|Reviews for Shanghai Interlude|
| Amei666 2/1/11 . chapter 5
Wait, what? They were engaged? Huang Ma knows them both? What's her relationship with them?
I feel like you rushed over details, leading to these confusing gaps. Their relationships were never developed or even mentioned, really. It's too bad. You have a good premise and many opportunities to show whatever chemistry Ivy and Jimmy have. The only thing I know about Jimmy is that he (seems) personable. You definitely could use that.
The plot has promise, but I had to make too many assumptions to keep up and connect everything together. The characters and the setting are your most interesting points. If you decide to revise (or not. I know how dull revising can be) try using those to your advantage.
All in all, not bad. It could use some work, but considering it's your first story, not bad at all.
| Amei666 2/1/11 . chapter 4
This chapter makes it seem like Jimmy and Ivy have been working together for a while now. Is that the case? I'm not sure...
| Amei666 2/1/11 . chapter 3
The first, fifth, and sixth paragraphs are the only indication of who Jimmy might be. I still have no idea who he is...not to mention the tense changes, again. Very cute chapter, though.
| Amei666 2/1/11 . chapter 2
Can we say "love interest"? I don't know if this needs its own chapter, but very good. I have a good idea of who she is. If there's any criticism it's that you change tenses several times which makes it a little difficult to read, but other than that...
| Amei666 2/1/11 . chapter 1
Sorry for getting back to you so late!
So far, I have no idea what your plot is, at all. Your opening paragraph is great. It gives me a small idea of who your protagonist is, and I would like to know more about him. I know this is finished, but consider telling us more about Jimmy. The more the reader likes him, the more catchy the story. Right now, all I know about Jimmy is his bout of wanderlust. Maybe more of his reaction, his feelings?
Jimmy, who are you?
| berley 10/11/10 . chapter 1
I've seen you around The Globe so I decided to give you some review love.
Hmm. It was a decent first chapter, but I felt that it was missing something to hook me, the reader, in. I think the reason was because you begin the chapter with a lot of back story, which I personally think you should save until later on. Maybe try starting the chapter out with Jimmy already in Shanghai, at his job, talking to the lady with the buns (who was very awesome, by the way) and then go into the back story of how and why he is in Shanghai later.
So far I think you have a good basic start. I like the setting, and I think it definitely has potential! Good job.
| SilverBluu 9/17/10 . chapter 5
I've been to Shanghai a couple of times and its nice to see mention of some popular attractions. I know exactly the kinds of food you are talking about, and the descriptions are fairly succinct.
I'd like to see some metaphors for the things that you describe in general. For example, I've always thought of shao long bao as a dumpling a tiny secret wrapped in thing dough, like a gift that you need to open slowly. Otherwise, the hot soup will scorch your tongue. It's a Shanghai specialty in that its the only dumpling with soup inside so that the novice consumer usually needs to use a soup spoon along with chopsticks.
Consider adding these details like this and it may add some richness to the story.
| xenolith 9/2/10 . chapter 1
'When Jimmy Riley graduated from college(,) he couldn't find a job, at least not in his hometown.'
- Good first sentence, but maybe cut the first comma? And the comma in the next sentence as well. I just think it reads smoother.
'He didn't want to take just any job he could find. So he packed up his things and decided to venture wherever the wind would take him.'
- Suggestion: merge these two sentences together with a comma (haha I'm all over the place in this review, sorry!).
I liked your introduction to the story, it was very simple and direct just all around nice to read, and easy to imagine.
'As public ones go, this one was actually quite clean'
- Too many one's. Perhaps 'as public baths go... ect' instead?
'She really loved it when he -speaks- to her in bendihua local dialect.'
- Should be 'spoke'?
'Jimmy taught her a few English phrases she -can- use to sell her ware to foreigners.'
- 'Could' instead of 'can'.
'Today, work just became a little more interesting.'
- I think this would be better as 'one day', or maybe add a bit more description in and make it one... I don't know, balmy day. So far the narrative has been simple, which I like, but also lacking in descriptive details. What are these local colors, smells and tastes that he had to get used to, that he's supposed to be showing this lady? I would have liked to see more detail because you've got such a wonderful setting here, you should use it to your advantage.
But all in all, this is a promising beginning :)
| sophiesix 9/1/10 . chapter 1
ooh, interesting start! i love the lady with the steam buns! veri hawt. i love steam buns, but its not because i'm biased, she's a really engaging character. looking forward to learning more about Jimmy, and finding out some more about this Ivy, seh seems promising. I"d slso love some more of teh setting i teh first chapter here. a hint of teh small town america that he left, a sniff of teh voyage maybe, but definately i want to be immersed in teh sounds and sme;lls and sights of Shanghai here, so that it sytays with me for teh rest of teh story?
I love the narrative voice, too, it has great flow, especially at the beginning, which is the most important place.
Looking forward to reading more!
| lookingwest 9/1/10 . chapter 1
Jimmy taught her a few English phrases she can use to sell her ware to foreigners.
-Edit: tense. "Jimmy taught her a few English phrases she [could] use to sell her ware to foreigners."
In all honesty I would suggest perhaps beginning with the ending of this chapter, if that makes sense. Try hooking the reader in by giving them a good start of intrigue, which for this, could be the conversation at the end with the beautiful woman Ivy, and then go into the background information. I feel like perhaps you're doing a bit too much of "telling" the reader instead of "showing" us, in the first few paragraphs. Why not show us through the dialogue and the actions and the way Jimmy interacts with others, that he was a graduate with a degree in journalism. There might be more interesting ways to work his past into the present, so to speak. I'd also like to know more about Jimmy as far as how he knows Chinese-if he's from a small town in the US, I'm curious as to how he knows it so fluently without explanation in the narrative. You do explain that he learns quickly, but how could he get a job translating Chinese texts into English if he can't speak Chinese? He'd have to be pretty fluent in it to get such a job, I'd guess. Were his parents Chinese? Was it his first language? Etc.
One thing I did really like about this was the setting, though, I feel like it's coming from a knowledgeable source and I'd like to get to know more about the culture-since I know almost nothing. So in that sense, I think it's fun and exciting, and a change of place from the norm. You tell the story with a lot of frankness, telling us just, this is what happened, very matter-of-factly, and that's not a bad thing, I think it's an interesting style and approach. So far, I also liked the characters you've introduced, especially Huang Ma-I absolutely loved the little detail about slipping Jimmy an extra bun "when business was good." that was a perfect little detail that went in depth with her character development as well.
| FLIPPER66 7/13/10 . chapter 1
OFF TO A GOOD START IT SEEMS. HOPE MORE IS COMING