Reviews for Winning Isn't Everything
Jess Megan chapter 1 . 5/24/2011
I review as I read…

“ None could stand up to his skills with the blade or his keen eyes. “ – Wouldn’t it make more sense to say “no one?”

“Or that's how Kaden thought of himself as he laid in the grass outside town, eyes closed, daydreaming about the grand adventures and exploits he had never really participated in, and likely never would.” – I was going to say that the opening paragraph was over the top until I read this line. Funny.

“"Damn straight." He replied, turning to face outward, down the slope of the hill, toward the vast expanse of wilderness that filled the land 'til far beyond the horizon. "Those bastards don't stand a chance against my skill with the sword!"”

Edit: “Damn straight,” he replied …”

“A gentle laughter surrounded him as Erica and Anthony chuckled at the comment.” – this is a little redundant.

“"Yeah," Anthony agreed, "you'd “ – “You’d” should be capitalized.

“Kaden twisted his face into an angry frown” – readers can assume that he’s angry without you describing his frown as “angry.”

“They had then been taken in by a neighbor and raised until a few years back, when the elderly man passed on from natural causes.” – You don’t need the comma.

“ Erica answered, trying not to break into another fit of laughter as she stared at the over-exaggerated look of depression that Kaden had twisted his face into.” – Kaden seems to twist his face a lot.

Anyway, this is pretty well written and I really like how you portrayed your characters, especially Kaden. The dialogue is especially realistic. The plot seems like it will be interesting as well.
Oracle93 chapter 18 . 5/23/2011
All right; I've been reading for the past few days and I LOVE it so far. The story is well-crafted and moves at a breakneck pace. More than that, you avoid attaching enormous gravity to the situation, as too many fantasy authors do; it's a story in which people are more important than tremendous sweeps of history.

That said, your characters are beginning to blend together in some ways. They seem uniformly headstrong and determined; the women are sensible and the men are foolhardy. Kaden and Anthony have no flaws other than excessive bravery, Mae is defined solely by her affinity for physical abuse, and I can't see any notable flaws in Erica.

Don't let this criticism detract from the praise, though. I'm excited to keep reading, and your prose style is clear and accessible, free from the purple imagery it's very easy to slip into in your genre. Just remember that it's not enough to put your characters throught external danger; they have to struggle within themselves as well.
WrenWriter chapter 25 . 5/12/2011
Hello again,

Ok, so I decided to check this story out after reading another reader's comment on it over on Bladewarriors. I read all 25 chapters in a couple of hours. For some reason I assumed the story was complete and to my horror discovered that it is not! Please finish it! I love it, the characters all come to life, it's traditional enough to be comfortable and out-of-the-box enough to stay interesting and keep the reader engaged, I'd buy the game if you ever made it. So, please, please, please...times a hundred, finish it! Thank you!
Eclairis chapter 25 . 3/25/2006
Good story. You wrote somewhere that this story was a cliché of sorts. Well, for me, cliché works. Although your story may lack in detail and does not describe the events in much depth... it has an interesting plot line and I am surprised that not more readers have taken the time to review.

I especially like the way Kaden does not get stupidly powerful too quickly but seems to survive on luck. Another thing that I appreciate is the sense of humour you put into the story. The sarcasme that you imbue into the characters is wonderful.

I only hope that Erica and Kaden don't fall in love because personaly that would be too cliché but as there is no alternative in this story I guess that is the way it will be.

Hoping you will continue this tale to its end,

~Eclairis
Cyber-Undead chapter 16 . 2/15/2006
Great fight with Warren. Too bad, though, that Kaden didn't kill him. *evil grin*XD
John Hall chapter 4 . 2/7/2006
-_-;

My apologies, it seems to have cut off my entire response in there due to my use of the greater/less than characters as emoticons.

Anyhow... I'm just going to summarize my previous points.

1) Yes, I'm aware of my spelling errors. I usually have a proofreader look through my chapters for me, but he is unavailable to do so for this story. I'll try to head back through and find them. My apologies.

2) Simple Sentence structure is intentional, to a degree. It's meant to almost simulate how Kaden would tell the story, in a way. However, I agree, somewhat, and will attempt to vary it more in the future.

3)"Christ!" was stupid of me. I was probably just being lazy at the time of writing, but it will be changed.

4) It is very hard to give an accurate depiction of Kaden's speed without using minutes to measure it. That moment is also the only time I did give such an exact time, as well. If you have a suggestion for an alternate wording that will still convey s detailed depiction of Kaden's increased speed, I'd be happy to hear it.

5) I never said it was Christianity. I can see the similarities, yes, but that does not mean it is Christianity. Other religions uses churches, and priests, and an organ can be used outside of Chritianity. But, if you want an excuse for the similarities, it's because the story is meant to take place in a world similar to medieval Europe, where Christianity was fairly dominant. Not exactly there, no, but it adds to the setting, I think.

5) I'm aware of the idiosyncrasies of a self-taught style. It's not meant to be perfect; the flaws are desired.

And, as I said before, feel free to debate this with me. Just trying to get my side out there.
John Hall chapter 1 . 2/7/2006
Wow, that has to be the longest review I have ever recieved, Mr. demon lord. .

Anyhow, Thank you. I appriciate the constructive criticism; most people tend to simply read and move on, or say "OMGTHATSAWESOME" on occasion. I read somewhere you should never reply to a review with a review... but I just find this loads easier than any other method of response. _

Now, don't get the wrong idea with all of this. I love constructive criticism, but I'm one of those people that wants everyone to like me, or in this case, my work. As such, I feel a need to explain myself whenever someone says something of this sort. If I can't explain it logically and rationally, then they're right, and I give in. If I can, though, I like to try and get my side out there so that maybe they can see things the way I do, and I the way they do, and it can be discussed. As such, if you wish to discuss this further, I invite you to e-mail me (flarefire01 at yahoo dot com) or post another eview if you prefer. Otherwise, thank you for your input and I will try to keep it in mind for future updates.
Lccorp2 chapter 4 . 2/7/2006
Harr.

Archdemon Lord Duffikus:

Cower, mortal, for the...oh...ah, well...no point in melodramatic entrances, hmm?

Unlike most of the ADHD-riddled, mindless, sugar-coated teenagers on here, I generally don't have TOO much truck with your spelling, grammar or sentence structure. Oh, there's always some place for improvement, i see "their" used for "there", vice versa, and a few toher words used im place of one another. Added to that come a few missing commas, but I'll close one eye for now. Fine. No problems. I really hope the slightly varied sentence openers are on purpose and not accidental, you do more than most, using nouns, adjectives, verbs, and -ed words. I'd like to see more when/while, because, and prepositions. Please. I know it's hard, but humour an old demon lord and breathe variety and life into your stories, will you? You can have the most amazing, wonderful plot, but if no one's going to bother reading it as they've all fallen alseep after the first sentence, what good is it gonna do?

Now let's move onto the heavy stuff.

-Watch your language. Putting terms that are earth-exclusive into your works is a BIG NO-NO.

Kaden says "Christ!" Now, let me see. Is this setting in medevial europe?

Uh, no. Not when in chapter 3, magic is involved.

THEN WHAT THE HELL IS "Christ" DOING IN THERE?

Do your fantasy characters magically know of this "Christ"? Hmm? It's irritating AND it jerks people out from the immersion into your story.

Other things like boycott, Herculean, titanic, and other such words. The main problem is that all these words are named after people and mythological figures who probably don’t exist in your world. The only exceptions are fantasies which share their mythologies or histories with Earth’s pretty exactly.

The above are less outstanding, but it riles me up every time i see words like "God!" "Christ!" "Cops!" and the such.

Furthermore...

-”In a minute” or “in a second,” and equivalents. Unless your fantasy world is more magically or technologically advanced than is usually the case, its people probably won’t divide time into such small increments. An hour is more likely, or at best “until the clock changes” if they measure time by clocks. Times marked by things no one can mistake, like moonrise, are even better. “In ten minutes” will only work if your people have: a) a clearly delineated way of dividing time into minutes, b) an agreement on that time even across different societies and cultures, and c) a way of referring to a clock or similar instrument as they get ready to ride off on the grand adventure.

Candles might serve as a way of keeping the time, too. In any case, farming folk like Kaden Erica, and Antony are more inclined to tell time by the sun's positions, or other natural events, rather than "In ten minutes." A noble with acess to mechanical clocks, or a wizard conducting experiments might refer to time in minutes and/or seconds, but generally, those seem to be the exception, rather than the rule.

Moving on...

-Why is it that your religion has to follow christianity? While I personally have nothing against the religion, it and its clones are cropping up in every ameteur fantasy story and its mother, where religion is concerned. You have a chruch, organ, the works. Hmm?

This is FANTASY, after all...I suppose you've given thought to the mythlogy of your world? good. Now, from follows function. Did some god or the other ask their followers to behave in a certain way? What have they done? If you're dead-set on basing your religion on christianity, you can research it, find out why certain doctrines were implemented, and then adjust them to your own world.

I'd say more on swordplay and the trickiness of being self-taught, but I'm running late at the moment. Perhaps later.