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November 10th, 2013 (11:09 PM).
Here to stay
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Lost in thought... again
This was a little more than a passage.
I must say, I think this is the first time I've read something by you, and I'm really impressed. However, I would have enjoyed a little more backstory on this. Like the genre, what makes it different from today's world, what species the main characters were (cat people?), stuff like that. I was very confused in the beginning because I was deciphering what actually existed in this world. Without further ado, let us begin.
(It might have been called foolhardy to attempt to enter the Bank straight away, without more preparation, more refinement of the plan, more casing of the joint. Isidore did not care: he was full of the confidence of youth, and besides, how could one case the Bank of Asphodel any more than he already had done? He could not have done so without actually breaking into it, at which point he might as well just have gone ahead with the finished plan. Besides, time was of the essence: every day that the erstwhile Queen's soul resided in the Bank's vaults, its masters came a little closer to leaving London, and taking the better part of its wealth with them.)
I've never been a huge supporter of parenthesis in stories, but they do make sense in some occasions. However, I must say that an entire paragraph might be excessive. There were a couple other paragraphs wrapped by parenthesis, but I didn't quote them because it's more of a style critique than anything else. And that's up to you to do something about it.
He blinked the sweat from his eyes and cleared his head with practised ease, as if he were about to change personality; Isidore Swan was not a brave man by nature – in fact, he possessed a remarkable aptitude for slithering away out of windows or half-open doors when real trouble raised its head – but he valued the appearance of bravery as much as he valued the appearance of expertise, or the appearance of wealth. Appearances were all that other people could see of you, after all; what was on the inside wasn't worth a damn.
I really enjoyed this paragraph. I enjoyed all of it, but this paragraph really stood out. It was written well and I got to learn more about Isodore's mind. I like the way you described it instead of just saying "Isodore was a shallow person".
It was excruciatingly hot here, too, but after the vault it felt like stepping into a cool breeze.
I don't think that first comma belongs there. The second one does, but the first one doesn't need to be there as "too" is reliant on the first half of the sentence.
The only critique I have of the passage as a whole is that I think you lay the metaphors on a little thick in the beginning. More specifically, the dragon and the omni-bus. The dragon one was more prominent and the reason I say that it was too much was because by the end of the metaphor, I was almost convinced the building itself was a dragon. What confused me about the omnibus was this:
Isidore Swan shouldered Charles Devereaux aside and slipped into the driver's seat.
I thought John Smith was driving the omnibus at this moment in time.
The omnibus I'm not really concerned about, but other readers might find it just a tad too thick. I like your metaphors. I think they're very accurate and add a lot to the story, but I feel like you drag them out for too long a couple times. More of a personal preference, but thought I would point it out all the same.
As stated before, I would have liked a little more backstory before I started reading, but no matter. This was really good. Your showing rather than telling, which is always a great sign. The description paints the scene very well and I wanted to know more. Not because I was confused, but rather because I'm genuinely curious about this world you created.
Overall, a really good passage. It's polished, it flows well, and I didn't get lost. If this were a chapter to a story or something, I would probably read a lot more if I had the time. Nice job, this is really good.
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