the word molten here is a little bizarre. You could have used any word similar to molten to describe the chaos, but you chose molten. The reason this is so bizarre to me is molten generally means liquefied heat. If you were going to use an adjective both as a way to describe the chaos and also to compare to something else, it would have made more sense to use a word that feels more related to the scene taking place. Like this scene is very cold and snowy, and molten just feels really out of place in such a context.

Overall I like your attempts at adding in lots of detail to really set the scene, and for the most part, they succeed although some instances like the ones mentioned above fall a little short.

The dialogue at the end there was absolute perfection. The “I know you’re watching” the was that was expressed and the imagery surrounding it gave it a chilling vibe. Overall A plus dialogue and imagery to go with the dialogue.