|Reviews for Holy the Dark|
| Nesasio 5/7/13 . chapter 4
Opening: I was really distracted by the surname 'Ocelot', not gonna lie. It seems like a silly last name for someone who turns into a wolf, not to mention when compared to Achitophel's last name. That aside, it was a really interesting opening memory. I don't think I ever much thought of Kit as a legit kit(ten) before (haha), so it was nice to see a little more of where he came from, as far as society and norms for shapers.
Other: Similar to above, I liked the detail about what happens to shapers who lose control of their shaping ability. It's nice having that sort of ticking clock on him and the added uncertainty of how he might react further down the line when the shit really hits the fan. Little nitpick: I wasn't really sure about the transition into that detail (like it seemed like he was supposed to lead in with 'I know what is happening to me' but I didn't quite get the logical leap from the previous paragraph to the explanation).
Characters: I feel like a broken record here, but I'm still not feeling Charlotte in this draft. Something about her just feels empty, like it isn't translating from your head to the page. She's a great idea of a character, and I won't deny she's potentially more badass than the first draft version. But to me at least it still feels like she's sacrificed personality for Edgy!Char-Sue, who does awesome things because they are awesome, not because she has any motivation to.
Ending: Hullo Nicole cameo! XD That took me out of the seriousness of the moment but I'm pretty sure I'm in the minority there, haha. It's just a familiarity thing. Anyway, I actually did like that scene and how you handled it. Kit just gets a universal slap in the face there with his own work being mentioned and that could've been a great reveal, but I think having him stay quiet about it makes it all the more dramatic. Plus it's solid with his characterization. So far, of all of them, I still think Achitophel is your strongest POV character. I know you favor Jude but Achitophel pretty much always rings true in his chapters.
| Luckycool9 5/6/13 . chapter 1
-April WCC REVIEW FOR THE WIINER!
Opening: The opening has a great hook, it immediately draws the readers in. It also makes you wonder how the character became the way they were. The hook keeps you wondering what happens throughout the whole chapter.
Scene: What stood out the most was Kit's destroying of his own writing, it shows an interesting side of him. It was a great scene, but as a writer it made me feel so bad. He was forced to destroy his own work to survive and there is no crueler fate in the world.
Ending: The ending wanted me too read on, to see what is going to happen to Kit. It felt unfinished in the strangest of ways, it seemed that it left many questions about Kit's psyche. The ending also shows the effect of vampire magic and how unpredictable it is.
Characters: I felt truly horrible for Kit. He is a prisoner of the witches and he has to destroy his own work. I feel sympathetic towards him. You feel sorry for the situation he is currently in.
Pace: The chapter was smoothly paced. This made it very enjoyable because we got into backstories on the characters and their lives.
Other: I like the way you developed the destruction of this world. It shows what happens when society turns on each other effectively. It made the chapter really good.
| Dreamers-Requiem 5/5/13 . chapter 1
So this isn’t going to have any critique because you never need it. All I’m going to say is I was super excited to see you working on this again. I love Kit, and I love how different this is. He feels more…lost, insecure and scared. More fragile. And that comes over really well. You have a brilliant way with imagery, and a great way of describing things like magic, vampirism and the idea of shifting, even when he can’t do it. Brilliant first chapter.
| Infected Beliefs 5/3/13 . chapter 6
Ah, Potter, here is your review for WCC. So sorry it took me so long to get to. RL has been crazy. Ahem, to the review...
[I know her blood-scent in winter waves that sink into spring just the way the seasons change just the way her heartbeat beat beats.] - I absolutely love this. In fact, I love the entire opening paragraph. The way it sounds, the way it rolls off the tongue, the way it echoes around my room when I read it out-loud. It is so utterly poetic. It is so poetic though, that I almost feel it doesn't fit Jude's blood/magic crazed brain. Though to be truthful I haven't read enough Jude chapters yet to get a good sense as to who he really is, so I will give it the shadow of the doubt for now.
[A silver chain winds around my neck and pulls up towards my chin, choking. I see a charred sky burned into oblivion.] - Another pair of lines that just blew me away. If I post every line I find fantastic I will end up reposing half the chapter...
[Each morning he takes tea with borage] - Do you mean porridge? Or borage as in the flower?
The scene where Jude interacts with his brother felt very reminiscent of a prose poem, ie. gorgeous diction and syntax, beautifully poetic, and utterly confusing. I have absolutely no idea what just happened. I get that the humans holding Jude captive (at least I thought they were humans) are using him as some sort of bargaining chip against the Witches, though I can't tell if they are meeting face to face or if they are projecting through some sort of magical hologram. I have no idea what was going on with Jude's magic. I have no idea what the Witch King is saying, whether he is agreeing or disagreeing. I have no idea what is happening after Jude seeming gets his magic back. I feel you need to clarify this section some.
Is Jude's sister his magic?
And how the fuck did he escape? One minute he is being choked with silver and the next minute everyone is unconscious and he is conjuring things out of thin air. I absolutely love the writing, but I can't say that I felt satisfied by this chapter, I wasn't given enough to ground me as I read.
I did like the conversation he has with his magic, if that is what it was. I thought it really showed us a little window into Jude's head and I couldn't help but think about how that conversation would have looked to anyone other than him. Bat. Shit. Crazy. But hey, he seems to know what he's doing.
I am curious as to why he didn't kill everyone in the room at the end. So far in the story it hasn't seemed like he has really had much control over it. He just has these insatiable urges that draw him by the nose through whatever psychopathic acts what ever is driving him sees fit. I am also curious as to what made him like he is now, considering the way he was in Charlotte's flashback.
Good luck, as always, to you and your writing,
| Dr. Self Destruct 4/24/13 . chapter 11
Opening: I really like that opening image of Maude eating while Nicole is bandaging her up, especially how you pay attention to the wounds she got from Jude. I know you describe witch magic as like bards and sharp wires, but it's still really cool to see what type of wounds they leave behind - just from that, I'm able to more easily picture what in fact witches use for weapons and the types of shapes their magic takes. There's also some really nice tension from the very beginning, mostly from the presence of that gun. It's a nice prop that pops up again near the end, almost like a Chekov gun, I guess, haha. But yeah, the opening setting exposition does a great job grounding me from the previous chapter, as well as helps me picture the commons and the dire situation they're in. Up until this point I don't think we really realize how serious it is, but this opening and chapter really shows it.
Characters: Jude is hilarious this chapter. I love how he keeps, like, nuzzling Charlotte's cheek while he has his head on her shoulder. He's such a creeper, haha. But not a really bad creeper. More of like an endearing creeper. He just wants Charlotte's love. :( I think the motivation you give him is really cool, too. He just wants total anarchy, and I don't think I've ever seen a protagonist with that type of drive. Because of that, it's really appealing. He definitely has that anti-hero thing going on for him, which I think works really well with his image and personality. I almost feel like this story is some type of redemption story on his end. Which is something I've noticed from each perspective, that each character seems to have their own motivations and desires, which is really cool. I think this makes them all just as important and crucial to the overall plot, and one of them never seems to outweigh the others.
Relationships: While there's obviously some relationship building in this chapter between Charlotte and Jude, I see just as much relationship tension between Jude and his magic. It's funny how his magic is so out of control, and it feels like its own entity. Or almost like it's another personality of Jude's. The way it talks to Charlotte or gives away Jude's true feelings is just adorable, as is how he reacts to it and yells at it, haha. His magic seems so innocent and friendly, which is interesting considering how deadly it can be. But I think that's a really cool contrast. I remember Ephraim saying something a couple chapters ago about how the vampirism ate away his connection to his own shaper abilities, and it seems like that's happening to Jude a bit here, what with him beginning his magic not to go. I'm wondering how long this process takes and if it's going to keep getting worse and worse within the timeline of this story, or if he's going to cure himself (if there is a cure) before that happens. Or maybe he'll just have to put forth the extra effort to keep his magic from falling apart. Either way, it's a really nice incentive to keep a reader going.
Dialogue: As I already mentioned, Jude is hilarious this chapter. He has such an arrogant tone, but I also like how he's really nervous underneath all that hot air. When Charlotte said she felt him trembling, I felt so bad for him. He just keeps getting himself into all types of trouble, but it's not really his fault... ._.
Anyways, I'm supposed to be talking about the dialogue. There are a lot of really clever phrases in this chapter, like when Charlotte knees Jude in the crotch and tells him not to use her as a human shield again, and that if he ever watches her sleep she'll slit his throat (a very funny allusion to Twilight xD). I think a couple other of my favorite dialogue lines is when Jude insults the other humans and his magic makes sure to tell Charlotte he doesn't mean her. And Jude himself is really good at being intimidating, I think. And insulting. I just all around really enjoyed the dialogue - it made me laugh and feel triumphant when Charlotte and Jude were going back and forth at each other.
| Dr. Self Destruct 4/23/13 . chapter 10
I need to read a chapter of HTD every time right before I go to try and get a really rare mount in WoW, because it's obviously good luck.
I notice Kit's voice in this chapter sounds a lot different than the previous chapters. I think this is because it's being told in past-tense, and Kit is talking about a memory while in a rather calmed state, as opposed to all the action and suffering that usually comprises his chapters. Everything is a lot more soothing, more clear, and things generally seem to move slower. It almost gives me this calming effect when reading it, which is pretty cool, because I feel like it's putting me into Kit's mindset while he's narrating this. At first I wasn't sure if the voice was being too inconsistent, but after thinking about it for a bit, I think it makes sense it sounds so different considering the circumstances. I'll admit, though, this chapter kind of surprised me in how different Kit's voice sounds, but I don't think there's anything wrong with that. I think it's just the tensing and calmer mood. I feel like I just keep repeating myself. :/ I guess the point of this is, I want to bring it to your attention, but I'm not saying it's necessarily a bad thing or something you need to worry about, unless it's having an effect you don't want it to have.
ANYWAYS, on to more important things. xD
I like the inclusion of Ruth. Although you totally could have written this scene and chapter without her, I feel like having her in there really adds another level of complexity to not only the characters and relationships, but also to the shaper society in general. I think through Ruth's character you're able to show how much strength and courage is valued in their community, as well as how free loving they all are, mainly from Kit saying Ruth would've congratulated him for scoring with another woman so long as it wasn't Margot. I also find Ruth's anger and jealousy very real, and I wonder if Margot is aware of how much Ruth doesn't like her. From what I've seen of Margot, I'm going to assume she wouldn't give a fuck and would probably fuck Ruth up if she looked at her funny.
Margot as a whole is a really cool character, I love her. You're really good at writing strong females without it coming across as over doing it or too much. I can't tell you how many times I see people try to portray a woman as a badass, and it just comes across as so forced and tacky, but here you seem to do that so easily with all your female protagonists. I think it's because you give them flaws, too. They're very human. But you also give the men some really strong roles, too, so it doesn't feel too one-sided. Much more even, which is nice. I also like Margot's appearance, how you focus on her flaws just as much as her beauty. She really does seem to emanate this type of aura, something that just draws people in without any explanation as to why. I envy her confidence. But I guess that's what happens to you when you live in a society where it's totally cool to walk around naked - you pretty much have nothing to hide, you know? Shapers seem like a really proud race to me.
The thought of her ending up with Kit is really funny, considering the men she's been with before. Kit must've really wooed her there. ;) The only thing I'm not sure about is how Kit seems to be so suddenly in love with her. I'm totally okay with him falling for her after only seeing her a couple times, and I know this is personal preference, but I wonder if you really need to come out and say it instead of just letting it be implied?
[Fear because for the first time in my life—I felt an overwhelming want for unconditional companionship. Fear because I knew I was in love. More than lust. ]
This is the passage in particular that I'm talking about. There's nothing wrong with love or characters falling in love, but from the way Kit is portrayed as such a player, I almost wonder if just leaving it understated might fit better with his past persona. By the end of the chapter, especially through their dialogue after they're done having sex, I can totally tell he loves her, or that he's in the process of falling for her. Especially since you give us another scene of them later on in life - they obviously ended up together, there's no questioning that. I think letting the subtext say Kit loves her instead of coming out and saying it might make it have an even greater impact, because then it'll just be a feeling we see inside Kit's character that he might not even recognize or realize yet, instead of it just being told to us.
Does that make sense? xD Let me know if it doesn't. Ultimately it's up to you. I don't really mind it either way. You're the boss and this is your baby. :3
I really love the raw feeling of the sex scene. It makes me remember I haven't really even attempted writing one in about a year now, I think. I'm sort of scared to even try, it's been so long. xD But yeah, I remember you mentioning how romance authors get disappointed when people write sex scenes really flowery and skirt around the anatomy, and I think I really appreciate your method a lot more. I mean, you don't come out and say "dick," "penis," or "cock," but you still use other rather evocative words, like "prick," "vulva," and "clit." I notice there's more attention played to the female parts than the male, but I like that. I'm not really an expert when it comes to sex scenes or whatever, but from what I've read it always seems more attention is put on the male parts and stuff. So it's nice to get some more woman action, you know what I mean?
And I'm glad Kit had the decency to make sure Margot came. So many stories where the dude gets all the pleasure. ._. And it's also very realistic in how much attention Kit plays to her clit, because it's some crazy number - like 80% or something - of women who can't even have an orgasm unless there's clitoral stimulation. (I read that on some sex website, so take the statistic with a grain of salt. You know how information on the internet can be.) So it's not one of those weird magical stories where every woman seems to only come once, and while the dude is also coming. It just don't work like that. :( Or, at least, it never has for me. Sex always seemed, to me, to be more back and forth. One person pleasures the other person, then that person pleasures the other person. Or something. This is much more organic and...realistic, as I already said. xD Plus they're doing it on a fucking goddess statue. How can you not think that's hilarious?
Let me know if you want some clarification on anything I've said, or if you have any other questions. :)
| Faithless Juliet 4/23/13 . chapter 14
APRIL WCC Review:
Congrats! I actually avoided reviewing you in the games for the last couple of days because I had a sneaking suspicion that I was going to owe you a WCC review and this is the only thing left, yikes! Before I start the review I would like to add my closing comments at the beginning of the review rather than at the end this time: UPDATE!
Alright, I am calm: Let’s talk about Charlotte – first off I agree with your a/n that she really doesn’t have a clear perspective. Both Jude and Kit have had ‘flashback’ chapters/sections but other than Charlotte remembering Jude smoking on top of the stove so many chapters ago I really don’t know much about her. I feel like my perception of her stems more from how other characters see and experience her i.e. Jude loves her (gush) so she must be pretty cool, and Kit trusts her so she must be a worthy player in the game of Holy the Dark. I feel like I have no idea where her family is: are any of them alive? And what did she do before she became a punk rockette? I mentioned in another review about what I call the ‘Queen Amadala’ syndrome where extremely young characters are tasked with an enormous task i.e. being elected to rule a planet when you’re 13! And sometimes that works, but sometimes it doesn’t. I also mentioned before that I was unsure how old these characters are. When Jude first meets Charlotte he’s about fourteen (if I remember correctly) is Char older? Younger? How did her punk band get started? In my mind I imagine her as being famous – maybe not worldwide famous, but locally famous…? And I’d be interested to see how she took that change in her life. Do the people recognize her now that the war has started? I don’t think it’s as bad as you let on in your note. Really, it’s not bad period.
I do feel like I don’t know or understand Ephraim’s character yet. In my mind I see him as this confusing snippet that comes in and out of the plot when needed. I know that he’s *with* Jude but that still confuses me. What are his motivations? Why does Jude feel so strongly about him? I think he could use some more exploration. Is there a reason why he’s only speaking in Walt Whitman verse?
“I blink and hardly believe what I see before he's pulling my arm into a sling, standing too close and wrapping my wound tight. "If we're going to travel halfway around this shit hole of a country," he says as I stop breathing when he tightens a makeshift tourniquet, still, eyes wide, "keep you fucking wounds—" I stare blankly at his bare moon-skin chest and blackened blood splatter wrapping his neck, "covered!" He cradles my arm in the ripped fabric of his dark T-shirt and my mouth hinges with a thank you I keep to myself.” – O JUDE (absolute gush) I do think you meant ‘keep you[r] fucking wounds…’ I loved the intimacy of this moment. How they are with other people but suddenly by themselves and everything is about what they are NOT saying to each other. Really good writing with this section, like always I can feel the ripple of their chemistry throughout the narrative.
Overall I think the chapter is good, albeit short. I feel like a lot of things happened, but also not a lot of things happened, so I guess, to articulate this properly, I feel like the narrative is a bit jerky at times. I do think you wrapped up the moment nicely with your ending, and the chapter did come full circle. I understand that you feel like you’re stuck, but I really don’t see it that way, I think you just need to get past this hump of them *getting* on the road, so that you can explore everything that happens once they get on the road. People always say “don’t think, just do” but that’s not how writers roll, we’re meticulous creatures, we over think, we analyze, we have to explain, so I’m going to say carry on, and YOU CAN DO IT! I BELIEVEEEEE IN YOUUUUUU!
Okay, I need this, and Woden updated ASAP, thanks so much, and congrats again.
| Infected Beliefs 4/22/13 . chapter 5
[ I think his magic turned my head—it wanted my attention.] - I like this concept you have been playing with of sentient magic, or magic that is aware outside of its wielders desires. For instance, in the last chapter you were talking about Jude's magic pulling him away from the cage and making him hand over the keys and what not. In fact, I'm enjoying the magic as a whole in HtD. It feels very original and refreshing.
I am confused though; why does Charlotte have this memory of being with witches (when it seems like she is quite old). I thought they were at war? The feel I have gotten from the rest of the piece is that there is almost an apocalyptic type war going on (no street is safe type thing). I am really hoping that at some point you delve into what started the war, and how it escalated so quickly.
[We brought him in on the pickup truck with the shaper. They tied him up in a room we used for punishments and took the shaper to the infirmary. My inability to kill the shaper frightens me. I told the medic on duty not to tell Maude about him—that I'd tell her myself. But I avoid Maude all afternoon and into the evening. Instead I hang around the infirmary and watch Sarah bandage the shaper's wounds.] - Hmmm...I am sitting here trying to figure out why I don't like this paragraph. Or, I suppose, what can be done to make it feel less cluttered. I think it is because of "the shaper" which you use four times without much pattern or rhythm. I am trying to think of a way that you could say the same thing without it sounding like "the shaper, the shaper, the shaper, the shaper" but I am really struggling to do so. Sorry.
[I'm a killer who can't murder.] - A fantastic line. Really gives us a look into Charlotte's mindset.
I am kind of curious...it seems that most of the humans who hide/live with Charlotte are women. Is this the Amazonian resistance? Charlotte's Angels? Or is there a simpler explanation (the men have been more or less killed out here). Or are you just playing around with gender stereotypes? It's just that all the names I have heard so far have been female (Maude, Charlotte, Sarah, Nicole, etc). Makes me wonder.
I really like getting to see the other two perspective characters described by Charlotte (and likewise I enjoyed getting to see Charlotte and Jude from Achi's perspective, and Achi and Charlotte from Jude's perspective). It is cool to get so many interpretations of them and see them in so many different lights. Love it.
I am wondering how you are going to calm Jude down enough to make him work as a perspective character though. One chapter of his insanity (for lack of a better word) is a delight to read, two chapters might be good too, but a bat-shit crazy Vampire can only hold my attention so long. I am interested to see how he will develop over the course of the next few chapters.
Lovin it all though,
| Infected Beliefs 4/22/13 . chapter 4
[...my third mother's fresh peasant bread—with spiced cider.] - That sounds very...medieval for your story. Maybe it fits, as I really have no perception of what the world is like outside of this prison cell...but I was under the impression that everything was more modern. Not that tomato-basil on bread with cider isn't a meal that could be eaten today...but "peasant bread" and "spiced cider" make me feel like I just bought something overpriced from the renaissance fair.
[The night's come and the vampire's gone, but I'd be a fool to leave.] - Love this line, especially the first half of it.
And people tell me **I** write depressing chapters. Man, I feel really terrible for Achitophel; life just keeps shitting on him in the worst of ways. I do like that you give us (the readers) a little ray of sunshine at the end with Charlotte's small moment of compassion (have you ever heard the term Grimdark? I gave a presentation on it today and as I was reading HtD I just kept thinking 'Grimdark. Grimdark. Grimdark' which is incorrect, I suppose as it really is more similar to horror...though those lines tend to blur these days. But now I am getting sidetracked). Regardless, going back to what I was saying about Charlotte's emotional moment, I was actually quite touched. I think it was the stark contrast when compared to the rest of the chapter (or indeed, the past four chapters) but it really stood out as a defining moment for her (even if Achi is just trading one captor for another. Life shits).
I am really enjoying the voice that so defines each of your characters. It is certainly your strongest point (IMO). I love how introverted the Achi chapters are, what with all of his self loathing, deep contemplations, and limited descriptions of the world surrounding him (almost as though he is shutting out everything else around him and turning inward, which I think the writing reflects). I love how disjointed, chaotic, and fragmented your writing becomes when you narrate as Jude, again, very much exemplifying his frame of mind through the writing (the structure and syntax, not just the words themselves). And I love Charlotte just because she is badass. Period.
I think I understood the little story that Achi tells us at the beginning, about Carwin Ocelot (rather comical name for a shifter I thought, but maybe that was the point). If I have this right, it reveals to us that beneath the fear, there is an intelligent, rational mind, and that even beneath THAT, lies something more primal. That was what I got out of it at least. My question though, was why the fuck is he thinking about some Ocelot dude he knew as a kid while he is standing in is cell completely obsessed with Jude coming back and ripping him limb from limb? The rest of the chapter he is terrified about the possibility of Jude returning. I don't feel like he would be in the mindset/mind-frame to be preoccupied by reminiscence. I understand that it is a creative and well executed way to deliver exposition to the reader, but I don't think I like it where it is. Opinion.
I don't know why I am dragging my feet so much getting through this (probably for the same reason it is taking me forever to get through Who's Eating Eric Lynch). Every time I sit down to read a chapter I absolutely love it. I would say I will try to drop some reviews more frequently but that would be a lie...I'll drop 'em when I get time and see an opportunity.
| Dr. Self Destruct 4/20/13 . chapter 9
I like how Jude and Ephraim seem to come to an understanding after experiencing the blood trip together. It's actually a really intimate experience, I think. I also like how you're able to give us a little of Ephraim's history through that blood trip, introducing this concept of Ephraim once having a lover. It's actually kinda sad, especially after seeing how he's changed over the past...well, since he was turned. Not sure how long ago that was. You also do a good job creating this sense of alarm with Jude's character, since he might end up like Ephraim and lose his magic. That whole part where Jude is curled up in a fetal position and begging his magic not to leave him is really sad. :(
I already told you this, but I really like this concept of your vampires pretty much falling over dead during the night. I know vampires normally sleep during the day, but I don't think I've ever stumbled across anything where it's a type of mandatory hibernation. It makes me think of this one lion thing in The Neverending Story that would turn to stone and "die" every night, then wake up and be reborn in the morning. It's a really cool concept, and I think it fits perfectly with the whole vampire thing.
I'm a little curious as to why Jude's able to walk around during the day, though. Is it because he's only half vampire? The vampire "virus" hasn't really taken over him enough to where the sunlight would burn and/or kill him if he goes outside? Or is his magic kinda holding it back? I really like the way you address it, though. Like he can feel the sunlight, but it's just not warm anymore.
I also noticed a paragraph near the middle where you go more into how the witches used to be treated and segregated. I think that's really interesting. It puts an awesome spin on the whole "who are the bad guys?" concept, because if the humans were putting the witches into these neighborhoods and forcing them to live there while armed guards made sure they didn't escape, I can't blame the witches for rising up and overthrowing the humans. I mean, I think trying to kill all the humans or making them into slaves is a little excessive, but it still makes this story a lot less black and white, and puts it more into the grey areas. Which is always nice, because it gives it a new level of depth.
Let's see... oh, that Jedi moment near the end made me chuckle. xD I don't know if you were still worried about character motivation at this point, like why Jude is so intent on following Charlotte around, but I think it makes sense. I can't really see Jude having any other option, really. Everyone seems out to get him. Charlotte is pretty much the only person who he might be able to trust. And if he doesn't get some help soon, it's just going to be a matter of time before one of his enemies gets a hold of him. Jude seems very alone and abandoned, not to mention hunted, so I think that gives him enough of a drive to want to seek her out. Plus since she's part of this "resistance" against the witches, she might be able to help him get some revenge on his brother (if he wants revenge).
| Dr. Self Destruct 4/20/13 . chapter 8
lol, I always get surprised when I see my name. Especially when Charlotte says it. I get all shy and embarrassed, like I have a crush on her or something. It's sorta weird.
[He isn't the first shaper I've gone up against, but I'm usually the one with the semi-automatic.] Haha, I don't know why this made me laugh. I think it's because of Charlotte's tone: somewhat sarcastic, and very dry. I love that type of humor.
YES, JUDE. RIP THE VAMPIRE'S FUCKING HEART OUT! He would do this just to impress Charlotte, wouldn't he? It's a very...strange...romantic gesture. But I'd totally swoon if a dude did that to impress me, just sayin'.
I like how Ephraim seems to know how to fight a witch. From what I've seen so far, the witches definitely seem to have the upper hand when it comes to fighting or anything to do with the war. Considering they don't need weapons to be dangerous, that's definitely an advantage. So when I see Ephraim able to disarm Jude so easily with those arrows, it does make me more hopeful that the other races will have a better chance against the witches in the future. Which makes sense, since they need their hands to cast and everything. I don't know why, but it makes me think of Mustang and his gloves - take away his gloves and he can't make fire. xD
Plus, even though I love Jude, it's nice to see him knocked down a peg. And in front of Charlotte, too. I bet his ego is gonna be really hurt now.
I really like how you take care of the fighting scene. Although you use words I'm not entirely familiar with, like "ward" and stuff (that I sorta know from Skyrim), it's still really easy to picture. You do a great job inventing words or using words in new ways where I can tell what you're saying or implying through the context and subtext. That's something I really want to improve on with my own writing, and whenever I read your stuff I always get some really cool ideas on how to use certain words in a new way. Like how Jude's hand "shrugs into his pocket." I've never seen it described like that before, but it totally works. I think that's one of the things I love most about your writing: the way you experiment with phrases and words. It's very cool. I can tell a lot of thought and planning goes into how you structure your sentences.
I know you've been worried about Charlotte helping Kit and stuff and how it might seem out of character, but honestly, I don't think it is. Considering they're surrounded by vampires, when a couple people are in that type of situation (regardless if their races are normally enemies), I think it's just natural for people to being willing to band together. Survival trumps everything. And since Charlotte's trusted Kit this long to have her back (and vice versa), I think it's only natural for a bond to sort of form between them. Even if it's just from Charlotte wanting to repay the debt of his aid. Also that whole "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" sort of applies here, too, since there's this war going on between the four races.
| VelvetyCheerio 4/20/13 . chapter 14
I think you did a very good job expressing Charlotte's hesitance at first to go through with her plan before ultimately succumbing to it. At first she's not sure - how can she possibly break Jude's finger? - and then it becomes harder than she suspected when she watches Nicole die. I felt like at that moment she realizes she's gotten into way more than she can handle. She starts to despair within herself. She has nothing, no one, she's done bad things. And then it's at that moment that a sense of desperate authority takes the wheel from her morality and just propels her into getting out alive with her one bargaining chip.
Or at least, this is what I'm interpreting, eheheh.
Because at the very end, I got this sense that Char didn't actually even care about the people she was travelling with anymore. She just wanted to escape. She feels like she just purposefully doused her bridges in gasoline and torched them with a flamethrower. At the end, I get this, "What have I done?", mentality from her, and I think if you wanted you could really explore that aspect and build on it.
Anyway, I must say, I *really* liked the beginning of this chapter this time around. I got that feeling of urgency; I got the idea that they were in the middle of a panic of bullets and people dieing. Good work on that.
I liked the last line of dialogue from Ephraim and Jude's response. xD Oh, this should be interesting. I don't know how you plan to take characterization from here, but I think there's a lot of potential, as I said before in one of my reviews, I think, lol.
But yeah, I enjoyed this chapter. I agree that you should just keep trudging on! That's the best way to do it; worry about the revision later.
| Dr. Self Destruct 4/20/13 . chapter 7
Fuck I'm so behind on this, ARRRGH. I'm going to try and catch up so I can help you with any plot stuff you might have questions on.
I think in this chapter I really notice a distinct voice in Kit's narration. Not saying I didn't notice it before, but I think it's especially strong in this one. Mostly because of the way he narrates movement. His narration seems to lack a lot of pronouns, which is really cool. It gives Kit a very unique voice that's a lot different from Charlotte and Jude.
If I remember correctly, that's Ephraim in the beginning there making out with him, right? It's so creepy how you describe Ephraim, especially with how emaciated he is. The way you can see his bones through his skin - ew, just a really vivid image, and I think it works really well. It gets across his depraved state, as well as the possibility of madness, because I'm pretty sure I remember Ephraim is pretty much off his rocker. I like how you seem to play into that weird sexual attraction Ephraim has for Kit right from the onset, because it makes it seem more plausible and natural...for some reason. xD
I really like how you handled the ash from the vampires when they die, especially how you describe them as "unwinding." I just picture these ribbons of ash, which is really cool. And the way you play into it and bring it up throughout the chapter, having the characters slip in it and interact with it, is really cool. Also somewhat gross, because it's like they're slipping in blood and organs, haha. I also really like that part where Charlotte and Kit are standing back to back, watching the vampires surround them and come closer. A very thematic moment there, and I could picture it all perfectly. Charlotte is pretty fucking deadly with that knife.
Which makes me wonder if she intentionally missed when she threw it at Jude...
And speaking of Jude, he really cracks me up. In this chapter he's sorta like the chubby kid who chases after his friends because they always leave him out of the fun or don't invite him to go do fun stuff. Okay, that's probably a really mean metaphor, because he's obviously a lot cooler than that. I like that detail of how the smoking helps him reign in his other addictions; I think that not only puts an interesting spin in his vampirism, but it also gives you a credible reason to have him smoking all the time instead of it just being there to make him seem like a bad-ass. Reading Jude really makes me miss narrating from Kristoph's perspective, because they're both such hard bad-asses. Don't get me wrong, I love Eric, but he just doesn't have that over-the-top arrogance or kick-assery that I usually put into my main narrators. ._. So while I read this, I'm just going to live vicariously through you as you get to deal with the bad-asses.
I think it was a really good choice to have Kit kind of break down this whole mental thing that's happening between Jude and his magic, putting it into terms a person can easily understand (unconscious and subconscious). I think this also puts some really interesting possibilities of symbolism and shit into Jude's character, making him ripe for psychoanalysis. xD But yeah, putting Jude's magic in these terms makes it a lot easier to understand, and I think it'll give the reader something to ground them in Jude's character and help them to better understand him, because he's definitely complicated.
Let me know if you have any other questions or need some clarification on anything I said. :)
| professional griefer 4/19/13 . chapter 14
Oh my God. Okay.
I absolutely love the interactions between Charlotte and Jude. Their dynamic is really fascinating, and you make it seem plausible. You're obviously setting them up for a romantic relationship, and while it's obvious, you still manage to make the getting there interesting. I mean, I ship them really hard, so...it's working.
Also, what were you talking about in the beginning about characterization? C'mon. Potter. Your characterization is epic. I'm so in love with Jude that it's ridiculous. You keep him really consistent. Charlotte too. Sometimes I'm not sure about Kit's personality. I feel like I don't know him sometimes. But seriously, your characterization is awesome.
The one thing I didn't really like about this chapter were Charlotte's emotions. It's most likely just me, but I feel like some of her reactions to things were underplayed, and I feel like we didn't really get that deep into what she was feeling in this chap.
Awesome work, as usual!
| Fang 4/5/13 . chapter 12
Okay, this chapter definitely makes things more clear in context to what had happened before. Being made aware of Char's motives to turn traitor at the last minute helps a lot.
I liked the emotion from Kit in this chapter. I got a good handle on how frantic and desperate he's starting to become, even resorting to try and cut off his own hand. Which, OK, I did laugh when he went crazy and was about to cut off his hand. :x But then I felt super bad when Charlotte found him and he was all sad and hopeless. Poor Kit.
Also, hooray, Kit finally took a bath, ahaha. Okay, not much else I can say on this chapter. It's definitely an improvement, I think, so good work on it. :D