I AM SO SORRY FOR TAKING THIS LONG! Life just caught up with me and I've been sick and working and sleeping and - and - and I'm so sorry! *hides*
In some ways I always hate reading your stories, mostly because it makes me feel so inadequate as a writer and I love it more than my own writing. This was gorgeous. It's like, you can write anything and make it believable. I mean, Daphne and Dean? And it was just perfect.
There were so many aspects to this story that I loved. First of all the writing. It's stunning. You description is envy-worthy. It has such a delicate feel to it in some way. You write with such care, describing minuscule details. I mean, you described the candles again and again throughout this whole piece. It's very poignant and almost like poetry in some parts - which I adore.
For her, the years have stretched and bled, are wrinkled and destitute, silent.
Just. Gah. I am so jealous.
Haha I almost laughed when I read about the rain. It's such a romantic setting isn't it? Standing in the pouring rain, delivering the punch line to the story. Haha. I kept on seeing Audrey Hepburn in my mind, standing in a dark alley in her beige trench coat. Your description just makes it perfect and I'm a sucker for dramatic settings in the pouring rain :P
I loved the symbolism with the candles and with the window. I loved Daphne. Her sorrow and misery was very quiet and not as dramatic as many writers tend to depict characters in rage/sorrow/misery. I really think you've painted a very true picture of her as a quiet pureblood girl, rising quietly, but surely against her fate.
The words hover soft and round like stones on a churning ocean floor, lacking the malice and animosity she had once intended.
And the title. I didn't realize it until the very end, which makes it even more brilliant, that it fits. It's not often I go aha! in a story and I really did with this one. It all fell into place when Daphne says her last line. That was so, so powerful. Really well done.
There was such a small amount of dialogue, which is really powerful - in my opinion, anyways. It was exactly what I thought it should be: short, to the point and real. There are so many authors who make characters blubber about anything and everything, when in reality it's much more powerful when almost nothing is said, yet everything is said.
It's such a sad story, yet it's subtle in its misery - does that make sense? I have no idea how to describe it otherwise. It was so perfect and poignant and I loved it as I always do with your writing. And I am so, so jealous of your talent. Great job. Report Review
Just throwing this out there in reference to your review request, stalking my thread is always acceptable. :3 And also throwing out there that your banner for this story is gorgeous. And now that that's out of the way, onto your actual review!
I actually got really excited to see that this was another thing of yours set in the rain. Is that bad? You have such a lovely way of describing it, and I can tell that (as you said) you love doing it. And I was quite struck at the differences in this and chapter three of Magnolia Street, all the same. With Scorpsander, rain was cozy and thick and warm, or provided a way to that end. Here it made the entire story seem barren and hopeless. I adore that versatility; you definitely didn't go overboard in describing it!
I don't the dialogue was at all stilted, either. Is it okay if I dislike Dean a little bit here? Because... I kind of do. -shifty look- He's acting solely on his own wants and needs without any thought for Daphne, and it's so clear that that is the last thing she needs. I really felt for her in this, and somehow, I don't think Dean's going to make her happy, which just kills me more. Gahh. I have all these feelings now, and it's your fault! (In the best way, dear -- I wouldn't have it any other way.)
Your writing is so lovely. The more I'm exposed to it, first through Scorpsander (a term I am coining) and now this, the more I enjoy it. :3 I can't wait to see what you've got in store for me next! Thank you for requesting a review fro me! ♥Author's Response: Just give me a second to drool all over the keyboard. In the most ladylike of fashions, of course. Because, Wizard-God, thank you! Your review made me both laugh and melt at the same time, which was just... gah. Thank you, again.
I regularly stalk the Up For Grabs section at TDA, and this banner was one such thing that I snapped up. Most of the time, I'll write half a story and then, when I find a banner I really like for it, I'll finish it. Anyway, moving on...
Ha, I'm a little obsessed with the rain. Maybe it's because I grew up in the rain and will be attending college where it rains a lot, but either way, it's one of my little... yeah, obsessions. I can't seem to get over it. I am absolutely, 100% thrilled that you found the differences between this rain and the other rain (that's kind of an odd sentence, but just... go with it). I'm also really glad that I didn't go overboard, because I tend to do that with descriptions I really like (ie: the rain).
Ha, it's definitely OK that you didn't like Dean. I don't think you're supposed to, honestly. He's not written in a way to make you like him at all, so I think if you DID like him, there would be something wrong. :P
Thank you, thank you, thank you! Your reviews are so thoughtful and I just want to read them over and over again. Stalking your review thread definitely pays off.
xx Report Review
SOMEONE ELSE HAS WRITTEN MY NON-NEXT GEN OTP. Life is good, even if this doesn't have a happy end ♥
You know all of the squee I'm going to come out with, the beautiful description, the range of emotions, the slow build up to the climax of the story. I say it every time I review anything of yours. You're so consistent, it's scary. I know what I'm getting every time I read something you write and it's always, always breathtaking.
So to bypass that and move onto your critique focuses. The flow isn't choppy in the slightest. On a first read, I didn't really notice it but on a closer second read for the review, I saw the fragmentation but probably only because I was looking for it. It definitely works and doesn't disrupt the flow of the story at all.
Now the last line is interesting. It's necessary because you couldn't end on the dialogue. It would sound very odd if you did that, anyway. It does sort of fade away but that packs a punch at the same time because so is he and so is she and it's like the rain is washing them and the story away in that final line, wiping the slate clean and wiping them apart. I'm still not sure what the genre of this is and that last line keeps the ambiguity hanging in the air. I think the only problem with it might be the use of 'acting'. I don't know why it sounds very odd to me and the implications of the word perhaps paint too much of an image. On the other hand, you can't take it out because then it doesn't completely make sense and a replacement probably wouldn't work either. I guess that's completely your decision but those are my ramblings :P If you can make any sense of them, well done!
Seriously though, this is another work of art by you. I don't know how you do it, time after time.
xxAuthor's Response: Honestly, I think I chose Daphne/Dean because they're couple name just sounds so amazing: Daphne, Dean. Daphne, Dean. Daphne, Dean. I could say it over and over.
ANYWAY. I'm really very pleased that you think the flow is good. It was a little choppy on purpose, but I didn't want anything to be jarring or... something like that. Anyway. Thank you so, so much for easing my fears on this flow.
Gah, you totally understand my problems with the last line! You're right - you can't end on dialogue, but you still want something to pack a punch and arsglasdflkj. Huh. I never noticed the "acting" part of the sentence. Maybe I'll go back and revise it - thanks for pointing it out.
Thank you for such a lovely, lovely review, dear. Your feedback and comments are always so helpful and lovely and they completely make my morning/day/week. You are very, very kind, and I cannot begin to thank you enough.
xx Rin Report Review
That's all I'm really capable of doing right now because my fan-girling is just too intense for me to handle.
But, firstly, I have to apologise for being so late in returning the review because there is no excuse and I was reminded by your review that I read yesterday /again/ because I still don't know how to honour it with all the loveliness that you included in it. Gah.
But I am here now and your one-shots are too hard to resist so I'm going to be popping in and out with reviewing (I'll definitely read the majority).
ON TO THE STORY (L)
I think that my favourite part out of the whole of this piece was the first couple of paragraphs. They were just...ugh, wow. The personification of the candles and I absolutely adore this line:
"For her, the years have stretched and bled, are wrinkled and destitute, silent."
That was just...wow and so poetic and lovely and it made me want to melt and gah. Honestly, my vocabulary is not my friend at the moment.
I looove how different this was compared to Cicada where that was all about their relationship that had so much love and companionship in it and here - with the same pairing, they're so disconnected in an emotional way. They're so desparately apart from each other that they both can't give what the other one wants from each other - there's too many limits in this craggy cliff that is their relationship.
I adore they way you eased in the history between the two, and most of all Daphne - that's one of the techniques that I just utterly love when its done so amazingly. I have this image of someone knitting and you've disturbed them towards the end of their little masterpiece, but you're not allowed to see the what they've done already. So you're just there silent and watching them knit and all the words and the history are weaved into every stitch until you get to the end and then when you've seen the whole of it its still not enough - you need to see and know about all the little touch-ups as well that make it this little jumper or quilt that's just emitting so much attention and detail and soul into it.
I don't even know if this makes any sense anymore, but yes. I just enjoyed every single minute of reading it and I only regret that I hadn't read it sooner.
Hanzi xxxAuthor's Response: asdlfkjasdf
That, right there, is my made-up word to describe the loveliness of this review. I don't even... Gah. Thank you? Thank you! Thank you thank you! I just... Yeah. Thank you eight thousand times over.
I am absolutely tickled that you singled out that line. Honestly, I really love it when lines are singled out period, but that one has a special little story behind it, so. You see, I write at least once a week. A lot of it is really terrible, but it's more of an excessive than a "yeah, let's publish this." Once in a while, I'll rummage back through all the rubbish I've written, because often I'll find little gems of lines surrounded by really terrible writing. That one, the one you pulled out, is one such case. I found it drifting in a sea of bad writing, and I pulled it out to use it somewhere else. Anyway, that's a really long explanation for a little line, but. :)
I love that you call them disconnected. I knew that they were dysfunctional and all that, but I never really considered them disconnected. Somehow, that word just describes them absolutely perfectly.
Anyway, thank you so, so much for the lovely review. I cannot begin to thank you enough. You are absolutely wonderful and... gah. I don't know if this response is doing it justice, but... thank you!
xx Rin Report Review
Rin! I always love reading these pretties from you. You have such a way with romance, full of these poignant moments. I love how vague you keep it in the beginning at first, and little by little, I figure out more of how their relationship was like. It's so tense all the way through; I wasn't ever quite sure what one of them might do, how they feel toward each other after - what I assume - a long absence.
Your description is lovely everywhere but this! when each has been righted and stand once more like the sentinels they should. :3 this is my favorite. And this whole line: He laughs, a startling sound that ricochets off the glass in the windows and falls, empty and hollow, against her ears. “You've told me a lot of things, Daphne.” It's chilling how I hear it.
The ending ;A; The ending's just so guhh. I love the dialogue you chose; I can feel their tiredness, when the rain overwhelms them both.
♥ lovely, as always :3Author's Response: Allow me to go running around in circles and dancing around, for a moment.
Goodness, thank you so much. I haven't had a review on this one for a little while, so your unexpected review is just... unexpected! And so, so lovely. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate it.
I'm really glad that you were tense the whole way through (which is not to say that I'm wishing you ill-feelings, or anything, of course :P). Atmosphere is something I struggle with sometimes, especially when it's supposed to be semi-uncomfortable, so thank you for saying that.
Gah, thank you so much. You are just a wonderful, marvelous person.
xx Rin Report Review
To be honest, when I saw this was a one-shot with only about 1000 words, I was a little nervous I would have trouble offering a thoughtful review. I find one-shots are often the hardest to comment on, especially if they are short, just because there isn't always that much to work with. But I'm very happy to admit I was wrong. This is a really great piece that packs a lot of punch in such a short amount of time.
This story reads almost like a poem. It is very atmospheric, almost surreal in a way, with the personification of the candles and the passage of time. Throughout though, the emotion is still very grounded. Not over the top - more melancholy than desperate, which is far more effective IMHO. I also think the use of the present tense is very effective here. I don't see it used a lot in stories, but with this piece, it seemed like a great fit.
I'm not sure if you're the type of writer who can crank a story out in a single afternoon or not, but this at least reads like you've put a lot of time and thought into it. Not just the plot, but the actual crafting of each sentence. It doesn't feel like you just sat down, wrote the first thing that popped into your head and threw it up on the web. Maybe you did (and you're just naturally talented that way), but it sure reads like something you really put some care into making as good as it could be...but without OVER writing it either. It didn't feel like you were trying to force the reader to feel something that just wasn't there.
If I can be so bold as to offer a small bit of CC. This first might just be a typo/oversight. "...and steps away when each has been righted and stand once more like the sentinels they should."
Something feels off about this sentence. Maybe "like the sentinels they are" or "like sentinels should be" or just "like sentinels." It feels like a word is maybe missing. The only other thing is that there are a lot of long sentences necessitating lots of commas to be grammatically correct. Because of that, maybe try and be on the lookout for ways to craft some of the shorter sentences so they don't need commas, just for variety.
Just a quick example: Married, seven years, unhappily. Stuck, three years, with someone she's never truly known.
Could be: Married for seven years - all of them unhappy. Stuck for three years with someone she's never truly known.
I'm a big fan of using a dash now and then. Maybe a little too much of a fan. Anyway, I'm not saying any of the sentences had grammar problems; just suggesting being on the lookout for the opportunity to remove a few of the commas to make the story even easier to read.
Overall, great piece. I really did enjoy it. And clearly I'm a fan different, unusual or uncommon pairings. I'm really glad we were matched for the review exchange this time around. Thank you for sharing your story with me.Author's Response: Yeah, that sentence that you mentioned - the one with the sentinels - really gave me a lot of trouble when I was writing it. I don't know exactly what's wrong with it, but your suggestions are extraordinarily helpful and I'll be sure to go through and rework it when I've got some time.
Anyway, thank you for the review! I'm struggling to try and figure out where to start.
First of all, I'm thankful that you mentioned/noticed the flow and sort of structure I was trying to get at. It definitely reads sort of like a poem, which isn't something that I initially intended but is, in my opinion, a nice little element that just popped into it by accident. It's funny, because I'm actually a terrible poet, so the fact that you said it reads sort of like a poem really tickled me.
Ah, yes, commas. I'm sort of a comma freak. I can see where some of the sentences may be a little hard to read, so thanks for mentioning it. I'll go through and weed some of them out when I've got the time. I usually try and be pretty careful about sentence lengths and varying them, but some of them slip away from me. Anyway, thanks for pointing it out!
I'm not really the type of person who can write something in one day, even though I have in the past. This one took a little while, and I kept revisiting it over a span of a few weeks. And I certainly try not to sound forced; I simply spend a lot of time on my individual paragraphs. I'm flattered that you noticed, because I think the crafting of sentences is something that often falls by the wayside.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for the lovely review. I'm glad that my short little thing gave you something to talk about. Report Review
Wow I really loved this! It was truly something special - your writing is absolutely beautiful - all the imagery and descriptions, especially at the beginning.. the rain throughout, the way you characterised Daphne and Dean.. I loved all the dialogue, emotions, everything :) Not only are your two characters a pair I've never come across before, but the story itself is just so sad, and kind of mysterious, and the ending was just like BAM! woah.. :)
Wonderfully written, it is really a very fantastic one fic :)Author's Response: Oh, thank you so much!
I honestly think that compliments on style and writing are the best a writer can receive. It's something I focus really heavily on, so the fact that you enjoyed it just really... tickles me. So thanks again for mentioning the writing.
The pairing was from a challenge, actually, so I can't take full credit. :P Still, I think they're an interesting one. I'd be interested in exploring them further, maybe, in the future.
Thanks for your lovely review. It definitely made my morning.
xx Rin Report Review
Wow. This is an absolutely breath taking one shot. I love minor characters and I love angst and beautiful descriptions and bitter endings and you've got all of that here.
The entire thing was stunning, but this part in particular gave me chills: Instead she has the wilting candles, the stone of the floor and the glass of the windows that separates her from the furious storm outside. She will lie in bed and listen to her heart beat and trace shadows on the ceiling, afraid to touch the body deep in slumber that lies next to her, thinking of her window and the sun that rises toward it. WOW. The imagery and the emotion you can invoke from a few simple words is incredible.
And really, for being so short, this does invoke a lot of emotion. In such a short span of time, I get a feel for Daphne's situation and how she's feeling and that's just incredible. I love the last bit of dialogue as well. Because on one side, she's got a husband who she doesn't like being married to, and on the other side, she's got a partner that doesn't truly feel anything for her. And the whole thing is just perfection.
Excellent is all I can say.
-NaidaAuthor's Response: Oh, wow, thank you so much! Your review is just... marvelous. I can't even sum up how much I appreciate it.
Honestly, I don't even know how you found this little thing - because it's been buried on the Recently Added list for weeks now - but I'm so very, very glad that you did.
I, too, am a fan of minor characters. I love how I can basically spin their lives for them because so little has actually been told about them. I'm very glad that you like them too, because it seems sometimes that people forget about them entirely.
Thank you for commenting on emotion! It's such a hard thing to gauge, you know? And I didn't know if any of it really came across like I wanted it to, so it's excellent that you think it did. Really, thanks again.
I hope you have a lovely morning/afternoon/evening, wherever you are.
- Rin Report Review
There truly are some one-shots that amaze me, and this might be the one on top.
It was so lovely (written, because it's actually really sad :( ) I can't cen think of what to say. I mean the whole candle thing, and then walking in the rain, that's just... brilliant! I love poetry and you can only imagine how mug I loved your descriptions and, is it called personifications? I know in French it is, but that's besides the point.
Did I mention I loved it?
And her epiphany, it really made me think, what is it anyways that I want? Because definitely, I don't want to end up imagining what it 'could' have been like but appreciate what it is. I'm serious, no rambling, -okay maybe a little bit-. And then, she rejected him, so he left, and she wondered, and he rejecte her. That's all so heartbreaking, I just... I don't know, all I know is it was really lyric and I loved it (and I've probably said that too many times).
Maybe a 10/10 could explain it better? Probably. I have to thank you for writing this and tell you I really admire your writing style. *sigh* I guess I just can't keep myself from rambling when overwhelmed can I?Author's Response: Oh, thank you! This little one-shot has received so little feedback, I was a little afraid at how it was being perceived. But your review is lovely, and I whole-heartedly appreciate it.
Personifications! Yes, that's exactly what they're called, and I absolutely love them to pieces. I'm really glad that you seem to as well, because there's a whole bunch of them crammed into this piece. Sometimes they're hard to notice, so kudos to you for picking up on them.
I think compliments on style are some of the best anybody can receive, partly because it takes a good writer to recognize style and voice (which you most definitely have). So thank you so, so much for saying such wonderful things about my writing. It really warms the heart.
Again, thank you for the marvelous review. I sincerely hope you have a lovely morning/afternoon/evening.
xx Report Review
Oh my gosh, Rin, this is beautiful! It was great to see your name appear on the recently added list - it's been a while since I've read something of yours, and a familiar name on the recently added pages is hard to resist. I'm very glad that I read this - it's not a short I would have imagined, but it fits somehow. However what really drew me in, once I began to read, was your language.
The personification in your descriptions was perfect, with candle flames eating the walls and the years stretching and bleeding... I'm having a fangirl moment right now over your use of figurative language, so excuse me if I can't think of anything rational to say about your writing. It's amazing. Very beautiful and amazing. I loved the play between the flames and the water throughout this story, how each was associated with a character - Dean's questioning Daphne's appearance amidst the storm really drove this home, as though it's unnatural for her to be out in the rain. And it is unnatural for the flame - she's extinguished. *cries* It's perfect.
You've written something brilliant here, not that I'm at all surprised. It's fantastic to have another taste of your writing talents. I love Daphne's epiphany and Dean's reaction to it - instead of feeling merely unresolved, it's very powerful to see her sad realization that maybe, in another life, another time, she could have been loved. It's heartbreaking. The perfect short stories for me are those that make me feel something, and this one has definitely done that. Thank you for sharing this fantastic story!Author's Response: Oh my goodness, Violet, if you could see the beam that has been plastered on my face for the past minute, you'd laugh. Honestly, your kindness and feedback and comments are just lovely, and I appreciate them to pieces.
Admittedly, I haven't written anything in quite a while, and I'm just starting to shake the dust off my keyboard and dig in again. So I'm very flattered that you liked this newest attempt at, you know, writing something.
Can I just point out that I'm still beaming? OK. Moving on.
We've been reading a lot of poetry in class lately, and my professor always talks about personification, and I absolutely adore it. There's something about giving inanimate things or abstract concepts... life. And I'm blown away that you've noticed it, because it often just slips by people (and that's completely understandable, because it's generally subtle).
You... are lovely. And I'm absolutely, positively, completely and utterly flattered that you've said what you have. Thank you so, so much for your comments. Especially coming from you, they mean the world to me. Report Review
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