Reviews for Shadows Over Verdigris
CJ Currie chapter 3 . 1/7/2007
Alright! Review time! It's really funny that I have to get so into the nit-picking details here to come up with something to review about. Seriously, this story is so tight that if I didn't make a fuss over the little things then there'd be nothing to fuss over at all. At that point all I'd be doing is just patting you on the back! ...Anyway, I did notice a couple small things that caught my attention:

Looking at the line where Merenath introduces Jasper, I was wondering if you could make her verbal stumble more noticeable by changing "(...)Derek, a—colleague" to "(...)Derek, a—a colleague" or even better, "(...)Derek, a...colleague". Then in the following paragraph, instead of telling the audience that El was too jealous to notice the stumble - which they might not have even noticed themselves - you could let them see for themselves when Elicia neglects to comment on so obvious a slip. Sorry if that is a little confusing, but do you know what I mean?

The "Buying Emerca" paragraph seemed just a little out of character for Elicia. Perhaps she's just acting more ditzy for Jasper's sake, but I thought she'd done a pretty good job keeping it together so far. Lines like "come, you must tell me", and "I must know who might be buying this darling little world" just struck me as a little odd. If this is a character choice, then perhaps showing more consistency with with the ditz would make the choice more apparent.

Besides that, this chapter was solid. Your third-person, present tense narrative style confuses me a bit at times, but it's consitent and in-your-face. Although it was very well written by itself, it seemed to come down a bit (in intensity) too sharply after the excitement of the first two chapters. I wasn't even sure that it would 'hook' me - until the scene with Elicia getting boozed in the bar. Mer's odd behavior, coupled with the slip of the tongue when she was talking to Jasper, indicates an underlining mystery here that got me interested. Since you don't have alarm claxions sounding or a nocturnal exodus (like in chapters 1 & 2) to really amp your plot, perhaps consider focusing more on the mystery to get readers interested.

When Shakespeare wrote his tragedies, and we'll use Mac-B for an example here (forgive me, but as an actor I just can't bring myself to say that word O_o ), he often would use levity and low-brow humor to "rlease" the audience from a really high-stakes scene. Like in Mac-B, right after Mac-B kills Banquo, a very passionate and intense moment, there is a scene with two guards cracking crude jokes. This "low" moment is meant to create some sort of balance in his work - after all, if you present too much intensity and energy in too short a period of time, then the readers grow numb and unreactive to your presentation. Now I imagine that this chapter is designed that way, a little humor and some normal dialogue to alleviate the intensity of the previous chapters. While this isn't a bad thing, make sure your readers don't lose interest. Create some sort of underlying mystery, make Mer's actions more suspicious, and consider changing your last line. "Elicia is more concerned with working up her courage to ask him on a date." More concerned than what? As far as cliff-hangers go, this wasn't. Maybe something like "this guy was too good to be true" or "Elicia thought that maybe her vacation was going to be properly enjoyed after all...". Also, if she's on the rebound because of her divorce and looking to hook up with some hottie, then explain that. I know your talent for suspense, and I think that's what this chapter needs a little of.

All CC aside, thank you very much for this chapter! I enjoy your writing and I know others will (/do), too. I'm working on getting Shades of Flame read, but I look forward to seeing your next chapter here. Keep 'em coming!
Faeya chapter 2 . 1/5/2007
You made quite a sci-fi world and vividly as well. Both chapters captured the futuristic sense of the world you've created well, and I seem to like Ryan's character. Your style of writing makes me think of some sort of author, but I can't really figure out who, but none the less I do love the way you write. It's mature and intriguing.

I think this might be a mistake, and if it's not, I just feel oh so silly.

Ryan had never tried it again.

I understand that he never tried it again, but would

Ryan has never tried it again.

work? Or does it make such little difference that it doesn't matter. My teenage mind has no idea. It's also quite the unique title you have there. I can only assume that Verdigris is a place? Maybe the country/world they inhabit?
EclipseMystic chapter 1 . 1/4/2007
Hmm. Well, I don't quite see the connection between the chapters, but I'm sure things will work themselves out, like they tend to.

P.S. Good to see you're still alive!
CJ Currie chapter 2 . 12/31/2006
This was a very well-written piece. Chapter 1 doesn't so much capture my attention, but Chapter 2 and the story of Ryan's escape had me riveted. Unlike most of the things I read on FictionPress, I was actually disappointed when it ended.

All in all, I didn't find much to criticize, save perhaps the slightly detatched form of narration. It might just be me, but phrases like "...his mind starts processing possibilities." and "...Ryan scrambles out of bed." seem a strange form of narration. It might be a cultural difference, but past-tense narrative (i.e. Ryan scrambled, his mind started processing) seems like it would make the narration smoother and more fluent. If you intended the difference as a narrative tool, then congratulations on maintaining it consistently throughout the story.

I don't know where Chapter 3 is going to go, but in order to hook readers from the beginning, could you consider swapping Chapter 1 & 2's content? Have Ryans story grab the reader's attention first, switch to Eric getting stuck in the Planesmeld Terrace, then continue on with either Eric or Ryan in Chapter 3 (whichever way you take this story).

In Chapter 1, I noticed a lot of unneccesary detail. I know you are doing this only because it is the beginning of the story because I do the same when I start stories. Once you've gotten further into the plot, go back and think about how much the reader truly needs to know about Eric and his financial status here, and how much the reader can discover later on through actions and events. Once again, consider a bigger "hook" in Chapter 1.

Altogether, I was very pleased by this. I will be adding this and you to my favorites in anticipation of future chapters. It's funny, but your writing style and characteristic humor reminded me greatly of one of my close friends. Good Job.

(Oh, and P.S., Awesome Bio!)
Asharadoth chapter 1 . 9/19/2006
M ... I can't really sympathise with Eric. He just seems so smug, arrogant and self-important. In a way, it satisfies me that he'll miss the meeting.

I'm rather disappointed that this is only a chapter long, though, because that's rather an abrupt and catastrophic cliffhanger. You cruel, cruel woman. For shame. XD (yeah, yeah, I know I can't talk ...)
authorsjourney chapter 1 . 7/24/2006
I read through most of your (quite long) profile and realized that I was wrong with my "run of the Ausjzmahjzk" vs. "ruin of the Ausjzmahjzk" comment. So that saves you the effort of correcting me.

The name, however, is still unpronouncable! :p
www.authorsjourney.com chapter 1 . 7/24/2006
I assume your summary should be "The *ruin* of the Ausjzmahjzk unbalances many things." Don't make mistakes in your summary - people assume that any mistake there will only be worse in something more difficult to write...like a story. Also, *please* make names pronouncable, or the reader will stumble every time it comes up.

At the beginning, do not tell us that "Eric was an important man." Better to show a scene with him that reveals to us how important he is. It will have much more impact than a single, passionless sentence.

However, the fact that he's 70 and doesn't plan to die anytime soon is interesting...interesting enough to start the story. If you can work that into the first sentence in an interesting way like this, you will hook 99% of your readers right at the start. There's nothing better than that.

Reading through the whole thing, it feels like there is too much description early on. We don't need to know much about Eric yet, except that he is walking through this crowded, airport-like building. The fact that this familiar setting is very much *not* an airport perks up the reader's ears though. Getting Eric's thoughts about the place and getting the physical description of it is what's interesting. Everything else is distraction at this point. Also, the faster we get to the explosion, the better. It is at that point that the reader knows that something in this interesting place has gone terribly wrong. Then they eagerly turn the page.

I hope my comments are helpful. Good luck. Keep writing.