Belle of the Ball
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- ...On the Bounce, Troopers!!!
Belle of the Ball Year 1
1. It's Adolf Hitler, not Adolph Hitler. Even dead, evil, genocidal dictators deserve to have their name spelled right.
2. Another mistake is more minor, but constitutes the lack of capitalisation of an acronym. Namely, the Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement, and Logistics Division is written as 'Shield', despite being an acronym. Typically, acronyms are capitalised (SHIELD) or capitalised AND separated by dots (S.H.I.E.L.D). Simply writing 'Shield' could be construed as talking about a literal shield, and not the organisation.
3. The punctuation can be a bit wonky at times. For example, in this segment from Chapter III:
The hero couldn’t keep in his braying chuckle. "Hello Louis, no this is Jim." As I paused to look at the lecherous little troll, I got to savor the look of confusion that played across his face.
The bolded bit is the culprit here. If you were reading this as it would be said out loud, this would read as 'Hello Louis [slight pause] no this is Jim [end of sentence]'
The problem being that a) The 'Hello Louis' should be capped by a full stop, not a comma (to indicate a longer pause); and b) the subject matter is rather vague should you take that sentence out of context. If I were to take that sentence out of the story, it would seem as if Ed is saying he's actually Jim. Not saying that Jennifer is actually Jim.
Adding to the initial problem, it could also be remedied by putting a additional comma after the 'no'.
4. There's a very confusing scene at the end of chapter 4...
“Do what?” I demanded checking to make sure the domino mask was still secure on my face. “Be a good girl and play by the rules? Ah thought that’s what Uncle Sam there wanted?” That brought a look of confusion to every face on the table. “Yeah, that’s right; Ah’ll play by your rules. Ah have a family to think about too. But don’t ya’ll think for a moment Ah won’t do everything in mah power to change this.”
“There’s nothing against that in your draft order,” said Geoffrey quietly. “Not that it will do you a lick of good, you’re welcome to try.”
“We’ll see.” I spun on my booted heel to storm out, but was stopped by Ed’s fearful voice.
“Belle, where are you going?”
“To get me one of those ‘family friendly endorsements’,” I spat. Then my flight took me from the room and the building in short order.
Now, I get that she's pissed, "on the rag" (as the story would so subtly put it), and she's been recently accosted for swearing...a whole scene ago. You see, this whole bit about the 'family friendly endorsements' kinda comes out of nowhere in the context of this scene. You have Jennifer in the previous scene (in which only one other character in the present scene was actually in attendance) having a almighty rant about her inability to choose her sexual partners or swear (although now that I think about it, the scene in question was really a couple of scenes ago- the swearing was brought up during the end of the UCS scene, and there was the tampon and the dirt scene between there and now) get informed about sponsors not wanting to support sailor-mouthed heroes; and then you have that topic get brought up out of nowhere at the end of a argument about sex and citizenship. It seems rather disjointed and sudden that this topic suddenly makes a reappearance out of nowhere.
5. Sometimes it can be very hard to determine which party is talking to whom. For example, in chapter two, during the talk with Sovereign (a name which never fails to make me think about Mass Effect or Star Trek: First Contact whenever it's brought up); there's a sudden disappearance of separated lines. I just realised that what I just said probably means nothing, so let me explain:
"Hi," said Jimmy. "What's your name?" "Tim" said the man.
"Nice to meet you, Jimmy!"
As opposed to:
"Hi," said Jimmy. "What's your name?"
"Tim," said the man. "Nice to meet you, Jimmy!"
Now, this is easily fixed by separating every new line of dialogue from a different character to another line, rather than cramming them onto the same paragraph.
6. Darth Vader: Your lack of
Is it me, or does every character in this story have a religious aversion to contractions? I mean, I know it's sometimes stylistic to not use them; but when every character consistently seems to be terrified of the apostrophe...it just gets grating. I cannot for the life of me remember a single character using a contraction at any point. I may be wrong, sure. But there's certainly a apostrophe drought...and we Aussies hate droughts.
These are all minor though, and they don't really detract from the overall quality of the story. There's some other weird stuff- I'm sure of that. But this is all I could find in the early bits of the story.
To tell the truth, this is a really interesting story idea. The world seems interesting, although I always felt that I- the audience- was not privy to some other world-building to introduce the concept of this virus (a reworked introduction with some more background might help that), and the characters are fun and interesting. But the story does suffer from the flaws I listed, and while they're not major, nor necessarily all impact the quality of the story (the first two items are more nitpicks than anything)...fixes would go a long way towards readability.
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- Sir Lee
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- Kristin Darken