Well. I haven’t read one of your stories in a very long time, and you’ve grown incredibly as a writer since then. Your storyline, your syntax and diction, your writing style as a whole – may I please express my admiration? :)
Riverbend, having no historical significance or value, is a place for beings such as myself, lost philosophers who’ve reached the dead end. This line made me squee, for no apparent reason – I love his description of himself as a “lost philosopher.” Great image! Though you might consider changing “who’ve” to “who have.” This is not mandatory for grammatical correctness, since it’s meant to be coming from Milo’s voice, but he seems to me like someone who tends to speak a little more formally. I don’t know – just personal opinion.
Being with other ghosts drifting about feeling sorry for themselves sounded like a pretty lousy idea, even if misery does enjoy company. I suppose my final thought on that subject was that I’d rather depress other ghosts who’ve already lived their lives than people who still have the rest of theirs. Aw! I love how wry and skeptical he is – you did an amazing job of making me like him simply through the narrative style, aside from any considerations about his character. I tend to be skeptical when I start stories in first person, because it’s so hard to maintain a good narrative voice through an entire story, but you did a great job – Milo’s voice is wry and funny and reflective. Very ghostlike! Oh, how I love easy-to-remember names. Hee!
This story was oddly chilling, with the ghost-baby and all; what horrible people, to make that choice for their child! It’s something I’ve never considered at all – the existence of ghosts of various ages – and it raises all sorts of questions, which I think you did a great job at addressing.
Overall, have I managed to convey how impressed I am by this entire story? Great job, and I hope to read more from you!
This is a really nice piece of work. I had never thought of what ghosts actually thought of after death. I would think that their brains would just replay the same thoughts over and over. I didn’t know they could feel either (not physical pain, of course).But your story has changed all my thoughts on these subjects. I like the feel of the story. It is very compelling and thought-provoking. I like that there is a darker sense to it than is actually shown in the story. I think that you can do so much with this story, out of this particular one-shot of course. There could be an offspring fic about the thoughts of a baby or someone who is so young being turned into a ghost…or you can write a sequel about what happens with Milo and Paige.
I wonder, is there a certain person in charge of all the ghosts? If so, who is this person and did they make the rules? The rules part confused me a bit. How would ghosts have rules? And who would enforce them? Also, doesn’t the person who made the rules know that those “punishments” doesn’t affect them?
Just one nitpick:
It’ll take you down a gravel road that goes strait into the town.”
“straight” is spelled wrong in this sentence.
Overall, very nicely written! :)
You wrote such a lovely story for me that I feel compelled to review it. Sorry I didn’t get to it a bit sooner (though I guess we’ve known each other long enough that you know about me and procrastination). Anyway, I really love what you did with this. I had no idea what to expect, but this is perfect. Milo is a very compelling character, and you also manage to tackle a very dark and difficult question while keeping the mood generally light.
A few nitpicks: “I wasn’t going to listen to this mothr talk about her baby boy whom she led to this fate as though he were born with an illness no one could cure.” You left out the e in mother. Just a typo, but worth fixing at some point if you have time.
I love everything you have, but it’d be sort of nice if you managed to explain the ‘rules’ a little bit more. I wondered who made the rules and whom they apply to, and I wished Milo would get Paige to explain. Are they just rules for residents of Riverbend, or do they apply to ghosts in general? It’d be nice if you could delve into that just a little bit more, though not too much, because too much could shift the emphasis away from the central theme of whether it’s right for very young children to become ghosts.
It’s funny, but what I really keep coming back to with this story is how much you’ve grown as a writer. I remember some of your earlier stuff, and while the ideas were always there, your execution of them has improved dramatically. This story flows well. The dialogue is well written (kudos to you; dialogue is hard to write convincingly). The storyline is clear and the narrator’s emotions are wrenchingly tangible. Not that your writing was bad before, because it wasn’t at all. It’s just amazing to me how much you’ve grown.
That was a fun change of fanfics. Thanks for letting me know about it!
Interesting story, a really creative idea! Good job!