Reviews for The Sculptor and the Scalpel
IhaveNoAmbition969 chapter 9 . 11/30/2016
I hope it can be repaired
crywolf-girl23 chapter 1 . 10/6/2013
Hello from Labyrinth!

I had to say, making your main character a goblin and the evil guys the elves, was a nice twist in the fantasy genre. Usually goblins are portrayed as creatures of low intelligence, blood thirsty and being unable to feel any kind of good feelings; like compassion or love. Kudos for turning things around! I also like how you distinguish each type of goblin and giving them a tag; like bull-goblin. This shows the variety their race have and makes it appear more real.

The fight was well played and as I'm not much of a gore lover, I think you gave enough for the story to still be able to fit into the T-rating. They are some parts though that could be re-written in terms of identifying who is doing what.

For example:
[Brutus stabbed with the sword in his left arm but the wolf was too quick. He tried to shake it off as if it were just some biting insect.]- In the beginning I wasn't sure who's arm was stabbed, so I had to read all over again to understand that Brutus stabbed the wolf's arm. I'd suggest going for something like this [Brutus stabbed the wolf's left arm with his sword, but the creature was too quick]. And since you already mention Brutus' weapon being swords, I don't think it's necessary to clarify with what he stabbed the wolf anyway.

Another one:
[Barely a boy-goblin, he stumbled of balance as he swung, and his opponent skipped merrily out of the way. It was Julia, his mother, though enslavement encouraged you not to use that term.]- The way you wrote it reads like Julia is the boy-goblin's mother and since you continue explaining her interactions with Septimus, we actually realize it's his mother instead. You could change the 'his' before 'mother' with Septimus', without dragging the sentence.

One more point, is your misuse of punctuation and the fact we can't discriminate the thoughts from the narrative. Using italicize for thoughts is a commonly used thing and it's a faux pas not doing it. You are just confusing the readers, that's all. About the punctuation, I suggest reading the text aloud. I know it sounds weird, but it really helps locating some aloof parts.

All this however are my points. You can ignore anything that doesn't work for you. I can't wait to read the rest of the story. Steampunk, yeah! Have a good day/night and keep your pens sharp.

nitpicking - {Shouldn't be werewolves instead of warwolfs?}
Vagrance chapter 1 . 10/5/2013
Setting: the arena scene was a good opening. It immediately gave us a sense of your world and what an unpleasant place it was. Unfortunately, I don’t like elves. Someone who can write at this level should have no problem with coming up with something else to inhabit this unforgiving land.

Technique/style: actions scenes were very lively and vivid. The narration was straightforward and easy to follow. I can actually see the carnage which was captured so well.

Characters: funny how a big goblin brute was named Brutus. Septimus worked rather well as the reluctant hero. I felt the whole chapter was setting him up for that mad charge into the arena. Kwalin was everything a wise mentor should, caring but ultimately resigned to his fate. On the whole, these goblins are an interesting bunch.

Dialogue: the lack of speech was an interesting choice. Maybe it was the fighting but I felt that the goblins have a very physical language.
“Kwalin's hands clenched. A warning.” – This proves that action speaks louder than word.
Timbo Slice chapter 1 . 9/22/2013
I really liked the premise with goblins having gladiatorial style fighting and the different races or class, really shows depth to the overall universe of the story and to me it reminded me of the brutal pit fights from games like oblivion and skyrim, so bonus points!

There were some glaring grammatical mistakes towards the beginning that add up and become noticeable and while I thought the premise was unique the actual writing leaves much to desired, maybe more emphasis on "coloring" your words more and showing rather than telling.
Unxious Custard chapter 5 . 9/17/2013
I forgot to mention previously, your chapter names are beautifully crafted. That said, I'm not quite so impressed with this one. We grow to love Septimus even more through his reactions to Endellion's factual manner. The tension you have created at the end of this chapter is wonderful. I also enjoyed the fury Septimus felt at the man tossed overboard. I might have liked a little more of a sense of awe at the city, even if some of the awe was awful rather than awesome. However, I can't fault the writing, the sense of style and the characters. Septimus is fast becoming a favourite of mine. In fact, I feel a tick in the favourite box coming on.
Unxious Custard chapter 4 . 9/17/2013
I am glad to see we have now returned to Septimus, whom I really enjoyed as a character. He has a complexity that is perhaps missing in the other two, although there is time for that to build in the story line. I love the oh so realistic dream. Very small niggle here: They blamed him for the wolf's escape, it had sent many traders scuttling away, had bankrupted the Pits. A semi colon is perhaps needed after escape. Two sentences of equal strength and all that gobbledigook. Trampling through the undergrowth, Septimus had no sense of time. Just the running. Love these sentences. They say it all. Brilliant writing. A great ending to this chapter.
Unxious Custard chapter 3 . 9/17/2013
Hi, having read your previous two chapters a while ago, I was a bit concerned that the third chapter introduced another brand new character, without me having the time to develop a real fondness for the other two. This may just be because of the time lag though. It is facinating how the city's speed is controlled by multiple forces. Perhaps you could elaborate on this a little. What is he doing? she thought, There is always the punctuation problem when you introduce first person thoughts into a third person character. Perhaps italics for thoughts are the way to go, then the question mark would be placed appropriately, rather than where it sits at the moment in the middle of a sentence. I love your easy reading style, and your choice of particular phrases that make this writing stand out above other. e.g. her heart giving a prolonged pump of relief. A cool action scene, that raised the blood pressure during the read.
lookingwest chapter 8 . 9/16/2013
I think this is the most well written chapter I've read so far. The other ones were well written too, but this one had some great lines, good simile and metaphor and visuals, and overall transitioned into Arrow's perspective from the Librarian (Endellion, right?) a really interesting way. It seems this chapter was written in omniscient third person, not limited like the others. That might be the only thing that is a little odd about it - since the rest are all from one perspective (I think so far) and we don't really have a switch happening anywhere. But even though this chapter does start from the Librarian, it eases into Arrow and what's happening with Arrow in a really good moment that I think can work even if it isn't quite consistent with what you've been doing so far. It's only chapter 8 too, you might use open omniscient more often as the story progresses, so I don't doubt much on it.

But, like I said. Really great opening paragraphs. Wonderful. I was really immersed right into this world and I really liked all the allusions to things that have happened in the past and in history, especially the paragraph about the space stations and everything. The language was your usual, but the breaking up of paragraphs looks good here. I didn't feel like I was bogged down by the information, and you paced the action really well at the end with Arrow by breaking it up. Really great to see. I remember Endellion from Septimus's perspective too, so I'm looking forward to seeing him tied into the story more through is perspective - I feel like we haven't followed him closely in a long while.

But anyway, really enjoyed your writing here because of the language you use to describe your world. I feel like your setting is expanding in really unique and interesting ways, and I like the technique of offering some indication of a past for this sky-city because I think that continues to world build in ways that many others might often forget (history.) Your terminology for your steampunk devices continues to quip my interest. Great work!
Dr. Self Destruct chapter 3 . 9/15/2013
I definitely think breaking up some of these larger paragraphs, especially during the wyvern attack, will help your pacing with the action. Right now even during the attack things are pretty slow going, and I think you'd be surprised by how much just breaking up paragraphs can alter a story's pacing and tone. I'd suggest breaking them up throughout the entire chapter because I've come here a couple times intending to review but was off-put by the size of the paragraphs. It's pretty daunting on a computer screen, not to mention it's pretty hard on the eyes. So even if you don't do it in the word document you're writing this in, you may want to break them up for your internet audience's sake. But yeah, those few paragraphs in particular that detail the action of the wyvern attack - I'd recommend breaking those up even if you decide not to touch the others. When something is fast paced like that, in order to help the mood it's usually wise to break up the narration, which will make the exposition sort of mimic the chaos of the fight scene. I appreciate long sentences and paragraphs just as much as the next person does, but sometimes they can hurt a situation more than add to it, depending on what effect you're going for.

I really appreciate your attention to detail. Although I'm not familiar with a lot of these, uh, "ship" terms (I have no idea what they're called, haha, but like starboard and port side and shit) you still describe them in a way where I'm able to picture what's going on. I think one of the more vivid images was when Arrow was running past the cows and you mentioned the smell - I like how you brought the sense of smell into it because I immediately imagined it and it really drew me in. Although the exposition is pretty dense with imagery and unfamiliar (to me) terms, you still manage to keep it all interesting, and you mix in a lot of action with the exposition (like Arrow walking through the city) which I think really helps a reader not realize just how much sensory detail there really is. I think movement is always really effective when it comes to keeping a reader's attention when there's no dialogue or more intense action, like fighting.
freddyburn chapter 1 . 9/14/2013
[[Opening]] The opening was intriguing. It was attention grabbing and straight away, I wanted to know more. Short though it was, it set the tone for the entire story nicely. Well done!

[[Ending]] Since it is obvious that this is a multi chaptered story, the ending is a great "intro" to the second chapter. It grabbed my attention and because of it, I want to read more.

[[Characters]] As this is the first chapter, you have built a solid foundation for the characters. I see a lot of potential for the main character. You gave a good description of him and the struggles he faced as a youth and as a teen.

[[Writing]] I love how you convey the emotions of the main character. Your descriptions are captivating. You don't overdo a scene and you leave the reader with a nice visual image. You have a good command of the English language. I commend it.

Overall, this is a story I am willing to read more of and will be faving and following.
lookingwest chapter 7 . 9/13/2013
The Puppetter was hopscotching [Typo]
and then the puppeteer was [Typo, capitalize]
said the Puppeeer [Typo]
replied the Puppetter [Typo]
down on the Puppetter [Typo]
The Pupetter seized the sword [Typo]
careering toward the Puppetter [Typo]

The last three were all in the same paragraph, which was a little distracting while I was reading since I kept noticing them, maybe make sure to go through and edit them out for a smoother read.

A cheap trick, using business to lure you here. [Typo, missing an ending quotation after "here." or - well, although, there's something weird about this part, since the next line I think is supposed to be dialogue too, but it suddenly changes to him saying the police want a word, and I feel like there should be more transition - maybe this is just missing something?]

unaware of the Puppetter pulling the strings [Typo]

Content-wise, this chapter demonstrated a great manipulation of tension for the reader, and I think tension is one of its greatest strengths. The elaborate torture-esque fun that the Puppeteer was having with Karla was startling and really inventive, I don't think i could've thought things through like that and it makes me wonder how she might've gotten out instead of using her teeth, or if using her teeth was the real answer. Similarly to the other review I gave you today, I really think your action scenes could be strengthened if you just learned to break them up - this time, you put all of the action in one paragraph, and it actually made it a little hard to follow again and disorientating. But then, I suppose the disorientation also reflects how Karla is feeling. I'm thinking specifically of the paragraph that starts with "Then, as the axe swung down..."

This chapter's ending was surprising and another one that I didn't see coming, which was cool. I liked the sudden involvement of external forces because I think it raises a lot of questions again politically regarding Gilliad. We already met some of the anti-wolf peoples out on the streets in the previous chapter, so it was interesting to see Radoslav and his gang here, using a sort of mockery of law to try to catch her.

Also, really cool scene with the rope and using her as a puppet because, truly, I felt humiliated for her! Great way to bring out emotion!
Raveg64 chapter 1 . 9/13/2013
This is really good but the paragraphs are too big...
lookingwest chapter 6 . 9/13/2013
This is a review for Ch. 3 (it looks like you did some re-arranging and I've already reviewed the new Ch. 6, so this should work out without me having to log out, eh? haha)

But despite her disintegrating muscles, Arrow loved it. [I think you could definitely get rid of the "But" here and start a new paragraph with "Despite her..." to break up the length of that paragraph - this moves onto a completely different topic than the first half of the paragraph, so really, I think it should signal a move to its own. Just a thought.]

FP keeps doing something weird in doc manager with italicized words, the same thing has been happening to me. You've got quite a lot of instances near the end where a space should be between the italicized word and the word before or after it - I have no idea why it's doing that. I keep catching and correcting mine when I can, haha.

Pacing - The pacing of this entire chapter was very slow because of your heavy detail and your dense paragraphs. I really don't mind it, and I think it fits to characterize how you write and your personal flairs, but I will say - I think when writing action it might be worth trying to actually start breaking up some of the longer paragraphs when there's things happening really quick in your narrative. I'm speaking specifically when the wyvern is attacking and biting of people's arms and everything - I mean, I think I should've been getting more of a quick, panicked scene from that, but it actually moved really slow for me and Arrow didn't appear very excited about it. The "And then the shadow fell upon her body" paragraph is where I think you could really start splitting things up when new action is staring. You could break that up into maybe 3 or 4 smaller paragraphs - maybe even more, if you wanted, just to amp up the pacing a little more there for an action sequence. Besides that though, I think it fits your character and style of this novel to keep it at a more dense writing level for the opening.

Character - Arrow seems cool, except I didn't pick up a whole lot of her personality from this story, more just her daily life and her routine. We do get the mention that she has friends, etc, but we don't get any showings of her dialogue, how she speaks with others, or any real personal information beyond her training and her Fledgling status. She seems very practical and technical minded, though, which I think fits what she's doing as a living. It matched her up well with the technicalities of piloting and because of her practical voice, you were able to do some really key world building.

Setting - Since it's been awhile since I've visited this story, I hope I'm right in visualizing that Arrow is living on a floating city that's flying in the air and she's learning to pilot crafts that kind of fly around the flying city. That's what it came off as to me. In all honesty though, I got a little lost in all your rich detail and I wasn't feeling one hundred percent positive about visually what I should be picturing as far as where the city is located. I remember Sep's chapters though, and I'm pretty sure he ends up near or around the setting that Arrow's been describing in this chapter. Anyway - I actually did really enjoy your worldbuilding and the creation of a real steampunk setting. It's so incredibly steampunk, I think it's the most steampunkish thing I've read on FP. haha. I mean, even though some of the vocabulary was lost on me, I didn't mind. I'm a reader who likes to be dropped into things, and I enjoy trying to work them out as the story moves along.

Enjoyment - Overall, I enjoyed this new character (I'm pretty sure she's new, anyway) and I like how she contrasts with Karla as a character. I also, as I mentioned above, really loved the steampunk elements of this chapter and I feel like they came out more vibrantly than they have in other perspectives. I even liked the descriptions of what Arrow looks like, for instance, her skin and hair - it sounds very inventive and your world is quite vast culturally, which is another thing I enjoy. Glad to see her joined up with the opening cast, and I look forward to reading more from her technical perspective!
Vladvonbounce chapter 5 . 7/29/2013
This is really nicely written again. Not much constructive criticism I can give I am afraid. I really liked the pacing. The story is moving forward but it's not rushing and it ends on great cliffhanger and nicely links up to the previous chapter with the doll.

I am intrigued as to how this story will interact with Septimus'. They are both so different yet clearly set in the same world which is well done.

"Even then as she seized her she watched amazed at how smoothly they marched" Should be they not she.

I didn't quite get why Maximillian thumped her on the back when she was using the microscope. Who does that? And then not to apologise? The guy's a creep.

I hope you post up new chapters soon!
Vladvonbounce chapter 4 . 7/29/2013
I love the way you have built up the sky city to be a paradise and then torn it apart just like that. bringing up so many more questions about what is going on. Who is the general? Why did they push Mr Hawkins off the tower? Who is Lady Endellion?

Also again great descriptions!

A few small things.
"blazing orange October" Not sure why October is in there?

'Stops us being blown of course.' Should be off.

"to kill this poisonous, righteous, murderous Aeolian"
Septimus doesn't have any reason to believe he is poisonous? righteous and murderous is probably enough

Why did you choose Oxford? Considering nothing else seems copied from our world I think you could come up with its own name. Unless it is actually meant to be Oxford university.
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