|Reviews for Sins of the Mothers|
| m. b. whitlock chapter 3 . 9/2/2014
Sins of the Mothers Chapter 3
I continue to find this matriarchal society you are creating fascinating. I really only have one main critique. I think many of the scenes in this chapter would have more impact if you set up the action a bit more. What I mean is, I would love more description and more background information all through the chapter. I would just like to get a sense of how things smell and taste and bits of history about how things came to be the way they are.
I think you do a good job of avoiding obvious info dumps and exposition through dialogue. I'm not saying set things up that way. I think a moment of reflection from Romeo/Randy about not only the society he lives in but how he came to be the primary service provider for Madame De Vere Carter would do a lot to create a wider scope for your story.
He could remember a previous client and bring up the green face paint thing and then talk about Madame De Vere Carter's grounds and how extensive they are and all the dangerous animals and security apparatuses there are (setting up the baboon line).
The dialogue overall is quite believable. Good job on that! Again, none of it sounds contrived.
So here are notes:
"He smiled to himself as he thought of her smooth green face looking into his on the pillow each morning and how she wanted a good morning kiss even when her breath was foul with vomit."
Is Lucille's face 'green' because she is pregnant? Or is it because she wears face paint to exhibit her status? I'm figuring, having read through the whole chapter, that her face is somehow permanently green to indicate status but I remain confused…
As I have commented before, I feel your pieces would read a little better if you broke up the large blocks of text. Maybe have this as the first sentence of a new paragraph?:
"True, back in those days, all prostitutes were liable to any amount of abuse and stigma attached to them and most had been unlucky enough to have to serve men, but the definition of prostitute had been clear - someone who sold sexual favours."
""Stop - don't worry - I would never laugh if you were raped."
I don't quite understand why Mary says this.
Like this part!:
""Oh, did I startle you sweetie?" she asked, laying a gloved hand on his arm."
I would like more set up for this (as I mentioned above):
""But the baboons will be prowling the gardens tonight, it's too dangerous for you to go back that way and Lucille won't take kindly to your tresspassing,""
Knowing ahead of time how treacherous the grounds are will amp the tension in this scene.
Like this dialogue too! I'd like the conversation to go on more though:
"Never mind Lucille," said Mary, shaking her head, "I came because I want to help you-"
More set up for this would be good as well:
"Tonight, her honey coloured face was painted vivid green as an indication of her status, just like Lucille's."
I just think knowing about the green paint would be a great cultural detail to introduce your world in chapter one or something…
"Sexual desire thrilled *though* him at Jackie's closeness, her touch sparked an intense longing. At this moment, he did not regret his vocation."
But I think you mean 'through' not "*though*". :)
Looking forward to reading more of your stuff!
| m. b. whitlock chapter 2 . 8/16/2014
In this chapter we get more information about the matriarchal society of the story. It seems like this story takes place at some point in the future. How far in the future seems indefinite. Items like the 'vidcom' Mary uses to cal her friend Alison seem a bit reminiscent of older 'futurist' movies and tv shows like the 1960s Star Trek show… Interesting. It almost feels like some horrendous apocalypse must have happened and destroyed civilization and this world was born from ruins and ashes or something…
I think you might want to consider developing the conversation between Mary and Alison a bit. It's a good opportunity to explore Mary's character and aspects of life in this world. I would like to have more context to understand how Alison has formed her opinions about their matriarchal society and its wrongs. Why is Alison sympathetic to men and their apparent lack of rights? I think a slightly longer conversation in which Alison discusses her father or other men in her life (and maybe Mary talks about men she has known too) would really help expand things.
What a bizarre situation:
"a man broke into a shop and the proprietress, who was skilled in martial arts, beat him and then raped him. They spoke as though she were some kind of heroine and not a felon!"
I can't imagine anything like that happening in our world.
I like this development:
"Such a desperate clown persona required more work than the guise of Cutie the Clown."
It looks like Mary is going to have go to further extremes, creating a more unfamiliar persona than ever. Intriguing!
| m. b. whitlock chapter 1 . 8/11/2014
So, I like this story. It's really original in a lot of ways. I like your main character Mary. I also think it's very cool how you give her an alternate persona, 'Cutie the Clown'. It's a very cool technique to give your character a double life/split perspective.
I think my only problem with this is the formatting. I really think you could split up those paragraphs. It's just hard to read… :)
I like this:
"The previous summer she had been hired to perform as a clown for the kids at the official opening of the new town hall, hosted by one, Madame De Vere Carter, a wealthy socialite of intriguing repute." I don't know about 'intriguing repute' though. I think you might want to consider going with something a little clearer, like 'a wealthy socialite known to have unconventional ideas' or something. :)
Interesting reveals here:
""I always feel a clown is a necessary touch to add to an event and we women can do it so much better than those unfortunate men who end up frightening the little ones. Perhaps a demonstration is in order? Show me what you can do.""
Cool action, but I think this run-on sentence is a bit long:
"rather she was everywhere at once: making paper birds for a little boy, doing a hoop trick for a little girl with curly blond hair, giving one of the surprised men sitting with one of the ladies a toupee to place over his bald head and all the while letting her trade mark giggle peal forth."
"Smears of her white facepaint now adorned his perfect face."
| alltheeagles chapter 2 . 7/19/2014
For the RG EF
Your narrating voice is hard to place - not quite modern contemporary (too formal), not quite serious old-school (there are vidcoms and clowns). It's interesting, but I'm not sure what effect you're going for, or have inadvertently achieved. Probably that will become clearer as the story progresses. The concept of a matriarchal society is also very interesting to me, though at the moment, it isn't coming across very clearly because the society seems largely similar to ours. Perhaps you'll include more details on this front soon?
| Highway Unicorn chapter 1 . 7/5/2014
Hey there! I owe you a EF review!
I really like the idea you have going here because I feel it relates to rather important issues going on in the real world today. For instance, I remember reading something about an actress who had a child via sperm donation from a boyfriend...and later on, after the child was born, he got involved with the child. The couple split up and now the father is trying to get custody while the mother claims he has no right since he donated the sperm. That is only one of many examples. Anyway, back to my main point: I think it's rather bold of you to go in this direction because usually it's always about the mother fighting to full custody, not the other way around, so I really like that.
And to add on to that, I really like the idea of a woman being the instigator to wanting sex/engaging with a male escort because one: we never really see it in stories/media/etc, two: I think it's cool to expand on the truth that woman can enjoy/want sex as much as men and if that means go to the extremes of a male escort, so be it, and three: it's entertaining and fresh.
| alltheeagles chapter 1 . 6/28/2014
For the RG EF
I like your opening, which is an attention-grabber, but in general I think you might do better with more ‘show’ and less ‘tell’ once you get past the first couple of sentences. I actually have no great problem with telling, but in this case, it gets a little heavy and waters down the momentum of the first line. I also like the contrast in Mary’s character, that she is apparently shy and yet when she gets into it with the boy she becomes very uninhibited. It makes her complex and more interesting, and I believe that if you’d played up the shy vs wild aspect even more, it’d be even more interesting.