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The Ember Days

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by katiekitten, Aug 13, 2011.

  1. katiekitten

    katiekitten The Compromise

    D: Quick post just to let everyone know I'm putting this story briefly on a break - I'm back at University, and have consequently lost all free time. :( I will try and keep writing this, though, so expect the occasional update - just few and far in-between. D:
  2. Phoopes

    Phoopes There it is.

    Here's that review that you've been waiting all these months for, lol.

    First off: Mistakes I noticed


    No need for the hyphen there.

    Should be spelled, "fetal."

    And now for my thoughts on the actual story itself:

    Prolouge: Your opening paragraph sets the scene perfectly. The description here is wonderful, and you can almost feel the cool night air on your skin. It's intros like this that impress me. Moving on, you've made me wonder, "Who is this strange child? And why doesn't he have any parents that are keeping an eye on him late at night? What's going on in two days? And what the heck is his connection to Elizabeth?" And on Elizabeth: You haven't really done much characterization with her in the prolouge, (which is okay, because it's just a prolouge) but you can still tell how Elizabeth is feeling. A superb prolouge, my friend. Description is what makes this awesome!

    Last edited: Dec 24, 2011
  3. CuriousHeartless

    CuriousHeartless Well-Known Member

    Hello, this is part of the review exchange, sorry for taking so long to return the favor.

    Truth be told, I find this story rather slow and boring. You give descriptions that are rather deep, but some times you just do too much and it becomes draggy when you could use quicker simpler words with the same meaning. If there were any mistakes, I didn't notice them so I doubt nay casual reader would, so your fine with grammar. Actually, no, I noticed a few mistakes on rereading. At one point in chapter two towards the end, you refer to Elizabeth as Elizaveth. In the first line of chapter 2 you have "her self" instead of "herself". And in the second sentence you said she dragged the window down in a single snap, which I'm pretty sure is misusing drag as that is to pull one thing against another.

    It also seems unrealistic that she would immediately disregard their cat as a source of the movement because it sleeps around Anthony's feet as cats are rather unpredictable, even if you know them, and if it was awake it could be anywhere in the house, but that doesn't really matter much.You also seem to repeat stuff a little, such as when describing the smell of the boy in chapter two, you describe it as "smell of musky smell of earth and dead leaves" which makes absolutely no sense. Does he smell like musk, or earth and dead leaves? And if I'm missing something and musk describes the smell of earth and dead leaves, which with my understanding of musk it doesn't, you don't need the "smell of" before musky.

    Sometimes, your characters just don't seem realistic at all. Such as in chapter three after the fire thing when she was like "Why aren't I dead" in her head even though she was already told that it was a dream, so it wouldn't have logically hurt her to begin with, despite what she said about it being illogical. And a small thing, but you know that feral means wild, right? Because when you used it to describe Nathaniel's smile it just seemed weird and made me think more wolf with a fresh kill than happy kid, but that may have been the point as you later described his smile as wolfish. I wouldn't call Cobalion a stag in the slightest, but I guess he is a bit weird.

    Sorry for kinda jumping around and changing some things mid-sentence, that's just kinda the way I work and it came out as I thought it. Over all, good quality, but I don't like it and probably won't be reading more.
  4. katiekitten

    katiekitten The Compromise

    Phoops: :D Thankies my dear, I can't wait for the finished review~! *snuggles* I'll go get those typos right now, they always slip in haha! x3

    Kissmygrass: Thanks for the review, even if it was a little belated, my dear. ;3 It's a shame you enjoy the story, but each to their own mm?

    First, the grammar corrections: Elizaveta strikes again! xD As does 'herself' - I find it impossible to catch such things, haha. Will be quashed. :3 On the use of 'drag', though, I'm afraid I have to disagree - the verb 'to drag' does not require or forbid there being a destination of the moved object. Aka you can drag things into other things, across them, off of them, or just drag them. The window was being dragged down until it was shut. How is it misused, then...?

    On the amount of description, this story is quite heavy with it, I don't deny it. I'm sorry you found it too much. I found that little section with the 'smell' a little difficult to write, something I'm certain was evident in the fact I repeated 'smell' in the same sentence. xD I was using musk to describe the 'feel' of the smell, as a thicker, fuller scent- some words remained from an earlier draft there, I'll sort them. ;3 If her thought about the cat seems unrealistic to you, I'll be happy to change it, I didn't think its presence would be so jarring. It was such a little passing thought - I placed it there because I assumed that while Cats are quite unpredictable, they are also prone to the force of habit, and I figured Buyo'd be shut in with the kid. No opposable thumbs, can't open doors. You are right though, I probably shouldn't have assumed as much. I'll give that a lil spiff. x3

    I would, however, like to focus on what you've said about my characterisation. Feel free to confront me at any point, I'm just running through your critique, and am quite happy to discuss any point through with you. x3

    At no point in the piece have I confirmed that this experience is a dream, for one.

    She was told that it was, but her experiences were supposed to run contrary to that and mirror realism, as much as was possible - her thoughts and emotions, primarily. The world she is within is dreamlike, but she herself is fully conscious. Despite what she's been told, therefore, when someone attacks her with fire, she reacts as she normally would - fear, expectation of pain. It's instinctive, especially as it was an unexpected event - she was not told that she couldn't be harmed by fire or that there was going to be any, just that she was 'in a dream of sorts'.

    Even if it were a 'real dream', per se, you would still be able tp experience the same thing. I've dreamt about almost drowning, before, being unable to reach air and struggling to hold my breath until I couldn't anymore. It was only because it was a dream that in taking that final forced breath I realised I could 'breathe underwater'. xD Dreams, eh? Before then, though, I was panicking, struggling to reach the surface. Therefore, not all dreams are able to remove your natural fears. You shouldn't generalise, m'dear.

    Your expectation that she'd just believe what she has been told, as well, and be able to draw that knowledge to suppress such primal reactions, is a bit of a leap, as well.

    Rationally, if you were perfectly conscious, no matter what weird place you may have found yourself in, you still don't instinctively accept what others say, do you? You have preconceptions that are very difficult to shake. Especially when it is someone you've only just met, and have no reason to trust, and who broke into your room. She felt like she couldn't /not/ trust him, as he's only a child, an innocent, trustworthy looking one, but... she's so disoriented. She doesn't protest when he leads you away, because indeed, why shouldn't she trust him? That doesn't mean she intrinsically believed and trusted him, though, and that is a crucial distinction. Following is a passive form of trust - but she doesn't actively trust him to believe everything he says, particularly as the evidence doesn't quite support it. Other factors, events, sways her response to him, and the levels of trust she holds, but none can make her trust him without doubt. I think I only have one person I could possibly say I trust to that extent, if that. And it would take that level of trust to completely override such basic instincts- if they even could, because they are not conscious reactions, are they? It's the subconscious. As a rational, conscious human being, are these reactions unrealistic?

    In what way, additionally, does it being a 'dream' mean that no harm can come to her, and that she shouldn't be afraid? I think even the word 'nightmare' sums that up nicely. xD I've had some pretty twisted ones in the past. Fear, as well, is not an emotion limited to reality. He never guaranteed that she would not come to harm, just told her she was in a dream 'of sorts'. So your leap is a little out there, at least rationally. In her rational mind, would she make such a leap from 'dream' to nothing can touch me? She may feel a little bit more comfortable, safe, but when confronted with fire without any preparation, she would forget that in a moment because there is not a link here between the rational lack of fear and instinctive fear. It is very hard to control instinctive fear with rationality, even with preparation, and I don't see why she'd think to prepare herself for such a thing because it was just a 'dream'. It was a shocking experience, the last thing she expected, impossible to prepare for.

    I've discussed rationality, now let's place this in a dream situation. ;3 I'm quite enjoying this.

    I just see no reason why being in a dream should mean that she instinctively trusts him. If all of the evidence supported what he was saying, then perhaps she would believe him that it was a dream, but is all sense and reason lost in a dream? Some of it is, yes, but all?

    Again, I would not draw from 'dream' that things such as fire could not harm me - I'd be less afraid, yes, if I knew I was just dreaming, but I would not be able to smother such an instinctive reaction if we are going by anything realistic. Once more, there are instinctive fears that are not mutually exclusive to the 'real world', and uncontrollable by even a fragment of a rational mind.

    Not all dreams are the same though, I understand that. They defy reality. Therefore, it is likely that you could have a dream where you wouldn't be afraid. But that wouldn't be realistic, would it? That'd just be because the dream is dictating the different factors. Dreams are like that. In real life, you would not be able to discard your natural fears in such a way. Indeed, dreams let you do whatever you like. Remember that, though. It doesn't constrain you to one interpretation of a dream state, and one type of dream with the same rules that we all experience. That means that you shouldn't generalise. Not all dreams are as unrealistic as others, it differs for everyone each time. If in your dreams you're impervious to fire and know it, then good for you.

    Back to the story. I've already pointed out that I never said that this was not a dream, and indeed, it's not. Therefore, she is fully conscious, and able to rationalise. Apply the above sections on rationality and voila, the reasons behind her actions. xD You wouldn't believe how challenging I found the characterisation in this, I swear - I've given it a lot of thought, as I'm sure you can tell from the above. I tried to play out throughout the struggle between her intense confusion, struggling with whether to 'see the dream through', and her rational mind, which is certainly still present and working furiously to comprehend what it's been confronted with. I set myself quite the challenge - it took forever to figure out how to get Elizabeth to even follow Nathaniel.

    Some reactions never change, though. ;3

    Feral was indeed intended. x3 He isn't human. I may move it to a different point, though.

    If you disagree with me at any point, m'dear, do speak up! Thank you again for the review, though, I'll go get those edits x3
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2011
  5. Ejunknown

    Ejunknown be creative

    Despite the huge success of Inception, controlling your dreams is a difficult skill to master, and starts with the knowledge you are in a dream. Unless you know you are definitely in a dream (you can tell through some common problems, such as blank books), your control is limited, and actually, that is the whole premise of Inception in the first place - tricking the consciousness that their dream is reality. I bring up the movie, as it can show that dream states are easily controlled and recognisable - which, in reality, is unlikely. I'd still be afraid for my life. >U<

    Also, while Cobalion is genderless, which is improbable by itself, there is a strong resemblance to a stag. If you can say a steel type creature could be physiologically similar to anything. xD
  6. CuriousHeartless

    CuriousHeartless Well-Known Member

    I gave little input on a few small things in bold in there, but that big huge thing I'll respond to here.

    I know the whole thing wasn't truly a dream, but she was told that it was and had been given no prove by that point it wasn't. It's like how in Romeo and Juliet after Juliet pretended to die, we as an audience knew she was still alive, but Romeo thought she was dead and had no prove to believe otherwise and reacted as such. And it is just a common believe that stuff that happens in dreams can't actually hurt you, so with the fact it wasn't truly a dream I'd think she would still act like it was one, but with a bit of a clearer head. But it's your story so don't let anything I say bother you.
  7. katiekitten

    katiekitten The Compromise

    I completely understand what you mean about the difference between the audience and character's perception of a situation, but in this case it isn't really relevant. Let me break it down...

    First, the comparison doesn't work. Plays and novels are two completely different forms of writing, particularly in this case. In a play, you can see what all of the characters are doing and thinking at the same time (soliloques, those long speeches of thought the Shakespeare is fond of), and therefore, like in Romeo and Juliet, know that Juliet isn't really dead. In this story, however, I've written in a perspective called third person limited. This is when you write completely from the point of view of a character. We can only see what she notices, only know what she knows, only hear her thoughts. Very different from the situation in Romeo and Juliet. Yes, we may be able to read more into the things that the character notices then she may be able to, and therefore come to different conclusions. However, there is a vast difference between the two, and what the audience is able to know, so it's a bit of a simplified comparison.

    Moreover, this entire question of what the audience believes and what the character believes, is still irrelevant. Throughout, I've only been discussing the situation from how she has been experiencing it, and the natural response that she, just like Romeo, would have to the situation.

    I guess we'll just agree to disagree over how a person would react in this situation. :3 To put it simply, I simply don't agree that someone, whether they can think normally or not, would be able to override all of their fear due to one belief/piece of knowledge, no matter how much they believe in it. With something as weak as her belief in being within a dream, you have certainly misread the situation. In my opinion and experience there are some emotions that can't be overridden, or can only be overridden with difficulty and preparation, as earlier explained. Additionally, I cannot agree with your statement that 'it is common knowledge that you can't be hurt in dreams' for the initial, simple reason that if this was true, nightmares would not exist. Nightmares are dreams. Fear is perfectly real inside the dream world, and so even if she was dreaming, her reaction would still be completely justified. Again, you've generalised/simplified a belief that not all hold, which is certainly unrealistic.

    If the character wasn't conscious and this was a dream, the situation may be slightly different, true, but only within the parameters (specifications) outlines above. However, it is a fact that she is fully awake. She is fully conscious, and this naturally changes how she responds to the situation. This does not change whether she believes she's dreaming or not, or whether the audience believe it or not. I believe you misunderstood my explanation of why she had such a rational mind (given for your sake so you understand that it is an element of the plot) as saying that she unrealistically knows she that she isn;t in a dream. I have not said this. I only pointed out that I never said it was a dream to give you an explanation for why the unchangeable feature of her characterisation, her rationality, is there. The presence of her fully functioning mind does not change whether you know or not, or whether she realises it or not. She simply has 'a bit of a clearer head'. Fact. This changes how she reacts to the situation. Fact. If she knows it's a dream or not, or whether you know it or not, does not change how being able to think clearly changes the way you think about a situation. It is completely irrelevant.

    And on where I stand regarding naturalistic responses, when fully conscious or not, I believe I don't need to repeat myself. xD

    Simply, the characterisation is actually telling you more about what is truly happening in the story. Her conscious mind in a 'dream' is, indeed, an anomaly. (Not her reaction to fear, that I believe is naturalistic, but the sheer fact that she can think clearly) It is not an accidental one due to bad characterisation, however, but a key part of the story, and it reveals quite an important plot point that becomes evident only later: that this is not a dream, but perfectly real.

    Don't worry, you're not, I just like hashing things out. Debating is a key part of my degree, and practise is always welcome. x3
  8. JX Valentine

    JX Valentine Ever-Discordant

    Herself; one word.

    For some reason, I really like this description. Probably because not that many people use the word "discordant," and it's such a fantastic word for reasons that have nothing to do with other fangirl pursuits of mine.

    It took a couple of read-throughs to grasp this detail completely. I feel like it'd be better if you just said "as a scrambling and a snuffling noise" to avoid having to break apart the sentence too frequently.

    That's actually one of the things that I'm noticing right off the bat. It's really not bad writing – in fact, I do like the description a lot – but it carries an almost disjointed tone because a lot of the sentences contain dependent clauses interrupting trains of thought partway through. While she might be a little bit scattered in thought at the moment, it might be better to smooth out the narration a bit by taking out all those parenthetical thoughts (like "accompanied by a shuffling noise") and finding ways to integrate them into the main clauses of your sentences.

    Suggestion: Maybe "the animal's scent of musk and earth and dead leaves"? Otherwise, you end up being redundant with the two uses of "smell" here, and a feeling of repetitiveness occurs with the use of the word "of" so close together. While the "of" bit can be taken or left, it's definitely advisable to at least take out one "smell."

    Believe it or not, the "she thought" is actually a dialogue tag unless you mean to say that she continued thinking beyond that italicized part. The reason why is because "she thought" actually describes a character's line of dialogue, even if it's internal. With that said, it should actually be treated as a dialogue tag by keeping the "she" lowercase.

    While we're on the subject, you don't really need to say she thought wordlessly. It's apparent by the fact that she's thinking that she isn't speaking, and because her thoughts are embodied in words at the moment, it's clear that she isn't thinking wordlessly.

    Moreover, you'll want to remove that comma because either way, this isn't a compound sentence. Note that if you replace the comma and conjunction with a period, you'll end up with one full sentence and one fragment. That's your cue that you're not working with a compound.

    To begin here, I'd say replace the dash with either a comma or an ellipsis. The dash doesn't quite signal the right length for a pause there.

    Second, you'd most likely be better off separating the part about the small shadow into its own sentence. As it stands, this complete quote is a bit wordy, rendering that last dependent clause a little awkward.

    I'd suggest capitalizing "why" and putting this whole thing in its own sentence. The reason why is because to Elizabeth, this is a complete sentence, so it should be behaving as such.

    Typically, when you recoil, you go backwards anyway, so you don't need the "backwards" part.

    It's an adorable description, but this is a comma splice. Try replacing the comma with a period. Notice how you get two sentences as a result? If you can do that when you put a comma in your work, that's your signal that you should either add a conjunction there (in addition to the comma) or simply end the first part of the sentence and put the second part on its own.

    While the kid might not respect grammar, it's best to punctuate his sentences properly for him, just so it's easier on the reader. So, this would actually be three or four sentences that are strung together as one long comma splice – meaning they'll need to be separated. (Same thing with the sentence after that.)

    Believe it or not, phrases like these are actually redundant. The reason why is because both of these words are conjunctions that are capable of connecting two independent clauses in a compound sentence. You actually don't need both at the same time in that case because it'd be a lot like putting down two commas.

    I'd suggest "she tried to clarify." "Made to clarify" sounds a bit vague.

    I followed your train of thought up until just after this comma. The reason why is because I read this part as she was relaxing because she realized it was a dream, but the rest seems to go off on a completely different subject. (Also, the structure of the dependent clauses following this piece makes it a little difficult to figure out just what you're trying to say.)

    A trick: Whenever you want to put a comma and conjunction in a sentence, replace them with a period first. If what you get as a result is two complete sentences, leave the comma and conjunction in because it's a compound. If you don't get two complete sentences, leave the comma out because it's not.

    I have to admit that I skimped a little bit on the last couple of pages, but even then, besides the kinds of things I've already pointed out, your writing was pretty clean.

    So let's talk about the story.

    One of the things you mentioned in the Review Game thread was that you didn't like the first two chapters. I skimmed those, but even though I didn't think they were that bad, I honestly believe that it's okay if you took them out. This feels like a much stronger beginning. If we consider this chapter on its own, we get a thorough glimpse of Elizabeth, and her journey actually seems to start at this point. More than that, there's the fact that it just grabs a reader better than the first two (which I'm guessing is what you meant). The elements of fantasy and mystery in this particular chapter ("What is this dog-boy, and where is he taking Elizabeth?") are enough to entice the reader to read on. I want to know what's going to happen next thanks to the events of this chapter. I'm intrigued by this dog-boy, and I know that there's going to be this awesome, fantastic world to look forward to.

    The characters are very enjoyable too. Elizabeth is the jumpy heroine just trying to make sense of the fact that her life is about to tip into the insane, Nathaniel is an adorable little imp/furry guide, and their interactions (shocked Elizabeth, casual Nathaniel) are amusing to watch. I can tell I'm going to enjoy the way they click together in future chapters.

    Besides that, the description itself is pretty good too. You use a lot of visual details, which is great because I'm a very visual person, and I appreciate writers who appeal to that sense. I guess the only point of criticism in that department is what I've already mentioned: the fact that it'd be better if your sentence structure was a bit more organized to allow us to appreciate those details without having to rearrange a sentence to get meaning out of it first. (Or in short, this is about the clauses.)

    All in all, I enjoyed reading this. I'm sorry to say that I don't have time right now to continue to the next chapter (because I'm writing this before work), but I'll most likely be back to check out more later.
  9. katiekitten

    katiekitten The Compromise

    Thanks for the review, JX! x3 I'm glad you liked it - and you've reminded me to catch up on your story...! Bill <3 x3

    The old sentence splice horror rears up again...! xD Thanks, I'll try and squash those out - and sort out my convoluted writing style. My tendency of elaborating on elaborations will be the death of me. :) I've been worrying about how to fix my writing style, somehow - I know it makes for a laborious read sometimes which puts off readers, but I couldn't narrow down the cause to anything past their sheer length. Your comments are very helpful, thank you. :3

    And that 'smell smell' sentence- I need to be more thorough with my read throughs haha. Same with all of the other corrections, I'll get them sorted. :3

    That's the reason why I'm not fond of those chapters - I myself only really got into the story from the second chapter onward, and while the first two are technically fine, they don't add much and move at a significantly slower pace. Removing them entirely is a great idea, I think I'll do that. I was considering revising the story as it was, although I'd just resigned myself to trying to figure out a way to rewrite the beginning until I liked it more. The beginning really isn't needed, though - I'll probably fit in the earlier dream as a little flashback because there's a neat little fact in there that further develops Nat's and Elizabeth's relationship, but that's about it. :3

    Thanks again, and I hope I've drawn you in enough to read more, the next chapters... <3
  10. diamondpearl876

    diamondpearl876 → follow your fire.

    Hi, thought I’d come by and review chapter 2 for you for the review game.

    Pretty sure “her self” should be one word. Also, it sounds kind of awkward, and I would put “Shuffling herself forward cautiously…”

    Thought I’d go ahead and say that I really like this part here. You do a good job at conveying a tone of suspense and the idea that something’s very wrong. I see a lot of writers try to pack suspense and all that into one long paragraph, but I think it’s most effective when separated/alone like you did here. It packs a bigger punch and gives about an air of mystery, leaving the reader wanting more.

    I also like the use of the parenthesis to add emphasize. It’s actually one of my favorite ways to add emphasis but I don’t see it used often, let alone correctly or in an effective way.

    The abrupt pause after “sported” followed by the rather long part of the sentence separated by commas makes the entire thing sound awkward. I hope that makes sense. By the time I start reading about what he’s wearing, I’ve forgotten about the “He also sported” part of the sentence because you put so much emphasis on WHEN Elizabeth was noticing his clothes. This wouldn’t have been an issue if you just put “Elizabeth noted dimly”. I guess I would suggest deciding what is most important and putting that at the beginning of the sentence, and make sure that sentences like this don’t get awkward.

    I think quotation marks are more appropriate here since it’s something that Anthony’s actually said, even if it was in the past. That also means that the quotation mark should be after the period, not before like the apostrophe is.

    I’m all for emphasizing words with italics, but not really entire sentences, unless this is part of her thoughts. In that case, the tense should be changed to present tense.

    Overall, this was meant to be pretty creepy and mysterious, and you conveyed just that. The words you used were very effective and fitting for the scene/tone. You did good with showing and not telling, especially with Elizabeth’s anxiety. Her actions told me exactly what she was feeling at all times, and it made me feel engaged and as if I was experiencing the dream with her. Another thing I really liked was the boy’s dialogue—it was extremely creepy yet childish at the same time, an interesting combination to read. My only complaint is that you use a lot of sentences with several commas/pauses, which makes for disruptive reading sometimes. The only time you really deviated from this is when you did those short, suspenseful sentences. Try to experiment with a variety of sentence structures. Keep it up!
  11. Sid87

    Sid87 I love shiny pokemon

    You know what's really embarrassing? I've been to your story several times, and each time, I could have SWORN it was, like, 20+ chapters in. But I checked again today (because I was going to start reading it regardless), and found I was WAY wrong. :) I'll have this caught up in just a few days (assuming you are still writing it, because you haven't updated in a while).

    A Howl in the Night

    -Just like in your Post A Scene bit, there is some gorgeous description going on here. Very eloquent. The only thing I might say is that your description tends to creep towards the extreme of being TOO artsy and flowery. Like I said, I like it; don't get me wrong! But sometimes it seems a little more verbose than it might need to be to make its point. So I'd just watch out for that. I know as a writer we sometimes fall in love with the imaginative ways we have to describe things, so we've all got to watch out for that when we take it too far.

    -It is a nice, brief teaser of an opening. I'm guessing, by the description, the boy is some kind of pokemon/human hybrid. Or at least a pokemon possessed of a human mind and features? It's all very eerie. Two days left? The name in the sticks? She dreamed it all? What's going on here? :)

    Bated Breath

    -I really like the opening scene (though I think the very first sentence here is a prime example of overly flowery/metaphorical prose). We are introduced to the protagonist as someone with real life problems that almost anyone can relate to. That's very important, and I feel even more invested in her now. The little boy is still around, too, and not some figment of her dreams or psyche after all.

    -The second scene is going along really well--more real life situations for Elizabeth, and some nice, light, fun dialogue between herself and Lily--and then BAM! That last sentence. I had to read the section again to see if I missed anything (I don't think I did). What goes on here, I wonder.
    -Also, if the professor is from Kanto, where does the story take place? Did I miss that?

    -The last scene were very nice, too. More details of this girl's absolutely normal life, which are fun to read. She is very relate-able and a typical college student. And then she goes to bed, and wakes up. So, of course, shenanigans are about, but we are getting them in a fairly slow influx. I actually hope this pace continues for a while before we get too far into what the mysteriousness of the dreams and the boy and 3am are. This is a pleasant introduction to everything that I think could be the beginnings of a LOVELY slow burn. Having not read anything else, this is what I'm hoping for anyway. I really am enjoying reading just about this normal girl with occasional odd things happening to her.
    -The "moment" of the chapter is obviously "Lily is dead". I enjoy that, but it seems out-of-nowhere. Is Lily dead, and the narrator is presenting facts from the future? Was that a voice in Elizabeth's head? Is it Elizabeth's own mind? It is creepy and mysterious, but I'm not sure just how to take it yet.

    Okay, it's actually very late here (almost...dare I point out....3AM!), so I'm going to leave it there. But I will be back!
  12. katiekitten

    katiekitten The Compromise

    diamondpearl: :3 Thanks for your review! Sorry for the late response, I've had exams...! But I appreciate it. x3 I've been planning a revision of this (to rejig the structure, I'll probably include the earlier chapters later x3), so I'll slide the edits into that. :3 I'm glad I managed the suspense, though! You wouldn't believe how many edits it took to get it to flow a bit better. x3 And dw, I know what you mean about the 'he also sported' sentence - I have a habit of elaborating on different elements in the middle of the sentence, sometimes to the extent that I elaborate on my elaborations - an annoying quirk with my writing style! i'll work to quash it out. x3 I'm glad you liked it, and that the atmosphere came across, and I'll work on mixing up the sentence structure a bit. :3 Thanks for your review~!

    Sid: Aww thanks for reviewing this, you didn't have to! I appreciate it, though, and I'm glad you liked it. x3 Yeah, not too many chapters, despite how long I've been working on it - I'm such a lazy writer! I am still writing it, though - I'm probably going to revise the structure a little to put the next chapters first, and integrate these bits into it later, and then continue writing it. x3 I have started the next chapter, though! It took me way too long to get into a decent mood for it... I blame my work, it saps all of my time during term time. I do like the first chapter though, so it definitely will still be a part of it, just later. I agree with you on the artsy-ness of the prologue though! My writing used to be /stuffed/ with it - it's such an indulgence, but I've pretty much squashed it now. Mostly. :x I'll keep an eye out for it in future! I'm glad you like it, though.

    Same goes for the first sentence of the next chapter - I'll work on making sure I don't get carried away. x3 Whoops, that sentence was just supposed to be a thought, I'll preface it a little better. :) I may edit the entire thing, actually - I change how I interact with her thoughts as the chapters progress, and while it's not too noticeable, I'd feel better editing it... I'm actually happy that you like the pace, that sort of story fascinates me as well, the interweaving of the normal and abnormal, but I worry that I take too long getting around to it...! *hugs* Haha, 3AM... I really have to continue and get out the proper explanation for it. x3 I hope you like the next chapters as much - it takes a bit of a sharp turn from here, but eventually we'll be back on this interesting little track. Believe it or not, this is actually supposed to a romance. I don't think I need to say that it's going to take a while to get there haha...!

    I hope you slept well! I should probably get back to revising myself, I'm all too good at procrastinating. xD I am slowly catching up on Brothers' Bond though. :3 Expect another review from me soon...! *hugs tight*
  13. Sid87

    Sid87 I love shiny pokemon


    -I like the very real fear that a rabid animal is in her room. The image of her circling widely around her bed was very well thought out, because that's what ANYONE would do.

    -I saw a few more grammar/typo errors in the early goings her than I seem to recall in the first two chapters. Just make sure to stay up on proofreading. :)

    -I like the earnestness of the boy (with his "I have a big speech, and you'll like it!" spiel). I just wish, as I mentioned in my previous comment, that this had been a slower build to this point. :) I was actually really getting in to Elizabeth's regular life and the subtle suspicions that something was awry. It was nice (and psychological, to a degree) to read that.

    -Yeah, I dig Nathaniel. I had an idea from your Post A Scenes that he might be more vicious (not evil or bad, but just fierce and maybe a bit bloodthirsty). But he's a lot of fun in actuality. Innocent and kind of silly. A fun guy.

    -And so this is a dream? Of sorts? Or spiritual travel? Hm. That's a neat idea. Wonder where it will go....?


    -Odin? So there's a Norse mythological base to this? I really REALLY like that. I used to read a lot of Norse mythos when I was younger. And what's this about a ceremony? It almost makes it seem like Nat is more nefarious than he has come across (ceremony makes me think of cults, anyway).

    -I want the story of Elizabeth's family's OTHER great near-death experiences. It is something her family has a history of? So there is more to this girl and her life than has been revealed so far?

    -I like Elizabeth's very rational reaction to the flames. So many authors would be tempted to have the protagonist be in awe of the fire or even amused by it, but she was legitimately terrified. Even after it was gone, you showed her flinching to Nat's movements, still thinking of that moment.

    -Nice alluding to Nat's backstory with the "Gods/Demons" thing, and the quite suspicious line of "We were more than you deserved". I don't think I trust this kid at all, the more I read.
  14. ChloboShoka

    ChloboShoka Writer

    I got attracted by the nice banner in your signature. I think a lot of the typos and errors have already been pointed out by some of the other readers. I really liked the atmosphere in the story even though the pace was slow. I liked the characters in the story like Elizabeth and Nathaniel because they were really amusing and interesting.
  15. aggiegwyn

    aggiegwyn Well-Known Member

    I like the so far. There is a true element of mystery going on, and things aren't revealed too quickly, which I like. I also liked how Elizabeth didn't immediately accept going with the boy, it took a lot of convincing! A lot of writers just have their characters immediately accept things, which is unrealistic. I also like how you don't spend much time describing the characters. You give us one or two details every chapter and leave the rest to the reader, which is fun to us. I was convinced she was a ginger until the last chapter to be honest XD

    Well done, I like it so far, although I do have one thing to nitpick.

    "able to grasp at the air as Nathaniel writhed into a foetal position"

    Oh, and thanks a lot for making my favorite character sort of die. XP (only kidding, I understand it's probably an important plot twist or something)
  16. Sid87

    Sid87 I love shiny pokemon


    I like the narration shift to Coballion here. It's very fierce, and interesting (Elizabeth wearing strange attire; I wonder if he thinks all human clothes are strange, or just her sleepwear?). It's quite a powerful, forceful narration. I don't get the sense that he would be as flowery as your narration gets, though (with lines like describing Elizabeth as "drinking in" the distance between them); I'd think that he would be more brutish and abrupt. I get that he's a leader and powerful, but I still get the sense from what little I've seen of him that he'd be more of brevity than long-windedness. :) But he's your character, so I could be wrong!

    So, and this might have taken me a long time to ascertain, are there no pokemon in the most basic sense in this world? No pokeballs and battling? They are just ancient beasts that are not even known as real (almost like a mythological creature)? If so, I dig that. It makes them seem more "edgy" and unknown. By the time I got to this line--"We have many, many different species, basically. The hunt itself is made up of mostly horse-types and canine, feline types, though, its just what makes up our community and always has. Oh, and the occasional bull, although they aren’t quite nimble enough, see."--I am sure this is the case. I like the imagery of Persians and Luxray and Stoutland on a hunt.

    I am going to reiterate a slight disappointment that we won't be seeing any more of Elizabeth's everyday life since you handled it so well. But the mythology and world you've created here is very rich, so I'm sure I'll have even more fun exploring it further!
  17. Chibi Pika

    Chibi Pika Stay positive

    Hi there! I saw your fic in the review game and decided to take the moment of motivation to go check it out. Since you said you wanted a review on chapter 3 and up, that's what I'll do, though I did do a quick read-over of the first few chapters just to get up to speed (they were short so I figured I might as well.)

    Chapter 3:

    So as the fic progresses, I'm getting a definite sense of it feeling more engrossing. I don't know how to explain it, but just reading chapter 2 compared to chapter 1, I can tell you had a lot more fun with it, and that just translates into a more enjoyable reading experience (of course, it also helps that that's when the plot-important encounter took place.) The prologue and first chapter felt kind of slow and awkward by comparison, with some wordy descriptions that sometimes felt like they weren't serving the narrative or informing the reader. Still, this improved very quickly as the fic progresses.

    Nathaniel is extremely cute in both his mannerisms and dialogue, and every moment he's on-screen (so-to-speak) I want to know more about him. He's also got me interested in this ceremony, which apparently celebrates the past event that brought peace to humans and Pokemon (if I can call them that?). I am kind of wondering how the two of them taking place in this ceremony is going to translate into the story's plot or conflict, but I imagine that will come up soon enough.

    Chapter 4:

    Well then...rather strange that the old Cobalion would be so dismissive of humankind while attending a gathering for a celebration of the peace between their kinds. But at this point I can only guess that he's more disdainful of the magic that would allow a Pokemon like Nathaniel to take on a human form.

    But then his later internal monologue seems to imply that he was never happy with this truce to begin with. So now it makes sense that he'd lash out at a Pokemon for associating with a human. But then...in this particular version of the world, do humans and Pokemon not regularly interact?

    It's also a bit strange that their hunts had to be so massive any organized, as opposed to just individuals hunting for food individually as they needed. But then, with such a unique setup as to what Pokemon themselves even are, I suppose unusual new concepts of their culture or traditions make more sense than they normally would.

    I'm rather curious to find out more. You've got a unique premise to your incarnation of the Pokemon world, which currently has a lot of negative space to potentially fill.

  18. katiekitten

    katiekitten The Compromise

    Sid: *squishes* I've actually read the latest chapter of Brothers' Bond, just been crazy busy and haven't found time to review! But will in a bit, I promise. x3 And thank you for reading! Yeah, the track of the story does change here, which makes me think all the more that I should rejig the whole structure, as the first bit doesn't really fit once the main story swings into it. I /am/ a fan of stories that focus more on normal life, though, so I think I'll have to write something more focussed on that at some point. We will be returning to her ordinary life (ish) - the actual 'ember days' and therefore this ceremony they're attending only occurs four times a year, for three days at a time. But it won't be completely normal, I guess? Little Nathaniel is here to stay, though, even though he's not supposed to be necessarily: next chapter helps flesh out his unique circumstances, and develops the ceremony more, of course. This introduction to the whole ceremony thing is important, as are the characters it brings in, which is why I'm spending so much time on it - that and it's fascinating, and also I need to see Elizabeth's progression and acceptance of this new identity through. I've set this up to be rather an epic to tell the truth.

    I'm really glad like you liked her reaction to the fire - and her progression throughout, that second chapter was so difficult for that reason...! I spent ages trying to get the reactions right xD; An issue of trying to convince the character to go where I wanted her to go... Haha, I'm glad that you see the insidious side of Nathaniel as well, there is more to him than just the earnest child. He is part of the hunt, after all. I hope you like how it develops later! And typos and yuck, should hopefully have gotten a bunch of them now - going to go over it more thoroughly when I revise :)

    As for the base of the story... it's a mix of the Benandanti (italian agrarian ritual/witchcraft) myths with a nice dot of norse mythology (they're heavily linked, in any case, I'm going for one of the Benandanti variants).

    The response to his clothing is more her night clothes, yeah - as for his characterisation, I hear you... Mm, food for thought. While he does have that aggressive quality, we are effectively seeing him at a bad moment... I'll keep an eye on my language, and have a look at him when I revise him. He's not one for speeches, certainly, I'll see how that reflects on his thoughts. :3 I knew I had a problem with his narration at points - he seems to come out a little too bitter in his description of the way things are now, i was trying to go for a 'he regrets the past, but its a distant regret, it's something that he accepted long ago. He dislikes humans, but he tolerates them as he has to. What annoys him, rather, is Nathan's obsession with them, he doesn't understand it and it disgusts him, and the boys effective insubordination in his attitude to him rubbed him the wrong way'. Will probably revise the whole section a bit :3

    The position of pokemon within this... Mythological creatures-esque, yeah x3

    C.Gholy: Thanks for reviewing, I'm glad you like the banner! :D I'm glad you don't mind the pace - I've been really aware of it, so I'm glad it doesn't really detract. I quite like those guys too. x3 Thanks for reviewing!

    aggie: :D I'm glad you liked that section, that was literally the hardest bit to write...! I wanted to realistically convince the character to go, but it was such a battle haha! I will go get that typo now, thank you :3 And character die? Ah, if you mean lily, that was just a bit of clumsy writing - it's just supposed to be a thought. If it's something else though...?

    ChibiPika: That's why I've been iffy with the first chapters - they had no purpose other than to introduce the main character, and therefore completely aimless, and it just felt uncomfortable. As for the plot - the ceremony is a crucial element of it, but the relationship between Elizabeth and Nathaniel, as well as the other characters who have been introduced/are about to be introduced is key to it... It's actually supposed to be a romance? :x Just in a very unique environment, which is crucial to the development... I really have created an epically long plot haha. All the pieces are in place and moving though, I can say that safely without giving anything away. x3

    As for Tobias... For all of his personal qualms, he has a sense of duty that he refuses to betray, it's a key part of who he is, part of his 'ancestry', he's very aware of his status within the hunt. Hence, despite his personal revulsion, he understands the necessity of the truce, and these continued ceremonies, despite the growing arbitrary nature of them. They are still crucial, though. I think I'll try and make that a bit more apparent in his narrative, although as an exceptional incident (he doesn't make a habit of losing his cool), there's this section which has been really bothering me anyway. x3 But yes, he is more disturbed by nathan's actions and attitude than the presence of humans, the latter point he'd already accepted.

    As for the great 'Hunts', they themselves weren't normal, every day occurrences, but a communal excursion, if that makes any sense? The 'hunt' itself is a community, a roving, nomadic, hierarchical community - a multi-specie tribe... I see where the explanation I put clouds it a bit, I'll spiff it a bit. The job of gathering food for the tribe would be designated to the adults, with a few staying back to guard the camp and the weak/old/young/unable. Individual hunting is of course possible, but that places the individual above the hunt. mm. will hash it out more. I'm glad that you like it though. :)
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2012
  19. Sidewinder

    Sidewinder Ours is the Fury

    Sorry that its taken me so long to get here. This will be for the prologue. I should have the reviews for the other chapters by tomorrow night. I'm in the middle of moving to a new city atm so I'm somewhat frazzled haha

    @ Prologue
    Wow that painted a wonderful picture. Gilding the tendrils of fog? Really nicely done. This will be the first of many times that I compliment you on your wonderful talent of description. Your talent at wordplay leaves nothing to be desired. Obviously there is such a thing as overly describing something but so far you've kept a nice balance and you certainly paint a nice picture

    Hmm, nice touch as well. You've piqued my interest with this part. I've only read one Pokemorph story before, so this is instantly what my mind went to. Though, it is too early to tell whether this is what you're story is about or not, it still woke me up as I was reading and made me pay more attention.

    Nicely done. That set the tone for the rest of the prologue for me. Even though we meet the new character in a moment, all I keep thinking about is this furry kid and what his story is. Be careful of that balance between characters. From what I've read so far you know how to keep things seperate but equal, but just so you know, you know?

    I really responded to that actually. Many a night I've awoken to remind myself that I'm in reality and what I was just dreaming was a fantasy. It's funny how you're mind can believe what's underneath haha

    All in all, not bad for a prologue. You set up a slight motivation for the furry eared fellow, and that 3AM bit at the end lended signifigance to what I may think might be a supernatural touch to what's to come. I'm intrigued, and I think you've set a lovely stage for the next chapter
  20. katiekitten

    katiekitten The Compromise

    Thank you for the lovely initial review, Sidewinder! *snugs* I'll keep an eye out for the character balance - but I'm glad that the little tidbit about the dreams fitted well. :3 *snugs*

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