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for The Witch's Apprentice

11/19/2011 c7 Chris Brewer
I think their arrival at the town in the beginning should be expressed. As it is it was too sudden for me.

"Magic was like reading; a skill gained through much learning. But like reading, it did not show through any outward sign."

This 'But' should probably be an 'And' since it complements the first sentence rather than contrasts with it.

The one problem I see with Pieder waiting and not knowing about the waiting list is that we don't see what he did do instead. It seems implied that he simple walked into the building and started waiting , perhaps taking a seat somewhere? No one, no matter how ignorant would suppose that you should just walk in and wait somewhere, you would go and at least talk to someone or something. Which isn't to say that he couldn't just foolishly wait for days on end, but I think we should see how he comes to the conclusion that this is what he should be doing. Does someone tell him to wait (if so why don't they ask him if he is on the list or if he wants to be on the list), or does he simply observer others doing so any infer that he should do the same?

Pieder doesn't mention the fact that Iris never returns. I think he should express some disappointment about that in addition to feeling foolish for not knowing about the waiting list.

Also, the sexual tummy petting comment is on the risque side for seven year olds.
11/19/2011 c6 Chris Brewer
Hello cheater!

Goodness.

Anyway, in other news, didn't Pieder talk to the witch all the time using only his mind? This chapter made it seem like he had never done it before. Or was she only talking to him? Maybe that can be made clearer or maybe I'm just being difficult.
11/19/2011 c5 Chris Brewer
Nice short chapter. Last line was weird to me. Do magical things normally need maintenance to keep them existing? Was there an earlier example of this that I had missed?
11/12/2011 c4 Chris Brewer
Nothing much to add here. I liked the bit about knowledge and ignorance. Lynx's are the bad man. The description of the rejuvenation spell is interesting as well. Curious to know how much of it is true. I know such a spell must exist.

I also find that I'm rather ignorant about the world still. Do you want to expand on it more, or do you feel the reader should have a better understanding of things? The queen has been mentioned enough times that I think we should at least know what Pieder knows about the queen.
11/12/2011 c3 Chris Brewer
Interesting chapter!

Does Pieder know the witch's real name? If not, he should not tell her that the package is for her, but that he was instructed to give her the package so she can deliver it to its recipient. Or perhaps he can guess it is her?

The fact that she keeps her past hidden seems to be asserted the moment it becomes relevant. Perhaps this could be built up more in earlier scenes where we have Pieder inquire about her past. Has Pieder attempted to find out more about her despite her rebuffing him? Would there be clues around the house for him to investigate? Does he have guess or assumptions about her past? Seems like an aspect of their relationship that might be interesting to expand on more.

Also, beyond their initial efforts to improve communications and teach him defense, their existence seems a little directionless. Did the witch merely want him to make her existence more tolerable, or is there a sense that she is working towards any particular goals? What about his education, does she have some suggested intentions or method about what and why she teaches Pieder certain things? I think having more intention suggested/explained would make the story more compelling because you could keep in mind some idea of what you think the characters are moving towards.
11/12/2011 c2 Chris Brewer
Last chapter left said Douglas took Pieder to her residence, and then we find him at the brambles here. Are we to assume this is her residence? I felt a little disoriented by this.

The description of the witch's home is colorful and detailed, but there is some fuzziness in what is happening when you get into the description. Perhaps you can add more specific events that tie in the the various descriptions so we can tell when things happen or just make a more explicit transition from description to action again. This is where I start having trouble:

"There was a chamber, almost a hallway between the outhouse chamber and the front room chamber, that had a cot set to one side and a small dresser with two drawers carefully cleaned and empty. It appeared to be his bedchamber. He placed his... "

The start of this paragraph sounds like it is going to be more general description of the house that he discovers while being taught his chores, but once you say "he placed his" we are actually in a specific moment and narrative, but I didn't realize this for a couple of sentences.
11/12/2011 c1 Chris
I probably won't review the style/syntax too much since this is all a rough draft and I would probably end up just pointing a lot of things that you already know.

I would expand on the parent's reaction to her wanting their son. If the father doesn't care, perhaps he should put on a show of caring for his wife's sake. Either way they should at least try to suggest alternatives otherwise they don't even seem to be trying. The decision also seems to be reached too quickly. I'm not sure how you could do it without breaking up the flow of the story, but I don't think a mother/father can accept giving up their son in a few moments, even if he is dying.

Perhaps you can have the witch do something to force their decision, such as threaten to leave when they try to bargain with her. As a justification for letting go so easily, you could have them agree with the witch with the understanding between the husband and wife that they would try to talk her out of it afterward. It would probably be more convincing if the husband and wife have a moment to confer with each other in private where the witch cannot hear their discussion.
11/11/2011 c1 7Phantom6thMan
Wow... that was an (for lack of a better word) awesome story so far... XD love it!

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