Reviews for the promise
WhyMustIWrite chapter 1 . 10/30/2009
Hiya!

Nice story. I think I've read the one you mentioned that inspired this one. _ You're take on it was quite interesting.

Now before I go into particulars of what I like about it, may I give you some advice on how to make it better? _ There's always room for improvement... some writers want to hear constructive criticism, others don't. If you'd rather not, just let me know and I won't do it again! *sheepish grin* But just to let you know, writing a well-rounded review actually takes a whole lot more thought and effort than just saying "good job", and I only ever bother if I think the story and writer show enough promise to make it worth it. So consider yourself complimented.

So anyway, on to the meat of the review.

First is the technical stuff:

~ Capitalization is your friend! Please remember to capitalize the first letter of every sentence. :)

~ Don't swallow your punctuation marks! End each sentence with the appropriate punctuation: period, question mark, exclamation point. Even if the sentence is in quotation marks, it's still entitled to its own punctuation.

~ Watch out for run-on sentences. Example:"well time passes and the system works of course when they had missions together they didn't bother with the light system and then came the disastrous mission to mist where the entire ANBU squad was supposedly killed including Dolphin (though he was really alive but no one could know that and initially even the Hokage thought him dead)"

o_o What a mouthful!

I don't mean to be a grammar nazi, and it really doesn't bother me if there's an occasional error (goodness knows I make plenty)! But those three seem to be pretty consistent.

Now on to the creative stuff:

~ Read up on this rule "Show, don't tell." This phrase is very common and you've probably already heard it before. If not, just google the phrase. It will explain it much better than I could.

~ This will be similar to the "Show, don't tell" concept. While reading this story, it felt like I was listening to you tell me /about/ this story, rather than seeing the characters act out this story.

One case in point is the sentence I pointed out earlier: "well time passes and the system works of course when they had missions together they didn't bother with the light system and then came the disastrous mission to mist where the entire ANBU squad was supposedly killed including Dolphin (though he was really alive but no one could know that and initially even the Hokage thought him dead)"

Can you see how it sounds like someone is telling you the story, rather than seeing it for yourself? (Well, time passes and the system works of course...). Instead you can write something like "Year after year, the system is put to work. When one was away, the other would keep his house light shining. When the weary ANBU returned, he never failed to be greeted by this symbol of his friend's vigilance.

Then it goes on to say that there was a disastrous mission where the ANBU are presumed dead. That could very well be it's own paragraph. You could show how Kakashi first heard the news, what his feelings and initial reaction to it was, etc. You don't necessarily have to tell us that Iruka is really alive. It might be better to leave the readers in suspense. Or if you do want to tell us, it probably shouldn't be just a side note enclosed in parentheses. That's an important point. I'm just going off the top of my head here, but maybe you could say "Meanwhile, in the Land of Water, Dolphin had actually managed to survive the attack that had decimated his squad."

~ Finally, you show us a lot of what the person is /saying/, but not what the person is /feeling/.

Here's an example:

Actual Story- “Wolf you need to turn the light off” said Raven

“no Raven the lights staying on until I feel like it it's my bill”

Sample 1: "Wolf, you need to turn the light off," Raven snapped in exasperation. How long was Kakashi going to insist on clinging to denial?

"No, Raven. The lights are staying on until I feel like it," Wolf calmly replied. With a hint of a smile he added, "It's my bill."

Sample 2 "Wolf, you need to turn the light off," Raven gently insisted. His worry for his comrade was clear in his tone.

"No Raven, the lights are staying on until I feel like it. It's /my/ bill." The unmistakable growl in Kakashi's tone made it clear he would not back down on this issue.

Do you see how those same exact lines painted two entirely different pictures, just by showing what the person the person's tone, actions, and body language? Their emotion was either shown or stated. You should show us what you had in mind when you thought up this scene.

~ This might be my own fault, but I don't understand why Wolf didn't hear about Iruka coming back until years later. Why didn't Iruka tell him?

~ Lastly, you definitely should have expanded on the end: "the light is turned off and Wolf goes to bed years later he finds out the truth and starts up the promise again only breaking it when he saw Dolphin fall and they finally retired the vow once both of them retired from old age"

How did Kakashi find out? How did he react? How did his first conversation with the not-dead Iruka go? O_O I WANNA KNOW!

Now, don't let my critique discourage you! And remember, these things are my opinions. You can take it for what it's worth. Hopefully, it will be of some use to you (I'd hate to think I just wasted the last half hour. I take way too long to review sometimes...)

Okay, now on to some of the things I particularly liked

~ “no Raven the lights staying on until I feel like it it's my bill”

This line in particular made me smile. It's so Kakashi!

~ I appreciate the way you show both Viper and Raven sticking by Wolf and showing him that they care, even if they have very different ways of showing it!

~ “if you touch that light you'll regret it the light stays on and that's final”

Got to love Kakashi's stubbornness and dedication here.

~ When Wolf was in denial, I was surprised (in a good way) by his sudden strong emotional reaction. We don't get to see that a lot from Kakashi, but the fact is, he is human and he does have feelings.

Thanks for an enjoyable read. Sorry for my incessant rambling.

~WhyMustIWrite