Crystal.jpg (17179 bytes) Crystal's Story Site

From the Comfort of their Favorite Armchair
  August 10, 2001

Today's Featured Author - Rose2

   by: Nelson

Rose isn't a very prolific writer with two stories posted and only one marked complete. The text of both stories combined is less than some authors with only one story posted and that fact makes doing a review harder. It is a small sample to try to analyze.

As I started to read the first part of "Can I Trust You?"; the fact jumped out at me that Rose needs the help of a proofreader. The feeling persisted through out both stories. The errors, while not overly numerous, were in places that disrupted the flow of the story. Some were simple typos that a spellchecker wouldn't pick up while others were a wrong word or an omitted word. Otherwise the writing was fair to good. The structure was fine. The detail and description was fair but could have been stronger. The plot line of "Can I Trust You?" was straightforward and consistent but the plot of "The Perfect Escape" was less defined and made a jump or two between the two parts of the story.

"Can I Trust You?" is the chronicle of Brian as he works his way toward telling his families about and their accepting him as being transgendered. Along the way he attempts suicide twice. It's his failed second attempt that attracts the attention of his two families. He, like many children these days, has two families because his parents chose to divorce. By the time the story takes place each has found someone and gotten married. Children of divorce have enough problems but adding transgender to the mix means bigger problems.

"The Perfect Escape" is a "Huggle Bugs" story. The Huggle Bugs are super advanced micro machines also referred to as nanites. Kelly is the main character. He visits his neighbor Alice daily and sees more of her than his parents. His parents are too wrapped up in their jobs to know or care what happens to Kelly. The Huggle Bugs come into the story because Alice is going to use them to temporarily change her body for a Halloween party. But Kelly feels he needs to escape his current situation and steals the Huggle Bugs. As with all plans something happens and Kelly's escape doesn't work out. In the second part we suddenly find out he feels transgendered. There is no background laid for this revelation. Just "Wham, Bang" and it's there. And just as suddenly, his parents are all caring and supportive. Yes, the jarring news of Kelly running away could have caused this but many times this isn't the case. It does sound nice for the story. Otherwise, the story runs to its expected ending.

Rose isn't a bad writer, she just needs more practice. The stories aren't too bad either, they just need some polishing up. If you are looking for something G rated and moderately good, I recommend you take a look. If you something sexy and steamy, move on to something else.

LadyT.jpg (5266 bytes)

       by: Lady

Rave reviews write themselves, the rest require the time to read and reread to examine what it is about the writer’s style that keeps this reviewer from writing a rave review. By now it should be obvious this isn’t going to be a rave review of Rose2’s two stories (each presented in two parts). However, this is not to say the stories aren’t enjoyable to read, just that they could be more so. The first story Rose2 wants to tell us is of Brian/Brenda and like a young child anxious to share her story she rattles off sentences in short stacatto bursts of information. You want to reach out and say "slow down honey and tell me all about it." Characters and situations fly by at the speed of a gunshot leaving gaping wounds in their wake. Rose2 needs to slow down and take better aim, the better to blow the reader away with her story.

A number of readers have commented favorably about Rose’s stories and there is a certain empathy created for the principal character as many of us can identify in part with his pain and plight. The empathy readers feel toward Brian allows them to cover the wounds left by the rushed writing with their own scarred memories. Other readers, lacking this empathy will feel Brian’s pain but not fully understand it. Part of the problem is the author’s awareness that she is writing for an audience that she assumes is much like her character. What’s missing is the buildup of understanding for the many that aren’t. When you bake a cake you can’t leave out some of the ingredients, simply assuming your readers all know what is supposed to be in the mix. So the cake falls. In spite of that, it’s not inedible just not as tasty. Slow down, put all the elements in the mix and the potential is there for a baker’s delight.

On the other hand, as the title to this review indicates, the second story throwing the hugglebugs into the mix isn’t nearly as successful. Adding a plot device you aren’t fully grounded in means the story is not likely to rise to the occasion. The difference between magic and science is you can explain the latter. Rose2 expects the reader to accept the hugglebug technology as science simply by throwing the term nanites out to us. A nice idea for a story trips over the flimsy plot device.

In short:

Brian/Brenda? Tasty, but not filling.

Kelly and the hugglebugs? No No Nanite.

Editor - Heather Sinclair


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