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for Holly Hughes

4/10/2010 c1 5brittle hearts
I really enjoy the dialogue between your characters; it's quick-paced, hilarious, and real. While it's only the first chapter, the characterisation is pretty strong and the plot has a layer of mystery to it as well. Looking forward to your next update!
4/7/2010 c1 1moonlitmidnight
I know you haven't updated in a while but I wish you would. I really enjoyed this chapter. You write with a certain element and sarcasm that we don't quite see in many books these days; a style which I have been trying to achieve for quite sometime and seems to pop up sporadically here and there in my stories... But one I fail to consistently administer in each line of my unfortunate stories.

I would love to know what happens next and it woul be amazing to receive an update!

Thank you and please read my stories...? Your insightfulness would he much appreciated by me, other readers, and my stories.
9/24/2009 c1 3Jossie
Is this the story you mentioned in you vlog? I really like this! In just a chapter you have formed a well rounded character and minor characters. I really like it! It sounds set in the 18th century... and yet the genre is fantasy, so I'm very interested in seeing what this will be about. It's been a while since you updated unfortunately, so perhaps you'll write more and we'll see where it goes?

Anyway very promising first chapter. Mystery definitely there, hooking your readers in!
12/18/2007 c1 8Written
I must say, I'm absolutely charmed! The main character is a real gem, and I do hope you're planning on finishing!
11/23/2006 c1 2marimekko
I know my review doesn't say much in terms of critique but I think that this is very charming.
8/14/2006 c1 1Under the Stars
I found you through fpdebate. I noticed that the previous reviewers gave you grammatical suggestions, so...

After the line "If she wasn’t careful, she was going to end up dead," I think it would flow a little nicer if you took away that line break.

At times, the dialogue seems a little forced (I feel mean saying that. But I don't mean to be. It's just that the conversation could flow a little better. I know it's supposed to be a historical fic, but maybe just switch around a few words to make it sound more natural.)

“But, Mr. Hughes! What of my message for Holly?” she cried. Maybe just turn things like that around. That could be something like, "she looked at him (in whichever way you prefer), "Mr. Hughes, what of the message for Holly?" And "Father, it could be important. You know that... It could be about Jacob." Of course, you might not like the way that sounds as well. Like I said, I feel awfully mean about that comment, and it's not like you need some drastic work, but a few simple manipulations and changes could make it flow much more.

I find your narration, though, quite wonderful. You get a nice little insight into the few characters; Holly, who seems rather mature and patient, (yet has a secret underground life? Interesting. I wonder...) the father, who seems a little like an oddball, kindhearted yet oblivious (because of his wealthy status) to other things not concerning himself.

I also love how you never mentioned the rough time this is set in, yet I get a very distinct impression of the 1800s. (Am I right?) That was commendable!
6/6/2006 c1 Snarks
O! I do so enjoy this. The characters are certainly well established: Father with his golf obsession, Holly with her ever-suffering "dutiful daughter" and Mrs Jones with her ever watchful eye. I really do like how you present them and found myself chuckling at Holly squished against the couch as she searched for her father's golf ball.

The only thing that poked me was how the chapter ended without returning to what had happened in the very first bit. I'm not sure why this is. Plenty of stories have taken several chapters to return to that "and that's how I got here" but for some reason, my brain was adamant that it happen at the end of this one. Needless to say, I'll be looking forward to more of this.
6/1/2006 c1 2Teffie
hi! I think this story sounds interesting and is well-written. I love the first sentence, as well as the "puppy of hope." :) Just a few questions/comments:

1) When does the story take place? I can't tell if it's a modern thing or a 1900s thing. Or anywhere else, really.

2)little begger...? Does that mean "bugger"?

Actually, that's about it. Hope to see a new chapter soon!
5/29/2006 c1 1rrmehta364
This is rather embarassing, but I switched my review for you with the review I gave to Flamehail (which magically dissapeared) and I only just realized it.

Well, now, I shall cut and paste the review itself.

""There was something about looking down the wrong end of the barrel of a gun that always focussed Holly’s mind." : Great opening sentence. Makes me want to read more, while also letting me know this is probably a bit of a comedy.

"Horse-chestnut sellers" : What are those? I think I'm just being thick here.

"way the air seemed to hiss at her as the bullet had flown by her ear." :A bullet going past her ear would be fairly close the way its described here. If someone inexperienced was trying to miss her, they would probably miss by a lot.

"Really, this situation was nothing compared with the chaos young, sticky children could cause." : You know, they aren't always all bad.

Wait, isn't his mispronounciation how you're supposed to say it?

Um...what happens at the end of the first half. It just sort of ends without giving the reader resolution. Personally, I think keeping things mysterious is not a good thing when its a matter of the reader not knowin what's going on.

"Winter coat," : Don't see any reason to capitalize 'Winter'

"The little beggar must have rolled under a couch or a bookshelf or something." : Wait, is the little beggar the golf ball?

"Holly could hear the Puppy of Hope bounding up against her father’s words." : I laughed outloud.

Hm...I think the only big criticism I'd have is some of the random asides seem a bit out of place. A lot of them are very funny, and most are slightly funny when taken individually but together, they sometimes seem a bit much.

Also, I think you might want to resolve the whole thing at the beginning because it was actually a rather interestng beginning and I rather want to find out what happens. Therefore, I shall point a metaphorical gun at you and demand you update soon.

An excellent beginning. Very funny, and random. Looking forward to reading more.

5/12/2006 c1 16RuathaWehrling
Hello! Thanks for your review a while back! Allow me to return the favor. I'll comment as I read.

1.) "the hub-hub of people shopping before the black of evening closed in" - I think the word you're looking for is "hubbub".

2.) "The shaking in his hands was almost conquered." - You might want to rewrite this in active voice as "He had almost conquered the shaking in his hands." I'm not really an anti-passive-voice person, but there's no point in using it if there's an equally elegant way of writing it in the more "exciting" active voice.

3.) "She’d dealt with five year olds that were more dangerous than this man." - Hold up! Just a second ago, it sounded like she was frightened (or at least nervous) of this guy, and just making herself act tough. What changed so suddenly to make her so very arrogant?

4.) "Really, this situation was nothing compared with the chaos young, sticky children could cause." - Now that's a fact!

5.) "she couldn’t even convince herself of her own words." - I reiterate #3. Why does she keep bouncing back and forth so much here? Is she scared or not? Be consistant!

6.) "you should never become an entrepreneur unless you could first pronounce and then spell the word." - :) Cute!

7.) "Earlier that morning," - Yikes! Okay, I don't like this sudden jump into the past. It seems really corny. Can you either start a new chapter here (thus making the gun scene a prologue) or else completely rearrange this sentence so it doesn't sound so cheesy and overused?

8.) "the twin evils of Mrs. Jones, the housekeeper and her father " - Unless "twins" now come in sets of three, I think you might want to change the word!

9.) ""Holly!" they both cried" - WHOA! You really DID mean two people in #8? Is Mrs Jones the housekeeper, or are they two separate people? If they're one person, then you might want to rephrase the sentence of #8. Because... yeah, that was not what I read the first time through!

10.) "completely ignoring her Winter coat," - Why is "winter" capitalized?

11.) How old is Holly? Sometimes I think she must be only 16 or so, from the way her father treats her, but sometimes she seems more like 25. Can you make this clear?

12.) The scene where she searches for te golf ball seems to go on for an exceptionally long time... I mean, how long does it take to get a flashlight and peek under the edges of dressers, etc?

13.) "You don’t even know what he looks like, you silly girl," - One would think Holly would've considered this.

Well, your writing is very good from a technical standpoint. But I guess I'm just not into silly stories anymore. *shrug* Personal preference. Still, I thought you'd put enough work into it to give you a review that you can (hopefully!) find helpful. Please don't take my lack of enthusiasm as criticism, per se - mostly it's just me not liking the style of writing. I suspect those people who appreciate such comedies will find this very enjoyable.

Good luck with your writing! -Ruatha
5/12/2006 c1 7Flamehail
This is a fun little story. I look forward to seeing what happens to Holly, and what her secret power is that made her so confident at first. ^_^

The only critique I have is that I always thought the phrase was "hub-bub" and you have "hub-hub." Perhaps that's an America vs. Australia difference, or a typo. So I thought I'd mention it. ^_^

I hope you keep updating it and give us more info on Holly and everything, but you actually managed to introduce the situation rather well, I thought.
5/11/2006 c1 13Tsumujikaze no Soujutsu
Hi there! New reviewer here! Ok, so concerning this story, I'm still a bit blur as to what it's about. But I guess you will make it known soon, huh? And yeah, like the little tug of war between Holly's father and the housekeeper. Wonder whether Jacob will be in here as well... right now, I'm really wondering what's gonna happen next...
5/9/2006 c1 7Alankria
Greetings. I'll be reviewing this as I read, so it may be a bit choppy. Any corrections will be in square brackets.

"There was something about looking down the wrong end of the barrel of a gun that always focussed Holly’s mind." - Nice opening line! Grabs the reader's attention straight away.

"and of the way the air seemed to hiss at her as the bullet had flown by her ear." - I don't think you need the 'of' at the beginning of this little bit. Just doesn't read right to me.

"Holly had been faced by the twin evils of Mrs. Jones, the housekeeper and her father in a scarlet smoking jacket." - Okay, when I first read this I thought you were talking about three people: (1) Mrs Jones, (2) the housekeeper and (3) her father. As I assume that Mrs Jones and the housekeeper are the same person, you need to put a comma after 'housekeeper' so that little bit is in parenthesis. Unfortunately, you might still confuse your American readers because they put commas everywhere, but at least us Brits (and presumably your fellow Australians too) will know what you're talking about. *grins*

"How was she going to explain the six unnecessarily attractive gardeners now working for her mother when her father was asking hopeful questions like that?" - Oh, nice! That made me chuckle!

"Holly had been grateful that her rooms [were] safely out of reach in the east wing."

"Mrs. Jones watched as Holly set off down the foggy street, walking a little too jauntily in her opinion. “In my day,” she said to no-one in particular, “we didn’t go haring off down the streets after strange men.” She closed the door and adjusted her cap in the hall mirror. “No indeed. We waited politely at home until they came to visit.” - This paragraph is technically a point of view switch from Holly's POV to Mrs Jones', something which is generally not approved of by publishers. However, if you don't care about that, feel free to ignore me *smiles*.

I like this! *bounces* It sounds like there's going to be an intriguing plot, and Holly is already an interesting character. I also like how quirky her father is, it really makes him come to life, and her mother sounds like quite a character too (m hot gardeners). Your writing style flows very well, though I think perhaps you use a shade too much passive tense ('was') rather than active tense. Other than that, this was a pleasure to read and it's definitely going on my author alerts. Update soon!
5/8/2006 c1 32Morbane
Right. Good. You're writing, and you no longer shun FictionPress.

I'm very glad to see your work, with a joy largely owed to your ability to write, so please forgive my following harsh criticisms.

Firstly, I think this story could do with a lot of cutting. Sentences like "It probably wouldn’t do her any good to chase after random strangers in the street, simply because they looked like they might have important information to divulge" are verbiose and a bit unnecessary; that one in particular.

I know the slightly fussy style of writing is a deliberate device on your part meant to convey the fussy absurdity of Holly's household, but I think you've overdone it just a little.

The beginning is somewhat predictable. The first thing that really pleases me is the fact that the gunman has already shot at Holly and she has already reacted and despite having been shot at is still calm. That's !different!, and also gives me something to respect her for - the dialogue does not. I'm sure you'll give us a reason, soon, for the naive way she's talking, but it's unjustified so far, and you are entirely too sympathetic to her.

The information that Jacob is missing is repeated several times, and with different emotional slants: uncertain, matter-of-fact, and anxious. These contrast a bit.

I like the direction about the scones but the argument that is had about sending people off for jam is pointless. It would be nice if you could highlight the housekeeper's clever-but-unsubtle attempt to get Holly into contact with the visitor, with slightly edited dialogue.

I get a sense of the father's extreme unsuitability to normal life, but not of his personality. I like the hopeful puppy bit, though. Some of your phrases there are very clever indeed.

I'm sorry I have pounced on this one so enthusiastically. Please produce more material, and hopefully it, as well as this, will be worth critiquing.

*an anxious Morbane*
5/8/2006 c1 4Abigail Radle
Firstly, there was one sentence that jumped out at me in the beginning as misworded:"Really, this situation was nothing compared with that the chaos young, sticky children could cause."I assumed it should be "with the chaos that young.."

I love your humor and your style, your method of writing. It makes for a very refreshing and lively read, and the bit of foreboding alluding to Holly's preconceived ability to control the situation in the first place is intriguing. I look forward to reading more of this story!
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