Reviews for Dog Days Are Over
shutterbaby chapter 1 . 2/16/2010
Okay, let's break it down chapter by chapter then. (By the way, you might get more reviews if you allowed anonymous ones.)

The way the prologue is structured, whatever's currently going on is in the past tense, which is fine. So when Penny asks to play with her friends and Laurel's sitting there in thought, it's all in past tense. But then Laurel thinks back to something that has happened before that. You have to be in pluperfect tense (she HAD said, they HAD been) for that whole flashback part.

The thing is, Laurel's flashback is longer than the current part in the beginning. Also, there are kind of flashbacks within the flashback, and the prologue ends when it's still in her flashback. So I was thinking, maybe we could just restructure the entire thing by taking out the bit in the beginning, and putting all of the flashback in regular past tense.

That was a lot to digest, I realize. Let me know if that didn't really make sense.

Stylistically I don't really have any complaints, except that you tend to tack on a lot of descriptive phrases, which is great, but I think you should break it down into multiple sentences instead of just adding stuff on with commas because it's easier to digest like that, unlike this paragraph which is all one sentence, and although it's still technically acceptable, it's also kind of a pain in the butt to decipher, you see what I mean?
soojinyeh chapter 1 . 1/17/2010
You established Laurel's character and struggle extremely well. I could practically feel her emotions, her disappointment at Dennis, her feeling relieved in Tobin's arms, and her love for Penny. I was very engaged in her story, and I found myself feeling symphathetic towards her only halfway through the chapter. Great job.

The only thing I didn't really like was the opening where it describes Penny. It went on for a little too long and there were too many comparisons; it may be a matter of personal taste, but I'd always preferred shorter, more precise descriptions. I'd have liked it better if it just said that she was bathed in the morning's glow, her hair shining in the sunlight and her cheeks pink. Or something a bit shorter.

All in all, great read.
qczhao chapter 1 . 1/17/2010
Hello, from the RG here.

So, lets start with opening:

As the prologue of the tale, I thought it worked very well. The emotional drama is set up slowly, and you can believe that rift in the marriage is real, and although infidelity is something I'm sure most readers will disapprove of, the reasons for it appear genuine and you can sympathise with the character of Laurel.

Writing:

The writing flows well, your sentence structures are varied, there is hardly any jarring word repetition and it reads easily, it seems quite polished. If you can keep the quality up in the later chapters that would be good work.

Characterisation:

I thought you tried a little too hard to make the reader biased against Dennis, with the whole car issue, and it doesn't make sense as to why someone wouldn't drive the car they love. You do this from the authorial voice, so it's casting his character in a bad light already, if it was Laurel's opinion, that'd be better, as we can still make up our minds about Dennis as we learn more about him.

Pace/Plot:

It's quite a slow pace, but i felt you managed it well with the writing. Weaving the exposition in between the unfolding emotional drama was very well done, commendations on that.

Romance stories really don't do it for me, but i can appreciate a well written piece of work when i read one. gj.