|Reviews for The Opal Fox|
| Alteng chapter 1 . 7/3/2008
The first person perspective is quite entertaining. It does help get into the depths of the character. And Aurelie is such a smart alec. it makes it even more of a pleasure. I would keep it that way, but don't do what is so popular now and break into the third person thing in the middle of the story. It takes away from the story. if there is something your narator doesn't know, then you will have to work around showing that in her perspective intstead of telling about it.
As for the name, Aurelie. it is which ever one makes you happy. The Aurelie seems to be cool.
| C.M.F Wright chapter 2 . 7/1/2008
I liked the conversation between Aurelie and Prince Emory. Your dialogue flows quite well and was entertaining to read. I liked how Kavei turned the tables on Prince Emory (“I’ll ask you to refrain from insulting my parties in front of me, Your Highness!”) - funny!
I'm getting a really good sense of the characters' personalities through the dialogue. My only criticism regards your characterization of Lord Kavei, who seems tense and worried one moment and then laughing the next (when Prince Emory appears) - but he seems likeable enough.
The ending of the chapter feels a little abrupt. I wonder if you could go into more detail about Marie and Derie (hm, do their names rhyme?) and their conversation with Derie's father? I was also a little surprised because I'd anticipated that Marie and Derie would have a much harder time getting permission to marry (the first scene of the story was mostly about their difficulties, so I thought some of the plot would revolve around that... now I'm a bit at a loss about the plot except for the romance aspect _)
Loved your description of the palace. You have a way of interspersing Aurelie's own voice with the description which makes it rather more amusing (i.e. I followed Marie and Derie to the side, where we stopped below a massive painting of some battle important enough to grace such a prominent place.)
Overall, I really enjoyed this. Can't wait to read the next chapter!
Minor details -
While Marie and Derie corned his father in the middle of the hall - I think you meant "cornered"?
“Why just the other week I was out with the dogs…”
I stopped listening - I don't know if you even need this. It seems a little redundant, since a sentence earlier you basically say the exact same thing.
“You must believe my sister calls me,” I countered, “for if you do not, then you believe that I dislike your company, and why would you wish me to stay if I shunned you?” - *chuckle*
But your analogy must be broken because my father does not play at kings, your highness - "play at kings"? Did you mean "chess"?
They set the wedding date for early Autumn.
| Audy chapter 1 . 6/30/2008
Hey, I'm Audy from the review game :) I'm gonna take a look at this story as it sounds interesting. I edit as I write, so sorry for any questions/concerns I had at the beginning that were already addressed later in the story.
To first answer your questions...
I wonder how you pronounce both names? When I read it I say, "Aw-rel-ee/Aw-rel-ee-uh' in which case Aurelia sounds prettier (though they both sound weird to be honest, so I'm thinking I'm probably pronouncing it wrong.) Maybe it's Aw-rEEl-ee like *aw, really?* Which again...sounds weird. But it's probably a name you can get used to if you say it enough xP Im sure i'll grow into it.
As for first person, I wonder what exactly you mean by 'stuffy?' I thought it was fine. The good things about first person is that you can get directly into the MC's head and experience things firsthand through that. It all depends on what you want to achieve when you're writing. I like the bit at the beginning-not so much the starting line: I am a sorceress. That's a bit trite, methinks. But the tone and the mood of it. As I was reading it, I feel as though I'm in my PJs cuddling by candlelight as the storyteller begins to tell a grand tale or legend-be it intentional or not-I love the tone at the beginning.
"...that is what makes a witch, not the fact that she was born to commoners..."
"...It is said she could pull stars from the sky, spin the moon in the sky and stop earthquakes..."
The sentences above sorta illustrates what I mean. I don't know if it's because it's a background/informational speech (which is normally written as third-person omniscient) and you've written it as first person (so that it's more personal, and has that storytelling feel) or if it's because you've written it in a way that myths are usually written. That same tone. I dunno if I'm crazy or if you know what I'm talking about or not, but I just like it xPP
There were some minor complains though:
I don't like the dear reader aspect. I don't like the "you might say" etc. etc. perhaps that is just personal taste. But in my opinion it singles us out and reminds us that this is a story, instead of putting us /into/ the story. The fact that this is first person just worsens this, because it's the main character telling us that she's written this story or she's about to tell this story, instead of us stepping into the main character's shoes and living through her eyes, which is one of the advantages of first person to begin with.
Also, there were some little lapses in grammar, like tense errors, etc.
"...None of her parents or grandparents was(were) capable of magic..."
"...fought wars to possess her and occasionally sold(sell) her..."
"...They had inherited her abilities and went on to found(find) powerful dynasties of sorceresses..."
Also you tend to be a little redundant at times...
"..It is said she could pull stars from the sky, spin the moon in the sky and stop earthquakes..."
Notice the repetitive 'the sky' in the same sentence? Also, to say that the moon is in the sky is superfluous. We know the moon is in the sky, you don't need to add that bit there. It's like telling us the grass is green.
Now, I know a lot of people are going to complain about the info-dumping at the beginning, especially us writers o-o We just hate info-dumping and we want to avoid it at all cost. Personally, I believe there are cases where info-dumping works, and where it doesn't. I think the history bit is interesting enough-the story about the powerful witch in year zero. It was written in a way to keep me interested. When you start going into politics-the magical families and descendants, that's where I just read through it, and I'm left going ? Yeah. I still don't know what you're talking about.
The problem is not so much clarity (though I admit that part could be a little more clear) as it is just overwhelming to take in.
The shift from the history bit, to the present story is a little bit abrupt. I didn't feel as though there were any closure to the first part. Perhaps you should work on the transition a little bit more, you know what I mean? You're telling us a background story, and then all of a sudden we're in the father's study. Besides the fact, it also seems as though the styles have completely changed. The first part had an informational quality to it, which is understandable as you are trying to explain some things before you begin the story, and the second part is just typical first person, 'I thought this, said that, did this' it's as if you've completely dropped the style (which I sortakinda liked :P)
Now this is just a suggestion. But perhaps, since they are in the father's study already, you could write about the MC opening up a history book or something, flipping through the pages and you can still get in the background information through her thoughts as she reads through some exercpts maybe-or maybe she sees a picture of the very powerful witch and she remembers all the tales that her father/teacher/whatever used to tell her about the 'stars from the sky, spinning of the moon, etc.'
[edit: woops xP they're not in the father's study-My bad-sorry about that, I edit as I read, and I got to the part where it was like 'she paced before my father's study one bleak winter day' and somehow my brain took "before" as "in" o-o Not your fault. but I'll still leave the idea there.]
Oh! Derie's a guy-and I thought he was the girl. I kind of like that name for a guy though. x) Pronounced 'Dairy' or 'Durhee' as in the name Marie Antionette...?
To be honest, I haven't a clue what they're talking about here in this first exchange bit. I just know it's something about a court hearing...But I like the characterization.
Alright, now I'm getting the idea of an arranged marriage. But I have no idea why they have to go to court for it. Perhaps you could explain this to me, because I really want to know.
"..With our mother(comma) shouting was not the way to wear her down..."
"...Mama(comma) I think it hardly matters..."
Again, the changes in time comes a bit abrupt. I think it's the general pacing that is a little bit off.
Another thing I noticed with the speech, since they're high-class royalty-like, they have to generally speak in a formal, educated matter. I think you did a great job at presenting that, but there were just a few places that you lapsed in. For example the "Show off" statement. Used in the matter that you used it, 'show off' is more like urban slang.
I just want to note, your dialogue is exceptional. It flows, it's entertaining, it explains things/moves the plot forward, and it characterizes your characters :) You did a great job!
"...Yes darling baby sister (of) mine?..."
I loved the characters! I think you have a nice blend here. Very refreshing. I like how the father hides in his study, and Marie's strong, vivacious personality. I also like your MC and the chemistry between her and the rider was wonderfully done. The rider's such a kick xD I'm definitely rooting for that couple.
I also like the expressions they used. 'Goddess above' :) Very neat and effective for world-building.
I liked the term and concept, Moa. Neat creature :D Very original! I also liked the spatterings of politics here and there. At first, I was completely confused. But as the story progressed, I think I picked up more from context clues littered throughout the story (the different colors of the houses, the dresses, talks of Aurelie's mother wanting her to find a husband, etc. etc.) than I had from your explanations in the beginning.
So now-Derie and Marie want to get married but they need the blessings from Derie's father, or something like, because of the law and their differences in social class, they cannot be married legally? Some kinda conflict with the marriage anyhow...
-and so Aurelie is going to speak for them. That's what I've got. Correct me if I'm wrong/missing something.
One thing you need to work on-besides clearing up a few places, and clarifying a few things-is the pacing. At the very least you haven't dragged the story. No, you've just rushed it along xP But really good though! This is a fantasy story I can actually get into which is /saying/ something coming from me. I'm liking this and I'm going to follow it along :) Great job!
| WickedRedHead chapter 2 . 6/28/2008
love it, please update soon!
| C.M.F Wright chapter 1 . 6/27/2008
First off, might I say that your summary made me chuckle?
1. I don't mind the first person - I don't think it's stuffy - but I feel like your style in this story is a little less fluid than your other stories. I think part of the problem might be that when I read first person stories, I'm used to having more explanation in the first chapter - about the main character, about what's going on - rather than being plunged directly into the action. With third person, starting in the middle of the action (especially when the action centers around a character who ISN'T the main character, i.e. Aurelie's sister) somehow seems less jarring. Perhaps this is just personal preference...
2. I'd go with Aurelie. Granted, I took French for 4 years in high school and sometimes prefer French names to their English-ified counterparts... but still... in your other stories, she's called Aurelie. It would feel a little odd to have her name changed now.
I liked the humor in this chapter. The “Give me patience! Give me fortitude. Give me a stronger fist!” line made me chuckle, as did the line about having food delivered through the window.
The writing in the beginning seemed a little choppy, but somewhere toward the middle it evened out - which is, incidentally, the point when I got really caught up in the story. I think one of the problems is that I don't get a good sense of the narrator's personality right up front since the first scene is dominated by Aurelie's sister.
I really enjoyed the scene in the carriage, however. That's when the characters really seemed to come to life. I loved the banter and sisterly teasing between Marie and Aurelie. And why do I suspect that this dashing young perhaps-Royalist is Prince Arrogant Jerkface from the summary?
Oh, and one more point... where did you get the idea of people riding on huge birds? So cool! You portray your world so well - it's awesome. I could totally picture this.
Looking forward to reading the next chapter!
Minor details -
He would do it too if she continued like this for much longer, it had already been over a week since the fits started. - Two sentences
This was the fourth episode of her attempts to have a shouting match with our father. - Why not just:
"This was her fourth attempt to have a shouting match with our father."
Another kick to the polished wood finished this sentence. - I don't really like "finished" as a word choice... what about "punctuated"?
“Mother’s not the one who orders the grooms to hide the saddles and take apart the coaches whenever we try to go somewhere.” - *Grin*
“Did you really mean that(,) Aura?” - Eh? I assume he's asking whether she really meant that she didn't want to go to court, but this line is so far after she said that that I can't be sure and it's kind of ambiguous.
My mother was not as pleased as my sister had anticipated, she did not even look up from her writing desk at Marie’s breathless announcement. - Two sentences
With our mother shouting was not the way to get her attention or force her to act. - This sounds awkward... maybe you need a comma? Or you could just reword:
"Shouting was not the way to get Mother's attention or force her to act."
“The one Lord Avelay promised him if he got married to a girl the lord approves up," - "up"? Did you mean "of"?
Lady Anabella Dielle, the daughter of Lord Donghai of Margate was known widely for a few things besides being the wife of my father, one was her love of slightly dangerous animals, the other was her strict attention to her correspondence. - Two sentences. And yay for rampaging guard dogs!
Up and down the boulevard horses, reindeer, and oxen pulled carts and wagons loaded with goods and people. - Reindeer? Is this the Arctic?
My sister snapped and the flower changed from a snowy white to a rich pink that matched my dress. - snapped? Snapped what? Snapped her fingers?