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7 Total Reviews Given
Public Reviews
Review by Ben James
Rated: E | (2.5)

I came across your story and thought I'd give it a review.

Hope this helps. Take these suggestions for what they're worth and use what you want.

So.. The first thing I would recommend is formatting this a little better for this site. You may have copied and pasted this into your browser, so I'm assuming that's why the formatting is great. At least break up the paragraphs with spaces. White spaces help your reader to follow the words better. If the words are all smashed together it becomes tiresome to read and people will stop. Along with formatting, work on quotation marks around dialog, I think they got messed up in formatting. Make sure this thing looks the best you can make it or people won't spend time on it, no matter what forum your using.

The next thing I noticed was some unnecessary words. In your first paragraph the sentence: "for summer was coming to an end", for is not necessary. Read it out loud and see how it sounds. There's a few more of those types or sentence structures along the way. I'd revise those and cut unnecessary words. Even if you're going for the olde english type of storytelling, I'd let the characters speak that way, not the tone. It creates word jam up, if that makes sense.

Now, for the big thing I think. I'm wondering what this story is really about. You say this is the first chapter of your story, good, now tell me something, or better yet, show me something. You're showing me Art digging a grave, telling me he works in a graveyard, then he goes to the pub, then to bed. No offense, but.... BORING! This isn't where your story should start. If this story is about a knight figthing zombies, give me something that will hook me and draw me toward that. I really don't care about his daily routine. And I certainly don't want to see him go to bed. If something happens after that, open with it and fill in the other stuff later.

I like your writing, but the big thing is get to the action, even if it's just a little bit.

Hope any of these suggestion help.

Review by Ben James
Rated: ASR | (2.5)

Thought I'd throw my 2 cents in on your story. I hope some of these suggestion help. As always, they are simple suggestions, so do what you will with them.


Right off the bat, in the first sentence, I feel like you're trying too hard. Maybe it's just me. You use repose and redoubt, and while I know what both of those words mean, I feel like they're not necessary. It just gave me the feeling you're trying too hard for your words to be prose rather than just letting them flow. As I continued to read I noticed other places where it felt forced. I don't know who your favorite author is, but most of them say the same things, cut the adjectives and adverbs where you can.

I think this story has potential, but I don't know where you're going with it. It's all exposition. There's no tension or conflict. Why is he rolling stones? What's the purpose? If it was there I didn't get it. I personally think that whatever happens next will be the real start to their great adventure.

You write really well. I'd just try to cut this down and get into the meat and potatoes of the story sooner.

These are just my opinions, I hope they help.

Review of Ghost Trial  
Review by Ben James
Rated: E | (3.5)

I really like your premise here. I think it's very original and interesting. Your writing is good as well. I am not the grammar police, so we won't really go there, other than I didn't see anything blatant. This was a very good story.

Now for the nitpicking.

I thought the first paragraph was a little confusing when I first read it. I think maybe you could tighten this paragraph up some, maybe use fewer words. I get what you're saying, but I think you might be trying a little too hard to build the tension.

The only other problem I felt like I saw was:

"The prosecutor turned towards the daughter, "why did you not tell the police you saw the murderer? We could have avoided this entire trial."
"I told the officers, but since the attacker was wearing a hooded cloak, a mask, and wearing gloves, I could give no good description, and no evidence was found that there had been someone else there. Since I was the one found with the knife and standing over the body, they assumed I was lying and arrested me."

I feel like this doesn't work. This information would be the whole reason she's being tried, the court would know she was standing over the body. I feel like the ghosts testimony could let her off only if the court knew she was accused.

I also feel like maybe you should edit the font. It's really small, which makes it a little harder to read. Throw in a few more spaces between lines. Break it up. It helps the reader when you do that.

Really like your story. I hope this helps. Please take any suggestions you want and throw the rest away.

Review of Blood Red: Part 1  
Review by Ben James
Rated: ASR | (4.0)
Hi this is my first review on here so please take everything with a grain of salt.

I really liked your story. It intrigued me. I know a little about the Youngers, mostly by reading about the James gang, but I'm unfamiliar with their personal stories so that this is from the perspective of one of their daughters is pretty cool. I liked the writing and the story and am wondering what will happen next. A quick google search, will tell you the actual fates of these people, so I am definitely wondering if that will be what happens to them in your story.

I will now nitpick, so do with this information what you will and please remember this is the humble opinion of just one reader.

2nd paragraph
I remember that day like it was branded into my mind. (I had to read this sentence twice, I get what you’re saying but it just doesn’t work for me personally. Maybe burnt or seared would be a better word here.)

I cried all the harder at the nickname he'd given me. He'd always said I was the only shadow my daddy ever had and I should be named accordingly, so Robin was transformed into Bobin. A name I treasured more than any material possession I ever had.
(I don’t get this paragraph, how Robin was turned to Bobin and how that relates to her being a shadow or following her daddy closely. Maybe more explanation is needed)
"You're wrong, Cole Younger..." (The first time I read this I wondered if she would really call him by his full name or if this was purely for our benefit, to me it didn't fit)

I think you may need to add some commas in places. I'm never using enough commas in my writing, and am being told about it, so maybe I'm oversensitive to it right now.

This was a well written and intriguing story, I rated it 4 stars. I hope my suggestions will help in some small way. Keep it up and let me know if you continue this.

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