|Reviews for Age Of Reptiles|
| WhiteWolfWoman 10/9/12 . chapter 5
Great story! I hope they find some flint sometime soon... waiting (im)patiently for the next chapter!
| MusingRaydius 9/18/12 . chapter 3
Well, you certainly had a different idea than I originally envisioned, but it's good. I especially liked the fact that you introduced Nemian as someone who was recreating the watch that Jake used and making him a character that us readers want to know more about. Mostly, I liked how you created a sense of suspense near the end of the story and left a few questions for the readers to speculate about.
To be honest with you, the part where a whole bunch of aliens converge and start chasing Jake and Kayleigh was sort of boring and not up to what the second part of this chapter offered. What I mean is that I really think you should keep a sense of mystery throughout the chapter, for example, with Jake and Kayleigh meeting Grillion, maybe some other generic aliens, and eventually one or two aliens who will try to chase them down (police aliens? Slaver aliens maybe?). Having a whole mob of aliens swarm them right from the get-go is a bit too superfluous in my eyes and defeats the environment of mystery and grandeur in the city. Of course, if you see it necessary to highlight the antagonistic ways of the new world then maybe a mob would work, but I highly recommend that you build up to the chase slower and have less aliens involved.
Grammar wise, there aren't very many mistakes now. I remember seeing a "where" that whould have been a "were", but other than that it was within reasonable bounds I suppose (meaning not enough for me to highlight every single mistake because it really burns turns xD).
In all, I'm am excitied for the next chapter and hope to see more from you!
| MusingRaydius 9/10/12 . chapter 2
This chapter is definitely an improvement from your prologue!
I'll start with grammar first.
1. For "Just as I was contemplating whether or not to go back to sleep, my head lifted as a knocking sounded through my door followed by a voice.", I can't quite name what I'm trying to correct, but I can tell you that this sentence is a bit off. I recommend you change it to "While I was contemplating whether or not to go back to sleep, someone knocked on my door." because saying that "I" was contemplating and then "my head lifted" conveys a sense that Jake interrupted his own thoughts and not the knocking. Also, I don't think you need to say that this was followed by a voice for the sake of storytelling.
2. For "they did something cool a few years back", I recommend you change "cool" to "amazing" simply because you use the word cool shortly after. A little word variation never hurts.
3. For "I've seen him read fine without them, especially when he's reading my report card." you can replace "when he's reading" to "while" because it conveys the same meaning with less words and in a more understandable way.
4. "Optimums" should be "Optimus"
5. "My mom was all ready awake" should be "My mom was already awake"
6. For "I've been told so many dates I have to check what day and year it is when I wake up every morning just to make sure I'm not back in the fourteenth century or something.", I think you should consider rewording this to "I've been told so many dates that when I wake up every morning I have to make sure I'm not back in the fourteenth century or something." for the sake of clarity and faulty structure.
7. "seemed more excited then they usually do whenever I visit the museum" should be "seem more excited than they usually are whenever visiting the museum" to correct the error of having "seemed" in the past tense and "then" to "than".
8. A big thing in writing is showing and not telling, so saying that someone was interrupted is not as good as saying something interrupted him. So, for "He looked like he wanted to say more but he was interrupted by an obnoxiously loud honking sound.", I recommend changing it to "Suddenly, an obnoxiously loud honking sound interrupted him."
9. Right after the time skip, you can change the second "Miss Dickenson" to "She". This removes the redundancy of the name.
10. "glasses on that sit unused at the bottom of her nose and always seems stressed", not quite sure what you are trying to say here with "glasses on that sit". I suggest you reword this section.
11. There should be a comma after "though" in "eleven year olds though"
12. "Mellies" should be "Mellie's" and "goanna" should be "gonna"
13. In "Others were seeing of they could" "of" should be "for"
14. In "Carefully she started to inch forwards", you should put a comma after "Carefully"
15. For "On the inside was a faint glowing pale blue light", "faint" should be "faintly"
16. For "I was just dreaming back in m bed", I'm guessing "m" is "my"
17. For "I felt a cold enclose me and I squeezed my eyes shut tighter.", I suggest changing it to "I felt the lights enclose around me and I squeezed my eyes shut tighter."
Ok, so now on to the story as a whole. First-person stories are generally difficult to do because the writer has to convey the narrator's personality through the style of writing, but you did a good job of this. We can see that Jake is kind of a person who keeps to himself and is genuinely bored with what's going on around him, but what I warn you is that people end up putting every single one of the character's thoughts onto paper and it becomes more of a boring memoir than a story.
The humor (as we Americans always spell things with -or rather than -our xD) was pretty nice, not overdone and right in line with what any eleven year old may say. I wouldn't say you have to strive for humor in every single chapter of your book, but rather just place it in when it comes naturally to you; forced humor is never funny unless you are a comedian.
Plot-wise, I can kind of guess from the title "Age of Reptiles" that Jake and Kayleigh are going to be transported somewhere to a land of reptiles, so I can kind of give a few tips on the plot (These are all my opinion). You did put Kayleigh and Jake together quite fast, so in the next chapter you can maybe expand a little on their relationship. I don't think a chapter full of action next is what you need either. Sometimes people have great ideas that they just have to put on paper, but what ends up happening is just like how a bomb blows, exciting but short-lived.
As for setting, since the characters are most likely being transported into a world the readers are probably familiar with, I say you need a lot of descriptive detail. That being said, don't just dedicate paragraphs to explaining every possible sight, but rather work it in with what Jake and Kayleigh experience throughout their exploration.
That is it for now, and I look forward to the next installment!
| Levi 9/5/12 . chapter 1
I thought that was really good! Defiantly gonna read the next bit :)
| not Ross 9/4/12 . chapter 1
If I may be totally blunt (I have a not-so-endearing habit of being so), this may not get very far into a publisher's busy life. But let me start with the good things.
While I was only scanning this (Democratic National Convention tonight and I'm busy critiquing), it seemed like you really kept the suspense going through all the technical talk, which most people aren't able to pull off. It was a nice build-up without being too long and like, "My goodness, can't they just get ON with this?" It was also just techy enough that the reader feels like you actually pretty much know what you're talking about (rather than spewing random techy-sounding words), but not so techy that it becomes science fiction only-Steve-Jobs appreciates this status.
Along those same lines, you kept the suspense up really well. I'm not totally versed in suspense writing and thus can tell you HOW you did that (in case you just happened to pull that part off really well, which happens to me all the time), but I know that I was interested in what was going on!
There are more than a few grammatical/sentence structure type things, most of which got generally mentioned in one of the other reviews. Two things I will note: 1) parallel structure. Check the parallel structure of your sentences. 2) you have a lot of "-ing" words, and not so many verbs - I noticed this particularly in your first couple paragraphs. This lends to a passive-sounding narrative. Some of your first sentences didn't even have real verbs as far as I could tell, which can work for one sentence here and there, but whole paragraphs composed of that type of sentence (technically, I guess it's a sentence fragment) becomes very passive and difficult to read without falling asleep. It got a little better once the dialogue started, but it was still there.
The description at the beginning was also a little strange to me. I, as a student and a reader, don't have time to read through descriptions of rainy buildings that I have no reason to care about yet. I know you can just picture this place in your mind and it's so cool (especially when it's raining, because rain makes everything cooler) and you just have to describe this place to us. I am no expert on description, let it be said. And let's be totally honest, writing straight description is not your strength as a writer. But! I bet you can cover this up. Writing is all about making the reader care. So give us this description from an angle that we care about - and that you care about, because I'm not sure "It's such a cool place!" counts (wouldn't that be nice?). Are you good at writing characters? Give it to us from a character's point of view. Are you good at plots? Give us the things that will relate to the plot. That kind of thing. I think you can hide behind your strengths pretty well.
Perhaps more importantly, narrative hook is everything (yes, your jr. high English teacher was on to something there). And like I said, description right off the bat is hard to care about, thus making it a very difficult hook unless it's SUPER well-written, which is SUPER hard to pull off. Something to think about.
Not sure why this is a prologue. Why not a first chapter? Anyway, I think sitting down to write something with the word "prologue" in mind can lead to dangerous things. It causes you to become too vague in your writing - simply because some of the best prologues are, in fact, vague. However, there's good-vague and there's bad-vague. These two scientists, Bill and Sally. Why aren't we given their names up front? It's one thing if you want to eliminate their names altogether, but that doesn't seem to be the case. Why wait till the last minute to hint at the fact that they're married? Once again, it's hard to relate to "the woman and her partner," especially in a suspenseful setting like the machine exploding or whatever the heck happened - note: THAT kind of vague is good. I'm not totally sure what happened, and I know I'm not supposed to, but I kind of do, so I feel sneaky and pleased with myself. Kudos. I'm very much a people person, so I say, "Bring on the characters right away! None of this description stuff!" Of course, talk to someone who's more about the language of writing than the people of writing and you'll hear something different. And if you're talking to someone who's about the story of writing, that's another thing entirely - although in this case, they'd probably say, "Bring on the explosion!"
Anyway, I hope I haven't permanently damaged you. If I have offended, you can read the policy about sugar-coating on my profile. Good luck! :)
| MusingRaydius 9/4/12 . chapter 1
First off, I think you have an interesting story going on here.
Writing-wise, I have a few suggestions:
As a whole:
- Check your semi-colon usage.
-Check your possesives. Sometimes "mans" needs to be "man's"
-Sometimes you describe a situation in too much detail, for example, starting from "standing beside him as his hand hovered over a single switch." through the next paragraph, the whole situation has too much detail in my opinion.
1. Get rid of "It was late." because you state "Far into the hours of the night" in the next sentence. Gets rid of the redundancy
2."the streets of New York city going about its usual after hours business" makes it sound like the streets are doing after hours business. I recommend "the people of New York city were going about their usual after hours business". Also, after the semi-colon, you should put a comma right before policemen and right after cars as well as deleting the word "even".
3. Delete "It was what could be called a regular night in the Big Apple." because you already stated "usual after hours business".
4. Revise "Lights, flashes of bright white, faintly" by deleting "flashes of bright white" to be less confusing
5. In "worlds oldest discoveries", "worlds" should be "world's". Also, Delete "of" in "cleverest of scientists and historians".
6. With "control pad/tool station" I recommend you choose one. "/" is usually not something you want to use.
7. For " ,her breathless voice a serious tone.", you can just shorten it to "in a serious tone"
8. For "instantly his thoughts of what could", "instantly" should be "Instantly"
9. The "an" in "on an old dirty brown" should be "a"
10. For "received as an anniversary gift the couple left,", the comma should be after "gift". Then you have to kind of revise the second part of the sentence.
11. Lastly, for "back seat, Bill giving him their address", just being a bit picky, I don't think "Bill giving him their address" is really necessary.
So, I was a bit picky and stuff. I'm not really a grammar freak, but the publishers will probably be xD. Just check grammar, reword certain parts, and remember that being concise in certain situations is better than describing a scene too heavily.
I can't really give you any suggestions about the plot, setting, or characters because this is only a prologue and I don't know enough about what you envision this story to be. Hope I helped you!