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Reader 5

Date: Wed, 29 Oct 97 13:43:40 MST
Subject: re: "Good Luck Song"

Betsy---

I did read this, I did like it, you did good, yes, yes. :>! I'm sorry I didn't write you comments, I've been crazed and studying---but I kept all 5 parts, and I swear, by this weekend, I'll be happy to beta/comment for you, if you still want to hear it. I liked the premise, and thought you wrote Giles well, but something was just slightly off on the timing, I think... anyway. Remind me on Saturday if you haven't heard from me by then, and I'll review it and figure out what I liked and what didn't work for me.

Talk to ya later---

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Date: Wed, 5 Nov 1997 00:10:01, -0500
Subject: Beta for "Good Luck Song"

Hi Betsy----

Sorry this is late, life is crazed, and well, last night was Buffy. <G> Hope you still want a readthrough!

Okay, you should know the cut'n'paste function on my keyboard is wacky, so I can't do an in-depth cool quote-by-sentence review of your story. It's overview and bits that jumped out at me, and that's it. But I did catch a few things that might help.

First off, this is your first story? I'm amazed! It's wonderfully coherent and well-thought-out for a first story. Nice job. *And* you kept Giles in character, as well as giving him an amusing friend who I liked. All the big bases were covered.

I didn't have part 1/5 here, but I seem to remember that you just jumped back in time (which is fine) and started telling the story without giving specifics as to character motivation. This is only not great in that the pay off to the story (while pretty darn cool) wasn't ... ummmm... think think think... got it. It wasn't definite enough. I liked that the spirits decided on "YES" <g> but it needed an epilogue: did Giles ever take this kind of chance again, ever? *Did* the town's luck improve? Did Giles archive the ceremony for someone else to do in a 100 years? You see what I mean... there's too many unanswered questions. The main one being: what effect did this event have on Giles's perceptions of magic, magical ceremonies, etc. that carries over to the Watcher we know now.

John and Mark aren't really interchangeable, but you do need to individualize them a little; give Mark a couple more quirks, give John a more memorable physical description, and some habits, so we can pick him out in a crowd. I liked them both, I really did, and I don't think the story needed a villain, or any kind of recognizable spirit presence to materialize; it's already a good tale about friends and college and taking risks and doing research.

Giles is a baritone (tenors are higher) and yes, I think he has a beautiful voice too. John wouldn't, though. Guys don't pick up on stuff like that. :> A clear, ringing, carrying etc. voice is the most he would notice. It was the only 'mistake' that I noticed, mostly because of the ??? before the voice question, which hyped my awareness of the beautiful part.

Your pacing is fine, your logic is fine, the reference to the Harris Song Collection made me giggle, your atmosphere is *excellent* and it's a very cool story. <g>

I hope you send me the second draft to read, or send it to the list. I'd love to see what you do with it.

Hope this helped.


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Page created August 1998. Original material Betsy Vera (bentley@umich.edu). Page background source: Jay Boersma. This website is for information and entertainment purposes only and is not intended to infringe on copyrights held by others.