Reviews for Seattle Dreams
GossamerSilverglow chapter 1 . 8/4/2013
From WRR:

“She recognized more than half of them, a mark of a small college in a small Midwest town.” I think changing ‘a mark’ to ‘the mark’ could actually make this sentence stronger and give you a more solid beginning.

“Of course, that would imply that there had been anything real between them to begin with, but she had her imagination for that. She could imagine that that July night had meant something.” The first sentence is kind of wordy. Try something like this: “Of course, that would imply a real relationship had occurred between them. She had her imagination for that though, where she could make believe that July night had meant something.”

“She so often forgot she was still only a junior; that she had her whole life ahead of her as everyone constantly reminded her.” I would omit the word ‘only’ in this sentence since you used in the previous sentence. This particular word for me is distracting when used too much, which is why I mentioned it.

"Sorry I'm late; I had to talk to my Joyce professor about extending the due date for the mid-term essay..." I’m not sure if you meant to include the name Joyce in here or not.

So Morrison isn’t a name I’ve heard often, neither is Adelaide. Definitely unique…I think you’ve done well characterizing the pessimistic out look on life Adelaide has. I remember thinking in the beginning that it was do to her lack of, I guess‘ life’, that she was stifling the relationship. I could understand her resentment at his laziness, but since we aren’t seeing the beginning of the relationship I didn’t really take her word for it. It didn’t even feel like she was trying to fix what was broken. Her opinion of him is horribly low too for her to be so upset about the failing relationship. It seems like misplaced anger, perhaps she’s mad that she’s failing in life, I mean from her point of view. I think it slightly confirmed it when she told him she wanted to break up yet he had no idea what was going on. So I go back to my original opinion that started this rather large paragraph that within the first page you managed characterize Adele beautifully.

Morrison is just awesome. I love how he responds with such outrage. This in a way helps characterize Adele just as much as it does with him. I feel the honesty in his reaction and I can see (in my mind) the anger on his face. It’s clear he understands that Adele wants her life to be like the movies and has been simply waiting for it to happen. He mentioned her actually taking the initiative to have a decent meal together is how I formed that conclusion. I hope that she realizes soon that it wasn’t him she was unhappy with, but herself. This was a good chapter, but on the downside you’ve characterized Adele so well that I’m not too fond of her. I’m sure I’ll eventually warm up.
Do Play With Fire chapter 1 . 8/24/2012
Hey, this is interesting so far, but Adelaide seems a little mean. I liked how you ended the chapter.
-Alex
Dr. Self Destruct chapter 6 . 8/23/2012
Each chapter I read I notice how eerily similar I seem to be to Adele in terms of personality. I also seek solace and pretend I might not care about something while later I won't be able to stop thinking about it, though I don't really cry or mope... or at least I try not to, haha. I think you had a nice mix of show vs tell near the beginning, though I wonder if maybe giving an example of how Nora knows Adele has low self-esteem would make the information more believable and understandable. As it stands right now, there's not too much information about them, and I think this might be the perfect place to add a little glimpse into their relationship. Ignore this, though, if you plan on doing that anyway in the near future - just thought I'd bring it up.

I enjoyed the information about Adele and Morrison's relationship. I'm almost wondering if Adele slept with that stranger as a way to get revenge for Morrison talking to his ex-girl friend so much. Considering the word 'vindictive' came up, I'm assuming that might be the motivation behind doing what she did. Or maybe it was just her being reckless.

Haha, public sex is always something wonderful to look back upon and smile in reminisce. I love that little part about their relationship, as well as how Morrison admits he loves her and Adele only says it as a lie. It's refreshing to not see a tale about a girl falling head-over-heels for a guy in a small span of time. From the way she's thus far behaved, Adele seems very believable to me.
Dr. Self Destruct chapter 4 . 8/21/2012
I enjoyed the physical description of Nora, how she's not pretty in the traditional sense but she's still able to turn heads. I think that shows a lot more about her than just her appearance, that Nora has a confidence Adele lacks (and might be envious about). I think they make for a unique pairing, and I can definitely see how having them together is going to create some tension in the future. Things won't be boring when they're together, and I was also entertained by their conversation. I'm trying to decide if they're really friends, or just roommates who sometimes talk to each other. Or maybe they have one of those love/hate relationships.

I thought the memory of her rape was an interesting thing to include in this chapter, though I'm not entirely certain of its placement. It felt like it was thrown into the middle without much leading into or out of, though I suppose her friendship with Morrison could explain why it was included there, plus how she woke up in the first section. But I'm not sure... it didn't really feel *connected* to anything else, like in the beginning of the fourth section, or maybe even in the third section, I expected her to think about or give some more information about it, but there wasn't any. It left me a little puzzled as to what it was supposed to be connected to - if there was supposed to be a connection. I don't really think this is a negative thing; it all depends on how you intend to format the story itself. I'm sure every reader will have a different opinion on its placement, so I don't think you should change anything, I just wanted to let you know my reaction to it since it seems to be a rather experimental aspect to this story.

There's something oddly endearing about Adele's relationship with Morrison. I find it interesting that you start the story with their break-up, and are now going back through how they met and what they used to do together. I also thought it was cute how Morrison made the first move and asked her out, because it shows how shy and introverted Adele can be when it comes to speaking to someone she might find attractive (or perhaps just other people in general).

A few nit-picks:

["Maybe," Adelaide sat up and stretched. "I didn't get any sleep last night."]

Edit: The comma after 'maybe' should be a period since 'Adelaide sat up and stretched' is an action tag and not a speaker tag.

["I was wondering the same thing," she exhaled in relief, her shoulders and wits relaxing.]

Edit: Unless she's exhaling while talking (which I think would be a little difficult to do and still be audible), the comma after 'thing' should be a period and 'she' should be capitalized.

["Sure," she had nodded, taken aback by his forwardness but smiling all the same. ]

Edit: Same here, the comma after 'sure' needs to be a period and the 'she' needs to be capitalized.
lookingwest chapter 3 . 8/18/2012
This was an interesting unexpected chapter, even if short. There was a lot of information about Adelaide that we learn even in only six paragraphs and I like how you're able to show so much with so little words, so to speak. Once it's established that she does have body-image issues by the first paragraph, however, I felt the rest followed in a predictable manner. I didn't find myself surprised that she would write down all of her insecurities and flaws in the ending paragraph, and I did kind of wish there was something here character-wise that could be seen as more unique about her situation/feelings.

Her narration and self-reflection was well written and I liked the matter-of-fact tone involved with the style. It reminds me a bit of the book I'm reading now, 1Q84, where the characters are all very systematic and think through every little detail about themselves and their situations. She comes off that way to me in a good way that I found easy to understand and read. She feels accessible.

I also liked how you dealt with the "describing how your character looks" conundrum that some writers have. While describing a character through a mirror can be cliche and overdone, here it has a purpose and is well presented and defended. I like that it reflects Adelaide's inner character and gives her more depth while also going into very well written detail about her features, her body type, and her own character flaws she feels she has. I liked seeing Adelaide through her eyes, if that makes sense, while it's negative and I hope she someday becomes more comfortable with herself, you for now present a wonderful way to create a full formed character in the reader's mind. Enjoyed that about this chapter.

So again, even though short, you packed a lot into this and I appreciated the craft you have for your paragraphs and sentences. Well done!
Dr. Self Destruct chapter 3 . 8/17/2012
I really enjoyed the path this chapter took from beginning to end. I thought you started it well with addressing how Adele sees herself in the mirror, and then you focus more on her specific appearance and give some examples of things that she hates about herself (physically). It's all summed up rather well at the end, and her feeling of self-loathing or low self-esteem only grows more powerful as the chapter continues. Speaking of which, it's really refreshing to see a main character, not to mention a female, who isn't the spitting image of unobtainable beauty. Adele feels very real to me in this aspect, if only through her physical appearance right now.

I thought this chapter also juxtaposed well with the previous one. In chapter 2 we got to see some of the things Adele dislikes about her personality, but here we get to see how much she despises her appearance. It really brings up that question as to *why* she feels so strongly about herself in this way. Is it a mental problem, like OCD or being a perfectionist? Or maybe it's something that happened in her past, like she was abused or ridiculed? It's questions like those that make me really want to read on.

The more I learn about Adele the more I can relate to her / become attached to her. I'm very similar in the aspect that I don't try new things because I'm afraid of being wrong or failing. I don't know if that's a popular anxiety, but it's still really cool to see her share the same feeling because it doesn't seem like something a lot of people suffer from (to me, anyway). I think it shows a lot about her lack of confidence, as does her previous actions when concerning her ex-boyfriend.
Whirlymerle chapter 2 . 8/17/2012
I really like the way you opened up this chapter. I thought the contradicting statements were bold, intriguing, and made for a good segway into the second paragraph, which was written very beautifully. Also, the fact that it's in first person, different from both your previous chapter and the second section of this, makes it stand out even more, in a nice way.

In addition to your awesome writing, I think you did a great job showing Adelaide's tendency to live in the past. I do think that, while this operates as a fantastic mood piece, because of her personality, it's more difficult to be invested in Adelaide's story because she deals with a ton of what-ifs. I'm looking forward to seeing a scene where she interacts with someone else.
this wild abyss chapter 1 . 8/17/2012
Your writing itself is undeniably good. Your words are clear and effective, and while in my opinion you might be prone to lumping too much description together, I suppose that's a matter of personal taste. Your sentences flowed easily together from topic to topic, and I never felt loss.

On the other, hand I'm not wowed by the subject matter. A breakup in a coffee shop due to a mysterious happening that will undoubtedly shape the rest of the story to come. For me, it's not anything new, and I'm all about being hooked on the first chapter. It really feels like I've seen this basic set-up several times before.

I did like how you ended things. That hint of a mystery serves as a decent attention-grabber, as the reader naturally wonders what you're referring to.
lookingwest chapter 2 . 8/17/2012
I'm glad to see you've resurfaced around the RG, I've always had a soft spot for your writing and I found after months (maybe years?) since I've last read your work, the same can be applied to this piece. Often times I feel writers can get too wordy with their work when they go into longer sentence structure and attention to detail - it can be tiresome and often boring - but I find you are an exception to my opinions. You do an excellent job giving us detailed, but clear, and *interesting* images. I loved the image with the leaves and the scarf at the beginning sections of this - it gave me such a wonderful breath of the Fall season and I loved how you shaped the images there to create that atmosphere. I also loved how this turned into a little vignette that was worth reading because it was well, interesting! I know I'm using those words too much - but you didn't write about anything boring here. Often times again, I feel inner reflection in third person can become too convoluted. Yet you broke this up into chunks and did a good job giving us smaller and larger paragraphs to chew from a visual angle as well. I think you did a fantastic job shaping these scenes. I also liked the way you transitioned into the break-up and prior relationship. I'm wondering though, something did feel a little off about this sentence:

No, it was that she was sleeping alone for the first time in months.

I think it might be the placement of "that" or even the passive voice. Yet not using passive voice might also sound awkward given the rest of the paragraph, since it matches and is cohesive with it in that way. I don't want to re-structure it for you, but it was a moment where I loved the way you introduced it and what it meant for the piece, but visually/structurally I tripped over it while reading.

Anyway, this was lovely, thanks for the read and it's good to know that you're still writing :)
Dr. Self Destruct chapter 2 . 8/16/2012
I got a lot more into the story in this chapter than the first one. It's surprising for me, because normally I don't like a lot of exposition - but I think you really mastered the longer sentences in this chapter. They're not confusing, they convey the image you're trying to tell clearly, no matter how long they are. That in itself is a very difficult feat, and I think it made reading this even easier despite the denser paragraphs. I got sucked right in from the first paragraph.

I also think I was able to appreciate Adele's character more in this chapter, now that the narration seems to be solely focused on her. Her thoughts are interesting, and I kinda like how she doesn't really enjoy classical music (or at least the big-wigs). I also enjoyed her slightly sarcastic tone, especially with instances like these:

[and into the realm of I'd-throw-that-thing-across-the-room-if-it-were-mine.]

[She would love for the little-but-doesn't-feel-so-little things to mean nothing to her.]

I love the dashes connecting all the words, because I think it, once again, shows a lot about her personality and her somewhat snarky tone/attitude. At first I didn't really like her in the first chapter, but reading on I can appreciate where she's coming from. I think the fact that she kind of envies her roommate who can so easily go from relationship to relationship says a lot about her, that maybe she has some abandonment issues or doesn't like the thought of being alone.

It's also refreshing to see her contemplating her decision from earlier; the fact that she's mulling it over is very realistic. Although she seemed to have already made up her mind and was very firm in her choice in the first chapter, I see now that perhaps she wasn't as certain as she first thought herself to be.

Overall, there's not really anything I can think of to critique. Good job. :)
The Autumn Queen chapter 1 . 8/16/2012
[Adelaide looked out the restaurant window at the passersby huddling together to fend off the wind] - passerby should be in plural.

Okay, I feel like your opening is unnecessarily wordy, dense with things like "it" which really don't add anything to the substance or style . It stems off towards the end, so perhaps paying a little more attention at the beginning as well.

["Oh yeah, I can keep my voice down," he sneered, getting up from his chair. "But what makes you think I'm going to?] - I love this line. It nicely summarises the balance of emotion in that scene and the awkwardness as well. The public/private (how in the world did you get them both in combination?).
Guest chapter 1 . 8/16/2012
I get to be the first person to review this because I am just so cool. Love your cover, BTW.

I don't really care for the second paragraph of this chapter. I like it when stories don't reveal everything at once, but this paragraph just confused the heck out of me because it was so vague. I think you could probably get rid of it without affecting anything.

I love the description of Morrison. Just from the way he storms into the shop and his dialogue I can tell a lot about his personality.

This chapter is really interesting, and I love that you introduce the conflict right away. It really grabs my attention and makes me want to read more.

See you around the RG! I'm hoping to read more of this soon. :)
Dr. Self Destruct chapter 1 . 8/16/2012
I wasn't too gripped by the beginning, but it's probably because I'm not too big on openings that start with the weather. I've always been told not to do that because it comes off as boring or overdone.

I liked how near the end I got the feeling that Morrison wasn't the villain here in their relationship, but Adele. His counter statement to her wanting to break up said a lot about the situation between them, and I wasn't expecting to feel more sympathetic toward him instead of her.

You might want to go back and check your dialogue punctuation for your speaker/action tags. It was correct for the first half of the story, but then you started leading into action tags with commas instead of periods, which isn't the correct format. Also, I think you can remove a lot of the unneeded pronouns (especially 'that') because overusing them made the reading very clunky in some areas.