*Magnify*
SPONSORED LINKS
Creative fun in
the palm of your hand.
Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/profile/reviews/beckyimpala
Review Requests: OFF
69 Public Reviews Given
Review Style
I love to review and read others' work. I'm an English Literature student so I try to look at the topic and individual techniques used as well. I'll always point out the positives as I believe there is something good in everyone's work. Also, I'll always try to find places where I can give suggestions in the form of constructive feedback. I'm happy to explain any aspects of my reviews if asked. N.B. I'm checking Writing.com weekly from now on so I should be able to get to your request quickly. For those few which expired, I'm working through to review regardless.
Favorite Genres
Supernatural. Dark. Comedy. Adventure. Satire.
Favorite Item Types
Short Stories
Least Favorite Item Types
Poems. As much as I love reading poems and I've been known to read and review a few on here, I'm yet to read up on poetic techniques. Therefore, I'm not too comfortable giving an in-depth review on poems if you want the techniques analysed.
Public Reviews
Previous ... -1- 2 3 ... Next
1
1
Review by Becca Winchester
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Heya. Thank you for requesting a review from me. First things first is I'd really appreciate it if you could increase the font size to even 3.5, as it's incredibly hard for me to read without getting a headache. I enjoyed reading this story, but as you requested a review from me I'm going to nitpick the aspects I believe could be improved.

Ok, having said that, I'm just zooming in now. I'm going to review as I read.

The first paragraph is great as it immediately sets the scene and informs the reader that the grandma is important, she's died in 75 and there's something special/different about the farm down the road. The scene is established concisely and well.

In the 2nd paragraph, 2 sentences are fairly short and both begin with 'she', as I am being pedantic, I'd recommend you change the beginning of one of these sentences to just add a little variety and add to the flow.

Should it be 'most of her neighbors' farms' instead of 'most of her neighbor's farms'?

'Gossip was a common way to spend time at the general store.' Is a good sentence, I particularly like the sound of 'gossip...general'. However, in the next sentence; ' Though locals all recount the farm's story-but nobody talks about it.' I would remove the '-but' and just keep it 'story, nobody'.

Your descriptions are exceptional as you give enough detail for the reader to paint their own image. The list of 3 here: 'Along the lane was the entrance to the barn, animal pen, and a vegetable garden.' is effective too, as again you don't burden the reader, just give them a tour of the setting.

'Most speculated who owned the farm?' I dislike this, because I don't see the need for '?' as it isn't a question. I'd recommend either removing the '?' or leaning more into making it a question.

'Grandma laughs about it now, but everyone in the valley thought the new neighbors were witches or demons back then. They had to be! They were Catholic and spoke some strange language. At the very least, many in the valley thought the new residents weren't considered "real Americans." Most were suspicious of this new family since they were different from the German-speaking Protestants born and raised in Paradise Valley over the past several hundred years.' -Love this paragraph as it gives an insight into the locals as well as the new owners of the house.

I also love your description of the Grandma's and Irene's blossoming friendship and the realisation something is 'off' with the house.

'Not only did the house look abandoned ...' This paragraph and personifying the house to say it has a 'grudge' is excellent.

'Wooooshh!' This exclamation takes away from the rising horror/suspense, in my opinion. You could remove it and see how it reads for yourself.

'THUD!' Instead of using onomatopoeic exclamations, if you describe the sensations slowly, you'll add more tension and suspense. I think you have to be careful using 'THUD' and 'WOOSH' in stories as it can sometimes have the adverse effect and take the reader out of the events.

Overall, it's a brilliant and chilling story where I'm firmly seeing events through the Grandma's eyes and wondering what happened to Irene's family too. It's thoroughly engaging and with a little tweaking would be easily worth 5 stars. The main areas for improvement in my opinion are exchanging or removing the onomatopoeic exclamations for slower descriptions that build up the tension and increasing the font size. *Star**Star**Star**Star**Star*


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
2
2
Review by Becca Winchester
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hi, this is a review in return for yours of my poem 'I Moved on'.

I love the rhythm of this poem. The alliteration helps it flow nicely, I particularly like the 'glint 'n' glitter'. The message is great and needed too.

To improve I'd suggest using a different word rather than 'awesome', I imagine you'd want another word beginning with 'a' for the alliteration with 'artist', but 'awesome' has connotations that do not match the poem's beautiful imagery. I believe 'awe-inspiring' would be more suitable.
Another slight edit, I'd make is changing 'Donot' from the penultimate stanza, to 'Do not' or 'Don't'- either way I'd like to see repetition with the final 'Don't/Do not' in the same stanza.
'Don't destroy God's works of art, His masterpieces great
don't drive the natural world to extinction's fate'


'Do not destroy God's works of art, His masterpieces great
Do not drive the natural world to extinction's fate' - I prefer this combination of no abbreviations as it adds that little bit more force to the message.
3
3
Review of CLASH!  
Review by Becca Winchester
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
Lovely contest. I haven't seen anything like it before on Writing.com and thoroughly enjoyed participating and reading other people's entries too. It was great to see everyone's different take on the prompts.
4
4
Review by Becca Winchester
Rated: E | (5.0)
Love the poll. Unique concept and funny. Surprised the men's knee-high socks didn't get more votes! *Laugh*

I'm based in England, but are Australia still getting homework?! If you like homework there's online courses that'll help the boredom fade. Although if you're anything like me dome lockdown days are a lot more productive than the others!
5
5
Review by Becca Winchester
Rated: ASR | (4.0)
Hi. Hope all is well with you. Thank you for requesting a review from me. Everything written here is just my opinion and when I tend to focus more on areas for improvements when someone has requested a review from me as I've found that's what people want. However, I loved the story and am going to read Chapter 3 very soon! :)

I must confess I haven’t seen any Star Trek before reading this, but your story is very clear I didn’t need to in order to enjoy your work. The introduction and exposition is not clunky at all instead flows very naturally.

In this sentence: ‘Christ exchanged a worried look with Nickey before smiled and said’. Perhaps put ‘he smiled’ or ‘smiling’ instead of ‘smiled’.

Here: ‘“What do you mean it’s pulling us in?! What is pulling us in?!” Nickey answered’, instead of the verb ‘answered’ could you replace it with a verb that has connotations of panic? Such as ‘shouted’. In my opinion, this would fit better with her frantic language and use of punctuation in her dialogue.

I particularly like the descriptive phrase ‘spiraling swirling sensation’ which is great alliteration.

Chapter 1 is strong and action-packed, which gives me excitement for Chapter 2.

What about this edit? – Instead of ‘The pain from the beating his head was taking was’, you could put ‘The pain from his beating head was’.

In the 2nd paragraph of Chapter 2 you could remove the uses of ‘Then’ as it reads well without the word. Also, in this paragraph I like how you develop Christ by showing how he instantly cares and thinks about his family. This is a character who has connections and people to lose. Another edit I’d suggest for this paragraph concerns this sentence ‘Then, seconds later, he looked around to see that he was still in the cockpit and his wife was still beside him’. I would remove the opening and switch the character’s attention to his wife. For example: ‘He looked around to see that his wife was beside him and he was still in the cockpit’, just simply switching the order of events emphasises that his priority is his family. You could also say something along the lines of ‘At the risk of worsening the beat his head was banging along to, he looked around to find his wife still beside him in the cockpit’.

I might be reading it wrong but here did you mean ‘she too shot to consciousness’ instead of ‘She too shocked to consciousness’?

I thoroughly enjoyed the story. There was great developed characters and plot. I especially liked their reaction to finding themselves in an entirely new galaxy-shocked, dismayed, yet active about finding a home and not sinking into misery. They seem like well prepared and capable characters that you know well.

- Rebecca
6
6
Review of Night  
Review by Becca Winchester
Rated: E | (4.0)
I found this on Read & Review.

I like it! It was a twist to discover that 'Night' was the name of the character and I'd love to see where you take this snippet next.

My suggestion would be to not repeat the verb 'scramble' in the second sentence. Possibly say 'others rushed/tumbled/barraged out of the way' instead.
7
7
Review by Becca Winchester
Rated: 13+ | (3.0)
Hi. You asked me to review Loner Rehabilitation Program, so here I go.

Section: Summary

The summary is good. However, I don’t understand what ‘isekai’ is, so saying ‘isekai basically’ is confusing for this reason and changes the idea of the narrator to a flippant character? I’d recommend just deleting ‘(isekai basically)’.
I haven’t read much work with a summary at the beginning before. Are you using it like a blurb? In my opinion it’s not needed as what you say there should be in the plot/story. If you want a summary for yourself, you could keep it in a separate document.

Section: Prologue

Could you just say Prologue: The Happy Loner? Instead of writing Chapter 0.

‘ “Adrian! It’s time to wake up!”
Seeing her son still sleeping peacefully, Mrs. Walker looked around the room and carefully grabbed something from the dirty pile of clothes.'


In the extract above, you do not need ‘Seeing her son still sleeping peacefully’ because due to the opening dialogue you’ve already told the readers that Adrian is asleep. It’s a good opening to a chapter, but I’d recommend focusing on keeping your writing sharp.

The interaction between Adrian and his parents, and Adrian being compared to ‘baggage’ is good writing and quite humourous and witty. Focusing on the detail though, how strong is Mrs Walker to drag her son around the house? Apparently, she’s strong enough to leave ‘bruises’, so this is actually child abuse. I’m presuming her task was to wake Adrian but after doing that her reaction of shouting, screaming, fighting, and dragging seems extreme. It seems a bit too violent to later suggest a loving family that Adrian will miss.

These characters are well developed, and all seem different and interesting. The father’s lazy approach to life is a particularly amusing parallel to his wife’s active parenting style. However, at this stage I dislike both Adrian and Mrs Walker.

‘” Why is our family not photogenic? No matter how many retakes we had, our pictures keep looking like a family that’s always constipated…”'

I love, love this line! Very funny, and great recall to the description previously given for Mr Walker’s coffee cup. The interaction between Mrs and Mr Walker once Adrian’s left is great and endears me towards these 2 characters.

I’m liking it more as I read on. The scenes between Adrian and Lawrence are amazing. Adrian sneaking on his parents’ conversation is also good.

Laura Diffendall seems like an interesting character to explore.

Lawrence being constipated is a funny scene, but tighten it up a bit and make it shorter as it seems to go on a little longer than necessary.

Lawrence finding out about Adrian’s bisexuality is a brilliant scene and it’s the highlight of the story for me.

Do you need paragraphs discussing how Adrian desperately needs to pee? There’s been a lot of references to constipation and urination in the story!

‘She gets home at around 6 AM, but as exhausted as she was, she still made breakfast and woke up Adrian.’ – If she does this and seems kind, then why was she incredibly angry at the beginning of the story? Her anger also seemed like a regular occurrence too. Even if Adrian thinks she has a few hours sleep beforehand, he still comes off as ungrateful and lazy for not being able to set an alarm or make breakfast for his tired mother occasionally.

Thank you for the author’s note. Everything I say in my review is just my opinion, so feel free to disregard anything. I also focus more on suggestions when I’ve been requested a review as I find that’s what people want more than compliments.

Section: Chapter 1


‘After tripping, Adrian could not keep his balance and fell into the small pond backwards.’
A small example of keeping a tighter rein on the plot and sharper writing is, in the sentence above, removing ‘Adrian could not keep his balance and fell’ because as a reader I’m assuming if he tripped he couldn’t keep his balance.

My new favourite part is the introduction of the new character and Soluvia. It’s some great writing with interesting plot points introduced as well as the comedy of the character summoning Adrian by mistake. The story really begins here for me, so I know you want to introduce characters and family dynamics in the prologue but if you wanted to remove unnecessary detail I’d focus on making the prologue a lot sharper. For instance, Laura, if you're not going to mention her again she appears as a distraction from the plot.

It gets sad when the god realised he’s ruined Adrian’s life and Adrian cries. Could you experiment with changing the personality of the god? Perhaps he doesn’t have the same degree of emotions as a human? Maybe he doesn’t feel guilty? Maybe he’s too focused on his mission to care?

Section: Chapter 2


If clumsiness if a part of Adrian’s personality, is there another way to show the reader this without saying that he ‘almost lost his balance’ again? Beware of too much repetition.

Him suffering from short term memory loss is an interesting addition. But, how did his parents, school or brother not note this before in the prologue? I’d suggest if this is going to have a major impact on the story to introduce it sooner in a more natural way or if it doesn’t have much of an impact to cut it. Also, if it is important, I’d suggest doing a lot of research on memory and memory loss.

‘“Σ(▼□▼メ) Wait, you can hear me?”’
Why is there symbols? Can Adrian see the symbols? What do they mean?

Having stats and the system is good and a great way of adding in exposition to the story. I’ve noted that it’s starting to seem a lot more like the recent Jumanji movies and like Adrian has just been transported into a game world.

Section: Chapter 3


More stats and description cards are good. Good moving forward of the plot. Mental links and prospect of being able to choose a companion all seem like they could cause interesting developments later on.

My Conclusion:


There's a lot of potential here and with some redrafting to make the writing sharper with a bigger focus on plot I'd raise my star rating. When writing, consider the questions:
1. What does this add to the plot?
2. How would a reader take this?
3. Does this scene add to character development or plot?
4. Could I say this in a more concise or interesting way?

Thank you for requesting a review from me. If you have any questions about my review feel free to send an email.
- Rebecca
8
8
Review of Love 2.0  
Review by Becca Winchester
Rated: 18+ | (5.0)
Thanks for asking me to review your piece again. It reads much sharper and better, it's obvious your editing is very effective. It's a joy to read. The dialogue is much better, all the questions that need answering are answered (e.g. how did Victoria show a puppet show to the President's children? She had a background and security check), and all the characters are developed a lot more.

I love how you clarified several points, including the security of DeLorea, which made it make a lot more sense. I found your additions of showing the President get his policy through, descriptions of DeLorea and of Alicia spiking the eggs added to the flow nicely. It's amazing.

I've just got a few minor suggestions.
The first being to swap glassy in 'glassy blue eyes' with glossy (or something else) because 'glassy' implies crying and not being able to focus. A quick google search of 'glassy eyes' returns sites about intoxication, causes and treatments!
Secondly, instead of 'immigrated from' it should be 'emigrated from' in the phrase 'Both of them immigrated from California'.

As a side note, I love how you're adding lots of detail, such as the percentages. Are they fact based off any country or are you just plucking them from your imagination??
If you're making them up then I'd suggest you don't repeat 97% twice as it seems like a lie.

Overall, there's a great improvement and it's a fantastic story.
9
9
Review of Mama Said  
Review by Becca Winchester
Rated: 18+ | (5.0)
Hi, I found this on Read & Review.

Firstly, it's written incredibly well. You establish qualities of both characters very well and I like how you use 1st person for your protagonist and keep her as more of a mystery than the prisoner as this makes her almost the reader's vessel and leaves the reader the option to describe the reporter in their mind. The dialect of each character is distinguished from the other with the protagonist being formal, yet personable- a professional. Whereas the boy is very informal, angry, and abrupt; his speech shows his age and lack of maturity. This technique is clever and helps the readers sympathise with both characters and create a discussion of if the boy's punishment fits the crime.

It's very suspenseful and enticing. Within the first paragraph I was entranced with the suspense and dialogue of this tragic boy. However, I had difficulty believing the state would sentence a 14 year-old to death based on one count of murder, especially considering the circumstances. Wouldn't rehabilitation be more likely as he's a minor? Although, having said this, it's not too unbelievable and the age serves to help retain reader sympathy as well as that of the protagonist.

I really love this piece; it's gripping with energy and debate. I'd love it if you could make this the prologue of a novel, but as a short story it's fantastic. The ending, especially, is astounding as the finale of the reporter just standing and clicking the recorder off as he's taken away leaves the reader wondering about her reaction, which really makes the reader embody the protagonist as their reaction becomes the character's. Overall, it's fantastic.

P.S. Just a grammar/spelling point to look over:
' late at night when I think about were I'm headin''
Instead of 'were' it would be 'where'.
10
10
Review by Becca Winchester
Rated: E | (5.0)
Hi, I love this! It's brutally honest, and I love the dry wit and tone. It made me laugh, like ha this will be me next year- oh no! You intertwine contrasting emotions of hopelessness and blind acceptance really well, but it's not sad just resigned.

I like the aside of 'or the length of one Maroon 5 song', that was funny and relatable.

After the first two sentences I was concerned they'd be a lot of similes, but the amount you picked was just right as it didn't overburden the text, instead making it seem like a college student is writing it. Almost as if they tried too hard at the beginning and then became more accustomed to it.

I love how you directly address the audience with 'you' and don't give the character a name, instead only refer to him as 'he' as this gives a universal sense to him. It's not just focusing on one person, but reflective of the college student experience.

My suggestion would be to adjust the title because the essay really works without quarantine. Plus, 'Big Quarantine Sadness' takes away from the universal feel; it questions if the only reason the narrator/college students are like this is because of quarantine. Whereas, although quarantine may have helped these feelings, I feel they stand up on themselves better without quarantine. If you want to keep the title, then in your essay I'd recommend adding something about quarantine/lockdown. Also, quarantine isn't a 'typical day in the life of a college student'.

Although, having said this, I'm now thinking perhaps you don't mean quarantine in the way of COVID quarantine/lockdown. In which case it could be how being a college student feels suffocating and alone, like a quarantine, therefore a cool and interesting metaphor. Though this would be great and if this interpretation is right then that's amazing, in the present climate it seems more likely you're talking about coronavirus.

Overall, I love the essay itself and your writing style, especially the dry humour.
11
11
Review by Becca Winchester
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
Hello. Thank you for requesting a review from me.

Firstly, your writing style is excellent. There's a great structure, with a good variety of sentence and paragraph length making the text look appealing and not strain the readers.
You've developed the characters really nicely. Regarding Miguel and Maria, you've provided a lot of background which is good and interesting. Some parts of your character description seems too much and distracts from the plot. My advice would be to focus more on the plot as you're already talented in establishing well-rounded characters.

The separation of the extract, showing 2 narrators, is engaging and the switch is surprising but effective. It keeps the reader on their toes. I'm particularly interested in Quoquerdas' story and if Miguel has another reason apart from him having 'owned the cigar shop where he’d bought the damaged cigars' for wanting to use magic to curse him.

It's good starting in media res (midst of the action) as it immediately throws the readers into the story and shows that Miguel is bad at Latin, presumably meaning that he is going to struggle with the supernatural/magic/spells. However, it seems to make up for this you've added a lot of exposition and overloaded it with description. Sometimes, I find the exposition more confusing rather than helpful so I'd suggest trying to find another way to convey this information to your reader (perhaps dropping it in subtly, adding a prologue, or planning the necessary information and adding only that before adding the extra detail if you want).

The tobacco/cigars is a massive focus/motif, I'm assuming there is a big link from this to The Grijalva Leaf. Again, there's a lot of description around the cigars, unless it's important to the story you don't have to be as detailed. It's good to create a detailed picture for the readers, but what's also important is keeping a tight rein on the plot, which the description sometimes distracts from.

In conclusion, it's a good part 1 to your story and fits the genres of supernatural, and thriller/suspense. Personally, I'm not sure it's a horror yet. It's great at characters and has a good premise. My suggestion to you would be to keep a tighter rein on the plot as all the talk about cigars and Mexican cuisine, whilst interesting and detailed doesn't always seem necessary, and slows the pace of the plot a little. Having said this, it is compelling and I'm intrigued to see where you take this.
12
12
Review by Becca Winchester
Rated: E | (5.0)
Thank you for sending me the link to chapter 4! I'm impressed with where you've taken it and intrigued for what will come next!
One of the things that continually impresses me with your chapters is that although there's a brilliant connection and flow between them, you're acutely aware that because it's not one big item or in a novel format on writing.com people may stumble upon only 1 chapter. So, even in one chapter you make it concise and show a problem/something new to the story and provide a temporary 'end' until the next chapter is released. Personally, I'm in love with the ending here, especially how well it develops the protagonist- she seems to both take seeing her dead mother in her stride as she's accepted it's real but also stunned and sarcastic which keeps her character from chapter 1. I'm glad you kept her witty tone and didn't do the easy way out of changing her completely.

A few suggestions:
1. You could separate 'milkywhite' into 'milky white'.
2. The simile of: 'There was a waterfall that looked like a brew of milk' is very unusual, or I've just never heard of it! It's fine, but I would suggest replacing it because I'm unsure of what image you're trying to describe. Plus, with this and 'milky white' there's a pattern of comparing things to milk, and unless there's a reason you'll give for this later, it seems like too much.
3. Will you be exploring the mother's character more? Possibly during her death scene in chapter 1 you could give a bit more information. Right now, she seems motherly, kind, and dead so there's room for you to explore her character and her motives. Also, she has lots of knowledge about Terra Incognita- did she learn all this upon death or did she know this before as she was a magician? Just something to think about.

Overall:
Thank you so much for requesting a review from me for Chapter 4. I adore this installment, and will be keeping my eye out for more! I especially love the character development for the protagonist and the father.

I hope you're well and keep writing!
-Becca
13
13
Review by Becca Winchester
Rated: E | (5.0)
Hi, I received your email about chapter 4 being released which reminded me I'd become busy and hadn't read chapter 1 yet. I'm annoyed at myself for that- I love this beginnning!

It really sets the scene and gives lots of necessary exposition so the reader knows where they are and what's happening, but is simultaneously wondering what will happen next in the mystery. You have a great handle on plot and creating different, interesting characters. I particularly love the detailed mention of the '1939 Mercedes-Benz Cyprus', as it's adds something extra to show the protagonist loves cars and a chance for the readers to go 'WOW!'. The sentence 'My face was eventually indulged in saliva and mucus when I heard faint laughter coming from outside.' and everything in the paragraph containing it and following it stands out as being amazing writing.

My only suggestion would be to add more drama and sadness to the Mother's death- perhaps dedicate more lines in the paragraph to show the reader the good qualities of the mother. I'd also just say 'beep' instead of 'beeeeeeeeep', or even replace this word with discussion of how the mother struggled for her last breath and the machine went frantic.

14
14
Review of Annabelle  
Review by Becca Winchester
Rated: E | (3.5)
Hi, I found this on Read A Newbie; I hope you're enjoying writing.com so far. Please keep in mind that everything in my review is only my opinion.

Firstly, I like how it starts in media res, and you throw us straight into the action and explain things from there. This keeps the pace fast and readers' interest. Focusing on the detail, possibly instead of saying 'bridge of dawn' you could come up with a phrase that foreshadows the death.
Your protagonist's speech is good and her saying 'Mama' helps the reader age her as young in their mind. Her mother's speech is also useful in establishing the importance of religion in their lives, possibly as she's shown to be very religious she could wake the MC with a prayer instead of a cry. Another focus on the detail, I would replace 'shone' with 'glistening' as 'shone' has positive connotations that clash with the upsetting mood.
'My throat started to crack'- This is a good example of how you are skilled in showing, not telling the reader information. My tip here would be to swap 'crack' with 'tighten' as that hints at her being about to cry.

'I saw Doctor Miller standing by my door, his head hung low...'
I like the foreshadowing here as you show this character being upset, but by saying 'my door' and later 'my bed' I assume the location is the MC's bedroom. This becomes a little confusing if 'Tabetha died in the fire'- where was the fire? Have they had time to go home and why? What started the fire? If Tabetha is her sister, did she die in the fire, but later you write ' Even though she died sick'. So, I'm confused if Tabetha is the sister or not, how old she is, and how she died and why her family decided to go home instead of being with her at the hospital or panicking by the fire. I'd like to see you clarify this either in this piece or a continuation of this. Another question I have, but less pertinent, is the relevance of Doctor Miller to the main characters- are they friendly, have they seen him before if Tabetha was sick? By giving him a name you suggest he's important, so if he is I would like to see more and if not, just take away the name and refer to him as a doctor. Possibly by the strong focus on his irises, him and the MC have a relationship? There becomes a lot of unanswered questions, which shows you have lots of ideas, but in further drafts I think you need to clarify several points.

Furthermore, I enjoy the description of the sister and the focus on the blue ceramic cups.
In conclusion, I like your writing and ideas, and would like to see where you take this.
15
15
Review by Becca Winchester
Rated: 18+ | (5.0)
Hi, I've only just seen this contest! Wish I'd heard about it sooner, looks interesting and a lot of fun- I'd love to participate in the June round.
16
16
Review of Physical Effects  
Review by Becca Winchester
Rated: E | (5.0)
Hi, I found this on read & review.

I don't normally review poems, but I really like how you tackled the prompt for the writer's cramp. I especially like how you chose to do a double acrostic as it's quite challenging to keep to the acrostic whilst making the poem flow.
I like the rhythm and the list of three; 'another bitten lip, a sigh, a plea', as it shows the schedule change effects for the narrator; really embedding the first line of 'I abhor changes'. I love the use of punctuation too as it directs the reader.
My favourite line is 'call me old-fashioned, ritualistic.' as it has a lovely rhythm when said aloud, kind of reminds me of Lin-Manuel Miranda.
17
17
Review of The Handkerchief  
Review by Becca Winchester
Rated: E | (5.0)
Hi, I found this on The Shameless Plug Page.

Firstly, how can you write a story in 50 words? It's impressive! Please tell me how!

There's good description, everything concise but also a small plot revolved around the handkerchief. As well as the characters who you write extremely well, that automatically I'm making assumptions about the Policeman and the tramp because you give just enough for the reader to play with and be enticed by. The ending is good as well; all of it is a very good example of your writing and control of prose. Although it's brilliant as a 50 word story, there's room to include other characters the handkerchief meets on its' escapade, which would be interesting as you write in a fresh way by making the handkerchief seem like the main character. Love it!

The presentation of the story, with the font and the image, adds more excitement to encourage the reader to take a look.

-Becky
18
18
Review by Becca Winchester
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hi, I found this on Read & Review, so I haven't read the first chapters. However, I still understand what's going on and want to read more!

I like how it starts media res, but gives a quick summary of what previously happened to effectively give background to readers like me as well as reminding the MC of what happened before she blacked out. The beginning is very solid.

The second paragraph could have a little sharper writing. Instead of saying 'I was laying down on a table which was covered with smooth, silk cloth', you could describe how she felt the material against her back and panicked when she realised it felt unusual/not where she fainted in the previous chapter. On a technical issue, there's a random full stop here;'realized that we were. in the attic'.

In this part:
'mother had sent me to get a box for her. She said the box contained ancient artifacts from our ancestors. I was really eager to see what was inside but unfortunately, we never found it. '
You could say why she was eager to see what was inside, as most 6 year olds would probably be too busy playing with toys to care much about historical artifacts- maybe she'd been told stories about it, or was a very inquisitive child. Perhaps you could also describe how the child MC was eager (e.g.'I remember abandoning my toys immediately to find the box, unusual for me as at that time I'd become temperamental towards my mother.') instead of just saying 'eager'. Instead of saying 'we never found it', you could say 'the box seemed to be lost'.

I love the dialogue, it's well thought out and seems unique to each character. I also like how you use many synonyms for 'said' as it gives more emphasis on the characters' emotions. Also, it establishes the type of relationship the MC and her father have.

I'm confused over why you repeated 'It was a leather box with three compartments'. Starting a new paragraph after separating that sentence adds drama, so you don't need to repeat it.

Overall, I love the plot and the characters, and would love to read more. The ending is fantastic at creating intrigue!

-Becky


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
19
19
Review of Valentine's Day  
Review by Becca Winchester
Rated: E | (5.0)
I can't fault this at all- it was a lovely read. You capture your character's mindset perfectly and describe everything so well that readers aren't overburdened but I can picture the image. It feels like a little snapshot of the couple's life. Rereading it, I've noticed that you're really good at showing not telling, for example at the end I picture the woman with a goofy grin- even though you don't explicitly say it.

Please keep writing! Your style is excellent!
- Becca


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
20
20
Review by Becca Winchester
Rated: E | (5.0)
Hi, I read your companion piece and wished to find out his perspective and see if my assumption about war was correct!

I love how here the train imagery is opposite to the woman's idea; here it is freedom whereas for her it was the loss of him. It's clever how you show that the same image can mean different things through different perspectives. My favourite part about this is how you use the same setting as the last poem, shown by the repetition of sheets and 'cool crisp morning', but the atmosphere is completely different- here it's anticipation for the new adventure. I also love the simplicity of the line 'it's providence', it just seems to slow the pace enough for the reader to really think about the poem, perhaps you could end the sentence here? Using 2 sentences in this poem, but 1 in the last could signify how he's thought about his decision whereas she's just reacting.

The line 'it calls to me, lures me out' is great as it really shows how completely and utterly persuaded he is to go on the train and leave to war. In my head, after reading both poems and seeing you've labelled it as a 'War' genre, I picture it being set at the very beginning of WW1 where people thought it would be over within the year and were volunteering.

Again, I would like to see a full stop ending the poem to show that he really has gone, or at least a comma to show that there's a pause and uncertainty.

I'd love to see an anthology based around this poem and part 1 to see where the characters go and develop. Perhaps you could even put them together; part 1 being first and creating a middle, impartial stanza, and then adding part 2. Either way, they're both amazing and are short, rhythmic and sweet enough that they're easy to learn and retell.
21
21
Review by Becca Winchester
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hi, I found this on Please Review.

It's really well written, I especially like the train imagery and alliteration. Comparing how her partner is 'long gone' like a train is an unusual comparision but is extremely successful. It creates the ambiguous ending that possibly her partner has packed their bags and left on the train; due to a separation or maybe he set out to war.

Although all your imagery is very nice, my suggestion would be to add punctuation. You might not want to use caesura as it will break the flow, but commas at the end of a few lines would give the reader time to breathe. Also, ending the poem with a full stop would add the sense of finality to her partner being 'long gone'.
22
22
Review of Adrift  
Review by Becca Winchester
Rated: E | (5.0)
Hi, I found this on Read & Review.

It's a lovely poem, very short and snappy. The length and one stanza is good as it gives enough information for the reader to use to create their own interpretation. I read it as the narrator is being tossed down into the depths of the sea after a shipwreck, yet even in their last moments God is with them. Yet, it could also be more metaphorical- perhaps the narrator is emotionally lost and stranded, but what's keeping them stable is their faith. I think it's beautiful, and the final full stop is good as it signals, not a cyclical structure, but a human's experience.
23
23
Review of Scribblers  
Review by Becca Winchester
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
Hi, I found this on Read & Review.

This is really good! I love how it starts all nice and peaceful, and then shockingly changes to a much more sinister tone. It's an excellent piece of flash fiction as it's a very engaging story with just the necessary amount of description and fleshing out the characters, and a solid ending. There's also the potential to develop a novel or a world stretching out from this idea too.

On the grammar side, where it says 'sort of conversation with herself in a voice to low to make out' it should be 'a voice too low to make out'.
Plus, it should be 'gaped' instead of 'gapped' in this sentence; 'teacher watching gapped-mouth only a few feet'.
24
24
Review by Becca Winchester
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hi, I found this on Read & Review.

It's a lovely piece, I particularly liked your use of the inclusive pronoun 'we' as it really helped me picture the scene you described and feel a part of the midnight mass. Your description is very good as it paints an image in the reader's mind to help us feel present, but it doesn't overburden the pace of the story. I love the character of the daughter as she seems so sweet and real; at the same time as telling the reader the story it seems like you're telling it to the daughter too. Therefore, making it again more personal. I would suggest possibly naming the child instead of saying 'the child' in paragraph 3 because then it would help further the reader's connection with the story. Another suggestion would be to emphasise the connection between the narrator presently being at midnight mass and remembering the midnight mass when their daughter was 4.
Overall this piece is excellent and seems personal which makes it more beautiful.
-Becca
25
25
Review of Jury Duty  
Review by Becca Winchester
Rated: E | (5.0)
That was a surprise ending!

I like how you keep this story compact and short, although I would love to read more work by you, you wrap the story up nicely. The dialogue you use is very good as the different dialects assigned to each character help flesh them out without burdening the reader with detail and losing the sense of the story. In fact, you keep a tight rein on the plot, which is amazing. I also really like the nickname of Mr Bigmouth.
51 Reviews · *Magnify*
Page of 3 · 25 per page   < >
Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/profile/reviews/beckyimpala