Crime of Passion
love & dating
"Too few ratings to be ranked"
Based on 4 ratings so far
"No possible way to lose"
"Not going to lose any sleep"
"I'll need to see some identification"
Some material may be inappropriate for persons under age 16. If this were a movie, it would probably be between PG-13 and R.
Play as a man in post WWII New York. Life sure was easy before you fell in love with a canary. This is an entry for Endmaster's Prompt Contest 2 Mystery Box: Story that starts with the protagonist being sentenced to death. Note: There is only one ending that ends with the protagonist alive. This is not meant to be the winning ending. This is meant to be a crime noir, and sometimes death makes a beautiful ending to a story. Every ending is a winning ending.
I got the feeling you were trying to write something True Life-esque, and I’d say you succeeded. After a couple pages, I was hooked, and you’ve definitely improved in setting tone and making interesting characters from Wrath of the Edomite.
The main character's personality shines through in all of his dialouge, and the tone was evident in the majority of the story.
I feel guilty for tearing into this when all of your comments highlight the positives of any story. So any potential readers, I’d recommend you stop here and just rate based on your own experience. The below feedback both contains major spoilers and is mainly meant for the author.
Again, if you haven’t read it already, stop here.
There were some places where tone was weak, especially in the beginning, and sentence structure was a bit off. Usually just putting something you’d usually put at the beginning of a sentence at the end. There were also a lot of SPAG errors for something so short, especially writing in the wrong tense and forgetting to use question marks at the end of a question.
I'll note that the tone is still set well, and the sentences are still perfectly readable and engaging. These recommendations are really just to push your writing into high 6/8, low 7/8, territory.
I’m not sure if you were going for a comedic or lighthearted effect, but since this doesn’t have a comedy tag, I assume not. (If you are, disregard the following advice.) There are a few places the tone goes into more lighthearted and casual territory, which I felt took away from the general atmosphere and True Life-esque narration. See things like “You’re pretty sure that would be considered inappropriate.” Or “The head juror, or whatever he was supposed to be.”
There were no paragraph breaks in the description, which annoyed me a lot more than it should have.
The thing that really pushed my rating down was the first page, which wasn’t interesting, and did not pull me into the story like it should have. There are a few ways you could fix this.
The first way would be to make him a relatable character very early on. Sure, the protagonist is sentenced to death, but there’s no reason for the reader to care. All he’s done is judge everyone around him. To make this better, to make him more relatable, give him human reasoning for his actions. Maybe mention how “he did this all for the woman he loved, and he’d do it all again”, or something generic to fit all the endings.
However, he doesn’t have to be a fleshed-out character on the first page to make it good. Another way would be to make the scene more tense, mainly elaborate on what the character is feeling and thinking at that exact moment. If the character doesn’t seem to care about the fact he might die, why should the reader? You don’t have to make him relatable this way, just elaborate on what he feels. Even a line or two would do, something like “He prayed, to any god that was out there, to save him from his own mistakes. A horrible shudder ran through him as he awaited the juror’s words, knowing he could not escape his eventual fate.”
One more thing I’d recommend is shorter sentences, to pack more punch into the scenes that are meant to be impactful. As well as rearranging the sentence structure. Here’s an example from the first page.
“You’ve known from the moment this trial started what word would escape his lips, but it still felt like all the air was sucked out of your lungs when he pronounced the single word of doom. ‘Guilty.’”
If I was going to re-write this to have more impact, it would go something like…
“From the moment this trial started, you knew what word would escape his lips in the end. It does not change how all the air is sucked out of your lungs the instant he pronounces it. Speaking moves it into terrible reality.
It seems I’ve really been tearing into your game here, and that’s because I think you’ll really benefit from it.
In all, it’s a good story I’m sure people will enjoy.
on 3/16/2023 3:12:58 PM with a score of 0
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