Reviews for Underground Secrecy
taerkitty chapter 1 . 1/9/2012
(part 1, as I seem to have gone over FP's review size limit)

Summary: Slavery is still very popular, all the work of a secret organization, UPS, or Underground Program of Slavery. Mikki, a well behaved slave, get's sold to a normal, strict master. But he has another slave, a boy, who she falls head-over-heels for.

Pro: It gets right to the point - "This story's about romanticized slavery. If you don't like it, go elsewhere."

Con: It's about slavery, so it will twig out some people. Hopefully, they're mature enough to go elsewhere if they don't like the topic. Unfortunately, I fear some may want to enter into a diatribe against it.

All in all, it's a decent summary (based soley on what I read here.) It's straightforward and clear, though I have a few nits:

- The name of the organization isn't relevant unless you're trying to imply that Mr. Brown has other issues in mind besides delivering packages.

- Ending the sentence with a preposition, which may be a bete noir for some. The original rule was because that lended itself to weak writing and opened the potential for mis-apprehension. However, these goals have been lost by people repeating 'you don't end a sentence with a preposition' only because their English 101 teacher docked point for that.

- "get's" isn't correct. That's either a possessive form, "belonging to the get" (which is an alternate spelling for a UK-ism for 'bastard', if memory serves), or a contraction for "get is". Without the apostrophe, it works.

- "Who/whom" - I'll be honest; I didn't do very well in English 101. Not sure if 'whom' is correct, but it sounds better.

"The clicking of high heels are heard all through-out the fancy, marble hallway. Swift rushing noises fill my ears and voices of hurry blur together, making them unreadable."

So-so opening overall. We're not sure if the heel sounds are from the MC, or someone else.

"Fancy, marble" has a stray comma. A comma is a significant pause, if we were saying the line.

"...fill my ears and voices of hurry". I think this would work better as two separate sentences.

Still, it gives us the setting, an opulent mansion. It gives us the MC, a first person voice.

"My long, luscious, flow dress just barely drags behind me. The purple velvet is remotely comfortable against my bruised flesh, but nothing helps when your skin is sore and sensitive."

I think it's better if it was "flowing" instead of "flow dress." "Remotely comfortable" sounds off - I only hear it in the negative sense: "not even remotely comfortable." Perhaps "bearable"?

"A rough, scratchy voice pierces the sound of commotion like a knife."

Lose the cliche'. It distracts the reader. Or change it to something different, more novel.

"Like the crack of a singletail."

"A muscular man dressed in a black suit helps fix the already perfect line into what is considered "Perfection"."

While this is probably a matter of style, fixing something already perfect into "Perfection" seems self-contradictory. Again, this distracts the reader: "how can you fix something that is already perfect?"

"...with the person infront of me, who happens to have short red-orange hair"

The digression from what the MC does, to a narrative of what she sees is jarring.

"With the person in front of me. I make sure all I can see is her - her fiery red hair, her almost-matching red dress.

"...and hides her black pumps."

if it hides them, then the MC can't see them.

"We all wear high heels, pumps. I can't seem them beneath her dress, but I can imagine them. It's a sharp contrast, one that I'm sure many will find striking."

"I don't move a muscle, I barely breath,"

Again, cliche. This time, I'm pretty sure the comma is a run-on sentence. "I don't move a muscle, not even to breathe" may work. Your call. BTW, it's "breathE", the verb, not "breath", the noun.

"If I'm not, I get pulled out of line and punished."

This kind of breaks the headspace. She's trying very hard to be 'right', so stray thoughts like this are unwise. Of course, this is the whole point of the digression. What is needed here is a tie-in, a transition.

"...he wants me to be: a blank canvas, ready to accept whatever he imposes on me. There were times when I wasn't this way. There were times when I resisted. There were times I was pulled out of line and punished. I suppress a shudder at these unbidden memories. We're not supposed to be thinking of anything when whe're in line like this."

"It's some pretty tough rules, but I'm used to them."

Ugh. This dehumanizes the MC in my eyes. At least explain that she's used to them *now*, so the reader can feel some sort of bond with who she once was. If she starts out alien, accepting and pliant, the reader may fantasize about having her, but that's objectifying her. A point of writing a first-person story is to have the reader project hirself into the MC, and for that to happen, the MC has to be sympathetic and somehow 'normal'.

A person's feedom, illusionary or otherwise, is a key part of hir identity. To start with the MC having yielded that, and not making mention of it, risks alienating readers.

"He glances at me through the corner of his eye, but pays me no attention."

While I know is is written to appear stream-of-consciousness, this seems pointless. An SoC narrative isn't the same as writing SoC. All good writing is planned, scripted, and edited, unless you're good enough to be able to cough up a story on demand. The trick here is to make sure all events, even seemingly random ones, to have some purpose.

"but far past my possible range of sight."

This is similar to the black shoes above - if it's out of sight, it's usually out of mind. At most, you can recount the MC trying to see, but failing. This is the old saw of "show, don't tell."

"Without moving my head, I try to see who he was signaling, but to no avail."

"I keep starring straight forward, as still as a brick."

"Starring" is for movies. "Staring" is looking. "Still as a brick" is cliched.

"She's had eight masters in the past, "

This could be overthinking it, but eight masters by the age of 17 seems rather high in turnover.

"The prices vary from 1000, the starting price, all the way up to 3200. Which ends up being the winning price."

I'd not use 'vary'. That implies it's pseudo-random, some higher, some lower. "Escalate" perhaps? Also, the second sentence is a fragment.

"Sold!" Says the same raspy man's voice. The light tapping of, what I'm guessing to be her shoes, is heard as she walks over to her new Master.

"My feet would normally be sore, but I have gotten used to the constant standing."

This is similar to the 'out of sight' thing above - if she's used to it, she'd not be thinking of it. One usually doesn't think of what one is "used to" without provocation - "I'm glad I'm used to it", or "I remember when I wasn't used to it", or something else.

"It's one of the advantages of having the life I have."

Again, while she may be accepting, and perhaps even happy in her current life, it may be better if she gives the reader a 'handle' on how she was, before she found her peace.

"I watch the girl infront of me be dragged up onto a fairly high stage by a woman in her early twenties."

"Infront" is two words. It may be good to try to 'project' stories onto these sideline characters. Either she can think about her time with the girl about to be sold, or she can look at the 'herder' and wonder/assume how she came to this position. Perhaps she was the senior girl for the organizer? Or perhaps a slaver herself, one in training?

Descriptions of clothing may also help. We have the dress, the heels for the slaves to be sold. What about those running the show? Are they in "Hollywood slavekeeper gear" - the men with studded/spiked belts criss-crossing their bare, sculpted, and oiled torsos? The women in dominatrix thigh-high boots and pesudo-Nazi chic?

On that note, are the slaves restrained? Collared (which seems symbolic)? Perhaps 'home confinement' anklets? Branded or tattooed with their 'registration number'?

"Abigail Vazner Ackson. ... Obeys extremely well and has been tamed."

This seems in contradiction to her resisting being on stage.

(con't)
Sukiam6 chapter 1 . 1/8/2012
Writing Style Report by Sukiam6 for Underground Secrecy

Word Variation Score: 90/100 (best all day)

Most overused words: none

Cliché/overused phrases: “all clear”, “onto”

Return a review and I’ll do a report on your next piece of writing.
Stellas Marris chapter 1 . 1/8/2012
Hn, well, there are a few typos, but nothing big and worrisome. So, on that front you are good. Imagery is good, and this is a very interesting plot line. Very original, which is a plus. As you can see, I haven't written anything for fictionpress just yet, but I will, I've got a few stories up my sleeve, and I'll post them on here one day. Anyways, I can't wait to see where this goes.
KensaCamjonn chapter 1 . 1/8/2012
Very interesting start. Has me curious what's going to happen next. Can't wait til your next update.