Reviews for Thorns
Annything chapter 1 . 3/25/2013
WCC review.

Opening: I felt rather jarred by the opening of this. I feel like it's a little too vague. You're talking about snow turning to ice, and then it's a sudden transition to the flute in his hands. The first sentence feels really out of place in comparison to the next paragraph. It was an excellent hook though, in my opinion. It just felt weird.

Spelling/grammar: [I sit with my coat unfastened and the fire sputtering at my feet - with my flute in my hand, but I can't bring myself to play, because my bones feel as unresponsive as sodden parchment.] This whole sentence feels odd to me. I had to read it over a few times to understand it. It almost feels like you're trying to make too many sentences into one, you know? I think it would work better if you ended the sentence at "play" and continued to another sentence to say, "My bones feel as unresponsive as sodden parchment."
Also, I notice that you use a hyphen a lot in the place of an em-dash. The alt-code for an em-dash is alt and then 0151, for future reference. [He looks passed the common people now] I think you mean past instead of passed.
["Mater, we don't need honey.] I think you mean master.

Writing: I think you set this all up pretty well in the beginning, although it does take awhile for it all to make sense to me. I dunno, I'm pretty slow, so maybe it's just me, but at the beginning I was completely confused with the erratic thoughts of the narrator and the jarring twists of thoughts. I might not have totally gotten it if I haven't already heard the premise of this before in Help With Your Writing. But, once things clicked for me, it was actually pretty sweet the way you made it out, I think the timing of everything is perfect, just the jarring thoughts of the narrator that kind of ruined the pace for me.

Characters: I really like the first unknown narrator in the beginning. I like the more disturbed and interesting type rather than the boring, typical. In comparison, Caden and Anthony seemed really... bland. They were your cliched arrogant prick master and reasonable obedient servant that didn't suit my tastes at all. I'd prefer it to be the opposite, even. Having the master be reasonable and kind and the servant really bored with life and rude. It would at least be different, you know.

-Ann
Faithless Juliet chapter 1 . 3/23/2013
WCC REVIEW:

OPENING: I felt a little disoriented by your opening. I like the image of the snow melting ect. But I’m not sure if it’s a strong enough lead in. I think you may want to experiment starting with “It sit with my coat unfastened…” and then have the narrator note that the snow is melting.

SETTING: I like how you portray images like ‘castle’ and ‘sentry’ but I’m not overtly clear in what time frame the story takes place. I also didn’t like the use of the word ‘fucking’ not that I have a problem with it in general but I feel like it’s an angry word and it doesn’t fit with the tone of the piece that you had already established.

CHARACTERS: I’m not entirely sure if you protagonist is a male or a female. I’m thinking she’s female, but I didn’t see any specification to clarify that. I do like the character building that you establish in the first half, I could feel the bitterness and even a hint of regret about the past, but most of all there was a lot of animosity toward their lot in life. Having read about what Caden had done I was surprised that when we got to that section he wasn’t as ruthless as the first half made him out to be.

ENDING: I liked how you ended on an ambiguous note; it certainly makes me want to read on. Ideally I would have liked to see more length/detail with this, but I think it’s a solid opener. Keep up the good work, and congratulations on your WCC win.

Much love,
Juliet.
A. Gray chapter 2 . 3/19/2013
Very strong opening in this chapter. I was instantly sucked in by how you set the tone and setting. I was there with Dominic getting pinned, and felt a slight fear run up my spine. There was no way I could stop reading after that. It also gave a greater depth to the world as it is with the crime and how people don't help. It makes for a nice base line to see the corruption and fear that is part of everyday life.
The dialog was good, and gave a nice feel for the people that were speaking it. I nearly felt like the man that tried to grab him really didn't mean any harm, and that;s saying a lot as he's pinning him and hitting him. Will really made me wonder with his dialog, and I hope I get to see him again later.
As much as the relationship between Dominic and his assailant flows well, and is easily distinguished, that of him and Will isn't. I was left wondering if he really did know that Dominic is the true prince even though you made it clear. It was just odd to me that he would give him a beer (knowing who he is) and then scare him off with questions like that. is there more to Will and Dominic than we are seeing? Probably, but it felt almost forced between those two.
I found the basic scene of Caden the most interesting of this chapter. I see that he wanted the power, and he got it, but he wants Dominic too. I was intrigued by how he sent of a group to look for the prince, but never find him. Instead he knows he is close, but wants him alive, and well of all things. I can see the bits and flashes of love from him.
LuckycoolHawk9 chapter 2 . 2/28/2013
I truly liked how Dominic realized he has lost his "true self", the part of him that made him who he was because it shows that he is a powerful character who continues to live despite all the danger and pain he is in. I however disliked Caden's obession with killing Dominic because it seems he has no motive to kill him since no one truly cares right now about the "old" prince.(Freebie 2 of 2)
LuckycoolHawk9 chapter 1 . 2/28/2013
I like the way this story is told from both first person and third person POV because it offers the reader a rare and unique style which is interesting and draws the readers into the story. I however disliked the lack of a name for the main first person narrator because he says he knows his name but he does not tell us, which makes it harder to connect to him like other characters.(Freebie 1 of 2)
professional griefer chapter 2 . 2/26/2013
Oh Liv...I just realized I stole Caden's name...I totally didn't mean to do that, sorry!
Okay, I don't like how you switched first-third-first. I think you could really expand Caden's scenes and only switch once, or just combined Dominic's parts, it just seemed unnecessary to break it up the way you did. That's another thing, it's really hard to find Dominic's name. Maybe I was just overlooking something, but I only just found his name, and it took me very carefully rereading both chapters.
I'm really into Caden, you've really characterized him well-through the way Dominic talks about him, I find myself getting really anxious to learn more about him. And his obsession with Dom (can I call him that?) is really well done, it's definitely a nice lead in for a kind of power play relationship.
I'm definitely looking forward to them being in the same place, fo sho.
So, yeah, really nice work!
lookingwest chapter 2 . 2/25/2013
I think the first section of this chapter was the strongest section for me. I'm not sure on a craft-note if I agree with the style going into third person when we read about Caden. On one hand, I understand that there is a good distance there that might be parallel to the distance that a peasant might feel to the king - the reader kind of becomes alienated from him in that way, but when it's juxtaposed so closely with the prince's narration in first person and only divided by the scene break, I'm not so sure.

I'm almost thinking what you could do is just keep the first person chapters in first person and only from the prince's perspective, and then in the next chapter, tease out and fill the third person Caden sections. The one here could stand to be fuller, I think. I like the scene between the servant and Caden, but we could get more detail as far as his setting and his emotion. I feel as though we're only touching the surface of the possibilities his character holds, and I'd like to delve deeper into scenes with him.

Your first person, as I mentioned earlier, is the big gem in your writing. I think your first person is great and I loooooove the narration of the jilted prince. His name is Dominic, right? Anyway, Dom is well done and reminds me a lot of the narrations in Meaningless Again - another one of your stories that I think threaded some really good perspective and diversity. Specifically - I also adored the mention of the moon rise in the first section. The two places you mention the moon are some really beautiful pieces of writing :)

I also liked the scene unfolding with Will and I'm glad that you took time to show us Dom's daily life. It would be cool to see some of Caden's daily life so we could see more parallels of their different worlds and what Dom has fallen so far from in contrast. I get the senese you lean towards Dom more than you do Caden, and that could be because we do get that narrative distance in Caden's POV - but Caden definitely isn't coming across to me as being as sympathetic as Dom. He'll have to really pull his crap together to come away clean in this story for me - I dunno if I could ever trust him, but then, we're only into the second chapter. Hope you post more soon!
Isis 47 chapter 2 . 2/22/2013
Hey, been a while. Very long while.

I really don't have too much to pick at, mainly because my few pickings are questions I know will be answered later. So, here you go:

"Far off, a group of people are laughing, but nobody responds to screams. You keep your head down around here."

- That just shows how "awesome" a king Caden is. Maybe he should stop obsessing over finding the prince and start running the kingdom.

'"They never found his body. The prince. Did you know that?"

I have to shove him away.'

- Interesting. Will's onto him. Explains why he doesn't want to be seen the next day.

And then I like the next part about Caden asking Anthony to track the prince down; though I'd like to know why (well . . . okay, I already know; just explain why, I guess :P ).

Interesting - I like this so far. Keep writing! :)
- Isis
Laoch chapter 1 . 2/19/2013
I particularily enjoyed how you don't reveal who the character was with first person POV; the mystery which is already building from that definitely drew me in from the start and I already know I want to read further. Same goes with how bitter this person is and how depressed and stuck in the darkness he is, a character trait I can tell will make the plot line of this much more interesting to follow.
However, I would have liked to have seen more of Caden's personality. You led with a great deal of info about the nameless character; I had hoped to see you balance it out with a contrasting view of Caden.
[When I woke up, I didn't know who I was. I woke up with] - You use I woke up twice in two sentances; this is rather nitpicky, but I find the repetitiveness takes away from the piece.
[Besides, tt's getting dark. They'll be cooking supper in the kitchens."] - Typo; should be it's.
Shampoo Suicide chapter 2 . 2/18/2013
I love that Dominic still holds onto his pride, if that's the right word for it, of his former position in life. You characterized him well in that regard, with his refusal to return to the village to beg, his shame at having to accept food from someone he regards as a peasant. Again, I think the changing POV works well in this story.

I'm interested in finding out what Caden wants from the former prince. I like that he seems to know Dominic very well, knowing that he'd never leave the country. I'm also interested in finding out if Will truly knows who Dominic is.

The opening to the chapter is very well done, the scene you set up was very descriptive and pulled me right in. The little bit of backstory of Dominic having sold himself once upon a time was a nice detail.
Aletiah chapter 2 . 2/15/2013
I wonder what Caden wants with Dominic. Glad that we get to know his name :) I wonder how old he's supposed to be?
Even though he lives on the streets, he still is "royal" and thinking people are below him. I like that, I think it's human.
We don't know much about the country yet, what people thinks about the old king's death and the new taking his place. They don't seem so upset by it, but maybe I am wrong. Update soon!
krlsen chapter 2 . 2/15/2013
:D
Chancer On The Scene chapter 1 . 2/14/2013
While this chapter (for the most part) serves as a good exposition for setting up the characters and establishing the status quo that exists, I'm a bit uncomfortable with the characterization of Anthony. For someone who so frequently refers to Caden as "master" he seemingly steps out of line far too frequently for a proper King to allow that behavior. Caden, himself, touches upon thus but the final assertion, "You'd never fire me," seems blatantly out of line in a manner where the reader would expect Anthony to be punished. Something about their dynamic is off and it doesn't add to the complexity of their relationship in the way that I think you intend it to.

Something that I truly did like, however, was how clean the imagery was. It was very minimalistic and that kept the focus of everything that was happening on the characters and the dialogue exchanges rather than the scene that they were surrounded by. It definitely created more profound characterization and made the reading advance at a quickened pace as compared to other styles of writing. You do well with this style (more so when writing with the third person) and I'd love to see you continue with it.
Nicholas Scott chapter 2 . 2/14/2013
This is just lovely. I love both Caden and Dominic, even though we've yet to get to their history...something I'm very much looking forward too. And Will, seeming to know who Dominic is, leads me to believe that he will play a pivotal roll in time to come. It was such a nice surprise to see this update, it's almost like a literary valentine :). There is such a serene flow to your writing and a subtlety to your voice. I'm quite enamoured
baffledkingshallelujah chapter 1 . 2/8/2013
Very enticing choice of words. I like that the former king didn't just die from lack of coddling, but rather survives and perhaps grows stronger. It's quite obvious Caden is looking for our main man and is using shopping for himself as an excuse to do so. We see a glimpse into the character of Caden in his choice to do this and what we are given to think on relates back to the descriptions of Caden from our main man earlier on. You have consistency, feeling, and do a wonderful job of making us want more. The only real complaint I have is how there's so little to read. Keep it up.
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