|Reviews for The Sylvian Outlaws|
| Duckie Von Paigenheimer chapter 3 . 2/19/2008
Cont. Chapter 2 review - I accidently pushed 'submit' 'cause I'm a dork.
I liked the chapter. It's the beginning of a book - so I'm anxious to get thrown into the plot - but that's just the way it is. You're moving at a good pace. Feels natural. Bravo.
Oh - definately intrigued by monsiuer-stranger-man-with-beautiful-eyes O.O Eager to know more.
I'm loving Branic and Arnae's interaction. I really am - it's just enjoyable.
I really like how, aside from her inner defiance - that Arnae isn't just sliding into being a slave. The way she so quickly disregarded the mess officer when she saw Branic - I really like it. She's still herself- still independent and unbroken. Some people break their characters too quickly - or make them bi-polarish - broken one second, downright revolutionary the next. You've got it going right, I thinks.
I like the seating issues too - Branic and Arnae's exchange and Arnae's inner reactions. Now THAT was just perfect. It's so true! :p I have to laugh at myself though - I was super slow in realizing they were talking to Nireem - I've got the memory of a goldfish today. I like the meeting though.
"It was becoming increasingly evident that she was doomed to become as much of an exile as the guileless outcast in tatty chiffon whose table she had the misfortune to share." - NICE!
Nireem is definately entertaining... Definately. Heh, I'm really growing to like all three of them... They're well-rounded.
This was a god chapter. I like it better than the last. I'm super excited for more. You've really got it here. I don't usually get caught up in situations but the whole slave things is really piqueing my interest. Keep up the great work!
| Duckie Von Paigenheimer chapter 2 . 2/19/2008
You set Nireem up good for an intro. You told enough - while still leaving the reader completely lost :p I mean that in a good way - It's perfectly open for revelation. Personally I wasn't particularly interested in Nireem - but that has nothing to do with your writing. I didn't dislike her - I will probably grow to like her - but she didn't catch for me like the other characters.
Loved this sentence: "Arnae shot a baleful look behind her, and was just in time to witness the massive castle gates swinging shut, effectively putting the seal on their imprisonment."
Your descriptions of the slaves is excellent - I winced.
This is probably just me - but I'm goign to mention it anyways. "She was alert enough to take stock of her surroundings, which she now proceeded to do with a determined, bright-eyed fascination." To me, 'bright-eyed' makes me think of upbeat or positive. So far she's come across as a bit cynical - so the image that came up when I read that sentence contradicted my previous image of her. I liked 'determined'- that gives her fight.
I like how you introduced the Princess. Very good progression of: surroundings, character connection, expounded character, and History! Very well done.
I don't know that I really caught the passage of time... I may just be unobservant... geh.. I think I get a stupid point for this one.
"They're going to brand us" - Super like. Points for you!
"She noticed, however, when she was ordered to undress and discard her old clothing and shoes in exchange for a uniform." Adding "did" - "She did notice, however..." - would create some more emphasis between what was noticed and what wasn't noticed.
"It's too bad your brain isn't as big as your nose, or you'd know to keep your mouth shut when your superior is lecturing." - I don't know if it's the same for other people - but 'lecture' used in normal conversation generally has a more negative connotation - and usually wouldn't be used in reference to one is saying... it kind of sounds like you don't think of what you're saying... Whateever though :)
'The dark-skinned girl regarded her, unsmiling from her position near the back of the room.' This adds to the presence and tension of the room. It even adds to showing Arnae's character - just because she's being watched. People don't openly watch just anyone - and if they aren't just moving with the crowd it means they're assessing themselves what they are seeing - which means the 'assessed' is worth assessing :D I know that's a bit convoluted - but I share my thought processes - and that's what whipped through me's head.
"Before had a chance to consider what she was doing, she was in front of the table of the one nicknamed 'Big-nose'" - Before "she"...
| Equilibrium chapter 1 . 2/18/2008
I'm in awe. You write a thrilling action scene. Your descriptions are wonderful, vivid but not too long-winded (like mine are). The story flows really nicely, despite the change of scene. And your characters are wonderfully portrayed, very realistic and believable. The tone of suspense and mystery in the first few paragraphs is particularly good - gets us readers hooked and leaves us wanting more. I'm adding this to my alert list immediately. Can't wait for more!
| Imalefty chapter 1 . 2/18/2008
wow, great job. this has to be some of the best writing i've seen on this site in a while. :)
criticism... i can't really say much. XD the only thing i would suggest is to incorporate the name of the city into your writing so that you can just put a break between the first scene and arnae's scene. but that's minor.
alright, so i'll tell you in detail what i liked. :)
the beginning was really catching. i was enganged from the first sentence, so kudos to you on that. :) obviously this man will play an important role later, so although you haven't really described him physically, i think that's okay, since we get so much of his character. :)
as for the arnae scene... well, you set the stage for the rest of the plot quite well. your descriptions of... well, everything... are really wonderful (especially the slave master... he is truly horrible. XD). i did think that branic was lacking a little something, but i think you'll deal with him later.
arnae is already a likable main character - you've given her a certain spark but without making her into a mary-sue. :)
anyway, this is a really promising beginning. i will definitely be back to read more! :) good job!
| Twilight Starr chapter 1 . 2/17/2008
Very interesting. Like can't be good as a slave. I'm wondering where you will take this. Nice work.
| 12345no chapter 2 . 2/16/2008
Yeah, I can't really pick out anything wrong with this, at least nothing that is blatantly obvious to me. I'm afraid I'm not exactly a very good critic. Only the obvious things stand out to me. Still, I enjoyed this chapter, which is what counts, right?
| 12345no chapter 1 . 2/16/2008
Interesting, especially the first bit. I thought the story could use a bit more description, though. I'm not big on long paragraphs of that stuff, but it'd flesh it out a bit more, I think. I'll try and read the rest when I get some more time.
| Duckie Von Paigenheimer chapter 1 . 2/15/2008
For starters: You asked for critique and I'm going to give it the best way I know how. If it's helpful: great! If not: Sorry to waste your time with this long review :P Know it was done with the best of intentions :D Here we go!
The very beginning - Prologue thing of sorts.
Excellent set up for intrigue. I was confused: Why was he able to get into this secret place? Was the building abandoned? Was it night and the inhabitants were asleep? Was he under no suspicion because he was a regular? Was everyone dead? - Honest thoughts I experienced when reading. Unless it's important to the plot, I'd suggest just breifly making reference to circumstances.
Love the hanging "Checkmate." Love love it.
Chapter one! Sentence Length! You have a lot of beautifully written sentences - I'd say add some short compact ones. Maybe for actions - sometimes that can give a little punch. It's easier on the brain focus and absorbtion-wise. There was one sentence that I think lost it's affect because it was long: "He let out a howl of pain and pushed her away, but more soldiers had arrived on the scene, and they quickly overwhelmed Arnae and dragged her roughly back to the prison cells, where the newest crop of imperial slaves had been lining up when Arnae had bolted moments before." Nothing wrong with it structurally - but it gets mushy in the brain - and it's easier to read it without being effected by it.
"Pot-bellied shadow" - *chucklechuckle* Me like
Pithy sentence I liked: After two days in the slave chain, the girl was not stupid enough to voice a reply
"She was not prepared for the Slave Master's sudden gesture to the nearest soldier, nor the burning sting of the whip across her back." Prepared for the gesture? Perhaps splitting it: "The Slave Master gestured. She was not prepared for burning sting of the whip across her back." Or whatever... it just doesn't make sense to me :p
"She was not prepared... the fiery, white-hot pain." This paragraph could use a little more dynamic action - just because of the nature of the actions happening. Maybe: "Her leg's were ready to give way, but the soldiers' tight grip on her shoulders prevented her from falling to her knees."
"Do not allow yourselves to forget that if not for the generosity of the Royal House, half of you would have been in the gallows yesterday and the rest of you filthy lot (would have been) scrounging on the streets, burdening hardworking townsfolk and begging for scraps." - Just a though - Maybe get of the parenthesis section - just because you can be looser with dialogue (in my opinion) and it's a little less wordy without.
I love your description of the Slave Master. He positively exudes a repulsive over-indulgent presence. Bravo.
Why wasn't she chained before?
I love Branic and Arnae's first exchange. It's charming and believable.
"(Out of pride, she had borne her punishment in silence, but) now, with the Slave Master elsewhere, each step was beginning to feel like torture." Unfinished thought? She bore it in silence... but what?... It hurt then too - and it hurts now... and she WAS silent... so now is she going to allow herself a gasp for pain?
Her bag just sort of appeared - did she have it when she was running? - was it taken from her when she was whipped and thrown back when she was put in chains?
'CRACK' - Very god.
So yeah, that was long - Almost done. The flow is good and the story is VERY interesting. Very good job grabbing the readers' attention. As far as description - maybe just a tad more - a sentence here, a sentence there- No paragraphs, of course, you've got that right. Maybe just a tad more in the beginning when she's running, or when the city is referenced to (a glance about at the surroundings) or whenever feels natural and unobtrusive- just to help orient the reader to what the picture is supposed to look like.
Also - no description on Branic? In reading I questioned if she could see him, because there was no mention at all.- Unless I missed it (which I wouldnt' put past me :p)
Oh - just to clarify - I give examples - not because I think it's what you should use - but because I think it more often helps get the point across without fuzziness. Also -it ends up long because I write critique as I read - which sometimes negates things - but hey :p it's how I don't forget things.
Overall - you have a great beginning. Your characters are instantly real and I feel like as we get to know them the reader is going to be able to relate. Great job. I have high expectations for this - you've got something excellent here :D
| rainbowjar chapter 2 . 2/15/2008
Excellent start- I'll be interested to see where this goes. Overall well-written (I think it had perfect spelling and grammar, which was very refreshing), and I liked how it switched around to follow different characters each chapter.
I think you did a good job introducing the major characters. In particular Nireem- even though you didn't write about her for too long, you established her situation and personality very clearly. I don't think you had quite that level of success with Arnae (mostly because we don't know anything about her past or life outside being a slave, though I understand that it's not best to lay everything bare immediately). However, I like her a lot at the moment, especially after seeing how perceptive she was in the laundry room scene.
The setting is a little bit confusing- for the most part, it seemed to be a very acceptable sort of made-up kingdom, but the occassional french terms (enchantee, croissant) and the reference to the pogo stick threw me off somewhat. If that's intentional, forgive me.