Reviews for Dolls & Cages
Phyllis Joy Wolfe chapter 1 . 11/8/2010
BRILLIANT! I loved this! The symbolism was fantastic. The only improvement I can think of is to perhaps give us a bit more on the personality of the main character. Otherwise, fantastic!
xenolith chapter 1 . 7/16/2010
Okay, this starts off really great. I like the tone of it, describing these people and their cages as if it's a normal kind of thing, and sort of whimsical as well. A few things I noticed:

'Maria had left a while ago, too, following that winding road in that cage of hers' - I feel like 'the' instead of 'that' in front of 'winding road' would make this sound more effective. It's a brilliant line, but I found the two 'that's' distracting.

Wow, okay, that was all. This piece is practically perfect.

It almost sounds like a morality kind of tale, especially with the part about Genevieve and her tiny, tiny cage. There's a lot to read into in this, and as a reader I can't think of anything better than that! I think I'm just going to leave it there, and mull over this story in quiet contemplation. Thanks :D
C. Tattiana H-H chapter 1 . 7/6/2010
This piece blew my mind. Oh my goodness, quite a brilliant piece here, eh? I really like how you described the cages. I though the different sizes were interesting, although in the beginning I didn’t understand the reason behind it. But then when I got to the end I was like, “Oh, I get it now. Cool.” This was a really neat piece. It was just so brilliant, and well written. I was completely engrossed in this the entire time. It was so intriguing and I wanted to know what was up with the cage sizes and what not, and oh my god. Wow. Just... this was too good. I’m so impressed right now. Honestly, this was a spectacular piece. Fantastic job.

I mean, a new one would have to get there eventually; there could be just an empty space of nothing.

-I could be wrong, but shouldn’t “there could be just” be “there couldn’t be just”?

Only, it wasn't Alison's age anymore.

-Edit: Throw a “c” before “age”.
Narq chapter 1 . 7/3/2010
I think that there were some interesting concepts in this. I would have liked to see it developed more. It was kind of scary, thinking of people living in cages - and I really liked the last "You all know that your cage is only as small as you want it to be"
lookingwest chapter 1 . 1/8/2010
Woah dude, depp stuff here! I'm not sure if my "still on Christmas break brain" will be able to dissect all the cool stuff going on here. So frankly, I really loved the metaphor of the cage because I think to me, it speaks as something that everyone has. I also like the way that you handle the different characters and their personalities and the length/greatness of their cages respectively. The way you match them all up is great and it has a very surreal atmosphere I appreciate in it to, your entire focus is on the people, and the cage descriptions, it's abstract but still works-it takes talent to create and write down a deal like this!

from the review marathon (link in my profile)
Chasing Skylines chapter 1 . 4/26/2009
[“What’s to explore?” she had declared when I asked, “I’ve been down there and it’s not that interesting."]

The way it is now, "asked" is the speech tag for the following dialogue, which it shouldn't be. The comma should be a period.

[My face instantly fell, “What?”]

Depressed facial expressions don't make words, so the comma after fell should be a period.

- Review Marathon, link in profile.
simpleplan13 chapter 1 . 4/8/2009
April Fools Day Review! (I picked a story like you said you preferred, but a warning I'm not so good with stories...)

"It always smelled like chemicals and cleaners because he managed to keep it incredibly clean."... I didn't like that line. I thought it was unneccessarily repetitive. Instead of saying because he managed to keep it clean, maybe say becase he was a neatfreak or something that characterizes him and is less repetitive? Just a thought.

"Only, it wasn’t Alison’s age anymore.".. cage

Ok here's the thing you say Alison was your best friend, which seems odd since you saiud you hadn't even known her that long and if anything Katie seems more like a friend and Alison seemed more like a love interest.

I liked the whole idea of literal cages and how you described them and then how you changed it in teh end to a figurative cage for the readers. However, I thought that transition needed a bit more. It just seemed to come out of nowhere. Why would you running lead to us knowing we can control our own cages? It just didn't seem to flow so well.

Still I really liked the piece. It was very creative and you described the whole situation very well. Great job!
improvisationallychallenged chapter 1 . 3/4/2009
Hm... at first I wasn't to sure of this... it started out feeling like a sci-fi fantasy thing, but by the end it truly feels like a metaphorical/symbolic piece. I think it's one of those things where the interpretation depends a lot on the person who reads it.

For me, having left home/school friends quite recently, it seemed to echo that feeling of everyone moving through their individual lives, and the different fates people are constrained to, with the size of the cages reflecting the opportunities they had and the choices they made in how to use them. Genevieve in particular interested me, with the damaging, forever increasing reduction of her 'cage', almost like a self-implosion...

This feels both incredibly simple and incredibly complex. With a little bit of polishing, I think this could be a really great, provocative piece.

All I can say in concrit is that the exchange between Max and Alison could be a little more streamlined. The dialogue itself is fine, but the adverbs (right word? IDK) surrounding it could do with a little trimming. For example:

"“Hey, Max, come here!’ she cried out excitedly in a harsh whisper. "

That doesn't need 'excitedly' and 'harsh'. Both feels clunking. Personally I would take out harsh, as the sentence without it would provoke the same sensation, but that's just my opinion.

*begins to question own life and 'cage' as a result of this fic...headsdesk*
pokedz48 chapter 1 . 9/4/2008
The metaphoric analysis of the personalities are strange in a way, and it left me pondering exactly what those 'cages' symbolized. I kinda understood, but then I really don't. I am not too sure. Regardless, the ongoing metaphor was a strong one, and it tied this piece well. I enjoyed the directness of the piece, freely addressing the reader as 'you'.

As for critiscims, I felt that Alison should deserved a paragraph or two (or more). It seemed like she popped out from no where, but yet have developed a strong bond with Max (even stronger than Katie, whom have been spending longer amounts of time with Max). It was difficult to relate to Max's depression at the end, since "she was my best friend" doesn't really say a whole lot.

Aside from that, a very thought provoking piece. Very nicely done.

(So you get another free review with my attempts to contact you XD. According to my DocX thinger, it says that you have not established connection yet. Make sure you're connecting to 'pokedz48' via pen name. Furthermore, I think you may not be receiving PMs because your email provider directly send them to the Spam box, maybe. And lastly, I think FP is 'muting' all address links in PMs, so your email was 'muted' out from your PM. You could contact me by Email directly, or you can tell me other ways of contacting you.)
Harmonic Discord chapter 1 . 7/11/2008
Wow! This is amazing! I love how you use cages as a metaphor and describe everyone's different cages - it's such a unique idea, and it was really fun to imagine how the cages suited their personalities. I think this is one of your best pieces.

My only criticism is that I feel like you could describe his interactions with Alison more, BEFORE she decides to leave. As it is, it feels a little abrupt for their first conversation in the story to be her departure. But this is really a minor thing.

Overall, an amazing and enjoyable read.

Minor details:

Maria was a daydreamer that loved to sing and craved applause. - I may be wrong, but I think "that" should be "who"

“What bars?” Katie asked, “There were never any bars there!” - Awesome line.
B. J. Winters chapter 1 . 5/28/2008
I liked this piece. I’m not sure you need the first qualifier (“don’t take this literal”). If you are finding that an issue, perhaps tack a fantasy (or maybe even a Spiritual) label on it (rather than romance). I got quickly that you were speaking more figuratively than literally.

Writing:

I liked the opening line. But then you used “There was” as the next sentence starter. I’ve always found that you can rewrite any sentence that starts with There are, or There is, etc. Simply say “Kevin’s cage is to my left”. You might then combine the next two. “Large, I couldn’t see the top…” - the reason I point this out is to demonstrate that if you move away from passive voice, and more towards action verbs you’ll pick up the interest of the reader faster. Don’t start with a soft voice – jump in.

Another example: “Maria was a daydreamer that loved to sing. Singing was her life. It was all she did. She lived and breathed it” – you can make this point once rather than three times. Tighten it up and move on would be my recommendation. – or use different visuals…ie. “She lived and breathed it like a fish needs water, or…like a concert singer craves applause…..show me, don’t tell me.

Dialogue: I really liked your first transition into dialogue. The direct interaction and vocalization of thoughts is clear and you bring right in the exploration theme. This flows well, and you use simple words. I did like that you used casual words, rather than trying to make this a high brow discussion.

Characters: I could effectively visualize. You mentioned physical characteristics in a fluid way so that I didn’t feel I was getting a laundry list. If I were to offer one suggestion it would be to fully introduce your main character sooner. You start right off with environment and the other characters and you’re almost half way through before I hear a name/gender and can truly begin to see who “I” is. You could of course make “I” the universal man, but I think it’s effective with the identity assigned – I personally just wanted maybe one introspective paragraph sooner, before you introduced everyone else as more important.

I’m not sure Genevieve needed two names {Oh yeah, Genevieve, or Bug Alien, in Katie’s book,} This is a quick story, keep it simple.

Plot: You focus on size. I would have liked to see more senses beyond this emphasis on sight. Maybe shake things up with more smell, touch, hearing. For example, the singer could actually be making music…and you could comment on the sound.

Ending: I got a little lost with the combining of the cages analogy. I expected her to “disappear”. The “her cage became my own” and yet she’s missing…seemed just a bit odd to me. I’m not sure it communicated the point you wished. It’s very clear your moral is “the cage is as big as you make it” – but if you wanted to imply how we impact others cages, or something about choice, I’m not sure that I personally got that. I read it twice and I’m still not sure that I’m not reading more into it than I should.

I did like the title of "dolls" and the use of the "doll" imagery keeping on theme. But who are we dolls to? Seemed like there might have been an opportunity to comment more on who creates the cage - beyond self.

Spelling/Grammar: Overall saw nothing glaring worthy of commentary. You did well separating the paragraphs and it’s easy to read on line with the spacing.
Willowindrain chapter 1 . 11/13/2007
Loved it! At first I was very very lost , i didn't understand a word you spouted so I reread it again and it finally dawned on me what you meant with this piece.

Okay on to critisism. The characters... Hmm what can I say... None of them left a real impression (at least not long enough to last the whole chapter) except for Alison . The way you described the first three 'cage occupants' were quite detached. They just didn't jump out at me. But (yes I know that it's grammatically incorrect to start a sentence with 'but') the descriptions of the characters were okay. I'm prolly confusing you right ? I mean to say is that the description is understandable but the way you put it wasn't very gripping.

Now if I was told to choose one cage to inhabit , I think I would want to be placed into Alison's . It just seem full of possibilities. (And if I interpreted it right,) she was the one that gave a whole new world to Max when she left. Max started to have an open mind after she left right ?

Yeah I think that should be it... The plot was one-of-a-kind. Absolutely stunning. It's been there our whole life but no one else did anything about it. So , all-in-all , it was (still is) a very wonderful read.
Lew Sylva chapter 1 . 10/14/2007
This is really interesting. I'm not sure if there's an intentional message here or if it's just a surreal idea you thought up - either way, I like it. Very creative without being annoying or pretentious. Good job :)
Della Notte chapter 1 . 8/18/2007
This was quite an interesting story. Your stories are good for making people think, and I like that. Keep up the good work!

Della
xDancingintheRainx chapter 1 . 7/17/2007
I love this. Absolutely amazing and inspiring. The ending blew me away. I wasn't expecting it at all. This is so creative. Unbelievably creative. I'm still in some sort of shock. Awesome job! This is going on my favorites list.
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