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on June 29, 2012 :
Sorry, I was almost put off reading this by the previous rating. I’m Aussie, so Brit speak doesn’t faze me. Anyway, the Yanks get some Brit TV and movies. They have adopted shag & randy; another word won’t hurt them. Though the bit about increasing your royalties is very relevant. I’m sure TS took so much trouble to critique your work because he was as impressed with your writing as I am and wanted to encourage you to try even harder. So think of his review as a compliment.
I really liked the story and Lucy. She was real to me. For erotica there wasn’t enough sexy stuff—that’s probably why TS inserted more suggestiveness in his version of the first paragraph. He just wanted more, as you write erotic scenes well. My only quibble is with ‘manhood,’ a stupid out of date euphemism which doesn’t work.
2 typos: Lucy had made her mind up that > had made up her mind (try to keep all the parts associated with the verb together—it’d easier for the readers);; and Lucy and not seen > Lucy had not;; TS misspelt Dispatch, so that’s not your fault;;
(review of free book)
on March 06, 2012 :
I gave this story a second star because of the twist ending, but I wasn't impressed by anything else. If I went back in time to write this up as a review on SCREW's Peter Meter scale, I'd give this only a half-cock.
First of all, and very important if you expect anyone to *PAY* to read your story, the first line is not a "grabber." It's not horrible; there's no way it could win a Bulwar-Lytton Award from the New Yorker for worst first lines. But it's not interesting. "Lucy hated to admit it, but..." What is it she hated to admit? That someone named Gary did look great in a black suit. Who's Gary? Gary must be the boss she's going to give it up to. By the end of the first paragraph, we know more about Gary, and why Lucy isn't together with Gary any more. Surprise: Gary looks good, but he's a loser and he's a terrible lay.
Maybe it would be better if it went something like this, instead:
Lucy hated to see Gary from Despache looking so damned good in a black suit. It had to be rented; he was still just an errand boy and probably still in his Mum's flat. Lucy hoped Gary was sweating like she was in her thrown-together "suit, a man's jacket from the thrift, over the only black skirt she owned. It was a spandex mini, but her coat was so long, maybe no one would notice it didn't match the skirt. It was so hot. She had to wear tights under the skirt, of course. No bare legs at a funeral, certainly not the funeral of the man who'd founded the Trader Wine Company...
This way, Gary's still there, but we know he's not the boss. The black suit is for a funeral. Soon Lucy will open the second button on her blouse to get some slight relief, and, of course, the REAL boss will notice her as he finally steps to the lectern to eulogize his grandfather. Maybe all that would fit before the first paragraph ends. Do we really need to know more about Gary at this point? How about having Lucy think about how much better doing the deed with the boss man was than with Gary.
The author is using a pen name that could be a woman's name, and seems to be aimed at female readers. I'm a guy, very straight, and after sixty-one years of experience with women I can safely say that I'm not sure I've ever guessed what a woman was really thinking or feeling. Lucy isn't real, but I'd like her to seem like she just might be built up from parts of people who are. I do know that in Romance novels, the advice is to keep the heroine kind of vague so the readers can better identify, and maybe that applies to fapping books for women. But the boss or even Gary needs to be beefed up and fleshed out.
I'm also a Yank, and there are a lot more of us than there are Brits. My final bit of advice to the author, and any other Brit who wants American readers, is to replace most of the Britspeak. For instance, not "sodding." If you're already writing a one-handed story, use "fucking" instead, or for more emphasis, "motherfucking." Think trans-Atlantic for more royalties.
(review of free book)