Reviews for Wizards
PixieMobile chapter 1 . 6/7/2009
Yo!

I've gotta say... I really like your story dude. Very, very good.

I mean, the characters were a little impersonal for sure, but it's only the first chapter, so no doubt it's gonna get cooler... if that's even possible.

Also, I like the whole concept of wizards in the modern world. I mean, I love fantasy and stuff when it's like, set in a whole different time/planet, but it's way more difficult to write in a way that all ties in with the current world so... kudos to you!

But yeah, I'd be very excited if you wrote some more, because it's just very, very good, and it would be... very, very good, if you wrote more.

I'm gonna stop talking now.

Bye!
3.141592653589793238 chapter 1 . 3/12/2009
WHY I’D KEEP READING

Overall, you have a very matter-of-fact style of writing. This happened, that happened, etc, etc. The lack of embellishments, although you do have descriptions, makes reading this story really, really easy and smooth. Your world is also interesting. An issue of civil rights (with apprentices as laborers without rights, I assume) and discrimination, culturally based, and problems right off the bat. That’s so awesome. Further, I love Marcus. He is so petulant, so much of a child, it’s easy to see him as a real person.

WHY I WOULDN’T

Throughout the entire chapter, the narration was rarely personal. I couldn’t become really involved in the story; it was like watching an experiment being conducted, unsure of the results but not really caring, per se, because the experiment is being conducted by someone or something else. You reveal the more personal aspects of your characters through their dialogue, but they rarely speak of anything that isn’t factual. That moment when Lillith admitted that she didn’t what to do was amazing, just because the story was suddenly more personal than it was before.

You don’t set up your world evenly. Scenes from this, from that–long paragraphs of introduction–that’s all personally somewhat annoying, especially as the beginning of a story that has yet to have a second chapter to continue it with. At the moment, everything seems slightly disconnected from everything else, although they’re slowly coming together. There’s just no actual focus, yet, that I can latch onto. Generally, stories start at a focus that will spread out from a line; here you have a story starting at several lines that are joining up together, or so it seems.

GRAMMAR, STRUCTURE & SUCH

a. It started with a road. It as a regular dust road, stretching across the barren fields like a soft, unfurled ribbon. – (a) is more a matter of preference than error. In the first sentence, the topic is ‘beginning’. The ones after that sentence are focused on the road itself. Although the beginning is the road, the lines describing the road could be separated into another paragraph.

b. Each had among their branches one candle, stout and irregular, like old candles inevitably looked. – ‘each’ is an indefinite pronoun, and it is a singular one. ‘their’ is a plural personal pronoun, attempting to refer back to a singular indefinite pronoun. Grammatically, matching ‘each’ and ‘their’ is incorrect.

c. Flitting in the air from one tree to another, an apparition- perhaps a person, though all it seemed to be was an amalgam of moth wings, fluff and thin, insect-like antennae- carrying a lantern, of all things, lit the candles in an aggitated manner. – Agitated is spelled incorrectly. But the main point I wanted to make is that this is an incredibly long sentence, and one that is confusing because there is such a huge string of words separating the main subject and the main verb (‘apparition’ and ‘lit’). If the interruption between the main subject and the main verb were shorter, it wouldn’t have mattered how long the sentence was. But as it is, it takes a while to figure out what the subject is actually doing, after taking some effort to take out what the subject isn’t doing from the sentence. Because of that, the flow of the story gets interrupted a bit.

d. It (or rather she, because something in its manner suggested it as female) stopped suddenly and turned, speaking in a whispery ghost of a voice. "Keep the lights on. That's all you need to understand, do you hear me? Keep the lights burning." – Because you used the present tense of ‘speak’, the quote following right after should be directly connected to the sentence before, because both the ‘speaking’ and the quote occur at the same time. A colon would work.

e. array to do a job in a few minutes, or spending a few minutes explaining to two apprentices the job they'll – Most common mistake to make with commas is adding one when one isn’t, grammatically speaking, needed at all. The comma after ‘minutes’, for example, is unnecessary, because it follows after a conjunction, but it isn’t itself an independent clause. Cover up the ‘or’, and what you have to the right of ‘or’ won’t make sense as its own sentence. You have several more unnecessary commas; a few are actually unnecessary for other reasons than this. There are also sentences where you did need commas but did not include any.

f. "I suppose, for the Master, the second one is faster," Marcus admitted, begrudgingly. – Did you want ‘begrudgingly’ to be a synonym of ‘reluctantly’? If so, using ‘begrudgingly’ wouldn’t technically be correct, because ‘begrudgingly’ means literally to be reluctant to give someone something, be it praise, milk or admiration. ‘grudgingly’ just means reluctant.

g. education had been founded, making the practice obsolete, though not readily abandoned by – You have a literary contradiction in this sentence, when you don’t need to have a literary contradiction because an actual contradiction does not exist. If something is obsolete, it can either be 1) not used anymore or 2) rarely used or still in use but not a lot. Adding in ‘though’ makes ‘obsolete’ and ‘not readily abandoned’ into a contradiction.

h. "The slightest things breaks these stupid things!" – Subject-verb agreement problem. You have a plural subject (brings) and ‘breaks’. The verb needs to be singular.

i. "Okay, okay," Marcus nodded nervously. – Nodded isn’t part of a dialogue tag, so attaching it to the quote with a comma is grammatically incorrect. It is also just plain weird. You can’t nod out “I love you”. You can SAY “I love you” but you can’t nod it. XD. Although this world is a strange place, so I suppose someone could eventually try to achieve nodding out speech, if they went at it hard enough. At least one more sentence where you attempted to use a verb that doesn’t produce sound to imply that it does actually produce sound.

j. "You're glowing, you're glowing!" – Comma-splice. It doesn’t matter how agitated someone or something is or excited. Unless there’s a conjunction connecting these two independent clauses, it’s grammatically incorrect. The two should either be separated by a comma and a conjunction or by an ending punctuation mark. Unless you ended the string of clauses with ellipses or an em-dash.

k. unsure of how to adress the being from her visions. – Address has two d’s.

l. A thin blue smoke rose from it. – Smoke isn’t a subject that has an indefinite article in front of it, in the English language. Theoretically, it could have one. But when it does, it sounds incredibly awkward.

m. the crystals' whirring rose to a pitched whine and ended it with a snap – What does the last ‘it’ refer to? If we take out the first part of the sentence, we’ll have just [ended it with a snap]. The subject, implied, would be the ‘whirring’ … so what would the ‘it’ be?

n. Last she'd seen it, it squeezed under the door to the Master's fifteenth level laboratory and disappeared. – ‘had squeezed’ rather than just ‘squeezed’. It had squeezed itself through before it had disappeared, not ‘squeezed’ and ‘disappeared’ simultaneously, otherwise how would anyone have known for sure that it had squeezed itself anywhere?

o. then finally put it down across the dirt. Finally, her fingers twitching nervously, – repetitive use of a word, especially a sequential word like ‘finally’, is boring and awkward. Either this was the final action or that was the final action, unless they both were final actions at a simultaneous moment.

p. She was starting to feel the after effects of the entire experience and all she really wanted to do was sleep. – Aftereffects is one word.