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Old 04-25-2008, 07:10 AM
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Default Re: Soul of Serenity

You are way too nice for your own good, Nancy. *celebrates the 3 month anniversary of you waiting for this to get graded*

The Big Picture: Gotta give you credit here, Janet. I really enjoyed your characters here, especially Dane. His whole history with his family and pursuit of the Spirit really hooked me. And dammit, you killed him! Sure, it was emotional and an amazing plot device, but it was just plain mean. *holds grudge against you*

Though, I'd like to discourage the use of bandits as a general plot device. Despite the fact that the tussle with the bandits had a lasting impact on the story in the form of Dane's injury, I can't help but dislike how 'random' that whole ordeal felt, especially considering the fact that the bandit leader got away. I mean, you went through the trouble of portraying the guy as this menacing presence, but I never got to learn anything else about him. It left me kinda curious about what his whole situation was. And really, bandits are pretty commonly used in journey fics, so... yeah. :P

I really liked the twist with Pidgeot, by the way. Maybe it's just 'cuz I'm kind of a sucker for majestic-type birdies 'n all, but dang, that was nice.

However, my favorite thing was that incredible mood you set in the story. Every encounter with danger really felt much heavier, like the characters were really at risk of getting hurt or killed, probably because of André's death in Heart of Vengeance. It was pretty astounding, really; this much later, André's death still has such a tremendous impact, not only in Rila's mind, but in the reader's as well.

The Light 'n Clockwork: Altogether, the grammar was good. Not necessarily great, though; I just noticed a lot of little things. Typos, I imagine. i'll only point out a couple, mkay? ^^;
Quote:
Originally Posted by Natasha
But, he had been obsessing over her since her first month of pregnancy, and he wanted more than anything to make her happy, he wanted her to have a day to enjoy a day doing something she loved, and more than that, he wanted her to know he loved her enough to trust her.
Comma splices are the devil. So yeah, semicolon or period 'll exorcise it real good-like. :P
Quote:
Originally Posted by Delilah
He nodded courteously, then took her granddaughter by the hand and led her out of the door.
Really, this isn't quite a mistake, but you should be careful with things like this. "Her," while in the same sentence twice, is referring to different people, which can be a smidgen confusing without some kinda clarification in between. Obviously, it's no big deal; just something to keep in mind.

All your dialogue 'n the like was done perfectly, which is certainly nice to see. A fresh pair of eyes or a another once over your story probably woulda eliminated a lot of 'em.

The Special Effects: Parts of your story were absolutely spectacular, I hafta say; but other parts seemed a bit off. Places like:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paulina
The water that had turned cold minutes ago splashed over his body as he was extra greedy with the soap he lathered his body with.
This is a bit quirky, probably because of excessive words and prepositional phrases in mysterious places. It could be reworded into something like:
Quote:
Originally Posted by George of the Jungle
The water had gone cold minutes ago, but he paid it no mind as he greedily lathered his body with soap.
Yeah, that wasn't easy to change around. ^^; Important thing to notice here is the lack of prepositional phrases like 'that had turned cold minutes ago' and 'as he was extra greedy.' Instead, I changed those important points to not use prepositions, which makes them more inclusive in the idea that you're trying to get across. Inside prep-phrases, the idea of 'the water going cold' and 'being greedy' with the soap are somewhat distilled, like they're less important.

A similar concept can be applied here:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vivian
But she fought it, and with a trembling chin, she said nothing to the woman and simply watched her stand up and go to a cabinet on the far wall to retrieve something inside of it.
Areas like this would benefit from a little reorganizing. As the reader moves through the text, things kind of drag with extra words and prepositional phrases like before.
Quote:
Originally Posted by George Washington
But she fought it with a trembling chin and said nothing to the woman, simply watching her stand and move to retrieve something from a cabinet on the far wall.
This change reads a little more smoothly because it reference 'cabinet' only once; the 'inside of it' part is cut out, since 'retrieving something from a cabinet' provides the same image for the reader as 'retrieving something from inside a cabinet.'

Also:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Caroline
Rila had little time to think; her heart beat with fear as she anxiously attempted to formulate a plan.
I wanna discourage the use of the word 'fear' like this. As is, you're using the word 'fear' in order to portray the feeling of 'fear,' which is kinda mundane. It's like using a word to define itself, so instead, you might wanna emphasize what that fear 'does' to Rila.

And of course, I'm not saying my versions are the best. I'm sure you could come up with much better ways to word things, so don't feel limited by my examples. And you know I like to help with things like this, if you ever want a second opinion on shtuff. That said, I feel obligated to point out one part that I felt was downright exceptional.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marilyn
His eyes were awake and warm, and his smooth skin appeared as though it could never wrinkle. The color in his eyes seemed brighter, and like a candle his heart was burning with love on a wick that never ended.
That part really gave me pause. Way to freaking go, Jezebel. ^^

The Throwdown: Plenty of action here: the bout with the bandits, the fight with Sky and Fire, and definitely the climactic clash at the end. You depicted battles quite well in my opinion, and attacks were portrayed vibrantly and powerfully, yet still in a realistic sense.

Also, I enjoyed how battles weren't just about power, but also dedication on the part of the Pokémon like Pidgeot and Umbreon. Made it more emotional and definitely tied the battles into the whole storyline seamlessly.

The Long Road: As I'd expect, it's right within the range.

The Physics Engine: Yes, it was realistic enough, I'd say. Battles, attacks, the environment, all the stuff; it was good enough that I didn't really question why things were working out the way they were.

The Gist: Milotic and Feebas captured! All things considered, this was an impeccable story. It probably could've used another once over in the department of typos 'n such, but that's not really enough to keep the 'mons from you. It was a wonderful story, probably my favorite of all the ones I've graded. Yeah, that's not that many, but hey... GET OFF MY BACK.

Anywho... beautifully done, Susan. Congratulations and good luck with your future stories.
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