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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/profile/reviews/anistasya88
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27 Public Reviews Given
Public Reviews
1
1
Review of Unexpected Hunger  
Review by Anistasya
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
This was really fun. I liked Kat, especially her conversation with her friend at the beginning. We felt sorry for her after that nasty guy dumped her just for turning down sex.

When Erik was mentioned and Kat blushed, I immediately suspected things might happen between them - though I couldn't have guessed how quickly.

I am curious as to whether you had a word limit for this item? There are a few places I'd love to see expanded if possible. The moment she hangs up the phone because of a knock at the door, I feel a bit disoriented. I didn't realize Simon lived with her. Is it her flat? His? Their family home? How old is Kat?

The next big question that jumped into my head was "Why are Simon's friends coming over?" - are they watching movies? Watch the big game? Playing Dungeons and Dragons? Playing in a rock band? A throw away comment about this does a lot of work for you in terms of characterization.

I want to know what Simon looks like and have a small sense of his relationship with Kat. They must get along alright for them to be living together, but he seems a bit demanding with his "Have you got the snacks ready yet?" She's not his servant, surely.

Then I start wondering, "what snacks?" Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches? Crisps? Tiny muffins with silver sprinkles? Pork ribs? Celery sticks with dip?

<Yes, I am prone to getting distracted by the questions in my head>

I want to know why Kat loves Erik. Is he just that good looking, or did he always treat her well back at high school? Maybe he used to smile and say goodbye to her whenever he left after visiting Simon, or remembered her birthday. I want to know more about what sort of person he is.

At this point, you do a bit of a head-swap and start showing us Erik's POV. It's a bit unexpected and threw me the first time. I'd recommend staying inside Kat's head for the whole piece if you can, since this story is so short. But if you feel you need to show both pov's, make sure to separate them completely (perhaps double paragraph space or something similar).

Ah, so now Kat's spent half an hour making sandwiches (what sort? Tomato? Cheese? Chutney? Steak?) and Erik turns up asking if they're ever going to get their snacks. Now he may be joking, but I can't tell, so it makes him sound like a bit of a prat. Why is everyone treating Kat like Cinderella? I mean sure, Erik's good looking, but after a comment like that I'm not convinced I'm okay with him coming on to me... I mean Kat.

The kissing scene is good. Very good. Except for aforementioned question mark about whether I actually like this guy yet.

The head swapping gets confusing though. Again, may be worth writing the whole thing from Kat's POV... or consider switching to Erik down in the basement, wrestling with his desire, then follow him all the way up to the kitchen and stay inside his head for the kissing scene.

As I say, I love the story. If you do change anything, I'd love to read it again =D

I think the best thing you could possibly do to take this piece to the next level is help us love Erik as much as Kat clearly does. A bit more context and specific details will make a world of difference.

Good luck,
Ani
2
2
Review by Anistasya
In affiliation with The Newbies Academy Group  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hello, J. Wright,
Welcome to WDC. I found your article "Constructive Conversation issues on the 'Review a Newbie' page.

Over the course of the article, you ask why do we lack the ability to have constructive conversations? You offer some examples of behavior that you find frustrating, for example people becoming defensive and insisting all members of group-x are one way or another. You express a desire for people to be more educated, more aware of the shades of grey and more willing to debate openly.
I appreciate the sentiment of your article and especially like the note of hope you include in the ending, where you say "Not, only, do species evolve but, so does the mind."

One thing you may want to consider, however, is a deeper exploration of the question you posed at the beginning? Why do we find it so difficult to have constructive conversations?

This is your article, so I ask you to take what you will from my opinion and ignore the rest, but I believe the first step to a constructive conversation is compassion.

If you want another person to listen to you, them you must listen to them. Not to their words, but to their fears. The things we believe are built from a lifetime of experience, they are a part of who we are, and asking us to change is like asking us to unpick the threads of our lives and re-weave a new tapestry.

This is possible to do, and when achieved can open a whole new world of possibilities. When we see the world differently, we find ourselves capable of love and connection that could never be felt when we were full of judgement and fear. It's a moving journey, but also a terrifying one.

In my life, I've found that every time I felt frustrated and wished others were as enlightened as me, I was actually harboring judgement that I needed let go of.

That being said, wanting the world to be more tolerant is a worthy goal. If you're looking for a solution, the best one I've found so far is to write. Write stories that show the world the way you see it. Show black characters who are smart and kind and funny, or gay men who are honest and strong and reliable. Wherever you see negative stereotypes, start to break them down with kick-ass stories and you'll be well on your way to making the world a better place.

Good luck, and again, welcome to WDC.

I look forward to seeing what you come up with!

Kind Regards,
- Ani

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*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
3
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Review by Anistasya
In affiliation with The Newbies Academy Group  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hello Mayr,
Welcome to WDC. I found this piece on the 'Review a Newbie' page and was interested your article on freedom of speech and political correctness. As someone living outside the United States (I'm from New Zealand), I don't understand all the political references, but I enjoyed your writing style and the passion with which you expressed your opinion.

I found myself fascinated by the situation you found yourself in while waiting for the light to change. I can't imagine talking to someone in another car. I'd be so scared that I'd miss the change.

In fact, I can't imagine arguing politics at all. I'd be too scared of getting into an argument. Perhaps that's exactly your point. Not just in the USA, but around the world, we tend to censor ourselves to avoid confrontation. While that sort of behavior smooths the social waters and keeps people 'liking' you, it also keeps you silent when you would rather speak your mind and stand for the things you believe in.

This article has given me a lot to think about - thank you.

As I read, I noticed a couple of technical things you may want to look at?
"I could have sworn that I am in the USA..." - I think this would usually read "I could have sworn I was in the USA"
"You are entitled to your opinion as well as I m entitled to mine..." - I think you're missing an apostrophe between 'I' and 'm'
That's all.

Good work, and welcome again to WDC. I hope you find the answers you're looking for.

Kind regards,
- Ani

 Haruki  (13+)
A foreign girl at High School in Japan falls in love with a boy named Haruki
#1973071 by Anistasya
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Review of Freezing Weather  
Review by Anistasya
Rated: E | (4.5)
I enjoyed your poem *Smile* Was highly entertaining. You have a good sense for rhythm. I love the couplet "the frozen days so uninspired, much less spring-like than desired". The only thing I'd question is whether there's an alternative word to temps for at least one of the stanzas since it's used three times - but of course that may be intentional. I don't claim to be any sort of poetry expert.
Great stuff!
Ani
5
5
Review of Hope Defiant  
Review by Anistasya
Rated: E | (5.0)
This is really beautiful. I love the sustained metaphor of the sea and how well you compare it with the times in life when you need hope the most. I can see why this got published.
One question I have - and this is from someone who isn't very good at poetry - I notice in the third to last stanza you use the word 'lost' twice: "...And lost among the waves..." "...To those who've lost their way..." Normally I'd try to find a different word for one of them so that I didn't have the repetition, but I'm not sure - maybe it's deliberate.
Either way, it's a lovely piece which made me smile. Fantastic work!
- Ani
6
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Review by Anistasya
Rated: 18+ | (5.0)
I absolutely loved the title of this poem. I can see why you received an award for it. As I read, I found myself desperately hoping the next girl would escape - but having her kill him and steal all his stuff was even better. A nice simple rhyming scheme that flowed well and made me smile when I tried saying it out loud.
Good work!
- Ani
7
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Review by Anistasya
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
Hi Bruce,
This was a brilliant first chapter. I really loved Gloria's character - her strength and certainty about what she wanted and what she wasn't willing to put up with. You have a fantastic sense for dialogue too.
I felt the first half was stronger than the second (but only by a margin). This was mostly due to the first of Annie's paragraphs, which could have done with being a little longer to help me transition from the 1960's to the 1500's.

"In the year 1567, Annie Carver paid a visit to the village of Locksford..."

I think this is a good start. If you put a full stop after Locksford, then the reader can process this fact before moving on to how she was received by the village.

"As usual, she was ignored by some of the villagers and insulted by others."

This is cool. I get a sense that she isn't well liked. Does she know any of these villagers by name? Did she ever live in this village? I'd kind of like to be shown someone insulting her. Are they behind a fence? Walking past her on the street? Leaning out a window?

Annie knew how important the blacksmith was in the village and she knew if she allowed him to resume visiting her at her cottage, he would see that she was made welcome again, but she wouldn't do that.

This sentence was the one I had to read several times before I understood what was happening. I think it's a bit long and it trying to tell me too many things at once. Perhaps if you had a sentence where Annie arrived outside the blacksmith's shop and you described what the place looked like? Can she see the blacksmith yet? Is there anyone else around? Perhaps he's dealing with a customer and neither of them have noticed her yet?
Then Annie can think about how important he is to the village. (How important is he? Is it because they can't survive without a blacksmith? Is it because he's also the mayor? Is he friendly and popular? Rich? Influential?)
Then Annie could possibly contemplate giving in to him and how he'd make sure the villagers weren't so cruel, if she let him come calling again. She'd likely have some kind of physical reaction to the thought of that - of him touching her and whatever else happened last time. This leads straight into whatever flashback or recollection you want to put in.

She trusted him years before when he befriended her, but he soon showed his true colours and violated her, returning many times before she fitted locking beams to her cottage door.

Depending how much you want to vilify the blacksmith, this may be sufficient backstory between him and Annie.

She called at the village because of his mistreatment towards his hunting dogs and she stood shouting abuse at him, but her words seemed wasted as he laughed at her.

Given the sentence before was a kind-of flashback, I didn't realize this sentence was already back in the 'present'. It probably needs a bit more context. How does she know he mistreats his dogs? What does he do to them? Where are the dogs right now? Can we see them?
I'd love to see the interaction between her and the blacksmith. What does she say? What kind of abuse? Do people gather round to watch? I want to see him laugh at her and feel her anger.

Annie walked off and the blacksmith went into his workshop, but he was never to be seen alive again.

If she's that angry, she's probably going to at least stalk off or show some sign of ongoing frustration? How do we know the blacksmith was never seen alive again? Did Annie curse him, or was the the ghost from the pool (who we haven't met yet)? Why would the ghost do that? Does it like her, or was it part of some complex ghost-plan to get Annie killed and earn its freedom?
One way you could clarify things is actually to remove the "never seen again" bit and save the blacksmith's death for a little later in the story. If Annie doesn't know he died, then the readers will share her shock when she finds out.

The rest of the story, as I say, was really good. Everything I've said is, of course, merely my own opinion, so feel free to ignore completely =D
Thank you again for taking the time to read my work.
Regards,
Ani


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
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Review by Anistasya
Rated: 18+ | (5.0)
Wow. This was really cool. Your unconventional writing style is poetic and flows well, making this a pleasure to read.
Having witnessed my brother's long road to a happy ending with his internet girlfriend, I can totally identify with the characters in this piece. You write as if you know, or have spent a long time thinking about, what it's really like.

Things I loved:
- The final line made me smile
- The rhythm and writing style
- The natural sounding dialogue
- The story
So yeah, pretty much everything.

Questions I had:
- What's Ru's full name? At the beginning, I wasn't sure if Ru was male or female - not that it's necessarily important, but I kept wondering. Perhaps if his full name was used at some point near the beginning, it would be clearer?
- You tend to use actual numbers, (e.g. 5 hours) instead of five. This is really minor, but I think conventionally the spelled out number is used in this kind of prose?

That's about it. Great work =D
- Ani
9
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Review by Anistasya
Rated: E | (2.5)
Hi Christopher,
An interesting beginning full of very deep thoughts. I have a few questions and suggestions around the opening sentence:

"The air was hung thick..."

I'd recommend you use either "The air hung thick..." or "The air was thick..." but not both.

"...no thank s to the cow pasture..."

Usually when you say "no thanks to" something it is meant humorously, e.g. "You're still alive then?" "No thanks to you." I feel in the context, you may want to simplify the first sentence to help new readers get the whole way through and on to the next. One way you could do this: "The air was thick with the smell of dirt and manure, wafting from the cow pasture across the creek, only a few hundred yards from where Matthew lay in the grass."
Thinking about it objectively though, would a heavy, thick, hanging type of smell still be thick and hanging in the air by time it's traveled across a creek and several hundred yards? Usually the breeze disperses a smell. I feel like the description, therefore, implies a lack of wind which keeps smells lingering heavily in one place. Perhaps if you were willing to describe the initial smell as the "pungent smell of dirt and manure" instead of thick? Then it would quite happily still be pungent after being blown across the creek.

"...just a few hundred yards from Matthew's imprint in the grass."

I had to read ahead to try and understand why Matthew's imprint in the grass was smelling the scents from the cow pasture. An imprint implies the thing that made it is no longer there (like footprints which don't usually still have feet in them). Perhaps consider simplifying and just saying "where Matthew lay in the grass".

Of course this is all your own work and you have complete authority to ignore me completely *Wink*. If this did help at all, give me a yell and I'm happy to do a more thorough critique of the rest.
- Ani
10
10
Review by Anistasya
Rated: 13+ | (3.0)
Hi Duane,

I enjoyed reading "The Wings of Angels. Bitter-sweet and sad, the details were what carried me away to the apple tree along with her - the spring breeze, the soft pink petals and the smell of cologne. Replying to his letter was an excellent way of showing the reader what the woman's life is like and helping the audience identify with her.

A couple of things you may want to tweak (bearing in mind these are all just my opinion and you don't have to change anything if you wish):

1. The first three sentences begin with the word 'She'. I really like your use of 'She' in the first sentence, but I don't think the repetition works. Perhaps consider beginning it with "His last letter..." or "They'd postmarked his last letter..." - anything that provides a little variation.

2. I'm not sure what the abbreviation APO means. Now bear in mind that I'm from New Zealand, so if it's a US thing and everyone else knows what it means, then ignore this point.

3. Watch out for repetition through-out your piece e.g. 'last letter' which is in the second sentence "she held his last letter" and the fifth sentence "answered his last letter". Even if you simply said, "answered his letter in her mind" that would get around the problem. The main thing with repetition is that it sticks out in a reader's mind, making them aware that they're reading and therefore halts the flow. It can be used effectively, but if you want the story to carry them away, you may want to avoid it.

4. You say, "They are getting big you won't recognize them now." I feel like this needs some kind of separation, e.g. "They're getting so big, you won't recognize them now" or ""They're getting so big. You won't recognize them now."

5. Again with this sentence, "They do homework together and listen to records, he reminds me of you" you may want to separate into two, e.g. "They do homework together and listen to records. He reminds me of you."

6. "She held her head in her hands weeping, sobbing." You probably don't need both weeping and sobbing. I recommend you pick one, or consider describing the pain. Have you ever felt a gut-wrenching sense of loss? Perhaps if you reflect on pain you've felt in the past and have a go at describing the physical sensations, you may find your own original way of describing how she feels.

Best of luck, and good work so far!
- Ani


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
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