Player Comments on Hank's Journey
This was thoroughly engaging, totally hilarious, and exciting. Branchy, descriptive, and well-written throughout. I particularly liked how the narrative went from moments of real emotion to slapstick comedy, back and forth, riding that line as long as it can. That’s perfect, and that’s what I want out of this genre.
I have a few comments about the prose. I’m a fan of Ogre’s writing, and I offer these to make an awesome writer even better.
The story has a certain pattern in the paragraph starts. Check these out, which I grabbed almost at random:
“Hank watched as the bartender….; Then Hank looked up across the space; He turned and looked around the bar again.; He took another drink and looked over to watch; Hank took another drink and looked in the beer bottle…. Hank quickly looked away and was at a loss.; Hank slowly opened his eyes; He squinted his eyes open a little to look around the room.;He looked around and indeed the bed looked quite a mess.”
You’ve got a habit of starting your paragraphs with the viewpoint character looking to direct the reader’s gaze. But doing that so often can take us out of the viewpoint and we are then looking at the protagonist looking. It can be even more effective not to lean so much on that and show us what’s being gazed at instead. *Especially* at paragraph starts, which is like the prime real estate of any staory.
2. I love the punchiness of the sentences—you get how spoken and thought language sounds when it’s written down. But there’s quite a few moments where I thought the rhythm fell flatter than you meant it. Here’s some examples.
“The thin red dress looked like it was just long enough so that she could sit on it, but it looked to be trying to slide up the generous curves of her rear end. He followed the line of the dress up across her waist and to her chest. The red dress was strapless and he could see quite a bit of her round globes sticking out the top of the dress. It was warm in the bar, but she appeared as if she was cold. He tore his eyes from her mounds to look up to her face. She had her red hair tossed up on the top of her head and she was smiling at Hank.”
These lines all have the same rhythm. They are all additive sentences, and they all have the sameish structure and length. You like additive sentences. As a total side point, when you use sentences like that, if you put a comma before the “and” (She had her red hair tossed up on the top of her head, and she was smiling at Hank.”) readers will hear the rhythm you are going for more effectively. That’s a little writing trick I always teach.
My one story note is this bit:
“Even with the coat, Hank could see bits of her curves. She was someone who had "it" and she knew it. She stopped pacing when she turned and spotted Hank approaching, still a couple blocks away.”
With my burning aching, junk, I thought my agony would be more front-and-center there than the attraction, or I would feel the attraction only through a haze of pain, or something like that.
Ogre, I loved it.
on 8/29/2019 9:01:25 AM with a score of 0
I was told that “Hank’s Journey” was a horrible, disgusting story that I should not read, but I actually enjoyed it quite a bit.
The cover page is nice, and the black background throughout the story sets the tone nicely, as well as being very easy on the eyes for night reading.
There were a few mechanical errors, but only a very few that were anything I’d notice, and they weren’t all that distracting. I do object to referring to breasts as ‘globes’ though. It’s a euphemism that feels better suited to something off fanfiction.net—along the lines of calling eyes ‘orbs.’
The beginning of the story really interested me and got my attention. The writing was of a high quality so that all the time spent narrating small details and mundane actions added to the story rather than boring me. It showed Hank’s character and made for a nice contrast with the supernatural elements of the story. It also meant the horrifying aspects could be explained in detail without being at all out of place. I felt as if I could see everything, for better of for worse.
For all the warnings I received, I found the Lulu path disgusting in a far more humorous way than life-scarring. I actually preferred it to the Sasha path, in part because it was funny, and in part because there seemed to be more choices that actually mattered, proportionately.
Hank’s need for a belt and the part about watching his skin “flap in the breeze” were also pretty amusing.
The branching style was gauntlet, as advertised. A lot of the choices only ended up adding or skipping a page, which is not ideal. However, it was easy to see on rereading which choices mattered, which meant that I didn’t have to reread the story five times for only slight changes. So that was nice.
Still, it would have been nice to have more choices that mattered.
Overall, I would recommend this to any of you faggots who read reviews before stories and is looking for an amusing horror.
on 8/20/2019 7:35:35 PM with a score of 0
In terms of the writing, I think this is the best of Ogre's stories so far, of the ones I've ready. The dialog is believable, the characters are drawn with sharp detail, the scenes are set up effectively, and the pacing is about right. I know I've panned a couple of his past stories, but none of the aspects that bothered me before seem to be present here.
In terms of branching, I didn't actively seek out may of the endings. Basically, I figured out that if you behave like a good human being -- avoid Sasha and make sure you're ready for work on Monday morning -- you have a good shot of surviving the tale.
But this is a succubus story after all, so why run from the central story line? This led to an interesting dichotomy in the choices: you have the option to do what you know is best, as the sober reader who can guess what is in store, or you can just choose to do what Hank would do, and just enjoy the ride.
In terms of some of the bottlenecking that occurs, I did encounter a continuity error. Early in the story, after the first encounter, I chose to go to urgent care. I was given a fistful of prescriptions, picked them up at the drug store, and meanwhile receive text alert after text alert that my bank account had been sucked dry and my meager credit limit (really? only $750? I guess it's been a while since I was 21) had been maxed out. Since Sasha was clearly the crux of the story, I finally relented and decided to meet her at the bar. At this point one story path clearly merged with another, in which much of what I just read never happened. And unfortunately, all mention of the prescription meds and the identity theft was completely forgotten.
But overall, I really enjoyed this story.
on 7/30/2019 10:43:07 PM with a score of 0
honestly, i think it was a pretty good book, my ending was where i denied wanting anything from Sasha.
— anonymous on 3/30/2020 10:17:11 AM with a score of 0
Oh boy, was this an interesting read. Part of me is laughing right now, and part of me is cursing God for bringing me to the day when my eyes actually read this.
I think the best part of the story was the protagonist/the setting you built around his life. Hank is not exactly likable (not entirely a bad thing, I tend enjoy anti-protagonists a lot), but very relatable main character that exposes the fear of never being known. My favorite page, for that reason, was the very first page where you described his mundane life and the convenience of every single choice he's made. I think that provides some very interesting set-up for some of the... not so convenient choices he could make later on.
I do have some notes, but I understand that they may not align with the purpose of your story, so feel free to take them or leave them.
First, I think another commenter pointed this out, but the syntax is similar throughout; changing up sentence-by-sentence pacing could help foster and maintain reader engagement. Especially in the beginning, it was a little stale to me.
Second, the protagonist is absolutely dripping with male gaze. Case in point: describing tits as “mounds of luxiouriousness” and “those bongos.” Also, one of the choices being, “Hank acts likes a man and ignores the pain” after contracting a seemingly extremely serious illness. I get that it's kind of the point, but wow--it’s a heteronormative gold mine alright. Not quite sure if I hate this or really, really love this.
Finally just... it was gross, okay? Very gross. Congrats, you've received ten out of ten gross points.
Overall, it was a fun (?) read. I think the quality of writing is really nice but there's some mental preparedness that should have taken place before clicking start--maybe wonderful, maybe terrible work.
on 3/27/2020 6:25:54 PM with a score of 0
First Impressions: We are warned that this is mostly a gauntlet style CYOA story, but it is much more than that.
The style Ogre11 writes in evokes a tommy-gun like blast ... good use of repetition combined with excellent character development really hits the reader hard in the gut, like a tommy-gun.
I was interested in reading a contest winner, and I am glad I chose Ogre11's.
Feedback for improvement: If there is one piece of advice that I'd offer for Ogre11 to consider it would be to watch for using the same descriptor word multiple times in a row.
As an example: the word "convenient" was used 6 times in the second paragraph. If this aspect of Ogre11's writing is worked on, I am sure he'll be on his way into the next level of writing.
Thanks for the great story Ogre11 -- I really had fun leading Hank to his death from Friday until Monday :)
on 3/24/2020 11:42:57 AM with a score of 0
— James Christopher Serrano on 3/11/2020 9:30:17 PM with a score of 0
Outcome 3 is horrible. Rape isn't funny.
on 10/13/2019 4:39:29 PM with a score of 0
I took the Lulu route first, and man did I laugh up a storm. You have a way with gross out, horrific humor that made me click through every single page on this story until completion eagerly. Even some of the links contained pretty clever subtle humor, particularly when Hank wasn't in his right mind, that added to the story's character.
However, that's not all. I felt for Hank from the very start of the story, he's the everyman. When he wakes up with blisters on his nethers, I felt his shock and pain. Most of all I felt his displeasure with normalcy, which makes ultimately succumbing to the succubus not the worst ending you can get (in my opinion).
I only noticed a few errors, and they were typos, otherwise I really like this story.
on 8/12/2019 11:19:38 PM with a score of 0
I really enjoyed this story. The writing was very good and all of the characters felt believable. It had a good amount of humor and made me smile quite a bit. I'll have to play through this a few more times to get more endings. Great work Ogre.
on 7/31/2019 2:39:21 PM with a score of 0