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Posted by joyfulfeather on 2006.06.20 at 00:46
I received a membership request this evening, so I thought I'd reiterate:

This is a community devoted to The Blessing, a Stargate Atlantis fic series written by spacefiend and joyfulfeather.

Membership is limited to the authors and our beta! We request that you not watch this comm, since we use it to communicate with each other to make the story better.

If you want to read the story, go to blessing_jsew!

Thank you!

a fine man

first beta of "Remedy" chapter

Posted by hardlyfatal on 2006.02.17 at 14:34
Current Music: Pearl Jam - Daughter
The narratives by Beckett and Moraine drag on a bit, and I found myself wanting to skim them to the dialogue rather than actually read it all. Also, I'm curious as to why you're showing us what's happening from the outsider's view of the quarantine rather than the insider's-- I think there would be more emotional impact if were able to see from Teyla's or Ford's or even McKay's eyes what was happening to their team, to Sheppard, to Elizabeth. And unless Kavanaugh's recalcitrance pertains to the plot somehow, I don't understand why you're including it. It seems like a pointless aside to the tension that's building with Elizabeth's escalating illness, breaking the flow of the narrative unpleasantly.

I understand that you don't want to leave out the repercussion of Elizabeth's illness on the rest of the city, but if anything, you need to reverse how you've been expressing what's going on. The main action should happen in the sickroom and quarantine areas, and the "telling" instead of "showing" that you do (i.e. simply informing the reader what's going on instead of showing the actual playing-out of it) should be relegated to Moraine, Kavanaugh, and Beckett's internal musings.

I think that leaving out the actual experience of John locating the memory of the child in Elizabeth's mind really hurts the story-- you could be showing us his frustration, his patience, his hope, his relief, and instead of you leave it all out. I find that you're doing a lot of telling instead of showing throughout this chapter, and it's really compromising the impact it could/should be having on the reader.

The end, while sweet, makes me wonder why they love each other. Simply liking and respecting each other isn't a natural segue into romantic love. I think you could add a little something to each of John's and Elizabeth's introspections about how the more they learned of each other, the more they found there was to admire rather than shrink from. After all, we all put on public facades, and who we really are is sometimes completely different from how we appear to others.

We all have expectations, based on how we were raised, of how "good" people and "bad" people think and behave. What if once they had access to each others' thoughts, they realized they didn't actually respect/admire who the other was on the inside? Extreme example, but-- what if Elizabeth were secretly a racist? Even if she didn't express racist views in public, learning that she actually was a bigot might well repel John rather than attract him. Or what if Elizabeth learned that John had actually left his fellow soldiers to die, then covered it up and made it look like he was going back to save them to preserve his reputation and keep himself out of jail? Discovering that about John could be quite unpleasant and repulsive to her.

One assumes that neither of them have learned any such dark, ugly secrets. Just the opposite, that the more they learn, the more delighted they are to find that the other suits their concepts of "attractive" and "satisfactory". But I don't get a sense of that appreciation (or even relief) on their parts, that they'd explored the other's mind and found it acceptable.

Sorry to nitpick about it like this, but it really struck me quite a lot.

a fine man


Posted by hardlyfatal on 2005.06.21 at 19:02
Just sent it back to you, Megan, with a few corrections (nothing major). Two issues:

1. Colette is seeming a bit Mary-Sue-ish, I'd be careful with all the mad skills and talents you lavish upon her. Best to just mention what she can do when she does it, IMO.

2. Is there a reason this chapter is in 1st person POV when the others (or at least the last one) was in 3rd? It feels a bit odd coming from 3rd person to 1st in the space of a chapter. I strongly recommend you choose one form of POV and stick with it, because having it switch like that really fragments the story :(

Other than that, it was great! The song-singing to hide John's thoughts was funny, and his revelation about how he felt for Elizabeth was sweet. I had a smile on my face for pretty much all of the chapter, so, you've hit a good tone! You did an excellent job picking up little bits that add to his characterization, such as his introspections about flying etc.

Can't wait for more!

a fine man


Posted by hardlyfatal on 2005.06.20 at 22:04
This chapter was great, flowed smoothly, no mechanical errors at all. Three suggestions:

1. You use "horrified" twice, it's a little redundant.
2. The paragraph about Prince Charming uses "kiss" three times in swift succession, that's redundant, too.
3. When E. is trying to break J. out and he's starting to respond, there's the following sentence:

He moved it slowly across the face as though looking for something.

"The face" is a bit ambiguous, could use a different phrasing.

Apart from that, it's faboo. Good work!

a fine man

Mindlocked beta 1

Posted by hardlyfatal on 2005.02.04 at 02:43
Current Mood: sleepysleepy
Current Music: "Perfect Blue Sky" by Junkie XL
Hi, girls! Sorry it's taken so long, I've had about a dozen contest entries and job interviews and doctor appts. and... [heaves a breath]

The GoodCollapse )

The BadCollapse )

The UglyCollapse )

But basically, great job! Can't wait for more! And believe me, after some of the travesties I've betaed before, it's a rare and most welcome sentiment :)

a fine man

Megan's part.

Posted by hardlyfatal on 2004.12.29 at 02:11
Current Music: Los Lobos - Shoot Out the Light
Firstly, I'm sorry I can't keep track of which of you is featherjean and which is spacefiend-- do you mind terribly if I call you Megan and Kristin, since that's how your emails come in?

So, I've sent Megan's bits back. Everything's fine except for some dearly-needed spacing inserted to break up big blocks of text-- holy monster paragraphs, Batman! Heh.

Read more...Collapse )

Hope this helps!

a fine man

Figure it out, round 2

Posted by hardlyfatal on 2004.12.27 at 00:26
Current Mood: sleepy
Current Music: Matchbox 20 - Disease
Sent off the corrected chapter doc-- great job! Only minor issues this time, you addressed the huge majority of the problems I found, and did it quite well, too. Reads much more smoothly and effortlessly now.

Eagerly awaiting the next parts :)

a fine man

beta for Figure It Out: Kristin's part

Posted by hardlyfatal on 2004.12.21 at 01:41
Current Mood: busy
Current Music: Céline Dion - Rien N'est Vraiment Fini
Ok, I've sent it back to you with comments in red through MS Word's "highlight changes" feature.

Read more...Collapse )

a fine man

Here are my generalized suggestions for the prologue and chapter 1.

Posted by hardlyfatal on 2004.12.14 at 02:26
Current Mood: artistic
Current Music: Sheryl Crow - Leaving Las Vegas
Description. Read more...Collapse )

Characterization. Read more...Collapse )

If you can go through the first two chapters and adjust these issues, then return them to me, I can go over them for fine-tuning. But as they are, I see these lacks as significant.

a fine man


Posted by hardlyfatal on 2004.12.13 at 14:01
Current Mood: busy
Current Music: Stevie Nicks - Rose Garden
How do you want to work this? Shall I just start posting "issues" that need work? And when I comb through for grammar/stylistic issues, should I just email that back to (one of) you?