Reviews for Speak Up
Electrumquill chapter 1 . 1/8/2017
Taking a look at Sam’s story! You certainly have a breezy and enjoyable writing style. I have a few ideas already, but be sure to take my ideas with a pinch of salt.

I strongly get the impression right away that Sam has difficulties relating to self-confidence and yet she is a keen observer of other people and someone who takes in every minute detail of what she sees. She certainly likes that outfit of hers and she approves of her own noir tresses even if she doesn’t normally use a mirror. If I may make a suggestion, maybe this beginning with the description could have been better handled by her being with her therapist or else someone she’s close to and have them call her out on self-confidence? And tell her, “you are a pretty girl,” and compliment her hair etc.

“You can faintly see the vast rainbow of flowers of the coffeehouse grounds from here, though it just looks like a blur from where I stand.” Sam’s very interested in the colours of the world around her and she is observant. I’m not sure it would have been in character for her to fail to notice the trees the first time.

Not sure if envelope is the right word for the gust of warm air… maybe “wraps me in its warm embrace” would be better…

In observing the mum who she believes to be an elderly waitress, Sam gives a lot of detail about her appearance. As she seems to be quite interested in Ella, it would indeed make sense for Ella’s mum to get her interest as well.

I like Ella’s dress. In fact, Ella paints the whole scenario with her mum and dad in happy, glowing terms. I wonder what Sam will find out.

And then John arrives. One wonders what he’s about and what he has against Sam.

An error I think – when Ella and John gaze into each other’s eyes, you describe Ella’s as green, but when she is playing the guitar, her eyes are hazel. In fact, she sounds as if she looks like Kate Bush in that instance (she’s one of my idols). Does Ella have hooded eyes as well?

Sam’s keen eye for detail is particularly evident here. Especially with noting Ella’s amethyst coloured nail varnish.

Something is definitely wrong about John. He’s very controlling. When referring to his steely gaze I think it would be best to just write “steely gaze” no need for “blue-eyed” as well.

Watching the couple kiss, Sam is taking an interest in one of them and I’ve a feeling that it’s not John!

It’s very sweet that Ella wants to include Sam in her performance. I take it that she doesn’t really grasp Sam’s lack of confidence and supposes she can help this way. Ella comes across as sort of cutely naïve as well as personable. I wanted to hug her at that time.
The strongest part of the chapter may be the part where Sam is trying to perform, but struggles. The awkwardness she feels comes across very well.

Sam is a keen observer of people and their body language too. Why is John so imposing and why does he allow Ella no personal space? Good uneasy note to end on.