|Reviews for I Thought You Were Fool's Gold|
| Electrumwriter chapter 26 . 4/13/2017
So now I’m coming to the end of I Thought You Were Fool’s Gold. It certainly has been a long ride and I’m glad I get to finish. I really hope my reviews have been helpful – if not, bear in mind that m/m slash is not altogether my type of thing and there will be aspects I don’t know.
I like the cheese T-shirt gag! It appeals to my goofy sense of humour. There can never be too many puns.
Misha gets to be bffs with Jennifer Lawrence?
I believe that Owen’s reveal discloses what I’ve already inferred, but then it is necessary to wrap everything up. Although it is exposition it is necessary exposition. Naturally Magna don’t want to lose anyone – the bootleggers have already scooped the heart out of their profitability. This should be mentioned here as well.
It’s so true that professionally applied makeup can transform someone. Perhaps it demonstrates that Kate is not the Kate he thought he knew? As an aside, I have found that a lot of green makeup can greatly improve even plain people. I'm sure it would improve Kate immensely.
I’ve spotted a typo – I think you meant “It burns to hear the confirmation.”
Joan is right to point out the contract aspect of it, but Homer Simpson put it better. The number one lesson about the music business is never trust people in the music business.
I rather like the idea of Joan’s voice dropping to subzero levels, but I think a little embellishment is in order. What are her eye expressions like at this point?
The best part of the chapter is Chase and Reese renewing their bond in the airport. I think it’s symbolic isn’t it? An airport is a place where journeys begin and end? The main reason I like the character Chase is that he is the sort of sweet boy who would be prepared to love a blind man without reservation. The best part of their embrace is where Chase thumbs Reese’s cheekbones so we get a sense of his face and realise how much it is in Chase’s thoughts. I think we needed more of this type of description conveyed organically in this way early on.
Congratulations on finishing such a long project. I admire your energy and commitment. (Am I green with envy?)
| Electrumwriter chapter 25 . 4/12/2017
Good to be back in Chase’s golden life after all this time. The games were not the same without you.
The news clip beginning of chapter 25 is alright as such, but I have a nitpick with the first line. I think you have forgotten the word ‘and’ in the sentence: “Reese Weldman, a third of the incredibly successful band, If It Storms, has left turned the trio into a duo.”
It’s cute that Reese had loyal fans who still remembered him three years after he could no longer perform. I’m a bit confused by Annie’s statement: “For whatever reason you left, we’re sure you’ve done it for yourself.” Sounds redundant. It would have been more meaningful for her to have expressed that she was sure he had a good reason.
Not meaning to harp on about it, but Valarie should have been given a bigger part in the story. For much of it, she’s only mentioned without appearing. I had most enjoyed how she had tried to arrange Reese’s life for him and how he hurt her feelings. Felt very authentic. There should have been more of it.
I’m curious as to the PR scheme where they want to make Chase look as if he’s interested in Misha. Would that truly be good press for him…?
I like Misha’s stunt with working up to the photo with the coded message in the picture – that she is a Cheese pairing shipper, but her behaviour early in the scene detracts from it with her slapping Chase a lot. In a previous review I made the contrast with the anti-hero of one of my own pieces who would have knocked her flat for it. Just because she can get away with slapping a mild-mannered character, doesn’t mean she should.
So at the end we find, as I suspected, that the scene at the ice rink did get publicity. Even if Chase was only something like a C or D list celebrity at that time, then of course there would be someone following him obsessively. Good to see the foreshadowing paid off.
| Sychronergy chapter 4 . 4/12/2017
I don't think Reese is too harsh or Chase is too bland - Chase certainly had his little moment to shine when he told Reese down (That part was superb, by the way. I love Chase's guts and I love that little showdown) and I personally think it's exactly what Reese needs to hear to get his head out of his bum and out of the clouds.
However, I stand by my stance that Chase is missing this...ambition/wit/strength that makes it difficult to root for him. I almost get a feeling that you want the readers to feel sorry for Chase. That all these things (potential fame/exposure/potential money etc) are pouring down on him and you know, he's just the average barista who doesn't deserve to be dragged in. There's a bit of a special snowflake thing about Chase that isn't realistic and I wish you'd show the cut-throat/dog-eat-dog/underhanded tactics side of the music industry a bit more - continue with that rollercoaster of emotions you started out with.
Of course, everything is just my opinion and reflection - what you did, what you do and what you will do is all completely valid and writing/story-telling is just a form of self-expression. As long as that was exactly what you were trying to get across and you feel expressed, that's all that matters when it comes to making art :)
| Sychronergy chapter 3 . 4/12/2017
Ohhhhhh, I LOVE that Reese is (spoiler?) blind. I absolutely adore that little spin. I feel like you really have a feel for Reese and his role in this story. Valarie is, of course, an obviously dynamic character. I kind of perk up every time she's in the scene. I have some mixed feelings about Reese's nickname of Sour Patch because it's sliiiightly childish and I actually find Sour Patches to be a bit sweet... I'm weird, I guess :P
If I must nitpick on something, I would say that Chase's insecurity and inclination to back away is a bit of a turn-off. I would've enjoyed the story more if Chase has more of an -oomfph- to him as opposed to feeling as if he's a lucky guy next door who just happened to have met the right people.
Regardless, I do have a big thing for showbiz/media/music industry and this is an inspiring premise. :)
| Sychronergy chapter 2 . 4/12/2017
My favorite tidbits are definitely those tabloid-like sections in the middle. I like how you write them and I like how they also tell us more about the characters and setting. It adds this speculative, gossip-y feel to your piece that is just so on-point and truly adds a lot of value to your story.
So now we see Chase's virtue with music and the guitar - I like how you reveal that part. He's caught the eyes of Valarie and the media is sort of -on- to him like shark after blood. I like how you slid in Valarie's introduction in the last chapter and then this chapter shows how she can give Chase that little boost he deserves.
| Sychronergy chapter 1 . 4/12/2017
So happy to see another slash writer around :D!
I like how your story started out - the rollercoaster of emotions pretty much went slam-slam-slam in my face and that was brilliant. I think you established a strong premise in this first chapter and the plot leaves a lot of room for dynamic character interactions, intrigue, humor, drama - pretty much everything that can make a story great. I also love the tabloid-like read in the middle. Can't really pinpoint why I like that tidbit so much, but I thought the incorporation was clever.
Critique wise, I would say your dialogue sort of runs on. There's a lot of filler exchanges that might benefit from some tightening. Of course, your dialogue is natural (we tend to sidetrack/banter/make ums and ahs/etc in our conversations) but in a story, the reflected realism might distract a reader from more exciting things.
| Xander Floyd chapter 1 . 5/27/2016
Hey man, I'm from the Labyrinth! Just stopping by to review this story for you.
To start off,I think that starting from the perspective of Reese on his way home was, to be fair, a little jarring considering Chase is the main character; I honestly thought the first half of the chapter was in media res with Chase as the POV. However, I can see why you started with the accident that happened to and disfigured(?) Reese, as I believe he shows up in the preceding half.
The intermission with the news bulletin was a nice touch for me, as it reminded me a bit of Next, a novel by Michael Crichton. In it, he would intersect news stories involving characters mentioned in the overall narrative, which I think is more effective than traditional exposition since it doesn't really give away the exact meaning of the event. After all, when has any one news outlet have the whole story?
Ah, Border's... haven't seen one of those stores in years. That might be because of my location. To be honest, I couldn't get a good feel for Chase's character in the interactions he has with his co-worker and customers. He just seems like an ordinary working man who's trying to do his job. I assume this was on purpose.
I have some co-workers like Kate, so I could relate to Chase on that bit. Kate, to be honest, I don't feel needs to be there, at least as far as the promised outcome said to me. I understand someone needs to provide some exposition, but I feel like you were relying on what I coin an "activist Sue" as her first interactions seemed like a social-justice issue to me. Or maybe that's just me reflecting the real-world's problems to this story... At least you explained it a little further after the initial confrontation. A little exposition on Kate's personality on Chase's side of things would've been helpful to explain why he had stomp on her foot; I felt that came out of nowhere, as it was clear to me that "Reed" and Valerie were simply bantering.
I didn't notice any blatant spelling or grammar issues, which is definitely a plus. It's - there's that word again - jarring for me when I see a misspelled word or a non-flowing sentence, and I didn't notice that problem here.
I'm going to tell you right now that my chosen genre is fantasy - I eat up anything written by R.A. Salvatore or Michael A. Stackpole. But this story intrigues me, as music is equally important to me as a form of expression. I'll be sure to review again once I've gotten a little further into the story.
| LorrahBear chapter 8 . 5/17/2016
Bah - mystery boy with Valerie!? I have nothing against her, it's just that it's so false... :(
I'm so glad I found your story again! I love it. Looking forward to reading more! :)
| Collins-A chapter 27 . 4/15/2016
| Collins-A chapter 19 . 4/15/2016
Why do I have a feeling Kate did this. Ugh, I never liked her - from the moment she as so utterly rude to Reese in the first chapter, I thought she was a horrible person. Why am I so invested? Lmao. Love this!
| Victoria Best chapter 14 . 4/9/2016
Do you mean "the control room?" Think there was a "the" missing there. I wasn't really feeling the opening section. Just felt disorientating, but maybe that's just from where I haven't read the story for some time. But the last thing I remember was that they were writing a song together, right? Seemed a bit jarring to me that they are recording it already. How much time has passed in between the two chapters? I feel like I'm missing stuff in between, you know? I think I would have liked something at the beginning here to join the two chapters together and indicate progression of time. Also wasn't a fan of "steps quick" - sounded a little clumsy too me.
Something else that jarred me in this chapter was Reese. I was very surprised at his reaction to the song, perhaps even an over-reaction. So far, Reese has been a very detached, defensive, straight-faced character, and I just can't imagine him having tears in his eyes from laughter, and being so overwhelmed over a song. It was this sentence that especially threw me "Reece wipes his tears away from his cheeks." I just found myself not believing it and I had to read over it again to make sure. Maybe I have misread?
Anyway, apart from those two things, I loved this chapter. I liked the conversation - realistic dialogue has always been one of your strongest points - and the way Reese smiles again like he did at the park. I thought that was a really powerful moment. It made me smile :D I was cheering for them... But then Joan had to call and ruin it :( it's great that you're doing this though - it keeps the reader on their toes and also shows that Reese and Chase would probably be happy together, if there wasn't all this other stuff / reality getting in the way.
Some nice writing here. Particularly liked the line, "This one eclipses the one..." Very lovely line :) Also liked, later down, "it's not his pace to calm him."
It would have been interesting to see how the conversation would have progressed had Joan not interrupted. I like the twists you are throwing in, and I think you're handling the conflict well. I'm really looking forward to seeing how / if they will overcome this next obstacle.
Minor comment - YouTube? Perhaps make up your own website. Anyway, thanks for this great read! Keep writing! :D
| Electrumwriter chapter 24 . 4/6/2016
I have mentioned before that there needed to be more confrontations with Joan and Stephanie throughout - at the least, one of them should have made frequent intrusions to increase the tension.
I like the way Stephanie is described - icy eyes and crimson lips. Has the right sort of very faint feral hint.
I like the light homoerotic touch with Chase wanting to take Reese's hand as well.
I wonder whether Chase could be called naive about not wanting a constructed public image or whether he is showing artistic integrity. I suppose it is up to the reader. I wonder as well what grade of celebrity Chase is at this point, given that he believes the awards to be so far away. He's not A list yet, but I don't think he could ever fall to being Z list, whatever else happened.
I think I should mention again that Joan emotionally armtwisting Chase would pack more of a punch if there had been more of a buildup. Both women are quite emotionally abusive, trying to twist Reese's arm about his fans and then calling him washed up. I suppose they must be desperate to salvage what profit margin they can from the efforts of bootleggers.
Now I see the beginning of romance just beginning to blossom in the emotional moment between them - Reese is planting a kiss now. As the romance was designed to be slow burning, it's coming into fruition at the right time and it fits in the context with the emotional turmoil from the world of celebrity lists.
I like the bittersweet ending to the chapter. If the story ended here, then it would look as if it actually were a goodbye. The last line of the chapter might be the best of all. In fact, this would have made such a good melancholy ending, that I wonder whether there should actually be two alternative endings.
| ImmanenceEnsured chapter 5 . 4/5/2016
Waaaaw, I'm sorry but Chase is such a d*ck! He judges Reese for being a sour patch, even though he has no clue about Reese's situation, much less about what it feels like to be half blind, and when Reese, who has better things to do, comes all the way to apologize (which, in his situation, is HELL when you'r unfamiliar with your surroundings), Chase just disses him AGAIN and has the nerve to think their interaction's 'a waste of time'. High horse, much? Then he DOESN'T STOP playing the victim when famous people practically beg him to join their team. Cause he doesn't trust them? Newsflash: being famous always comes with a price. Why do you want to be a musician if you're not prepared to take the plunge? What is with this guy? Hope he loses the attitude along the way.
Still loving the story though.
| ImmanenceEnsured chapter 3 . 4/5/2016
Can I just say how much I appreciate the female characters in here? I don't have a feeling I really KNOW Kate and Valarie yet, but it's obvious they're good people. Kate is looking out for Chase and he knows he can depend on her. She's a rock. Valarie seems to desperately want to bring some new light into Reese's life. I like that.
| lookingwest chapter 10 . 3/12/2016
Hi Vent! Back again :) Quick note: I do agree with Murphy that the last chapter had me a little disorientated coming into this one just because of the mention of the pap-walk and then we get them going to a bar/club here - I expected there to be a little more of the "pap-walk" side of things.
I actually like Valarie like, in a way that's... Like I like her as a character in the story because she is the reason that Reese and Chase get to keep having scenes, but I could see why she would be overbearing in real life, especially if you were Reese. But I honestly feel like she's a very good friend because she's trying really hard to get Reese out and about and everything. I mean, essentially, if Chase and Reese actually end up together, that means that's she's pretty much directly responsible for their romance. Without Val, ya got nothing. So I think in the end I do like her because she allows them to have scenes.
Kate - eh, now she's not the best of friends here and doesn't have the Val factor going. Both Kate and Val are pushy women, which is interesting - they bully their respective guys a bit. It sucked when Kate was being mean during the scene where she says that stuff about Reese and Chase tells her to bug off, but in her defense, she's also looking out for Chase and doesn't want him to get hurt. I like that you balance her out with a more sympathetic friend, Pete. I wish we knew more though, about both of these minor characters. Is there any way you could characterize them by instilling us with some past memories between say Chase and Pete or Chase and Kate? Her storming off might be a good opportunity to add in just a few sentences of "Yeah just like that one time when she..." or "She's always been this way like last time when..." Something that just gives a bit more "meat" to these two. Especially Pete, because even in reviews a lot of people are calling him "the sympathetic friend" like I did, and that seems to be the one dimension that's being picked up on. He could use a tad more depth.
Chase asking Reese if he was high was a pretty interesting way to begin their conversation, haha, you had me amused. I liked Reese's response, that felt very natural for him. It was nice to see the two engaging in a more civil conversation, but I still felt it shaded with a lot of tension and on the verge of another meltdown. Reese is such an asshole, isn't he? I mean I just want to CHILL him out. He reminds me SO MUCH of "Guy in Your MFA" - so full of themselves thinking that they're the best ever and super pretentious. Never able to take ANY criticism. You do not grow that way, bro. He reminds me of someone who would sneer at SFF fiction because it isn't "real writing" and instead tote literary stuff.
Ahem. Anyway, I really hope he changes his mind and grows throughout this novel. It's ch. 10 and there are 27 chapters and he is totally not budging, haha. I mean, I'm sorry, Reese, but you're not Bon Iver. You're more like Ed Sheeran. And er, though I have nothing against pop music or that it can have depth... Reese, sit down and listen to For Emma, Forever Ago and ABSORB. ABSORB IT. Then you can be just as pretentious as Justin Vernon and I can deal with you better, heh. But ahhh anyway, anyway, I have passionate feelings about Reese. I am so glad that the two ALMOST got onto the verge of something before Pete shows up. Pete, WHY?
Nice play up with the vampire trope, by the way, I felt that was self-aware. And I liked the "heart to heart" line as well. I am looking forward to more. This chapter definitely got me thinking about Reese!