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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/profile/reviews/arosis
Review Requests: OFF
37 Public Reviews Given
Public Reviews
1
1
Review of Sirenblade  
Review by Arosis
Rated: 13+ | (2.5)
Hi! I found your chapter on the Review Request page, and I thought I'd take a peak at it for you, especially considering I've got my own chapter up there at the moment. :)

Before I dive right in, a rather nitpicky point: can you put a space between your paragraphs? The way it's currently formatted makes it difficult to read, and I think you might be losing reviewers for it.

A line that catches the eye right off: "...one doesn’t turn one’s nose up at any edible miracles the Author might Write one’s way." Let's break that fourth wall! Fantastic!! And I love how you used it to make the Author the god in this universe, and not just a gimmick.

Still, I feel like I've been here before: the tough warrior girl who doesn't want to be treated like a female; the magicked companion to a prince who's never been on his own before; a quest. This doesn't feel, oh, fresh. Don't get me wrong, I like your characters, especially the backstory to Prince Robert and Tobias (and the way you introduced them--priceless!).

At the same time, I feel like you should really play up the points that make your story unique from others like it. Making the prince clumsy: terrific! Tobias as the recipient of the soothsayer's blessing: brilliant! (Though that doesn't explain how he can talk, really...)

But... Hmm... Maybe my issue lies most with Jasmine. She's clearly your MC, and yet, I can't see anything but, well, perfection in her. She has excellent hearing and sight, can take care of herself in the woods, and has a prince and his dog requesting her assistance. Oh, wait, maybe she's not perfect. I found her a little repellent, actually, with how feminist she was: the prince wasn't insulting her ("’Quality,’ is it? What do you think I am?...") and she takes it much too personally. Maybe there's a reason for this, but as we're introduced to her in this chapter, she's completely out of line--particularly because she's talking to a *prince*! And the prince just rolls over and takes this? I'm sorry, but this didn't feel believable at all. And then Robert falls for her right away? Instead of being insulted? What a weakling! (And that has nothing to do with his clumsiness.) I'd be upset with the pairing, except I'm not sure Jasmine deserves better.

I think this story has potential, but it needs some revamping. Honestly, I'd love to read more, if only to read more of Tobias's snark; by far--in my opinion--he's the strongest character. :)

I really, truly hope I helped. I think you've got a great start, it just needs some polishing. Good luck with sending this off to publishers and agents! :)

~Arosis
2
2
Review by Arosis
Rated: 13+ | (2.0)
Hi, there! I found your item on the Review Request page, so I thought I'd give it a read.

First off, I love the overall concept of Bond getting a new 'assignment'. Lovely idea, creative, especially the way that M eases him into the job.

That said, I found the twist of the sort of club Bond ends up at seems to have no bearing to the tale at all. Why that type of club, aside from the immediate shock value? Also, I realize that you wrote this in one sitting, but I think this story could--and should!--be expanded. It feels terribly rushed; there's not enough time for me to connect with your Bond, M, or Q.

You should also have someone look into helping you out with your grammar and formatting. I found it difficult to read at points when you didn't start each speaker with a new paragraph and with the narrow look. You can correct some of this in the editing page where you post Static Items, and I'd encourage you to go through and add in new paragraphs. It takes time, I know, but it'll really help.

I'd be happy to reread this item when/if you decide to clean it up. Again, terrific concept, and I think you can push the envelope further than you have here.

I hope I helped! :)

~Arosis
3
3
Review of Yearning  
Review by Arosis
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Hi! I found your poem on the plug page, thought I'd read it over and tell you what I think.

Overall, I enjoyed the poem very much, especially the fact that you tried out end rhyme--I'm always terrified to try. Yours turned out really well in that regard, though your I line "...and new" to rhyme with "do" felt rather forced.

The meter also felt off on occasion--again, that I line. I think that you can eliminate some of the stilted, halting feeling by getting rid of some of the filler words. Maybe try, "...with kisses, afresh and new" and see if that doesn't work better.

I love the image of "summer skin," though I feel that "supple" directly before it makes the alliteration too obvious, downgrading the language of the poem. (of course, that's just my opinion.)

Thanks for sharing this! I hoped I helped. :)

~Arosis
4
4
Review of The Crimason Rose  
Review by Arosis
Rated: 13+ | (2.5)
Hello! Welcome to Writing.com! I'm Arosis, and I thought I'd read this short story of yours as a way to welcome.

Interesting universe you've built here, with the parallels and the nymphs. Fairies living in flowers isn't particularly new, but seeing as your ending line is so fabulous, I think you should keep the flower-bit. I'd love to see more of the universe, learning about the world in which your Persephone lives as opposed to being told about it.

In fact, I think that's something that the whole story needs work with. Instead of telling us that Caleb isn't the one, why don't you show us what happened? Instead of saying that Persephone is a "fairy of Darkness", why not give us an event to say how she's dark? It's fascinating, to make a villain-esque figure sympathetic and an anti-hero, but there's nothing in Persephone's demeanor to make her a villain at all, let alone such a romanticized figure of "bad guy who's actually good" character.

You say Caleb cheated on her--doesn't sound like that's a 'good' fairy, as I suppose I'm to imply from the fact they've got a star-crossed relationship going on. How was he good? How was the relationship discovered? Hell, why was it banned? I'd like to see this.

Love the way you describe Caleb's demise, though I'm confused how he can bleed if he dissolves into golden dust. (How did she manage to get so close to an 'enemy' rosebush with a huge honkin' sword, by the way?) The description of how Caleb's rose is a lone red one among the white is beautiful--I think that's my favorite bit of the story.

As a final note, you might want to find a beta reader on this site or have a friend with a good grasp of grammar and spelling read it over before submitting it for review. The squished formatting makes it difficult to read on a screen (just add a paragraph space between each paragraph, it'll make it easier), and you might get more reviews if you spell "crimson" correctly throughout your story and your title, as opposed to the variations like "Crimason" or "crimsone". Spellcheck is easy and does wonders to making a story easier to read.

As with any review, this is just my opinion; you are welcome to take or leave what advice is here. Thanks for sharing this story! I look forward to a polished, more fleshed-out version. :) Welcome to Writing.com, and I hope you get the help you're looking for!

~Arosis
5
5
Review by Arosis
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Hi! I'm Arosis, and I thought I'd check out your story in a way to welcome you to Writing.com! (Welcome, btw.)

For the premise and content, I found myself snorting my lunchtime soda out my nose while reading this. It's great.

Grammatically, it works fairly well. I didn't see any major typos beyond a "you professor" which should be "youR professor", so kudos there.

I feel as though you could really get into the groove of those bullets, just make the 'dramatic action' of the 'story' a bit richer. (I know, I know--it's not really a story, more like an article, but hey! It still counts, I think.) Even so, it works at the length it is now, with snappy lines and moments that many of us have experienced, so it's really up to you.

As always, it's up to you what you'd like to do. This is just my opinion. Thanks for sharing this piece, though I could've done without the carbonated nose-wash. :D

~Arosis
6
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Review of Black Widow  
Review by Arosis
Rated: 18+ | (3.5)
Hi! My name's Arosis, and I found your poem on the Shameless Plugs Page. As always, this is my opinion, so you're welcome to clasp it tight to your busom or let it fall and wither on the snow. :)

Poems are difficult to do, especially when you try to incorporate a rhyme scheme and metrical beat. I'm impressed with how well you did; I'm terrible at these sorts of poems.

As far as I can tell, your meter is off, beginning with line 3 and at least once in every stanza. As far as I can tell, you're going for four sets of iambic meter (4 sets of unstressed-stressed syllable pairs), which means you should pay closer attention to openers like "'Til" and "Bid" which are stressed (ln9 and 19) and awkward words like "forever" (ln 5) and "murderous" (ln 21) though that one's easy to fix--just make it "murd'rous". All that said for meter, though, I love how you used "eulogized"--excellent!

Honestly, I think my favorite stanza is the first. It works perfectly, though the imagery is perhaps a bit dull from overuse. I was taken aback at the word "whore" (ln12/13), and though you clarify your meaning later ("...whore for love and title too", ln13), I feel as though this language is harsh. A black widow spider--which is what I think you were trying to imply by the title--is no whore. I think of her more as an assassin, though that could just be my impression.

Would've loved to see you play with the spider metaphor besides just in the title, but again, I could be extrapolating imagery you didn't intend.

Hope I helped!

~Arosis :)
7
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Review of Marie  
Review by Arosis
Rated: E | (2.0)
Hi there, KcG! Welcome to WdC. I saw your story and thought I'd check your heroine out.

First off, great initial confrontation between Marie and the stranger. Good teaser for the rest of the story, hinting at a previous life or relationship, at the very least. (I'm guessing they were betrothed?) I'd make the stranger's personality stand out just a bit more. Maybe make him snarky? That could create some interesting dialogue.

Speaking of, you might want to get a beta reader/editor. Your grammar's lacking a bit of consistency, and your dialogue can be cleaned up to make it more readable.

There's also a little too much telling in this chapter and not quite enough showing. Set the scene, sure, but I really don't care about Marie's entire school history. If Katie's annoying, show us by her dialogue; don't tell us every single quality that makes her an aggravating personality.

Read around the site and see how other folks start their stories, see what you like, and try to adopt it into your own. Good luck with your story! I hope I helped.

~Arosis
8
8
Review of Azhan Lake  
Review by Arosis
Rated: 13+ | (2.0)
Hi, R.H.N! I saw your story on the Plug Page and thought I'd give it a look and see if I could help you out.

This story seems to have an interesting premise: someone's lost at a lake that could make you die from an amplified aging process. The characters have engaging quirks, like Max's diabetes, which you don't often find in a story this length, so nice going there!

At the same time, I found it difficult to engage properly with your characters. With the majority of the text dialogue, the conversation felt stilted with info-dumping--what sort of lake was it, what sort of guy was Max, etc.--and the pacing felt rushed. There's no conversation with Max, no description of the house or the car trip or even the lake. More description would help slow your story down and add an element of suspense which would help engage your readers. You might want to find a good beta reader, too, who can help you with things like grammar and punctuation in dialogue.

Good luck! I hope I helped.

~Arosis
9
9
Review by Arosis
Rated: 13+ | (2.0)
lol This was pretty good, Gnome. I sense a Monty Python fan in you, no? :) Now, to repay your lovely review to me!

I think the satirical elements are quite obvious and occasionally effective, such as the excessive "-ouses" and the "-eths". (Very nice.) If you clean it up, I think this would be a phenomenal piece. So! Take out the ellipses in the first paragraph, create whole sentences, frame your dialogue properly, and put your 12 Gnomish commandments in a list format, and I think you have yourself a winner.

...And if you take part in a partying or an orgying, you must be sure to invite me. (lol jk) Thanks again for reviewing my piece, and I hope I helped a little!

~Arosis
10
10
Review of Chapter 1  
Review by Arosis
Rated: E | (3.5)
Hello, Paupers! It's a pleasure to review this for you when you took the time to review my own piece. Thought I'd review something else no one looked at yet, just get your piece on the board--NaNoWriMo works should not languish in isolation! :)

Obviously the start to a larger story. I like how you incorporated our modern dilemmas, setting them slightly into the future so you could play with it but making it realistic enough to seem extremely immediate and pertinent to us today. (My friend Brendan was caught in the G20 riots in Pittsburgh, so that made this work especially interesting to me.) A few moments that caught my eye before I consider a broader analysis:

*"As these world leaders arrived now, some in bullet-proofed RV’s, some by military helicopters and two Naval carriers." As...what? This is a fragment.

*"And shoot to kill authorisation had been given." Get rid of the "and"--it flows better without a conjunction starting the sentence. More immediate impact with a bigger bang (pun intended ^^) for your sentence buck.

* "Whilst Security Officers were confident that infiltration could be thwarted long before a threat could reach within a mile of the Constantine Palace..." This phrasing seems awkward and archaic, especially considering this time period. Say "While" and maybe change up "thwarted" with a smaller word--it might be less fancy, but it might flow better, too.

*We could really do without the two paragraphs of what kind of weather St. Petersburg is experiencing, I think. (Though I never knew it rained there--for some reason, I always thought it snowed. Who knew? Gah, I'm ignorant sometimes. Moving on...)

*I absolutely adore the bit with the alcohol and the officers, though careful of stereotyping.

* “…I think we need a little your magic." I think you mean "a little OF your magic."

* “And thank you, protesting public!" ...Okay, that line was brilliant. XD

* If you’re continuing the dialogue into a new paragraph, you need to start the new paragraph with a set of beginning quotation marks. Don't enclose the quote until your character is done speaking, but you need that first set of marks every paragraph to remind the reader that dialogue is still taking place--and by the same character.

Overall, I thought this was a pretty good set up for a larger piece. I especially enjoy the fact that I don't know if Lazarus is a morally good character or not. He seems to have a charisma strangely like Hitler's, and we all know that he used his charisma for some pretty terrible things. I wonder what'll happen there. You need to slow down the pacing a bit, too, especially when it gets to the second half and the mob is getting rowdy. I want details, not just you telling me what happened. Small details make a big impact. Try it and tell me what you think.

Thanks for the fun read, Pauper! Good luck finishing this, and I hope I helped.

~Arosis
11
11
Review of Room 613  
Review by Arosis
Rated: 18+ | (3.0)
Hi, Sal! This is to repay you for reviewing my own piece. Here goes nothing! :)

Pretty good piece, grammatically speaking. The action is quite clear, with a man being kept waiting and then being shown to a room (presumably 613) that isn't his. I love the last line--I won't spoil it here!--a lot. A LOT-a lot. That was simply fabulous. I did have a few things you might want to think about:

*You've got a lot of dialogue tags attached to your speaking sections. Whenever possible, I'd stick with a "said." Yes, it can get anonymous; yes, occasionally action can be moved along. But I think you can safely get rid of moments like, " "...and I need to get some sleep." Darren grumped at the girl" and you'll still be okay. (Speaking of, at the end of a piece of dialogue like that, you replace the period with a comma, so it should read: "...get some sleep," Darren grumped at the girl.)

*The only action we get is Darren pacing back and forth along the floor, to a column and returning again. I think you could add some detail about why he's there in the first place, in addition to the information that he's typically not kept waiting like this. While I appreciate the repetition in these sentences in the first paragraph to denote a repeated, boring, mind-numbingly drive-you-crazy moment, I'd take a look at the number of times you say "paced" and "back" and see if the repetition's really working. (For a great example of well-used repetition to create a sensation of (in)action, type "Stephen Crane The Open Boat" into Google and read the short story that comes up. ^^)

*...I hesitate to put this, because I think most of the fun of this story is in the lack of knowledge; however, you might want to add a few more details about the room and hints about the possible fate of Darren. Don't tell us--God, don't tell us!--but you must have an idea of why the room was moved. Hint around it and let us guess. Right now, we've only got a room switch and the last line to play with. Bait me some more. :)

A nice read. Thanks for putting that up, and I look forward to rereading it sometime. Thanks again for reviewing my article! :)

~Arosis
12
12
Review of Wall of Death  
Review by Arosis
In affiliation with The Coffee Shop for the Fantas...  
Rated: 13+ | (2.0)
Hello, Finn! Happy Valentine's day!

Wow, what a way to merge the prompt together! It was rather confusing, however, with who was doing what when and where. If the "stranger called Rob" (awkward phrasing) was still there, how did Deanna have time to get the vodka bottle? What did dancing and Andrew Lloyd Webber have to do with the story? Why was she getting shot with a nail gun (besides the prompt)? Even a flashfic needs some cohesion and explanation, I think, and this could use a little bit of Elmer's to hold it together.

Favorite part of this whole fic has to be the final paragraph, though. Very poignant, that is. (Mmm, Yoda am I. ^^)

Anyway, I hope this helped! :)

~Arosis

Me to you, Friends of CSFS
13
13
Review by Arosis
Rated: E | (2.5)
Hi! What an interesting, inventive, and distinctly Bacigalupi-esque world you've created in this story, Yacolt. Clothes that talk to you through a special new sense and threads; the C-Vegs; a computer that can feel with you and guide your dreams... It's a truly fascinating world to immerse yourself in. :)

That said, I feel like there is a distinct lack of connection and conflict in your tale. While Hannibal's dream connects back with the C-Veg experience, I don't understand the purpose behind the extended explanation of the special threads and the C-Vegs. You could get the same dramatic impact of many of the new technologies--the energy-absorbing gel shoes, the computer Vicky, the C-Veg--with maybe half of the time you spend explaining how things work.

Also, I had some trouble identifying a central conflict with Hannibal. Sure, there was a primal connection with Eden (you don't have to describe the fur as "Australopith fur" specifically, by the way) and the sensation created by the very advanced technological wonder of the C-Veg--but what is the point of this? I would develop your character and your plot a bit better if you choose to do some edit work on this.

Anyway, I would again whole-heartedly recommend Paolo Bacigalupi's work to you, as you seem to be writing in a similar style (and he's fabulous and I'm currently infatuated with him). Good luck and I hope this helped! Thank you for taking the time to review my own prologue. :)

~Arosis
14
14
Review of pray for rain  
Review by Arosis
Rated: E | (2.0)
A very powerful moment for your protagonist you've written for him to tell us, Eddie; I wish my own religious experiences were as touching and as transporting as the one you've described.

You demonstrated the way time shifted during your moment of transcendence well by describing the moment before God's throne, and then all of a sudden the meeting's over and you realize how you must've been with Him longer than you'd thought. That, and your repetition of "Pray for rain" were the most touching parts of your story for me. I took that prayer to mean a wish for a universal baptism--that other people could be figuratively and physically touched by God just as those at the tent meeting had been.

There were a few points you might want to work on, mostly grammatical. The whole story is told in only three paragraphs, and those are connected on-screen. You should probably break those up into smaller paragraphs, particuarly when a new character speaks--it makes it easier for your audience to read, especially on a computer screen. ^^ Also, punctuation could be spruced up a bit, with the addition of some commas and spaces between complete sentences. (Beta readers/editors are fabulous for this kind of thing. :) )

Adding some conflict or tension in the story might create more interest in the resolution. At this point, the story itself is merely a recounting of a religious experience: your protagonist attends, sees God, and leaves with his brother. Obviously, this was a poignant moment for the protagonist, but why choose this experience to relate? Where is the conflict? Is he questioning His existence, and this moment puts those doubts to rest? Is there something happening in the life of someone else, and after the meeting, that character is made content or is dissatisfied (unlike the protagonist)?

Anyway, I hope you continue to work on this! I'll be more than happy to review again when you make some edits. Thanks for sharing this story!

~Arosis
15
15
Review of Fresh Start  
Review by Arosis
Rated: E | (3.0)
Hi, there! I'm Arosis, and I thought I'd pop on by to read your prologue. I say "prologue" because this felt a little too vague for a first chapter. Its unnamed references to "the boy" and his "idol" establish a relationship and a mystery that a reader wants to know more about, but a first chapter is where you establish empathy between your star attraction (the boy, I think?) and the audience.

Starting with the death of a character--and the harsh reaction of his admirer--is quite the hook, though I would've liked to know more about the "leader" before we offed him. I understand that this is the very start and presumably the rest of the story will start before this porition, but a small personal detail might've made the connection to him deeper.

I was also a little confused as to where this was taking place. It's someplace huge--to hold dragons, it has to be! ^^--with cliffs, but is there a city around? Is it like the Great Plains of the US, with grass all around and nothing else? And how are there bullets and swords being used on the same field? It feels anachronistic.

Your boy is quite emotional, managing to convey his feelings without uttering a single word. I don't know why, but he reminds me of a younger Merlin from the Arthurian legend cycle--a young man with great power, but without control or a cause anymore. Kudos! I would keep an eye on the adjectives, though, like "peaceful, roaring sound"--how can it be both at once?

Anyway, not a bad start! Could use some polishing, but I'd keep reading. :)
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