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3/22/2007 c1 3Temeraire
Argh...Dream sequences that are placed at the beginning to "surprise" the reader. Instead, they turn out to be rather annoying. Meh. I'm not one for modern-day fantasy and I rather liked the dream more than the real world.

Your writing style is...okay. Not great, not bad. Okay. It seems as if you get confused as to how to phrase several sentences and that muddies up the entire story a little bit. As in, many phrases are awkward, and such and such.

Kazilik [who's leaving you a rather short review because a lot of people have already pointed things out in previous reviews. Also, the wrist's throbbing horribly.]
3/22/2007 c2 Robin Siskin
"Glancing down at his watch her"

Should be: "Glancing down at his watch HE"

"Grey-green eyes"

Avoid disembodied nouns. That is, things like "hands fluttered quickly over the keyboard" and "eyes looked at cat suspiciously." Try to attach a pronoun in front of them unless you have good reason not to. Here, since you've already established the color of his eyes in the first chapter, it's best to just go with "His eyes."

"others, many of the books from here "

Go with: others, so many of the books from here"

"His search was all but futile it seemed"

Go with: "His search seemed futile"

"until his past by a janitor closet door"

Should be: "until he passed by a janitor closet." You don't need the door.

"Suddenly, a blast of burgundy colored light smashed open the door throwing William into the aisle, his shoulder crashing into the bookshelf"

Go with: "A blast of burgundy colored light smashed open the door, throwing William into the aisle and crashing him shoulder-first into a bookshelf."

"He cried out, in shock as much as in pain as he fell sprawled "

Go with: "He cried out, as much from shock as from pain, as he fell sprawled"

"No physical entity could be seen but a tall glass mirror stood along the wall and on a table next to it sat a crystal chess set and a rotating sphere, only blurs visible as it spun so rapidly so no one looking upon it spinning form could tell what it actually liked like."

Go with: "No physical entity could be seen, but a tall glass mirror stood along the wall and a crystal chess set and a sphere that rotated so quickly its form was blurred sat on a table next to it." It's a difficult sentence to word, and I don't even really like my version of it, so kudos on attempting that kahuna. XD

"his shoulder throbbing with acute pain"

Cut out words wherever possible when writing an action scene. You could easily change this to "his shoulder throbbing painfully." =D

A note on the ending - the queen piece and the king piece are not the same. You probably know this. Unless it's a plot point later that William is a useless piece that makes you lose the game if he's lost, they should really be the same piece. I'd have them both as queens, personally, but the queen is really just a pawn that can move wherever she wants. Making them both kings or both queens would make much more sense, because as far as I can tell, they're relatively close to each other in terms of intellectual ability.

3/22/2007 c1 Robin Siskin
Opening as a dream/day-dream sequence is a little overdone. It's not that it isn't a charming way to open a story, it's just that it's a little boring by the time somebody gets to be above eleven years old.

"A breeze brushed a few sandy brown strands of hair lazily across her wistful expression"

This would be better as just "A breeze brushed a few sandy brown strands of her lazily across her face." Having "wistful expression" in there is a bit much.

"agitated female"

Weird choice of words; I'm not sure I like it. It sort of screams BAD ROLEPLAY at me. This would work just find as "agitated woman" or "agitated girl."

"He was tall and lean but not exceptionally graceful in his movements"

We don't need to know this - at least not presented this way. Instead of telling us that he is tall and lean but a bit clumsy, SHOW us by maybe having him trip a little as he walks over or bump into the side of a desk.

"Carolyn asked to humor him, wary of the fact she needed to make her move soon."

"asked to humor him" is a bit awkward. I think it'd work better if you just said "distractedly," because humoring him means she's not really paying attention or he isn't at the top of her priorities, and you do add that she needs to make a move soon, so it'd fit much better.

"the general"

It's odd to use this again here, especially since we've already established her gender and name. All you need is 'she', even if you are still crafting your little fantasy world.

"Her patience had never been extremely lenient"

Awkward phrase. "Patience had never been her strong point" or "Patience had never been a virtue she suffered herself to employ" would be much better.

" just wanted to inform you that Mrs. Doyle posted our test scores just now and William beat you by, two percent perhaps"

Eep. This would be better as "I just wanted to inform you that Mrs. Doyle posted our test scores just now and William beat you by about two percent."

"within that one sentence"

How can her world dissolve inside the sentence? It should be "Carolyn's fantasy world dissolved WITH that one sentence."

"She was no longer a general atop a hill surveying a battlefield; a high school student sitting at a table observing a chessboard now took her place"

Should be: "She was no longer a general atop a hill surveying a battlefield but a high school student sitting at a table observing the chessboard in front of her." It flows much better and isn't half as confusing.

"The calming zephyr that had messed up her hair a few moments ago returned as a rotating fan that blew refreshingly cool air about the classroom."

While I'll admit that the use of "zephyr" is whimsical, I think "wind" would work just as well. "Zephyr" just doesn't fit with the vocabulary you've used so far - it's a bit awkward and doesn't fit the writing style at all.

"Thanks Tom"

Should be: "Thanks, Tom,"

"clique of boys"

Clique implies an exclusive social group. This group of boys is probably not socially exclusive, so you should just refer to them as a "group of boys."

"Wise words, not that Carolyn paid them any heed"

Could be: "Wise words, although Carolyn had never paid them any heed."

" Which was most likely the reason she was in the middle of a chess match with this infamous William."

Could be: "That was probably the reason why she was now in the middle of a chess match with the infamous William." I don't like the use of "this", but I suppose it works.

"Grey-green eyes challenged her from behind wisps of dark brown hair that fell elegantly into his face."

Do we really need to know this? =/ I'd cut it out.

"Must be hard for you to realize but I do have better things to do. Such as these tests scores, seeing them before I die of old age would be preferable."

Should be: "It might be hard for you to grasp, but I do have better things to do...such as looking at these test scores; it would be preferable to see them before I die of old age."


Ever heard a teenage girl who wasn't born in 1935 use "anyhow?" Use "anyways."

"William decided to make a bold move and destroy her bishop with his rook"

Should be "destroyed." I don't like the sentence much, either, but I'm not sure how to fix it.

"She scowled, waving them away with a discerning hand"

Ooh, discerning. Again, you shouldn't use words that don't match the vocabulary you've already employed. Could be: "She scowled, waving them away irritably." It fits better, and the reader can see the action better.

"high school."

We know it's a high school. Just "school" would be fine.

"any concern of"

Any concern FOR.

"Miss Doyle"

Wasn't she Mrs. Doyle just a while back? O_O

"not out of kindness, but for his own benefit"

Would be better as: "not necessarily for Carolyn's benefit, but for his own."

"as Carolyn"

There are only two characters being discussed right now, and they're opposite genders. It's safe to use 'she' here.

"The grey lockers that lined the hallway were constantly squeaked open on rusty hinges then slammed shut mercilessly"

Would be better as: "The gray lockers that lined the hallway squeaked constantly as they were swung open on rusty hinges and then slammed shut mercilessly." A note on spelling: unless you're British - which I doubt judging by your spellings of other words - it's not grey, but gray.

"Sounds of students chatter, shoes in contact with the linoleum floor and the occasional door opening and shutting were commonplace during the school’s passing period"

We don't need this...

"School politics were quite entertaining if one was a spectator."

Should be: "School politics could be quite entertaining...if one happened to be a spectator."

"the blonde student"

Didn't she have sandy brown hair earlier?

"with piercing blue eyes"

Didn't he have a "dark gaze" earlier?

"commanding demeanor,"

Should be a period after demeanor, and the "e" in "either" should be capitalized.

" Mr. Hammond had"

HAS had.

"as usual,"

Shouldn't there be a colon after usual?

"the greeting, as she entered the sunlit room"

Should be: "the greeting as she entered the sunlit room"

"The intense fiery-orange eyes that observed the world from behind rectangular glasses"

We don't need to know the bit about her rectangular glasses. Just: "Her intense fiery-orange eyes" would do. Later, you could show her pushing her glasses up her nose or something so we would know she had them. As a side-note - why does everyone in this story have strange colored eyes? Actually, they aren't strange, just unusual. EVERYONE has unusual eyes. I'd be shocked to see somebody with brown eyes. Miranda's orange eyes are just a tad freaky, too...unless she's wearing contacts.

"auburn hair"

Which is it? Auburn, or red? They aren't the same thing...Auburn is much more brown, less orange. That's why Anne in Anne of Green Gables was so elated when, after she had to cut off all her hair after some permanent "raven black" hair dye turned her hair green and her friends said that he looked more auburn than red. She hated having bright red hair and was happy that it was less of that bright orange color.

"Carolyn and Thomas to form the nonexistent and unofficial Miranda Dawes Fan Club"

If it's nonexistent they haven't really formed it. Make a distinction - maybe say how they joked about forming it.

"dosed off"

DOZED off.

"the “substitute” of Mr. Hammond"

"Mr. Hammond's "substitute." We aren't French - we're allowed to use apostrophe s. =D

"even Miss Clark to jump out of her seat"

Should be: "that even Miss Clark jumped out of her seat."

As far as the ending goes, it does keep me reading. I'll move on to the next chapter, although I don't think I have any intention of doing such an in-depth review. This was tiring! XD I'm interested, though, even if I don't usually go for stories with a female protagonist, and even if I felt the style was lacking a bit.
3/22/2007 c1 Vancelle
First of all, I really liked it. And there's not much I like.

However, in the first paragraph, there are a few things that bothered me. You use the word 'battle' too often, I think. Well, it's really only twice but there's also battling thrown in there so it seems a bit repetetive. Also, you compare her eyes to steel twice. I'm not sure if you intended to do this for effect or if it was just a slip up. Either way, though, it sounds a bit awkward.

As others have already said, it is over descriptive at parts. But kudos, I enjoyed reading it.
6/6/2006 c1 Tad Zendol
Reviewing as I go along...

"Victory was close at hand; so close it was almost tangible in the humid air."Good attention-getter, good start. And in medias res is always great. I want to keep reading now...

"the tables of fortune seemed to turn in their favor."Very nice sentence. Imagery is all around us.

"Suddenly, a voice rang out through the air, breaking the concentration of the blonde-haired, steely-eyed entity."Whe! Go description and features...

"He was tall and lean but not exceptionally graceful in his movements."Nice...

"Knowing Thomas as long as she had, guessing games were almost daily routine."Funny sentence. And it rips off a corner of the wrapping paper encasing Thomas.

"“I dunno Tom, is the sky falling?” Carolyn asked quickly, wary of the fact she needed to make her move soon.

“You always say that.” He replied with a melodramatic sigh. “So unimaginative…”"You are so funny sometimes.

"Her patience had never been extremely lenient."A corner off the wrapping of Carolyn.

"“Fine. I just wanted to inform you that Miss Doyle posted our test scores just now and William beat you. Again.”"Good point to bring her back to reality.

"Carolyn’s fantasy world dissolved within that one sentence. She was no longer a general atop a hill surveying a battlefield; a high school student sitting at a table observing a chessboard now took her place. The calming zephyr that had messed up her hair a few moments ago returned as a rotating fan that blew refreshingly cool air about the classroom."Aww... Good description man. (I call everyone man, don't worry.)

"No problem.” He saluted her cheerfully before walking off to talk with another clique of boys."Heh. I like him already.

"“Go on Lorence, I don’t have all day. Must be hard for you to realize but I do have better things to do. Such as these tests scores, seeing them before I die of old age would be preferable.”"If I was a girl, I swear, I'd be /exactly/ like Carolyn.

Sorry, I need to go. But I'll continue later... Dinner is annoying, do you know what I mean?

6/6/2006 c1 12Rachel M. T
Ok, I'm reviewing as I go, so bear with me here!

"It was probably just some piece of jewelry stolen by a crow." This thought of Carolyn's I find a bit unrealist. Sure, I know crows steal shiny things, but rather than have her think something that extraordinary, just have her shrug it off...its just my suggestion though. Keep it if you like it. (I'm assuming that the appearence of Mr. Moore has something to do with it though!)

Ooh! Just finished! Scary! So what happened? The chess piece engulfed him? Ooh! Please update soon! This is a beautifully written story! You have some wonderful writing skills! Keep it up! Good job!
6/4/2006 c1 5Brackynn
Look, I'll be real straight with you - I am not a fan of fantasy. It takes something pretty darn good to impress me with this genre; my personal feeling is that a lot of FP authors resort to tiring cliches.

The good news is that I really enjoyed this chapter. You obviously know what you're doing, and my first impression was that you're a talented writer. I love the way you describe your characters' world - it's detailed enough to be interesting, but not overdone. I like your characters as well. They are very believable and seem like real people. Also, I like the way you've drawn the reader in, leaving us wanting more. Who is this Mr Moore? Why does Carolyn have to avoid William? And what happened to William, anyway? I'm already looking forward to the next installment :)

I am also going to be extremely nitpicky about a compulsion of mine: grammar issues. I noticed a lot of confusion about how to set speech out. For example, '"You always say that." He said ...' should read, '"You always say that," he said ...', as 'he said ...' is a fragmented sentence on its own. Another instance - '"Many things must remain unsaid." was the teacher's vague reply ...'. The full stop should be a comma. And another minor thing I noticed (it only really stood out because it was in the first sentence) was that in your first sentence, the semi-colon should be a comma. Semi-colons are used to join two complete thoughts on a related topic; in your case, the second part of the sentence is a fragment.

I'm looking forward to seeing how this progresses. It should be very exciting, and you're doing a great job so far :)
6/1/2006 c1 Chardonnay
This is very nice.The vocabulary is very advanced, so the story is not weighed down with the same words.Also, the story is very imaginative,yet it includes things that can happen in real life.
6/1/2006 c1 4The River Sings
Very nice!

A little over descriptive at times.

remember, less is more!

But overall, very nice!

awesome job!

5/31/2006 c1 12Draketeeth
"Steel blue orbs gazed across the field at the warriors in battle." A confusing phrase. Are the orbs the eyes of a battler looking out over the field? Are they two floating balls just hanging there in the air? Are they disembodied eyes just glancing around? Consider a rephrase.

"A breeze brushed a few sandy brown strands lazily across her wistful expression." Strands of what?

"Although a smile graced his lips, hazel-gold eyes did not reflect any hint of his thoughts." 'his hazle-gold eyes' the gold eyes are not just hanging out there without an owner.

"The gentle zephyr that had mussed up her hair. . ." Nice use of vocabulary. Considering zephyr is already defined as a gentle breeze, isn't gentle zephyr a bit redundant? Did you mean 'mussed' or 'messed'? mussed up hair sounds odd, typically it's messed up.

"Unless it involved destroying their ego in chess." That's awesome. I agree with that statement.

""Your teacher Mr. Hammond had a most undesirable stoke of misfortune."" As opposed to a desireable stroke of misfortune?

"By the time Literature class ended, Carolyn surmised that the class would never be like Mr. Hammond. . ." The whole class wants to be like Mr. Hammond. I'm sure he'd be flattered. 'Mr. Hammond's' would be better to indicate the class peroids would not be alike, and not the class of students wanting to be Hammond.

"Latin was her last class before the school day ended." Yea! Latin was a fun class. Roman culture and language is an interesting study.

"Unfortunately her concentration was broken as Miranda came up behind her, poking Carolyn's highly reactive neck." Yikes! I know the feeling, every thought flies out the window as you try to protect the sensitive area.

"The intense fiery-orange eyes that observed" That's a weird eye color. Different, but kinda cool.

"Grey-green orbs flickered. . ." You really like making people's eyes into orbs. It gets a little confusing at times, and it always brings to mind a pair of glowing colored balls hanging in the air.

"Just then, a thread of that dark red fire lashed out from the sphere. . ." 'that dark red fire' makes it sound as though we already knew the fire existed. consider dropping the 'that'.

A thrilling story so far. I hope you're planning to write more on it since you've left the reader just hanging in suspense. I like your use of extensive vocabulary, several times I had to look up words I was not familiar with.

Excellent story. Write on!

Thank you for the review.
5/30/2006 c1 4Tikvah Ariel
The start isn't bad, a little over descriptive for a hook but still nice. However, once you have that voice interupt it feels like it will be a cliche thing more than anything else.

Some of your formatting is a tad messed up, the distance between paragraphs mostly.

The other main problem with this peice is the focus on telling rather than showing. I feel that if you fixed this without becoming overly descriptive it be a lot nicer.

Your characters seem pretty cardboard cutouts right now, I'm sure you have plans to give them depth but you might want to work on that.

Anyways, it is a decent start but I don't think I would continue it judging from its likeness to be cliche and the fact I'm not really into many teen dramatic stories, fantasy or not. Good luck!
5/29/2006 c1 stardragon12
Wow! That's talent right there. You did a great job with this. Keep up the good work!
5/25/2006 c1 15Greenery
Very interesting! A little shaky in some parts, but overall written quite well. I can't wait to see what all this business about the new teacher and the chess thign is about. You've got me hooked!
5/24/2006 c1 5GilanSalehi
I really like what you've got started here. Although it does fall within the realm of 'typical' high school - fantasy sort of setting, you manage to pull it off quite well, making it a fun and interesting read. So far you haven't gotten into the plot much, so I can't comment much on how that is progressing, although the orb and the chess set is rather ominous. Just watch out for simple things that can interrupt the flow of your writing, especially "...ruffled their short sandy blond hair..." Apart from that, update soon!
5/24/2006 c1 8D.A. Giehl
To start, I'm greatly intrigued by William's character and I'm curious as to the origin of his rivalry with Lorence. As a chess fan myself, I enjoyed this a lot-especially the beginning. Took a minute for me to figure out exactly what was going on (but in a good way, eheh).

Okay, so here's my nitpicking. Overall it flows well and is a very well-written first chapter-just a few silly things here. ;P

"The general, mounted upon a chestnut stallion, was pondering upon the next possible assaults on the enemy lines; a slight breeze ruffled their short sandy blonde hair."

It'd flow nicer as 'the general [...] pondered the next possible assault on...'. Also, when you say 'their' hair, do you mean the general's and the horse's?

"Just as she had found the perfect move to destroy his seemingly perfect strategy,"

Minor thing-watch using the same word twice in the same sentence ('perfect', here).

"This new teacher seemed to be sending chills through everyone’s spines, like a strategically placed chess piece seemingly harmless until you forget about it and slip, the cost being as harsh as the game itself."

This is a great and well-placed metaphor, but I think it might work better if you shortened it made it its own sentence. "A strategically-placed chess piece, harmless until forgotten." or something along those lines.

As a final note-and this may just be a pet peeve-you use "orbs" for eyes a lot, which is fine once or twice, but too often it just becomes weird. I started to imagine the eyes as, um, orbs-which is creepy. o_o

Other than that (I'm sorry if this turns out long!), I'll be watching this one. Your writing style is descriptive and somehow ominous-I've tried for a style something like this myself, and not succeeded too well. ;) Well done! Also, you made me want to play chess. SIGH~.
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