|Reviews for Convict's Blood|
| Faithless Juliet 9/11/12 . chapter 3
WOW WHAT A CHAPTER!
First I really enjoyed the symbolism you used during the funeral. The image of the sky darkening and hail falling was really ominous, and I think it worked really well in foreshadowing what would go on as the chapter progressed.
I also liked how you showed many layers to Levi’s character – utilizing both his strengths and weaknesses. I was shocked to read that he was going around with that Elizabeth creature. Poor Victoria but I think the most powerful aspect was the ending. It was chilling, I honestly wasn’t expecting that, and you’ve just upped the stakes of the story big time by doing that. Can’t wait to read the next chapter, update soon.
| this wild abyss 9/10/12 . chapter 2
Your beginnings and endings are always so fantastic. There's a definite feel for both of them; they fit the story, as well as really round out the entire chapter. There's a continuity between them that works really well, making each chapter self-contained, which is a style I've always preferred. I don't think I worded that right...
Your word choice is good, too. Your diction adds to the atmosphere and realism of the narrative.
| Anihyr Moonstar 9/10/12 . chapter 3
Strong opening line. Poor Aiabadu. Sets the mood right away and immediately gives the reader a grounded sense of place.
Love this description here - [Sounded just like one of em rattle snakes that grandpa liked the shake his cane at...] Very vivid and appropriate for the setting.
[Adam only got two nights in jail as punishment.] F*ck Adam. But then, that makes sense, doesn't it? Ugh.
[Then I got awfully angry bout him just leaving without saying goodbye or something.] Commenting 'cause I've seen this a couple times. Whenever you're gonna have her cut parts of words out due to slang, you still wanna put that apostrophe there to show a part of it's been cut out. In this case, ['bout] not [bout], and previously ['em] not [em]. It's more or less like a proper contraction, just showin' where the missin' letters would have been.
[Said, "Then why don't somebody kill him and make everything equal?"] Missing an "I" there before the said. I've noticed you've left it off often enough, actually, and sometimes leavin' off the beginning works due to the sentence structure: [Got me really upset, that did.] But whenever it's not part of the sentence structure and you're just missing it: [Ran home after that and told Uncle Levi all bout what Adam said.] It reads oddly and there really ought to be that first subject.
Adam makes my blood boil. Eughhhh. Wanna drive a heel into his crotch and grind for a few minutes. Good chapter. There's quite a few little technical issues relating to dialogue and sentence structure, though. Do you have a beta?
| YasuRan 9/10/12 . chapter 3
Aiabadu's death was appropriately sad and brought into the story at the right time. Not only does it seem to herald the loss of Alice's friend, but also the loss of her innocence, no thanks to Adam. When I find out the motives behind his creepy attentions to her, I am all the more shocked by his plans to have her as his wife. It looks like a good catalyst for the action promised in the summary. An interesting way to deliver on that and one that makes us root even more for Alice.
Again, there are some diction errors to contend with. This one stuck out the most:
'Says, "Cause he a white man, Alice."
Said, "Then why don't somebody kill him and make everything equal?"'
I think you're missing a he/she before says/said. The colloquial style of the narrative is a good way to get the reader into the head of the protagonist, but don't let it overtake your skill as a writer. Which means paying attention to diction. Otherwise, a good update. I look forward to more :)
| this wild abyss 9/10/12 . chapter 1
In the majority of the places you use hyphens, you should be using an EM dash to have correct punctuation.
I liked the first line, because it hinted at things to come and set up the atmosphere of the scene and (probably) the rest of the plot. I also liked the almost "slang" type of narration you used here, because it helped me get a feel for who your characters were.
| darkworld777 9/9/12 . chapter 2
I liked the part where Alice got the letter from her father and was pleasantly surprised with the contents within it. I thought it was going to be a letter that you get when a direct relative gets killed in action, so to see that he is actually alive and fighting is a good twist. I also really hate Adam, because his personality screams 20th century douchebag. You don' make fun of someone just because they're different from you, especially because of skin color. For all he knows, Aiabadu might be worth ten of him. Also, on a sidenote, the people in this story speak a little too rural to be living in Australia.
| YasuRan 9/8/12 . chapter 2
The thing I liked most about your writing was how you managed to convey a great sense of atmosphere through your characters. Even though Alice is only eight, her narrative voice is refreshingly clear and honest. It has an air of someone wise beyond their years, yet still innocent. Overall, nice and believable for a kid. The rest of the characters were also introduced well and I liked that we get a strong sense of personality from each of them through what Alice perceives of their actions. The complete effect was that of a realistic setting, bringing the world of 1900's Australia that much closer.
The only problem I could detect were the occasional diction errors, like this one: 'The thought intrigued me and for the briefest second, and I almost did it.' where the last 'and' isn't needed. Still, nothing a bit of proofreading can't fix. Keep up the good work!
| Dr. Self Destruct 9/8/12 . chapter 2
I really like how you chose to use an informal narrator for this story, because I think it makes the narration a lot more engaging since it's being told from a child's POV. Even though it sounds like Alice is older and merely reminiscing, you still do a great job keeping the child-like tone consistent. The diction itself is also used well, like how Alice uses a lot of sentence fragments, or how she'll say "bout" instead of "about."
I also like her innocence in regards to her uncle and the lady from the store. I think that's a great way to reinforce her age. Also, that part near the end with Adam and Aiabadu was rather sad - more from the mention of how Alice's father is killing the black people in Africa than from Adam actually attacking Adaibadu. I don't know why, but seeing Alice trying to deny that her father would be killing or hurting anyone really stuck with me.
[It had been six months after my Pa's departure that we received our first letter,]
Style: Okay, I *think* this is called passive voice (what I'm going to address), but I'm not sure. Anyways, if you wanted to make this sentence a little tighter, you could change the "had been" to "was."
[The mail carrier had given it to me,]
Style: Same here. You could make the "had given" into "gave." I think it just gives the sentence itself a better rhythm and doesn't come off as choppy, as well as makes the verb it addresses (given) stronger - but this is a choice entirely up to you.
[The thought intrigued me and for the briefest second, [and] I almost did it.]
Edit: Remove the bracketed "and."
| darkworld777 9/8/12 . chapter 1
The description you put into the story is extremely good. I especially like the beginning, where you described the main character running through the fields. The description you put there makes me relate to the characters, which is always a good thing. I also like your ending, it makes me feel sorry for Alice and how her father has to fight and die to clear his name. It shouldn't have to happen, but sometimes it needs to be done. This is a good chapter overall.
| Persevera 9/7/12 . chapter 2
I like this very grown-up story through the eyes of a little girl. She's exposed to a lot but has her own understanding of it.
I can just imagine how cute she was running into town with the letter, so relieved that her father was alright and wanting to brag on him. You give a good sense of her excitement
| GreatGeneral 9/6/12 . chapter 1
The choice of words and the writing you use was superb. The way you describe the scenery is something really great, you go into very detail explanations. It really helps the reader get into the story and understand the environment that surrounds the character.
Something I would recommend would be to describe the characters just a bit more. Writing what are they wearing, or other visual characteristics can tell a lot. For example, saying someone has an unkempt beard can be way to tell that a character has stopped taking care of himself, for example, for being depressed.
| Persevera 9/5/12 . chapter 1
"This life could be described as a piercing scream to the soft whispers that most unfortunately have." I love this sentence. It not only makes the contrast that you're talking about so well but the particular adjectives you use are perfect for the description.
I like the paragraph about the reason the grandfather was sent from England. The romantic de-bunked by his sons-one humorously and one just a little less respectfully.
The ending was so sad. Poor misguided man, thinking he needed to do something so drastic to live down his family history
| Katerzzz 9/5/12 . chapter 1
Hello from the Roadhouse! Review Payback 1/2!
Wow. This was quite awesome.
If I'm honest with you I've never actually read a story set in 20th Century Australia, and so it's really interesting for me to finally do so with such an awesome opening chapter! :D
I liked the speech, I could really hear those Outback-type Australians saying it, and you've got the diction and what they would say at that time for their socio-economic class down to a fine art. Brilliant.
"Bout time she learn about the purpose of what God placed between our thighs!" my grandpa snapped back-This in particular made me laugh.
I also liked how there was no detail too small, like how Alice's grandpa smelt of onions or having the dirt under her nails when compared to her cousins. It's a very interesting family dynamic you have going on, and I'm intrigued to find out about what her father is doing in South Africa. I assume you're having him go off to fight the Boers? Judging by the date? That's interesting because I wasn't aware of it being the British colonies going off to fight, I thought it was just the Brits. Ha! Would you care to enlighten me either way? ;)
I'm also intrigued as to her mother, WHY she ran off with the Italian...
And I'm also quite pleased you made them ex convicts...I have a convict in my family way back in the 18th Century who was a repeat cloth thief who was deported to Tasmania. Very interesting story.
And this story is AMAZING. I would keep reading but I've literally had like a cats nap worth of sleep today so I need to go and snooze for quite some time but I am favouriting this story (and you as an author :) and will repay your second review tomorrow!
Ciao for now!
| AThousandPromises 9/4/12 . chapter 2
Alice's innocence is very realistic, it's really well done. How she doesn't question anything her Pa or her Uncle said, and how she only knows that her father is 'fighting the bad guys' and she doesn't think any thing else of it.
Also, I was wondering if her Uncle Levi could actually read, or if he was making up the contents of the letter for Alice. It seemed as if he wasn't overly relieved about it, his reaction wasn't exactly what I would've thought.
I love the sentence "If he wanted to make it home before the clouds began to cry violent tears,..." It sounds good and forms images in your mind as well.
| lookingwest 9/4/12 . chapter 1
Then dad starting puffing... [I didn't like that all of the sudden our narrator calls her Pa "Dad" since up until this point he's been called "Pa", because it felt inconsistent with the language you're using in the narration up until then. Why change the accent all of the sudden?]
Said "The whore left me..." [Still needs a comma after "said"]
And I'm sure pa and Uncle Levi... [Since you're capitalizing "Pa" the rest of the time, this should be capitalized too - again, stay consistent when you're editing before you post, etc.]
"Hi, grandpa," I said... [Again, Grandpa should be capitalized, because you'er always capitalizing it before this. These things an easily be caught in the editing process before posting as they're just capitalization stuffs, so make sure you look out for that.]
Unlike pa... [Capitalize]
"Yeah," I answered, "But I can hear it again." [Un-capitalize "But"]
...grandpa said harshly [Capitalize]
"Dad!" Uncle Levi... [If our narrator talks with this loose slang accent, then why doesn't everyone else? Ex: why does Uncle Levi say "Dad" instead of "Pa"? Is he more refined? I didn't get that impression before this.]
"No," my grandpa [Capitalize, but I'm going to stop pointing them out now, so when you go back and edit you'll have to find them yourself if that's okay]
My pa never called his father Pa anymore... [Besides having inconsistent capitalization in this, I'm also wondering again why Levi calls him "Dad", unless the narrator is just encompassing "Dad" as all words that have to do with "Pa" which is fine too. This could be a matter of me not trusting the author, which I apologize for if that is the case.]
Remember than an EM Dash is different than a hyphen. If you're unsure, I think I answered a pretty detailed post in Help With Writing for Small Wings Flying the other day that had to do specifically with EM Dashes - there's also a link to the wiki page there as well, which I always find really helpful.
This ending came on a little abruptly for me with the South Africa twist, but I do like that you ended the first chapter with a bang. You do an excellent job with atmosphere in this story, and I really love that. Though the accent of Alice is a little shaky at times, I would never even be able to begin writing dialogue/narration in this fashion, so I envy your command of it, it's very convincing. I liked the content and I think the setting is really unique because it's set in Australia. Overall this appears like a good piece and the writing is really good too - it just needs a bit of a minor editing tune up and I think it could be top-notch. Thanks for the read!