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for the Marks of Sin

6/22/2008 c6 elfgirl83
wow! another update please! what doe the lord want Adrian for?
9/19/2007 c6 justafan
This is... really good. Honestly, I'm blown away. I can say, though, that you use a lot of sentence fragments. Which I like, but perhaps using fewer would give them more punch? Just my own opinion; something to keep in mind.

But otherwise, I can't wait to read more! I especially love the way you phrase things, and the bit with the candle in Ch. 6 is really good. I don't know if its supposed to be symbolic; the "half-melted", "gutted" candle representing Adrian, being "brought back to life" by Perin, but it's brilliant!
8/23/2007 c4 6The Abstract Dualist
As I've said. This is AMAZING.

I really don't know what else to say. I mean, okay, theocratic despotism, it's been done before, it's even been combined with magic before. Not often, though. And see, your writing is not only relatively original; it's just GOOD. You are seriously the sort of author that could get published. Your world is well-though-out, your ideas are fully formed, and by God your prose is engaging. Go for it.
8/23/2007 c1 The Abstract Dualist
WOW. You don't find writing of this quality often on FictionPress. I can't wait to read more...

Seriously. I think you're probably the best- certainly one of them- that I've read. Amazing job. I'm hooked.
7/7/2007 c3 1Chaser Scott
Oh, I see. The marks appeared from magic. I thought they were manually put there. Now it all makes sense.

Another wonderfully thrilling chapter!

Best,

C.S.
7/5/2007 c1 Benjamin Hampton
This is VERY good, one of the best that I’ve read so far on the site. So, be thankful for that. I’m just reviewing this with my own personal opinions, so if you disagree with what I say, just disregard it. Like I said, this I good, so there are only a few quibbles:

Okay, now this might just be me being weird, but I think the first 2 paragraphs would work better if they were put before the chapter name. But that’s just me, and I’m a strange type of guy.

A lot of people seem to have this problem: a lot of commas and a lot of semicolons. A few descriptive words put in here in there in combination with the punctuation will make it a much easier read (that is only me personal feelings you’ll probably want to run that by a few more people to see if the opinion is shared).

You end a lot of paragraphs with quick, strong sentences. Can I suggest turning them into their own paragraphs? It would add to the power and effectiveness of the statements. Ex: When Adrian was eight, his world was changed. Meghan was born. Meghan was a beautiful child; with soft blue eyes and wisps of blondish hair, she captured the hearts of everyone who looked at her. Adrian loved her dearly, but for some reason the presence of a third child changed his parents. They became more somber, and seemed worried and scared almost constantly.

Just before he turned nine, Adrian found out why.

I like that better.



“It was raining when the priests came. They were dressed all in red.” For some reason I don’t like that. You might wanna use: “It was raining when the priests came and they were dressed all in red.” I understand that you’re probably using the short sentences for impact, and although I just pointed that out above I feel that in this situation the affect is less, since you’re only describing clothes—I understand that you might be using different symbols based on the colors but still—it would be easier to bridge sentences and make your prose flow a little bit more.

Like the description of hand marks, it adds to the realism.

In the next paragraph after that: “He heard his brother’s exclamation of “No!”” Okay. This is too much info if you can believe me. A simple “He heard his brother’s outraged cries” because the other one seems too narrative in the style that you’re using for that piece of the story. You used quick, choppy sentances that quickly got the point and allowed me as a reader to easily connect the dots and have a crisp picture in my mind during that entire paragraph but then you use that sentence. You don’t have to go with the sentence I suggested, but I urge you to change it similarly.



Personally, I don’t like short sentances all that much. They are great to me when used sparingly, but not too much. If your feeling is different, skip over this and go on down. “It was still raining the next morning when the priest came to take him away. There was only one this time. “How about this one: “It was still raining the next morning when the priest—there was only one this time—came to take him away.” That is a more fluent and flowing sentence, and it is easier on the eyes. I know that doesn’t sound like very much at all but it can make a big difference in how much a reader enjoys or doesn’t enjoy a piece of work.

“He declined the tea that Adrian’s mother offered. He declined a chair. Adrian wished...” Again, I understand what you’re aiming for with the use of the short sentances but I don’t like this one. The style that you incorporated in this one was to show a list of things the priest refused correct? Well if it is a list it should be more than one thing. If you can thing of two or three extra things for him to refuse, then I suggest adding them. If not, I suggest cutting that bit entirely and just saying: “He declined everything offered to him and Adrian wished...”

“Adrian packed his things. He didn’t have much; the only...” This might just be a clash of opinions but as you have probably figured out by now I don’t like the short sentances for reasons I’ve stated already. How about... “...his things, although he didn’t have much; the only...”

“This he wrapped carefully inside one of his shirts before tucking it inside his sack.” Now you might be going for a Tolkien-y feel with this sentence, but it doesn’t work as well in today’s world. “He wrapped this carefully...”

“The priest said nothing to him, only opened the door and stepped into the rain. He gestured for Adrian to follow.” Use a comma: “...the rain, gesturing for Adrian to follow.” Or if you want two sentances: “the rain. As he did he gestured for Adrian to follow.”

““Where are we going?” the priest awarded the question with silence.” ‘The’ should be capitalized.

“Adrian turned to his mother. He said something. His mother took him in her arms and held him closely.” Short sentances once again, maybe... “...mother and said something, and his mother...”

“His father opened his moth to say something. No sound came out. He shook his head and clasped Adrian’s shoulder.” Moth—typo. And again with short sentances, (I’ll only suggest a few more for the rest of the chapter, and let you do the rest if you even want to...) to which I can suggest: “...something and when no sound came out he shook his...”

Final short sentence adjustment and... GO! “Adrian’s brother stood in the corner of the room. His arms were crossed and his brows knit angrily together” “room, his arms crossed...”

“A large black carriage waited on the street outside” Waited “in” the street, right?

“Adrian could see their mouths moving in whispers as they spoke to other people inside their houses.” Don’t like the to other people part, how about this: “A few of the neighbors peered out between their curtains and Adrian could see their mouths moving in whispers as they spoke.

“She waved slightly, and said something.” If you just say that she says something and then explain what she did say in the next sentence, then just say: “...slightly, and said...” then include next coupla sentances.

Okay, that’s all. Now, if you feel bad about the critiques I’ve given... don’t. This is of exceptional quality and I look forward to reading the rest. There are a few style issues that I don’t like, but other than that this is looking really good. For just about everything I said there were two positive things I could have said but didn’t :)
7/5/2007 c3 1Amaranthus Black
This is a really cool story. I want to see what happens next... although I would advise omitting some needless words, and breaking up the paragraphs a bit. I think the first chapter is the best-written-especially the part that he forgot his house, his brother's name, his favorite food, how he only remembered his sister and his mother's eyes. That really struck a bittersweet note.
7/3/2007 c2 1Chaser Scott
Another moving and thrilling chapter! You've got me hooked! However, I'm slightly confused about the whole sin system. Do the guilds themselves give joiners a black mark after joining? Or do the priests do it? Doesn't joining a Guild of Thieves instantly makes one a target? And why give joiners such a distinct and recognizeable tattoo upon joining? How does one go about life in Danae with the status of a thief without the guards constantly on their backs? Despite that slight confusion, you continue to impress and amaze me with your writing. Looking forward to the next chapter!

Best,

C.S.
7/3/2007 c1 Silvone Elestahr
Wow! I loved this. I do hope you continue this story.
7/2/2007 c1 Chaser Scott
This was by far one of the best introductions I've ever read on this site. I consider myself one of the harder readers to impress and you've certainly blown me away. This first chapter has left me intrigued and wanting more. It is extremely well written-I love the intricacy of your details and your careful attention to grammar. I've fallen in love with the poor little boy. Please, keep this up for I will surely continue reading!

Best,

C.S.

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