Reviews for The Oracle of Yet to Be
SplitToInfinity chapter 5 . 6/27/2009
Hm. I like it. If nothing else it's a very interesting setting. Actually, I'm finding some (small) similarities with a piece of my own work - the council-based government is the largest, though even in that there are a significant amount of differences.

I don't find this latest chapter too bad, actually. At the very least it's no worse than some of my own stuff, although I suppose it does jump around a little too much. The very last section of this chapter was really intriguing, and I can't wait to see the continuation.
UnspokenDesires chapter 1 . 3/30/2009
Oh. this is wonderfull. I really want to know what happens next. PLease continue.
Eternity's Lyre chapter 5 . 3/1/2007
So...what's really beginning to bother me (and trust me, everytime I remember to check my derelict email I come scurrying back to catch up on The Oracle of Yet to Be) is the...uh...for lack of a better word, thick-witted. The necessary implications hidden with your lines are there; if the reader must, the reader is suggested to read again, but you've not worded a sentence that has no intended mreaning clearly situated within it. I don't remember if I've ever had the problem; when I write stuff I either get attacked, praised, stalked, and most of the time some combination of all three. Prose especially. But I've always had some strange soul gather the courage to tell me that they loved my work (with sincerity-you can tell when they mean it, even if they can't spell it) and that I wasn't to pay the detractors any heed.

Your other critics may be trying to help, but I think the biggest suggestion you need is...you have to figure out how to connect the beginning to the end, and not try to plod unassumingly past the finish. More than anything it sounds a little like you're not too sure what you want to happen next, in what order, with who, and most of all why it should happen.

We'll wait. 'cause, when you're good, you're phenomenal. And when you're trying to be good, you're still phenomenal, but decidedly more spastic.

Eternity's Lyre
l. fayette chapter 1 . 12/30/2006
this is actually, REALLY proffessionaly written. wow, ignore my horrific spelling.

happy new years as well, i guess
Lowell Boston chapter 1 . 12/10/2006
Great opening chapter. You have a great feel for character, but more for world building and context! Looking forward to the next chapter. Well done!
trash can art chapter 2 . 12/3/2006
Hmm… At the beginning, you say that Idana can’t believe that her father is actually passing up the chance to meet a Lord Councilor. Why is this so extraordinary? Is he often found fawning over Lord Councilors? You don’t really give us an explanation for this.

Idana also says, “Well, at least let me say goodbye.” To be honest, she sounds kind of rude, especially in a world where hierarchy is evident.

Ah, flashbacks. Be mindful of them, as the author can often lose him/herself in the drama of attempting to recreate painful memories. I know this only too well… _

‘Since when was his life a scene from a romance novel?’ Ehh, I don’t think this sentence works well. A bit.. clichéd. Sorry.

‘It was short for Divaela, daughter of the Bedoran Merchant Master Praeger.’ Oh my. That IS interesting.

Hehe, I like Caiyen. He title of Infamous Sorcerer of Sewing Utensils suits him nicely.

That shady girl.. I can’t tell whether she’s supposed to be an antagonist or protagonist. I get the feeling that she enjoys stirring up the events of Brashin’s life, though.

Moving on. This second flashback of Brashin’s—how old was he during it? I got kind of lost at that part. The girl is four, Brash loves her (I assume this is platonic love), and she gets blinded and dies. Hm… To me, their relationship isn’t that clear.

Bleh, I need to stop before my reviews get any more discombobulated. I probably didn’t read this chapter properly due to a growing headache (I blame the incessant yowling of my cat) and will need to continue at a later time. I have to say though, I like the idea that seems to be emerging.

:salutes:
trash can art chapter 1 . 12/3/2006
‘ "And what childish imaginings traipse through your head this fine morning, Milord Councilor?" the older man asked in a tone that would be called churlish if it wasn't so damn polite.’

I believe that ‘wasn’t’ should be changed to ‘weren’t’. Slap me for my nitpickiness, but this was something that was pummeled into me as a child. In order to uphold my honor, I feel that I must pass this on.

‘Milord ground his teeth together.’ – I’m a tad confused. Is Milord Brashin’s last name or something? Because I sort of got the feeling that Brashin was a lord, at first. When you plugged Milord into the narration, it stopped me in my tracks. Maybe you should clear it up in the beginning. For example, calling him Brashin Milord, or something.

‘Brashin begged, "Oh, Caiyen! Please don't sew me into this thing." but he didn't even twitch his arm.’ – comma

‘So he stood still, glaring at Caiyen, praying the man didn't have a twin that could come torment him too.’ – I find the bit about the twin to be unnecessary, and kinda out of place.

‘Every step was dragged out twice as long than should be humanly possible.’ – Ahh, grammar error. Steps cannot be dragged out as much as humanly possible, seeing as they’re not human. You can say that Brashin dragged out the process of descending the stairs as much as humanly possible, because… well, he’s human.

‘and he decided whiled away the time until the breakfast of doom by exploring every inch of them.’ – Herm.. decided TO while away the time, mayhaps?

Hee! I like the description of the Gardens. They’re rather unique. And this shielding of the children bit – I like that too.

‘When most children learned the bows they had used for years were completely useless and that they had to master a new, seemingly endless set of them, they threw a fit.’ I think should be changed to, ‘When most children learned that the bows they had used for years were completely useless and that they had to master a new, seemingly endless set of them, they would throw fits.’

‘"I'm Idana," she said with a smile.’ – No need for the ‘with a smile’. You already said she was smiling.

D’aww… Idana’s a cutie. ‘"No one comes here, I like it. It doesn't need to be expensive to be beautiful," Idana said defensively.’ Tehe. I like her already.

‘ "Idana?" a man asked, obviously her father. Brashin glanced at him, and his eyes widened with recognition. Eternals' Blood, his new friend was the daughter of that Merchant Master of Bedoran. Master Praeger didn't look a day older from when Brashin last saw him thirteen years ago at Her funeral.” – Heh? Why is he so surprised? Didn’t he already do that whole bow thing somewhere in the middle? I thought that he already knew whose daughter Idana was.
Eternity's Lyre chapter 4 . 11/28/2006
You'll be surprised to know I'm still following your story; I got the alert off my much-spammed email account a few weeks ago but forgot to log in and thus never found opportunity to comment.

Wheels within wheels within wheels, I'd say? Long stories do require complex networks instead of that roller-coaster thing most call a plot. If you're not having as much fun writing this as I am reading it, tell a publisher and see that they offer you some better incentive.

Anyhow, keep it up, and glad to know there's a vow on your door.

EL
love-of-words chapter 4 . 11/27/2006
OMG! I love this story. It is well written and for the most part free of all major gramatical errors. The last chapter however could have been a bit clearer. I was never exactly sure what was going on and it confused me a great deal. Maybe you should re-write a tad to make it flow better. Other than that, great story. Update soon.
Jaque chapter 4 . 11/26/2006
i love it! keep it up and update soon!
Jaque chapter 2 . 11/26/2006
i love it! its like actually reading a novel from a bestseller. you should so publish this!
Kaldaka chapter 4 . 11/26/2006
It's wonderful! I can't wait for the next installment, it's going to be so cool. Yay! Hurry and write fast!
Pink Parfait chapter 1 . 11/25/2006
Wow this was long and good! I can hardly wait for the next chappie - that's why this is so rushed!
Katherine Willow chapter 3 . 11/22/2006
Firstly, I have to thank you for the thoughtful-not to mention helpful-review of my story, "Meet Katiana." Upon looking at your story, I realize that it's almost completely opposite your own writing style, so I further commend your efforts to review and make recommendations. I mention that not only in my own thankfulness, but also as a disclaimer: I can't say that any of my criticisms of your work will be helpful, as I'm entirely unfamiliar with fantasy (I've got HP under my belt-who doesn't?-but not much else-forgive me). However, there's nothing like an unlikely perspective in reevaluating one's work, right?

In response to your own comments and questions about Katiana, I again extend thanks. I'm impressed that you took a character who I thought I knew inside-out and started deconstructing her-and the story-in a way that asks questions I hadn't considered, let alone answered. If you keep reading (which I don't insist upon-I'd rather you, or anyone for that matter, read for only as long as s/he is interested, despite my selfish desire to get more of your insightful commentary), you'll see that she does fall into the near-miss-revelation-redemption thing, if not in her own death than in the metaphorical death of a lifestyle. Although she is a cliche, I want the story to have much more than a formulaic setup, and I've tried to maintain that. You're right about the difficulties in maintaining the original intensity, which is probably why I put this story to rest for a long time before I posted it and started seeing new potential in her.

As for identifying Riley Scott Davis as Katiana's foil, your recognition of this opens doors for where their interaction could go. Originally, the character of RSD was very single-dimensional, just someone for Katiana to compare herself to. RSD is the kind of celebrity that, if I were one, I would want to be like, and and Katiana would definitely despise. She's a little glimmer of hope-that money and fame doesn't always end up manifesting into someone like Katiana. However, I never conceived what their interaction might be, and how one could change Katiana. It's definitely a scene I'll think about for a bit.

Thank you for identifying that this is not a self-insert piece by any means. It started as an escapism exercise-she's, at least at the beginning, everything I would not and do not want to be. The tone, therefore, is as far as I can get from the wordy and somewhat optimistic articulations I use naturally. You described it as "interesting," so I'm not sure if you approve or are just being polite. You're right, it is reminiscent of the pop-cultural girlie stuff, which I also tend to disapprove of. I grew up on Babysitter's Club and Sweet Valley Twin novels, which painted a world of happy carefree adolescent years. I later realized that adolescence is much bleaker than this-though probably not as bleak as Katiana's world. My quest has always been to be interesting but realistic. Therefore I have to be hyperconscious of Katiana's age. Despite her decidedly adult actions, she's still a teen. She's a teen who lives in a world of irresponsible adults. So, the tone is slightly satirical of the popular teen novels, in that it takes that tone but doesn't overlook the fact that teenagers swear and try drugs and have sex, and that all problems will not be resolved in 100 paperback pages.

Thanks for pointing out the grammatical stuff. In that first one, "ash" is a verb. I'll see if I can add a scene between the first and second so it doesn't look like a perspective change (a writing pet peeve of mine). I threw away the first chapter. I had a feeling it was a bit pretentious. :)

I don't know why I'm writing this story. It's probably a question I should be able to answer. I'd like it to be a mouthpiece for the generation of apathy of which I am sadly a member, but somehow these Caulfield aspirations seem far too ambitious.

That said, onto what I thought of your story. Like I mentioned before, it's outside of my style. The first item I took issue with was trying to identify a setting. This may be indicative of my unfamiliarity with the fantasy genre, but I found myself searching for

I pose the same question to you as you did to me: why are you writing this? Any story that has potential for publication—which, with your talent, isn’t hard to imagine—should be published not only as a source of entertainment, but also as a reflection of the mindsets in which they were written. In other words, this is your opportunity, through your art form, to preserve your interpretation of the world you live in. J.D. Salinger gets half his praise not from writing a great novel about a teenager, but from taking that perspective in his time period. I venture to say Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own would be near inconsequential if it were published today, but then, it was revolutionary. Arthur Miller and Death of a Salesman, Betty Smith and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, John Steinbeck and Grapes of Wrath, Mark Twain and The Adventures of Huck Finn… the list, as you know, goes on and on, but the point is that great literature says something about the world, whether it be directly or indirectly. I think you have the potential—with your skill as well as your dedication—to really say something important about your world, but I couldn’t identify that (or at least, not a this point). Of course, this commentary on society isn’t necessary for a story, but it certainly adds depth and, in my opinion, separates a good story from a great one. You definitely have seeds of societal reflection in your writing; for example, some of the characters have demonstrated sarcastic self-awareness, which is a post-modern tactic.

The story is a bit wordy, which I know other reviews have mentioned. Do you ever read your work aloud? If you haven’t, I would recommend doing so (and that’s more of a general piece of advice) because it definitely smoothes out dialogue and keeps sentences more concise.

I also had trouble making connections with the characters. They seemed to stay fairly one-dimensional for me. I know you mentioned that the death of the young girl makes you teary (and it should! She’s yours!) but I’m sad to say I didn’t feel an emotional pull to her. Since she is yours, I’m sure there are little things about her that you as the author only know, and letting us know about those things will make us more attached to her (and therefore more emotional when she has to leave). The best advice I can give in doing this is to observe a child or even use your imagination. Any child can have clear blue eyes or be precocious, and those things make adults find children in general to be adorable…but little things, like a birthmark she nicknames “Ladybug” or her tendency to taste flower petals or the way she only eats peas with two fingers, are then things that make adults find a certain child adorable. I think you could benefit from individualizing the characters. I got so caught-up in tripping over titles or descriptions that I don’t really remember which foreign name was the chancellor or the butler or what. (Sorry—this is why I prefaced this with a confession of my complete ignorance about fantasy).

I am finding it hard to criticize, only because you and I are both fully aware that you are a largely talented writer, and the things I’m bringing up are not out of necessity. You’re story holds up without my suggestions, but I think that you could have something spectacular on your hands if there’s a deeper level. Perhaps there already is. You made mention of the skin tone—will you explore the politics of this?

Remember also that aristocracy, as you know, is not all table manners and curtsies. The nobility of civilizations of the past were characterized by brutality and vengeance, by power and bravery. Etiquette came as a further separator between the upper and lower classes, but what really separated them were the characteristics to rule versus the characteristics to be ruled. You’re rulers should have ruthlessness.

As I’ve said, great job thus far and thanks for the review. I hope you keep reading mine—I’ll do the same. Have a great Thanksgiving (if you’re American—I assume you are, but if not, then just have a great end-of-November).
Jave Harron chapter 3 . 11/20/2006
Ah, political noble manners. Got to love sucking up. I take it the nation's an aristocratic republic?
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