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Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
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Breaking into the first chapter of a new episode! You know, it's somewhat unnerving, how the opening of this episode works well with his thoughts at the end of one of the episodes I just read—Twenty. Unnerving in a cool way—and so much more evolved in Twenty, which is just how things should be.

Right. Reviewing this chapter now. Beware: ginger. I saw that title and immediately asked, "Who's the ginger?" Upon revisiting it, I thought, "I don't remember who the ginger is."

I've been picturing Gillian's hair as dark brown from the beginning. Upon re-checking my file of the first chapter of the first episode, I see the description of her says "dark" hair (which is always going to make me think "dark brown.")

Now, I can't remember—does it turn out that she's died her hair or that she's wearing a wig? We can talk more on this once I hear the answer to that question. *Wink* For now, let's discuss the rest of this chapter. *Delight*

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he’d just taken in the Holiday Inn,
         Oh, prepositions. This one probably does look especially weird to a non-native speaker, but you take a room at a hotel or motel, so that "in" should be "at."

and stood there, like wondering what came next. Actually wondering why he was so upset.
         Okay, the "like" should be "as if," but even that sounds weird because we're in his head. (Or, at least, that's how it's reading.) And because he's Brock, I can't imagine his narration having the tone required to say something like he was standing there "as if wondering what came next" when he knew damn well that's not why he was standing there. With other tones/voices/characters, I could see it working; it doesn't seem like…Brock. Yanno?
         So maybe cut out all the middlemen? Er, words, I mean: stood there, wondering why he was so upset.

she wouldn’t allow circumstances blind her
         Missing the word "to": circumstances to blind her

They knew where to find Rupert Bailey next morning.
         Missing the word "the": Bailey the next

There was no way this foolish nocturnal adventure
         "foolish nocturnal adventure" *Laugh* That just rolls through the mind wonderfully. *Thumbsup*
         And I do totally sympathize with Brock, here; everything his narration's laying out makes perfect sense. It's definitely the safe way, and I totally see that. I can see how Gillian's reckless—but I can also see how if her plan works, they'll have these two guys so much more solidly. I see his worries about the chance of ruining the case, but I also have tremendous confidence that Gillian and her crew can pull this off. And it's so key that I see all this! It's awesome.

he wondered what were the others doing.
         Word order change suggestion for more natural reading: wondered what the others were doing.

And more important,
         And more importantly,
         Huh. You know, I have no idea why the adverb's the correct form to have here; I just know it is. *Crazy*

wasn’t exactly in the mood for wise talks.
         This is just a little off. "for words of wisdom," or "for wise words" wouldn’t read off. But something about "wise talks" almost sounds sarcastic, and not in a way I think is right for what this narration means to get across, right here.

who didn’t waste time in courtesies.
         Preposition time! *Bigsmile* "in" should be "on"

not clarifying whether he was joining them.
         *Laugh* Oh, Brock. It's great to see all his narration and get to this, and know just the mood he's in, and so why he doesn't clarify this—and then to get to see the arch in Russell's brow in response. Just pure entertainment.

Russell had noticed his dark green eyes were sparkling in his glare, clenched teeth, his lips pressed in a tight line.
         Word choices and forms aren't quite lining up. Straight edit: were sparkling in his glare, his teeth were clenched, and his lips were pressed into a tight line.
         Toning down the "be" verbs and probably more in line with the kind of thing you were going for (while also not being "technically" correct, but breaking the rules in and acceptable way for style): Russell had noticed the sparkle of his dark green eyes in his glare, the clenched teeth, the lips pressed into a tight line.

She didn’t need Russell to know
         This wording's not quite working for what she means. Here're a couple of examples of getting this kind of meaning across: She didn't need Russell to tell her that he was (the "that" is not strictly necessary; I used it mainly to put some separation between the words "her" and "he.")
         Another idea: She didn't need the look Russell gave her to know he was
         If not "the look Russell gave her" then "Russell's mood" or something.
         Ooh, even: She didn't need a word from Russell to know he was
         I could go on, but hopefully you get the idea. *Bigsmile* That is, there's not quite enough here as is to bring the idea fully across.

if somebody was told not to think of elephants,
         Warning: Useless Personal Trivia: Every time I hear or read this, about not thinking of an elephant, I always think of a room. A nice big living room, with worn but comfortable furniture, and yet with huge tension in the air. This is because of the saying about "the elephant in the room," which is, you know, "that thing everyone's thinking about but isn't talking about" and it's always something that causes tension. But it's not a physical elephant, and so I don't ever imagine an elephant. And with that out of the way, I now return you to your regularly scheduled review.

She found Russell turned to the closing door,
         Should be: turned to close the door,
         Though really, I'd see him turned how you mean even if you just said: She found Russell closing the door,

“Your loss,” he teased, leaving.
         *Laugh* Sure, Russell. Love how these two tease, though. Ooh, and I dig how you haven't described her yet, how you're saving that for when Brock sees her. *Thumbsup*

never taking real conscious that some of them
         There seems to be a word or words missing, or something misused? I'm not sure. Real simple, you could replace "taking real conscious" with "considering" or even "really considering." Or maybe you want something more like, "never having the conscious thought that."

when he smelled the sweet floral essence,
         I think you want "a" instead of "the" there, because "the" implies that he has smelled this particular floral essence recently, and nothing else backs that up.

In her early thirties, ginger, the soft long curls hid most of her pale face.
         Structure implies the curls are in their early thirties. *Smile* For the tone you have here, I think you can get away with a fragment. What about: In her early thirties, ginger, with soft long curls hiding most of her pale face.
         Or Brock's narration could even get away with dropping the "In her" at the beginning as well—a curt list of attributes, with adjectives to soften that list, as is fitting right here. *Wink*

She wore a long black coat fit to her waist,
         I think the description for that kind of style is, "fitted at the waist"—at least, I know "fitted" is right and the rest is how I usually see it, I'm just not sure "to her" is necessarily wrong, if you catch my drift.

“Coming down, Agent Brockner?”
         And my dirty, dirty mind immediately thinks, "Nope. He's goin' up—or at least part of him is." *Laugh*
         Annnd, this exchange at the end is every bit as entertaining this time around as it was the first time I read it. *Delight*

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Okay, she's curling her hair here, so it's not a wig, right? So did she dye her hair for this? And if so, can I get an indication that she did so? Or…perhaps I've been wrong about her hair color all along? *Worry*

Right, okay, I didn't mean to lie when I said I'd wait for your answer before going further into that. *Laugh*

I believe I'm done. Just eager to dive into the next one—as soon as I catch up on some other reviews I owe in other places.

*Starfishb* Chy

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