|Reviews for Putting On My Otter Shirt|
| Dragon made me do it 1/25/12 . chapter 2
I was very excited to see another chapter written of otter :-)
'but seemed a bit less intimidating as him' - should be '...less intimidating than him'
'facing a teenager version' - should be 'facing a teenage version', because in this context, teenage is an adjective
'I could almost smell them talking in their creepy telepathic way' - I love this concept, and the way it expresses something which is fascinating but slightly out of reach of the character's comprehension
'I felt like I was a deaf foreigner, just waiting for someone to come translate to me when they felt like including me in the conversation.' - I know what this feels like, and it is so frustrating. I can really feel what the character is going through, and I think this comparison to our world helps us to develop sympathy for the character.
'A long, broody moment later' - I think broody should be brooding. I can't say why, it just feels better.I do like this word choice very much though. I think this word also comes up later in the story.
'was a stark contrast with' - it is more usual to say 'was in stark contrast to'
You have created a very interesting mixture here of a character with strong intellectual reasoning combined with strong animal instincts. This is not a common combination that you see in people, but this were-character genre allows for this intriguing character mix.
bogglement - I don't know if this is a real word, but if it isn't, it damn well should be, and you should be given great credit and adulation for coining the word :-)
'I was officially a whiney deaf foreigner in need of babysitting.' - You have really hit on a big concept here. This has great parallels with what it must feel like to be an immigrant with limited language skills in the place they moved to, a whole new role in society, and perhaps the qualifications they held in the previous country no longer apply.
Introducing the old cats versus dogs personality type issue into the equation adds another level of complexity. is a human in cats form more cunning, intuitive, analytical and the dog version more loyal, and possibly outwardly aggressive? I think you have made this interplay even more complex than this stereotype.
The complication with rin's mother really helped as a plot device to make it interesting.
Then she giggled again, and it was like pieces of gold were falling into a crystalline blue lake. - I presume you mean the giggle was reminiscent of the gold pieces falling into the lake? I like this idea of a metaphor that crosses between different senses, that we can match up a particular tone of sound with a particular colour and so on.
'I wouldn't be so sure!" She barked amusedly.' - I am not sure if this is correct or not. If the barking was actually the mode of speech in the dialogue, then this is a speaker tag and 'she' should be in lower case. If the barking was a separate act that came afterwards, then this is correct.
'anyone of the food species' - anyone should be two words, 'any one of the food species'
'there's a few who consider it more ethical to eat those who have already achieved the higher plane of existence. There are old stories told to children that even suggest that they've only remained here to provide nourishment for us, and are freed when that has been achieved.' - This is a really interesting idea. If you don't know about it, in the Douglas Adams hitchhiker's guide to the Galaxy series, in the book the restaurant at the end of the universe, they eat at a restaurant where animals have been bred/engineered to like to be eaten. In the restaurant, a pig comes up to them and says 'the best meat is in the rump'. And then there is that whole artificial meat thing, where they have managed to grow meat as a culture without killing any animals. The ethics get so muddy in these areas that it is impossible to resort to simplistic moral guidelines, and each person has to work it out for themselves.
'I figure it might be easier to do if you can't hear them in case they beg for mercy or tell you about a family they'll leave behind' - I agree! I think that would turn many people vegetarian!
This idea of prejudice against Panthers is well done, and is a useful device for comparisons to racial prejudice in our society.
'the normal clansfolk considered humans a sort of not very clever livestock that needs to be extensively taken care of.' - He he, clever observation!
'...rather firmly on
the top...' - there seems to have been spacing error here, understandable given the technical difficulties of the site recently.
'casting a shadow to the entire room' - change 'to' to 'upon'or 'over'
'my eyes still the size of plates' - I like it when metaphors are original and don't resort to cliches. This is a lovely, humorous example :-)
'I'm not that freaked out, I'm, I'm just waking up slowly."' - This kind of parallels the character's experience generally, of coming out of the experience of being human, and adjusting to the experience of being a panther, like awakening from a dream.
'he as obviously just smug' - change 'as' to 'was'
'to sit against the all.' - Change 'all' to 'wall'. Is there something wrong with your W key? :-)
'But it's was all rather sudden' - change 'it's' to 'it'
'he /roared/ at me' - take out the slashes
I like this idea of animals training and shaping the behaviour of humans, turning the tables on how we keep pets.
I am glad you are still spending some time in this writing universe :-) I really like the philosophical meatiness of your stories, which is a rare find. and I am just loving this one :-)
| ShadowsBandit 1/13/12 . chapter 1
Very well done! It draws intrigue and the reader (at least me) want to read further! :)
Though it is great the way it is, there are a few suggestions I would like to make. They are my opinions, so feel free to either take them or toss them.
I felt that this was the least interesting part. The first person idea is great, but at some points it sounds like she is "catching [us/reader] up" on what we missed "last episode". There is not enough detail and some parts don't seem to belong. If the reader does not need to know the information immediately, then why don't you cut it and save it for a better place in the story?
Moving on, it says that she was in some cabin doing odd jobs, and some questions automatically pop up in my head. Where? In the middle of the woods? How old is she? Where and how did she find this job? If she is doing odd jobs, then why does she have an employer? I am not sure if this fact, but the term "odd jobs" makes me think of doing a little work for anyone who needs help immediately. They are not your boss or anything, but they pay you for the half hour you spent cleaning their garden (or whatever you did for them). Regardless of whether her work is classified as an odd job or not, I feel that you could even just describe (in a word or two, five max) what she does. I think this gives it another dimension and allows that reader to visualize what she is doing and then emphasize with her.
Another detail that kind of bothered me: the girl is being hunted by her friend. How old is this friend? If you came in contact with a bear and it took one of your friend's life, would you hunt it down for revenge? There would have to be a pretty strong connection between you and your friend. It's the same with her and her hunter friend. You should throw in a line or two hinting at their relationship. You could say that the were-panther girl misses her friends and family too. But I thought it was really funny, so you try incorporating it another time when you can really stres the emotions (and humour) thoroughly.
Also,I don't exactly understand her feelings towards living by herself... alone in the woods... a young (and I am assuming pretty) girl... forced out of necessity to run... Does she like living like this because of the thrill and freedom? Does she hate it? Is she impartial? Does she worry about robbery all the way out where she is (since she bolts up her door nightly)?
There was also another problem: I had no idea what a werepanther was. I looked it up on google, and it told it was some cross between werewolf and loin. but instead she is a shape-shifter, restricted to her human figure and that of a panther's. If you want, you can clear that up immediately, or let the reader clue in by themselves. I did understand what she was by the end, so it's still good the way it is.
So what I would suggest is leaving out the part that she had to run a way because of an embarrassing incident and reveal it later when you reveal more of her past. Instead, you could try focussing on the the way she lives (ie. she is depressed and lonely, and wishes to tell somebody of this secret she has kept for many years). This way, when Kariya comes around, we won't be thinking: why did she do that? Or why isn't she trying to escape from him?
The middle was good, but there were a few sketchy parts. First, she has a problem with him talking. She has been a werepanther since as long as can remember, and she never once uttered a word, not even by mistake? She also has a hard time believing that they can speak. Why not? She of all people should be able to sympathize immediately. If she doesn't for some reason, maybe you should say something like: "I often think that this is all a dream -after all, real people don't shape-shift into animals". This way, we understand that she is absolutely isolated from others like her and caught up with the human idea of her own existence. Now when she meets the hound, she can't believe that there are others like her that can speak.
Secondly, I do not understand the offspring bit. Why is the cub of the rouge clan cursed? What actions are so evil? Having a kid like every other animal? Also, why does the council care about these pathetic little strays (compared to them)? He tried to explain it, but it flew right over my head.
What a cliffhanger! I absolutely love the council meeting. I couldn't help but laugh my way through it. Especially because they think that she deliberately ignoring them like a spoiled kid who is upset with her parents.
Some positive aspects: good job in incorporating humour. You explained the important details fairly well. Both characters have strong, distinct personalities. Overall, it was really good!
So, keep writing and I can't wait to read further!
| Dragon made me do it 11/11/11 . chapter 1
Nice one, I really liked the premise of this story, the way it flowed, particularly in the last two thirds, the characters and relationships - the main character and Kariya are very strong characters.
I love that you start your summary with: 'a perfectly normal werepanther girl'... as if to be a werepanther is the same as to be Russian or something. hehe.
'...ended with him deciding that I'm too engaged with my work to be a partner' - I wasn't sure at first here whether you meant business partner or romantic partner. this wording is a bit unusual, perhaps something like 'I'm too obsessed with my work to have time for a relationship' would be more common.
'I felt the strength and freedom of the panther me was in some ways present in my everyday life as well.' - interesting thinking. You are really fleshing out what it means to be a shape shifter here. these subtle points makes the story much more developed.
'But in that case, would the question of clans mean that there were so many people with the same condition that they needed to be arranged into clans within that family?' - I found this sentence a bit awkward and hard to follow, it might work better to break it up a little.
'The knot that had formed in my stomach at the sight of the hound turned into anticipation as the panther me took over.' - This is great, really well thought out detail that adds an extra dimension to your story.
'We rolled on the floor, a mess of claws, teeth and fur, and when the ground stood still again, I found myself pinned down.' - great imagery here, this kind of thing that really makes the story flow.
Oh, and I love the dialogue and unexpected interaction that follows.
I found your description of the different types of speech shape shifters are capable of interesting.
You describe well the conflict between choosing a human or Panther life, and how neither community really understands the other side of them. This is similar to the situation somebody is faced when they are an immigrant or person of mixed parentage, tied to 2 different communities, but not fully accepted by either one.
Interesting that your shifters turn out clothed when they become human. In true blood they can only ever shift naked. probably a good excuse to show lots of nude scenes?
haha! I love this idea that the entire human race came from shifters that bred with the wrong species...ahh clan... so they were forced to be human all the time. There's really a philosophical element to this story that goes beyond pure fantasy and cuts to the nature of where humans see themselves in the scheme of living things. This really downgrades us to something much lower than we like to think we are. and it's such an interesting spin on creation stories as well.
Oh please please please finish this story! I got to the end and really really want to know what happened next!
'I was getting late from work' - did you mean 'I was getting late for work'?
'brought to track down me' - change to 'brought to track me down'
'while scrambling to be distracted by everything and anything else.' - I think the expression is 'anything and everything', not the other way around.
'I pulled out a chair and sat on it, to which Kariya responded by another low growl.' - replace 'by' with 'with'
'I think Kariya missed a step at my question' - replace at with in
'my attention was drawn to to a handful of creatures' - take out the second to
| Tekla 1/15/11 . chapter 1
Hmm, interesting premise.
After going through the first half of this chapter, I feel like everything moves REALLY fast. A little background, a little plot, and BAM we're in the middle of the action already. While this is useful for catching attention, it doesn't really give us any description or outlines for how your world actually works. I would suggest a little more time before delving into the meaty part of the plot, if only to explain the norm.
I also found it jarring when everything about life was seemingly normal until the narrator suddenly explains that they're a werepanther. Like, whoa! First, awesome, but second, what? There was very little indication that this could even be a possibility until this part of the narrative. The limitations of this universe had been clearly defined as similar to ours, but with this bit of info it was just a little discombobulating. Know what I mean?
[["Yield, or I'll tear open your throat!"]] Do you know anybody who actually says "yield"? Why not just "stop" like somebody would actually say?
[[serious impairment in people-reading.]] or dog-reading. XD
also: what gender is the dog? XD
The parents bit raises a LOT of questions. What happened to them? Are they dead? Why was she with Millie? And why doesn't the dog seem to care?
What happens to her clothes when she changes back? o_o
So she goes to work the next morning? Err, that's great, but Mr. Dog said to ignore it. Wouldn't he be back by the next morning to lead her away rather than let her keep working for several days?
thought of possibly even" - weird page break. There's another one in the first paragraph, too.
Oh, clothes. That might've been good to mention earlier when she was shifting back.
forget" - another random page break.
I feel like there is a huge lack in the description department. I don't even know what the narrator looks like, or even her name! Please try to include more of the senses when you write - what it looks like, how it feels, how it smells, etc. That'll make your descriptions and things way more vivid and realistic to your readers.
Best of luck plotting and stuff! *pompoms*