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for Fleur de Sang

10/3/2008 c6 14WhenceComethThisBoredom
Okay, now, it seems silly for Hale to ask if Nathan has an interest in flowers, because HE'S A BOTANIST, fer heaven's sake, and Hale KNOWS that. So. That doesn't make any sense.

It also seems odd to me that people keep calling Nathan "boy". He can't be that young... I mean, he's in his twenties, right? But that's not all that bothersome, just a thought.

Mackinac is only eight miles around? Not like I'd know, of course... I like the beach description, though. Reminds me of the beaches here in Washington state and around.

They searched the whole house and not once did anyone glance out a window or something and see Magdeleine lying in the yard? That too seems a bit far-fetched. But for the sake of dramatic impact, worse crimes have been committed and gotten away with.

Why would they slow because of a woodpecker?

I bet the flower strangled her.

Ha, I knew it! But... but how would she have got close enough for it to kill her? No matter - perhaps she saw the teapot on the ground and bent to pick it up or something... or she sacrificed herself to the flower... or Hale knocked her down, and the flower, scenting blood, finished the job.

Oo, the flowers are bleeding! Nice touch!

Here's something else you should change about the preceding chapter: I was led to believe that the Bart thing had happened years ago, but clearly that's not the case. You should present it as more recent, not as a "story" but a rumour, "something that's been going around".

Wait, but that's stupid of him! He's going to get killed, just like Magdeleine! He shouldn't fall into it. He should, like, I dunno, moan or sob or choke or gasp, because everywhere he looked his yard was covered with it or something.

However, I like the end, and even though I could have guessed there'd be a body in the backyard (I didn't, though I did guess murder was involved) it doesn't seem contrived in the least, and your writing is back up to your earlier standard here.

So, all in all, quite good. I'm sad that you never answered any of the questions I asked in my reviews, but I guess you're probably busy. But I'd be curious to know where the idea came from for something so inventive. Did you take a trip to Mackinac or something? Do you live there? Is it based off an old legend? I really want to know!

That's about it. One of the best stories I've read on ficpress so far, and the only one of those that's complete. Good job.
10/3/2008 c5 WhenceComethThisBoredom
1. He should try feeding it blood. Then I bet the flower would perk up.

2. I agree with you that your writing is not as good in this chapter - it's not bad, but it less than your usual standard. But you know that. I think the quality begins to fall off in the third paragraph, because I quite like the description of Nathan trying to care for the flower. It's quaint; it makes me like him. Even in the choppy bit there are good bits, in particular "She wore her hair loose, and it draped across the shoulders of her gown like a raven's wing against the night sky" and Nathan comparing her to a "three year sapling", which is a funny botanisty kind of thing to say.

I think the problem may be that it moves a little too quickly. Usually you give nice descriptions of things, but there's no real description of, say, Richard's house. The revelation that Nathan is "in love" also seems a little sudden. It was clear he found her attractive, but I took it for a man's casual fascination \- nothing he'd ever act on, just think of occasionally and appreciate when he was around her \- and that's quite far from "in love". There seemed no transition. If I were you (recall you did ask for criticism/advice) I would have Magdeleine make the first move... I mean, she does, in coming to his house and being all flirty... but, like, I wouldn't have Nathan be "Oh, I am in love!", and I'd make it clear that he thinks Richard's insinuation is absurd to Nathan's eyes, and indeed a joke to Richard's.

Also, it seemed sudden when Nathan says he's be asking after Magdeleine, because that's the first we hear of it. I would expect him to be more surprised at the fact that she seems to know all about his doings of late, which to me smacks of "creepy stalker". If she then said she was asking around after him, and then perhaps added some remark about how infatuated she is (like, "I couldn't stop thinking about you. I had to know" or something... obviously better than that, of course) which begins the quick spiral into romance.

That said (and it's about time I actually could give you any criticism instead of just effusing over your writing!), I do like that all they do is kiss twice, touch hands once, and talk, and also that Nathan can't sleep afterwards... presumably because he's thinking of her. It's been done often, I know, but I like it anyhow.

So, yes, this chapter needs work. However, it's still a good story.
10/1/2008 c4 WhenceComethThisBoredom
1. He should keep one of the flowers as an herbarium specimen.

2. A woodpecker? In the middle of the night? Clearly, ornithology is not his forte.

3. I find myself wondering which of these physical features of Mackinac that you describe are real and which are not. You make it so hard to tell.

Good, as always.
9/23/2008 c3 WhenceComethThisBoredom
Ha, ha. He's spinning the spoon absently while he thinks. What a fine detail.

I do wonder how sound your - or rather, Nathan's - botanical methods are. the fact that you knew about slaked lime at all lends credibility, and so I'm inclined to blindly trust. it all sounds trustworthy, anyhow, and vaguely familiar, so I suppose I'll just take your word for it.

Actually, I went and asked my dictionary, and the more I read the more impressed I am at your fine accuracy. Of course, by killing the soil like this he's going to ensure that nothing else can grow there after the flowers are gone (though I'm sure they won't be) but I suppose Hale doesn't care so long as they're gone.

Ah, now I begin to see why your previous readers called it a gothic tale, and I do agree. You may notice I stopped pointing out every good sentence. This is because I want to read faster, and your writing is just generally good, so I feel you don't need it. So, yes. Very nice. I continue.
9/23/2008 c2 WhenceComethThisBoredom
Fifteen-starred national banner, eh? Your story is maddening insofar as it begs outside research. Which, by the by, I did, and yes, I discovered, said isle is Canadian. Which you, obviously, already knew. But anyhow.

"until coming to a reckless stop": for some reason I got a very nice image off of this.

Oh, I'm sorry, but I've made a point to review in strem of consciousness, and I have to say, I really love this story. Something about it, perhaps the fine originality of its setting (I mean, honestly, who would ever think of Mackinac Island in the early 1800s (or, at least, I'm guessing that's it) as a setting for a story? much less a story about evil flowering weeds?), is just... delicious. Also, the hero is a botanist.


your "lime-plastered walls" is missing an L. also, "Clearly, Magdelaine ment one introduction to serve the both of us" contains a further typo. and here: "having spent a considerable amout of time". sorry, but I can't help being The Typo Patrol, even when I'm holding back my Grammar-Stickler Patrol instincts (though your grammar, dear, is just fine).

"perhaps he would prove valuable after all" : this seems unnecessary, and somewhat jarring, for Nathan didn't think before this anything to the contrary. I'd take it out if I were you. (Yes, it's nitpicky, but I can't give you ONLY compliments, now can I?)

I like that Nathan sucks at riding.

I also like the sentence describing the house. A lot. Had I written this, I would read it over and congratulate myself on a phrase well-turned.

"while Magdelaine lead me inside": led.

"Magdelaine came out wiht a pot of steaming water": with.

I'm definitely keeping on reading this (oh, poor English there...), for you write well, and the story is intriguing. I'd be done already if I didn't feel the need to review so thoroughly... but then, treat others and so on.

it's so nice to read a ficpress story that doesn't suck.
8/27/2008 c1 WhenceComethThisBoredom
Let's see: I don't speak French, but "oncle" probably means "uncle", um... Well, I got that much.

These plants sound like dandelions or bamboo or himalayan blackberry - that is, insidious and awful. I like this story already. “Invasive flower species are hardly something to be frightened of", eh? well, clearly he's never tried to eradicate any of the aformentioned species from HIS garden...

Well, I'm definitely going to keep reading this. First, however, I'm going to have to look up Mackinac Island. "Matthew Hale" sure doesn't sound like a French name, for one. Perhaps this island is in Canada. But, anyhow, as a gardener, I think vicious weeds are quite terrifying indeed. so there. in case you didn't get that from my previous remark.
11/18/2007 c5 8RandomWriter2010
I love this story, it is thebest i have read so far. i hope one day i can write as well as this. Keep up the good work.
9/15/2007 c4 13Silver Rain Fell
Wow. It's a seriously impressive story. It reads like a real gothic tale, like something Lovecraft or Stevenson might write. Your narrative voice is confident and flawless. I wish I could write this well! And I can't wait to read more, with the tiny hints you are leaving!
9/13/2007 c3 Sherylene
I'm enthralled by what you have written so far.

I hope you have not abandoned this story yet.

It would be a great pity.

Sincerely yours,

8/17/2007 c3 Stale.Cracker
you have a really incredible way with writing. i absolutely loved this chapter =D
8/13/2007 c2 20The Wandering Musician
Very good! I like the idea behind the story; it makes me wonder what those little flowers really are and what they do. I suggest that you use a little more detail and description in your story. You could describe the house in greater detail, describe the appearance of the characters more, their mannerisms, and such. I feel like I don't really know the characters yet because we know so little about them.

Anyways, great chapter!
8/8/2007 c1 105Maggot Blood
I wish there was more frensh, but that's just me, good work.

7/11/2007 c1 2C.Sabbadin
Some puncuation errors but this looks like a strong first paragraph.
7/10/2007 c1 4junejewel9
i like it. :) it gives me the chills, and I like the french parts because i can understand it and it makes me feel special.
7/10/2007 c1 Stale.Cracker
Oh, this is starting to sound interesting =D. You have a good writing style and you make everything very believable. Keep it up ^_^

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