Reviews for Tainted Heartbeats
Kyle chapter 2 . 5/15/2013
What the hell is this? Is this a crossover with something else? Is this part of a different series I stumbled into by accident?
Silvered Anna chapter 3 . 12/28/2011
Huh. So I was on the right track in a way with the Inception bit, though I'm puzzled with the silvery-blue doe and golden dust horse, it reminded me of Harry Potter a little. It did hold me captivated, I am curious on Sarah, she is without a doubt one mysterious character. Some things are better left unsaid and this story is a great example of that.

Silvered Anna chapter 2 . 12/28/2011
I agree fully with Pippin on that, why does it always have to be Frodo that either is hurt or needs to be saved, though it makes the story more suspenseful to the readers I guess. Psycho lady is off the charts of Mary - Sue lust, but I don't think she is one,which begs the questions is this supposed to be like Inception and if its her controlling the dream (if is this one) or Frodo is having a really, really bad nightmare. I hope Sam uses the amazing power of his frying pan though, he's gonna need it.
Sauron Gorthaur chapter 3 . 12/20/2011
Hi Aria Breuer,

Nice last chapter for your three-shot. You know how to keep a reader in suspense and also to leave them hanging at the end, which is great for a dream story. Just like an unfinished dream (which most dreams are), we the readers are left wondering whether it really did happen, whether it was completely a dream, or whether it was some sort of magic experience. I liked that you left so many unanswered questions, even though I do wonder about the answers, but this isn’t the sort of story that wants to be nicely wrapped up. It would ruin the whole effect, and I’m glad you left so many questions.

I think I’ve said most of my comments in the last two reviews, but let me reiterate that you work well with surrealism, and that is shown again in this chapter, such as with the monster turning into a bull and holding a shovel, with the mysterious room filling with water (we’ve all had that nightmare, no?), and Sarah’s irrational behavior in kidnapping Pippin and Frodo and threatening Sam and Merry. The torch being blown out by a strange wind was scary, and I could see it happening in my mind.

Again, you did a good job bringing out the characters’ traits. Sam would think of Merry and Pippin as “two scoundrels” and Merry being the bold one to stand up to and yell at Sarah was in character. Also in character was the fact that practical Sam had to drag bold Merry into hiding. Frodo’s stern treatment of Sarah again reminded me of how he deals with Saruman in ROTK.

I have a little more constructive criticism in this chapter than for the last two. Once again, watch out for unnecessary words, as I ran across a few more like the examples I gave you in the other sections. Also, beware of pet words that you use a lot. I notice you use the word “barked” numerous times. Perhaps you can vary it a little so it doesn’t get repetitive.

I found a number of grammatical mistakes in this chapter. In this sentence: “Did the evil creatures capture to his cousin too?” the word “to” needs to be removed. In this sentence: “Coming to, Frodo found his wrists were bounded by ropes to a wooden post” the word “bounded” needs to be “bound”. In this sentence: “He tried his hardest to break free from his bonds, but to no avail for his failed in his first few attempts” the word “his” in “for his failed” needs to be changed to “he”. And in this sentence: “…Sam, Merry, and Pippin, who lied on the ground in an unconscious state…” the word “lied” needs to be changed to “lay”. These were the only grammatical mistakes I noticed, but it might be worth proof-reading this chapter another time to see if you catch more.

I was also confused by this sentence: “Although his hands and knees broke his fall, Frodo received more pain than he realized.” I’m not sure what you mean by this sentence, and I feel that it’s missing something. Perhaps what you meant to say was something like “Although his hands and knees broke his fall, it was more painful than Frodo expected.”

Good work! You spooked me with your story and kept me in suspense, even when I’d read preliminary drafts. You have unique ideas that I certainly haven’t seen before. Keep on writing!

-Sauron Gorthaur
Sauron Gorthaur chapter 2 . 12/20/2011
Nice work on part two of your three-shot. Again, I love what you’re doing with the surrealism, and I like that you’ve made it even more dream-like than you originally had it in the rough drafts. I particularly liked the scary and surreal sequence right before Frodo is hit on the head. The doors all slamming shut was a scary touch that I liked. I liked the weird details, like the young woman sitting in a rocking chair. The weird juxtaposition of a normal everyday thing with the weird things is perfect for a dream, and in my opinion, makes it even creepier. Your opening sentence for this chapter was also great. It set the mood of the piece, the fear, the adrenaline, the dream-like setting. Plus, it was a good poetic simile. Another good sentence was “…his lungs cried out in pain and fury.” Again, a great, poetic image.

You did a great job with characterization once more. Merry and Pippin’s courage to fight the monsters, and Pippin to find enough courage to actually stab one of them was right in character with their post-War characters. I also thought you did a really nice job with Sam again in this section. The fact that his main concern is finding Frodo was spot on, and him taking charge over the three of them and disapproving of sleeping in wet clothes seemed in character also. Also, Merry’s joking with Sam, and Sam being serious in return and not appreciating the joking was in character for both of them.

Frodo was also in character. His instinct that the woman is not what she seems was appropriate, for Frodo does seem to have a instinctual sense of who is good and evil in the books, perhaps a result of the Ring. Also, his initial attempt to be polite to the woman reminded me of his attempts at being polite to Lobelia, Saruman, Boromir, and other characters in the books who are not too polite to him in return. His weary “Just leave” at the end also reminded me of his worn-out character that we see at the end of the trilogy. So, all around, good work on all the characters.

For constructive criticism, I have very little to say. First, as I said in my review of part one, watch out for those extra words and phrases. In the second paragraph, there’s this sentence: “In haste, he ran towards the opening.” Running implies haste, so you don’t need to add the phrase “in haste.” Also, you again use the phrase “scanned the room with his eyes” when you could just say “scanned the room”, since we know he’s doing it with his eyes.

The only grammatical mistake I noticed was in this sentence: “Merry was roused awake by a low, deep bellow.” Either you want to say “Merry was roused by a low, deep bellow” or “Merry was awakened by a low, deep bellow”. Also “low” and “deep” mean pretty much the same thing, so you could probably choose one or the other, but you don’t really need both.

Great characterization, surreal setting, and storyline. Just look more carefully at your sentences and word choices to see when you’ve used words that imply each other or have similar meanings that can be trimmed. Otherwise, good work.

Keep on writing!

-Sauron Gorthaur
Sauron Gorthaur chapter 1 . 12/19/2011
Hello Aria,

Yes, it’s me, and I’m finally reviewing! Yes, yes, I know it’s about time that I reciprocated after all the helpful reviews you’ve left on my stories. Anywho, here’s my thoughts on your first section of this three-shot.

First of all, characterization. You have a distinctly surreal feeling going here, and therefore, the characters, particularly the characters other than Frodo, seem distant and vague. In a regular story, this would probably be a problem, but here, in the dream-like setting, it works very well. It seems like often in dreams even the people we know really well act distant and seem strange, and you’ve captured that vagueness well.

However, even if they seem vague, Sam, Merry, and Pippin are still in character. Sam is still protectively watching over Frodo, and he’s still somewhat of a practically optimistic pessimist, if you know what I mean, in that he fears the worst, but he’s ready to face it and defeat it. This line of Sam’s in response to Frodo’s suggestion of using the tunnels showed Sam’s character particularly well: “"If the shafts haven't collapsed, then we can use them. Otherwise –" Like the practical Sam we see in the trilogy, here Sam is prepared to find collapsed tunnels, but he’s still stout and ready to face the problems. Merry and Pippin’s loyalty to Frodo in their willingness to risk their lives without a second thought with the diversion shows their characters well. Their tendency to eat even when trapped inside a creepy mansion and surrounded by monsters was also distinctly hobbitish.

You’ve also done a good job of getting Frodo’s dream character down. His calm assurance to Sam that they’ll get back to the Shire and his sharp interruption when Sam is worrying about the cats reminded me of his character from the trilogy. The only thing that seemed off about Frodo was the fact that he doesn’t seem very worried for his friends. I can’t imagine the Frodo in the book purposefully sending Merry and Pippin into danger to create a diversion to save himself. I can imagine Merry and Pippin doing it on their own, and Frodo protesting it, and them doing it anyway, but Frodo’s certainly not the sort who willingly endangers his friends. He also seems to have a surprising lack of emotion when Sam falls through the stairs. Of course, since you’ve set up this surreal, dream world, this might be appropriate for dream-Frodo, since we don’t always act like ourselves in dreams, but still, this slight OOC bit of Frodo jolted me away from the story.

You really have the surreal genre down well, and the subtle hints that this is a dream are great. The fact that in the first paragraph Frodo can’t remember how he got to where he is and why he’s in the room was a nice touch. Your details throughout the chapter are also wonderfully dream-like. There is a surreal vagueness about the mansion with a few vivid details, like the paintings with the insignias dipped in golden reds and blues. That’s the way dreams are: remembering strange little details for no particular reason while other larger details are blurry. You captured this feeling well.

Stylistically, you’ve also done a good job. You vary your sentence structure somewhat, not starting always with nouns (although you could vary it a little more). You also have simple, choppy sentences, which again works well with the surreal, choppy, dream-like atmosphere that you’re creating for this piece. The only stylistic constructive criticism I have to offer is to look out for extra words and phrases. You like adding words or phrases that aren’t necessary, such as in this sentence: “…Samwise Gamgee, who held in his hands a thick, yellow office folder.” Here the phrase “in his hands” is unnecessary. You already say that he’s holding the folder; your reader will assume that he is holding it in his hands. The only time you would need to add a phrase like this would be if he is holding it with something unexpected, say, his mouth. Another example is “…Frodo skimmed the blueprints with his eyes…” Again, we are going to assume Frodo is skimming it with his eyes, making those three words unnecessarily. Look out for words and phrases like this that are simply fat that can easily be trimmed off to make your story flow better.

I’ll be working my way through the other two chapters over the next week, and I’ll give you my feedback on those, as well. You are talented at writing the surreal (an area in which I lack talent so I tip my hat to you), and this is a pretty frightening story. Good work.

Have a wonderful Christmas and New Year’s and as always,

Keep on writing!

-Sauron Gorthaur
Strawbaby Chick chapter 3 . 5/2/2011
Yay! it was sooooo good! Im so glad I decided to read it! : ) I saw my name and it made me squeal with joy that my name was on something XD i am so odd. . . . well, good job! I anxiously await more brilliance!
Strawbaby Chick chapter 2 . 4/29/2011
Yay! it was so good! except for the moments when I was horrified that my Frodo-poo was almost raped! kind of. . . or maybe not, but whilst reading that was the dominant thought in my mind. . . Good job!
Strawbaby Chick chapter 1 . 4/28/2011
Very good! I liked it a lot! the only thing I could possibly question is why Sam used Pippins full name, and not Merrys. But very good!