Reviews for The Power Within
DontRayneOnMyParade chapter 14 . 11/26/2009
This is a good piece. I'm really enjoying your work. Keep Writing.
Etenebris chapter 2 . 4/4/2006
Yay, I kept a promise! I actually reviewed when I said I would review!

I loved and hated this chapter - loved it for the whole plot of it, but hated it for all of the typos. You're a great writer, you just have to revise a bit more. So, typos:

She looked over to Jacob's bed, he seemed fast asleep. - Should be: She looked over to Jacob's bed; he seemed fast asleep.

Addressing a general problem: you tend to put a period to end dialogue when you should use a comma. Examples:

"Go to sleep." She heard Jacob mumble.

"...It's keeping me awake." He whispered back.

There are others, but I think that you can find those without me having to point them out.

I really don't like this sentence: It was a tender topic for her and she didn't like to talk about it. This sentence uses an already very cliched phrase that I despise. Of course, if you like it, and everyone else likes it, I can finally be labeled certifiably insane.

There's still the issue with not as many compound sentences as you should use. Have you ever read anything by Shirley Jackson? Her sentences used maybe two, three semicolons if she needed to, and she tended to feel that she needed to. Doing that keeps the reader rolling along, and I'm told that that's a good thing. I wouldn't know myself...

You use "smirked" too many times in this chapter. If you must use it more than once, you may; HOWEVER: if you have to have the same effect that "smirk" gives more than twice, use a substitute, like, "devilishly grinned".

This is just a miscellaneous question that has nothing to do with typos: do you still want to refer to Collette as Collette when you're narrating, after she's demanded she be called "Sanders"? If you actually want the name, Sanders, to be what other people call her throughout the book(s), you might want to reinforce that by using it when you're talking in the third person.

When Sally says, "TA DA! I can dye your hair blonde and put on some make up..." it should be, "Ta-da! I can dye your hair blonde and put on some makeup..." and you should italicize "ta-da" instead of capitalize it, or maybe even just leave it with an exclamation point after it.

When you mention "Saw", you've got to put quotation marks around it, I believe. Well...that's one of the things I'm not sure on.

Not everyone knows what DOA2 is, so you should probably spell it out instead of using the acronym. That's not as big a problem for the PS2, though.

"Oh please! Eighty five wins to fifty six isn't luck." Should be: "Oh please! Eighty-five wins to fifty-six isn't luck."

'Her pale completion...' should be, 'Her pale complexion...'

Also, 'Her pale completion [complexion] stood out against her dark hair and dress, she almost looked like a ghost." should be, 'Her pale completion [complexion] stood out against her dark hair and dress; she almost looked like a ghost." Even that one I'm not very comfortable with. Try adding something to "looked like a ghost," like, "looked like a ghost, the dark fabric bouncing down her shoulders to create a surreal effect..." blah-blah, etc. etc.

The messages should be italicized or in quotes, or bold, or in a different font - something to show that it's not thought being shown and not something that you're saying in third person.

"Erm..." She looked at herself"The bride of something." This should be, "Erm..." She looked at herself. "The bride of something."

When you say, 'She noticed something she hadn't done before,' I believe you meant, 'She noticed something she hadn't before.'

When you use punctuation like an exclamation point or a question mark, you shouldn't capitalize the letter immediately after it, unless it's an "I" subject word.

When you want Collette's sentence to be cut off, you shouldn't end it with a period ("Yes we."). Instead, you should cut it off with a hyphen ("Yes we-" or "Yes we-").

And then: 'Written on the door, in the same faint red felt tip was.' You have to put a colon after "was" there, or else you just end the sentence at some random point without filling in the rest of it.

Okay, now my tics:

I'm tired of everyone "chuckling" and having "chuckled," and Collette "smirks" too much. Use different words. If you've used the same verb more than twice in a chapter, and it's an active verb (laughter, smiling), then you should consider changing the words around. "Chuckled" can be switched with the bland word "laughed," and a couple of well-placed adverbs can spice it up. Don't listen to Stephen King; he can't write for beans, and he claims that it's best not to use adverbs. If you've overused a verb, there's nothing to do but go with the base-verb and use some adverbs. So, for example, "smiled devilishly," or, "laughed mischievously".

I hate Pete and Sally. Not as in, "Wow, you got me to hate them," but as in, "They're unrealistic." Here's how:

#1: Pete not noticing that he's wearing a giant rabit suit with a strap-on nose, tapping his foot, is just cliched, and slightly annoying.

#2: Sally's the typical "American" blonde. She's not a realistic American, nor does she quite react like an American would react when a bat is dropped on trick-'r-treaters. She wouldn't do the whole "Leave It To Beaver" routine, whining, "Why'd you do that? That wasn't very nice." Instead, she'd probably get into a rant about how the two aren't in the spirit, or are just being hormonal. That's what American moms, girlfriends, and...well, Americans tend to say in that situation.

#3: Sally's like the dog you kick that just keeps on getting up and coming back to you without fail. You've got to show her being hurt by Collette not accepting her as at least a friend. She, of course, cannot expect Collette to just accept her right away, but she's still got to be a bit hurt. A quivering lip won't do. That's not the American way; it's the American sitcom way.

#4: Just a side-note: you should introduce the fact that Pete had a rabbit suit on right away. Even if it was meant to add to the comical effect, it's got to be told first. If it's very noticeable, and you just mention it after a few sentences and lines of dialogue, you should consider if you've put comical effect ahead of your need for a small list of flaws and reader tics.

Okay, now this one:

Collette and Jacob are childish for their ages. They go back and forth between being typical teens to being the two youngest members of "The Brady Bunch". "Am!" "Are not!" That's not typical teen behavior, and, as such, is not very believable. If they're actually teens, they'd be supplying more info, like, "You're just sore that I beat your perfect score." But keep in mind, the whole gender difference thing can be a cliche trap. "You're just angry that a girl beat you!" is a tic of many readers.

This happens in too many stories, and it almost ruins them: Jacob and Collette completely disregard the fact that there's rapidly englarging children's writing in Collette's mirror that is telling her to help some unknown person. This is the, "Oh, look, a dragon; let's go play DDR" flaw. It's done way too much in the work of budding authors, and is meant to drop a subtle (or not so subtle) hint that something supernatural is going on, without shipping the main character out on the journey right away. You need to do that, of course; you've just got to be able to do that without the main character treating the mystical hints (sometimes anvils) as everyday occurances. If it's a situation in which they would normally freak out for horus on end, then have the message disappear once Jacob and Collette read it a couple of times in the mirror, but be sure to get them moving along without using the, "Oh, look, a dragon; I think I'll go play DDR."

Overall: this is a good chapter, just flawed. I love your writing, and this weekend I'll be able to work on reading as much of it as possible, and reviewing like crazy. I hope these things end up to be useful...
Etenebris chapter 1 . 4/3/2006
"Fine, I'll call you Col or do you prefer Ette?" This should have a comma to separate "I'll call you Col" and "or do you prefer Ette?"

There's a similar problem here: "I prefer Sanders and what time is it?" It should be, "I prefer Sanders, and what time is it?"

When you say, "She had that freaky dream again," you're basically saying that she had it in the car. It should be, "She had had that freaky dream again," and even then I'm not comfortable; the word "freaky" might not be the best choice, even if it is, in fact, "freaky". "Freaky" is more of a dialogue word.

You tend to use short sentences for a long time, and then short and long. You should have short/long variation all the time. An example of your short sentence frenzy would be, "She was no older than eight. There was nothing else there. Just her dressed in a white gown..." Try using more compound sentences; they'll keep your reader on a roll. Lots of periods tend to make the reader STOP in their minds, and that can make reading slow, at least in my perspective.

I can get how Sanders (respecting her wishes, of course) would be sort of in shock, but you'd think she would have some emotion. In, "There's a crazy blonde American woman tugging at my hair. [that should be a comma, not a period] She thought to herself. What do I do?" you should give her some emotion, perhaps panic? Or, if the emotion itself is emotional distance, as in she's not really registering what's going on, try to say that in some way, using descriptive adjectives.

I really loved the, "'Collete Sanders.' She frowned at her name. She hated Collette." It shows, in my mind, that she hates the image that her name creates of herself, as names tend to do.

I'm not sure if I like how you ended the chappie...well...it's definitive, at least. "...and they were quiet again." Perhaps a more solid word, like, "...and they were silent again." Or even an adverb to enhance "silent/quiet"?

I like how this first chapter is so mundane, while you've kind of advertised your story as something spectacular or elaborate. Elaborate, that's it. That's how every story should start out, unless you can find another way to do it. It sets your reader up to be shocked when something amazing happens.

The night is officially senile, as of 10:18 PM. Well, usually I'm off at about 11:40, but I'm trying to be good about this, since I'm extremely tired all of the time. So...perhaps you'll be receiving another installment in my "gang review". I wonder if anyone's called you already...long story. Well, short, but I like secrets.
miss-blackhair chapter 14 . 12/22/2005
good job in completing this great story. good luck with your other works. )
Heart of the RubyFire chapter 14 . 12/18/2005
What a great ending! I love this fic, please write a sequel! The ending has me really interested in what will happen next. I know you said you're chicken, but I think you should get it published. If you do get it published, then will it be in manga format or an actual chapter book format? I really hope you get your work published:) I can't wait to review your next fic!

**Heart of the RubyFire**
Casey Drake chapter 14 . 12/17/2005
Wait. THAT'S THE END? NO! THIS ROCKED TOO MUCH TO END!

:) CD
MoriMorte chapter 14 . 12/17/2005
awsome job!

please update soon!
Heta N chapter 12 . 12/13/2005
I was positively surprised when I started to read your story, you know. It's very interesting and exciting, the plot is well done (I cannot see any holes in it.)

Truth to be told, I was downright shit-scared (forgive me my language) when I read the first two chapters. My head processed it like this: messages written in red - blood - horror - the Grudge. (I _hate_ that movie. It gave me some serious traumas.) Think about how relieved I was I found out that it was just... well, just Emma.

The way how James found out there are these powers Collette and Emma have was nicely made up. :) Have you ever thought of writing up Emma's story, too?

Collette is a witty girl, and I like that she wants to be called 'Sanders' gives her some edge. Both Emma and Jacob are good characters, too. Jacob is well written, considering that you are a girl (at least I suppose you are). But, well, who am I to say anything, I'm not a boy, is very sympathetic. It makes sort of sense that she lost her eyesight when her power to create illusions Pete is a nice guy. Wish I had an uncle like him. But Sally seems really suspicious. Is she really just Pete's air-headed girlfriend... Or something more? Something evil?

The way you build up the story, however, was maybe a wee bit too fast - but luckily, it didn't spoil it. So, keep up the good work!
You Make My Date chapter 11 . 12/12/2005
Hey! This is a great story- awesome plot line (I especially loved the ancient history and the mention of Telekinesis, Illusion, Hypnosis and Premonition powers)! It's awesome to be able to see where you're going with this and as a reader, we're getting great information as to what might happen next! I can't wait to see where this goes and how Sanders is going to get out of this one! Great character development- I particularly like Sanders and Jacob. Pete has also grown on me :)PLEASE TELL ME SANDERS AND JACOB GET TOGETHER! I'm a romance junkie and jacob sounds really cute! I want him to be one of the other two power-holders as well!Your style was also really good, nice and direct and to the point, but with sufficient twists for changes in the update soon, I can't wait to see what happens next!xx Carmen
Heart of the RubyFire chapter 11 . 12/12/2005
Yes, I love your twists! At the end of your last chapter I thought you were going to have Sally as one of the bad guys. I hope James didn't drain Sanders of her powers. 4 legendary heroes with cool powers; what a pretty awesome plot! Please update soon.

**Heart of the RubyFire**
miss-blackhair chapter 10 . 12/11/2005
very light hearted. a nice read, definitely. hope to hear from you soon! )
Casey Drake chapter 10 . 12/7/2005
YAH! Cliffie!

oo... I like. *nods* can't wait for the next chappie!

:) CD
Casey Drake chapter 3 . 12/7/2005
I LIKE IT! :D

Freaky but cool is the verdict so far.

:) CD
MoriMorte chapter 10 . 12/6/2005
lol i've known for a while but awsome chpt!

please update soon!

i wish u luck on your writing!
Peche chapter 9 . 12/4/2005
I have to say that I really like this story! It's easy to read, because you know how to write, and your grammar is really good! I saw that you're both snake and cancer, which I found interesting, because I am too, born 5th of july 89 ;)
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