Reviews for On the Face of the Sun
Dreamers-Requiem chapter 3 . 4/28/2013
Watch out for instances where sentences are a little lengthy. When reading through them, it’s worth checking to see if there is anything you can drop, and still have the sentence made sense. [slim they were, his digits were far from brittle. He had, after all, carried heavy stones and metals since the day he could work.] I feel like this is a bit awkward. Maybe simplify it; (although his fingers were slim, they were far from brittle. He had carried heavy…) [At eight, he truly saw his father for the first time.] Again, it’s awkward. Maybe because of the ‘truly’. Considering this is expanded on within the same paragraph, and you mention again he sees him on his eighth birthday, you could cut this sentence out completely. [Another six years to the day, and he aimed to perfect his art with a substitute. The final day; the sun had risen into a sky dreary and grey.] Awkward and choppy. It makes it sound like he is only practicing on that day. Maybe (He spent the next six years perfecting his art. The day of his birthday,) – assuming it is his birthday? – (the sun had…) etc.

Bai seems older than five, especially in the way she talks. You may want to simplify her speech. ['Go inside to your mother,' was all he said.] I don’t think you need the ‘was all he said’ there. Again, it makes it lengthy. It’s clear it’s speaking, and as he doesn’t say any more, we know he doesn’t say any more. [Chao's elation rose within;] In most places, a comma would work just as well, if not better than.

Just a few suggestions I noticed. I think you have a nice build up here, and the dynamic seems interesting. Just be careful of using terms and words that could be overly purple prose. Sometimes, simplifying is the best thing. Hope this helps.
professional griefer chapter 3 . 1/17/2013
I liked your inclusion of actual Chinese this chapter-I thought it brought some nice authenticity to the whole thing and made it more believable. Also, you obviously did your research on Chinese history, and it was definitely nice to see that you'd put so much thought into it.
The biggest thing I didn't like was Bai. She really didn't seem like a five year old, the way you characterized her through her dialogue made her seem much older. That kept distracting me.
I'm also very confused as to how the chapter before this has anything to do with this...but that could just be me.
Great work!
Dr. Self Destruct chapter 3 . 1/16/2013
[The stern gruff man, once a simple shadow, took form and sustenance as they crossed the land together and climbed towards the top of the world.]

I think this could do with a little more detail or specificity, since "stern" and "gruff" doesn't do much in helping me picture his father.

[The boy's face was dry as the gentle breeze had evaporated the sticky plague that congratulated his hard work.]

Is "sticky plague" sweat? I'd say just go with sweat, because not only does "sticky plague" sound too purple prose-y, but it kinda interferes with the clarity of the image. When I think "plague" I think of an actual sickness or disease or something. Which makes me picture him as really sick and diseased, lol.

Although there's not too much action in this chapter, I think you set up the story very well. It's not a grab you by the throat opening, but a gradual opening, which I think fits this story. Since the main character is a young man, I'm assuming this is going to be somewhat of a "coming of age" story - so yeah, the gradual opening definitely fits the more peaceful tone of the rest of the chapter.

I think you also handle Chao's meeting with his father very well. He seems nervous, but he's also absentminded, which I expect someone his age to be. It shows his inexperience, so very good character development there.

Not much has really happened for me to comment on in terms of plot. The only other suggestion I have is to be wary of verbs ending in -ly. They tend to make the action they're supposed to be enhancing even weaker, and most of them you could cut from the sentence since they're already implied. Like when Chao "gently coaxed" his sister to do something. Coaxing already implies it's gradual, so the "gently" isn't needed. Sometimes -ly words are fine, but when you're using a more formal tone like in this story, I'd recommend cutting them.
AJ 96 chapter 3 . 1/1/2013
I liked the descriptions and history was very accurate and believable. You have a real way with words! The characterization was good too - I especially like Bai! :)

The only grievance I had was that it was slightly hard to follow. But it's historical significance is more important, so that's not a very big problem.

Overall, a very interesting read! :)
Dreamers-Requiem chapter 2 . 12/10/2012
I feel like there's a lot going here. It's a good prologue, and I like the interactions between the characters, the hints towards the plot...I just think some of it is a bit rushed. As well, some of it is just a little too telling, especially in terms of the tribe. Maybe show the tribe; show how they're all men with the exception of a few women perhaps. Hint towards how there are no women earlier on...

When you say 'years' in regards to girls not being born, it's hard to tell if you mean a few years or many years. Especially as the men have wives, there's the midwife, etc. And if so few girls have been born, why would they leave the tribe? Or be sold as slaves? Surely they would be more treasured than that? Just something to consider.
Twyla Cole chapter 1 . 12/8/2012
First...I think you mean "wick" not wicker. Unless you did mean "pliant twigs and branches."

Flow- I did think that it had decent flow. I really like your opening lines. Your words were all within the same world. my eye glided over it nicely.

Punctuation. I did think, however you could have used some commas in there. Its not that it didn't make sense, but I had to insert the commas as I read to seperate your thoughts, which pulled me out of the story.

Imagery. I really liked your hands, tendrils imagery. But I was left a little confused by the clay pots line. It came out of nowhere. There was no other references to molding form, the shape of the flame or any of that. That image didn't work for me. Neither did the "yellow face" for the same reasons.

Tone. Tone was really nice. I definitely felt the spread of this dark feeling. I really enjoyed that.

I would love to see this expanded upon.

Truly
Twyla
Loraine Wentworth chapter 3 . 10/13/2012
Based on the interesting setup in the previous chapter, I'm glad to see this update.

I really like the world building here. From your descriptions of the landscape and the society, you generate a very clear and interesting setting. This really enabled me to immerse myself in the writing.

The only thing I wasn't sure about was the use of speaker tags other than said, for example 'trilled' and 'complained'. It's a bit distracting and jarring.
Vagrance chapter 3 . 10/7/2012
Hehe...being Chinese made this reading much easier.

Opening: the opening imagery was very effective. It was succinct and vivid.

Style: I'm a fan of your descriptions and use of imagery. The details invested into the Chao's background was very interesting.

Setting: the customs of the world came out strong during their daily lives. The family dynamics was very believable.

Characters: the members of the family each have their voice and for some reason, it's something I can identify with (might not be a good thing). It'll be interesting to see how they develop.
Faithless Juliet chapter 3 . 10/6/2012
OPENING: I liked the contrast of this boy/man working hard labor while his internal monologue is desperate for peace. I thought that you used a nice contrasting effect with these motivations, since normally you would think someone would be angry or concentrating on the task at hand and not looking to the future.

CHARACTER: I don’t know if I like the name “Chao” it makes me think of the Italian word for Goodbye, but I think you mean for it to sound like ChO with a hard O sound. “'Get down from there,' the young girl scolded, coarse dress clinging to her angles as she clamoured up to the slope to her brother. 'Honoured brother,' she added humbly, quickly lowering her gaze.” I don’t know if I like the use of “Angles” above, it sounds awkward being that she’s written as a simple/subservient girl but angles (to me anyway) suggests contortion and depth, maybe use “shape” instead of angles? It feels weird because she’s written so humbly but angles is a VERY strong word when describing personal appearance.

RELATIONSHIPS: Chen’s reaction to his son and daughter holding hands makes me think that the little girl Bai is actually the baby mentioned in the prologue. And in fact they are not brother and sister? There’s a tiny undercurrent of something more than brotherly/sisterly affection there, me thinks, hmmm. We shall have to see about that.

ENDING: I think you tied up the beginning of the chapter very well by the ending. I think the chapter itself is so well worked that it could even be a stand alone, like the prologue was. I think that is a talent of yours, but maybe add a bit more excitement to the chapter. Give the reader hints about where they’re going, what they’ll encounter, and so on. Nice job overall though, keep up the good work, update soon.

Juliet.
Whirlymerle chapter 3 . 10/3/2012
RG Freebie review!

Opening: I loved the poetic tone you used to begin this piece. Reading it, I thought it was a great hook into the story, like a sample taster of what's to come. After reading this, I also thought the opening was interesting because I honestly did not expect Chao was fourteen from the opening—but this was good since it shows how disciplined Chao is. I thought you might want to have a paragraph break either right after "dawn" or before "In those early days," however, to break up the opening and the guy's childhood. As of right now, the subject of your opening paragraph jumps a bit, and it feels a tad overwhelming.

Writing: The line "slim they were, his digits were far from brittle" read awkwardly for me. It sounded a little too stiff/robotic. Maybe if you even change it to "slim though they were" or something along those lines, it could make the sentence more of a comparison instead of two phrases juxtaposed together.

[Another six years to the day, and he aimed to perfect his art with a substitute. The final day; the sun had risen into a sky dreary and grey] Could be my lack of English skills but I thought you were talking about the six exact years he's practiced. So what does "the final day" refer to?

[It was not elegantly bound like the King's royal concubines or his royal family] This might just be me, but I'm not particularly fond of this comparison because Bai is five. And even though you mention that she's already beginning to learn her duty, I just think that Chao can distinguish between the role of a five year old and even a twelve year old concubine. Maybe, to make this more effective, since you do talk about a Princess (idk how old she is), you can compare Bai's messy hairstyle to the fancy hairstyles of girls her own age?

[Dry bread and weed when they could be found. At times sparse water. No luxury to be found.] I feel like the repetition of "be found" takes away from the writing quality. I'd suggest that you substitute one of them for something else.

Spelling/Grammar: [The stern gruff man] comma needed between stern and gruff
[he put down the practice sword in contentment, and turned to meet the sun in the sky] Comma not necessary 'cause you don't have two independent clauses and you're only listing two things.

[the sticky plague] Do you mean plaque?

Overall: I really enjoyed this reading. I thought it was a lot clearer than the prologue. What I especially liked was the relation dynamics in the family and the society. The men obviously have more power/authority, and I thought you showed that aspect of the story very well through your details. Like how his mother is practically mute, and every time Bai spoke, she's pretty much reprimanded—I thought those were interesting details.

I like also how you conveyed a historical feel through writing. The passive voice and the formal tone at places give me the impression that this was occurring sometime long, long ago en without noting the historical references. The glossary was a nice touch!

Happy writing,
Merle
Nesasio chapter 3 . 10/2/2012
I'm confused by a lot of the explanations here. Some of them seem contradictory at points, like how Chao didn't really know his father and yet seems to work with him every day, and he was sent away and yet still has his little sister around. It seems like you have a big picture in mind here but on a sentence by sentence level the actions are getting muddled by previous statements so I'm not sure what this society is like. I can tell it's complex but I can't figure out how it works because the complexities are being thrown at me all at once.

I liked Bai as a character. I would've liked to see more of her because she showed so much more personality in the little bit we've seen so far. Chao's narration states his personality but Bai's little mannerisms actually show through and make her more interesting to read about. Chao's interactions with her made him more interesting to me because I like a brother sister dynamic in fiction but it wasn't really brought out enough for me to gauge it yet. Still, it's an intriguing start.
whatthegreencarrot chapter 2 . 10/2/2012
Your description is excellent. I wish I had such great descriptive skills.

I noticed this one mistake— [The woman beneath her stirred faintly as cold gnawed at her bones, the sheet cast over her frail form offering no reprieve] there should be a comma after "form."

This seems to be a very mysterious start to the story. It's very interesting.
KShade chapter 3 . 9/29/2012
It was good, But I felt like it was missing the action, granted, this is a part one, and that could explain it. I liked the way you opened it "He practiced with the dawn. The stone blade cut through the air as its thick hilt danced with his fingers; slim they were, his digits were far from brittle." the imagery was spectacular. The ending promises more coming, which could explain how it felt like this chapter was a 'getting ready' chapter. Chao seems sort of flat, but that's my opinion, only, and I'm sure next chapter he will be fine as i get to know him better. There were a few typos, such as 'Your instalment will be then as well' Installment is the correct spelling. I was intrigued while reading this, but not overly, a fact that can be attributed to a poor social teacher, who killed any historical love I may have harboured. Over all, I think this is a good story, and I'd like to see what you have to come in future chapters.
Shadi
Luckycool9 chapter 3 . 9/25/2012
I like the scenery and the depiction of the character life being highly trained because he is the chosen one of the propchey. I also liked how the plot doesn't seemed rushed and flows neatly and in order and had some historical text which was interesting.
Annything chapter 2 . 9/24/2012
The beginning was really vivid, and I thought it was intriguing.

Oh wow, that was so interesting I couldn't read and type the review like I usually do. This was so suspenseful, it really makes you want to read more. I was basically in a trance when I read it, it was so vivid and took me right there in the scene.

I think it was a bit cliched, but only in the sense that this is a story about someone being chosen since birth for something, and that's just so cliched... Well, I really shouldn't be complaining since I do it too. D:

By the time I'm finished with the chapter, I am thinking about it a lot, which is great. I'm also really interested to see where you are going to take this story. You're really good at suspense, not that I would really know, since this is the first piece I've read of yours, but it's really beautiful.

Oh, and I like how you made your dialogue believable. It really says a lot, even if it's not really apparent the first time you read it. It was great work!
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