|Reviews for Convict's Blood|
| Persevera 9/30/12 . chapter 4
I like that there is an alternative to the little girl becoming the murdering cowboy's chattel. I wonder if the elder with the wisdom was the teacher or William, who took her straight to the tutor. Did he have some suspicion that he would offer to teach her.
I thought I liked Victoria before but, no. She might be a little uncomfortable with the arrangement but perfectly willing to let it go forward and be mean to William besides.
| Loraine Wentworth 9/30/12 . chapter 2
Everything about this is really well written. The language and the dialogue and the descriptions really help to give it an authentic setting- I really got the impression of a past Australia, even though I've never been to Australia!
I also like the descriptions in this. They are short but very effective- very atmospheric. For example:
Until lighting stuck in the distance and the cranes flew overhead away from the sea
These kinds of descriptions really drew me into the landscape and setting.
I also thought the ending was very dramatic, with what happened to Aiabadu and the cliffhanger about what happens to Alice after this. This is a really powerful ending for the chapter.
| Faithless Juliet 9/29/12 . chapter 4
I liked how you started this chapter with the dream sequence. I liked it because it was eerie and scattered, like most dreams are. I do think that the first half of the chapter lags when it comes to action. I feel like the last chapter was so full of action and plot development that this chapter almost seems dull in comparison. My main point of contention is where Victoria and Alice are talking about cooking and cleaning, you may want to think about shortening that up a bit.
I really like the introduction of Mary-Ellen as a character. I feel like as far as woman go in this story we only have Alice (who is very young) and Victoria, who seems submissive to me – not bad things, just observations – and I think it will enhance the dynamic of the story to add a feisty character like Mary-Ellen. Keep up the good work.
| KimHua 9/29/12 . chapter 4
This is excellent. You've given Alice a wonderful narrative voice, just as if we're in her head watching the scenes and hearing her thoughts. I like the word pictures you use, such as "His skin was soft and loose like that of a puppy, but it held wrinkles like that of craters in the earth." They're not the usual descriptions one reads. It's refreshing.
| Annything 9/29/12 . chapter 2
Oh, yes, I love this voice. It's so innocent, just like the little girl, and it really fits the setting as well as her personality.
[made her look like a harlot. I asked one of the cowboys what that meant, and he said it was something I was going to be when I was older.] ... LOL I LAUGHED SO HARD AT THIS. I don't know why. :c
Oh, I like the ending. It's suspenseful, and I always feel like when you have a sentence for a paragraph, the words become more powerful, and it really perks up the reader. It was a really powerful ending, and leaves the reader wanting more. Great work on that.
And I like how you tie the beginning and ending together. [I remember the moment I discovered pain.] and then, [And I screamed when I experienced my first encounter with pain.] The beginning wasn't really as powerful as the ending though, since I was very confused with the opening sentence, and sort of skipped over it when I read it the first time. It didn't stick out as much as the ending.
I guess I'm a little confused where the fight was taking place, since you mentioned that nobody interfered? I was under the impression that they were alone somewhere, but that statement says otherwise. Maybe I just looked over where you mentioned it, but maybe more clarification for where they are would help? It's not even a big deal, just a suggestion.
I actually am beginning to like this story, which is so odd since I usually don't go for adventure stories. I think you've pulled it off pretty well up until this point.
| JustAnotherNewbie 9/29/12 . chapter 1
In the second para after the first line-break, it should say: the moon would peer ITS face.
Somewhere to the end it should say: And the woman, rest her soul, did not know everything there was TO it.
I really liked your descriptions, they were pretty vivid and reminded me of old cowboy movies.
I also liked the gradual transition from the carefree chasing-frogs memory to the story time with Grandpa to the news that her Pa was leaving for War. It wasn't abrupt so I liked it.
Overall, really interesting chapter, especially the first bit about the convicts blood tying into the rest of the chapter. I also really enjoyed the various reasons her Grandpa was made to move to Tasmania.
Good luck with this!
| Annything 9/28/12 . chapter 1
The beginning was really descriptive, and painted a really nice picture. Although, there are pros and cons with that. You can either be so descriptive that it bores the reader, or if you manage to capture their attention, they will really enjoy it. I didn't really like it, mostly because of how you started here: [I suppose if I were to begin anywhere, it would be at the dry plains of Australia.] I don't really like how you tell it like a story, simply because it's over-used a lot, and I would prefer a different way to open, rather than in the telling manner.
It wasn't a bad beginning, but it's just a bit over-used, you know? :D
Oh, I love the voice of this character though. It's perfectly fitting.
The ending was good, and summed things up nicely. Great work, and I'll see you around. :D
| Loraine Wentworth 9/28/12 . chapter 1
This is a really intriguing opening. I'm going to be following this story! Alice sounds like a really strong protagonist so I'm looking forward to reading about her adventures.
I like this image used to describe her life:
a piercing scream to the soft whispers
I also think the way you use her Grandpa's story and conversation with her family to give a bit of context is pretty clever. It gives that information in an entertaining way without being too dry. The ending is pretty poignant as you have already painted a picture of a complex family- her sadness was all the more tragic. The last line is really dramatic and effective.
| professional griefer 9/27/12 . chapter 3
I really like your portrayal of racial segregation, it feels fairly natural and, while unfair, not completely over-the-top (for those days, naturally).
I also enjoyed Adam's conversation with Alice's uncle, your dialogue characterized both of them near perfectly.
| professional griefer 9/27/12 . chapter 2
I really enjoyed your dialogue, it felt really authentic and definitely transported me to the time and place of the story.
I also liked how you introduced your characters, you gave a lot of information in a short time without making it an infodump.
I loved your characters, too, they all felt fairly original and interesting.
| Chromatic 9/25/12 . chapter 1
Wow first chapter
The story and setting blends together beautifully and I can imagine it happening right in my brain. The little back story with her grampa was great, it really added onto their family history and such. I can see from the few lines and such that she really does love her pa. And as he does to her. Maybe sometime in the story she'll get to meet her ma? But something tells me that might not happen.
Anyways I think I'll continue to stick around and reading, Alice Anderson has quite a unique life. Keep up the good work!
| scrubbybubbles 9/25/12 . chapter 4
Change none to one: "And it wasn't none of those little meaningless dreams"
Add it before: "Was one of them dreams that scarred the mind"
Switch of with not: "She must of not liked my response 'cause "
There were other small gramatical errors in the piece, but really are too unsubstantial to mention.
I really liked this chapter, especially with the excellent imagery within the dream and the heated argument between William and Mary-Ellen. I found that the entirety of this chapter was both engaging and very much rooted in reality. The story as a whole was much better than average. It, for one, had a unique setting and subject. It also had some very compelling parts to it. There were, however, many things that detracted from its overall feel. The grammar and word choice was definitely on the weaker side, which really broke up the storytelling. Another problem was the fact that the chapters were generally excellent towards the beginning and expecially the end, but were rather slow in the middle. I wish you could've written more consistently...As this story moves from chapter to chapter, I see it slowly develop in terms of quality and clarity of writing. I have a feeling that the last chapter will just be absolutely amazing. Keep up the good work and keep a close eye on your grammar; it will improve your story by quite a lot. I'm sorry that all of my reviews were so long and possibly a bit muddled, but at least I took the time to read it, right? Although you're language did not live up to the expectations I had after reading the first paragraph, I still thought that, at the very least, was an enjoyable read.
| scrubbybubbles 9/25/12 . chapter 3
I liked the beginning of this chapter. You can already feel the sense of injustice welling inside of you (as the reader) and the decription of the change in Umoreo's character. I really hope he plays a larger part in some later part of the story. The writing is startingto get a little clearer here, but there are a few mistakes I would like to point out:
Change "But his face remained the same neutral expression when he first found out about the murder." to:
"But his face held the same neutral expression as when he had first found out about the murder."
Take out "'bout nothing" from "even Grandpa didn't say anything to him 'bout nothing"
Add "it" before "made me upset to think that he would do that to my friend"
It sucks that Umoreo had to move away, but it was necessary to preserve the vein of 'unfairness' running through this part of the story. The fact that you're focusing on this subject really lends a hand to your storytelling, since it will most definitely whip readers into a frenzy over the unfair treatment and inequality of the tribes people. Some more grammar:
Change "hear" to "here" for the sentence "Listen hear girl: society don't give a damn if a black man"
Add move before far: "I wanted to leave, far away, and maybe"
Awkward phrasing: "catching their attention up"
Change it's to its and add he before kicked: "Kicked it's side and the pony slowly strutted past me"
I really like the way you are able to write passages with the intent to induce a certain emotion in the readers. I especially enjoyed (to a certain degree) how you added in the whole part with Adam 'buying' Alice, for it makes the story even more heated. The only thing missing from this chapter is some good ole imagery. Although you were certainly able to advance the plot along very nicely with just dialogue, I feel as if some imagery would help us to paint a mental picture of what's going on. I like the way this story is turning out, especially since I never would've imagined that your story would lead to this point (based off of your fist chapter). As a side note, you should fix the Chapter Title, since it should An instead of A. Can't wait to read the last chapter!
| scrubbybubbles 9/25/12 . chapter 2
This is my review for the second chapter. I know I missed some errors in the first chapter, but you'll have to forgive me...
"hidden within a wrinkled envelope"
This sentence makes it sound like the mail carrier has hooves:
"Then he left without saying a single word, hooves kicking up dirt and dust", change to:
"He left without saying a word, his horse's hooves kicking up both dirt and dust"
You may want to rephrase the following sentences, since they are fairly awkward at the moment:
"I bet it was the blood that spooked him, unlike me. No blood got the best of me cause I knew Pa wasn't the type to bleed easily."
Delete the word peachy from:
"Aunt Victoria slowly approached us, placing her peachy hand"
More awkward phrasing and change "whom" to "who":
"whom had a really strange name. Aiabadu, his wife's name I never learned,and his boy was named Umoreo"
Change the sentence:
"Nevertheless, Adam still thought he was all that, and he was proud to express his opinions" to:
"Nevertheless, Adam still thought he was the greatest cowboy, especially since he was proud of his opinions."
Change "I tired to pull away" to "I tried"
This chapter not only had a lot less grammatical mistakes, but also was a whole lot more interesting. Like the chapter before it, this one culminated as it reached the last few paragraphs. I loved how you were able to work in a realistic touch in regards to racism and prejudice, for it made the altercation between Adam and Aiabadu seem almost like the script for a movie (you could really picture the situation as it unfolded). This chapter had distinct undertones that made the story more sad, which is a good thing. Make sure to capitalize Uncle, Ma, Pa, etc. I wish you could write the whole chapter like you write the end, though...Great ending for the chapter once again by the way
-End Chapter 2-
| scrubbybubbles 9/25/12 . chapter 1
I have never reviewed a story of this length before so I suppose I should review this as I read it. Anyways, here it goes...
The introduction to your story is simply amazing. You give just enough info to hook the reader but not give anything away. I can already tell that your characters will feel realistic and that your language and style will give this story a certain appeal that many other stories do not. The only thing you should change in the intro is as following:
"poor, by the saints and sinners."
By doing so, you will improve the flow of the sentence and it will also preserve the consistency of the antithesis, which will allow you to convey your idea better. Excellent comparison in the next sentence by the way. As I move on into the next section, I notice that there are a number of grammatical mistakes scattered throughout. I'll post the revised sentences below:
"Until I just couldn't run anymore and fell over, smiling as I stared up at the clear blue skies."
"the sun was feeling generous enough to share, the moon would peer it's face into the day's sky."
"croaks loud enough to disturb all of the other frogs and lizards and other scaly things."
You may also want to use a word other than tummy (such as stomach) since it is fairly unprofessional. The following sentences also need a bit of help:
"though, saying something about getting"..."The frog was the only thing that mattered to me that day and I was sad for losing track of him."
"As he twirled, with the shades of browns and yellows from the dying plant life swimming together". So far, you have created pretty good dialogue between the characters and a fair amount of imagery as well. Besides the grammatical errors, it looks like the story is coming along well. As I continue on, I find that there are some words that just don't really sound right or fit entirely in context, such as:
"drawled"-maybe crawled? or something along those lines
"engulfed"-doesn't sound quite right, try envelop
also add "and forth" after "the grass to sway back"
and "He was" before "Always saying that I was" (lowercase on the A of course)
"his" before "thick brown locks"
"one night, asking 'Why'd Ma leave ya"
Add "After" before "Jumping over a fallen tree "
"It" "d"idn't stop me from sneaking about and visiting some of them folk", however"
"By doing so, I was to travel via"
I don't know what it is, but the story suddenly gets a whole lot stronger and well-written after this point, especially when Alice's father is telling her that he's going to war. The last sentence should be changed to this, however:
"My father left early the next morning with only the shirt on his back and the blood of a convict in his veins"
So far, so good...the story has some real potential by this point
-End Chapter 1 (or Page 1)-