• Chapter 25
    I was zipping up my suitcase ready to go to Kate’s, when I heard the sound of little feet running on the main floor. Determined to ignore whatever plans the house had to keep me there I picked up my s […]

  • Chapter 23
    As I approached the front door, I noticed my front porch light was out. I’d have to change the bulb tomorrow, as I felt better coming home to a light on outside. I put my house key in the lock and t […]

    • Hi Linda
      I’m guessing this scene don’t follow on the ones from Week 11, as Daniel was on his way to the hospital then. I’m guessing this one happened before the weeds? Also, where I expected your “scene 24” to start you’ve posted scene 23 again, I’m guessing by mistake. 😉

      The bursting lightbulbs is a quite vivid and imaginative scene and I like that it is rich in sounds and sight. I liked the “cascading sound of broken glass,” but perhaps that would do better in just a description. In dialogue it seems a bit awkward and unnatural (although, Daniel is an author 😀 ). The same goes for “enveloped.”

      I liked how his thoughts went to Kate just before he fell asleep, as it is both significant and ironic that she is the last thing he thought about in the day. She contrasts so much with the events of the evening, and she could be another reason for Daniel experiencing frustration with dealing with the house, as the house is essentially keeping him away from Kate. Perhaps this can create a bit more inner conflict, or conflict between them?

      Once again, I enjoy how Alex is the calm stable force in the story that restores the balance!

  • Riana, again I really enjoyed reading these scenes. You have a beautiful ease and flow to your writing. I enjoyed the treehouse visit and even Albert’s fall; the childlike nature of it all and spontaneity. Watching Tina steal the herbs was also fun. I’m wondering if these are some sort of special herbs? It seems Albert is already learning fro…[Read more]

  • Very suspenseful scenes, Sean! I’m wondering if Thomas is turning into the creature like Martin did? I liked your descriptions of him changing or transforming into someone/something else. Very gripping! The only thing to check over is sometimes you change from past tense to present tense, when I think your story is written in past tense. O…[Read more]

  • Chapter 21
    Someone was knocking on my door at 8am. I looked through the peephole and realized it was the lawn care company I had hired.
    “Good morning, Dan Conway, just wanted to let you know we’re going to sta […]

    • As the house starts to influence more of the space around it, I’m starting to wonder if the “presence” that is haunting the house is in the house at all, or if the house is just in an unlucky location. Kind of like how a tree will slowly envelop a fence post over time. Eventually the fence post is just part of the tree, mostly.

    • Dear Linda
      I am very sorry that I am so late with reading this!

      The roots underneath the weeds are quite intriguing! It is a great touch with so much potential! This had a really great visual quality to it, and perhaps you can even emphasize the creepiness of it all a bit more! After all, that is not something you ever hope to find underneath your house! Perhaps Daniel can wonder whether he imagined seeing some of the roots move?

      I enjoyed the character Greg! Perhaps you can give just a teeny bit of a description or characteristic to make him more vivid.

      I thought Daniel had already had his deadline? Or perhaps you have adjusted your time line. If this is for the new novel about his grandmother’s journal, one week away seems a bit soon. Unless a lot of time has passed in the meantime.

      The way the house makes him type almost uncontrollably is really fascinating! I feel like this is another element you can actually make more of. It must be quite riveting for Daniel to be able to write this fast, and this can become part of his inner conflict. Staying in the house is unsafe and scary – but he doesn’t want to give up the way the house makes him write in an almost supernatural way!

      I don’t have much else to add. This was a fun read! 😀

  • You maintain the level of suspense throughout your scenes, making me anxious to know what happens next. Finally we learn what Martin has secretly been up to. Cloning himself with the creatures. I’m left wondering why he would want to do this though. What is the purpose? Also, how would he/it look when the cloning is completed? Good science f…[Read more]

  • Riana, I enjoyed reading these scenes. You have a beautiful way of writing details describing things or situations and bringing the reader into the scene. This makes your story flow and easy to read. I especially liked your description of Albert climbing the tree.
    Also, like Albert, I wanted some of the crumble pie and ice cream right away.…[Read more]

  • Chapter 19
    Walking along the pier and breathing in the fresh salty air, after what I had gone through, helped calm me a little.
    “Daniel.” Alex called coming towards me. “What’s up?”
    “The usual stuff at my house.” […]

    • Dear Linda
      I enjoyed this scene and the bit of family history that came along with it. I felt the information was spread out nicely and naturally throughout the writing – for example, you mention Louise and then a little later you casually include the information that she was Jane’s sister. (I realise now that you’ve said this in an earlier scene, but for forgetful readers like me you’ve clarified this again without sounding repetitive). So there are no awkward explanations about the backstory, but everything still made sense by the end of the scene.
      The sentence “When a reporter asked him ….” left me unsure whether it was referring to Daniel’s father or to John Hollow. I was also curious: If Daniel’s father had sold the house to John Hollow how did Daniel not know anything about it? Did his parents die that long ago or was it deliberately kept secret?
      I’m surprised Daniel didn’t mention Terrence Evermore to Kate? I like how “Evermore” and “Blackmore” have the same endings – it predicts some sinister connection there!
      I don’t really have much else to add. These scenes read coherently and were interesting! Well done, Linda. 🙂

    • I like the idea of building the history of events about and around the house via old newspaper articles. I would suggest using the “actual” articles instead of providing a summary, though. You could then scatter about the articles, and show us the characters reactions. Being interrupted while reading a newspaper article would be a good way of only providing a snippet of the article, etc.

      On a side note, what happened with Daniel’s dog? Maybe I missed it. Even if Alex is keeping the dog, it might be interesting to have it try to warn some of the people that the house is getting ready to do “bad things”.

  • An enjoyable read, Riana. I really like your characters and how you show how they are feeling through their words and gestures. I’m not sure why Aunt Bea seems to dislike the neighbour, Tina, so much. Does she think she’s too nosy? Also, I’m wondering if Tina and Grandpa Grael were more than neighbours. She seems to really know her way aroun…[Read more]

  • Sean, I like the old tattered journal entries. The parts that are damaged leave me trying to guess what would have been there. It lends an authenticity to your scene of scientific research and discovery. I have to go back to your previous entries to check but I think the section with Martin and Philip is also going back in time which helps fill…[Read more]

  • Chapter 17

    Kate and I woke up half an hour later than she needed to for work. So, she rushed to get dressed in her navy-blue suit and light blue blouse and blue heels. I put on my clothes from the night before […]

    • Hi Linda. I liked these scenes; there was quite a lot happening and a lot of pieces put in place. I am quite curious about the book Daniel wrote in that house – I can’t remember if you’ve ever mentioned anything about the storyline other than that it is a crime novel. It might be an interesting opportunity to reinforce a theme, or something like that.
      I enjoyed the introduction of the mysterious Terrence Evermore and his thickening of the plot! The part in the Red Room was also quite intriguing. I like how the mirror acts as a view into the supernatural world and adds to the theme of questioning what is reality.
      I did wonder a bit about the tests done on the skeletons, as I had thought it was only for identification purposes. Not sure if after a 100 years you’d still be able to identify a cause of death that was organ-related? I don’t know much about post-mortems, so perhaps one could! If not and these were mysterious skeletons that were not yet fully decomposed, it might be fun to emphasise the unusual-ness of the skeletons and add some gruesomeness!
      This was a fun read! 😀

    • Good introduction of the new character (Terrance). I suppose now it’s time for the house to get “grumpy”. 🙂

  • I’m enjoying reading your chapters, Riana, and looking forward to more to come. I really like your main character, Albert, and wonder what he will do with his grandpa Grael’s place. It sounds like he may end up living there and trying something new.
    Also, wonder how they go about solving the leak situation. I really like Aunt Bea’s chara…[Read more]

  • I read that so fast, I didn’t realize I had already finished until this moment. Very suspenseful! I’m wondering if Martin has turned at least halfway into one of the creatures from doing his own secret experiments in the lab. I like your description of his body transforming in rage. Well done! Now I want to read the next chapter.

  • Good character description and development in such a short piece! Very easy to read and a fun read! Well done with the surprise ending. I enjoyed reading your story.

  • You’ve managed to capture a lot within such a short piece of writing. I also like how you show how seconds can seem like a very long time indeed. The journey of the story is sad but then turns happy at the ending, and you paced the journey effectively.

  • Very eerie and suspenseful writing. An enjoyable read! I wonder what all these new ideas are the writer has received from the muse. Love the descriptions.

  • Interesting story of temptation and distrust between the animals. I also would have liked the action to begin sooner, but still enjoyed reading it. Thanks for sharing!

  • Linda commented on the post, Walls by Linda Sansalone 1 month ago

    Thank you for reading my story. It is fiction. Glad you liked it. The original was slightly longer and I would like to make it longer in rewrite.

  • Walls

    Twisting the blue pen cap around and around continuously, Nathan remained staring fixedly at the bare cement wall facing him. The square sparsely furnished room continued darkening, as the sun descended […]

    • Holly replied 1 month ago

      Love the build up. Fact or fiction? Memory or dream? Interested reading more.

    • Linda replied 1 month ago

      Thank you for reading my story. It is fiction. Glad you liked it. The original was slightly longer and I would like to make it longer in rewrite.

    • Donal replied 1 month ago

      Emmm, could be in prison but not in a prison uniform like they do in South America, impoverished student or someone mentally ill, very curious, challenges the imagination. Thank you for the puzzle.

    • Wow, nice twist 🙂
      Nice shot about a writer’s life 😉
      I would have probably liked it betted longer, so that there is more real action than fiction within fiction, but hey, the assignment was for short one, so nice idea.

  • Chapter 15
    I awoke to the sound of a baby crying loudly. There on the table in front of me was the doll with one eye and one leg I had found under the weeds in the front yard on my first day here. I wanted to look […]

    • Hi Linda. I loved the creepy doll crying them awake! I especially liked the way she stopped crying when picked up; this was fun to picture! I was almost a bit disappointed that they moved on from her so soon, there is always a lot of fun to be had with a “baby” around! 😀 The sentence “I can’t hear it crying anymore” tripped me a bit, as I thought the doll had gone quiet. Perhaps “I can’t listen to it crying anymore” will be clearer?

      I did feel like parts of your dialogue might have a little too much unnecessary details which doesn’t really add anything to the story. I don’t think it’s always wrong to have bits that are solely there for atmosphere and pacing, but perhaps you could consider shortening those bits or scattering them more? For example, the whole passage from “I have an extra new toothbrush” up to “just wine and yourselves.” seems to be mostly decorative. It might be useful to mark that section in case you ever need to cut down on your wordcount, or want to speed up the pace a bit. Another idea which might be fun if you want to keep some of your “decorative” dialogue is to make it serve one of your subplots, so for example in the dialogue/descriptions during the dinner at Alex and Vanya’s place you might use it to move along Daniel and Kate’s relationship or stir some conflict between them.

      I like the foreshadowing of Daniel and Kate’s trip to Italy; it definitely shows that their relationship is progressing, and especially since they are put side by side with a couple who has such a successful relationship, the upcoming trip almost seems to serve as a sort of a “test” for their new relationship.

      I don’t have much else to add, except that you can maybe revise your adverbs and adjectives. Those words tend to draw attention, so make sure you know where you want the attention to go. For example, your reader might not really care that Daniel is wearing a brown belt, but it would be quite interesting to know what the creepy crying doll was wearing! 😀
      Looking forward to finding out more about the skeletons! 😉

    • Interesting scene! I think adding some dialogue about the pictures could maybe be a place to insert some images of some of the ghostly figures in the house, which clearly don’t belong in the images, and so on.

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