Death Song by T.S. Kay

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Post June 11, 2014, 02:13:30 PM

Death Song by T.S. Kay

This was terrific. The concept is exquisite. The story has a natural flow. The characters are well developed. There are a few style changes I would suggest here and there. Kudos on an exceptional story which I found enjoyable.
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Post June 17, 2014, 12:23:04 PM

Re: Death Song by T.S. Kay

This story did some things better than others. I like how Jin reacts to the new part of the world that she hadn't experienced before, and her interactions with her family.

The part that bothered me most was her introduction to the other characters over drinks at the mansion; it felt too rushed. I hadn't yet gotten these people comfortably sorted on a formal last-name basis, and all at once I have to begin re-sorting them by first name. Some expansion of that scene would help. It would also help if those characters were given distinguishing traits to recognize them by.

Ms. Lee was annoying. This was probably intentional, but it was just a bit overdone. The depiction of Christopher's character seemed quite good.

I did like that Jin was offered a chance to explore other uses for her abilities, and that she finally stepped out of rigid tradition; a nice bit of character evolution. That was really the high point of the whole story.

The story seemed to end too quickly though, and didn't have much of a climax to it, and no denouement.

Not bad overall.
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Post June 18, 2014, 07:40:49 AM

Re: Death Song by T.S. Kay

Now this was a very interesting story, I liked it very much - and normally I really don't care much for 'super powers' stories. The Main Character (MC) starts off quite timid but is not afraid to stand up for herself. A characteristic which comes more to the front as the story goes on - showing that she is a strong woman.

It was brave to have the MC show hints at her sexuality, most authors stay away from this or overplay it. I think it worked very well within the context of this story.

As Lester said, the ending was abrupt. However, it was a very good and satisfying ending. I would say it was the correct ending. Perhaps a bit of re-writing could help round it out.

Please take the following as the constructive criticism, which is how it is intended.

Adverbs, so many adverbs (frowned upon, you know)...

She smiled woodenly

he said dubiously

Les said unexpectedly

Christopher said bluntly.

Christopher said impatiently

he told her perfunctorily

Show us the dismissive glance as Christopher looks away, don't tell us he was impatient.

However, if the MC is talking about herself, can you use adverbs? I am not sure I mind too much, after all she should know her own intentions.

I smiled demurely

I smiled icily at Ms. Lee who

I smiled mysteriously

As if she had a choice, I thought silently.

This last one, I think 'silently' is redundant.

Here you show us the MC is trying to be seductive without telling us/using an adjective, and I think this works very well.

looking first at Mr. Moore then Mr. Langenthorpe with what I hoped was a coy smile

Here it fails:

I heard a predatory tone in her voice

What is a predatory tone? I am not sure I know. However, you can reference it once it's been shown and that works fine.

Annette's unhappy, predatory look returned.

As Lester said, the introductions scene was rushed and I got confused for a moment about who the hell Annette was. It is doubly confusing as Annette is not an Asian sounding first name so I didn't even think to associate it with Ms. Lee. A quick fix:

"Annette," said Ms. Lee, her lips twisted to indicate her discomfort.

There are a few syntax/grammatical mistakes, another round of polish would
have got them.

I said, realizing for I was alone in a strange country about to get into a car with a total stranger.

Unless "... realizing for... " is a colloquialism, my standard is British English so it sounds wrong.

I found my thoughts focused on how much better these strangers' livers were compared to mine.

Unless, you really were referring to their livers and not their lives!

...I don't he even likes sex with women or even men."

Such cloths and fine make up would help me...

This one gets me too, cloths as in cleaning cloths, clothes as in fancy clothes. The spell checker won't spot it so it's a doubly annoying visual homophone (a homovisual?).

Mr. Less looked expectantly from me to...

I think this was an editing mistake. Perhaps it was originally Ms. Lee but was intended to be Les. (Oh, yes - and another adverb!)

A woman, wearing a chef's coat, came to the living room and announced that dinner was ready. We followed her to a beautifully set table covered with an array of fish and meat entrees. Everything was delicious. We spent the rest of the evening, sampling the dishes and wines. John flirted with me throughout the evening and took every opportunity to brush against me, touch my hand, or compliment me. Les looked amused, Annette irritated, Christopher indifferent. After the filling meal, the wine, and the long trip, I was ready for bed and a good night's sleep. I excused myself, claiming fatigue, before dessert could be brought out.

Sometimes it is expedient to tell us and not show us, especially when it doesn't move the story on but has to take place to get to the next part. However, I think this was too much. A few touches of 'show' could have worked.

For example:

Les looked amused, Annette irritated, Christopher ignored everything except the precision with which he cut his food and placed each measured forkful into his mouth.

I hope some of this is useful to you.
Doggerel is a derogatory term for verse considered of little literary value.

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