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for Adventures at Cloverleaf Farms

3/9/2009 c1 2writergurlLW
How is it, best friend? I imagine you should already know who I am by that evident hint. Anyway, I am going to review this the way I would review any other author on Fictionpress - with the intent to help them be publishing-worthy. If I come off harsh at instances, please excuse it. A lot of grief would have been avoided for me when I joined this site six years ago if I had a best friend to honestly review my story and show me the works. I promise to be fair and honest with you. With that said, here is your promised - and dreadfully long - review:

Good Points:

A good reviewer always starts off with the good points of a story, and that is what I plan to do.

Summary: I see you rightfully took advantage of the summary box. It isn't boring, nor is it too specific. However, I think if you added a bit more sentence structure - as in change of sentence lengths - the summary would have more of a grasp factor. Also, though this is not related to the summary, you should probably change the genre to supernatural/Romance, since your title implies this story will be an adventure. Twilight's influence (which I will touch on further in the review) is evident from the moment your character thinks of Trey. Unless things drastically change later in the story between the two, this story's central point will end up being romance.

First Paragraph: Lovely! You understand the importance of the first paragraph. It is often the part of the story that makes or break it. I was impressed with it. It answered the where question in a marvelous way as well as made me want to continue reading it.

Description: Though it gets...overdone at some points (I will also touch on this later in the review), it was there and fairly well done. At least I always had a sense of where they were.

Your writing has greatly improved since the story I read years ago in that small pink notebook! If you seriously wanted to be a writer, I think it would work out with the right ambition.

Bad Points:

This is the most important part of the review. What I will say here, though disappointing, is what can be used to improve your story. I suspect Stephenie Meyer's story would have had more depth in the writing department if she would have just paid a bit more attention to the critiques people were offering her.

Dialogue Tag-on's and grammar: It took me a long time to understand how to use dialogue. Even now, I still have to break out my writing books and research how it's done. Here are the problems I noticed with dialogue grammatically (not content wise. That's something else I will touch on later):

I closed my eyes and listened to the trees for a moment,

He looked at me a bit weirdly I had to admit,

Above are two sentences copied from your story where you put a comma before skipping a line and going to dialogue. That's incorrectly written. A sentence can not end in a comma, nor does it look right. There are two ways you could have done this. You could have just put a period where the commas were. Or, since I think you may have been trying to use them as a form of attribution, you could have just put them right before the dialogue that would be following it. For instance:

He looked at me a bit weirdly I had to admit. “You’re adopted?”

That way you could take out 'he asked' because, by that attribution, it's implied that he spoke. If you need help with this, I can go further into it in a seperate e-mail or something.

Next Problem:

“You know what else is amazing?” I ASKED IN A SEDUCING TONE. (seductively would have fit better here, I think, but adverbs look nasty after dialogue. I just read five essays on that matter). He looked at me with large green eyes.

“What?” HE SAID GLIMPSING INTO MY EYES. He mimicked my tone.

“Me beating you to the stables!” I YELLED AND I DASHED OFF AND I HEADED FOR THE STAIRCASE AND OUT THE DOOR. (that's a run-on sentence) I heard him shout at me, (That comma is not needed)

“You won’t win!” HE SAID HYPERACTIVELY AND STARTED RUNNING AFTER ME. We ran past some of the trees and we ran through some pastures and we hit the barn.

Your dialogue tags, as in the parts I put in Caps Lock, are repetitive and unnecessary. If your dialogue is written well enough, readers can figure that out on their own. If it doesn't improve the tone in any way, avoid it. Here is how it would look cleaned up a bit.

Seductively, I asked, "You know what else is amazing?"

"What?" he replied, mimicking my tone. His eyes met mine in a way that almost suggested he was trying to read my thoughts. It was as frightening as it was alluring.

"Me beating you to the stables!"

It wasn't what I originally meant to say, but it would give me enough time to think about it and a reason to keep him close. I dashed off, glancing behind me as I ran down the stairs to make sure he was following me. It wasn't until I could hear his footsteps rapidly following my own did I run past the door.

"You won't win!" he said.

That didn't matter anyway. I was running with him - well past the pastures and through the barn - and I think I could have for centuries and not minded.

I think my corrections may have been a bit too sappy, and it wasn't written in the voice of your character, but in the voice of Alecia. That would have been her thoughts, so that's how I wrote it. It was also done off the top of my head. Still, I think it looked better with dialogue tags removed or kept to a minimum.

Next Dialogue issue:

“Sterling is it?” TREY LOOKED AT THE HORSE IN AWE OF HIM. “He’s beautiful,” TREY SAID. AFTER THAT HE MUTTERED, “As are you.” HE SAID SO LOW I BARELY HEARD HIM. I LOOKED AT HIM.

“You think I’m what?” I WIDENED MY EYES AND LOOKED AT HIM AS IF TO SAY, ‘hot sexy boy who I am in love with say what?’ (This, oddly enough, sounds like something Hannah Montana would say with her famous funny expressions. Ironic, as you do not like her, correct?) HE SMILED AND SIMPLY SAID,

“I just said that I thought you were beautiful.” HE SAID. “Let’s get going.” He was pulling something I’d done earlier. He was trying, and if I had anything to do with it failing, and changing the subject.

There are other errors in that selection from your story that I am avoiding for another review. Anyway, the parts I put in caps lock are all methods of attribution. You should have counted 7 sentences in caps lock, or evey other thing not in qoutation. That means you've used too much attribution. There are only two people talking, after all. It's so long because it's repetitive. Cleaned, it could look like this:

"Sterling, is it?" Trey said, looking at the horse in awe. His voice softened to a point where I could barely hear him. "He's beautiful...as are you."

I looked at him, eyes wide, thoughts in array. "You think I'm what?"

"I just said that I thought you were beautiful. Never mind that, though; let's get going."

I've said the same thing you have said, but in shorter words that may leave a stronger impact.

Content: This part of the review follows the problems I saw in plot. It's mostly opinionated, and can be disregarded as thus, but you should pay them close attention. This plot is a lot similar to Twilight, so the problems I see in that storyline I can't help but see already formulating here. I will thoroughly explain them below:

Trey as to Edward as Edward is to a Gary-stu: He's just too perfect right now. I get that he's a vampire, but where are his flaws and his personality outside of Aurora? Plus, like Stephenie Meyer did with Edward, you have a tendency of spending paragraphs after paragraphs seemingly obsessing over how beautiful he is. Once described once or twice throughout the story, it's enough. I'm hoping to see some real flaws and personality with him as the story continues.

Insignificant Details: Though description is always marvelous, a writer needs to make sure they don't do too much or too little. Also like Stephenie Meyer, you have a tendency of spending a considerable amount of time mulling over insignificant details, like the exact type of clothes she's wearing. Unless that clothing type will impact the story later in some way, it's okay to just say she changed into a hoodie and jeans. Sometimes, she changed clothes is enough.

The world stopped: There is no mention of anything else in Aurora's or Trey's world but what directly affects them. Where is her family? What was she doing before he arrived? The world is still going on.

Mention of power's earlier: Something as significant as her having powers would be mentioned before her affection for Trey. It is, in honesty, more important since this story is not in the romance section. Plus, if there will be lots of adventure and fighting, we need to grow an understanding of her powers. Not all at once, but enough for us to believe and accept it.

Is it too easy?: Be careful to make sure that she doesn't get him so easy, like he just fell right into her arms. Where is the excitement in watching them fall in love if it comes along so effortlessly and is smooth from that point on? Think in terms of real life. If someone falls madly in love with someone within the first week, definately as teenagers, they are more likely to use up all of their chemistry too quickly and things start to fall apart. Keep that in mind as you write.

That's all I can think of now! (Thank goodness, lol). Once again, I'm sorry if I came across as rude. I only had intentions to help you improve, as well as grow a Fictionpress fanbase of some sort. Those are always fun. I added your story to my story alert page so I will always read and review your chapters. Don't worry; they won't be as long or constructive as this, unless I go off on a tangent again.

Overall, I think you're an awesome writer, and I really can't wait to see where this story goes! Waiting for the next chapter:

~Adieu, your best friend WriterGurlLW.

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