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Goats, gripes, and grasping for greatness
Hugos: The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe 
25th-May-2017 09:00 am
Summer
The story was of a type that I like - an odyssey across expanses in the search for someone or something - and had the excellent, odd details that build a fantasy world for me. I liked the main character, an older and wiser Vellitt who thought she had settled down. I liked the setting, a fantasy land with nuance and mystery and cheery little flowers and rules that were mostly internally consistent. That said, the story was close to ruined on page 98 of 146 (epub, so your mileage may vary) when I read the line:

This was the last time she saw the seething sky of the dream lands.

Well.
Thank you so much.
You've ruined one of the two main questions.

I almost abandoned the story right there. But there was still a second question and its related following questions, so I went ahead with the journey. I'm not sorry I did, as the story continued to have good flavor, but I was no longer quite so invested in it.

As far as the actual writing goes, I'm torn. The adjective flavor was good and the crafting of the world was detailed and evocative. However, the serial comma splicing and the bastardized grammar strayed beyond even what I think of as normal for fantasy writing - or even "conversational" - into plain old run-on sentences. Most places where a colon, a semi-colon, or a solid period would fit correctly and neatly were taken up by yet another comma. And then there were colons which were being used as semi-colons to splice sentences together.

This story could have benefited strongly from a solid, grammarian copy editor.

I give it an A for story building and a C for story telling.

This entry was originally posted at http://reedrover.dreamwidth.org/2076957.html and has comment count unavailable comments so far. Please comment there using OpenID or here if that is your preference. I'm still reading both journals.
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