Reviews for Traffic Patterns
blackdeathmessenger chapter 17 . 6/5/2009
I hope you decide to get back into this story and finish writing it. I don't know if you planned on ending it like this, but it seems like you were going to continue on with the story, and I hope you decide 's really well written and the characters all seem to be acting how they would in the show,if it were a little less comedy based than it is.
April chapter 17 . 8/6/2008
Looking back at the previous comments I've made, it embarrasses me. They were years ago and I was probably twelve or thirteen. I haven't looked back to see when they were exactly, but that's just sad.

I love this story. Too bad this show isn't written about anymore.

Loki's-Phantom-x chapter 18 . 10/20/2005
That was bloody good. OMG I am writing a Maya and Finch story and I was looking through others to see what ideas there were (don't worry not gonna steel any) but that story was just amazing.

Elliot is just a big hee-haw!

Keep going write more, I want more to happen between the unexpected couple

I love Finch! He is gorgeous

Madame Phanto x
Blackcat212 chapter 18 . 7/5/2005
love story! is there more? please let there be more
theFuzz chapter 18 . 9/17/2004
HOLY SHIT! that was incredable! pleawse sell that to the tv ppl... great storyline plot, portrailof the ppl, everything! and it was funny.
coffeecrawl chapter 1 . 7/18/2004
This is so great! wow, thumbs up dude this rocks! INtense, *bows* awesome too awesome for words good job...:D !
Laelia Sarai chapter 18 . 6/22/2004
Oh my god... this was one the the cutest stories I have ever read. It was pretty believable. Except Elliott was a bit OOC, but that's what made the story so good. This was an excellent story, very well written. I love how everything just flowed. Excellent job, keep up the good work.
akayla chapter 18 . 2/7/2004
love it
finch is acting so cute.
reverieshadow chapter 18 . 11/18/2003
wow. that was wonderfully written, and its very rare to find good "just shoot me" fanfiction.

I think your characters were very, very faithful to the *original* characters, which makes the story really entertaining.

and i'd love if someone like you would bother to r&r my harryp ffiction.

best wishes,

Reverie Shadow
Nova-chan chapter 18 . 10/18/2003
Wow! This was beautifully written! Bravo!
Jamie and Jessie chapter 1 . 3/11/2003
Since I've already reviewed the story as a whole (read the mile long review below), I'd only like to say a huge apology to April. Before critiquing the story, I laid into her about comments she'd made towards Cloudburst and I shouldn't have done that at all. First of all, it's not my story so I had really no reason to get that mad, and secondly, I was wrong about her. I was sort of in a bad mood when I wrote it and took it out on her, so if the rest of you could please ignore what I've said about her it'd be appreciated. And for the record, I've tried to remove it, but I found out that you can’t do that with signed reviews. I’m *really*, really sorry and I acted like a jerk.

If you, April, haven’t read my comments yet, please allow me to rephrase them so you can get the gist of what I was trying to say.

First of all, I know that you meant well when you reviewed the story and I’ve also seen your reviews on practically every other fanfic on this forum. They are very constructive, and when you offer suggestions you usually do so with tact. But I thought that the recent review you’ve left for Cloudburst was rather uncalled for. I agree with you on some things, and those things are mentioned in my review as well, but that does not in any way make her a horrible writer.

That’s all that I was trying to say, but I did so really mean and I don’t blame you if you want to murder me for it because I’d probably do the same. I said things that were untrue (I called you “immature” and junk like that), and once again, I apologize. I don’t want to start any flame wars so please accept my apology and kindly ignore the nasty remarks I made.
Jamie Steele chapter 1 . 3/10/2003
As I was reading everyone else’s reviews before submitting my own, I stumbled across April's comments. So if you (Cloudburst, of course) wouldn't mind me saying something in reply to her before critiquing your story, I'd really like to say something.

First of all, *THAT* was totally uncalled for! I might agree with you on some levels, but at least I respect other people's feelings! Next time you think about posting try looking up the term "constructive criticism". And while you're finding out how to leave a review without trashing the author, check out the term "mature" - you just might learn something.

Back to the story -

As a mark of my esteem, I have written a full critique for you. I’ve done the same thing for Megan (“Ciao”), and as she’s discovered, my reviews tend to be on the very long side, so get comfortable! I delve into all those pesky unanswered questions, POV switches, and grammatical errors. I hope you understand that I am not bashing you (whom I admire) nor the story (which I love). That said, on to the critique!

Beginnings (Ch. 1-2): Well done. The first chapter was very short, somewhat like a teaser opening, which I thought was neat. Nothing too important happens, but we discover that Finch has a crush on Maya, which is pretty much all we need as groundwork for the whole story. You did well in writing the conflict and characters involved right away; you not only gave the first chapter a purpose but also kept the readers interested. A slow beginning is probably the worst thing an author can do, because the reader won’t care if the plot develops later! So good job with the first chapter.

**Rubbing his hands together, Finch whispered to himself, "Ohh, what fun. Time alone with the fine Maya, and all at Daddy’s orders too. This day is sure looking up."**

Now before I clicked over to chapter two, that last paragraph of ch.1 left a question in my mind: “What’s Finch going to do at the airport?” This kept me interested in the story, so your ending was good. As for the second chapter, I could practically feel Finch’s excitement as he waited for Maya. I think that when a writer is able to make the reader feel like they’re in the room watching the characters, then they can do anything with their story.

Also, the old lady was sweet, but I didn’t really see the need for her. The terror that struck Finch when he thought it could’ve been Maya’s hand was great, but you could as well have made it a passerby and not have lost anything.

Characters: There is a definite conflict among your characters. They are very in character and believable, which makes the story easier to read. I thought that Nina made a great side character in this story – “Nina Van Horn, Private Eye” – fits her motives exactly! She made an excellent alternate POV character, her unique role in the story makes her an interesting and fun character to read; definitely involve her more as the story progresses - especially since she’s the only one who knows about Maya and Finch’s romance!

As for Jordan in ch.3, I noticed that he had given Maya his number, but did Maya ever give him hers? It might be interesting if Jordan were to call up out of the blue or bump into Maya somewhere into the city. It’d make a great new conflict (and by new, I mean that since Elliot has already - most likely? - gotten Maya’s point to back off, Jordan could be a good obstacle for them now).

We haven’t seen much of Jack or heard what he’s thought of Finch and Maya’s sudden close “friendship”. I think this would be a good time to arouse his suspicions. I don’t mean to make him pry into their plans or anything like that, but maybe raise a few eyebrows here and there – make Nina go insane with the information that she has. I have this funny mental image in my head of Jack casually telling Nina about his suspicions and Nina standing they’re simply dying to tell him but not being able to. The story could be going in a different direction, so just a suggestion for future chapters.

Elliot is also really good in this story, but I think that you’ve made him sound too angry all of the time. Don’t get me wrong, he makes a great jealous ex, but there is so much more that you can do with him. Elliot is a fun character to play with, so be careful to not stick him into one genre. Expand his area a bit and work on him; try giving him a sly, clever side. For example, since he might realize that trying to get to Maya isn’t going to work toward his advantage, he could try getting to Finch. He can maybe try to make plans with him and pre-occupy his time to keep him away from Maya. If Finch says no, he could ask what he’s doing and thus “find out” if his suspicions are correct. He can try to suck information from Nina, try to egg Jack into making Finch work overtime. See what I mean?

You can also give him a sense of humor, make him work pranks on Finch. Experiment and have fun with your character! Just because you’re making him an obstacle doesn’t mean you can’t make him an interesting, complex character. Making him seem like a real person will make him much more fun to hate.

As for Barry Manilow, I thought it funny that both Maya and Finch would like him. I never really thought of Finch as the type of character who would be a big fan of his (although I could see Maya being one, for some reason), but I guess that’s why it’s a deep dark secret! Anyways, I have a few questions. How does Barry Manilow know Maya’s mom? How long has he known her? Did he know Maya when she was little (maybe she doesn’t remember?)

The recognizing her part is believable, since the mother had told Barry that she was going to be there. But still, why would he take the time to help her out if he didn’t know her personally? Even if it were a favor to Maya’s mom, wouldn’t he spend a little more time getting to know Maya then helping her out with her love life? This aspect of the story kind of threw me, but maybe you’ve already thought of this? Don’t get me wrong, I thought it was well written and very sweet, but I also found it a little hard to believe. Maybe she could call her mom up and get some answers?

Finch I thought was especially well characterized. From begging Nina to keep a secret to teasing Elliot about his relationship with Maya, you have Finch down to a science. I love the way you’ve drawn Finch with little Mikey (please involve him more in the story as well. You’ve done such a good job with him; I’d like to see more). Very sweet and Finch-like, I think. From the way I see Finch act with little Hannah on the show, I can tell that his character is very child-oriented, especially since he acts like one! So more of the “mini-Finch”, it’s cute!

You’ve done very well with the Finchisms, as well (ex. “Finchinator”), this makes him seem very in character. Also, the way you emphasize certain words makes him seem more Finchy in a way, as well (ex. “I am NOT gay!”), and the jokes (ex. “Coffee… it does a body good”). So although you’ve gotten his silly side down to a tee, a major aspect of his personality that I think you’ve missed is his constant attention to Jack. He looks up to him like a father, not to mention that his job totally revolves around him. Honestly, I think he’d know more of Jack than anyone else, not to mention that this could be one of the easiest ways to slip more of Jack into your story if you can’t find a place for him yet. Just inserting him once in a while when Finch checks up on him could help out a lot.

You’ve also done a great job with Maya. You’ve made her sound very independent, smart, loving and even a little goofy (who knew she was a “Power-Puff Girls” fan?). I’ve found no faults with Maya at all, but I would like to see Maya interact with Nina. As far as I know, she hasn’t spoken to her at all in the story, and they are drawn as close friends on the show. Suggestion: I can see Maya maybe turning to Nina (even if she doesn’t know Nina knows) about this “new guy she’s seeing” and Nina messing with her head. Make Nina have fun with the information she has! I think the story could progress a lot if they interacted with each other.

Overall, a great job with the characterization.

Point of View: For the most part, this works well. You can easily go into each characters head because they each have an important role, and you make keep them true to character. As far as internal monologue, I loved Nina’s thoughts! “Dear God, he’s in love with her?” and “If that thought weren’t so disgusting, it might be sweet.” Totally Nina!

**However, you do tend to switch POVs a lot. At one point, we’re in Maya’s head, then we’re Elliot’s, back to Maya’s thoughts, and then we get Finch… see what I mean? Although third-person viewpoint is considered the easiest viewpoint to write, there are still some things you, as a writer, must do to write it effectively. First, you must make sure that if you are writing in third person, you stay in third-person. For instance, if you’re writing a romantic scene between Maya and Finch, you can’t write a scene from Maya’s point of view and suddenly insert a couple of paragraphs from Finch’s point of view into it. If you make too many viewpoint shifts, your readers may decide they can’t believe in your story and defragment their hard drives instead. Each scene should be in only one viewpoint. If you need to switch viewpoints, do it at a scene break – and identify the new viewpoint character immediately, so the reader knows who he or she is.

Although switching viewpoints in the middle of a scene is a common mistake in third-person it’s not the only one. As with first-person, in third-person you can only tell your readers what the viewpoint character knows. Unless you’re writing about a telepath, your character won’t know other characters’ thoughts. You also can’t say, for example (if you’re in Elliot’s viewpoint), that Elliot didn’t see the pretty girl waiting outside the studio; if she didn’t make it into his consciousness, she can’t make it into ours. (It would be fair to say that he turned away from her or was distracted by something else, however.”)

**(See footnote of this review for writing credits of this particular piece)**

Conflict: There are many interesting and fun conflicts in your story, and they are all very different. There’s the conflict between Maya and Finch (which has pretty much been resolved by the 18th chapter I figure, since they agreed to become “more than friends”), Elliot and Finch (Alpha males staking claim to Maya Gallo. I can practically see the testosterone billowing up in the room), Nina and … herself? (I say this because she has a secret she has to keep from telling everyone. Interesting!), Jack vs. Finch and Maya (IF he finds out, that is…) Very nicely done, well executed and very apt!

The fact that your conflicts aren’t all the same keeps the story rolling. Also, not all of the conflicts involve one character, but pretty much everyone so that we can get into different character’s heads, which makes it all the more enjoyable. As for conflict resolution, as I’ve mentioned earlier, the main conflict has pretty much been resolved (since Maya and Finch are officially dating), but there are many other conflicts that have yet to be met. I obviously can’t say anything about these, since the story has not yet been completed. However, I can say that Maya and Finch’s romantic relationship didn’t come too soon. It came at the perfect time, and I can’t wait to read what you have in store for them in future chapters.

Settings: For the most part, your settings stay true to the show although I did find a few flaws. In ch.11, for example, you wrote:

“Dennis Finch sat behind his desk trying to keep his mind on his work.”

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think that Finch has a chair. Doesn’t he stand up all of the time? There is, however, a little round table to the left of the kitchenette with computers on it (The “computer table”, if you will) that Finch sometimes goes to. It’d make a little more sense if that were where he was at, but since you wrote that he was behind his desk, it’s a little confusing.

Also, you wrote in ch.9: “Nina Van Horn was preparing to enter the kitchen at the Blush offices when she heard voices arguing from inside…”

From the way you wrote this, you make it sound as if the kitchenette is separate from the main area, which isn’t true to the set. I don’t know if you meant this or not, but this kind of threw me as well. And in the same chapter, you wrote:

“Maya was agitatedly pacing around the kitchen while Finch was sitting at the table eating his lunch.”

As I was watching “Just Shoot Me” last night, I looked around for any eating tables near the kitchenette and I didn’t see any, but I also haven’t seen any of this past season (I’m never home on Thursday nights and my parents don’t buy any blank tapes for me to record new eps on, so I live on reruns. But that’s beside the point). Did they add any eating tables recently? I’m not asking this to sound like a smart ass, I really am curious because I don’t want to nitpick you if you’re totally in the right.

But overall, you did a good job with the settings.

Emotional Impact: Definitely! That scene in ch.17 left me screaming for more, as well as the car scene in ch.18. You were able to write in a passionate make-out scene without making it sound like two horny sophomores going at it, but you did it with taste. You captured the moment without going into such detail as “tongues dueling, fingers exploring, minds reeling…”, but somehow made it hotter when you reminded us where they were (“Work…work. We’re at work.”) Excellent, and the same goes with the car scene!

Elsewhere in the story, Finch’s anxiety over Maya after her encounter with Elliot in ch.17 was well done. I especially liked her frustration in the car, and Finch coming out and being sensitive. This is pretty well characterized, and very emotional without being soap opera-y. The same goes for when Maya was crying to Finch as he walked away – this was very well executed.

I’d like to see more of Jack’s emotions. I don’t remember if he showed any, but anyway, I’d like to see more.

Technicalities: Nothing wrong. I spell-checked and the only problems I got were a few grammatical errors, which were probably intended in the first place, such as the asterik(*) to mark a thought and so on. Spelling errors really make it difficult for the reader to concentrate on the storyline, so thanks for spell checking for us!

Overall: It is not often that you find a story that sticks with you; I read this story a few times because it stuck to me. You had Finch and Maya down to a science, as if you had entered their heads. I liked how you portrayed Finch, how you displayed Maya. This story contained it all: sadness, mood swings, romance, the musings of Nina's mind as she discovers Finch and Maya's love. And to top it off, you have Elliot practically dancing at the edge of our consciousness, waiting for him to walk in on Maya and Finch. Also, I just loved how you had Maya "confess" how she felt to Finch without really saying it in words. The plot is tense, conflicts rising, the storyline is (I think) at its highest peak can’t wait to read some more!

A few small side notes that could be part of the story later on: Will Elliot try to get back at Finch? Will Nina abuse her little secret and try messing with Maya’s head? Does Barry know Maya personally? What does Jack think about Finch and Maya’s “close friendship”? Does Jordan play a role later on?

Keep up the great work, the story is going great! I congratulate you on reading this entire review, I truly love your work and I honestly think you are one of the best writers I have ever read from. I hope that this critique doesn’t make you want to sock me (*bats eyelashes innocently*), but I hope that this will help you with future chapters and give you a clear and vivid idea of what I and maybe other readers are thinking of your story. You’re doing awesome, and believe me, I’ve been taking notes of your writing techniques for my own personal use!

Your fan, Jamie Steele

**(Sandra M. Ulbrich () wrote the viewpoint article at “Rooftop Sessions” ( .com), only I’ve made a few slight changes to fit the topic at hand. No harm intended – read the real thing at . and many sincere apologies if she’s pissed off, although she should take into consideration that once this is up here, I can’t take it down. Sandra, I gave you total credit! You are my writing goddess! Please don’t hurt me!)
vree chapter 18 . 3/1/2003
Oh, my. *fans self* I loved it. I want more. What is Jack's reaction.? How will the office find out.? Oh! I would be so great if they broke it to them with her kissing him at his desk and asking if they were still on for tonight. *purrs happily, giggles* Write MORE! You can't leave a girl hanging like this. It could end here, but don't let it. So many different avenues to go down with this.
Sarah23 chapter 18 . 1/5/2003
Kind of sappy at the end but still a great story. I'm not really that fond of Elliott either. I was rather surprised, when I was watching an old episode, that Maya and Elliott were dating. I recently saw the episodes where Elliott totally made an ass out of himself when he proposed to Maya. The first time was bad enough but then he had the nerve to propose to Maya again. The only reason she accepted is because she's so nice. From this I'm sure you can tell that I think Maya and Dennis would make a better couple. Too bad it probably won't happen in the show.
DOTLP chapter 18 . 12/30/2002
Aawwwwwww. YAY for Finch and Maya. They're my favourite couple on the show. I've never really seen how she could've liked Elliot like that (the sign of a hard-core Finch/Maya shipper *grins*).

Very, very good story. Really interesting. Keep it up. Nice way for the kiss to have happened. Guess now *I'll* have thoughts like that about whipped cream. And David Spade IS cute. Did you see his body in Joe Dirt?

*Ahem* yeah...really good story and can't wait to read more.
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