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for An American Au Pair in Bondi

11/8 c4 Guest
How is this story complete? Really enjoying it so far but not sure if it's complete by the end of chapter 4?
9/23 c29 9Penny-0-Wryter
I’ve been keeping up with every chapter as you publish since my last review. For, like, three consecutive chapters I was holding my breath waiting for something to critique. . . It’s been between 6 and 10 chapters since that last review though, and my editorial senses haven’t been blaring. I’ve actually gotten to the ends of each with a nice, contented smile and a pleasant anticipation for the next to come. I must admit that I go through phases where I indulge exclusively in works of romance, here on FP. I’ve been in one of these phases the last few weeks, in between reading this story. . . Not making any absolute comparison, but just stating the general pleasure I’ve received: the first, what 6-10 chapters were kind of rough, but you’ve since smoothed things out and there is a definite plot, character development: the personality of your characters is starting to come through, especially Marc, who obviously has a silly side, but also Emily, when you mention details like having them go shopping for produce —because Emily doesn’t like the tinned stuff. In the earlier chapters you weren’t including those details that add dimension to the characters. The characters also seem to have clearly defined reasons for doing things, I.e, it feels natural for the sequence of events and dialogue to go as it has. For example, as Marc’s character had developed, it had been with insight into his thinking, so, although it hasn’t been blatantly indicated by him, the natural progression from his struggle to recovery, finding some peace with Leigh, and the simultaneous increase in easy-going interactions between Emily and Marc, the casual observations and seemingly unconscious particular interest combined with his laid-back personality and increasing buddy-type displays of affection, make it feel very natural for me, the reader to accept where things are going (but still expecting ways
9/13 c1 7Dreamy D
Hi Captain ! Remember me ? Well I am absolutely happy that you are back and just really amazed at the stories you have published. This indeed seems like a good beginning and I will surely drop reviews for your other stories. I am amazingly thrilled that you are back !
9/3 c17 9Penny-0-Wryter
Congratulations on the update, I see good improvement!

Some gaps filled in with the art supplies and some character interaction developing as a result (although I am still confused about the winter occurring after she ordered paint supplies for the summer... didn't Emily arrive in Australia in March?).

There is improvement in connecting your ideas to the reader's perception. For example, I can see the connection that Mark is processing his grief and other psychological and emotional issues, therefore he is willing to claim Ashleigh as his own and raise her as such. I still find it moving too fast, it's not quite natural, but it's much better!

A helpful practice for you to try:
Consider real relationships. Happy couples in long-term relationships. How did they build this relationship? Were major milestones achieved overnight? No! Don't be afraid to let things progress at a slower pace. Introduce some actual conflict - Mark struggling to get past his pain and inner demons would be more realistic and relatable to the readers. Don't be shy about getting into the details! The readers want to know your character as well as their own best friend, but that's never going to happen if you simply gloss over everything.
At this level your story is still written like a headline. There is just enough information to hook the reader to open the paper up to the main article, but it's not satisfying enough for the reader to put it down, content that they've learned the point of the article.

Take time to watch how people interact. Especially mothers and children or other caregivers with small children. It will help your writing tremendously if you can move away from describing what the characters are doing toward the rhetorical device of narration. It's the difference between giving a police report (just the facts) and talking to a friend about the situation that had you laughing so hard. When you tell stories to friends who weren't there to witness it, do you say "she fell but was uninjured" or so you reiterate with lots of embellishments? "...Then Tina slipped in a puddle on the pool deck, skidded off her feet and plunged into the pool with a great splash. She came up spluttering and looking like a wet noodle, contrary to the sassy act she put on before that little mishap. I laughed for what felt like days, even though Tina kept glaring at me."

Writing a story is NOT a police report! Start embellishing your factual circumstances (Emily and Ash went for a swim lesson in the complex pool) with details about what the characters say and HOW they say it; what they do and HOW they do it; what emotions were experienced during this circumstance. Use the factual circumstances as an opportunity to describe Ashleigh's unique laugh or the bathing suit that Emily had been dying to wear with particulars: e.g. 'when we got to the poolside I removed my bathing suit covering and admired the way the cool mint color complimented my skin tone.' Or 'I put Ash on her belly, supporting her from underneath and, walking through the pool at a slow pace, glided her through the water while taking care to keep her face above the lapping surface. She squealed with glee and kicked her legs with energetic enthusiasm.'

Hope my comments & suggestions are well received! Be blessed!
8/27 c11 Guest
Very good plot development, although I would have liked more character development. I mean, to say that Emily has 'fallen in love' with Ash but not give any fun anecdotes about her sweet infant antics for the reader to relate and understand the feeling, seriously? And, after 12 chapters how is it that I can more easily define the secondary character, Mark, than the protagonist? I mean, she likes to go on hikes and Mark thinks she's to inquisitive... Emily purchased painting supplies for the summer, but then, within a few paragraphs winter was approaching and you spent more words describing a trip to the grocery. Seriously? You could absolutely find a way to use the painting hobby in at least three different ways that immediately occurred to me, within the context of your story. The grocery run, in this context, was pretty much just wasted words. Honestly, we already get the picture that Emily's days aren't very exciting, so, adding another mundane task didn't help us learn anything new about the characters or help us make a plot connection. Off to a great start!
8/18 c4 2Folding Turtles
Your writing style flows well. I am enjoying the feeling of being carried along as if riding out a swelling wave.

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