|Reviews for Sing, Sing|
| jt121 chapter 1 . 8/12/2012
Hey, well here is my review for this chapter :D
What I like: Basically the entire thing, the detail you go into with appearances and settings really gives the reader a clear pictures of what is going around and what Farah is thinking. This is good because without it the reader can't really relate to the character and being able to understand what is going on and how the characters work and think is a very important thing in a story and you got this spot on so congrats on that :)
What I dislike: This is the hard bit for me because this was an all round wonderful chapter. I'd have to say the only thing I could bring up is that it's a little vague about what the story is about from this chapter. Sorry, it's probably just me being stupid but although I can see what Farah is doing and thinking I am still confused as to what this all is about. Like I said, it's probably just me, but maybe going into a little more detail and making it clear as to what this is all about would be good so it doesn't confuse the readers.
Hope this review is okay :D
| lookingwest chapter 3 . 7/27/2012
Like the previous two chapters, I thought this was phenomenal. If only it was longer! But at the same time, I like the shortness because it feels so much like a character vignette of sorts. It reveals so much in such a poetic well-written way, and I loved every paragraph. Especially the fifth one about the teardrop shaped island. I thought it worked really well to convey the setting but also give a sense of the culture too - same with the biology class and how everyone deals with it. I enjoyed the details about the hankles stuffed in mouths to keep from laughing - great image, and so familiar, I feel like, in a school setting.
I liked the inclusion of the secret notes and that reveal because I thought it said a lot about finding and seeking answers on such a subject I feel so many can relate to. Great character development in these smaller bits of narration. You manage to tell such an engaging story in so few words, and it feels complete and whole each time!
| Loraine Wentworth chapter 1 . 7/25/2012
I like the way you use contrasting descriptions. This makes the images you create are very dramatic and vibrant, e.g.
My skin is yellowing, the color of very weak tea; my blood is a rich, deep red.
However, I am not so keen on the chapter length- this does seem very short. This could just be my opinion though.
| this wild abyss chapter 4 . 6/19/2012
I think it was nice to finally meet Bapa, if only briefly. Farah has mentioned him a few times now, but it’s hard to get to know a character only through another character’s thoughts. So I liked that we got to hear him speak this time. It gave me more of a context to work with whenever he’s mentioned in the narrative. I’m still not sure what to make of him, though—at this point I’m conflicted, and I think maybe Farah is too. Maybe.
Your line “Today is one of those days when paper is only old wood and ink is starved of imagining.” Is so relatable to anyone who reads or writes. We all have that feeling at times. You express it so well, too. I love how you can convey that feeling.
| this wild abyss chapter 3 . 6/19/2012
I think you had a strong opening, which I liked after the strong closing of the last scene. The scientific note was great, especially in contrast with the students laughing and stuffing their hankies into their mouths. It’s a good way to start, I think, and carried the scene to the end.
It was nice that you got back to how you ended, with Farah’s father’s abuse of her mother. It was more understated in this, though, less bold. And I think that worked for you here because you were using Biology class as a way to discuss a difficult issue. By using that as a bridge you were able to keep the real issue in the subtext, so to speak. It was very present but less defined, more up to the reader’s imagination, I guess.
| this wild abyss chapter 2 . 6/14/2012
"The sun only tinges it a healthier color" [In the previous sentence there wasn't a clear noun that "it" would refer to.]
"she has more in her skin" [More what? Color? Again, there's no clear noun that this refers to.]
Again, I love how you focus so much on Farah's name. For me, a name is a name, but I love how Farah gives it depth and meaning, like a reflection of who she really is. It's how her friends perceive her, how she perceives herself. And the two perceptions don't seem to match up. Just by talking about her name for single paragraph, the narrator has revealed a lot of her own struggles and issues with herself. It's quite a cleverly done tactic and I think it has great effect.
"You will find me pockmarked and unveiled in sheets of diaries buried inside my mattress." [Love this image]
"What subjects have you chose to study?" [Edit: "chose" should be "chosen"]
While I love Farah's narrative voice, I think her erratic use of contractions somewhat interrupts the flow of the piece and gives an inconsistent feel. Obviously, I realize that when speaking, a person will use contractions off and on. However, in one sentence Farah says "I shall" and in the next "wouldn't" and in the next "cannot". For me, that felt a little jarring, like you were struggling with how formal or informal to make her voice. I don't think either one is superior to the other, but it would be better if you did choose one and for the most part, stick with either contractions or not contractions.
I really liked the line toward the end: "Like pinpricks in my hands, I can endure them." because it refers back to the previous chapter. I love that sense of continuity and flow. So far, the style of this seems to be snapshots of Farah's life, which is awesome, but here you've connected two snapshots to give the piece an overall feeling of wholeness. It's really cool and well-done, in my opinion.
For myself, I am a little conflicted on the end of this chapter. I liked how shocking and different it was for the rest. It grabbed my attention right away. However, there was no real transition into that announcement, and it felt almost like you were throwing it out at the reader because you wanted to make an impression. It felt very abrupt and almost forced. Like it wasn't really fitting with the rest of the chapter. I don't know, it just didn't seem right for me.
Overall, though, I'm liking this a lot. I love the series of short, introspective scene tied loosely together. It gives the reader a great picture of Farah and who she is, how she lives her life. I don't think I've ever seen anything done quite like this before, and the overall effect is great.
| this wild abyss chapter 1 . 6/13/2012
Your description and word choice in this were excellent. I loved how she described her skin as being yellow like tea—I've never heard that comparison before and the metal image it gave me was excellent.
Additionally, your narrator has a lovely way of expressing herself. I liked it when she told the audience what her name was because it wasn't just "My name is Farah and this is my story" —it had personality and showed who she was, how she thought about her name. Very cool.
| OneOriginalThing chapter 1 . 6/13/2012
I like how it seems very orientel. Which is good, because that seems like what your going for. Now I am familiar with Arabic culture. So I am familiar with a lot of the oriental words, like how you said mom and dad. And what not. I like how you go about grazing over her fathers personality at how he doesn't like it when he catches her reading. And probably how she does it at night so it will be less Likely to catch her in the act. As well as. How you graze over her culture by showing her age and what is expected with her such as how she is supposed to be working on her needle work. Overall I liked this chapter a lot!
| ahorizonforthenewbirds chapter 1 . 5/28/2012
It's really interesting; new to me too because I've never read these themes before. I like the way you dive in with the beginning because it draws readers in easily. I also like how you compare their family to the family next door, it helps me get a clearer picture of them both in comparison. I would have liked a little more detail, and I have a question - why is the family playing cricket when it's past three?
| lookingwest chapter 2 . 5/23/2012
Biology, Physics and Chemistry. [I *think* there should be a comma after Physics, but then, they might go together as one too. I'm the opposite of a science know-how, xD]
I like Biology, tolerate Physics and hate... [Again, maybe should have a comma after "Physics" because I feel like it's a list of three things.]
Adored this chapter as much as the last. And honestly, slice of life kind of things are not always my favorite because of the way they're written-a lot of people do it dryly without any new innovations or touch of bright language, and for that reason, this story so far vastly exceeds most in the "Family/Drama" sections. Not only is the story itself original to me, because of the very good multi-cultural dynamics you have going here, but the language is superb. You managed to make a science lover someone who I also like, ha!
There were some beautiful sentences in this chapter. I loved the last line, and I actually liked the second to last one too, even though it was very violent, it contrasted well with the last. I liked how you characterized Farah by how Fatima calls her by Sithi, that showed a lot about her just through the dialogue and using that to your advantage. I think my favorite line in this piece was "A clever storyteller knows what to hide..." because it was so well said and so well placed. It just feels like you put a lot of thought into what you say in your writing and I really appreciate that thoughtfulness!
| lookingwest chapter 1 . 5/16/2012
Beautifully written, I loved this, you did a really great job per usual. I seriously enjoyed every paragraph, I can't even pick a favorite! *Maybe* the one about..."The drop of blood has now spilled..." or the one about "The man who used to come by...". But seriously, all of them are beautifully crafted. I like the fairy-tale element you've included into this about the color of blood red and everything, or at least that's kind of what I picked up, this concept of ancient stories and remembering them. I liked the cultural uniqueness of this story too, because it left me interested in placing the setting and time but it wasn't crucial to understand anything. The narrative voice was beautiful, so I also enjoyed and liked that for that wonderful reason. Very well done. Such a small snippet but the language carries so well!
| Dreamers-Requiem chapter 4 . 4/30/2012
As always, I love your use of imagery. It really brings the piece alive, and nothing feels overdone or too much. The characterisation remains interesting, and even in a chapter as short as this, the voice of your narrator does a great job of really drawing a reader in. Awesome stuff; as always, I eagerly look forward to more.
| Devil's Playground chapter 1 . 10/9/2011
I love the opening line. It's a really well done hook, immediately prompting several questions in the reader's mind - what she's doing, whether the 'pricking' is intentional or not, etc. Postponing that information until a few paragraphs later is also very effective.
The writing is really well done all throughout this. You have a very unique style here, and I think it's working really well for you. You have a lot of great lines with interesting bits of imagery, without ever dwelling on it for too long. I especially liked the line about the single drop of blood and how it looks like a rose, and the way you describe the laughter of her neighbors. The style is almost poetic, but at the same time very far from the "flowery" quality that usually comes with that style.
The characterization here is done in a really interesting and subtle way. I particularly liked the contrast between the neighbors and her family, and the use of their laughter as a way to compare them. The narrator doesn't seem too strongly defined yet, but there are hints of characterization peeking through, like in the line "Red as blood is, like in the stories Bapa would kill me for reading at night." Although I don't feel like I *know* the narrator yet, you do have little teasing bits of information that make me want to know more about her. Her comments about her family also made me really curious what those relationships are like.
I definitely enjoyed reading through this. Upon the first read-through I wasn't really sure what to make of it, but after reading through it a couple times I found that there was a lot more to it that I didn't catch initially. It's definitely a very intriguing story already, and I'm curious about where you intend to go with it. It's quite a teaser of a chapter, and the beautifully done writing left me wanting to read more!
| Stephanie M. Moore chapter 3 . 10/9/2011
This seems like a nice literary venture, but at this point in the story, there is no sense of purpose or direction. As a casual reader, there is little to motivate me to look at the next chapter. Likewise, the way your narrator is always removed from the situation doesn't help the reader to engage.
That being said, I do like the continuity you have developed, the way you develop her grandparents relationship. Also, I liked the nice lines about the storyteller.
It's beautiful writing- very descriptive and sort of whimsical. You have some unique phrasings and descriptions that really add color to the chapter. This is a very nice piece.
| megger chapter 1 . 8/12/2011
I really enjoyed the opening line. It was definitely an attention grabber and I totally thought that she was cutting herself or something.
I liked the little descriptions matched with Farah's narration which almost has a child-like tone to it. Weird considering she's sixteen, but maybe she's naive?
The piece is well-written, but I didn't really get a feel as to where it was going. It is interesting nonetheless.