|Reviews for Just a Pretty Face|
| walkingmess chapter 1 . 1/3/2013
Some beautiful, beautiful metaphors here. I especially liked the opening, so visceral! I really enjoyed reading this, you know how to keep a reader entertained. I thought the seventh paragraph was very poignant and outstanding, your describing skills are to be desired, the smells and description of her mother really do give off a warm feeling. Hopefully you'll continue with this story?
I also love how your pieces always seem to be in an ambiguous day and age, it may disclose the year but it felt like the style could of have been set anywhere. And I liked the description of the main character from the auctioneer and how cool and calculating it was compared to the heroine's inner monologue. The only thing is maybe lengthen the paragraphs? Immersion is key.
Have always loved your writing, keep it up.
| RedactedNoLongerWriting chapter 1 . 7/17/2012
Belated EF Rule 10 review. :) I read this a couple days ago but never got a chance to review. Sorry about that!
I am really interested in this first chapter. I was so disappointed to see you haven't updated yet, haha. I think you did a great job introducing the society and I got a glimpse of the main character that was brief but fitting for this first chapter. I liked the use of the auctioneer's dialogue to drive the story forward. It really paced things quickly and made me read faster.
There were a couple places I noticed typos but for the most part this was well-edited. Maybe a quick read-through would clean things up a little more but really it wasn't distracting.
The only nitpick I have with this is that I'm not entirely sure what the time period is for this, language-wise. As I was reading it at first I thought perhaps a 1700s-1800s sort of setting, but reading a little further I thought more like 1900s/Dust Bowl era. It's not a major deal yet in this chapter but I wondered about it, particularly when the main character uses 'bairn' to describe the boy and then 'wee' for urine. I'm not exactly sure on the age of those words but the latter seems more modern than the former.
I really liked this, though. I hope you continue it soon. :)
| Persevera chapter 1 . 7/7/2012
I too think was a very good start but don't want to anticipate too much, since it's been over a month since it was updated.
I think it's easy for us all to get caught up in our beautiful words and lose sight of what they might convey to other people. I loved the description of the boy trying to look majestic but instead looking like he'd been ironed into his suit. It suggested he'd much rather be playing ball or something than be where he was, but also might adjust to this spectacle and process later.
By comparison the line about the woman with a long blonde plait coiled around her neck (literally around her neck, like a golden noose?) was strange.
I won't comment on spelling because I appreciate the differences in what's considered appropriate from one place to the next. I agree with you on mustache though.
By the by I looked up Sisyphite on Google to see if it was supposed to be a location or what and your phrase was listed. I thought that was kind of cool
| pseudonymsurname chapter 1 . 7/2/2012
Well, I thought this was a great first chapter. It’s short, but not lacking because of it. In little space, you’ve already laid the groundwork for a very interesting world. And – going from the summary – there’s a great concept behind this and one I’m looking forward to seeing unfold.
There’s some good descriptions (some very good descriptions, too) although there’s a tad too much in a couple of places. The dialogue flows as well, which is so much harder than a lot of people would think, so good job on that. There are times when the narrator doesn’t quite reflect her age, but I think that’s because she’s looking back to this time, so that makes sense.
The only real overriding thing that stuck out in a negative way for me was the variation of your dialogue tags. ‘Offered’ ‘tutted’ ‘suggested’ ‘bellowed’ – a little variation is good, but I think there’s a bit too much at the moment.
Here’s what I noticed as I read:
“They checked my teeth first, because I wouldn't fetch a good price if I had bad teeth.” This is purely a personal opinion, but I think this line would have a bigger impact if you placed the full-stop (or period, depending on where you come from) after ‘first’ and took out ‘because’. Either way, though, great first line.
“held palm-up with weights on them to see how much I could carry” Nit-picky word-economy, but I’d say you could ditch ‘them’.
“"That's no good," she tutted” I’d say the dialogue should end in a full-stop as you can’t really tut words.
“her brow crumpling like old newspaper before she realised it would wrinkle” Loved this line. It really hints at aspects in the world you’re conveying without slamming the reader in the face. It eases you in to what I assume is going to be an obsession over beauty.
“and barked for the next lot-“ Think another reviewer mentioned the misuse of the hyphen when you’re wanting a dash.
“Poor bairn” Ahh, Scottish protagonist? If so, this story goes up even further in my estimation :)
“He didn't smile back before a big, hot hand grabbed my little, shivering wrist.” Phrasing is a little awkward. Maybe ‘he didn’t have the chance to smile back before’ or something along those lines, I don’t know :)
“auctioned to as a slave” Think you should to ditch ‘to’ here.
“Unguessable” I don’t think this is actually a word… Although ‘google’ says it is. Either way, might help the flow a bit to go with something a bit simpler perhaps.
“the floor froze under my bare feet” Not quite sure what you mean by ‘the floor froze’. Temperature-wise? Was it moving before?
“Memories of warmth, vanilla and a shaking, breaking voice that whispered goodbye” Really, really good line.
“"Let's start the bidding at nine hundred,"” I’m confused, I thought there were no bids when the bidding was starting at five hundred?
“My sort didn't need to know about anything like that, and reading would only give us ideas. Bad ideas. Dangerous ideas.” Again, some really good hints towards both the world this is set and what might happen in the plot later.
“I only knew I was ten because I had ten fingers” Another line I really liked. There’s a real sense of fragility and innocence to this line and it works well next to the clinical, emotionless nature of the auctioneer blithely selling her.
“I couldn't do much of either- I only knew I was ten because I had ten fingers- and for the most part seeing what happened to people who read had beat the curiosity out of me for the most part” As a whole, though, I thought the sentence was a bit clunky. Maybe cut it in two?
“inhumanely beautiful” Another great phrase… and I think it might resonate throughout this piece with the beautiful being the equivalent of the rich and heartless.
“Mustache” Should be ‘moustache’.
“What was I praying for? I don't know.” Another good line. I know that doesn’t really help you at all, but… yeah, I liked it :)
“"Fourteen," went a woman” I don’t think ‘went a woman’ works well as a dialogue tag.
“as a test subject” Intriguing. Sounds very anachronistic for the setting as I picture it – a nice contemporary image in what comes across as an ancient setting.
“I would wear pretty dressed” ‘dresses’.
Overall, great start and I’m looking forward to the next chapter :)
| lookingwest chapter 1 . 7/1/2012
"Twelve hundred," said the blonde man. [You're using the french spelling of "blonde" here", which is only meant for women. Should be "blond". If you use the American spelling, you can use "blond" for both women and men. It doesn't matter which spelling you use, as I see a lot of people do both, but yeah, if you keep it that way, just make sure you drop the "e"]
"Nineteen hundred," offered the blonde man. [same as above]
I really liked this opening. It was unique I think for the time period and the summary intrigued me. I'd like to see more of this one where you're going with it. The writing was well done. The dialogue flowed well. I didn't have a problem picking this apart grammar-wise (obviously), and I really appreciate it for that too. I thought you did a great job with the opening scene because it had a good balance of description and action. The repetition towards the end with "please god" was realistic I thought, and I liked it because it provided the tension for our narrator. I also like how you created a character without telling much, and you integrated her background, like the memories of her mother and the fact she can read, really well. Let's see... Good pacing, didn't find a problem with that. I thought the whole situation itself was exciting enough for an opening and the banter back and forth with numbers balanced out other description paragraphs. I was impressed by this, well done!
| blackflier chapter 1 . 6/18/2012
I subscribed. Its a brilliant idea and well written. Just a shame the chapter was so short however. In return I expect you to update more often ;)
The idea is great, but please don't make it seem as if everybody knows its stupid. It's like being smart in this society. Everybody thinks it's the 'right thing'.
(Of course it's just an idea, you have the right to ignore me and write whatever you want, just offering ideas) I especially got tailed in because of the various stage of her life you described in the summary, and very curious how you're gonna pull that one of.
I would be very thankfull if you took the time and effort to review something of mine. (Even though that wasn't really an review, to be honest. )
| Kharmaoftherainbow chapter 1 . 6/15/2012
I really enjoyed your incorporation of smell into this. It's a sense that's often-neglected, but it really does have an important role in envisioning a scene. I especially liked your use of potporri as a kind of negative smell, because to me it's a very positive one.
You have a few spots where you repeat words in the same or close sentences that a good looking-over would fix. Try reading out loud to check your flow and repetition. :)
| this wild abyss chapter 1 . 6/14/2012
I liked how you started off the piece with a description of the narrator's failings, appearance-wise. It was a good way to introduce the reader to the stark situation she found herself in.
In a lot of places, your style and vocabulary didn't seem to be in keeping with a 10 year old girl. It was too formal and advanced and gave an odd impression while I was reading. However, at one point you said "In retrospect I can..." so I'm guessing this is narrated from the present looking into the past, so that changes things.
One thing I noticed, on a technical aspect, was your incorrect use of hyphens instead of EM dashes. Here "terrified eyes- to come forward" and here "the next lot- a little lad" you use hyphens instead of EM dashes. So those two sections should read "terrified eyes—to come forward" etc. You can either put a space around an EM dash or leave it as is, like I do. Both are correct.
"for the most part seeing what happened to people who read had beat the curiosity out of me for the most part." [Edit: you have "for the most part" twice in this sentence, which is redundant.]
| Michodell chapter 1 . 6/4/2012
Love this opening chapter. The beginning brings us right into the 'action' and I already have a sense of the kind of world you're building.
The descriptions were nicely done and I like your style. It was easy to follow along with the story.
The ending was perfect. She's just been sold and now we're left hanging wondering who bought her and what's going to happen next.
Great, original idea and awesome cliff hanger at the end.
| professional griefer chapter 1 . 6/4/2012
Oooh, very suspenseful.
You do a really good job of setting the world up without explaining too much and dumping everything on the reader.
Your first line is a pretty good hook, I think. And I quite enjoyed your main character's thoughts, they feel pretty realistic for the situation. And for me, at least, you create a pretty good feeling of dread.
One problen I had is that I don't think you explained enough. There's a lot you left open, like the time period, the world...I don't even know the main character's name.
So maybe explain more next chapter.
But other than that, quite a nice job.
| Spike's inner monster chapter 1 . 6/3/2012
Well, Kate, sweetie (god lesson to me)...
You asked me too check this out, and I finally did...
Your details ands grammar are good, better then mine probably are...
But I'm not sure if I have any direct things to say about it... Title seems fine, and I like the idea of it...
But not sure... If I have any direct ideas for it..
All I can say is... It's good, and hope you containue... :)
| Dr. Self Destruct chapter 1 . 5/25/2012
I really love your style. I don't know what it is, but your words just always flow so nicely, and in this story especially I thought you had some very beautiful metaphors. I think I've noticed that about your writing over the months of reading your different stories, that your writing is getting more and more refined as well as your style. Nicely done, I was left wanting more as I got to the end of this.
But speaking of the rest of the content, what a great opening to the story. That first line was brilliant - it really caught my attention and made me think 'Woah, what?' and gave me that desire to keep reading on - a great hook!
The emotions as well were really laid out very nicely throughout this, especially how the little girl was praying though she wasn't sure why. I think she subconsciously was hoping to get a kind person for a master, like that man with the young boy. I felt terrible for her when he didn't win her and that blond man got her at the last second. I'm left wondering if we'll ever see that man and his son again, and if they'll play a bigger part in the story later on.
I also think it was a great way to get some of her appearance across from the reactions of those around her as well as comparing herself to her mother. It didn't feel like an info dump at all, and I like that mention of how her eyes are different colors. I wonder if this will come into play later on as well. I remember reading a book where the main character has a large, orange mote in her eye, and that marked her as a child of prophecy - I wonder if something similar to that will happen considering her strange eyes.
I wish I had some concrit to give you, but I can't really think of anything. Sorry if I'm not much help, hah. But great job either way - I really enjoyed reading this. :)
| TankNLegs chapter 1 . 5/19/2012
One situation left me confused a little bit, so I didn't really like that. Class was based on beauty yet the women with the double chin gets to bid? Now that seems a bit odd.
I did like the little loop you threw us for, I did think that she would be taken by the boy and his father.
I think this first chapter could use a bit more background on the main character, that's just me.I reason though that since we have to follow this girl around for the rest of this story, that from the get go we should get a little bit more information on who she is, and mostly WHY she isn't considered pretty.
The subject of time was something that I liked. Since the time is 2018, I wonder what's happened in the six years that could have caused things such as this to happen?
I might have exaggerated just how much I think you need to add exposition to this chapter. Really for me, I think I would be satisfied knowing to answer to this question.
"Not with my eyes like they were."
What is wrong with her eyes? Does she not fit into this societies idea of beauty or can she just not see well?
I think that this rather peeved me more so than made me dislike the story. If I just knew what her eyes looked like then I think that she would have been memorable enough for the first chapter.
| Guest chapter 1 . 5/19/2012
This is an original idea. Well written too.