Reviews for Piercing Illusions
tronks chapter 1 . 11/14/2012
Terra was a bautiful vibrant planet which had everything. It had lush green forests filled with strange and unusual creatures. (This reads much better)

Terra never left a friend behind; he was not that type of guy. (Two fragments don't make a sentence)

competitor to ask his future wife on a date.
(Wait wha-future wife? Is this a reference to The Room?)

kicked Zach in the head and knocked him out for a week. (This is a little intense. Do you know 16 hours of unconsciousness counts as a coma?)

I had to skip the first several paragraphs because it was telling, and it threw me out of the story. Telling is FANTASTIC, I'm not going to be one of those pretentious people who try to say "never tell", because you need both telling and showing to portrey a story. In this case the issue is using telling off the bat in your prologue which will give you a rough time drawing readers in. I liked your idea and descriptions, but did you notice your "he said" and "Terra said" type of tags? I think every sentence where someone is about to speak, you use either "Terra said" or "Terra sighed and said" or "Terra smiled and said"...it just gets a little redundant. However this is only your prologue, so I'm sure you fixed these errors as you went on. Just be sure to tidy up your prologue to draw readers in. Good luck!
Anihyr Moonstar chapter 7 . 11/13/2012
I like Rocky the dragon and the fact that he calls Adam "momma". It's very cute (and amusing) and made me smile. He seems like a fun character.

I don't like the fact that because of apparent typos there are certain sections where I don't even know what you're trying to say. [It was an only lie. A big lie white way.] A...what? "It was only a lie." ? Or something else? And what is a big lie white way? I don't understand at all. I think if you're going to share the story, these chapters would really benefit from a read-over and at least some very quick editing even though it's NaNo.

- Moonstar
Anihyr Moonstar chapter 6 . 11/13/2012
I like that Adam is looking after Alix and even willing to tell her a bedtime story. It shows maturity and responsibility in him as a character.

I didn't like a couple repetitive sections and some confusing wording. For instance one line opens "Adam sighed and said" and the next line opens "Alix sighed and said" and it just feels dreary and dry if it keeps getting worded and set up the same way, especially one right after another. As for a confusing part:

[Adam shook his head and said "It is.] Usually "shook his/her head" means "no" and "nodded his/her head" means "yes". Since he's saying "yes" I would change "shook" to "nodded".

- Moonstar
Anihyr Moonstar chapter 5 . 11/13/2012
I like the way you portray Joanna's personality in this chapter. Her sarcasm ("I am annoyed because I have to the pleasure of your company...") and her morals are obvious. She values someone keeping their word, and I like that in a character.

I don't like the plethora if simple mistakes that even a quick once-over could fix. [Seven snapped at Joanna and said...] Pick either "snapped" or "said" unless you mean that he physically snapped his fingers at her and then spoke (which is what the sentence currently says).

And even in the dialogue I quoted as a "like": ["I am annoyed because I have to the pleasure of your company...] Either add something like "endure" after the "to" or delete the "to" altogether. At the moment it's kind of hodge podge.

- Moonstar
Sywre von Dasen chapter 1 . 11/10/2012
Boring!
The Autumn Queen chapter 1 . 11/9/2012
I don't really like the way you structured that first paragraph. I think saying it out loud it sounds like the narration at the beginning of a movie, but it doesn't really capture me, and as prose I think the pauses/punctuation could be worked better. It's not really the sort of beginning that sells your scene to me. And it was rather confusing having Terra the planet and Terra the character; I think it might be easier to follow if you write Terra Knight when talking about the character, or King Terra. It'll also add words (though you're way ahead of me on that score:) ).

I do like how you've drawn up the interactions between characters though. it shows Terra Knight to be a good king, one who interacts with his people and that sets the scene up nicely and steps away from the more cliched bad-ruler beginnings.
Complex Variable chapter 2 . 11/8/2012
[The king's guards were checking to make sure that there was no kid was without a parent and Seven had been lying to the guards for ten years straight.] - - - this sentence makes no sense; too many "was"'s.

Even though this is a NaNo work, I still think you should spend a little more time editing it. Either just finish writing it, then go through a massive editing campaign—which, unfortunately, will be a big pain—or, edit it a bit at a time. Cleaning it up—grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc. -wise—will make it far easier—and far more enjoyable—for a reader to digest. Right now, it all feels a little disconnected. I can really tell how white-hot the writing-rush must have been when you typed this all up.

You have some interesting banter going on, as far as dialogue is concerned. It's definitely a good kernel—just flesh it out, and edit it (either now, or later) and it'll really shine. I think that, if done right, you could enhance the characterizations that you're already giving through your use of dialogue and make it really vital, and awesome.
Anihyr Moonstar chapter 4 . 11/8/2012
The second paragraph is ten lines long; I would highly recommend breaking it up. Any time you have a paragraph too long (realistically anything over five lines is pushing it), a reader's eyes start to get lost in the sea of text, especially with online prose. (I know it's a first draft, but you're putting it up here, so - just keep this in mind when you edit.)

[It was the Black Rider, the infamous organ snatcher.] LOL. This whole interaction made me snicker - nice going.

The missing words/redundancy issue still persists here (as well as your dialogue tag issue - I noticed that you're still not adding the appropriate commas, even in the newer stuff, and it's very distracting). Here are some examples of these issues:

["Hello, may I sleep you?"] I think you mean sleep *with* you.

[He said "I don't feel like it darling.] Comma after 'said' comma after 'it'.

[Have fun with whoever you are off to steal with. He then startled the horse which dragged the Black Rider along with it.] The first sentence is part of dialogue; the latter isn't. There needs to be a closing quotation there after the 'with'.

- Moonstar
Anihyr Moonstar chapter 3 . 11/7/2012
I like that you establish that Joanna is not only different in general, but different even by Terra's standards. Characters have to stand out in order to make them stick in a reader's mind, so making them definitive is a good thing.

There's still so much "telling" in your writing, though. It feels like the entire beginning is a set of telling sentences where you just lay out her background in essay-esque format. Try not to info-dump so much up front. Give the readers time to adjust to the story and *learn* about the characters gradually as they go. A trickle of information that build's up a story is way more fun to read about than a list of facts.

- Moonstar
Katsurou Shimizu chapter 2 . 11/6/2012
I like Seven. He's a con-artist using his illusion powers, but he does it for the sake of his sister. Considering that most stories I read have teenage brothers deeming their sisters to be a nuisance, this is a refreshing change.

What I didn't quite like here was the nature of the beginning, which straight went out into telling me what happened and sort of disengaged me quite a bit. Try to cut down on the summarizing, at least put it down in the later paragraphs after you hooked the readers in with a dynamic opening.

["Is today the day brother?" Alix asked] could be a possible start.

Logic alert: [three months after Alix's birth and their mother's birth].

- I don't think that's quite possible yeah.
Katsurou Shimizu chapter 1 . 11/6/2012
Ah, so is this the Terra that you mentioned in Singed? From the looks of things, I think you are having fun with the story at the moment and that's the most important thing! Good luck for NaNoWriMo btw :)

Okay, now to the proper review itself.

I wouldn't rehash what the others have mentioned with regards to the show and tell and the punctuation errors in your dialogue; considering that you are writing in a burst of adrenaline I think it's understandable. I like to say though your writing here is better as compared to Singed in terms of flow. I also like the ideas that you present here in terms of monsters creating illusions and animal spirits, which is possibly the key idea behind your entire novel as far as your title is concerned.

Unfortunately, I think that dialogue is still your achilles heel here, especially with the exchange between Zach and Terra at the beginning, which reads a little like an info-dump. The transition between scenes such as Zach finding Adam and the Piercing Illusion attacking the hunting trio also feels rather abrupt because of the absence of buildup, so you might want to fix that up in your rewrite.

Wonder what's going to happen to Zach now?
Anihyr Moonstar chapter 2 . 11/4/2012
I like the nobleness of Seven's character. Right off the bat you show us that he's there to do whatever he can to protect his sister and keep his vow to his mother, and that's a very mature thing for a seventeen-year-old to do. It shows he's more grown up and responsible than some adults.

I don't like the number of technical errors because it's distracting to read a paragraph and run up against three mistakes before I get to the end of it. Here's a few examples:

[The king's guards were checking to make sure that there was no kid was without a parent...] Get rid of one "was". Either "there was no kid without a parent" or "that no kid was without a parent".

[He sometimes though he should test...] *thought

[He was sent to war three months after Alix's birth and their mother's birth.] Three months after Alix's birth AND their mother's birth? How is it possible that Alix (the daughter) and the mother were born at the same time?

- Moonstar
Dr. Self Destruct chapter 2 . 11/3/2012
I feel like there is a lot of telling instead of showing, especially in the beginning of the chapter. Most of this information can be delivered during the story itself (through interaction, flashback, dialogue, ect.) while developing the various characters. Telling the reader all this information can make for a boring and uninvolved read, so keep that in mind for when you go back and revise after Nano is over.

Another thing to look out for when you edit is you have some tense shifts mid-paragraph or mid-thought. For example:

[Seven nodded and took the card and said "Sure." He then proceeds to slam the door.]

The first sentence is in past tense, while the second is in present tense. I suggest picking one and sticking with it, because it makes for a confusing read if the tense keeps shifting. Keep your eyes peeled for it when you go back and edit.
Anihyr Moonstar chapter 1 . 11/3/2012
I like that you set the scene right away. By introducing us to the setting immediately, it makes it easy to picture what everything looks like as we go along.

My least favorite thing so far is your tenency to either repeat things with different wording (redundancy) as well as some parts that just sound a bit odd.

For instance, first you say, [They were hunting a rare animal found only in the lush Terra forest.] This sounds like it could be an animal found in ANY forest on the entire planet of Terra. Then in the same paragraph you say, [This creature was only found in a forest called Illusion Woods.]

Why not just stick with the latter sentence and delete the former?

Your dialogue tags are also still messed up. I realize this is NaNo, but I know you type it this way even when you are editing, so I'm going to point out the issue again for the record:

You typed: [Zach answered "You know how well horses and I get along."]

Should be: [Zach answered, "You know how well horses and I get along."]

Just add in those commas (whenever you edit and in future stories). One comma after the last word before the dialogue tag. Pretty simple.

- Moonstar
Persevera chapter 1 . 11/3/2012
I don't know how to say I don't like spelling and grammar mistakes so I'll say I don't like unnecessary words. I found a couple of instances that would help the flow of the story if they were removed, such as [last place you fought a war with]-Sentence is complete without with. [retorted back]-Back not needed.
I like that the wizard tutor's name is Earl Gray, like the tea. That's a cute play on words.
I like Zach. Every egotistical leading man who can bring him down a peg or two and is actually a far more interesting person.
I don't like the egotistical leading man, particularly his attitude about hunting. "I have killed at least one of every creature on this planet. It will not ruin my perfect hunting streak." Grr. Go, Piercing Illusion. Terra needed a scar from would-be prey.
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