Reviews for Forgotten Sands (original version)
Erich Sturmburg chapter 1 . 12/29/2006
Hey there, Outlaw-2 here,

Well, it was a coincidence that I found your profile when I was looking through one of Dice Darwin's reviews, so yeah, why not drop by into yours? Well, I must say, this chapter is really long in terms of content, but a lot of event really took place; very impressive. Plot is well done I must say. And I think you're searching for a word to describe Zora's big sword; Zweihander. Of course, that's the most accurate name I could get since the Zweihander is also a big sword; a German one in fact. :P

Well, if tried to explain the surroundings to be Arabic-like, right? How about a feature like a plantation of kurma, or dates? That should probably help the Arabic feeling, since it is their main staple food there.

Well, from your reviews, it seems you may actually be interested with my story entitled "Shattered Entity". Dice Darwin finds it interesting and the story flow doesn't stress on battles, but psychological aspects. Do read it if you have spare time, and drop a review or two. I'll be waiting for the second chapter of this prose of yours, Shang.


Underground Constellation chapter 1 . 12/28/2006
Dice of Underground Constellation here,

First of all, thanks for the review on my story. I'm glad you found it interesting, despite finding the beginning boring. The driving portion was an introduction to the main character, in which I blended narrative and scene together to drop hints about Wyatt's lifestyle and troubles, without giving much of the plot away. I'd rather give info as the story goes on, than tell a characters whole backstory in one long narrative. Its a personal preference.

You find my writing to be poetic? Well, thanks. I just call it writing with style, but poetic sounds fine. Since you were kind enough to be honest about my story, I'll return the favor, typing this as I read.

Now about this story. The beginning portion was a little long. As much as I liked learning about the world's history, I think you went overboard with your description of the demon vultures. I would've rather seen you wait to described them in-depth when they actually appeared in a scene, since you didin't describe the Grussalag (which reminds me of the character from Angel) or anything other being.

Again, about the beginning, I don't like how you started the story in first-person narrative, then suddenly switched to third. In the first sentence you wrote 'The story that I’m about to tell you happened long ago...'.'I'm' represents first-person, as I'm sure you know.

Also, in the beginning, you switched tenses from past to present. Where you wrote 'Humans are weak...', 'are' is present tense. In the next paragraph you wrote 'Our story begins here...', where 'begins' is present tense. This would be fine, if the rest of the story wasn't told in third person.

Okay, two paragraphs after 'Our story begins...' you describe the boy. That whole paragraph is an example of info-dumping. Its never a good idea to describe a character that much at one time. Try giving a short description of the character, then giving more details as the story goes on. Otherwise, it looks like you just copied details from a character profile and pasted them together to create a paragraph. You have to ask your self: Are the character's looks important to the story in some way? More often than not the answer is no, so the heavy description only serves to disrupt the flow of the story.

Another example of info-dumping? When you described Zora's outfit. I liked the original description of what made her beautiful, where you gave a short description of her nose, hair, lips and such. But the next paragraph, it turned into a full-on fashion show. Then the paragraph after that, you over-described her sword. I was literally tapping my fingers, waiting for it to end.

I see that you have a great eye for detail, and I find that rather impressive. Unfortunately, the pace of this story is suffering because it. Its one thing to have descriptive power, but its another thing to know when to hold back and when to use it. If you could master the latter, I'm sure your writing would be highly enjoyable.

Okay, when writing a character's thoughts, you don't need to add quotation marks, which are for dialogue only. Italics are enough. Its a common mistake, and not a big deal.

Why do you keep describing this boy's cross-shaped scar, brown hair, and green eyes? Once is good, twice is fine, but three times is overkill. And you gave nearly the exact same description of him, word for word, both in the tavern and outside it. That type of repetition is not good.

On a positive note, I like the way you've connected the boy and Zora. I also like how you went fairly deep into Zora's mind during the tavern scene, even if it was only for a moment. You should do more of that. A character's mind is far more fascinating than their looks.

You overuse ellipsis. They're fine from time to time, but they shouldn't be used to the point that they stand out.

Ah, I see you're using third-person omniscent. Not what I prefer, but there's nothing wrong with it if its done well.

So there's action after all. The battle between the boy and the guard is dry. There's no style, flair, intensity, or excitement. Try making your sentences more concise, eliminating any unnecessary words. There's also no emotion, no connection with the characters fighting. In short, you've given the reader little reason to care who wins, because there's little feeling in this story so far. All we know is what they look like, not who they are. And this lacks color. Try involving the senses in your writing, like sound, feel, smell, as well as sight (which you already do well), and taste if the situation calls for it. These things add an extra dimension to your work, and serves to pull readers even further into your world.

Worst of all, there's no sense of danger during the fight. That's one of the biggest mistakes you can make when doing action.

Your use of colons before dialogue is wrong. Before your dialogue's quotation marks, there should be either a period or comma, depending on what (if anything) comes before it. Here's an example from your story:

'...he lifted his spear up and called out:'. That should be colon should be a comma.

Ah, now I see why you overuse ellipsis. Its another problem with your dialogue. When writing dialogue that doesn't end with a question mark or exclaimation point, you should end with a comma. Here's a line from your story:

"Yes, I am..." nodded the boy. Try writing that as: "Yes, I am," nodded the boy.

Also, you should note that there's nothing wrong with having a period within your dialogue, if there's more than one sentence. Here's an example:

“No… that WAS yours… now it’s mine…” This should be written as: "No, that was yours. Now it's mine."

So the boy's name is Halan. It sure took quite a while to get to that.

If you want to emphasize a word, use italics instead of capitalizing it like THIS. Even better, you should aim to write dialogue without using either method, doing it in such a way that the readers can determine what should be emphasized on their own.

So this is an interesting plot buried in unnecessary description and repetition. There's enjoyment to found here, but I believe that the fantasy aspects of the story are far stronger than the action/adventure. While this wasn't a painful read, I wouldn't exactly call it a pleasure either. This is simply an okay story at the moment.

In future chapters, I suggest that you add more emotion to this story. Not only through dialogue, but through the narrative as well.

Overall, this is was a good read with wonderful (though overdone) description, a fleshed-out world and history, and what promises to be a strong plot. If you increase the intensity of your action and correct your grammar, pacing, and detail issues, I would gladly recommend this story to any fan of manga or fantasy.

Good luck with this. I'll catch you later.

- Dice Darwin of Underground Constellation
Niki Tori chapter 1 . 12/28/2006
This was a very good 1st chappie!And I am also intrested in finding out about Zora and why she is paying that evil guy that is after that black sun thing. Hmm...I am really looking forward to the update!_

Until Then



P.S: Thanks for the review*HUGS* and Happy New Years to you too!
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