Fiction Marathon Feedback: Round One, 2022

Fiction Marathon Feedback: Round One, 2022

I loved this round. It challenged the writers, but also got the best out of them. It is very difficult to put across all you want to convey in such a short word count. In my opinion, round one of the marathon is the hardest one.

The Fiction Marathon Round One Assignment Specification

Write a sentence that evokes fear.
Only ONE sentence
15-35 words

The voting page will contain all the stories and feedback from readers and writers for all the stories, in the comments section…

What I was looking for when giving feedback for round one of the Fiction Marathon:

Everyone looks for different things when reading through a list of entries like this. I am a very visual writer. When I pen a story, I am just putting words to the images I see in my head. So in this round I was looking for a picture, conveyed in a scene or setting. I like brave writing but am not keen on overwriting, particularly when the word count is so low. I wanted the sentence to flow as a whole without being too concerned whether the writer used 15 or 35 words. There is such a short time to impress the reader, so beware of being too clichéd.

I was hoping to feel fear while I read a sentence, and as a writer it may be easier to evoke fear when writing in the 1st or 2nd person. Also, l was looking out for those who made the title work for them. As in, rather than picking the title to say what is going on in the sentence, use it to give the reader more information.

NB: I wrote notes on all the stories before I knew who had written them…

So here is my feedback.

When reading feedback, please remember that what we personally like to read is very subjective. I pull from my own experiences in life and writing when commenting on other’s words, but that does not mean I know better than anybody else. The judges might not all agree, and similarly there will be a wide range across readers votes. What I am trying to say is, do not take things too much to heart with regard to feedback. Simply try and take something constructive from it through to the next round.

My Feedback for Round One Fiction Marathon

group of police officer and investigators work at crime scene - fear fiction marathon round one
Photo by Faruk Tokluoğlu on Pexels.com

FEAR ENTRIES

  1. Feeding Time

I like the confidence in this sentence – to use a made up phrase you need to be sure of your own abilities.

I wondered would the beast not smell the baby anyhow?


  1. *Dangerous Driveway*

I think the first part of the sentence could have been constructed better. But this is a minor observation.

Wow. Now this did evoke fear in me. I heard the crunch too. Well done.


  1. *Hiding place?*

I Like the “silent safety” alteration as later the noise of the baby breaks the quiet and also the safety, and this is what evokes the fear.

I think you did a great job.


  1. Not alone

Great atmosphere in this sentence. A chilling mix with the smells and tempreture.

I think it should be “swings” not “swung.”


  1. Soul death

Oh how I would like to know what the actions were.

The thought of someone I had a strong bond with leaving evoked a scary, sad, regret in me.


  1. The Afterlife

You have given us so much to chew on in this sentence. It does feel a little like two.

However, what a horrific scene that evoked a lot of fear in me.


  1. Broken Silence

A relatively straight forward sentence which flows nicely. I would have just had her naked.

I can image being that woman and how my heart would jump with fear! Good job.


  1. The Corridor

I think it should be “crept” not “creeping”. So much going on in a short sentence, which provided great visuals. The title could perhaps have told us more about the corridor.

This felt like a dream so didn’t really evoke fear.


  1. Hunted

I could really visualise this scene. I’m not sure she chose a great hiding place though.

I felt she was going to be found immediately and this got my heart beating faster.


  1. *Deep Cut*

This works brilliantly in the second person. After all you are trying to evoke fear in the reader. So well done. Love the way you have used ‘burn/ice-cold’.

You completed scared me! Full of fear… I may not sleep for a week 🙂


  1. *Daddy’s Rapture*

Oh, this is so evil. I am feeling horror rather than fear, but they are often linked. Love the simplicity of this sentence – no prisoners taken here. Well done.


  1. Groaking Feast

I am not sure I understand this sentence. I think he must have been approaching the food. You were brave using ‘groaking’ but I didn’t feel fear when reading, but perhaps that is because I have never been starving.


  1. Old Church

I liked the ghostly feel of this one and the straight forward nature of the narrative. Not sure it evokes fear in me though.


  1. God’s Bathroom

Great title and you have left us in no doubt about the horrific scene. I would like to know who is holding the needle.


  1. Dreaming

Nicely done. I can visualise them watching and waiting until the time is right. I think you had room to amp up the fear although I like the swift change from gentle (soft/sweet) to loud (screams/symphony).


  1. Something Approaches

Not keen on the title. Although you have made good use of the word count to set a chilling scene for the reader. You could lose “that” and it does read a little like 2 sentences.


  1. Blood Kiss

Quite a cliched scene but a fantastic sentense. The first few words told me what to expect but I liked “shocked convulsions” and “questioning terror.”


  1. Remnants

This is horrid and scary. Well done. The title works for the story too. I would have used a different phrase to “spitting image.” Perhaps a “death echo.”


  1. Until Proven

This made me think about the whole bazaar concept that strangers can decide a person fate, which happens in the legal system. The fear came in late, but was there.


  1. Fear

Thinking of a dog whimpering when you can’t see why is scary. I think I would have liked to know what type of dog. If it was a Germon Shepard for example, I would have really been worried. I presumed the “him” is an unwanted person.


  1. Unpleasant Surprise

Abandoned houses are scary places but I need to know more about why this room could be horrifying. However, very intrigued about the plastic wrap.


  1. *Stung*

A very real frightening experience here. Described well. Plus, the title tells us more about the sentence. Great job. Personally, I would not have used crept twice. It can work to repeat like that, but usually in longer stories.


  1. Kissing Surprise

A cliched fear situation but I often find vampire scenes very sexy. A nicely written sentence though.


  1. Running Scared

This is something that would frighten me for sure. Being followed late at night. I don’t think the flirty text is needed.


  1. Baby Doll

That would be a horrifying thing to happen. Not sure about using “toddler”, – perhaps something more personal, such as a name or endearment.


  1. *Innocence Punished*

I like that the guillotine was almost mocking the person about to lose their life – “sang”. I also think the title is good as it adds to the story, telling us the person was not guilty. Well done.


  1. *Copied Cat*

The fear comes from her words being ripped and stole from her soul and the dreaded writer’s block(dead muse). Well-structured and a brave idea. Love the originality.


  1. Death Wish

Very true. The situation would be dreadful. But I need more to feel fear. You mention an event but don’t tell me more about it.


  1. Raptor

Love the continued hawking theme. And the imagery is very scary. I think you could have left a few words out. But I am spare writer and I realise you wanted to make the very most of the word count.


  1. Jarring Emptiness

The two “this” words so close together meant the sentence didn’t flow for me when I began reading, but after, I have to say the idea put across does evoke fear in me.


I have *stared the titles* of my 7 favourites. But, well done to all the writers. I think this is the strongest round one I have seen in the fiction marathon and the smut marathon.


Have a read of Hardison Parker’s experience of this round.

Here’s a short story I wrote all about fear.


Header Image by Republica from Pixabay

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