|Reviews for Selen|
| Thousand Writer 9/22/12 . chapter 1
Hmm, even though English isn't your native language, you seem to express yourself fairly well in this story.
I liked that we are given the chance to look into Melinda's head. She seems to be secure in her way of life and I'm curious how she grows while she's there at the new school.
However, I disliked the small detail in scenery. It's better when more is said about an area before telling us what the characters are doing. For example. when Melinda was going up the stairs, I had no idea where she was until much later. I felt a little lost because of that.
Keep up the good work tho!
| TheTimeLord 9/21/12 . chapter 3
I love this! It's really good and there's very few things that would be able to give away that English isn't your native language. Keep it up!
| Anihyr Moonstar 9/21/12 . chapter 2
[...but it was not utterly lost either.] Not utterly "huge". The word "lost" doesn't work here.
[She sighted at that thought] "sighed" I think you meant
["You might come out of a bank with your pockets full of money, but your trousers don't belong to you anymore."] LOL. This made me laugh. Nice job. And so very true, too. I would much rather be poor than have money in hand and owe someone something.
I like that we get to see a bit more into Melinda's character again this chapter, from her musings on her concerns about college expenses and her conversations with her parents, to her observations in the store and her high opinion of honesty and friendliness. It gives her more depth and makes her easier to relate to as I read.
Poor girl - must have been embarrassing to hear all those sounds coming from Louis' apartment. I wonder who he's seeing? And, since he's seeing someone, why was he so interested in Melinda when she first showed up? Something is definitely going on there.
I'm looking forward to seeing where all this is going. Good work so far! :)
| Silver Witherwings 9/21/12 . chapter 2
I really like this so far! You're doing very well for a non-native English speaker :)
In this chapter, I would omit beginning a paragraph with "Anyway."
- "... she took a bowl of cereal" should be "she ate a bowl of cereal."
- And the next sentence describing her hair and eye colors is awkward; I would place those details more casually throughout the story.
| blueagle246 9/20/12 . chapter 2
I don't really like how this is written. It feels clunky and a bit forced. You also need to show more depth in the character, don't be afraid to expand on her thoughts.
| Complex Variable 9/20/12 . chapter 1
Quelle chance: je parle un peu de français—mais SEUL un peu. So, I can help you with your english—at least, a little bit.
How long have you been speaking/writing in English? Because—I have to admit—this is pretty well written, all things considered.
[Her best friend, Camilla, had been received to Harvard Med' and had now been estranged to her for a few weeks.] - - - First, you don't need the apostrophe at the end of "med". Second—and more importantly—"received" is not the right verb. What you want is "accepted", as in "had been accepted to Harvard Med". Secondly—and I notice this in other places—you make your sentences longer than they need to be.
Ex: [Her best friend, Camilla, had been received to Harvard Med' and had now been estranged to her for a few weeks.] - - - "Her best friend, Camilla, had been received to Harvard Med. Melinda hadn't seen her in weeks."
Also, [As she thought about her, the eighteen-year-old girl scowled a bit, they probably wouldn't be friends for much longer now.] - - - can be written as "As she thought about her, the eighteen-year-old scowled a bit. They probably wouldn't be friends for much longer."
[Google Streets] - - - "Google Maps"
[Loosing herself in an unknown town would have been a great start for her first year away from home!] - - - I, too, enjoy using exclamation marks. Unfortunately—when writing in the third-person—they often come across as "too much". Besides, you have an exclamation point at the end of the previous sentence. Generally, save your exclamation points for your characters' dialogue; that way, when your narration DOES use an exclamation point, it will really mean something.
[Of course, her mind was tricking her in thinking] - - - "her mind was tricking her into thinking"
[She had moved to Selen, Oregon, in order to become a student, would she really have to deal with a jackass for neighbor during the whole year?] - - - the comma after "student" should either be a period "." or a semi-colon ";"
[under any other circumstances.] - - - "in any other circumstance." (or, "in any other situation")
[His eyes were almost black, she noticed, his iris hardly differentiable from his pupil] - - - "the irises", "the pupils". In english, when you talk about the qualities, parts or features of more than one thing at a time (ex "eyes", "chairs", "houses") you have to talk about those parts in the plural. Compare: "The iris of his left eye" versus "the irises of his eyes". Also, I would put a period or a semi-colon in place of the comma after "noticed".
[Yet, his skin was not tanned enough] - - - "tanned" usually means that your skin is darker because of exposure to lots and lots of sunlight. I would write "But, his skin wasn't dark enough" instead—that way, it makes it seem like he has a strange/unnatural mix of racial traits.
Aside from the little english-language problems here and there, you set up a interesting air of mystery—as well as a good characterization/description of Melinda. I'm curious to see what happens next—obviously, something is not quite "right" with Louis. I think he has a secret; you hinted at it nice and subtly. Good for you.
| Anihyr Moonstar 9/20/12 . chapter 1
I like that you manage to present a lot of valuable information about your main character in a short time frame (and over the course of a reasonably simple event: going from the bus stop to her room). You've shown us that she is level-headed (more concerned about practicality than appearance), but also has some self esteem issues for valid reasons (issue with a past boyfriend).
I also like the information you brought into it at the end through her interaction with Louis, specifically about her opinion on him living on his own. In the United States, most everyone would agree that moving "out of the nest" and taking care of oneself is an important final step to "growing up" if you will, but Melinda presents an interesting (and valid) counter opinion: that living with one's parents after you've gotten a job actually helps them out a lot more.
Because you asked for help with language issues, here are some things I noticed as I went along:
[had been received to Harvard Med'] I would change "received" to "accepted".
[Loosing herself in an unknown town] Should be "losing" not "loosing". ("Lose" is to get lost; "loose" is to not be tight.)
[She hardly climbed the stairs.] Change this to "She hardly ever climbed the stairs" perhaps? As it is, the sentence doesn't make sense, and I couldn't tell until later whether or not she climbed stairs at all. XD
[Her self-esteem did not hit rock bottom, but it flirted with the marine trench when it dealt with her body issues.] I like the metaphor you're trying to accomplish here, but the wording is very strange. Maybe change it to "Although in general her self-esteem was not at rock bottom, when it came to her body issues, it flirted with the Marianas Trench." (I believe you were referencing the Marianas Trench when you wrote this - the deepest trench on earth.)
[She had not travel so far from the bus stop, but those bags were horribly heavy.] I'd change this to: "She hadn't traveled far from the bus stop, but those bags were horribly heavy."
And for dialogue.
["Hello." She said] Should be: ["Hello," she said]
["Hi", he replied.] Should be: ["Hi," he replied.]
[- Tired."] Should be: ["Tired."]
["Where are you from?] Should be: ["Where are you from?"]
[- Seattle," she answered almost unwillingly to the simple question. "What about you?] Should be: ["Seattle," she answered almost unwillingly to the simple question. "What about you?"] (Also, I'm not sure what you mean by "almost unwillingly to the simple question". If I had and idea of what you meant, I would try to help you reword it, but I don't what you were trying to say. xD)
[- I am from Selen.] Should be: ["I am from Selen."]
[- Then why are you in a student housing?"] Should be: ["Then why are you in a student housing?"]
Phew! There. Hope that helps! I really think you're doing well, honestly. :) But I figured I ought to point out most everything I saw to help you along. I don't mean it to be offensive at all - writing in a different language is *hard* to do, and you're doing great so far.