|Reviews for The Woodhouses' Fairy|
| thefaultinourpatronus chapter 1 . 2/24/2011
I really wish I could've compared this with your first version, but apologies, I cannot! I'll try to give my best con crit. though (:
I like the first line. It's an interesting observation, and pretty humorous at that.
Obviously, this piece isn't of this time. Victorian Era, or something of that sort? But the language fits really well with the rest of the narration, which is always nice to read! It's also cool how you added faeries into the mix, giving it a fantasy feel.
The choice of wording and vocab is eloquent and very English. I played Jane Austen in a drama once, and I had to memorize all sorts of lines! :) Very interesting how you were able to incorporate that into a story.
Excellent start! (:
| Canaletto chapter 3 . 2/12/2011
Probably my favorite chapter so far. While it doesn’t really introduce anything new about our established protagonists, it does reveal a lot about the time period, and how it differs from our own history. The siblings stuck out the most of the new characters here; both in physical description and attention in the writing. I can’t say much about that, but if you do have plans for the table’s other occupants, you might want to give them a bit more of an introduction in this chapter.
This was originally chapter two? No, I don’t find the pace to be too slow. On the contrary, I feel the pace right now is working quite well, giving us time to get used to the characters before the quest begins when the reach America.
Some small grammatical errors I caught:
"…I place strong hopes in Captain Cartwright[’s] abilities…" Lost the “s” in there.
“…Miss Oakland occupied made her [a] privileged even amongst such…” Take out the “a”.
| Canaletto chapter 2 . 12/16/2010
I did not think the ending of this chapter was too abrupt, though Woodhouse’s sudden change of heart was. I imagine though, that this will be expanded upon in later chapters, as well as why he dislikes flyships in the first place. From this chapter it becomes clear that this story does not take place in the real world, or a slightly altered one either. No real complaints about that, though I would have liked to have realized that sooner. Otherwise, characters remained consisted with expectations, and dialogue met the standard set in the previous chapter.
Some small mistakes: “…before Mr Woodhouse himself…” Don’t forget the dot in Mr. You do the same thing in the next line: “…a flustered Mrs Pope.” In fact, this problem comes up more than once. Watch out for that.
“…was a good idea to live two such people…” I think you mean “leave” there, not “live”.
“…did not even rise from his sit.” And here, I think “sit” should be “seat”.
"I am happy to see that you are well, in spite of the four years that I've last seen you four years ago.” The repetition of four years here comes off as awkward, and the sentence itself is a bit confusing.
| Canaletto chapter 1 . 12/13/2010
Given the summary, I really had no idea what to expect going in. The whole fairy thing at first led me to believe this would have some comedy, but upon reading I found that the tradition with fairies is widely known and accepted. I can at least see where the romance aspect will come in though, if the protagonist is expected to make the journey with her former lover’s brother. That being said, this is very well written, and aside from the fairy aspect (which is explained well enough to be accepted anyway), this fits quite nicely with the time period and setting. I’m looking forward to seeing how exactly your protagonist will handle being thrust into the wild s of the New World, but I’m sure the real drama will come with her relationships. Very nice work, and I’ll check out the later chapters when I have the time.
| LittleRedHorse chapter 1 . 10/18/2010
Well! Let me begin by saying that I very much enjoyed reading this (and you have no idea rare that is)! I’m not a very florid writer myself, so at first I was skeptical of the Austin-esque style, but you totally won me over. I really enjoy it, and I think you’re generally doing a great job with it. It actually pulled me in to the story and it’s very engaging. There’s just something inherently charming about it, and you’re doing it well.
I think the fantastical elements of your story are unique and very interesting. The concept of recapturing souls so they might be reborn “in the family line” is not only interesting, it’s believable in the context of Victorian England (or there about). I could very much see them wanting to do such a thing if the option existed.
Also, I’ll admit that at first I was leery of Georgiana, afraid that she would be too perfect (after all, we’re told that she’s beautiful and intelligent from the get go). However, I kept reading, and found that while totally likable, she’s also haughty (and maybe a tad bit self-centered?) and certainly not infallible – at least that’s my reading of things. This is where you won me over: “She heard Mrs Fellewyn's sharp intake of breath and basked in her discomfort. She was not compassionate enough not to rejoice at Mrs Fellewyn's suffering too.” Ha, I must be wicked or something, because I love it. I look forward to her character developing as the story goes on.
I’ll also tell you right now that I’ve read all the chapters you’ve posted, but it will take me a while to give you a semi-decent review on each chapter. I’m eager for Georgiana and Edward to arrive in the New World, and will continue to read your updates. I’m also curious to learn about Georgiana’s infamous mother, as well.
I do have a few critiques on the first chapter that I hope will be helpful:
“The fact that the lady was in no condition to be running around was indisputable; but the woman was greatly agitated.”
No semicolon there, just a comma will do! Semicolons are only necessary if you’re leaving out a word and connecting two sentences.
“Such love had not stopped him from going to explore America, though; even when she had said she wouldn't leave England.”
Same idea. If you want a more dramatic separation of the two ideas, then consider using a hyphen, so it would read, “Such love had not stopped him from going to explore America, though – even when she had said she wouldn't leave England.”
Semicolons are strange things; you might find this guide helpful. “There was nothing to be said; Lady Susan was a shameful spot in the Oaklands' history.” Those are two good examples of proper semicolon usage. Maybe keeping your own perfect example in your mind would be helpful.
“Sex outside of wedlock was commonly accepted these days, as was living in concubinage, something that, less than a century ago, would have meant losing her reputation for any respectable woman.”
1.) Using the word “sex” to refer to intercourse/sexual relations (as opposed to gender) seems out of keeping with the rest of your style. I did a quick search on the etymology of “sex”, and the first attested use of the word to reference intercourse/sexual acts belongs to D.H. Lawrence in 1929. While, of course, your story takes place in a fictional universe, I personally find it at odds with the rest of the style/pseudo-historical setting. Others might not find it so.
2.) Ok… so sex is fine now… but … why? Why did this sudden about face happen? What was the thinking? The Victorian era was SO sexually restricted; it’s really one of the hallmarks of the era. I’m totally willing to believe that in your world, things are different, but… why? Is it because they’ve come to view sex as a natural act that should be encouraged, so something along those lines? I feel like such a dramatic reversal of values deserves a sentence or two of justification before I’m personally willing to grant my suspension of disbelief.
“Georgiana had to make an effort to keep the grimace out of her face.”
Should be “off of her face”, I think, as expressions are generally “on” the face, and not “in” them, per say.
“She would not have expected them to steep to invoking a formal request,”
Do you mean “stoop”? To “steep (v.)” refers to let soak, to boil, etc. I can’t find any definition of “steep (v.)” that would allow such usage as it stands in this chapter.
“Yet Georgiana was still much bitter about Thomas' abandon of her last year, and she was sure it would hinder the fairy's capture.”
Should be abandonment, yes? Looks like to a typo to me, so I thought I would point it out.
I certainly hope you don’t interpret this as bashing! I don’t review things unless I think they’re worth it, so I hope that means something. However, I’m also no good at sugar coating, so all I can do is lay my thoughts out on the table and hope they help.
| Tawny Owl chapter 3 . 10/7/2010
It’s a flying ship! Describe it more, it’s exiting (she says jumping up and down and clapping her hands)
"I place strong hopes in Captain Cartwright(‘s) abilities,"
The history was intriguing. I was starting to wonder how much was outright fantasy and how much was parallel universe. This and he earlier mention of Bath confirmed it was the latter. And I love the idea of Napoleon Bonaparte on an air ship. I now quite want to try re writing some of the Sharpe novels with airships in. That’d be awesome.
Captain Cartwright, with an expression of amused tolerance on his face. He is just going to be introduced by Mr woodhouse, so describe his physicality more instead now rather than further down?
Woodhouse talked about you a lot, believe me," Captain Cartwright smiled. – hehe. He’s Edward’s Colonel Fitwilliam!
Of course he had meant Edward, - I liked that moment of confusion.
Georgiana replied drily, glancing at the concerned. – So she is clearly put out by Edward discussing her?
I think Edward is definitely going to be a character that we only learn the true nature of through what other people say. I’m not going to trust G’s opinion of him one jot.
Mr Woodhouse to be rather angry with his friend. – And how does that anger manifest itself? Is there frowning? Lip biting? Glaring? I can image it’s a subtle hint though rather than him throwing up his hands and rolling his eyes.
I’m getting more ominous Titanic flutterings with the description of the ballroom. That’s not until 1912 well, so I’m not going to reach for the nearest life boat. I liked the description though, and am hoping G gets a change to try out the dance floor.
He was a man in his mid-thirties perhaps. His medium height did nothing to atone his purposeful and imposing deportment. He might have been considered good-looking out of the presence of Mr Woodhouse and the other unknown gentleman. As it was, he had not even the advantage of youth that Captain Cartwright could use to be on par with the two other men. – That’s a good way of describing him! Although I did feel kind of sorry for him as he is so easy to pass over.
Mr Woodhouse and Georgiana exchanged a glance above the table – I liked that moment of unity. How do they both feel about sharing it? Does Edward raise his eyebrows or something to provoke G?
"Well it was... Endre, when was it? Five years ago I believe?" Miss Markozian (Markoczy although sometimes you spell it with an s instead of a z)
Miss Markoczy seems like quite a character, and I like the way she constantly interrupts her brother’s conversations. That says a lot about her too, and the relationship they have.
I liked that we get to see what G thinks of the politics of the wider world. Although I’m intrigued to know who the British Queen is. I’m sure it should be a George about now, and I want to know what happened to him, and if the fact that there is a female monarch is important to the plot. I think I may have to just be patient though.
But as a woman, I can only be naïve anyway," – so cynical, and yet so true.
He had even, once, made a little mistake with his English, which had her giggle quietly. – oh, what was it?
No, the pace isn’t too slow. The dialogue is brisk and that keeps it moving.
I really like the way you describe your characters, but I think you could put in more of it. Sometimes it does feel like mostly dialogue. It could be embellished with details, like what they are eating, or when food arrives, or how Edward looks being monopolised by Miss M. I think details can add to the atmosphere and tell us more about the characters.
Not nearly as many as I intended, but I’ll do more later. And thanks again for your reviews. I’ve rewritten chapter 3 of Gothic, and you really helped with that.
| Tawny Owl chapter 2 . 10/7/2010
. The housekeeper was adamant to explain (to) her
good idea to live (leave) two such people in the same vicinity for too long. Ha! And that tells us everything we need to know about Rebecca.
"I am going to him this minute, Mrs Pope," she said. "Do not fret so much." – How does she say this? It could tell us a lot about the relationship between the two women. Is G annoyed by the fretting? Or does she indulge it because it is familiar? I know you explain it further down, but this would be a good place to show rather than tell.
He looked at Rebecca like he was going to eat her. – I bet Rebecca wouldn’t mind if he tried.
"You mistake hunger and lust, dear Mrs Pope," – as do all the good supernatural romances!
I liked the image of Mrs Pope running down the corridor after G. I’m intrigued as to how she managed to overtake in a corridor though? Are they wide enough for two people to pass or was there a scuffle verging on the undignified? I’m actually curious about G’s class. Her dalliance with the first Mr Woodhouse, and his family’s reaction indicate she is not that desirable as a match, which makes me think middle middle class or maybe lower middle class. But the fact that her mother is Lady Susan intrigues me. Susan could have been married to a knight or the daughter of an Earl, or even an Earl’s husband. I have a point. Yes, the size of the corridor shows us more of where G lives, and therefore more about G’s family/status/wealth.
he was still tall, dark, handsome, and utterly insupportable. – Of course, tall, dark, handsome and easy to like would be unbelievable, ridiculous and certainly too good for any sensible young woman to take seriously! Plus it’d make the plot dull. He sounds like a bit of a Beau Brummel as well. Good show.
He did not greet Georgiana; he did not even rise from his sit. (seat)
"I heard Amelia managed to convince you to go on this fool's errand," he said. "And here I was so convinced that you would refuse her with colourful words." The repetition of convince/convinced interrupts the flow of the sentence here. Maybe change the convinced for sure or certain. I would have quite liked to hear the colourful words too. Although he uses the phrase again further down. I’m sure someone who thinks himself as witty as Mr Woodhouse clearly does wouldn’t repeat himself.
in spite of the four years that I've last seen you four years ago. Urm?
I was quite worried about you."- ooh, sarcasm. Actually, maybe tell us that or couple with some action to show she is giving him as little attention as he gave to her by remaining seated, rude man.
Mr Woodhouse is going to be fun. I can see the pair of them will make good sparing partners. The dialogue between them is cutting, but I think it could be enhanced with more information about how Mr Woodhouse looks (in terms of his facial expression and movements, toneof voice etc) and how G’s emotions react to him, and how that makes her react physically. There’s bits, but I think a lot more would add another dimension to the scene. You mention that G feels the same way she did four years ago, even though she thinks she shouldn’t. Explore it more. Plus from what Mr Woodhous says it sounds like he is asserting his presence in her room and her life and throwing his weight around by manipulatively sugaring her tea. That must be very irritating to a woman like G. Would she try to slyly cut him down to size again in other ways? Drinking the tea just to spite him? Or is there anything else on the tray she knows he doesn’t like that’s he could offload on him? I think I’m getting carried away. I’ll stop.
Ah, so G had a choice not to go! It wasn’t that Thomas just absconded.
Amelia's baby could wait one or two months, right? The right feels a bit too modern. Maybe, urm Indeed, Amelia’s baby could wait one or two months?
Or, Amelia’s baby could wait one or two months, undoubtedly. They’re both rubbish, but you get the idea?
The end is a bit abrupt. But partly because Mr Woodhouse, oh I’m too lazy. Edward’s change of heart is so sudden and unexplained. Maybe soften the ending with a reaction
from G? How does she feel about it? And that the letter didn’t contain what she expected?
| naito-kun chapter 1 . 10/3/2010
wow this was such an emotional first chapter! unfortunately i haven't read the first version before, but well, i must say, i liked the emotions portrayed in this chapter and i could feel georgiana's reluctance to agree at the end.
| Tawny Owl chapter 1 . 9/18/2010
Finally, I've made it here. And I love that Good Omen's quote about the apple.
I liked the humourous observation in the first line. Although I think that the middle bit between the commas was a bit awkward. I think you could maybe do with out the 'with'.
I love the idea of having an elegant mind. It makes me feel more fondly towards Miss Oakland despite the fact that she's rich and pretty.
So the house keeper's name is Mrs Pope? It feels obvious but you might wnat to tie the name with the job a bit sooner.
who couldn't understand that the span of a few hours had done nothing to calm down her agitation. - I like this. And I can imagine Mrs Pope getting agitated in turn.
First I think the style is sparkling. It does really remind me of Austen, which i think is what you were going for. ANd I'm jealous because I think you manage to portray that historic feeling more consistently than I do in Gothic. That said from a modern point of view it does feel like some of the emotion is glossed over. I was shocked when Miss Oakland dropped the cup on hearing of Thomas' death because although i presumed that she would have been upset at the time he left, in the present she had been perfectly calm, even to the point of only being puzzeled when her strange visitor revealed that she was his sister. I think there is scope to let us creep into her mind more.
It was not a pretty sight, for the woman looked too much like her brother to ever qualify for good looks. What had been handsome in Thomas was sadly masculine for his sister. - ouch! what a lovely, stinging observation.
"How dare you ask me for a favour? You never acknowledged me. The only reason your family let Thomas frequent me is Granfield Park!" - so thomas' family didn't approve of her?
That's something taht could be maybe touched on earlier?
| sophiesix chapter 4 . 8/17/2010
“That two brothers could have put her in such similar situation in a little over a year span was bitter.” ‘span’ feels redundant here, I don’t think you need it. But hilarious (and pitiful) situation to be in! those darned Mr Woodhouses!
"They need to gossip but will never hurt anyone” this feels a little awkward somehow. It could do with an ‘it’ after the ‘but’ to make it smoother, but it still doesn’t have quite the right period tone, methinks?
“Her who had been so generally liked in London experienced with people withdrawing from her company for the first time.” ‘She’ instead of ‘Her’, and the ‘with’ is better off left out. Poor Georgiana.
“but ended up that, as the one responsible, he would have to deal with them himself.” ‘ended up’ doesn’t sound right here. Maybe decided or came to the conclusion or something?
“Margit tends to be very fickle, but when she gives her heart, she gives it whole. Your friend does not seem like one who would realize what he had been given."” Oh that’s lovely! I like him very much for those phrases.
“"But your sister already gave her heart, did not she? Did she not.
“she is not the type of woman who is made fonder by absence.” Maybe ‘who’s affection is made fonder by absence.” Because it’s not others becoming more fond of her, it’s her affection that is (not) growing stronger? If that makes sense? But it doesn’t matter much, as Endre’s English isn’t supposed to be perfect anyway, eh.
“Mr Markoczy considered her for some minutes and looked like he would say something at one point.” Ooh I like that. Lovely phrase!
“it is doubtful that they will manage to leave France for long enough to visit New York. Louis is very close to the Emperor and therefore cannot leave when he…” so even though France and England are at war, they still allow free travel between each others lands? Interesting. I seem to remember something similar occuring in Australia in the same era, before we became so paranoid as to lock up any foreign nationals with whom we were at war.
Ooh is mr Jefferson still alive or is he a casualty of war?
“The exterior setting made real what looking through a glass had made look foreign and distant” ah so true.
“She leant over the starboard” She leant over *to* starboard, or over the starboard rail.
I think the scene on the upper is lovely, the change in setting is really refreshing and the details of how the ship flies and the unfortunates that power her very engaging and interesting. Definitely not forced or inutile. Great stuff!
| sophiesix chapter 3 . 8/17/2010
Aha, I see you’ve changed this a little since I was reading last – I didn’t realise til I got to the end of ch 3, so I’ll include a response to ch2 here as well as some notes on ch 3, hope that’s ok.
I didn’t find the ending to chapter two abrupt, more so that the transition between Mr Woodhouse leaving and it being the afternoon was a little abrupt. The letter was a nice way to end off the chapter though.
"I place strong hopes in Captain Cartwright abilities," Cartwright’s
“"With Napoleon's troops cruising the sky,” oh cool! I love the mix of historical context and the flyship invention! That puts a whole new swing on it…
“"With Napoleon's troops cruising the sky,” heh heh, I love that she annoyed about this. Nice shine on her character, for me ;)
“since surely, it couldn't be Mr Woodhouse.” Lol, but of course not ;)
“Of course he had meant Edward, Thomas and him had not been so close” I think that comma ought to be colon or semi-colon, but I’m not sure which. Could be either, possibly. But how lovely that Mr Woodhouse is waxing lyrical on her already ;)
“Besides, any human feeling seemed foreign on Mr Woodhouse's face, in her opinion.” Heh heh, Georgiana is so cool.
Oh, I’d forgotten (I ever knew) that America was still English here, interesting!
“the war with Napoleon required much more troops” many more troops, I think.
“She had never discussed with such an agreeable man; his manners perfect, his principles good” I do believe that semi-colon might need to be a colon, actually, because the phrase afterwards isn’t a complete sentence?
Ah, that dastardly Mr Woodhouse. Excellent! I wonder if he’s doing it to spite Georgiana’s getting on so well with the Hungarian brother :)…
| inthesto chapter 4 . 8/9/2010
While you think that the upper deck scene may feel a little forced, I never would have guessed that it was written in after the fact. I think it's the strongest part of the chapter. It has a real one-two punch on Georgiana's character. The first is her witnessing the workers in the engine room. It's the first time we see Georgiana exposed to anything not-rich in the story, and while she does feel pity, we can still sense that she's "above it all". Being on the upper deck really feels like the first time Georgiana is allowed to break out of her upper-crust London bubble, something she alludes to in chapter 3. It's really the first time she has her breath taken away, a real divergence from her typically proper and reserved self. It's a piece of characterization I enjoyed.
I'm also really starting to get a taste for the dynamic between Georgiana and Edward. Georgiana is entirely consumed with appearances whereas Edward rejects them, thinking he knows how to see underneath them. I'm very curious as to who's going to be "right" in the end.
One thing that caught me off-guard in a bad way was Georgiana laughing her ass off in front of Mr Markoczy. It seemed completely out of character, given how controlled she is the majority of the time, and it seems like being batted with the Edward rumor just one more time would be the least likely thing to set her off. If it's the presence of Markoczy that sets her off, I find their relationship to be barely more than platonic, and she probably wouldn't let herself go in front of a very familiar friend anyway. I'd like to hear you weigh in on this one, though.
| inthesto chapter 1 . 8/9/2010
I the way you wove your own mythology into a seemingly standard Victorian-era England was perfect. The reader knows exactly what he or she needs to know, when it's necessary to know it. Neither character in the dialogue has to play the part of the dummy in order to get the information out, and the narrator plays its fair share in releasing the information out at a steady pace. The bit about Native Americans (calling them Indians is a pet peeve of mine, though it's appropriate given the setting) having "barbaric" customs when dealing with faries was a great way to mirror New vs Old World differences using your mythology. Felt just right to me.
Two sentences I absolutely loved: "Such love had not stopped him from going to explore America, though; even when she had said she wouldn't leave England. Georgiana did not voice her thoughts and contented herself with pouring some tea in her visitor's cup." The line is still calm and composed like Georgiana's outward appearance, but contains just the smallest bit of bitterness that cracks open and comes pouring out not too long after. Small detail, but it worked wonders.
Only thing I really don't like is the long-winded style of prose, but that's just personal taste. To be fair, it always annoyed me when I had to read all the 19th century books for literature class, so the fact that you're replicating that reaction probably means you're doing it right. :P
I never saw the version before this revision, but this revision is excellent. A little dry at the beginning, but great characterization and works as an excellent introduction. Will definitely be following.
| Ghosts chapter 1 . 8/8/2010
Opening: Off the bat this is just smooth. Sounds like the official novel for Hansel & Gretel, in my opinion. Your opening with reasons why a woman must not remain in her house all the day, and it gives the tone that this story takes place in the nineteenth century, or one assumes, and suddenly, I've slid from an opening into knowing about this girls inheritance, and popularity, amongst others. Already, I'm pulled in, and without a thrilling action sequence, or something exciting or the like, which is generally a fictionpress no no. I applaud you.
Dialog: I've got to point this out. I don't know how much studying you did over the time period in which this story takes place, but it's not necessarily bad, so much uneducated. I'm no professional, nor do I claim to be one, but when most people watch a movie that occurred in the older age, or even reads a book with a setting such as this, they usually expect the proper English type of thing going on. Though, I think of PotC, and Amadeus, and I find the same flaw in those, so Maybe I'm just some idiot.
Closing: The closing was rather natural. No specific cliffhanger, so much as I felt as though I should turn the page and continue forward, before realizing that I wasn't reading a book but instead a Fiction. It felt natural, sorry that I don't have much any other way of saying such. To add to that though, I did feel that bit of tension that I think you meant to press onto the conflict at the end, and I thought it, along with the whole chapter, artfully executed.
Enjoyment: I don't know that steampunk is or isn't my "thing" but your writing style really captured me, though your subject did not. I felt uninterested by your story, sorry to say, though ecstatic of the style you performed it in. Everything seemed so real. As if I could take this off the shelf of a Barnes & Noble and bring it home. I plan to keep an eye on your future projects, in hope that you'll have something "more my speed", so to speak.
| Equilibrium chapter 1 . 8/7/2010
Nice writing, as usual. I really like the way you write dialogue. It doesn't come across as stiff or unnatural, yet manages to convey to the reader that the speaker is from the upper tiers of society. That's hard to do.
I couldn't find any spelling mistakes, which is another plus, but one of your sentences sounds odd. "A young heiress, all the more one with keeping a house in the fashionable parts of London"... I think there's a grammatical error in there. Shouldn't it be "A young heiress, all the more one with a house in the fashionable parts of London" (minus the redundant/incorrect "keeping")? And even then, I think you could replace "all the more" with "especially", because it sounds more precise.
I'm really enjoying your stories. Must read more now.