Story Review Thread

  • silk tea.

    silk tea. (400)

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    Title.
    So before I even saw the little quote you had underneath the banner I totally started singing Rent songs. >.<

    Layout
    I like it very much actually, which is weird because normally I hate dark backgrounds with bright font. I just like a white story area black font and whatever background color you want. I'm strange like that. But it worked out very nicely, and I love the photo you've got.

    Summary
    Again with the quote, I saw that and started singing. Which automatically makes me want ot read this. Maybe it's just because I'm a nerd and love musicals, or maybe it's truly fascinating. o.O

    I actually like how it's in second person, the rest of the summary I mean. It makes me wonder if that's the entirety of the story. I have zero idea who MAtthew Sanders is, but I LOVE how it's sort of like a self-help thing. Telling us, that there's hope of making yourself better, etc, etc. Very inspiring, and I'm definitely interested in how the rest will be.

    Story

    The tree was tall, that was the first thing that came to my attention. It stretched far upwards, reaching to the sky and grabbing the clouds with its long, thin branches. The bark was white, peeling in places to reveal a deep, earthy brown. The roots went on for yards before they eventually lost themselves in the tall stalks of the thick grass. Behind the tree was the setting sun, its orange and pink lips kissing the horizon.

    This description, this entire paragraph is perfect. I don't even know what words to use to tell you how much I loved it. It set the scene wonderfully, and I'm already stationed to read. Just from this paragraph, I am not going anywhere.

    tee-shirt you don't need a dash between these words. It can just be tee shirt.

    The way you described the boy...make me want to pelvic thrust. He sounds beautiful. I keep forgetting this is a fanfiction. I need to go look up who this is about and see if he really is as beautiful as you make him seem.

    Oh my God, allergies! I LOVE that you included that. The entire few paragraphs about just a sneeze were wonderful. I wasn't bored at all by it. Which is weird because normally I'd be complaining that you went on and on about a sneeze.

    Nooooo, come back! Make him come back! I'm hoping this is more than one chapter because I'll have to sue if it isn't. I want them to have a fluffy romance. :(

    Overall
    It was a great opening chapter. I'm assuming this will be longer because it said that this was a preface? IF so, I will so subscribe. I hope that all of your chapters can be as captivating as this one, but that's doubtful. First chapters are always the best and then the rest suck. In my case, anyway. I'm not saying yours will....O.O I'm going to stop talking now.
    Any
    July 20th, 2010 at 06:52pm
  • The Master

    The Master (15)

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    Holy hell. This was such a dark, hellish insight into severe phobia. Naturally, as a psychologist I am always on the lookout for interesting but more importantly realistic - if not entirely poetic - depictions of mental illness, not merely as some plot device in order to gain sympathy for a character but as a natural occurrence in all walks of life. You have achieved that which is a tall order, particularly with a rarer form of illness. Psychologically speaking, there seems to be a bit more than just the phobia - Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, anxiety disorders, psychotic depression...all cantered around the loss of a child - presumably through miscarriage or stillbirth. I say this sine Ophelia seems destined to blame herself and turn her anger and despair inwards due to the loss of the child: she sees a monster instead of a female (very Lady Macbeth) and her womb seems to secrete a bigger monster, a walking time bomb. The strength of this vision in itself is enough to ramble on for pages, so please forgive me if I wholly concentrate on that.

    I am going to analyse the key aspects of story - characterisation, imagery/symbolism and style - as well as making some less verbose comments on layout and suchlike.

    You have this deadly feel for characters and uneasy relationships. Despite the cool-as-cucumber surface, Leonard seems to be reacting to the death of the child in an avoidant way which is a natural reaction to such an event. Ophelia seems to be taking it in a more introverted way, compartmentalising her daughter who she loves and lays flowers for and the demon that she seems within herself. This desexualisation of herself is again another natural reaction to such an event that is so intrinsically tied with womanhood and femininity, that her "failure" to complete what appears to be the ultimate definer of womanhood causes her to see herself as a monster. So it seems only 'right' (I use the term loosely) to make her scared of her own reflection and that she seems something else. It also reminds me of that famous thing with Nixon - that he was unable to see his own reflection in the mirror due to his growing anxiety disorder and paranoia. So, from a psychologist point of view, her character is tied to this reaction. To fully show the reader that this is an abnormal thing, I would have made her husband quip something about how she used to be...glamorous or something. Just to make her change all the more apparent.

    You have used a lot of symbolism within the piece, sometimes derived from your imagery or just through the names and items you use to decorate your pieces.

    Firstly, your imagery-symbolism. You create great moods and atmosphere from your imagery and it is gorgeous, it really is.

    For example:

    caressing the tender bud

    What seems like a momentary sweet movement says a lot about the story. There is no real issue with renewal and youth, there is still that tenderness and that maternal instinct that seems to appear strongest at that place. The tender bud is merely the womb of the flower so there is a clear distinction between a fear of pregnancy and babies and the like rather than the actual fear of mirrors.

    Again, another example:

    But most of all, she couldn’t stand the mirrors dancing along every orifice of the room.

    I don't know why but I'm starting to think that since this event, she's also been quite...frigid for lack of a better term. It's quite a sexualised metaphor in my head: dancing mirrors being colder reflections of the self and of course others that she knows and for the inclusion of the word orifice compounds the idea of the room being a reflection of herself: she is "blank", she feels people are staring and whispering ever since the loss of the child and despite her husband's advances or even sexual conquests, she feels cold towards them. Naturally, that could be a misinterpretation.

    Your symbolism in flower choice and names also intrigues me. The flowers you chose, according to the chart of the language of flowers in my Superstition book at least, describes daffodils as "regard" and lilacs as "purity". To leave or grow these at the grave of an infant is deeply meaningful and seems to show her caring, sweet-natured side. There is no destructive, no morose meaning.

    Similarly, the names are very interesting. Ophelia - help in Latin and the name of the insane lover in Hamlet who eventually destroys herself by drowning herself. Ophelia seems like a character that needs a lot of care and attention. Leonard - "brave lion". He puts up a front in order to be Ophelia's rock, to make himself appear brave and protective even when he can't even stand being near the grave. Frederickson - Derived from Frederick, meaning "peaceful ruler". He essentially as a greater hold over Ophelia's livelihood than say, Leonard or herself.

    Your narrative style compliments the story. It's detached, slightly emotionally distant. It's almost as if the Narrator is some from of omnipresent Dr Frederickson. I'm not sure why I think that. But honestly, unless you made a lot of changes, this could not have worked as a first person story and definitely not in present tense.

    Your layout and banner are rather lovely and they match the story well. I also adore the title. It seems to be a direct referral to The Metamorphosis in which the protagonist is transformed from a human to insect with disastrous consequences for the way that the rest of his family seems him. I can see the parallels within this story and it is only appropriate to name it as such.

    An elegant, fervidly dark story.
    Please read The Angel and the Pussycat
    July 20th, 2010 at 07:48pm
  • Audrey T

    Audrey T (6730)

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    Oh wow. I’m not usually into layouts, but I really liked this one. Very pretty and the colors mix nicely. Also, the image you used really made me interested in reading; I wanted to find out how it fit in with the story.

    The chapter title, I did think you should have added the translation somewhere – maybe in the a/n or chapter description.

    I touch galaxies when I sleep. – I liked this as a starting point. I think it made a really good opening line. The terseness of it makes it seem like a simple statement when it really isn’t.

    As I read on, I do like the way you start each paragraph with a short statement, like a intro to each part of the start. Again, the brevity of those sentences makes me stop short, and I think that’s a really nice effect.

    I don't think one could understand until you hear it. I don't think so at least. – There’s a repetition here that seems more like a stammer than purposeful. One couldn’t understand until you heard it. I don’t think so, at least.

    There are whispers on the pages of my book… – This entire paragraph, I think was the most effective and well-written of the piece. I think that here you were really able to clearly reflect the state of mind of the character. That sort of rambling consciousness was really well relayed, the way her mind moved from one thing to another.

    Continuing on, I think the story gets progressively better. When you move away from the more extravagant and frilly descriptions and metaphors, I think your work stands out more and becomes stronger for that. There it’s standing on its own for its ideas and for what you’re really saying (for the content) rather than just relying so heavily on pretty wording that will “awe” the readers.

    a foul swoop – did you mean foul swoop or fell swoop (which is the idiom)?

    "Yes." I can barely choke it out and I sound dead when I do. We are all dead. So that makes sense to me. To others it doesn't but who cares about them, anyway? – This seemed forced to me, the rambling. Too much like you’re trying to bang the idea (that the main character thinks differently or is possibly insane) into the readers head, rather than just letting them figure it out as we move along in the story. I think that her “normal” thought process speaks for itself, so you don’t have to actually remind us that she’s different.

    I found the bickering between the two voices to be too much. It’s just a portrayal of that idea I’ve seen too often with the whole voices in your head arguing in a way that’s so like a bickering couple. I think if it a bit more subtle, a little softer, it may have been more effect. More persuasive than forceful.

    Okay, honestly, I didn’t like it. I think it’s just…over-metaphoric and it just seems over the top. It’s just not the style of literature I enjoy reading and it comes off a bit pretentious, as though you stuffed a lot of what was supposed to be “symbolism” in there just for the sake of being deep. But maybe that’s just your writing style. I haven’t read any of your other work, so I wouldn’t know. I think that if this is a one-shot though, then I can see why some people may enjoy it; I think it would be too much for a chaptered story.

    Sometimes your use of words seems awkward and unnatural. It makes me feel like you used a thesaurus to simply swap out words, rather than use the vocabulary you’ve got and try to improve on that. Like here, for example: I taste it but the saline taste is absent. By “saline taste” I imagine you mean salty? I think simply going with that, simply using the word “salty” amidst all your other ‘big words’ would have added some variety to your vocab as well make the sentence flow better.

    Overall I think you have a very interesting idea, and I think that you do get it across somewhat well, but at times your use of description and vocabulary is more distracting and off-putting than an effective.
    Please read Intent or Pete or the third chapter of Swagger or the fourth chapter of Perpetual Guilt.
    July 21st, 2010 at 12:55am
  • loverfayce.

    loverfayce. (105)

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    Story Review Game.

    Title/Short Description:
    What comes to mind from the title, to be honest, is people at my school sagging their pants in the hallways and making me late to class, which I'm not sure is the image you want to project x). I'm sure it'll come along later in the story, though. I like how the blurb is short but still gives you a little peek into the story, so you can tell the direction it's going.

    Long Description:
    It's an interesting lead-in, I suppose, but it doesn't really tell you much about the story, or about… anything, really. I'd like to know a bit more before I start in, you know? The story doesn't seem to be primarily about the asshole boss, it was just a small detail (correct me if I'm wrong), so I'm not sure if that would be the best summary.
    It's really not that big of a deal though, so whatever. x)

    Chapter 3:
    Note: I did read the whole story, since there were only three chapters, so actually have an idea of the plot so far.

    The start is great. It's so sudden and quirky, and I like that. That clock sounds like an interesting thing to have in a workplace. x)
    The next paragraph, too – I love the repetition. The first sentence should have a comma after the nine o'clock, though. [/nitpicking]

    I like how even though Andrew is so insanely good-looking and how much Whitney is attracted to him (as relayed in chapter 2 - that part made me laugh out loud), he still annoys her so much. I just hope this isn't going to change into one of those stories (I hate him! No, I love him!) but I think even if it was you'd be able to pull that off.

    I don't really like how the first part of the chapter ends so suddenly. Nothing seems to really happen, other than Whitney getting a bit irritated. Maybe end it with something a bit more conclusive, something besides just Andrew's retort.

    The imagery of the restaurant is great; I can picture those chairs perfectly. I also like the insight it gives to what Whitney likes.

    - a door which took them out of the small hallway encased in bluish glass - and brought them to the dinning area. - Dinning area should be the dining area.

    Not two minutes later, another waitress came to the table and laid down cutlery and paper mats – littered with ads from local businesses – before rattling off the day’s lunch specials. - I don't think you need the hyphens there; it would read just fine without any commas or anything.

    Ugh, that waitress sounds disgusting. Good job on the description there, too.

    Maybe her name was Betty. - I feel like the was there should be italicized.

    XD I absolutely love that bit of Whitney trying to distract Katherine. You can just tell from the dialogue how good of friends they are. The dialogue in this whole piece has been very realistic; it's all things I could picture real people saying in situations like this.

    The bit of banter at the end seems unusually forced, though. The joke's carried on for too long, in my opinion, and they never get back to the original subject, Andrew. They just rewind to the one before that, and then the chapter ends. If Katherine was being so pushy about it before, I don't think she'd let it slide so easily.

    Overall, though, this was excellent. The characters are just so real; I can totally picture them as being actual people in some city somewhere. I like how the story isn't set in high school, like most original romances are on here. It's told in third person, too, and that makes a nice change. It's light and comedic, but you still get attached to the characters, and a load of drama isn't needed for you to want more. The writing sounds effortless, and the tone is pitch perfect.
    This is a really really good story – I think I might subscribe. (:
    Take Me Back or The Writing On The Bathroom Walls, if you please.
    July 21st, 2010 at 03:35am
  • die Bienen Knie

    die Bienen Knie (150)

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    Layout: Ok, I love the picture and the layout is simple and easy to read, I like it.

    Ok, so the opening conversation with her dad is adorable, he seems like such a nice guy and I can already tell what their relationship is like.

    “ They were always decorated like the magazines: ornaments placed carefully, all red and gold and piney green. Those trees were the centerpieces of our home for the month of December.”

    I love this description; I know exactly what you’re talking about. Comparing the trees to the ones in magazines was great because I know how that looks, those perfect trees where the ornaments look like a set as opposed to all those random ones accumulated over the years and making them “centerpieces” just enforces that.

    “They weren’t just Christmas trees. Our family never went to church anyways.”

    Hm…this second line seems kinda weird to me, I don’t see what the religious beliefs of the family has to do with anything considering that you’re describing trees.

    “Until Dad died, I mean.”

    This line seemed really impactful to me, the tone was all cute and light hearted and then you mentioned death, completely changed the mood.

    “After that… After that, it just seemed like everything went bad.”

    I like how blunt this is and the … really makes it feel like she’s getting lost in though, I like that touch.

    “They looked stupid, not filling the space left in Dad’s wake, the décor haphazard.”

    I don’t really understand this sentence.

    “We got them from goddamn parking lot dealers.”

    Once again you’ve changed the stories tone. It went from sweet to sad and now I’m sensing some anger in your character’s narration. I really like this because to me it’s making the narrator seem more real since I know that anger is one of the stages of grief.

    “When Dad died, the trees died too.”
    I like this sentence a lot, the wording is just great and there’s a lot of emotion in it.

    “That goddamn landlord.”

    The narrator seems to be getting even angrier now. I think it’s more realistic than just a whole story about someone crying y’know?

    “I settled with three-footers that I probably should have hated, but ended up liking just because they were mine.”

    I think this is worded a little weird but I like the point it’s making, she’s trying to start fresh almost, a life of her own.

    “I met a girl. I brought her home. I never saw her again.”

    I really like this line because to me it sums up what the narrator’s life has become.

    “I knew fully well that I was being a douchebag, but didn’t really care.”

    I think you need to say “I didn’t really care.”

    “It took several months for him to clean out the apartment.”

    Um…if rent’s $150 why is he “cleaning out” the apartment? That’s not much money…

    “I didn’t have friends that liked me enough to put up with that shit.”

    This is sad and shows what a shell his life is…

    “For a moment, I could see this tree, dressed up and standing tall in my living room, our entire family fawning over it. How it used to be. So far away, so out of reach. Was that really my life? It seemed like a whole different world, a different person.”

    I like this part because it brings back the beginning of the story, it seems like since everything has changed so drastically from the beginning to this point so I almost began to forget how the story started out, you’re relating this to how it started out.

    “From a life to merely an existence.”

    This is a great line, I just love how it sounds.

    “‘Mom, I want to come home.’”

    This is a great way to end your story. I was wondering how things would turn out ok since things had gotten to such a bad point, or if this story wouldn’t have a happy ending. I’m glad it did.
    Their...
    July 21st, 2010 at 03:35am
  • Audrey T

    Audrey T (6730)

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    Just to reiterate:

    If you see the user above you gave a bad review, report their post so that it can be deleted, and re-review the story before that. If you see that a user has taken more than two hours to review a story, report their post and re-review the story above that.

    There is no excuse for giving a bad review. You cannot expect a lengthy critique while only giving a brief comment. If comment swapping is what you want, use one of the threads linked in the first post. Cool


    Be sure to read the review of the person above you before you review their story. If it is not adequate (too skimpy or doesn't hit enough points), please re-review the story of the person above them. DO NOT REVIEW A STORY IF THE PERSON LEFT A INADEQUATE REVIEW.

    Here's some examples of good reviews: [1] [2] [3] [4]

    *If you're unsure of whether or not a review is adequate, report the review and wait for an admin/mod to make a decision.
    July 21st, 2010 at 05:52am
  • loverfayce.

    loverfayce. (105)

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    (on Dirty Byrd's Their…)
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    Story Review Game.

    Okay first off, WOW, I love the banner. The image is so cool, the cells, and the girl peaking out. The quote from the story really makes you wonder what it's about. You've done an excellent job at catching a reader's eye while giving virtually nothing away.

    The title, to me, sounds a bit off, though. Their is such a common word, and the ellipses after it doesn't really add anything, it just makes the word sound odd in my head. When you think about the meaning, having something belong to them, whoever them is, and pairing it with the quote I suppose it makes better sense, but I think you could've phrased it better.

    On to the story!

    She’d been sitting in their El Camino for hours. Their... It could have easily become hers by that point. - This part, too, sounds awkward like the title. I can't really put my finger on it, I just… don't like how it sounds. It would sound better like how fingerprints has it in my opinion.

    His lovely green eyes which had once been wide and wild had become lifeless; hardened. His soft red hair that had been precisely one eighth of an inch the last time she’d seen him was razor cut and uneven… Like silk tea. said, there sound be a couple of commas in there. The semi-colon between lifeless and hardened isn't needed, either, there should just be a comma there. For the line describing his hair, I think you should say it was precisely one eighth of an inch long.

    The description itself in that line is awesome, though, you can tell how well the woman used to know him from reading it. And I love the paragraph after that – I can picture the emotions that would be running between them.

    I love how easily you're able to tell what exactly happened to get the two at this point, how the woman is clearly feeling disbelief, but it's not over the top, and how the story is unfolding without delving too much into the details.

    “I heard you were getting out tomorrow,” she spoke quietly as her skeletal fingers toyed with the phone cord. - This is great, how you can tell she'd nervous without explicitly saying so.

    The ending is a bit confusing. It seems like all the anger they had been feeling just magically evaporated, and I don't really get where it went, or maybe if this is now another time, maybe once he was out of jail?
    Anyways, the two ending lines themselves I really like. It's a cute, subtle way of showing how she forgives him, and it shows that after this story, things look up. It's a nice, light ending to sort of a darker story.

    Overall, I liked it. The plot was excellent, and your writing had such subtlety lining the edges, little things that you automatically pick up on without it being thrown in your face. The dynamics of their relationship, emotions, it's all there, but you didn't need paragraphs explaining it. I sort of get the significance of the title now; she never actually gave up on him. It is a little misleading, though, I still feel like it could be shown a bit better. You need to work on your comma use, there were a few places where you needed pauses, but other than that your grammar is spotless.
    I really enjoyed reading this.
    Take Me Back or The Writing On The Bathroom Walls. (:
    July 21st, 2010 at 08:16pm
  • Audrey T

    Audrey T (6730)

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    ^ Claim. Commented. :)

    *Please ignore coding fail in the review. Facepalm
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    Story Review Game

    Long Summary

    I thought the long summary was pretty good. I liked that you set it up as this happy memory and gave us a bit of a back-story to this family. I found some of the wording to be a bit awkward though - like here: Our trees were always huge, majestic and beautiful. They were always decorated like the magazines: ornaments placed carefully, all red and gold and piney green., I think it gets to be a bit too wordy and there’s something off wording that’s interrupting the flow of it. (I think maybe if you play around with removing the word “always” or the phrase “they were”…)

    Story

    I absolutely loved the description in the first paragraph. It was the perfect opening.

    I beamed as he told me to step back, brandishing the chainsaw and starting the cut. – Though I did like the imagery here and the idea of this father and daughter hiking out to the woods, picking out a tree, and then just hacking down as their own, I did think twice about the logistics of it all. I’ve never cut down a tree but I’d think it would be dangerous to have a little girl close by while a father pulls out a chainsaw and attempts to topple an entire tree. It just stuck out to me as odd, but maybe that’s how it’s actually done? I don’t know, I grew up in the city.

    More than the one in my first apartment; the crappy little dwarf tree that it was grew on me. But it didn’t hold a candle to this one. – The punctuation here seems off. I had to read it over a few times and even then it still sounded choppy. I do like, however, that we get a bit of a subtle glimpse into her future. Even though we already know her father died and sort of…tainted the tradition, we get to see that somehow she did get over his death and was able to keep the tradition going.

    They looked stupid, not filling the space left in Dad’s wake, the décor haphazard. We got them from goddamn parking lot dealers. – The sort of rising anger in these two sentence (well, really moving along in that entire paragraph) was done really nicely. I like how it reflects that way you sometimes get so worked up just talking about things, that way you start out relatively calm and just incline to this level of almost rage. It’s just nearly hysteria.

    I came to dread the month of December… I thought maybe I could play up the stock market. – This whole piece kind of caught me off guard. I feel like there wasn’t a smooth enough transition. One minute you’re talking about her father being killed and the next minute she’s off to college.

    I really like that sort of bittersweet tone of this. That she has the moments when she’s really upset about the loss of her father, but they’re mixed in with memories that should make her happy and prideful (first apartment, first Christmas on her own…).

    *Okay, up until this point, I hadn’t realized the main character was a boy. So…yeah. XD I don’t know if that’s because most 1st person stories on Mibba are from the girl’s POV or if there are things about him that didn’t seem masculine… I don’t know. *

    I don’t know if I was really sold on the personality of the character. There was something about how spoiled he was in comparison to his background and family life that didn’t really add up to me. His attitude, the way he is with money and his parents’ fund seems more like that of a kid that did grow up in the city, rather than a kid that moved there later on in life. From how you described the family unit before his father’s death and the fact that they cut down their own tree, made me think that they were country folk. So that was a bit confusing for me.

    * Just a technical thing: bank accounts aren’t canceled, their closed. It was just weird seeing Account Cancelled in the story.

    The landlord thing was something I just didn’t find realistic. The landlord simply taking things out of the apartment in lieu of an actually payment. I think that possibly it would pass for one month, but certainly a landlord wouldn’t deal with not getting the actually money month after month. Also, the cost of rent, $150 a month, is pretty much impossibly cheap and if he was getting paid even just minimum wage, he’d be able to pay that. [Edit] Just seen that the story takes place in Brooklyn (New York, yes?). Definitely not a realistic rent. The cheapest apartments available would be something like $1,500 a month for a three bedroom (which would only be cheap because you’d share it with two other people).

    The ending, I think, was definitely the most realistic part of the story. The fact that he’d reached his end and just had to do. Not only did he have to go home because he had no place or money to live, but also the need to return home because the feeling of helplessness.

    Overall, I think this was pretty good. There were some issues with facts being a bit off and I did find at times that the way the guy handled the trauma of losing his dad and then dealing with the issues that followed were too predictable – but there were enough good parts, particularly nice wording, that more than made up for it.
    Please read and review anything in this collection (except for Silver).
    July 21st, 2010 at 08:20pm
  • liam payne.

    liam payne. (250)

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    Yo, dawg. I got this. Cool Done, yo! THIS WAS POST NUMBER 69! Twitch Smiley
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    Story Review Game

    Title:
    I find the title really interesting. It stuck out to me the most of all the stories you suggested for a review, so of course I had to click it.

    Layout:
    I love the layout. The simplicity is nice and the font size isn't straining on the eyes at all. Not to mention your banner is just awesome. I love the photo used and the font used to the title looks very nice with it as well.

    Summary:
    The summary left me confused, but not in a bad way. It made me want to know exactly what was going on, but I feel a little bit more could be said so we could better understand the plot of the story.
    -edit; Ah, it's an excerpt. Nice.

    Story:

    I absolutely adore the first paragraph. The description is nice and it doesn't feel forced whatsoever. It also really intrigues the reader and pulls them in. My teeth, they press against my lips. Elongated and sharp, I have to leave my jaw loose, slightly ajar, to prevent them from penetrating my gums. I absolutely adore the structure of these two sentences. It's so nice to see sentences structured like this, rather than, "My teeth were pressed against my lips. I kept my mouth open a bit so my fans wouldn't hurt my gums." I feel that structure like that interests the reader and doesn't bore them.

    Around me I can hear the sloshing; the wet beating of hearts; the thick mouthwatering sound of each pump; the quiet rush of liquid flowing through veins.
    This sentence really stuck out to me. I love how you described heartbeats. You described in a way that really intrigues your audience and it really helps you get inside this vampire's head. Once again the description is amazing.

    Bitch.
    lmfao I love this. It really helps us understand the character of the vampire here and we really can see more of their colors coming out.

    Just a bit longer than the rest and the tiniest bit more pointed than normal, her canines make their debut.
    So, now I'm even more interested in this story and even more hooked. I want to know if this young girl is vampire as well, because I can't really tell by this. Are vampires a common thing in this world you've created? If so, what sort of vampires are they? More on the original side or traditional side? All these questions flood my mind and I want out find out more.

    Once they see the paleness of my skin, the thin blue capillaries that are clearly visible at my jaw and around my eyes, they know to stay away.
    I like this line because it makes me wonder if humans know about vampires existence in the world. It keeps me reading and keep my interest still up high. I like how in your writing you add little things like this to keep readers interested. I don't know if you realize you do it, but you do and it works.

    “Hello, Miss Camille,” he says. “You’re looking well.”
    Ah, so the vampire's female. I thought she was a boy. tehe

    “So how’ve you been? Hope the fast wasn’t too bad for you this time. I know how tough it can be,”
    Oh, so they do know. I find that very interesting. Most of the time, humans are completely clueless. I like how they are aware in this story. It's very interesting and quite unique. It also makes me wonder how vampires came into the world and how they manage to live among humans like they do. Interesting.

    Moving along I find it interesting that vampires are so casually living among humans. I like how Camille's roommates are humans, it shows that vampires in this story are mostly stable creatures and not some crazy, blood crazy feigns.

    I like how Patrick is also a vampire. It makes the whole, masquerade of Camille's attack a lot more... sexy, in a way. Smiley I rather enjoyed the entire scene of their little duel of drinking each other's blood. It also raises questions. Is this normal behavior for vampires? As always, I'm wondering what's going to happen next and wanting to learn more about these vampires.

    Once I turn to him, I see that he’s sitting on the surviving couch, amidst the rubble that was the living room, flicking casually through the channels.
    I'm going with the guess that this is natural behavior then. I love how casual Tony is through this. He's just so laid back about the whole thing, and just a chill person. I like him already.

    Overall:
    I rather like it. It was quirky and entertaining and never left me bored or anything. I think the only error I saw was ...the bus comes to a stop and the women besides me sways... Besides should be "beside." Other than that, I saw nothing.

    I enjoy the way you write and as I've said before, the sentence structure you have is amazing. Very good job. I'll definitely be subscribing in hopes for some updates. :)
    Could you please review chapters 1 and 2 of Seasons, please?
    July 22nd, 2010 at 07:14am
  • wicked ways

    wicked ways (100)

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    Title.
    I like it, it's a nice simple title.

    Layout
    I love it! The picture is amazing especially with the beautiful colors in the sky. I like how you have a black layout, it contrasts brilliantly with the bright sky on the picture.

    Summary
    It definatly drew me into it. It's a good way to get your readers thinking and wanting to read one. I definatly did anyway.

    Story
    I like the way it's in second person. I prefer to read a story in third or second person, it's nice.

    The first two paragraphs are amazing. They describe what's happening very well and I feel as if I'm there. Some of your sentences are a bit long though.

    However, I remained quiet –the sight was far too serene and beautiful to ruin. Instead of the dash you should put a semi colan there.

    Abruptly, as if my sneeze had been an atomic bomb going off in the far distance, the boy shut his worn book and gazed upward, his hazel eyes meeting my green. This is a bit long but such a lovely sentence. I don't know why it's lovely, it just is.

    I just gave up everything I once knew –the sights and smells of my old town, the people and places I’ve come to love- for a new city in the southern part of the country. A bit long again. Instead of the first dash do a semi colan and a comma at the last dash.

    My bedroom was still in boxes –boxes that I was weary to open. Semi colan, not dash.

    I like the way you called her Emma. :-) My sister's name is Emma and I like the name. Emma and Shannon sound good together, also.

    I put Shannon down on the floor, much her dismay. Much to her dismay, I'm assuming.

    I also like her middle name, my middle name is Marie too! :D

    “It wasn’t a dream.” Since it was written in a book, maybe that should be in italics rather then quotes.

    She just looked at me –unamused- and returned to her conversation with Ted. Instead of the dashes it should be She just looked at me, unamused and returned to her conversation with Ted.

    Overall
    I'm subscribing! This is amazing and can't wait to see where this is going. It's brilliantly written, I love your use of language. I think though, it would be better written in third person but that's just me. xD I really like it.
    Dirty Beautiful Needles
    July 22nd, 2010 at 07:40pm
  • Nonsensical.

    Nonsensical. (100)

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    Title
    I really like the title. I think that it makes it clear that it's about drug use, so readers know what they're in for when they click on the story, but it doesn't give away too much. I also like how you used such contradicting adjectives.

    Layout
    I like the picture, and I think that it's perfect for a story about a drug user because of how out of focus it is, and though I'm not sure, it seems to mimic the vision of someone under the influence of drugs. Also, I like the background but I'm not sure if I like it with the red picture and yellow on the story area.

    Another note, when reading you can't see the chapter title because the white is too light on the yellow. I don't know if the chapter titles are going to be important, but if they are, that's something you may want to change.

    Summary
    In my opinion, the summary is a bit confusing. The first sentence is fine, but once you begin talking about her sister, I got a little lost. And due to the use of 'her' in place of a name, the third sentence is just muddling. I don't know whether you're talking about the main character or her sister or even which of them is the main character.

    Prologue
    The first paragraph is somewhat long, and there seem to be several places where it could be broken into two. Such as before she began injecting the drug or before "Sure enough, a velvety flow of scarlet fills the bottom of the syringe."

    Despite the length, it's a very a well-written paragraph. The description is remarkable, and it was very easy to experience the entrance of the needle and the pain with Hannah.

    You also switch between present tense and past tense quite a bit (though I noticed it's only in this paragraph). It goes from takes, stirs, removes to yanked and then back to wraps, then to saw. It'd probably be easier to switch it all to past tense, as that's what it becomes in the rest of the chapter.

    "She removes the, now, iced tea looking liquid into the syringe." This sentence just doesn't flow well. There shouldn't be commas around now, and removing something into a syringe just seems strange.

    "Hannah yanked her belt of her hips..." Of should be off.

    I feel like you say Hannah's name quite a bit. Maybe reworking some of the sentences so that it's not Hannah heard, Hannah said, Hannah struggled.

    "Soon her whole body was becoming itchy and very irritable." I believe irritated would sound better than irritable, but irritable is technically fine.

    "her arms felt so heavy..." Her should be capitalized.

    "She was scratching all over. Her mind was all over the place. She couldn’t steady her thoughts. Her skin was getting very flushed looking. She felt nauseous." These sentences sound very choppy. Maybe combining them to make them flow more smoothly?

    "“Abby, get me a glass of water, will you,” her words barely audible." This either needs a question mark after "will you", or something like, "she requested, her words barely audible."

    "Anna noticed the deep red stain in the sink as she went to the tap." Her name's Abby, and you wrote Anna.

    The ending was very nice. It draws readers in and makes them want to know what's going to happen next.

    Overall
    I think this is off to a very nice start. I don't know much about drug use, so I don't know if everything in the story is correct. However, you made me as a reader think that it was all believable, so I commend you for that. To someone uneducated on the subject, it appears that a lot of research went into the topic.

    You have a very nice style, and your description is very nice when describing Hannah's actions.

    The only big issue I saw was the switching between past and present tense throughout the first paragraph. Other than that, there were only minor things which I pointed out. Great job so far(:
    Please review chapter one of Something We've Lost or chapter one of Dear Summer.
    July 22nd, 2010 at 08:21pm
  • florence

    florence (1000)

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    The lights of Baltimore gleamed below the airplane as it soared towards Baltimore Washington International Airport.
    The way you use "Baltimore" twice here takes away from the quality of the sentence.

    To Jack, they looked like the small dots of a Lite Brite toy—though instead of creating a picture, the lights shone in a completely nonsensical fashion.
    What is a Lite Brite? I love how you connect such a trivial and real thing to the story, but some readers, like myself, may have no idea what you're speaking of here.

    He tried looking for some kind of pattern in the whites, yellows, reds and greens but there was no sense to their placement at all.
    There is a comma needed before "but".

    "Fuck you," he frowned at the lights.
    Woahhh, where'd that come from? Sudden anger at mere lights is definitely not expected, but I'm having a hard time deciding if that's a bad thing or a good thing. I suppose it can be both.

    He pulled the shade down to cover the window and turned to his best friend and bandmate, Alex. "Does it make me a douche that I really don't want anybody that knows us to be at the airport?" he asked.
    Alex looked up from his cell phone and pondered the question for a minute before nodding. "Yes," he announced, "It does. But who isn't a douche at three in the morning?"

    This whole section of dialogue was very nice and pleasing to read -- I enjoyed it.

    "I was reading Harry Potter yesterday," admitted Jack in an almost embarrassed fashion.
    I'd prefer that you didn't use the word "fashion" here to describe how he's talking. It's such a feminine word, and when you're using all male characters in this scene, it just doesn't fit, even if you didn't mean for it to be used in that way.

    Alex's eyes became round, and his eyebrows climbed higher.
    I love this line. Such a unique way to describe facial expression.

    The landing always felt like the worst part of the entire flight.
    "always felt like" throws off the feel to this sentence. Maybe say instead, "The landing was always the worst part of the flight for Jack."

    His friend merely stepped out right behind Jack though, cutting off a disgruntled looking man in an ill-fitting business suit.
    There needs to be a comma placed before "Jack".

    Jack added as they reached the front of the plane and Zack, Rian, and Matt joined them.
    WAIT. Where did all these other guys come from? It's like you just pulled them all out of thin air here, and it really puts a dent in the story.

    He was right. "I think he misses her," Alex announced.
    Rian rolled his eyes. "I think you want him to miss her," he countered.

    I loved this part, probably my favorite couple lines out of the entire chapter. You have a really nice talent with using dialogue.

    He had been in relationships since Aspen.
    Since Aspen... what? The sentence just sort of drops off there, as if you're referring Aspen to being a relationship, instead of being a part of one.

    There shouldn't be any pressure for him to move on though.
    A comma is needed before "though".

    He turned up the radio as he started driving, not even caring that the radio stations in Baltimore never played anything good.
    There's a lot of music-turning-up going on in this chapter. I'd try to cut a little of it out, most likely in this scene.

    Jack Barakat needed excitement, he needed activity. If not, Jack thought way too much.
    I didn't particularly like this ending, as it just sort of ends, with no sense of finality or completion. But it was nice, all the same.
    Please review chapter two of Pearl of the Stars.
    July 22nd, 2010 at 10:25pm
  • dr. faustus

    dr. faustus (1070)

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    Your summary and layout is very beautiful. There’s this sort of fresh feeling to it, like the feeling you have after looking at a rain storm. The smell and how things looked afterwards. It’s just nice to surround yourself in something like that, and that’s the type of feeling I got looking at the layout…or maybe that’s just me being weird.

    I am going to be reviewing chapter two as you liked.

    No tears escaped her eyes, but Violet had never been more miserable in her entire life than at that very moment, because as she stared down at the unmarked grave of Bartha, and then at the empty marsh around her, she realized that she was all alone.

    Bartha must have been very close to Violet, but not romantically involved with or a brother, since when I read his name that was the first word to come to mind. The "no tears" part concluded in my mind that he was a good friend that helped her get where she is now. I wish I knew what happened to him or got a chance to read about his character a little more. I noticed in the first few paragraphs your writing style is interesting because you use long sentences, but they flow so well. Some writers can pull it off, and so far I like what I’m reading.

    This place was not her home anymore, it was now the home of the dead. It was not safe to dwell in the place of a murder.

    I’m probably stating what others have said numerous of times, but your descriptions are morose, beautiful and gripping. Even in such a setting like the one Violet is in, everything is described wonderfully. And it’s keeping my attention locked to the computer screen. I just don’t know what’s going on at all or the fact why her house doesn’t feel the same anymore. This story is playing out like a movie and I felt just caught the middle of it.

    I adore the world she is in. Everything sounded so magical; I could imagine something like Pandora or Wonderland of the sort.

    Death was an eerie thing, but fear could easily trump it. Violet refused to be afraid as she jolted awake the next morning, to the sound of a knock at the door.

    Even though I don’t know a lot about Violet, I like her. I can tell from her narration that she is a strong character that believes in morals and ethnics in a world that has few. The exchange scene was interesting, but I think the long sentences here was kind of a downfall. I realized it doesn’t work well all the time. “Thank you. I'll be on my way now.” He hesitated for a moment, as if afraid to say anything more and come off as being interested in something that considered Violet or the little wooden home filled with the spice of herbs and magic. “Sorry about your loss.” — To be honest, I had to read that twice because I got lost while doing so the first time.

    But once again your descriptions are spectacular. I loved this world you created. The misty sky or the boggy field of swamp, you put a lot of detail to create an atmosphere that is pulled of pretty well for readers to understand that this world is dark, clammy and evil.

    Overall, I thought this was an okay read. Not necessarily my cup of tea, which was odd to me because I love fantasy stories normally like these, but I just couldn’t get myself inside this story the best I could. Maybe I have to read something else by you to get use to your writing style. However, your descriptions are what made this story for me. I’m a sucker for details, details and you had that for sure.

    --

    Please read Society's Throwaways, Candy Hearts, Almost Paradise or the last chapter of Sometime In April. Thank you.
    July 23rd, 2010 at 01:02am
  • tabula rasa.

    tabula rasa. (120)

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    Claiming 'Society's Throwaways.' Reviewed.
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    Summary/Banner/Layout:

    First off, I really love the layout. It’s really simple, but I love it. The banner is great too.

    The summary is wonderful—It’s got me interested in the story and it’s written very well. I can tell you’re good at summaries which I’m kind of jealous of because I am not good at summaries.

    Story:

    I really like the description used in the first paragraph. You did a great job of creating the setting for the story. The descriptions are just really well done.

    I forgot who I was.
    Let’s see if I can word what I want to say without sounding like an idiot—Anyways, I feel like this line just fits perfectly. After reading the second paragraph and then reading this line, it just fits.

    The second paragraph was also another great use of descriptions. I feel like the narrator is showing some desperation in this paragraph. You do a very good job at putting emotion into your writing.

    An abandoned girl; a lion without a roar who wondered on broken streets…
    I don’t know if that’s supposed to be wondered or if it was meant to be wandered.

    As I struggled with the shadows in my head, deep inside, I knew I was nothing more than a bird without wings trying to fly.
    I like that even though the narrator’s life isn’t great, she still seems to have some hope—even if it’s very little. I like that she doesn’t seem to have given up on trying to live her own, better life.

    … that gave me a sense of hopefulness, which formed from the pitiless depths of my sadness.
    I like that you say it in clearer words that the narrator is hopeful. It just kind of makes you have some hope for the character as well. I want her to be able to get the things that she wants and be able to be happy about her life.

    I’m not sure what I want to say about the ending. I like it—It’s simple, but I like it.

    Anyways, overall, I really liked this. It was really well written and different. It’s not something I usually read, but I enjoyed it. The descriptions were just wonderful and you’re just a really talented writer Cute Keep up the good work!
    Please review His Love, Her Resentment.
    July 23rd, 2010 at 11:30pm
  • dontcallmepuddin!

    dontcallmepuddin! (105)

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    Claimage, yo. (: Done, yeah boy! Nana
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    Summary/Banner/Layout:

    I like the layout and the banner. It's simple, very modest. It relieves me to see a layout that won't have me seeing spots after reading. I think the banner is also very well done.

    The summary is short, to the point. I think the summary is great because this is a oneshot so might as well get on with it. No dillydallying. It gets your point across to the reader, which is good.

    Story:

    He loved music more than he loved her.
    This a good opening line to the story. Already, the reader is curious about what's going to happen. The reader is thinking of different plots, trying to figure out the situation. It's good to make your readers think.

    While reading the second and third paragraph, I could feel Sophie's emotion. I could feel her jealousy, her resentment towards the guitar and his music. The description is nicely done. It's nicely written and not too overdone to be an overload of information.

    During the dialogue of their breakup, I couldn't help, but side with Sophie. The way Jack made it seem like she was blowing things out of proportion just didn't encourage me to like him. The dialogue is smooth. It doesn't sound forced or like something that people wouldn't actually say. The breakup is believable, which is amazing because sometimes I read things that just seem too far-fetched and leave me thinking, really?

    The last paragraph tore me apart! I immediately felt awful for not liking Jack at first. I felt crushed, which is what I imagine how Jack felt. I felt so horrible that Sophie left Jack because she thought he loved music more than her, but really he loved her so much that he was making music for her. The irony of it was just....WOW! Literally, it was wow.

    His inspiration was gone.
    The absolute last sentence was perfect. As the relationship comes to a close, so does the story of Sophie and Jack. It made me wish that things could have worked out between the two, but it was great none the less.

    Overall, this was an amazing oneshot. You're good with descriptions and emotions. And I'm just a wee bit jealous of you for that. (:
    I really liked this. I wish you luck in the contest. You're a good writer, keep it up. (:
    Please review chapter three of She is a... It's a contest entry. Warning: there are drugs involved in the chapter. Thank you. (:
    July 24th, 2010 at 12:46am
  • Annelise.

    Annelise. (100)

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    Title, summary & layout:

    I’m not too crazy about the title. If I would have seen it on the story feed, it wouldn’t really grab my attention. When I click on the story however, and I see the chapter titles, I understand why it’s called that. When it’s all put together, I like it, but separately it’s not really attention grabbing. The layout itself is pretty enough, although the links almost blend in to the background. I really like the summary too. It gives the perfect amount of information about what the story will be about. I don’t really think that the credits are necessary, though, especially since when I go to the first chapter I see your watermark on your picture.

    Story:

    The first chapter I find would make a better journal post, to be honest. It’s not a story whatsoever, and is merely you describing yourself. I think if you were trying to make this story like an autobiography that you could work the details into your story without devoting an entire chapter on description, do you know what I mean? It could probably even be put under a ‘character.’ Actually, it doesn’t really become a story until the third chapter, which I find unfortunate. I wasn’t too happy with the second chapter either, as it was just you talking about how we, as the reader, do not care that you’re a vegetarian. If you are writing the story for you, like you claim in the summary, then you shouldn’t feel the need to hold back from saying things for the sake of the reader.

    Anyways, once you started writing it as a story was when I really got into it. I very much enjoyed your third chapter, and because I knew it was non-fiction, it made it that much more interesting to read. Besides, a non-stoner couldn’t have written something like that unless they did a lot of research on how to make different pipes/bongs or whatever. I actually felt anxious to how your sister was going to react. I love the way you wrote it and all the description you had given. I think because it is non-fiction, it’s easy to relate to; for example, the way you kept questioning your sister on whether she was actually okay with you smoking weed. Whenever I feel as if I’ve done something dumb, I always ask too many times whether the person is actually okay with it. Also by the way your sister followed you around afterwards, curious. That was how I first reacted when my friends began smoking weed. I didn’t want to partake (at the time) so instead I just watched them curiously. I had the back-of-my-mind wonders on how it was done, and then I ended up watching so that if I ever tried it myself I would know how to do it. Anyways, I’m getting massively off-track.

    There’s also a few lines I liked, such as “Hell, I would even substitute the word ‘enjoy’ with ‘love’. I love smoking weed.” As well as “I wouldn’t say I’m addicted, but that I want to smoke weed because I like doing so. To others, that makes me sound like an addict so I concede and agree that I’m addicted to marijuana.” I wish other people I know would be of the same opinion. I mean, why are people so against admitting they’re addicted to smoking weed? They admit to being addicted to smoking cigarettes. In my opinion, you should definitely keep writing it the way you did in the third chapter, for it was by far the best. I think one of the main reasons why I liked it as well was because it opens people’s minds up for things that they don’t experience.

    I just wanted to throw my opinion out there for the ending paragraph of, “I see nothing wrong with being addicted to marijuana. It’s just a plant. Smoking weed isn’t even illegal. It’s distribution or purchase of weed that is illegal. I may be looked down upon because I partake in getting high off mary jane, but it doesn’t bother me. The only reason people think marijuana is so ‘bad’ is because it’s labeled illegal. Alcohol is a drug as well, but you don’t see people giving a fuck about that little factoid. If marijuana wasn’t illegal then everyone would be smoking it and no one would even think it was ‘bad’.” I would agree with you, except for the fact I can’t stand it when people come to school high or go to work high. If you’re going to smoke weed, smoke it as if you were actually drinking alcohol. I know it’s a different type of impairment, but it’s being impaired all the same. Smoke it recreationally, like when you’re bored or just want to have fun. Don’t smoke it when you have stuff to do like school or work… you don’t go to school or work drunk, do you? But that’s just personal opinion and really has nothing to do with your story.

    Overall, it was a good read, especially the third chapter. You’re a very talented writer, and I’d advise you to keep it up. Good luck with the contest!
    Please review my new story, The New Generation. . If you don't like Harry Potter, then review Hollow Inside, but I thought I should warn you that there's rape scenes and other scenes of sensitive nature... but I'd prefer The New Generation to be reviewed... Smoke
    July 25th, 2010 at 08:00am
  • Kurtni

    Kurtni (10125)

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    Title, Summary, Layout
    I like how your short summary is actually how a summary would be if this were on the back of a book jacket- it sells your story and draws me in. I don't even read fan fiction (although I love Harry Potter) but the summary got me interested in the story.

    I think your titles, both the story and chapter titles are simple and to the point. After the reading the story, I love how the chapter titled dinner at the Weaslys' talks about everything but eating dinner. Typical of a dinner party. The layout is also very nice, the image in your banner creates interest.

    Chapter 1: Dinner at the Weasleys'
    I generally dislike the idea of starting with a physically descriptive paragraph, however I think yours works because you integrate it with action as well. As a reader though, I like to get physical details sprinkled throughout a selection, not all at once.

    In your dialog, you use the phrase "a bit" frequently to tie in an adverb clause, I think it gets redundant. For example, "Emma said a bit too enthusiastically," could just be "Emma said very enthusiastically." You don't have to get rid of all the "a bit"s but I wouldn't use the same phrase separated by just a short paragraph. You also resort to using "said" and "replied" a lot. It starts to sound redundant, and there are so many other words you can use.

    Your dialog is very effective, and I think it really helps develop your character and matches the descriptions provided by your narration. That's definitely something your're doing really well in this story. What the characters say never comes off as cheesy or unrealistic, and each character has a distinct personality.

    " She just had to make sure that he stayed being single until then."
    I think the "being" sounds awkward in that sentence. You could cut it out and just have "stayed single"

    "She had left her blonde hair hang long and wavy down her back after many failed attempts to make it look decent. "
    I think you either meant she had let her blonde hair hand... or "She had left her blonde hair hanging.."

    "He looked remarkably that day like the man that was in a few pictures of the Weasley home."
    Something about this sounds awkward. I cannot quite place my finger on what the issue is, but something about the adverb clause is off. I think "He looked remarkably like the man that was in a few pictures of the Weasley home that day."

    I was confused by the hateful tone to Teddy Lupin. Is it like a nervous girl crush thing? You might want to add more about her thoughts after that line of dialog to clarify.

    "A blonde witch with hair not unlike Emma’s, although a darker shade of blonde, was magically putting tablecloths on all of them. "
    Again, I think you're using more words than needed. Why say "not unlike" when you can say like? Double negatives add unnecessary complexity.

    "They both had thick dark blonde hair on their head"
    Should be heads

    I love the names you think up, they're so authentic sounding, considering this is a Harry Potter fanfic. Lorcan and Lysander are cool names. Towards the end, I love the way you describe James as having "a grin that could only belong to the Weasley side of the family."

    This chapter serves as a great way to introduce your story. You have the basic elements of your characters explained to your reader, an established setting and repeated mentions of Hogwarts suggest there is more to come, everything you need to start off a successful story. Great job!
    #17 Songstress, whatever chapter/s you want.
    Just a note, I did something really dumb in the third chapter of this story. I wrote it at two separate times without reading what I had before and used two verb tenses. I think in my revising I caught most of my mistakes, but if you make it to that chapter, be on the lookout for that, thanks.
    July 25th, 2010 at 04:29pm
  • die Bienen Knie

    die Bienen Knie (150)

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    Title/Layout: The title to me seems a bit weird, I think I would have liked it more if it was just “Number Seventeen” because that’s what he called her in the first chapter, but I’m going to keep reading so maybe I’ll figure out the title more as I get going. I love the layout, it’s simple, easy to read and the banner is great. I’m not sure if I like the grey box where the text is, I think I’d prefer if it was just black so it wasn’t so abrupt and didn’t take away from the rest of the layout, however I love how the rest of the layout looks, especially those little scratch type things scattered throughout it, it’s like the banner doesn’t stop with the banner, it ties in with the rest of the layout.

    Chapter One:

    “I am a bad man.”

    I’m a big fan of simple sentences which is why this is so perfect. I love it when authors put things so bluntly as you did.

    “People, even my very best friends, tell me this with shame dripping off their words.”

    I also like this because (I could be misreading, at least it’s the impression I got) he’s saying this so calmly, it’s like he could care less that the most important people in his life almost think of him as scum.

    “I am the slime that seeps out of Earth’s darkest crevices, mud that never comes off the soles of the world’s shoes. I am the villain behind the heart breaking news stories you watch on TV.”

    I especially love the shoe analogy, already I’m impressed by you’re talent.

    “I sell curves, I sell femininity, I sell lust, pleasure and youth.”

    I dunno why but I just love the way this sentence sounds.

    “This authority you think should rein over me? They’re my clients- your judges, politicians, high-class business executives. They answer to me, because of a crippling addiction to what I offer.”

    Uh, this dude just sounds like such a smooth bad ass! I can’t help but love him, not to mention you worded this so unbelievably well.

    “My girls offer them what they cannot get anywhere else. Excitement. Adrenaline. Irrevocable control.”

    I like this, especially the short one word sentences, I love how blunt you’re being in this chapter, saying what needs to be said without a second though even though your subject matter isn’t exactly PG.

    “It never bothered me, until I saw, or rather heard number seventeen.”

    I like this a lot as an end to a chapter, it wraps up the first chapter and gets you interested in what’s coming. I also love how you just referred to the girl as “number seventeen,” even as he’s saying how she changed his perspective on things he’s still referring to her as almost an inanimate object.

    Chapter Two:

    “The process was quite simple in all actuality. The man in charge of the warehouse was Philippe Gutez, and two weeks prior to the event you received a stark white invitation from him with a legitimate time and phony location.”

    I love the “legitimate time and phony location” it just sounds great, however I’m not sure if the word “you” seems like it goes here…it just sounds off? Not a big issue though.

    “If you knew the right people, you found your way to his warehouse. If not, you were shit out of luck.”

    Again with the bluntness, I’m getting kinda into this story – not just the subject matter but the way you write.

    “Cold, quick and dirty.”

    I really like this sentence, it’s summing up the whole scene for me that you’ve so eloquently pained out for me.

    “She was youthful enough to remind someone of their neighbor’s daughter, but developed enough to prevent them from thinking of their own precious little girl.”

    This totally adds to this man’s character, how nonchalantly he talks about something so…sick I guess.

    “I hope I was the reason she started crying.”

    Ok, I’m not so sure about this…to me your character seems like someone cold and heartless not really mean y’know? This makes him seem like a mean guy (hoping that he made someone cry) whereas I was getting the impression he was just a man who thought of it as business – though I could be wrong I dunno, I’ll find out later.

    “Her skin appeared to be white aside from the black and purple marks winding around her every limb.”

    Hm…saying she was white seems kinda off to me, unless you’re trying to emphasize how bruised she is (though I think you do that in the rest of the paragraph). If you wanted to make sure the reader knows that she’s white as opposed to another race I think that’ll become clear when they say where she’s from.

    “Looking back now, I wish I had just let her go.”

    Once again, an amazing transition. I’m going on to chapter three.

    Chapter Three:

    “I rarely visited my hotel.”

    I don’t see why hotel is in italics, if you mean to say it isn’t really a hotel I think you should have used quotation marks instead.

    “After all, sex is simply nature when it comes down to it.”

    Once again you’ve brought me back to the character of this cold man, which I think I like more than the flat out mean one I saw earlier when he wished it was him making the girl cry (not that him being “mean” bothers me or anything, just that I think this character I’m seeing him as now is a lot more interesting).

    “What I am about to do seemed inhuman to most people, but it gave me the energy I thrived on.”

    This should be “was about to do” since it’s in past tense.

    “She would be dealt with before I left.”

    Ok, this interested me. I hope they show what happens to her (God that makes me sound sick, I’m just curious!)

    “…most likely an attempt to compensate for a lack of bulge below the belt.”

    Hm…didn’t he see the dudes stuff? I don’t really see that as “most likely” if he actually saw it and could see that it was small…unless he’s saying that him being small is most likely the reason, I dunno this sounds a bit weird to me.

    “…in a language I cannot understand. Although I do not understand the words, I feel no sadness in her voice. I see no desperation in her posture, no defeat. I’ve had all the singing I can take.”

    This whole paragraph has tense issues. “cannot” should be “couldn’t,” “do not” should be “didn’t,” “feel” should be “felt,” “see” should be “saw,” and “I’ve” should be “I’d.”

    “She believes I am a client, and starts to go through the motions of smiling and crawling off the bed towards me. This is the new girl, number 17. I still hear her singing under her breath and in utter confusion I remove my belt. Only then do I see the fear enter her eyes.”

    “believes” should be “believed,” “am” should be “was,” “starts” should be “started,” “is” should be “was,” “hear” should be “heard,” “remove” should be “removed,” and “do” should be “did.”

    “She tried to run away from me, but her weakness prevents her from breaking the grip I have on her arm.”

    “prevents” should be “prevented,” and “have” should be “had.”

    “She continues to struggle, and with an almost maniacal laugh, I bellow “You think we’re done,” and pull her up to my eye level as I hit her. I want to see the tears fall down her face, I want the satisfaction of knowing I am the cause of her pain.”

    “continues” should be “continued,” “bellow” should be “bellows,” “pull” should be “pulled,” “want” should be “wanted,” (both times) and “am” should be “was.” Again I’m seeing this cruelty in him…I see him more as someone who doesn’t care about the people he’s hurting, not someone who actually enjoys hurting people.

    “Her back begins to bleed as I continue to strike her with every amount of force I have. Right now, I regain my power. Her once singing voice fades into cries, just like every other unfortunate little girl here. No one should sing here- no one. Even when she falls to the floor and stops making any noise at all, I cannot stop. Blood puddled in the small of her lower back, and the pungent odor of iron makes its way about the room, and still I cannot stop. Only when she stops fighting me do I stop. When she gives in and gives to me her last bit of control and strength, I stop hitting her.”

    “begins” should be “began,” “continue” should be “continued,” “have” should be “had,” “now” should be “then,” “regain” should be “regained,” “fades” should be “faded,” “falls” should be “fell,” “stops” should be “stopped,” “cannot” should be “couldn’t,” “makes” should be “made,” “cannot” should be “could not,” “stops” should be “stopped,” “do” should be “did,” “gives” should be “gave,” (both times) “stop” should be “stopped.”

    “Her voice chased me as I run down the hallway; as I speed down the road; as I lie in my bed and try to sleep at night.”

    “run” should be “ran,” “speed” should be “sped,” “lie” should be “lied,” and “try” should be “tried.” Now with the tense issues aside, I love this sentence.

    “Little did I know, the life that I knew ended that night.”

    Once again, you’ve managed to pull off a great transition.

    Chapter Four:

    “I smell the salt of her tears, and I become more terrified by the day that I care.”

    I find this almost funny, he has no problem with all the terrible things he does and yet it “terrifies” him that he “cares.”

    “What I could not wrap my mind around, no matter how long and hard I tried, was how someone could go through so much, and have the strength to create something as beautiful as song.”

    Ok, now you’re having opposite tense issues! Before it was in past tense and you kept writing present, not you’re in present and you’re writing past!

    “Only now did I realize how brave she was, in comparison to the coward I became.”

    Ok, I think I know what you’re going for here but I’m not sure…if you mean the “coward” he is now I would put “I was becoming” but if you meant the coward he was when he was a bad guy I think it should be “I had become.”

    “As days passed on, my questions became more personal, and demanding.”

    I really like the use of the word “demanding” here. It makes it seem to me that he’s almost going crazy thinking about her.

    “This process, I decided, was the development of a conscience- the one and only thing that had the ability to destroy me and all I had built.”

    I love this sentence, “I had decided” God he’s terrible and yet so incredible! He’s talking about such an emotional thing he’s going through so logically.

    “…unwilling to leave the cushion of pity I created.”

    This is incredible. Just beautiful.

    “Until this moment, I had lost all power.”

    I don’t quite understand this sentence…

    “I have the power to decide the fate of my own life, and no one can take that away from me. All the singing in the world could not take my finger off the trigger, and every crying prostitute’s sighs could not force me to pull it. It was hysterical, how far I fell.”

    I like how after all I’ve read I’m finally in his thoughts right now, in the moment and I love how he’s almost getting joy out of the ability to kill himself.

    “My body shook with a desperate laughter, without me realizing the pressure I placed on the trigger…Bang.”

    Wow, just wow…what an ending.

    All in All: You are amazing. I have never given such a long review in my life. I have never read more than one chapter of someone’s story in the story review game. I have never finished a chaptered story that was any more than two – I would have subscribed if it wasn’t already finished. This piece is beautiful, well thought out, perfectly structured, well written and simply amazing. It’s so captivating and well written and just fantastic. For a moment I was getting worried that he’d end up falling in love with number seventeen and the story would become something cliché but no, you kept the tone, you kept what I loved so much going. This story is so powerful, so real. Thank you for giving me the utmost pleasure of reading your story.
    Dearly Beloved (it's a comedy and a play) or Their... (a much more serious one shot).
    July 26th, 2010 at 12:46am
  • florence

    florence (1000)

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    florence:
    She’d been sitting in their El Camino for hours. Their... It could have easily become hers by that point. But it hadn’t. She hadn’t wanted it to.
    I think it would flow better if you said "theirs" instead of "their" but it isn't needed.

    He was different. His lovely green eyes which had once been wide and wild had become lifeless; hardened. His soft red hair that had been precisely one eighth of an inch the last time she’d seen him was razor cut and uneven, his pallid scalp protruding in various places. His jaw was sharp and tight, his eyes were sunken, his face was gaunt and he needed a shave.
    This description of him is amazing. Even though I don't know this guy, I now know what he looks like and I can easily come up with a mental picture of him. Your descriptions are flawless, beautiful.

    It wasn’t the bullet proof barrier that separated her from the man she had once planned on spending her entire life with; it was the anger, hatred, shame, sadness, joy, love and blame that floated between them, each one inseparable from its predecessor.
    I love this sentence, and especially how you describe a barrier between people as a bullet proof wall. Brilliant emotion here as well.

    After years of figuring she had been unable to decide whether or not that night had surprised her. She should have seen it coming, but she hadn’t. It was completely reasonable...and yet it seemed unreal.
    The way you worded this was a tad bit confusing, and I had to read it a couple times to understand what you were saying. But I actually like these couple sentences -- very intriguing.

    How could a man whose dog sat at the dinner table, a man who opened the door for a lady and walked on the side of the street nearest traffic, a man who could look someone in the eye and give them his truest, most genuine word do something so cruel? How could a man capable of giving so much love do something so full of hate?
    The part about the dog made me laugh, ahaha. xD
    By now, I'm wondering what the heck this guy has done, since he seems to be pretty nice. It makes me curious enough to stay glued to the computer screen until the very end of the story.

    When he had called her...called her saying that he was in jail...she’d had nothing to say. What was there to say? The man she had once planned on spending her entire life with had come so close to taking the life of someone else.
    Ah, now I'm figuring out what has happened, bit by bit. You word this section perfectly, nice job here.

    She had known going into the relationship that he’d had views that she didn’t particularly agree with, but she had never expected him to act on them with such extremity.
    Here... I was like, WHAT? This part was confusing, and the flow was a bit off. What views? What would be resolved from going in this relationship? You just sort of leave that first part of the sentence hanging and unexplained.

    “What are you doing here?” his words were cold, “I didn’t think you wanted to see me.”
    “I heard you were getting out tomorrow,” she spoke quietly as her skeletal fingers toyed with the phone cord.

    This part confused me as well. She's obviously talking through a phone, but yet she can see him? Is she at the jail, talking to him through the glass or something? It would be best to elaborate on this.

    It was something that she prayed she would never have to live up to.
    “Don’t be,” he spat, “you abandoned me.”
    “I abandoned you? You’re the one who fucked up. You’re the one who got yourself locked up and left me. What, you expected me to be alright with attempted murder? You expected me to stand by you as you committed a hate crime?”
    “I expected you to stand by me.”

    This argument was very real and possible to me -- believable. And I love how you ended the brawl.

    “I just wanted to let you know, thanks to me you’re always gonna win at ‘whose ex is crazier,’” he smiled sadly.
    I really enjoyed this sentence. It made me smile, but yet it was very sad at the same time.

    “No, I won’t,” her eyes glossing over as she took his hand for the first time in ages, “I haven’t spoken to him in years but the last time I checked my ex has a desk job in Rhode Island.”
    What a perfect way to end such an amazing story! It made me think a little, but then it was like... YES. Perfect ending. It's just one of those endings that really speak to you, that are really impacting, but yet don't come out of nowhere or anything of that sort. It's entirely amazing, as well as the rest of the story.
    Chapter two of Pearl of the Stars, please. Shifty
    July 26th, 2010 at 05:07pm
  • Kurtni

    Kurtni (10125)

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    ^ Don't post a link to your story until you review a story first.
    July 26th, 2010 at 05:30pm