Reviews for VIEOVITA
When Eden Burns chapter 3 . 8/24/2009
I'm definitely liking where this is going. ] Although, I had questions about character motive here - Why would Ms. Torivalva give up the book so easily if she were convinced it were dark, or evil? It seems like she might try harder to keep it away from the girl she admires, especially after an event like the seizure. My other question was - why did Eden want it so bad? Some magical property of the book because of her pure heart? I'd like to have seen that when she was asking about it.

I still love the way you develop your characters. The dialogue from Ms. Torivala was especially good here. That's the kind of stuff I'll always WISH I could write.

Anyway, I'm continuing on so I can read your fifth chapter before you post it. ]
When Eden Burns chapter 2 . 7/30/2009
I'm really enjoying the way you're setting this up. I already love the Eden-Father and Eden-Everest relationships. They feel really genuine and very non-stereotypical.

I also think you have a very J.K. Rowling-esque way of creating a 3D character in only a few sentences. Very nice. ]
When Eden Burns chapter 1 . 7/23/2009
Wow.

I am seriously impressed.

The first chapter is beautiful. The characters feel incredibly three dimensional, your descriptions are vibrant, and the dialogue feels real.

I think it's a great introduction to what's probably gonna be a great book. ]

Once again. I'm incredibly impressed.
abba315 chapter 2 . 7/23/2009
[Opening]: The opening of chapter four seemed to flow well, and I love the sentence "On a pillow of parchment stuffed with ink, Eden awoke." It's very original. However, and maybe this is just me, the way it's phrased irks me a little; it seems to me that it should be phrased as "Eden awoke on a pillow..." etc.

[Ending] I loved the ending for chapter four- it holds just enough mystery to keep the reader dying to hear what happens next, who the mysterious driver was, what the 'obsidian shadow' is, if it will follow her, etc, etc.

[Timing] I don't know if, again, this is just me, but for a while (until I read "The bright light didn't come from the sun") I wasn't sure what time it was in the last bit. I mean, you state that it is 8:47, but I wasn't sure if she had a night job or a day job. It left me a little confused, since I also wasn't sure if she had slept through the night, read the book all day... unless I missed something, it goes from her visiting "Between the Lines", to her falling asleep while reading the book, waking up, falling asleep again... and then it's morning.

I think it would be beneficial to the flow of the story to add something like "'8:47,' it seemed to scream. The rosy glow of the rising sun filtering in through her window confirmed the statement. The red letters shot off like flares within her mind..." and so on, so that the reader knows it's morning. I know the time of day is important, to me at least, so that I can visualize the scene going on in my mind's eye. It's just how I read.

[Other] I really like the character Everest. His little mini-plot is very interesting- I just implore you not to make it TOO cliche, though if you make Everest likable, it's obvious that the reader will want something romantic to happen between him and Eden. I also love the name Everest.

Great job! I look forward to reading more of this. :)
Lea Ai chapter 4 . 7/23/2009
[Opening] – The opening felt very natural given the ending of the last chapter. I thought it flowed nicely into the book narrative. I loved the line “a puddle of drool served as an unconventional bookmark” …made me smile :-D.

[Ending]- I loved the ending—it was VERY dramatic! :-D “And the last thing she saw before her head struck bark, was the truck driver standing above the ruins, his eyes glinting black like a starless night, cackling as tremors shook the skin on his face.” –oh…glinting black like the shopkeeper’s? It definitely left me wanting to know more.

[Scene] – You write action well :-D. I felt that I was there in the car with her as the “dog” attacked. You described all the emotions and the scene with great detail so that I could “see” it all perfectly. Nice job!

[Spelling/Grammar]- Your spelling errors are not bad considering in all of these chapters, your biggest error has been separating one word into two :-D. Here are a couple more I caught:

“she wiped it away with the sleeve of her night shirt”—should be “nightshirt”

“The city began its construction after the War of Reticence ,”-remove the space between “Reticence” and the comma

“and it is feared that war banners shall rise from the soil and entangle all lands;” - mixed up tenses, should be “and it was feared that war banners would rise”

“she pulled on a pair of faded blue jeans and a brown sweat shirt”—should be “sweatshirt”

[Other] – “In essence, they died at the hands of their loved ones, who lived by Aevum like they lived by air.”-interesting!

“from which Sileos received its modern name.”—not necessary…you talked about how Sileos got its name in the last chapter and putting it like this makes it sound like they got the name from the word “Reticence”.

“leaves danced atop the wind's gentle cushion, a visceral ballet with seemingly predestined swirls and bows.” – BEAUTIFUL! You definitely have a gift for poetic writing.
Lea Ai chapter 3 . 7/22/2009
[Writing] – I think in general your metaphors/similes are amazing—beautiful, really. I especially liked: “The violet walls were a ballroom for waltzing petunias and vines”. However, you want to be careful that you are not overdoing it. If you have too many, your reader loses the story in the beauty of the writing. You want them to enhance your story, not overwhelm it. A good rule of thumb is to not have more than one a paragraph and generally not more than one every few paragraphs. Give your reader a chance to truly appreciate them.

[Spelling/Grammar] – Again, just a few minor spelling/grammar errors.

“Eden though they might just grow deeper” – Should be “thought”

“Vieovita." – Should be italicized since it’s the name of a book…although I wouldn’t be surprised if this was a FP error—it always hates my italics too…

“You know me well enough by now," she trailed off,” - when someone trails off, I think it should have a “…”, so “now…”

“I've ridden this place of it." - Should be “rid”

“leaves floating like specks of paint on an cerulean canvas.” – should be “a cerulean canvas”

“and she was its conquerer-to-be.” – should be conqueror

“refusing to interfer and risk transforming” - should be “interfere”

[Enjoyment ]- Eden is a relatable character and so her thoughts and experiences are entertaining to read. Even though there wasn’t too much action in this chapter, I simply like following Eden around. Also, the background information at the end was interesting…although you want to be careful about giving too many names all at once so you don’t confuse your audience. If you are introducing characters/planets, don’t introduce unique wildlife, etc. Make sure you are reserving unique names for things that are important and don’t bother naming things (to us anyway) that are not important to the story (until you are sure we have the basic characters/places down anyway).

[Pace]- I feel the chapter moved at an excellent pace. The dialogue between the shopkeeper (one word :-D) and Eden flowed naturally and she moves from one thing to the next at a good speed. You are definitely keeping the reader wanting to know more about the book—you are doing a good job of keeping us in suspense! :-D

[Technique] - You typically do a wonderful job at metaphors, however, this one didn’t ring true to me: “Words rushed through her bloodstream like alphabet soup, steaming and screaming to be freed.” – First, words don’t rush through the bloodstream—maybe “bubbled up her windpipe” (or trachea or throat), and second, alphabet soup doesn’t scream to be freed from anything.

[Other] – Another great line full of vivid imagery: “Eden thought they might just grow deeper, eroding her body until there was nothing left but a soul.”

Another great chapter! :-D
Lea Ai chapter 2 . 7/21/2009
[Characters] – I am really liking Eden. You have created a character that already has a lot of depth. I like how you have the history of mental instability to make people question her sanity…makes it easy to sympathize with her when she is not believed.

[Spelling/Grammar] – There were a few spelling/grammar errors in this chapter, although I think the spacing ones might be FP’s fault…

“she was under the odd senstion that she was on a carnival ride.”- should be “sensation”

“her fear that in his mind it was her mother's voice resounded, not hers; her fear the the screws that bound her consciousness were finally rusting.” Remove the second “the”… also, I think there should be a “that” between “voice” and “resounded”.

“sparsly lit skyscrapers” - should be “sparsely”

“Between the Lines was uncharateristically dark and vacant.” – Should be “uncharacteristically”

"Goodmorning, Sleeping Beauty." – Should be “Good morning,”

“Friends,he used that term,” - should be a space between Friends, and he.

“Everest wantedher.” – needs a space between wanted and her.

“and never lost an opportunity used it to his ultimate advantage.” – should be “opportunity to use it”

[Plot]- I thought we were going to go off into fantasy land in the last chapter and was kind of surprised to end up in the hospital (even though the sirens were blaring)...especially because you ended with quotes from the book. I was thinking this was going to be sort of “Neverending Story”ish…the book being a portal to another world. Now I’m not sure where you are going with this.

[Other] – I thought there were many beautiful or interesting phrases in this chapter. You have a gift of imagery. Here were my favorites:

“rather than one of those rusting torture devices.” – made me laugh out loud! :-D

I loved the descriptions of the nurse: “Eden thought she smelled vaguely of tuna.”—again had to laugh out loud! :-D “invasive mole on her left forearm that almost resembled a craggy face.” – an interesting image…

“As she drifted into slumber, the line between stars and streetlights blurred, and wasn't entirely sure which she was wishing upon anymore.” – Just beautiful!

Another great chapter! (BTW...I will be reviewing all 4...I'm just going to bed now and will do the rest tomorrow)
Lea Ai chapter 1 . 7/21/2009
[Ending] – I LOVED the scene leading up to the ending. It kept me completely on the edge of my seat! I was completely caught up in the death scene and the black smoke—how eerie! Nicely done! However, I wasn’t sure if the book quotes? at the end were necessary. It kind of distracted me from the action because I was trying to figure out where they fit in. I think the ending would have been stronger if you cut it off with the “blaring of sirens.”

[Characters] – Love the name “Eden”. :-D

[Writing] – Although for the most part, I found your writing beautiful, there were times that it came off as a bit too flowery. When you use too many adjectives in one sentence, your reader tends to get lost. I once heard a suggestion from an editor that if you have two adjectives in a row, choose the one that fits best and cut the other one out. For example: “intricate sinuous patterns swirled along the edges”—were the patterns intricate or sinuous? (I know…they are both! :-D…I’m just passing along the advice I was given…) In this sentence, I would cut out “sinuous” because you go on to say the patterns swirled along the edges and swirled gives the impression of “sinuousness”.

[Spelling/Grammar] – Just a few very small things.

"Eden" came a bellow from behind a cluster of ferns, "Can you spare a hand?" – I think there should be an exclamation point after “Eden” since it was “bellowed”.

Shopkeeper is one word. Storeroom is one word.

“Placing an an arm on her shoulder, she pulled out her cellphone,”—remove the 2nd “an”.

“Clawing at her neck, although it didn't seem like an effective battle plan, she figured should go down with a proper fight.”—are you missing a “she” between “figured” and “should”?

[Enjoyment] – This chapter was very enjoyable. Especially towards the end—a great start to the story!

[Techniques] – I noticed you use italics a lot. You want to be careful that you don’t overuse them or they lose their intended effect. Try to keep them specifically for emphasizing words.

Since this is all told from Eden’s POV (albeit 3rd person), her thoughts don’t necessarily need to be italicized. It is somewhat jarring to jump out of “narrator mode” to “Eden mode” and then back in when the narrator is already telling about her life and emotions. For example, “but Eden was thirteen and didn't understand. [Frankly, I don't think I'll ever understand.] She hated to think of it as a self-fulfilled prophecy…” It seemed odd to me to have a break in the narrative to put this in thought form and then go right back to narrative, only to have another thought 2 sentences later. I think it would flow smoother if you just left it in 3rd person/no italics: “but Eden was thirteen and didn't understand. Frankly, she doubted she would ever understand” and then remove the italics from the other thought in that paragraph as well.

If you want to use them for thoughts, try to keep them for thoughts relating to a conversation, where it would be natural for her think things she would need to keep unspoken. Also, it may be helpful to use single quotation marks around the italics to further let your reader know they are thoughts. I agree that the book should be italicized, but I wonder if maybe you could further set it apart by centering it? FP is limited in so many ways…

[Other] - “Eden protruded her head through the thicket to see her father, Mark Windsong,”—is it necessary to know his name? If he is not a main character, just leave it as “her father”—no need to introduce her father’s name unless she calls him Mark or unless he becomes a major character. (Less information for your reader to have to remember).

“plastered against his apron, an odd embrace,” I wasn’t sure what was meant with this phrase until I read the rest of the paragraph. Maybe change it to: “plastered against his apron in an odd embrace,”

"'Hello, Ms. Torivala," Eden laughed as she put a wizened arm across her shoulder and brought her to the nearest row of books." – this sounds like Eden’s arm is wizened and she put it around Ms. Torivala’s shoulders because Eden is speaking. Maybe: “Eden laughed as the elder lady’s wizened arm draped across her shoulders, leading her to the nearest row of books.”

“She pinned her arms against her body as the receptionist had directed,”…this is really nitpicky, but a 9-1-1 operator is not a receptionist. A receptionist is someone who receives calls or people into an office. A 9-1-1 operator is charged with dispatching calls to emergency personnel. You should refer to them either as a dispatcher or an operator. (My brother-in-law is one, and I think he would be insulted to be called a receptionist…)

Okay…after all of that constructive criticism (I hope you found it constructive!), I must say, I found much of your imagery and overall writing absolutely beautiful. These were my favorites:

“with grime streaking his face like the stripes of a zebra.”

“Most girls at thirteen were frightened by spiders or snakes or other trivialities, but Eden had been terrified of herself, of her sanity.”

“Her father always told her there was a warrior princess trapped within her that vied for adventure.”

“her heart pounding like a dysfunctional metronome,”

This is a beautifully written chapter and the only reason I wrote so much is because a. it had to be a “depth” review and b. you seem to care about your writing so I thought you might appreciate it.

Great job!
Aeriim chapter 3 . 7/20/2009
Well, it wouldn't let me review Chapter 4 again, so I'm reviewing it again on Chapter 3.

xD

The edited version was a vast improvement from the previous version. The actual text from the book was much more detailed and much more interesting, and got rid of the quandary with technology. The occasional added detail was quite nice as well. However, it was the ending that showed the most improvement. It was much better, with more appropriate pacing, good detailing, and a good portrayal of emotions. The chapter itself was still quite short, but you said they'd be getting longer, so I guess I can let this one slide.

;)

Great edit on this chapter.

By the way, I sent you a message trying to work out my beta services. Get back to me when you can. Thanks!

Aeriim
Crimson Dizzy chapter 4 . 7/19/2009
Writing

Your paragraphs seem to have become a lot more balanced now, which is definitly a good thing. You haven't lost that wonderful descriptivness though! "causing goosebumps to blossom like flowers across her arm." was one of my favourites.

Plot

We're getting into the plot now. The last few paragraphs were very action packed which I love. I suspect that there's a lot more to come.

Pace

You mentioned the orgianal version of this chapter being rushed. I haven't read that, but you and your Beta certainly work well together. The pace was quick, especially towards the end but not uncomfortably so. If it had been rushed it would seem sloppy but I didn't get that impression at all.

End

What a cliffy! Definitly made me want to read on. I'm sure everything will become somewhat clearer in the next chapter, and I look forward to that.

Keep writing!
Crimson Dizzy chapter 3 . 7/19/2009
Writing

Some of your paragraphs, especially the last one were a bit long and difficult to read. I suggest splitting them up a bit to make them easier on the eyes.

Characters

I thought that Ms. Torivala was a bit quick to tell Eden where the book was. I understand that it's probably an essential plot device but I think there should have been slightly more hesitancy there. I also think that maybe you shold show more of Eden's flaws as I've only seen her positive traits so far and we don't want to go in a Mary-Sue direction with this...

Ending

I'm liking where this is going. The last line was especially poetic and made me want to read on to learn more about...well, everything!

Plot

I like the plot so far, it doesn't seem as cliched as a lot of Fantasy stories are. I'm looking forward to the next chapter's developements.
Crimson Dizzy chapter 2 . 7/19/2009
Spelling/Grammar

"Goodmorning" should be two seperate words. That was the only mistake I could find. Just be careful when proof-reading.

Characters

I love your description of Everest. The way Eden is aware that he's only interested in her as a rebound makes me think about her character more. She's obviously quite intelligent and perhaps a bit cynical? I wonder if she's right and Everest really is rebounding or if that's just her opinion. I'm actually not sure.

Relationships

I love how Eden's Dad kind of dodges around the extraordinary story she tells him, not stating straight out that he thinks she's a liar like anyone else would. He's careful of her feelings and that's so telling of their relationship. I also like how Eden feels guilty for being nasty to him. The love between those two makes me feel fuzzy inside.

Dialogue

The scene between Eden and Everest could have been a make or break moment dialogue wise, but you nailed it. It was just perfect the way Everest's annoyance was displayed through your wonderful choice of words. Also the way Eden defends her friend so loyally. Great stuff!
Crimson Dizzy chapter 1 . 7/19/2009
Writing

I love the descriptivness, your use of words is beautiful. I found the first paragraph particularly good, although I find you have a slight tendancy to over-use commas. Maybe split some of the very long sentances into shorter ones? It would be a shame if the long sentances caused a big distraction from the vivid imagery.

Techniques

"for although every pastor's son and evolutionist thinks they know what's beyond death, in all reality, nobody does." I found that line very clever and it brought across her confused feelings very clearly. Something any young agnostic or anyone who has experienced the death of a close family member could relate to. I find relatabilty in Fantasy stories is often lacking so don't lose it!

Relationships

I loved your portrayel of the relationship between Eden and her Dad. Their love for each other is obvious and goes without saying, the way they tease each other is so typical of a father-daughter relationship. I think the mother's death and miscarriage has only brought them closer together, since now they only have each other.

Dialogue

I half no bones to pick with the speech in this chapter at all. It's natural and not at all wooden, with all the characters having a unique voice. I'm especially fond of Ms. Torivala's mannerisms as they're so different to everyone else but still believable.
Counting Petals chapter 4 . 7/18/2009
Ooh, I love the last paragraph, it was so descriptive. And the description of the shards of glass was just beautiful.

A few typos: "she thought creature halted in the center of the road" - missing 'the'

"It's eyes were blood red" - 'its'

"And the last thing she before her head struck bark" - 'saw', I'm assuming?

I can't wait to read more! Happy writing!

-Othello, from the Review Marathon (*points to link on profile*)
Counting Petals chapter 3 . 7/18/2009
I love all of the personification you put in here because it adds a lot to the prose, I think. Like "guilt wagging its dirty fingers"? Awesome.

But I'm confused about why Ms. Torivala would have told Eden where the book was, because if she was so concerned about its supposed evil, wouldn't she have wanted to keep Eden away from it?
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