Reviews for Courting Survival: a story of Tudor England
sarahburry chapter 20 . 1/12/2012
wheerrre arreee youuuu
cerebral1 chapter 20 . 10/26/2011
Oh,good. I don't like this Matthew. I'm betting he's a double agent or something, so I'm glad Kay didn't go with him.

So, Edward is having trouble remaining 'just friends'with Kay,now. relationship needs to start moving along, as does the spying. We need to start seeing some spy-worthy events; like you said, it's at chapter 20.

I don't think hair can "levitate." It can spread, flow, tumble, cascade...you get the picture!

I notice your sentence structure and variety is improving. It was much easier to read (you always wrote well, but this chapter flows better), although there are typos. They don't bother me (teachers see 'em all the time! :D ).

Glad you worked through the writer's block! It can be a real pain! Good work!
Sapphire at Dawn chapter 1 . 10/17/2011
'She hear shouts coming from her parent's chambers but was hesitant to approach.'

There’s a typo with ‘hear’, and a missing comma between chambers and but. She’s hesitant to approach. Why?

'That is, until she heard her mother scream out in pain.'

This sentence is awkward; I think it would be better as ‘hesitant to approach, until she heard her mother cry out in pain.’

‘It was then her suspicions were confirmed, and she slowly walked through the hall.’

Three things with this. What suspicions? We’ve only just met this character, we know nothing about her or her suspicions. Secondly, why is she walking slowly? It seems out of sync with the mood you’ve just created, she was nervous and hesitant to approach, but then she heard her mother scream, but then she walks slowly again. Not to say that the character wouldn’t do that, but you’ve got to make what she does make sense in our mind, so really, it’s your word choice you’ve got to change here. I think you need to make it clearer that her mother screaming in pain makes her dare to approach the chambers.

Lastly, the fact that she can hear her parents, who are in their chambers, when she is in the hall. My impression is that they’re a wealthy family (mentions of Wolsey, the Tudor court and a hall makes me think this) who presumably live in a large house. Could she really hear them in their chambers while she’s in the hall? Think about the logistics of what you’re writing. Would it be better if Alice is outside their apartments? Could she be dithering on the staircase that lead to them?

'Her knee's bent down to the floor beneath her, and placed her right eye on top of the keyhole in the door.'

Again, be careful about the logistics of what you write. I’m getting some really weird images if I take this sentence literally. ‘Placed her right eye on top of the keyhole in the door’. She sounds like she’s taking her eyeball out and balancing it on top of the keyhole. ‘Her knees bent down to the floor beneath her’. Her knees sound like they’re acting independently of her body, and you don’t need to state the obvious; we know the floor will be beneath her. Why not just say ‘She knelt down on the floor and peered through the keyhole’? Sometimes it’s best to keep things simple, overly complicated and descriptive language takes away the reader’s attention from the plot, which is what we care the most about.

Also, there should be no apostrophe in the word knees. An apostrophe indicates possessive, as in belonging to something. ‘Her parent’s chambers’ is correct because the chambers belong to the parents. It’s a possession.

'Though she loved her mother dearly, and prayed continually for the strength to stand against her tyrannical father, now was not the time her prayers were answered.'

Again, this sentence is awkward. I had to read it through several times to try and understand what you meant. Read through your sentences and see if they really make sense. What you want to say in this sentence is that something bad is happening, or has happened, to her mother, and Alice cares about that. You can do this in so many ways, better ways than what you’ve got there. You could even cut this sentence and proceed straight to the next paragraph, the first sentence says everything you’re trying to convey in the last.

This is just me picking apart the first paragraph. It’s not a bad beginning, far from, but hopefully I’ve highlighted how careful you have to be with your writing. I’ll leave it at that; this is a long review without me harping on any more. Hope I’ve helped a little.
Miryo chapter 1 . 10/13/2011
Beautiful opening chapter. So intense - I loved it.

I spotted a few typos:

- She hear shouts coming from her parent's chambers but was hesitant to approach.

hear - heard

- Her knee's bent down to the floor beneath her, and placed her right eye on top of the keyhole in the door.

knee's - knees

- Her mother lying there on the floor as her father spat a word at her with all the hatred in the world.

Her mother lying there - Her mother was lying there

I think there were a few more, but I got so caught up in what was going on, I didn't bother noting them. So I guess that's a good thing, hehe.

Also, the change in POV (from the daughter to the mother) kind of threw me off, but it was nothing major.

I'm loving this so far. I really want to read more now, but I have a dentist appointment to scurry off to, but I'll definitely be back tomorrow. Nice work.
d-lete-d-d-d chapter 1 . 9/19/2011
Your beta-reader was right, nothing like a good murder to start off a story, right?

But seriously, this was good.

Using murder as an inciting incident was a great choice. I must say, however, that the story is organized a bit strangely.

We meet this girl and are convinced that she is the main character, yet by the end of the chapter, the reader isn't sure anymore. Although it IS a third person narrative, it's usually better to only have ONE character's perspective per chapter. Also I find that some of the chapter drones on about what the reader knows or is too literal.

When the murderer was going over what happened in his mind again, it's like watching a rerun. It doesn't really have a point. You can SAY that he went over what happened a few minutes ago, but you probably shouldn't retell every detail.

Tell the reader something they don't know yet. Or better yet, spread out some of the stomach twisting details over a few chapters. Leave a few unanswered questions to answer later. That's what keeps a reader turning the pages.

By the way, I am in LOVE with the first line. "Wickedness ruled the air that night." Brilliant, truly. You set the mood of the entire chapter with only six words. It reminds me of how some of those dramatic, classic books begin. Similar to, "It was a dark and Stormy night."
lookingwest chapter 19 . 9/18/2011
"The gardens are lovely at this time of night." She commented through an awe at the beauty of her surroundings and her companion. [Edit: the period after "night" needs to be a comma and "She" needs to be un-capitalized. This is because "she commented" is a speaker tag and shouldn't grammatically be read as a second sentence, but one sentence with the dialogue, thus it needs to flow together. Otherwise not only is it grammatically incorrect, but can run the risk of chopping up the flow of your dialogue. Stylistically, I would also recommend changing "commented" to "said", because commented is a rather flowery word that means the same thing, but that's just a suggestion.]

And just as he was about to go for the take down by... [The take down? Is this football/an African Sahara? Not sure if the phrase makes sense given the context of Tudor England]

Unfortunately he was beginning... [Edit: comma after "unfortunately"]

...with the King being his killer. [Style: omit "being"]

The couple pulled out of their embrace... [Style: "from" their embrace]

The crescent moon had finally ascended into the dark night sky... [As an example, I'm finding your writing so far to be quite flowery. For instance, the description "dark night sky" could do without the "dark" because to the reader, they should know that a crescent moon wouldn't light up the sky-and it's night, so "dark" is implied, and does nothing but clutter up the sentence. The rest is okay, but I think in some places you could rethink if you're maybe adding too much to the point where it might clutter the description and render it flowery where it could be stripped and more straightforward.]

The five groups had separated... [Style: would put into new paragraph because there's a subject shift from dialogue to action/description of the five groups.]

"Not a problem. ..." [Edit: formatted wrong in regards to the rest of the chapter...it looks like further on there's some spacing issues with the paragraphs as well. I would go in and make sure you edit those to keep the chapter format consistent and clearer to read. Editing them for consistency can help the chapter look more professional.]

"Hmm, i think i may be sick." [Edit: capitalize your "I"'s. This lack of editing is turning me off as a reader, I think it's clear that you didn't do a close second reading or edit-but even if you did it's not showing to me. Maybe work on that so that your chapters can look more professional and less like a draft, even if it is a first draft I think if one publishes it on FP then there should be a little respect to the reader, and a capitalization of I is definitely a must.]

I didn't like the technique of putting the past into italics, because I feel that you already have a fine transition into the "past" by stating it in the end of the first paragraph-you could also do maybe another page break, but that might confuse people. I just feel like the scene itself could stand on it's own with the other first paragraph, and be much easier to read without the italics.

The sweet feminine sounds cooing to him with worry enveloped his senses in their silky murmurs and dragged him from the depths of his subconscious. [Edit: comma after "murmurs" Style: A little awkwardness with the description of "feminine sounds" which to me points to something more sexual, but I probs have a dirty mind, XD]

Nearly trembling with a feeling she vaguely recognized as what she felt during their passionate intimacy the night before, Kay looked deep into his eyes and was captivated with the gentle creature revealed once stripped of his pompous humor and good sense. [Using this as another example of where the writing is weighed down by how flowery it is. "a feeling she felt" for instance, this is repeated within the first few words. I feel like you're weighing your writing down and really over-describing everything. Earlier you described eyes as not only "ornate" but "orbs". Knowing when to cut back and how to craft sentences may take some time but I think it's something you should look at working on as your writing grows.]

Aight' so as far as Characters, I like what you did with the love scene. I'm a bit lost on the politics of everything but I feel you're doing a good and ambitious job of changing history and giving all these historical people characteristics that are new and exciting to the genre of a historical romance. The love scene was well done! I really respect the approach of trying something out like that and I think you accomplished what you wanted with the balance between more vulgar descriptions and tasteful ones. Overall I enjoyed reading this chapter, even though I'm coming to it so late in the game!
medic888 chapter 5 . 9/18/2011
You're very good at creating character visuals and attitudes, like other historical fiction writers.

And I find it entertaining that I am reading historical fiction about a girl reading a book about another girl getting stuck in a historical brothel. It's very realistic and I feel like I'm learning something! :3
Superslow Jellyfish chapter 15 . 9/15/2011
Alrighty, then. I shall review you now and watch the errors.

So did Marcus have feelings for Katherine? Interesting...

I find Mary's piece intriguing, since it was her POv told this time. Not much was learned, but you sort of got a feel for her personality. She sounds kinda shallow.

Commander? This changes a few things. And my, Edward is pretty mad. Wait, so who got shot?

Oh, and did Rich and Mary ever hook up? I'm wondering since Mary is a bit manipulative, it seems. I can't wait to see the Mary/Katherine scenes. That's going to be wild.

Editing:

I recommend the POV switch from Clary/Marcus to Mary be separated. It's easy to get lost. Or from Mary to Edward.

that must have hurt!" She replied, - hurt!" she replied.

"I swear i'll mend things" -I'll mend things.

""What the hell Rich?" - What the hell, Rich?

"because im just here to help,"- I'm

"I doubt it." Interjected Edward. -"I doubt it," Interjected Edward.
imaginitivewriter chapter 19 . 9/13/2011
I decided to review the last chapter you wrote, and even though I am not entirely familiar with the story, I am able to comprehend what's going on. I thought your narration was quite excellent. I could *easily* picture everything you were describig, as if it were in a movie. That's a true mark of a good writer - that is, if one can picture the story without trying to hard. I think each character had their own way of speaking, which makes it more engaging. The length was also perfect, not too short, not too long. Love it!
Superslow Jellyfish chapter 14 . 9/8/2011
I like how Katherine is having post-traumatic stress due to the whole almost-rape scene two chapters again. It's very humanistic. Yet, it's all muddled (especially) in her sleeping scene between that and thoughts of Edward. It's an interesting thing to read about conflicting emotions and I always like this.

Whoo! Edward's a lefty!

I like how you're setting up background with Edward's past partners and how they couldn't handle the court life spying Wolsey had made them all do. I'm pretty sure Katherine's going to defy this, since she's pretty strong-willed and vocal as a character, because this DOES sound like a lot to handle.

I'm not a big fan of this surprise ending, since it seemed all random and chaotic and a bit unpredictable, but to each her own, I guess. I'm just curious to where you'll take it later.

Edits: (accept now she knew) change accept into except. Again, the dialogue should be reread for the I's, I'd, and I'll, etc.

"payed the girl again" paid the girl again

successfull - successful
Superslow Jellyfish chapter 13 . 9/8/2011
"i just wing it when i write " Yeah. Like 30% of my writing is planned out events and the other 70% is "eh, I'll just throw it in". It works out wayyyy too effectively. Onto the review!

"She had never been kissed before this," Aww ( Anyway, I like how Katherine's realized through this horrible situation that she's attracted to Edward. Her concern for him was really well written. I particularity liked it when you made her pray to God it would turn out okay for the two of them. It gave her vulnerability.

Ooooh. So he DIDN'T kill him :(

Damn. I'm guessing this was an excuse to let out their pented desires towards each other...anyway, I liked this scene (as a romance kind of person), since it really takes in their attraction and runs with it, their kissing scenes were pretty steamy and tastefully written, except for the quick flashback that Katherine quickly got over, which made total sense. The part with the guard was hilarious, too, and a nice touch to it all, since the reader interested in romance would go bananas for it an laugh out loud.

Edits: "imagine ide never" - I'd

a fate ide rather not - same

Another: else ide have to
Superslow Jellyfish chapter 12 . 9/8/2011
Yeah. I doubt Katherine's going to die, creepy writer person.

Whoo, Wolsey! Anyway, I like the explanation here of Wolsey's plan for his need to spy on Mary. It actually makes *a lot of sense* now, because if she married Charles of France, then she'll be away, making him the most powerful man in England other than the king. He's so smart and sadistic. Always five steps ahead of the game. Well, we do (I know, anyway, thanks to history) how this'll end. I love subversions...

I thought Leonard would be Archer at first. That would have been *interesting*. He sounds like a Tudor Times version of a douchebag, based on his physical appearance and dialogue. Sadly, I'd go for him. Though I'm pretty evil towards them myself. "For surely your company is the fairest of them all" Chessy!

Haha, I like how in Edward's POV, he thinks he's totally buzzed, but in Katherine's 100% sober POV, she sees him as very drunk. It's an effective way of carrying out 3rd person POV.

Okay, those description scenes with the rapist, Katherine's fear/disgust, and Edward killing him (!) were really vivid and well done. It seriously put me in suspense, hoping someone would kick that guy's butt for it. Instead, you gave him more than just that! I can see Katherine's character changing a bit after this incident, so this was a pretty awesome chapter.

"my supper coins ill beat you" - I'll beat you

Edits towards the end: "Yes i believe so." You know why. And "and i think i can manage"
Superslow Jellyfish chapter 11 . 9/8/2011
I like the introduction to Archer. The way you describe him indeed makes him sound worse than Brandon. He's like him on roids. Another reason I like this part is because it clearly sounds like foreshadowing. Like this is a man Katherine must watch out for.

Haha, it rained after much foreshadowing.

Second thing I liked here was Edward's character development. It's horrible to be at odds with what you were raised in and what you believe in, despite the fact he hates his dad (for reasons we know already). I felt like you really brought it with that scene and capitalized it with his new friendship with Katherine, so this is a step in the right direction.

Some helpful edits: Again, reread the dialogue when editing. "I" should be capitalized when you do so. It can be rather jarring at times.

"and it begins to poor." poor - pour

and am smarted enough to realize it." I don't know. This sounds kinda awkward to me. "and I am smart enough to realize it" sounds better.

"Oh, shut up." She replied EDIT: "Oh, shut up," she replied
Ioga chapter 15 . 9/8/2011
Hi, caught up with the parts of the story I had on me! (Pre-emptively returning reviews now already. ;) I'll go take a look at the other story you mentioned too while collecting more stuff to read this time round.)

In this chapter, the transition from Ed and Rick telling Kat about the suspicious guy and the hop to Alice was rather sudden - I'm not sure I even knew Alice was supposed to be alive, and suddenly I'm thinking her thoughts like she was in the same room! (Remembered the encounter well - the encounter discussed in the previous chapter in a different point of view.)

Also, "her father hired his book keeper to kill her. Hugh Masters..." - it sounds like Hugh Masters is the bookkeeper's name, because it's kind of unexpected that she'd reminesce on her father's full name like he were an unknown. It took me a while to figure out that we were actually talking about the father there.

In the 3 chapters I read this time around, there were some issues with 'I': sometimes "ide" in place of "I'd", 'i' instead of I, and the apostrophe missing sometimes from e.g. Ill - I'll or "im" - "I'm".

In the start of To Avoid Suspicion, "there was another man's presence that lingered in her" felt a bit creepier than probably intended - it was so closely connected to the unwanted attentions of the assaulter as a mental image, it felt like she had burn marks from Edward's touch as well as the other man's, or an unease in her stomach from both.

Nearby in "I can handle myself plenty" (or plenty fine, maybe?), I missed who was talking when reading this line first. (On the previous line, cant - can't.) Maybe could add an explicit help here.

Thanks for this!
cerebral1 chapter 19 . 9/6/2011
I like the dream sequence; it read smoothly and I could picture the scene in my head. Good use of a dream to further the story along; not everyone can do that. The whole chapter, which you said you would put with the second half, needs smoothing out. The first paragraph reads rough. I understand your meaning, but it's a bit choppy. "The...moon..ascended into the dark night sky was the only witness...", you need the word which in there: The...moon WHICH had finally ascended..." This will match the verb you , "...fighting them with the disparity equal to that he was experiencing...", you need another "which": "...disparity equal to that WHICH he was experiencing." After the dream: good chance for a tasteful (or not so tasteful :) love scene! I think we readers deserve one!And also; I know Kay is rather a modern-acting woman, but again, I don't know if a lady in those days would enter a man's chambers; but hey, it still reads fine, and as I said, it lends itself well to a LOVE SCENE.
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