|Reviews for From Pauper to Princess|
| morikoT 10/7/05 . chapter 3
ah! this is so cool! a happy chapter! do u noe how many disasters there are in these fics these days? lamo...lol well i'm really glad there's a happy moment here and i checked out the pics 2! xoxox _ update soon :)
| Elemental Moon 10/7/05 . chapter 3
Another great chapter. I noticed that you put in a lot more details than the last chapter and its great that you do that. Its cool how her family is really nice. Maybe for the lack of niceness from her mom? It proves that you can be rich AND happy. Heh. anyways update soon!
| Kat1989 10/7/05 . chapter 3
Jetlag wouldn't work that way, if she was going to New York from somewhere else in the US. You could always say she is tired from her trip, though. Good chapter, please continue.
| morikoT 10/6/05 . chapter 2
wow... that was good! _ i feel bad for shayne... so when are you going to put the pictures up? and you'll update castle hill soon rite?
| MorganaLeFay1 10/4/05 . chapter 2
And tell me why, O Great Goddess of writing, should I miss out on any of your stories? xD
I love it. It's sad and happy at the same time. I like Shayne. I really like Ashlie, and I can't wait to find out what Ashlie's brother and grandparents are like. Ya gonna update dis one soon too, right? :D*hugs* ILY chica. Keep writing.
| youngANDinLOVE 10/4/05 . chapter 2
Aw god this was like sad and happy and good and everything like that all at the same time. i love love love love love it a lot and i love love love love love you like a lot too, duh. kay sothat's it. update son!
| youngANDinLOVE 10/4/05 . chapter 1
OMFG ahahaha oh this chapter was really good. i like shayne. he's awesome. and seems hella effing sexy. kinda like SCOZ! yes ma'am. kay time for the next chapter.
| Matt Spano 10/3/05 . chapter 2
I think that Chapter 1 needs to continue. Don't just stop everythinging that was happening and jump ahead, at least not yet. Let the reader soak in that first timframe some more, then move ahead. When I started Reading Chapter 2, I really felt as if I should be reading chapter 6 or so. While reading I was experiancing a lot of differenct mixed emotions for Shayne and Ashlie. I also think that provided you do revise this story into an entire book for publishing, I think the entire book should be based on those two characters. And then, just a personal opinion, but why not finish the book with something tremendous. For example, build up the reader's emotion for the two characters throughout the entire book, with various climaxes. In the end of the book, a trajedy.. someone dies, but I think you can figure the rest out. The emotions I had were really powerful especially up to the point where Ashlies mom had her at the end, and was coming at her with the knife.. I have to admit that climax was powerful. verah nice. I finished reading, and thought to myself. Well that was an excellent preview, now I wanna read the book!
| Elemental Moon 10/2/05 . chapter 2
Ouch, that must really hurt for your own mother to hurt her? It reminds me so much of my friend's mom although she isn't an alcoholic at all. One question that is really nagging me is where was the brother when her father died? But other than that and another great chapter...this is the time when I say update soon right? Right. :p-Elemental Moon
| Elemental Moon 10/2/05 . chapter 1
This chapter was great. Considering what I've read so far, it seems that you like, heh I mean love to use dialogue a lot and you are very talented at using the dialogue. Its sad how when you lose someone, you would want to take it out on something and the most common thing to take it out is on alcohol. Lucky me that I'm addicted to pool. So when I'm mad or feeling emotional, I play pool. :p. Does Shayne know anything about the way her mom treats her?
Anyway great chapter and update soon...wait I should put that up the next chapter huh? heh.
| Angel Jenna 9/24/05 . chapter 2
This chapter was really good. It is too bad that she doesn't really love Shayne like that, he was so nice. Her mother is completly MAD! She really was so crazy it wasn't funny, I just hope that Ashlie will be ok and find some peace in New York. That is cool she has a brother. Update soon! I can't wait to read more.
| rags2canvas 9/22/05 . chapter 1
“Mommy, where’s daddy?”
The little girl tugged on her mother’s skirt, wondering why her mommy was crying. She didn’t like the big van outside the house. It kept flashing red and blue lights. The lights hurt her eyes.
[To help with delivery, I might recommend the little girl only ask “Where’s Daddy?” as your opener because in the following sentence it’s made clear who the little girl is addressing – her mother. As for using “the little girl” I would suggest “A little girl”. Since the setting really hasn’t been determined yet, you may want to first establish to –which- little girl that “the” is referring. When describing the mother from the daughter’s perspective, try instead of “her mommy” a capitalized “Mommy”. ]
The lady sank onto the nearest seat, unable to control her grief. Sobbing, she didn’t hear her daughter’s questions. Nothing got through the darkness that seemed to envelope her.
[“Woman” seems more appropriate and more personal than “lady”. It might help with your setting to mention where inside the house the two characters are, the living-room, guest room, etc. The mother sinks into a seat but it’s unclear where the seat is located. It’s true that because of the sobbing she “didn’t hear” the question, but ultimately she “couldn’t hear” because of her crying, and you may want to point this out, as it will emphasize the seriousness of the sobbing.]
The little girl whimpered, feeling scared that her mommy wasn’t listening to her. She didn’t like it when her mommy cried. It made her sad. It made her want to cry too.
[To help with conciseness you could remove “feeling” from “feeling scared”, since scared is a feeling in itself. Again with “her mommy”, Mommy would do fine, because in the reader’s frame of reference it is her mother; in the child’s reference it is Mommy. ]
She didn’t like the three men dressed in white that came out of the back of the flashing big van. She didn’t like the solemn men in black uniforms that had arrived in flashing cars, “hm”-ing at everything.
[“Three” seems to be a rather particular detail, perhaps unnecessary because the focus is not on how many men but what kind of men. Instead of “solemn”, try “stone-faced”, which might be a concept more easily grasped by a young child.]
She just wanted them to go away.
“Leave us alone,” she cried., hugging her mommy’s leg.
That jerked the lady out of her consuming sadness. She stared at the little girl, who stared solemnly back with teary eyes, and a wobbling lower lip.
[Instead of “that jerked” you could go with “This jerked”, as “this” is a word with “close” proximity, and it is an intimate scene. To help emphasize how she comes out of her trance-like state, perhaps she might look down at the little girl instead of jumping immediately to staring. This might help guide visuals and actions. The comma after “teary eyes” seems disruptive.]
“Oh sweetheart,” she sighed, grabbing her daughter and making her sit on her lap. She hugged her precious daughter close to her for comfort.
[“Making her sit” seems a rather forceful action for a woman enveloped by sorrow and belies a hint of anger or aggression. While this seems to fit with the later portrayal of “Mommy”, I think something like “lifting her up on her lap” might fit better. With “hugged” you probably don’t need “close to her” since hugging implies closeness, but you could replace “hugging” with “held” if you’re looking to keep those words.]
“Mommy, I want them to go away,” she said louder this time.
“They will honey. Soon. They just need to do their jobs,” she said, as calm as she could without betraying the raging emotions warring within her.
She felt so much. Anger. Grief. Bitterness. Love. Wistfulness. Gratefulness. Hope. Betrayal. Confusion.
[To help portray the conflict, perhaps you can list the various emotions in contrasting pairs like: “Anger? Love. Bitterness? Wistfulness. Grief?” In this manner by using question marks you can raise and lower the tone in which the text is read, much like the crest and valley of waves in a storm. You could also pair them by using “and” to separate, like “Anger and love. Hope and betrayal” making sure that they contrast. Whatever method you come up with, this would be a spectacular opportunity to portray the utter confusion of emotions. As for “raging emotions”, that sounds kind of violent, and with a child in her lap it seems contradictory. However it does have the effect of raising tension – a strong device.]
“I don’t like them, mommy. They make me scared,” she confessed truthfully.
[“Truthful” confession is a little redundant, perhaps she might instead confess “quickly” or “suddenly”.]
“Ashlie, don’t be scared of the good guys. Policemen and the hospital people are good guys, not bad guys.” This was said absently. She couldn’t help her mind wandering off.
[To avoid breaking tense, try not to use –ing verbs if you’re describing past events. Perhaps “this was said absently” because her thoughts or her mind “wandered off.”]
Why did this happen? He was so young. They were still so much in love. Ashlie was barely seven years old. How was she going to raise their daughter on her own? She needed a was unknowingly rocking Ashlie in her embrace.
[Here I think “unconsciously” works better than “unknowingly”, even though she isn’t aware of the part that IS aware … if that makes any sense.]
Ashlie yawned sleepily and peered blearily up at her mommy’s face.
[“Sleepily” sounds a little redundant after “yawned” since we can tell she’s sleepy. As for “peered blearily”, something like “peered bleary-eyed” might sound better, or just “peered” by itself since the yawning established that she was tired.]
“Mommy, where’s daddy?”
[Now in this case it works well to use “Mommy, where’s….” unlike in the opening where no mother has really been established yet.]
I can’t believe this. This is pathetic.
Look at me. I’m sneaking out of my own house. Normal kids don’t have to do this. They just walk down the stairs, not having to care if they’re making a shitload of noise. I have to be as silent as possible, hoping against all hopes that mom is asleep, so she won’t see me.
[The phrase “Look at me” I think might work best if tacked on to the end of your first paragraph, after “This is pathetic.” That way the reader says “Look at what?” and segues into the next paragraph where we indeed get a look at the action going on. As for the profanity you could replace it with “a lot” of noise, but the choice is yours. The effect is very rough, and helps to establish the massive change of character going on, but Ashlie’s actions already imply vast changes. ]
If she sees me, then all hell will break loose.
I’ll get beaten up until she gets tired and goes back to sleep. Then I leave the house and go cry someplace hidden so no one can find me.
[Try “Then I’ll leave” if you’re going with the future tense to imply what happens after “she sees me.”]
Why don’t I ever hit back? I’ve always wondered that. I guess I just don’t believe it’s right, hitting my own mother. She’s just been through a lot.
[When I first read through, this part bothered me a little bit. Does Ashlie really wonder why she doesn’t hit back? It sounds like that’s something the reader would ask after hearing about the situation and thus it’s almost like a dialogue, when in fact it’s mostly monologue. I don’t know if it’s the right time to be asking that question just yet as it is kind of like using knowledge outside of the character to the character’s advantage (also known as power-playing or meta-gaming). Maybe instead of asking a question, make a statement like “I can’t fight back. I guess I just don’t believe…” – this way it’s not so disruptive when addressing the issue.]
Dad’s death drove her a little mad, to the point she started drinking to take away the nightmares. Day after day, she drank and drank. What started as “a little each day” became a full-blown problem. Everyday she drank a little more, and this went on and on until she came home one day, drunk off her ass. She couldn’t even walk straight. She took one step through the door and fell face-first onto the floor and went to sleep there and then.
[“Mad” seems the archaic way to describe “crazy”, doesn’t seem to fit with the modern speech of this character.]
That’s when my nightmare began. Sadly, they weren’t dreams. They were my reality.
[“My” in “my reality” seems a little redundant since the episodes have already been established as “my”, and it helps delivery to say “They were reality” which has a broader impact.]
Sometimes she got creative. Baseball bat. Leather belt. Her fists. I suppose I should be grateful she’s never pulled a knife on me.
[“Creative” in this sense sounds clichéd. I would go for something like “… her hands weren’t enough” or “sometimes it really hurt bad”. ]
They call me “Freak Girl”.
[The change from past to present is rather abrupt. I would stick with past and go for “called me …” instead of call, even though it is still a present condition.]
I didn’t care. None of them knew what I had to go through everyday. I didn’t mind not having any friends. Having friends meant I’d have to tell them things. Some things aren’t meant to be told. Not for me anyway.
So that’s the sob story of my past. Don’t pity me. I don’t want your pity. I’m still alive aren’t I?
[In this case I think it’s sufficient to say “… don’t want pity” instead of “your pity”, because in truth she wants no one’s pity at all. Using “your” also jerks the reader out of the story (at least for me anyway)]
I see mom sleeping, sprawled all over the couch with Ed, her new man.
All I feel is relief as I tiptoe past, to the door, and out.
I break into a serious run after shutting the door, not stopping until I’m three roads away.
[“and I don’t stop until …”]
I stop. Where do I go now?
[To avoid repetition of “stop” and to help emphasize the feeling of lost, you could start with “But where do …” This also ties onto the feeling of running but with nowhere to go.]
I hear that word ring in my mind. How?
[Try “But how?” Again you can emphasize confusion. Immediately asking “How?” seems like she already knew what to ask when told “Pray.”]
I try it. I remember to end it with “amen”.
Then I walk out. The heavy feeling in my heart is gone.
[You can afford to drop “Then” because a “then” is implied as the character walks out and the heavy feeling is gone.]
One day I walk in and see the a man in his late twenties seated in the front. I pay no attention to him, because who he is doesn’t concern me. I watch as a lady I’ve seen a few times approach him. They talk in hushed tones.
[You could drop “I pay … him” because if a person doesn’t concern her then she won’t be paying attention anyway, and it will help tighten up the sentence.]
I slip into my usual seat at the back and start praying.
When I feel that I’m done, I look up to see the man standing there. Waiting for me to finish.
[Feel free to connect the fragment “Waiting…” with the previous sentence, since it works fine and there’s no interruption that way.]
He’s smiling, so I don’t put my guard up.
[I think the reason she doesn’t put her guard up is not only because he’s smiling but because she senses something else as well. Perhaps it’s his entire attitude. In the end, I think she “doesn’t feel the need to put …” because she’s keen to a feeling and not just the smile.]
“Mrs. Jamison tells me you come in everyday to pray. I thought I would just introduce myself,” he began bluntly.
I like his honestly. People who beat around the bush annoy me.
[The starting dialogue is blunt, so adding “bluntly” is a little excessive. In the following sentence, the character also reinforces the idea that he’s speaking in a concise, blunt manner.]
“I’m Pastor Tyler. Everyone calls me Tyler. ‘Pastor’ makes me feel ancient,” he grinned affably, holding his hand out.
[Try capitalizing “He” in “He grinned…” Even though the action is tied with the dialogue, it happens afterward, and it makes it seem like he’s grinning and then these words come out.]
And so it came to pass that Ashlie Edelen started attending church regularly.
[The jump from monologue to narrative tone here is disruptive. You could portray this fact and continue the monologue like “… came to pass that I started attending…” The words “came to pass” seem a bit archaic for the tone of the story but they do have closure for the previous paragraphs.]
Shayne’s a year older than I am, and the best guitarist in the church. He’s tall, which suits me fine, seeing how I stand at five feet nine inches at sixteen. He’s got black-streaked blond hair, eyes the colour of the ocean, and he wouldn’t strike you as a Christian boy if you thought Christian boys were goody-goodies. The lip ring speaks for itself. Pretty much.
[I feel the exact height of Ashlie is irrelevant. Perhaps you might slip in something about how she likes tall guys that match her own height, or that “he’s taller than me” or “I don’t know if it’d be the same if he were shorter.” This type of miscellaneous data doesn’t really serve any purpose except it gives a frame of reference for the reader, if he or she is taller or shorter. Think about if generalizing about height will help better or if it’s more important to mention the specifics.]
I’ve met his family. His parents are nice. They knew my mom before she went on the destructive path she’s on now, yet they never try to interfere. During those “days” when my mom was being really unstable, they let me stay over in Natalie’s room. She’s Shayne’s elder sister and is away at college in another state.
[“… she’s on now,” is unnecessary if you consider only one destructive path has been mentioned. ]
You know I don’t have many friends. I can safely say that Shayne’s my best friend, and the only friend I have that I trust completely. He’s just that kind of hang out a lot at the ice-cream parlor. It’s our weakness. It was there that we had a little fight over cherries and whipped cream.
[“You know” seems really disruptive. I know she doesn’t have many friends but try bringing that up in a way which keeps the focus on the character and doesn’t bring it to the reader. Perhaps simply, “I don’t have many friends, but I …” might work, or some variant.]
“Stop it Shay,” I laughed, wiping whipped cream off the tip of my nose and sticking my finger in my mouth to lick it off.
[Another case of the –ing verbs can be easily remedied here. Try also separating the two actions into separate sentences for effect.]
“Gee Shay, if that’s your best pick-up line, it sure could do with a lot more improvement,” I teased him.
[“him” is unneeded, it is known who is being teased.]
Overall: Compared to earlier works, the author’s writing style has improved greatly. This story is full of emotion and drama, portrayed well. Some redundancies here and there do not detract from the overall feel of the story. As a reader I really got a feel for the main character and her life so far as well as her mother, who remains largely enigmatic in chapter one. The style here is sharp like a knife blade with the harsh reality of Ashlie’s life, but her relationship proves to be the blooming flower in the virtual emotional no-man’s-land of her mind. I enjoyed reading the story which was obviously written with care in terms of the reader. I really appreciated delaying the mention of the main character’s name, instead of right off the bat like so many, many other stories.
I hope this review has helped somewhat, and I hope it serves as welcome to the YW group. Remember everything is strictly my opinion, and please continue to write.
| Hell's first Icicle 9/22/05 . chapter 2
please tell me she'll be happy. it wud be so sad if she found her family and sum1 in her fam. waz a complete ass. well. i noe coz of da summary that they will be, soz. just remembered. 'salrite den. D
| Hell's first Icicle 9/22/05 . chapter 1
omg. das so sad. i feel relli sorry for her mother. is there nething they can do for her? damn. now im acting like shez a real person. shutting up now...
| arachibutyrophobia 9/22/05 . chapter 2
oh god i was so set to say how that chapter made me laugh... and then the end... well, the beginning made me laugh. the beggining of the chapter was so nice and peaceful.
now for criticism that hopefully shall halp you: a) the time in the hospital could have been a chappie unto itself. thats a pretty big relevation b) er... hm. update soon? haha.