Reviews for A Stich in Time
Guest chapter 2 . 7/7/2012
Ohh, great idea of Jack becoming part of the time vortex (or something akin to that)! It's very inventive! And you have to have brownie points for not writing Janto (ack, because it's so overdone and OOC in most of the fics nowadays), but focussing on a relationship where we know the love (relatively well) they hold for each other! Love the idea of the unique love for Gwen, although I don't know if you could go that far (remember Rose and the Doctor!) - but I could be wrong. ;)

Regarding the chapters, I feel they would work much better as two 'one-shots' posted separately (while still mentioning the connection between the two), as they are very different.

In chapter two I feel you could have put a bit more identity to Anwen (i.e. through speech, actions and possibly descriptions), as I felt I didn't really 'know' her character. Also, I would temper down Ebony's skills a lot to make her more realistic(!) at the end (e.g. travel over 50 miles an hour would be believable and still impressive - you could work out how long it roughly takes to get around the world if you wanted the impact of making a statement like that), not only to make it more realistic, but to stop 'problems' (i.e. if she's so clever, she probably would've worked out how Anwen knows about her, and if she can run that fast, I somehow doubt TW would be suited to her/she'd be on this planet!). Also, a bit more information about her mysterious race would be good! One of my main suggestions (especially for chapter 2) would be to check over your spelling/grammar or get someone else to look over it for you, as there are quite a few places where you need commas etc. For example: 'She had been hanging around the bay for a while dawdling,' would flow better as 'She had been hanging around the bay for a while, dawdling'. Another example: ‘Ebony peered around the Hub dimly, she tried to interpret what was hidden in the darkness but all she could see were dark lumps and sharp corners, silhouettes in the darkness…. Could this really be the great Torchwood her race had heralded over centuries was this really the previous base of the solider down in history as Captain Jack Harkness.’. This would flow better as ‘As Ebony peered around the Hub (no ‘dimly', as this suggest she’s not clever! If you meant the hub was dim, you need to write 'dim hub'), she tried to interpret what was hidden in its gloomy depths. All she could see were large (omitted words with 'dark' in them as it's generally best not to repeat words close together that aren’t ‘he’ or ‘the’ etc) lumps, sharp corners, and strange silhouettes in the dark…. Could this really be the great Torchwood her race had heralded over centuries? Was this really the previous base of the solider, written down in history, as Captain Jack Harkness?’. As well as commas, you have missed out a few question marks, and perhaps could make use of dashes to help your writing flow e.g. ‘Ebony shook her hand cautiously with a confused look, she had never met this girl and why was she talking to her she should get away quickly.’ could arguably be improved by changing it to something like ‘Ebony shook her hand cautiously, frowning (as these two words combine to suggest she’s confused). She had never met this girl - why was she talking to her? Her manner was confident – too confident. An uneasy feeling churned in her stomach. This wasn’t right. She should get away quickly.’

My other main suggestion would be to try to avoid listing features, as this can get a little boring – if you want to show a lot of description about a character in a short amount of time the best way to do it is to mention it while the character is doing an action, or by describing them in relation to the setting/background (e.g. 'Her sharp green eyes scoured the plass'/'Her vivid green eyes shone out from the deep shadows of her eyes as they scoured the plass' - or perhaps you could mention the 'looking' part first to make it less obvious description). 'She wore a bright neon green t-shirt underneath and black skinny jeans with a studded black belt and worn down black leather ankle boots.' is a good example of this listing in your fic. This sentence is rather long and list-like, and the amount of description can consequently be too much for the reader to take in. Therefore they might be 'overloaded' and lose interest in reading the sentence, and therefore possibly the fiction. To solve this, you could write something like: 'She shifted against the railing, the lamplight flashing off the metal studs on her belt as her worn leather boots ground against the tarmac impatiently.' A good example of description is right here in your chapter, in 'she wrapped her arms around herself(,-needs a comma here!) clinging to her black leather jacket which was not warm enough against the gusty blow.' - you just need more of it! The previous sentence could also be made more effective by writing 'she pulled her thin leather jacket tighter against the gusty breeze coming off the bay', or even better: 'she pulled her leather jacket tighter against herself as her black ponytail whipped across her face' - this is because, in your original example, 'clinging' and 'gusty breeze' already suggests she is not warm, so when you mention her lack of warmth on top of this you are just repeating your point, making the sentence sound clunky (i.e. so you don't need to mention this). In the first suggestion following this quote it just mentions the cold breeze and Ebony pulling her coat closer, so the reader can infer that she's cold, most likely because her clothes aren't up to the job! Also, the second example has sneaked in another description so you can avoid those long, listing descriptive sentences while still painting a picture! However, do remember that straightforward or long descriptions can be great when used in an appropriate way e.g. your opening sentence - it is (probably) mainly the listing which causes the 'problems'/makes the writing less effective.

Other suggestions for improvements:

I’m not sure whether Anwen’s speech reminded me of what Jack said to Gwen in the first few days he talked to her (in fact, the ‘interested’ strongly reminded me of Jack asking Ianto out on a date S2 Ep1!). However, if it was, you would not need to mention this to the reader, as they probably would’ve spotted this. I would suggest saying something like ‘It was somewhat ironic that this speech echoed…’ if you wanted to highlight a link like this.

You don’t necessarily need ‘She finally said confidently.’ in the penultimate paragraph (if you kept this it I would definitely advise you write 'you," she finally said.' to make it flow better, as you're punctuation looks wrong here - I don't know whether this is due to it being grammatically wrong, or just an unusual occurrence I haven't seen much, so you'd have to check it up).

You need a new line for each ‘speech’, unless the paragraph is already solely focussing on the speaking character.

I like the fact you called your character after a 'object' - many authors use names to reflect your characters, and I think you could really play on this here - ebony is meant to be hard, dense and a good carving material, so perhaps you could mention a striking beauty (you have partly done this here) and/or say her 'strengths' are physical/mental strength and resilience rather than running/intelligence.

Sorry my examples are not very good! I hope this constructive criticism makes sense and is helpful to you. You’ve got a good idea started by the first chapter, and a nice range of vocabulary – you just need to neaten it up a bit! Nice one-shots overall! Thank you for writing/posting! ;)


Ps. Sorry about the paragraphing and haphazard nature of this review - I'm afraid I wrote it quite late at night! *
Martin-J-Christopher-Freeman chapter 2 . 7/7/2012

Martin-J-Christopher-Freeman chapter 1 . 7/7/2012
I Love this fic! :)