Reviews for Second Arc: The Past Within
A. Shapcott chapter 4 . 8/13/2007
'“One hundred-fifty gold pieces?" said a surprised Aine. “I would expect to pay at least twice that! Why is the price so low?”'

Yet Llew just said he would normally ask three hundred gold pieces for it. An odd error, but one nonetheless, I assume.

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'Aine feigned sympathy for the elf, reaching across the counter to put her hand on his shoulder. “You need a sympathetic ear,” she said.'

Repetition is bad, but I assume you've been lectured enough on this all.

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'“Why not?” he said. “Thank the Elements that someone in this city is willing to show some sense and listen to the truth.'

Missing a quotation mark at the end.

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“I’ll just be a minute closing up-” he realized that he didn’t know the woman’s name. “I’m sorry, but I didn’t ask for your name yet.”

Just have him ask for her name, don't say that he realizes he hasn't asked for it and then ask for it. At least say he realized something, but don't say what.

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This chapter was well done and answered some issues I was going to bring up earlier, namely why Ayrlyn was a *re*incarnation as opposed to Cern's avatar or incarnate. The only thing I'm going to critique halfway through the chapter is you dedication to constantly note what the characters are doing and never simply allow things to transition between one scene to the next.

Furthermore, many of these in-betweens are added without detail, ex. when Llew and Aine walk between Llew's shop and the local tavern. You have to remember in writing any piece of serious fiction the author must always try to keep the amount of information they put in their work sufficient without boring the reader. Hopefully that makes sense to you, I'll clarify it when you next reply to me if I'm confusing you.

Aside from that, Aine is a good character. Llew is a good character. So far I like them both because they have obvious flaws that can be believed. Right now, though, adding another character (Ehrian and her brother Behlan) seems a little random and soon. Her section, however, was very realistic and refreshing. Good job.
A. Shapcott chapter 3 . 8/13/2007
'Since childhood, Aine had immersed herself unmercifully in her studies...'

That doesn't sound good at all. No one ever uses unmercifully. I suggest you use 'mercilessly.'

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'Now all that interested her was power.'

Someone was saying this sounded strange to them in another review. I don't think it sounds strange, personally, so I wouldn't change it. That's just my opinion, though.

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Third paragraph down is fractured, seems like you accidentally pressed the enter key and transported half of the last sentence onto a new line. Oops.

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'Once she was in control of Dacia, she could easily conquer the entire world-Kipic.'

Do you really need a comma there? You might, I don't think you do, though.

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'The Dacian elves had been sad to see the last ruler, King Madren, die and since he had no heir, they decided that they could rule over the kingdom themselves.'

That reads... poorly. 'Sad' seems too weak. Also, the comma after 'heir' seems excessive. Furthermore, if they loved him so greatly, why use 'the' when 'their' would make it sound as if they were more attached to him? Rephrased, I think something like:

'The Dacian elves had been stricken with grief to see their last ruler, King Marden, pass away. Since he had no heir they decided that they could rule over the kingdom themselves.'

Also, you already said in the very last sentence before this that the elves had decided to govern themselves. This is repetitive.

Also, not to beat on this issue, but politically that makes no sense. That works in remote villages of no more than 50 people, but a self-governing body encompassing an entire country? Not only would local lords attempt to take the land for themselves but the entire population in cities would be left with very few officials to turn to. Maybe this council you speak of is more powerful than you make it out to be, but it certainly doesn't look that way.

Anyway, now I'm ranting. I think you just need to make the citizen-run government sound more powerful and less of, 'an unofficial council.'

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'I saw her put out the fire that nearly burned down the entire market in all but a few seconds.'

That makes so sense. They formed a bucket brigade and sent out runners to inform Gwenhwyfar, and all the while Ayrlyn was having her panic attack and kicking dirt on the fire until finally managing to put it out. Now the fire sounds too disastrous as opposed to being too mild.

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'As soon as she was out of the bar, she hurried off in the direction of Llew’s archery shop.'

No need for a comma there.

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'Aine quickly decided that must be the girl's name.'

I think this sentence sounds strange and may technically be grammatically incorrect. Just add in 'Ayrlyn' after 'that' and it'd sound better, and you don't need to get into the icky business of saying, 'that that.' Also, the paragraph this is in has Aine's thoughts after it on a separate line by mistake, I assume.

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'When Aine was a few streets away from Llew’s shop, she noticed a slight girl with a holster of arrows on her back.'

Improper comma usage, again, I'm pretty sure. I'm not great with commas, though, so seek someone who can help more.

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'Coupled with the looks that people were giving her and how people were moving away from her, Aine surmised that she must be Ayrlyn.'

Replace the second 'people' with 'they' or something similar. The double usage of such a word is redundant.

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'If she was careful, she could find out where Ayrlyn was going without arousing his suspicion.'

I once again get the feeling that the comma is not needed. Could be wrong.

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I have to add in while I'm thinking about it, you use far too many openings to your sentences that require you to use a comma. Commas are alright when seen rarely or when used intentionally in dramatic situations to keep the reader's attention darting about what's happening. Yet reading through a book that has 30 pages where every other sentence starts with 'Yet, ...' and 'As soon as ... , ...'wears on the reader. It's easier to enjoy a book with only a few commas unless they're really needed.

This is more a personal taste and perhaps some people enjoy such a style.

Another reviewer also mentioned the time jump between the first chapter's mention of when Ayrlyn found Wind Whisper and the third chapter's mention. Just make sure you fix it, because it is an obvious error.

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'The common wolves had never seen magic before and were afraid of her unexplainable abilities.'

On this matter, I think 'unexplainable' is an odd word to use, just like 'unmercifully.' Personal taste, but wouldn't 'inexplicable' serve better?

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'Ayrlyn found her and while the wolf lay unconscious for days on end, she bandaged the worst of her wounds and kept her safe.'

All this complaining about commas and now I find that maybe you should consider adding one after 'and' so that it reads:

'Ayrlyn found her and, while the wolf lay unconscious for days on end, she bandaged the worst of her wounds and kept her safe.'

Anyway, you know me and commas.

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'When Wind Whisper finally woke up, she was confused and afraid of the strange elf in front of her.'

Comma. Again.

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Okay, first and foremost before I run off to the next chapter, a lot of the stuff about the commas may be wrong. Those sentences may or may not be correct. I couldn't tell you, really, because my comma knowledge is a little lacking lately. Despite this, there's a lot I can say for this chapter's concept.

I like Aine and her personality is suitably manipulative for her situation, though the situation with the bartender makes it seem as if she's simply been given a lot of easy cases throughout her life. Having his instant change of heart lessens the appreciation of what she can do as opposed to making it seem that she can honestly get her way with a little guile. I might be wrong, though, as at the same time I might be overestimating the character to be something beyond the common seductress

Ayrlyn once again seems to be the centre of attention and you can't really appreciate her misery. Towards the end she talks about people making her into the stuff of legends and that she might really be one. Yet it's hard to feel a character would honestly regret that unless you describe that regret, because being a legend is generally seen as a positive thing.

Also, you need to start watching how you phrase things. Your treatment of the words in your book manipulates how the reader sees things. Referring to the king as 'the king' as opposed to 'their king' indicates that these people may not appreciate this man as much as they could. Saying 'sad' indicates a degree of remorse, but not a huge amount.

The detail on the environment was better this chapter, but it was not magnificent. It's painstaking describing everywhere the characters go and yet at the same time finding details at the right time during conversation and monologues can shift the general feeling one associates with what's happening. For example, if I were to have two characters talk about someone named Joseph and didn't actually say what was happening to him, but mentioned repeatedly it was a nice, sunny day, you'd probably get the feeling they were walking about and enjoying themselves. If I were to describe the shadows casting from the trees into their path, you'd probably get the feeling something was wrong once the description was vivid enough.

I'm bad with examples, but I hope that gets the point across.

Wind Whisper, also, remains a terribly secondary character despite having heavy connections to the main character and traveling with her. Furthermore, Wind Whisper is the first character you see that you know you're intended to pay attention to. It throws readers off when such a character is ignored because it seems so much attention was initially given to them, only to fail to pay off in the end as they fade away into the background.

Wind Whisper could be a decent character, even if only treated like a support character, but she seems like too much of an afterthought.

Also, you sent me these in a reply, so I'll answer:

'Well, in the society each elf is assigned an Element at a certain age, and their lives after that point will significantly revolve around that Element, from the classes they take to the spells they can do to the languages they learn. The Elements are a pretty integral part of the society in all of Kipic, not just Dacia, so I thought the Elements should be treated so kindly as to be proper nouns. Is it really that corny?'

It's a little bit. The concept of elements has been used time and time again without variation, just like the concept of elves. I'm not really complaining as they can be used wonderfully in literature, but they are seen time and time again and the originality of the concept quickly wears down because it always encompasses the same skill set time and time again.

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'Ah, thanks for that. So I should spread the focus out more then, and add in more about the other people freaking out and whatnot? Show more of what others are doing and not just her?' (This in context to the primary focus tending to be around Ayrlyn.)

Show more of what's happening around her, but try to make it relevant and intelligent. Show aspects of Dacian culture and spin it to the tune of the mood you're trying to create, like I spoke of earlier. And it just doesn't make sense Mohrr would be the only one willing to attack her to me, it seems like in the very least they should be throwing things at her or something of that nature.

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'Damnit. No one likes the wolf part...should I change where I have it, maybe? I mean, I'll definitely change the italics now, but should I maybe place it somewhere else in the story instead of beginning with it? And what about the tense it's in-was that okay, or not?'

The tense was okay. I don't think it should be the very beginning of your story unless it's absolutely vital and Wind Whisper will soon have a large role to play. It's too weak to support itself otherwise.

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'What kind of a prologue? Maybe I should have the prologue be the attack, and then the first chapter will be "X amount of months later..." or summat? I can't remember the exact time frame right now, but you get the idea.'

I suggest a prologue so that more readers are automatically interested about the story without having to change the structure you have for it already. Your beginning is simply too weak.

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'Yeah, there seems to be a genuine consensus that Wind Whisper isn't all that good of a character, when compared to the others I've created here. What if I have her in for a few chapters and then have her freak out after the nightmare? Would that work better?'

Yes. Yet the nightmare is just filler unless you have her play a big role in the story, as I've said.

Anyway, that's all for now. I'll move on to chapter four when I'm done eating.
A. Shapcott chapter 2 . 8/13/2007
Also, since you asked me to look over the other reviews, a few notes on the first chapter and some opinions on other opinions:

The use of onomatopoeia in dialog is generally unseen in published works, I agree, and should be avoided. The effect that can be seen from such an elongated piece of text is replicated with more detail using a paragraph to describe the action. I wouldn't advise that in your case due to the style you're using, but it's not like it couldn't be done.

Also, I've noticed you're very repetitive. You say a character does something, and then you have them do it. There's no need for the character to speak if you've established they're pleading, or something of that nature. Furthermore leaving actual dialog out of the action leaves the reader to picture the situation for themselves better. Often times when characters can't form legible sentences it's better to simply say that they scream in pain or yell out in terror. Else your characters sound as if they're just being prodded and not really hurt, or you need to write something choppy and impossible to read.

Furthermore, I don't see the need to write 'Fire' and 'Water' like that. It seems a little corny.

Also in each of the scenes the focus is far too central to the character you're concerned with. It feels as if everyone is waiting on Ayrlyn's next move in the marketplace to me even before she extinguishes the fire.

Also, the beginning of the story leaves you with an overwhelming taste of apathy. You know that this creature is being attacked and yet you lack compassion for it. I can't tell you why, I think partially you could do to do away with the italics as many other people have said. They're excessive and, if I were to just stumble upon this story, I'd probably roll my eyes at seeing everything in my page in italics and move on. It's not a simple matter of style, but presentation to your readers. You've probably lost a few dedicated readers simply because your story looks a little amateurish from the very start.

Also, starting the story with talking wolves is strange. If you want to work on the presentation of your material, I suggest salvaging this by adding a prologue. Some people hate them, some people like them, but currently the beginning is good in the middle and acceptable towards the end but sort of dull where it counts... the first few lines.

If you want to make a character sound like they're honestly being injured you need to establish the mental strain they're experiencing better. Maybe if you had Wind Whisper as a character for a few chapters and people could identify with her (an already difficult feat seeing as she's a wolf) you could pull off having her injured without excessive description. But you need to make each injury sound painful and disabling and the betrayal unexpected and soul destroying.

Now, onto chapter two, I guess.

I haven't even read that much but it seems way too strange that she would automatically assume that everyone saw her as the goddess of death because they were staring at her. Just an opinion. Regardless to that, once again I don't see what capitalization is needed on 'Element,' but that's your choice.

Also, this chapter is anti-climatic because last chapter it wasn't established how bad the fire was. You concentrate on dialog too greatly and you need to start describing their environment during monologues and conversations, if you ask me. It's possible to make horribly inhuman sentences sound realistic if they're put in with sufficient description of the environment.

Also, it doesn't make much sense to a reader that she's having a panic attack over the fire in the first place because the fire sounds very minor, so thus your lack of description ruins the monologue on top of the events. Anyway, back to chapter two, since I haven't even read anything past the first two paragraphs.

Also, in polytheism I don't believe it's considered proper to capitalize 'Goddess' or any mention of the god you may be mentioning. Thus I wouldn't capitalize any mention of deities unless you're talking about a specific overlord god. E.x. Zeus to the Greek (It is Greek, right? I hate history.) pantheon.

I might be wrong about that, though, but I suggest you look into it.

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“This is ridiculous!” she said with an exasperated sigh. “I do not have a Goddess inside of me, nor the most powerful one there is. I am not Cern!

Missing a quotation mark there, by the way. I'll try to keep my notes on your typos separated from the rest of my rambling with these little dashes if they look graceful after I post them.

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'Fat tears rolled down her cheeks to land on the ground under her face.'

The mention of 'fat' in this sentence throws it off balance. I suggest finding a better word or removing it entirely.

Also, this is another mention of a character getting abused just one chapter after you begin reading of Wind Whisper herself being harmed. It seems a little excessive. Also, why is everyone but Mohrr the stereotypical mook commoner incapable of handling themselves? They watch him then decide afterwards to walk over and kick some dirt on her. Strange behavior.

Also, for a novel you mention the intention of characters too often. I'm just reminded this by you mention of how they, 'wanted to be sure she got the message to get out and stay out.' It's excessive to mention a character's motives when their actions speak louder than your words. Also, it can be considered insulting to a reader's intelligence at times.

Also, I forget what you formally call the elongated dashes used to note a pause in conversation, but you use them too much. You can separate pauses by adding a comma into the quotation, making note of the character's actions, and then continuing their dialog.

Also, I just realized that Wind Whisper has powers over air. Doesn't it seem convenient that she's named Wind Whisper? Maybe the wolves named her that after learning it, so maybe you describe how she got the name in a later chapter, but unless you do, I think it deserves some mention. Else it seems she was convenient birthed and given the name to correlate with her magical abilities.

Also, it's nice that you can see how Ayrlyn can relate to Wind Whisper's distress, but it seems very sudden after you read about what happened to the wolf for it to happen to the elf. It's not bad, but if you gave the realization more buffer room it would have more impact, or if you had the event happen to her later in the book it'd seem to have more meaning.

Oh, and it strikes me now that, no matter how sharp a rock one uses, unless it's perfectly chiseled carving a legible rune of any sorts into a human arm would be impossible. A stone would simply rip flesh off in chunks. Just saying.

Also, this all seems far too sudden. Perhaps it's the lack of description on how massive the fire was, but it seems they've turned into a homicidal mob over a fire that could have been Ayrlyn's fault. Perhaps you should establish how much these 'mages' can control their elements or something of that nature to show how large of a feat putting out the flames was.

Anyway, if I think anything else I'll post it with the third chapter review.
A. Shapcott chapter 1 . 8/13/2007
“How are we to deal with her?” Light Paw asks the gathering. “Do we kill her outright, or simply chase he out?”

Typo above, look at the second to last word.

“Whatever we do,” a young, bright-eyed wolf says, “we must send her a clear message-those of her kind will not be tolerated in our pack.

You missed a quotation mark.

In only minutes, the group Wind Whisper is in finds a foolish fawn that has wondered away from its mother.

It's not 'wondered.' It's 'wandered.'

“Please, you can’t do this! I’m not a danger to the wolves of this pack or any other! I don’t even know how I do these things,” pleads the desperate wolf.

This one line isn't written in italics.

The young king, barely twenty years of age, had been killed violently and without reason in is throne room.

Another typo. Look at the last three words.

Please, please, don’t let them know it was me who did this, she pleaded to herself while she frantically kicked dirt on the blaze.

The italics went away on the second word. I can't fathom why.

That's all I found in the way of mistakes or typos. As to the chapter itself, I don't think it's established well enough how bad the fire is until it's put out. Furthermore, I think it's a little too optimistic to say there was no reason for King Marden's murder, seeing as he rules a country and is thus a prominent politician. I suppose it's just establishing the general feeling around the situation, and it's mostly just personal taste on my part.

Some of the dialog between the wolves struck me as too mechanical, but the fact it was consistently so kept it from being troublesome or distracting.

That's all I can think of. Most of everything except for the notes on the typos is opinion, I suppose.
The Ferrett chapter 3 . 8/9/2007
So... we now have a baddie. Nice. Wonder how she's going to enslave your girls.
The Ferrett chapter 2 . 8/9/2007
Oh! Why is prejudice ruining their lives? That's nasty. Lead on good author.
The Ferrett chapter 1 . 8/9/2007
Nice. It's good how you started wwith the wolf and ended in the elf. Both were superbly described and I have the feeling I'm going to enjoy the rest. ::))
alirider827 chapter 11 . 8/7/2007
chapter 10 (cont):

"The note was similar to the one found near the Council Chamber."

this seems a bit formal compared to the rest of what he is saying "Just like the note they found near the Council Chamber." or something like that.

"“The school did burn down,” he continued a moment later, “but the town did it intentionally to rid the area of any negative energies that Cern might have left behind. And they buried Mom and Dad under the ashes of the school.

“Ehrian?” he asked."

it feels like there is a pause. having him talk so suddenly kind of ruins the "moment" that he and ehrian are having.

o dramatic chapter. i liked the twist there. i honestly didn't expect that... i thought ehrian would be cern or something haha.

chapter 11:

"Furthermore, Ayrlyn was still quiet and docile nearly a day after the potion Aine had given her should have lost its effects. "

i understand what you meant by this, but reread this and see if you could smooth it out.

"Llew had an apprehensive feeling about which building might be on fire, but he hoped he was wrong.

“No! Not the Tavern!” he cried when he was close enough to see exactly which structure was on fire."

saying "which building might be on fire" and "which structure was on fire" seems a little awkward. maybe try rewording one of them?

"“Remember this, Mohrr?” Cern hissed. Her eyes glowed bright with hatred and the flesh on Her right arm burst into flames. The scars on Her arm where he had carved Her name opened anew, spilling blood. “That wasn’t very nice of you,” She glowered."

so evil... but so well-written. i just wanted to take this par out because i really liked the way you wrote it, even if it was very evil.

i agree with you when you said you liked chapter 11... it leaves me in twisted awe... good writing, very vengeful, very descriptive. nice job.

chapter 12:

umm...

eep.

i have nothing to say.

chapter 13:

hah wow i read through a little of chapter 14 before realizing that i hadn't commented on 13... i really don't have anything bad to say except that this is really interesting.

chapter 14:

as nice as it is to get a big explanation about everything, it seems that everyone knows a little too much, especially after everything has just happened minutes before. it's not bad, but eh.. i don't know. i really like the conclusion of the story though. very touching. )

epilogue:

ehh.. i didn't much like this. then again, i don't much like any epilogues. but it seems like you did this in a hurried bit. i don't know. ask yourself though: do you really need an epilogue?

overall, i think the story was pretty cool. at first, i had my doubts, but as it went, it got very interesting. good job and keep writing! )
alirider827 chapter 10 . 8/6/2007
gahh i think my other review got deleted..

chapter 9:

"“What if we find out what the king did and try to right it?” Mohrr suggested. “An offering of our harvest, or maybe just fixing what he did wrong might calm Her.”"

having mohrr merely suggesting this seems a bit out of character. he seems more like the type to be hotheaded and want action. so maybe he should be more assertive in what he suggests?

interesting chapter )

chapter 10:

""That girl's right!" the person beside Ehrian said loudly."

this seems a little weird since just a few minutes ago people were cheering loudly. it seems weird that things have died down since then- people must at least be murmuring, which still makes it difficult to hear. so if the person next to him did hear them talking, the people around him might not have, and his comment might not make sense

this is really nitpicky haha. sorry.

ahh gotta run now, but i'll finish the rest of the review later )
alirider827 chapter 8 . 8/6/2007
chapter 8:

"To erase the girl’s last scraps of will and morality, Aine had made an elixir that would turn her into the perfect pawn, willing to do anything to please her master. "

as nicely as you wrote this sentence (it really is very well-written), i think it'd be better if you either rewrote it so that it appears later on (say, after ayrlyn is affected by the drug) or you took it out completely. by explaining what it is beforehand kind of detracts from the scene after it.

"Now only two of the Madren remained."

"The only one left was one of the elders."

this isn't a huge deal, but saying "only" both times (when there were two left, then one) kind of makes the one person leftover not seem as that big of a deal. i think if you took out the first "only" then the fact of one person remaining and all the others killed will be much more affective.

aww.. this chapter was very gruesome. poor ayrlyn...

about your replies to my reviews- your writing has gotten progressively better/less errors )
Whit5000 chapter 1 . 8/6/2007
The intro was good, but I kinda got lost afta that. It's prolly cuz i'm tired again even though i just got up. I thought Ayrlyn woulda been able ta burn out the fire in the snap of a finga since she controls fire, but that made it more interestin. Ain't really undastand the random images runnin through her head, but it's prolly explained in the next chap or somethin. (i'm guessin its got somethin ta do with her past.)

Good story though. I can see why people like it.
alirider827 chapter 7 . 8/5/2007
chapter 6:

i don't have much to say about this chapter besides i liked it and this story is getting really interesting.

chapter 7:

"A dull pain echoed in her head and each beat of her heart brought on an echo of pain throughout her skull."

this phrasing is awkward because you say "pain echoed" and then "echo of pain." try to reword it so it doesn't sound like you are repeating.

another interesting chapter!
alirider827 chapter 3 . 8/5/2007
chapter 3:

just some small grammar/other stuff.

"Aine followed her to the city gates, then doubled back to go talk to Llew. If she was careful, she could find out where Ayrlyn was going without arousing his suspicion."

his? do you mean her?

"Though it was only two and a half years past, it seemed a longer time since she had found the injured wolf lying unconscious beneath a tree."

i think you mentioned earlier that wind whisper had only been with ayrlyn a couple months, so decide on one or the other and stick with that.

"Wind Whisper’s pack has exiled her because of her mysterious aptitudes: she was able to disappear into the air and talk to nearly any creature she came across. The common wolves had never seen magic before and were afraid of her unexplainable abilities. They had violently exiled her from the Necricia Mountains, injuring her severely in the process."

you have both mentioned and implied this in the last two chapters. i don't think the whole thing is very necessary. maybe just say "After Wind Whisper's exile..." and then the paragraph after that. the paragraph under this one seems a bit stiff. try to make it less explanatory and more flowing.

this is the best chapter so far (ok, i've only read 3, but still! ) ) i'm really enjoying the storyline now and it seems you're a lot more flowing with your writing now.

chapter 4:

"And in his mind he had a right to; for nearly thirteen he’d taken care of Ehrian and taught her everything she knew from self-defense to reading and writing."

"for nearly thirteen years"?

"“I’ll just be a minute closing up-” he realized that he didn’t know the woman’s name. “I’m sorry, but I didn’t ask for your name yet.”"

this seems sort of repetitive. i think you can just say something that says that llew paused instead of explaining why he did.

this story is getting better and better ).

chapter 5:

"Horribly violent images forced their way into her mind; images that Ayrlyn was determined not to let happen."

instead of a semicolon, you should use a comma so that the second sentence isn't a fragment.

"Ehrian was also a leader and would protect and help anyone who needed it, much as a wolf does for its pack."

seems a bit too much like explaining. maybe, instead of putting an explanation here, you can put an example.

i'm really liking this story so far. even though it seems disconnected i can't wait until it all ties together. )
Serom Kim chapter 5 . 8/4/2007
This is the famous Incarnate, hm? It's a good story, I'll give it that, and your choice of words is great as well. You don't use the same word over and over again, and the same words don't alwys appear on top of another. What I mean is that if you stat off a sentence with a character's name, you don't start another sentence using that same name soon.

Grammar is fine, and I like the storyline. To get it straight, though, Ayrlyn is a human and Wind Whisper is a wolf, right?

Incarnate is a long story, so I'll leave a review on chapters ten and fifteen after I read them, okay?
alirider827 chapter 2 . 8/4/2007
chapter 2:

"Do I look like I possess any of those qualities?” she implored with her hands held out to her sides, as if to emphasize that hers was clearly not the figure of a Goddess."

you are explaining too much again. by what ayrlyn has said, it is already implied what she is saying. you don't really need to have the "as if to emphasize..." part.

"Even how she came into the world was a mystery to everyone. Ayrlyn had no parents and, as far as she could remember, had spent her entire childhood living at the Dacia Academy of Elfin Studies with the other local orphans. Making her even stranger was the fact that she had no memories before her fifth birthday."

i think you have already said this in the first chapter. yes, you give us new information. however, you state it in a really similar way. i think you should try to not say things so... outright. say things like "As she walked past Dacia Academy of Elfin Studies, she remembered how, even then, she was marked strange. Because of her mysterious arrival.." or things like that.

"Llew, the owner of the shop and one of Ayrlyn's closest friends, was probably one of the few people who weren’t spreading or encouraging the rumors."

you already told us that llew is one of her closest friends. instead of repeating, maybe say something like "Llew's shop would be a sanctuary, as Ayrlyn knew he wouldn't spread or encourage any rumors about her."

"She took the bandage off her arm and used it to tie the dagger around her thigh, just under the skirt of her tunic. She didn’t need to hide the scars; they wouldn’t tie her down any longer."

this is just a suggestion. perhaps she can do this later, instead of when she is standing there talking to llew. since she is leaving, it seems weird that she is wasting time doing something she could do later when she could spend time now to say goodbye.

i liked this chapter better, though i think you still need to keep yourself from repeating.
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