|Reviews for River, Author|
| Lord Kelvin 11/14/10 . chapter 6
The story reminds me of a Rubik's cube, a simple concept with an extraordinary presentation.
Speaking candidly, reading this light trinket was a challenge. Reviewing is even more so. For a moment, I thought there wouldn't be anything useful I could tell you. Like in a complete Rubik's cube, any change you make sends you one step back, and there is no more room for improvement. That would have been ironic in the vast limitless space of creating writing, wouldn't it?
The first challenge occurs for two reasons. For one, the rating and topic facilitate an atmosphere too subtle for a hectic moment. If a reader fails to do any preparation, say, a breathing exercise, your story would be difficult to understand. Subtlety of pace and rhythm is something one has to savour, not break through. This subtlety that emanates from most friendship stories reaches a refined and complex climax in your writing. Specifically, this is easy to see when the reader consumes one chapter at a time.
Another reason is your literary technique. I am humbled and I clap standing up at the intricate details imbued in the text. Character narration as well as speeches are orchestrated in a way I don't dare touching so they wouldn't -heavens forbid- wilt like an exotic blossom besmirched by an infidel. Using words like 'stupor' and 'morose' in one paragraph is chuckle-worthy. Extensive compliments to the chef of your vocabulary. The verbal waterfall is so plentiful, I can barely grasp how all the details fit in these tiny chapters. And they're not laid out randomly like toys on a trifling Christmas tree. Readers can't skip anything in your chapters because you don't exceed giving them only what is essential while keeping the view lavish and full of colour. Let's not forget it's easier to digest than Austen, but philologists tend to fizzle with that one, not just reviewers.
Reviewers. Subtle stories are difficult to review due to their lightness. When one does not pay attention, one skips notes and is unable to properly appraise a work of fiction. In all honesty, I had to arrange a playlist to keep the atmosphere just right, and I wouldn't lose track of your thoughts. This is a part of the challenge, though. When I look at your chapters, I see spotless, clean frames around a picture. When I read, the picture appears as pretty as the frame. For a reviewer, it's very easy to go into banal territory with such a setup. I told you about the Rubik's cube, and the comparison is true in many aspects. That is, the regular tools I apply to fiction on this site don't work. These tools are meant to unearth lairs of improvement, and we can't be too careful, so advice adds maximum value.
I needed to look into the big picture for quite a while till I found something worth mentioning to the author of this story. For clarity, I inquired for second opinions and got something generic like "not interesting enough". Fair enough, such a complaint may arise from any of the challenges above being unfulfilled, but it is what sets your story from the rest, so let's consider that one invalid. What I've found startling was completely accidental. I clicked backward to a chapter and noticed two things.
It was when I saw signs of wear and tear during production. Tims is a harsh mistress, and a rewind let me notice the seams. Every one of your chapters is arranged in a way that had you posted it as a separate piece, it would be fluid, as it should be. However, by connecting them, the picture changes. There is a jolt in pace between the chapters. I'm guessing it's because you wrote individual chapters on different days while experiencing different moods. If you read them in one go right now as the story is posted, the read is different than reading one by one as you were updating. For future reference, I recommend looking back to what you have posted already, so tone and pacing wouldn't spin out of control when I click "next". Recall what you wrote before, and start picking up or slowing down steadily at first. At first. The tone can shift in the middle of the chapter quite drastically, but it can't zigzag when a story is fluid. There has to be an intro and outro when things are done like this. Otherwise, readers that came here with a mellow atmosphere would feel alienated with too much hectic action and leave. That would be too bad, because it's the very moment (chapter six) the reader is offered some conclusions, retribution for the unknown you give in the beginning. Make sure you reach this retribution with tact unless you're aiming at a roller coaster ride.
The second issue is much more trivial, but also related to age. Chapter length. Click "next" several times, and you'll see how some parts deviate from your formula of seamless writing. Sometimes ideas are so hard to contain, you write and write, and write...till you notice it would stand out in the big picture when a reader makes the distance.
Perhaps, this review would have been more helpful had I known anything at all about your fandom, but there's hoping you've made justice to your characters as much as everything else. From an outsider's perspective, behavioral patterns are organic, and the plot itself resembles the genre. I suppose, from this point of view, it doesn't even matter, who's reviewing because you've already convinced me that you are able, and you do what you are able to.
Much obliged for the read. I rarely have a chance to delve so deep into fiction without hitting rock bottom. You don't just offer the depths to your audience, you motivate readers to reach them, so we experience elements engraved in word by skill and spirit.
Have a nice, abuse-free day.
| Dan 4/11/10 . chapter 6
"No, You're not." Excellent way to end the chapter. Lucid, aware, well-done.
| Gwenfrewi72 12/27/09 . chapter 6
Loved the interaction and understanding between the two of them in this chapter.
| Oneaka 10/3/08 . chapter 6
I love this! I love the pairing, the writing, and the pace of this fic! It's so believable and just...awesome, lol! WMS please!
| ladykind 7/13/08 . chapter 6
More! Must read more!
| mischabren 6/13/08 . chapter 6
Excellent, excellent story. I love how Mal and River's relationship is progressing slowly; it's very believable (and adorable).
Please write more soon, I'm anxious to see what happens next.
| azarathangel 6/7/08 . chapter 6
i love this story so much! you write river and mal beautifully and i can't wait for the next chapter. -ash