Reviews for In the Brightness of the Sunrise
Order and Chaos - Qui Iudicant chapter 2 . 2/21/2013
This is a story worth following. I'll be keep an eye on it, for it is fascinating!
Amy B. R. Mead chapter 2 . 1/9/2013
[and he arms lax as she lay there] should be "her arms"

[gown MocYorrin had given her hang loosely] should be "hung"

Anyway, I like this. I'm very intrigued to see more .
Amy B. R. Mead chapter 1 . 1/9/2013
I'm enjoying this so far, but I have to wonder why you use brackets instead of simply italicizing for thoughts. It's a bit distracting.

[enhancing the animals' speed almost ten-fold] These horses are going over a hundred miles per hour? O.O Yes, magic, I understand, but you would think that over a mountain road, it would be very dangerous to go so quickly...and that a carriage would be thrown around, and people would be bounced out of it. Are there other spells for surefootedness and steadiness in the carriage? The speed is a bit off-putting without knowing the other variables. I know you talk about the ride being bumpy, but not nearly as much as a carriage going a hundred miles per hour should be over a rocky mountain road XD

I am, however, very intrigued by this little girl, and I shall read on :3
Secret Santa chapter 1 . 12/17/2012
I love the world you've created. It's obvious you've put a lot of thought and consideration into it and that comes across in your writing to make a very realistic world. MocYorrin seems like an interesting character too. He doesn't seem like the typical fantasy hero at all, and it's nice to read about a character so drastically different than the norm.

I thought the brackets for thought were a little strange. They stand out on the page and my eye was constantly drawn to them while I was reading. I don't know if you have a reason for using the brackets, so maybe there's a perfectly good reason for that, but I feel italics would have been better. The major dislike I had was the lack of action. This chapter mainly was info on the world and I just kept waiting for the action to pick up. It almost reminded me of a textbook at times, especially with the footnotes. It would be a well-written textbook, and one I might even read for fun, but for a story, I think it was just a little much as far as knowing so many details about the world.

As for the footnotes, are they really necessary? I know you put a lot of thought into your story, and it sucks that you can come up with all kinds of really interesting and cool things about your world and never have the readers know any of it, but I think it would help make it less textbook-y. For the first one, all that information seems completely irrelevant. Are any of those people you mentioned important later on? And if they are, couldn't you tell about them when they come up? For the third, while it's interesting to see where the expression comes from and the history behind it, it again seems unnecessary. It's easy enough to tell what the phrase means without all the extra details.

Overall, I do like the story so far and you are definitely talented with the written word!
sciguy007 chapter 1 . 12/7/2012
I'm going to use your brackets idea if you don't mind...
[...but low enough to still overwhelm the eyes if you...] - This is somewhat of an awkwardly worded phrase. It's understandable, but when I read, I like it if the setting comes effortlessly to mind. It's distracting to have to think about where the characters are and what things look like around them. The fact that the rest of that paragraph is so seamless and wonderful just makes this stand out that much more.

[An attentive mind could see something approaching from afar.] - Switch this to past tense, right now it doesn't fit with the rest of the story. Could is really annoying as far as I can tell, and it's kind of hard to put into a story without having it sound wonky. I would just rewrite this sentence, and maybe the following sentence.

The symbol you use for thoughts ({}) is unusual. With the understanding that this is a fantasy story, it makes me think he's speaking telepathically with someone who never responds.

I really feel that you should try to incorporate as much as possible, unless it's really not vital to the story, but then I don't know why it would need to be said at all. The "By the griffin!" thing in particular strikes me as odd. The other two I feel can be easily incorporated into future chapters as they are needed.

I've always like the idea of corrupted officials in stories, as I'm sure you noticed, and the mages serve this purpose well. Though we don't much about them yet, I hate the lot of them. I hope we meet a "good" mage in the future, however. It is difficult to suspend my disbelief when every character fits into their little stereotype of how they should behave as the type of character they happen to be. I do particularly enjoy the example of corrupted nobility using MocYorrin's personal experience.

I feel like I like MocYorrin. He seems like a nice guy, and I got to gleam a good bit of his personality off this chapter.

Overall, it reads smoothly, and satisfies the mind quite well. You didn't oversimplify the language, but it doesn't seem like you had a thesaurus with you trying to replace common words with massive word-blocks. Commas seem perhaps a bit too plentiful sometimes, but I may just be making up my own comma rules.

I hope chapter two is this nice. Onward we go.
Der Adler Des Mondes chapter 2 . 12/1/2012
Hmm, unlike the dragon story, this is a vastly different story.

I have to compliment you on the realisticness of, especially the second chapter with crystal demonstration, the people themselves. They don't feel flat.

In terms of structure the paragraph lengths are easy to read and I have not spotted any outright grammar or vocab mistakes.

I await for more.
The Autumn Queen chapter 2 . 11/7/2012
To be honest, I think you've got too much punctuation play in the first couple of paragraphs and again at the bottom. It feels more like I'm reading a poem that's not split into stanzas instead of a paragraph and that makes it harder for me to take a step back and see how it connects with your previous chapter and the bit towards the middle which is more dialogue and less description orientated. There are some places where you've got more than one semi-colon in the same sentence, and it makes me question why you feel that level of division is necessary. It doesn't really give a prose feel to be honest.

I like the cynical nature that creeps into the dialogue; while we are talking about a world you've created, the way you've written it reminds me of science vs. religion or that sort of argument. A little stilted, but I think that adds to the way you've brought it out; I can't help but wonder if you intend to plant or grow seeds of doubt from here and develop levels of belief like that after presenting this conversation between the foreigner and the village people (and I use village tentatively there because I can't think of anything more encompassing).
Random Userna- MANATEE chapter 1 . 11/5/2012
This a really neat start to what sounds like an interesting story! I'm more a fan of reading dialogue myself, but I still liked all the descriptions and backstories you went into. It gave us a good idea of the world the story takes place in without being really info-dumpy. My two suggestions are just to look over your use of colons (I think sometimes they would have been better off as semicolons or commas) and to try and use italics instead of brackets to represent someone thinking, but other than that it was great!
Art7Freak chapter 1 . 10/29/2012
Hmm...two things that don't really bother me but still will be told. First, looking here- He turned to look at little Mina once more: not at her soft cheeks, nor at he darling, stubby nose, but at the bandages wrapped around her right forearm. He couldn't help but think of the fresh, isosceles-triangle scar that it covered.- you forgot the 'r' when saying 'her' for 'her darling, stubby nose.'
Second, I don't know if you know, but there's a place called Drexel University. Obviously, a university, but I really couldn't help but notice that you used Drexel in your story. I just thought I'd let you know in case you wanted to change it or whatever. It really isn't my desicion to make.

-Victoria
thewhimsicalbard chapter 2 . 10/24/2012
Much like your last chapter, there are just a few too many errors in SGP that interfere with the reading. You also didn't remove the brackets (trust me, brackets have never implied thought-quotes in ANY published medium, and certainly not on this website). My earlier claim that your paragraphs are too long stands as well.

Much like your first chapter, the whole chapter up to "'Hello. I am Gridge MocYorrin...'" is in third person omnipotent, and then you switch to MocYorrin's point of view.

Even more so than last time, you need to put more effort into interweaving your action and description of the setting. Before you switch PoV, this chapter isn't that good. There is literally NOTHING going on.

Here's what happens: an apprehensive crowd of ignorant peasants gathers, a carriage moves, the door opens, a well-dressed man gets out, and his first impression isn't a suave as he would have liked it to be.

Presuming one has read the first chapter, that one sentence I just wrote contains all of the essential details of everything in this chapter up to the PoV switch. Most of the rest of it is just words taking up space with no action and no dialogue to support it; that's not good. I know that this is to help "set your world" in the minds of your readers, but that's exactly my point: who's going to suffer through the first half of that chapter so that they can read another chapter of what they plausibly assume will be of similar quality?

You really need to work on that, especially at the beginning. I can't stress it enough. When I write prose, I try to begin a story with a hook or with some really intense action. Setting comes after the action has begun to flow.

A short list of my better first lines/paragraphs:
1) "explosions of thunder and fire"
2) the power of the wind in a character's veins trembling in anticipation of a storm
3) a body hitting the floor
4) "War. Fire. Lives destroyed. Bodies broken."
5) "Whenever I see a girl, I hear a guitar lick. That isn't a metaphor either."

This is an area that I don't think I struggle with as much as you do. You follow a very... I don't know if it is or not, but I'm going to say "traditionalist" philosophy in this story in that you feel (consciously or not) a story must begin with setting, and only when that has been firmly and explicitly established can you move into the action and dialogue.

I would encourage you to have more faith in your readers; we are not unintelligent. We can fill in gaps with our own imagination. You can correct us later on. Trust me, we won't mind that much. Our brains are like putty. We have a really good idea of what a desert looks like, and if your characters are traveling through one, all you have to do is specify how much greenery there is and if you can see anything (such as mountains) in the distance. We have a good idea of a lot of things, because we read and play video games and watch movies. When you spell out every. single. detail. like you have been, you remove the reader's imagination from the equation. Additionally, you bore your readers with a lack of action. It's a double-whammy, which is exactly why it's so dangerous - especially to a fantasy author: fantasy thrives on imagination, and frequently relies on it to do as much work as the plot and the characters.

However, after MocYorrin starts to talk, the chapter picks up. I found myself engaged and eagerly anticipating what was going to happen next, and I was (with few exceptions, most of them relating to comma misuse) thoroughly impressed. You had excellent control over the dialogue, and I found myself getting really excited; it certainly felt like you knew how that conversation was going to end before it happened, and it made me want to know what was going to happen too. That leads me to my next bit.

My only real complaint is that you ended this chapter when you did. I think a better stopping point would have been right after he healed her, but before we see the crowd's reaction. I think that would be a good thing to consider, because you really cut me off while your story and I were having a moment. That's just rude.

;)

Hopefully you'll have a new chapter of this out soon! I'm excited to read it.

-twb
Vagrance chapter 1 . 10/21/2012
Opening: detailed and intricate; perhaps you could avoid using the same word (grass) twice in different sentences of the same paragraph.

Style: descriptive and observant, though at times I feel it’s unnecessarily “unusual”. Eyelids crashing close would be a good example. It’s – odd. Is this done on purpose? The narration feels somewhat casual, but is a bit wordy at times.

Characters: I take it Gridge is MocYorrin’s first name? If not, then it is a very sudden introduction. So far, I see him as an agent of justice or a vengeful crusader.

Ending: interesting, as it alludes to what MocYorrin has in mind for the locals without revealing his plans; it’s much stronger than some of the central paragraphs detailing the usage of magic in Kelda.
Deserthawk chapter 2 . 10/11/2012
I really enjoy reading this. It's quite masterful.
The way the peasants are, it reminds me of some medieval serfs being introduced to modern technology. How they're so into their religion. I guess there's actual consequences but still. It's pretty sad.
I liked that part where Gridge got out of the carriage. And tried to impress them. That was amusing. Is that griffin on the statue the same one mentioned before? I appreciate how you take time to describe the magic. Like it's not just some miracle, and it seems plausible somehow (never thought I'd say that).
Nice introduction with Mina. Gridge does seem like a very kind guy.
Looking forward to seeing what their demonstration will be like. Update soon.
Deserthawk chapter 1 . 10/11/2012
I like all these footnotes. Can tell you've put a lot of thought into this world. Especially the explanations about magic and history, it sounds almost like a textbook (I mean in a good way). It reminds me of Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrel. Certainly not the usual thing.
It's kind of interesting they still have horses. But I guess I don't know the limits of the magical tech here.
This situation is kind of similar to some Earthen historical events, no? Like the emancipation of the serfs. So I'm very interested in how magic's going to come into play here. And what exactly the role of Mina is. My guess is one of those Mage Lords is going to make some trouble for them.
thewhimsicalbard chapter 1 . 10/5/2012
"An attentive mind could see" - too flowery, doesn't make a lick of sense, you're trying too hard

No action in the whole first stanza not good. interdigitate action and setting.

"{Ugh…} he thought." - the widely accepted way to type out thought-dialogue on this site is as follows:

"This is a thought that I am thinking," thought Character.

or

(italics)This is a thought that I am thinking,(italics) thought Character.

Whichever you use, though, I highly recommend against using brackets. They take up too much space and are too distracting.

Another random thought as I read: your paragraphs are way too long. You need to write to your readership; said readership suffers from a chronically short attention span and an even worse effort span. I know that you don't have much to go on from me in terms of prose on this website, but I would encourage you to limit your paragraphs such that on a standard computer screen, you read on average three to four lines of text per paragraph, and never longer than five. Doing so allows you to segment thoughts efficiently, encourages concise and expressive language, and most importantly keeps your readers interested.

As a barometer, your paragraphs on my screen are right now 4-6 lines long. Cut them in half, and your story will reach a much broader audience.

Also, at the "Ugh" paragraph, you switch from a non-present third person narrator to MocYorrin's point of view. Be careful with that.

"splay his legs out to either of the stack just to fit" this doesn't make sense.

"they had succeeded in turning the Gaddeonese monarchy into their plaything; a puppet, ready and waiting to satisfy each and every whim of the puppeteer. Although, yes, it was true that in recent years—within Gridge's lifetime in fact—the Gaddeonese Mage had become far more humane than their ancestors—they were still abusing magic; still using it to 'coerce' their subjects into submission." - I don't believe you; make me believe. Show, don't tell. You did an excellent job of that in the previous two paragraphs, but this one fell short.

"he could never—nor would ever—" - This phrasing is really awkward.

Okay, so, for the first chapter in general:

I like MocYorrin. He's a solid character, though there isn't anything pressingly unique about him yet. Whenever I make characters, one of the first things I do is give them a very unique quirk that will help them develop. For example, one of my characters had an intense hatred for a particular song by Third Eye Blind. I had to write it out to figure out why, but after I did (maybe 300 words later), I had a much firmer grasp on his character. He eventually turned into main character in my short story "The Blues".

Another example (and my personal favorite) was one character I made whose unique habit was that he liked to use big words, but when he did so he would regularly mispronounce them, often humorously. That was one of my favorite characters I ever created, because I had to figure out why he did those things.

Your world is interesting, but I'll hold back my judgment at the first chapter. I need more information to make a legitimate call on that.

My only concern is that your story is not going to be very character-driven. I think that you will be prone to a habit that plagues many a fantasy author - myself included. Your story will probably be driven by what you want your reader to see in the majestic world that you have created in your head, instead of by what your character would actually do.

Romance-centered stories fall victim to this about 7 out of 10 times, which is why they are so frequently terrible. They're driven by the author's desire to live out the romantic events instead of letting the characters develop a relationship. It is, boiled down, soft-core emotional pornography. When you, as a fantasy author, fall victim to this trap, it is soft-core epic pornography. You try to make a story epic without giving the characters any motive, and the action falls short of the desired effect.

For all the effort I put into criticism, though, your story isn't even bad. It has all the right pieces, but I think you fell just a little short on the execution. If you clean the grammar mistakes up (get a beta-reader if you can't do that yourself), work on condensing your sentence structure (less flowery), and do some better paragraphing, I think you will have an excellent beginning to a short story on your hands. There are just enough things about this story that are rough around the edges to make getting to the center of it not worth it; I would compare it to eating an over-charred steak.

Thanks again for your review, and I hope this review is as helpful to you as yours was to me!

-twb
Alexandra Luther chapter 2 . 9/21/2012
Your attention to deatil is something I do have to admire about you. Your words really do paint beautiful pictures. I do also love that your world is already complete in your mind and because of that I feel that it makes it easier to see and believe what you put to paper. I'd have to say my only complaint, aside from wanting to know what happens next, is your character's thought process. Your writting is very technical and precise that the use of brackets threw me off a bit. I am anxious to see where and how you take your story please keep it up.
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