Reviews for King Cotton: A Story of the Old South
Guest chapter 2 . 11/8/2012
Fantastic imagery. I'm a huge fan of the Old South and the Cotton Kingdoms that existed before the War. I really enjoyed this read... Your description of the Gael plantation had my nose craving the peach powered scents of the billowing skirted beauties from within " Gael had a lawn greener and more fertile than any other surrounding plantation, and because of this, thousands of beautiful flowers grew on the land. Lavender and lupine lined the path towards the house; magnolias grew in large bushes in front of the mansion and every time the mansion was approached or exited, the sweet smell of those porcelain southern beauties would meet you.". If you write more antebellum prose, please let me know:
Caro1954 chapter 2 . 4/23/2012
Okay, because I wanted to get this back to you yet tonight and the PM system is acting weird, I will put my response to your PM here.

As far as the names, the very simple thing to do would be to just find different names from that era to use, rather than the ones that are similiar to the names in GWTW. That right there would remove the taint of plagiarism from the story. Surely there are thousands of different names to pick from, right? All you'd have to do is rename some of the characters and that would work.

I am sorry that you were offended and thought I said you were not a good writer, but I did not say that. I said your writing needed a lot of work and suggested you take classes to better hone your craft. You're only 15 and no one at that age is a great writer. And while yes, you may have been writing for years and your friends, family and teachers have said you have talent, remember that you're young yet and have a LOT to learn about the art of writing. Even an older author will tell you that they're constantly learning new things about the art of writing, and no one is an expert at any age. Yes, I do see a lot of potential in your work, but like I said, take classes through school or when you get in college to better yourself...really, what have you got to lose by doing that? Because if you are saying that you've learned all that you can learn about writing by the age of 15 and you're not willing to learn anymore, you're limiting your own potential and closing yourself off to bigger and better things, do you see what I mean?

And all writers work hard to get where they're at, but what makes them succeed is their attitude. You react negatively to constructive criticism now, what will you do ten or twenty years down the road when you go to submit an article to a magazine or try to get a book published and an editor sends the work back with suggestions for improvement? Just because you can write doesn't mean that you will be successful at it with that kind of attitude. A writer that is truly serious about their craft will accept constructive criticism as a means to improve their work, rather than getting defensive when someone offers suggestions or advice.

So I repeat, I did NOT say you were a bad writer, I said your work needed some help and I offered to you the same advice I'd offer to anyone else in suggesting that you consider taking classes. If you're mature enough to post on here, you're mature enough to handle constructive criticism and if you can't hack it, then writing is not for you, because while your friends and family and teachers may praise you, once you try to make an actual living at it, you WILL run into people who won't agree with your circle of family and friends...it's a fact of life in writing and you'd best grow some thicker skin and get used to it or the writing world will eat you alive, I guarantee it.

Caroline
Caro1954 chapter 3 . 4/23/2012
I think one thing that people are picking up on as far as the novel are the very similiar names, such as Fontaines and Hamiltons, along with similiar first names like Katie and Boyd and Cathleen. Those names existed in the book and it is a little odd to see them used here, when there are SO MANY other names you could have used for your characters. All you'd have to do is look in a phone book to pick names, so I agree that it's extremely odd that a story about the Old South has names that were in another book about the Old South. And FYI, there are a lot of other novels out there about the Civil War besides Gone With The Wind, but I think what's tripping people up is the same names...surely you're creative enough to come up with your own original names and not take from Margaret Mitchell's book, correct? And surely you'd know that anyone familiar with that novel would question the use of the names here?

But my biggest issue is with the work itself, there is just absolutely nothing here to draw the reader in and keep them interested. It's very dry and compressed, and it seems like you're trying to tell the story too quickly, not taking the time to fill in your scenes with bits of interest. And there really is not a lot of character interaction here and the characters seem rather one-dimensional and flat, with nothing really bringing them to life for the reader. It's almost like reading a passage in a textbook, you toss some facts at the reader and that's about it, there's no spark to the story at all. So while I'd say you have a good idea here, it is a little too much like GWTW and you might take it back to the drawing board until you get a little bit better grasp of writing...maybe take some classes in that area to learn how to sharpen your craft?

And I couldn't help but notice your profile note complaining about people calling you out on this work being too similiar to GWTW...if people are noticing that in your story, there's a good possibility they're speaking the truth, don't you think? And instead of getting mad and pulling a sulky spoiled child routine of "Well if people don't stop saying it's like GWTW, I'm going to pull it!", why not remove the elements that ARE like GWTW and create your own original piece? I take by your tone that you are a very young writer and trust me, learn to accept some constructive criticism for what it is...advice to help you better your craft...rather than pitching a tantrum when people tell you the truth and point out viable problems with the story. If you cannot stand concrit, you will never make it as a bona fide writer, because even the bestselling authors get negative reviews now and then. And the only person you hurt by pulling your work in such a childish fashion is yourself, because people on here don't care one way or another if you post or not, and if you keep pulling something each time someone concrits it, eventually people will avoid your work because they will figure that the first constructive criticism review you get, you'll yank the story, so why bother investing time and energy into reading something that will likely wind up getting pulled after awhile? And keep in mind when you post to a site that encourages honest feedback from readers, you likely will get negative criticism now and then, and so it's best to learn to grow thicker skin.

Now then, that's my two cents on the matter, and you are free to totally disagree with me, that's your right.

Caroline
kirks from fanfiction.net chapter 1 . 4/13/2012
Sorry, but this is a rather dull read. That's probably because of the too flowery style, describing mundane characters without actually characterizing them, landscapes without enabling us to see them, smell them. Most things could have been summed up by "in the summer of ... all was well".

The beginning of a story is to enthrall your readers, to lull us in, make us curious!

I wish you the best of luck with your writing, but I believe, you'll have more readers, if you rewrite this first chapter. A common advise for fictional writing is to leave out the first sentence alltogether and to start with the second.