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8/19/2012 c9 99Dreamers-Requiem
I'm really loving the style of this. Build up of tension is brilliant, especially in terms of drawing me in and keeping me gripped throughout. The characters remain very likeable, even Roldan, and the ending there...well, just, how could you? The emotions are described perfectly; it's not too over the top or flowery, but the descriptions of how they're feeling really enable a reader to emphasise with them. Anke makes a great protaganist. Great stuff.
8/16/2012 c24 1A. Gray
This is a really solid beginning, and I love the way it's disjointed. It gives me the feeling that I'm as disjointed as Anke as she becomes connected with the creature, and cant seem to disinguish it from her. The little touches, like the glass should cut, but didn't because it was shadow, really made this great for me.
The part with Nolke bringing his mother back was great. it really highlighted the differences between the creature and Anke. It was nice to see that even as the creature is in her mind almost taking over that he could bring her back. I also loved that the creature saw Nolke as not fit to eat, but it made me wonder about the girl child with the grandma, and why she had been eaten when Nolke was unfit.
The ending of theis chapter was good. I liked that the creature wanted to stay on the ground with Anke, and it made me wonder about it being so reluctent to come out of the water. It didn't want to come out before to feed, but hunger overwrote that. So it must be Anke. It wanted to be with Anke unlike others before. I thought it was interesting to give us the back story of Sivan and his wife and how all that happened. It was a nice touch, like the creature never having a master like Anke before. But the best part of the ending was the fact that Anke and Nolke were safe as the creature retreated, but she didn't feel that way.
I think you got the pacing in this perfect. It wasn't too slow, but at times it had that slow effect. Like wise there were times if felt speeding along, and that really aided the disjointed feeling. It was like being on the land and in the sea at once.
Overall this was a really enjoyable chapter. You gave great insight into theis creature, and into Anke as well. It flowed well, and really gave a good feeling of what Anke was exeriancing. It was nice to have that slight shift from the fear ever present in this story even though it still lingered.
8/12/2012 c11 76The Autumn Queen
Opening: I think the idea was an effective one, however you’ve slightly missed the mark with the way you’ve written it. While you’ve said it should have been an inconsequential thought, it doesn’t really impact me as a reader in any way. If Anke is paying attention to the fact, then I expect as a reader to be engaged into it, but at the moment my reaction to the opening was just: ‘meh’.
Techniques: I like the motifs of shadow and light that keep on recurring; it becomes particularly prominent in this chapter when they’re out in the open. Particularly the dark noon – creepy image. I also like you following through the water motif and the security blanket.
Dialogue: I like the attempt at jibe/humour in this. It feels very natural; the naturally-bred worry from a husband for his wife, a man for a woman and a woman who’s trying to be strong. I think, in some places like “we can’t linger here” would do better to sound a little more forced in the circumstances, ie. “we cannot linger here”, but other than that, I think I liked the dialogue of this chapter most of all.
Dialogue’s the Australian spelling. I wonder who uses Dialog. I just noticed on the Depth requirements. Hehe…
Ending: Same as the previous chapter, which somewhat dims its effectiveness, using the same techniques twice in a row I think. While it is good to have it end at that pivotal point, I think there was a perfectly good ending a little above that didn’t have it at the same transition. A small stylistic thing that really only becomes apparent when someone sits and thinks about it, but it might be worth thinking about.
Sorry for taking so long with this. I didn’t realise how tough it is to not use Spelling/Grammar as a category. :)
8/12/2012 c10 The Autumn Queen
Opening: I think it works well having all those things going on in the same paragraph; it heightens the intensity of the situation. There were a few things that stood out though: [She had to make a choice, leave him alone or help her husband.] – those two “choices” sound like the same thing, all in all. Won’t she have to leave Nolke alone to help her husband? And I think it might have helped to mention Nolke’s presence in regards to Anke’s thinking; it would have added a little more intensity. And perhaps sound as well. But otherwise a good opening.
Dialogue: while I rather liked Sivan’s dialogue, I find Roland’s a little out-of-sorts with the situation. “chucking”, albeit darkly, with the man he was furious and somewhat jealous of? I’d think the statement should have been more defensive and biting, or at least with that undertone. He also strikes me as someone who has a lot of pride, but you’ve stripped that out of his reply to Sivan’s. Towards the end, I find Sivan’s last line somewhat emotionless as well. It’s not as resigned as I was expecting, or as doubtful – one of them, not necessarily both.
Flow: I rather like the fast-pace of this. Really suitable for the action-leaning events that are happening. It’s suitable, having the fight take place where we can’t see it; we have to judge its climax through the gaps so to speak and the flow becomes extra important there, but I think you’ve pulled it off well.
Ending: I like how it’s the point of decision making; it’s particularly effective as the chapter cuts off there, making it the thing that’s remembered most while I write this (of course, if I read the next one directly, that may change, but as far as physical books go, I could have put a book-marker there). I also like how Sivan contrasts to the family; the lone person should have less to fight for and thus more to risk, but you’ve brought out the “true” strength I think, the strength of fighting for people, trying to protect them.
8/11/2012 c9 The Autumn Queen
Opening: while it links directly into the previous chapter, I feel it's lacking in the emotional department. The actions are right, mostly natural, but the way you've worded it strips it of the panic that I feel should still be there. "the shifter said calmly" part is fine; I like that contrast, but shouldn't Anke be freaking out at least about why they can't leave, rather than being relatively appeased by the situation?

Ending: wow, large closet for them to be able to fall to the floor and not crash into a wall. Anyway...I like the mention of darkness in there, particularly the concept of being trapped, but I think you could have heightened that with a space restriction. Otherwise, the concise and sharp (no pun intended) imagery was a very nice way to wrap the chapter up.

Writing: my main problem is your seeming lack of emotion within your dialogue and descriptions. It pulls the situation of as something opaque and unreal. Sometimes it's just a matter of letting your writing flow a little more freely - but then, since this is one of those NaNo fics, I'm assuming you were more focused on getting the content/plot out than the style. With me, when I don't focus on style I take pages describing things without cutting words. :) But in your case, a few extra words here and there would not go amiss.

Apart from that though, your descriptions are nicely concise and transparent - err, not too transparent I mean. But not overly plain either; still holds that sense of mystery about.

Aargh, need a fourth category. Umm...

Char. (relations): I'm somewhat happy to see that confrontation. Perfect timing; the little things come out in the midst of bigger terrors. I think you've portrayed Anke quite well in the middle there, someone who's bound, someone with a cold sort of inner strength/weakness - that bit when she kicks Sivan out was beautifully emotional. Roldan as well; he carries the jealousy of seeing his wife with another man so it's not the "okay, he's gone and we're happy" hype, but far deeper. It's the exception to what I mentioned before.
8/10/2012 c8 The Autumn Queen
Opening: I'm in two minds about it actually. While the shadow falling is an intruiging image, particularly in relation to the title and summary of this fic, the mention of dim light diminishes its effect. After all, shadow is described as the absence of light framed within it (or that's how I describe it anyway), therefore the stronger the light, the more prominent the shadow, or conversely, the less light, the weaker although it is more. With dim light, shadow perhaps is more darkness than the sharp defined shadows that can fall upon things. The other thing was the repetition of "waking" which is unnecessary - I think you're capable of rewording that to only say it once. There are times when such circling works, but this is not one of them. I also like the mention of the bird, particularly as you don't specify which bird, meaning it could be anything from a crow/raven symbolising death to a dove symbolising hope.

Setting: I like the little details you've given in here. The wood shutters serves to add an extra dimension of context - and personal feel, my grandparents have them. :) The description of the street was beautiful, particularly with the use of the word "oppression to describe it. The use of "obsidan" was clever too - it gives an image of hardened glamour, almost enticing evil of sorts, and serves to heighten the mystery of water as both a setting and as a motif. And the way the sun changes is beautiful too, and all this happens inside. One thing that confuses me though is the initial transition between the "dim light" and the "bright sun" - there's no mention of a curtain and the window is already open, so there's no mention of Anke opening it either.

Dialogue: It actually reads somewhat unnaturally in my opinion. I don't feel the panic that should be setting in from the situation. I feel some of your lines are too dense - perhaps splitting them with tags instead of collecting them and having the tags at the end might work better? You've used "blotted" twice too in them. True, the story should be short and that's not a problem, but the discussion that centers around that seems to meander a little. There's no emotion except for the blurting out bit. No haste..okay, no emotion is a little harsh, but you get what I mean, right? Imagine yourself in a situation where you need to escape. They barely make an effort to do so. Unless that was what you were going for. if you are though, I'm not particularly convinced.

Ending: although it is a person talking, it comes out quite conclusive, which could be quite a powerful tool. Depends on future chapters to be honest, but it certainly has me interested to find out how they're going to tackle this hopeless battle. Of course, it doesn't help that I'm reading X-1999 right now. :) I also like how all the characters in the chapter get mentioned in the last two paragraphs, and how you have the "dark of night" despite it being in day time - although it is temporally incorrect. The "toys" was a nice motif as well; it almost feels like they're simply slaves to their fate - really heightens that last line.

I know you said no spelling/grammar things, but this one was glaring at me the whole time I typed the review. It's because it's the last sentence. I pay particular attention to the first and last paragraphs. ["It's our doom." the shifter said simply.] - comma after "doom." Particularly when doing depth reviews, the first and last paragraphs are quite closely scrutinised, and even when they're not, the last few are caught in the screen with this new review system.

Excuse my Australian spelling. FP doesn't seem to like it.
8/5/2012 c6 4Rogue Energizer Bunny
For some reason, I want Sivan to be awkwardly doglike. SQUIRREL. And such. Heehee.

Poor Sivan. :( I really like him in this chapter, with the random agressive kiss. He does seem a bit impulsive, so that'd fit his character.

I'm still not seeing the attraction, from his side. Why not go after some unmarried girl? There's gotta be some laying around. Maybe he likes a challenge, but I'm not seeing much of that in his character.

I like that Onke's not just jumping into his arms, though. The love-at-first-sight shit people throw at their stories is sooo corny, and I like that there's tension about the relationship. I also like that it's believable tension, and not stuff that's just made up. (I can't be around you, Bella, or I'll eat you... not that I've ever tried to eat you before in this shit book, or will in the future, but I still can't be near you!)

Merrr.

I love Sivan. Hopefully I'll catch this again sometime?
-Liv
8/5/2012 c5 Rogue Energizer Bunny
D'aww. I though he'd die. :/

The dead strays are coool. It's a pretty freaky image. It reminds me of this one book I read about serial killers, y'know? So, like, it was talking about how serial killers often start out as arsons and pet mutilaters, and they kept finding cats hanging from electrical wires, LOL. Well, not LOL. But still. So I like the creepy image.

The tension with Anke thinking about cheating on Roldan is well-done. I mean, she obviously wants to get closer to Silvan, but she's still so loyal to her family. It's an interesting dynamic.

I'm finding it hard to understand what Sivan sees in her, though. He's this interesting werewolf person, and she's... a housewife? I just don't see his point of view.
8/5/2012 c4 Rogue Energizer Bunny
I like Sivan as a potential love interest. He's exciting, and he sounds attractive, haha, so I could see Anke being a little thrown with him. Roldan's still interesting, too, with his awkward combo of concerned and distant.

I'm not sure how she's up and wobbling around, if they "almost lost her". I'd like more development of her injury, really, because I didn't /see/ (might've missed) anything. Was it infected? But then, why did she get a fever so fast?
8/5/2012 c3 Rogue Energizer Bunny
OHAI DERE

I'd like more development/exposition of the setting. Anke seems to know about the werewolves, with the "lycan" thing, but we don't, so I'm feeling a bit cheated. I mean, what else is gonna pop up? Haha.

The action scene's well-written, and I love how you capture the confusion of the situation. That adds nicely to the momentum of the chapter, too.

Aaaand I like that you don't put the flashback sequence in italics, coz that pisses me off, and it's soooo hard to read that way.
8/5/2012 c2 Rogue Energizer Bunny
Well, I'm glad I left off reviewing until I had more time XD. Now I can actually slow down and read instead of spamming with two-liners. Heehee...

I find Roldan very interesting as a character, especially how he's nicer to Nolke than he is to Anke. I'd have imagined him ignoring his son, too, but it adds depth to his character that he doesn't. I also like how awkward the interactions between Anke and Roldan are, since it displays how restrained their relationship is.

The dog's head is an especially good detail, with the ear detached and all... it creates a great feeling of foreboding, haha. And it ties the whole thing further with the bay/dog stuff. If that makes sense...

Love the ending, too, great cliffhanger. WILL READ MORE.
-Liv
8/5/2012 c1 Rogue Energizer Bunny
I keep getting distracted. FOCUS.

So I love the way this works as an opening chapter. There's great suspence, and solid characterization. I like how it starts in some of the tension, but not like hardcore overkill drama at the beginning. Great start for a story.

Not a big fan of the opening paragraph. It's not exactly attention-grabbing. I mean, it sets the scene up, and maybe establishes some conflict, but it seems too routine/everyday to be an effective hook.

I like the way you imply the tension in their marriage, without actually stating it. The lack of communication, how they married the day they met-it shows that they aren't happy newlyweds, but you have the style to not come out and state "they didn't talk much BLAH."

The overall pacing/description/proportion in this chapter is very good. It's easy to read and pretty immediate. I'll keep going.
-Liv
8/1/2012 c4 76The Autumn Queen
I like the image of the beginning because the greyness draws back to the relationships throughout the previous chapters as well as giving a solid /physical/ image to observe and imagine.

I also like how you've intertwined something as mundane as scrubbing a pan with emotional turmoil. I think it really brings out the conflict, both as a general woman and in the specific context you've written it in. That, and the ritual of cleaning - an ordinary act - being expanded upon by complimentary thoughts, actions and descriptions. Much better than the place you attempted in chapter two.

So far I think this is my favourite chapter.

Sorry for not being more help. I have a habit of getting distracted by little things and it was quite challenging to not comment on grammar (at least, I think I avoided it).
8/1/2012 c3 The Autumn Queen
I like the time-play in the first line because it gives a fleeting sort of feeling, nicely throwing the events into context while playing on the "action" without making its description too brief.

I don't like the way you've ended this though as it falls somewhat flat in respect to the dramatic intensity you built up.
7/31/2012 c2 The Autumn Queen
[Poking the coals in the grate and adding more firewood, she set about getting breakfast started for the day. Though her hands remained busy and focused on the task at hand, Anke couldn't stop hearing that low voice, whispering reassurance. / No matter his feelings toward her, guarded or distant or some other variant she couldn't name, Roldan always made sure his son knew he was loved. He started every day in their son's room, telling stories and playing games. She'd wake to an empty bed but Nolke woke to his father's smile. The disparity was perplexing.] - the link between those two paragraphs seems initially a little too obscure. I think, after the empty bed imagery, I lose the sense, as a reader, of there being anything unordinary about the scene, so it's a little stumbling to have something stated so plainly after a given time. I think it would work better if you eased the subtelty in, little things in the routine which I think you started to do, but you sort of only take it three quarters of the way, so it doesn't bring it out as effectively as I think you could. Some of those parts work though, like [Nolke's squeal of laughter followed her down the stairs.] giving a nice contrasting image to it further heightens the parents' relationship on the background of a child's innocence. But the actual relationship I think needs to be there a little more towards the first few paragraphs.

I like how you've portrayed the childhood innocence because it really draws out the complexities of the older more adult characters. Like I said above, it provides a nice contrast between dark and light, and seeing as your summary has to do with shadows, it becomes even more prominent.
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