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Printed from http://www.writing.com/main/profile/reviews/adrm
Review Requests: ON
13 Public Reviews Given
Review Style
Honest, polite, but no sugar coating. I tend to focus on problems, rather than praise, because I believe constructive criticism is what we need.
I'm good at...
Consistency, spotting plot holes, pointing out the unrealistic plots, behavior, etc
Favorite Genres
Historical fiction, SciFi, Fantasy, Horror
Least Favorite Genres
Romance, modern "realism", everyday drama
I will not review...
Poetry, trivial everyday drama, fragments of stories-unless you seriously intend to put further effort into a complete story. If there is no story, try someone else :)
Public Reviews
1
1
Review by adrm
Rated: E | (4.0)
As I know nothing about poems at all, it won't be fair for me to do a review. So I'll decline the review request I received. I did read everything though, and I can give you my thoughts.

Negative:
The introduction of Michael was slightly confusing and I had to skip back a little to figure out who he was.

Positive:
You write very well and your stories are interesting.
I loved the relationship between grandfather and granddaughter, and several times the interplay between the pair made me smile and think of my time with my own children when they were young.

As for the environmental message that is the core of the story, I am of two minds. I'll merely say this: Most of us agree that humanity needs to step up and mind the planet better. But the issue is complex and nuanced and needs to be addressed by cool, responsible minds. Although I might see things slightly differently from the author, it didn't at all stop me from enjoying the story.
2
2
Review of Fears of a Newbie  
Review by adrm
Rated: E | (5.0)
I know exactly what you mean.

I had a pretty interesting overall story to tell, including some moments that were dramatic and/or very emotional. Well, in my head, that is.
It was probably let down badly by my lack of experience as a writer.

There were chapters I rewrote as much as five times, each time thinking the new version was much better than the previous. When I looked at it again a few weeks later, I would realize it was still trash.

Oh well. Hopefully, we improve over time, and your foundation is better than mine. Keep at it.
3
3
Review of The Perfect Day  
Review by adrm
Rated: E | (4.5)
A sweet story many parents can identify with, some more than others. It spoke to me, anyway.

Perhaps make the boy's language slightly more childish, including how you describe his feelings. E.g. use "cherish" for the mother but a simpler expression for him?
4
4
Review by adrm
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
Without more context, this one's harder to comment on.


As always the author knows her grammar.

As an opening scene for a novel, it works great, but as it stands it marred a little by the last paragraph. (A second chapter might clear that right up.)

Occasionally I would have rephrased minor things, e.g. crunching sand and the comment about doing combat injuries (well, most of the stuff realing with the arrow wounds, really).

I'm rating it "only" a 4 because it needs more context for a proper rating. (I see a 4 as a pretty good rating, but I tend to be critical)
5
5
Review of Obsessed  
Review by adrm
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
The story felt great and the mood is wonderful, but there were small imperfections (imo) in choice of words, phrasing, and flow.
Emphasis on small, but when the story is great, tiny imperfections become more noticeable.

Good job again.
I'll be reading the rest of your stories this evening.
6
6
Review of When Vampires Die  
Review by adrm
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
That was actually very well written and left me genuinely wanting to know what happens next.

Keep it up (and don't give up on writing a full novel).
7
7
Review by adrm
Rated: E | (4.5)
This writer clearly knows what they’re doing. Very well written and my comments will just be nitpicking.

My main issue is with chronology.
We start with the night before he’s giving a speech. The next section jumps back 4 months–moving on to the descent. Then we jump back 15 days, while at the end of this section Kranz addresses his team earlier(?) on the night of the landing. Then we’re back to the landing. I understand, with it CAN distract a reader.


On to the text:

“(The Saturn V — designed, built, and tested by thousands of dedicated people under the vision of Wernher Von Braun — never experienced a failure.)”
Two things: it’s “von Braun”, and I’d try to avoid inserting information in parentheses myself. It’s jarring to the flow.

“Two hundred and forty thousand miles later,”
I suggest starting with a time duration, then following up with the distance travelled.

“No one, however,”
I suggest substituting “few”, or if you specifically mean the viewers, make that clear to the reader.

“With the safety of the men foremost in his mind (Kranz would never forget the cries for help from Gus, Ed, and Roger), he indicated…”
Same comment as above about the parentheses. Also, since this is a simulation, although a dead serious one, you might want to rephrase “With the safety of the men foremost in his mind”?

“The final simulation should have ended that day”
I’d drop the “that day”

“Our training should have finished with a landing on the moon surface!”
Drop the !

“to write out on a piece of paper every possible error code”
Drop the “on a piece of paper”. It’s implicit?

“Two truths are self evident about this sequence of events:”
I’d say “evident’” instead of “self evident”.

“One person, however, remained relatively calm during these eighteen seconds”
I don’t recall details from what I’ve hear about this, but I have a vague memory of everyone being relatively calm, given the tense situation. Perhaps point out that Armstrong was even calmer than everyone else? With the current wording, one is let to believe it was bedlam. I see where your going with this whole paragraph, but I strongly suggest rewriting it to get your message across.

'We're a go on that alarm.”
Needs to start with an “

Eight years of planning and executing, of successes and failures, of friendship and friction, now came down to a half minute.
Perhaps make it clearer to the reader that what follows IS those 8 years compressed to 30 seconds?

“a half billion interconnected people”
Perhaps 500 million is clearer. Not every country uses billion”

'He's done it', or, 'They've done it'; the cheers said, 'We've done it!'
You want double-quotes here?

“Armstrong resembles the Iron Horse”
How does Armstrong know what he looks like in his own dream? Perhaps say “we can imagine Armstrong looking like…”?

I hope this is of some use.
8
8
Review of Unknown as Yet  
Review by adrm
Rated: 13+ | (3.0)
As I wrote in my mail, please don’t take it to heart if you feel this is too negative. I’ve flagged this as I read and made overall comments at the bottom.
There are two authors who have taught me a lot (I’m very much a novice still) and I suggest you look in on them:
The first is K. M. Weiland at https://www.helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com
Then Jerry Jenkins at https://jerryjenkins.com
There are many others, but I’d start with them.

Ok here we go :)

A few typos, e.g. “a second stream OF melting ice cream.“
Also a few comma issues. A free Grammarly account with their browser plugin is great to help with these. I love ProWritingAid too.

(I'll comment as I read from now on)

Name. Personally, I'm a bit leery of names like Misty, which many might associate with a porn star. You may have a perfectly good association for the name, but I spend quite a bit of time on the names of my main characters. I try to use names that tend to be associated with a personality. E.g. Elisabeth may be someone who's a bit old fashioned, while Beth sounds spunkier, etc. This is very subjective, so stick with your gut, as long as you have thought about why you have given her this name.

Is Misty sitting ON the table? English is not my first language, but isn't "up from" more usual if she's sitting next to the table?

Black hole. Perhaps makes the reader associate it with an astronomical object? I'd try something like "aperture", or if you want to take it further "gaping maw", or some such.

"he’d made direct eye contact with her so she understood his truthfulness."
This is one I struggle with myself. Isn't this the naughty telling instead of showing all professional writing tutors harp on about?
The recommendations I've gotten from watching tutorials say to keep the point of view (POV) to a single character. Meaning you can inform the reader about the intentions/thoughts/motivations of the POV character, but not the others-these must be shown or inferred. At this point, I'm not sure who the POV character is. Initially, I thought it was Misty, then I'm led to believe it's Otis, then Misty.
As a reader, I'm left confused *Smile*

"her Dad" should probably be "her dad"?

"She easily beat Otis to the bus and chided him about it when he opened the driver door just a few seconds behind her."
I'm using this as an example. Me, I'd drop the "just a few seconds behind her" as the reader understands he's not far behind. If he had been far behind, it would have been worth writing about, because there would be an important reason for it.
Often the writing gets stronger when we delete fluff. I believe I've deleted at least 20 000 words from my novel, and the story improved a lot.

"Misty Thompson looked down at her hands".
I wouldn't use her full name again. I assume she's the main character, and now it looks as she's being introduced again.

I like the dad scene, as I feel it starts giving us an insight into her career choice (in addition to calming her). But I'd cut down on the minute details and focus even more on her emotions: Being small and alone, then seeing dad and the joy making her forget the pain from the sting, etc. I feel this is what you're doing, but tightening up the sentences gives more emotional impact.

Isn't it "stape OF their existence"?

Perhaps it might be better to tell the reader it's a cardiac arrest when they get the call? Then "her first run would be to a cardiac arrest" could say "potentially fatal" or some such?

"An inattentive driver in a blue Mustang hung in front of them"
Another example where brevity is better. I'd just say "A blue Mustang hung in front of them".

Driving and arrival at the hotel. I don't if you intend geography to play an important role in the complete story, but if not, I'd cut a lot of it. For example "A blue neon swan in front of a neglected, two-story building signaled their destination." I suspect I may be too brief in describing scenes in my own writing, sometimes. But I work under the assumption the reader is more interested in the characters, the drama and the action than long descriptions that have no relevance later in the story.

The skinny man. How do they know he's bald if he's wearing a cap? Perhaps they can see it, but I'd drop that.

The police car. Drop "Dodge Charger" (unless it's important) and just tell us that the police car can be spotted far off by it's flashing light. As written, it left some confusion as to which car the lights were on.

Indian. For us foreigners, it's not clear if he's Asian Indian or Native Indian. Probably not important, but these tiny things make the reader hesitate and breaks the flow of reading. Probably easier to just describe him as "dark" or something like that?
TV-guy would probably stare at them, possibly "wide-eyed" or "curious" or something like that?

"lookie-loos" Is that a local term? We foreigner must guess what it means *Smile*

fireman = firemen and later the reverse :)

Ok, enough nitpicking (sorry).
I like the pacing when for much of the ambulance ride and the scene at the hotel.
But you would tell a much stronger story by trimming off much information that's not needed for this part (or at all).

For example. I'm not sure if Otis or the police officer will be the love interest (I suspect the latter). When Misty arrives, I strongly doubt she would notice much detail around her, including the police officer's eye color. This is perfect for continuity, because the next time she meets him, under relaxed conditions(?), she gets to take in all those details and reflect on how she finds him attractive. As her feelings deepen, she finds herself thinking more and more about those details.
I’d also start the story with the call coming in for a dramatic opening, and then perhaps do the ice cream scene when Misty and Otis meet next?

I hope this is taken as it's intended: As constructive comments *Smile*
9
9
Review of I FORGIVE YOU  
Review by adrm
Rated: 13+ | (1.5)
Quick but important tip: watch your punctuation and capitalization. The free Grammarly plugin to your browser can help.

I strongly urge you to watch tutorials by experienced writers on plot, structure, and characters. I have learned a lot by listening to Jerry Jenkins and others on YouTube myself.

Please don't put too much into the rating.
Good luck.
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