Gayle O'Leary

I live in Fremantle with an apartment full of plants and books. I enjoy amateur photography and reading when I'm not at work.

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Brutality required

I'll keep reading this to give it an honest chance and I'll revise this if I change my mind, but here's my thoughts so far.

It needs to be proofed, and be careful not to overuse words such as "creep". Everything seems to be too heavily narrated which encourages readers to stop paying attention and coming to conclusions themselves. That's less satisfying and indicates a lack of trust in the reader to connect the dots. I think describing what's happening without giving things away would make for a more interesting and engaging read.

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Everyone loves a little darkness

This story reminds me of books by Philip K Dick and Ray Bradbury. Sci fi dystopians that examine the harmful impacts of technology on humanity and how the pressure to conform brings out the worst in us. I'm a big fan of those stories, I bet you are, too.

I think this story would be far edgier if you cut out the main character's narration and focused on objectively writing about what's going on around him. Don't tell us what he's thinking. That would make it more tense and creepy, like the style Black Mirror uses to unsettle viewers when the main character is thrown into a dangerous or unusual scenario but doesn't always react clearly to it or simply doesn't let the viewer know what they're thinking. It's a less tiring way to write, as well, it helps keep paragraphs nice and short.

I also think the dialogue needs some more work. It comes across as being wooden, something that you can fix by making sure you read character's speech aloud after you type it and then take a moment to see whether it sounds natural to you. That would help the story to feel more plausible. Another note: I recommend you revisit the product description because most companies would never insert the word "toxic" into a statement regarding their own product, even when trying to describe it positively (minus tiny print "non-toxic chemicals / non BPA descriptions). It seemed like you were trying to unsettle the reading by including that word but it isn't subtle enough.

The ending makes the story, I loved it.

All in all, a pretty cool story. I look forward to reading more of your work.

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Smooth like a perfectly poured whisky on the rocks

What an excellent start, I can't wait to read more. I get the sense that English isn't the author's first language ad there's a few grammatical errors but that can be fixed easily, it doesn't ruin the story. You immediately feel like you're on the same page as the main character, and while she's narrating the story you don't feel as if she's giving away too much. It makes for a nicely paced and intriguing story.

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Immersive

I am enjoying this story and the rich, gritty environment painted in the protagonist's memories. An entire history is summed up nicely in the space of a plane trip and the scenes are beautiful. The writing style is a bit frustrating for me, it reflects the protagonist's slightly shaky grasp of English versus her native Serbian but perhaps it would be better if this came out in her dialogue with other characters and was more subdued when she is reminiscing to herself. That's my only small criticism though, and I'm keen to read more.

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