Reviews for Darkness Rising
Lorendiac chapter 1 . 6/7/2006
Okay, I've only looked at the first chapter as I type this review. So I can't say much about plot development or character development because you're barely getting started at this point. I am interested enough to keep reading more of your story. Hopefully, after I'm a few chapters into it, I will have something to say on those subjects that will sound at least vaguely intelligent. But at the moment, I'm going to concentrate on offering what is intended as friendly constructive criticism regarding a few possible typoes, etc.

You see, I have a hard-earned reputation as a nitpicker to maintain. (Okay, okay, I admit it: Mention my name around here, and 99.9% of the people on FictionPress would probably say, "Lorendiac? What's a Lorendiac?" But a bare handful might say, "Oh yeah, isn't he a compulsive nitpicker?" It may not be much of a reputation, but I cherish it anyway!)

* The quiet darkness hung over head like a thick fog. *


* Lying in the street of a seemly deserted city lay three young women. *

Okay, you say that they were "lying" and also that that they "lay." You are basically saying the exact same thing, twice in the same sentence! I think just once would be enough :)

Also, I think you meant "seemingly" instead of "seemly." Also - I'm trying to squeeze in as many nitpicks as possible for this single sentence - it seems to me that your exact phrasing, "in the street of a seemly deserted city," suggests the poor city only has one street: "The street of the city." If you said "a street of a seemly deserted city" that would suggest "one street (among many)." If you said "Lying in the street," but didn't have the part about it being "the street of a seemly deserted city," then the reader would instinctively understand that by "the street" you only meant, by implication, "the only street that we need to worry about right this minute; there are presumably lots of other streets in the vicinity, but we aren't 'looking' at any of them right now!" :)

So here's a friendly suggestion. If I were writing that sentence, I might say something along these lines:

"Lying in the street, in a seemingly deserted city, were three young women."

Now let's move along to the next sentence. (No, I'm not planning to criticize every single sentence. But I have a point I want to make.)

* Two were slumped on the ground while the third was tied tightly in rope. *

In context, I get the impression that at this exact moment - until Kell starts groaning and looking around during the next few sentences - all three women are unconscious. To me, this suggests that there won't be much difference among the postures of any of the three, ropes or no ropes, until they actually wake up and start consciously moving their bodies around. The way you phrased it suggests that the woman in the ropes is different from the other two; that she somehow is not as "slumped" as her companions are, even though all three of them are lying in the street as we first see them. But if they're all unconscious in the street, none of them sitting up against a wall or whatever, then I find it hard to picture there being much difference.

Also: I'm not sure if it's possible to be in a "slumped" posture when your entire body is lying on the ground instead of sitting or standing. But I freely admit I am NOT certain just how many different physical positions the word "slumped" can properly describe. So I could easily be wrong in my "feeling" that the word doesn't quite fit in this situation. Take my advice with a grain of salt - I don't claim to know everything there is to know about the use of the English language. I just read an awful lot and have strong opinions on some things :)

* “What power.” A weak voice rasped. *

Putting the period after "power" suggests that the words being spoken, and the fact that a weak voice is rasping, are two completely separate events happening in different sentences, one after the other. In context, I suspect you meant the weak voice was saying, in a rasping tone, the words "what power." If so, then the dialogue and the other stuff should have been combined into a single sentence:

"What power," a weak voice rasped.

(Yes, the replacement of a period with a comma is a TINY nitpick, but that never stopped me before!)

* The silver streaked woman rose upon her knees, her arms still tied behind her back. *

That part about "silver streaked woman" confuses me. I'm not sure how I'm supposed to visualize Thia. What, exactly, is streaked with silver? Her hair? Her clothes? Her skin? All of the above?

This ambiguity is not necessarily a bad thing! You're under no obligation to tell the reader every silly little detail about the appearance of all three women in the first few paragraphs of your story. It is possible that you deliberately stuck in that "silver streaked" comment as a tantalizing hint of something that will be described in more detail later on.

* Kell answered as if we’re all stupid. She was starting to get on everyone’s nerves. *

"We're all stupid"? Who's this "we"? That would make more sense if the entire scene were being described by a first-person narrator.

* A shadowed flickered in a corner before disappearing. *

I think that should be a "shadow" flickered.