|Reviews for Bay|
| Dreamers-Requiem 2/26/13 . chapter 12
You have a great balance of description, action and dialogue. It works brilliantly to keep the reader engaged, and the tension remains strong throughout. I love how well the personalities of the characters shine through everything, and you can almost feel their desperation. Great style, and the imagery works well to help move the reader along and help us really picture where they're going. You don't let it move too fast, either. Really enjoying it, as always.
| Dreamers-Requiem 11/18/12 . chapter 11
I really like the interaction between the characters; there's the hint of tension and awkwardness between them, overlooked in favour of just getting out of this alive. it works really well. The more action type scenes are done well, they're clear and easy to picture. I liked the atmosphere you built up, too, especially near the end when they're in darkness and Anke's main worry is checking Nolke over. It shows a lot of her character, a lot of her being a mother and shows how important that is to her, and pulls that aspect off really well. Great stuff.
| Loraine Wentworth 9/28/12 . chapter 1
I think the writing flows really well in this chapter. It's hard to describe what I mean, but it could be due to a good balance of action, description, and dialogue. You describe the characters well, too- in a good amount of detail.
This is a nice introduction to the characters and their lives. Almost just from Roldan's body language, the way he rolled the jar, I was able to get an impression that he was worried about the shop. Even the dogs have personality!
The ending is really effective too. I definitely got a sense of a menace lurking outside in the darkness, that jumpy feeling you get when you think there is something downstairs in the night...
Anyway, I enjoyed this and will be reading more. I'm sorry it took me so long to return the review.
| Dreamers-Requiem 9/16/12 . chapter 10
I really like what you've done with Sivan's character. He's coming across, now, as a coward, especialy when compared to Anke. Of course, his fear is understandable, but there's the feeling underlying it all that he's happy to play the hero when it may serve him, but more eager to stay hidden and cower in a corner when the big stuff kicks off. It's almost like him and Roldan are travelling in opposite directions - Roldan becomes more likable as Sivan becomes unlikeable, and vice versa. It's something I haven't really seen done well before, but it works here. Great stuff - love the story and you build up the tension really well.
| Rogue Energizer Bunny 8/28/12 . chapter 7
WCC PRIZE REVIEW CONGRAAaATS So I waited as long as I could to do this, in hope that I'd find a time when I could really put some effort into. But now the deadline is coming (here? :/). Shit.
[Characters]: Roldan is still my favorite character, especially in this chapter. You've done a great job giving him depth here, with the way he's acting around Anke. I think it develops him a lot - it shows he has multiple sides, instead of being single-dimensional or whatever. I have some difficulties connecting with Anke. I guess, as a main character, she doesn't have a very distinct voice.
[Relationships]: I love Anke's and Roldan's relationship here. It definitely wasn't the direction I was expecting this to go, but I think it fits both their characters. Anke's desperate to make their marriage thing work at this point, and Roldan's... awkward and not actively trying to push her away, at any rate, so the random rekindling fits.
[Plot]: The aforementioned (big word O.o) "random rekindling" does great things for the conflict. For Anke, it's a big problem and stuffs. What's she going to do about The Other Guy now that she's happily married again? It's an interesting development, and I like that you took it in a non-cliche direction.
[Pace]: Pacing of this chapter's great, mostly. The, erm, sexy scene fits in perfectly - just a tidbit, and not awkwardly long enough to mess up the momentum of the chapter. I think pacing in, erm, those types of scenes are the hardest, because it can turn into I TOUCHED HIS AND THEN HE AND THEN I AND yeah. I thought the dream dragged on a little long, though, but maybe I'm just missing the significance of it?
Well... I think that's mostly passable.
| Dr. Self Destruct 8/23/12 . chapter 6
Grats on the WCC win!
Beginning: I thought you did a great job leading into this chapter from the previous one. Although it's been awhile since I read chapter 5, I was able to pick it up because you backtracked enough to remind me what had happened, but not to the point of sounding repetitive. I think you also do a great job setting the tone and getting Anke's emotions across right here in the beginning, and it's interesting to see how her emotions here contradict her emotions at the end of the chapter. She starts off wanting Sivan gone, and then... well, she doesn't seem to really want him gone so much anymore.
Relationships: I'm a little torn on this strange relationship between Anke and Sivan. I can understand from Anke's end why she would be attracted to him. First he saved her life, he's a stranger, and he's also a shape shifter. One of those mysterious bad-boy types, and he gives her a passion that Roldan never did. So I can totally see it from her end. But from Sivan's end I'm having a little trouble being convinced that he would be so into her. I understand this is only the sixth chapter, but until I see or get an inkling of a reason behind why he's pursuing her as fervently as he is, I'm not too convinced his feelings are genuine. Right now I get the feeling he's only using her for some other means. Because of that I don't really like or trust him.
I guess what I'm trying to say is, they don't really seem to be equals in terms of capabilities and intelligence. Not sure if that really makes sense...
Writing: Your writing is so fluid; I really enjoy it. You give just enough description to get the scene across, and you do a wonderful job addressing the character's emotions while they're interacting with one another. While the action is rather mellow in this chapter, I didn't once get the desire to skim. The narration isn't exactly poetic and experimental, but I really enjoy the simpleness behind it. Everything is clear, easily understandable, and I'm never left sitting there scratching my head trying to figure out what you're attempting to say. And I also love how you bring the setting into the story as well, like when Anke and Sivan are walking down the street together.
Scene: I have two favorite scenes. My first one would have to be when Sivan turns into Roldan, because I think that's a turning point in Anke's characterization where we see she's really not as adverse to the idea of seeing another man behind her husband's back as she might at first think herself to be. All it takes is for Sivan to do a little trick, and she's pretty much game to doing whatever with him. I thought that showed a lot about her and what she might do in the future, too. It makes her come off as a little naive and easily wooed, though. Not sure if that's what you're going for with her character; I'll admit I was really surprised when she went with him so willingly.
My second favorite scene would have to be where Sivan grabs her and presses her up against the wall to kiss her. I thought it was well placed how you described the motion as 'possessive' because it immediately gets this feral feeling across. Which makes sense, considering Sivan turns into a wolf and stuff. It makes me wonder if he's technically more animal than human since he's a shape shifter.
| YasuRan 8/21/12 . chapter 7
As the previous few chapters had been so Sivan-centered, I liked that you gave us more of Roldan here. You paint a picture of a gentle giant of a man, a caring, loving husband who isn't used to showing just how much it does. What Roldan and Anke's relationship lacks in passion, I think they make up for it with warmth. It comes through perfectly in the love scene and the memory of Nolke's birth, both realistically written.
One nitpick I have is the transition from Anke remembering the morning to the actual scene itself. The segue was a bit confusing and I had to reread it to make sure that she was actually remembering a past event, instead of it actually happening. I suggest inserting a page break to avoid that confusion.
That being said, the actual scene was well done. It wasn't an overly emotional scene but it was heartfelt nonetheless in its simplicity. There is Anke's pain, relieved by Roldan's steady presence, and the eventual joy of their son being born. All of these flow very well into each other and I felt that this longer scene was more satisfying than the brief ones of the previous chapters. I also thought the warmth of the love displayed here negated the discomfort caused by Sivan in the last chapter.
The closing, I thought was another plus for you. Now that you explored more of Roldan and Anke's quiet hard-earned married bliss, the presence of shadow - figurative or otherwise - casts a frightening tinge to what we readers expect of future proceedings. It has me wondering whether this has anything to do with Sivan or the other creatures lurking about at night. Either way, it's a good way to keep the page turning to the next chapter.
| YasuRan 8/21/12 . chapter 6
I liked that Anke took the initiative in handling the situation with Sivan, even if it was indirectly through Roldan. It was unexpected to me, since I supposed that she would keep the whole thing secret, but it makes me wonder how this will affect her relationship with Roldan in the future, now that he knows his wife has trouble dealing with a flirt. Roldan's reaction to her request also had me puzzled. This is where I really empathized with Anke's frustration of not knowing how to read her husband's reactions, or lack of. It makes her that more interesting, now that I can identify with her at least on that aspect.
Sivan's sudden appearance was a catalyst of sorts. In keeping with the quickening pace of the plot, he stirs up all sorts of hidden desires in Anke. I find it interesting that it's not of the carnal kind (as is common with most affairs) but something which runs deeper. I like how you explained her feelings: clearly and without justifying them completely. It felt more natural, since she can't entirely help herself for feeling the way she does.
I can't say I like Sivan, but neither does Anke, not wholly from what I can gather. What he seems to represent to her - and me, by proxy - is an object of fascination, from his appearance to his attentions to her. I hope to see him grow more as a character from here, because he does show potential in these short scenes.
The surprise kiss was one I found unsettling. Then again, I'm guessing that was your attention all along for Anke and again, by proxy, for the reader. I do commend you for keeping her dignity. It makes me root for her, thanks to that show of strength. It adds much to character and makes her more likeable.
| YasuRan 8/21/12 . chapter 5
I enjoyed the opening scene. It seeped of warmth and a quiet sense of familial love. The first line itself was also a good hook, given the attention paid to poor Picket last chapter. Again, the Roldan/Anke interactions were very good and reminiscent of a comfortably married couple. I like how he makes sure to include her in his decision making and the positive effect on Anke becomes apparent as I read on.
Contrasting with the last chapter, I felt that the Roldan/Anke/Sivan dynamic was much more balanced in this one. As Anke retreats from her cozy life with Roldan to pay an innocent visit to Sivan at the inn, her suppressed desire for a little freedom grows more obvious. With the conversation with Sivan, it's finally realized when he puts that desire of hers into his own words. I actually wouldn't have minded if this dialog would have been longer; this is indeed where the tension between them feels more tangible than it was in their previous interaction.
Sivan felt more realized here. There's a mysterious and also somewhat sinister element to his character, as implied by the closing line. While Anke has good reason to be wary of him, she finds it hard to completely erase his presence from her mind, even when he's physically absent. I felt the same way as a reader.
The pace seems to have picked up here. Anke's seems destined for a tightrope walk between her family and Sivan, which piques my curiosity as to how she'll handle it. Yet it's not too many details at once either, which works a slow burn kind of build-up. It's like the main elements of the story are finally converging together: both the relationships and the supernatural creatures on the prowl.
| YasuRan 8/21/12 . chapter 4
Anke and Roldan's interaction was as realistic as it could get. I like how much seems to be implied by Roldan's actions, even if he doesn't say much. It's a pity that Anke doesn't appear to perceive as much, or that might be the effect of the attack bearing down on her. I find it a little strange that she should be able to read into her husband so well, yet be unable to be moved so much by his sparse - but quite sincere - attempts at caring.
The dialog between Anke and Sivan felt a bit stiff in this chapter to me. Perhaps this is because of his being a stranger, but seeing the effect he has on Anke, I expected something more charming and/or enticingly elusive. He didn't hook me as well as he did Anke. Creative use of language would have gone a long way in establishing him as a character to look out for, apart from identifying his 'shifter' identity.
On the other hand, I felt the writing was solid overall. There were good descriptions, though I would have appreciated some more depth from Anke at this point. We get that she is a young wife and mother, but little beyond what is implied from these roles. She's a decently written character, but not one that stands out.
Spelling and grammar gets a clean check from me. The structure of each passage seems carefully positioned, which is pleasing to read. While the plot may be a bit slow, it's always nice to come across a chapter reveals attention to the little details of writing.
| lookingwest 8/19/12 . chapter 23
Oops, I totally forgot I was also supposed to give you a prize review for WCC - I forgot I was in that WCC, XD
So without further ado, your prize review! :D
Opening - Good opening because I like how you detailed her getting back across the wall. The whole jumping the wall, getting back across the wall activities do seem like a good way to also get more wordage in Nano, so this might benefit from some tweaking too. The activity feels a little tedious in that sense, so perhaps them seeing an opening/crack to get through and then pass back through would make it more plausible/less tedious and also work well with the drama of the last chapter - Anke could more bluntly say "Screw you!" and run away into the shadows.
"...happening."Another... [A typo]
Scene - Ehhhh I'm not sold on this scene of explanation for Sivan's character. While I like the information well enough, I think, the way he tells it to Anke with minimal reaction described from her side - emotion-wise anyway, was a little too stilted. I would've liked more emotion from them again, similar to what I was wanting from the earlier chapter. Anke's acceptance of "I might forgive you someday" felt a little too scripted, a little too dry and not quite to her character given everything that's happen. I wanted a bigger BOOM from that scene reveal on Sivan's part. The reaction just wasn't there for me.
Pacing - The pacing in this was a bit slower towards the end because of the explanations of Sivan's past and that whole reveal. While I commend his character turn and how well you've managed that transition in these past few chapters, I felt it could've been quicker here pace-wise. We get the third re-telling of his story here and I do like how his story feels told three times. Beginning, middle, end - and in the end we finally get this real story on his behalf. I like the mention of his wife being like a warrior and stuff. Totally badass! Also, it's cool he can control the shadows, I liked that imagery.
Characters - Specifically a note about Sivan too - I feel like since it's revealed his coping with this madness/split self throughout the story, not to mention the trauma of his past, he should maybe be visibly wrestling with this through the rest of the story up to this point too. I still want this to come as a surprise though, so it might take some balancing, but showing Anke seeing him wrestle with his beast urges and stuff might be good to include - she could be confused and not understand it but know to be wary of him because he seems kinda crazy - OR better yet, you could bump Nolke up to a talking-some-words-age, and he could have seen Sivan and starts dropping hints early on, or even vis-versa with Roldan. Someone could witness him having a breakdown and the suspicious fun can start! I only wish we'd seen more of this from Sivan earlier on, since it seems like such a cool concept. Although I realize, given the nature of NaNo, this moment might've come organically too. Either way, I love what you've done with his character, he's very complex!
| lookingwest 8/19/12 . chapter 22
Hello hellooo. I'm reviewing you instead of planning for my Comp I course, you are special!
Ahh the niggling, it's back! heh, that's totes your word, you're the niggle monster.
I liked that image towards the beginning of this chapter with Sivan standing in the sun, would've wanted to linger there a bit longer too. I think what some of these shorter chapters need are description, not just of setting but of expression and people. I'd like to be reminded every once in awhile if Sivan, for instance, has any blood on his face, if his clothes are torn (what he's wearing, for that matter - I've kind of forgotten by now), and details like that. I think you could really buff the writing up a bit in that way. What you have here isn't bad at all, but maybe you can find something in suggestions or anything else I'm throwing at you, xD.
Ah, welp - I have to say I kind of saw this coming, as I mentioned in the earlier chapter it surprised me that Anke jumped the wall and went with Sivan but it doesn't surprise me that she would backtrack and go for Roldan. While I like the falling out these two have, I felt maybe it was a little too "NaNoWriMo" in the sense that it might've come organically instead of planned. Anke's arguments and Sivan's arguments were a little weak in my opinion when death is on the line (lol I feel like I'm quoting The Sicilian). And Anke was quick to judge - at the same time I wanted more from Sivan. He never defends himself, which of course could be a character trait, but he's falling flat. As if he's just letting all of these things happen to him. If he's going to turn out to be the antagonist in this chapter, I really want a bit more spark from him, more raw emotion. The low blow of him accusing Anke of leaving Roldan behind was a little almost out-of-character for me. If he's so cunning to lead her this far and trick her, then why have such a weak argument/attack? I want him to be stronger, in that respect. Or for his past traumas to get the best of him. I feel like this chapter would be an excellent time to draw that out in his character. Give me some really big blow up fear/anger/regret/sorrow. Right now it's just mono for me and I crave more emotional unbalance, haha.
I kind of agree with AJ here on Anke's accusations too, they were a tiny bit confusing in regards to the Nolke bits. I'm wondering if she's accusing him of an even larger conspiracy, that he brought the beasties to their city and he's kind of the human antagonist in all of this, or if she's just accusing him of being an obsessive creeper who stared outside her window. I remember when she lost Nolke at the beginning of the story and Sivan brought her back, right? I'm wondering if she's accusing him of being the beastie in that situation too. So several different things I think she's accusing him of - and I think you could really draw their argument out to get the full story from both sides and lay down what each person thinks. That's again, where I think you could get some really raw organic emotion going between the two of them in their relationship too. This is a big fall for both of them - there should be more screaming and rock throwing involved in my opinion, heh. Also, eep, bore Nolke. He's being thrown around recently, also he's probably traumatized for the rest of his life given the last chapter. I think we already have a sequel planned.
Oh right, I see where this is going. Anke goes into battle with her knives, she dies tragically in Roldan's arms while Nolke sees the whole thing. Then he's picked up by Sivan and has to be raised like a dog for years and years and has a terrible childhood and never understands his father. Then he learns that his parents actually died from this well known Bay accident and he goes crazy and seeks revenge. SWEETNESS.
Ahem, sorry. Anyway, I did like this chapter, I just want MORE from this chapter! The character plots continue to twist and turn and I really can't predict how things will play out in the end - it's quite exciting!
| lookingwest 8/19/12 . chapter 21
The stillness of the air weighed heavy on The feeling of unseen... [While I know you don't want grammar, this is a typo for the "The" capitalization and I think you should at least go un-capitalize it if only for the presentation aspect, though you can keep the sentence the same :) ]
I like the idea of you combing the previous chapter with this chapter - I suppose I spoke too soon about the ending there, so that's mainly why I think that's a good decision. Will clear up the kind of stilted cliffhanger I was feeling earlier for sure.
I gott say, Anke really isn't seeing reason right now, I feel bad for Sivan being at the other end of her frustrations, as he seems like he's being one the wiser at the moment. I thought both reactions were in-character though. It's always been hard for me to completely accept and love Anke too, and her hitting Sivan and getting all frustrated with him was another moment of me sighing. At the same time - hey! she eventually does see reason and I really like how you dealt with that scene. You emphasize this was a hard choice and you have her go back and forth. It *would* be a hard choice. I felt terrible but as a mother and with Nolke she had to do it for her son and I think you're going to get a lot of different reader reactions to this which is cool too.
I like that Sivan persisted with his argument and at the same time doesn't deny any of his character flaws. That's subtle and good character development I think.
You use "niggled in her brain" twice in the last chapters and I'm not sure how I feel about the saying. I notice it each time...I don't really know why I'm pointing it out other than to just say that, hahaha. It's an odd description/saying I've never heard before but that could be because it's regional too.
Good ending to this, but I wanted more description of the world outside the city - the daylight for instance. Is it kind of foggy/misty/rainy day daylight or did they basically fall into Oz with the yellow brick road? We get the cobblestone description too and I'd love more on that. Basically that whole ending could use more setting description for me. I did like what you did with the darkness though, keep that, that was really good. Loved the way it was described as feeling on Anke's skin and everything.
Overall this store takes an unexpected turn here. I honestly thought she might go back for Roldan because well, it would make for the more interesting story for sure. But at the same time this isn't yet the end and we still have a few more chapters to go. So I know there's more - there's still hope for Roldan perhaps. That makes me really want to read on to see what these last chapters could be about!
| lookingwest 8/19/12 . chapter 20
Setting - We get a real horror story moment with Glenna and the flower girl dead and I know this is terrible for me to want, but I kind of wanted to linger there a little longer. We get a paragraph of the description where we can't really tell their bodies apart, but beyond that there isn't a lot of gore and I think we could use more given the nature of the story. It wouldn't hurt, anyway. I'd also like a deeper description of the location here too, as this is a shorter chapter I think you can lengthen it a little more that way. Make the descriptions of the setting itself work with the descriptions of the desecrated bodies, maybe, and I think you could really bring the setting to life in a horror-show way.
Relationships - I liked these earlier chapter moment between Sivan and Anke. While I remember loving Roldan you do a great job messing with us as readers. Really, she'd probably be good with either man, xD, but, given that she has Nolke she needs to go find Roldan. Still, we get another glimpse in this chapter of "what could've been". If Nolke and Roldan were dead - only then could I see Anke and Sivan together. Without that it just ain't gonna work.
Opening - I really loved your opening two paragraphs in this chapter, they were great, especially the second one. I just loved that imagery that you convey about staring death in the face. When you go through in another draft, I strongly urge you to keep those images and the way you describe Anke's reaction to the beast. It's a very big moment and I think you did a great job giving it justice for both characters.
Ending - I'm not sure how I feel about the ending here. While I love the suspense I feel it's a bit old-school Goosebumps or something, where you get to choose your own story, haha. Maybe create this same ending with different wording so it doesn't seem so stilted or story-book. I can almost see the kid from Princess Bride begging Grandpa for more story at this point and while that's a classic concept I dunno how I feel about it completely here. I do, however, think you've created an adequate cliffhanger. Can't wait to see what happens next!
| Dreamers-Requiem 8/19/12 . chapter 9
I'm really loving the style of this. Build up of tension is brilliant, especially in terms of drawing me in and keeping me gripped throughout. The characters remain very likeable, even Roldan, and the ending there...well, just, how could you? The emotions are described perfectly; it's not too over the top or flowery, but the descriptions of how they're feeling really enable a reader to emphasise with them. Anke makes a great protaganist. Great stuff.