Book Jacket

 

rank 1104
word count 19909
date submitted 30.07.2012
date updated 12.09.2012
genres: Fiction, Fantasy
classification: moderate
incomplete

The Green Eyed Girl (Book One of the Oculus Chronicles)

Meagan A. Todd

Magic is failing, draining from the world, and one girl has the secret to find it. If only she knew what it was....

 

Anya was born an outcast. In a world where green eyes mean a magical heritage she is an abnormality. The promise of her mossy green eyes went nowhere and her family was forced to flee their home in shame at her failure. Or so she was told. Now all she has ever known is cast into doubt as she and her two closest friends must race to learn what they never thought they had. Chased by unseen enemies with an unknown purpose the girls are tested beyond their skill to find the truth. But the problem with the truth is that it is never what you expect....

 
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tags

coming of age, despair, journey, loss, love, magic, trust

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51 comments

 

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Shelvis wrote 593 days ago

Club Grimoire Review of "The Green-Eyed Girl" by Meagan A. Todd

Wow, this is fantastic, and gripping, and mysterious, and very well written. I don't know what it was like before your edits, but I love what's here now. Every word was a pleasure to read, the flow was outstanding, and the thread of the plot perfectly laid. I have so many questions, and I love having questions. I know everything here is significant, but why? Why must everything be precisely in its place? What exactly is Shiren's mistress looking for? Is what happened to Marianna connected with Shiren's servitude? How long has he been serving her--was he just a boy? Which begs the question: how old is the Mistress? Who is she?

Was the mist released by the bowl? I even wondered if the mist was Marianna, as crazy as that sounds. I love so much that you got my mind working this out, turning it over like a jewel, studying it.

The most frightening part to me was Shiren distancing himself from the girl's humanity in the beginning...the only way for him to preserve his own. I wonder how many times he's seen this, how many times he's gone through the ritual, and if he had to do it to his own sister.

Anyway, I already mentioned to you a couple of spots I discovered, but in no way did they detract from the story for me. I've heard you mention that this was a long chapter, but it flew by. You pulled me right in and no matter how many times I returned to it it pulled me right back in.

~ Shelley

rikasworld wrote 593 days ago

Club Grimoire Crit.
This is a great first chapter, really sinister and frightening. The relationship between Shiren and his terrifying msitress is very cleverly portrayed. He is a very three dimensional character with his aches and pains and fear and compulsion to serve his mistress, and most of all for his need to see the murdered girl as an 'it' rather than a child, and his sorrow for his dead sister. It is a very compelling start to the book with the mist spirit hunting down the next victim. The Mistress is truly scary and presumably does not age if Shiren was frightened of her red hair when he was a child. You have a lot going on here to intrique the reader.
Your writing is very strong and professional.
Top stars from me and I look forward to reading on.

John Bayliss wrote 612 days ago

Club Grimoire Critique

The prime purpose of the first chapter is to hook the reader and you have certainly hooked me! In the first section, you communicate Shiren's sense of urgency so well that I found myself reading faster and faster to help him on his way. The relationship between him and his mistress is intriguing, too, and I really wonder how that is going to develop. Shiren is clearly a good man, from how he treats the girl; will he ever overcome his submissiveness to his mistress and stand up for himself? I'm looking forward to finding out.

I think you should state Shiren's name when he is first mentioned in the first sentence, rather than say "he", because it is easier for the reader to identify with a named character. You should definatly leave his mistress nameless, however--that adds to the mystery surrounding her. She is, quite frankly, one of the most villianous villianesses that I have ever encountered!

The girl suspended on invisible ropes and what subsequently happens to her is a truly chilling image. (I'm just pleased that I didn't have nightmares about that last night, after I'd read the chapter.) The section with the sentient mist navigating its way around the valley was a genius way of painlessly introducing the reader to the geography, too.

With my editor's hat on, I have a few little comments: No apostrophe is needed after "its" when it is a possessive pronoun, i.e. "its toes". There's a line: "This ones begs your forgiveness Great Lady." which I think (if Shiren is talking about himself) should be "This one begs your forgiveness, Great Lady," I didn't find any other nit-picks, but I think I was too caught up in the story to notice.

This is a very promising opening. I look forward to reading more. I don't often give a book six stars but I am for "The Green Eyed Girl".

best wishes and good writing, John

A Nerdy Rogue wrote 617 days ago

Hey, I really like your story, it's very well written and the description is so vivid.
The way you described settings at some points was quite poetic and I was quite pulled into the story.
I know some people here said you described the setting around the castle too much, but I found it really nice. I found your writing similar to the way that David Clement-Davies writes his novels. Not sure if you've read them...

Anyhow I found the storyline really interesting; lots of suspense to keep you hooked.

High stars :)

- Bree

Colin Neville wrote 622 days ago

I liked the contrast between the atmospheric fantasy of the prologue and the pragmatic reality of ch. 1, and I thought the start of 1 was excellent: with its continuity from the prologue - ending in a dream - to Anya being awoken by the pounding on her door. I liked all the everyday detail of ch. 1, and the dialogue felt realistic. Ending a chapter at the start of a journey is a good hook - as we all want to find out the fate of the travellers!

You write well, with a strong command of English, but I felt the opening description of the landscape around the castle was too long and did not provide a strong enough hook to catch and keep readers' attention. By contrast, the immediate action of ch. 1, grabbed me and kept me reading. Perhaps you could consider a similar action opening 'hook' for the crucial introductory paragraph of the book? The middle section of the prologue was, however, very engaging - with the child at the mercy of Shiren's powerful and ruthless mistress, and the ending was eerily atmospheric with the sinister mist creeping over the land. Good writing here.

I think you meant to write 'flee their homes' in the long pitch, instead of 'feel'.

Good luck with this.

Colin Neville

CARite wrote 406 days ago

The green eyed girl - Vividly written and well detailed. the mysticism pull you in and you are drawn to read further. well written and clean. The mystery behind their rituals pulls the reader to lean more, a great hook.
Cindy
CADreilling The Line Beginnings

Andrea Taylor wrote 471 days ago

What a fascinating start. Have read two chapters and am hooked. Well written, intriguing, mysterious and yet human. I am sure this will do well.
Andrea
The de Amerley Affair

Scott Butcher wrote 520 days ago

YARG review

Really good start to the book. Lot's of evil magic at work, lot's of lurking about. The first chapter ends very well and leaves the reader wanting to continue. I'm glad the mist couldn't reach what would have been the second victim. Some commas needed here and there, but still very easy to read.

Green is such a mysterious colour. The whole chapter works really well. High stars.

Regards Scott Butcher (The Merlin Falcon)

Lucy Middlemass wrote 545 days ago

This is a Grim Review

The Green-Eyed Girl

I think your first chapters are the same as when I read before, so I've focused on Chapter Two. Some of the feeling of mystery continues but this chapter has a nice domestic feel, which works to show us something of Anya's character.

Chapter Two

“…knees pulled up to her chest as she always did when asleep.” This doesn’t quite work, I don’t think. If you ask the question “what did she always do when asleep?” you get “knees pulled up.” It would work better as “she pulled her knees up.” If you see what I mean.
I recall liking your descriptions of light in the previous chapter, and here again I like “the deep dark of a night not yet done.”
You portray Anya’s mother well, although her actions like dropping the heavy bundle on to her daughter and being already prepared show us a lot about her character. It makes a sentence like “No matter what you did, you would end up doing exactly what Cami wanted eventually” somewhat unnecessary.
You’ve used “padding” to mean both Cami’s weight and the comfort of Anya’s traveling clothes. It’s relatively unusual and to have them close together meaning different things is noticeable.
The detailed embroidery on the chair seats seems at odds with the general lack of decoration. The fabric could be high-quality. I think something like that would fit better.
“horses destruction” needs an apostrophe.
Your overall portrayal of Anya and her parents is really good, and mostly you create this through dialogue and what they do rather than simply telling the reader what they’re like.

My return to this has been brief but I’ve enjoyed finding out more.

Lucy

Di Manzara wrote 562 days ago

Hi Meagan,

Your cover is really nice. I like it. You wrote really strong short and long pitch. The first chapter is intense, a perfect way to start things off. The pace is brisk, and the flow outstanding. The concept is smart, your book is something I'll read over and over again. Your descriptions are vivid, especially in chapter one. Anya is a wonderful character I absolutely enjoyed. Chapter 1 is very long, but that's not a problem as your fabulous writing was a definite treat all throughout!

I give you 5 stars!

If you have some free time, may I invite you to read and rate my book,

LEO & ROVER: THE PURPLE MARBLE ADVENTURES

Thank you and I wish you all the best,
D

Wanttobeawriter wrote 568 days ago

GREEN EYED GIRL
This is a book with a dramatic beginning: a man rushing to his mistress’s room to find a magical ceremony happening. I found it hard to like Shiren at first because he’s such a wimp to his mistress, but guess he needs to do that to survive. It also was a little confusing why he called the young girl Marianna (because she wasn’t his sister, right? Just looked like her? The way the mist from her blood finds Anya is interesting. She’s a much easier character to like because of the way she interacts with her family. There are a lot of fantasy books on this site where a teenager is different in some way than everyone else (a tattoo, color of their eyes, magical abilities) so, to compete, a book has to have something to make it stand out. I think this one does it because of the overall ominous tone you infused into it from the start. Just scary enough, I’m starring this and adding it to my shelf. Wanttobeawriter: Who Killed the President?

Ferret wrote 582 days ago

Club Grimoire Review
I liked the shock of your protagonist discovering the girl 'suspended as if by invisible ropes'. In fact I liked it so much I would have been inclined to make that the end of the first chapter. Another natural break comes at Shiren's 'Bring her to us...' so the dark mist gets its own chapter. I would also - perhaps - have liked the Mistress to actually *do* something to Shiren to account for his chronic fear.
When he is pottering about tidying the room you have a sentence "The next time his Mistress pulled form the magic forms it went disastrously wrong" - I'm not quite sure what that means, and I do wonder if there is a typo.
The story has a lot going for it, it only, I feel, needs a little sharpening up so the horror and the plot points are emphasised.

Abby Vandiver wrote 582 days ago

Good start. The prologue is short but to the point setting up what is expected to happen. The descriptions are good and vivid, but in some places long.

Good job.

Lucy Middlemass wrote 583 days ago

This is a Grimoire Review

The Green Eyed Girl

That’s a good front cover. Striking.

The Prologue is very short and rather mysterious. It gives the reader the information that the girl with green eyes is powerful and will come after a blue eyed girl in the time of drought. I like the idea of giving this in the form of quotations - it makes an interesting opening. There’s also the mention of a seer and a “time of Failing”, which are both tempting ideas.

Chapter One

I like that Shiren measures his own lateness by the height of the moon.
Shiren’s reference to the girl as “it” is a clever and unpleasant detail.
There’s an image of the girl being like a doll with no stuffing, and then later the idea that her strings have been cut. I’d bring these together somehow because they are so similar. So, the first image ought to connect to the second in a way that doesn’t transform her from a doll to a puppet.
The description of the green light is great.
“to fit them” probably could be cut.
I struggled to understand “dry washing his hands”. I think it might help if you hyphenated it as “dry-washing.” It seems as though he is simply wiping them though.
I like the constant references to the coming day.
The personification of the mist is great. I love this sort of thing.

This is a really good start. There are plenty of mysteries here but the plot has not outshone the characterisation, which I think is great. Shiren, the old man, and his relationship with his mistress is convincingly (and scarily) written. His mixture of sympathy and dehumanisation of the young victim is also nicely portrayed. High stars.

Lucy

junetee wrote 588 days ago

Club Grimoire.

This is a well written prologue and first chapter. There are a few edits that need to be looked at but I notice they've already been mentioned.
The prologue caught my attention. It is intriguing and I couldn't wait to read chapter one
The beginning of Chapter one is almost chilling. I was captivated by the way you wrote about the murdered girl and the light surrounding her. At first I imagined it to be gruesome but it turned out to be more supernatural. Shiren's character is interesting. The way he calls the girl 'it'. At first I thought of serial killers and how they dont look at the victims personally and so I wondered if you were portraying this.
The mist is something I really enjoyed reading but at first I felt it went on a little too long. I never quite got the meaning of it until I read another comment but now I know what it means I can appreciate it more..
This is an interesting story. One I didn't think was going to take off at the beginning but it soon proved me wrong. Its well written and makes the reader want to read more.
junetee
FOUR CORNERS.book one.The Rock Star

Nancy Lopez wrote 592 days ago

Club grimoire:

Hi! Finally i got in. Only because I clicked on your name in my message box and then the entire screne popped open. I wasn't even able to access it before.

Okay, I took my time-being really nit picky on structure and plotting and POV. The following are my observations and though I am no pro. . .I only want to help. These are only suggestions:

I like the story overall. The structure for this first chapter is well handled. I feel his withered body, sense the cold and the worries. His reluctancy, fear, and his guilt over Marrianna.

pacing, rhythm and para breaks were, in my opinion, well executed.

Para 4: aging body is mentioned in the first sentence --we already are aware of this and his struggle against the cold and his bones are a given. So, the last sentence is repetitive-- his body was getting old--you could simple end this para' with his feet onward.

--This sentence could use rewriting-- Now HE was here He wished fervently that HE had not hurried ....
--If the toes hover an inch above ground you don't need to repeat that feet pointed downwards.

I give you credit--I overuse the words 'all' 'was' and 'had' its my biggest struggle but one you did not overboard the writing with KUDOS!

---I like the 'IT' modifier. Spooky.
--I do not know what diaphanous means but easily understood the meaning by the rest of the sentence.
--"Eerie glow': Consider Unatural glow or something else. Describe the glow. Eerie is a mood enhancer not a descriptive word. here you need a descriptive word --the mood is at a high eeriness already.
--As fat as Shirens arms.....Since he's old and frail i imagine him thin and paltry. Maybe as wide as Shirens arm? Honestly, i would find another comparison.
--Faster than the eye could follow---this pulled me out of the scene because the authors voice injected me with what she wanted for me to know. the author's voice at this point needs to be silent for the characters to remain alive.
Honestly--this is why i write in first-person. I suck at 3rd person pov.

--with a sound like popping of a bubble--this made me pause and pulled me out. Too much of a modern descript. Try to subsitute this with a tool used in that era (castle days) that could make this sound...it'll add greater authenticity to the storyline.

--Okay: "I was mistaken" consistency issue and clarity. He acts as if he doesn't recognize this girl--he's seeing her for the first time..At least that's how it comes across..so then he says/admits he was mistaken. Go back and clear that up please. you have a good story and i would not want hiccups in the way for you that can be easily fixed.

--he could hear the swish of her gown.<---- End it here with a period. I would consider killing:on the rugs. It makes no sense.
--I love the descrip of the red hair.
--I lost my place here: what does the small figurine have to do being on the left? here, you gave it a quick brushoff in which, after being so descritptive and detailed, you'll need a tiny bit of explaining. was the figurine flammable? so tell us.
--Switch is a modern word--Consider: Pressing down on a lever...
--The vial held a drop of clear liquid--->you dont need to say at the base-overdescriptive.
--Amazingly, the bowl did not overflow. No-no...this is your way of telling and your voice intervening..Consider: he stared amazed that the bowl did not overflow...or something like that.

---POV Switch: the dark mist flowed...good intro into POV switch. I actually do like this mist taking on a personality. it needs now to become real on the page.
--before it, testing. ---Not sure what you mean here. get us inside the mist's thought to make it real on the page.

This is is a great story.Look forward to round 2 and learning how the mist become a live character and the plot.
Highly starred-worth the wait!
happy writing
Nancy



Para 4:

Shelvis wrote 593 days ago

Club Grimoire Review of "The Green-Eyed Girl" by Meagan A. Todd

Wow, this is fantastic, and gripping, and mysterious, and very well written. I don't know what it was like before your edits, but I love what's here now. Every word was a pleasure to read, the flow was outstanding, and the thread of the plot perfectly laid. I have so many questions, and I love having questions. I know everything here is significant, but why? Why must everything be precisely in its place? What exactly is Shiren's mistress looking for? Is what happened to Marianna connected with Shiren's servitude? How long has he been serving her--was he just a boy? Which begs the question: how old is the Mistress? Who is she?

Was the mist released by the bowl? I even wondered if the mist was Marianna, as crazy as that sounds. I love so much that you got my mind working this out, turning it over like a jewel, studying it.

The most frightening part to me was Shiren distancing himself from the girl's humanity in the beginning...the only way for him to preserve his own. I wonder how many times he's seen this, how many times he's gone through the ritual, and if he had to do it to his own sister.

Anyway, I already mentioned to you a couple of spots I discovered, but in no way did they detract from the story for me. I've heard you mention that this was a long chapter, but it flew by. You pulled me right in and no matter how many times I returned to it it pulled me right back in.

~ Shelley

rikasworld wrote 593 days ago

Club Grimoire Crit.
This is a great first chapter, really sinister and frightening. The relationship between Shiren and his terrifying msitress is very cleverly portrayed. He is a very three dimensional character with his aches and pains and fear and compulsion to serve his mistress, and most of all for his need to see the murdered girl as an 'it' rather than a child, and his sorrow for his dead sister. It is a very compelling start to the book with the mist spirit hunting down the next victim. The Mistress is truly scary and presumably does not age if Shiren was frightened of her red hair when he was a child. You have a lot going on here to intrique the reader.
Your writing is very strong and professional.
Top stars from me and I look forward to reading on.

Sabina Frost wrote 595 days ago

Club Grimoire Review

Your style flows beautifully. The idea of a special someone, destined to save the world, is timeless and always exciting to read. I can see this idea work well. You've created a world that feels alive and characters that already leap out of the page.

I only have minor nitpicks; more personal preference than anything else.

I found that the paragraphs could feel a bit long; there was so much description that I lost myself in it and half-skipped through it. It will work for those who likes long descriptions and a slower pace, but I'd have liked fewer descriptions and more of the action. A way to make this happen without re-writing the text could be to simply make the paragraphs seem smaller, by re-reading it and see where the paragraph could lapse into a new one to create a better pace.

I'm also not sure how big a part Shiren plays in this novel, so maybe I shouldn't say anything, but if he only appears in this chapter, then I think you spend too much time developing him when it's not necessary. This of course depends entirely upon you, for you know the story best.

Other than that, I was pulled into this story. You have a good grasp of the language and I could picture this as something on the TV screen. Well done!

Sabina

Chancelet wrote 595 days ago

Club Grimoire Review

Good build up of anticipation in chapter one, wanting to know what’s the nervousness about. I like the character of old Shiren – brings about empathy for him as well as curiosity of his history and connection with the Mistress. This is an interesting storyline, with the death of so many young “girls.”

Interesting turn to the story with the roaming “it.” Good job with the characters and plot.

N. LaRonda Johnson
Anticipation of the Penitent

G.W. 2012 wrote 595 days ago

Yan Review

Hi Meagan, Just finished chapter one (well prologue and chapter one). You have definitely created an interesting story. I think you have done a wonderful job creating the scenes as your imagery is quite vivid, only having read the one chapter though it is difficult to comment on much more than that.
The sinister nature of this story and the 'Mistress' is evident, and Shiren easily portrays the part of lowly servant. This work shows great promise.

There were two spots that may have been missing a word or have a slight typo. Second portion, where the mist is seraching, paragraph four--last sentence you have bar one. Perhaps this is intentional although to me it would read better as (but) one.
The other minor thing that caught my eye was a phrase which I cannot seem to find but the word utter is used and I believe it is in the first portion of this chapter. To me it should read (could) utter or uttered but since I can't find it I'm not exactly sure.
I look forward to reading more. Best wishes, G.W.

Kristen_Undead wrote 601 days ago

YAN Chapter 1 Review

This has a very ethereal feel to it, which made me want to keep reading. You can feel the coldness of the situation by referring to the girl as "it" and it's an interesting twist that the blood of the fallen or non chosen will lead Shiren to the next offering, guided by the spirit of his twin, Marianna.

Really good start.
Kristen
Immortal Dilemma

Emily Rebecca wrote 601 days ago

Club Grimoire Review:

The atmosphere you create in this first chapter is chilling and unsettling. Shiren is such a sad character, living to please his mistress despite the horrors involved. I wonder how old he actually is, since it's mentioned that he's an 'old man' but he's been in the castle since he was a child. Has the things he's seen and done made him unnaturally old or does is mistress keep unnaturally young? Why would him and his sister go to the castle in the first place? So many mysteries still to unravel. ;-)

Best of luck!

Kayla H wrote 602 days ago

Club Grimoire review:
This is a very intriguing opening chapter. It’s eerie and unsettling—with the old man’s complete submission to the Mistress and the way he refers to the young girl as “it.” You’ve definitely made me curious about what is going on and whether the girl at the end of the chapter will meet the same fate as the others.
The second half of the chapter seemed to go on a little long for me, as there was only the mist and no real character to connect with.
But other than that and a few missing commas (noted below) I thought this was very well done. You describe things beautifully and I love the sense of mystery you have created.
Some nitpicking:
I’d like to know a little sooner who “he” is. And “she” Maybe rewrite “for the first time, he was not there. Now he was late; she did not forgive lateness” as “for the first time, Shiren was not there. Now he was late and his mistress did not forgive lateness”?
“A cold wind blowing through the slits in the wall caused him” I think this needs to be:
“A cold wind, blowing through the slits in the wall, caused him”
I think you need a comma after “Torches flickered with his passage”
“as much as the first time he came here” might possibly need to be “as much as the first time he had come here”
“squinted at the sudden brightness” probably needs a comma after it.
“small objects of fascinating shapes and sizes” is a tiny bit vague. I’d like to know exactly what these objects are and why they’re fascinating.
“Although still shivering from the cold passageway” probably needs a comma after it.
“Eagerly he leaned forward” should probably have a comma after it.
“began to flow outwards” probably needs a comma after it.
“her arms half raised from her side” should probably be “her arms half raised from her sides”
“He should not have been affected by it” should have a semicolon after it.
“cast a pall over her” should have a comma after it.
“Yes Mistress” should probably be “Yes, Mistress”
“Look at me Shiren” should be “Look at me, Shiren”
“I’m sorry little sister” should be “I’m sorry, little sister”
“the intervention of fate” should probably have a comma after it.
“Once he had reached it” probably needs a comma after it.
“Drawing out the candle” probably needs a comma after it.
“moving in a small circle” probably needs a comma after it.
Probably needs a comma after “sky lightened”
“but he did not expect it to” needs some kind of punctuation after it—a semicolon, perhaps?
“time to serve Mariana” should have comma after “serve”
“Come Mariana” should be “Come, Mariana”
“Bring her to us little sister” should have a comma after “us”
“he whispered shuffling off” should have a comma after “whispered”
“With the steep sides of Harrowdale on either side” should probably have a comma after it.
“Water turned to mist long before it reached the plains below drifting away with the winds.” This sentence is missing something, otherwise it sounds like the plains below are drifting away. “Water turned to mist long before it reached the plains below, drifting away with the winds.”? Or: “Water turned to mist long before it reached the plains below and drifted away with the winds.”?
“Seeping through cracks in the wood” probably needs a comma after it.
Other than that, great job!

D.J.Milne wrote 604 days ago

Hi Meagan
I have read the prologue and the first two chapters
Your prologue is clever and concise and gives the reader a good vision of what might be to come.
Chapter one and we are immediately into the mysterious and macabre world of Shiren's character and his evil Mistress. Your description about the blonde girl's body hanging in the room was particularly chilling. I would however say that she was held up by an invisible force. You say ropes, but if they are invisible they are just a force or say as if by invisible ropes. Also you have one paragraph which starts with the sentance...It was clothed, for a wonder. I didn't quite understand this The description of the room layout and the castle surroundings was fab. You can feel your development of the lands in which this tale takes place.
Your chapter two brings in a lovely change of pace and dialogue that sings from the page. The homely atmosphere and the warmth in the house between Anya and her mother and the hook of the journey to pull the reader into the next chapter with the click of Anya's tongue.
A great start to a very atmospheric novel.
High stars and will stay on my watch list.
D.J
The Ghost Shirt


A small patch of grass surrounded with a stone monument so worn with age it was unreadable (illegible would be better I think)

EllieMcG wrote 605 days ago

Club Grimoire: Green Eyed Girl
A haunting beginning, filled with a different kind of horror. I'm really impressed with how you evoke Shiren's conflict and guilt - that was nicely done, and I have a good image of a flinching, fearfully devoted man. The Mistress seems like a brutal, bewitching character - something of an evil queen. And i thoroughly enjoyed the ending, and how it was subtly insinuated that the One is somehow protected from Shiren's search. I'm definitely interested in reading on. 
I found it hard to find any nitpicks, but I did find myself wondering if, overall, the descriptions could be as clear, but with fewer words? That's just an overall thought, though.
Here's two nits, and frankly, they might not even be useful. You've done really well, and I've given you six stars: 
nearby window to gage the passage of time - should it be gauge ? 
It seemed to budge impossibly over the rim - should this be bulge impossibly over the rim?
Ellie
Paragon

Karataratakas wrote 609 days ago

Club Grimoire Critique

I think this is the second time someone commented on my book just as I was commenting on theirs since I joined the club, :) (I started my comment last night, but was too tired to write properly... in fact, even now I'm not tired my comment is probably still pretty mediocre, critiquing just isn't my strong suit...) Anyway, thank you for your comment, I'm doing another edit at the end of the month when I've finished reading and reviewing for club G which should fix most of the errors.

As for 'The Green-Eyed Girl', this is very good, lots of detail and an intriguing beginning. It seems a little bit too long before we get to meet the main character, but other than that this is a well-written beginning that makes me want to read on to find out more about the world your creating, particularly with what you've mentioned in the pitch. Who is 'the mistress', and what is she doing to the girls she kills? Did she kill Shiren's sister, and if so why would he work for her? These are the kinds of questions that make people want to read on, so well done!

No nitpicks or problems, just a little bit difficult for me to read the paragraphs, though that's probably an issue with how I've set up the text here, so never mind. I actually think I saw a book in a store once with similar elements in its plot so there's definitely a market out there for this book.

KT

eloravelle wrote 610 days ago

Club Grimoire Review-

Shiren is quite an odd unforgiving character.You characterize the Mistress as perfectly evil, and your description can be so on key I can envision everything in my head. I have a hard time finding a book on Autho that does such as that.

I really like the general flow of the narrative and the story. How you place backstory and little subtle tidbits about his dead sister Marianna.

Now there are a few things I found hard to read. When you clarifythe girl you call her a creature. Maybe you can find a better suited word for her such as you used the mistresses vessel..THat works a littlebetter.

Another is how you call the Mistress just theMistress over and over. Here is whereI would like to seeyou useother words or maybe the Mistress by her real name, or amybe not becauseof Shirens relationshipwith her whic is still not too clear. But yeah.

Also the girls essence that turnsto fog very originalto me, but oncemore I would like you to use a different word than overusing the word it...

Best of luck,

One of my faves.

-Elora

Sara Stinson wrote 610 days ago

Meagan,

You have a spooky story and I love it! I have enjoyed what I have read so far. Your writing flows and your characters are building as you go. I plan on reading the remaining chapters. I have read the prologue and Chapters one and two. I have found some small details which can be easily fixed. You may decide if you need to change. I believe your story will appeal to many age levels. Many fifth graders and up love to read YA books.
Good luck and high ratings from me!
Sara Stinson
Finger Bones

Chapter Two
* HE face remained unlined and her hair was still the same - (her)
* It seemed to be FILL with, what her mother would call, "the right clothes on her bed - (FILLED)
* When discussing her Da in the fields and looking for the comb, I find a lot of "that" words. I try to avoid as
I try to avoid as many "thats" as I possibly can. Would it not sound better to say, (Once her mother found the
comb ------ The next sentence maybe you could say... A disaster always waited when brushing her hair. ----
You may find a better way to word.)
* finally reaching the potential THAT people had always told her she would have, -- (delete that here and in
the rest of the paragraph. The sentences flow better without the word.)
* if her mother CHOOSE now to come out -- (chose)
* slighter of build THAT Dusty but still strong, -- (than)
* Her father had not really NEED her help -- (needed)
* "Well her Da said, -- comma after said
* No other lights shown on sleepy scene in front of her. - (Something to me is missing. Maybe No other
lights could be seen on the ... 0r.. No other lights were visible on the...)
* It was here THAT the town would gather -- (It was here (where) the town would gather.)
* she did not really mind THAT she -- (delete that)
* but she knew THAT would be a greater show of emotion - (it)
* Anya nodded seriously knowing THAT - delete


anthrax wrote 610 days ago

Club Grimoire Critique

Meagan,

I noticed that a lot of people have commented on the length of the opening. My impression was that you tend to add details that aren’t really important, so it takes Shiren quite a long time to shuffle through the castle and get that door opened. I won’t try and point out mistakes in punctuation etc as I’m useless at that. I’ll just go through it with the kind of questions I ask myself when I’m writing – is it consistent and plausible?

You mention several times that Shiren is old and has a tough job getting to his mistress’s room quick enough, but for what? If something important that required his presence was going off, why wasn’t he there? What was it that he had failed in? Why were books and ornaments strewn all over the floor?’ You don’t answer these questions, and you don’t necessarily have to if it adds to the intrigue, but as you do reiterate these points, I think a few hints might help here.

‘fireplaces dotted round the room’ sounds rather haphazard. Castle architecture I’m not sure would have lent itself to having several hearths in one room, that’s why they were such awful cold places to live in.
‘Each item needed to be back on their shelves when his mistress woke’ on its shelf.

I didn’t understand the bit where Shiren raised his eyes to catch just the hem of her dress and looked back down again. From their respective positions, would she have been able to see his gaze shift upwards so slightly?

I pictured the castle perched on a cliff top, and afterwards found it hard to imagine the geography as the mist follows a river valley, bounded by mountains on three sides and sheer cliff on the fourth. Castle Roth is both perched on a cliff and in a valley where the moonlight doesn’t reach. I couldn’t see it, I’m afraid. Everybody else can so it must just be me.

My overall impression of this opening is that it could do with a bit of judicious pruning but it works well. Some of the phrases sound odd, as if there’s a preposition missing, but if you read it aloud you’ll be able to fix that easily. You use a nice juicy nasty scene to introduce the main villain and her ineffectual doddery retainer, set the scene in a windswept castle, and spread it out using the device of the magic mist. You leave of a lot of hooks (what happens to the dead girls, who’s Marianna etc) to keep the intrigue alive, and the final hook, with the mist unable to get at one sleeping girl is a great one.
J

Toney Toney wrote 611 days ago

YAN

I've read the prologue and first chapter. You are a very descriptive writer and have a beautiful way of setting the scene. I found some of the nature descriptions too long for my personal taste and I had a hard time keeping on track, but the plot and mystery were very inviting and I am intrigued by what will follow.

Toney/Growing Amaranth

Elizabeth H wrote 611 days ago

Club Grimoire Critique.

The prolog does a great job of setting the scene, so the reader knows what the stakes are when the first chapter opens.

I like to see Shiren's name appear instead of the first 'he'. It gives me a sense of identitly with the character. The guy serves a very cruel mistress and it seems she probably is sucking the life out of young girls for their magic. Shiren started his sevice as a boy and is now an old man, but the mistress hasn't aged in the normal way. I find it fascinating that she doesn't really look human anymore when the brief burst of lifeforce magic wears off. One point, why didn't he notice her immediately he entered the room?

The blue-eyed girl is revealed to be his sister's spirit, now held in thrall to find the right green-eyed girl. At this point, I am wondering what will happen to the mistress if this should ever occur and how the spirit will get the girl to the castle?

The spirit finds a door it cannot open and fades. I wonder why? Is this because the blood of the dead girl will only work for so long? I also guess the right girl is behind that door. Now that is a killer hook.

I adore the premise. This promises to be an excellent read. As for suggestions for improvement, there is an issue with commas. If a sentence has clauses, see if each individual part could stand up on its own as a separate sentence. If it can, then a comma needs to go between them. If not, it doesn't. A semi colon needs to be there if the addition is a shift away from the whole, but still connected to the main theme. Mechanics are easily fixed and not a big issue. Having a great story is the main concern and yours rocks.

Thanks for a great read.

manacor21 wrote 611 days ago

Curiosity has hooked me to the opening chapter. Shiren's description was well written and an instant draw. Not being an avid reader of fantasy it took me only a few sentences to get on board and not want to get off at the next stop. Very colorful to me are all the emotional aspects of Shiren to his mistress ( who I would like to strangle ) and his feelings over Marianna. I fully intend on seeing where this goes from the here. Hopefully a full roast of the mistress.
Great read.

Manacor21

John Bayliss wrote 612 days ago

Club Grimoire Critique

The prime purpose of the first chapter is to hook the reader and you have certainly hooked me! In the first section, you communicate Shiren's sense of urgency so well that I found myself reading faster and faster to help him on his way. The relationship between him and his mistress is intriguing, too, and I really wonder how that is going to develop. Shiren is clearly a good man, from how he treats the girl; will he ever overcome his submissiveness to his mistress and stand up for himself? I'm looking forward to finding out.

I think you should state Shiren's name when he is first mentioned in the first sentence, rather than say "he", because it is easier for the reader to identify with a named character. You should definatly leave his mistress nameless, however--that adds to the mystery surrounding her. She is, quite frankly, one of the most villianous villianesses that I have ever encountered!

The girl suspended on invisible ropes and what subsequently happens to her is a truly chilling image. (I'm just pleased that I didn't have nightmares about that last night, after I'd read the chapter.) The section with the sentient mist navigating its way around the valley was a genius way of painlessly introducing the reader to the geography, too.

With my editor's hat on, I have a few little comments: No apostrophe is needed after "its" when it is a possessive pronoun, i.e. "its toes". There's a line: "This ones begs your forgiveness Great Lady." which I think (if Shiren is talking about himself) should be "This one begs your forgiveness, Great Lady," I didn't find any other nit-picks, but I think I was too caught up in the story to notice.

This is a very promising opening. I look forward to reading more. I don't often give a book six stars but I am for "The Green Eyed Girl".

best wishes and good writing, John

Robert M. Carter wrote 612 days ago

Meagan,

I've read the first two chapters of Green Eyed Girl. Very imaginative. I think the pace of the story is good and the world you create holds together well. There's also a sense of anticipation which holds the reader. There are, however, a few punctuation/minor grammar mistakes, but they're easily sorted. I probably haven't caught them all but a few follow .

glanced out a nearby window... should be "out of"

around the room dispelling shadows... comma after room

he thought pushing the door closed without turning... comma after thought

its head was thrown as far back... as far back as what? as is a comparison but there doesn't seem anything relevant that's being compared

It was clothed for a wonder... I notice you use the phrase "for a wonder" a couple of times. It's not something I've ever come across, so not necessarily wrong but it did confuse me for a moment (a fantasy writing thing or a local phrase where you come from?)

The stream continued to rise... slightly confusing. I recommend you use the same word you used before (unless you mean "scream")

...seep through the air causing it to bulge... comma after air

...not bear look at the thing... "to" after bear

...where the girl lay moving around it... comma after lay

I hope this is useful and I don't seem as though I'm splitting hairs! I really did enjoy the creativity of your story but I think these minor error could prevent agents/editors from seeing that (I think agents' attention spans are probably shorter than toddlers', but who can blame them, I suppose, with hundreds of submissions a week...). Best of luck.

Looking forward to you views on Horizons (if you're still speaking to me).

Robert

Kim Sales wrote 616 days ago

Love what you've done so far. Your attention to detail never ceases to amaze me. I look forward to the next update, keep up the good work :)

Lenny Banks wrote 617 days ago

Hi Meagan, I read chapter 4. This is well written and kept my interest, I felt quite relaxed reading it and I am sure that must have come from you. The characters are well described and I love the action description when the wagon crashed. I noted a couple fo it piks:
'..all to clumsy...' should that be '...too clumsy...'
'...it was going to fast...' should that be '...too fast...' but apart from that it seemed fine.
Well done, this is a good piece of work.

Kindest Regards and Best Wishes
Lenny Banks - Tide and Time: At The Rock

A Nerdy Rogue wrote 617 days ago

Hey, I really like your story, it's very well written and the description is so vivid.
The way you described settings at some points was quite poetic and I was quite pulled into the story.
I know some people here said you described the setting around the castle too much, but I found it really nice. I found your writing similar to the way that David Clement-Davies writes his novels. Not sure if you've read them...

Anyhow I found the storyline really interesting; lots of suspense to keep you hooked.

High stars :)

- Bree

K E Shaw wrote 617 days ago

Club Grimoire review
Hi Meagan,
I did actually have a quick speed-read of your prologue several days ago. You are right - I hardly recognise this new version, and chp 1! I enjoyed the descriptive detail of your previous version, but this one definitely draws us in more rapidly with an immediate sense of tensions building, drawing us further into the plot.

However, when at the end of the chapter you do give us some scenic detail, much of the visual impact has been lost. My personal feeling is that perhaps it has been cut just a little too much - but then again, I’m a fan of being able to visualise. When Marianna’s spirit/mist flies out of the window, I have no sense of place. Castle Roth is mentioned earlier, but I found myself relying on my memory of the previous version to envision the scenery and setting. Maybe a sentence or two could be added back in at the end there?

Shiren is a well characterised in his clearly painful and distorted relationship with his Mistress. We can feel his anxiousness to please and serve, mingled with his very human distaste for whatever ‘magic’ or ‘evil’ it is that his Mistress is practising. We can also see how helpless and wretched he is in his devotion - definitely a tortured soul in his own right. I especially like the phrase that his Mistress’s eyes were ‘measuring him within an inch of his own life.’ ‘Shiren had not been allowed to give his life in penance after that blunder’ - shows us exactly the depth of his devotion to this woman, as well as showing us the tragic nature of it. Very nicely done. The scene with the young girl suspended in the middle of the room was vivid, and quite disturbing.

I will be interested to find out exactly who and what Shiren’s Mistress is - she appears for now to be the villain of the story, but I wonder what depths she has, and what drives her. (I have a ‘villain’ practising something similar, so it really interest me!) I’m guessing that the house that the mist invades at the end of the chapter contains the MC heroine - looking forward to meeting her further on.

Overall, I found this story very engaging. Judging from this first chp, I think it will contain well-developed characters battling through some difficult twist and turns of plot, with plenty to keep us on the edge of our seats!
Minor grammar/ punct. nits and picks below:

‘No reason to be afraid then, he did now’ bit of a comma splice - perhaps rather separate with a hyphen - or even with a full-stop for greater emphasis on ‘He did now.’

First Mistress is capitalised, think second one should be as well.

Need ‘where’ in the phrase ‘if he was to get all these things back they had come from...’

‘It was clothed for a wonder’ - not clear on what ‘for a wonder’ implies - although I gather the gown is something unusual from the description that follows.

Maybe need a comma after ‘Tracing the pulsating brightness,...’ and after ‘Cracking with a sudden snap,...’ and after ‘with the sound like the popping of a bubble,...’ and ‘begs your forgivness, great lady.’ Also after ... ‘head and shoulders above Shiren,...’ and ...’from fear himself, like the thing.’

Put a comma after ‘he avoided the spot on the floor where the girl lay,...’ as is, it sounds as if the girl is moving around it, not Shiren.

‘The combination transformed making her appear’ - needs a ‘her,’ after transformed.

RMAWriteNow wrote 619 days ago

Hi Meagan; I have read your prologue and first chapter. Like others I had mixed feelings on the prologue due to its length. However, I thought Shiren's entering the room to find the girl-thing hanging from the ceiling very good. That whole part of the prologue was very gripping and I wonder if you took that section alone as the books start, if it might work well (just a thought.)
Chapter two was very light and breezy with Anya immediately coming across as an engaging MC. The dialogue was good as was the pace of the chapter. This story definitely has potential, and with the fine tuning that all our books go through, will make a very good story indeed.
Well starred
RMA
The Snow Lily

Kate LaRue wrote 619 days ago

YARG review-The Green Eyed Girl

Meagan,
This is a very interesting idea, very well written with good description. Anya is a likable MC, and the relationship she has with both her dad and mom is shown well through the contrast in their goodbyes. I am left wondering what her mom put in her rucksack as well as who is the mysterious boy in the woods.

I see by glancing through the other comments that others have already commented on the length of the prologue, and I have to agree with GCleare that starting with the action would be a better hook, especially if this book is to be aimed at a young adult audience. While the description of the landscape around the castle and the mysterious darkness of the castle itself is well-written, I found myself skimming through it to get to the action.

I noticed that sometimes in description you repeat yourself by rephrasing what you have just described, the first description being written with lots of imagery, the second a plainer description, as if you aren't quite confident that the reader will visualize the first description. Be confident, not redundant :)

There are only a few hints as to the significance of eye color, and if I hadn't read your pitches I wouldn't have noticed them at all. Not sure if you should maybe play that up a little more in these beginning chapters, or make the hints less subtle. At this point it doesn't seem like there is very much mystery surrounding her eye color, it just seems like green is a rare eye color to have.

If you add chapters, feel free to message me, I'd be interested in reading further. Good luck with this.
Kate
Fade

Eftborin wrote 619 days ago

Club Grimoire comment.

Hi Meagan. Firstly I think your prologue is over long. Maybe with some cutting back on descriptive writing would help. Some paras could be fragmented and the use of more punctuation would help it flow.
The first line sprang out immediately along with the first para. I was a tad confused with it.
I suggest you change a 'down' to 'along'.
'...gave him enough to see...' add light after enough.
Later you use 'regretting' too much.
Chap 1 reads slightly better because, in my opinion, the paras are shorter; as is the chapter. You have loads of work to do on punctuation though.
It would be a very good book because of the concept.
Pat

GCleare wrote 620 days ago

Nice title and good pitches, intriguing. The first sentence did not do it for me though, especially the word "unadulterated," and starting with such a long run of narration with no scenes or dialogue is...dodgy. Most readers scan down the page looking for quotation marks to catch their eye and skim over everything else, unless they're already immersed in the story. This reads like a movie script with the opening paragraphs as the part where the titles are being shown, but the real beginning of your story is this: "Footsteps echoed down the hall..." That is the first action, and what the reader wants to see, so if you want to hook us you should open with that sentence. Maybe you can use your beautiful description later somewhere? Agents and publishers are not looking for slow-starter books these days, they want you to drop the reader right into the action. My book used to start that way too, and I received the same criticism so I cut the whole prologue. Think about it? The issue is engagement...you want to get our attention ASAP. Your prose is lovely, clean and graceful, very well proofread, with an intelligent but not overly obscure vocabulary. Some of the paragraphs are a bit long, especially when you consider that books nowadays are often read on iPhones and Kindles, where the pages are so short that smaller paragraphs are really needed to break up the vertical space. The descriptions leading up to his finding the girl are pretty long, too. Better to cut and get to the action sooner, so we don't find our minds wandering. Once you describe her suspended in the air we are hooked...the pressure change and the pop are excellent, very vivid. In general I found this to be very good writing and superb description but too much of it, making the piece feel dense and hard to get through. This could just be my personal preference, but I think breaking up the narrative with carefully paced scenes and conversations is easier to read and pulls the reader into the story. I think that strategy would help make this more effective. ~Gail SECRETS WE KEEP

JMF wrote 621 days ago

Reading Swap
I have to confess I have only read your first chapter (Prologue) as it is quite long. You show great imagination and flair in this first section of your story. I did like the descriptive passages at the start but I felt they were slightly too long and I became far more involved in the story when we are introduced to Shiren and we see the castle through his eyes. Before this point I felt a little distanced from the description as there are no characters to relate it to, if you see what I mean. I was intrigued by the middle section with the young girl. Who is his mistress and what kind of being is she? It's all very ominous and I like the part at the end with the mist working its way through the houses of the village.
It's a good read with some great ideas at its heart. I think it could be even more gripping at the start if you tinker with the opening paragraphs, perhaps shorten them and remove them to when you are talking about the mist?? Anyway, I'm sure you have plenty of thoughts!
All the best with this. Good luck.
Julia
Shadow Jumper

Inkysparrow wrote 621 days ago

Club Grimoire

I just read the prelude, as it was pretty long. I enjoyed the imagery you portrayed in this part of your book - we are introduced to the land and the lair of the evil one. Then we are introduced to the villain - who seems at first light like some sort of life-force eating vampire, and her loyal servant. Your characterization is very good, but I hope that we see more layers in the villain later on in the story.I love how you made her loyal servant so three dimensional - a reluctant servant who can't help but love his master (for whatever reason that is)

I found the end of your prelude nicely dramatic and well done - we have this evil mist lighting upon the doorstep of a new innocent girl. This is a very nice set up for the rest of the book.

Well done.

Arnbjorn wrote 622 days ago

Club Grimoire Review

Hi Meagan. It's Arnbjorn. I finally chose to join Grimoire and look who I found recently joined too! So here's my chapter 1 review (which of course I gave earlier today outside of Grimoire, but need to do again as an official Grimoire review)

Ive read the prologue and I like it. You obviously have a strong imagination to describe the setting and surroundings so vividly. The imagery of the valley is beautiful. '(The moonlight) played in the trickle of water pooled... ' and 'bouncing brilliant sparkles of light back inot the night...' - lovely and poetic writing!
'The gaze she laid on him could have frozen a lake in summer' - what a metaphor!
The best part of the prologue for me was the soul-mist on the hunt at the end. You really brought it to life perfectly, how it sometimes raced, sometimes stole warily, even tasted things as it pried around. And I found the magic ritual realistically methodical but creative too.
The one drawback for me was that I thought some of the description was a touch overworked, and there were certain words like wall and hall and water repeated a little too often. I personally find that when describing scenery it's better to give just enough (and maybe a little more) to evoke the desired picture in a reader's mind, and to concentrate as much on feeling as on fact. You have done this nicely in 'there was a wildness about the woods...' and in '(the moonlight) bringing a sense of peace...'

Good luck at Grimoire. I think your book will do well.

Arnbjorn

Shelby Z. wrote 622 days ago

First off I love the names you have chosen for your characters. They are very creative!
Your descriptions are well worded and very vivid.
There was one place that you had two of the same words together: dress dress. That was the only mistake I spotted.
Otherwise I think you have a good flow and development. The plot is very good and creative too.
Grand work.

Shelby Z./Driving Winds

Colin Neville wrote 622 days ago

I liked the contrast between the atmospheric fantasy of the prologue and the pragmatic reality of ch. 1, and I thought the start of 1 was excellent: with its continuity from the prologue - ending in a dream - to Anya being awoken by the pounding on her door. I liked all the everyday detail of ch. 1, and the dialogue felt realistic. Ending a chapter at the start of a journey is a good hook - as we all want to find out the fate of the travellers!

You write well, with a strong command of English, but I felt the opening description of the landscape around the castle was too long and did not provide a strong enough hook to catch and keep readers' attention. By contrast, the immediate action of ch. 1, grabbed me and kept me reading. Perhaps you could consider a similar action opening 'hook' for the crucial introductory paragraph of the book? The middle section of the prologue was, however, very engaging - with the child at the mercy of Shiren's powerful and ruthless mistress, and the ending was eerily atmospheric with the sinister mist creeping over the land. Good writing here.

I think you meant to write 'flee their homes' in the long pitch, instead of 'feel'.

Good luck with this.

Colin Neville

sticksandstones wrote 622 days ago

Hi Meagan, as someone who's been here since January (gosh, has it really been that long already), I'm happy to offer my opinion on your work. I think your long pitch needs to be made a little bit clearer, as I didn't fully 'get' the gist of it. ' . . . her family was forced to feel their home in shame at her failure,' this is somewhat unclear for me.

It's a good idea, as suggested by Fontaine, to break up your paragraphs. Different PC monitors (or laptops) are set to different resolutions. The other reason is that shorter paragraphs are much easier to read on a screen. One thing I can't do in writing is create locations (and names of locations) out of thin air. Very Skyrim-esque.

That's a very cool start by the way, and Uccatama's a fabulous name. Your description, despite being full and beautiful, is (for me) a bit too overzealous. I'd delete the fourth sentence as it seems redundant. You give an awful lot of what I would call 'location detail' in the first paragraph. Perhaps my imagination is waning, but it's hard to take in.

I like your introduction of the Castle surrounded by its ring of trees. I'm not sure how the front of the Castle could be facing inwards and looking down the valley. Inwards implies that it's facing away from the Cliffs back towards the Forest? Very impressed by ' . . . It was as if the structure itself was sucking the light out of the night.'

Sounds of evidence of life would be heard and not seen. Watch for consistency. ' . . . he glanced at the nearest touch' - I think this should be nearest torch. I do like you description of the lit room (belonging to Shiren's mysterious mistress), but again, you have a very long paragraph. It would be easy to assume that he was already inside.

Now the young girl/her/it/creature thing has me intrigued! I think the second half (Prologue) is a lot stronger. As events begin to take place, you build up an enchanting picture. One which is difficult to pull away from. Especially like how Shiren's mistress performs her task without remorse, pity, or any hint of compassion.

Your writing is so richly woven (and intricate) that it's very difficult to offer advice or suggestions for improvement. One thing I can suggest is to undertake a thorough proof-read of your work for grammatical and/or spelling errors. I did notice you wrote past instead of passed, and seem instead of seemed.

I got a bit lost when the flashback happens detailing Marianna's death. I can't exactly say why other than perhaps the narrative seems to split in two at this point. I'm not a huge reader of sweeping fantasy novels, but there's loads to like about your Prologue. I think if the huge amounts of description could be cut down, and the pace upped, this will do well.

Keep in mind that I'm only one person with one opinion. It's easy to see how much effort you've put in, so well done for creating such a convincing environment.

Ben - Franky Frog's Worldwide Travelogue

Arnbjorn wrote 622 days ago

Hi Meagan,

Ive read your prologue and liked it. You obviously have a strong imagination to describe the setting and surroundings so vividly. The imagery of the valley is beautiful. 'It (the moonlight) played in the trickle of water that pooled...' and '...bouncing brilliant sparkles of light back into the night...' - lovely and poetic writing.
The one drawback for me was that I thought some of the description was a touch overworked, and there were certain words like wall and water and hall repeated a little too much. I personally find that when describing scenery it's better to give just enough (and maybe a little more) to evoke a desired picture in a reader's mind, and to concentrate as much on the feeling of the scenery as the factual content. You have done this nicely in 'there was a wildness about the woods...' and '(the moonlight) bringing a sense of peace...'
'The gaze she laid on him could have frozen a lake in summer' - what a metaphor!
The best part of the prologue for me was the mist on the hunt at the end. You really brought it to life perfectly, how it sometimes raced, sometimes stole warily, even tasted things as it pried around. And I found the magic ritual realistically methodical but creative too.

I think this book is going to do well here at Authonomy.
Arnbjorn

Fontaine wrote 623 days ago

Yes it does make a difference reading onscreen. I think also it would be a good idea to respond to people's comments by messaging them as not many people return to this page once they have written a comment and they might not see your reply. It's something a lot of people do when they start using this site (it is a bit confusing!) but I find it's better to message direct by going to the person's profile and clicking on message. Just a suggestion. Good luck with your writing. Best wishes, Fontaine.

mat012 wrote 623 days ago

Forgot to say that I think you should have a capital M for Mistress as when he was hurrying through the corridors and you wrote 'Nothing would keep him from the room of his mistress,' I thought he was hurrying for a night of lovemaking. Could just be me!


Oh dear! That never occurred to me and it's a very good point indeed.

Fontaine wrote 623 days ago

Forgot to say that I think you should have a capital M for Mistress as when he was hurrying through the corridors and you wrote 'Nothing would keep him from the room of his mistress,' I thought he was hurrying for a night of lovemaking. Could just be me!

mat012 wrote 623 days ago

Very imaginative and thought provoking. The description of the countryside and the castle is particularly well written. This is not my kind of book but I can see that it will appeal to people who like this genre.

Only one suggestion, I think you should break up your paragraphs a bit more as the reader is presented with huge blocks of text that might be off putting. Good luck with the book and I hope you get lots of feedback here.
Best wishes, Fontaine.



Thank you so much for our feedback Fontaine. It definitely is a genre book and I can only hope that people who enjoy the genre enjoy too. Thank you for the suggestion as well. It's funny, when looking at it in a word document the paragraphs don't see so daunting but with the reduced margins here it does cause them to look quite long.

Fontaine wrote 623 days ago

Very imaginative and thought provoking. The description of the countryside and the castle is particularly well written. This is not my kind of book but I can see that it will appeal to people who like this genre.

Only one suggestion, I think you should break up your paragraphs a bit more as the reader is presented with huge blocks of text that might be off putting. Good luck with the book and I hope you get lots of feedback here.
Best wishes, Fontaine.

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