|Hi K5Rakitan ,
I just finished reading "Invalid Item" , and would like to share my thoughts. I found your chapters through your review request. I enjoyed reading it and hope you find this feedback useful. Keep in mind that these are my thoughts from reading your work. Please use anything you find useful and discard the rest. I am learning more from your writing than I could ever share. Thank you for sharing!
I want to apologize for not getting to this sooner. This last week has been packed with finals for some college classes I'm taking and time just got away from me.
I'll start here by saying that I am unfamiliar with Seto Kaiba and Yu-Gi-Oh! and had to ask my husband for a quick education. However, I really enjoyed this and now I'm going to check to see if he has the originals for me to read. I'm very impressed with many aspects and have very little in the way of suggestions.
Reading the authors note, which I know will not be part of the story, I was expecting a full-on erotica type story. When I read Atlas Shrugged I was often distracted by frivolous sex scenes that didn't seem to fit in or progress the story. In your story I was amazed. Any scenes that may have bordered were very tasteful and necessary to progress the story. Well done. With the introductions, you made it clear without overburdening detail, that this was a story included polyamourous relationships. As Seto approached Joan and offered money for a night, the prostitution element was introduced.
One note that I want to make about the beginning: Though I really enjoyed the story and was drawn into it as I kept reading, the start didn't grab me. I'm not sure how I would change it though. This isn't an action/adventure story or one where a shocking event such as alien spacecraft landing comes into play. There's just something I can't put my finger on other than it seems to be a typical love story beginning at the train station where the two lovers' eyes meet and they embrace. As I said, I'm not sure HOW I would try to change it, but it's just a thought I had.
I was impressed that the descriptions of clothing and other parts of the characters were so well done. There was just enough detail to begin to form an idea, but not so much to distract or slow the story. Well done indeed. I think that this and the way you handled the dialogue impressed me the most. Just so you know, I'm taking notes for myself here on how to do this from your example. This is an area that I struggle greatly, so it's very refreshing to see this handled so well. Each piece of their personality, their relationships, their past, and their appearances were distributed in a way that helped make it a smooth growth of them without saying, "So, here's this guy wearing this and that and he's from here and there and did this and that." I've seen this type of writing before and felt it was cumbersome to get through. Keep building the characters the way you are, it works VERY well!
Ahh, now we get to my favorite part of your work. I really enjoyed reading the dialog. This is where I got to know the characters and what was going on. Here you told me through conversations a bit about each character. As I said in other sections, you spread it out. I felt as if I was learning about a newly met friend. Conversations have to happen over time and you did a great job with this.
I was especially impressed with the way you helped me keep track of who was talking. You used simple phrases such as Joan asked, Marc assured, Joan conceded, Marc called, said, etc. Simple, single words that gave me the right impression on how the dialogue was presented. "Marc called" showed me that he was sitting outside the dressing room (which I can imagine) and called out to Joan who was behind the door getting dressed. He didn't yell which would be out of scene and character, but did the elevated "call" which so many do in that situation.
I have to say, I really enjoyed how well the story flowed both within and between chapters. Each scene was set and changing from one to the next was not a distraction at all. There were not giant leaps at all.
A great example is going from the train station to the office: "..escorted her through the town as she worried about office etiquette. ...They entered a recessed door at the base of a three-story Victorian building.."
This worked so well. There was no need to call a taxi, drive the car, find a parking spot. They moved. The story moved. The next scene was the office building with a clear but good description that was not too loaded with details.
See "Flow" section starting with "This worked so well." Really good job at describing places over time. Each scene gave a little more information and as an artist would take his/her time, painted the scenes one piece at a time. I like that learning how a character looks (Marc being cleanly shaven is known in chapter 4 I believe.
Grammar and Mechanics:
Nothing to suggest here. I thought it was well done.
As I've said throughout, I was very impressed and really enjoyed reading this. I admit that I came into it a bit skeptical and felt I was entering unfamiliar territory since I'm not familiar with the Yu-Gi-Oh stories. But in the end, I felt that I didn't need to be.
My only suggestion is to rethink the beginning scene. The train station works. The meeting of the lovers works. I just feel like it's too typical and a bit cliche. And, I really have no suggestion on how to improve it, so take this suggestion with a grain of salt as I'm not sure I'm being very helpful here.
Thank you for sharing your story. Write On!
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