|Reviews for Perfect Crime|
| dragonflydreamer 1/27/09 . chapter 1
[He refused to put on his glasses[,] preferring the vanity of squinting.]
[one leg tucked under her small frame, the other pulled tight to her chest.] Nice way to describe her. Quite childish, which reveals a lot about her character right away.
[“You’ve been here five weeks.” She snapped, her tone implying] period comma, S lowercase (unless the "snapped" wasn't refering to her tone, but her genreal actions, in which case it was a bit confusing).
[“Must you,” she said] That should have been a question. Maybe if you intended her to say it in a flat tone, you could specify that?
[was a bit of a mystery, even those who claimed] semicolon, I think
[“So,” she said, her voice almost a growl, “What has your] either make the last comma a period or the W lowercase.
[His fingers raked through his short sandy blond hair as he counted to ten and considered his options.] Good way to slip in his description.
[looking her way, she could only] new sentence
[furrowed his brow, it was unclear] new sentence
Alright, now that that's out of the way, I'd like to say that you've got the start of a really great story here! I usually only read poems, so to hold my interesting in a piece of this length is really saying something.
Now of course "OMG this is awesome!1" isn't going to help you much, so I'll try to get a bit more specific (and please do forgive my lack of story knowledge ;)
Your characters were very engaging. You slipped in a lot about their characters without weighing the readers down with deatails, instead conceying things about them through thoughts and actions. The relationship between Scott and Tessa seems quite interesting-a bit competative, but also alble to cooperate with each other. Perhaps a suggestion of a romantic future, as well. And not only are the characters good with each other, but they're relatable as a reader because you give them such common quirks (Tessa, anyway. I'm interested to see Scott develop more).
The plot in general sounds interesting. I'm not much of a ystery fan myself-I think they follow a lot of the same basic formats without much difference-but yours does sound promising. The relationship between the characters should provide the story with more than just the investigation.
The writing style is definitely one of the strong points. There wasn't particularly anything that made it stand out, but it was very solid; it conveyed all you were trying to say in a smooth, fluid, interesting way.
Opening and ending were okay. I'm sure you know they're the hardest part and are rarely done to perfection. The beginning was a bit awkward with the sound effects. Vizualizing it as a screenplay, the sound works as a good introduction, but it seems strange in print. Maybe try to describe it more than show it. The ending was better. Not a gripping cliffhanger or anything, but a nice solid and complete end with a nice blend of plot and character interaction.
Well, that's about as much as I can say at this point. The fact that I can say so much about it is definitely points on your behalf. Interesting concept, good characters, and a nice multi-layered writing to keep readers interested. Very promising start, and I hope the rest of it follows suit. Happy writing! :D
| Decoris Verbum 1/26/09 . chapter 2
Oh, wow. Amazing. You actually took my advice. Awesome. I think it read a lot smoother (although maybe the rivalry could be drawn out with a -slight- bit more intensity in the end of ch. 1, but that might be overthinking it). I loved how you went with Tessa's POV for ch. 2 - it totally provided great insight into her character and reminded me, the reader, that this was a two-faced story. The way you drew out this chapter made the teaming-up seem a lot more realistic, and I liked that because it makes me want to really read on and find out how this will work. Two things to nag: 1) sometimes, when Tessa was talking, the onomatopoeias (or monosyllables, or whatever...) would come across as kind of amatuer in your otherwise golden dialogue, and 2) while having your characters speak about the crime as if they're familiar with it gives the dialogue a more realistic touch, we as a reader need more of an introduction to the facts. It's all kind of out-of-the-blue for us. I think. Or maybe I'm just ignorant. Either or. Great work. Update.
| TesubCalle 1/21/09 . chapter 2
Hey, good start. Scott and Tessa make good rivals.
Sounds to me like this is the sort of thing that the local police really should be aware of; they're probably happy that no nosy reporter has been making tenuous connections - until now, that is.
I can't imagine authorities would be that clueless or incompetent when it comes to successive monthly disappearances of young women.
I like the little pieces of background information you've been dropping about Tessa and Scott. Makes me want to know more about them as I keep reading.
So aside from some very minor nitpicky grammar things, this is shaping up to be a really good mystery. I look forward to reading more.
| mikey magee 1/20/09 . chapter 2
I liked the way you phrased Tessa's dialog. It sounded foreign and made it easy to identify her. I do think the alarm lock thing was a little cliche though. Maybe it you started right from when she opened the door, I think it would make the chapter easier to be immersed in.
And I think the pacing was a little bit fast. It would have been nice if you added a little more description of the setting. I did enjoy reading about Tessa, and how she couldn't lie. You do a great job with your characters and showing their relationships with each other. Well done.
| Alux 1/20/09 . chapter 2
You probably don't need my critique because it might be made in your revisions, anyhow. It was very wise to take the advice of making the reporters competitors. There's more conflict and it's much more interesting to read.
I think you spent too much time explaining how she had too much to drink and how it's early in the morning. This is a scene that most people have gone through or read before and therefore there's not much there in terms of suspense to keep me reading it. In other words, it's a cliche scene the way you wrote it.
It also seems like she's taking all of this way too casually. I'm still waiting for the inciting incident to reverse her world. If she's merely doing her job as a reporter and we're along for the ride, it doesn't seem interesting to go along with her and it's getting boring.
Giving one clue after another for her to solve doesn't make a suspense. We have to care about the characters and I don't think your main character is allowing me to empathize with her. I simply see her as a journalist doing her job. Currently, she's a milquetoast character with nothing happening to her. I see them all the time.
What's missing? I believe it lacks jeopardy to motivate her to change. She has nothing to lose besides maybe not getting a Pulitzer. I think if you can introduce the jeopardy sooner, or at least let us feel it's arriving, that the suspense will be more realistic. And frankly, she has nothing to lose - her world seems perfect so what change does she really need that I would care about?
Consider getting her out of her normal world.
Have you hit the inciting incident yet? If you have, I feel like she's just going along her work-a-day life and this is a problem for conflict because despite the subject she's working on, it's really not personal and she has nothing at risk.
| Nyleve Nalloc 1/19/09 . chapter 1
I can't seem to get used to the new review buttons.
So, I like the names you used. I know I'm starting with an unusual observation, but this is me after all.
I like them. Rivals do work best - but you know I love that type of chemistry.
It actually reminds me of a new show on TV that's going to start - a writer and a police officer. Can't recall the show's name now. Not that it's the same premise, but... lost my string of thought.
You do mystery well.
Take the advice from your 'friend' *smirks* and let him get you a deal.
| Sarah Isaacs 1/19/09 . chapter 1
Your opening was great: immediately setting the scene and tone, capturing interest with noise and your analogies. Breaking the paragraphs up like you did offered a lot of movement and definition and accurately set the pace for the rest of the chapter/story. Really good work.
For one I really enjoyed the Italian - even though I don't speak it. However, you expected that and handled it well. You actually explained what was being said without sounding like a third party translator. I was really impressed. As for the rest of your dialogue, it flowed well and fit the characters and their setting, communicating the attitudes well. Your character's interaction is flawless. Though, maybe a little rushed during Scott's interview with Maria. There the dialogue itself is wonderful, it's the adverbs and adjectives surrounding it. A little more description on her part in places where her words start to hang would help slow that part down and give it some body. Otherwise it seems a little thin when compared to the rest of your story.
Thankfully I didn't recognize any spelling errors (I hate to find those here), and your grammar is solid. There was only one sentence that should be addressed: "Shutting down her computer, Tessa grabbing her bag and jacket and left her cube." It should be Tessa 'grabbed' her jacket. Just one of those tense slips that happens so often while editting, otherwise, there was nothing grammatically wrong. Bravo!
You seem to know where you are going with this, yet you don't overdo the foreshadowing :) And I, the reader, am definitely intrigued. There is a bit of a familiar feel to the story, yet an underlying promise that we don't know what is going to happen. Something I think is a really nice hook; the pairing of the familiar and unfamiliar and I like how you're not dragging it out either, there's no unsavory pretense. The story gets started immediately without the feeling of being dumped into a bucket of ice water; uncomfortable and overpowering.
Overall, you have a good style; it kept me reading because it has a steady and intelligent pace which fits this story well, and your voice offers the story a full spectrum of energy and emotion. Another draw I must say and your descriptive writing is enviable. I loved how you just wove the characters together, providing external and internal descriptions without getting wordy. It was like a jigsaw and just 'fit', if you'll forgive the pun. All in all, this is a very promising piece and I look forward to reading more about this "Perfect Crime" (Nice title by the way ;).
A. du Lac
| Written 1/15/09 . chapter 1
hey! I really liked the beginning of this; you ste the atmosphere so well that I could almost see it, and the best part is that you didn't do it through purple prose and over describing. the entire story is really polished and reminds me of published mystery fiction, so you have that going for you.
i also love the dynamic between what appears to be your two leads. tessa seems cool and kind of makes me wish I had some chocolate milk right now.
I haven't noticed anything to criticize yet, especially since this is a first chapter, but seriously, well done! it's a great start to what will most likely be a very compelling story.
| Decoris Verbum 1/15/09 . chapter 1
Hm...very nice start. Very nice. I loved the original setting, because it totally set up the rivalry between Scott and Tessa. However, my two cents would be that the pair teamed up with slightly too much ease. The lengthy scene of them in her office gave it away, because their wasn't much meat (dialogue, information) to it, anyways. Ultimately, my personal opinion would be to narrow down the narrative to just Scott, and have the reader get to know him better. Add in a brush-up encounter with Tessa, just to show their rivalry and such. I thought exploring her point of view was slightly the wrong way to go on this one, but it did work. You have me hooked, although I would be MORE hooked if they didn't team up so easily, and the whole thing was more of a race to see who could get to the bottom of things first. Idk.
As always, fantastic job.
| Alice B. Black 1/14/09 . chapter 1
I do like stumbling upon a story with a male protoganist; I never find enough on this site, at least not when I'm minding my business in the romance section. I do love a good mystery as well, I had a big phase growing up where that was all I would read.
There were a few things I didn't like, the italic words at the beginning, they didn't seem to go with the flow. I think it would be far better if you wrote them out into a descriptive sentence. And then in the dialogue you had a couple ... and personally, I think commas are always better, it just doesn't look as nice.
But I did love the story. Right away you introduced the sense of mystery with the women (technically at the end, but when you think chapter story, its at the beginning), and the story flows so nicely. There is plenty of dialogue as well, which brings the story to life. I can't wait to read more,
| mikey magee 1/3/09 . chapter 1
Writing: The writing you have is wonderful. I like how in the first few sentences you used clear verbs and actions to create character. The descriptions weren't too much to slow down the pacing, and they created a nice fresh image.
Dialogue: I liked how the dialogue stayed consistent through Tessa and Scott's argument. And you conveyed a lot of the character's personalities through their dialogue seamlessly.
Grammar: No real problems with grammar that I could see, except this :"ideas before deadline." Shouldn't that be "Before a deadline?"
Characters: My favorite part of the story, you did a great job with conveying both Scott and Tessa's personalities.
Opening/Ending: The opening was great. I liked how you introduced the character with some descriptions and subtle action. It was a nice way to introduce the character and what he does.
| TuneOut 1/3/09 . chapter 1
Characters: I think you did a good job establishing Scott and Tessa. They're both ambitious and it will be interesting to see how the relationship plays out in the end.
Relationships: I think you set up the dynamic well. Tessa who has been there for a while has some jealousy and suspiscion towards Scott who she considers is a rookie. The only thing I find odd is how she went from being impatient and snappish towards him to making friend banter in the same scene. I didn't expect her to be that vulnerable to him so quickly. I'm also interested in her relationship with the Perellis.
Spelling/Grammar: I noticed one sentence that I think is off. "Her Italian was a bit rusty but Gino liked when she tried." Instead of "when", shouldn't it be "that"?
Plot: I don't really read mysteries so I don't know how cliched this plot is in general. I think there is potential here as long as you put in the right amount of suspense instead of melodrama. It'll be interesting to see how it plays out.
| Left FP 1/2/09 . chapter 1
Sorry for the late review!
I went through this story and I could not find any spelling or grammatical errors.
The scenes are perfect the way the flow...and nothing appears to be cliched here.
The characters seem pretty interesting, and the first chapter has definitely caught my interest!
Sorry for the extremely silly review. Actually, there is nothing I would change in this story.
Keep up the good work!
And once again sorry for the late and lame review!
| lookingwest 1/1/09 . chapter 1
Cool start, the characters seem like they were really well-thought up and have deeper backgrounds. Scott appropriately held and air of mystery and Tessa comes off as a strong character too. The writing style is very mature which is really refreshing for a change, and the spelling/grammar aspects seem very polished. It was a joy to read your prose!
| KnittingKneedle 12/30/08 . chapter 1
Hi, my first RG in what seems like years, hope I still do it right.
The opening was good, it was quite atmosphereic the way you zoned in on the details of the key, I thought it set quite a good mood and you managed to portray a lot about Scott's character.
Speaking of characters, I thought Tessa was great and that whole sequence with the chocolate milk in the mickey made me laugh.
To be honset I'm struggling slightly to find anything to concrit you on, the whole thing comes across as polished and solid, and the exposition in the dialogue was very smooth, I liked that- it's a good skill to have especially in mystery crime sort of writing which I'll admit isnt my strong point for reviewing.
To be nitpicky "it was somewhat of a passion and sometimes it bled over into his personal life" somewhat doesnt fit, something seems a little better, or just stop at passion to give it more emphasis.
The only thing I would say is that nothing really popped for me with this story the same way it did when I read ghost writer but that's a minor thing really.