|Reviews for Non! Je Ne Regrette Rien!|
| Small Wings Flying 7/14/12 . chapter 5
[Good night, Tom,"] - fullstop at the end.
Actually, I don't really like the way you've structured your dialogue this time round. You're being rather inconsistent in this chapter: eg. ["'Non! Je ne Regrette Rien'"] - should end with a comma. ["No, I don't regret a thing," ] - because the next line starts with a capital letter, should end with a fullstop. ["They called her the Sparrow,"] - just before a page break, should end in a fullstop. [was,"My] - no space there. It's rather unusual for you.
I like the ending of this because it shows a little more about Lynn's and her mother's life instead of focusing solely on the old pensioner, and an extra element that suggests there's some family strain, ie. the mention of Tom. Makes me curious to see what happens next.
Ohana from the Review Marathon (link in profile)
| Small Wings Flying 7/14/12 . chapter 4
I don't like the beginning of this chapter either, because I initially fail to see any connection between this and previous chapters. It's a little too jerking in terms of transition.
I also, truth be told, don't like the statement [The nettle stings could be my punishment for doing Mum's dirty work, but then I'd go, and I wouldn't go back. ] because they seem to be talking about two different things, and in the same sentence like that, it gets rather confusing. Also, the use of "go" twice made me lose a sense of direction. All in all, not your best chapter in my opinion.
| Small Wings Flying 7/14/12 . chapter 3
I don't like the first paragraph too much because, as a reader, it makes me work a little harder than normal to work out who's talking. There should be a paragraph break at the very list, and i also find it a little difficult to put into context.
I like the discussion towards the end because it's a nice turning point for the narrator's life and it gives us a flipside of the other's character, sort of like the breaking the ice effect, but you've done it rather naturally and realistically, like this really is two people breaking the ice as opposed to us reading about two people breaking the ice if that makes any sense at all.
["Have you got any of the CDs or whatever you call them,"] - question mark?
| Small Wings Flying 7/14/12 . chapter 2
I like the length of this chapter because it's far more...filling, and yet encapsulating the same motifs and ideals of the previous one. it's just long enough to keep me interested in both this installment and a next one, and short enough to not simply drag on.
I also like the use of the cat in this because it stands as a very powerful metaphor. It works well with the "cat came back" cliche, and on top of that it incorporates the terror/horror figure that can be behind the cute and unexplained mask, the innocent expression and all. And then there's the whole pet motif as well, and it's an animal that takes up a place in the heart of the home that leaves the narrator without one. nicely employed.
| Small Wings Flying 7/14/12 . chapter 1
I like the strong jabbing imagery of this piece because it really does a good job portraying detail in a short chapter like this while not leaving us in want. The weather doubles up as a metaphor that permeates through the chapter, coupled with the gentle actions and highlighting them even when they are simple things like nudges and the likes.
I don't particularly like the length of this chapter though because it feels like the sort of flash-fiction that abruptedly ends as opposed to a story continuing on. It leaves me in two minds about reading onwards.
Ohana from the Review Marathon (link in profile)
| blackflier 6/19/12 . chapter 2
I love how you write the end as if there's gonna be some great cliffhanger, and then in one sentence remove all the tension. It makes people about themselves for the things they expected at that place. I also love how you give little hints throughout the story about the girl and her life. The willow woman, how she always speaks softly, how her mother wants the lady's money. Not enough to draw clear conlcusions, but enough to give us an idea about how her life is like, and have our own suspicions at the same time. You could add a little more action however, or the forshadowing of action, since at this part of the story I would normally quit since nothing interesting seems to be happening or going to happen. Your language is excellent, never using too common words or repeating them too often. You describe the old woman very well, making clear she isn't just a nasty old bitch or a sweet grandmother, but something more. something interesting.
Afraid there wasn't much constructive cricism there, but it was all I could find. Though I'd write a review about another of your stories for compensationn of my poor review of just a pretty face (which i really hope you'll update soon. btw)
| Kneecap 3/3/12 . chapter 5
typos! i would go through this and pick them out for you, but a) my eyes are stinging, and b) proofreading! in the second paragraph, though, you wrote "swap" where you meant swamp. THERE, I'VE DONE MY BIT.
haha! sadly, my brother uses 'sound' in that way as well...though also, you need to step back from the "whatever that means/whatever it's called" clichés! she knows what it means, anyone could figure it out, and i do get the comedy value, but it was amusing without that extra bit added-on!
i'm quite intrigued as to when this is set, by the bye. some of the school settings and the characters there (as well as some of the words used) are making me think this is set in the 90s?
also: "the hot breezer"? i've not come across that term before?
"Her mouth curled up at the edges like a faded petal, treasuring the memory" - that was incredibly beautiful. floral imagery is nearly always wonderful in my mind, but that really evoked a very touching moment in my head.
i love the carved birds in the wood, as well. that house sounds lovely...
"with a passion that Mills and Boon couldn't wish for" - do you mean 'could only wish for'?
I am with you 100% on Edith Piaf. What a brotherlicking beast. Maaan I listen to her songs every few weeks (also! Her accent was really crisp and precise when singing, so it's possible to actually hear what she's saying, which is always a plus and D). SO HELLS YEAH TO THE EDITH PIAF LOVE.
but i'm quite sad this hasn't been updated in a while :/ it was really warming up to something, and i started to invest in the characters, particularly mrs fennicks and the mystery over her past. i hope, if you read these, you feel just a little inspired to carry on, 'cause i really do think you've got something special here. there are just a few sentences here and there that need looking at for being a bit too clichéd. i shall be adding this to my alerts!
| Kneecap 3/3/12 . chapter 4
"Stepping into the elevator" - we've all been pretty thoroughly americanised these days, i know, but given this is set in (i'm guessing) the uk, surely 'the lift' would be more apt?
hmm, one thing i am noticing that could be improved upon is the typecasting in this. the mum seems a wee bit too nasty to be quite believable, in my opinion. like, the way you've gone out of your way to have her slag off mrs fennicks more than once in one paragraph was a bit...eh. i get she isn't supposed to be a likeable character, but even unpleasant characters have to take a break from being unpleasant every now and then.
also, "Better yet, why don't you take a course? Quiz Uncle James about supply and demand?" i...what? i don't get where that came from at all D: and in the second paragraph, I was quite iffy about your use of brackets. they're the kind of things you should avoid in fiction (use - blah blah blah - instead).
"The slimy egg white collided against the bottom of the pan, the oil hissing" - i loved that! especially 'collided'. a really excellent example of how powerful your writing can be!
"He was tired, he was roasting, he was miserable, wondering, Why am I bothering? I'll die in the gutter, anyway. His bag thudding beside him, he dropped to sit on the hot edge of the pavement, elbows resting on his knees, and huffed, looking ahead of him in silence." - I think you inadvertently changed persons here. it should either be 'why am i bothering? HE THOUGHT' or put in the 3rd person like the rest ('he wondered why he bothered'?)
"A few months later he left school and began walking at a construction site." - typo alert! working*
"It was his pride and joy- he'd literally defend that house with his life." - 'he'd' is a valid abbreviation of 'he would' but in this instance, i got the impression, from 'literally' that that part of the sentence was being emphasised, in which case, writing out the 'would' would make more sense, as you say whole words when you emphasise them, right?
"But, laying in bed, the clock boomed, the wind screamed, the blinds clattered together." - I liked your verbs here (and also, loved the description of the house earlier) BUT it should be 'lying' not laying. everyone makes that mistake, but essentially, 'laying' should only be used when there's actual movement, i.e. when you're 'laying a fork on the table', but if you/the object is already in a supine position (no movement!) it should be 'lying'.
I'm really liking this willow woman, and her place as a motif in this story for honesty and connections with fathers. idk, i love that you've brought a bit of the extraordinary/surreal into an otherwise very ordinary situation. nicely done.
the premise of this story is strange to me, i have to say. of all ways to make one's fortune again, hoodwinking an elderly lady seems an odd choice. unless it's widely known that she's loaded. but whatever the case, it's definitely an interesting premise for a story and all power to you for your creativity.
| Kneecap 3/3/12 . chapter 3
""You've done a good job so far." So far. Did that mean I had to do more weeding? Dear God." - hahaha! RFTXNHBGD I WOULD LIKE TO REVISE MY EARLIER STATEMENT: THIS IS BRILLIANT! though also, you should definitely file this under 'humour' as well because it's really excellently written and i don't think anyone could avoid laughing with this.
"I noticed that the cat was creeping about behind her, it's tail in the air like a cobra waiting to attack." - this is near the end. its*
also, i have some proper criticism for once! both of the lines mrs fennicks says with "or whatever it was"/"or whatever you call them" need to be revised. the 'or whatever they are' trope is a little too stereotypical for my liking, and tbh, I never heard my nan say that. it feels a little too much like what young[er] people think old[er] people say, you know?
also, jazz! i like that they're finally connecting, and i can see where you're going with that! though i get the impression this is going to be quite a short story? (if it isn't already finished; i haven't got to the 5th chapter yet) 'cause it has been quite condensed, but if it's a short story/novella, that's perfectly alright.
your characters are both really likeable, by the bye. you've written them fantastically, and similes like "she lingered on the doorstep like perfume after the wearer leaves the room" really stuck in my mind, especially since you were talking about the overpowering scent of lavender earlier. you're a pretty darn good writer!
| Kneecap 3/3/12 . chapter 2
So, constructively, there were a couple of sentences in the latter half of this that must've evaded your proofreading! I can't find them right now, and my eyes're hurting too much to search more thoroughly, but you should be able to find them easily enough.
Less constructively: this is actually a lot funnier and better-written than I'd been expecting (by which I don't mean to insult you, only to say that things massively picked-up in this, and given the genre of this story, I am just. Yeah. I'm really liking this so far).
I loved the bit about the Willow Woman at the end, by the bye. I'd not heard of that story before, but perhaps, as you've written, it was just a story her Dad made up.
Just generally, this is really good! You play on a lot of stereotypes about old people and awkward people and their problems with interaction, and that cat! What a beauty.
| Kneecap 3/3/12 . chapter 1
So surprisingly, I actually quite liked this first chapter, mostly because I want to know what was with Mrs Fennicks' facial expressions. It's odd really because one usually just associates stories about old people with depressing subjects and death, so yeah, this is an interesting departure from that. I also felt, whether this is true or not, that she was probably very much aware Lynn wasn't a doorstep trader, and that was part of an act of her's. Which also made her more interesting. I just hope this doesn't end up in depressing nonsense and death D:
One thing I was a wee bit iffy about: "Miss". I get that she was being respectful, but I'm respectful, and I'd not say Miss. It just felt a little...Dickensian? Do people still talk like that to people they don't know? Since she knew her name and all, Lynn could've just said 'Mrs Fennicks', which, since she IS a Mrs and not a Miss, would be less offensive, no?
| J112011 11/30/11 . chapter 3
So... how come you haven't updated this story for so long? You have lots of nice reviews, and all of us are waiting to find out what happens next!
I like your poetry, but your prose is great as well!
| J112011 11/30/11 . chapter 2
I like this chapter! Lots of funny bits like:
- "The old lady glanced at the china swans sitting on the shelf, then back to me, an eyebrow raised as though she expected me to swipe one."
- "If cats can smirk, that hairball did."
- "The back garden made a forest look neat."
- "Was the Pacific a puddle to her, too?"
- "Had she been bored one day and doused the place in it?"
That's not a full list of course, but just examples of what I like ;)
The last paragraph is awesome!
| J112011 11/30/11 . chapter 1
Nice beginning! Makes me want to read further, with the mention of money and a mother sending a daughter to see some old woman. Also this little bit "You go and talk to her- earn something for once in your life." sets the stage for most likely not the best mother-daughter relationship.
| Laoch 11/3/11 . chapter 1
A good first chapter; intreguing and perhaps holding much promise through the idea. The plot line itself may not be visible yet, but it already seems like it could be very enjoyable. I also found myself liking Lynn right off.
However, I found that some of the discriptions at the beginning really didn't fit and came out a bit jarring. They just have came off a bit... off. As well, there appeared to me that there was a lot of comas, boredering on over use. Perhaps cutting down on these and flowing everything together would work nicer.