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Reader 8

Date: Sun, 2 Nov 1997 23:11:17 -0600 (CST)
Subject: The Good Luck Song -- comments

Hi Betsy,

Finally getting to this; sorry it took so long. All comments IMHO, of course.

General comments:

Your sentances tend to be a bit choppy, with every action, etc., given it's own seperate sentence. You might want to try combining some of them, to make the story flow a bit more smoothly. For example:

As opposed to:

The meetings hadn't been as frequent in the past couple of years, since John, an archeologist, was away often for months at a time at some dig or another, but Giles came every month, whether John did or not.

See how adding the but makes the sentences -- and the thought -- flow together? The choppiness particularly stands out the longer a paragraph is, like beginning part 1 and part three.

You've got Giles's voice nicely, and John also has a distinctive voice in my head, which is a good sign. But he does take on serious tones of Buffy occasionally, particularly during the ritual. Goes from being British to American and young with it. Might want to watch that. <g>

It's a cool story with some good descriptions, but there didn't really seem to be much of a point to it. No lessons learned, no character development, nothing like that. We get Giles feeling guilty about causing trouble, but only at one point. You might want to add something to the end, some dialogue about... oh, not mucking around when you don't have all of the details (which would explain a lot about Giles' current *obsession* with details), that kind of thing.

Part 1:

Nice way to get into the story. I like John, although your initial description of him is a bit hard to follow. I suggest:

John Hiller, the next Indiana Jones (if he had anything to do with it, even though he looked more like Jones' friend, the one who got lost in his own museum).

And it's a sentence fragment, by the way; you might want to attach an action. I'd move him collapsing into the chair to the end of this sentence.

And I love the dialogue between these two; very nice exposition on an interesting plot.

Part 2

You flip from dialogue exposition, which works very well, to narrative exposition, which is less interesting to read. I'd rather hear Giles talking about this than listen to the narrator telling it; 'show, don't tell' is an important thing to remember in this kind of thing. You might think you've had too much dialogue exposition, but you don't. This is what dialogue is for.

Take out the vols 1-4 on the Harris Song Collection. Too much detail, it jolted me out of the story.

<g> Love this bit with John starting to pace, then remembering they're in public. Very nice bit of business.

Part 3

ROTFLMAO!!! This is a great crack, and exceptionally Gilesey.

Ask Valerie about Tony's singing voice; I'd guess tenor, myself, but I'm not sure.

The ritual is written *really* well; the growing sense of menace was *good*!. this is, thought, the part where John slips into buffyisms.

Part 4

Love Giles hoarding the books and everyone coming to get them -- wonder how many of them made their way to the States with him....

Okay, here you mentiont he four volumes of the Harris Song thing, so you *really* don't need that note up top about them. It's a bit of a heavyhanded way to work in a plot point; this one works much better.

Oh, we like convenient plot devices, don't we. <g> I'm teasing, this one works pretty well.

Part 5

During the ritual, Mark sound like John sounded the first time. it works much better for Mark, since he's younger; I'd try to adjust John's voice.

cap The World, like before.

Again, really nice descriptions of the ritual.

Reddily is not a word. The only light came from the embers, growing red.

    The world had shifted its attention away from them.

cap The World again; it's a nice touch, but it needs to be consistent.

This ends a bit abruptly.


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