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Printed from http://www.writing.com/main/profile/reviews/azulofegypt39
Review Requests: OFF
326 Public Reviews Given
Review Style
WARNING: If I say "I'm going to be brutally honest" I'm not lying and you may or may not cry (it's happened before.)
Favorite Genres
Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Mythology
Least Favorite Genres
Nonfiction, Romance (although the occasional good one I'll review)
Favorite Item Types
Well, I suppose statics. I like crosswords, but those don't particularly need reviews. I read more short stories than poems.
Least Favorite Item Types
Uh, I probably won't read a script, because I would prefer to see them acted out.
Public Reviews
Previous ... -1- 2 3 4 5 6 ... Next
1
1
Review by CJ Reddick
In affiliation with The Iron Bank of Braavos  
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
House Florent Image for G.o.T.
This review courtesy of House Florent at "Game of Thrones


Hi! My name is CJ and I'll be reviewing your contest today!

I love things like this. I love music, so writing inspire by music is always really cool. I would enter it myself, but I am not skilled enough at flash fiction to do so *Smile*.
I really like that you have a trinket just for placing, and that it's a hidden trinket. Too often, I will go into a contest and see a trinket just there, ready for any random guy or girl or other to just walk in and take it without even giving the contest a second thought. You make people work for your trinket, and I think that sets your contest and trinket apart from others.
The contest itself appears to be working fine, so I'm going to devote the rest of this review to aesthetic suggestions. I don't really like comic font at all. To me, it's a bit unprofessional. It sometimes works for contests, but I personally feel that you would be better off using a different font. The other aesthetic suggestion I have is to change the color of things written in blue to things written in violet. It will match your logo, and your awardicon.
Overall, a really interesting contest!
Thanks for letting me review your work,
CJR
2
2
Review of The Dialogue 500  
Review by CJ Reddick
In affiliation with The Iron Bank of Braavos  
Rated: 18+ | (5.0)
House Florent Image for G.o.T.
This review courtesy of House Florent at "Game of Thrones


Hi! My name is CJ and I'll be reviewing your contest today!

Your contest is very aesthetically pleasing, and I really like your logo. The winged typewriters are really original and, as far as I'm aware, cannot be found anywhere else. This makes winged typewriters a specifically Dialogue 500 thing.
You're consistent with your color scheme, which is something I will sometimes get on people with contests for. The fonts you use, especially in your logo, are great. The contest rules also do exactly what you are trying to get authors to do: show a voice through written word. The rules are humorous and have a very distinct voice behind them, which stays consistent throughout the entirety. Usually, rules are listed rote, which is fine, but can be bland and boring. Whether or not you have intended to, you've created a good example of a dialogue of sorts (monologue I suppose).
If this contest keeps up, you may want to look into getting a commissioned Merit Badge. I never suggest that to contests, but yours looks like it could be ready for one. Also, I want a badge with a winged typewriter on it now *Smile*.
The one thing that I would change is the prompt. It may be just this month, but, to me, the prompt seems too specific. Broadening it, like "write an argument" or something like that, may help with that.
Also, at the very bottom, you should clarify whether the contest ends at 12:00 AM August 31st or 12:00 AM September 1st, because right now you have midnight on the last day of every month, which could be interpreted either way.
Thanks for letting me review your piece,
CJR
3
3
Review by CJ Reddick
In affiliation with The Iron Bank of Braavos  
Rated: E | (4.5)
House Florent Image for G.o.T.
This review courtesy of House Florent at "Game of Thrones


Hi! My name is CJ and I'll be reviewing your piece today!

This is a wonderful story. Really, you've outdone yourself here, I think. It reads like The Giving Tree, and I wonder if that influenced your writing of this piece. It's a modernized version of The Giving Tree, really, and it's great!
I had to read The Kite Runner my sophomore year of high school, so I understood what you were talking about with the Hazara racism, but you may want to explain it a bit more for the average American who doesn't (and let me assure you, the average American does not). Speaking of The Kite Runner, one of the prominent characters in that book is also a Hazara named Hassan. I can tell that this is an original story, but I think it would be wise of you to change the name of the child. There are those who would read this story and believe that all you've done is fuse The Kite Runner and The Giving Tree into one, but this is not true. Changing the name of Hassan would remove any association with The Kite Runner and let your work stand in its own light rather than in the shadow of a different book.
Overall, this is a great story, and well-deserving of its awardicons.
Thank you for letting me read your work,
CJR
4
4
Review of The Delayed Joke  
Review by CJ Reddick
In affiliation with The Iron Bank of Braavos  
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
House Florent Image for G.o.T.
This review courtesy of House Florent at "Game of Thrones


Hi! My name is CJ and I'll be reviewing your piece today!

Hey, Naveed! Happy birthday!
Okay, so this is a nice story. I think that you make a very profound point about hope, which is what makes this piece good. I must confess that I didn't get the two jokes that Albert told that were actually funny, but I think your point is made without them. However, if a lot of people have been telling you that they don't get the jokes, then it may be wise to look into rewriting them. It could just be me, though. Don't let any one person tell you a joke isn't funny, 'cause everyone has a slightly different sense of humor.
I also admire your usage of the stuttering. It's a bit difficult to read, but it provides voice for the character. And it is mostly accurate. I have a friend with a stutter, and this sounds more or less like him. My friend does more of the fff and sss stuff that you have at the end, actually, and his stutters aren't as often as Albert's. More like a cluster every two sentences than a whole bunch in every sentence. Of course, I don't know if this is normal, I've never talked to him about it. That's just my experience with stuttering.
This piece could use a grammar check over, as well. The grammar is good enough that people who aren't grammar snobs like me won't notice, but it'd be a good idea to check through anyways.
Thanks for letting me review your piece,
CJR
5
5
Review by CJ Reddick
In affiliation with The Iron Bank of Braavos  
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
House Florent Image for G.o.T.
This review courtesy of House Florent at "Game of Thrones


Hi! My name is CJ and I'll be reviewing your piece today!

This is a very unique idea for a contest, and I love it. Not just because I won it once, though *Laugh*. This contest is inviting because of your explanation at the very beginning of what a Weird Tale is. Your images are always interesting, although I do question the copyright stuff sometimes. No matter, really, because you don't claim that it's your own artwork or anything. As far as image prompt-based contests go, this is one of the best, I think.
I only have a few suggestions that are not necessary. However, I am of the belief that things can always be improved, so I'll be being really nit-picky.
First of all, since you don't necessarily follow the 1000 word limit rule, you might want to just take that out altogether in your introduction. Also, although your appreciation is noted, it would look best if you took out the thanks to donors who are no longer members of the site. The broken links look strange.
Finally, two contest-maintenance things that I have noticed. For one, it may be helpful to post a start/stop message for each round. That isn't super necessary but it may help you keep yourself and others organized. In addition to this, I know from experience that you use the same image item for each new image. You may want to warn this to writers who wish to embed the prompt image in their item, like myself. I embedded the prompt image in my entry, and everything looked fine until you changed the prompt image, and the image no longer matched my story. I myself didn't notice until I received a review asking why I had a weird image at the top of my screen that didn't match the prompt. I imagine this is to save port space, so it's understandable, I'd just make your entrants aware of the fact.
Overall, though, this is a really great contest and I'm just being really nit-picky *Smile*.
Thanks for letting me review your work,
CJR
6
6
Review by CJ Reddick
In affiliation with The Iron Bank of Braavos  
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
House Florent Image for G.o.T.
This review courtesy of House Florent at "Game of Thrones


Hi! My name is CJ and I'll be reviewing your contest today!

As you probably know, I love this contest. It is what introduced me to interaction with other people on WDC, and was my main source of GP income when I first joined. This contest is great for a lot of reasons. You make it a flash fiction contest, and you're very, very consistent. I think this and Writer's Cramp are the longest continual-running daily contests on WDC, and that takes a lot of commitments, so I applaud you for that.
I don't have much for suggestions here. You say "Thanks to Kaya" for the image, although there's not a user tag, so I don't know if it's a WDC user or not. If it is, you may want to change that. If not, don't bother. Literally the only other thing I have to suggest is that you have the 16th Birthday Masquerade link, and you should probably change that to be the 17th Birthday or remove it (looking forward to working with you by the way *Smile*).
Overall, this is a great contest, and although I don't enter it anymore cause I've lost the ability to write good flash fiction, it will always hold a special place in my heart.
Thanks for letting me review your contest,
CJR
7
7
Review of Stars  
Review by CJ Reddick
In affiliation with The Iron Bank of Braavos  
Rated: ASR | (4.5)
House Florent Image for G.o.T.
This review courtesy of House Florent at "Game of Thrones


Hi! My name is CJ and I'll be reviewing your piece today!

This is a very beautiful prose piece, and I'm glad to have read it. I like the juxtaposition that you've created. Although I find it difficult to take either of these characters as real (apologies if this is based on reality, they're just so extreme), they demonstrated a harmony that I think is very important to get across, especially in this day and age.
Your story is well formatted, and well written. I am a self-admitted grammar snob, however, and there are a few errors that are easy to remedy.
The words "starry eyed" should be "starry-eyed." I don't know if you know the rule for hyphens, but I will inform you of it either way. Essentially, if you can remove either of the words and have the sentence still make sense, a hyphen is not necessary. If it does not make sense, a hyphen is necessary. Although a starry idiot makes sense, an eyed idiot does not make sense and therefore, a hyphen is necessary.
Also, a quick dust-up of commas may be necessary. Check the Purdue Owl Comma Quick Rules   to ensure that all commas are placed properly.
Overall, I did really like this piece; it is very sweet.
Thanks for letting me review your work,
CJR
8
8
Review by CJ Reddick
In affiliation with The Iron Bank of Braavos  
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
House Florent Image for G.o.T.
This review courtesy of House Florent at "Game of Thrones


Hi! My name is CJ and I'll be reviewing your piece today!

You really captured me here. Without naming any names at all, you've created a sympathy which I rarely feel for people I don't know. At first, I just assumed this was a fictional story. And then I got to the bottom. I am sorry to discover that this was a true story, and I am sorry for your having to go through these struggles. I don't have a ton of suggestions for this piece, but the ones I do have I will make as gently and respectfully as possible. I imagine that this is a very personal piece for you, and I have had people cry when I review their personal pieces before. My goal is for that to not happen.
Your grammar is excellent. There are only a few mistakes. For example, "The first sign of it; the overflowing..." the semicolon should be a colon. There's nothing serious enough to detract from the story, but a good look-through to catch any minutia.
The other thing I suggest is a continuation of the update section. You stop in 2007, which is now ten years ago. You've created an emotional investment for the reader here, and we want to see your son happy and recovered ten years later, or know if he or you need support in a second case of relapse.
That's all I really have to say about this piece. It is really well done.
Thank you for letting me review your piece,
CJR
9
9
Review by CJ Reddick
In affiliation with The Iron Bank of Braavos  
Rated: E | (4.0)
House Florent Image for G.o.T.
This review courtesy of House Florent at "Game of Thrones


Hi! My name is CJ and I'll be reviewing your piece today!

You have an intriguing piece set up here. I've never heard of a SteamPunk war story before, so this should make an interesting novel. You are also excellent in your character development, especially with Ronan. You do leave us on a cliffhanger, but I believe that that is your intention, so props for that!
Your title appears to be asking for suggestions, advice, and opinions, so the remainder of my review will be dedicated to doing that.
Ironically, my first suggestion is to change the title of the piece. It is all fine and good that you want input, but the title of your piece is not the place to do that. I would suggest changing the title of this item from "Suggestions, advice, and opinions" to "Devils and Spawns-- Sample Chapter". It has occurred to me that perhaps "Suggestions, advice, and opinions" is the title of the chapter. Because "advice" and "opinions" are not capitalized, this is not clear. Always capitalize everything in titles except for and/or/the, and other small words that are givens. I don't know which of those two suggestions help more, but either situation is covered.
My other big thing for you is readability. Your story, in its current format, is very difficult to read. One way you can fix this is by keeping a maximum of one quote per paragraph. This is what you are supposed to do, and not doing so makes your paragraphs long and difficult to read. In addition to this, adding {size:3.5} before your item text will make the size of the text bigger, which will also make it easier to read. Also, when you switch viewpoints, try to denote it by skipping a line and adding some asterisks or emoticons, and then skipping another line. This will keep readers from getting confused when you switch to a different viewpoint, as I was confused at the switch from Ronan to Luther halfway through.
Finally, this piece is in need of a good grammar scrub. There isn't any error that is consistent enough for me to point out, but your grammar needs to be impeccable for a talent search, so make it that way. Some things you may want to watch for are correct comma usage and correct, non-run-on sentences.
Overall, your plot intrigued me, and once you fix the other things that I've mentioned, the presentation will match the excellence of the plot!
Thanks for letting me review your work,
CJR
10
10
Review of He Did It!  
Review by CJ Reddick
In affiliation with The Iron Bank of Braavos  
Rated: ASR | (4.5)
House Florent Image for G.o.T.
This review courtesy of House Florent at "Game of Thrones


Hi! My name is CJ and I'll be reviewing your piece today!

Although not a lot physically happened to Jane in this piece, it was still very exciting. I was left wondering if the police would believe Jane, and then wondering if they were going to catch Ken, and then wondering if the news report was going to cause issues if Ken escaped. Usually, stories don't keep me guessing the whole way through, but you've done that, so good job!
One thing I would suggest is to change the opening line. Although it does establish the fact that your name is Jane Yarbrough, it feels a bit weird considering the rest of the piece is not technically directly speaking to the audience. A simple solution to this would be to cut that statement, or at least move it and rephrase it. It does provide the vital information of the name and the fact that she's a remote administrative assistant, but I think that there are better ways to work that in than saying it outright at the beginning. The other problem I have is more of a logical thing. If Jane lives in a separate building from Ken, how does she know his name? Are the windows close enough that they can speak? You tell us that Jane knows him a bit, but maybe just like a simple "at the complex party" or something like that would help with the why they know each other when they're not physically living that close together.
This is a good piece, and it might even warrant a follow-up piece where Ken escapes and wants his revenge. Just an idea, though.
Thanks for letting me review your work,
CJR
11
11
Review by CJ Reddick
In affiliation with The Iron Bank of Braavos  
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
House Florent Image for G.o.T.
This review courtesy of House Florent at "Game of Thrones


Hi! My name is CJ and I'll be reviewing your piece today!

This is quite the story. You've done an excellent job with the dialogue-only part. Although there are some parts of the story that slow or get confused, I think we can account that to Mrs. Wyman's dementia. This story reminds me of the story "Ordeal by Cheque" by Wuther Crue. You might want to check it out. I also enjoy how you hint at one element of what happened a little bit at a time, especially how the husband refuses to have tea with Mrs. Wyman, most likely due to the fact that she poisoned Anna with tea. My other favorite part is that Mrs. Wyman insists that women don't need to know anything more than how to run a household and such, and yet she herself is somewhat of a horticulture expert.
What I do recommend is a little more development on the husband. More specifically, why does he laugh and slap Anna across the face after impregnating her, and then agree to marry Mrs. Wyman? Right now I'm assuming that he impregnated Anna merely for the joy of ruining a young girl's life, and then was forced into marriage with Mrs. Wyman by Anna's father. That seems odd, though, so an explanation of that may be necessary.
This was a great story and I enjoyed reading it.
Thanks for letting me review your work,
CJR
12
12
Review of Heads Up  
Review by CJ Reddick
In affiliation with The Iron Bank of Braavos  
Rated: E | (4.5)
House Florent Image for G.o.T.
This review courtesy of House Florent at "Game of Thrones


Hi! My name is CJ and I'll be reviewing your piece today!

This piece is very funny. The twist at the end was great; I didn't see it coming, which is unusual. I wonder what ever inspired you to write something like it? The other thing I wonder is how your character got his foot run over by a car and yet was able to walk away with only a bruise. Feet have a lot of bones, and a car is very heavy, so I imagine there was at least one crushed bone there. Maybe something to consider if you go over it again.
One of the few things I have to say for improvement is a comma thing. Your recurring phrase, "Lucky penny my ass", needs to have a comma in it. "My ass" is an interjection, so I believe it should be cordoned off by a comma. The same goes for "indeed".
Also, I think that "which had two of its tires slashed" should be "had had two of its tires slashed." I'm not exactly sure on that one; I think it has something to do with tense. "Had had" sounds better in my mind.
Overall, this was a nice, funny piece and I am glad to have read it.
Thanks for letting me review your work,
CJR
13
13
Review of Just Beyond  
Review by CJ Reddick
In affiliation with The Iron Bank of Braavos  
Rated: 13+ | N/A (Review only item.)
House Florent Image for G.o.T.
This review courtesy of House Florent at "Game of Thrones


Hi! My name is CJ and I'll be reviewing your piece today!

This is a nice little piece, and, with a little polishing, it will be great!
I like the way you really talk out the society of the day. To me, being married at 23 seems a bit young, but you make it seem perfectly normal that a 23-year-old woman is almost too old to be married. You also do a good job on the dialogue. To me, dialogue is the most important part of a piece. It is the perfect way to show and not tell, in my opinion. The ending was sweet, albeit predictable from the line "you're not hard to look at" on. Everyone loves a happy ending, although I wonder how Jacob Hollister would react. That may be a good follow-up story, if you're looking to do something like that.
My big issue with this is the commas. I'm constantly harping on people for comma errors. It appears that you have a lot of seemingly random, incorrect commas within the piece; you also have a lot of missing commas. I recommend using the Purdue Owl's Comma Quick Rules   to authors who are editing for commas. To give you an example of what I'm talking about, I'll show you the first sentence, with corrections made in light blue.
Rose, stretched her legs, while the wagon master, worked on the loosened wheel.
So, no commas are necessary in that first sentence. This is just an example; there are several other errors like that. It'll be a quick fix, no worries.
Overall, a nice, sweet story!
Thanks for letting me review your work,
CJR


14
14
Review by CJ Reddick
In affiliation with The Iron Bank of Braavos  
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
House Florent Image for G.o.T.
This review courtesy of House Florent at "Game of Thrones


Hi! My name is CJ and I'll be reviewing your piece today!

This piece is exciting, but I think it needs expansion. You've got me hooked, but you left me on the ear, and now I want to know what happened to Charlie and Ron! I knew this Billy was a suspicious guy from the way you described him. You do a good job at really getting me into Debbie's head. I can catch the way she thinks about things through little hints, and she strikes me as a bit of a snob, but not unreasonably so.
I have a few suggestions, though, and I think they'll help with editing!
I'll start with formatting. I don't like reading stories that are not in black colored font, so the blue was a bit of a throw-off for me. That's my opinion, but I imagine there are others who share it. Additionally with formatting, since your paragraphs are so long, you may want to consider using the WDC indent {indent}. This will make your paragraphs look less boxy.
Within the text itself, I thought I'd alert you that the wrong word was used in your piece. Debbie refers to the working class as moving in a "hoard". This should be "horde". Hoard is used as a verb and to describe a large group of items, whereas horde is used to describe a large group of people.
The other overall suggestion I have is to cut down on word usage. You have excellent imagery, but it also begins to get tedious reading so many adjectives. While they are all grammatically correct, I got a bit tired of reading descriptions of things that weren't super important to the story line. For instance, it's fine to know that Debbie walked briskly down the sticky stairs, but after reading several other tidbits like that, I'm more interested in what's going to happen.
My final suggestion is to introduce the name Debbie earlier in the story. Her name is mentioned until the final three lines of the paragraph. I'm left wondering "Who is she?" This can be easily remedied by changing "Her" to "Debbie's" in the first line.
Overall, this was a great story!
Thanks for letting me read your piece,
CJR
15
15
Review of The Flames I Hold  
Review by CJ Reddick
In affiliation with The Iron Bank of Braavos  
Rated: 13+ | (3.0)
House Florent Image for G.o.T.
This review courtesy of House Florent at "Game of Thrones


Hi! My name is CJ and I'll be reviewing your piece today!

This piece strikes me as incomplete, so I will try to review it as such.
I think that you have a great fantasy idea going here. You've established the presence of Crimsons, and what I'll call normies, as well as the presence of mages. You've also got the beginnings of a character. You've provided motivation and backstory, which most people don't think to include in the first part of the story. I am often left wondering why characters do what they do, but for your story, I know right away that whatever this guy is doing, it's because he wants to kill normies in vengeance.
Obviously, my big push here is expansion. You've got to expand this! Internal monologues are great, but only when accompanied by a bigger story.
As far as grammar goes, I think that there's a little work to be done, but not much. It's mainly just commas. I'm always correcting people on commas, and I advise that you use the Purdue Owl   to make sure your comma placement is in tip-top shape. *Smile*
If you want to be super nit-picky, nix the word "Ok." Although it is a common word now, it is derived from American President Martin Van Buren's nickname "Old Kinderhook." Since I'm assuming the United States does not exist in this world, that word would not have come about. But, like I said, that's super nit-picky and a forgivable word.
Expand, please, and this rating would go up! I think you've got a good thing going here!

Thanks for letting me review your work,
CJR
16
16
Review of The Keyhole  
Review by CJ Reddick
In affiliation with The Iron Bank of Braavos  
Rated: E | (4.0)
House Florent Image for G.o.T.
This review courtesy of House Florent at "Game of Thrones


Hi! My name is CJ and I'll be reviewing your piece today!

This is a cute, funny piece. I have only a few minor suggestions.
The first suggestion has nothing to do with the text itself and everything to do with formatting. To my understanding, this is a 30 Day Challenge item, and you've embedded the picture prompt. Right now, I think the picture is too big. This can be easily remedied by making the font size of the poem bigger, or by making the image smaller. This can be done by typing {image:2124960-50%}, which will make the image fifty percent of its original size. You can also make it 75% or 25%, and possibly any percentage, but that will help, because right now the image is bigger than the poem itself, and the poem is the main focus, right?
I'd also put the line count at the bottom and nix the (10), because I don't know what it means.
Within the poem itself, it's an ABAB rhyme scheme, so an ABAB rhythm scheme may be appropriate. Most of your lines are eleven syllables long, so if you try making them all eleven syllables, or ten, it might flow better when reading. Also, in the first line I'd suggest removing "bright" or "small", because you've unintentionally created an internal rhythm error that, for whatever reason, really sticks out in my mind. I don't usually pick on internal rhythms, but this one is so close I thought I'd mention it. If you care to know, the line sounds like two iambs followed by two anapaests, but has an extra syllable that throws things off.
Other than that, the poem is great, and it made me laugh. Good job!

Thanks for letting me review your work,
CJR
17
17
Review by CJ Reddick
In affiliation with The Iron Bank of Braavos  
Rated: E | N/A (Review only item.)
House Florent Image for G.o.T.
This review courtesy of House Florent at "Game of Thrones


Hi! My name is CJ and I'll be reviewing your piece today!

I had a nice review typed out, and then my computer crashed *Facepalm*. First of all, your dog is really cute, and I can relate to having a naughty dog as I have one myself.
So, the first critique I have is this: I'm not a huge fan of using comic font for writing. For contests, fine, but it seems a bit unprofessional in writing. That's just my thing, you can leave it like that if you want as it doesn't affect the quality of the story.
Oh, I also wanted to say that this is a really good nonfiction piece, and I usually hate nonfiction, so good job on that!
I don't think that "vet" is supposed to be capitalized, so I'd go through and correct that. Also, I don't think that "xray" is right. Let me check on that...
Ah! As a noun, X-ray has a hyphen and a capital "X". As a verb, it's x-ray. You learn something new everyday.
This story has very good grammar, I think that I have one nitpicky suggestion. When you say "I could imagine another scenario", I'd take out "and that was" and replace it with a comma. Then, it's "could imagine another scenario, that Boo had swallowed". What you have is correct, I just think it flows better if you do that.
Good story, and I'm glad that Boo ended up being okay!
Thanks for letting me review your piece,
CJR

18
18
Review of My Stalker  
Review by CJ Reddick
In affiliation with The Iron Bank of Braavos  
Rated: 13+ | (2.0)
House Florent Image for G.o.T.
This review courtesy of House Florent at "Game of Thrones


Hi! My name is CJ and I'll be reviewing your piece today!

I believe that this piece has a lot of potential, but it also needs a lot of restructure in order to tap that potential. I see that you're a newbie on WDC, so I'll tell you about some resources and tools you can utilize on here that will make things easier.
The first issue has nothing to do with writing and everything to do with appearance. Your story is currently single-spaced, in the default text setting. This makes it very difficult to people to read. Although double spacing is not a common aesthetic choice here, there is an option that you can check. When you edit your item, below the place to enter text, there are item settings. Below these item settings are some extra settings under the "ADVANCED" tab. The second of these is a paragraph spacing option, which will probably say "Single Space Paragraphs." If you change that to "Double Space Paragraphs", there will be an extra space between each paragraph, which will separate out your paragraphs so they are easier to read, without double spacing the whole piece. Another thing to do to make the font size bigger. You can do this by selecting everything in the item text area in the edit menu, and then examining the option bar above the item text area. This is the mL bar, and can be used to customize your text. There should be an option that has three S's on it; that's the size option. The typical font size used here is 3.5 (this review is in font size 3.5), but by clicking on the triple S button you'll be able to view how the sizes will actually look on the page, and select accordingly by clicking on the image, which will in turn put in a command that will make your text that size, which will end up looking like {size:3.5} your text here {/size}.
This text also needs a major grammar scrub. There are several comma and tense errors which need attention. For instance, in the initial conversation between Luci and her mother, Luci always speaks in the present tense ("I scream" "I reply"), and her mother always speaks in the past tense ("mom asked" "she replied"). It should either be all present or all past. I typically go for past, but that decision is up to you.
There are also several run-on sentences, which make a reader a bit unwilling to go on. Let's take your first sentence as an example. You wrote "Hi my name is Lucille I'm 20, my friends call me Luci and by friends I mean my mom I, well I have friends but they're all in Tennessee." This is like five or six clauses in one sentence, which is way too many. It can be divided up in many different ways, such as "Hi! My name is Lucille, and I'm twenty (generally try to write out numbers, especially those below one hundred). My friends call me Luci, and by friends I mean my mom. I... well... I have friends, but they're all in Tennessee." That's four sentences. Granted, one is a greeting, but you understand my point.
There are comma errors too, which you may have noticed I fixed in my rewrite of your first sentence. One good resource to avoid these is the Purdue Owl  , which has a comma rule quick list. There is another good resource for all writing in general that is right here on WDC! It's called the New Horizons Academy and is run by Katzendragonz . This is a list of the classes they are offering for their next term: "New Horizons Academy Course Catalog. I'd suggest taking the Grammar Garden, or perhaps Comma Sense. I've never taken a class myself, but I've had a friend take the Comma Sense class and her comma usage improved dramatically. I know you're a newbie, so GPs may be tight, but Kat offers scholarships, I believe, so I think it's definitely something to check out.
I hope to see this piece develop into something really good, because you've got a great idea here. Welcome to WDC, I believe you'll find that we've got great resources that I haven't even mentioned here, and your writing will improve dramatically so you can be the best writer you can be.
Thanks for letting me review your work,
CJR
19
19
Review of Unlucky Seven  
Review by CJ Reddick
In affiliation with The Iron Bank of Braavos  
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
House Florent Image for G.o.T.
This review courtesy of House Florent at "Game of Thrones


Hi! My name is CJ and I'll be reviewing your piece today!

Although I did like this piece, my big question, and what ultimately led to the not 5-star rating, was why?
Why did Regina fake her death, why did she kill her husband? If it was for his money, it would've made more sense for Smith to kill him right off the bat. I sense that it had something to do with the "seven-year itch" you reference, but you don't explain that. I understand that Harold paid off the burglar, but why? Although your lack of explanation does create a dramatic effect, it also is very frustrating. All you really need is like a one-liner from Regina, "This'll teach you to yada yada yada" or something like that.
Aside from that, the story is well written, and I enjoyed it.
The rest of my suggestions are just spot problems that don't detract much. I didn't like the abbreviation "thou" because I've never heard anyone use it, so although it does get the point across, I think thousand is better. There is a missing comma after "And speaking of gifts." Finally, I'm pretty sure that "seven year itch" should be "seven-year itch." What I believe to be the rule for hyphenated adjective phrases is this: if either word can be removed from the sentence and the sentence still makes sense, it shouldn't be hyphenated, if it doesn't make sense, it should be. Seven itch and year itch are both not things, and thus should be hyphenated.
Really, though, these are nitpicky things, and you did a great job!
Thanks for letting me review your work,
CJR


20
20
Review of The Light Keep  
Review by CJ Reddick
In affiliation with The Iron Bank of Braavos  
Rated: E | (4.0)
House Florent Image for G.o.T.
This review courtesy of House Florent at "Game of Thrones


Hi! My name is CJ and I'll be reviewing your piece today!

I don't normally review poetry, but this piece caught my eye. I have a few formatting suggestions, and then I will get to the writing itself.
For one, I advise taking the (48 Lines) out of the title of the piece. Although there is nothing wrong with including the line count in the title, it is not common practice on WDC. Typically, people put their line/word counts within the item itself, at the top or bottom of the page (I prefer the bottom). I'd also suggest putting your name at the bottom of the piece, not really sure why, I just think it would look better there. The use of mL would also be nice, perhaps center the poem (I like my poems centered, but that's an aesthetic choice), and underline the title. I also like to change the font or font size, which again is for aesthetic purposes, but in some cases, presentation is as important as quality.
Within the actual poem, I enjoyed it. I fully expected the speaker to be the light keep, but the storyteller himself would've been my second guess. There are two things I would suggest about the poem, one being rhythmic symmetry. Although you are very close with a lot of your rhythms, not all of them flow together, and it threw me off. For instance, in the second stanza, the first line has eight syllables, the second has six, the third has nine, and the fourth has eight. Since you are following an ABAB rhyme scheme, an ABAB rhythm scheme would be appropriate, with a plus/minus one syllable. Your first and third lines flow alright, the second and fourth do not. The other thing I would suggest is a quick grammar check. It's difficult with the line form of poetry to get the grammar right, but basically treat it like a sentence and grammar it as such. If you do these things, I believe the poem will improve.
This poem has great content, it just needs a few cosmetic touch ups and it'll go from great to awesome!

Thanks for letting me read your work,
CJR
21
21
Review by CJ Reddick
In affiliation with Blog City ~ Every Blogger'...  
Rated: E | (4.5)
House Florent Image for G.o.T.
This review courtesy of House Florent at "Game of Thrones


Hi! My name is CJ and I'll be reviewing your piece today!

I enjoyed this piece, and I only have a few suggestions to touch it up and make it its best self.
First, let me approach this as if it were a children's book that I was reading to a child. I've had experience doing this as I've worked in a nursery for the past seven years. The first thing I'd say is that it is too wordy. I don't know what your target age is for this, and if it is for older children, you can toss this suggestion out, but as great as this story is, I would probably not read the entire thing to a toddler. I'd give quick summaries of each page, and the toddler would be none the wiser. Read-to-me children's books should be concise and simple. That doesn't mean eliminate plot or anything like that, but trimming back the words that a toddler wouldn't understand anyways would be nice and make it easier on the reader.
If this is for older children, I'd still shave back a little, just not as much. In this edit, I'd go for shorter sentences. Your sentences are not run-ons by any means, but they are filled with adjectives and prepositional phrases which sometimes make it difficult to follow the plot of the sentence. This can be remedied by breaking up the longer sentences into shorter ones, or removing prepositional phrases and adjectives. The imagery in this is great, but if I'm being shown a lot of information at once, I can't take it all in and fully appreciate it.
In addition to all of this, I'd go through and check commas. There are a few instances of commas that should be present, but are not. This will also help with sentence flow.
Other than that, this piece is very good, and it strikes me as different, in a good way. Often I feel like I'm reading the same five or six stories over and over again, but yours felt fresh to me. So, good job on that.
Thanks for letting me review your piece,
CJR
22
22
Review by CJ Reddick
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Created for Harry Potter Bingo

Hello! I'll be flying by your port with a review on behalf of "Invalid Item.
I very much enjoyed this piece. It took a little bit to get into, but by the end I was hooked. You fleshed out Hazel very well, and I imagine this is some side story in a larger universe. I'm sure most of the questions I have would be answered if I read other pieces.
If this is a standalone, I would suggest providing more details, though.I would also suggest giving a hint of Hazel's age earlier on than you do, purely for mental image sake. As you described everyone else, I assumed that she was also their age.
When I read about the seventy-five years ago thing, I was like "oh, okay, so she's ageless and forever a kid" and then she's married, and then she's a mother, and then she's a mother of an adult. Just some mention earlier on would be good, even if this is an additive piece. In addition to all of this, this could use a good grammar scrub. There's more than a couple but less than several grammatical errors and typos, mostly to do with possession, interjection, and title. If you cleaned those up, or found someone to clean them up for you, that'd be great!
All-in-all a great emotional piece of what I'm sure is a fantastic larger story.
Thanks for letting me read your work,
CJR
23
23
Review by CJ Reddick
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Created for Harry Potter Bingo

Hello! I'll be flying by your port with a review on behalf of "Invalid Item.
I enjoyed your short, sweet, if not predictable story. It reads like a children's book,
which is good, if you were going for that genre. Well, I guess the knife part wasn't exactly children's. I was able to predict the ending right away, which may or may not be what you intended. Your note at the beginning, that was a big give away. I'd move it to the end. As it's said, it's easier to apologize than to ask for permission, if you catch my gist. *Smile*
If this is a children's story, I'd suggest taking the knife out and replacing it with a threaten to punch, or something. Knives to me seem a bit too much for children. However,
if this is intended to be a story for older audiences, I'd suggest a bit more expansion.
You've got me wondering how Lucy goes to Hogwarts and goes to school exactly. This could be an interesting spin on Harry Potter, just see where it goes *Smile*
Thanks for letting me read and review your piece,
CJR
24
24
Review by CJ Reddick
Rated: E | (5.0)
Created for Harry Potter Bingo

Hello! I'll be flying by your port with a review on behalf of "Invalid Item.

I really liked this story. I was looking through Curiosity Shop entries to review, and this is the one I decided upon after reading a few. When I joined WDC, the Curiosity Shop contest was all but dead. I was fascinated by it, and entered it. Little did I know that that would be the round that the owner would decide to freeze the contest in place and disappear. *Sad*

Anyways, to your story itself. The plot and all that is sound, the characters believable, and the ending just enough to be satisfying while also chilling. Usually in trying to wrap up a story like this, a writer has to choose whether everything is happy or everything is creepy. You've managed to do both, with Kate's happiness at death, and the continuation of the widowkiller hat back at the shop. I have to wonder if it works the same way for everyone. But it doesn't matter. Mrs. Kate Hutchens's story is done.

A few things I would suggest, though. There's a few technical errors that I think a good grammatical scrub could fix. Given as this story is ten years old, and hasn't been edited for that long, I'm sure if you look at again it'll be a real quick fix. Another thing I'd suggest is to introduce Kate's name earlier in the story. I struggle with this as well in first person narration, but suddenly seeing her name at the end had me doing a double take. Perhaps just take it out altogether, if that's easier. The third and final thing I would add, and this is the most important, I think, is to change the rating of this story. You currently have it marked as E, which WDC defines as "signif[ying] that the content of this item is intended for everyone of all ages. There are absolutely no references to sex (other than gender), drugs, alcohol, violence, cursing (of any kind), derogatory names or any combinations thereof." As your story references sex casually and semen explicitly, I'd bump it up to 13+. You've been on WDC longer than I've been writing, a member, or reviewing, so I bet this one just slipped through the cracks, and it's a super easy fix.

Overall, I really enjoyed this story. Thank you for sharing it with me.

CJR
25
25
Review of Prom Queen  
Review by CJ Reddick
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
House Florent Image for G.o.T.
This review courtesy of House Florent at "Game of Thrones

Hello, there! My name is Cj and I'll be reviewing this piece!
Oh my goodness, I didn't think I could be horrified in so few words. I had to reread it a couple of times to grasp what had happened. Although, I do have to question the science behind it. A girl is pregnant, presumably doesn't know it, goes into labor on prom night without anyone or herself noticing, horrified to discover she's given birth, throws the baby in the trash. I feel like that is highly unlikely. But, I suppose so is Freddy Krueger invading people's dreams and killing them. There are no grammar errors that I noticed, and although I'm not a huge fan of the stylization of the layout, it is correct (perhaps more correct than the way I write poems). I personally like to have each line capitalized, but I don't think that's correct, although I don't know.
You also might want to use mL to spruce up the appearance a bit. I know you know how to use that stuff, so I won't educate you on it, but I'm sure you could make it look more interesting than just default setting.
Thanks,
CJR
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