|Reviews for Eternal Anhelia preview|
| C. Tattiana H-H 11/28/10 . chapter 1
Mindala's day was proving a busy one.
-Edit?: Should there be a “to be” before “a”?
...but what was surprising is that Yvgenia had decided that they should all sew them...
-Edit: Change “is” to “was”.
Her attempts to cook were also legendary, in that she had rendered six people to the infirmary with badly-cooked shellfish.
-Ha-ha. The paragraph this line is contained in is so hilarious. It’s entertaining and humorous due to your crafty phrasing.
Suddenly, abruptly, there was an extremely loud bang and screech, the car jerked violently, bounced a time or two, and then dropped like a stone for a terrifying second, just long enough to drag her out of her lists in horror
-Personal: I feel “Suddenly, abruptly” to be a bit redundant. I would only use one. I would also remove “extremely” since “loud band and screech” suffices to convey it’s extremely loud. :)
Another, quite different bang.
-Eh? The comma doesn’t seem quite necessary here and the sentence feels incomplete.
I really like this idea with the Eternals. I think it’s unique and the short back story you provided made sense and realistic. Definitely an interesting first chapter. I think you managed to provide the readers with important information without info-dumping. You were creative in your method which made reading this very enjoyable.
Review courtesy of The Review Game’s Review Marathon. For more info, visit the link on my profile.
| brushstroke 4/21/10 . chapter 1
A very energetic beginning! You did a great job with diving into your world without making it seem unnatural. You approach it as most people would probably approach the modern world-without feeling too much need to explain what's going on, and it makes it very believable.
Your characterization is also excellent. I'm not sure I can pronounce Princes Yvgenia's name, but the way you paint her is hilarious. I'm glad I'm not a lady's maid there. Also, Mindala seems like a very solid protagonist so far, and Anhelia looks to be very, very interesting. I want to see more of her!
One thing I might recommend is cleaning up your dialogue a little. You have a lot of it, and it's very powerful. However, I do think it could gain a lot if you trimmed up some of the tags you have attached to it. People tend to skip over those when they're reading (the whole "name asked/said adverb" combination), so it usually just kind of slows down the dialogue. It might move more naturally if you got rid of a few. For example, the second half of this chapter was made up of the conversation between Mindala and Anhelia. There were no third parties present, so you could probably just nix some of your dialogue tags entirely without having any confusion issues.
As a whole, I really enjoyed this. Your style is extremely dynamic and compelling to read. I want to see more of this world and figure out what the heck's going on with Anhelia and these Eternals! I did notice that this was called "Eternal Anhelia PREVIEW," though. Does that mean you've posted the rest elsewhere, or that you're not posting it online? Definitely let me know.
| ranDUMM 4/14/10 . chapter 1
I actually really liked this! This seems a bit different to what I thought it was, but it was still good.
You talked about a broken elevator all through the story, yet the time of your story was 1124AD. Correct me if I am wrong, but were elevators invented that far back? Not sure, and maybe because oof the magical aspects of the story, it existed, but I felt a little doubtful of that. Something else that I wasn't sure of was 'fuck' being used in the story. I didn't think that it would have been in common use back then, though it might have been, once again, correct me if I am wrong. The language that they use in general seemed a lot more colloquial, laidback and similar to the language used perhaps one hundred years ago, rather than one thousand years ago.
I am particularly looking forward to finding out about the eternals! I feel curious, and am left wanting to know more about how they are brought back to life, and little details like that. I also thought that you handled it with the correct amount of hesitance and tact needed whilst talking about bringing people baack from the dead, to put it in a blunt way, so well done for that!
I thought that the beginning was nice. It was comfortable, and written with a nice flow to the story, so that it didn't seem jumpy, which is good. I thought that the ending was slightly rushed, though that wasn't exactly your fault, seeing as it was a flashback that happens in the middle of the entire story. I just thought that it seemed like you were attemtpting to sum up too much in too little words, or that you didn't have enough to say.
Overall, I enjoyed the piece! It was a nice read that had equal mixtures of sadness and happiness. Thanks for registering at the Lounge; hope to see you by sometime :) Keep writing!
| lookingwest 4/14/10 . chapter 1
Fun opening because you start with a scene that I wouldn't have expected by putting a little twist to the normal Princess. I like the idea of the DIY Princess, I feel like already you've presented some strong woman characters that hopefully will stay strong throughout. It definitley has a creative edge to it! I also think you start with the correct sort of discourse, your sentences are longer and the narrative contains an almost conversational quality.
Yvgenia, though, was a do-it-herself Princess...
-Suggested Edit: I feel like "though" could be replaced with "however" to make the clause less awkward.
Mindala, though, had the dubious advantage...
-Edit: another place where I think it would benefit from being "however" instead of "though" or just do away with the clause entirely.
Have you ever read the novel Pillars of The Earth? It's the only historical fiction I've ever read that takes place around the 12th century. I found this whole part about the elevator thing interesting-I wouldn't have thought they'd have something like that in castles-or maybe I just interpreted the description wrong, which very well could be. I was a little hesitant about f-u-c-k but I think we're in the clear there-pretty sure they had that word since the dawn of time, haha, now I'm just curious to know when and where it originated...
The concept of the Eternals is awesome, I've never heard anything like that before so it's very original, and I think that having two characters who are just starting out in their new surroundings gives the reader a good chance to learn the ropes of your world too. I think you introduced them very well and it was easily followed for an explanation, no confusion here!
The last paragraph seemed a little rushed but then I took it in the context like you said, of this being a flashback of sorts, and I decided I think it fits in that context comfortably.
Overall I think the strength of this was the ease that you had describing everything and explaining the Eternals and everything. I think we got a really good feel for depth in your characters without getting too info-dumpy. There was also a great sense of setting too, but I like that you didn't focus on it too much and instead stayed focused on the characters. One thing I can never get used to pertaining to high fantasy is the extreme detail in which the settings are described-perhaps with the exception of Tolkien, of course. So you've definitley managed to catch my interest with good writing style and flow, and clarity of course. Plus originality, still loving that DIY princess concept!
| sophiesix 4/13/10 . chapter 1
Lovely writing! It’s always so refreshing to read a fic with a lovely strong entertaining narrative voice, great flow, intelligent plotting and a nice pace.
I’m a bit ambivalent about your opening though. Whilst I loved “She had ideas. She had notions.” Because her her character really comes out through that, but opening with a sigh was a bit off putting for me because it suggested the character was bored, which isn’t much of a hook in and off itself :)
But I love the concept of the do-it-yourself princess and her less than successful exploits, and you told them in a very light, flowing, and entertaining narrative voice. Nice! The first half is however very much focused on the princess, so that very little picture of mindala can be developed, whereas the last half has no princess at all and is very Mindala/Anhelia. You could redress this imbalance by adding more of Mindala’s opinions throughout the princess bit, so that her character is developed at the same time?
“"That's right!" Mindala said, far too enthusiastically, trying much too hard. She always tried too hard. "My father is Lord Perenor of Anken, in fact. I'm his youngest daughter. Of fourteen. I think I got too underfoot…” Love how her spirit shines through here, lovely writing.
Oh cool concept of an eternal warrior, and I love that she’s a woman too! And not muscle bound; interesting. Leaves me with all kinds of question about whether they are born or made, and how they live and how they die, and such, which I’m sure you’ll get to in your own good time ;)
Nice way to set up a whole heap of backstory :) And I like the cold-cosy atmosphere their situation engenders. There’s a tension there between Anhelia not really being the hugging type, and Mindala being too polite to hug a stranger, but I think the strangeness of the situation and Mindala’s gogetter attitude is enough to make the scene believable. I was wondering about the use of ‘breasts’ rather than ‘chest’. On the one hand it firmly establishes the femininity of mindala, which is something we shouldn’t shy away from, and on the other hand it emphasises the degree of closeness of their relationship at that stage a lot more than ‘chest’ would. Whether this is a good thing or not depends on where these characters go I guess – its good if Mindala is somewhat attracted to Anhelia, because then it makes sense that she’s aware of her breasts being in contact with the other woman’s back. Otherwise I’m not sure she’d notice it specifically. If Mindala is just a prologue character, and has no future in the plot, it still could serve a purpose in flagging potential future slash relationships. So the jury is favourable but out, as yet!
The other question raised would be if there is too much time spent on backstory here. Possibly. It didn’t get draggy, but you became aware of the backstory being inserted, which is always nicer if its less direct.
“Anhelia settled against her and it was only after a while that she realized, by how relaxed and still she was, that she had fallen asleep in Mindala's arms.” I think the first ‘she’ here should be ‘Mindala’, because the subject of the sentence has changed: it’s not Anhelia that realises.
“It took another hour for the rescuers to wedge the car in place solidly enough that they could risk standing on it to pull Anhelia and then Mindala from the emergency hatch.” Overly long sentence, IMHO. Consider cutting it after ‘standing on it’.
“She had them lift her up so she could grab the lip of the hatch and pull herself up and out, shrugging off the helpful hands.’ I think the ‘grab the lip of the hatch (though a lovely phrase) reads like an unnecessary detail and makes your sentence too long. If you especially wanted to keep it (it is lovely), you could split it into two sentences there.
The ending “the name brought a happy smile of recognition.” is rather mild: it neither feels like a solid, satisfying conclusion, nor is the hook pulling enough to shift the ending into more cliffhanger territory: it feels like it’s kind of wavering inbetween? With another sentence there you could shore it up either way :)
Overall, a great read, some very interesting characters introduced and nicely developed: I’m looking forward to where you go with this!
| dreamshell 4/13/10 . chapter 1
Nice! I’ve actually been aware of this story for a little while now thanks to NaNoWriMo and TV Tropes and have been hoping to see some product of it. I was excited to find this completely out of the blue on FictionPress.
From what I’ve read, I can see you’ve got a rich world set up and are interested in focusing on strong relationships between characters. You seem largely up to the task. That said, I’m wondering if I might bring up a few points?
-The set-up, the elevator/character interaction scene, and the wrap-up mesh awkwardly together. Since this is supposed to be a flashback, you might want to make the interaction in the elevator more succinct. There’s also a lot of well-written but superfluous details throughout that you may want to trim.
-Even with the veiled justifications (Mindala always tries too hard, Anhelia is cold, they’re both stuck in an elevator), the women seem to get too close (both physically and figuratively) too quickly. I would more willingly buy a reserved, tense interaction between them. Maybe what happens is a result of their personalities, but because the story has been pointed out as femslash my attention is heightened and the elevator scene comes off like Meeting Cute (to evoke TV Tropes). I don’t know if they’re intended to be a couple at any point in your story, but it feels forced/sped-up nonetheless.
-It’s obvious you’ve done a great deal of worldbuilding, the problem is I think you overload this one scene. For reasons related to my last comment, too much background on the characters seems to be revealed too soon. If this is a dozen-chapters-in flashback, are the readers going to know a lot of this by now? If so, it’d be unnecessary to highlight them again.
I hope all this is helpful and good luck! D