I received a review from Ellie Dyer today, as part of our review trade off. Though she was afraid I would think her to be harsh, I'm actually appreciative of the review. It makes good points that I will be keeping in mind.
"I enjoyed reading this - the style is simple yet lyrical. Dialogue is used sparingly but to good effect, and free indirect speech moves the action forwards effectively and gives us a deeper insight into the characters. I would like to see a little more in terms of physcial description and differentiation. Saying that, there is a lot of movement and plot development in the early sections, and I managed to follow it all without getting lost; testament to the author's ability to plot carefully.
I'll admit to being a little confused by the use of analepsis and prolepsis - the later chapters in particular jar when you read 'four weeks before the events of chapter 7' - perhaps this would be better done with a date? There are a few typos and syntax errors here, which I'm sure will be rectified with editing. On the whole, this is a remarkable piece of writing for such a young author, and I wish him luck in finishing it - it will be one hell of a story."
Previously I received some other great reviews. The first one I'll post is from NicTei, a mad American author who always puts himself down. I'll have to settle the score with him and leave him a review. Anyway, here's what he had to say:
"Well, I read everything you've got up so far, and let me tell you, it's a great read. That being said, there were some interesting spelling errors that made me reread sentences until I figured out what was supposed to be said.
However, the errors were minor, like a late space (i.e. 'them an' instead of 'the man') or common errors caused by your fingers developing minds of their own while still on the keyboard (i.e. 'teh' instead of 'the').
In conclusion, I found this to be a refreshing read, though I can't say that it's one of the only good things on Bebo. I've lead a sheltered life on the Bebo Authors feature, and have really only read stunning books by the likes of Chinaren and Andy Walker, among others. However, this reaches pretty close to the top of the list, and I'll likely be back if you post anything new.
A very friendly review from NicTei. And not too harsh. One of the reviewers who understands a typo when he sees one!
The third of the reviews I'm posting is from China Ren. Yes, the self-praising author I complained about earlier. Here's China Ren's extensive review:
"It's not bad. The theme is possibly a little hackneyed, but what can you do?
As I say below, you need to put more colour into the story. Put some time and work into describing the characters and the world. Take it a little slower in parts as well. There's a bit of a rushed feel here and there.
There are various places in the story that I think could do with a re-work of punctuation. EG:
- She was Emily Quigley. And she was a thief -
I think this should be one sentence with a comma. (And it’s not ‘good’ English to start a sentence with ‘and’ of course, though I understand you are doing it here for impact).
You should try and make sure you use contractions where applicable too. Eg:
- They had received
There’s also a lot of ‘telling’ rather than ‘showing’, though this does improve a bit over the course of the tale. Here’s an example:
- Brock was at his car when a white van pulled up beside him. He got ready for a fight; it was just a plain white van, and in the front two men in black. –
You need to try and put more ‘life’ into the descriptions. For example, maybe the above could read something like:The sound of tyres skidding on the road brought Brock out of his reverie. A serious looking white van screeched to a halt nearby, forcing him to dive out of the way. He just had time to glimpse a couple of shapes in the front, men dressed all in black, before the rear doors flew open with a crash…
Sorry, there’s simply not enough room on Bebo to do a really full review. If you post on Tomecity.com I’ll try and do a more detailed crit there."
It's not hard to see why I got so annoyed with him, is it? He tells me how to write it for crying out loud!