|Reviews for Lovestruck in San Francisco - Part One|
| Sychronergy chapter 7 . 2/4/2017
I feel like the title gives too much away. I sort of knew something was going to happen before I even read the first word of the chapter.
Overall impression of the story - I can't quite pinpoint anything that would leave a memorable impression on my mind? All that really stood out to me was, a rich guy lusted after a sexy Cinderella that he "saves", they date, they fell in love and then she's gone and he takes care of her mom in her place.
I feel as if the story can use more tension, more plot, more conflict. Like, the whole opposite attracts theme can be taken to a new level, where he learns something that profoundly changes his world view? Or that she's, despite how downtrodden she is, is one girl who just doesn't pay him any mind?
| Sychronergy chapter 4 . 2/4/2017
Same comment to not use so many block paragraphs - When I'm reading naturally, my eyes tend to begin glazing over after the second line and I skip to the end. (I make myself to go back and comb through the text) The dialogue also gets ramble-y a times and runs on. I would try and shorten everything so it's easier to read.
I feel like nothing POPS out like WOW, plotwise? Nothing keeps me on the edge of my seat. Like, cool, he's a rich guy who can resolve all the girl's financial problem. She's a hot chick who's pretty chill.
But... and...? Where's the conflict? The tension?
The line where he is immersed by how much of their bodies are in contact with one another really stood out to me, in a vivid way, though. I also like, back in chapter 2, where she said she has no friends and he's like, well, you have one now. That was memorable. :)
| Sychronergy chapter 1 . 2/4/2017
My first impression is that there are a lot of parenthesis, which strikes me as odd in storytelling. It's also not very gripping that the story begins with chunks of paragraphs about the protagonist's backstory. I would suggest cutting down on the block paragraphs.
The references to pop figures might also give readers some pause (as some of us don't keep up with the celebrity news that much or come from a different country, so telling me that so-and-so looks like so-and-so is not that helpful - I'd google, but I can't even copy and paste from FP to google a picture quickly)
I like some of the descriptions - "Playboy-worthy physique".
| Murphy Chapelwood chapter 1 . 11/26/2016
I guess I'm from the Roadhouse.
I was going to read a couple of chapters and give some thoughts, but there turned out to be too much to touch on in just the first one.
Second sentence: "It is a small town[,] so small [that] you could invite . . ."—That is the correct placing for the comma. Also, that "that" is unnecessary. Any sentence you see a "that" in you need to ask yourself, "If I remove this 'that' does it change the sentence's meaning?" If the answer is no, then chuck it.
There are too many instances of "have" in the first two paragraphs (which includes "have/has" and "'ve" tacked on to "I" and the like). I understand it's mostly background, and to a certain extent you need present perfect tense to carry verbs from the past up to the present day, but there are places it's also being to used as a form of "to possess," instances which, because it's necessary for the present perfect to such degree, should be trimmed down on. Examples,
". . . for Thanksgiving dinner [and still have] enough room . . ."—Bracketed text could be replaced with "with."
". . . though it [still has all] the essentials [that] the average man . . ."—Bracketed text could be replaced with "supplies." Also, another example of an unnecessary "that."
". . . town in American [to not have] a McDonalds".—Bracketed text could be replaced with "without."
If a number is less than 100, write it out (e.g. eighteen, twenty-two, forty-minute).
For a chapter of this length, there are too many instances of the word "all." I think I saw it seven or eight times. "All" rarely adds as much as you'd think to a sentence. I advocated it removal in one of the "have" examples above. Here's another,
"[The rest of the] traveling-process is [all] a blur until . . ."—What part of "all" is necessary when you already have "the rest of the" coming before. They do the same thing. It's about redundancy, which brings be to,
" "Oh! Uh, er . . . well, sorry again!" I stammer [apologetically].—You don't need this adverb telling us he's apologetic when the dialogue literally has him use the word "sorry." If he was hemming-and-hawing around and not actually using words like "sorry," "forgive me," whatever, then you could describe his speech as "apologetic."
Which leads me to the biggest issue, one which galls me none of the other comments touched on: the dialogue tags are punctuated incorrectly. Even the ones that are right feel like it happened accidentally. Instead of going through it, I'm going to give you a link (just remove the spaces): [[ theeditorsblog 2010/12/08/ punctuation-in-dialogue/ ]] This is really an epidemic I'm noticing in online writing communities, not just FP but places like Wattpad also.
So! What did I like? The paragraphs are a good size; some readers are intimidated by large paragraphs, but it just shows the writer can carry on a thought-narrative which gives the reader to linger on an idea or notion. Same goes with the longer sentences; I love long sentences, but at the same time you have good sentence variety (a real healthy mix) along with the averaged sentence length coming out at a desirable number.
You learn a lot about the main character, not from his opinions of himself or just TELLING the reader what to think about him, but from his opinions on the world he lives in and experiences, which is the correct way to do it. Similarly, because this is first person, we learn about Katrina in a very external way: her appearance, demeanor, her manner of speech, and the cab (my god the cab) paint a solid picture. Both characters already have quite a large contrast without you ever having to write something stereotypical like, "they were as different as night and day."
Despite the disproportion in this comment about would needs fixing and what works, just take heart in the fact the stuff you did right is actually HARDER TO ACCOMPLISH WELL than the stuff you didn't. Everything I mentioned for editing can easily be learned—fussy, nitpicky, technical stuff—but actually sharing a story well, knowing what details to write about, isn't quite so easy to pick up. Be glad you already got it.
| This Guy Again chapter 3 . 11/3/2016
I like the direction this is starting to take, throughout the second chapter I found myself wondering how this was going to develop into an actual romance. Now I've got my answer! Plot-wise this chapter was really strong. You've given the story a lot more direction and even though I'm not the biggest romance fan, I'm looking forward to seeing how Kat and Mark's date goes. So good job there!
The dialogue felt pretty good as far as believability is concerned, though one thing I noticed is your dialogue tags. There's a whole section where Mark gets back into the cab and every piece of dialogue seems to end in either "I reply" or "she replies". Once or twice is okay but it became really repetitive. I'd consider either dropping the dialogue tag entirely or just using 'said'.
Other than that (which isn't really a mistake per se) I didn't find any spelling/grammar errors, which again, is always good to see. Once more you've delivered a good chapter overall!
| This Guy Again chapter 1 . 11/1/2016
[and of all the chains that have...] The way you phrased it here seems a little off. I'm not sure the word 'of' needs to be in there. It makes me think there's more to the sentence than there is. Not sure if it's 100% grammatically wrong (I'm pretty rusty when it comes to grammar these days) but it definitely reads a little funny.
So that was about the only grammar/spelling error I found. Normally at this point I'd give a tip or something about proof-reading but honestly this was for the most part devoid of mistakes, so kudos!
[like the fin of a great white shark] Good job avoiding the whole 'whale-tail' thing. It felt refreshing to see something different.
One thing I really enjoyed about this is the writing style. It's kind of formal but informal at the same time. A really nice blend of humour and matter-of-factness. The way the narrator speaks made this first chapter just a breeze to read!
I dig the character names, and you managed to squeeze out a lot of Katrina's personality in just a small amount of time. Again, good job! I'm not really in to romances as such but I can still appreciate good writing, and this certainly fits that description. The pacing felt pretty good and the plot certainly seemed to have direction. I've read a few romances on here where the first chapter just doesn't really move anywhere, but that's not the case here.
Overall a really solid first chapter!
| shika-paprika chapter 7 . 10/21/2016
I'm not a big fan of romance whether I'm reading it or writing it, but good work. The ending was bittersweet, but well-executed. As for what you can work on, you should probably shorten some paragraphs, especially at the beginning, and remember to put a space after an ellipsis.
| John Beechem chapter 1 . 10/7/2016
Neat introduction to a love story. It looks like this is going to be an example of the "opposites attract" category. I like how Mark and Katrina interact, and I'm especially interested in Katrina's rough-around-the-edges demeanor. She sounds like she's plucked from the Jersey Shore and I expect she'll create sparks as she rubs against Mark's prim and proper, aristocratic gentlemanly manners.
I think this scene should start with Mark getting in Katrina's cab at the airport. The interactions between these two characters is the most interesting thing about this chapter to me. The first two paragraphs are a big info dump that provide a lot of exposition that we don't need quite yet. Marks' destination (The San Fransisco Chronicle) hint that he may be a journalist or writer, and the parts of the story that take place there will tell us all we need to know about his job. And maybe he could tell Katrina about his past to reveal what happened to his parents?
Overall, good beginning, but hold off on the info-dump and give us a more natural exposition about Mark as the story unfolds.
| SForces chapter 1 . 10/5/2016
The first few sentences up to “You’re middle-class” is a very rocky beginning. It doesn’t build any interest in the story itself, doesn’t give any clue as to what this story is about and it has a little bit of a “once upon a time.” Feel to it. You describe the town and tell us how small it is, but you don’t really show us how small it is.
You also speculate as to why the Kicksburg is non-notable. Another case where you could just describe the town and have your reader be like “Oh no wonder its non-notable. I’d never want to go there. But for some reason this author feels I should know about it. I wonder why.”
You talk about how he is a journalist keeping track of the local news. I have lived in very small towns before, not sure how much news you get in a town with a population size of less than 100 which is where I’m kinda of thinking based on the “invite the entire population over for Thanksgiving dinner” metaphor.
“Much larger city” seems out of place when you are comparing it to a very small town. On that scale it seems…convenient that a CEO in a large city in San Francisco has heard of the work in a small town of Kicksburg. I think this can be resolved if you discuss the population of Kicksburg a little bit more in depth. I feel like the introduction to him getting on a plane to go accept a huge job in San Francisco is quite rushed.
It seems you skipped over the entire plane ride, up to this point I’m not feeling the character is very real. If I were living in a small town writing journalistic pieces and a CEO offered me a job and wanted to meet in person I’d most likely be a nervous wreck. The only anxiety we get from him is the word “blur.”
“escorted by the most gorgeous cab-driver.” Is questionable. I would describe the cab driver in much more depth here if she is important, if she isn’t I would simply replace “gorgeous” with a description of one of her features that stands out the most to this character and let the reader determine if she is pretty or not.
The description you did give her was great.
“I proceed to examine my surroundings.” That is just telling us what is happening. Instead change it up to show what is going on. “My eyes drift out the window where I happen to notice one of the planes taking off into the heavily clouded sky.”
“Great white shark.” Is a nice attempt at a metaphor, but I feel like a great white shark would inspire fear, whereas seeing a green lace thong of someone you are attracted to would bring on the sense of excitement.
No need to tell us the cab is stick shift. Explaining that she has a strong grip on the clutch is good enough to convey the point.
Over all a decent start to the chapter. I feel like it is rushed however. The beginning doesn’t seem too exciting. When I read the first 3 paragraphs I thought I was reading an auto biography. I would suggest reworking it into a much better start that shows us the town he is in versus info dumping facts on us and then rushing to a different part of the story. Good potential, with some elbow grease it can become a great piece.