Reviews for Between the Soil & the Sky
Loved1901 chapter 21 . 8/16/2012
Aaawwww, I loved their first real kiss. Now I'm sad because I'm all caught up with the story updates and now have to wait with everyone else for the next one... meh! I will wait patiently because you rock-and-or-roll!
Loved1901 chapter 19 . 8/16/2012
Loved1901 chapter 17 . 8/16/2012
Holy crap! That meeting was so intense, I was having small heart palpitations! Damn that was a good chapter. It's a good thing I don't have to wait for chapter 18 because I don't think I could handle that right I'm clicking the Next button now.
jojobear33 chapter 21 . 8/15/2012
Great! I love this story
Lilypad10 chapter 21 . 8/14/2012
How perfect was this chapter! She let it all out and he responded perfectly.
Loved1901 chapter 5 . 8/14/2012
I love that you use the colors names for the chapters, it reminds me of the cookie chapters in Wide Awake. Go Edward! I never trust the guys that the parents moon over. I'd rather date the son of a Sexologist than the son of a Deacon any day.
sherylb chapter 21 . 8/13/2012
I'm so happy!
Loved1901 chapter 3 . 8/13/2012
Awww, I feel so bad for Edward. I laughed when Bella was freaking out about "hey" and "hi". Another story I read said that a girl that says "hey" means that she's more "dude like" and obviously leans more toward playing for the same team. I say "hey" a lot more than "hi", but I don't lean that way. Anyway, it made me laugh. The closest color I have to neon is a bright orange called I Eat Mainely Lobster from OPI.
Loved1901 chapter 1 . 8/13/2012
Hey, I saw a rec for this story on fictionators. I finally got some time to start this, and I'm glad that I did. I love the story so far, and I also have a collection of nail colors too. I prefer Borghese polish, it seems to last longer and I only need one coat! I'm not allowed to have my fingernails polished due to my profession, but I love my painted toes! Right now they're painted with the color Buon Viaggio Mauve!
robsten63 chapter 21 . 8/13/2012
Loved this chapter! They finally kissed XD
wal70 chapter 21 . 8/13/2012
So did he have sex with Irina?I f so why did they break up? Plz eexplain. THANK YOU AND LOVE YOU!
gestaltshiftwork chapter 8 . 8/13/2012
"Even after Ben's jealous behavior two months prior, Edward wasn't surprised that Ben was able to win Bella back."
So two months have passed, and things are obviously good between Bella and Ben.
But, she wears some other guy's (secret admirer's) bracelet. I mean, where is Ben's flounce now? Why is she still friends with Edward if the guy can't even hack the sight of Edward's coat? Because Ben has given every indication he is NOT cool with this, and it is like the last chapter didn't happen, or shouldn't have happened. And since Bella really likes Ben, why not wear some random's gift, right? I tots do this, you know, cuz my jealous boyfriend and I like to fight. What does Ben have to say about all these gifts from some anon guy? Nothing? Why has he changed? Why the big time jump?
So, Alice still hasn't broke up with Jasper... after two months? I... don't understand. Does this mean they were still together after her mom did the paedo thing, or Alice forgot his phone number and didn't get a chance for two months? is feeling more and more like Alice's storyline is tacked on for drama purposes, (the kooky-rebel friend with a hard luck story) and and has no bearing on the main conflict and it's resolution. I was thinking there was a solid reason a sex worker, a sexologist, and a strict Catholic lived next door to each other, but I am losing faith that it's just a 'cute' plot device, which would be ...
The scene of Edward sitting peacefully watching Ben play soccer, only to learn an hour ago he confessed and Bella told him she didn't like him is extremely incongruous. The whole scene detracts the intended emotional impact by putting his big moment out of time sequence. Why write it in italics like that? For effect? It makes reading tedious. Having Edward talking to Alice matter-of-factly after his heartbreak made the whole thing feel constructed and tepid. He acts like he's 'whatever' about it. If it was kept in real time, we could have shared in Edward's emotional distress, rather than making it a footnote/aside. It would have been a better way to show Bella's inner-conflict. Taking the stuff doesn't make me like her more, js. It's like the whole scene focuses on Alice's ambivalent reveal about breaking up with Jasper... after two months. Why focus on this? Early chapters had kept the story on an even keel, and the tone was evocative. The last two chapters feel like there is only manufactured intentions to keep prolonging this, which basically drained all the UST and my interest in Edward overcoming obstacles, because the author just jumps out of awkward time lines, and just expects me to swallow it.
gestaltshiftwork chapter 7 . 8/13/2012
Character motivation makes a character do things, or react, that are particular to their character. It's key to creating believable story/plot line. Edward's and Bella's motivations are clear and make sense for each unique character, and the slow unfolding is really working between the two of them.
That does not mean Ben can just be colored the one-dimensional 'bad guy' unless his character's prior actions warrant it. What I mean is having Ben make a mistake (putting pressure on Bella) and then immediately making amends indicates regret, which means he has goodwill, or just wants the girl by any means. Either way, neither motivation lends itself to Ben running out of the house in a hissy fit because he saw Edward's coat. It feels like a flip flop of epic proportions, and for very little reason. It seems, well, too melodramatic, and not like a confident and popular boy pursuing a girl he likes.
Not after he confidently pursues Bella, boldly asks her to a dance, makes such an appeal and effort with her parents, and goes to the trouble of asking Edward what Bella likes to buy her a special gift. These are all believable motivations for a confident teen boy, including asking Bella if he can come in, and getting ticked when she says no. He also seems to actually like Bella, and since he apologized so profusely and bought her the book. As a reader, I am lead to assume he is making an effort to 'win' her. But at the sight of Edward's coat he just runs out the door? Errr, really? Here's what my impression: in a small town, most boys know there aren't plenty of fish in the sea. The hierarchy is pretty clear. They have to watch their backs, too, because of gossip. Ben knows their parents are friendly, right? I mean, he's not a unstable sociopath, he's just a high school boy.
His running out seems terribly OOC. Why wouldn't he try to get some answers, or persuade Bella she should stay with him. That motivation makes more sense than: I'm upset, goodbye forever! Slam!

Having characters flounce a scene is often so the author can rush to the next one, or to drag out tension, and it usually always backfires. Let readers revel in the drama of the conflict, rather than side stepping it, or delaying it. I don't think popular and 'charming' Ben is afraid of confrontation or putting on pressure, ykwim? Neither should you be afraid of letting Ben actualize his character through his motivation: to win Bella, not cry/flail/flounce/give up. Make Edward work for this, and this happens by not making his rival into a douchebag, because it makes me think less of Bella.
gestaltshiftwork chapter 6 . 8/13/2012
"subliminal intelligence"
Subliminal isn't the word you want. Some people use the phrase 'sublevel intelligence' but this is also an incorrect use of a word 'sublevel' which pertains to a mining skill, and they should use 'subpar' or 'submarginal'.
Is he using the word wrong on purpose? Is it supposed to be funny?
I like the description of Edward climbing the tree: a lot.
gestaltshiftwork chapter 2 . 8/13/2012
The vocabulary in the dialogue was ... interesting.
Unusual, and I really like unusual characters, as long as they remain believable, can be maintained in a convincing way, and are not cartoonish. Most people who insert words that are not universally understood into their conversation are trying to let people know they're smart, and it's almost always awkward and affected. This 'forced' affectation can be a good thing for us understanding Edward, and I think this can work, as long as it's not a artificial characterization device. What this means is this is more than a quirk, and as such, his intelligence must be maintained through out the character's mindset, actions, etc, . Because his dialogue stands out in such a marked way, it should be integral to the story's conflict and resolution. Otherwise, it becomes cartoonish and superfluous.
The trouble begins when a reader enters into this character's hyper-intelligent POV. Will the author still be able to convince me he is this intelligent? What I mean is: Is the author smart enough to fake it? Because I wouldn't want to write about what it's like to be black woman growing up poor in Chicago, while being a white, suburban housewife, ykwim? Not unless I did a flock-ton of research and reading. Do the geniuses you researched talk like this? I mean, there's a lot of geniuses at NASA, but they don't speak like this. At all.
So maybe this is just a unique quirk particular only to Edward. Okay: fine by me.
While Edward's affected dialogue is certainly interesting, it can be difficult when it comes to fleshing out his complete characterization. Why? The author has to convince me that Edward lives this way in his head, and if the internal mindset of his characterization and external (stilted?) dialogue doesn't match, well, you get the idea.
So: "I WILL ENDEVOUR NOT TO." [Reader coughs coffee onto keyboard.] Okay. Here is the problem, writ large. If he is such a genius, you would think he could spell. There are more 'prominent' examples that make Edward's ultra-smarts unconvincing, but you get the idea.
This is why author's need to pick their 'extreme' characterizations carefully. You must be prepared to put in a lot of extra work and research if you want to pull off writing about a genius, or it just won't fly.

Have you read the fanfiction 'There Fell a Stillness'? It features a convincing characterization of a boy genius. That affected and strange dialogue works because that Edward, as 'weird' as he is, does not talk or speak like the robot from Clone High. He retains his humanity through his social awkwardness, but we never forget how smart he is, and neither does the author, HappyInLove.

I know loads of super smart people, but few speak to the 'general' public in this way, because, hey, they are smart and they know it's off putting and not necessary. They can write papers that needs a PhD to understand, but their language is much more straight forward. Edward's unusual dialogue begs the question, why is he speaking like this? Since Carlisle is a sexologist, his father would model 'inclusive' language and the ability to communicate without intimidation, as part of his profession. If his parents aren't prone to this sort of high handed manner of speaking, I am lead to believe it's a sort of defense mechanism. This is a pretty cool idea for a character motivation and has tons of potential because that quirk belies his awkwardness. In the end, as 'interesting' as this quirk is, it must be an integral part of the plot line AND internal character modelling, because it is so marked, or it can derail the believability of the story, which it unfortunately does. I know you are just learning, and this is a tricky thing to pull off. I think you can do it, if you had the right beta, and put a little more research into this.

For the record, when I think of nail polish, I think of artificial and superficial things... and strong chemical smells. Sorry. I am sure getting your nails done is a real pleasure, and I do it a couple of times a year, and yes, I like it. But what does this personal maintenance ritual have to do with two love lorn teens in a rainy town? This is why author's are taught in school not to insert themselves because of the danger of Mary Sue blinders. Mostly older women get this done, not young, fresh faced teens in a small town.

What is a part of 'your' [the author's] immediate understanding can never be translated into the individual's reading experience without using 'understood' conventions. My green and your green will be different because that is the nature of individual experience. Green nail polish will never make me think of nature. I don't think I'm alone in this. We all understand, in a unique way, the colors and smells of a wet and rainy day, but you lose this universal and rich setting when you evoke a nail salon (the smell alone, right?).
I imagine most women who have a lot to do enjoy this 'just for me' luxury, and it's something you obviously love, but how does this OPI or ORLEY brand nail polish asides translate into the setting for the story you are attempting to tell? It's like it's being forced into the story and grates like a nail file. You can't just gel these colors on because it's artificial. I know you want me to see a particular color, but is this necessary? Why can't I use the color in my mind, thus CONNECTING me to your story? Why lead me into a strip-mall nail salon in Little Korea (my girl's a mani-pedi genius, lol), when I supposed to be walking the streets of Forks in the rain, curious about a boy across the street? How does a mani with green nail polish fit into this scenario? The answer is: it doesn't. I would rather get lost in your setting/storytelling, which holds a lot of promise, than your/my personal life.
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