Just In
for The Hurting

3/17 c1 2k+Hawki
-You’re repeatedly putting commas after punctuation marks rathe than before them, even when they’re not needed. E.g. “What should we call him?”, needs to lose the comma after the marks.

-I’d put a linebreak or something similar after “rest of their lives” and “Gabriele would head out,” given the time jump. Treating everything as a section before that, it’s…fine, I guess? It’s heavy on fluff, which is fine, but fluff is, well, fluff, and little more. It’s also arguably putting too much forward too quickly, in that five characters are introduced in the span of a single section.

-“…although the father can also do this.”

You’ve slipped into present tense there.

-“Their eyes were navy blue, Azure blue…”

“Azure” shouldn’t be capitalized.

-So, turns out that there is a linebreak, so arguably one isn’t needed before it. Still, it does remain fluff at this point.

-“…and the two had unprotected sex…”

Wait, macaws have an option in that?

-“Alfonso, and he was yelled at.”

Cut out the “and.”

-So, come the end of the second section, and we’ve done a hard turn from fluff. Not quite to “misery porn,” but it’s close to it. I’m leaving the comments I made on fluff, because I’m not quite sure how to quantify the shift. It’s certainly not tonal whiplash per se, because the shift feels intentional. On the other hand, if it’s a subversion of the intro, then I’d say it works, but I can’t be sure it is a subversion. At the very least, the shift is noticed.

-“…and that Alfonso forgives him.”

Should be “forgave” or “had forgiven” (you’ve slipped into present tense).

-Third section is okay. Short, but it conveys the point it needs to.

-Getting to the fourth section, I’m not sure if macaws would know what knives or heroin are, but the section is solid. Things are going downhill, and going downhill fast, and it leaves an impact.

-“…and now he’ll join…”

Should be “he’d.”

-“…will always be present.”

Should be “would.”

-“Eventually, Tomas was placed in a truck.”

Wait, isn’t he already in a truck? Or has he moved to a second truck?

-“Suddenly, footsteps were heard approaching him.”

I’d change this to “Suddenly, he heard footsteps.” The way it’s written is passive – when you say, “were heard,” there’s the implicit question of who’s hearing them. Yes, I know it’s Tomas, but the writing in of itself briefly takes me out of the immersion.

-When you describe the boy’s family, you’re using author’s voice. For instance, “maybe he’s just a spontaneously tall person, who knows?” is a case of the author asking the reader a question directly, whereas up to this point, you’ve used tight third person. That, and “he’s just” is slipping into present tense.

-“But perhaps this change will mark…”

Again with the present tense.

You actually slip entirely into present tense at the end of the story.

-Overall, I’m mixed. From a structural standpoint, there’s certainly a comprehensible arc here – character is born, character suffers, character finds a happy ending. Technically, none of that is due to Tomas’s own actions though – he reacts to the plot rather than drives it. Also, the issues I listed above. Yes, none of them break the writing, but constant little problems add up to big ones. I’d say that the quality kind of has a bell curve to it – start and end aren’t that strong, but it does get better in the middle sections.

Final note, feel I should address the author’s notes. I get the sense that this fic is deriving material from personal experience, so on that note, you have my sympathy. From the events you describe, I can only hope that you’re in a better position now than when you wrote said notes. If not, well, for what it’s worth, I hope that there’s light at the end of the tunnel.
10/18/2020 c1 1monsterjamvadim

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