This a fabulous story, and your a superb writer!! People have told me that they can see what I write in their heads, but, with your writing, I'm not just seeing it, I'm feeling it!! Excellent! =)
Author's Response: Wow, I'm really flattered! That really means a lot to me. I'm glad you're enjoying the story, and thank you very much for you review! :]
I am in love with this story even more now since my last review. You write it very, very beautifully and it's a very interesting storyline. Each chapter gets better and better as it progresses. Well done for writing this story. I really wish I could be as good as you! SK xoxox
Author's Response: Aw, you're so sweet! I'm glad you're enjoying the story, and I can pretty much assure you that you're as good if not better than I am at fanfiction. Much love,
I'd be thrilled to beta this for you, if you'd like me to. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org, just send me an email and we can sort it out. =)
I also emailed you a while ago, wondering if you'd beta something for me. I'm not sure if you got the email, though if you don't want to or haven't got time that's completely fine, but I just thought I'd ask.
Anyway, I hope to hear from you soon. Oh, and if you do write to me, please put your penname in the title so I know it isn't spam...otherwise it might go to my junkmail folder.
Author's Response: Yay! I'd love to beta something for you, too. Sorry that I didn't respond- I am a complete spaz and sometimes forget to check my email unless I know someone is emailing me something (kinda defeats the purpose...) Anyway, thank you so much for agreeing to beta for me, and I'm exited to look at some of your work, too.
Sorry if you think I'm being paranoid about the Mary-Sue thing. *blushes* You're right about the reason behind that though; you see a lot of stories about OCs with special powers, such as prophecy, and literally 99 out of 100 will turn out to be crappy Mary-Sue wish fulfillment stories. Yours, I believe, is one of those 100th stories that are actually really, really good. So I'm just anxious for it not to go the way of the rest of those prophet stories and become Mary-Sue, cliche and boring. That's all. Sorry if I got on your nerves! =)
Author's Response: Oh, no, you're not getting on my nerves at all! Your reviews are the most helpful I've recieved and I'm really grateful for the advice you've given me. My comment about the paranoia was just in general, there seems to be a big backlash against Mary-Sues on this site. Actually, that's probably not a bad thing considering the number of terrible wish-fulfillment stories. So you have every right to be anxious :]
As I said, I want the major theme in this story to be the feeling of being used. Elwen is far from all-powerful, she merely has a "gift" that many different people want to take advantage of.
Anyway, no need to apologize for your constructive criticism. In fact, do you think you'd be interested in betaing this? I'm trying to decide where to take the story next, and I'd love some help, if you'd be willing to give me a hand with it. If you're too busy or anything I could find somebody else, but you seem like you have a really good grasp of my problem areas as a writer, and have a much much better knowledge of canon than I do. Thanks again!
Wow, this is coming on really well!
Firstly, the inevitable nitpicking. You have the orcs that captured her dragging her along by day and resting by night. Orcs cannot endure sunlight for long, and they would be almost certain to travel by night and seek shelter by day. Unless, of course, these are Uruk-Hai, but if so you need to specify.
I also thought the last three chapters were somewhat lacking in detail. Your use of language is very poetic and you describe things beautifully, but often that description seems to take precedence over actual plot development. Things have also been taken a little fast in places; something happens, then you quickly move on to the next event without stopping to elaborate on the first.
Also, in the previous chapter Saruman said that he wasn't going to let Elwen go. Yet, he seems quite happy to just allow her to die on top of his tower. If she were such an important hostage, it would be logical for Saruman to take great care with keeping her alive. That's not to say he would care for her and cater to her every whim, but he would provide basic food and water to keep her alive, as well as shelter from the elements. He would probably also give some basic treatment to her wounds, in case they became infected. If he wanted her dead, he would just kill her. If he needed her alive, he would ensure she was not allowed to die. This middle ground- tossing her up on the tower to die slowly- doesn't seem to work.
Now, for the good stuff. I did like your description of Saruman; he's always fascinated me as well and I loved your portayal of him. It was very well done. And I'm glad to find out it wasn't her brother getting eaten, I've been growing rather fond of him!
As I'm sure I've said several times, your writing style is very beautiful and you always conjure crystal-clear images of what's going on in your story.
You've certainly got me curious about what is going on. So, Elwen is a prophet? That's very interesting. Again though, you are dealing with dangerous subject matter. So far Elwen is not a Mary-Sue, but there is still plenty of room for her to become one. Creating characters on whom the whole of Arda depends upsets the power-balance. I'm not saying that you're doing that yet, but it could go that way. If you want to avoid that, make sure not to portray Elwen as the last hope of Middle-Earth. But I will say, I really like the way her character is developing. She seems like a very real person and I like the way you're showing her weakness as well as her strength.
Sorry if my reviews have been seeming overly critical. You know I really do like this story, right? Sure there's room for improvement (there always is, no matter how good an author you are) but you're still doing a really great job!
Author's Response: Wow! You always give the longest reviews, but it's great reading them. You're an incredibly thoughtful reader, and I'm glad for that.
Most of the flaws you point out are due to my carelessness. I admit that I'm rushing a little on this story, and not going back to proof things before i post them. Also, putting this up chapter-by-chapter is weird to me, since now I wish I could have changed things in the beginning, but people have already read those chapters. For instance, I wish I'd had the farm be in Rohan. Anyway, my lack of detail in places is partly due to impatience Also, I feel like the story is moving pretty slowly- in 8 chapters, not a lot has happened.
The whole orc thing actually never occurred to me, but you're right. I'm probably going to go back and edit that.
About Elwen being on the top of Saruman's tower: I write a lot from images I get in my head. My short story "Snow" is based on a dream I had. I had a picture in my mind of Elwen being held on the top of Saruman's tower, freezing in the wind and all that, so I wanted to incorporate it into the story. My (rather weak) reasoning is that since she can't see anything in the plantir he finds her useless. However, he'd rather not risk other people having her, so he'd just going to let her die. It seems like he gave up on her pretty quick, but maybe he's just an impatient guy.
Now, the whole Mary-Sue issue. I don't mean this in a mean way, but people on this site are so freaking paranoid! Maybe it's because there are a lot of shitty stories with Mary-Sues floating around. Anyway, it was never my intent for Elwen to be perfect, nor does the fate of Middle Earth rest on her shoulders. She's a very self-pitying person, as you can probably see. Instead of spending long hours worrying about her brother, she feels sorry for herself. But in her childhood nobody else would care for her, so she had to make herself feel loved.
Elwen is a prophet, so she's very useful to people. If she didn't exist, things would still go on the way they normally would, but she has the ability to percieve bad things and help stop them, thus assisting the "good side." Her family wanted her alive for that reason, so that she could help with the War of the Ring. However, she also has the potential to do great evil, by giving the information from her prophecies to the "bad side." In this way, she's like a very powerful chesspiece.
Thank you so much for your lengthy review! It was very helpful, and I plan to do a fair bit of editing based on your suggestions. I'm glad you enjoy reading the story! Thanks again,
Your words are so poetic and mystical! I found this chapter was really metaphoric and rich in personal feelings.
Author's Response: This was one of my favorites so far, too. I had a good time writing it- I love revealing new plot twists and fun stuff like that :] Thanks for the review!
Wow, I like this chapter. Especially the butterfly thing, very good!!
Author's Response: I'm glad you liked the chapter! The butterfly thing is actually something I remember a kid doing in elementary school, but I think it was a moth or something. It upset the hell out of me at the time, and I've always wanted to use it in writing. Anyway, thanks for the review!
wow. You did an awesome job on Saruman. way to go! i love it.
Author's Response: Thanks! I was worried about this chapter being too vague, but I wanted her to be barely conscious, and it's hard to make a lot of observations when you're kind of passing out. Anyway, I'm glad you liked Saruman! Thanks for the review!
Great second chapter, I have only one criticism. Elwen looks the equivalent of a sixteen year old human am I correct? Then her true age in years would be more like fifty-a hundred. Elves age very slowly(as set down in LACE laws and customs of the Eldar) so to look sixteen she would be in her adolescence for elven children is more like sixty human years. Just so you know. I love this story and other than criticizing your canon I'm enjoying it immensely! =)
Author's Response: Yeah.... oops.... Haha, I kind of thought of that, but there's really no way to keep it canon and still make the story work. I've had a few slip-ups like that, mostly due to the fact that I only read the books once, and I'm just looking random names and facts up in my copy of the Silmarillion. Anyway, I'm glad you like it! Keep reading- i added a few chapters!
This is moving along fantastically! You've got me very curious.
However, there are some parts where you may possibly be moving a little too fast. For example, in this chapter her reaction to the person (I'm assuming it was her brother) being eaten seemed a little calm. I know if I saw someone get eaten in front of me, I would be traumatized. However, she seems to brush it off rather quickly. There's a quick moment of horror, then suddenly it's all over. There are a few instances like that, when you seem to skim over places where a little more depth would be appropriate. You seem particularly to skim over emotional reactions. You should try to give more detail to those reactions.
Mostly though, you are handling everything very well. Elwen's feelings are very realistic. Also, as I said in my first review, the imagery you use is nothing short of spectacular.
I am really starting to enjoy this story, and I hope you'll update soon!
Author's Response: Thanks so much for your great review! The person being eaten wasn't her brother- I should probably do something to make that more obvious. That was just some random person. Anyway, thanks a lot!
Wow, you have to write more, i really have to know how this turns out. I love your characters, and the plot you have unfolding; so much mystery and it can go in any direction. Keep up the good work!
Author's Response: Thanks!