Ever heard of FictionPress? It’s a website where you can post your writing and people will review it for you. If you are halfway towards being a decent citizen (like me!) then you will also go around reviewing other people’s work.
There’s a hell of a lot of bad stuff, but also a hell of a lot of good stuff. If anyone has a FictionPress account and ten minutes to spare, I would be honoured if you could go on and give my story a review. http://www.fictionpress.com/s/3048737/1/Chimera_and_the_Shrubbery
It is the same story that I am posting here on my blog, word for word, so you don’t need to check it out if you’re already reading the story on here.
Anyway, whilst I keep telling myself the true value of negative feedback- and that’s what FictionPress is about, after all- and how it can help you improve as a writer, I also cannot deny the plethora of good feelings I get inside myself when I get a wholly positive review. I know this is a bit big headed of me, and I really hope you can forgive me, but I wanted to share a very positive review I had from a complete stranger over at FictionPress.
Here it is:
I had to read this after reading the summary! I love epic fantasy.
And I must say the writing doesn’t disappoint, I might be slightly biased in this review, because you’ve pushed all the right buttons to get me interested.
Denver has really distinct characterisation. I think her form and her words speak volumes for themselves. You have some very nice imagery, but what is most impressive about your story are the constant hints that open the reader’s eyes to your creativity. Denver is not ordinary, and neither is Jeremy. In fact, they may be something the fantasy world has never seen before. At the same time, you deliberately tease the reader by not reviewing more of their image than that which comes naturally, and you do the same for the mysterious guardians. Despite the sudden drop into a new world, it is clear that this story has both a past and a future.
You’ve mastered the essentials of imagery, character development and pacing, and this is a very well polished start.
I got a very nice understanding of the father and Hilda relationship, because its very clear how much the father cares about the daughter and the land, and also how much Hilda looks up to her father and depends on him for support. At the same time, the fighting style of the guardians of the forest is truly terrifying, especially when placed in their home element. not least because hilda seems more than a little malicious, and apparently delights in causing fear in her prey. Of course, when the forest burns from the incendiary grenade, she ends up weeping in fear, a sudden childish response which is jarring to the reader, and serves to make the guardians even less human.
One more of the many things I liked about this extract was the similarities in the way the different sides viewed each other. I loved how both the guardians and the machines viewed each other with contempt, and how each of them were proved wrong. ‘Papa’ said the machines were nonliving and unfeeling, yet Jeremy’s actions clearly contradict that. Similarly, Denver believes herself invulnerable to the creatures of the wild, yet she got literally taken apart. You used the change of perspective masterfully in this manner, highlighting the contrasts, the false prejudices and likenesses of the two sides in bold.
Like this story, please write more.
If any of you have a story at FictionPress you’d like me to review, please say so in the comments 🙂