|Reviews for Seeing in Sepia|
| lianoid chapter 1 . 4/15/2010
Excellent opening; great description and a wonderful hook. Before I even noticed the genre of this story, by the end of the second narrative, I figured it was a tragedy. You skilfully set the tone of the story subtly. This is an amazing story. The only criticism I have is in the paragraph about George finding a gang: “He scanned the platform, hoping to find potential gang members...” In the paragraph that this sentence is in, you use the word gang three times. Perhaps remove the word “gang” in the sentence noted about, so that it doesn’t sound quite so repetitive. Other than that, everything was fantastic. Beautifully written.
| Nicki BluIs chapter 1 . 12/13/2009
Although the italics were a bit off putting, I really enjoyed the piece. A lot of emotion was conveyed and somehow the pain George felt was able to translate through the short glimpses into the past.
Good luck with WCC!
| Kristin Li chapter 1 . 12/12/2009
[The noise was overwhelming, the station bustling with the ceaseless come-and-go of people and trains. People pushed past the old man as he stood motionless on the platform, his eyes fixed on a point in the distance. Someone bumped into him and muttered an apology, but he did not seem to notice. A few people stopped, trying to see what he was looking at, but his gaze rested on something their eyes could not see, and they soon gave up. They immersed themselves in the tide of people, leaving the old man alone, a stationary point in the crowd.] Not quite hooked yet, but decent paragraph.
[Mrs Williams put an arm around his shoulders and squeezed him tightly as the letter fell from his hands. “You poor boy,” she said, pressing him against her chest and rocking him gently, the cadences of her strangely lilting English still unfamiliar to George's ears. He wished his mother could have been holding him. She didn’t speak like that. “You poor boy,” the woman repeated.
George wanted her to let him go.] I like the emotion in this paragraph. I especially like the last line; it says a lot with the minimal amount of words.
This is a very sad story! The emotions in it didn't seem fabricated and I liked how you contrasted his life to when he was a little boy to where he was now. Very nice!
| Skyward Ending chapter 1 . 12/11/2009
Hm. I liked "Geography Lesson" better, but this certainly has its share of sadness. It really got to me how so many people take life and loved ones for granted until they've almost been taken away. I liked the way you portrayed his childishness - it reminds me of how I used to hate being kissed by my own mother in front of people. You have a way of leaving marks when you write - that little ache. I commend you!
| Lea Ai chapter 1 . 12/10/2009
This was so sad. A nice reminder to finish what you start. It kind of reminded me of "Chronicles of Narnia" for some reason-kids getting shipped off because of the war and expecting adventure.
I loved the paragraph where he talked about needing a "gang" to fight the dragons :-D. Very sweet.
Overall, I think this piece was beautifully written. I think you may have overdid it slightly with the commas, but then again, I tend to underuse commas so I'm probably not the best judge :-D.
Good luck with WCC!
| Constantine Westwood chapter 1 . 12/9/2009
At first I was a little dismissive of it - you overdo it a little with the word choice, and I was ready for some sappy piece about age and bitter nostalgia. This is not bad, though; even though very few of us lost our parents in World War 2 after failing to keep in touch with them, you give us enough little details, like the would-be surrogate mother who just doesn't sound right, that we can empathize with him. I particularly like that the unwritten letter was just about what he was up to; generally, I think we regret keeping these people at arm's length more than the stereotypical "Never said how much I cared".
Now, your word choice. It's not a dealbreaker, but it's a bit much sometimes. Some examples:
"but his gaze rested on something their eyes could not see" - more complex than it needs to be, all dolled up with "gaze" and "rested" and "their eyes" when you mean simply "he saw something they couldn’t.”
“They immersed themselves in the tide of people, leaving the old man alone, a stationary point in the crowd” – “immersed themselves in the tide of people” gives us an image of them bathing in the crowd or lowering themselves completely into the crowd – anyway, “immersed” is not the word you want here, and I don’t see a crowded mass of people as a “tide of people” (you overuse the weak word “people” in the intro, for one); I see it as a “crowd”. In other words, this piece would benefit if you would speak a little more plainly.
| no.peace.los.angeles chapter 1 . 12/9/2009
Oh, that was just sad. :( The image at the end was just beautiful, though - one of those moments that you would see in a movie, where you see George clearly, and everything else around him is a blur of colors but no faces. And the title is gorgeous! Love it. Good luck in the WCC! Keep writing! :)
| Eternal Skies chapter 1 . 12/9/2009
i started crying from the beginning, the scene with the mother. i imagined myself saying goodbye to my mom, it was horrible.
very well-written, vivid, and inspiring. wish you good luck
| YasuRan chapter 1 . 12/8/2009
Great job on this! The flow, the setting and the characterixation was just perfect. The ending was sad, poignant, just right for this sort :)
| Mizzuz Spock chapter 1 . 12/8/2009
The part that I feel for the most in this piece is the letter. That letter is hinted at in the beginning and then we see it, unfinished, in the end, and I thought it was a nice way to tie up this story. Needless to say, it was sad, but I didn't feel it was overwhelmingly depressing. (Maybe because I do too much of this kind of thing myself.)
I really like the effect of the flashbacks, with the character looking back at them with a somewhat new perspective. Though I'm generally not a fan of those, I thought you pulled them off very well here.
One thing I would have liked to see, personally, is more of George's reactions to his memories. We are told how he feels, rather than shown most of the time. All of the showing seems to be centered on the past, but in the present, it's more tell, except when it comes to the scenery.
Other than that, I liked this. And the last line really hit home for me, for some reason.
Best of luck in the WCC! :D
| HIRA TANVEER chapter 1 . 12/8/2009
Oh wow! I really like your writing. In the first memory somewhere, descriptions were a little too long but I think that was only one paragraph so thats ok. You should try to avoid that because it made the sentences seem a little stilted.
I loved the young George especially where he looks for gang members, that was inspired. Oh and that line where his mother says something that he doesn't hear. It was more sad when I re-read that part after knowing that she dies.
| Sercus Kaynine chapter 1 . 12/8/2009
What a sweet and sad story!
I loved the parting scene. Kid George was so adorable, but you knew that something bad was going to happen to scratch that image and that just made it more beautiful.
MY one piece of advice would be to not lapse into using adverbs in descriptions too much, but overall that wasn't too much of a problem.
Good job and good luck with WCC!
| Sophiesix chapter 1 . 12/8/2009
oh it is lovely too! I love how you contrast the boy's innocence and exuberance with the grief and foreknowledge (is that the right word?) of the mother, and again with old george looking back, seeing it all in retrospect. Occasionally I found a few sentences to be a bit longer than i wanted for the feel of the piece, but nothing that really detracted from it as a whole. Good luck with WCC!
| MacNasty chapter 1 . 12/8/2009
The start of this is a bit slow but it definitely picks up. This story is pretty dark and full of emotion. You don't dwell on it too much either, which is a good thing... because overdoing it ruins the intensity you have setup. You also managed to pull off the "flashbacks" rather well. It's hard to write those effectively and I was hesitant to read on when I came upon the first one, but I'm glad I did. I wasn't looking for any errors in this so I have nothing to say on that. But overall, you did a very good job on this. Good luck in the WCC.
| lookingwest chapter 1 . 12/8/2009
I liked this a lot! I think you took the most obvious kind of thing when you think "in transit" but molded it into a wonderful story about this man named George. I wasn't a fan at first of reading the italics but as I got further into the narrative I started to immerse myself into it better and I feel as though you were able to execute the use of the memories well. I liked the addition of the relationship with George and his mother established in the first set of italics and I think that's what really made it hit home later on. But to me that perhaps what should be in italics is the present, because it seems to actually intrude in on the memories-I don't know, just another way to look at it :D All in all I liked how you fashioned the "in transit" prompt and employed it in more ways than one and this was a fun read! I wish you the best of luck!