|Reviews for Encounters: Catilina x Cicero|
| sophiesix chapter 1 . 1/4/2011
Opening: Your opening intrigued me. At first, I didn't like the word 'equipment' because i felt it was too academic and not evocative enough, but later as i read onwards i realised that actually it was quite an appropriate word for Cicero, who is rather academic. "He looked as if the day was just starting." I got what you meant here, that he was fresh looking, but i had an immediate image of myself and how i look when teh day is just starting and i know its giong to be a long slog, and its not terribly fresh, lol. so maybe consider firming up that description a little? "Immediately I hated him." oh, perfect. I loved that, it's short, direct, powerful, empathetic and hilarious. and sets up their relationship perfectly, given teh end :)
characters: so the opening straight out introduced us to the two main characters, and set up the continuing great charatcerisation that goes throughout teh story. I like that cicero is characterised mainly by his thoughts, and Catalina mainly by his actions: that's vert fitting. their dialogue really helps build their characters too - i get the feeling Catalina would be played by Brad Pitt or someone equally smarmy, lol! Compared to the first chapter of the Story of Set and Horus, i felt teh characterisation here was much stronger, i felt their emotions more tangibley: perhaps thats because of their youth, or the war setting, or that its necessary to compress these things in a one shot, but I engaged so much more with these guys here than in Set and Horus. So much so that i was wanting teh story to continue, and was rather sad to find out it was a one shot, lol. but thus I'm happy there's more Set and HOrus to get back to these guys with!
"We took Asculum. Or, at least, the other legionaries took Asculum whilst I sat writing to Atticus and trying to block the sounds of battle from my ears through concentration" haha, just to had I loved that. it shows Cicero's character so perfectly too.
Your writing is filled with lovely details that help build up teh characters, it really lets me see and feel thetm, which is crucial in such a character driven piece, so well done and I"m envious. Occasionally however, I feel some sentences are overlong or /and contain unnecessary clauses. For e.g. "Taking advantage of my shock that this handsome but otherwise unimportant legionary I had never seen before knew my name he stepped closer and, for a moment, his smile faltered." i'm not sure if its an allusion to Latin grammar or something, but it read awkwardly to me.
ending: WEll, obviously I was sad that it had to end. Given that, I thought you led up to the climax well so it didn't feel out of character. I did think that the para starting with "My belt was undone," felt a little rushed. Not that you really need to be explicit, but there are a lot of potentialities in there, so a few more details would have been nice seeing as we've been so involved with these guys all this way.
THe denouement i thought had a lovely mix of emotions, and well described. Because it was all thought though, i'd consider anchoring those emotions in a few more real life things, like does Cicero see Catalina at social functions or just at teh forum? does he find himself gazing at catalina's house from afar, or making sure his evening constitutional avoided that district?just a few more words to let us glimpses life after teh relationship type thing. I really apreciated teh vocab section too - i figured out teh general gist from teh context but it was nice to be sure. there were a couple of other roman words that were mentioned that weren't covered (sorry, i can't remember them now!) that i would've liked to be sure of what they meant too.
Overall, I really enjoyed this, the setup of two young men at war and one unsure of his interests really appealed to me, and teh execution of that concept was totally absorbing. I just wish you'd made it a longer work!
| Danielle Gin chapter 1 . 1/2/2011
Sometimes your word order made senteces difficult to read. For example, "At least now I can take comfort in my natural gift of oratory" would be much clearer if you said, "my natural oratory gift." There were several instances like this throughout the piece. The best way to double check if your work flows well is to read it aloud. By hearing it smoothly transition from one phrase to the next you know it's easy to read!
Another thing I noticed was that you told the reader the scene rather than showed it. You didn't create a scene, with a setting, tone, or physical and emotional attributes to the characters. Instead, you gave impressions, such as, he was tired or he was hungry. To fully immerse the reader in your story, give sensory details. Sensory details are what your character hears, feels by touch, sees, smells, and tastes. These descriptions allow the reader to step into the character's shoes and experiance the scene. And, this may be a personal preferance, but I enjoy setting descriptions. They give an extra diminsion to a scene, and I think your story could be improved with their additon.
Please don't get me wrong! I really enjoyed the piece! You have a well developed plot, an interesting concept, and a unique spin on ancient characters. Well done! I just think it could use a little extra elbow grease to make this good story great! Nice work and keep writing!
| EtherealForest chapter 1 . 9/6/2010
Lolz, well now you know how I felt when you read my Yuri stories XD (btw have written a couple of Minami-Ke that are quite sweet)...although I haven't gotten round to the M rated yaoi yet :D
As ever well written, poigniant and with an unexpected but very mature ending. I never cease to be impressed by your ability to write characters so well. Your story writings come on a lot too and it has a nice pace to it as well.
Arigato for the read ;)