|Reviews for Like Eiderdown & Disendowers|
| Leon Wite chapter 1 . 1/14/2016
Sorry, if I seem "harsh," or super "blunt," or pompous. I will do a review for the first chapter, and if you find it really helpful you can go ahead and PM me and I'll to the rest of the chapters, if not...
"The desks in his classroom were arranged in a U shape, like a horseshoe." This sentence to focus on the setting. Another sentence that introduces the girl and her relations to the teacher.
"When ever he glanced down while teaching, she was always in his field of vision." It has better flow this way, but that is up to you.
"He saw" is unnecessary. Kind of interrupts the flow. "One part of her hair was tucked behind an ear, while the other sweeps down onto her desk."
Sorry, I didn't want to change the way you word things, but its a little awkward and lacking fluid flow. so I suggest for the entire paragraph to something like: "The desks in his classroom were arranged in a U shape, like a horseshoe. When ever he glanced down while teaching, she was always in his field of vision. One part of her hair was tucked behind an ear, while the other sweeps down onto her desk." Then the next paragraph: "As he surveyed the room, he saw ready smiles and bitten frowns. His female students often wore low necklines, which sometimes sent him pacing." Of course, these are my words, but I'm hoping you see what I mean by sentence flow.
"...and he thought they agreed."
"She drew his attention like an illusion working at the corners of his eyes, so that he would turn his head but could not place why." This is really good. I like the simile you used. Although, it doesn't really capture..that feeling (sorry hard to explain, I'll show): "He could not place why, but she drew his attention like an illusion working at the corners of his eyes, tempting him to look and focus on her."
"He thought her beautiful.." doesn't roll off the tongue as smooth as: "She was beautiful to him; the way all young men are women were beautiful: radiant with the possibilities of their youth."
"Although she made..."
"She was a girl who could be his daughter, yet she crossed his mind more often than she crossed his path." HA! Love this line, but you want to change the "and" to a "yet". It provides a very different tone.
I see the poetic thing you are attempting to do with the repetition of "He thought". I am very bad with poetry, so I can't say much to that. Personally (because I don't particularly care for poetry) I would have worded it differently.
"And yet, whenever he saw her, he didn't think about how enduring or motivated she was. He saw the way she brightened. And when she did, she made him feel as if he was the only person who could keep her aglow. She was beautiful, like Antigone was beautiful, like tragedies were beautiful, like the fall." "Fall" do you mean the season? Might want to specify that.
HAHA! "I wanted a little more from your body-" nice~~.
"Yet every night, memories of smothered giggles, sleepy sighs, sweet nothings, and serendipitous tangents burned afresh in Dan's mind"? I don't know. I think a list like that works better than having those two "and"s with a comma split.
"Every night, he climbed into ...wife might be with him in his dreams." Very smooth sneak peek into his past.
I'm going to pause here for a moment: (Goes be mean to the main character of my story).
Back, sorry about that.
"She recalls the Latin exam she had yet to make up,..." was that list all the reasons why she was going to be late for practice?
"From the door(,) she peered inside."
"The place was empty, but for her teacher sitting at his desk."
"...when the comprehensive frenzy of 1,000 students studying, stressing, slacking, and snacking no longer choked the air. When she was alone, she could pretend the school was hers."
"Yet(,) his slim built meant he never looked intimidating. Rebecca herself possessed an athletic roundness from a healthy appetite, and from track and field. People who knew how to run learned first how to stand their ground."
"I have a couple of question... She held and mirrored his smile." be consistent with your style.
"She liked his class, and not in the way her classmates like Mr. Sarago's class."
"Sarago, Rebecca's twenty-four year old Latin teacher and assistant track coach, was, by popular consensus, hot enough that his female students could stare into his dreamy-green eyes, mentally tear off his shirt, picture the eight-pack beneath, and forget they were in class at all." If that got confusing for you, you can go with: "Sarago, Rebecca's twenty-four year old Latin teacher and assistant track coach, was - by popular consensus - hot enough that his female students could stare into his dreamy-green eyes, mentally tear off his shirt, picture the eight-pack beneath, and forget they were in class at all (never mind that he possessed the teaching capability of a brick)." (though the original way is not wrong - I don't think -, but is a personal preference for insurance when it comes to questionable grammar error to some).
"lectures" isn't wrong, but most people would think college when reading the word "lecture".
might want to mention "cheap plastic toy construction tools" because "plastic" can be very strong (reinforced glass is mostly plastic, if I remember correctly) and most cars are made of plastic and not steel (doesn't that just sound reassuring to one's life and safety behind the wheel).
"She opened her eyes to his dopey grin." dopey grin? Why? Why is she saying "Sorry"? Did she cause it somehow? Did she feel responsible some how? "Rebecca blinked." usually state this when something unexpected happened, something beyond the usual. Is him cutting his index finger beyond the usual?
"She darted out in short, quick steps and did not look back." why? was she embarrassed? Is she developing deeper feelings for Waters? Is she seeing him in a different light a little?
Show more of how she is feeling. Explain/show a little why she is acting a certain way with something like her noticing some details about him, or oddly charming, depending on how Rebecca is suppose to be feeling about this event currently.
| Ventracere chapter 12 . 1/7/2016
Did I ever mention how much I like your openings? They always set up this scene - not too heavy with descriptions. It's like a sketch, an outline of sorts. Then you continue to add color here and there so our senses aren't completely bombarded at once. Good reminders too! Anywho. The scene that you've set up for Hannah's house is again, picturesque, if classic for a teenager who loves to bake. I love way you described it though, everything is very... fragrant, haha.
Arielle and Hannah are kind of the classic sidekicks? They're bubbly and happy, but at the same time, either Rebecca is too good at hiding herself or her friends are not exactly observant. Here we've got 2 different sides of the coin of Rebecca. We see her "backstage" self, her thoughts. Then the way she acts towards Dan, Arielle, Hannah are all a front. She's never truly relaxed, even with her friends. Just what puts her at ease? We can see that everything is still haunting her (good, cause if you didn't I'd have a lot more questions running around my head). Arielle and Hannah... I don't know. As of right now, I don't have much to say about them. The scene with them has them carrying the conversation, but at the same time, it doesn't give us much insight into them. Yes, Arielle is short, she's got a GPA that matches her smarts, but what else? What does she mean to Rebecca? Good friends, yes, but what else?
Oh my god. And you weren't kidding about starting the next Arc. And I thought Phelan was just some scheming annoying blah that we wouldn't see again until court, but looks like he's in more deep than I thought. Ugh. Why? Now, as for his dream, it wasn't super disorienting or overwhelming. But what I think you did was portray an accurate view of his problems, his push and pull. He wants to have her, but at the same time, it's his duty as a teacher to help her out. There's this duty vs. desire thing going on for him, and to add on to that, a whole dose of morality. I think that was the disorienting part of the dream that you captured. He can't make headway of what is the right thing to do with his feelings muddled up. She's taking Sophie's place and that might be the tip of the ice burgh.
Sorry for the short review, my head is killing me, so I'm going stop be here before I ramble on too much longer. Thanks for the read!
| Ventracere chapter 11 . 1/7/2016
Ah. That's one way to begin a chapter. I like the simplicity of it and how it sets the stage for the rest of the chapter. And not in a good light either. Makes me think that the rest of the chapter is going to be doom and gloom (not necessarily), and the hairs the back of my neck are ready to stand up. Another thing I liked about this is that you don't spend five sentences describing the roadkill - otherwise it would have been overkill... hah.
Rebecca's right. He does have an way with humor - but I love it hahah. It's kind of funny if I think about it. Now, does this have any metaphorical implications on Rebecca and her life? That maybe she's too focused in the present, she's not looking at the implications of the future? That with the way she was carrying herself before would have led her to be essentially roadkill? The possibilities are endless. She was so worried on keeping her promise to her mother that she was letting herself get beaten by her brother. Well. I think there's a difference, but yeah.
A tragedy retold by the buzzing of flies, reshaped by the feasting of maggots - Lord of the flies esque? Also, gross. Fantastic imagery, but ew... hahah.
That was a huge turn. From the dead squirrels to this picturesque sandwich shop and park atmosphere. Let's go back to Rebecca before I go and talk about the setting. She has a ton of problems, but something she does is that she accepts is. She knows how to play people, just like she played the sandwich man. But she wasn't exactly lying, was she? What the sandwich man saw was a young girl who might be in a relationship with a man much older than her. But she's not. She's playing the innocent card, but at the same time, she hasn't lost that innocence yet. All that's left is for Dan to show her that. Which brings me to the next point. You've created Rebecca to be this complex character that knows about her own flaws, and I love that. She knows that she is as problematic as her own brother, and she knows that Dan doesn't know it. But what's different is that she doesn't wallow in it continuously. Rebecca is a likable protagonist. She's not a character I write off as I read thinking, oh here we go again. No, I want to see her climb the ladder that Dan is going to build her.
The only quick I have with this chapter is the flip that occurs when she's with Hannah vs. When she's with Dan. It makes sense that she'd be a different person when she's with a person her age, but the difference is incredibly stark. She goes from a snarky teenager to a bubbly girl who can't wait to spend time with her friends. It's a flip, but I was waiting for the snark to come back through her thoughts, though it doesn't reappear immediately when she first arrives at Hannah's house.
Thanks for the read!
| Ventracere chapter 10 . 1/5/2016
Fantastic rhetoric for the opening :D That made me super happy.
"it was the waking and not the dreaming, the remembering and not the imagining, that made her bury her mouth in the crook of her elbow"
"She dreamt... she dreamt" - fun repetition. eyy.
Anyways, this was what I was looking for in the previous chapter. I kind of expected the exhaustion to overtake her and for the PTSD to come in, so you didn't disappoint here. It was full of flawless imagery with the skeletal seaweed and the visuals of a murky wave. It was super easy to imagine the sea tide coming in and swallowing her up and away. You hit it home with the lyrical kind of feel, it's flowy and knits together completely. The contrast between her nightmare and her memory is super stark and you feel for her. I wish we could see her happy like that again, when she had the time to bask in the warmth of the sun and not worry about the numbness of pain. :(
"He wished to drink in the melody of Rebecca's sobs, until at last, the weeping subsided. " - this came across a bit creepy? I know Dan isn't like Phelan, I know he's infatuated with her, but at the same time I was thinking to myself that this was a bit quick. I'm caught between, oh, don't go there, and eh, that's kinda cute? Fine line.
The banter between Jen and Dan was nice. It's a nicer, more uplifting moment between the darker aspects of this piece. The piece isn't monotonous, it's just a drain, with the constant problems befalling Rebecca and what she has to go through, so these moments are cherished. Good balance, makes us savor them, haha.
In response to your last point, I think you handled the touchy-feeliness just fine. My only squick was the style it was written in, with the lack of quotes, but that's the nit-picky stuff cause it's different from what I'm used to, so go ahead and ignore that. I loved that they were able to reveal that much of each other. I think what took out some of the touchy-feeliness is that there's a sense of obligation for Dan to tell her. Anything to make Rebecca feel safer, even if it means telling her a few of his own sscars that he doesn't particularly like to show. It's setting them on equal ground. And it's saying something that Rebecca is comfortable enough to ask him why he's doing this for her. Because it's called being a decent human being...
Thanks for the heartbreak!
| Ventracere chapter 9 . 1/5/2016
The opening lines are a bit long? Length aside, it might be helpful to rework the first sentence of the second paragraph. It reads a bit ramble-y and it's a bit difficult to wrap my head around it the first time around - though. That might just be me. Aww, Dan. I wouldn't have thought that all this would have let to what he was thinking about Rebecca. But it was a bittersweet kind of thing. That he put in all this effort to get to know this girl from afar, only to have his best friend date her. But I loved how he didn't get overtaken by jealousy - it would have ruined his character a bit.
On that note, I'm sorry for writing Tom in the previous chapter! I hadn't realized. T_T my b. That was a good transition from one thought to the next. It was a good jump, pretty seamless from thinking about Sophie to Rebecca. Though it makes me worry for the two of them. Rebecca has a long way to go - but what you've shown in that first part is that Dan is patient - he isn't going to make a move unless he knows his partner is willing. Goes along with the previous chapter very well too.
Wark. And here I thought we'd gotten to a chapter without any keysmashing involved and any gaping mouths. Etch. Okay. So here we go. Tom is despicable. You really like throwing in these twists and turns don't you? It definitely makes me worry about how Rachel is going to feel when she wakes up. The only problem I have with this is how easily she's able to trust Dan. Didn't she push him away in the previous chapters? After her trauma with Phelan, I'm surprised she'd be able to bounce back so fast. I understand that Dan is someone she can trust, but how she's able to trust him so quickly is what has me thinking in circles. Then again, it might also be due to the fact that she just had to go through Tom.
Okay, backing up to the earlier scene between Dan and Tom. Understandable reaction from Tom - really. When he came in, I was thinking - oh nonono. That said, I'm surprised that Dan didn't retaliate. It's lucky that Tom doesn't hurt him more, but I kind of expected it to be a bit messier. That said, it's good the way you've got it. A quick clean get away so to speak, cause then you have to deal with the problem Rebecca has in the car. I'm glad though, that she decides to stick with Dan. But the thing is, we know that Dan has a thing for her. I'm a bit worried about how that's going to come up between them, in all honesty.
I'm sorry about the rambling, and not all that criticism, haha, but it's just so well written! Thanks for the read!
| Ventracere chapter 8 . 1/4/2016
You have got to stop making me reconsider my words in the previous opening of my reviews, gosh darnit! Anyways, customary blah blah blah introduction and keysmashing... Tom. T.T
Okay, so Tom was the last person I was expecting to appear in this chapter - kind of forgot about him for a moment. But it's nice to see that he cares. It's been a while since I've read the first couple of chapters, but I always got the idea that he wasn't the nicest of men, but here, it makes me want to reconsider my thoughts. "Family should stick together" broke me. They are family, even if they've got tough times, they should stick together. And you can see it as Rebecca goes through the emails. And when he comes to visit, it's obvious that he's tired, and he wants to try. And make things work between them as siblings. And now he has the chance to make it up to her. She's falling into pieces right now, and the next chapter he has it to make it up - I'm expecting lots from you Tom! Don't fail me.
Don't get me started on Phelan.
Going all sorts of backwards today. Anyways. The scene at McDonalds was a bit of a reprieve from the depressing and sad atmosphere that's been surrounding Rebecca. That's not to say that it hasn't continued in this chapter, but it was a lighter spot if that makes any sense? ha. Geddit, cause McDonald's was like a bright spot for her when she was walking...? Yeah, okay. I'll stop. Anywho, her brain is all kinds of muddled, and it's a place she can stop. Think. Rest a bit. The run in with Alex was a bit unexpected, and I was worried about her for a minute, that she'd run into more problems there. But thankfully no one had known about Phelan - which. I still can't tell if that's a good thing or bad thing that no one else knows. Dan can help her right? Long way to go, I know.
It hurts to think that she doesn't want anyone else involved in her life - that's T.T But I guess here's to beginning on letting people into her life right? Bring on more heartbreak.
Thanks for the read!
| Ventracere chapter 7 . 1/4/2016
The description of the laughter set me off. It's such a little detail, and I feel like most people usually just write "hahah" or "heheh", so it's nice to see you give us a bit more detail there. And it's not even that it's a lot of description - it's more that it's different. Okay, I'll stop waxing poetic on the laughter now. Anyhow! Here we go!
Dan, oh Dan. Okay, that used to just be a jumble of keysmashed letters, okay. It's a bit sad how you've reduced me to keysmashing again. That aside, brilliant chapter as always. You know, I didn't expect Bradford to give him the key, much less have it lead to Rebecca. I kind of expected that it wasn't going to be that easy. And when it felt like they were going to be okay, you did it again. But I digress.
I loved how you didn't make Rebecca fall to her knees immediately, making her think that she was going to get out of here so easily. Instead you played up on the fact that she's thinking as she was told. That she was going to be used, and not in the good way. Dan had no idea what the hell was going on, so it's like they were walking on two different wavelengths the entire time, which I liked. It could have been humorous, could have gone a different angle, but I loved the way that you jumped right over it. You didn't make this part too dramatic, you didn't make it too glossed over. Nice job there.
Another thing that I liked was that Dan. He's this nice guy, a teacher. He was in the same position as Phelan - Rebecca knows that now. And seeing him here doesn't help that. He wants to help her, but her brain is shooting off alarm bells like no one's business. And that's right. So again, thank you for taking the more difficult route. Now, in terms of your author's notes, I think your POV switching is fine. Dan's voice is true, you can always tell who is speaking and notice when the POV changes. That's a tough thing to do, and you manage through it just fine.
Thanks for the read!
| Ventracere chapter 6 . 1/3/2016
hi hi from the Roadhouse!
URhhgh. - I think that's a solid review don't you think? Yeah, neither do I, but that's what you have me feeling right now, haha. Okay, I'm done. Onwards!
Lucia has me screaming into my own head, in all honesty. I want Rachel to win, dammit! I know she can't win in this chapter, but still! I liked how you were able to give her a moment's reprieve, try and give her a maternal figure she's lost. And really, Lucia owns up to it. She can't help Rachel because she has her own children to take care of. That's the worst part of it. You can see that Lucia wants to help her, but in the name of survival (okay, it's not that deep, stop ranting Ven) she' can't. Ughhh. That hits Rachel too, pretty hard.
But I'm so incredibly glad that she doesn't let her fight die with her hope of surviving the night. Seriously. Her fight with Phelan gave me a bit of hope. Just attack his ties - maybe that'll help her out a bit! I doubt it, but that's a crack in his facade. It's nice, right? Though his last quip in that section send a shiver through me. He's a creeper. The fact that you're making me hate his character and root for Rachel is great - your characters are well developed and you're only in the 6th chapter. That's already a lot better than a lot of writers :)
Wait! Wait! Is Dan going to help her out. Did Lucia just lead him to help Rachel out? You can't - yes you can and you just did!. Aha. Your piece has me on my feet and wanting to know more. Good cliffhanger - especially since I want to know if they'll be able to end up getting Rachel out of Phelan's grasp. Please please? Haha. I'll stop rambling.
Thanks for the read!
| Ventracere chapter 5 . 1/3/2016
Hi hi from the roadhouse!
Aww, Mr. Phelan. They're both hurting and it's a bit sweet to see that he wants her to be his daughter. Well, That's assuming he didn't mean it the more sinsiter way. We'll see what will happen by the end of the chapter. Rachel on the other hand, I'm worried about her. If I remember correctly from about a year ago, she's laden with a plethora of problems and a brother would couldn't care less about her. Or so it appears.
Oh no. There's more bad signs for Phelan. Has Rachel traded one cage for another. That was a brilliant way to describe a way of force "gifting" isn't it? "He held them in front of her like blades to her neck". That's something I would have never thought to imagine for gifts, but what that description does is show us that yeah, there's something going on. And it's not going to be pretty. Fantastic imagery too.
Oh my god. Okay. You've brought the piece full circle with that ending. It's solid, ending on the note that yes, Phelan wanted a daughter, but he's tormented, tortured Rachel in a way, that's completely not what a father would do. What's even better is that you've acknowledged that and given us an answer to the question. It's an ending and a hook - cause we want to know what Rachel will do to survive this. I hope she does, and soon!
As for your author's note, I don't see the first thing happen. On point 2, you've made that clear even in this chapter alone. In the beginning it seems like Phelan changes her life for the better, and that's what gives us and Rachel the sense that she owes him a lot. You've done a good job there.
Thanks for the read!
| Jessica chapter 1 . 10/14/2015
Oh my god the way you write is beautiful and I love the depth you put into the characters. Well done, please keep making more :)
| jacks chapter 7 . 10/9/2015
Poor Dan. It makes my heart hurt a little. Great story so far!
| Virtuella chapter 24 . 9/28/2015
I liked the scenes that start the chapter, especially the one with the glass vases and the one with the Robins’ eggs. They introduce a nice theme of frailty.
Obnoxious parents, ah, I can sympathise. Though not entirely convinced that we need them for this chapter, or am I missing something?
Ending: So Jen catches them? And the whole thing, presumably, comes out? Dan will be in a hell of a lot of trouble.
Sorry it took me so long to finish. I’ve been busy writing myself. This has been a very fascinating story, full of great details. Very well done.
| Virtuella chapter 23 . 9/28/2015
The hair cutting scene was good, initially a little confusing but eventually all became clear. I like how it signifies a new start but remains very pragmatic. “She could hurl the mirror but then she'd have to pick up the shards.“ Good sentence!
The scene at the bus stop with the older father, I felt that was a little heavy-handed. Sure, it is the kind of thing Dan would have to consider, but the way it came across was a bit too much in the face.
I liked Dan’s reflections on Sophie and how he wondered what Rebecca’s role would be.
| Jenny L. Gale chapter 24 . 9/9/2015
I’ve put off this review because I had to think a while after I read the last chapter. Let me start with what I appreciated about your story:
1. You are good with words and knowing how to put them together, to form thoughts that have an almost poetic quality. I look up to that, because I find it’s where I lack. A couple of examples: “A chill ghosted over the surface of her skin…”, “She left a decent part of her on that bus. Because decency was like the kind of helium balloon for little kids. It was tangible and made her feel good she had it, but it took her nowhere…”, “Beneath a cloudless sky when light was hard and the shape of shadows precise…” Something as simple as, “He held her and he held his breath,” is to me very beautiful.
2. Characterization: Your characters are awesome! Perhaps they will never be awesome in their own fallible personalities, but the truthfulness in which you’ve portrayed them is. That is the mark of a good writer. We feel what they feel, we can relate even if we haven’t faced the problems they are facing. That is where you shine. My one critique in this area would be with Phelan, the villain. He’s a bit of the over-greasy villain, I would say. He’s too much the bad guy. We didn’t get enough of why he was what he was until the end and it was just a taste at that. Personally, I would have liked him more fleshed out and less this blank face of evil. However, I loved the way you weaved Dan and Rebecca’s story. You didn’t crash them together too quick. You took your time with it. And I love that Dan was so ordinary. He wasn’t the “hot” teacher.
3. Plotting: Your plotting is good, but not the best it could be, I think. While I did very much enjoy the story, there were parts where it seemed to go nowhere and there were scenes that didn’t seem to serve any purpose. And there were scenes you introduced but they weren’t followed through, or we as the reader did not get a hint or understanding as to where they were going or went (the job at the coffee shop, for instance; she went on an interview, but we don’t know if she got the job or if she gave it up because of Phelan’s connection with the boss). Scenes of people talking, or whole chapters of people talking were not the problem, as you had asked about at the end of one of your chapters. Those were some of the most interesting parts of the story, and they served a purpose.
4. Pacing: This is where my largest critique will come in. There were times where the story seemed to ramble … to me. Not rambling so much in words, but in the flow of the story. Thoughts and time frames and instances all seemed to flow into one another. One second she’s at the mall with her girlfriends, the next she’s on the front porch with Dan admiring robin’s eggs and then all of a sudden Dan is talking to Jen at school. I got lost more than once and had to find my way back. Maybe I’m a stickler for this where, on the flip side, it doesn’t bother others, but there were times where I couldn’t find my way back and had to give up and go with the flow.
5. My last critique (I know, don’t hit me) comes with the end. First off, I loved that Dan personally came to the realization that he would not be able to stay with Rebecca forever, that he would eventually have to let her go. I found it touching and heartbreaking. And (though I’m not quite sure) I believe Rebecca had a completely different outlook on their relationship. I don’t think she understood that about him or would see it coming in the future. But, back to my critique, THE ENDING! What happened? I felt like someone pushed me off the end of a cliff and I was hanging by my fingernails. I guess that was sort of your plan, but man, I wanted more. Sorry. I wanted the “I’ll be with you for as long as we can hold onto each other” sort of ending. But, I guess you’re the boss of their little world. You’ll have to explain it to me.
So, hope this wasn’t a bubble burster or anything. I really did like the story and I’ll miss Dan and Rebecca. I think 1500 reviews should tell you have good your story is.
| Jenny L. Gale chapter 14 . 9/6/2015
On Dialog: if you ask me, dialog is the heart of story-telling. I enjoy reading and writing dialog. Though you can feel a character more through their actions and their internal thoughts, you see who they are through dialog. You see their strength, their capacity for truthfulness or blatant untruths; most people, when they are comfortable, reveal themselves through the things they say.
I don't know if you've revised chapter 14 since you originally posted, but this has been the most enjoyable chapter for me so far. Rebecca is finding her feet and her heart in this one. Now she just needs to find a way to stand up to that no good ! #$%.