|Reviews for Civil Combat|
| Dr. Self Destruct 6/18/12 . chapter 3
Hmm, I wonder where Clark is going to end up. Perhaps he'll cross paths with Rex. Whenever I read a story told from more than one POV I always try to think of how the characters are going to meet and when. It's a fun game.
I think this scene with Rex was very powerful. The part where they're all lined up while Coach Carver looks them over was very cool, and I thought it was a great way to go through the members of the team again and help reinforce character names since there's quite a few of them. I thought you also characterized Coach Carver really well. I see him as a total hard-ass, maybe almost like a drill sergeant. And Boss seems to be afraid of him as well - at least, I get that type of vibe from the way he backs off when Carver tells him to. But maybe it's a mixture of fear and respect.
I really liked the brawl between Rex and Drake. I think it builds up the suspense of the overall plot, because seeing how Rex gets his ass handed to him really helps put their situation into perspective. Especially enjoyed the part where Rex spits in Drake's face. It makes me remember how Rex mentioned in the first chapter that his team is willing to fight dirty. I also felt sorry for him afterward, and I don't like seeing Rex so vulnerable and beat up. ._.
The ending was good as well. It shows how little faith Rex has in himself and in his team. I wonder if getting more training will change that.
Nit-pick time, yay!:
["There's a large man in the kitchen. He wants to talk to you." He grunts and rubs his eyes before standing. "You've got pen all over your cheek," I say.]
Style: You may want to separate the first action tag from the rest of the dialogue since Rex is talking and Boss is reacting. It's more just to keep things from getting cluttered, because sometimes having one person speak followed by an action from another person can be confusing.
["Go get the rest of the team up, Rex." I grumble and walk away as they lower their voices, like two friends at a funeral.]
Style: Same with this example. And this one comes off as more confusing than the last with the mix-up of dialogue and action tags.
"Listen to me, he says.]
Edit: Missing an end quote on the dialogue.
"Don't worry, I whisper.]
Edit: Same here.
[Boss gets his hands under my arms ands half carries,]
Typo: - and
| blackflier 6/18/12 . chapter 1
I like the idea, but there will have to be some depth to it to make it interesting. Of course, this could be added later on.
The two different sides are a really smart idea.
I think it pretty annoying however that the earpiece talks aren't between quotations. I keep forgetting that someone is talking when it's in italic.
| Michodell 6/17/12 . chapter 1
Wow! The intro to this really caught my attention. I was immediately thrown into Clark's world. I get a sense of his personality, what he's going through, his mindset, as well as his voice. The voice here, by the way, is very strong so great job with that.
The ending of this first chapter really sets the reader up for anticipation of the second. I look forward to reading more!
I really don't have any criticism that would be constructive. Any flaws/ word choices I found were mostly differences in writing style.
| inorison 6/16/12 . chapter 4
Well this took me more than long enough, mm? *laughs* Sorry about the delay.
As for this chapter... I'm liking it, definitely. You're building on the tension of the last chapter, with other teams wanting to shut down Nindara 1and help out Rex's team, and yet you're also hinting at why things are going the way they are. Nindara itself is clearly outmatched by Sileria, and it seems like Nindara was trying to avoid war and might just have failed at their attempts.
There's a lot of ways that this story could go, and I'm definitely looking forward to continuing to see how it plays out.
Also, I know you feel a little embarrassed because of Rex's scene, but I found it kinda cute, in a sad way. Really underscores just how much of an underdog that team is. And how bad things are, too.
| Ric Pike 6/15/12 . chapter 1
It's a bit short but I can dig it. It seems like these gladiator-esque stories are all the rage nowadays. Luckily for you, I've never read one so my opinion will not be swayed by similarly themed stories.
It's interesting to get a look at two teams that I would assume are on opposite ends of the ranking chart, how they function and feel about the competitions. I am also interested to see how these fights work, and what exactly are the consequences.
| lookingwest 6/15/12 . chapter 4
I open my mouth to tell him this, but then I remember what Boss said yesterday about not pissing him off, so I don't say it. [Like I said from Ch. 1, I really love Rex's narration, and this is a great example of it. I liked this whole paragraph, and especially this line, because I thought you had a good balance of tongue-and-cheek humor while also dealing with a more serious subject: that maybe these kids can't read, and they don't know common bathing aids]
For some reason I'm just not a big fan of scene breaks...I'm not quite sure why as you do a good job of this chapter of a necessary one. But I can't help but try to bridge it with a sentence ein between like, "And then a little while later, Avery said,"" or something like that... No. That's probably a bad idea. Hmmm...yeah. Don't do that. Stick with what you have.
The fight with Alex was amusing, haha.
Hmm, I'm not sure about the uneven-ness in this chapter between Rex's narrative and Clark's narrative because it almost feels to me like the author while I'm reading, might favor one character over the other and I'm not sure about that. Also I felt maybe Rex's narrative wasn't as loose as it was in the first chapter with the "'cause" kind of slack language-it felt a little inconsistent there, maybe consider just getting rid of the slack terms in the beginning of the first chapter because that's where they stuck out the most. Anwayy, like I was saying, Rex seems the fan favorite, and even the author favorite, but I'm not sure you should show that favoritism, if indeed you do favor one over the other. Perhaps actually giving each perspective its very own chapter while you write might even their narratives out enough in length where you wouldn't even need to purposely try to make them even. I feel that helps when I write my story with three-rotating POVs. Trying to combine them together might give less to one character the other, especially if they are both supposed to be main characters, which I feel is happening in this story so far.
The gun drops to the ground with a heavy thud... [Floor, if they are inside]
Really liked the ending sentence/paragraph with Clark's POV for this chapter. Great final-epic-line and it promises more to come. This chapter on a whole felt different than the others because it was more meandering with the dialogue in Rex's section, the fight with Alex, etc. More characters, more conflict, more dialogue more length though, so that can be a good sign too. Setting was better here for me, but I could always use more descriptions. Wouldn't be opposed to more literary device either, like the brussel sprouts sentence a few chapters back. Would love to see more imagery evoked. Don't be afraid to have fun with it, especially in those more gore-fight sequences!
| lookingwest 6/15/12 . chapter 3
By the way I'm really sorry if my reviews sound super rambly and weird, I had some brownies earlier and they were really good. I totally give you permission to point and laugh at anything I say in these reviews. Anyway. Onto the review. So by the end of Clark's narrative (I haven't read onward yet), I find myself wondering already if this is going to be a story where Clark's #1 team has to somehow train Southside Skatli to become even better than them and there will be perhaps the possibility of training montages...it kind of sounds like a really good 80s movie, but I'm hoping that I didn't just untangle a maybe-plot from this so soon, I like to be kept guessing. But anyway, his narrative voice was well done, consistent with the others. I could really feel his struggle through this, especially towards the end. Would still love more description on your setting and the details around him, even what the other character is wearing or the mannerisms, etc. Loved the reveal though of the Southside Skatli being the opponents because I thought you executed it well and I liked Clark's description of the way they fight/look, example of details I'd love more of! Love the corrupt government comment too, it's all coming together!
...Oh my gosh I almost hit submit until I realized I didn't read half the chapter! Phew, haha! Moving on to the next part, duh...
I liked the brussel sprout comparison, there's another great example of your details. Liked it because of the way you made it good literary device of metaphor to say that he was a big man. Revealed it well.
He grunts and rubs his eyes before standing. "You've got pen all over your cheek," I say. [Since the "grunt" is almost basically a dialogue response, I would actually put it in its own paragraph, and also put the "You've got pen..." into a new paragraph too.]
There's a grunt, and he pulls... [This grunt might seem a little too close to the other grunt description for me]
"I've heard he's mad," Ronnie says. "Like, crazy mad." [Loved this, for serious]
I almost feel like you don't need the line break into the next scene, but that's just me. Maybe even bridge it with something like,"We fall into shock, and even though we're still in shock, Carver has us lined..."
"Don't worry, I whisper. "He's just mad. [Missing a quotation after "don't worry"]
"You-" He stops and snaps his fingers at Boss. [Use an EM Dash here, not a hyphen]
Like that our age groups get sorted here with Rex being sixteen. I felt like perhaps that wasn't such a good thing either, so I'm expecting the rest of the team to be older-or at least Clark to be older. It just felt like it was frowned upon.
My back hits the ground hard... [Floor, if they are inside]
His weight crushes me into the ground... [same as above]
The second to last chapter was confusing for me because a lot of stuff was happening all at once. Like it almost felt like there was some tension there with time-like I felt as though were were glossing over the next few weeks and not just one evening. Maybe take a moment for further description to slow down the pacing there.
Still wondering by the end if my plot will turn out to be true and the actual Nidara 1 starts helping train them...we shall see! Oh, and I loved the inclusion of the girl warrior. Hopefully she's not the only girl-that also comes off a bit 80s movie to me. So far this story sort of reminds me of the more Gary Sue underdog team formula, but I'm hoping to see a good twist in this. Like I said, I enjoy the political spin the most-more things like this would push this story over the edge in a good way (for me). Onward!
| lookingwest 6/15/12 . chapter 2
I like that you introduced the concept of this world's civil concept thing right away because it did a great job clearing up any unanswered questions from the first chapter and because I think it's good to establish the situation right away. I'm not sure about how fast the plot conflict came on though, it felt a little quick from Clark's perspective, but I did like the descriptions of his emotional response to the news because I think it characterized him well and it introduced more ideas about why this new law is bad or not favored. I like how you ended this chapter too, because it had a good flow of sentences in the second to last paragraph. Short and to the point, making them bolder and bolder until the last line. I feel like it's a bit of a poetic technique too, which I appreciated. Great attention to Rex's narrative again, too. Liked the mention of the marble floors with Clark. I would've appreciated even more on the setting, so don't be afraid to add more of that in if you do another edit-through. I'd love to see some more detail on clothing as well, I think you can fit that into the story easily enough. Like I didn't picture what Clark was wearing on his feet until you said it towards the end of the chapter, and then it drew attention to the fact that before that moment, he could've been wearing anything or nothing. But other than that, I really can't find anything that jarred me too much in this chapter. I'm really enjoying it so far, I'm just also wondering a bit about age ranges. I really feel like these should be young adults at least, maybe mid-twenties even. In the first chapter they came across to me that way, but in this chapter, especially from Clark and then how Rex made breakfast, maybe they're much younger. I'd be afraid of going too young because of Hunger Games, but to be old enough to do professional sports for independent teams, I'm sure you might have to be out of high school? Well, haha, anyway! I love stories that make me come up with lots of questions...it's a good thing. Looking forward to more!
| lookingwest 6/15/12 . chapter 1
I really dug Rex's POV, I think I like it better than the second, which is something that surprises me because when I first started reading, I was a bit skeptical about the slight accent with the "'cause" language, which can annoy me in a lot of cases...save for this one, because I got used to it pretty fast! I think you did a great job with the narrative voice for Rex because you had a good command with writing even sentences that give us information about setting/situations and sentences that give us information on characters/emotions. So it all worked out to your advantage. Some great moments. I did like the second part too, it got me more intrigued about the world you've created, and what this arena is all about. If it's going where I think it's going with the hint about taxes and everything, I think you've created a unique story of a dystopian future-save for the bit of Battle Royale/Hunger Games , but I like that you've made it so much more political thus far, and it sounds like the narrators are above the age of 10 year old children, which is good I think. Looking forward to more!
| Animel 6/15/12 . chapter 1
What I really like about this chapter is that it can almost work as a complete piece on its own. It makes you want to continue to read to figure out what these circumstances are, how the two voices relate to one another, and of course what will happen, but it has a satisfying feeling as it stands.
I don't have any real criticism for you this time around. It's an interesting background, the simplistic political system makes me laugh. Can't help but wonder if it wouldn't work better. And it definitely takes some interesting characters to fight in it. The only thing I found a bit unrealistic was Rex's disparaging description of his own team. I understood where he was coming from, but it sounded like a 3rd person description, so it was an odd choice to have it coming straight from him. For example, why would he know to mention a hook and uppercut if he doesn't know the difference between them?
All in all, I'd say it's interesting with no real problems. Keep on writin'!
| HerpDerp 6/15/12 . chapter 1
So... I saw the name Rex and the first thing that popped into my head was that really big dinosaur with the tiny arms.
[You've probably heard of us.] Omg, I totes have! In my history books, with all the dinosaurs! rawr, dinosaurs, rawr!
I got really bored after that sentence. ooh, Clark? Clark Kent? Superman? What is he doing in here? Shouldn't he be saving Lois Lane or like, stopping bullets with his eyeballs?
And who is Mr. Greasy? Is this like a mash-up of West Side Story, Superman, and Jurassic Park? Because I'm pretty sure Superman is going to win. But I bet Superman has never fought a T-Rex, so this should be fun.
I can't wait to see the article Lois Lane is going to write on this!
| Mr.fluffypants 6/15/12 . chapter 1
Nope never heard of you nor your captain Kirk- oh I mean clark.
Stop killing fp.
| revenggeeeee 6/15/12 . chapter 1
OMG, suuuuuuch a Starving Competition ripoff. your characters are, like, soooo dumb and Reg or whatevs is such a girl.
| this wild abyss 6/14/12 . chapter 3
“we have enough money and influence to have our will anyway” [“have our will” sounds stiff and formal. Try “get our way”]
“crushing a couple mangy, untrained kids” [Missing a preposition here: a couple “of” mangy, untrained kids”]
I liked how you showed the two teams’ reactions to learning that they would fight each other. It showed off their respective mentalities, Clark’s and Rex’s in particular, obviously. I did find Clark’s reaction interesting, though. His idea of a rabid puppy was unexpected, and I’m starting to reevaluate my opinions on his character based on the metaphor.
I’ve said this before, but I do feel like a lot of background information is needed at this point. Rex is only sixteen—is he an orphan? I’m guessing Clark is about the same age, but he seems more privileged so I doubt his parents are dead. And again, how exactly does the Civil Combat system work? Without any explanation I feel like I’m swimming. Yes, I get the gist of the story, but I feel like a lot of finer points are missing.
| this wild abyss 6/13/12 . chapter 2
I liked how you opened this with a bit of comedy. It was a nice pre-stage to the more serious second scene with Clark and his Coach. The breakfast scene was pretty funny, all told. I loved how Rex knows he can't cook but still defends himself and cooks anyway. I did think in the beginning you might have tossed out too many names too quickly—if you asked me now I don't be able to tell you who was who. It's no big deal, but if you come back to those characters you might have to re-introduce them a little bit, to refresh your readers' memories.
Your characters seem to be interesting. Rex seems like a nice guy, and I'd like to learn more about him now that I know he can't read—his background sounds like it would be pretty interesting. Clark does as well, though in a different way. I get the impression that he's from the other side of the tracks (the "right" side, if you will), and that his perspective on things is going to be a lot different from Rex. And I like that you're getting two different points of view with this. It's going to make the story that much more rounded and it'll have a certain depth to it, from what I can tell.
My only question here is about the Civil Combat system itself. Obviously, it's a big deal in how this society functions, and it's important to both Rex and Clark. Yet I have no clear idea what it is. Is it like modern gladiatorial games, only in groups? Are there rules? For such an important piece of your plot, I'd think you would take the time to expand on it a little more. Just a thought.