For the past day or so, I haven't been able to leave comments or reply to comments. In the top right-hand corner I don't even get the drop-down to see my followed games or to log out - I don't want to delete all my cookies, I wonder if you can make that site specific. Not sure if this is related to the work you all are doing, but thought I'd report it just the same!
I posted a couple:
Bioshock Infinite - http://www.gamespot.com/bioshock-infinite/user-reviews/810194/platform/xbox360/
Gears of War Judgement - http://www.gamespot.com/gears-of-war-judgment/user-reviews/810293/platform/xbox360/
One issue I ran into, that I see you also did too is that the gamespot web editor drops apostrophes. From a readability standpoint, this makes the whole passage just a little more challenging. I took the time to proofread and add them back and I think that would be a good use of time. Im not sure why you choose to only put the main characters dialogue in quotes, very Cormac McCarthy of you, but still somewhat halting while Im reading. The goal, as I see it, and I could be wrong, is, as a writer, you want the reading to be as effortless for the reader as possible. Anything you can do to make what youre writing seem easy and accessible, the better. It is also nice to describe the characters a little bit. A couple places you use the same word in the same sentence, just like I did there, and it is sometimes nice to throw some variety in. There are tons of online thesauruses out there, but dont go the Christopher Paolini way and swap out words that dont make sense. I try to stay away from adverbs as well, words ending in ly and instead try to describe the action or surroundings as accurately as I can.
This sentence should have been caught during a proofread:
She's unable to hide mask her voice as she watches me get beat down.
It is either hide or mask, not both, I think. The ending is almost anticlimactic. I realise you were up there in the word count, but describing it might be better. There is a heavy dose of despair at the end of your entry, but I dont get the entire feeling of it in that one sentence. Though, that might just be me. Overall, the piece is well written.
Im not sure what feedback I can really give, since youve written this as a very particular type of writing. Passages from religious texts carry a certain tone and I want to say that you did a good attempt at capturing that. I had a hard time getting invested in the writing due to the detached nature of the writing, the perspective you choose. I think your word usage is solid and appropriate. I wouldnt have been brave enough to write something like this.
I thought this was written well, a good snapshot of circumstances, good use of the story and environment. I do like to spice up writing by mixing up long passages of narration with dialogue, something to give the reader a little variety. I felt like I could understand and commiserate with your protagonist, but at the same time, I felt a slight detachment from the very beginning. Id argue beginnings are the hardest to write, not endings, Ive often toyed with teasing the ending at the beginning, but that has yet to work for me. I think you set the stage well as I continued. I also try to mix up sentences starting with pronouns so that the reader feels or sees what the character sees. If you were writing in first person, I think thatd be different, but since youre right in third person, a little more description of the action couldnt hurt. I hope my comments are helpful and not detrimental!
I think I left a comment on your blog, and I am one of those justicars, but I'll comment here as well.
Overall, well written. In the second paragraph, you use where instead of were - I think. The lack of apostrophes after contractions is time consuming to fix, I agree, but it might help the overall readability of your piece. The phrase you have in the second journal entry is one in a lifetime but the phrase is once in a lifetime. When Im writing, I try to steer clear of using sayings that others might not be accustomed to. Using a phrase like Holy Grail might be self-explanatory, but the key is to describe what is happening so the reader can see it with their own eyes. Ive also learned that using adverbs is something you should minimise, instead relaying on adjectives and accurate verbs to describe something. Just something to think about as you write. For me, when reading a journal entry, Id like to picture how I would write it. If Im discovering my penultimate goal, would I write in full words or in a scrawl, rushing through the text? A sense of urgency might make some of the scenes more believable. You describe the situations well, but if it were a journal, would he be describing his own actions in that way?
I think a good proofread might have caught some of the issues Ive encountered. Somewhere you have It got up on my knees but I think you mean I. Proofreading isnt fun, but it sometimes helps the little issues. How does he know what the songbird is? When I wrote my piece, I tried to explain how people knew what they knew, to set the stage better.
I hope this isnt coming off as overly pretentious, that isnt my intent. I think the story is good, but the grammar and phrasing could use some more attention.