|Reviews for A Web on Fire|
| Anihyr Moonstar 10/3/12 . chapter 1
I find this to be really intimidating to dig into. The first thing I'm hit with is multiple large paragraphs weighty on description and explanation, and since I'm not already dedicated to the story at that point (the opening), it's daunting to face that from the get go. (And when some paragraphs are seven, eight, and even nine lines long and longer, those simply need to be broken up somewhere.)
Some of the paragraphs of description I'm sure can be cut down - and if what they describe is necessary, maybe the important information can be gradually laced in later as the plot goes along.
[The bell rung] The bell *rang* (a rung is a noun - like a rung on a ladder)
Now, after all that complaining, I do *like* some degree of the description - you paint the scene well, and I think you have the opening to an interesting story here. I think if the plot picked up just a little faster and some of the extra wordiness was cut into, it could be spruced up a lot. Not a bad start, and certainly intriguing. :)
| Highway Unicorn 9/4/12 . chapter 1
I truly enjoyed reading this because of your beautiful diction. There was a extremely good amount of imagery going on, and I believe you successfully painted out the picture.
I like the plot, the whole thing about highschool girls getting some badass powers, like visions, is rather cool. And that is exactly what is happening here. However, and this is just me and how I like things, I want to see the plot develop just a tad faster. Just a hair faster, really. So far we've been introduced to the antagonist and her powers in a beautifully crafted set of paragraphs, but that's it. I guess what I'm trying to say is I like your plot and I just want to know what's going to happen next :P
| hassi158 8/6/12 . chapter 2
I like this chapter because of the well-done descriptions that were used. I am a description Nazi so I usually love well thought out descriptions of scenery or anything just extra to really feel for the characters.
One thing I disliked is the usage of inverted commas for speech rather than the common quotation marks. I kept thinking that they were all thinking rather than speaking.
All in all, this was a good chapter and I enjoyed reading it.
| Dr. Self Destruct 8/6/12 . chapter 2
[ No matter how many disasters befell them: floods, fires, storms, tragedies…it seemed people never learnt their lesson.]
I didn't really like the use of the ellipses here. I think an em-dash would suit it better. It could just me be, though. Whenever I see ellipses I think of Twilight because I know Stephanie Meyer has a thing for them, so I might automatically hate them because of that (unless they're used in dialogue). But uh, yeah, I think a dash would be better, lol.
[Heaven had not ceased its mourning amidst the helpless anger that rolled through stormless clouds by the time school finished for the day.]
This sentence sounded a little convoluted, too. Maybe break it up or re-structure it, especially since it's the first paragraph. I had to read it a few times before I understand what it was trying to tell me or describe to me.
I'll be honest, I wasn't much of a fan of the dense descriptions. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy description just as much as the next writer, but the ones used in this were a little too... I guess ordinary, maybe cliche. They just didn't stick out to me as being something I've never read before (or haven't read often), or maybe a unique metaphor that really stood out and made me stop to think, "I've never thought to describe it like that." Because of that it made the pacing drag a bit.
| professional griefer 8/6/12 . chapter 2
I really liked the dialogue, you characterized Reikou really well and her bubbly personality really made me smile.
(I'm not allowed to comment on the length of the descriptions so can I comment on the quality?)
Your descriptions were absolutely gorgeous, as always. You have insanely good taste in what word goes where, though it is a bit long winded.
The last sentence was really nice, but I think the impact would have been much greater if you cut out some of the descriptive words. I think it could be very powerful if it were shorter.
| lookingwest 7/3/12 . chapter 2
(return review #2)
Stray hair strands could after all find themselves into someone's voodoo doll. [Enjoyed this detail.]
I like that you extended the rain language into this second episode/chapter. It's cool to see that as a common theme in these two parts.
'What Neko-chan's name?' ["What's", I think]
Good scene between Shourai and Reikou, I thought the part when the girl joined them was cute. Good visuals and conversation there, it was realistic.
...they returned to their usual state resembling thin twigs wrapped together with vine leaves. [Another detail I liked - and another Murakami moment I think.]
The pacing for these episodes so far feels quite slow for me - if I'm to view it as a manga/anime kind of deal. I don't read manga (I have but I'm not big into it) but I do like anime a lot, so I do find myself trying to fit this into a "show" in my head while reading - and so far not much has happened. It's just kind of been a girl introspectively thinking and then talking with her cat. Which as a story and narrative I think works well...I mean I almost question this being in the manga category. Why does it have to be manga - just because it features Japanese culture and language? I think you could easily bump this into a different genre and it wouldn't phase me in the least on a prose level. Your writing for this just seems so much denser than I expect when thinking of manga writing (especially compared to those I've read in the past - and yes, this is a compliment, haha). Anyway, those are my thoughts on it so I wanted to mention
Finding the introspective moments intriguing. I'd love to know more about the temple and her sight and how that might come into play in the future - perhaps it will become more "manga-like" as the story progresses. Her sight is definitely something I see as fitting into that category, but then for me that could also sit snug in Supernatural. Overall though, good piece!
| lookingwest 7/3/12 . chapter 1
(return review #1)
The students at Shinjuku High School benefited from the downpour by remaining in the classrooms during break; according to school regulations, it was the only circumstances they were allowed to do so. [This confused me, mostly in the second clause after the semi colon. Do you mean to say: "according to the school regulations, it was the only circumstance in which they were allowed to stay indoors"? Or something like that? The plural on "circumstances" confused me since rain is only one circumstance.]
You know my opinions on ellipses so I'll just leave this sentence here, haha.
...counterpart group who observed the boys on the oval... [Ah, I'm thinking this is a cultural thing. Not sure what "the oval" is. But I'm assuming it's like a playing field? You don't need to change this since I'm pretty positive it's just a different name for something than what I'm used to, haha.]
The rest occupied other classrooms with the quieter lot, talking at normal volume, just loud enough to be heard but ignored by those, a mix of girls and boys, grossly absorbed in reading, writing, studying or drawing on their own. [This felt a little bit muddled for me. The comma after "those" and after is where it sounded odd. Why not, "...just loud enough to be heard but ignored by a mix of girls and boys grossly absorbed in reading, writing, studying or drawing on their own"? I don't think the commas are needed after "those/ignored" or "boys".]
Save for the ellipses, :3, I liked the paragraph about the humanoid figure! That was intriguing. I also liked the paragraph after describing the sixteen year old in maroon. The way you described the difference between her uniform and the others was well done, I liked that attention to detail.
I don't know if it's the setting of this story or the writing - I think it's a combination of both, but the paragraphs when she's describing her fortune telling/vision kind of stuff, it felt very similar to Murakami's style in 1Q84. I'm just reading that book now, and I'm only a little ways in, but your narrator narrates a lot like Aomame about these things or even Tengo too. Very calculative and slow. It's an intriguing style of writing for me - one I don't know if I could ever master or begin trying, but you've got quite the knack. If you haven't read Murakami, I suggest him!
'It invites us to look at the raindrops more carefully,' the pale raven-haired male explained... [Not a fan of the speaker tag here, it feels very clinical for a story to call someone "male" instead of man, especially because I think so far in the story people have been girls and boys? So you don't call the girls and boys "females and males" in a chapter near the beginning - it was odd to hear it said now. Maybe if they were all consistent it wouldn't bother me though, so it's up to you.]
Just as it was humans... [This paragraph reminded me of one of your other pieces. An interesting theme for your writing]
| Nanumi 6/17/12 . chapter 1
Subject matter; high-school girl with psychic gift. Cliché. However, you write eloquently, and with an interesting element of pensiveness that sets it apart from the hordes of other stories on this theme.
Content wise, I liked the first few setting-the-scene paragraphs, but I felt that this went on maybe 50% too long; past the explanation of Reikou's gift and the example of the drunk, I felt things went a little stale with pacing. Nothing actually really happens.
Spelling, punctuation and grammar all stand up to scrutiny, as do your use of Japanese terminology; the explanation at the end is a thoughtful footnote, not that I particularly needed it, but others might.
The last line leads me to think that this might turn into some sort of 'save-the-environment' story, which would follow the trend of a lot of Japanese series; I'm eager to see how you're going to handle writing more without being formulaic. I like your style, your 'voice' and your tone, and the main character interests me; good start.
| Blood-Lion 6/3/12 . chapter 1
Mastefully written, and it looks to be an interesting concept. Can't say much else, since this chapter merely explained the protagnist's ability and circumstances among other brilliant details, so, I'll be looking forward to future chapters
| Brendan Rizzo 5/13/12 . chapter 1
Well, you wanted me to review this, so here I am.
I am certainly impressed. This looks like something a certain one of my friends, who is a professional, could have written. It's better than anything I have under my belt, for sure. Which actually leads to a problem when it comes to reviewing. I can say very little to help improve a story that is actually good. The only thing I can really say is that the paragraphs are a little bit too long. Sometimes I got lost in the walls of text.
Now, you wanted my opinion on whether or not this was like a manga? Well that's a bit difficult to say. After all, "manga" is simply the Japanese word for "comic book". I think the name of this section is a misnomer, because nothing on this site is a comic book. All the description certainly helps it seem like a manga, which is as much a visual medium as a verbal one, but at the same time a pure-text story like this can't emulate that exactly because a reader of a manga can just look at the entire scene at once. Therefore, I will have to make this judgment based on the story's content. Not much has happened yet, but from the looks of things Reikou is of a certain character archetype prevalent in Japanese media, so so far I don't see anything blatantly incongruous about the setting. However, because there is only one chapter which is more description than anything else, I will need to wait until more chapters are available before I make my decision about how much like a manga this is. I think that you yourself said that this first chapter was only a small part of what you intended? In that case, I wait for updates.
I hope that this information is of use to you,
| Rogue Energizer Bunny 5/7/12 . chapter 1
Manga? Never read it before. Interesting.
I feel this might be a little slow-paced; it feels like it cycles around a lot without getting to the point very quickly? That's just my interpretation. IDK.
What you said about red was really fascinating. Red's my favorite color, so. Yeah.