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Public Reviews
Review by aprildc
Rated: 13+ | (2.5)
Quester, I enjoyed reading your “revised” fairy tale. I have always loved fairy tales, even the “fractured” kind. I also get a kick out of sarcastic fairy tale characters, as do most people (as evidenced by the Shrek franchise). FYI, there is a great little book you might like titled Politically Correct Bedtime Stories by James Finn Garner. Overall, I thought your piece was fun and inventive. I have listed some things I liked and a few suggestions to help.

You have many imaginative phrases. For example, after your description of the dwarves many colored coats, I could easily picture the following : The dwarves were scattered like skittles, falling to the ground… The witch…wore a long black dress that seemed to suck the light out of the air around her also paints an expressive word picture.

The tale of Rooster, Hound, Mouse and Herr Korbes is not well-known. It might be better to choose a more familiar fairy tale. The reader knows the premise of the other tales and can understand the sarcasm and exaggeration more easily in those.

"Why must I marry Rapunzel again"? the Prince demanded. Delete again or rephrase; this makes it sound as if he has married her before and is now marrying her a second time. You could say: “Tell me again, why must I marry Rapunzel?” the Prince demanded. Also, the punctuation goes inside the quotation marks in this instance.

I especially liked the following Rapunzel portion. "Remember your Highness," said one guard. "It's your duty as a prince to protect your kingdom from hardship and woe. The girl has been wailing her head off for a few days now and no one can get any sleep. With coffee supplies perilously low, you must marry her now before the entire kingdom falls into chaos and anarchy."
"And how will marriage solve the problem?" asked the Prince.
"Just roll with it, mate," said the other guard.
The whole Rapunzel section was very funny. I loved that Rapunzel expects the Prince to work a little bit at wooing her, and his come-on lines were great, in a totally awful way. I couldn’t help rolling my eyes at those. I also liked that Rapunzel chooses the guard over the Prince. Of course, if her singing is that horrible, the guard might not be so pleased about it.

"NO!" Wolf turned to see Herr Korbes reach the top of the hill. The two began to run at each other but then stopped as Herr Korbes began to cough horribly. He coughed and spluttered for several minutes. Who is speaking here? Who yelled “NO”? Herr Korbes, I assume, but it is not clear.

"I know quite well my darling saccharine," said Grandma.
"Do you have a dictionary?" asked Red.
"Saccharine means 'excessively sweet'," sighed Grandma.
This is another clever passage. It shows how irritating Grandma finds Red’s dullness, without coming right out and telling the reader that Red is not very bright and Grandma is tired of her tedious granddaughter.
"Anyway, what do you mean you know?" asked Red. "You knew about the Wolf?"
"Of course I did," said Grandma coolly. "I hired him to kill you!" Huh? I though the mother “mum” hired the wolf? At the beginning you told us Mum called the Wolf.
"Oh, and by the way," said Wolf. "I'm expecting double for this. After that Three Little Pigs catastrophe I really need to clear my name."
"Don't worry," Mum assured him. "Do the job and you'll get the money." Now, at the end you’re saying the grandmother hired the wolf. This is confusing.

At the very end, the Grimm brothers bring back all the “evil” characters as good ones, except Grandma. What about Grandma? She doesn’t get to come back and party? And-- if the Grimms could just “write” the characters to be good, then why write the story so that Red had to kill Grandma in the first place? Lastly, you might consider making the ending more difficult to achieve. I know that they’re supposed to live happily ever after; but if happiness is too easy to accomplish, then the reader loses something. Over all, I enjoyed reading this piece. I hope some of this is helpful. Keep writing! :)
Review by aprildc
Rated: E | (3.5)
I found this very helpful. I am currently working on my villain. This was the only article that came up in my search, and it contained several bits of useful info. "These are characters who have no regard for anything outside their own persons, who exalt themselves above all the universe, and you can see it in their eyes. Other people are simply objects to be pushed about, circumvented, utilized as tools or stepped on, sometimes through brute force, other times through the levers of emotion." This describes the type of villain I am trying to write, but I couldn't figure out what makes him this way. Why is he like this? You said, "Because they lack something and are desperate to fill that empty place within." Exactly, this fits my villain; and helps me to continue to give him depth. Thank you for the instructive article.
Review of See No Evil  
Review by aprildc
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
All in all, nicely done. I read this as a search on "first person". I am trying to write my book in first person, and thought it might help me to read some other first person pieces.
Although I am not usually a mystery fan, I found your story compelling. I have always thought Stephen King has the right of it; small towns carry the deepest sins and the most horrible of monsters. And those monsters could be any one of us. I think you have captured this well in this piece. The characters could be my neighbors with no revisions. They were typical small towners. While at first the characters may seem to be stereotyped, they are actually true to life, as anyone who lives in a small town knows.
The dialogue to support these characters was well-written and authentic; and together with your knowledge of the geography, a believable small town setting was created.
The setting itself was easy for me to imagine; I've sat in diners just like it. Your description wasn't just typical small town diner, though. For example, you connected it to the main character. It wasn't just anyone describing the diner; it was his description, through his eyes. I especially like the phrase "sitting in my corner booth, my new foxhole protecting me from empty stares and verbal shells". This was an insight into the narrator's state of mind.
There were occasional problems with the flow, which a few well-placed commas could mend. Truthfully, though, you hooked me. I want to know more; who killed them? What does he know? Could I read the end anywhere?

Review of Grandfather  
Review by aprildc
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
Well-written, inventive, and original. I enjoyed reading this very much. I could easily see it developed into a novel, as either the beginning of their story, or as the epilogue to a story about the settlement and the war itself. Very impressive. I'll certainly look for other work by you.
Review by aprildc
Rated: ASR | (4.0)
This is an interesting idea. It would make a good short story for a sci fi magazine in my opinion. You obviously have a great handle on the relevant theories and scientific terms; at least, enough to make the rest of us believe your premise and description. :)
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