|Reviews for Like Eiderdown & Disendowers|
| DutchAver chapter 8 . 11/23/2013
I love the way you constantly creatively ask for reviews. Somehow, it doesn't get old xD
Rebecca's confusion and complete dazzlement were described very well - they make her feel well-rounded, It's clear she's somewhat surprised she escaped from Phelan's grip, and it's terrible that the first person she encounters is her history classmate, someone she knows - I feel sorry for her, in that regard, and I feel sorry for Alex too, as he seems so damn clueless as to what's going on.
I also remember Rebecca going back to school in a few chapters, and I'm still having problems believing that. Won't she try to go to another school? Or will it be Dan keeping her at the same school?
The end of this chapter seems to be suggesting that Dan and Rebecca are now getting a relationship for real, which is much earlier than I remember it being in the previous chapter. But maybe I'm wrong, I don't know.
Anyway, Phelan is still one big asshole for lying to Rebecca about this. I still think that his only purpose is really to make Rebecca's life hell, and that he doesn't care about her escape. I hope that Phelan dies a very nasty death.
Read on, I shall.
| Holland FTW chapter 7 . 11/23/2013
No idea what angioplasty is, and Google Translate doesn't help a lot either, sadly... but I have a general idea, judging from your description of it, and I'm glad I don't have it. Anyway.
I can imagine that writing this scene was tough for you, but it worked out very well. Normally, I'm against head-hopping like this: I'm more a fan of definitive, well-marked POV-changes like how you did it in previous chapters. However, you did it so well here that I can't really complain. Rebecca running free, out of Phelan's house, worked very well while you described it from both perspectives.
I don't remember how you solved Rebecca's escape from Phelan's perspective in the previous version, but I can't shake off the feeling that it was all somehow Phelan's plan. Rebecca's escape was a bit too easy. That's not criticism, it's just speculation - Phelan seems to want to make Rebecca's life into a living hell, and maybe he just wanted to give her trauma for reasons that I remember became clear in later chapters.
Anyway, a very powerful scene. I remember you saying that originally, they were sleeping with each other here, but you couldn't make it work. Thank goodness, because that would've ruined the story. You did well here and I don't really have criticism - your best chapter so far, me thinks.
I'll just read on!
| Some Dutch guy chapter 6 . 11/23/2013
I still love your tale
Your plea has had its effect
I'll review it twice.
However, not in haiku-form. That's too tricky even for me xD So let's get going.
Dan's POV was absent from the previous chapter - I only noticed it now. His moment of alarm, of realization because of the book, was very well written, as well as the way he talks to Lucia and Lucia's like 'I don't know what you're talking about'. It contributes very well to the feeling of alarm in there. And, somehow, I find myself sympathising with Lucia. She has bills to pay and a family to feed, and I completely understand her motives though she's not a POV-character. Please don't make that switch either, because I like it this way. Some of the best writing advice I've ever gotten - every character should be the protagonist of their own story, so make them act like they're the centre of their own world, even if they're not actually the protagonists themselves - advice that you don't need. Well done.
A bit I don't really like - Rebecca hasn't eaten in days, her stomach must've been killing her for that period of time. I've never fastened(is that the right word?) but it must be horrible. And you glaze over that as well, which is kind of a disappointment. You could churn out some personality traits in there, maybe. A scene where Rebecca stares at the ceiling while she tries not to think about her mother's apple pie, for example?
I hope it's treasured
I'll read the next chapter now
Hope I was helpful.
| That Dutch dude chapter 5 . 11/23/2013
I loved the portmanteau of Spanglish. Reminds me of Denglish - the word English people have for Dutch people that think they know English but actually don't. (There are a lot of funny mistakes, like 'I always get my sin', 'I thank you from the bottom of my heart and also from my wife's bottom', and a favourite of mine, 'I'm the secretary of Inner State and I'm having my first period now') Anyway, on to the review.
Remember me being all angry and shouty at Phelan, and being surprised at that? Well, nothing's changed. I still hate that man from the bottom of my heart. (Not from my wife's bottom - I don't even have a wife) The way he turns around in this chapter from being all kind to a heartless monster, one he's always been, might have been a bit too sudden though.
The point I previously adressed, Tom being an alcoholic being too much, is probably the reason why 'a lot of readers sniff disdainfully and stop reading'. It's too much, combined with Phelan forcing Rebecca here to prostitution. Though I'm not sure if that's solved with Tom kicking the booze and being a jerk without it too - because Phelan's turnaround does feel a bit rushed. One moment, it's all paradise at Phelan's and she stays there for a week or so(a week that you glaze over) and then all of a sudden, it's wrong. It might help, maybe, to have this conversation occur at the beginning already. Fast, but I think that'll help Phelan's turnaround being less rushed. Or, maybe, have him feel a lot more wrong at the start, but have Rebecca go to him simply to spite her brother. Then, we might see it coming a bit more, and it's not all too sudden. Because she does owe him a lot of things, and that's what makes it believable - you got that across very well. Phelan's turnaround is just too rushed.
Anyway, I hate Phelan and I shall continue reading now...
| DutchAver chapter 4 . 11/23/2013
I have finally found a way to work around the inability to select words on this page! Which is good, because I wanted to copy a few sentences that, I felt, could be better. But we'll get to that in a minute.
I love the parallel that you make between the Crucible and your story. I've never read the Crucible, but from the way you describe it, it's not hard to see the parallels between the two. And it's possible foreshadowing for the future? Everything Rebecca's going through might not be an excuse for the relationship she'll have with Dan, but it's surely a bit redeeming. (I kind of use The Great Gatsby as a parallel in my NaNoWriMo-story of 2012, which I hope to post in a year or so) But what I really like is how I didn't need to have read the Crucible - some writers tend to go overboard with all the references, making the story incomprehensible without having read exactly the same things as the writer in question. You don't, and thank you so much for that.
Anyway, I think you can anticipate what I'm saying here, because you did make Tom into an alcoholic. And personally, I liked it better when I thought you had removed that trait from him. Because, with Tom beating up his sister on places that nobody can spot, it feels a bit overdone. Rebecca's already lost her parents, she's going at Phelan's to do things that I won't yet state in this review, she's going to have an affair with Dan that she'll have to hide from everyone... there's only so much misery us readers can take before you cross a line and it just doesn't feel believeable anymore. I understand that you need Tom beating Rebecca up so that she'll head over to Phelan's, but can't you achieve the same thing with Tom switching jobs for some reason? Getting fired again? Or maybe, the two of them having a fight because of Phelan's offer? With Tom being a non-alcoholic, the whole story works a little bit better, I think. Plus, you can make Tom feel like a jerk even without the alcohol. I think it'll make him, and his sister, feel more human and believable.
The scene with Dan and Rebecca in the car reminded me of The Police yet again. (Oh, there I go, now I'm reference overdosing xD) I think it's still a good scene between the two, and certainly one of the best of this chapter all together.
Anyway, here are the sentences that I felt could be improved:
'She grinned. "I'll get your car all wet." Her zipped up blue sweater had darkened to navy from the wet.' You used 'wet' twice here. Maybe better to replace the second wet with rain?
'For a minute, two, the interior' Don't you mean 'for a minute or two'?
And now, I'm going to continue! In this pace, I fear I won't be able to do it all today, but who knows...
| DutchAver chapter 3 . 11/23/2013
I remember reading of Arielle's nickname, Ari, and thinking 'oh, there's a terrorist in this TV-show called NCIS with that name'. I love how Ari pretty much forces Rebecca to be there at the dance by hanging up on here, and the funny thing is that, again, I had to think of NCIS. There's this main character called Gibbs, and he's the boss of the team - whenever he wants his team to do something, he tells them to do it and then hang up before they can respond. Ari's my NCIS-character, I guess, since I keep thinking of that show when I read about her. You sure you never watched it? xD
Anyway. My hate for Phelan isn't as strong as it was the first time round, but it's still strong nonetheless. The way he pretends to be kind and says that he's fine with ignoring Thomas' debts does make me like him a bit, but at the same time, I know what he's offering and that makes me hate him more than I like him. Unless he somehow turns around later in the story, but I think that's unlikely.
Something tells me you've gotten a lot better at the interactions between Rebecca and Dan. They're a lot more subtle now than they were the first time around, and express the tension between them a lot better than I remember them being. The whole highschool dance, I don't remember it from the first draft(didn't mention it in my first review either), but I love its addition. And again, your descriptions of it are excellent.
And Thomas, yeah, you really did stop making him into an alcoholic. Good job is all I can really say, because that does make it a lot more believable, and makes Rebecca less of an Anti Sue. Just disregard my previous comment, then )
Anyway, be right back, having lunch and all, so my review of the next chapter might take a bit longer )
| Ur fav Dutchy chapter 2 . 11/23/2013
I remember you saying that this chapter was all new, so I won't be looking up my previous review for reference, then, and I'll review the chapter anew. (By the way, I can't help it - in my head, the story's still called Beautiful Dreams, Twisted Realities. I keep forgetting the title it has now xD)
Don't get me wrong - this story is amazing, and so are the characters, but I remember having a thought about Rebecca previously that I'm having now sort of again. You know what a Mary Sue is, right? A perfect character, who has absolutely no flaws. There's a subtype of that, called the Anti Sue - basically, the Mary Sue completely flipped. Nothing goes right for her, she does absolutely everything wrong, she's ugly and has no redeeming traits... yet, just like the Mary Sue, everyone worships her.
My main problem with Rebecca is that she has a few characteristics of the Anti Sue, with her parents dead, her brother abusing her(though he's not an alcoholic anymore, I think?) and everything that's going to happen in the future with Phelan. She's not an Anti Sue, don't get me wrong(she's not ugly and not everyone worships her), but she does have a few traits of the character. I guess, what I'm trying to say is that maybe, Rebecca's backstory might be a bit too much, though I think you've scaled it back already. If you have, then disregard this comment.
Anyway, enough about the Anti Sue. I remember you mentioning this dinner in your essay, and it does seem very weird to suddenly be in the exact same situation yourself. What I love is how kind Phelan actually seems to be here, while I'm still getting that uncanny feeling from him - but that might be because I know what he's capable of. The switch to Dan's POV might have been a bit obsolete as I don't think it contributes that much to the story - we've already seen how the two characters interact in your first chapter, haven't we? However, what I do like is that Dan and Phelan both offer Rebecca to stay at their homes some day, yet Rebecca's reaction is completely different. However, maybe you've already more or less displayed that in the first chapter. Nonetheless, it was very well written, but there's no surprise there, I think.
Anyway, I've become a lot more critical over the years, haven't I? Nonetheless, I really like this chapter. It's my favourite part of editing - being able to add chapters to a story whenever necessary that flesh out the characters a bit. Hope you like it as much, because as much criticism as I have, I think this was a great chapter.
I'll read on now!
| DutchAver chapter 1 . 11/23/2013
I promised, ages ago, that I'd re-read the whole story since you were editing it all. However, I never really got around to it - for the past few weeks, I had to combine NaNoWriMo with exams (which is exhausting even if you write as fast as I do) and before that, there was other university-related stuff that kept me from doing this. (Also, an unhealthy addiction to Minecraft. Seriously, never start playing that game, because you won't be able to stop)
But no more! Today, I have reserved quite a few hours to reading this story again, as a whole, and leaving reviews anonymously since I've reviewed all your chapters before and I can't review them again while being logged in. Also, I've become a much better writer, and therefore reviewer, I feel, than I was when I started to review this story(May 9th, 2011, can you believe how fast time flies?) so I might be able to supply you with better criticism now.
Enough of my ranting, let's just cut to the chase and review D
I'm still very much admired by your ability to describe your characters that subtly. I love how you describe Rebecca through Dan's eyes, and you make it no secret, through describing her, that Dan's very much attracted to his student and is very much aware that he shouldn't be. At the same time, I can also tell that Rebecca's attracted to Dan but fighting the feelings so much she's not even really aware of them - you achieved all that in this chapter only through description. Can I borrow some of your skill with that? Because that's pretty amazing.
Maybe I have some constructive criticism for you regarding the beginning - the first sentence is one of the most important aspects of the story as a whole. It draws the reader in if it's a good one. Personally, I'm not very fond of the first sentence that's a description(like having the desks arranged to a U) and I prefer starting with dialogue, or somehow putting in something character-related in the first sentence - in the first sentence of Twice, I already make very clear that Faber's an alcoholic. It is description-related, but it makes the reader want to read on anyway because there's something character-related in there. Maybe you can polish up your first sentence a bit, in that regard.
And that's pretty much all the criticism I have for you right now, sadly. This story is still as good as I remember it being, so I will certainly read on immediately!
| alltheeagles chapter 6 . 11/23/2013
Sorry if I came off as flippant in the previous review. That’s just how I review when I’m just responding to the story – you can look at my remarks on other stories.
I found the mental torture of Rebecca disturbing. I suppose it builds up the suspense and all, but it’s not really to my taste. I hope you take that not as a criticism of the writing, which was at your usual high standard - but a statement of my preferences. The part I found most cringe-inducing: the bit about scooping out her guts – it was the last clause about the hungry man that tipped it over into over-embellishment for me.
The mention of the succubus was interesting, given Rebecca’s situation. But I thought they were female spirits that have intercourse with men in their sleep while sucking the life out of their victims, so I’m not very sure about how that metaphor works in this sentence.
Vonnegut? Yet another literary figure I have no inkling of. *sigh* I suddenly feel very inadequate to be reviewing this story.
Bright note: Looks like my hope of Dan to the rescue is not so far-fetched after all!
| alltheeagles chapter 5 . 11/22/2013
Hey, my broadband’s actually working today. Cool.
Aha! My radar on Phelan worked correctly. Well, that’s due in part to your writing of course. You made him out as nice, but inserted enough wrongness to point at his rotten core. In fact, I thought that he would be more, well... directly involved... in the plans that he has for Rebecca, if you know what I mean. Right now the story is focusing rather a lot on Phelan compared to Dan, whom I’ve been assuming to be the protagonist of the tale all along, but I'm sure you have a reason for that.
In response to your notes at the end of the chapter, frankly, I AM indeed hesitating about going on with the story, given the dismal situation that you’ve put our heroine in. Still, there’s always Dan, so maybe I’ll go on if only to see if he’s true to hero-type. Not very likely, is it, the way you’ve set him up as the bookish mild-mannered clean-living type. Oh wait, that’s what most superheroes’ alter-egos are like. Ok, so Dan could actually be a black belt or ex-commando. Maybe he’ll brain Phelan with a LOTR omnibus.
| sophiesix chapter 7 . 11/22/2013
Some bits here were really good, but a couple of times it turned a bit overwrought, I thought (sob is such a strong, strong word). The pov switching did confuse me a bit – at first I thought I’d prefer it in her POV - but after the first I got used to it more, so potentially if you flag the first one a little more, then the rest will just add to the drama of the scene.
So “he knew that girl” being deep Dan pov and the next being “panic spiralled through her”, straight to deep Rebecca pov. What would the effect be if you had a line between that was just omniscient, neutral ground to ease the switch?
The bit that confused me was ‘He wanted her to feel’ – this is her thought, right? Her assumption? With the changing POVs earlier I wasn’t sure. I thought at first it was his thought, and was scandalised, lol.
Panic spiraled through her like a drill. To me, either ‘panic drilled into her’, or ‘panic spiralled through her’ work, but I see them as different motions so they didn’t really fit well together
‘Curl up in foetal position’ for me ‘curl up in’ works just as well.
“I know why you’re here, it was explained to me”/”Good, because-” I don’t really get his thinking here: him being here is an accident, it couldn’t possibly have been explained to her, so why he thinks whatever was explained to her is ‘good’ I can’t quite fathom.
Pretty much all of the second half of the chapter I was going ‘time’s a ticking guys, stop chatting and get the hell out of there!’. Now, I get why Rebecca doesn’t think there’s any use in making a run for it, and I get that Dan is shocked and at a bit of a loss as to how to deal with this, but it still seemed odd that he doesn’t get with it more quickly: she’s obviously locked in, she’s obviously been poorly treated, I’d be saying, look, there’s no time for this, we’ve got to get you out now/ get out of here now. And sure she can prevaricate a bit more, but not much more, hey? It’s no time to stop and chat! I know he thinks this, but why doesn’t he say it?
Also her reason for not calling the police- because she doesn’t want a reputation? I thought her reason was that she didn’t want to ruin her brother (like she can actually prevent him from ruining himself, lol), but yeah, I was expecting her to say that, and he could hardly argue with a girl’s attachment to her brother, not knowing what in fact their relationship is like. To me, it would flow better something along the lines of:
-you’ll get in trouble. With the school.
-you don’t need to worry about me. But even as he said it he realised, in a cold sinking rush she was right. Grim faced, he pulled out his phone.
-No! He’ll ruin my brother!
[Him, stunned, and realizing he knew crap about what was going on here]
-I’m going to lose my virginity sometime. It might as well be with you.
Or something that cuts to the chase a little quicker whilst keeping the strong points of the dialogue.
One interesting thing about starting this chapter in her point of view is that we won’t know who’s coming through the door, and you’d feel Rebecca’s pov more, you might even doubt his version of events, for example, and certainly understand where she’s coming from better. In the next chapter the reader could find out how it was that Dan ended up coming through that door, because no doubt he will be thinking a lot about that night and what his next step should be.
| sophiesix chapter 6 . 11/22/2013
ok so thus chapter was better, but heaps of things still didn't sit well. I like that Lucia will do her job regardless of Rebecca's begging, but I don't buy that Creepy P wouldn't hire servants unless they spoke perfect English - If he's really so into power, I could see him getting a kick out of having the best English around and talking to them in Spanish to boot, perhaps. dan shouldn't be basing his reasining on this fact alone. I would have liked to see Lucia's expression when she first sees Rebecca though, too see the humanity and the necessity mixing in her a little. I found it odd that rebecca was actually going to throw her glass at Lucia. I also didn't buy that Rebecca could have torn a silk tie with her bare eight days starved hands - I thought silk was supposed to one of the strongest fibres around? 'i'll wash you myself' heh heh there's a decent threat, nice. I wonder why she didn't plug the sinks/ bath and flood her room, ruining his downstairs rooms with water damage to boot? What did she do for eight days, mope? also I would have liked to see Rebecca read this book before, I don't remember it being mentioned and that scene would work more smoothly with that knowledge already on board. looking forward to seeing this pans out...
| alltheeagles chapter 4 . 11/22/2013
The remark about teachers not being allowed to invite students into cars versus it’s alright to leave them in a flash flood – Brilliantly cynical!
You’re doing a great job so far on how Rebecca’s hiding her unhappiness. I can identify with her ‘going through the motions of being happy’ life when so many potential disasters are simmering underneath. Dan’s reaction is good too – not too overly concerned, just the right amount of hesitation over whether or not to step over that line. It surprised me somewhat that she decided to approach Phelan in the end. I thought she liked Dan better. Oh well, interpretations can always be changed.
Some things I didn’t get:
-I don’t understand why the sentence about Tom downing shooters followed immediately after his remark about being in the rain for twenty minutes. Is there supposed to be a connection?
-clenched her teeth and dizzines buzzing: something missing here?
-Pouring notes until three: did you mean PORING OVER notes?
| sophiesix chapter 5 . 11/21/2013
o.0 dad. daddy? Oh he’s revolting.
Oh I like lucia.
“How do I put this delicately…” *snort* man, I would have laughed in his face! Who says that? I think you need more lead up to this. I just don’t find creepy p convincing here. I want more of his frankness or the edge of his manipulativeness to come through before – sure he was manipulative, but he always sugar coated everything and I’m not understanding why he’s changed his tune. Why not just have a party, have a raffle, tell her she won, and make her responsible for look after his friend that night or something? Why does he try to get her to agree at this juncture to something she’s patently not going to agree to and that will potentially upset his plans later on?
I forgot to say before, but I really like how you portray the teachers, their characterisation is awesome
Oh no! I died? I was married to Mr Waters and I died. D: Sadness.
I think you could play more on how good Lucia’s cooking is as a contrast to her eight days without eating.
Oh his last line is awesome!
Ok as to your A/N: well it wouldn’t make me not read on because it’s just a character hole not a total disaster. You still have plenty of other great things going for this story. You just haven’t led up to this point well enough, easily fixed.
Phelan does say no teachers will be involved, but phelan is inherently untrustworthy, and then the teachers talk about going to phelans house for a part and raffle on Saturday night in which they are going to get laid. So I can see why people would think teachers are going to be involved on saturday night.
I do get the sense that Rebecca feels that she owes phelan, but I don’t really get the sense of why she feels that: her brother lost his money, not her, she doesn’t like her brother and her brother would get a stipend to support her with. Besides, phelan practically begged her to stay at his place, so yeah, if I were her I wouldn’t feel so obliged, but I can also see that she does feel that way, even if I don’t understand why and creepy P is way too creepy to feel obliged to.
In my mind, creepy p is the problem here. He comes off as mad and not plausibly so. I mean anyone that would set a kid up to starve for eight days is very unhinged . Though that’s another thing. Rebecca isn’t even dizzy: she doesn’t realistically seem like someone who has been starved for eight days. I also needed her other options to be closed off – her mobile phone taken away, preferably, for a plausible reason before this. Why aren’t her friends worried about her? Why isn’t she turning the lights on and off repeatedly until the neighbours complain? I don’t get what’s driving creepy P’s here either. He’s obviously rich enough not care about the money a raffle might bring him. He’s taken pains to see he’s not interested in her personally. But to make ‘because he can’/love of power a plausible driver I needed to be shown this more effectively and consistently throughout. He didn’t couldn’t be sure tom would act the way he did, and if power is driving him then he couldn’t happy about not having this under his control. Overall, though I can come at that he mght want to do this, deep down, somewhere, I don’t get why he’s gone about it the way he has. I don’t get why he’d risk stuffing up his own plans so blatantly when it’s so much easier not to. If he just wants to break her he could have done this in lots of little ways beforehand, but he doesn’t. It all just doesn’t add up logically, and whereas the rest has been very plausible, this sudden contrast in plausibility makes it seem like not part of the same story. Or like it’s part of some weird twist: make Rebecca think her life is really shit so she’ll appreciate the good things about it afterwards or something – have you seen Bluffmaster? Lol.
Ok sorry about the rant but I thought I should try and pinpoint why this didn’t quite work for me :) now quick before I go out for dinner I have to get on and read the next chapter to prove this wouldn’t throw me off lol.
| sophiesix chapter 4 . 11/21/2013
ok see here I see Dan's need to figure her out, and being torn about that giving her her space. yes sir.
‘Appropriate to leave them to the mercy of flash floods’ – haha loved that. ‘he wanted badly to see her solid’ that too!
Love how their relationship is developing, it’s a good pace and realistic.
‘But he barged into her bedroom.’ ‘he’d’, yeah? ‘Cause he’s already there?
Oh man tom. I thought he was a bit pathetic before but now I’m a hater. Nicely done, by the way
‘So that he could write her a good college recommendation’ – love that
Overall, a tight and powerful chapter. Loved the way you handled her emotions and what she’s seeking out of creepy P. It’s convinced me. :)