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for The Happy Homunculus Apparatus

4/21/2011 c3 Halcyon Impulsion
Brutal but worth it. You've had plenty of time to finish this-please share? Love it!
4/21/2011 c2 Halcyon Impulsion
I notice this piece is not marked as completed. I am really liking it and I hope there is more-this is a great first couple chapters!
4/21/2011 c1 Halcyon Impulsion
Oh! Moving and intriguing start! Looking forward to reading this piece!
1/2/2007 c3 10Eternity's Voice
Girl holds spatula as sword. That's funny for a personal reason. (...Must remember old account's password and move that story to the Eternity profile...)

I love the tone in this part much better than the second. It's just hilarious hearing it to describe a person in the middle of a tantrum.


And on a personal note: God, I've gotten nothing done during this three week vacation, but now, during the last forty-eight hours before I drive back to college, I'm reading and writing like a madwoman...

I feel like I'm in some parallel universe where hobbies come with deadlines.

Anyway, yay, chapter,

12/9/2006 c2 7Etenebris
Yay! I'm back! And all I'm missing is a limb!

Okay, wee little problem in the third paragraph: "...throwing his son's six weeks of hard work back in his face without /a/ glancing at it." Sans the "a", the sentence would be great.

Then in the next paragraph, "loving" doesn't seem to make much sense to me. "Lovely", perhaps? Lub the word "nuddy" - sounds so perfectly "Something that the Cheese Lady would say..."

Then the paragraph after that (/Please/ don't think I'm picking on you - I just enjoy picking /over/ your work! It's fun! Plus, I know you'll listen to me and not think that I'm a souless hell-beast. Yup.) seems to overdo the mental child abuse theme. "...'time away from such an insolent and inflexible creature'" seems just a tad too unrealistic for me. Mr. Witten might avoid that, as it seems as if he's actually out to get his son. Other, slyer (it's a word! - http:/dictionary. forms of venting his displeasure would appeal to me, and, I'm assuming, the rest of the audience. Unless I really /am/ a hell-beast. That'd suck... :sigh:

I really love "his hearing would have been raped by deafening noises of inexplicable fury" - that's just another example of your unique word choice. Or, rather, word choice that I haven't seen yet. Oh, glah, how I wish the words would roll off my tongue as they do yours... :sighs, again: My writing feels stilted. Or stinted. Which is it? I think it's stilted. Crap...

Then, "suddenly realizing what /she's/ just said" switches tenses.

Then, not to disrespect the dead, but why would there suddenly be a group of mourners in the front hallway the very day his mother died? And his mother didn't at all seem that far gone when he talked to her. It didn't seem to me that she was about to die, so this startled me a bit. I'm not sure how realistic it is to have her change that much overnight.

"...urge to toss the innards of his gut became /to/ great..." needs an extra "o" on that "to".

When Perry tells Montie that he has a package and a letter, you don't mention him holding it. All you say is that Montie then reached for the two, so it'd make things less confusing if you mention it in the narration being in Perry's hands.

I like the way that the letter is written, though it seems strange to me that Montague's mother would allow a perfect stranger, who could easily be taken to be rather insane (which isn't to insult poor Montie's long-lost dad) to live in a cottage near her house while he copied out a book. It could be believable if you mixed in something about love at first sight, or him lying to her about his occupation, et cetera.

Then: Oliver. Does he exist to his mother? I know that he's favored by Mr. Witten, while Montie is hated, and that their mother favored Montie - but aren't they both her children? she never once mentions Oliver. Does she dislike him? In fact, does /he/ dislike /her/? He doesn't say much about/to her, so you don't get the sense that they interact much. No need to elaborate extensively, but it's just that the reader might begin to wonder about their relationship, as it's pretty much non-existant.

Your story-telling skills are /not/ foul! See any bestiality in your inbox? No? /See/? I was right!

Love the story so far. Certain parts are one-dimensional (mostly to do with love/hate in relationships), but that's how it always is when you're at the beginning of a new story. You can't help it - you're human. The only reason why /my/ crap is occasionaly well-liked is that I'm, as you know, am a hell-beast, and can alter peoples' perception. :does mind-altering hand trick: You now see.../penguins/. Shh!
12/4/2006 c3 17DarthKader
So exciting! This is like Harry potter minus the long chapters and Eragon minus the boring. I really like!
12/4/2006 c3 2Casey Drake
Ok, I officially love this story. How could I NOT like a story with a girl holding a spatula like a sword?

12/3/2006 c3 genta
"Roughly twenty-four _ had passed since Montague"


"an elephant in labor" - hahah! I love that.

I like how he starts destrying things, that's what I would do too.

Whe! It's good. Can't wait to see what happens next!
12/2/2006 c2 genta
I like the prologue! It intrigues me and stuff.

The name "Montague" is great.

"Then spend eight days if it at least produces something tolerable" - that sounds like something Gary would say. xD

"Montague’s were balled into fists"?

Montague's what? Oh noes! forgot a word.

"He need a book, he had answered quite seriously."

Yeah, I like finding those small things.

Did the mother write the letter right before she died or earlier? Because if it was the day before she died she would've been more emotional. You know, saying "I love you" 50 times.

Best line? "Oliver looked positively delighted at the idea of his older brother on his knees before him."

Yay, no go finish the next chapter!
12/2/2006 c1 7Etenebris
For starters...I don't think that "The Happy Homunculus Apparatus" fits the serious nature of your story. Then AGAIN, my chapter titles very rarely fit the content of the actual chapter, so... :shrug:

Okay, so: don't let Augustus cry. Please? He knows what's going to happen - he probably cried himself out beforehand. He's most likely currently in shock, giving himself up to fate by now. Though I AM partially in love with his hysterics. That's probably some of the only emotion he could show through the shock. If the color of his eyes are important, I'd say, find another way to show that. Say the moonlight was reflected, et ceter, et cetera.

I enjoy your unorthodox use of words ("The moon hung patronizingly in the sky."), because it's so strange, the way you always come up with a way to bring the general tone across through an obscure combination of words. It's always very clear what you mean.

And, finally - I think you and your characters should come to terms as to what kinds of boundaries you need. What I mean to say is, sometimes, you intrude on your characters' privacy, by telling the reader things that are the character's to tell (in the paragraph that starts with "There was a war...", the last sentence, in which you state to the reader what his fears were), and, sometimes, the characters seem to be holding back, almost waiting for the narrator to inform them as to what to do. Of course, I can't prove the absence of something. So...meh, just forget that last part. Improve on your narration's boundaries, and I think you'll be fine.

This is a very good start, I should say. And did you know that Fictionpress is advertising for tools to locate sex offenders at the bottom of your story? That's...interesting. At least you'll garner more views.
12/1/2006 c2 10Eternity's Voice
"Now THIS is emotional turmoil." Sorry, that's all I can say besides, "great style, very biting, professional, reminds me of Roald Dahl and other biting British fellows I like."

...God, I'm tired. I just did a major critique on ten chapters. Though hopefully that will get me something in the Karma department.


12/1/2006 c2 2Casey Drake
Well I like this!

It's interesting, very interesting!

12/1/2006 c2 17DarthKader
Wow...simply amazing! I am so hooked! Can't wait for the next chapter. I am so jealous, I can't write this well! You just keep getting better and better.
12/1/2006 c2 12Lccorp2

*Kidney shot*

-No single tears. My god, I am so tired of this. When was the last time that you saw someone who was deeply and sincerely sad cry a single tear? Others soon follow, and they usually don't care how tight the person is closing her eyes. In fact, they're more likely to flow the faster when the eyes are squeezing them out.

And how many single tears just happen to fall on flowers, or the heart of the hero holding the heroine at the moment, or some other deep and meaningful place instead of the heroine's neck?

Tears in general are treated as a herald of deep emotional investment that I don't quite get. Characters are always making vows never to cry again, and then doing it anyway (stop swearing vows with the word never in them!). Villains weeping for their evil deeds are supposed to be some signs of deep redemption, instead of the crocodile tears they most likely are. The person who cries is feeling more, somehow, than the one who deals with grief by shutting down, or by screaming, or by doing anything but collapsing in a corner and producing enough moisture to add significantly to the Great Salt Lake.

The point, as always, is not to mistake the gesture for the meaning. If the audience is feeling what the character is, then tears will be a sign of sorrow, not a stand-in for it. If the author hasn't done a good enough job of describing the character's emotions, tears are a gaudy string of pearls around an empty moment. Make it mean something. Don't include things like single tears falling on flower petals and expect that to mean something instead.

-"Augustus wept dry tears as the flickering grew around him." Unless there's something about this world or something magical about the tears, this is simply self-contradictory.

-And there goes the characterization of Mr. Whitten out of the window at three times the speed of sound.

Abuse shoots the characterization of other people all to hell. There are the bullies, of course, and the parents. With the exception of a very few authors, I no longer read fantasy books where the main characters are teenagers, because I’d like to at least imagine that all the characters are complex and real people, and the author doesn’t allow me to imagine that about the teenager’s parents. They are Horrible, Horrible, Horrible. And it’s the narrative, not the character, telling me this.

There’s a reason that I am Not a Fan of the omniscient voice, the characters that are created only to watch the scenery and have no thoughts or personalities of their own, or narrators whose perceptions are identical to reality (a.k.a Canon Mary Sues). When I start reading a book, I take the viewpoint character as the hero automatically, or my favorite of the viewpoint characters. It really doesn’t matter if someone else is supposed to be more important to the story. My reading mind doesn’t work that way. It will transform the viewpoint character into the hero, if necessary. The person whose thoughts I’m sharing is the important one—and, I naturally assume, intriguing, complex, and fallible. If for some reason I can’t bond with the viewpoint character, I try with a minor one (and if that doesn’t succeed, I put the book down). But there has to be, for me at least, some doubt. Things might look a certain way to a certain character, but they need not be actually so.

In fantasies with abused main characters, it usually isn’t the character who tells me something about the abusers; it’s the narrative. These people are “horrible,” “malicious,” or “disgusting,” and it’s the author telling me so. I’m not allowed to make up my own mind. There is no possibility that these people are abusing the main character because of abuse in their own childhoods (which would actually make sense if the author is following Earth psychology), that they don’t see it as abuse at all, that they’re doing it for religious reasons, or that there’s some other perspective that that would make them continue the abuse. They’re “really” doing it out of the jealousy and hatred that the protagonist usually imagines to be the ‘why.’ The author sacrifices characterization for the sake of abuse. I find it boring and mediocre.

There’s also the characterization of the people who moan about the abused character’s suffering but don’t actually attempt to help. Either they’re all cowards or they’re all completely unobservant or they’re under the pay of the abuser. Really? Everyone in the entire village/city/country? It’s laughable, but it’s the fiction the author has to maintain if she just wants the character to suffer, and other people to be in the know and not do anything, which it seems the author does want most of the time. I don’t comprehend it, but there you go.

The people who come in from the outside and rescue the abused character are sometimes slightly better, but for me the ‘abuse discovered and revenged’ plot is like the arranged marriage plot. There are only so many ways you can do the sucker, and most of the interesting variations have already been written. Is it really all that interesting to write about what happens when someone discovers abuse? I’m much more interested in the heroine getting back some sense of control over her life and dealing with the memories—or, at least, I would be if I could find some fantasies that spent more time on that than on the traumatic memories.

*Pants and gathers breath*

-"Since when had it become customary for servants to order around the people they served,"

Question marks for questions. Seems like he's so rightoues after all, by modern western standards.



12/1/2006 c2 1MyNameIsMad
Still liking it. I loved the line about "nudy pants". Made me laugh. So, if Montague (how do you pronounce that by the way?) is the boy in the summary, who was the baby girl in the first chapter?

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