|Reviews for Still Breathing|
| DeejayMil chapter 1 . 7/30
[The cold water was like a sudden blow to the face.] - while I'm super guilty of over-using analogies and 'like a' phrases in my writing (common schools of thought seem to be that they weaken the overall prose, which I get) - definitely not a great place for one as your opening sentence. I always ALWAYS note opening and closing lines because I'm a sucker for well-written ones, and opening with an analogy isn't a great way to sell people on your writing talent (of which you have much). Even something as simple as [The cold water struck him.] would work beautifully here.
["Maybe you should. It might make you a less easy target. Shutting up every so often might help too, but I think that's beyond you. Come on. Sick bay. Again."] LOVE THIS. LOVE LOVE LOVE.
["Shut up, I'm calling my brother for money," Sherlock growled] - I've been tossing up whether to note this or not as previous stories haven't been too heavy on it - but I'm a firm believer in simplicity where you can in prose, and one of those is in dialogue tags. Things like breathed, muttered, groaned, growled - they're all amazing for giving tone to voices, but only when used in moderation. I find it WAY more effective when stories use 'said' or 'asked' as the bulk of their dialogue tags, and scatter a few more interesting ones throughout.
["You've been beaten again, haven't you? I can hear from your breathing that you probably have a broken nose."] - this exchange lacked the... Holmesyness of the two brothers. I think it ended the story on a weaker point than what the overall story deserved, purely because this could be a conversation between anyone - and we know that conversations between the two brothers are always unique indeed. A little more of the characters' voices would improve this ending vastly.
But overall, I enjoyed this because I'm still a sucker for little Sherlock stories ;)
| Otaku and Proud chapter 1 . 6/22
I can't take much more of vulnerable Sherlock before my heart breaks.
| Guest chapter 1 . 12/13/2014
Tough place to be, Sherlock. There's no choice but to learn to protect himself.
Your descriptions are not overtly graphic, but realistic such that it's easy for readers to empathize with Sherlock. Great story, love it for how good it is, hate it for all the pain inflicted through it :)
The stories about Sherlock's childhood have been rather depressing so far. I keep wondering if things are going to get even uglier for him...
But it'll be alright. He'll pull through this eventually. So hang in there, kid :)
| frankannestein chapter 1 . 10/27/2014
Perfect opening line! I loved that so much I can't even express it. :3 I don't enjoy reading about bullying, but as an opening line . . . yup. Love.
I'm actually not sure what to think about this one-shot. It's supremely well done, as all of these have been so far - so much so that I just can't seem to stop reading them! - but it was hard to get through. Sherlock is so incredibly passive here. I mean, I can't blame him in the slightest. I don't. At the same time, however, it's sickening and makes him less sympathetic. I'm guessing that the adult Sherlock is skilled at defending himself and that this is where it comes from. I like this teacher who likes him, I like that there's a boy suffering even more and that Sherlock doesn't connect with him. I like that Sherlock doesn't plead with Mycroft. But yeah, it was harder to simply enjoy this one. Personal taste, I suppose! :3
| Nat Anne Potter chapter 1 . 9/14/2014
I've just found your writing for the first time and it's brilliant so well written and just all around great reading... I notice that this particular piece was written quite awhile ago but I'm just wondering if you ever considered continuing this as a story and not just as a one shot.
It's great and I think it could be a great story too, you've probably got other things on the go and all but I hope you think about it because I would very much be interested in a school aged Sherlock at a boarding school getting into trouble, there is not enough of it and decent ones are hard to find especially canon compliant (no john). I think this could be beyond decent it could be very spectacular no matter which direction you decided to go.
But on another note if you have found some good school age sherlock fanfics let me know because I need more.
Seriously please consider extending this plot line.
| ijustsigneduptofollow chapter 1 . 7/28/2014
I have read this several times but have somehow never reviewed, so I determined to fix that.
You do a wonderful job, clearly drawing a brilliant, totally alone, hated boy. Sherlock's school years would have had to cement the social isolation that you just know Mycroft taught him.
| Paradigm of Writing chapter 1 . 5/10/2014
Well, Edhla; I decided to return the favor. Likewise, I'm fandom blind. However, this does not matter to me.
I will simply say, how on Earth can you make this one-shot possibly any better than it already is? It's definitive, it's intriguing, it's personal. Sherlock... I cannot place an age; maybe middle school, is the definition or epitome of a 'in character'. You could not of pulled that off any better than you did.
The way he was talking to bully; I unfortunately forgot his name already, was exactly how I pictured it to be. Snarky; in a way, as well as sliding in a matter-of-fact approach; very know-it-all in a way. The beginning of this was designed beautifully, that one sentence of the cold water being related metamorphically as a punch was genius; considering it was not classified as a simile.
The ending, this ending made me smile. I need to know what happens afterwards. Basically, I'm dying to know the process where Sherlock becomes more complex and cognitive, and also the time he learns how to fight. It'd be an interesting one-shot to see. I may be lucky, you might have a companion to what I'm asking! So, great job! 10/10
| FlameofSwords chapter 1 . 5/4/2014
I can see why Sherlock is the unpopular kid. He was born a detective after all. Can't stop him from using those skills. And I'm guessing that the reason why everyone hates him is because he can get them into trouble.
[...watch Holmes get a ducking] Wait, don't you mean dunking? Or am I being terribly stupid and have my facts messed up. (Wouldn't be the first time.)
Really Sherlock? Two people tell you to learn how to defend yourself and you ignore that advice. Guess he must be the stubborn type. But he really should listen to them, especially since one was his teacher. Besides, he would avoid trips to the nurses office, which I have zero idea if he seems to like.
Anyways, before I continue saying random stuff relating to the story but is just a majority of my thinking (which doesn't always make sense), I must say this is a good one-shot. I can understand why Sherlock is being picked on, even though you never stated it directly; only leaving clues as to why it happens. Though, there was a character introduction that bothered me.
[...spotted by Scottson, one of Griffin's cronies. Griffin used him to kick people when he couldn't be bothered doing it himself.]
I just feel like you could write this part better. It seems different from the way you introduced the other characters. Maybe it's the way the second line was written. But I honestly don't know how to fix it. All I'm aware of is that the second line is a bit off-putting, and isn't up to par with your other sentences.
Like I said before, this is a wonderful one-shot that is easy for a person who's fandom blind to read and understand. (And I just figured out why it was named Still Breathing. Well, I'm slow.)
| becgate chapter 1 . 4/29/2014
| Wickedfyre chapter 1 . 4/1/2014
Practicing my review skills here..lol.
While the story itself was interesting, I felt like you missed a wonderful opportunity here. Bullying is such a terrible thing, and I spent the whole chapter waiting for Sherlock to get his revenge on the offenders. I thought it was almost tragic that a hero like Sherlock Holmes wouldn't find some way to get revenge or punish the bullies. He is a role model to so many people, and if he cannot stand up to bullies, what hope is there for the rest of us. I was saddened that the end of the story was just him begging to go home. Where was the fun, quick-witted Holmes that always got justice against criminals? I thought he should have at least asked for help or been able to get the bullies expelled. What kind of school is this that someone who was caught stealing and cheating is still around to abuse his accuser?
All in all though, it was an excellent read and very well written. It stirred emotions inside me, even if they were sadness and fear for the main character and anything that can garner emotion from someone is a great story in my opinion.
| Crowbot chapter 1 . 10/9/2013
[The cold water was like a sudden blow to the face.] - This opening sentence is powerful. It draws the reader in and calls at them loudly to keep on reading. It also is incredibly effective. Particularly how it is used in this context, as it could easily be considered a form of a physical punch to the face from Griffin.
I can tell how Sherlock is trying his best not to show any emotion that could potentially make his bullying even worse. The fact that he doesn't look at Taylor whilst he's talking to him hints strongly at it. If he was to turn around and face him, any expression he shows during his reply could provide Taylor with just what he needs in order to tease him further. That, coupled with the fact that it's a difficult thing indeed to reel in your emotions when directly facing someone face-to-face makes it even more evident.
That ending sentence left a great impact on me. This is some superb writing right here.
| RandomNumbers523156 chapter 1 . 9/13/2013
Oh goodness, he was in an internal school (I forgot the actual term, so I’m using a literal translation) and yeah, his life there is expected to suck A LOT. I know this because I read C. S. Lewis biography once and he said how bad the environment was, a cramped placed with a bunch of brats without control of their own emotions and competing for the first place like Sisyphus moving the giant rock. Given how Sherlock shaped itself to be an introverted person, he is a preferential target for bullies.
Sherlock here is portrayed as an introverted person, that has to rely on luck to avoid being bullied (at least the monitors show concern) and it shows how much he wants to let it go of his feelings, cry and scream, but at the moment he does that, the bullies will get even more relentless. No wonder why he had so many problems with his mom, where was she to make him go to this kind of school?
Then it ended in a sad note, those were unhappy years for him. At least, I believe he learned how to defend himself, I suppose. Good work!
| Esther Huffleclaw chapter 1 . 9/9/2013
I can just imagine this. Of course Sherlock was bullied in school. Although, in my school, it was usually the toilet into which bullies dunked heads. I’m not sure which would be worse. I guess it would depend on how clean the toilet was.
“His hands slapped against the side of the bathtub, flailing desperately for a grip; finally he was jerked back upwards and able to take a desperate breath.” The repetition of “desperate” here seems too much. Maybe “take a gasping breath”? I dunno.
The stilted phone conversation at the end is just too brilliantly written. It’s absolutely perfect. Mycroft wants to protect Sherlock, but he wants Sherlock to learn to protect himself, because he can’t always be there in life. And their relationship is getting more strained, closer and closer to the way we see it in A Study in Pink, when Mycroft says Sherlock would call him his ‘archenemy.’
The last line is perfect.
| Rainie Skyes chapter 1 . 9/8/2013
I love the unfolding of the relationship between the brothers. Each story builds so perfectly on the previous, you can just see it developing. Very nice.
| jack63kids chapter 1 . 8/29/2013
So great to read these shorts as a series. Really get the feeling of their relationship over and time and where it all went wrong. Poor Sherlock, what a hell of a childhood. Lot of stiff upper lip nonsense for Mycroft too. Agonising and feels very, very real.