Reviews for Element of Survival
Elaes Mada chapter 15 . 3/29/2008


Come on now, you have too many hints at a larger story for you to be done already...

Anyways, I rather like this story. I find myself recalling it at random, even though it has been a few months now since I read it. Then I start wondering, what happened next? So update. Please?
leemya chapter 15 . 2/26/2008
Nice story! would you be updating this story soon?
LightningStrikeSorceress chapter 15 . 7/25/2007
Very cool chapter, I love how you show the tension between the two. For a while I thought Jovas was going to tell her who burned him and why, but I think you're right deciding that time is needed before he tells Julie that one.

Again, very cool! Keep up the good work and please update soon!

LightningStrikeSorceress chapter 14 . 6/7/2007
Awesome, awesome, awesome. Keep up the good work and I look forward to an update in July! :)
Cyres and Ty chapter 4 . 6/2/2007
Paragraph 1: Sentence 3 – “…business like manner that allowed him to get so far in life.” You’ve combined a term that really doesn’t fit within the setting of the story with a grossly vague statement. Drop “business like” for another term (brisk, professional, etc), and expand on what you meant by “get so far in life” (e.g. a quick glance into Garen’s past) if you plan on keeping the sentence. Sentence 4 – “bare chested” to “bare-chested” and “then” to “than” (then is a temporal term).

Paragraph 2: Sentence 4 - Drop “himself”, add a “that” after “confident”, and drop “before him”.

Paragraph 4: I think you need a comma after “chest”.

Paragraph 6: Sentence 3 – “himself to push aside his guild” some redundancy here, change to “… and forced his guilt aside.” Sentence 4 – “It was the Council that…” to “The Council had…” What exactly are the humans doing here? As you’ve said, they are punishing the elementals for the crimes of their Element. How are the punishing the Element? The mages aren’t attempting to cull the Element by killing all the fire-elementals, marking every fire elemental, or castrating the boys and men or sterilizing the women. And even if they did wouldn’t the Element just select children who’s parents were from other elements to restock? Their efforts really do not seem to be offering any long term solution.

Paragraph 7: Watch your sequencing with the “ing” words – It won’t work as is, change to “Garen reached down and placed his hand…”

Paragraph 9: Sentence 1 – Again, I think your dialog and descriptors need to be melded together or totally separate. So – “What,” Maudeen hissed in an icy tone. –OR— “What?” Maudeen’s eyes turned gelid.

Paragraph 11: Sentence 1 and 2 – drop “The fact” and consider blending to two sentence together. Sentence 3 – drop “himself” and “then” to “than”. Sentence 4 – “His hand” is repetitive, swap for “His palm”.

Paragraph 12: See comments about paragraph 9.

Paragraph 14 and 15: There’s how you separate descriptor from dialogue correctly. Do more of that. :p

Paragraph 18: Look at statements about paragraphs 9, 14 and 15.

Paragraph 19: Sentence 1 – swap “feet” for “knees” or “legs”

Paragraph 23: Sentence 3 – “charges” to “charge’s”, and swap out “came up with” with offered, suggested, etc.

Paragraph 25: Well… it’s a nice thought, but were it me I’d take it just about anywhere else.

Paragraph 28: Sentence 1 – “high voice” to “childish treble”.

Paragraph 30: Sentence 3 – I think you need a comma after “took it”. Sentence 6 – “was embedded” to “began to embed”.

Paragraph 31: Sentence 1 – drop “suddenly”. Sentence 2 – The structure of the sentence could be smoothed. I’d go with: “Worried, Garen moved closer to her, but he dared…” Sentence 4 – “To interrupt it” to “To interrupt the curse…”

Paragraph 32: Last sentence – Change to: “Each word uttered was a battle, the magic warring with her will.

Paragraph 33: Same thing with the thought as with the dialogue. Change to: “What is going on, he wondered. Why…”

Paragraph 34: Sentence 1 - “watched on” to “watched”. Sentence 2 - “to try and pull” to “to try to pull…” OR “to pull”, and drop “for that”. Last sentence – you doubled up started, change the second one to “began” or another word.

Paragraph 35: Sentence 2 – drop “attack and”. Sentence 3 – I thin you need a comma after “continued on”. You also doubled up on “cry” change one to another word (consider that you used scream in P34 and 36)

Paragraph 36: Sentence 3 – You’ve used scream/screaming a lot… change that one to shout. Also “then” to “than”. Last sentence—lot of “he” and “him” floating around in this one, makes it convoluted. Go with something like: “Maudeen clutched the child’s arm with her other hand. The boy’s keening doubled as tender flesh smoldered and then blackened beneath her white knuckled grip. Garen’s stomach churned at the sight, hastily drunken wine souring deep within him.”

Paragraph 37: Swap “He” for “Garen”.

Paragraph 38: Sentence 1 – Drop “holding him close”. You use it better a few paragraphs later. Sentence 2 – Drop “that now” define “his” (the boy’s, the elemental’s, etc.)

Paragraph 39: Eh, the bitch needs a slapping in my opinion. Also look at the dialogue/descriptor part.

Paragraph 40: Sentence 2 – “to spare” to “for her.” Would be a

little more vindictive/judgmental which was what I think you were trying to convey. Last sentence - Just “Garen held him close” would work better I think.

Paragraph 41: Again she need a slapping. She knew damn well what she was doing. Although it should be interesting finding out why the spell was so problematic later on. Dialogue/descriptor comment again.

Paragraph 43: “being” to “was”.

Paragraph 44: Sentence 3 – drop “just over”. This paragraph in general is just overloaded with “Her” and “She” change it up a bit.

Paragraph 45: Sentence 1 – drop “all of”. Also you use numb four more times. Avoid that repetition.

Paragraph 46: Sentence 1 – “saying” to “say”. Sentence 2 – I understand what you’re trying to convey, but it doesn’t flow well. Consider a rewrite on that one.

Paragraph 50: Gerund beginning again. Watch the sequencing. I’d do something like: “Garen opened the door and turned, studying his former colleague and friend for a long moment.”

Pretty good chapter, move along well. Well done on actually cursing the child with the spell. The twist with it going haywire was also nice. Still some errors popping up, but they are mostly the same stuff and you haven’t had the time to go back and correct them. I’m still curious about the whole punishing the Element part. I’m sure you’ll get to it at some point. Good work, keep it up!

LightningStrikeSorceress chapter 13 . 5/31/2007
Aww! Poor Jovas! :'( But I figured that you would have that kind of scene: Jovas using his element to help others only to be blamed for what he is later. Typical humanity, *sigh*

Anyway, awesome chappie! I love it! Mind you, I've loved all your chapters thus far... just rememeber what I said about commas!

"I trust you Jovas."

"I trust you, Jovas."

"Please Julie,"

"Please, Julie,"

Keep up the good work! Later! ;D

Lccorp2 chapter 1 . 5/30/2007


Nothing distinctly wrong about this I can see, but it's quite short. Let's move on, then...
Jette Vala chapter 12 . 5/16/2007
I couldn't stop reading this! I can't wait to see where thsi story goes. Jovas is amazingly personified, it's hard not to identify with him in some way. Very impressive!
Cyres and Ty chapter 3 . 5/15/2007
Paragraph 1 – and on: I’ve mentioned this before. I believe (not 100% sure, but believe) that with dialogue as you have it (e.g. dialogue and then a short sentence describing the tone of the dialogue) you need to write it in this manner: “So what do we do now,” Maudeen asked in a quiet tone.

Paragraph 3: “Scares” to “scars” in the 5th sentence. In the 6th sentence: “red scar” to either “red scar-ring” or “red scar line” just to add some variety. Last sentence: Why would slavery truly turn this man’s stomach to that effect? As he mentioned earlier he just enslaved an entire generation of a people to their power. He’s not happy having done so, but still. I’m not trying to suggest that I know the workings of your characters better than you, I’m just saying be mindful of any potential inconsistencies.

Paragraph 7: Ok, so not the most brilliant of suggestions by Garen—any idiot would of course lie. But! I like that you mentioned the alcohol and it being an inadequate crutch for the situation. I would take it a step farther- mention that he feels it starting to addle his thoughts, or that he regretted asking such a question the moment he stopped talking, that the question sounded weak even to his own ears, etc, etc. I really like that you had him pour another cup.

Paragraph 9: 2nd sentence (assuming the dialogue and descriptor are one): “ing” beginning—“He stood, quickly downed the newly poured glass, and then…” would be how’d I’d re-write it. 3rd sentence: I’d cut out “bent down to a squat” and just put “squatted”. I like the cracking knees. I’d also break it into two paragraphs at this point as he starts talking to a new person. 6th sentence: cut out “Garen” so it reads: “… to show any sign that he had heard.”

Paragraphs 10-12: Well I like that you made Maudeen hard enough to not let herself get attached to the child.

Paragraph 14: 2nd sentence—You’ve something of a “that” sandwich going on. I’d change the first “that” to an “an” so it reads: “…blue eyes glowed softly with an inner power that…” 3rd sentence: Undefined pronouns- I’d change the second “he” to Garen (…the eyes of a Water elemental, Garen thought…)

Paragraph 15: 3rd sentence— just seemed awkward as I read it. It’s either from the indecisive tone of it (Garen is an elderly, knowledgeable mage talking to a child, I’d expect more command) or it’s from the word “grabbed”. I couldn’t tell. Try substituting “taken” or another word. Sorry I’m not much help there.

Paragraph 16: He’s not a Water, but defiantly is not an Intellectual elemental either. :p.

Paragraph 17: Because of the “almost pleaded” part, I wasn’t sure what were thoughts and what was actually said. Was any of it? Change what ever was NOT spoken over to italicized thoughts—it will clear things up.

Paragraph 18: Beginning of the 2nd sentence change to— “His voice was trepid at first…” the started off weak was something of a break in the read as I went through it. “Honour”… not American eh? 4th sentence— I don’t think you wanted the “with” between Element and disrespect.”

Paragraph 19: You keep mentioning fear. I don’t fully understand that. She has nothing to be afraid of. She might have some distaste or mild apprehension about “branding” a child, but fear is too strong of a word.

Paragraph 21: 1st sentence—because you have silent used in the 2nd sentence swap out “silently” for another word. 2nd sentence- I read it, not 100% sure why I didn’t like it (likely the two “was” back to back) I would change it to: “A pregnant silence filled the room, its pressure heavy and thick, only the boy’s soft sobs provided any relief from its oppressive weight.” 4th sentence: I believe there is a comma after “Unfortunately”.

Paragraph 22: Again I’ll reiterate the blending of dialogue and dialogue descriptors, but say nothing beyond that.

What, it appears that no moral high ground is to be had? No unorthodox, career ending, likely-to-lead-to-a-summary-execution-for-all-persons-involved maneuver is being planned? But these two wizards hardly know the child!

Just kidding, good for you, if this story had taken one of those turns I’d likely not be reading/reviewing, or half so interested in it.

I enjoyed the boy's emotion/actions and some of the smaller details such as Garen's budding arthritis. The ending was dark/chilling, and made me want to get to the next chapter. Again, good work.

I’m already looking forward to your next update. Also, I hope you don’t mine me being so blunt with the “suggestions” or “I’d change it to”. I don’t know really how to suggest/show a change otherwise.

Cyres and Ty chapter 2 . 5/15/2007
Paragraph 1: Two sentences saying basically the same thing. Avoid such redundancy when you can. You should blend both lines together, or make the first sentence something about the guards seizing the elemental.

Paragraph 2: I would not have him call out to the men who are dragging away the latest-marked elemental. You’ve got a prisoner who’s just been branded and is an emotional wreck, he could do anything. Those two guards would have their attention focused solely upon him. Instead, have Garen address a soldier (the highest ranking one) by the entryway to the casting room.

Paragraph 4: Nothing much, except that you have two “He”-starting sentences back to back. I would blend, change, adapt, etc. My version would be: “Garen sighed, and then gestured tiredly to the guard, signaling him to bring the final elemental. Large, steady hands poured a second glass of wine, and then brought the glass to his lips. With a weary sigh Garen sank into his chair and continued sipping the sweet liquid. Only one more left, he thought idly.”

Paragraph 5: Good explanation as to how they kept the power of the Fire elementals checked. I was wondering how you were going to explain how the wizards kept the Fire elementals under control (although you don’t touch on how they actually captured or transported them from the field to the Tower.) One suggestion for the paragraph: make it “Magic dampening and flame retardant spells…” (it eliminates a repetitive word, and in a long sentence that will help make things smoother.) One additional observation: “Magic dampening spells” – would human magic not also be afflicted by the dampening effect. I would adapt it to – “Elemental dampening and….”

Paragraph 6: First line—“over filling” to “overflowing”. Second line— “Though” instead of “But”. I think you need a comma after “smaller” (again take that with a grain of salt—I’m not the grammar guy). I’d cut out the “and things started to get back to normal.”

Paragraph 9: Garen would know it was a male, he wouldn’t assume- as you just said he had the males, and the guard was bringing him the last prisoner. What is the gloating about? I’d change the second line to “Garen gathered his own brown robes around him, sat, and then helped himself to his third glass of wine.” I like that you’re showing him turning to his cups in order to make it through the day—a nice way of underscoring the moral conflict he’s having without actually saying it outright.

Paragraph 15: You have the captain knocking then entering un-invited. Maudeen, who is higher ranking than the captain, did not do so. I’d add a line with Garen granting him permission to enter. Second line: “The captain in responsible…” I don’t think you wanted “in” to be there. Also, mention Dalin’s name. Both Garen and Maudeen have been working with the man for over a year, its not like they wouldn’t know him.

Paragraph 17: Add a “that” after “Seeing”. Nice bit of dialogue to introduce the kid.

Paragraph 22: Just wondering how old of a child is he? If reaching puberty is the typical point where an elemental gains their power than I’m going to assume Garen and Maudeen’s performed the Mark on a number of eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen, etc year-old boys and girls. Unless the boy is really little it wouldn’t be that shocking. I know later one you mention nine-year olds being the minimum, but you might want to go younger for effect.

Paragraph 23: Second line – although its logical who you are talking about, “He” is not defined as you also have the child being called “him” - change “He gently” to either “Dalin gently” or “The Captain gently”.

Paragraph 24: I believe you need a comma after “support” and no comma after “annoyance”.

Paragraph 26: Second line – define “They”. Nice transition between paragraphs.

Paragraph 28: Last line—you’ve got an “ing” beginning – so in the second Dalin is swallowing he is turning, walking from the room, and closing the door – I’d re-write that sentence. Also, Dalin is the captain of the guard. While he is subordinate to the two wizards, I would imagine that he’d have enough brass to at least convey his thoughts to Garen and Maudeen.

Again, another good chapter. First chatper was looking to be a little sterotypcial. But with the child involved, I like where you are taking this story. The pending moral train wreck should be enjoyable. I'll review the next chatper either later today or tomorrow.

Elaes Mada chapter 12 . 5/15/2007
Good story, I like it. Hope you update soon.
LightningStrikeSorceress chapter 12 . 5/14/2007
Another excellent chapter! Keep up the good work! :D
Cyres and Ty chapter 1 . 5/14/2007
Paragraph 2: You double a “his” in the fifth sentence without defining one of the people involved. I would change the first “his” to “The”. (The offer went unnoticed….)

Paragraph 3: In general, starting a sentence with an “ing” word is not the best option as it binds the character to whatever action it is throughout the remainder of the sentence. In this case Garen is sitting, and, in that moment, he is also drinking from the wineglass and studying the elemental. I’m guilty as the next person when doing this, but when I do it is simple linked actions- like yawning and stretching at the same time. In this case, I would alter it slightly. (Garen sat, took a sip of the wine, and then studied the man. The sweet taste not….

Paragraph 4: This was something of an “infodump”, but it worked ok. Don’t feel like you have to cramp every detail of a character into one isolated paragraph, feel free to spread it out. Another thing, don’t get caught up in starting each line of the description with the pronoun. You can vary it up!

Paragraph 5: Nice visual there. I would swap “left” with “vanished”, and change “his power” to just “power”—you don’t need to state that it is his.

Paragraph 6: “Hand print” to “handprint”. I would swap out causally with another word. I’d recommend “gently”. As I read the paragraph casually seemed out of place. I also believe you need a comma after “casually” (but I’m a far cry from a grammar expert). And in the last line you have an “ing” beginning that works nicely.

Paragraph 7: The start is a little awkward. I suggest re-writing it. You’ve several options; I would do it this way. “No! You mustn’t!” Garen sprang from his seat, dropping the wineglass as he surged forward. Glass shattered silently against the cold stone floor, its noise lost in the elemental’s agonizing screams.

Paragraph 8: In essence the elemental poured gas onto himself and lit the match… let him cry. It would take one hell of a high pain tolerance to suppress that. Otherwise, you doubled up glowed and glow in quick succession. I try not to use words back to back like this. There’s tons of ways to change that, no need for any example.

Paragraph 10: Doubled up on the word “power”. And… if Garen hadn’t just slapped the guy’s hand away I’d say dump “Please”. I’ll be honest- it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense that Garen gives a damn.

Paragraph 11-16: I’d swap “redder” for “more angry”. Also, having read ahead, this elemental knows why he was a prisoner, why his people were marked, and why he received one. I know it’s a plot device and moves the conversation along, but that you have the elemental ask Garen, and then follow it up with the subsequent conversation was a little too much of a stretch. If you wanted to avoid it, just have the element give him a damming or judgmental look, and then Garen proactively explain the punishment.

Paragraph 13: I don’t believe you capitalize “human” or “elemental” as they are races.

Paragraph 18: You’ve ended dialogue with a “punctuation-quotation-then follow up” all as one sentence several times. (E.g. “…why did you apologizes?” he asked...)

It may be correct. Again, I’m not a grammar expert, however, in most cases I’ve seen it either one of two ways.

First: “… why did you apologize,” he asked…

Second: “…why did you apologize.” His voice soft…

Paragraph 20: Drop the “there” from the first line. Having read ahead, I would have figured that he’d cast the spell not hundreds of times, but thousands.

Paragraph 21: Swap out “running over” with something a little more thought oriented.

Nice start to a well thought out story, much better than most one finds on here. I read it start to finish last night which says a lot. You’ve got good characters and an interesting plot going. Keep it up. I’ll review more when I have some more free time.

Nezumi Neko chapter 1 . 5/14/2007
Not bad at all good storyline really gets into it.
LightningStrikeSorceress chapter 11 . 5/7/2007
Hey! OMG! Awesome story! Keep up the good work! I can't wait for the update!

One thing though: Remember, when addressing someone, you keep a comma before the name! It's a mistake that goes on and off and it's very minor but I thought I'd tell you anyway! _~

Anyway, like I said, awesome story! Can't wait for more!

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