|Reviews for Charmed Jupiter|
| Gilee7 6/23/06 . chapter 1
[“What did Ezekiel say?” Jupiter asked, her hair had been tide up in a bun for most of the day but with the quilt now draped over them stray tufts began to cover the side of her face.] I sometimes wonder if I should point out grammatical mistakes. I worry that I just come across as some pretentious prick by doing so, but, personally, I like it when people point out errors in my writing. I wish that they didn't have anything to point out, but if there's something there, I want them to show me. So, because of that, I guess I'll continue to do it. "Tide" should be "tied." And you need a comma after "day" and a comma after "them."
[ “1.) Pride, 2.) Spirituality, 3.) Husbandry, 4.) Fatherhood, 5.) Neighboring, 6.) The Evils In Having Pride Through All Of these - and so on.”] I don't like seeing the numbers like this. It makes it look like an instruction manual or something. You could just do it like "One: Pride" or something like that, but, really, do we even need the numbers at all? The whole counting from his fingers kinda does the work itself, and if we know how to read, we know how to count. How about you just have him list the "duties" or whatever; like: "Pride; spirituality; husbandry . . ." and so on.
[Jupiter smiled, but could not laugh.
“And Brenna?” He asked her.] Replace "he" with "Ellis." This confused me at first. With the "he" coming right after "Jupiter smiled," and with the dialogue sounding like another question from Jupiter, I thought the he meant her, which was like . . . what? I was like, I thought Jupiter was a girl. Then I saw that it was actually Ellis asking the question, but still, it causes a little bump in the road.
[He winced hollering,] Comma after "winced."
[This was her and Ellis’ secret place though.] Comma after "place."
[It was the only place that they could really talk, and she wasn’t willing to leave it just yet.] I'm trying to do the whole William Strunk "Omit Needless Words" thing. My stories used to suffer from some major overwriting. Even now, every time I go back and read a story, I find myself cutting little pieces here and there, stuff that isn't really necessary. Here, I found the second "it" unnecessary; we don't need it, and the sentence sounds better without it anyway.
[“Tell me what Brenna said?” He asked again.] The "he" doesn't need to be capitalized; it's connected to the dialogue. And I find it weird that he's ASKING this. It seems so . . . annoying and French-like. Most people would say this as a statement; and if it WAS a question, it'd be more like: "So what did Brenna say?" Though I can already tell this story has a mythological feel to it, so I don't guess it would be right for the characters to speak like we do today.
So far, the dialogue is sounding like something from a period-piece movie. I've never seen "Pride and Prejudice," but I imagine this is exactly how they talk.
[Their feet propped up, toes touching.] Not a complete sentence; it should be connected to the preceding sentence with a comma.
[“Where is May?” Ellis asked trying to fill the void of silence.] Comma after "asked."
[“They keep getting into the houses, this morning she found a dozen of them in the bathtub, all big and black. She had a fit.”] Period after "houses."
[She scrunched back down underneath the blanket with him. “Tell me the prayer of Saint Lucy?” He was lying on his side now, facing her, his hand resting on his head ready for her to tell it.] Here's another instance of unclear dialogue. With the action of She preceding it, we automatically assume the dialogue belongs to Jupiter; but then the next sentence reveals that it was him, instead.
Christianity, eh? Considering how often it appears in your writing, it makes me think you're not really as "faithless" and anti-religion as you say you are. Religion is something you seem to think about a lot, even if you're thinking about it in a cynical way.
[Ellis hesitated, “You haven’t spoken of him in in awhile?”] This dude is friggen' annoying with the way he asks statements.
[“What else is there to speak of, he’s been dead for more then half of my life.”] "Then" should be "than."
[She knew nothing about his height, or the sound of his voice (detail‘s which alluded her but still fascinated her deeply.)] There we go with the period inside the parenthesis.
[The only thing that she could clearly see in her mind were his eyes, white and vacant, blinded since childhood.] This is something that I have trouble with when I'm writing. I wouldn't quote me on it, but I believe "were" should be "was." I know it doesn't sound right with "was his eyes," but that's not the way we compare it. You write, "The only thing." "Thing" is singular, so it doesn't coincide with the plural "were." It'd be like saying, "The only thing were his nose." And also, I think you need to switch "clearly" and "see" from "clearly see" to "see clearly."
[Faintly from beneath the bedroom window that they laid parallel against they could hear Brenna calling for Ellis] Comma after "against." And I'm starting to feel like a fricken' teacher's assitant here.
[“Do you think you should go down?”] On me? LOL. Sorry. I'm immature.
[“You shouldn’t talk about her like that,” she used her words carefully.] This is an instance where you DO need a period instead of a comma. "She used her words carefully" is its own sentence. Had you written, "said Jupiter, carefully," then it would be a dialogue tag, and the comma would be correct.
I saw that one of your previous reviewers said you introduce too many characters for a first chapter. Even though I'm only about about a fourth of the way through the story, judging from the scrollbar, I think so far you've done an excellent job of introducing us to the characters. Through the dialogue between Jupiter and Ellis, you've also introduced Ezekiel and Brenna so that we know who they are once we finally get to meet them.
[Jupiter knew that Ellis hated it when she referred to Brenna as anything close to a mother, but this time he didn’t argue with her about it.] "About it" is redundant and unnecessary. Omit needless words.
[Liftingd her eyebrows devilishly Jupiter turned to him] *Lifting* And a comma after "Jupiter."
[Quickly, before the door opened Ellis leaned over,] Comma after "opened."
[supported by his elbows and kissed her lightly, his moist lips left a solid imprint on her burning cheeks.] The second part of this is a complete sentence, so change that comma after "lightly" to a semi-colon.
[She whispered, not knowing what else to say but as she started to take the blanket off of her the door billowed upon.] "Billowed," nice word choice!
Cat, eh? And we also have Jupiter. And Ezekiel. Very interesting names. I think they fit very well with this piece. They're perfect. I tend to get lazy with names and just name my characters whatever first comes to mind. I used to actually look up the meaning of names and all that crap, and sometimes I'd even do an anagram of something, but I'm too lazy nowadays.
[He left with no other word and watching him take the stairs two at a time he didn‘t look back.] Use "Ellis" instead of "He."
[Despite her nine-year-old frame Cat looked like a duplicate of her older sister, from the shade of their hair to the style of dress.] Comma after "frame."
[“Speaking with one another.” Jupiter replied.] Comma after "another." "Jupiter replied" is a dialogue tag, not a complete sentence.
[She kept her fingers over it, both wanting to save it there, and to hide it incase Cat were to see.] Get rid of "both." We don't need it and it makes it seem like you mean Jupiter and Cat rather than Jupiter's two fingers.
[“Come, let’s see if she’s done pouring that concoction yet.” Jupiter stood and took her sister’s hand, hoping that as they left through the bedroom door no one might notice the glistening mark still on her cheek.] I've never written a chaptered-story ("Seasons" is a four-part story, not a chaptered-story), but I think this would be the perfect moment to end the chapter. It's like the closing of a scene, especially with the next paragraph jumping to that evening at dinner. It would cut this 50-word chapter in half, and, personally, I much prefer shorter chapters. I've noticed with books I read, that if they have short chapters, I tend to read a lot more in one sitting. Longer chapters are more daunting, more intimidating. And since this is Fictionpress, you're always going to get more reviewers the shorter a piece is. We're all lazy.
[Afterward, the men huddled in their own dinning room] *dining*
[Afterward, the men huddled in their own dinning room while the woman moved to a smaller room where separately they would eat.] *women* And "where seperately they would eat" seems uncessarily wordy. How about you cut all of that out and just have: ". . . while the women moved to a smaller room to eat."
[Ellis, being fourteen and old enough got to eat with the men and Jupiter didn’t have a chance to confront him.] Comma after "enough." The whole sentence could be re-worded, though. It's a little awkward sounding. And Ellis is only fourteen? He seemed older in the beginning. I saw him as a 17-year-old. But I guess kids matured a lot faster and were forced into adulthood a lot earlier in this time/world/place/whatever than in today's time.
[Before sitting down to eat Brenna led the women in there second prayer:] Comma after "eat." And "there" should be "their."
I find it very intriguing that these people are Christians and are praying to Jesus. With the way the story is presented, it seems more like they should be praying to some mythological God I don't even know. They seem sorta tribe-ish.
[Gloria, and her husband Anton were both matched by Ezekiel] Don't need the comma.
Okay, I now see why your reviewer said you introduce too many characters. Early on, I thought you were doing an excellent job with it, but now at this get-together you've introduced a slew of new people, and I can already tell you that I'm not going to remember any of them. I can understand you having those new characters say or do something, but we don't need their biographies or detailed descriptions at this point. It's too hard to digest so much info at one point, and especially when we don't even know who is important and who isn't.
[At the table Jupiter was flanked by Noelani Kempfield who at seven was the oldest of the three Kempfield children and Martha Paretta who with her twin sister Ruth were the same age as Jupiter.] I'm seriously getting tired of pointing out commas. I think I might just stop, because it's taking way too long to review this story with my analytical grammar check. Just this sentence here is missing three commas. So, from now on, no more "you need a comma here" comments.
[ From her place at the table she could see the sun setting across an oily red and purple sky and she was entranced by it.] I love your description of the sun; it's beautifully-written, and very painting-like, especially with the word "oily." However, the last part of the sentence-"and she was entranced by it"-I hate. Just say something about her being entranced by it at the BEGINNING of the sentence. Something like "Jupiter was entranced by the way the sun was setting across the oily red and purple sky." Not perfect, but that at least sounds better than the current way.
[“No ma'am,” the heavy silver fork dropped from between her fingers and slammed like a bell against her plate] So you're implying that the fork said "No ma'am"? Change the comma to a period, and make the fork part its own sentence.
[Her features then were sloe-eyed] "Sloe-eyed?"
[After finishing her meal and helping Arnold Miles, who was Ezekiel and Brenna’s youngest son finish his soup by dipping her own spoon in and feeding him like an infant she went into the men’s dinning room to clear their plates away with Ruth and Martha. Little Noelani followed Jupiter in and clung to the hem of her skirt while she piled the dirty plates into her arms. “Here Noey!” She handed the little girl a pile of dirty silverware wrapped in a napkin, “Go and take these to the kitchen.”] Though this paragraph is slightly cute, the whole thing could be ommitted and we wouldn't even know. None of this is essential to the plot.
[She supported his back with her hand so that when he’s body hit the mattress he wouldn’t bounce back and hit it.] "He's" to "his." And this part doesn't really make sense to me. What is meant by "it?"
[“The kempfields,”] If that's a name, then it should be capitalized.
[God bless God,] That's cute.
[ruff housing] *rough-housing*
[She couldn’t see why she was so ostracized] I love that word, "ostracized."
[“What are you doing?” The voice was thick, though not unfamiliar, startling her in the darkness. She saw a figure ahead of her, misty and silhouetted in the dark, it moved, and Ellis’ face gradually appeared to her.] I like this. The way you reveal him is very cinematic.
Nice ending. I like the way you draw out their silence and slight awkwardness.
Whew! I finally made it to the end! Okay, overall thoughts . . .
This story feels like a Faithless-Juliet piece. I haven't read much of your fiction, though I'm glad to see you dabbling in it every now and then. The themes in this are very similar to most of your other work, especially with the religious factor and Ellis and Jupiter's budding relationship. This piece also reminded me of "The Mansion," though I can't exactly say why. But I could see these characters inhabiting that mansion one day.
The first half of this story was very good. I thought it was a nice beginning; it was calm and smooth and informative. Actually, the beginning scene reminded me of a few fantasy novels I've read in the past. They often seem to start with a similar scenario, showing two characters talking in bed, often while one is lying beneath the covers and the other is sitting on the edge of the mattress, about to go off on some long journey or something. The dialogue is always a good way to introduce the readers to info we need to know without getting boring and just TELLING us everything, which you do a lot of it in the second half. I wish the chapter had ended when Jupiter leaves the bedroom.
The second half is extremely boring. I started to read faster and faster, basically skimming over parts. I know you like to pay attention to detail, you've mentioned that before in one of your reviews, but there's a lot of unnecessary stuff in the second half of this, stuff that could be omitted and we'd never even know. The whole second half is extremely puffy. You also introduce way too many characters. I hope I'm not supposed to actually remember any of those people because I know I won't. You need to do that kind of stuff sparingly. And like I said above, I don't mean that you can't have more than two or three characters in your first chapter, but you don't need to get so detailed with each one, giving us descriptions and mini-biographies. Nobody at the dinner table seemed important enough at this point to have been written about so extensively. The only characters I feel we need to know at this point are: Jupiter, Ellis, Ezikiel, Brenna, and the old 91-year-old dude. Just pretend you don't know anything about the other characters; you don't even know what they look like.
There were about a million and three errors in this story, mostly comma-related. Toward the end I just got tired of pointing all of them out. There's still a ton I just left alone. I found the abundance of errors very distracting and annoying. I know a lot of writers have a hard time with spelling and grammar, but most word processors now come with a spelling check and a grammar check. Use them.
I think this chapter is way too long. It could easily be cut from 50 words to 30. There's just way too much overwriting here, although I can't really talk, because I'm guilty of the same thing. I recently tried to go back and edit "Anything." I was digusted by it-not by the actual events that happen, which are a GOOD disgusting, but by the horrible, horrible, HORRIBLE overwriting. That story was fricken 80 words! 80! It shouldn't have been any longer than 40! I decided to just delete the whole damn thing. I've gone back to some of my other old stories and cut them in half, and I've done so very easily. If you did that with this chapter, it would make it SO much better, especially that horrible second half. Then it wouldn't drag or bore.
You've already made me interested in Jupiter and Ellis, though. I care about them, especially Jupiter, and I want to revisit her. Even though this chapter needs a serious revision, it isn't horrible. It's boring, but it's interesting at the same time. The first half of the chapter is basically perfect. The second half . . . the second half is what needs a makeover
But like I said, I'm interested in where this is going and what's going to happen. And forgive me if I sounded a bit harsh at times during this review. I still love you and your writing; I think you're extremely talented.
And this is one of the longest reviews I've given in a long, LONG time. There's no way I can go back and read all of what I just wrote, so there's probably a million errors in my own review where I'm pointing YOUR errors. That'd be a bit ironic. And here I am, rambling on . . .
Write on, Juliet!
| Kaye90 6/6/06 . chapter 1
wow, i really, really like could almost be perfect just standing alone by itself as a short i am interested to see what you have planned for update!
| x-kit-x 5/30/06 . chapter 1
An interesting start to the story and I really can't wait to read more. My only critism is perhaps that you have introduced too many people at once. Keep it up and update soon.
| account not in use 5/23/06 . chapter 1
| Written not signed in 5/23/06 . chapter 1
Very nice. Jupiter, huh? Good name. Can't wait to see where this goes, and I like the idea of a chapter story from you. Thanks for writing!