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Mira Laime
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• 2/4/2014

I Am the Devil Notes

I love this type of story. I read the summary, and immediately went off to read the first chapter. I always thought it was both a tragedy and a blessing that there aren't more stories like this. A tragedy since that means I'm strapped to find stuff with a similar plot, and a blessing since it hasn't been completely butchered.

Onto the actual reviews now!

Chapter 1:

It seems like a mature version of the Grim Adventures of Bill and Mandy. Nataly and Danny, from what I've read, seem like genuine friends. Especially the comment about the yellow convertible. 

Good cliffhanger with the dead girl and the pentagram. I thought it was really well executed the way Danny revealed that it was a pentagram. All in all, I'm definitely reading the other chapters, but a few critiques. Show, don't tell. There isn't much description of anything. That isn't to say that it's not allowed (Well, Chuck Palahniuk proved that it's allowed), but there are certain things I'd like to have read about in more detail. For example, the introduction of Chris and Katie. Maybe some description of how Katie has so much makeup on her face, it's a miracle she isn't dragging her head around on the ground. 

Or how Chris has his shirt inside out. Something to add some more... depth to what's happening. Just my two cents. 

Chapter 2: 

Good cliffhanger again. Although, it was actually infuriating for me since I realized that there wasn't a Chapter 3 yet. I like how Satan sent Danny an email. I guess even devils have to go along with the modern days. Gone are the days when they'd be summoned by a pentagram and some Latin with a dash of sulfur.

Danny and Nataly seem rather cold. Well, let me rephrase. They don't seem to feel much of anything. They're very muted about everything, and thus, the impact of these events doesn't really hit home as hard as they should. 

Granted, it's probably intentional. Teenagers, after all,  are reputed to be quiet and introspective (Although, as a teenager myself, I'm more talkative than quiet...). I hope that in future chapters, though, they show more fear. (I sound like such a sadist right now.)

Anyways, looking forward to Chapter 3. Hook me up with it before all the others, and I'll give you a thousand bucks in Monopoly money.

I wonder what next will happen. Oh, well, guess I'll have to wait till tomorrow. Hope these comments help.

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• 2/5/2014

Thanks for the notes! I can say that for a fact that I have a reason for the emotionless teenagers, which will become seriously important later on, although the main attraction doesn't start for around eight more chapters, and once you get there, you'll realize that this isn't even really their story. Also, this is a mystery, so there's always going to be a cliffhanger. I'm not kidding: every chapter has a cliffhanger, even the ones at the end of each volume. It's not even intentional, it just happened to fall like that.

• 2/10/2014

A chapterly cliffhanger is quite hard to pull off, but I think you can manage it, from what I've read of the first chapter. Like Romano, I do like things with more description, but we'll see how it goes since you did say it was important for plot. Though I should say that your readers won't know that, and the first chapter will usually impact who reads on afterwards.

• 3/13/2014

I'll reading at least one chapter a day till I'm caught up, so here we go.

Chapter 1-2:

The murder mystery intrigues me, but as far as writing goes, there is room for improvement.

First of all, the writing so far seems incredibly black and white and with very little subtlety. Since the story is written in first person, so these are the thoughts of the main character, it makes him feel awfully elitist and judgemental.

Secondly, here is something to consider: When you speak, only ten percent of the meaning the audience extracts from it is the actual words. 30 percent of the meaning comes from the tone of voice and 60 percenty from your body language. In those two chapters you tell me what they said, but not how they said it, or how they acted as they said it, thus the story communicates much less than it could.

• 3/14/2014

Chapter 3-4:

No, no, no, no, no, no, no! So much no.

Not a single character in the story feels like an actual person. The exposition is hamfisted and in some cases makes no sense. You should never jump between a first person narrative and a third person narrative, unless it is explained later how Danny knows what Katie thought and did. I'll try reading one more day, but I'm not sure I'll be able to get into this story. The fact that you've made me hate the main character is a bad jumping off point. The story basically seem to run by the logic of:

Does well at school = Good person (even when committing a murder against an innocent person).

I mean, really. What other reason have you given me to like Danny and Nataly? As of right now I neither find them likeable nor interesting, so why would I be interested to see what happens to them?

• 3/16/2014

Chapter 5:

At first the way Satan is contacting them and challenging them was intriguing, but then it seems poorly handled. If the devil was really attempting to challenge them, then saying "here is a hint" is the most boring way to do so. I was hoping Satan would be playing a role like the Riddler in the Batman franchise, not like a bad game designer, constantly afraid that their players will be too stupid to figure anything out.

"Maybe the three of them could join forces and do something, once this was all over."

This is a bad line because it is the devil thinking it and it is out of character. "Joining forces" suggests that they are almost his equals. What he would be thinking is maybe he could exploit them in some way.

The last long paragraph in this chapter was actually really good. His feelings are a bit inconsistent with the person that managed to kill someone earlier, but your description was really well written and interesting.

• 3/16/2014

How old are you, btw?

I just realized I've gotten used to assuming people posting on this board are in their early to mid-twenties. My comments might be unfairly harsh if you are younger than that.

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