|Reviews for Between You and Me|
| IronicPuppies chapter 2 . 8/24/2017
A lot of great stuff here, same strengths as the first chapter in terms of efficient word choice. I get a good feel of Clare's character by her interactions with her family.
Whenever I read a story with multiple viewpoint characters I almost always have the same criticism (even in my own writing) that it's really hard to engage with the story, especially at the beginning. I think the beginning is hard for a reader because you have to invest time into learning about a character you know nothing about with the expectation that once you get emotionally invested it will pay off later when that character fights their way through the rest of the story. When you have multiple characters it compounds the problem because you build up familiarity and momentum with a character over a chapter then that all comes to a halt and you have to start the whole process over again with the next viewpoint character.
I think you do two good things that help with that. One is simply a small number. Two characters is definitely manageable while still having the advantage of multiple points of view. The second is that they are distinct, not only in their situations but in their characteristics. Its tough getting to know two separate characters, but simply being able to tell them apart by their personalities actually does a lot to help keep a reader interested.
So I think so far you've done good with introducing your two main characters. For the future I'd advise to continue showing ways that they are different from each other, but also that they are both telling interesting stories. I know I've run into the problem with multiple characters where I definitely like writing one person's journey over the others, and if you get to that point as a writer then there's a good chance the reader also prefers reading one of your characters over the others.
Also, I am a fan of the subtle sci-fi. I've seen so many stories where the author just gets so excited to share the universe they've built that they spew it all out in the first chapter without actually telling a story. But the way you wade into the sci-fi aspects slowly makes in a pretty cool read in my opinion.
| Marina x Machina chapter 2 . 8/6/2017
The ending feels a little rushed since there's a bunch of loose strings that have all been introduced in succession, including the existence of a father who the reader hasn't gotten any information on before the protagonist launches into a run, but I will elaborate on some nice things I did like.
I have a complex relationship with my mother, and hence I tend to pay attention to characterizations of dysfunctional relationships as some of them are just an edgy montage of suffering and pain that I find difficult to relate to. Some of the things the protagonist says are relatable and while I can't really tell yet how I feel about her characterization, I do like some of the remarks the protagonist made. To be brief, I also like the monologue about bird shit (did not expect to ever write that).
The only issue I'd have is with the pacing. The relationships with the protagonist's mother and brother are established without going overboard, and yet the relationship with their father is not. To make it a little more confusing, the ending seems like a whole bunch of random things thrown at you to figure out - the place where the car has arrived at, the security guard, the security drine, and suddenly Dad. I would take some time to put more emphasis on the father - you can still keep their relationship ambiguous, but maybe make the moment where he sees them and they look at each other a little longer. That's all.
| Marina x Machina chapter 1 . 8/6/2017
A very intense beginning, alright, that I'm sure will turn heads. I do appreciate the fact that the writing makes it a little harder to tell what exactly you should be feeling about the protagonist's situation - whether it's making a mountain of an anthill, a comedic situation, a dramatic tragedy, or whatever, much as it would be like in real life.
| Sir Scott chapter 2 . 8/2/2017
Good update. I like the little details that allowed the reader to know that the story takes place in the future.
| IronicPuppies chapter 1 . 7/23/2017
This is really good writing. Yeah it is a slow-starter, but it's actually a lot more efficient than many other introductory chapters that I've read.
I love the use of short sentences. You don't linger on a hundred details that the reader probably won't care about anyway. The important details are there: it's early, she's at an old park, she's alone, she's a runner. We learn plenty about her without any backstory: she makes kinda cheesy speed metaphors in her head, she curses pretty hilariously, running is important to her but something has changed, and although her new physical shape is distressing, she can't really express that until she's alone.
And possibly best of all I like that you never mention why she has pain running. It leaves open the question of what happened to her and why is this so important to her which were questions that kept me reading through the whole thing.
Anyway, I like writing that tells a story without getting bogged down in exposition and just wanted to say so.
| Sir Scott chapter 1 . 7/22/2017