|Reviews for Feyble|
| ruelariat chapter 1 . 7/12/2013
Hello, there. This is ruelariat from Writers Untied review contest.
Overall impression: somewhat interesting idea, but a little bit of a confusing presentation.
The opening statement, "I don't know what to say, honestly," is a neat way to open up a story, because obviously the story is going to say something. However, the following line, "'Just keep your chin up, and smile at wit's end,'" followed by the bit about Allison's mother is slightly confusing. This is because there isn't a clear transition from the opening statement to the statement Allison's mother used to say. The reader doesn't know why the speaker doesn't know what to say, and the reader expects that to be explained. However, there is an awkward jump from that statement to some new information that seems irrelevant to the first statement. My suggestion would be to take this opportunity to characterize Allison a bit more, and spend a few statements explaining why she doesn't know what to say. OR, you know, you could just take out that very first statement. Honestly, the quote Allison's mother says would be a great intro statement. That's up to you, though.
I would like to comment on your use of the ellipses. I think you used them appropriately. In the first instance ("It was sort of a tradition before my parents...died.") you feel the sense of hesitation Allison has before saying her parents died. Personally, I felt a bitter hesitation. I could feel Allison's pain as she brought the memory of her parent's death back. I'm assuming that's the feeling you were trying to create. In the second instance ("I'd always been...different.") I feel Allison's hesitation once again. Only this time, her hesitation came off like she didn't know how to describe herself, or that she was bitter towards being different. So, overall, good use of the ellipses. Just don't overuse them, because you can send off mixed feelings with them and create a tone you didn't intend.
"I don't know how they died, nobody tells me." This statement makes me think. First, I'm not for sure if you should use a comma there. You've used this same sentence structure a few times throughout this prologue, -and instead of using a comma a semi-colon or an em dash would work (or parenthesis). Second, I find it kind of hard to believe that Allison doesn't know how her parents died. My mind is telling me that something seriously awful must have happened for Allison to have no idea how her parents passed. Yet, I would also assume that someone would tell her something, or they would lie to her and tell her some story. If you intend for the death of Allison's parents to be a key point in the story then perhaps you could stress that someway. Perhaps you could mention Uncle Nick avoiding the topic if Allison brought it up? Just a suggestion. However, if that isn't a major focus of the story then I would just explain how her parents died in some later part, or not even mention it in the introduction.
On the description of Uncle Nick: personally, I find direct description of a character awkward. However, that's just my taste in writing, and there isn't necessarily anything wrong with a direct description of a character. Personally, I like direct descriptions to be slightly more elaborate, and not just bare-bone facts. "He's about 5'9''." That statement could become a short paragraph if you so desired. When I read the description of Uncle Nick I feel like I'm being fed facts about him, and I don't feel like I'm getting to know the character; I feel like I'm reading a police report. This could be a chance for you to characterize Uncle Nick further beyond his physical aspects, too.
"It wasn't until I turned thirteen, was I told what I really was." I'm not for sure if there was a typo, but the phrasing it awkward. Also, you've used this comma structure again, and you'd just used it before in the previous statement. I would reword this statement just to make the reading smoother.
I love the statement, "It's almost like a sick joke." I really do. It's well placed and effective.
"The day I turned thirteen was the day I got my wings, what a surprise that came out to be, although apparently, they're just my 'child wings'. I don't get my adult set until I'm eighteen, figures.
They sort of get in the way of my hair, it's about shoulder length, and the dark tones contrast with the bright white of the wings.
It's sort of awkward, and why I keep my wings hidden from view."
The above is an excerpt. I would keep this all in one paragraph, because it's describing Allison's wings or has something to do with her wings. Separate paragraphs usually means that there's a different idea being presented, but since this all has to do with Allison's wings it makes more sense to keep it in one paragraph. Also, I would go ahead and describe the wings as much as you can. This is a fantasy story, and you want to have as many fantasy elements in the beginning to make it interesting (of course, you don't want too many, because that causes confusion and clutter...). Also, I would describe the size of the wings especially, and explain how Allison hides her wings.
I'm assuming that no one knows what she is, because she hides her wings. However, that could be a little bit more explained.
I like that "Collège Fenelon" feels French, because France is the setting of your story. I hope that there is more of the language and culture in the story, and that it's incorporated in a way that makes sense to the reader. Also (just thought of this), I think it's neat that you have the setting in France, because (as an American) France is foreign to me just as Allison is a foreign creature. So there's that. It enhances the fantasy aspect for me.
"He says it's to get me in the right crowd of friends, yet it just makes me more of an outcast than I already was." I would elaborate upon this statement more, and get rid of that comma and just make a few sentences out of it. Explain what kind of friends Uncle Nick wants Allison to be around. Explain why Allison feels like an outcast. This is your introduction where you are introducing your protagonist. Characterize Allison so the reader knows her somewhat before the first chapter. Make Allison feel real basically.
"I'm the only girl who, at least to my knowledge, is half magical creature." Okay, this statement seems out of place to me because of the previous and following statement. You're talking about Allison's going to school, and describing Allison's intelligence. Then, in between these two statements you have this statement about Allison being a magical creature. It seems out of place. I would combine the previous and following statement into a paragraph and elaborate. Then I would make this statement into a short paragraph, and take the opportunity to characterize Allison. This paragraph should be placed either before or after you start discussing Allison's schooling.
"I spend the rest of my days learning under Nick's tutelage." I don't like the way you phrased this, because nowhere else have you made it feel like you were describing a typical day in Allison's life. I had to read this statement a few times to figure out what you meant. I would rephrase this statement. "After school at Collège Fenelon is over, Nick teaches me about the creature I am and what I'm capable of." Something like that. Just get rid of the "I spend the rest of my days..." bit, unless you want to rewrite the prologue in a way that describes a typical day in Allison's life.
The last three paragraphs basically tell the reader that the characterization is over and that the story is beginning. "I sit alone, I work alone, I am alone." I'd prefer these to be individual statements so they have more emphasis, but that's up to you. Otherwise, the only thing I can suggest is that you elaborate some more on the situation, but it's pretty okay how it is.
Okay, and that's the end of my review. Interesting ideas presented. Mostly, I would just go back and elaborate and characterize some more. Otherwise, an ok introduction to what seems to be an interesting, fantasy story.
| DarknessesDownfall chapter 2 . 5/21/2013
*Flails* EPIC! Dang boy! Me gusta mucho
I don't really have anything to critique O_o
| Firewind555 chapter 3 . 4/24/2013
Interesting so far! Do keep updating!
| CappyWag chapter 2 . 4/17/2013
Is this an early lesson, that she doesn't even know what a Fey name is or how it works? This also raises the question of how long ago her parents died, that she still feels so strongly about them. A lot has been hinted at so far, but not really discussed! Haha.
There's a lot of dialogue, but it's not really stated how the dialogue is being said. How are Allison and Nick speaking the words? Calmly, sadly, hesitantly? But does just state that; show it through their actions.
A brief description of Allison and Nick would also be nice.
Finally, when throwing out words that are not common to the English language, one thing that you can also do is to try and explain how the word is pronounced. You don't have to, but in my mind it helps the writing flow (and I don't spend time wondering how something is pronounced, haha.)
| CappyWag chapter 1 . 4/17/2013
As an introduction, I have to say that a blatant breaking-the-forth wall "Hi, my name is _" has to be low on the list. It just does not convey a real sense of the character, and in my mind, acknowledges that they are just a fictional character in a book. If it's possible, I would suggest trying something else for an introduction.
Other than that, there's not a lot on this to comment on. A couple questions I have are:
Why does Allison feel like an outcast (she notes she does, but it's not explained why.) She feels alone... because she moved? Because her parents died? Because she's a Fey? There are many possible reasons, but it's not quite clear why. Of course, these questions don't have to be answered here- as long as they're answered sometime, that's fine.
On to your next chapter, haha.
| DarknessesDownfall chapter 1 . 4/16/2013
I LOVE IT *insert many, many hearts* you did awesome! I can't wait to see how you twist and turn it X3