Peer Review by loveletterstosappho (United States)

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The Lonely Pyromaniac

By: Harlow


FREE WRITING

    I can’t remember the last time I saw my family.  Ma kicked me out when I burned the sitting room rugs to rags, and had me institutionalized when she found the matches. It's my own damn fault if you consider I had 'em lined up in order by burn damage on my charred mahogany desk. I don't remember when the burning started. Maybe after the divorce, maybe after my brother's suicide, maybe after the pressure of life blazed through my sole and raged there for a while. Ma forbade my friends from seeing me the month before I was institutionalized, so they all think I hate 'em. In reality, I might've needed them, but it's too late now. I’ve got friends, actually; my matches and the gasoline. They've always been there for me. Even now in a Manhattan cold alley, they're here. They help me burn bits of aluminum to throw at the alley cats and allow me to relieve myself from the wildfire of life. The aluminum was the only thing lighting since the old wood and paper in the dumpsters was rain-soaked. I was going to go try to   The rain poured slick on a beat up Caddy, so I didn’t expect it to light. That night, I didn’t really expect anything else to light, but I had to try. I had to. I drenched the cracked red leather seats in gasoline and poured some in the dents on the roof. I lit my cigarette first; a good smoke gave me a good mood. I lit a second match to flick at the car and watch with a euphoric delight as the orange flames enveloped the car and licked at the wet sidewalk. This was thanks to my only friends.

I could use some help with verb tense. Trying to include some flashbacks then make it present tense.

Message to Readers

Read footnotes, leave a comment, but remember to Enjoy my mediocrity.


Peer Review

the backstory of the narrator connects so well with their current actions, and i love the way it's all described. the narrator's dialect stands out and seriously characterizes them; really, all of the indirect characterization in this piece is amazing.


i made a comment about this, but perhaps you could expand upon why the narrator is so desperate to light a car on fire in the pouring rain?


Reviewer Comments

i really like this new draft and you are EXCELLENT at indirect characterization. there are still some things that could be clarified/expanded on or rephrased, and i think you could consider splitting this big chunk of words up into more paragraphs to make it more digestible, but i'd say this was definitely a good read overall! keep writing!