Comments on 'Keenblaze'

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Beth K.
New! Entered: 2014-08-16
I really like the way that you can get inside Crackle's head; especially with all the adventure-planning she was doing in the beginning. It was great to see the progression; Otter finding a new skill, and how her own lack of immediate accomplishment ate away at her. I think that avoiding-by-not-trying excuses really come off as realistic, something that everyone does when they don't want to fail again. I also found it really touching that Thornbow didn't hold onto his anger and supported Crackle seeing this as a lesson as well.
Joan Milligan
New! Entered: 2013-01-23
You know, I don't actually know how this idea that Otter is jealous of Crackle's being quicker developed, but I was really glad to see it brought to a head here. A little strange perhaps that I love seeing Crackle at her worst :). But that's exactly how it is all too often, isn't it, when talented kids grow up and find that in the adult world they still have a lot of catching up to do. You've also done a marvelous job with giving Otter his place in the limelight, I practically glowed along with him when he discovered such a talent - and it shows him as such a kind soul that it takes so much trouble from Crackle to get him honestly angry, and he never once thinks to rub it in her face that he's better than her. He's a really strong, sympathetic character in this one and he deserves that very much.

(I also really enjoyed reading Thornbow's lesson on archery - honestly, I never thought there was so much to it, either! Can't blame Crackle for her fantasies, it just looks so easy, doesn't it? Just draw and release. But like so many other things in RTH, there's great pleasure in seeing the realism behind the pretty elves with pretty bows in the pretty forest...)
Sofia LindstrŲm
New! Entered: 2012-12-23
I could sympathize with Crackle's frustration all the way through; it's not easy when you find yourself bested by someone you've thought of as slower at learning than you. And Otter's outburst was very fitting and well placed. Great build-up and pay off!
Whitney Ware
New! Entered: 2012-02-21
I really struggled to find my tranction on this story. I knew from early on that I wanted to show Thornblaze as hands-on and involved with the cubs, and I wanted to show Crackle as having to struggle at something not coming easy. Giving Otter chops as a natural archer seemed like a natural puzzle piece slotting into place after that -- and I just LOVE showing him as being a fish-archer, because that just feels so natural to the boy! (And I am also sorta chuffed that after I wrote this, it seemed like there was a sudden flurry of other "characters teaching archery" fics too! I know I can't really give myself credit -- but it's always fun to see that happen!)
Lea R.
New! Entered: 2011-11-07
This story is so believable. Crackle is very real here. Her jealous reaction makes her not very nice, but it's a so realistic situation! And I think, it did her good. At sometime in your life you have to realize that not everything is easy and sometimes need an amount of hard work. And I think Crackle needed this experience very much, because her life was very easy till now.

And I love that Otter is for one time better than her in something, it is only fair to the poor boy. ;)
Holly H.
New! Entered: 2011-09-19
I really love how "real" Crackle seems here -- both in her ambitions, and in her reaction to things not going the way she wants them to. It's not a pretty thing, or an admirable reaction... but it's very real. She can never take back that reaction or make it not have happened, but hopefully she'll grow from it.

I also really like how this gives Otter a chance to shine, when for so long it's seemed that Crackle has run rings around him. It's great to see him taking so much joy in mastering this skill -- and equally great to see him letting out all the frustration he's had at being somewhat in Crackle's shadow for so long.
Joanne P.
New! Entered: 2011-08-27
I can certainly empathize with Crackle here. Who hasn't felt the excitement of having something new, imagining how great everything's going to be, only to have it not work out like you thought. And to have someone else doing better...I'd want to smack a couple of fish, too. I'm glad that she recognized so quickly how she was hurting her friend. Of course, I love Thornbow being the firm but patient teacher, and his advice about achieving consistency reminded me of my own archery lessons.
Melanie D.
New! Entered: 2011-08-11
Strange how I though "Good to see Otter being the better in one thing for once." ... That was the first thing coming to my mind.
I love how this flowed. Loved the bow lesson. Very true. I remember the same sentences when I took my archery training. Well done.
Oh and I really loved how Otter put Crackle down to earth.Poor boy. He always was behind smart, quick witted Crackle and now he could do better and she was so involved with herself even jealous.
Also love how it showes us again how imaginative Crackle is. She imagines so much while just holding her bow. The end was very nice and showed that Crackle indeed did mature with this experience.

:P And Otter can be sure... Newt will marvel his skills XD
Linda Aarts
New! Entered: 2011-08-06
I felt for Crackle, but had to laugh at the same time as her vivid imaginative stories didn't come true this time :) She was so determined to make it work and it didn't -- oh, the desillusion! :-) Happy to see that Otter has found a talent besides swimming, it's about time the boy got to do something else than hanging out near the river ;-)

Loved the way you wrote the story and how you nailed Crackle's personality. Loved to see Otter getting angry - makes him a deeper character than he was so far. I don't think we have many stories with Otter as the main character, so yay!
Peggy B.
New! Updated: 2011-08-05
Oh, Whit, I love your writing! Happy to see more of it recently!
The interaction and dialogues here are awesome! To see that even elves can be begrudging and jealous was very... relieving. ;) I enjoyed to have an insight into what Crackle thought of her former (?) best friend, but it surprised me, too. I have never believed she could be so full of herself and her opinion of Otter so low, even in anger. The more I loved Otter`s outbreak. It made me think: "Yeah, give her beans!!!" :D
Wonderful story that gives us deep insight into two lovely characters.
And one word of admiration for the ambiguity of this ending: "Iíll be able to say ó look, it may be broken, but isnít it still a thing of beauty? And Iíll be proud of this thing I have helped to make." -> WOW!
Mareike Heilemann
New! Entered: 2011-08-05
Aww ... I almost feel sorry for poor Crackle here. Almost, though! That was hard for her but I think it was necessary for her to learn that not everything will come to her easily. And I really felt for Otter here. It's clear that he sometimes felt jealous of Crackle who gets by so easily, and now he has discovered a new talent, and she's spoiling it all! Poor boy ... Good on him to stand his ground!

I absolutely loved how Thornbow instructed the cubs - he seems to be a strict but also a good teacher. And the details are awesome! Overall, great story, Whit :).
Lyn Cavalier
New! Entered: 2011-08-05
:) :) :) I can't smile enough when thinking of this story, and how it shows our cubs (until the most recent batch came along) are growing up. It's nice to see that Crackle doesn't always best Otter... and I'm so proud of Otter here. :) Thank you for all the details, which make it so much easier to visualize what I'm reading.
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