|Reviews for Meet Me at the Altar|
| Lara Bykirk chapter 4 . 9/23/2011
This chapter felt a little slow to me. The first three chapters were also not heavy on plot, but that was all right, because the character building was so strong. This chapter, on the other hand, felt a bit unnecessary. Seeing Nora and Tristan meet Skip and have breakfast didn't really tell me more about them than I already knew. If I were you, I would either give them something important to talk about over breakfast-maybe Tristan tries to ask Nora seriously about what happened the night before, and she ducks out of the conversation in some revealing way?-or fold this chapter into the next chapter.
I'm interested in where you're going to go with the engaged couple Nora's going to work for. There's something big lurking there, I'm guessing. My only concern is that Ms Saunders is too evil, and Mr Simmons is too nice. I don't think this warning is really necessary, because you've done such a great job of creating interesting, complex characters so far in this story, but be careful to develop both of those two in complicated ways when we see more of them-if nothing else, to explain what they saw in each other in the first place.
| Lara Bykirk chapter 3 . 9/22/2011
Another good, solid chapter-I'm liking Nora more and more. I like the dynamic you've set up with her not being willing to go too far people she's just met, but feeling like this dooms her to singleness. I do have to wonder, though-if she feels so lonely, why hasn't she tried ways of meeting people other than clubs where she isn't comfortable? Are all of her friends as big partiers as Tristan? Has she had a string of relationships that did turn out really badly? Why is it that the only time that she can admit to herself that she wants a relationship is when she's completely drunk? You've captured Nora's character so well-now I just want to have a bit more motivation for why she is like she is.
| Lara Bykirk chapter 2 . 9/21/2011
I have a compliment, a request, and a suggestion. My compliment: your characters are wonderfully likable, and their friendship is really convincing. It's refreshing to see a male-female friendship that I'm almost totally sure will never turn into anything more, and that I don't want to turn into anything more. It's impressive that you've been able to do that in such a short space.
My request: I think you're wise not to have done this yet, but at some point I'd like to know why Tristan and Nora are such good friends. On the surface, they don't seem to have all that much in common-I mean, a blind playboy and an introverted photographer? Given that they grew up together, why are they still so close? Plenty of people have best friends growing up who they never talk to after high school. I'm glad you put us in the middle of their relationship first, but at some point soon I'd like to know.
My suggestion: you could be a bit more subtle at a few points. The sentence that really stuck out to me was "I don't even like seeking out love and relationships." Would even the most introverted person actually say this? Isn't Nora a little queasy about having this conversation-defensive, maybe? Your dialogue isn't bad, but it would seem more lifelike if your characters weren't so frank with each other (or with themselves), and instead talked about one thing while meaning another.
| Dr. Self Destruct chapter 5 . 9/21/2011
I like how Nora looks at her camera almost like it's her child. I think it's a good way to reflect on her profession, and it shows how important her photography is to her. I thought her reaction when Liam mentioned photography not being a practical job was funny as well, because her reaction makes me think she might be thinking the same thing deep down inside, and regretting how she relies so heavily on people like this to pay her rent/other expenses.
I'm not really sure I like this chapter so much; it didn't serve very well in keeping my interest. So far this story has been listed as romance, but I don't see any romantic interests popping up yet, and I think it's slowing down the pace of the story. Unless Nora is going to find a love interest in Liam? But even then, they hardly know each other... if anything is going to emerge, I don't see how it's going to happen very soon. Especially considering the man is about to get married to a woman he's known for, what, I think he said nine years?
Just a random thought.
Here's some typos. I noticed quite a few in your dialogue, so you should go back through and fix them because they can be quite distracting while reading:
[I was calling you to remind going to visit the church that you are planning to hold your wedding."]
Edit: Missing a few words in the brackets.
["Afternoon Mr. Simmons" Nora greeted[,]]
Edit: Missing a comma in the first bracket and the second bracket needs to be a period.
| Lara Bykirk chapter 1 . 9/21/2011
I disagree with your author's note: I don't think that this chapter is too slow-moving at all. I was glad that I got to see Nora in a couple of different kinds of interactions, casual and professional alike. I must say, though, that the standout character for me is Tristan. I like his sense of humor and his easy friendship with Nora-and I thought you did a really great job of portraying a blind character. One of my best friends is blind, and I always cringe a little when I come across a blind character in a book or movie, because there are usually so many jarring mistakes-but Tristan is great.
My one quibble with your story is that the two halves-the conversation with Tristan and the meeting at Nora's office-seem a little episodic. Could you integrate them a bit more? Even having Nora think about the meeting more explicitly beforehand would help-although I'm sure you could find a way to have her do this that's less clunky than "Nora worried about the meeting she had later that day". That would help this chapter hang together as a unit a bit better, and I think it would make the pacing even smoother.
| J.Szewczuk chapter 1 . 9/21/2011
Great opening. The way you described the little girl I was reminded of toddlers and tiaras... which I actually despise, but that's besides the point.
I really liked how you didn't just say Tristan was blind, but rather gave hints that let the reader figure it out for him/herself.
| lookingwest chapter 6 . 9/20/2011
Other/Setting- I liked that we went to Nora's family and the setting of the supper. I thought you used the new setting to convey more about her character, but would have liked to have seen more description of the setting and home itself, as this chapter was very dialogue-driven.
Relationship- I like in this chapter that we learn more about Nora's relationship with her family. I liked that you mentioned how she was closer with her father.
Characters- I liked the character of Nora's father and the moment when he offered her money. I thought that was a great way to show and not tell the readers how generous he is.
"We're fine, her mom reassured her... [Edit: Just a typo, I think, this needs to have a end quotation after "fine".]
"...you love sweetie," He patted her on the back, "Just.." [Edit: "He" needs to be un-capitalized.]
"...since you were 17. ..." [Style: Per rule of thumb for creative writing, unless you want the number itself to stylistically have something to do with the visual look of the story (like someone would use in poetry, etc) then most numbers under one hundred should always be spelled out. This happens a lot in this chapter with "20, 22 and 24".]
"...is coming up huh?" [Edit: comma after "up"]
"This is the boy's number, "I believe his name is Jackson." [Edit: Typo, get rid of the second quotation before "I".]
"Give him a call ok?" [Edit: Okay is spelled wrong.]
"Are you sure everything is going ok, darling?" [Edit: Okay is spelled wrong.]
Along the same lines that I mentioned in the last chapter, you call Nora's father/mother "Mom, mother, Papa, father, Dad, and Mom" throughout this chapter-pick one for the narrative and pick one for the dialogue, and keep it consistent.
| lookingwest chapter 5 . 9/20/2011
Enjoyment- My favorite part of this story is that Tristan is blind, seriously, just because it's the only thing in this story that makes it feel like it hasn't been told before, for me, and it sets it apart from all the other romantic wedding planner-esque plots. Otherwise my biggest not-enjoyment is that I fear it can border on the cliche, or is telling a story that's been told so many times in the past, the balance of career and pleasure, the balance of friend and romance.
Pace- Overall I think the story is moving a bit slow. Chapter by chapter I think you do a good job staying consistent with what's going on, balancing action and dialogue.
Plot- Again, something that I'm not entirely sold on just because I want a more unique premise. I do like that you've worked in Nora's professional life with her personal life and how you use that to progress aspects of the story and plot.
The great thing about being your own boss... [Style: Because your story is written in third person, it's ideally best to never use "you" because that's reserved more for first person narratives, writers are encouraged to use "one" instead, but that's more stylistic than anything. I think you can get away with it more as this is a creative work too, but just bringing it up to keep in mind.]
"Afternoon Mr. Simmons" Nora greeted... [Edit: The dialogue needs a comma after "Simmons" for correct grammar use to flow with the speaker tag.]
"...to you earlier" he apologized. [Edit: Same issue as above, this needs a period after "earlier" for use of correct grammar when formatting dialogue and speaker tag flow.]
"...here I am giving you a class" [Edit: This needs a period after "class" because it's the end of a sentence, this might be just a typo, not sure.]
...space for a tripod, [Edit: I'm not sure about the end of this, or what you mean, for it to be with the dialogue in the next paragraph or not. Could be another typo, but I would actually end it with a period and then start the dialogue where you have it. So leave as is and just put a period, and it will work great, because Nora is doing the action, and then Liam is speaking the dialogue, so you want to keep those two things separate.]
"...when she picked you huh?" [Edit: comma needs to be after 'you']
Another thing with this chapter, within the narrative, you need to pick one. Mr. Simmons, or Liam. You call him both and it can get confusing, at first I thought maybe she was talking to his father who met her at the church but then it turned out to be Liam and you call him both throughout so even though I got who you were talking about, it can throw a reader off, and I think its best stylistically to stick with one name in the narrative. Another example would be if your character had a nickname, you would call them the nickname in the dialogue, but not in the narrative. So there was tension there on formality of just what Nora sees him as: something formal, or something less so.
| lookingwest chapter 4 . 9/20/2011
Scene- I had problems following where your characters were at in this chapter. They start in Nora's house and then they are walking to her car and then all of the sudden they're getting in? I think the biggest problem I had with following it is because you combine the description of the setting change and scene with the dialogue. For instance:
"Ok," Tristan agreed following her out the door. Nora locked the door and hopped down a few steps. She winced, feeling like her brain was rattling in her skull.
That should have "Nora locked" etc. in its own new paragraph because not only do you change action from the dialogue and Tristan following her out the door, but you also change characters. I started to lost where thing were, and then when they start walking you don't describe the walk at all, you just have Tristan describe his phone and then he talks with Aria and all of the sudden Nora's getting in her car and telling him to get in-that got lost above all other things, it's completely drowned out by Tristan's conversation. So yeah, just think you could add a bit more into these scenes as far as detail of where the two of them are going.
Relationship- I think the big selling/pivotal point of this story is the relationship between Tristan and Nora, and I like what you've done with it. I like this chapter in particular because it shows how Nora reacts to Tristan talking with Aria and the dynamics between the two of them.
Writing- I found the paragraph describing the braille phone kind of tended to ramble on, you make the point that he has an ordinary phone and then sort of just repeat how mundane his phone is for awhile before concluding that it has voice recognition like all other phones. That being said, I did like that you were able to work in details about Tristan's disability, I mentioned in my last review that I thought he was so far a bit mundane but I think you're able to subtly put things that make him different in the text, especially about him being unable to see.
"Ok, let's go." [Edit: Okay is spelled wrong, it should either be "Okay" or if you use just the two letters, they should be capitalized as "OK".]
"Ok," ... [Same as above]
"...Saturday night ok with you?" [Same as above]
"Denny's sound good?" She asked. [Edit: another example where the dialogue reads as two separate sentences in relation to the speaker tag. "Denny's sound good?" and "She asked.", so it chops it up. Un-capitalize "She" to help the flow grammatically and stylistically.]
| lookingwest chapter 1 . 9/20/2011
Opening- I found the opening as mundane as the idea of taking pictures over and over. I wanted more to catch my interest with the characters or at least some sort of actin to draw me in right away.
Characters- I liked the character of Nora because I think you created her as a relatable character. I like Tristan's name because you don't see it very often in modern times, as far as his character though there's not really out of the ordinary that's caught me about him.
Dialogue- I didn't like that a lot of your speaker tags were formatted wrong in respects to the dialogue because it made the dialogue seem unnatural. You also don't format it correctly so that each paragraph is a new speaker-and that was hard to follow too, for instance, both Nora and Tristan speak in the same paragraph, I would have liked to have seen a little more care in the way you edit, since this is the first chapter and your first impression for the reader. The content of the dialogue was natural, but the way they said it at most times didn't make sense or was out of whack-and especially choppy. Remember that the speaker tag should always flow with the dialogue, never read as a seperate sentence, you did that a lot.
At least for this year, Nora thought as she began packing up her equipment. [Style: Italicize her inner thoughts so it signals that to the reader, then it clarifies.]
"Nor?" He called out cautiously... [Edit: Un-capitalize "He" because it's part of the dialogue as a speaker tag. In this instance it could read as a separate sentence but I don't think you want it to, I think you mean for it to flow with "Nor?" so it needs to be formatted as such.]
"How was your family?" She asked him, "I was going to come over and visit after I finished taking these school portraits. [Edit: Okay, so how you have this here, she's "asking" the second dialogue sentence...but that isn't a question. So you need to format it differently so that it reads with the first line of dialogue instead of the second. "How was your family?" she asked him. "I was going to..." ...un-capitalize "she" and attach it with the first question sentence, otherwise it doesn't make any sense.]
"Mr. Simmons, but Liam is just fine." He told her. [Example of choppy dialogue/speaker tag, should not read as two sentences.]
"That's fine too." He said... [Same as above, etc.]
| Deedee Elle chapter 3 . 9/20/2011
I found this chapter to start quite slowly, with the time spent in the queue and describing Nora;s dress being cold so it felt like it took a bit of time to get going.
The description of the dancefloor is good, especially the use of smells to evoke the atmosphere.
I really like Nora's response to Nick's chat up line. Very cleverly done because what you had him saying was quite cheesy but to then immediately show the reader that you meant that was a nice touch.
I find it a bit odd that she'd grind against him but not give him a quick kiss as that seems much more of an intimate thing to do with a stranger.
Drunk Nora was funny and Tristan is such a nice guy. Their relationship seems very natural.
| thefaultinourpatronus chapter 6 . 9/19/2011
I really liked the bit with Nora's mom and dad - it was nice reading about her a little more and getting to know her a bit. Her mom is a real laugh, with all the trying to hook her daughter up with every single guy available. In that aspect, you've got yourself a point for realism!
It's sad that she's constantly pressured to get married, what with her mother always reminding her. At least Nora isn't those scared-of-love types. She WANTS to fall in love and such, it's just not happening. i like how someone in a similar situation would be able to relate with how Nora feels - it's a common feeling.
| thefaultinourpatronus chapter 5 . 9/19/2011
I'm liking this Liam character! It's good that they've developed a conflict - makes room for some tension between Nora and Tristan? Or maybe that's just the wishful romantic in me ;) I did like the two of them talking; this line in particular made me wonder what you've got in store for the rest of the story.
"I'm glad you think so," Nora said, a smile on her face, but she quickly put herself in check.
The chapter seemingly did nothing for the plot, but hey, everybody's gotta have those filler chapters, right?
You keep switching between Liam and ; it was kind of confusing and I'm not sure if maybe you should stick to one so that it's clearer to read?
| Simsted chapter 1 . 9/18/2011
This is really good. I'm usually more of a fantasy story type of girl but I really like this. The story flows well and the characters are relatable. I really like Nora, she seems like a relatable, average type of girl. The only thing was that the chapter was so long (you already know this though) i found my attention waning a little. BUT otherwise it's a well-written chapter and I look forward to reading more.
| thefaultinourpatronus chapter 4 . 9/18/2011
Definitely liked this chapter, because of Tristan. One, I enjoyed how you portrayed him as sort of a normal person, despite his disability. His stubbornness is realistic, especially the bit about the phone.
I like that bit you said about Tristan being bored, but not wanting to say anything out loud because he was her friend and had to respect her livelihood and all. Characteristic of a true friend, and it's good to see their relationship going somewhere.
The insight on Nora's sixth sense at the end was also interesting; it's funny how she can pick up on the little things in other people's relationships, yet can't seem to do the same to her own! :)