|Reviews for Leitmotif|
| Nihongi 5/19/13 . chapter 1
A darn good read. I loved how you weaved Felicia's (lovely btw) appearance into the actual context of the story instead of just throwing the physical description out there. Comparing her to her mother not only reveals Felicia's appearance but also sets the stage for their relationship, which looks to be a rocky one.
I also loved your usage of words and imagery to create your world through this unique characters mind.
"Her violin does what her pills cannot: it steadies her heart while her mind works its way around the drugs. She presses her chin into its body, picturing it pregnant with symphonies, the notes of which pass through her skin, into her bloodstream. The stems will break off of them, leaving the tiny blueberry-black fruits to sweeten her soul.
Wonderful line that shows her dedication and theraupetic values of her playing. Great job!
| AlternatingCurrent 3/18/13 . chapter 1
I really love the way Felicia hears the world. The beginning captures the reader right away. I like that you didn't just stop at "Her head explodes itself awake every morning" but also described the way she would search for the pieces when she woke up. The ending is poignant and makes me hope that she really can succeed when it is "just (her) in the world". There is quite a bit of description of the food at the start that seems a little out of place. Maybe if it was also described more with the sounds of the cooking, it would fit in better with the rest of the story. Overall, a beautiful piece.
| Compton 9/29/12 . chapter 1
This was a good read. I enjoyed the description you used to describe this girl. She has a beautiful name by the way. You described what she felt, what she hears and sees so perfectly. Her thoughts are all cramped together in everything that she does.
However, I wonder where you can go with this. If it is not a one-shot. Are you planning to continue? If you are I would like to see more of what you plan to do with Felicia. I don't understand what in the world she is going to do next. Maybe you have a plan (and you most likely do) but keep up the good work.
| Dreamers-Requiem 9/2/12 . chapter 1
As always, the use of language really drew me into the piece. It's fascinating, and the way you create certain images always has me in awe. I love the way you convey the story of this girl, the way you allow the reader to really get to know her and understand what she is going through. It's very subtle, too, and I found myself re-reading certain lines again and again, each time as exciting as the last. The one thing I will point out - and this is just a personal preference thing - is the use of italics. In some cases (if not all) the emphasis isn't needed, and it can be just a little jarring. Maybe consider just having those words in normal type? Let the words speak for themselves, perhaps? Like I said, more a personal thing than anything else. But yeah, great, great piece.
| Small Wings Flying 8/9/12 . chapter 1
Interesting way to start, particularly since the word "ballad" immediately dispositions me to music and that violent image really contrasts that. Clever usage of words and contrasting imagery there.
[pieces of skull, pieces of red brain-matter.] - I'm a science major so this might be rather picky, but brain matter is usually described as grey or white, depending on whether you're talking about the outside or inside. I think grey was on outside. The red is the BBB. Blood, not the matter itself.
[She keeps her eyes close,] - closed?
[,in case she has not imagined it, that the horrible truth is spread wet and thick over her sheets. ] - I don't like the way you've worded this. You don't need the first comma - jarring. And that last phrase is a little out of sorts. There are a few more awkward phrases and places with unnecessary commas, but I don't need to c&p them all. :)
What does quiet sound like - perhaps quote the "quiet" it reads a little oddly otherwise
I really love how you use the music motif; it almost creates another world in juxtaposition with the more bitter reality. The music to fill the void of sorts; this would have been a great entry for July's WCC. And the last scene nicely complements that, no sound when she shook the plastic.
| ohsocyanide 7/19/12 . chapter 1
Your opening is so strong. That simple sentence is probably enough to get a reader hooked right off the bat. "Her head explodes itself awake every morning" sounds catchy and a little confusing, but it's so intriguing that I want to understand just what's happening and why her head does that, or if it even actually does.
I noticed that in some of the dialogue, you use periods instead of commas. With the "good morning" scene, I feel that commas would make it flow better since the characters aren't performing any actions while speaking. There was also a "had" in there that should have been "have," I believe.
The dialogue between Felicia and her mother seems awkward and stiff, in some way. Things felt a bit forced between them. I'm not sure if this is intended or not. I can feel a tenseness between the two, as if her mother isn't the best or does not give Felicia the attention she may need or desire. Is she lacking in some way and that's why their relationship seems off? That's the general feeling I get from this piece, but I don't want to assume. Also, the relationship between Madhuri and Felicia felt a bit more real, almost as if Felicia connects better with the maid than with her mother. I like that, in a way.
I connected with the math scene well. It's never been my strong point, and so I related to Felicia's general confusion with the subject. It takes me a while to grasp certain points of the subject, and I felt Felicia's struggles and her sense of happiness with the grade of a C in math. I'd be happy for that grade, too.
Your description is beautiful in this piece. I loved the way you seemingly turned words into music. I could picture her mother's mouth, hear the heels clicking away as her mother left. I felt what Felicia felt, and it's an impressive feat to instill emotions in a reader. Overall, your writing was very good throughout this piece and I enjoyed reading it.
| this wild abyss 6/26/12 . chapter 1
You have a great way of catching the reader’s attention with your opening lines. This one, especially, is good, because it becomes more and more relevant as time goes on and we learn more about Felicia’s situation. So beyond just being an impacting first line, it has a purpose, and that, I think, is just so cool and shows how much thought has gone into this.
I also like that you chose to narrate in the present tense, as it gives a feeling of immediacy to your prose, as well as a feeling that I’m in the story with the reader. I don’t think I’ve ever seen present tense used to that advantage so well or in a similar way, so, again, very cool.
Felicia as a character is well done. I especially like how you make her thoughts and her condition, which should be ugly or at least a little uncomfortable, into something beautiful because of your word choice and imagery. You’ve characterized her very well, and, in the last scene particularly, I found myself empathizing with her and feeling for her situation.
Overall, I really liked this, just as with all of your writing, your description and prose are fluid and lovely.
"She keeps her eyes close" [Typo: should be "closed", I think]
| Inkspilled 6/25/12 . chapter 1
"It must have been another good dream." - for some reason, this was an amusing line for me.
"the unlucky one that sest off all well-managed plans " - sets*
"The aches rolled over her in spams, "- spasms*
I really like this. I find it a strange combination of situations, though. The characters, the culture, the little details made for a mildly surreal and faintly familiar read. Your descriptions are sharp and vivid, bizarrely interesting. I'll admit, the beginning made me hungry with all that talk of food. I love congee and that deep-fried flour stuff you dip in it. Yum. But anyways, I think this is one of my new favourites that you've written. There's too many good lines to point them all out, but just this one will have to suffice "Empty plastic. An emptier solution.".
I liked that it's not clear-cut- an end and a beginning. Her music is a good addition, a believable one with plenty of real-life examples. Another intriguing, poignant story.
| Dr. Self Destruct 6/25/12 . chapter 1
After I read this I looked up what the title means, and I have to say that it fits this short-story so well, haha.
But yeah, on to the content!
I really loved this central theme of Felicia feeling like she's losing her mind (or is suffering from some type of mental illness). I thought way you opened the chapter was very well done and extremely attention grabbing. For one, you address something that's obviously not true and could be mistaken for a hallucination on Felicia's end (cementing her mental condition very early on in the story), and the gory descriptions were really shocking to read in the first couple paragraphs. But I think it's also a great way to get across Felicia's own feelings for what she wakes up to every morning.
It's also incredibly interesting and entertaining to see how she deals with this mental condition. I like how you never really come out and say what she has, so it leaves everything a lot more open as to what can happen to her. There are so many different possibilities of what symptoms she may suffer from, especially after throwing all her pills down the sink. I thought that was a very triumphant moment for both her and the reader, because I hated seeing the way she was suffering and unable to function the way she wanted to function, like while she was working on those math problems.
The way you wove her music into this was really great. At least she has one thing that helps keep her sane. I also wonder how well she knows how to play the violin. I thought incorporating the music was a great way to show how she's trying to battle her condition, especially the buzzing noise she always hears. Now I'm kinda scared, though, because I always hear a low buzzing in my own ears when I'm some place quiet as well. xD
As I'm sure you've noticed, I love reading any type of story that has something to do with madness or a person fighting the battle of losing their minds, so I really enjoyed this. The tone is a lot different than things I normally read with this theme - it's a lot more elegant and beautiful. Good job!