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You described places pretty well. Sometimes you ramble off, and I barely noticed because I write like that myself, but I’m pretty sure sometimes you need to let go of extra details and stuff that aren’t connected to the story.
It’s a little slow at first but the story picks up as you go on.
And that’s all I can think to say, because I think this story is REALLY FREAKIN’ GREAT. And I’m an ass kisser. *muah*
Fred: I like the descriptions of flying [ . . . ]. It is almost as if you had gone flying yourself. Very good descriptions.
Mark: I'm constantly amazed at the imagery you can instill with only a few well placed words.
Jumping Flea: I really liked the first chapter so far it is really pulling you into the story from the first paragraph. I also like the scenes with the secretary and the in the gum scene. And one of my favorite things throughout the story is the “relationship” between ivy and the principle of the school. That is the most real thing and amusing I find.
don’t be offended in any way but I didn’t liked much when you wrote about ivy meeting nina’s parents. What I like about ivy is her character, and in that chapter she just wasn’t like herself. You may argue against my point that ivy is smart enough not to make anything stupid but I believe that there are way to keep it smart and to show her bitchin’ character. I really would like you to emphasize it. it creates a stable being with character and thoughts, when you are changing it for the story it doesn’t sound to good but even you give your character to change the story because of her action that is better. I think. [ . . . ]
Weaver is the best, my favorite character. Thursday is cute but again, he doesn’t have a distinctive behavior of his own.
Isracat: Well, you can take what I am going to say as a compliment because I am sure mean it to be this way. You see there are two main things that are really appealing to me, the first one that it is very personal. And the second is that it has power. There were a lot of stories written by "different" or rather "gifted" individuals. Usually those caved in, afraid of their own power, they were the gossip and the center of everything, meaning it got blown out to a big unrealistic deal, and if not that the individuals that know nothing of the society eventually turned to be "rotten" danger that got them only away from us, concluding that humans will never accept those who are different from them. [ . . . ] but I like the story of Ivy, to me it is not so in the area of the overused cliche, you see it is Ivy that is struggling with accepting the society and not the other way around, it is Ivy in real life, flying above places we can simply imagine as our own away from the center of things. [ . . . ] Not only that, she is not so intimidated by people, because she can defend herself and is bitch enough to do it even if it proves to be a little bit "unpleasant" to others. she wont back up against the wall afraid to hurt people [ . . . ]. And although I can imagine myself that Ivy does want to be accepted she isn't going to lower her head just because somebody said "Freak" to her. You see, I imagine her as a girl who can bear being called different names by her friend, but "Freak" is just not politically correct for her.
Tom: [ . . . ] really enjoyed the first three chapters of THTIB - I hope you get it published someday. [ . . . ] I have the same problem as Robert in THTIB. I can be creative in little (poem-sized) chunks, but I couldn't even begin to create a world like you've done in THTIB.
Dave: well I've read chapter one, you possess a great flare for conversational dialogue... [ . . . ] I think the first chapter requires a bit more context and direction in it.. It is nice to just "pick-up" a story but I found it difficult to understand where the characters are, who they are, and how they relate (and interact) with each other... A lot of names are thrown around in chapter one.. Just ground the reader a bit more with some who, what, where, why , when and hows and I think it may read better... [ . . . ]
the text itself flows quite nicely and is interesting to read, I'd change A few works here and there but in general the diction is quite suitable, you certainly get a feel for the characters as they fly about, some more definition of what 'you' and weaver etc.. (non-humans) are might prove interesting as well in the first chapter so the reader has a good understanding of what is going on..
[ . . . ] it seems very cartoonish, was this intentional? Not that it is meant for kids however... =)
[On further chapters:] well once again the flow of text and descriptions are good.. however I find myself mired in the problems I'm having with the plot...
it seems (in a nutshell) that the book has these characters flying about and exhibiting various powers and are from another world (but the narrator doesnt know where this is), and have for whatever reason (unclear) have decided to help out mankind... well, that is ok I suppose, but I have problem believing it. you have meshed fanstasy and reality together which automatically create problems in my opinion),,.. its not like the characters are in another 'fantasy' world, they are on earth as defined by you... so.. it makes me wonder... when the kids show up in chapter 2 and one is lifted for a ride, and all are terrified by ivy.. why dont they (the kids- it is assumed) would tell their parents and they would come out? why does no one find these characters extraordinarie?? you said there are 8 human character staying in the house... Not one of them has gone to Oprah?! or Barbara Walters? and what is motivating the 'aliens' to help humans in the first place, every time ivy does help it is reluctantly...and the transition to Nina in the story is very abrupt...
and while you do explain why Nina is receptive to Ivy (cuz she thinks she is a fairy...) i still think kids would be much less trusting... as well Ivy seems to dislike the 'fairy godmother' label.. what is she then? I also find it (and this my of course be an intentional device used by you as a writer...) confusing that the person relating the story has so few answers.. Am I meant to feel as confused as I do reading Ivy's insights? She seems terribly lost at times.. and while I can appreciate that, I think the reader can be told things that Ivy doesnt know to help facilitate the readers comprehension of what is going on...
again, the text itself and writing is very entertaining and enjoyable, I just think the numerous complications branching fantasy & reality should be addressed.
PW Mel: [ . . . ] you are a good writer and a pleasure to read. [ . . . ]
I like the idea of Robert, but have a couple of problems with him. First, I thought he accepted Ivy too readily...knowing that she isn't human didn't seem to affect him very much. I would be VERY affected, though I can't be certain how I would act until it actually happened. I know I wouldn't be so lassaix faire about it, though. And the idea that he's helping Ivy because Ivy helped him with a present for his wife seemed a little thin to me. But maybe I missed something there.
I loved the part where Ivy was playing with the power doorlocks and stuff, and her mention of humans and their little devices. very cool! I also liked the scene with the Coke...or soda...very visual! You describe your power as "energy fields" Is that the right term? I don't know because this isn't my genre.
[ . . . ] I can't wait to read more. You are very talented. I know I always tell you that, but it's true and I mean it. I hope none of my comments pissed you off.
Sushil: I've just finished Chapter 1 of your book, and what can I say but *neat*!
The prose style is terrific, and your ability to describe things puts mine to shame.
I would have liked more of a description of the main characters, but in a way the lack of detail makes them seem rather mysterious, which suits them well.
I must say I was totally unprepared for the first mention of Weaver's wings... the way it sneaks up on the reader is a great hook for what follows.
[On further chapters:] You have a way of making adjectives serve above and beyond the call of duty. The diction is just... perfect. (It's the first person mystique hitting me again, I ache to leave the third-person mold). Your characters are very real, I empathized with them virtually instantly.
[ . . . ] I like the graduality (is that even a word? It is now...) of the immersion in your universe... it's almost insidious. :) I like origins, but it's better to discover them gradually, I think. Especially in first person. It all goes back to realism.
[ . . . ] I finally got one of the descriptions I wanted, and it was worth it. Can you tell that I like this book yet? [ . . . ] I'm being distracted here by phone calls and such, so I'm not going as fast as I'd like, but I just want to say this stuff is funny as hell. I also liked the bit when Ivy begins to realize that most people are more interested in her powers than her... it's a rather saddening bit of realis that works quite well.
Melissa: LOL Weaver really does live to torment Ivy doesn't he? Their relationship is very close to that of brothers and sisters of different ages.
Wow, the importance society places on appearance comes through in your novel. When you're somewhere you feel comfortable being you wear what you're comfortable in, but when you're going somewhere that you know people will judge you you take time deciding on what to wear.
I'm starting to wonder why they keep bringing people into the house. What reason is there for them bringing them there? But I'm sure you explain that later on in the novel right?
I'm also wondering why Ivy has "missions" to bring the people into the house. But that goes with the comments above.
Wow. I'm really impressed that you've included a lot of different characters. Having a character with autism completely shocked me. It made me smile when I read it. I never expected that, although I should have.
Reading about Ivy's trip to find Robert was really cool. It was interesting learning about how they found someone to help them build a house, and up till that point they were living on the beach.
This is a really great novel. Combining the norm with something that's fantasy. I'm having an awesome time reading this novel.
[ . . . ] Ok, you really need to send me the next chapters. I'm really, really getting into this.
Chapter 3 was so AWESOME! The teachers reacted exactly how teachers would act if a strange person came on campus. It was amazing how Nina knew who Ivy was, and how she had been expecting her.
[ . . . ] I'm LOVING this novel. I don't know what else to say. They're great. I really do like them more than Harry Potter. When you describe the characters I can actually visualize them. It's awesome.
Mizzle: [ . . . ] I somehow found your negative one comic, which I really like [ . . . ] and that got me reading your Ivy books. Well, I only read the first three chapters of the first book since I thought reading parts of the second book might spoil the rest of the first...
Anyway, I really like the character(s) and your writings not bad either. :)
I'd love to read more of your writing in exchange for offering (hopefully helpful) comments and suggestions. [ . . . ] I'd love to give them, especially if that means I get to read more about Ivy. :D
Feild Fairy: I've read an excerpt from "The House that Ivy Built". You seem like a very talented writer.
Michael-Thomas: Chapters 1, 2, & 3... Flawless! What were the thoughts in your mind as you wrote these first three? Did you have a thrill inside you as you wrote, exploring the possibilities for Ivy's life? There could very well have been an excitement growing in you...Something about "discovering" new stories&ideas makes writing the beginnings of a book the most fun. Things brew and bubble, and your pen stirs the ingredients as you cook up the possibilities =). Seems perfect to have a healthy opening storyline--this is where you'll hook the reader. ALWAYS look back to the emotions of these chapters as a guidance tool...Your first impressions of Ivy are guiding visions. Whatever polishing you've done (for publisher submissions & public showings on you webpage) here, needs be done to each chapter--everything thrives from equal time.
[ . . . ] What could you ADD to The House That Ivy Built? Certainly, you can never make it "too good". And I see many things that I would enjoy exploration/explanation/elaboration of...To help me understand Ivy better =). Ivy herself is the important character, of course. I always bug you that I'd adore finding out her past...But that's not viable in this book, because you've gone and explored her in the other books. Sometimes I forget Ivy is contained in a series of books, not limited to this first book...I'll just have to read the others for the background information I seek =). Ah, but there are other ways to explain Ivy, other than by writing directly about her...
Her life at her own home is endlessly fascinating. Her home life is largely unexplored, so each time she'd be at home, I read with sweaty palms; I wanted to know what it was all about, I wanted to see into her surroundings--honestly, these things are an influence on her, and they need be detailed. The title of the book definitely means more than just a house physically, but I still want to know everything about that house...The layout (in MUCH more detail), the surrounding landscape(s), and the little things&trivia&stories only Ivy knows about these specifics (her memories, and what makes each & every thing special where she lives)...Details!Details!Details! Ask me. (how 'bout that silver pool? very interesting)
There are several key characters that should be elaborated. It may seem these people needn't any detail, but I would enjoy knowing Ivy through what I believe to be undetailed [in your writing], yet important people in Ivy's life. Remember Thought of Acquisition #14? Relationships say a lot about some one.
Adele... Not knowing much about Adele gives her an aura of wisdom, that whole mysterious quality. I know this is your intention; she's smart, and as I am fond of saying, "Those who speak much, know little; those who know much, speak little." You don't want her to be a babbling b.s.-er, I suppose...And you don't want her past revealed just yet. But such an important character, [ . . . ] ...You need to keep her from being two-dimensional. She is Ivy's fostermother (and Ivy's desire for attention), and she controls that pool--she's important enough that there need be more written about her...But I don't want her "mysterious" aura spoiled; alleviation of lack of details would best come in more physical description of Adele: body, clothing, gait/movement or speed, smell, sound of voice/intonation, textures...
Weaver... Hehe. The batboy interests me. He's Ivy's best pal; they can cuss each other, and beat on each other, and still hang out & like each other...Weaver's important to Ivy, and thus important all around. Hmm, I like when they go flying, and when they fight...They goof off together. I'd enjoy more physical description, more paling around; maybe even Ivy seeking Weaver's advice at times? But never let the two have a deep or even slightly intellectual conversation...They're buds, and as such, they need stay silly around each other; anything else with a guy (or batboy) is misleading of romance in writing. Faux pas.
Zeke... He's the closest thing to a boyfriend Ivy has in this book--aside from Perry (she's very serious towards Perry; thusly, for no reason there are romance vibes, that I don't think you intended). Zeke wants Ivy badly...Goodly, too, I suppose. But just for this reason, he need be explored; as it stands, Zeke comes across as a moron. He's just smitten, though--lovestruck (or lovestuck *hehe*). [ . . . ] clear out his "acne", OR elaborate on him. He is, however, a representative of the many guys that try to pick up Ivy...But he seems to have more sense than the rest of those fellows, and good intentions, too. I like also how you tied Dax&Zoe into getting cooties...and Ivy doesn't want cooties, so she just teases Zeke, while Cecily teases Ivy =D (there go those two lovebirds, Ivy&Zeke *snicker*).
Tabitha/Thursday... Up for your discretion, Tab & Thursday may need to be looked into more. They've both questionable pasts about their parents...And they're young--though much more than Ivy. Exploring Tab & Thursday can help Ivy answer personal stuff.
**With all characters mentioned, I would love more physical description, mannerism description, speech individuality... These are your most important characters, in relation to Ivy.**
Okay, darling. Are you ready to rip me apart because of my criticisms? =) ;) I love you...I believe in you, and all the characters & stories you've created. Your imagination is your sixth sense, and it is who you are; it's, it's, it's...I believe in you wholeheartedly. *sigh*
Brendon: i loved the 1st book, and i want to read more. :o) for me personally, as a writer, i like to write more detail of how characters look. to make a vivid picture you know? of course that's just me. overall, Ivy is very likable, and so was Nina, and Adele. The last part with Bailey got me instantly interested in that character and where the story was going next. And Ivy's interaction with people is great. i especially like how people don't notice right away that she has only four fingers. what i especally l like was her first reaction to soda. :)
you used the main character alot, Ivy, Adele, and Nina. I would've like to have gotten to know the other characters a little more. it's just the others sound very interesting too. however, when i started reading it, really, i couldn't put it down.