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for Shadow the Sun

7/4/2011 c1 1CookieMyLove
First of all, I would just like to say that I admire you for the creative spirit that's necessary to create a scifi-type story. One has to build their own sort of universe and, being a romance/social issues writer, that gains admiration from me, for what it's worth :) That aside, I found this story interesting from the start and it just got better as I read on. I like the names you choose, they just seemed "right," if you get what I mean. I feel as if different names wouldn't quite fit. And, as long as I'm speaking about names, I found there was quite a lot in this first chapter. With so much information, I needed a minute to get on my feet and find my ground, but, admittedly, that could just be me. I'm not used to reading scifi and the like. I found myself trying to remember who was who on a couple occasions, and I had to go back to reread. I mean no offense, but, honestly, I got a headache near the beginning because it just seemed overwhelming. I could hear myself thinking, "Whoa, back up here, hold on a minute...what?" Of course, this is just one opinion.

On the other hand, I enjoyed the descriptive nature with which you approached this narrative and it has a nice, smooth voice to it. I liked how at one point it seems to touch on, through the thoughts of Melodi wondering about justice, the question of over what we truly have control. Are we really punishing the people who deserve it, or just innocent bystanders? That's what I got from it, and I like how her situation proves to be thought-provoking. This chapter flows well, if not a bit fast, and I find myself still intrigued and caught by the cliffhanger. I'll be clicking on that little arrow for the next chapter for sure. :)
4/9/2011 c5 4LuxAurorae
This chapter was a lot better than the last one because the scenes were more flushed out, especially the description of the ruins. The scenes with Rune/Jocelyn could have been flushed out more. It felt like you were conveying a lot of information that should have been revealed a bit more slowly if at all. At this point, Rune doesn't seem as important as Melodi, but she's given a lot of scenes/flashbacks this chapter. If all of that really is important, trying revealing that info a little bit at a time as the story progresses.

That said, the scenes/flashbacks involving Rune also feel less significant because this is the first chapter you're introducing her. First introductions don't require a completely flushed background and history on the character...it's like real life. If you met someone for the first time, would you know their life story from the start? Even if it's not their life story, but let's say 2-3 significant incidents that happen in their lives, you still probably wouldn't know about that. You might hear about one of those incidents from someone else. Or, if the person you meet is willing to share, it's usually because they've had some time to warm up to you, just like the reader should have some time to get to know the new character.

Now for each of Rune's flashbacks, they weren't flushed out enough. Not enough detail to make them feel real. Just a few more lines of setting would help place the scenes somewhere. But that's not the biggest issue. Even if you fixed the scenes themselves, they just don't fit in at the moment. (See paragraph above).

A lot of interesting things are happening, but since it's so fast-paced, it's hard to follow, emotionally more than mentally. Mentally, I know what's happening, the plot itself. But emotionally, I'm not caught up in the story because I don't care enough about the characters (sorry if that sounds horrible)

What I mean is this: Before you can really get into the heart of the story, you have to make the readers like your character or at least believe it. And after liking your characters, the readers have to feel like they're in danger and want to root for them. How do you do this? Raise the stakes.

Sure, we know that Melodi's in a dangerous situation, but we have to know exactly what would happen to her if she fails to escape. What does it mean to her life? Will someone important die? Is it a matter of her own survival? (If it is, you should spend a bit more time on Melodi's thoughts on it, because if we don't get a sense that SHE feels the danger, WE'RE not going to feel that she's in danger either).

This is tough to do, the whole making your audience care about your characters thing. I still have trouble with it.

Okay, so keep in mind that these are my personal opinions and you make agree with some suggestions and disagree with others. Which is totally fine, because this is YOUR story. (I think the people who receive critique the best are the ones who realize this, and aren't afraid to disagree with someone who seems to be taking apart their writing.) Also, a lot of the elements I mentioned are things that I'm also personally working on.
4/8/2011 c4 Luxaurorae
Hey, I know I supposed reviewed this chapter already, but I think you've updated it since I last read it.

First a little tip. For first person pov stories, you can leave out the "I" a lot of times, and it'd actually make the story feel more immediate too. What I mean by this is instead of something like this:

He returned to my side a moment later, and I saw that it was a small cloth doll. After that was another coin, this time a bronze one.

You could just say:

He returned to my side a moment later [with] a small cloth doll. After that was another coin, this time a bronze one.

If Melodi doesn't perform any action in the sentence, you can leave out the "I". So instead of I saw, I felt, just go straight to the description itself.

"As I looked around I saw a stone structure in the distance." - "A stone structure stood in the distance."

Now as for transitions, when you're moving from scene to scene, you want to give the reader some time in between scenes to get them settled in the new location. You can do this by giving a bit of description of the new place (Either 1-2 lines of pure description before readers start getting bored, or description incorporated with action)

ie: She ran across the lawn with a pebble in hand, and upon reaching the castle wall, threw it high above her head. (you get action, and description without have to previously mention the castle wall or the lawn.)

Pure description would be like: The hill sloped upwards and its boulders cast ferocious shadows across the ground as the sun began to set. Or: The sky turned dark and foreboding. Lightning struck across the sky as rain pelted down on our heads.

On dialogue:

Don't make everything dialogue. Just make important things dialogue. Whatever you think should be turned into a scene. Dialogue should not be like dialogue in real life. In real life, we'll have a lot of commentary stuff that gets said but has no direction. This is because there is no plot in life. Unless it's someone who's specifically talking to someone in order to pull information out of them that they want. In fiction, dialogue should reveal either character or should move the plot forward. It should also not be abused to reveal background information. You should find a way to do that either through the things that actually happen, or through narrative connecting them to things that are happening.

Scenes should include a change, and something to be changed.

There's a lot of info, and it's sort of like a streaming narrative. I'd suggest to pick out the information that you think would make distinct scenes, and then focus on those scenes on their own before putting them together.

I did enjoy that bit of religion you added though. I like your worldbuilding but keep in mind that the book never reveals as much as the author knows about the world. The story reveals only what is necessary to know about the world for the plot. A lot of times, writers are so in love with their own world (me included) that they end up writing too much about it in a way that begins to slow down the story.

The story isn't a vehicle to show the world, but the details about the world IS a vehicle to show the plot

Sorry I wasn't able to review the other chapters. It's getting late but I'll be back to do it tomorrow.
3/22/2011 c6 Link Hoshi
Another easy chapter~ This one was nice, though. They were laid back and calm, and the dialogue between them was really smooth~ Nice to you back! And good luck with those classes! I know that I'm not looking forward to when I go to university XP
3/20/2011 c6 Punslinger
Yes, it is a short, informative chapter. Not much action, but it holds reader attention and makes us want to find out what happens next.
3/18/2011 c6 GriLl0ws
great dialogue between characters! looking forward to reading more! :) cannot wait!

good luck with classes :) I know the struggle of juggling what needs to be done when you have so much you want to do instead hahaha!
1/27/2011 c3 4SCopySCat91
I liked this. Your characters are stong and your writing style is still supurb. However, I keep forgeting the character's names.

Ug... Now I have too many good stories to read. I'll never update at this point!
1/27/2011 c2 SCopySCat91
Your right! It does get better! I love what you do with description. As they where walking up to the burned down village I couldent help but feel that I was next to them. And the part about how the lady was starting to sound like a fortune cookie gone wrong made me laugh :)
1/27/2011 c1 SCopySCat91
It's really good writing wise, but for some reason I just can't get into this one. I have no idea why...
1/23/2011 c5 Link Hoshi
Kind of confused this chapter, there was a bit of... Damn I don't even know what it is but there's some of it... Ignore me please. So this Rune and Zero are looking for Melodi and Alec because they've been convicted of murder...? Well, I'm intrigued to say the least! See ya later, hopefully a new update soon?
1/22/2011 c5 Punslinger
You are bringing the story along much better than before. The build-up of suspense seems a bit slow and narrating from different characters' viewpoints is confusing, but it all holds the readers' attention and makes us eager to find out what comes next.
1/12/2011 c2 1Noelle Parker
Holy goodness! Okay so I have to admit that (I hide my face) I did not want to read your story. I did at first but I think it had something to do with the format and the fact that I was lost and confused upon entering your story. Let me quickly tell you however that... that was AMAZING! You had me hooked with that dream. I don't know exactly what it was but I could picture her standing there with the people, could feel her pain, her loyalty to knowing that she had to stick with it... goodness. Bravo.

Now, I will tell you that it was still confusing at times. The dream sequence was wonderful - not confused once. For instance though, when Juno hit Melodi what that a memory? That's the only thing I can logically come up with but I just don't see it being one because the main character was stabed... of course maybe you wanted suspense with that. I know it might not be what your aiming for - us knowing its a memory (if it is) - but instead of being caught up in the fact that Melodi was just possibly murdered, I'm more conserned with where the heck we are in the story line... :) Still *shock* you just stabed your main character! What were you thinking? xD

The language is a little confusing to me... I picture the characters a certain way (and I don't know why except maybe i'm drawn to this) - 18th century type dress in a fantasy world... the language completely doesn't match however. So my brain in conflicting with what i'm reading. Just to clarify (so another reader isn't placing your characters in 2987 or something which i think is wrong to) describe their dress a little or something that would help us place the characters with something we do know - even if it is fantasy.

Seriously though, amazing work! Despite my confusion in some place I am hooked! And it takes a good story (plot, characters, and the like) to do that. If I don't like it I'm not going to keep reading and not going to review. You're getting both! On to the next chapter and can't wait for more! Oh and I don't want to confuse confusiong with mystery... I loved the mystery you had involved in everything... just had a little more meat and description to clear it up... :) Oh taht helps and you know I really liked it still :) Really liked it!
1/10/2011 c2 6Katie Runyon
Now that I finally have a few minutes while I'm eating (and remember), I'll at least take a look at the revisions for the first chapter. So here we go!

Wow. There's the sci-fi front and center. Definitely a different beginning.

I really like the dream, especially the beginning and end. It add a lot of mystery and dramatic.

I really like Melodi's voice in this chapter. And that she's having second thoughts, questioning what she's doing.

You made some really nice edits. It reads really well. As before, I like how you ended the chapter.

I'll try to get to the other chapters soon. Remind me, so I don't forget! :)
1/5/2011 c4 Link Hoshi
Oh my... That poor town...that's kind of harsh of you y'know? None the less, it was a great chapter! I like the little bit with Alec and Melodi, something tells me that if Alec should try anything...rude to Melodi, he should start running like a rabbit on fire! XD Anyways, great update, always good to see from you again!
1/3/2011 c4 Punslinger
Nicely done, changing Zane's weapon from a gun to an ax. I suppose we will learn that he is an expert fighter with it.
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