Reviews for Simple Paper Rebellion
AuraLancer chapter 4 . 10/6/2014
Interesting. Very much so. This unorthodox world you set up quite nicely in the first 4 chapters; you nail the tone and setting right on the head. Though I must say I'm not entirely sure where the plot is headed? That should clear itself up in time though. Don't have much to say yet other than that. You prose is eloquent :) no grammatical errors either. Awesome, I want to read on!
LiVEWiRE360 chapter 1 . 9/24/2014
It was alright. Just not my cup of tea. But i like your writing style and the names. They sound unique and original. I like Lillian too. Good work ;)
m. b. whitlock chapter 1 . 8/15/2014
Lovely concept, the philosophical/multidimensional/rebellious/mystical and most importantly mischievous potential of origami!

I really like how the Aleksandr Kazakov character is so stuffy, square and inflexible. He will tear apart before he'll be folded into anything unusual it seems… But then again, maybe he has some sort of 'bendy' past where he was willing to transform, fold, unfold, shrink and grow into unfamiliar forms. Lots of cool ideas there. Fun stuff. :)

Before I go into my notes, here's a little background for you, my writing process consists of creating material and then cutting it and shaping it into a story. I discard like 50 to 60 percent of what I write. As a result, my editing ideas are quite severe. So, please don't be offended when I recommend snip, snip, snip. That's just my thing. I see unnecessary verbiage and I advise cutting it away. So, keep that in mind when you read my suggestions below. :)


"throwing frosty rays of light evenly across *all but empty* rows of metallic chairs."
Are the chairs empty? I think they are but what you actually say here is that they are *anything but* empty. If the chairs are in fact unoccupied, you might want to change this to something like, 'casting frosty light across empty rows of metallic chairs.'
I don't think you need 'throwing' (very active and personal for a light fixture IMO) or 'evenly' (of course the light would be even). Anyway, that's an example of how I think about composition. It may be way too distilled for your taste or what you want to do. :)

"after a cursory glance"
Aren't all glances 'cursory'?

"Then a sudden crack of a cane hitting flesh escaped past the thin layers of the closed door." I would cut this down to 'Then the sudden crack of a cane hitting flesh escaped the closed door.'

"The fifteen-year-old elder of the Kazakov family's two children, Lillian Kazakov, walked stiffly into the waiting room." Perhaps try 'The older of the Kazakov family's two children, fifteen-year-old Lillian Kazakov, walked stiffly into the waiting room.'

Is she really chiding him?:
""Father," she chided the patriarch."
I get that you want to reinforce the Russian thing by using a word like 'patriarch' but I think it's unnecessary here and pulls me out of the story.

Now here she *is* chiding her father!:
""You turn the simplest insults into some long-winded speech, Father. And can you please show at least some respect in my school by proper referring my 'paper-folding fanatic instructor' as the Grandmaster?" Like it!

"The professor wrinkled his brow as annoyance clouded his brilliant cobalt eyes."
I don't know whether it works to describe the professor's eyes as brilliant just as they are being 'clouded' by annoyance'. It's kinda contradictory metaphorically.

"The pale adolescent quietly pulled up a chair and sat down soundlessly."
Why say 'adolescent' here? It sounds a bit clinical to me. Maybe consider something simpler, like 'the pale girl pulled up a chair' you don't even need that pesky adverb 'quietly' IMO. Again, I am a merciless slasher! ;)

Like this!:
"Aleksandr nodded solemnly before checked his faithfully ticking watch." This says something about Aleksandr's character. He considers his watch 'faithful' because he can count on it perpetually ticking (as long as he does his job winding it, I suppose).

Ha ha, this is hilarious:
"enroll in a school that is nothing more than a thinly veil-excuse of a child-beating seminar, headed by an infamous cane-wielding origami aficionado"

Now I'm really getting to like Lillian!:
""Despite your major in the Humanities, Father, you don't understand anything at all about the world and its people you claim to study.""
She's starting to remind me of Alice in Lewis Carroll's Wonderland. ;)

""I'm just saying that in this school, there is more *learning* and understanding Ivan and I can *learn* in a few years than you can ever –"" Lotta 'learns' in there. ;)

"Soft, deliberate chimes of the school's uniquely designed bells rang in unison throughout the school grounds." 'Soft' and 'deliberate' contradict each other to my ears. Might just be me though…

Ha ha, like!:
"by getting out of this demented place immediately.""

I really like this moment of recognition:
""Wait, I know you, don't I?""

Who says this?:
""Indeed you should, Professor Aleksandr Kazakov. The Grandmaster stands before your presence.""

Very cool mysterious ending.

Very interesting very original world you're creating here. Eager to read more.


alltheeagles chapter 1 . 8/13/2014
Depth review for the RG
An origami school? Interesting. An origami school that takes itself more seriously than any regular school? Very interesting. An origami school that inspires some kind of fanatical adulation for the teacher. Ok... that just crossed the line into ‘unusual’ if not downright ‘strange’.
Don’t get me wrong from the previous section’s remarks – I rather like the idea of such a place, enough to continue reading for a few more chapters at least. It piques my interest. Anyway, my favourite character as of now is Ivan because he comes across as the most believable. That makes him also the most easily identified with, at least for me. Is he the boy in the other story?
Character (Grandmaster)
I can’t tell yet if the spiritual aspect of this story is literal (as in there’s something supernatural about the Grandmaster) or figurative (as in the children feel that some kind of ‘secret of life’ is being imparted to them), but the teacher sure made a dramatic entrance. My first impression of him is that he’s a little too full of himself, but well, appearances can be deceiving.
This is one of the points that I don’t like so much about this piece. Everyone sounds a little too formal, too stilted. For me, dialogue is where we can show the most about characters. I understand that the father might speak that way because of his job, but the kids too? As a result I feel that they sound much older than their supposed ages.
girlwithrainboweyes chapter 3 . 8/13/2014
Returning your review -

Honestly, I find your story suffering and growing at the same time from the same thing, which is simply caused by the naturally versatile mind of the poet. From what I've lightly skimmed from your poetry I can safely say you aren't bad, but that translation to an actual book format can be awkward. It helps you create metaphors and beautiful imagery, but it frequently loses the reader with exactly that because they can't connect to your characters through such things. I can say some of this is because of some awkward and confusing dialogue that just needs more feeling and realism to it. This can be hard for a poet though, because we dream through rose-colored glasses that find perfection in imperfection, and to just get that across through characters and dialogue can seem like a tight-rope walk. I can also say that your grammar could use some tweaking, but that's just miniscule stuff. Bottom line, I prefer to give reviews that focus on the positive and show how a writer can improve as opposed to just criticizing blatantly as if I'm superior to them. Everything is based off of my opinion, of course, though. Take care, and have a lovely day.
Sidekicks-anonymous chapter 3 . 8/12/2014
Hmm. As dramatic as its prequel. I assume the narrator from "Perfect Paper Folding" is the Grandmaster in this story. I can feel the tension building up in this family between everyone's personalities and their current situation. I can feel how it's going to blow up eventually, and I both anticipate and fear that event.
This Guy Again chapter 3 . 8/12/2014
[skimming past the jagged patters of patterned surface of the model's cranial design.] It looks like you started writing one thing here then changed your mind but forgot to delete the first thing you wrote.

I started reading this one being very sceptical and wondering 'how interesting can you make origami sound?' Pretty interesting, seems to be the answer. Your writing is very stylistic and a little description heavy, however that works in your favour and combines with this really abstract plot idea to make something unique.

Barring the one that I mentioned at the start of this review, I didn't spot any spelling or grammar issues which is always great to see. Aside from that, I'm not really sure what else I can say other than good job. I really was not expecting this kind of theme to work, but with your execution, it's ended up being one of those pieces of writing that really stands out.

-from the roadhouse
Jalux chapter 1 . 8/12/2014
I think the ending is simple yet effective, it's certainly interesting that we're meeting the Grandmaster and the whole chapter kinda builds up to this. I think the tone and setting of this are it's strongest points, I would attribute this to your writing which felt very dark and cold, I get the feeling this story will touch on some very dark areas. Grammar was quite solid across the board, I think dialogue could be tweaked a little bit. Try reading out every line of dialogue, certain lines here felt a little clunky.
alltheeagles chapter 2 . 8/1/2014
For the RG EF

I’m not fond of jumping into a story just like this, but since you requested for chapter 2 to be reviewed, here I am. Well, what comes across very strongly is Mariya’s force of personality. Having no background knowledge whatsoever, I assume that she is the mother of the children and the professor’s wife. But even if she weren’t, she is very much the grand dame, the matriarch of the piece. Do I find her intrinsically likeable? Frankly, no. But a character doesn’t have to be likeable to be memorable, and Mariya definitely is that.
I find the origami element very interesting, being a fan of the art myself. I do find the activity very calming, but have never thought of it as being a spiritual enterprise. My speculation is that you will use origami as a metaphor of some kind for the apparently dysfunctional family you have portrayed. Thus far, this is not coming across very strongly yet, but no doubt you will further develop it in future chapters.
firenerd chapter 1 . 7/21/2014
A very interesting read. Your description of the surroundings helps the reader become immersed in the story, as well as your characterization Aleksandr, a seemingly concerned father, but to what extent is unknown. I question his allowance of his children attending such a school, however I can see the adamance of his daughter, Lillian, and later his son, Ivan, in the continuation of their studies at the school. Lillian's belief in the school and what knowledge she will learn undermines her own fathers concerns and life experience. So far very good. The language is excellent and the description superior. I hope you continue this wonderful story.
Ghost Divsion chapter 1 . 7/19/2014
The overall tone and environment of your story is good, but it feels a bit anachronistic in places. The most obvious of these is displayed in the exposition that revealed Ivan's sleeping problems in class and how it was related to a late night gaming session. If video games existed in this period, wouldn't they at least have cell phones as well? That part really threw me off and took me out of the immersion for a little bit. Another problem is the overuse of flowery language. While I get that detail is important for a story there has to be a point where you call a spade a spade without detailing its every feature. Other than these two gripes, the overall story is good and the characters are well written, even though the professors daughter comes off as extremely prissy from the way she speaks.
Electrumquill chapter 1 . 7/19/2014
Hello there, good to be able to review your work!

Opening: Well I got the atmosphere in the opening here, I detect everything is hard and cold as marble and that is going to set the tone for the story, right? As for the character of the professor... I can tell he is someone who dreams about being rebellious, but is quite sedate in the normal course of things? Is this to be sustained throughout the story?

Ending: I certainly do want to read on, now that we have met the Grandmaster. I could not quite work out what tone he was using while addressing the Professor? Is he also like a 20th century school master caricature?

Dialogue: Such sentences from the Professor as this one: "Sir, in the event that my swift movements may have been understandably too quick..." are appropriate if he is a caricature of a schoolmaster who would call a spade "an agricultural implement for the trituration of the soil." If he is such a caricature, he should be verbose. But I am not so sure about Ivan, if he is a young boy, using the sentence "I should have been more responsible and this sort of thing is actually well deserved." He also used the word "supercool" which made him sound like a normal kid using slang.

Characters: I have already mentioned that the professor being very pompous and verbose is all very well, but Lilian also talks like a high brow literature book e.g. "Despite your major in humanities father..." Does she have Asperger's? It is the professor who shows the most humanity when he is horrified at the beating Ivan took. I would like Ivan to be more prominent.

Writing: While it is all very well for the professor to be verbose, the description the authorial voice gives is sometimes too flowery to be appropriate: "Colors ranging from the bronze shade of Ivan's hair to the indigo tinge of his mother's eyes..." this is really not the way bruising should be described. Ivan is hurt and his father is indignant. He should not be comparing his injury to pleasant things. Also, occasionally there were other descriptions that just felt a bit off to me personally, such as the Grandmaster's steely obsidian eyes... I think that just steely black eyes would have been better, since obsidian is another hard material so is redundant if you have already compared his eyes to steel.

Don't get me wrong though, I did enjoy it and am curious to see what happens next.
SenatorBlitz chapter 1 . 7/19/2014
hey there! easy fix review for the review game!

first off, i really like the father aleksander. i think you did great justice to his characterization by marrying it to his distaste with the school, which he just barely hides under a coat of civility. i always thought it took more skill to be insulting politely than it does when you just use the curse words (though those are quite fun, too). i also really like the intrigue that you have here. i am also wondering why anyone would switch to such a beating factory to school and then too defend it /after/ getting walloped. it boggles the mind - i have to know more! so this was a really great opening and a wonderful hook as well. I think my favorite description is the one where he described the room being filled with a unrequited silence and then goes on to muse that such a thing almost demands rebellion. it made me laugh and it made me coo at the lovely lines. my only criticism, which isn't quite a criticism yet as i really want to see how your style plays out, but um, you are really heavy with the adjectives. especially in that first line i think there was one every other word and it makes the sentence feel less flowy than it could/awkward in places. however, i am hesitant about mentioning this because i can't tell if this is an actual problem or you're doing it to reflect the mind of the professor aleksander in the narration. i know, you should post another chapter so i can be sure *wink*