Spacing the paragraphs made it much easier to read: good idea! I think you could improve this chapter a lot by cleaning up the little spelling, punctuation and grammar typos. I like your take on Thranduil's angst. Gaelruin certainly doesn't make it any easier on him with his answer.
Author's Response: Thanks, I know I'm pretty bad with the typos but all i've got is spell check on microsoft word and we all know how shit that is. Thank you, I hope you enjoy the rest of the story too!
I like your getting into Thranduil's head, even if you don't quite grasp the Elvenking's character. It really helps to round out the story some, though you need to do this with your heroine as well.
My complaint with this is the king just showed himself vulnerable to his son's friend. That is very OOC for him. While he may ponder such things, it would be a close friend his age that he opened up to, if he did at all! Galion perhaps. I think he would have quickly covered up his distress and and perhaps still engaged the youngster in conversation, retrieving what he wished to know without giving his own thoughts away.
Have you read Jael's stuff? She writes Thranduil magnificently! As does Le Rouret (her focus is Legolas though). I think you would enjoy both of those authors. Why not give it a shot?
And I must add a couple things. First, the best way to improve your writing is to read read read! Especially authors much more proficient in their writing talents.
Secondly, you need a beta reader. The longer your chapters get, the more typos, punctuation and grammar errors you have. I wish I wasn't over loaded, or I would offer.
I look forward to seeing where this story goes! Keep up the good work! ~NiRi
Author's Response: God you like writing reviews don't you (not that I'm complaining lol)?! I plan to get into my heroine' head, maybe in a chapter or two. I'm planning too try and get more depth into my charaters before I continue so maybe I will be able to grasp the elven king. I haven't read their stuff, I plan to now you've suggested! I know about the beta thing, it is getting worse and worse (grammer wise)! Lol, thanks alot for your help. Alex xx
WHOA! Stop right there! She-elf? NEVER does Tolkien use that term. It is equivalent to using the word Bitch...it is deragotory! An elf woman, elf maiden, or simply woman or maiden works, as we know these are elves. Tolkien calls them men and women and the only reason to differentiate is when there are other races present. Tolkien called Galadriel and elf woman.
In this chapter, your dialogue is confusing as to who is speaking early on. It is also still decidedly modern and not in keeping with elvish dialogue which really yanks a reader out of Middle-earth and makes one feel they are in a chat room.
Ok, now your female character. It has been suggested she is bordering on Mary Sueish. She is NOT, I assure you, BUT she is extremly flat and uninteresting. I can't see what Legolas sees in her. I suggest you do some style changes. It would help round out all your characters to get into their heads, not just Legolas' Let us see this lady, what she thinks, who she is. We cannot do that by just dialogue, without even many details regarding her tone of speech, hand movements, sighs? Something! Show us this lady, dont' just tell us about her through Legolas' thoughts. Just my two cents worth from my ... extended years in Arda. *grin* ~NiRi
Author's Response: Okay, I'm not very good at OC so I'm sorry if she seems boring, maybe in later chapters she will bloom (I HOPE) Thanx for the tip about dialogue, it is hard to catch it when I slip into it! Sorry! She-elf, I realise Tolkien never uses this term, but it rubbed off on me when reading others work. I'll try and put it right. Thanx again Alex xxx
I read your response to my comment about chapter length, and no, a chapter does not have to be long to be a chapter, but you lose your readers interest if you do not draw them in with more details. I think you could get away with calling chapter one a prologue. Those are usually shorter than chapters. *grin* ~NiRi
Author's Response: Cheers, it was just the beginning, I'm sorry if I seemed a little annoyed, it was jut my beginning felt awkward to me and it was short. But thanx for the prologue idea, I never thought of that!! Alex xxx
I love the simplicity of this story. The emotions are genuine and you write very descriptively. My one suggestion is that you try reading the dialogue out loud when you're proof-reading, because sometimes it can sound a little awkward. I think a lot of people avoid using contractions when writing elven dialogue (for instance, saying "will not" instead of "won't"), but this tends to make things a little unbelievable. Other than that one suggestion, your story is fantastic and I can't wait to read more!
Author's Response: Thanx for the review. I'm trying very hard to make the dialogue not seem modern (as in Tolkien's style) so I thought saying will not instead of won't for example may make it seem a little modern?? I don't know if you agree or not? Thanks Alex xxx
Ok, the chapter length here is much better, and I admit, it is fascinating to read from a 17 year old males perspective. So many who write fan fiction are females and I fear we often get the male part wrong. I do have one complaint...ok, a couple. Your dialogue is overly modern sounding which takes me out of Middle-earth. Also, I believe this is post ROTK, and Legolas is acting like a teenage mortal, rather than a centuries old elf. Could be your age, eh? *grin* My last problem was the lady's name. Laegwaloth? Beautiful meaning but it sounds terrible! LOL!
I must add I agree completely with Arwen Undomiel and her lengthy review. Morgoth's Ring, specifically, Laws and Customs of the Eldar, an essay within is a Must read if you write elves. You say you like them...do you research on your races. It is Volume 10, btw, of HoME. Now...Your writing is very good. I think you will do very well as you mature yourself. Keep up the good work! ~NiRi
Author's Response: Thanks for the compliments. The chapter length thing will keep getting longer-I think at the beginning I just felt like I couldn't do much so I didn't want to ruin it. As I said this is my first story (I know that is no excuse lol). Ok, the teenage thing I've had comments about I do think it could possibly be my age. I've been trying to get hold of a copy of your suggestion but it is difficult to find as I only live in a little village and we only have one bookshop so I may order off the internet. I want to read it before continuing so updates will be slow but hopefully it'll be better. I'm trying to improve the dialogue (I'm just not very good at it *sorry*) Thanx again. Alex xxx
Author's Response: Oh and on the name matter, I know I realised how bad it sounded after I posted but it seemed to late to go back then! Argh!
Well, please don't take offense at this, but I think it could use a fair bit of work.
For starters, your female OC is perilously close to being a Mary-Sue. Trust me, that is to be avoided at all costs. This fandom has seen far too many Mary-Sues. Perfect characters simply aren't entertaining.
Secondly, I agree with NiRi- your chapters are too short, particularly the first. It's true that chapters don't HAVE to be long, but it helps. Short chapters generally do very little to further the development of a story, and it's hard to hook people in if you only give tiny examples of your writing style.
My main problem with this story was your characterization, particularly of Legolas. He is supposed to be an old, wise Elf, but somehow you have turned him into an angsty hormonal teenager. I know he looked young in the movies. That's no excuse to make him all pathetic and lovey-dovey in fanfiction.
As for Legolas' depression- it's a good concept, but it isn't done realistically. I don't know you, so I'm not going to jump to conclusions as to whether or not you have ever had depression. But if you have, it isn't coming through in the story. Depression is a serious mental illness, and should not be used just as an excuse to make some Elven lady even more powerful by giving her a chance to 'save' Legolas. Anyway, an Elf wouldn't react that way to their suffering. I suggest you read Morgoth's Ring, which is one of the books in History of Middle-Earth (It's either volume 9 or 10, I think. I'm afraid I can't remember off the top of my head). That will teach you a lot about the Elvish mentality. There's no reason why Legolas can't suffer from depression, but it needs to be done well or it is just cliche and dull. And you could do with cutting down on the hormonal, whiny-angsty elements a little.
My final complaint is how modern a lot of the dialogue is. For example:
“Son, what’s getting you down?”
I have read and re-read Tolkien's works, and never have I heard any of his characters use language like that. It's too young and modern. It would be more realistic to hear Thranduil say something along the lines of:
"What troubles you, my son?"
Just be careful about keeping the language within the correct time period. Modern language can wreck an otherwise good LotR story.
I know this review sounds rather harsh- please don't take it personally. I have a tendency to be a little bit blunt, but I'm not condemning your story. I'm just trying to help you improve as a writer, because I can see that you have a lot of potential.
On the plus side, you have come up with a very interesting idea. The emotional content of the story is powerful, and if done well could have a huge impact. And your overall writing style is sound, with good grammar and spelling. You're not doing too bad a job, actually. This could become a really good story if you work at it some more.
Best of luck with the rest!
Author's Response: First of all thank you for the review. I did say constructive critisism was welcome so I'm glad someone has pointed out things to help improve it. Ok,my character is not a Mary-Sue she is not perfect as you will soon find out but I was trying to put across the point of how Legolas sees her. The depression element I wasn't trying to make him seem depressed as such just withdrawn in his own thoughts and confused. I'll admit I've never read Morgoth's ring I'll try and check it out to improve my stories. Thank you for that. As for the language I was trying to make it easier to read, also this speech would of course be in Elvish but as I can't (and I bet you can't either lol) speak fluent elvish. So I'll try to keep more true to his style of writing. I think I may go back through my first chapters to improve, before moving on to the next chapters. Thank you for taking time to help me out. I hope any improvements I make make the story better. I hope you enjoy the rest of my story.
Author's Response: Okay update with the responses lol. I've tried to improve it, taking into mind what you've said. Is it better?? I hope so! Anyway, please tell me, oh and the chapter issue, you may notice the chapters get gradually longer as they go on. I have a feeling this may be continueing as I get deeper into the story. Pleae tell me your views, I take no offense at you critisising me, in favt I value it more than praise it gives me a chance to improve, Thanks. Alex xxx
This is very difficult to read in it's current format. I highly suggest putting spaces between your paragraphs. Also, this is really not a chapter. It is way too short. ~NiRi
Author's Response: Thanx for the thing about paragraphs, I'll try it on the next chapters but as for the chapter length, I posted the first two together because it was so short but I felt it should be a chapter in it's own right to the second one. A chapter doesn't have to be long, you know. If you don't believe me look it up.
I love it! It's so sweet and well written. I can't believe no one else has reviewed it, please post more soon!
Author's Response: Thanks again, I'll post as soon as possible, the next chapter isn't written yet but I have plans.
Oh, I like it. Poor Legolas, I think you did an excellent job for your first fan fiction!
Author's Response: Thank you, I've posted chapter 3 now, hope you still like it. Tell me please. Oh and thanks for my first ever review yay!