Reviews for Fragments
Kat Valiant chapter 7 . 5/12/2010
I forgot to add that the last chapter, Babysitting, is sort of an insight to how Haley's character evolved. This is what I get for writing at three in the morning :)
Kat Valiant chapter 7 . 5/12/2010
Yes, this is genuine, and I'm reviewing my own story. Just to make things clear, this was an initial draft of characters and ideas, and almost everything has changed since then. Haley has evolved into a more lovable, slightly ditzier, and still charming character. I like her a lot more since she's "grown up" in my mind, taking her own shape that's not so cold, and cruelly calculated. Quinne also has taken a shred of innocence back by having relinquished his immoral intent by the time he realizes what he's done, and ends up chasing after Haley not to catch her, but to protect her. The two make such a lovely family. (er, weird description, I know) and Zak and Haley have been rounded out. Zak is also a more honest character with a deeper connection to his sister, and most of Haley's dark past has been cleaned up. Turns out she's a victim of circumstance and makes life the best she can, and that's something that everyone can relate to :)

I'm keeping this up here just so you guys can get a taste of other styles that I write. Just don't associate it directly with the current La Guardia line and you won't be confused.

Thanks, all, for reading.

-Kat Valiant.
Medieval-Rogue chapter 4 . 5/26/2008
(Last word is "suggested")

So, I know it’s out of order. But I do hope you get it arranged soon – it would make reviewing / critiquing it more accurate.

The first scene of this chapter is all good – details, time lapse, slight mystery and suspense…but I can’t help feeling a little detached. I haven’t really built up a connection to either of these characters, so I can only empathize with their situations, and quite honestly, I like it when stories can rip my heart out and put it back in with some lessons.

If this is the first story, perhaps it’s meant as a short one, and that can account for the lack of emotion I have here. I still believe you can make more of a connection with the audience. Perhaps, somewhere, you could detail exactly how and who and why Haley killed people. A chapter, or so, devoted to that purpose would reveal a little more about Haley, versus just telling us here in this chapter.

And if she really is just a fifteen year old, she had better have a damn good, believable reason for being a serial killer, even if a moral one. And why her language is so eloquent in modern times. Fifteen year old, I don’t care who you are, don’t manage that in these kinds of situations. Both of which I hope to learn soon.

Perhaps all of this is for dramatic set-up purposes, like most dramas and epics (etc.) do begin in medias res, but I’m giving a justification for why I don’t quite feel beyond empathy at this point. Which is fine.

Yes…very nice details that made my stomach try to turn, when Haley bit the nurse. Again, if she is more than human, you should probably reveal that eventually. If she could smell the fight or flight adrenaline, then she isn’t human. Though, if that’s the case, I’m wondering how she got into this situation.

At the very least, however, I’ve gotten a little of the “You stupid girl” mantra going, which is usually a good thing, in certain doses, as I read.

Well done, but do keep in mind the things I’ve suggested.
Medieval-Rogue chapter 3 . 5/23/2008
I'm wondering if the first phrase is a meaningful repetition, "Allow me to introduce myself," or it is something in editing. In any case, I'm just making sure you're aware of it.

I really enjoyed the descriptions of the skin on skin. They're ...unique. "A new kind of autonomy." Very interesting, as it ties nicely in with the 'vulgar[ity]' of the actions, to her, reminding me slightly of Dominique.

As an intro to Quinn, it's also very interesting. For some reason, I didn't think he would be as harsh as he comes off here. When Haley says she wishes to keep him on the "tip of [a] knife," though, I do wish you would elaborate in some way. Otherwise, it's a nice statement, thought-provoking as the detail of 800-thread count cotton sheets.

Mostly, what this chapter does is make me WONDER. That is partially a good thing, and the drawbacks to me wondering might be caused by the chronological order thing. I really want to know the background if this girl is 15 years old (bodily or otherwise), if he is an adult obviously with a good standing (doctor_. It might be a very good idea for some plot to enter here. As Gertrude in Hamlet said: "More matter, less art," and this chapter / part seems the perfect place to open up to the "matter," as there seems to be the perfect amount of "art" here. I'm half wondering if Haley is some celestial being, or is she really some poor 15 year old experiencing these vulgarities (where are her PARENTS? The government?)? And who is Quinn to commit them?

At this point, I'm very curious about your motives and goals in writing this. Is it more literary - like my Deity? O)r is there indeed more of a fictional "ride" to it, that I haven't yet read or you haven't yet written?

Things to consider. A pleasing chapter, to say the least.
TaureanMuse chapter 2 . 5/12/2008
The first thing that I notice about this chapter is the lovely, unique, and striking imagery. Phrases like "inky, slithering night," the smells of the city, the wall's "gritty claws" holding Haley up by her jacket, and her “fad[ing] into a diner.” Throughout this chapter (and others), I love how you show rather than tell us about Haley’s surroundings. A lot of writers (myself, many times, included) have trouble doing this with details, but you nail the imagery like this.

I do, of course, have some critiques – some grammatical, more literary.

First, there is a phrase in here that says, “sort of looks comparable to,” that sounds redundant and overcomplicated. Perhaps “It’s comparable to…” would be more appropriate and…well…almost vulgar. Being straight and to-the-point is something (I’m paraphrasing, here) Natalie Portman wisely said a lot of women don’t do enough; instead, females use phrases that soften our meaning because we’re usually afraid of what others might think when we say things. I think she makes a good point, and when I think of Haley Vervaine, I don’t exactly think of a girl who is afraid of what people think of her, even or especially in narration. (Maybe I should take her advice – this is a whole lot for one small comment)

Second, you may want to change this phrase some: “But impeccable posture just is not practical, it evokes…” Instead, perhaps it should read “…posture is just not practical…” or “is not just practical” (probably the second one – it depends on your meaning, but if you go with the first, you would have to do something about the second clause). “Just” and “only” and other exclusive words are very dependant upon their placement in the sentence, and this critique depends upon your sentence meaning (so really, it may be fine).

Grammatical, first paragraph: “Professor” and “their” don’t match in number. That sentence and the one after may need some adjusting if you decide to match their plurality / singularity.

I do like the metaphor or observation, though it does make me wonder – here and in the next chapter. What is the plot here? For that matter, what is the background? I can’t say I’m not guilty of it. Looking back at Deity, I realize it’s tough to write an “observer” character and still keep an interesting plotline. This may be due to La Guardia being out of chronological order, as you say on your profile, but it really makes me wonder when the rising action is going to pick up – when something is going to pick up. A goal. A mission. A mystery. Even our dreams have them, and it gives us a reason to follow through and keep reading. You should probably either hint more strongly at a plot or begin to outright show one at about this point, when things are in chronological order.

Here, also, I have a critique. Avoid ranting. It’s hard not to let our personal views shine through our characters, but the time that it becomes a problem is when it becomes a rant. If one of your goals is to have people keep reading your FICTION…then perhaps you should change the 4th to last paragraph. It sounds too much like author-rambling than character-rambling, though I can’t exactly say how. I guess the phrase “blatant stupidity” threw me off, because of course, everyone hates blatant stupidity… but we’re human, so it happens regardless. If you do take this advice, it’s hard to employ, especially in first person (especially in novels that make points like this one). But this paragraph doesn’t have much substance, doesn’t contribute to the storyline, and doesn’t reveal much about Haley that we don’t’ already know. Essentially, this is a “telling” vs. “showing” stanza.

Otherwise, great chapter, and I especially loved the last sentence: Haley’s “moral Raid-X,” which actually does, if you choose not to change the paragraph, tie in to her characterization.
RexyB chapter 4 . 4/21/2008
WOW

That is so creepy!

Pleasantly so.
Medieval-Rogue chapter 1 . 4/15/2008
(FicPress has a cruel habit of cutting off my reviews. Let me know via PM if that happens... My last word here is 'edge,' so you can tell)

You probably remember our discussion over your feelings toward me - not for what I am, but for what I was.

After reading this chapter, I have similar feelings. Not for what you were, but for what you are and what you could be, for some reason. It's curious, because I've never felt these things, not really.

This certainly is interesting. I feel overwhelmed by the details, enough to make me feel tense, which I assure you, for me, is not that great of a thing for a first chapter of a piece. Yet, the character is intriguing and you use a style of first person that is commonplace ("I'm X and I have a story to tell- listen"), but you use it in a way that keeps me unaware of it for a time. Nicely done. Additionally, the paragraph that capitalizes "Not There", etc., reminded me of Ray Bradbury's style in Fahrenheit 451.

What this chapter came down to was the last sentence. That's what made me feel anything at all, which is something because the sentence before it was not of my taste. "And you may need it to calm your rather frazzled nerves." I honestly love it because it isn't often that stories read my minds or emotions. That one did, no matter that it was (as I said) your descriptive style that set me on edge.