|Reviews for THE HIGHWAYMEN|
| mystery mayne chapter 1 . 11/12/2014
you're such a cutie
| xLilly White chapter 3 . 12/4/2011
I forgot to mention something in the last chapter; Valera jumping to conclusions about them being intend on killing her because a man that she assumed was of their faction had killed her father. I think it's a bit soon to be thinking of things like that; have her think about the ties they might have, yes, but to think that they'd want to kill her just because she's her father's daughter seems illogical, especially since we have no clear notion of why her Da was killed; if it was just a wayward bandit who'd sprung on him for money, or if it was something more intricate. Valera can't actually know the specifics either because she was only a child when she saw him die, and knew nothing of the dishonest murderer.
I'd already started this review yesterday so I'll finish it even though this is just the draft. ;)
-"They speculated endlessly (...) for their young widow to live in luxury." Haha, seeing as the last excerpt of highwayman Harlequin-romance was reproduced in the actual story, I'm wondering whether this is an implicit spoiler telling us that you plan to take the 'young, handsome' André to a 'lavish' death. x)
- "Her eyes were fierce, but not unfriendly." I wouldn't use 'fierce', as that would imply personal anger or excitement that doesn't seem appropriate next to what she's actually saying. Perhaps a close synonym that still underlines the intensity you want to put across; stern, etc.
- "but more wild, more sharp" - MAYBELLE. What is this! xD Wilder, sharper, voyons donc!
- "Señors?" Ah, ah, aaah! If you want to do the Spanish thing, you have to go all the way! And I happen to have done a teensy bit of Spanish in Secondary school, so even if I've forgot most everything of what I've learnt, I can still detect little errors. It should be "Señores" here. Unless she's not actually Spanish (as in the alternate-universe Spanish I believe you're using).
- "Valera curtsied politely," - The situation is really rather intimidating so I think you should add the mental process that leads to her curtsying in front of this fully-armed, merciless cloud of testosterone. (Though as I imagine the scene, the glorious Scarpina does eclipse her men a bit. )
- "the now-hostage." She's been hostage for an entire chapter already; if you want to keep a good-sounding syllable count you could say "caught the hostage off-guard".
- The "idiots surround you" quip doesn't entirely work because Scarpina's intention was quite clear.
- "I'll let that go. For the sake of your head and my itching gun here." This is nonsensical. It's like saying, 'I'm hungry so I'm not going to eat'. You made her say 'I'm consciously forgiving you, because I want to shoot your head in.' Perhaps if you made her say, "I'll forget I heard that, for the sake of your own head and my itching gun here." so that there isn't that notion of forgiveness that makes the statement queer.
- "A sword that can only be as good as the man who wields it. Do you think-"
Take out "that". Also, you have a fondness for characters interrupting each other, and ending their dialogues with a '-', but you can't do it too often or the reader's jarred out of the conversation. Here since Valera's line has already been cut off, I think it would be best to spell things out a bit so that the conversation doesn't have that strange, hiccuping quality. For example:
Valera blushed sweetly. "Nothing that I should know -"
"A sword can only be as good as the man who wields it," Scarpina interrupted. "Now, do you think..." As she spoke, a card fell before Valera. (...)
- "Silence, as the bandit-lady spoke." You want the reader to feel the tense silence that drops when Scarpina whips her dagger out at Valera, so it would be best not to say "as she spoke" and instead separate the silence from the speaking. Rather just, "Silence." And then, the words burst out; "Insolent bastards, you shit-for-brains!" the bandit-lady yelled, "This is no Valera Varado..."
-"I don't know," Valera said. "Who are you?" You should definately add an adverb or something as a hint to what Valera's feeling. "Valera said with a barely suppressed tremor", "Valera stammered, bewildered", "Valera said, positively pissing herself", etc - I mean she's got her head pulled back by this glorious bandit-mistress of a woman who's looming over her a shoving a bloody cocked gun in her face! AHH!
- "But she knew what she was doing." NO SHE DOESN'T! x)
The "I need no luck" statement in the beginning made me warm up to Valera; she's in the worst situation she could possibly be in and yet she still stubbornly waves her blue-blood honour around. x) (Or rather, it's probably just her using pride as a coping mechanism, which decidedly isn't the safest way of dealing with things ) But other than that, there's a glaring lack of realistic emotion here that you really have to remedy. Either you take on an omniscient narrative where nobody knows what anyone's thinking and everything is descriptive and non-psychological, or you get into one person's head and really communicate what's going on in there.
As for the whole tavern scene. My initial reaction was, after savouring the description of Scarpina and settling into the well-described ambiance of the scene, went a bit like this; WHOO! Fucking GO FOR IT André! :D And then suddenly Scarpina challenges Valera out of nowhere, and Valera's like, "Oh hell, I'm gonna SLAY your smimy ass, never mind that I've just burst out of a lady's school and that you've been thieving and killing and duelling full-grown men during the eight years that I was doing pilates and solo artistic fencing. GOD I'M GOOD." x) Valera's constant lack of logic and sense of self-preservation gets more and more hilarious as the chapter goes on; this includes the pseudo-justification, "there had been this change in her", etc, because even if psychologically she's all up and ready, there's only so much adrenaline can do for you. In terms of body mass, muscle, and the reflex quality you have to have to succeed at duelling, she's the equivalent of a schoolgirl. You absolutely must include someone that she trains against in the Academy, or something more convincing/detailed than "she practised by herself". Muscle mass is very quick to leave without the proper training; ask any athlete. So the fact that Valera feels so confident when faced by this blazing womanly woman when she's evidently less experienced is not realistic at all; and neither is her apparently adequate physical conditioning that you seem to be implying through her confidence.
Moving on! El Bravado wanted to wed his sister? At first I thought I hadn't understood the verses properly but then I was like, well, why not? Pagan legends and stories of ancient royalty always have incest. And the fact that you include that element in El Bravado's story only links him to the old myths and so makes him even more intriguing.
The duel-practise between André and Valera was just precious. :) I really liked their interaction, though perhaps you could make their conversations a bit longer? André is a great character and I find it odd that Valera's not more interested in him. If she's going to be the main character there has to be a little sliver of personality into which the reader can slip and feel at home; there has to be moments when you indulge us, as in, we're curious about André so you make a statement about it in Valera's thoughts, etc. It seems quite odd that she'd be so indifferent to this blatantly handsome man who symbolically offered to take the bullet for her when he challenged Scarpina to a duel.
All in all, a more interesting chapter than the last in that it was rather an action-fest and full of interesting characters (I am absurdly in love with Scarpina now); but I'll pm you my email address so that you can start sending me the real stuff. ;)
| xLilly White chapter 2 . 12/3/2011
Alrighty! First of all, little mistakes:
- "Did you recognize me" - should be small 'd' as it's the continuation of her phrase.
- "or just stupid to steal something as expensive as that" - I don't see it as stupidity to steal a fine weapon when you're a rogue. ;) Doesn't it go with the psychology? 'I claim it as mine because I want to, yet owe nothing to anyone'? If you want to keep the 'stupid' statement, it should be 'or just stupid enough'. If you wanted to express that either he was a gentleman or just a sneaky bastard having stolen it from someone, I don't think 'stupid' is really the right term since theft does require some skill, as you underline later ("no small feat").
- "I just think you amuse me." - if I interpret your intention correctly, it might be better worded as "I think you might just amuse me."
- "thought a duel" - fought a duel.
- "Nothingness." - this is too close to 'nothing', towards which the reader's mind will automatically lean upon hearing the question 'what had happened'. It's not that important but I think you should maybe put a synonym instead, like 'void' or something.
- "caballeros whom she were interested in duelling" - whom she was more interested in duelling.
- "Valera her father's great saber." Word omission?
- "And so, was it fake or real (...) the daughter of a great Caballero" - I don't really see why you added this, since you already make quite a deal of stressing the greatness of her father and how she takes after him down to her very attitude and boyish tendencies, etc, and how his prestige is 'lost' on her since she's a girl but the name 'Vittori' still resounds loud and awe-inspiring. Perhaps if you added, "she was STILL the daughter of a great Caballero". But still, I don't think this line is necessary. Also, I don't really see what you're targeting when you say "was it real or fake"; are you talking about the memory itself, presented as it is in scenes and emotions, or about the artefacts she received from her uncle, or the dream itself, or her very sense of identity...? It's a bit confusing.
- "With your life in our hands." - here it should be "-with your life in our hands", since she's continuing Valera's sentence.
And now for the review proper! I listened to Juno Reactor's 'Pistolero' while I read, after having watched the trailer you made (lovely little thing; I especially like the Zorro clip at the end, and the fingers running along Aztec coins). I'm going to have to be careful about what I criticise because I don't usually read these types of novels, and so don't really know what's accepted and what isn't. There are a few things that just read like a blatant parody of this genre, but not in a way that you actually intended the work to be so.
Valera's stubbornness in the beginning is acceptable as she's nobly born, and so has no problem with puffing up her pride to get herself out of sticky situations. I really like all of Andre's lines; he sounds like a proper scoundrel who seems too full of himself to really care, whilst remaining intelligent. "Well look at me, I'm a master of masks." And, I quite like the icy blond hair. :D
Also when you described him, when you say "Convenient, much?" you're again setting the tone so that the reader knows you're making fun of yourself a bit. But auto-derision can be a bit of a trap when you're trying to tell a story and still retain some credibility.
"Come and face me like a man," says the woman! Ah, no - these sorts of lines make me imagine a Penelope Cruz in Jack's clothes, spinning her anachronistic little lines at him. In fact, until "I'd give my dead body", that entire speech sounds pretty cliché, as in, it's been done and redone and it's kind of the Standard Dialogue of swashbuckling duels. Innovate! This is YOUR book.
Love the duel. Love love love! It's like a movie, your words have the same quality as a macro lens sweeping from angle to interesting angle.
Strangely enough, there are clichéd dialogues that just don't work and clichéd dialogues that do - the "Vile knave!" part just made my insides bubble with enjoyment. It's pretty tricky, writing scenes that have to be 'reminiscent' of the swashbuckling genre that we know of and dearly love (Zorro the old series as well as the Banderas movie, PotC, etc) but that lose their entertaining, nostalgic quality whenever you go too far into the replication of well-loved lines/scenes/etc.
Now, about that dream part. I think it's a mistake to simply dump her in the carriage and make her fall asleep, like, "Oh well, they got me and I can't do anything about it. Might as well go to sleep now." There's only one line separating the duel scene and the dream; you have GOT to give us a bit more of Valera's thoughts, fears, doubts; even if she's a badass character, those who are reputed to be fearless don't make interesting characters if they don't have little breakdowns every now and then. Unless they're Arnold Schwarzenneger of course. x)
So. This is the part that made me wonder just what I felt so uneasy about. Here's what I think: you are structuring the story as if you were visualizing the movie version already. The whole "getting unceremoniously gagged, bound and chucked in the carriage, followed by an abrupt scene change" works very well in a movie; it dramatically cuts the action scene and brings us into a calm atmosphere, a 'field of dandelions' with figures standing silently. It gives the movie dynamism to be structured thus. But in a book... either you make the scene change more brutal where we have no clue of what's going on in her head, like, "She was bound, gagged, and chucked into the carriage." New paragraph, or actual divider. "Da stood in the field of dandelions..."
Or you give us a small psychological mapping of what's going through her head; she's just encountered BANDITS, and duelled for the first time in a real duel with a real highwayman, and since she's just broken out of a school full of timid ladies this must be at least a BIT of a shock. Then, maybe, once you've shown the reader how she catches her breath and sorts through her thoughts and fears and amazements, you make her fall asleep. To make her so sure of herself and unafraid of utterly new experiences is quite unrealistic, and the reader has trouble relating to her.
About the actual contents of the dream... so she witnessed her father's death. Again, this feels a bit clichéd. Personally I think it would come across better if she was *told* of how her father died, and imagines it in all types of scenarios. And, it would excuse the fact that she doesn't seem to react as one would expect her to react, having seen her father die before her eyes. She's taciturn, cold, arrogant; she 'recited' her lines during her duel, and you didn't nearly make the duel fiery enough if she'd truly been seeking revenge her whole life. You made her insult her opponent, spit at him, but her actions are too choreographed. I think it's really just in your choice of words, and the fact that the punctuation is a bit stilted, too theatrical for it to seem realistic and touching. Perhaps you should include a rashness, an unjustifiable rage that is then justified by the dream.
Next part! Ah, Carmencita. You wrote this one really well; I love how she seems nice and practically maternal, and then just casually throws death-threats between her smiles. x) She blatantly insults Valera's seriousness, and I like that.
The escape scene... hm. I just can't help visualizing it as a cartoon; Valera leaping up onto the roof and shouting, "Tada!" as if she wanted recognition of her skill. The fact that she fell on the pretty rogue... ach... I suspect young adult novels are full of scenes like this, but still. I prefer seeing this seen in a movie than reading it in a book, because in a book, the writer has to justify the addition of a blatant cliché in his scene. You justified it by it being "fickle Fortune"'s fault, so yeah, I guess that works. But... ah, this is just a question of taste, so I have to admit the scene isn't bad in itself. I do like their silly struggle once they've tumbled off the carriage, though.
The "you listen, and you listen well" line, I just can't read without having a Spanish accent resound in my head. But I think that was intended, given their names and all, so that's a good thing.
There are snatches of description where I recognize the effortless poetry of your imagery; "her eyes screaming in the inky blue", "eyes the colour of frosted slate". Those little snatches of words make me shiver gleefully when I come across them, like secret hidden details in an otherwise famous painting. :) Speaking of which - shining diamond! I SAW THAT. ;)
The kiss of life scene, ah! I know I would've definitely squealed in delight, a few years back. But the curse words sort of jarred me out of the moment ("Scared the shit out of me, 'tis all"). I know you mean to make the blend of vulgarity and old phrasings like "'tis all" sound novel and witty, but perhaps the vulgarities themselves ("shit") shouldn't be added to modern phrasings (to scare the - out of someone). That way it wouldn't sound so anachronistic - at least, to my ears.
You know, if you're ever in need of a beta reader, I would gladly receive your work - if only to correct your syntax and wording. :) I can't help being curious about a writer of your calibre tackling a subject like this so even if it's not what I usually read, I'll definitely keep reading; but please do tell me if you'd rather not receive criticism on your plot details themselves, because they're all part of the genre and it's not really appropriate for me to comment on them. ;)
I do hope you're having fun writing this and your other novel- again, hope you find the critique constructive! I'll meet you at chapter three. :)
| xLilly White chapter 1 . 11/30/2011
Heyy! It's been a while, hasn't it? That's what happens when your muses leave you high and dry I suppose - but every time I get reinspired to write I always come back to your profile here for stylistic inspiration. That wasn't flattery, that was just me being honest- really.
So I realized I'd never really delved into this little piece of yours for which you've drawn so many lovely illustrations, so I figured I should, instead of snuggling into Three Feet Under and Masquerade for the millionth time!
When you say "swash-buckling"... I love PotC quite dearly too, but I have to say that the general subject of pirates has never really been something I'd willingly write about or explore further. I do rather adore the concept of highwaymen though. :D Albeit, in the girly in-love-with-danger kind of way. But still! There's also one subject that you broach here which I'm very very picky about; women having to resort to masculinity/androgyny to get what they want in life. I was thoroughly disappointed by Cruz's character in the latest PotC because in my opinion they'd botched the whole 'woman turns man and thus gets what she wants" thing by making her far too perfect and witty and emotional whilst getting the man that everybody loves (Jack), which makes her just plain Mary-Sue-ish. So ever since, I haven't been too hot on the subject (though I'm into A Song of Ice and Fire at the moment and there's a really well-wrought female knight, so I have to admit I've been warming up to the concept a little.) So yes. Valera better kick some psychological arse if you want to pull it off!
I have to admit I was really surprised by the style here. After being so utterly spoiled by the delicious psychosis and linguistic deep-sea treasures of your short pieces, it was probably quite predictable that I'd react like this. I'm not really 'disappointed' per se, I'm rather doubting that you enjoyed writing this and delivering this to the general public as much as you did your other writing. (or should I say, the writing that bears your "other" style - or your "true" style as I'd put it.)
I find the stylistic change to be quite a courageous enterprise; when you want to appeal to the majority, a snappy, quirky, not overly-descriptive writing style always seems to be better received. If it wasn't you who'd written this, I'd say that the writing flows really well and that I was swept into the narrative quite easily; the quips of 'special' vocabulary giving the writing an extra sparkle (ie. the "grove of dandelions", "glimmer-light", "nebulous mane" and all the descriptions of her interaction with Bianca, the archaic use of "awesome"...). I'd say that the first part could do with a little prolongation, because a lot happens and yet we don't get much character development on Valera. She did spend a good amount of years in the Academy, so perhaps you could've added more scenes even though that's not what you really want to write about in the story; just for the sake of character growth and tell-tale reactions, it would've been better not to rush through it like that without a single flashback or the mention of a likeable character who might've influenced her or anything of the sort. A character who stays as firmly rooted to her personality as a rock during 8 odd years isn't a very realistic one; you could've included moral battles, battles against influence, that sort of thing. Because all we see is an arrogant rebel and frankly, I don't like her too much. We're shown no palpable reason that might justify her insolence; just that the academy women are "stupid" and brainwashed and thus suited to receive insults and disrespect. Even if this is a young adult novel, you can't just disregard characters like that, unless you clearly underline that the main character is an utter bastard. I really think you should add more experiences or flashbacks that clearly tell the reader why she should hate the academy women so much; her hate seems to stem from the fact that she was trapped where she didn't want to be for so long; but clearly escape is ridiculously easy so it's illogical that she didn't attempted it earlier. There's something to do with her own sense of womanhood being hounded by society's principles, as well as these women's efforts to bring her down to their level, but you STATE that this is basically what she's running from, you TELL us, you don't show us. (You do put in a scene where the girls read naughty scenes to each other but all this does is accentuate Valera's aloofness, elitism, coldness, inability to adapt to her surroundings, etc; you don't really use the scene to show us Valera's contempt, you don't take us into her head and convince us.) And seeing as this IS you, Madame Y, I'm sure you're very much acquainted with that difference - in my eyes you're basically the master of SHOWING the reader and not telling. Which is why this is so surprising!
Specifically because there is no elaboration, the "My blade is my honour" scene which is evidently supposed to be epic just sort of falls flat. And you really make Diza a pathetic head mistress. x) I'd see her as a little more dignified; that way, Valera would seem more epic to the reader's eyes because she's fighting against something that deserves it and that defends itself valiantly. You don't fight something silly and easily defeatable with an awesome, age-old, epic phrase. You just say, "Fuck it" and get out. x) Otherwise it's a really unbalanced fight. I actually feel really sorry for Diza, poor brainwashed woman - and want to run after Valera and drag her back to apologize. x)
I could draw a parallel here, actually. Have you seen "The Magdalena Sisters"? It's a story about a women's convent held by nuns. No men, no security whatsoever, and once you're in, you spend your life in penitence for having been raped/for having had improper interactions with men. Which is, you'll agree, utterly ridiculous. Two of the girls eventually manage to escape and even though there's no security, they take years to do it because they're psychologically trapped; even if the adversaries are unjust, brainwashed nuns, the escape is absolutely heartwrenching because they've spent years dreaming of it and they tear themselves away despite all their fear and contempt and general psychological confusion. Now, I know your story doesn't centre around the part where she escapes from the academy, but you should definitely add some psychology for it to be more emotionally effective on the reader.
That aside. :D The part about the legendary highwayman is absolutely too intriguing, and my curiosity and love for this badass character when he's only just been mentioned reminds me that I am decidedly a young adult and totally vulnerable to these sorts of dream-sprung characters. x) Not to mention that characters that get "talked about" a lot without actually being onstage before several chapters are always the most intriguing; you build up the reader's expectations. And it always works! I can't wait to see him, and how he'll interact with Valera. Even if I don't really care about her for the moment.
Now, I'll put aside the old "Why didn't you keep your usual style, I love it so much and I'd love this story so much better if it was in your usual style!" because that would just be selfish and disrespectful since you're clearly making the effort of giving this story a particular style. For the moment, I've mostly commented on the contents; the style itself is good, and I like the dialogue very much. :) "He's premium", that just sounds like a phrase in an old movie, I love it - as well as other things. But... you know... I JUST LOVE YOUR USUAL STYLE SO MUCH xD This reads like a "normal" novel, and coming from someone with your capacities, it's pretty disappointing... but I know, I know, if you want to grow as a writer you've got to experiment writing for different audiences and age groups etc. I'll not nag you about it. I'll try not to anyway.
One last thing; I find it rather funny that you chose "Stand and deliver, my lady" as a cliffhanger in the cheesy novel that Brita reads out, and then use it yourself. It works; it just makes your own story redundant of the erotic novel that you put forth as "ditzy" etc, so that it seems you're poking fun at your own writing - though that can definitely work, too.
Ah, I hate to spill negativity on something that was born of your lovely mind, but I think you must've anticipated some criticism from those who love your usual style. ;) Still, I do like where you're going with this; I'm sure you've already been tweaking it a lot since it's one of your ongoing novels, so I hope you'll put up the edited chapters too. I'll definitely keep reading this of course, but I do hope there's more character development later on. ;)
Wishing you the best, as always; I hope the criticism is constructive, otherwise you have the permission to come slap my head around. x) It is absolutely, absolutely not my intention to offend you in any way, and if I have I swear I'll iron my hands - I just wanted to give my grain of salt. :) Good luck with the writing, and take care! See you at chapter two.
| Dreamers-Requiem chapter 5 . 4/23/2011
Again, nice chapter; a lot seems to happen, but I like that. For the most part, it was pretty clear what was going on. I really liked the scene where Valera is sort of accepted into the group. The only thing I'd suggest you look over is, again, the capitalisation of 'honour' in lines like ["Our blood is our Honour, and may it honour you too.] where I'd suggest either they both have a capital or neither does. Also, certaint things in brackets don't need to be in brackets, such as; [(She could have been killed by Scarpina's death stroke. But Valera, strangely, hadn't been scared, only anxious.)] It kind of breaks the flow. One other thing; [She knew the reason now, and need only bide her time.] might flow better if you have "and needed only to bide her time.."? Just suggestions, but yeah, good stuff and I look forward to the next chapter.
| Dreamers-Requiem chapter 4 . 4/6/2011
Nice chapter, although the fight scenes were a little confusing for me. You might want to look over them. Also, with 'honour', I can see, sometimes, why you've capitalised it, but sometimes it just seems to be random. I'd suggest making keeping it lower-case most of the time. I like the dialogue, and I think it flows quite smoothly.
[(Commoners fight closely, almost arm to arm. They are not aristocrats, they throw you off where they are closest to your Honour and they have no respect for the refinements of distance…)] seems random; who's voice is this? (unless I'm missing something)
[(If Valera parried, she would throw herself off balance, and in any case be unable to attack in return because of the sudden distance Scarpina had made between them.)] I don't think you need this part in brackets; maybe just put it in a seperate paragraph?
| Mistreiu Zephyra Cobalt chapter 3 . 2/9/2011
VERY interesting. The suspense was built up well! This one is well written, I was lead along by the story! And nice ending there, it's almost a cliffhanger. I'm so curious now for chapter 4.
| Doomsday'sMascot chapter 1 . 2/5/2011
Hey, not bad at all. I love the way you described the other girls at the school, especially the 'naughty' book they were reading. Did you write that yourself? It sounded so different from the main narrative. Wow. I hate to say it, but they kind of reminded me of the girls at school; all gossipy and ladylike and 'naughty'. I was suprised you managed to pull off the formal air. I've seen so many people try and fail. But it was all perfectly authentic, except maybe for when somebody shouted "Freeze!" Freeze? Halt is more like it.
| Saffron Oliander chapter 4 . 12/31/2010
Wonderful - the dialogue is fantastic. Your writing style is very good and pleasing to read, and your characters actually have depth and dimension to them. I applaud your talent! :)
| notveryalice chapter 4 . 5/4/2010
The action scenes weren't very clear. I had trouble following the fights in my mind's eye. Try to clear your mind of any images you have and then approach the information as if you're seeing it for the first time.
Be careful of the accent on "André"; it comes and goes. Names in the story seem a bit scattered around Europe: André is a French name, Scarpina is an Italian-sounding name (but she uses Spanish a couple of times). Apologies if I missed character histories; I've only read chap. 4...
Pay attention to historical details; the ancient Egyptians tinted their nails, but coloured lacquer wasn't used in European societies until the 1920s. Before then it was only clear polish and buffing with various shiny substances such as wax.
If Scarpina's nails were long and red, how would she wield a sword properly? It would make maneuvering extremely difficult; most swords at the time had very complicated hilts designed to protect the wielder, which would get caught in excessively long nails.
Even if her nails aren't long enough to get in the way, long nails were traditionally decoration that indicated the bearer was of a high class and thus didn't have to do anything his or herself (e.g. Chinese emperors tended to have extremely long nails to signify that they had servants performing every task for them). It's historically a purposeful signal of helplessness, and Scarpina is anything but helpless.
Anyway, this is a quick fix, so I'll leave it there.
| Dreamers-Requiem chapter 3 . 3/3/2010
Really liked the ending here, thought it was a nice way to break off the chapter. Overall, it was quite good, but I have to question Valera's intelligence. How did she expect to get her sword back when she is unarmed? To climb out of the carriage and just announce her escape doesn't seem like too much of a clever move. I did like the scene between them on the bridge though. Just two other things I noticed;
'he could spins tales' - should be 'spin tales'
'Occasionally she heard the tinkle of guitar music, and singing.' -had they stopped? If not, how could one of them play the guitar whilst riding?
| Dreamers-Requiem chapter 2 . 3/2/2010
Good chapter with a nice, quick pace that fits in quite well with the story. I think you just need to adjust the sentences in the first couple of paragraphs however, the dashes make it seem slightly stilted. As well as that, when they start their fight - "He ran, she followed." - you might want to rephrase that. It sounds like he's running from her, and it doesn't make it clear where he runs to.
| Dreamers-Requiem chapter 1 . 3/1/2010
A nice opening chapter. However, I think the dream might be better as a flashback; it seems too much like a memory to actually be a dream. We get a good sense of Valera's character throughout the chapter, however the language and dialogue doesn't really seem to fit in with the time of the piece.
-from The Roadhouse
| Sparkling Sploosh chapter 1 . 2/28/2010
The beginning, unfortunately, did not want me to read on. It was just a dream and in my mind it was not really intriguing nor suspenseful. On the other hand it told the reader about Valera's personality in an interesting way. I would suggest perhaps making the dream a little more interesting so that you can include the same information.
You did a good job with the writing however it didn't really suit the time in my opinion. I don't think the girls would be gossiping after what Valera just said. Girls in this time I believe are real mary-sue's and since it shows that Valera isn't I think they would be rather quiet. As well, when she says 'Of course, Señora Díza. Of course my Da never intended me to waste away eight years of life in this angelic hellhole. I'm surprised he cared a rat's ass for this dump.' I've never really heard of someone saying in the 1700s dump or ass, have you? I understand that she's different however I still don't think she would say dump. There were quite a lot of unnecessary adjectives in the beginning of this piece which only takes the reader's attention away from the plot. Otherwise you did a good job with the writing, it flowed nicely and it wasn't confusing. You could also picture the scene in your mind, good job!
The plot seems interesting and I am intrigued to see where you are going with it. Will she try and escape? Use her bad-ass fighting skills? This should be good! It seems as if you have the plot thought out and so I am interested to see what's next.
The ending left just enough suspense for the reader to read onward, great job! It had enough ending -for the chapter- to it but just enough suspense for us to want to read onward.
Great job overall! Keep going with it!
P.S. Please payback via Forgotten Teardrops or Smelling the Roses. Thanks! : D
| Kobra Kid chapter 2 . 2/27/2010
I enjoyed the fight scene; it was fast paced & described fairly we. I wonder who the blonde highwayman is though. Maybe he is somehow tied to Valera's father? Or maybe even the man that slaughtered him? 0.o. Well, I guess we'll find out eventually! :). Anyways, once again I didn't see any glaring errors, so awesome job on that! Great work!
P.S. Please payback the 2 reviews via Rise From The Asbes. Thanks!
-From the Roadhouse