Reviews for The Unicorn Who Lived Backwards
RAVENousSHADOWpuppet chapter 1 . 5/23/2008
For the review, I'll try to make some observations on things I noticed, and hopefully they'll be of some help to you. Here I go:

The word choice was flowery, which some people would consider a bad thing, but then, since this story is being told in the style of a fairy tale, the flowery language seems to fit it quite well.

Regarding the relationship between the monster and the unicorn, it is an interesting and metaphorical one, and regarding the relationship between the inn and the beasts, it feels like a cause-reaction sort of thing. Meaning, I think the thing to keep in mind if you go back and rewrite this later on is that the beast-unicorn relationship is the center of the story, but the beasts-inn relationship is important as showing directly the sort of effect the beasts' metaphorical battles have on the uninvolved spectators and how the uninvolved spectators react.

Regarding the flow of the story: it seemed a bit awkward at times. I think this is because you have, essentially, three key scenes: the introduction of the monster and its first encounter with the unicorn; the capitalization on the battle by the town of Saint Seraline and the further battles between the beasts; the last battle, backwards birth of the unicorn, and the fate of the inn's popularity. I think that by treating the three sections of your story as each having their own beginning, rising action, climax, and end, you might be able to smooth out the issues regarding flow. But this is just one suggestion, and what more, I am not entirely sure that my observations on the story's flow are accurate.

Regarding the end, it does feel a bit out of sync with the story because it doesn't seem to tie in with the metaphors the story uses. On one hand, there's the shifting balance between the monster and the unicorn. On the other hand, there's the town's sudden growth in popularity, which ties in directly with the unicorn's return to youth. Once the unicorn is gone, BAM, the town's popularity is suddenly as if it had never been. But now the innkeeper finds the ruby, which seems to imply that the unicorn saved the innkeeper in the end... which doesn't fit because the unicorn wasn't involved actively in helping the innkeeper at all. The innkeeper was the one actively making a profit off the unicorn being locked in constant battle. The innkeeper finding the ruby feels like it ought to reflect on the chains of relationships established throughout the story; for example, if the ruby were to be large and bright at first, but it would fit if the man to whom it was sold afterwards found that the ruby began to dim and lose its spark and eventually shriveled up and shrank to nothing. It would also make sense within the logic of the story for the ruby to be sold and later displayed, for if you look into its heart, some people see a monster, and some see a unicorn, and some see and ask: what's the distinguishing difference? Or you could come up with something else entirely; there are endless endings that could potentially fit the story, and I'm certain that you'll be able to choose the one that fits best.

I know this review was very long and tangled and somewhat confused, but I am very very tired, so I guess that might account for some of the garbling. I hope I wasn't too incoherent and that my comments made sense... It was an interesting story, and though rough in parts, it was a fun read.
myapologiesnolongerinuse chapter 1 . 12/20/2006
That was really good! I think the ending was fair enough though. I really liked how you created a mood of suspense in the first few paragraphs.
Loki Mischeif-Maker chapter 1 . 9/4/2004
The ending does NOT suck!

Okay, that out, I can tell tou more about the story. Good discription . . . very good. I actually LIKED the ending. Fairly clean grammar, seems to me.

The only criticism I can come up with is this- you don't really let us into the characters' heads. More characterization would be really nice.

Other than that, awesome story!

Qu33n of Spades chapter 1 . 8/27/2004
woot! this is awesome. I absolutely love it. The ending is fine, though it sounds a little like you're assuming that the reader doesn't know where the ruby came from. I love this!
RuathaWehrling chapter 1 . 6/14/2004
Heya! Thanks for the review. Here you go...
1.) "They knew, of course, but cut off from the rest of the world by a mountain and a slicing canyon, no one had the nerve to leave." - That seems sort of odd, if they're so terrified of it.
2.) "Hooves, keen as honed battle-blades, muscles bunching under a pathetic pelt, and the horn, a crystal horn, but it was dull with age." - There's no verb here, and it's too long to exist without one. The ending is especially confusing and awkward-seeming.
3.) "The grey being charged towards the monster" - You never described "the stallion" as grey, so this sounds strange. Describe first, please. Similarly, if it's a unicorn, call it one.
4.) You never explained what the monster was there to do! Did it eat people? Destroy things? What! Why was it so dangerous and feared?
5.) "He came capering on that one night out of every year, twinkling his splendid horn, and with dainty hooves leap at the unseeable terror" - Leapt.
6.) "Had he defeated one evil only to confront one hundred more?" - Who? The townspeople? Wouldn't he have known all along they were there? This entire section is EXTREMELY confusing! Please clarify!
7.) " How did that ruby get there? " - How HAD it GOTTEN there. (Stay in the same verb tense!)
Interesting. You've got decent grammar and such, but you really need to go into more detail in places. Explain WHY things are happening. How long had the monster been coming to the town? What did he do? Why was the unicorn so depressed after its defeat? Etc. Things like that make your story more real.
Take care,
Lizopath chapter 1 . 6/12/2004
I think I agree with the general calliber of reviews already given (I do hate being the last one to the party).
Magnificent story telling, lovely philosophical overtones that really great story-tellers are masters of.
And you -do- have a great ending. (Although I am often plagues with the same kind of nagging feelings about my ending...aren't all writers?)
Keep up the good work. I'm sure I'll enjoy everything else I read!
A Chroi chapter 1 . 5/29/2004
Wow. The ending does not suck! That was excellent! I love the way you told this; I was spellbound. Oh, just FYI, if you want to put ellipses (...), try putting a space between each period and after the word the ellipses follows, i.e. "So . . ." When you upload the document, the three periods will be still there. Other than that, this was excellent. This was intriguing, original, and well-written. Keep writing! And thanks for your reviews; I'm glad you like TBoS; it's my pet project. _ Keep writing!
ChristianGeekGuy chapter 1 . 5/28/2004
I like it. Mysterious happenings and no dialogue give it a very fairy-tale feel. There's also a good sense of rising and falling action from each small section to the next.
I happen to think the ending is quite fitting. You start at the beginning and end at the end. I think I would leave out the inkeeper's name though, since you name nobody else in the story, and the reader really doesn't need to know it.
Once again you've done well. Keep writing!
Grace Hsia chapter 1 . 5/27/2004
I like this story a lot, and the ending could be where a great story starts, about how the ruby is passed down from generation to generation in the innkeepers family, and it kept them rich. Then, it falls into the hands of a boy who is special, with a noble heart and soul, who is able to unlock the magic powers kept inside of the ruby. You have a great ending there! Why, I wish that I had written this. It was VERY intriquing and detailed and I love that idea of swallowing into yourself, where you are not born but unborn as you grow older.