|Reviews for Say You Will|
| S. M. Saves chapter 1 . 7/22/2010
From your list of stories, it seems like you write more poetry than you do short fiction. Do me a favor, write more fiction. You have quite the knack for it.
The descriptions were great. Aloe Vera smooth, Free Spa Day-manicured nails really made things pop along with the mass of other descriptions. It's relieving to know that Owen actually has eyes. That's the kicker with first person POVs. If the narrator describes only the action but not the scenery or personal emotions, it'll take away the third dimension. You take on a whole new responsibility with first person and you did it justice. He notices the way her jeans are hinged to her hips, her belly ring, etc. He doesn't, however, seem very in-tune with her emotions. She scowls then smiles when he cries but there's nothing to say whether the smile is sarcastic or if she's scowling because she's annoyed with him. Or perhaps even Owen can't read her, she's that cold and emotionlessly distance?
The Rolling Stones t-shirt is a recurring symbol throughout the piece. And it's the only thing she's kept that was from him up until the end of the piece. Perhaps it's a symbol of how easy it is to discard a relationship with some one? Hmm.
"And I'm thinking about the shirt. About her and the shirt. About us and the shirt.": It's as if the shirt is an entity of it's own, a tangible representative of something intangible. That was also my favorite set of lines by the way.
I wasn't sure who was speaking the first and second lines of dialogue. Since the first line is repeated at the end where it's a bit more apparent that she's speaking, I'm assuming she spoke it the first time and Owen spoke the second line of dialogue ("I know").
All in all, I liked it. You could write more on it and stretch it out into a novella or whatever you have in mind but it suits me just fine as a short fiction.
You've been repaid.
| Isca chapter 1 . 6/23/2010
Aww, haha, this part was so cute: "I'm blowing raspberries on her tummy and she's telling me to cut that shit out."
"She told me that I owed her nothing." This was my favourite part-it's so bold and moving.
| improvisationallychallenged chapter 1 . 5/28/2010
Congrats WCC queen! :P
Here's your depth review...
Writing: Well, as always, you've got a style that really grabs a reader by the throat. The little details woven in about the characters and setting blend in fantastically with the prose, and you've got an interesting mix of fluid lyricism and grit that balance each other out, so neither quality seems too heavy. There was one sentence towards the end -
"She says she can't help but smile when watches me" - should that have a 'she' in it?
Apart from that, I didn't spot any typos.
Characters: They were engaging enough to keep me reading, but a few things were a little off. It's possible that I'm just not in the right mood to read this story, but it felt like they were a tad flat. Not in a cookie-cutter, uninteresting way, but for now it seems that they're both all surface - the emotional, sensitive man versus the ice-queen bitch.
Maybe it's just that hasn't been enough time for their full depth to show. There were plenty of qualities that hooked my attention, especially with Owen, and I'd definitely be interested to read more about them.
Another issue I had was with pacing. Owen's breakdown felt too much too fast, and lacked a build up. While the emotional bond between him and her acceptance of his t-shirt was nicely developed, his reaction of crying didn't seem to quite fit. I could understand him crying without wanting to - she doesn't seem like the sort of girl you'd want to see you cry - but as it is, no emotional conflict seems to be coming into play.
Scene: Woah - it was intense. For all my griping over the characters, it really feels like you are there, inside Owen's skin, and it played out really well. The visuals were strong, but didn't dominate, and the descriptions of her clothing and the meanings behind it for him were a really nice touch. I'd say the scene and sense of atmosphere is definitely the strongest element of this piece.
Opening/Ending: I really, really loved the ending. It was cute, down to earth, and felt very...for want of a better word, true. It was romantic and emotional without getting even a tad slushy, and gets major brownie points with me. :)
Seeing as you hinted that you might continue it, I'm going to add this to alerts, just in case...
| lianoid chapter 1 . 5/24/2010
Here I am and here is your prize for winning the May WCC – congratulations by the way.
This first paragraph was really something. It certainly caught my attention and held it – even if I did feel a little uncomfortable about the sensuality of it. Yes, I’m 21 and intimacy/sexuality still embarrasses me. Back to the paragraph though. There’s a lot of description in it that actually really works in your favour. I love the “Aloe Vera-smooth palms and Free Spa Day-manicured nails” line. I thought that was rather clever and well done. There’s something methodical about it though – your writing as a whole – as if you’re following certain rules or structures for this piece. I can’t quite put my finger on what it is, but I think perhaps I’m missing something. Overall though, I found this piece to be rather wonderful; especially this first paragraph.
I like Owen’s obsession with the shirt. Clearly this girl means a lot to him, and the shirt was a representation of his feels for her; but she could care less – or so it appears. The girl almost feels like a dominatrix. She’s controlling and mean – not that all dominatrixes are! I’m mean, I don’t know I’ve never met any... – and she seems to derive pleasure from seeing him emotional pained. She enjoys teasing him and hearing him whimper and I can’t but help imagine her holding a whip and wearing some sort of tight leather outfit.
Let’s talk about the scene where Owen’s crying, though. I felt this was a little extreme on his part. Is he acting? Is he earnest? I was really turned off by that, to be perfectly honest, and it almost felt a little out of place. I mean, I don’t know these characters as well as you do, but it just felt odd to me. Regardless of my lack of sympathy for the poor boy in regards to him crying, I do feel sorry for him overall. I don’t understand what he finds so loveable about her. What makes her so attractive? I know ‘love is blind’, but come on. This girl is clearly enjoys causing him pain, and yet he seems to be almost content with playing along. I don’t know, I guess their relationship is just a little too foreign to me.
I’m not sure who said the last line of dialogue, and once again I feel like I’m missing something crucial. It almost seems out of place; or at least it’s not doing anything for me. The final line in this piece feels like it’s alluding to something, or perhaps as if that thought will be continued in the next chapter. It feels heavy to me but also out of place as well. I don’t know, maybe I’m just tired.
Either way, I really hope you do decide to continue this piece; I for one would be interested in reading more. Once again, I congratulate you for winning the May WCC. I look forward to finding out what prompt you’ll come up with for June.
| Daggerhart chapter 1 . 5/20/2010
'That I'm thinking about her and the shirt. That I'm thinking about us and the shirt.' Typo, repeated sentence.
The narrative hook and and the descriptions are good. It was easy to picture everything in my head.
I dont understand why Owen started to cry, though; perhaps if you made it into a story, we'd find out?
| Eponine254 chapter 1 . 5/18/2010
Congrats on winning the WCC!
Your opening does a good job of catching the reader's attention. The attention to detail in the opening paragraph gives a real sense of the physicality of the experience without becoming an info-dump. The sheer sensuality of it makes an excellent hook.
You do a good job of creating two very distinct characters in a very few words. The line "It's the only thing I've given her that she hasn't thrown away yet." says so much about their relationship, and their respective feelings about it.
I found Owen's crying quite confusing. I understand in a vague way, but it seems strangely out of place here, and I'm not sure it added to the scene.
The ending is bittersweet. Owen seems happy, but I found it really sad that he loves this girl who really just isn't going to let this be the relationship he wants it to be. I like the implied contrast between Owen's ideal and the reality of the situation.
This is a very interesting piece. I enjoyed your style, and I found I could really sympathise with poor Owen. Well done, and congrats again on the WCC win!
| notveryalice chapter 1 . 5/18/2010
Sorry I'm late with the review I owe you!
I've been putting it off because even though you've got a way with language, your style is simply not to my taste, for a reason I'm not sure I can explain. I just dislike the taste of liquorice; if someone were to ask me to write a review of a gourmet meal flavoured with anise and liquorice and fennel, I'd be similarly stuck.
Objectively I can say you choose words with infinite care, that your characterizations are rich and carefully structured, that your imagery is evocative, but I can't say that I like it for the same reason I can't like a gourmet meal flavoured with anise. There's a particular school of poetry and prose that you follow, that is reminiscent of stream-of-consciousness work and is maybe a little post-modern in its not-entirely-strict adherence to the conventional meanings of phrases, that I find difficult to like, no matter how well done, and I think this is why I'm having trouble.
I don't dislike every piece written in this kind of style. When I have something to grab onto, some interpretation I can give to the imagery that makes some kind of linear sense, that's when I am able to read pieces like this and enjoy them.
This piece, for example, is my favourite of yours; not because it is prose, but because there are no leads that I cannot follow. In some of your other pieces, in places where I assume most people will let the imagery wash over them, I find myself struggling to interpret what I'm reading. I find myself thinking that there was no rhyme or reason behind the words, that they were written there only because they sounded good, looked good, vaguely reminded you as the author of something that would make sense in that context.
When I read Nabokov, I experience something similar. I simply do not have the kind of encyclopedic knowledge I need to understand every reference he makes in his work. (The annotated "Lolita" is jaw-droppingly large.) I'm not sure what his aim was, but the result is that I am reminded constantly of my ignorance of the propaganda efforts of an obscure political movement in Eastern Europe in the 1940's - or whatever - and it's unpleasant.
Similarly, with many of your pieces, I find myself unable to follow you - I hope not because I'm stupid - but because the associations you make are somewhat randomized in a way that is, simply put, artistic but not to my taste.
This particular piece gives me a very clear picture of the characters but I find myself thinking - why these characters?
Owen is focused on the shirt because the shirt is something that represents his emotions for the girl, and how he loves her, and she seems to skip over it like it's not important. But maybe that's not why; I don't know, it's never clear. Emotions aren't clear, I guess.
But why them? What's going on here? Is there a story? Or is it just a snapshot of the way two people are?
It's a prose-poem more than it is a story, to my mind, and that's OK, but I guess the lack of story did bother me in the end.
I wish this review were less rambly and more helpful. I hope you don't hate it!
| Once Upon a Time is Forever chapter 1 . 5/1/2010
I really like your opening line, espicially the part where it says, "...and her Free Spa Day-manicured nails." I felt like right off the bat you gave me a sense of who this girl is without telling me everything about her.
"I really like that shirt. It's the only thing I've given her that she hasn't thrown away yet."-Great foreshadowing of what Owen would be thinking and feeling in relation to the girl.
Overall I'm not quite sure to think about Owen. He's a much weaker male character than I'm used to reading about in one-shots. Like the part where he started crying I wasn't sure whether to feel sorry for him or tell him to man up. It just kind of left me confused.
But your writing was really good which I appreciate in an author and the plot was very intriguing :)
| firefly114 chapter 1 . 5/1/2010
LOVE LOVE LOVE the specific details in the first paragraph. It really pulls me in!
The dialogue is a little confusing, because it doesn't seem to fit with the scene. And he keeps saying he loves her, but we're not exactly sure why.
I really liked this!
| TheLadyPendragon chapter 1 . 4/18/2010
I really like your descriptions. I don't usually see any like them.
She's got my hands up against the wall, trapped beneath her Aloe Vera-smooth palms and her Free Spa Day-manicured nails. And she's grinding her whole body against mine. I mean, really going at it. She's thrusting herself at me so hard, I can feel everything. The blue fabric of her jeans; the ones she said she liked best because they make her ass look like an upside down heart. The little bump from her belly ring; the one that got infected last summer because she used to rub red paint on it and let it dry. I can feel the cotton in her Rolling Stones t-shirt; the one I bought her for her birthday last year, the day she told me that I owed her nothing and vice versa, understand?
Just this first paragraph had me hooked because of how you reveal the characters with each little thing you describe. We know the jeans she's wearing are her favorites and why; we know that she didn't ask for a gift, but her partner got her the shirt anyway, and she's pleased enough to wear it; etc.
Overall, I can see very few things I dislike about this, because it's a really good piece. Only, a few times tyou switch between past and present tense, but it's not very noticeable, so you have my approval.
| IMADAW chapter 1 . 4/11/2010
Ooh..it's kinda mysterious...and random..a lot of room for explanation...and elaboration...anyway...good description...I like how the guy is...um...well, you know..
| xClutteredxChaosx chapter 1 . 4/11/2010
I actually loved this. I loved the small details you kept including into it...you described the girl so perfectly..that girl we all know, and all either love or hate. I'm really interested to see where this story is going to go. I love the relationship between the main character and the girl, I can't tell whether he'd either going to leave her or end up adoring her. Once again, this is completely fantastic -good job!
| HiddenFromYou chapter 1 . 4/10/2010
This was really interesting. I think you should definitely continue it, as I'd love to see where it's going.
Sorry about the short review, but I really can't think of much to say at 4:45 in the morning. :/