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116 Public Reviews Given
Public Reviews
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1
Review by A.T.B: It's...
Rated: E | (5.0)
         Hey there! My name is Drew, and I've chosen to offer my feedback on your work as a peer and fellow member.

         As I'm sure you know - when it comes to all reviews/critiques, it's ultimately the author's choice whether to agree with, consider, or even just ignore the reviews that you receive. Feel free to contact me with any questions, comments, hurled vegetables, heavy machinery or other forms of feedback if you'd like.

Item and Date Reviewed:
 Economy vs Equality  [E]
ECONOMY IS DEFINED AS FRUGALITY IN THE EXPENDITURE OF MONEY, THINGS, ETC
by J. Lee


Rating Given (Scale of 1-5 stars):
Easily a 5+ piece of writing. Excellent work.

First Impressions:
I'll kick things off by letting you know this is the first official "Drew Review" I've done in ages. My reviews are thorough and based on a real connection with the work, but I have so little time lately it's just not a possibility and yet, here we are. I can't say enough just what a happy accident it was that I came across this item on a day with sufficient time to spare.

With regard to those essential first impressions, I almost always recommend a slight bump in line spacing, perhaps to 1.7 or something similar. The last thing an essay needs - especially a successfully delivered one such as this - is eye fatigue halfway through. An increase in spacing would alleviate that.

Also, while I myself dither a bit depending upon the overall "feel" of a work, I think in this case you would benefit from indenting the start of each paragraph. I don't do it in all of my work due to the sometimes undesired sense of formality it adds to shorter prose pieces, but given an essay as strong as yours here, it just feels right and proper.

You do well to inform your audience early on exactly what you mean to establish with this piece, something that so many essays and papers and treatises and rants and blogs (the list is nearly endless in the modern world) fail to do more often than not. A round of applause for that alone.

*Exclaim*

What I Found Most Enjoyable:
With any essay, moreso than prose and even poetry or lyrics, confidence is key. Here you demonstrate both a confidence with language and the underlying philosophy on which your work is centered.

You have a sort of 'layman's command' if I may, that gold mine every stump-speaking politician desires for themselves and envies in others. You speak from the heart on what is so often a purely cerebral, philosophical, and almost esoteric set of subjects. Fantastic tone and voice, throughout.

*Dollar*

What I Feel Could Use A Little Work:
With an essay with this personality it's difficult to nitpick at anything, and I've mentioned the spacing and format suggestions already, so I'd say the only real critique I have is to be mindful of any repetition that goes beyond driving home your point and distracts from the work's potential.

My technique for that is to read each paragraph last to first, which also helps to keep your conclusion perfectly in line with your overall presentation.

*Idea*

Overall:
Overall, I'd call this an inspired work of excellent caliber. I wouldn't be surprised to read a slightly refined version in a popular periodical.

Fantastic job. Keep up the good work!

*Star*

         Thanks again for your contribution! I hope this review has helped to motivate, inspire, and validate your work as both and artist and a writer as well.

Write On!


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2
Review by A.T.B: It's...
In affiliation with  
Rated: E | (5.0)
         Hey there! My name is Drew, and I've chosen to offer my feedback on your work as a peer and fellow member. Feel free to contact me with any questions, comments, hurled vegetables, heavy machinery or other forms of feedback if you'd like.


First Impressions:
An honest but not self-loathing account on one's seeming and unhappy inability to grasp the essentials of depth with any given poem, despite a knowledge of formatting and structural technicalities.

The tone is kind and quirky, appealing to the dedicated poets in our midst as you ask for advice on the current state of your reviewing poetry - step away from poetry reviewing altogether, give more shallow assessments focusing primarily upon accuracy to form, or give an honest response in that certain aspects hit their mark while the overall message remains a mystery.


What I Found Most Enjoyable:
By far, your candor. Second to that, your willingness to give an open and honest account of what a poet can expect if requesting you to look at a piece they've written.

You language is informal and easily accessible, making your difficulty that much easier to understand and relate to, as none of us are guaranteed to divine a poem's message(s) regardless of our experience or, as you say, enjoyment of several aspects.


What I Feel Could Use A Little Work:
There are some very minor cases of comma-crowding, but since they don't hinder the flow in this case, I will overlook this section and say, "Nicely - very nicely - put together essay and request to the WdC community's poets."


Overall:
The line that most caught my attention is, "What would you tell me; what should I say if your gorgeous creation leaves me questioning my mental capabilities? Do you prefer I click away, or is there a secret formula to decrypting them?"

To this I respond: If you feel the power of the words, the cadence, find the imagery unforgettable, then comment in detail about how those aspects truly grabbed your heartstrings or intrigued you - as those aspects are more often the most common elements we writers fret so ceaselessly about - and you can alleviate a great deal of that stress through that sort of 'incomplete' reviewing method. I put incomplete in quotes there because without an easily divined higher meaning, a poem is still essentially bound to its structural integrity and the power of its language.

Best advice: continue reviewing poetry, perhaps give it more of a focus, submit the more technical details that caught your eye and held your attention, and then (by all means) engage with the work's author. Some will rather simply hear what, or if, you understood, however little. Others, though, will gladly recite the veritable list of intended impacts for which they'd planned for their poem from the start or as it evolved during the writing process (and most will happily talk to you about their writing process, in very great detail *Smile*)

I think there you'll find next to if not all the answers - and confidence - you're seeking.

Very nicely written, excellent connection to the reader, and fantastic food for thought for anyone coming across this piece.

Take care and best always!
~Drew

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Review of COCK OF THE WALK  
Review by A.T.B: It's...
In affiliation with  
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Hi there! My name is Drew and I’m submitting this review of your submission to "Invalid Item. Thanks so much for taking the time to participate, and remember, these are simply my opinions as a reviewer that only happens to be a guest judge for this round. My thoughts are yours to consider or discard at your discretion! *Smile*

Adherence to Prompt: Though the story deviates slightly from the prompt - not quite establishing a question of gender among secondary characters - the piece worked exceptionally well overall, maintaining a linear narrative that was a great deal of fun to read.

Presentation: Orderly, easy on the eyes; my only recommendation would be a slight increase in the work's spacing. Flowed quite nicely from start to finish.

Character: Exceptional development with both believable and memorable characters. Easy to stay on target - well done indeed.

Voice: Unique tone and color to the narrative, made the story easy to read, enjoyable, and a great way to pass the time.

Grammar: Few if any mistakes worth mentioning. Nicely done!

Thanks so much for your submission, and we hope to see your exceptional talent in future rounds! Best always,
~Drew
4
4
Review of Exchange Student  
Review by A.T.B: It's...
In affiliation with  
Rated: ASR | (4.5)
Hi there! My name is Drew and I’m submitting this review of your submission to "Invalid Item. Thanks so much for taking the time to participate, and remember, these are simply my opinions as a reviewer that only happens to be a guest judge for this round. My thoughts are yours to consider or discard at your discretion! *Smile*

Adherence to Prompt: Kept to the prompt exceptionally well throughout. Nice work.

Presentation: Excellent style, concise development, structure is solid and reliable - easy to navigate and well put together.

Character: While certain aspects of character boarder somewhat on hyperbole, the story does well to demonstrate a sense of humor. Well done.

Voice: Possibly the most memorable aspect of this piece, it's always a wonderful sign to see a work that doesn't take itself too seriously while still developing a strong narrative. Very nice.

Grammar: Perhaps a couple of typos, but certainly not enough to warrant mention or any deductions.

Thank you so much for your interest in our competition, and we can't wait to see your submissions in future rounds! Best always,
~Drew
5
5
Review of Anything will do  
Review by A.T.B: It's...
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
Having read what you've written, I'm painfully reminded of a time in my own life during which I wrote a very similar story - I referred to it as fiction as well despite the fact that it was the absolute truth...I spent years struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts. In 2009, my stepfather of over 20 years took his own life.

My name is Drew, and with a handful of other members I founded the "Youth Suicide Prevention Initiative last fall. Our goal was to provide resources for fellow members of any age, race, creed, sexuality, or background. Our mission remains, however, to proactively and personally offer our assistance to anyone that may be contemplating harming themselves or suicide itself due to tragedies and other situations that we've been through in our own lives and experiences.

I understand that this may indeed be entirely fictional, but as a rule we try to address any work as seemingly personal as yours from a position of acceptance and reassurance in the event that there may be certain levels of truth, however subtle, however miniscule, within your words.

I must say though that if your words are true in their majority, we will see to it in whatever methods available to us that the world of which you speak in this work is changed for the better.

There are options - there is hope. There is a life that will be yours and yours alone in the blink of an eye, one that nothing nor anyone can take from you, deny you, or determine for you. It is not always "better" in a literal sense; we will all experience hardships, but it will be yours to control in its entirety. There will be a time when having a crush becomes uplifting, times when you have the strength, the confidence, to get the boy with no idea you like him.

If there are aspects that are true in your story, please keep in touch with either Brooke - 15 years? or me, A.T.B: It'sWhatWeDo whenever the story you've written begins to become your reality. Even if I'm completely wrong about this, but something similar occurs in the future, we'll be here then as well, just as we are now.

Take care, give yourself time to find some peace in life, and give the world time to bring you out of those troubles you can't seem to bear at this point in your life - the simple truth is, we can bear anything with the help of others, even strangers, and there are others here and elsewhere that have made their own unique vows to help in any way they can.

Come find us any time you need,
~Drew

FORUM
Youth Suicide Prevention Initiative  (13+)
Social forum to offer support and information to at-risk youth & peers seeking information
#1717439 by Brooke - 15 years?
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Review of Dark Spaces  
Review by A.T.B: It's...
In affiliation with RAOK Upgrade Brigade Group  
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
Pat!! *Heart*

My friend, congratulations on your promotion!! I was so thrilled to hear of it - again, proof of WdC's staff continually rewarding those dedicated individuals invested in giving back (and you most certainly do!).

I've had so many moderators send notes of appreciation following a critique...it seems that once promoted out of 'yellow-dom' nearly every mod experiences a drop in reviews received - I suppose there's an imaginary pecking order, scaring off a blue-case's would-be reviewers, so I'm making it my mission to review as many of our newest 'n' bluest as I can today! Diane always has the best ideas, I think. Hurray RAOK!

So, here we go:

*Exclaim* Date Reviewed:
         09 March, 2011

*Exclaim* Item Reviewed:
Dark Spaces  [13+]
Harsh words too easily spoken--from the abusive mom's perspective
by Pat ~ starting a new journey


*Exclaim* Initial Impressions and What I Enjoyed:
         Nicely presented, easily accessible spacing, size, and centered format. Fragmented clauses work well to demonstrate a fractured psyche and the rapid, harried remembrances that so often accompany the aftermath of a confrontation - truly benefits the work; nicely done!

         Language and imagery is delicate, intelligent, and graceful - but not too lofty that it takes away from the visceral emotions imparted within the work. It's often so easy to lose touch with the reader's heart and soul when one's own are bared too eloquently...it takes a true poet to know when to step back a bit from their own talents with vocabulary and imagery, and you, ma'am, are a true poet (by that definition and any other).

*Exclaim* Some Optional Suggestions:
*This is and will always be your work; anything I suggest is also yours to keep, consider, or discard at your discretion*

         *Bullet*There's a bit of passivity in Line 1; it says exactly what it means to say, I simply wonder if it couldn't say it in a more powerful manner, such as:
"Undeserved shouts of rage slung out" or
"Shouts of rage slung out, unprovoked" (works well with "pain" in Line 2)

         *Bullet*In Line 2, you could reorder some words to counteract that passivity as well, perhaps:
"Sobs of quiet pain, re-opened wounds"

         *Bullet*In Line 3, "Tears of shame touch..." could be reworked, maybe: "Shameful tears trail against vulnerable cheeks"

         *Bullet*Lines 4-5 are worded and expressed simply and brilliantly - minimalistic and poignant.

         *Bullet*I love the contrast, L4-5 are so simple while Line 6 brings about such a turn around in imagery and language; works perfectly to bust up the 'easing down' sensation in flow and empower the work again, building back momentum and moving it ahead.

         *Bullet*For Line 9, perhaps "Tomorrow dawns, ..." rather than "New day..." - it works fine as is, just makes my grammar-alarm bleep at me *Smile*

         *Bullet*The rest is just rapture in words - wonderful downshifting into your brooding conclusion!

*Star* Overall:
         This is one that made me glad I spent a little more time in your port looking for work to review - I wanted something new and something meaningful, something poignant to which I could relate, and I'm happy to say, with this work, I've struck gold. Despite my "suggestions" you may still consider me a huge fan of this particular poem, so 5-stars for you!

Best to you as always, my dear friend, and Congratulations!!
~Drew
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Review of She Hugged Me  
Review by A.T.B: It's...
In affiliation with Dream Team HQ  
Rated: E | (5.0)
This reminded me so much of the days when my nephew - now almost 5 - was younger, always perplexed and fascinated with the world and the family members that cared so much about him. It truly is as if, even at such a young age, our newest additions to the family already recognize and appreciate the love that we give them simply because our heart is theirs from the moment we lay eyes upon them.

This is a simple piece of poetry for the simplest of all emotions, and you do a wonderful job portraying just that. A real joy to read, and I look forward to reading more of you work as time permits.

Best of luck with your writing; you've found a voice and a style that will no doubt resonate a great deal with anyone lucky enough to have experienced a similar moment with a young child they adore as much as you obviously adore your sister here.

Take care and by all means, keep at it!
~Drew
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Review by A.T.B: It's...
In affiliation with Dream Team HQ  
Rated: E | (5.0)
I think this is a gorgeous flash fiction piece. The language, tempo, and underlying philosophical depth are all exemplary. I'm giving it 5-stars, because I don't think there's anything you could do to improve upon what you have, short of expanding it - but I can't rate or critique what isn't there, only express my desire to see more. The story is told and told well, however. The 4-star average has me wondering. Often readers will underrate a story of this quality due to its depth and the standard of understanding required to fully enjoy it. Don't listen to anyone that thinks otherwise...in its current format, you've built this one perfectly.

I think it would be an interesting prologue to give way to a character that does assign some sort of meaning or personal significance to the little star shard, if you're looking to use it in a longer undertaking. Otherwise, bravo. Nicely done indeed. Let me know if you ever work this one into a longer piece, as I'd love to see how it evolves. ~Drew
9
9
Review by A.T.B: It's...
In affiliation with Dream Team HQ  
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
         Hey there! My name is Drew, and I've chosen to offer my feedback on your work as a peer and fellow member.

         As I'm sure you know - when it comes to all reviews/critiques, it's ultimately the author's choice whether to agree with, consider, or even just ignore the reviews that you receive. Feel free to contact me with any questions, comments, hurled vegetables, heavy machinery or other forms of feedback if you'd like.

Item and Date Reviewed:
State Of Fatal Rapture  [18+]
A man courts his love of death
by W.D.Wilcox

27 September, 2010

Rating Given (Scale of 1-5 stars):
4.5 - haunting, deep, personal, unique in its style

First Impressions:

*Exclaim* Large clear font with even spacing makes the story easy to read. Hardly felt like 2100 words. Structure is reliable, plot more than easily accessible. Excellent character.

Nice work.

What I Found Most Enjoyable:

*Dollar* Due to my own subjective experiences this was a difficult piece to read, but I'm a firm believe in "nothing ventured, nothing gained."

Your character and his conflict are rock solid; there is no 'huh?' sensation at any point, despite a lack of dialogue. Narrative exposition is impeccable.

What I Feel Could Use A Little Work:

*Idea* A few instances of word choice, ordering, and the usual punctuation. I'll go further into these, but keep in mind these are merely my own personal suggestions for you to do with as you please, if at all.

(the dreaded)
Line by Line:
___

1st P: I would move "everything would be fine" so that it precedes "if he could just kill himself" in order to clip that lengthy preposition and work better for flow.
___

"...(he) gripped in his hand." --I think you can remove the (he) in question, repetition.
___

--remove semicolon after "glistened" and use a comma instead.
___

"...whose engine is badly out of tune..." --consider rephrasing, perhaps:

"...an old car with an engine badly out of tune..." --subtle, but flows better in my opinion.

___

"...to how it all began." --phrasing, perhaps:

"He thought back to its beginning."

___

"...ceased to be amazed..." --phrasing, perhaps:

"He was forever amazed and distressed by how..."

___

"Unfortunately, even now..." --I think this goes without saying. Consider the tone:

"And as memories go, not all of them were pleasant."

___

"Like the time he got..." --phrasing, consider:

"When he was caught peeping, for instance, into Mrs. Berber's bedroom window."

___

"Jack liked to watch(;)...stop himself from watching(,)" --needs a semicolon in the first and just a comma in the second, rather than the other way around.
___

"...elated with the power (that/a) loaded pistol..." --typo, easy fix
___

"The experts called it(,) paraphilia, ..." --first comma is a false stop, can remove it.
___

"Not yet, Jack-o," --New paragraph break for dialogue.
___

"...slowly walked..." --word choice; find a better way to say it: crept, inched, prowled
___

"...had happened so completely(,) that..." --false stop, can remove comma.
___

Using "Mommie" at the end, I feel, introduces an aspect of character that isn't touched upon at any point during the story. I think something along the lines of a brief inner dialogue would hit harder, for instance,

"Oh, Jesus...what've I done." --or something like that, keeping with the one man/one gun ideal.


Overall:

*Star* A difficult story, as I said, but pulled off in an exemplary manner. This is one of those that some readers might leap to the "biographical conclusion" and worry about your sanity. I don't see evidence of that here, necessarily; what I see is simply a phenomenal work of dark fiction, sharing a character's doomed exploits with a cringing audience.

As always, let me know and I'd be happy to take another look in the event of any significant edits or rewrites, time permitting!

Well done indeed - I'm impressed, and I don't impress easy. =)

         Thanks again for your contribution! I hope this review has helped to motivate, inspire, and validate your work as both and artist and a writer as well.

Write On!


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Review of Deeper  
Review by A.T.B: It's...
In affiliation with Dream Team HQ  
Rated: E | (4.5)
         Hey there! My name is Drew, and I've chosen to offer my feedback on your work as a peer and fellow member.

         As I'm sure you know - when it comes to all reviews/critiques, it's ultimately the author's choice whether to agree with, consider, or even just ignore the reviews that you receive. Feel free to contact me with any questions, comments, hurled vegetables, heavy machinery or other forms of feedback if you'd like.

Item and Date Reviewed:
 Deeper  [E]
A short poem about depression, anxiety, fear, and general craziness...
by Hedren Rowe

28 August, 2010

Rating Given (Scale of 1-5 stars):
4.5 - a stark moment trapped in time, wonderful imagery - needs just a bit of polish

First Impressions:

*Exclaim* One line: "The morning pours into the room"

Excellent, beautiful introduction to an excellent, beautiful poem.

Spacing could be increased, allowing the lines to breathe a bit. {linespace:1.85} should would perfectly; just copy and paste that into your first line, and {/linespace} at the end of your last line of poetry.

What I Found Most Enjoyable:

*Dollar* The second stanza is absolutely stunning, summing up in six simple lines all the fears and trepidations of depression and fear for one's own mental state.

Favorite Lines:
Motivation is fiction
Paranoia is life

These, for me, bring together the sad acceptance that life is difficult, that life will remain difficult, as the next line aptly states, "And it won't go away"

What I Feel Could Use A Little Work:

*Idea* Only some simple instances of word choice, listed below:

Line 4: Change "And" to "As"

Line 11: Change "Who's" (Who is) to "Whose" (possessive form of who)

Overall:

*Star* Absolutely wonderful, heartfelt, heart-wrenching, accessible and cathartic. See to those simple fixes above and let me know, and I'd be more than happy to read this excellent work again if you'd like.

You've certainly found your way with words - keep with it, find your unique voice, and I look forward to seeing you truly shine here at Writing.Com! Excellent work!

         Thanks again for your contribution! I hope this review has helped to motivate, inspire, and validate your work as both and artist and a writer as well.

Write On!


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Review of Cusp  
Review by A.T.B: It's...
In affiliation with Dream Team HQ  
Rated: E | (4.5)
         Hey there! My name is Drew, and I've chosen to offer my feedback on your work as a peer and fellow member.

         As I'm sure you know - when it comes to all reviews/critiques, it's ultimately the author's choice whether to agree with, consider, or even just ignore the reviews that you receive. Feel free to contact me with any questions, comments, hurled vegetables, heavy machinery or other forms of feedback if you'd like.

Item and Date Reviewed:
 Cusp  [E]
For 'A Little Bit of Poetry' contest
by Fyn-elf

8/23/2010

Rating Given (Scale of 1-5 stars):
4.5 - excellent, straight-forward imagery, captures the scene well as summer passes on.

First Impressions:

*Exclaim* Centering allows for easy accessibility - normally, I'm not such a fan of centered text on the computer screen, but the shape of the poem reinforces its central theme and purpose.

I would increase spacing a tad, perhaps 1.65 or 1.85 for further readability and less eye-strain in the event that a judge had come across this piece late in their scoring.

What I Found Most Enjoyable:

*Dollar* As always, gorgeous detail and near flawless utilization of all the right images, turning the text into a motion picture and the poem as a whole into a short film.

The tone is personal and anecdotal, readily available to any reader regardless of technical knowledge or familiarity. Setting is crisp, and all the senses are nourished by the last line.

What I Feel Could Use A Little Work:

*Idea* As mentioned, consider increasing the linespace - that may also further strengthen the shape-based aspects that add to the poem's poignancy.

(the dreaded)
Line by Line:

Lines 1 and 2: I think taking a closer look at word ordering would set the poem off to a much more powerful start and do justice to the momentum and cement that crucial first image.

For instance:

Leaves cling quivering to their branches,
Dry, crackling as if already dead underfoot.


The rest picks up quickly and moves without significant interruption to its conclusion.
Nicely done!

Overall:

*Exclaim* This is really a 4.75*Star* poem, but as 5.0 is perfect, I hate that I couldn't round up considering the subjectivity of the suggestions above. Feel free to keep what sounds right, as this is your art, and I am merely here to enjoy it and make what suggestions I can.

Again, gorgeous work - feel free to let me know in the event you do any further revision and we'll see if we can't get that 5.0 star rating after all - it's practically there as it is.

         Thanks again for your contribution! I hope this review has helped to motivate, inspire, and validate your work as both and artist and a writer as well.

Write On!


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Review of Sink me  
Review by A.T.B: It's...
In affiliation with Dream Team HQ  
Rated: E | (4.5)
         Hey there! My name is Drew, and I've chosen to offer my feedback on your work as a peer and fellow member.

         As I'm sure you know - when it comes to all reviews/critiques, it's ultimately the author's choice whether to agree with, consider, or even just ignore the reviews that you receive. Feel free to contact me with any questions, comments, hurled vegetables, heavy machinery or other forms of feedback if you'd like.

Item and Date Reviewed:
 Sink me  [E]
I was pretty sad when I wrote this one in 10th grade
by KelssDarlingg

8/14/2010

Rating Given (Scale of 1-5 stars):
4.5 stars - nicely written, honest and emotional; needs just a bit of polish

First Impressions:

*Exclaim* Short, profound, and punctual. Repetition makes me think of rolling waves.

I would convert it either to standard black or a somewhat more "ocean-esque" font color. The red makes it quite easy to read, which is always nice, but has no real connection to the poem, which doesn't read very "red" to me, if that makes sense.

What I Found Most Enjoyable:

*Dollar* I'm a water animal for starters, and any poetry about the sea especially catches my attention. Even though the subject matter is more morose, the imagery is clear and accessible.

The title is what originally drew me in - nice choice of words in that regard.

Nice work with your personification of the loving waves, as well as with the contrast - the waves are loving, yet tear you down, rip what's already torn. It's as if you're asking the waves to end your misery, which (as I said) is a bit morbid, but has a kind of sad beauty to it.

You say a great deal with few words; that always warrants my applause in poetry.

What I Feel Could Use A Little Work:

*Idea* As I said above, perhaps a change in font color is needed - give it a try and see if it doesn't actually add to the reader's experience.

(the dreaded)
Line by Line:

1-5: excellent, no suggestions

6: "After I'm long gone" breaks a fairly uniform meter that you set up in lines 2 and 4. Given what I've seen of your writing thus far, I would definitely bet you could do this line better justice. Even something as simple as "After I am long forgotten"

7-8: particularly exceptional lines, nice work!

9: I would switch "cold" and "secure" to read "Loving waves secure and cold" -better flow

10-12: excellent, no suggestions

13-16: language comes across to me as atypical for this sense of "drowning" - I'll just suggest something for you consideration, the choice is yours, of course.

Loving waves hold me under
Until, breathless, I am yours


Overall:

*Star* If you implement or find inspiration within any of the suggestions above, feel free to let me know and I'd love to take another look at this excellent piece of poetry if you'd like me to.

Well done, and welcome to Writing.Com!!

         Thanks again for your contribution! I hope this review has helped to motivate, inspire, and validate your work as both and artist and a writer as well.

Write On!


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Review of Falling Up  
Review by A.T.B: It's...
In affiliation with Dream Team HQ  
Rated: E | (4.5)
         Hey there! My name is Drew, and I've chosen to offer my feedback on your work as a peer and fellow member.

         As I'm sure you know - when it comes to all reviews/critiques, it's ultimately the author's choice whether to agree with, consider, or even just ignore the reviews that you receive. Feel free to contact me with any questions, comments, hurled vegetables, heavy machinery or other forms of feedback if you'd like.

Item and Date Reviewed:
 Falling Up  [E]
"...things are beautiful which are inspired by madness and written by reason." Andre Gide
by Fyn-elf

8/10/2010

Rating Given (Scale of 1-5 stars):
4.5 stars - excellent tone, narrative, persona, and rife with honesty.

First Impressions:

*Exclaim* The work is easily approachable and overall presentation is crisp and well put together.

"Falling Up" is excellent for hooking potential readers; nice titling.

What I Found Most Enjoyable:

*Dollar* Language is delightfully formal and the narrator is just cynical enough for the reader to either see her in themselves or certainly within another similar personality.

Favorite Line:
"...Writers as a general species, good ones anyway, do not exist in the world of 'everyoneelse." -excellent observation.

What I Feel Could Use A Little Work:

*Idea* No real suggestions for this piece - you do well with short fiction, as well. Perhaps you could work some with linespacing so it comes off just a bit easier and accessible in general.

Overall:

*Star* Strong writing, close attention to all the necessary details given context...I think will a little length this would be much more fulfilling, though I do understand the trials of word-limits.

Regardless, nicely done indeed.

         Thanks again for your contribution! I hope this review has helped to motivate, inspire, and validate your work as both and artist and a writer as well.

Write On!


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Review of Dew of Dreams  
Review by A.T.B: It's...
In affiliation with Dream Team HQ  
Rated: E | (5.0)
         Hey there! My name is Drew, and I've chosen to offer my feedback on your work as a peer and fellow member.

         As I'm sure you know - when it comes to all reviews/critiques, it's ultimately the author's choice whether to agree with, consider, or even just ignore the reviews that you receive. Feel free to contact me with any questions, comments, hurled vegetables, heavy machinery or other forms of feedback if you'd like.

Item and Date Reviewed:
Dew of Dreams  [E]
While all writing is inspired the gift is in that which dwells with the receiver
by Calli Seren

8/9/2010

Rating Given (Scale of 1-5 stars):
5.0 stars - exemplary, gorgeous language and imagery, an embodiment of hope

First Impressions:

*Exclaim* This work is the perfect example of a poem's title being fully utilized to draw an audience - "Dew of Dreams" is a gorgeous collections of words and images.
Nicely done!

Structurally, the poem is well put together with a crisp delivery; the single lines interspersed after 1, then 2, then 3 stanzas and simple but poignant, providing an excellent framing device for the lovely language found between.

What I Found Most Enjoyable:

*Dollar* I'm just going to say "everything" before I start quoting the entire work.

I'll applaud you again on your placement of the break-lines, though.

What I Feel Could Use A Little Work:

*Idea* It may just be my particular WDC setup, but the teal-colored text doesn't stand out all that well against my background...that's likely just me, though.

Whenever I'm particularly struck by a particular work of poetry, I shift from the basics of language and structure and focus primarily upon punctuation, momentum, and flow. The critiques that follow are yours to do with just as you please; I'm only here to enjoy your work and make what suggestions I feel might benefit the work from my own perspective as a writer. Apologies in advance if I tread upon the toes of your creative process - it's quite unintended, I promise.

(the dreaded)
Line by Line:

1. End first line with a period/semicolon rather than a comma.

2. Looks great - well done.

3. Can remove the comma from the end of line 3 and move straight to 4.

4. Wonderful imagery, excellent.

5. Nice declarative tone here.

6. Remove comma after "cricket"

7. Replace end-comma with a period.

8, 9, 10. Gorgeous, no suggestions.

11. I would use a colon or a dash, pointing the reader onward toward line 12.

12-13. Can remove either the comma on 12 or "And" in 13. Remove comma on 13.

14-15. Lovely.

16. Remove comma at end.

17-18. As with 12-13, can remove either 17's comma or 18's "And". Remove 18's comma after "us".

19-20. Beauty.

21. Change end-comma to a period.

22. Change end-comma to dash or semicolon.

23. Nice.

24. I think I might have to look at word choice here, actually...

Perhaps: "We are the earth soon fed..." 'that will be' adds a lot of weight.

25-27. Wonderful.

28. Can remove comma after "canyons"

29. Excellent.

30. Add a comma after "us"

31. Absolutely fantastic final line.

Overall:

*Star* I consider this a fantastic way to get the day started, honestly. Such a strong, polished work filled with accessible, beautiful imagery and positive motivation.

If you find time to try out any of the above suggestions, I'd be more than happy to take a second look at this poem to see if my instincts were on or not. I would strongly urge you to make some of those minor tweaks, copyright the work officially, and seek some form of publication with this piece. Bravo!

         Thanks again for your contribution! I hope this review has helped to motivate, inspire, and validate your work as both and artist and a writer as well.

Write On!


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Review of Rain  
Review by A.T.B: It's...
In affiliation with Dream Team HQ  
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
         Hey there! My name is Drew, and I've chosen to offer my feedback on your work as a peer and fellow member.

         As I'm sure you know - when it comes to all reviews/critiques, it's ultimately the author's choice whether to agree with, consider, or even just ignore the reviews that you receive. Feel free to contact me with any questions, comments, hurled vegetables, heavy machinery or other forms of feedback if you'd like.

Item and Date Reviewed:
 Rain  [13+]
I Wrote This One Day, Thinking Of Nature.
by brookelynne

8/9/2010

Rating Given (Scale of 1-5 stars):
*see below*

First Impressions:

*Exclaim* Welcome to Writing.Com! I always try my best to review as many new members as I possibly can, as it's such a magic feeling to be validated and reassured by your peers.

At first glance, I can see some basic logistical/grammatical snafus (I call them snafus because they're normal - we're all guilty, don't let anybody tell ya otherwise *Delight* ).

The work has an interesting rhythm to it, as if its run-on sentences are intentionally present, almost mirroring the unpredictability of falling rain itself.

What I Found Most Enjoyable:

*Dollar* Your analogies shine in this poem; this demonstrates a vivid imagination that, with only a tiny bit of work, could be easily set loose to deliver some downright mindblowing imagery and reader-accessibility.

Favorite Line:
"Beautiful like a morning meal." -great mix of many senses, as well as nostalgia

What I Feel Could Use A Little Work:

*Idea* As I said above, there are some basic snafus that I can run through pretty quick, just don't feel as if I've stepped on the toes of your creative process - my job is simply to enjoy your work and contribute what assistance I can as a reader and a reviewer; you're completely free to do with my critiques as you choose.

Line by Line:

1: Capitalize "When", "?" after "meal" - capitalize "You" and add proper spaces between crash and splash on either side of the comma there.

2. Your puddles "are" - puddles is plural, "it" should (I think) be "is" but change to "are" regardless.

3. Remove "?" and substitute a comma, saving the question for line 4.

4. Capitalize "Soft" and add "?" after "toy"

5. I would reword some here, perhaps to "If I let you run through my hair, are you cold?"

6. Then, "Or are you warm?" Switch subject/verb arrangement, perhaps "I look up: beautiful summer storms..."

7. Change "there to "Where" (and capitalize) - comma after "fall"

8. Comma after earth, and add "yet" are you ever hurt, etc.

9. Space between "Hungry?" and "Sad?" (and capitalize "Sad" and "Tell")

Overall:

*Star* I think because of the logistical and grammatical errors, 3-stars is a bit of an unfair rating, as the poem establishes its meaning - delivers its message of beauty - despite a few missed capital letters, spaces, question marks, and commas. Penalizing a poem like this one for its grammar is, to me, a sign of a lazy reader/reviewer - *especially* if said reader/reviewers never offered any advice or constructive criticism on how to fix those small errors in order for the poem to shine just as brightly as it possibly can.

In response to my suspicion in that regard, I'm going to award you 4.5 stars to boost that rating a bit for you.

You're off to a great start - don't give up! Let me know if you rework any aspects of this piece and I'll gladly take another look for you if you'd like.

Best always!

         Thanks again for your contribution! I hope this review has helped to motivate, inspire, and validate your work as both and artist and a writer as well.

Write On!


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Review of Captain Seth  
Review by A.T.B: It's...
In affiliation with Dream Team HQ  
Rated: E | (5.0)
         Hey there! My name is Drew, and I've chosen to offer my feedback on your work as a peer and fellow member.

         As I'm sure you know - when it comes to all reviews/critiques, it's ultimately the author's choice whether to agree with, consider, or even just ignore the reviews that you receive. Feel free to contact me with any questions, comments, hurled vegetables, heavy machinery or other forms of feedback if you'd like.

Item and Date Reviewed:
 Captain Seth  [E]
Long dead, but somehow yet alive
by Fyn-elf

8/8/2010

Rating Given (Scale of 1-5 stars):
5.0 stars - inspired storytelling, excellent momentum, exemplary character and imagery

First Impressions:

*Exclaim* Since Coleridge, I've been a huge fan of any great sea/ship poetry with a vivid story and a strong narrative. This particular piece is no different.

The centered text gives the work an interesting rise and fall, as if mirroring the waves of the sea...I would be interested to see this piece in standard-left format, though, but such is more curiosity than critique.

What I Found Most Enjoyable:

*Dollar* This is truly an Epic Poem - while there have no doubt been works that are a great deal longer and more involved, this work involves all the celebrated hallmarks of the classics: a progression in time and position for the work's title protagonist, a visceral sense of location and setting, monumental characters that remain with anyone fortunate enough to enjoy this poem, and imagery so vivid one can almost feel the sway of the deck, the strength of the storm, or the rough texture of the rugged stone cross.

The 5 x 5 stanza formation - the first half a biography, the second an exemplary "Come, hear ye" tale set to verse - gives this work a profound sense of depth; it further establishes the culture, furthers the story itself as it brings in his wife and children (his legacy as a fisherman, as so many are), and firmly plants both narrator and reader into a bit of a supernatural ode to old Cap'n Seth.

The Captain himself is built, line by line, into a character of both superb breadth and strength - a man to admire, to be sure. Such a fine example of this author's unique ability to snag her reader by the heartstrings early and play them with expert care through to the work's conclusion.

Favorite Line:
"As deep as fair waters, as wide as the sea was the size that his heart was reputed to be."
-Brilliant work

What I Feel Could Use A Little Work:

*Idea* My only suggestions would pertain to word choice for the sake of flow, but as there's no set meter, I'd simply be rewriting your work to suit my own subjective preferences. Feel free to email me if you'd like a deeper analysis of this excellent poem's ability to "ride the waves", as it were.

Overall:

*Star* Truly impressive poetry from a truly impressive writer of many styles. Your gifts of character, setting, and imagery are a wonder to behold (and envy, as well).

         Thanks again for your contribution! I hope this review has helped to motivate, inspire, and validate your work as both and artist and a writer as well.

Write On!


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17
Review by A.T.B: It's...
In affiliation with Dream Team HQ  
Rated: ASR | (4.0)
Hi there! Drew here from Dream Team with a judging review for your contest entry:

 A Sibling Nightmare  [ASR]
A boy and his brother enter a dream world that turns out to be a nightmare.
by Jonathan Marx


On behalf of "Dreamer's Sanctuary.

*NoteB*Please keep in mind that, even as a judge, my reviews are given with a kind heart in the spirit of assistance. Regardless of the outcome, I hope that my critiques are able to further your talents as a writer.

*NoteB*Adherence to Contest Prompt or Theme (if applicable):

Setting and imagery use the contest prompt well.

*NoteB*Setting - Character - Imagery:

Strong setting with accessible imagery - well painted stage for your characters and their conflict.
Characters described in detail, but each seems to be a bit of a caricature of their age-group.

*NoteB*Structure - Grammar - Logistics:

Story is well put together, comes across clean and accessible.
No real grammatical errors to note; narration is clean and plot moves nicely.

*NoteB*Pertinent Suggestions:

As above with character - given the word limit in this instance - I would focus less on establishing such a "typical" relationship between the two siblings, ie: their bickering over age and behavior, and use that extra room you'll open up to better describe the conflict, which was present and palpable but seemed to fall short as the story was forced to its end.

*NoteB*Overall:

4.0 stars - good work; I wish I could give closer to 4.25, but I still applaud your writing.

*NoteB*I hope my feedback has proven a positive source of inspiration for you in your art and a motivating force to continue your competitive endeavors! Best of luck with your entry!
Write On!


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Thanks Fyn-elf for the perfect sig.

Proud member of The Dream Team  .
18
18
Review by A.T.B: It's...
In affiliation with Dream Team HQ  
Rated: E | (5.0)
         Hey there! My name is Drew, and I've chosen to offer my feedback on your work as a peer and fellow member.

         As I'm sure you know - when it comes to all reviews/critiques, it's ultimately the author's choice whether to agree with, consider, or even just ignore the reviews that you receive. Feel free to contact me with any questions, comments, hurled vegetables, heavy machinery or other forms of feedback if you'd like.

Item and Date Reviewed:
Caring Is Not Enough  [E]
For too long, words have been mistaken for compassion.
by 🌙 HuntersMoon

25 July, 2010


Rating Given (Scale of 1-5 stars):
5.0 - beautiful, heartfelt, exceptional and honest


First Impressions:

*Exclaim* Those first two lines, so poignant and direct. I would bet that anyone capable of truly absorbing the depth those words carry within them could scarcely avoid finishing the poem, likely just to read it all over again.


What I Found Most Enjoyable:

There's a rare poetic point of view - "ours" - that is so truly difficult to accomplish without becoming either a prophet or a muckraker. From line 1 to 32, you maintain a lofty tone without any sentiments of being "holier than thou," or beginning to sling insults to no one in particular, or worse, your reader - one who no doubt would enjoy this work as much as I have.

Your bring to life so many of earth's hardships and mankind's shortcomings, but you do so from a position of togetherness, unity. I only wish human beings spoke in such a...reassuringly urgent tone to one another.

*Dollar*"It's not enough to shake our heads and mumble words of piety" -favorite line


What I Feel Could Use A Little Work:

*Idea* My only real suggestion for such a great piece would be in the very last line,

"for that is change's fuel." -I think "Future's fuel" might give it a little oomph, or you can look at the 8th stanza for any viable rewording, possibly:

We know the answers from our hearts;
The Golden Rule is born within.
Beyond the words, we need to act
And act until the change begins.

---

line9: "We accept the daily pain we see" might help with flow

Only -one- Line by Line! That's just beautiful


Overall:

*Star* Truly a work worth every ounce of praise it has, does, or ever will receive. Thanks so much for your contribution to the auction and I hope my reviews have been above par!

Take care and don't hesitate to look me up for anything similar in the future.

         Thanks again for your contribution! I hope this review has helped to motivate, inspire, and validate your work as both and artist and a writer as well.

Write On!


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19
Review of Spirit Dance  
Review by A.T.B: It's...
In affiliation with Dream Team HQ  
Rated: E | (4.0)
         Hey there! My name is Drew, and I've chosen to offer my feedback on your work as a peer and fellow member.

         As I'm sure you know - when it comes to all reviews/critiques, it's ultimately the author's choice whether to agree with, consider, or even just ignore the reviews that you receive. Feel free to contact me with any questions, comments, hurled vegetables, heavy machinery or other forms of feedback if you'd like.

Item and Date Reviewed:
Tattered Wings  (E)
Soaring on hope's wings. (Form: Ottava Rima)
#1690269 by 🌙 HuntersMoon

24 July, 2010

Rating Given (Scale of 1-5 stars):
4.0 - wonderful work given the stringency of the prompt; exemplary imagery and tone, full of wisdom and heartfelt emotions...could use some work with word choice at times.

First Impressions:

When I read the prompt for this poem, I have to say I was intrigued. I've never tried to write around song lyrics before (other than my own...endless...musical projects), and I'm sure it was quite a challenge. Good thing it was Don Henley, though, I guess. =)

What I Found Most Enjoyable:

Once again, you're gift with imagery is impeccable, and some of your phrasing here is spot on. I honestly enjoyed this piece from start to finish, with just a couple nitpicks here and there.

Favorite Lines:

"True love and forever seem real, said aloud." --certainly made me think for a moment...

"What once warmly embraced is now just a shroud
that...blocks out the warmth like a passing cloud." --excellent tie-in to the prompt; great lin


What I Feel Could Use A Little Work:

(the dreaded)
Line by Line:

Line1: I'd remove "that" and contract "devil is"

Line2: excellent.

Line3: quick, copyright that! =)

Lines4-6: gorgeous; no suggestions

Line7(and 15): I'd remove "will" from each

Line9: "I will once more fly" might flow a bit better as "once more I will fly" - simply arrangement

Line10: "will mend (given) time." again, might help a bit with flow.

Line11:"without restraint" seems a bit out of place for word choice, perhaps: "unburdened"

Line12:"remembrance" seems a bit off as well; maybe just: "my sadness" or "past mistakes"

Line13: "will recede" could flow better as: "fades in the distance"

Line14: great line; no suggestions

Word choice is always one of my most stickler-ish traits when critiquing poetry, as it can easily throw a good sized wrench in the gears when it comes to rhythm and flow.


Overall:

I wish I could write twice as much, but on a two-stanza poem I'm limited by default. Regardless, the work is extraordinary. If you consider a rewrite, drop me a line and I'll be happy to nudge that rating 1/2 or a full star higher!

Take care and best of luck!

         Thanks again for your contribution! I hope this review has helped to motivate, inspire, and validate your work as both and artist and a writer as well.

Write On!


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20
Review of Early Morning Sun  
Review by A.T.B: It's...
In affiliation with Dream Team HQ  
Rated: E | (4.5)
         Hey there! My name is Drew, and I've chosen to offer my feedback on your work as a peer and fellow member.

         As I'm sure you know - when it comes to all reviews/critiques, it's ultimately the author's choice whether to agree with, consider, or even just ignore the reviews that you receive. Feel free to contact me with any questions, comments, hurled vegetables, heavy machinery or other forms of feedback if you'd like.

Item and Date Reviewed:
 Early Morning Sun  (E)
“Hello, fairies,” Jill murmured, a smile finding purchase on her face.
#1644922 by 🌙 HuntersMoon

24 July, 2010

Rating Given (Scale of 1-5 stars):
4.5 - touching, heartfelt and accessible; excellent story with profound imagery throughout

First Impressions:

I'll always read a good story about the wee folk; my own culture's ripe with 'em, and it was truly refreshing to see a similar and yet completely unique perspective on the idea of what one might call "the Other" across the pond on the British Isles - my family's all Scots-Irish with a little Cherokee here and there...

Upon the first read-through, the jarring realization was just that...jarring. Is it a dream that Jill's had, a drowsing memory, or could it truly be a visitation from the fairies to whom Rory had introduced her in the past, as they shared their moonlight waltz together to the music of the promenade...

This work raises some wonderful questions within the reader's mind - questions that continue long after the first (second, third) helping of the somewhat bittersweet fantasy romance. Jill seems to be in a limbo of grief, exalting in her memories of Rory and their love together, then plunging into the pain and suffering of her loss and the terrible consequences surrounding it.

As far as first impressions are concerned, I can only applaud. Works that deal with fantasy and loss have been accomplished many times before through supernatural media, but this piece had a particular...simplicity...to its narrative that really makes it "pop" off the page and into the reader's consciousness - becoming a movie in the head, rather than a collection of simple words upon the page; that, to me, is storytelling.


What I Found Most Enjoyable:

You have a wonderful gift for those minute details that make a story a wonderful piece of literature. From setting to imagery, character and emotions, conflict and resolution, your story is quite well-framed and pleasantly circular.

Despite the loss of her love, mere months ago, Jill maintains a visceral connection to both Rory and the wee folk that had first beckoned them out into the night together. Anyone that has experienced the loss of a dear loved one will find this character trait easily accessible, and the character will become all the more stronger for it, the greater the audience and the more devoted the reader.

I enjoyed Jill's bewilderment, ending up on the patio she'd shared with Rory early in the work, with the same odd song on her lips that had so puzzled her before - real or otherwise - and it lends an authenticity to her conflict and resolution as a character...that there is an "Other" world and therefore that visceral, heartfelt connection to a magic moment she'd shared (through whichever manner the reader may have decided to interpret) with the true love of her life.

I also have to applaud your use of in media res in this story. Such is a tricky feat to accomplish without a bulky, backstory-laden pile of exposition from the very start. You move seamlessly into the romance, the character, the conflict...bravo.

Favorite Lines:

"Jill felt a shiver run through her as the night exhaled softly preparing for the early morning sun."

"...she leaned into him, enjoying the sudden flush of warmth that flooded through her."

--such a lovely setting, vivid and poignant, touching and honest.

"Why did he have to be such a complete romantic? she thought and then the tears came again."

--grief is never sensible, and I enjoyed this bit of honesty in your story.

"She glanced at the clock, its floating red numbers marking the growing gulf between her and Rory."

--Time (and its passage) are both such wonderful motifs when dealing with loss or separation; the difficulty is bring it subtly enough into the story without the proverbial 'facepalm' on the reader's part.

"...she joined the promenade and moved with joy and love until the darkness faded."

--fantastically ambiguous method of ending your work...does she join them, "heading for the light" as it were, or is it simply the start of a new ritual in her life that will no doubt keep her closer to her lost love?


What I Feel Could Use A Little Work:

Dreamspeak:

It's always difficult to convey a full-length dream sequence in a shorter story. Depending upon the font, sometimes there's just not enough whiplash to wrench the reader back into the here-and-now. Sometimes, especially on a computer screen where the contrast is a good bit less-than-desirable, the ready might not notice the italics-drop altogether and continue reading as if Jill had merely fallen asleep after her waltz with Rory - I thought at first that her face was wet with dew from sleeping outside, rather than tears...and I kinda felt a bit robbed of my catharsis that came with the realization that she was heartbroken and alone and that all the story preceding had been fantasy of some sort or another.

For me - in my own personal and subjective experience as a writer - I've found that centering a single asterisk is enough to bring that beautiful freight-train of imagery to a halt, allowing you to really nail the reader with the heart(ache) of the matter. It also gives just a touch more polish to a piece that needs so little to begin with that every little tweak starts pushing it closer and closer to that coveted 5.0 stars.

(the dreaded)
Line by Line:

"...small goose-bumps." --somewhat redundant; leaves room to really flourish your writing talent, as well. Consider, perhaps:

"A slight breeze sent a skitter of goosebumps across her bare shoulders."
---

"With a smile, she leaned into him..." --phrasing, perhaps:

"Smiling, she leaned into him..." or "She leaned into him, smiling..."
---

" "Listen. Do you hear that?" " --needs just a touch more exposition, maybe:

"Rory's ears perked up. 'Listen. Do you hear that?' "
---

"Rory saw the puzzled look, illuminated by the moon, and smiled." --a bit cumbersome...consider some rearrangement of your clauses, perhaps:

"Rory smiled, seeing her puzzled look in the moonlit dim."
---

"Without waiting for an answer, Rory stood up, pulling her out onto the lawn."
--I would simply take out "Without waiting for an answer" and add in something like "Rory suddenly stood..."
---

""Rory, are you here?" she whispered into the dark, silent room." --new Par.
---

"...at the drunk driver that had killed Rory, at Rory for insisting on going out that night, at life for its unfairness." --perhaps too much exposition.
---

"The backyard seemed to shimmer like the stars that filled the sky." --long analogy, possibly best just to say, "seemed to shimmer in the faint starlight."
---

"Unsure what was going on..." --goes without saying, to a degree.
---

With all that out of the way, I have to say that I have no suggestions as far as plot of character...bravo, indeed, in that regard!


Overall:

You've written a gorgeous piece of romance, loss and fantasy. As I said earlier, I truly feel that with some subtle tweaks here and there, you'll definitely be looking at a 5.0 star work in no time at all.

Nicely done!

         Thanks again for your contribution! I hope this review has helped to motivate, inspire, and validate your work as both and artist and a writer as well.

Write On!


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21
21
Review by A.T.B: It's...
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
         Hey there! My name is Drew, and I've chosen to offer my feedback on your work as a peer and fellow member.

         As I'm sure you know - when it comes to all reviews/critiques, it's ultimately the author's choice whether to agree with, consider, or even just ignore the reviews that you receive. Feel free to contact me with any questions, comments, hurled vegetables, heavy machinery or other forms of feedback if you'd like.

Note from the Author and Reviewer: As my reviews are public by default and my editing technique involves quoting fragments from the author's work, I felt it necessary to preface this review.

The author of this particular work asks specifically for readers of an open mind. If for some reason the fragments below should offend you, I ask that you honor that request and do not contact the author - this is a personally requested review. If for some reason you feel the need to argue religious principles, feel free to contact me instead if for some reason you just can't resist the urge, but be polite and excuse this essay's author of any negative feedback based upon what you read in this review. Thank you.

Item and Date Reviewed:
A Sign with a Special Message REVISED  (18+)
Speculation about God things. Title has been censored. Belief systems..
#1691227 by DnaDream

17 July, 2010

Rating Given (Scale of 1-5 stars):
4.5 - exemplary philosophical contemplations; a couple instances need minor clarification

First Impressions:

Living in western North Carolina, I've seen my fair share of over-the-top, editorialized, roadside sermons. I think you've found a fantastic source of food for thought, and a thought-provoking topic for an essay/editorial.

What I Found Most Enjoyable:

When it comes to this particular subject matter, all too often the debate falls immediately to one fringe-extreme or another...very rarely do I have the opportunity to enjoy a conversational, considerate, and personal reflection upon the idea itself, rather than the tenets that one may feel "demand" a particular way of thinking, speaking, or behaving.

Favorite lines:
Would a God of love do that to his creations? Do we live in fear or do we live in faith?

Because the divine doesn't make mistakes, doesn't it make sense that something isn't quite right in how we see things?

What I Feel Could Use A Little Work:

As above, this is a personal reflection, but I'll go as in depth as I usually do with my reviews, as it's my belief that this piece could be immeasurably stronger with some minor adjustment.

Line by line:

Above is an interesting quote, apparently(,) used... -remove comma for clarity

Considering the place it is at, it brings up... -"Considering its location, the quote brings up..."

...of an actual place called Hell. -"...reject the idea of Hell altogether."

...a Devil, who is wearing horns... -"a Devil with horns, carrying a pitchfork."

...not part of his groupies(,) will suffer forever. -remove comma; essential clause

Could we instead say suffer for the rest of their lives, since humans die on this planet Earth, yet is that eternal? (.) -sentence needs subtle retouching; also, remove rogue period at end

...that we (really) haven't figured it out... -word choice; "honestly" perhaps

If a person gets frustrated enough... -I won't post this in its entirety for the reasons mentioned above. I would break the individual points you raise into more concise thoughts, though - the separation between what some consider honorable and others awful (give some cultural context if you can), leading into the idea of taking matters into their own hands.

...than plant life(.) According to this process -add period for punctuation

...mature(,) until we have the experience... -can remove this comma

...like a seed(s) and plants do.(.) -remove 's' and second period

...science and spiritual (thoughts) clash. -consider "ideologies" or "dogma"

...Evolution(,) instead of Jesus(,) that when you die(,) -can remove these commas

...into Heaven, but (you are) are (instead) destined... - ", but" denotes independent clause

Nevermind(,) that (it's) been translated (how)... -remove comma; it's (it has); sub "so" for "how" to remove the interrogative clause.

...yet to even consider(.) (T)hose would... -period for punctuation; capitalize for new sentence

...everyone has their own idea of (that)... -change "that" to "damnation" for clarity.

...you might be thinking, (but what did I do so awful that I deserved this? Didn't I come into this world perfect and innocent?) -italicize or quote what one might be thinking

...possibly on (another) plane of existence... -spelling

Overall:

As I've already written a great deal, I'll simply leave you with a quote that has given me more peace of mind regarding this issue than any other.

"All places shall be Hell that [are] not Heaven." Christopher Marlowe

I believe Heaven exists, and I believe there is a spiritual common ground that, someday, the various dogmas across the world will recognize. But in comparison to what I believe about Heaven, I'll continue to agree with Marlowe's demon Mephistopheles - it doesn't matter how great it is up there until we can come to peace with the confusion and frustration of life down here. So in that context, I believe in Hell. I just think it's the shorter end of a much longer stick, as it were...

Take a second glance at those passages that may need some clarification and I think you'll have a beautiful piece of non-fiction in this work.

Nicely done, keep polishing, and let me know if you need a second or even third glance over it in the even of any future rewrites.

         Thanks again for your contribution! I hope this review has helped to motivate, inspire, and validate your work as both and artist and a writer as well.

Write On!


** Images For Use By Upgraded+ Only **
Thanks Fyn-elf for the perfect sig.

Proud member of The Dream Team  .
22
22
Review by A.T.B: It's...
Rated: E | (5.0)
         Hey there! My name is Drew, and I've chosen to offer my feedback on your work as a peer and fellow member.

         As I'm sure you know - when it comes to all reviews/critiques, it's ultimately the author's choice whether to agree with, consider, or even just ignore the reviews that you receive. Feel free to contact me with any questions, comments, hurled vegetables, heavy machinery or other forms of feedback if you'd like.

Item and Date Reviewed:
 A Fireworks Display most grand  (E)
In a different time and space life goes on at its own pace.
#1666507 by Wally Setter

17 July, 2010

Rating Given (Scale of 1-5 stars):
5.0 - exceptionally well written; deeply embedded subplots and wonderful characters

First Impressions:

The way you integrate your imagery into the story is superb. One can't help but feel a part of it all as your words bring back all the childhood memories of awe and wonder at the fireworks' spectacle. Such creativity only drives you audience further into the story with an almost unconscious motivation to read more. Nicely done.

What I Found Most Enjoyable:

As above, your use of imagery.

Your characters, as well, demonstrate a sense of substance, reality. Dialogue is appropriate for a contemporary family; their personalities are accessible without becoming caricatures of the nagging wife, the adolescent daughter, the caring father, and so forth.

On a deeper level, the names you've chosen have a specific connotation in context to the story as a whole.

Peter, Marla (Mary), Holly (Holiday), Godfrey and Jess (God and Jesus), father and son - brilliant. Very few authors weave such intricate correlations into their work, and for those of us that catch on, it elevates the story far past short fiction and into the realm of inspired writing.

Favorite line:
"Jess was a good boy." -I've heard good things about him, as well.

What I Feel Could Use A Little Work:

Only a couple of instances concerning dialogue:

...arched her eyebrows and said, “(W)hatever.”

Holly said, “(P)al-ease...

...as Holly said, “(W)hatever.”
____

As far as the story's concerned, no suggestions whatsoever. Phenomenal work.

Overall:

You've put together a fantastic story on every level I can see. Typically, I can find a plausible alternative direction for certain aspects of plot or character, but that's not the case with this one. I can only applaud your efforts and look forward to similarly superb writing in the future.

Best of luck with your talents and take care!

         Thanks again for your contribution! I hope this review has helped to motivate, inspire, and validate your work as both and artist and a writer as well.

Write On!
23
23
Review of Forever and Ever  
Review by A.T.B: It's...
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
         Hey there! My name is Drew, and I've chosen to offer my feedback on your work as a peer and fellow member.

         As I'm sure you know - when it comes to all reviews/critiques, it's ultimately the author's choice whether to agree with, consider, or even just ignore the reviews that you receive. Feel free to contact me with any questions, comments, hurled vegetables, heavy machinery or other forms of feedback if you'd like.

Item and Date Reviewed:
 Forever and Ever  (13+)
Contest entry for TLC Round 14, Winner 2nd Place
#1690973 by Airila

16 July, 2010

Rating Given (Scale of 1-5 stars):
4.0 - exceptional story; needs some logistical/grammatical adjustments

First Impressions:

As you make a note that this is a contest entry, I'll be more strict than usual in catching grammatical or basic logistical snafus - no worries and no malicious intent, I promise, just hoping to give you the best possible review in light of the stakes for this particular piece.

What I Found Most Enjoyable:

I love your characters in this piece - each is dynamic, with a solid personality that remains consistent as the years progress along with the story.

Your plot, inner and outer conflicts, and framing devices also work quite well.

Your ending shines, emotionally and creatively; though technically a tragedy, your wording lends a sense of beauty to the cathartic moments.


What I Feel Could Use A Little Work:
You'll see where I've manipulated aspects of dialogue here and there...sometimes it's best to let the dialogue stand on its own when the speaker is apparent to the reader, while other times it's best to keep it tied in...I'll put this first to get it out of the way.

Dialogue:

Examples--

"What's wrong?" he asked...
_______
...get you anudder one," he said as he sat down...
_______
...in her large brown eyes again(,) "She says that... --change comma to period
_______
...sneak you one," he offered. --
_______

Typically accepted format--

"It helps for your dialogue to better establish tone," she said, with some further exposition if needed. "Make sure your punctuation, spacing, and capitalization all match your format."

--Look back through your work, and each time you see quotation-marks denoting a character's speaking, make sure your dialogue doesn't end with a period unless it's a free-standing quotation - and be sure your speaker (as in he said, she said, they said) is lower-case unless you're using a proper name (in this case, Erik said, Angie said, etc.). When beginning a new line of text after any text between, it's safest always to go with a period to close the exposition. Then start the character's following dialogue on the same line, in quotations, with a capital letter to start it off.

--In some cases, though, for example - "I'll try not to." She wiped her nose on her dress again. - the period at the end of the quoted text is accurate and capitalizing "She" is correct as well. It's all just formulaic semantics that I normally don't put an excessive amount of emphasis upon, but for a contest-piece, I feel it's my job to point it out.

Line by line:

Erik found her huddled upon the back step... --better for flow
_______

...and plastered against his... --word choice; imagery
_______

"My goldfish is dead."
--paragraph break--
She hiccupped*... --spellchecking varies; I go by dictionary.com: "hiccupped"
_______

...a very dead goldfish. --consider putting "very" in italics to emphasize the hyperbole
_______

...the bell sounded twenty minutes ago... --word choice; "wrung" is past-tense for "wring" (twisting liquid from an absorbant material); "rung" reminds me of a ladder, and I've seen "rang" debated in the past...best to go with something simple and inarguable.
_______

...Happy Birthday, dear Erik...Happy Birthday to you!...
--italicize song lyrics when in text; I typically see "Birthday" capitalized as well (might be wrong, though)
_______

“Happy birthday, (son.”His) dad said... --spacing error
_______

The room was quiet(,) his dad was not one for talking and neither was he. The only sound(s) was the ticking of the pendulum in the old grandfather clock(,) and the creaking of (floorboards) from his mom’s footsteps in the hall.
--change comma to semicolon, change 'sounds' to singular 'sound,' remove comma after 'clock,' and combine 'floor boards to single-word 'floorboards'
_______

...cleared his throat(,) “So, (W)hat are you thinking...
--change comma to period and double-space before quotation; lowercase "w" in "What" after "So,"
________

...he climbed in shotgun and... --typical phrasing, in my experience
________

...in a bigger town than here... --spelling then/than
________

...an orange shirt that clung to her curves(,) but still... --remove comma
_______

The stance reminded him of something, (it) tugged furiously at his mind, but it eluded him when he tried to grasp it. --remove "it"
_______

...returning to his memories. --word choice; "quickly remembered." perhaps
_______

...the years of flinching and dodging that had saved him from many bruises... --continuity in tense agreement
_______

Three years later --left out "later"
_______

Erik had stayed in town and become a fireman. --tense agreement
_______

It was. --drop down into its own paragraph for emphasis
_______

...cellphone...speed-dialed...playroom...side-door --condense for flow
_______

...the orphanage(! H)er home, --change "!" to comma, single-space, lowercase "h"
_______

...Erik, (who was) the second best paramedic... --remove "who was"
_______

"But (little) Jessica is still in there." --remove "little" - repetition


Overall:

Though it may seem like a great deal of corrections, for a first draft I consider this a superb piece of writing. All your basic elements exist, and all are quite strong.

Put some effort into these simple (though time-consuming) adjustments, and you'll be easily looking at a 4.5-5.0 star story in my opinion.

Keep in touch and let me know how it turns out; I'd be happy to give it another read-through time permitting.

Best of luck and thanks for a great read!

         Thanks again for your contribution! I hope this review has helped to motivate, inspire, and validate your work as both and artist and a writer as well.

Write On!



My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Go Noticed.
24
24
Review by A.T.B: It's...
Rated: E | (4.5)
         Hey there! My name is Drew, and I've chosen to offer my feedback on your work as a peer and fellow member.

         As I'm sure you know - when it comes to all reviews/critiques, it's ultimately the author's choice whether to agree with, consider, or even just ignore the reviews that you receive. Feel free to contact me with any questions, comments, hurled vegetables, heavy machinery or other forms of feedback if you'd like.

Item and Date Reviewed:
 Home is Where the Heart Lives  (E)
When you just know it!
#1689717 by Fyn-elf

13 July, 2010

Rating Given (Scale of 1-5 stars):
4.5 - lovely, pastoral; peaceful setting and tone

First Impressions:

I love this introduction - anyone who's ever looked for that one special place can immediately identify with this story. All the legwork becomes so mundane and banal; the houses/apartments/property all look the same after a while, just dreary little money-pits you'd just as soon buy or rent for the sole sake of being finished with the whole process...and I love that first paragraph's last line.


What I Found Most Enjoyable:

Language and details! You're the Bob Ross of fiction...happy little imageries...painting an already seamless mental picture a little friend so it won't be lonely. Truly exemplary.

"I can hear the muse buzzing about." --love this line.


What I Feel Could Use A Little Work:


Line by line:

2nd Par:
...It matters* not for when I chanced upon it... --"matters" missing an "s"
4th Par:
...revealing a green expanse* of verdant view... --spelling, "expanse"
4th Par:
Grandfather* oaks edged where the ground... --capitalization
5th Par:
...and my great-grandmother's quilt* spread... --spelling
5th Par:
...until a cough behind me caused* me to start... --spelling
14th Par:
...as if my body were* vibrating. --I'm a grammar snob...
17th Par:
...hewed from leftover* oak... --combine into one word
17th Par:
...down the mountain,* followed, I'm sure... --comma after mountain
17th Par:
...the valley,* bathing it in silvered... --comma after valley
18th Par:
His voice(,) was as lulling... --remove comma after voice
19th Par:
Birdsong had replaced* fiddle music... --spelling

There were some unhelpful adverbs here and there, but they weren't too blatantly malicious or damaging.

The story itself is rock-solid.

Overall:

As usual, make some minor adjustments and you've got another 5-star piece of fiction...just keep a wary eye on those adverbs (literary gremlins...).

         Thanks again for your contribution! I hope this review has helped to motivate, inspire, and validate your work as both and artist and a writer as well.

Write On!


b}My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Go Noticed.{/b}
25
25
Review of Morning Coffee  
Review by A.T.B: It's...
Rated: E | (4.5)
         Hey there! My name is Drew, and I've chosen to offer my feedback on your work as a peer and fellow member.

         As I'm sure you know - when it comes to all reviews/critiques, it's ultimately the author's choice whether to agree with, consider, or even just ignore the reviews that you receive. Feel free to contact me with any questions, comments, hurled vegetables, heavy machinery or other forms of feedback if you'd like.

Item and Date Reviewed:
 Morning Coffee   (E)
Short poem that pretty much explains itself.
#1690002 by LadyAtlas

12 July, 2010

Rating Given (Scale of 1-5 stars):
4.5 - exceptional; wonderful storytelling and tone

First Impressions:

A brief poem with an interesting presentation. I love the imagery in the first stanza in its entirety. There's a clear sense of frustration early on, culminating in the work's final lines.

Nicely painted scene; well-worded and thoughtful all around.

What I Found Most Enjoyable:

As I said, the first stanza is great. I appreciate your pensive style of narration - quiet, inclusive, written in 2nd person but plainly written for the reader.

...a trace of clumsiness from last night's pursuits. --excellent line; poignant backstory in a single thought.

Your language is lofty, and I deeply appreciate a writer that spins their vocabulary up, regardless of any who might see it as erudition or intentionally thick wording.

What I Feel Could Use A Little Work:

Stylistically, nothing really. The poem stands quite well on its own.

The last line, however, might need a bit more exposition. I enjoy the thought and can comprehend the sentiment, but I'd recommend working a touch more backstory in at some point to further elaborate upon the distance that's come between the two figures in this piece.

Overall:

I'm always pleased when I'm left with little to say other than praise. I'm giving this particular piece a 4.5, but would be happy to raise that to 5-stars with some gentle reworking of that last, crucial piece of narrative at the end. Keep me posted if a rewrite comes along for this excellent poem.

         Thanks again for your contribution! I hope this review has helped to motivate, inspire, and validate your work as both and artist and a writer as well.

Write On!


My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Go Noticed.
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