Reviews from

A Penny for you Fought

Viewing comments for Chapter 1 "Murder House"
Can a bunch of misfits solve a case of magic?

29 total reviews 
Comment from Liz O'Neill
Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level

There is one wonderful simile after another in here. This is one of my favorites: "Morning in Pennylast is like having the bag pulled off your head after being kidnapped "

I also delight in your tongue-in-cheek humor. It seems to be the crux of this chapter: "Please close the door," he said. "I need the gloom to discern intent." You have great examples of wordplay and metaphors.
But what a temptation: "It's seen as cheating, apparently, and the gnomes consider it disrespectful."

The humor keeps rolling: "Oh, and I know what you're thinking (no, not that), and yes - I do get kidnapped quite a lot."

I'm just going to read the rest. A+

 Comment Written 27-Jun-2022


reply by the author on 27-Jun-2022
    Thanks so much, Liz :-). I don't mind admitting, this is maybe my favourite of all my opening chapters (thus far). I was on an utter roll when I wrote it - not thinking too much, just letting Rozlyn fly and dictate the pace.

    The only problem is, that lightning in her bottle isn't always willing to be captured :-).

    I'm thrilled you enjoyed this.

    Mike
reply by Liz O'Neill on 28-Jun-2022
    ***Big smile***
Comment from sandramitchell
Excellent
Not yet exceptional. When the exceptional rating is reached this is highlighted

I am a big fan of Roz already!! She's great. The Companions are a tough mixture of mercenaries, and obviously get what they want. I like how Roz handles them all, and anyone she meets. This is so different to any other book on here, and it's fun, and hard hitting. Great writing! :)) Sandra xx

 Comment Written 24-May-2022


reply by the author on 24-May-2022
    Thank you, Sandra :-). This is actually their second adventure but I wanted to get on and post it as it's fresh and still in the editing phase. Their first story will come later, but shouldn't be too confusing.

    Mike
Comment from Beri Bee
Excellent
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Great opening sentence! Your dialogue and dialect absolutely shine! This whole piece is sophisticated and witty! There is so much to take in, but it's not overdone. I love it! There is a lot of really funny stuff here too. My guess is that it's very little needed to set a non-fantasy reader like me a bit straight. At first, I was all in for a regular murder story. Then, the arrows were my first big indication something is really different. (I started asking myself if this is taking place on an Indian reservation in the US Southwest, and if it's a hundred years ago.) I can only give a newby perspective. Lindon, Terrence, Olaf, Smiff, Harry... are a lot of characters to introduce in one chapter. An identifying tag for each, eg, 'Dude who is a member of the Companions,' would be an easy fix, if you agree. Roz is the MC from when she's introducing herself. Once I register who everyone else is (a bit more), the rest is home free. Just a smidgeon more setting should help this novice see where this is. Is this in an alternative universe? Is it Middle Earth? I LOVE the fings you did here! Looking forward to more!

 Comment Written 21-May-2022


reply by the author on 21-May-2022
    Thank you so much. This stuff is extremely helpful. The main setting issue is that this is the second story set in this world with these characters, so I dove right in. I need to add some texture to the beginning here so it's not relying on prior knowledge (especially since I haven't even posted it on Fanstory as yet - it needs a polish).

    I'll expand the character list a little from chapter 2 and copy it to this one too.

    Thanks again :-)

    Mike
reply by Beri Bee on 21-May-2022
    I'm so happy I could help even a little. I think your writing process might be similar to mine. I love story, plot points, character and dialogue. I see the rest in my head. The process of writing scene texture (or world building) is my least favorite. I usually do it last. It's the part that feels like work. I go over each chapter and make sure I've addressed all 5 senses. I check it off. I use a couple of other formulas to check off too. Time, location, etc. It's like pulling teeth for me, but in the end it's usually less than 100 words that I've added. And it's funny because some folk(s) have told me (here on FS) that it's my strength. Ha! If they only knew.
reply by the author on 22-May-2022
    I've decided to write a prologue that fills in some info about the previous story (without spoilers, of course), and I've also added a brief scene after the crime scene at the start, of Rozlyn strolling through the town to add some locational texture (and help bed it down as a fantasy setting). In case you want to read it:

    Morning in Pennylast is like having the bag pulled off your head after being kidnapped - you don't know what you're going to see. It might be a cheering crowd singing you an embarrassing song, or a jeering one waiting to see you hanged. It could be a dark room full of hard bastards with sticks or a dusty street strewn with dead bodies. I mean, once, it was a day where everything was blue except for a rainbow-hued vortex in the sky - it turned out a local Commseer got into an argument with a gnarly witch over who's magic was more valid and they forgot other people had to live with the consequences of their squabbling. It took the Gnome Council many days to tidy that one up and explain to both parties that neither one's magic was, in fact, worth a toss.

    Oh, and I know what you're thinking (no, not that), and yes - I do get kidnapped quite a lot.

    Anyway, today, Pennylast was a relatively normal trading town. I strode through the bustling market and its questionable smells on the way to meet my crew. Being built on a convergence of two roads, its population was a mixture of traders (in every commodity imaginable), fighters and low-level Commseers, whose ability to communicate telepathically over distance made them semi-valuable. Of course, the damage it did to their minds rendered most of them nuttier than schizophrenic squirrel poo.

    A town crier was doing his best to be heard over bartering, fights and the odd mugging, saying something about plans for new buildings and a crackdown on organised crime.

    I felt sure if that was going to be relevant later, he'd have made himself heard more clearly.
reply by Beri Bee on 22-May-2022
    Thank you! This will definitely do the trick! Here?s my suggestion: make the first paragraph be the one that goes ?Pennylast was a relatively normal trading town.? It?s grounded in place, and defines normal for that world? plus the Commseers are explained within. Follow that with ?Mornings in?? and all else follows as is. Very nice! It?s late here or I?d be more effusive. But I?m glad o got to see it and didn?t want to wait.
reply by Beri Bee on 22-May-2022
    Sorry apostrophes look like question marks
Comment from juliaSjames
Excellent
Not yet exceptional. When the exceptional rating is reached this is highlighted

I like fantasy and this chapter reads like Tolkien narrated by John Cleese with a bit of noir thrown in for good measure. I think you had a lot of fun writing it.

I'm not a fiction writer so I can't give editing tips beyond pointing out odd bits of spag. But no doubt other reviewers will step up to the plate.

"We emerged into sunlight and Terence, who was peering intently at every group of commoners he could see." - is something missing in this sentence?

"I sighed, beckoning with my hand." - suggest deleting "with my hand"

Stay safe and blessed

Julia


 Comment Written 21-May-2022


reply by the author on 21-May-2022
    Thank you, Julia. I now know who I want to narrate the audio book (as if, but I can dream)! I'm really glad you enjoyed the read, and huge thanks for the suggestions - I'll address in a quick editing pass tomorrow.

    Mike
reply by juliaSjames on 21-May-2022
    LOL I?m a Fawlty Towers and Monty Python fan
Comment from Lobber
Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level

I really like the size and shape of what you offer. Well-thought-out and neatly presented characters. Keep the fluids flowing. Well fought out - a winner in the making.
- Lobber

 Comment Written 17-May-2022


reply by the author on 17-May-2022
    Thanks so much, Lobber. This was great fun to write and I'm looking forward to finishing the story.
Comment from Jay Squires
Excellent
Not yet exceptional. When the exceptional rating is reached this is highlighted

To begin with, I am thoroughly entertained and mightily impressed by your writing skills. You possess excellent timing in all the right places, essential for comedy. If you were not so obviously from Great Britain, I'd think you were channeling our Humpwhistle here. Your characters are strong and varied. In short, I am amazed.

As I read along one thing drew my attention away from the plot unfolding in the theater of my mind. It's rare that I get through a stint of reading without the film cracking at one point or another making me aware of the tub of popcorn in my lap. With your superb writing, I got back "into" the movie plot. (So this is what pulled me away):

" ... the rest of him took me a while to locate - attached to the ceiling in a similar manner to the other victim. [You are a superb writer, and I'm slow to suggest something here: but wouldn't it be less ambiguous to use "as" instead of "to" in "...a similar manner to the other victim. By using "to" I keep feeling like one victim was attached "to" the other. Or, you could leave the words as they are, but move "manner" to before "similar" so it would read, "... in a manner similar to the other victim."]

Any way you cut it, this was a helluva good read and should be a hit with the judges.

Jay


 Comment Written 17-May-2022


reply by the author on 17-May-2022
    Thanks so much, Jay :-). I had a lot of fun writing this and am raring to get the next chapter posting once the contest is finished. I hadn't thought to interpret that line the way you have but I can totally see how it can be read that way. I'll be having a fiddle with it - huge thanks for the note!

    Most importantly, I'm really glad you enjoyed it.
Comment from the13thpoet
Excellent
Not yet exceptional. When the exceptional rating is reached this is highlighted

Hello mystery writer a good day to you. I hope this finds you well. Thank you for sharing your story with us. It seems like you have quite the cast of characters line up for humorous adventures to come. Good luck.

 Comment Written 16-May-2022


reply by the author on 16-May-2022
    Many thanks, my friend :-). I'm looking forward to continuing the tale.
Comment from dmt1967
Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level

I (help) up my hands. "I'm not taking the piss - honest. I'm just being flippant. I want to catch these guys - trust me." (held)

I hope you make this into a book as it is one of the best things I have read on here ever and cannot wait for the next chapter. Good luck in the contest and thank you for sharing. Take care.

 Comment Written 16-May-2022


reply by the author on 16-May-2022
    Wow! Thanks so much for the eagle eye - I can't count how many times I've combed through this over the last few days, and I still missed one! Just goes to show how helpful other pairs of eyes are.

    I'm thrilled you enjoyed it so much. This is a hoot to write and I'll definitely be finishing it. The next bit is pretty much ready to go. I just need to wait for the pesky contest to finish so I can turn it into a book and actually put my name on it!

    Thanks again for the awesome review. I needed the pick-me-up today :-)
Comment from Robert Edward Watt
Good
Not yet exceptional. When the exceptional rating is reached this is highlighted

I've just joined, posted a couple of things and you're my first review. Actually, it was a pleasure to read, not just because I liked it but it demonstrated a standard for the competitions we're in.
As I said I liked this , its funny and entertaining I found the descriptions wonderful and the punctuation ( my weakness) enviable- it makes it an easy read.
A couple of minor things though,-
'stapled to an ancient rocking chair by so many arrows' - this is a bit incongruous with the style it should be 'a quiver of arrows' or 'an array of arrows'
There are a few other things too like 'tummy' 'bumholes' that don't fit with the roughness and implied violence of the troupe. I feel it needs to be adult or childish not both.
Hope that's helpful and not too tough.

 Comment Written 15-May-2022


reply by the author on 15-May-2022
    Thanks so much for reading and your kind words, Robert. All feedback is always welcome.
Comment from K.L. Rockquemore
Excellent
Not yet exceptional. When the exceptional rating is reached this is highlighted

Whoa!! This grabbed my by the throat right from the start... well done!!
I love stories like this, graphic!
I like the whimsical undertone, very creative. I would like to read more. Thanks for sharing.

 Comment Written 14-May-2022


reply by the author on 15-May-2022
    Thanks so much for your words :-). I'm glad you enjoyed reading - it was a lot of fun to write.