The Devil’s Footprints
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Rating: 3.8/5 (6 votes cast)

The Devil’s Footprints

Accused murderer James Ambrose would do anything to escape hanging, including selling his soul to the Devil.  When a mysterious trapper following strange cloven tracks follows them to Ambrose’s village, Ambrose is forced to join an expedition to hunt the very entity that might have freed him.

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  1. Profile photo of DEEPA
    DEEPA says
    October 23, 2016, 10:02 am
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    interesting and good

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    RJRogers says
    September 16, 2014, 3:45 pm
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    First, I hate horror! After reading the title I thought this was a story about Rosie O’Donnel. Your play is going to give me nightmares. It really will! Streaming black tears? Running up steps with the undead nipping at their heels? He drinks her soul? WTF! You don’t want me to sleep do ya pal? I hate horror!

    Despite the genre, you’ve done a great job. Your story is creative and descriptive with superb flow, pace, and great action. It’s going to scare the shite out of a lot of people. Myself included. Love the name Blackthorne. And the line, “we are a beacon begging it’s advance.” Terrific! The romantic in me would have written a different ending. But this is your baby, and it still works. Good job!

    P.S. I use to work on the sunset strip in West Hollywood. Trust me when I say don’t worry about facial expressions. Actors know what to do. Did I mention I hate horror?

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    jusork says
    September 17, 2012, 3:08 pm
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    You've got a great story developing and write it very smoothly. I liked the ensemble of the hunting party. Mostly a testament to the distinct characterizations and the consistency in that with every action and line of dialogue from the characters. But sometimes I think you avoid facial expressions. You can say a lot with a good facial expression and I think you could've used them a lot more.

    Would like to learn more about Blackthorne. He has an emotional story that you only hint at and we really don't learn much more about him or get a sense of who he is besides a seemingly fearless tracker bent on revenge. You go into his past twice, but it doesn't seem very necessary if you don't use it.

    One of my biggest issues was that you didn't establish Ambrose and Lucy's relationship until Lucy mentions it off hand around page 10. Ambrose nods to her once earlier but I had no reason to think it was an I know you nod. In fact, it seems that every 30 pages or so, we realize just how much closer they actually are. It also seems that since they have a formerly intimate relationship, then they should have more of a relationship during the trek. Lucy seems to pay little attention to him and I don't get an impression why.

    The first 60 pages evolves into a great mystery, that is tense and makes me curious despite its crawl. It's not until they reach the old Reverend's cabin that things get off. First, it seems to have no other purpose beside pure misdirection.

    Then when they leave the old man's cabin, I felt like nothing really happened except something I don't really understand happening to Lucy, it feels like it's starting to loose steam and direction. For the first time, I feel like I don't have a sense of where the story is heading. I felt like things should've been picking up around then, but it's more like it's just going around in circles. Although I think what you need to change is minor, perhaps just a stronger sense of energy and discussion of where they're going, or lack there of. I think at that point they truly are lost and this can be made into a hurdle in the story to overcome instead of just another turn.

    I think the main issue is how you deal with what happened to Lucy. After a night of scratching their heads in confusion, they find that Lucy suddenly has strange eyes. She killed someone, but nobody knows it. How do they know what it is that is wrong with Lucy? If they can tell it's supernatural, their response seems off. But they continue on aimlessly. Then they see an opportunity to help Lucy or so they think. I feel like their goal thread needs to continue more smoothly up to this point.

    I feel like Ambrose is supposed to have a transformative arc, but I don't see it. All we really get is Horry continually treating him like a killer and Ambrose continually denying it seemingly genuinely.  Early on, he becomes helpful and eager to prove he is a good person. So it really doesn't seem a stretch that he picks up a gun and fight against evil. But since the story is about him, I think you could use more on his need for redemption. If that's not his goal, then what is it? Either way, I think his evolution could be more evident and stronger. Unless he really was meant to evolve, if so, then why hint at the theme of redemption?

    Then after Blackthorne dies, he becomes suddenly cowardly. I start to become even more confused by his goal at this point and it takes a relatively thematically dense talk with Owens to get him back. But what happened? He doesn't care about Lucy anymore? Speaking of Lucy, definitely need more on him and her. Enough for Lucy to start denying him as a killer seemingly without prompting. Did their relationship evolve without me seeing it?

    He goes from seemingly loving Lucy to becoming a true egotistical killer that he seemingly was worried of becoming. But why? His flashbacks don't seem to reveal much or are confusing to make total sense of. His flashback with Mrs. Sinclair is especially confusing. What is happening exactly? He's an unwilling killer of woman, but eventually gives in to the woman he loves? I didn't sense his sudden evolution into evil. Or I didn't see that his evil was hiding within him the whole time. Because he seemed to be genuinely good.

    What's the point of the boy? He seems to most likely be God, but what is his role in the story supposed to be? If he was trying to balance the path that Ambrose was taking with good, I didn't see his contribution.

    I think you've got a great story and great skill, but there were some things to smooth out just to make things clearer. Thanks.

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    lex86 says
    August 8, 2012, 6:45 pm
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    interesting story, i was assigned this to review by the website, but i am a terrible wuss when it comes to horror movies (I am probably the worst person to read this, sorry!), so please take that into account when you read this. Great idea, good execution, I think it needs another draft to cut out the exposition, but overall great story.

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  5. Profile photo of jimmymcdaide
    July 31, 2012, 2:45 pm
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    I’ve spent the past couple of days scratching my head with this one. From the opening stunning image – anyone here should read it alone for the visual.

    From there it descends pretty rapidly, like within two pages, to what seems a romp. All the characters read superficial, their dialogue is heavily expositional – the introduction of the Reverend is just one example. Same to with pretty much every exchange between Constable Horry and Blackthorne.

    The characters make decisions that just baffle. For example; the hanging. There are many ways to skin a cat. Everyone just deciding to do it another day just was obscure to say the least. It felt like a plot dead-end that was just skipped to move forward.

    None of the characters have any mystery to them and with these dark age narratives, they need really need it. I thought you were on to such a good start with the mystery of the figure tracking through the snow, the strangling and then it just falls apart.

    Perfect grammar and formatting though.

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    jjcj3113 says
    July 30, 2012, 2:04 am
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    Excellent!

    Very well written. The structure was spot on. Great story telling. I really enjoyed the read. Bravo!

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