|Reviews for The Price Demanded|
| inwardtransience chapter 1 . 8/6/2012
Hi, I'm returning that review finally.
General comments. There were certainly interesting elements. For example, I'm rather curious who the man (or demon? I don't know) is, and how he has such power over people. That was the thing that jumped at me the most.
I have to say I found the time skips a little awkward. Whenever it skipped with Elita I couldn't even tell how much time had passed at all. It left me a little disoriented.
On that topic, the first time skip may not have been necessary. One way to have done it is to describe what happened through Margaret telling her granddaughter. That way you can reduce the two scenes to one and have them work together, without the awkward time jump. Sure, that would be a lot of dialog, but it may have been smoother.
I can tell your characters have a little more behind their personality than what made it all the way onto the page in an explicit manner, which is good. It should be that way. Though be careful to avoid someone becoming nothing but their most obvious trait. I thought you were going to go that way with Lana until you got to that last little bit there.
"...if she would ever been in on..."
I think that should be "would ever be in on"
There are a few minor slip ups like that throughout the body of the chapter. Minor things all, that are easy enough to miss. I'm not going to comment on every single one, but they're there. My best advice for picking up these things is to simply read it to yourself out loud. I know it sounds kinda silly, even though I've heard plenty of people say it, but it really does help. Sometimes I have to do it two or three times with my own writing before I catch everything.
"She dreams of Africa! She plays as if she was in Africa! She wants to grow up and save the world from demons in Africa..."
You probably didn't need to say "Africa" that many times. I suppose it may have been intentional, but it sounds kinda funny to me.
If you use a hyphen as an em dash (—), you should put a space on both sides. So "When it wakes, you will know- the whole world will." should be "know—the" or "know - the". I think that's actually the rule for it, but most of my thought is simply that it looks better.
I know from a comment of yours on the RG OT that you hear from people a lot that you're a little short on descriptions. Well, I'm sorry to say I'm going to say the same thing. I mean, it's like the descriptions in your story are a ball, but you're only looking at the forward face, a circle. You should try to turn it around so you can see all of it. If this makes sense. I can sort of visualize it so I have a three-dimensional thingie in my head representing objects, people, or feelings that I can rotate around. So just rotate the image and describe each face until you can see the whole thing. That definitely doesn't make sense, sorry...
A major problem I had with this chapter was that I couldn't grasp the characters' appearance or personality (though a little better with the second one), so maybe I can be helpful with that. I break down the categories of description of physical attributes like this:
Which isn't to say you have to do all of them, though you certainly could; more is better with main characters. When describing a character, I decide the detail lowest on the list that I want to get to. Say I want to mention something about their nose for some reason. Then I'd also have to touch on everything above 'facial features' on the list. Breaking the rule is fine for details that stick out, like your white hair near the beginning. The point is, all you ever do for characters (at least physically) is their name, and that leaves a lot to be desired description-wise. I tend to want to get as far as facial features for every major character.
If this works for you, you can build your own little lists for different objects. Let's say you wanted to describe that bracelet. So we have:
Decorations (the quartz, which should probably get its own list too)
And so forth and so on. I don't know if this helps, but at the very least it's a method to madness.
I probably rambled on a lot more than I should have—sorry about that—so I'll shut up now. Summary: decent character personalities, loose handling on narration, and sparse descriptions.
| The Autumn Queen chapter 1 . 8/5/2012
I don't like the way you've worded the beginning because it falls somewhat flat. It's not the sort of beginning that really hooks me, and the first line had me expecting, to be honest, more than you gave. I think you could improve that by using pronouns or a descriptor after the first mention of Margret. And [Margret turned to the man speaking, her colleague] - the "speaking" part is a bit of a given when there are only currently two characters in the scene. You could just write it as [Marget turned to her colleague] and it's more concise so less hand-waving. You've done that towards the middle too, but more so at that beginning.
I like the ending, even though the build-up was, once again, somewhat diminished by your wording/structure choices. The buildup was good though because it gave a bit of an epiphany feel towards that ending, stating plainly one of the world's so-called "universal truth" without making it so painfully obvious, and for some reason, reading that last line without its background, gives a feel of not knowing someone I really should. Nicely written.
| Rogue Energizer Bunny chapter 3 . 8/1/2012
And everything ties together brilliantly. Beautiful ending. You tie it all together and deliver. Complex plots are the hardest to end, and this works out so well.
I think, pacing-wise, there should be more between the fight with her mom and her giving herself up to Eshu (sp?). Maybe just a longer scene. They're so close together, that the Eshu thing looses emphasis.
| Rogue Energizer Bunny chapter 2 . 8/1/2012
Love the quietness of the opening. It's exactly the feeling of getting out of a car, when nobody's around. The use of the onomatopoeia really helps that feeling, too. You really capture the nostalgia of the place, and I love how dominic finds the bracelet.
The interaction between Elita and her mother is much better here, too, you were right, haha. I like her mother's reaction to her tattoo. "What have you done to yourself" seems like something my own mom would say, if I got a tattoo. And her mother does seem like the uptight person who'd be against that sorta thing.
Very good chapter.
| Whirlymerle chapter 1 . 8/1/2012
I like the premise of this because you've introduced both an action packed plot and explored the relationship between three generations of women. I especially like Margret, since her interactions with Elita are so sweet.
I didn't really like how you handled Lana because I found the level of strain in the relationship between Lana and Elita a little unrealistic. Especially at the end when Lana cries about not knowing about Elita's college applications. My parents had to sign a ton of paperwork in order for me to submit my applications. If Elita still lives with her parents, how could Lana be that clueless about her daughter's life?
| Rogue Energizer Bunny chapter 1 . 8/1/2012
I like the plot here! It's got good complexity, with all the different characters. A lot of stories on here involve only one major character and one conflict. Here we gots conflict with the grandmother's history, and her relationship with her daughter, and then the granddaughter's relationship with her mother. There's nice depth to it.
I think Elita's rebellion could've been done a little better. She was being a regular snotty young adult (can't fault her for that, LOL), but I feel like the mother would react differently. In my experience, parents are usually Not Impressed by their little baby all growed up and wanting to move out. They seem to be more irritated, and maybe vaguely apologetic.
Or maybe that's just my parents. Whenever I cried or something, Dad would say "attitude. Needs to stop," so yeah. I'm the most obedient little shit you'll ever see.
I like where the plot's going here. I think. Hopefully I'll read more soon?