|Reviews for Clan|
| Blubber Boner chapter 1 . 11/22/2012
SHE JUST NEEDS TO TAKE UP THE ASS AND END IT ALL.
ZOMG, DO SHE SPARKAL LIK EDWARDZ? IF NOT SHEZ SUKS WALRUZ TITTAHS.
DERP DERP DERP DERP DERP
| Rogue Energizer Bunny chapter 2 . 8/10/2012
Review return, HUZZAH.
I'm nekkid right now.
Well, I like how this is about vampires, but it isn't in-your-face about it. Your summary isn't all LAWLS VAMPS LAAAWLS or anything like that. It doesn't seem like the vampires are the whole point of this story.
I find the "old one" thing to be interesting. So the older they are, the more authority they have? I'm also interested in how the society became accepting of vampires.
I think the reactions reactions to Ava are a little off. [He said her name with reverence] and all that. I guess it's because she's old, and got turned by "Seth", but I don't know that it works. The readers won't be in awe of her because of that, so it's hard to take the reactions seriously.
| sophiesix chapter 5 . 6/20/2012
ooh, the plot thickens further!
“She landed neatly beside him, as if it was only a step down.” Don’t need the second clause. Neater without :)
“He had learned to read Ava's slight facial tells, the few that she gave.” This is understandable and fitting from Ava, but it would be good to have the others contrast this more?
“Without any primitive she began” pre empting?
“and she loved this clan,” I haven’t felt that strongly enough, i don't think, so this falls a little flat for me. i know she really wants a clan, i felt that strongly, but not her attachment to this clan in particular, per se? if i felt that more strongly, then this will work really though. The challenge is a great technique to keep ava in and conflicted.
“To do such a thing at such a vital time would likely doom the clan through demoralization” Again, I need to feel more strongly that she cares about them before this, so that this makes a strong impact and is reason enough for her decision to be forced?
“She saw Josh raise an eyebrow, and grinned. "I scared her off." But if she’s wanting them to expect an easy win, she should hide her powers as much as possible? or maybe seh can't somehow? anyhow i like this humour from her, its good rounding for her character.
“They were in the basement practicing.” i found that to be a clunky transition, particularly since you've had some lovely ones before - haha you set the bar high. still, better a clunky transition than none at all ;).
I like how you introduce teh judges at teh end, it was a good in context way of rounding out their world a little more. i'm not too worried about Ava's fight, unless they cheat somehow, but i'm very worried about teh rest of them! good work there!
| sophiesix chapter 2 . 6/20/2012
This is a very nice introduction to Ava and Josh - good to see them right up front. I was going to ask for more description of the setting in general, but on reflection, I think what you have is probably enough – its not an important place to the main story and so needs to be as lightly sketched as possible which I hink you did nicely: giving us the sense of it without getting bogged down in too many details.
“She glanced over her shoulder at the old ghosts still haunting her.” Love that, but they don’t seem to feature again? Why does she see them only once? I miss them.
“..continued on to her destination” the way this is so vague makes me think she is travelling in some sort of void, like maybe she is travelling so fast that there is really no sense of place at all?
“He knew people were watching them now.” The change in pov wasn’t jarring, but its also not necessary. You can show this, and maintain the reader in Ava’s pov, getting a more continuous and deeper sense of her.
“before she quickly went into the bar” ‘quickly went’ you could potentially swap that for one verb that means the same? To me, that would be smoother and more powerful.
“She wandered for only a bit, and then went to the bar. Ava had money; she wasn't stupid, but this was her first time in one of the feed bars. She sat at the bar…” repetition of bar: you could potentially cut the last one, and maybe the first?
“Ava only paused a moment, wondering why, before she quickly went into the bar. She wandered for only a bit, (…) She was pulled from her wonderings by the bartender.” The different wonderings had me pause too. Try taking out the first?
“He had brown hair, and brown eyes. He was of thin muscular build, and she could tell he had charm.” It gives me an instant feel for him, so it works, but it also feels a little static? Especially the first sentence. I guess its that passive voice again?
“Ava looked at him closely. "I- I'm not sure," she told him.” To me, the last clause here is unnecessary, and could be dropped.
“she looked around, she saw…” I’m wondering why she notices this now, not when she’s wandering when she first arrives? If she went straight to the bar I’d understand, but I’d have thought she’d have seen this, otherwise?
“and spritzed with a little Sprite to thin it a bit, and make it light” love that detail. Love the details with the seat belts too.
A short description of the people lined up for sale would be good. Are they a mixed bag? Businessmen? Young and old? In uniforms? Hospital pj’s? sedated? Scared, elated, anxious?
“'I will leave before I bring destruction to his clan; no other clan will die for me.'/ Oh yes, she was an Old One.” This confused me a bit. Its separated from ava’s speech and italicized, as if someone else said or even thought/projected it? Bu tehn the following line makes me think it was Ava after all, because that line refers to her. Though again confusing because it’s a pov shift. They are great lines, just confusingly set :)
And of course I LOVE the ending. perfect detail, perfect voice, perfect timing X)
| sophiesix chapter 1 . 6/20/2012
Here's a couple more reviews to make up for the small number of WCC participants this month :)
Ok so the opening situation is powerful but the way it’s written could improve on that, make the reader feel it more. Consider cutting down on the ‘was’ sentences, or dilute them with others. For e.g. a bit of a sense of place? Or a few more details like that she examines her claws? Consider describing what she brought home a titch more – e.g. is it alive or dead when she abandons it? Overall it worked for me, but I’d like to see it hit home harder :D
Although, after reading the second chapter (ch 1), potentially a prologue isn’t really necessary, especially seeing as she explains her past about three times by ch 2/3, lol. Maybe save it for a backjacket blurb or pitch or something…? mm, either way, up to you :)
| sophiesix chapter 3 . 6/16/2012
Finally to this Clan I’ve heard about for so long! I’m excited!
Ava and Josh’s characters are, naturally, the stand outs for me. They complement each other nicely, and are both drawn with respect for their respective internal workings, values, motives, etc. Their dialogue feels natural and realistic. However the shift to josh’s pov for a single para midway through I found jarring, and also unnecessary. His words speak most of his feelings already. And/or he could apologise for them later to ava, and explain more, and/or have a larger section in his pov later where he can think back on this cringefully/heatedly or something? I actually didn’’t mind other one liner changes in pov as much as I thought I would: they didn’t jar too it was nice to get a taste of josh’s pov: I liked his emotiveness compared to ava’s restraint. I just didn’t like how it popped up for a kinda ranty para then disappeared.
I also found it strange that Ava, who cares for these people, doesn’t spend more time making sure they understand what threat they are putting themselves under by harbouring her. They agree very readily, and don’t sound particularly wise/strong or anything: if I cared about them I’d have wanted to be sure they understood/had thought it through. This is one of the things that makes me think that she doesn’t care for them as much as she professes to, which makes her prolonged connection to the clan in its time of need a little unconvincing to me.
Toby was a good foil and I love the anger he provokes, and that AVa restrains it- more good characterization for her. I do wonder whether her leniency will come back to bite them in the bum though- just because someone isn’t powerful doesn’t mean they aren’t dangerous.
Seth though – I get two different images of him. He is supposed to be respected for his code of conduct etc, yet when we first hear of him he’s not acting very honourabley, creating a new life form and then basically abandoning it. Consider adding a touch of his honour code to that memory, like does he apologise, or make sure she feels ok, or I dunno something? I mean, its good that he waits til she wakes and introduce her to the clan, but Ava seems to resent him for abandonning her, which send conflicting messages. Conflict is fine, so long as both sides are well defined and interdigitate logically.
Renee’s character I find pulls me two ways. I like her dialogue and her attitude, but I want to know the reason behind it too. How did she get to be in the position that she is? Why does she want to do it, considering it seems both voluntary, informed, and yet innocent. Its an interesting mix. I would think people that knew about vampires would not be very innocent, or else not very informed… but perhaps this world is a different one to that which I’m thinking of? Renee seems kind , or generous – is this her nature if so, consider showing it in other ways. If she’s just being generous for an ulterior motive, I’d like a clearer hint of that too. A seed :)
The others characters : Sarah, Megan, Chad, Glen, Linda, Robby, Tim, Kat, Selena, Paul, Sarah, Adam, and Tim, were too many, too quickly for me to get a handle on at once. Ava may be able to memorise them but I certainly couldn’t, and wondered why they were all spelled out like that for me if I wasn’t supposed to retain something of them Selena stood out because her name was memorable and the others seemed pretty average, lol. Which, in one way, they should be, but it just makes them hard to deal with altogether like that. Consider just saying that josh introduces the others, and whilst she tries to memorise them, toby stands out. Then let each one make their own characterisation one at a time as the story unfolds. For instance, they might not all have materialized when she gets back to kitchen: perhaps only three or four have. Then another few arrive, and they all go into the basement, or something? I did find it odd that they gathered and settled in the kitchen so close to dawn without something so length to talk about?
Though in general I liked the balance of dialogue, thought, emotion and description, I find ocasionally the writing could be trimmed or tightened a little. For e.g. “Ava returned to the kitchen with the dishes. She entered the room,…” the first sentence implies that she enters the room, so the first part of the second sentences isn’t really needed. Conversely, occasionally I wanted a tad more description, or more telling detail rather than a summarised tell? Eg. “The place looked marvelous inside. Fully refurbished, and very clean, the room made a welcoming and warm impression.” Consider painting the picture for us a little. Refurbished can mean quite a few things: for e.g. Polished floors? Sleek grey carpet? Turkish rugs? Is the overall effect like a man’s study of a women’s sitting room…?
A couple of plot points I struggled with:
“Ava has avoided humanity and her own kind for the better part of the last…” this I’m still wondering about. Has she been in another dimension or just in woop woop somewhere? What has she been eating for so long, if not people, or else why hasn’t she run amok of another clan’s hunting rights? It said in an earlier chapter she followed the rumours, so she must have been eavesdropping on someone, if not talking to them: I wonder why her eavesdropping hasn’t picked up things like ‘cell’ before?
Her blood is poison yet she let a fellow vampire drink it? Does josh not find this odd? Its fine for it only to be poisonous when she’s angry, for example, but still I’d expect josh to be curious and want to confirm when it was safe and when not, or something? The poison, and the family, are great hooks, and I’m wondering about introducing them or at least hinting pretty firmly about them earlier. I guess it depends on the overall pace and length of the book as the how you want to space it. But from what I’ve read there, there are three or four hooks: finding a clan (seems this has been fairly well sorted, well, as much as ava will ever be comfortable with it), so I’m deeming this a smaller story arc. It was a good one because it drew us in, but we can’t rely on that to draw us onwards. What happened to her old clans – I’m guessing these are long term, answered by the end of the story type things, so again, not for the middle term. The relationship with josh has potential too, though at this stage neither seem to be hoping for much more from it, so it’s a tug rather than a hook. So by introducing the family and/or poison as early as you can realistically do it, you really grab the reader it while they are still wondering about earlier hooks - that should then carry them through to some of the later hooks like the challenge and its repercussions.
Overall, I’ve really enjoyed this. It plays a good line between the familiar love world of vampires and fresh characters and situtions. I look forward to seeing its conclusion!
| xlucretiax chapter 5 . 11/11/2011
Interesting story... Update soon!
| lookingwest chapter 2 . 8/28/2011
Not going to lie, in those first one and a half paragraphs I totally thought we where in the middle ages or wandering through a forest of some sort, especially with the evoking words of "clan" mixed with the opening prologue, haha! But that isn't bad I just thought I'd let you know my observation, XD.
Once we're introduced that Ava is a vampire, I also think that's pretty cool, because I wasn't expecting that at all from the prologue or the opening in the first paragraph. I'm surprised at her sadness and her wandering if she knows there are others like her, and this keeps me reading, so I really like how you introduced that mystery right away. The bar definitely had an opening of True Blood Fangastia style ideas, though, if you don't watch that show already I would recommend it (or read the series) just to get some more ideas for the like-minded setting.
Loved the description of the virgin blood with Sprite, great moment.
A few times, her own kind had approached her. [Style: Would omit the "had"]
"Josh." he replied. "You?" [Edit: Comma instead of period after "Josh"]
I guess, while I'm reading, there's a little bit of un-clearness on whether or not Josh is a vampire, and the man who opens the door. You rate them on how pure they are-at first I thought Josh was human, now I'm thinking vampire but I'm still a bit on the ropes due to the Scotch reference. I think it's still unclear whether or not your vampires can eat or drink real food, but I suppose if Ava could drink Sprite in her blood, then that probably gives us a bit of boundaries for starters, so I like how you included that. Also, I'm sure all this will be completely cleared up as I continue with the chapter...probably in like the next sentence, XD, but I just thought I'd mention my first impressions as I read : )
Very cool moment with the memory switch thing, I like what you're constructing with your vampires. It's so very difficult to do things original these days and I'm really enjoying your take on them, you're totally presenting me with some new ideas and I love that! But huh, weird, so the first Clan just disappeared and the second was killed-and she thinks she's cursed? I thought there would be a bit more clan-killing involved in that, I mean, perhaps the first Clan just wandered off in the span of the time she was gone...I think you should specify how long she left, she she considers, waiting a "long" time, six years, then what is her measure of wanting some "alone time"?
Also, I think it's cool you're revealing so much about Ava right off the bat, you don't see that a lot with Supe fiction, or with vampire characters for mains, I feel like a lot of writers like to keep things totally secret and draw it out forever, but using a new tactic to just show us Ava's age and her background, even her Sire, is kind of cool, I respect it, and I wonder what her mysteries will be, if by the end she even has any.
"Is there one you like?" He repeated more forcefully. [Edit: un-capitalize "he" before "repeated"]
"I ask that you do, and in return, come home with me." Josh said, flashing his winning smile. [Edit: needs a comma after "me" instead of a period, if it's hard for you to notice when it's appropriate for a comma or period, here's something that might help if you look at it this way:
What you have is two separate sentences. "I ask that you do..." and "Josh said..." If you think about it, the second sentence starting with "Josh said..." wouldn't make sense all by itself. It needs the dialogue to support it, and make it make sense. So therefore, it needs a comma. If you already know the drill and this is just a typo, I'm sorry T_T Just trying to help!]
I found it a bit odd that you suddenly went into the third person omniscient point of view. That's a view seldom used and since we haven't explored Josh's head yet, I'm wondering why all of the sudden we get to explore the older man's. If it comes naturally, I would almost suggest sticking to third person limited omniscient, since that's kind of what it's been like so far all the way up to the shift.
Good ending, I like the twist that Josh asks her to come to his clan, that was cool. I think that's going to provide the fun and mystery I was wondering about. I'd also like to know how she's so unable to deal with technology-she really must have been living under a rock by this point, or somewhere, at least, I'd be interested to see where she was or what kind of state she was in to not notice the things around her like that. But anyway, so! I really like Josh so far, that's cool, and I look forward to learning more about the girl she chose, maybe, and I'm wondering how that will work out. Annnd yeah, there's a lot left un-turned which is great. This was a fun opening and I look forward to reading more!
| lookingwest chapter 1 . 8/28/2011
(Going to review both this and Ch. 2 but I thought I'd give my first few thoughts here)
She was wandering alone again.
For an opening line, I kinnnd of want it to be without the "again". This is problematic as stylistically I would usually recommend getting rid of the "again" for the mere fact it repeats something that's already happening. But that's not really the case here because it is indeed the first sentence, which is why I'm conflicted. But then I'm not sure how much you lose of understanding by taking the "again" out, since it is later implied that she goes out to hunt for the clan regularly. I just really like the stark bold sentence opening of "She was wandering alone", but you could even amp it up further with, "She wandered alone." And use the verb to hit home.
At the same time, I would really for sure with this one, get rid of the "alone" in the last line:
She was alone again, and she feared she always would be.
This is that instance where "again" is already implied because she's alone in the beginning, so you kind of repeat what already is apparent by using it (something pointed out to me by a professor of mine). This is all totally fine-tuning stuff, so totally do whatever is your call with it!
I absolutely love your opening images and everything I just rambled about is entirely optional and just suggestions. The trauma of this opening is also apparent and I like how you do fill in some of the detail like leaving the food behind. I liked the small snippets of imagery with the carnage and I think you definitely give us a lot of intrigue to go further.
| Dr. Self Destruct chapter 2 . 8/12/2011
First off I wanna say I really enjoyed the idea behind the whole vampire bar. At first I thought it was going to be somewhere they went to get some drinks out of glasses or whatnot, but once I read they were feeding off of humans I thought that made it ten times better. The image itself made me cringe, and I thought it was cool how Ava regarded the humans as whores (which, in a literal sense, I suppose they are).
Ava sounds like a pretty powerful protagonist, especially consider she's what they call an 'Old One'. I like how she isn't too stubbornly arrogant, yet has a firm tone to her voice. And the way she regards the other vampires around her is entertaining, because I get the feeling she doesn't just THINK she's better than them, but she KNOWS she is. Nothing wrong with a little confidence, especially when you're a woman surrounded by blood-thirsty men, eh? ;)
[A few times, her own kind had approached her. After realizing she was an 'Old One', they offered to let her feed on them, but even in them she could smell the filth.]
I noticed at the beginning of this paragraph that her proceedings in the bar start to become told instead of shown. I would have really liked if you elaborated on this part, perhaps show us a few snippets of the conversations she held with some of the other vampires - I think it opens the doorway to plenty of great character development opportunities through dialogue and repulsed reactions to her fellow vampires. Just a suggest, of course. If you do elaborate a bit more on this subject, the chapter will obviously become quite long... but there's always the option of cutting it into two if that problem ever arises.
I did notice you have a tendency to over use commas. Let me see if I can find you an example:
[Ava smiled at that, and found it comforting.]
In this sentence the comma before 'and' is incorrect because the independent clause after it (found it comforting) cannot stand on its own and make sense. Generally you only want to put a comma before a conjunction (and, for, or, yet, ect.) if the sentences it is linking can stand on their own (have a subject/predicate and express a complete thought). In this situation, "Ava smile at that and found it comforting." would be correct.
[Ava watched, and fell in step next to him.]
Same with this example. "fell in step next to him" cannot stand on its own (it lacks a noun (subject)) so omitting the comma would be correct in this sense. Also, if you tire of using the word 'and', I've found it fun to replace it with a comma, but then you need to change the tenses of the following verbs. For exmaple:
"Ava watched, falling in step next to him."
Comma usage isn't a huge deal, but when used certain ways, it can create a flow/tempo very unique to the author. Also keep in mind when you use a comma in your narrative it's pretty much a stop sign telling the reader to pause in the midst of a sentence. I personally take out a lot of my introductory commas to keep things moving at a fast pace, but again, it's all a matter of preference and style. I'm really enjoying your style right now; aside from a few extra commas, I think things flow very nicely. :)
Haha, I like how she's never been in a car before. It shows us she's been out of touch with society for a very long time. I also enjoy how you refer to the belt as a 'belt thing' because, again, since we're experiencing this from Ava's POV it would only make sense for the narrative to refer to it as such. Good job with keeping the integrity of her POV throughout the chapter. I always had trouble doing that when I wrote in third person.
I also enjoy how Ava tends to smell everyone she encounters, judging them on the purity of their blood. I know that's a strange thing to say, but it help illustrate the mannerisms of a vampire.
I find it interesting how the people almost want to be feed from. It's a unique way to approach the situation; I like it.
Overall, I think you have a solid first chapter and some interesting characters. Best of luck in your future endeavors! :)
| moonwingmedia chapter 2 . 7/27/2011
This is a fun premise, though the vampire romance has been a bit overplayed as of late. Did you notice that Josh is the only thing you actually took the time to describe in the entire story? We have no indication of what the other characters look like and you didn't take any time to describe any significant details about any settings. I'm not in your head. I can't see what you see unless you describe it to me. I want the little details that bring each scene to life. The most interesting part of this whole story so far are the humans that "whore" themselves out. I want to know why they do this. You can explain so much just in this bar scene about this world.
I think this story would be more engaging from a first person perspective. Since we are already in your main character's head anyway, I would tell it though her eyes. This would also help to make the foreshadowed romance come alive a bit more. Remember though, vampire romances are a dime a dozen these days, so take caution that you're not just hashing out another Twilight/Tru Blood/Vampire Diaries/etc. There are enough copies out there and not having something fresh to add is going to make your story lost in a sea of monotony.
You need to either turn your prologue into a full chapter or just scrap it. That one paragraph tells me absolutely nothing. Honestly, until I got a quarter of the way into your full chapter, I thought this was about werewolves. The prologue was like reading your notes on what you want to happen in a scene, not the scene itself.
All in all, good ideas so far, but it needs work. It needs more details (characters and settings), more insight into the world and, most of all, something to make it different from the rest of the herd.