An impressive tale with atmosphere and interest, it draws the reader from beginning to end. I particularly like the way I was fed snippets of information throughout, never becoming bogged down in detail but with understanding building steadily.
It's a shame that my enjoyment in reading the story was interrupted occasionally by a lack of editing. I'll list a few with my corrections added.
"the solution to her problem and the end to her quest; at least, that was what the fortune teller, Gypsy Rose, had said."
"Vera did not care about the motives of Gypsy Rose; all that Vera cared about..."
"her scar-covered face"
"The local constable had asked..."
"Vera had slipped in after the constable. When she saw what he was doing..."
"On her right, a bronze door was inscribed with the words, "City of Lost People".
These are all minor adjustments that are easily corrected. Overall, you have written a compelling tale of mystery.
This piece came along at just the right time for me. Use all the senses! Of course - so obvious and so forgotten, it's so important to writing and reading. Nothing recalls memory more powerfully than a scent or taste, how we need the communication of touch and the orientation of sound. Yet, being creatures of the written word, we live in the eyes, so dependent on what we see and allow the other senses to remain in the wings.
I must hurry away and write something sensible! Thank you.
Excellent. I really enjoyed this little story and felt that I was there with the characters. Sprocket is particularly attractive as a character.
The relationship between the characters is particularly well drawn and confirmed with the twist in the end. Everything worked well together and the reader is drawn steadily through the piece without hiccup. I can see no fault in the writing and wouldn't change a thing.
Altogether this an accomplished story that demonstrates skill in working within the restraints of flash fiction.
I know nothing about poetry although I dabble in it occasionally. If it means anything, I have to say that I like this. It's brief but that's what poetry should be - reducing emotion to a concentrated form that grabs the reader and communicates how it feels.
Like all good poems, this one needs to be read a few times to allow the meaning to sink in. And hey, it rhymes, which is something mine never do. All this and a drop of the fiery liquid at the end. What more could one wish for?
This is very personal, so much so that it seems to me that it's not written for literary review at all. Anything said on that score would be irrelevant, I think.
So it comes down to my own reaction to the piece and there doesn't seem to be much that I can say except that you describe pretty much my own feelings - or lack of them - when considering my mother's death. The only thing I can suggest is that it's not uncommon to feel guilty for not feeling. In my experience, everyone will tell you that the grief will come, perhaps years after the event, and that may be true for you.
But it's been nearly twenty years for me and still nothing.
Kinda cool, I like it, Ken,
And anyway, it's time to say
Old fogies have to face the fact
We have three score and ten
Small mercies granted us, I think,
If I can hear imperfectly
At least it'll be a while before in the earth I sink...
Actually, I read a few of your poems and I thought it was about time I paid my dues, especially since you asked for it. As you can see, I don't really write po'try.
Well, you made me laugh. Great little story, well written and an excellent twist in its tail.
Just a tiny edit needed: in the last line - "plastic pedals" should be "plastic petals". I worry also about "a sheet covered presumably the rare plants". It's a bit clumsy and would read better if you took out "presumably". Is it really neccessary? I think the reader can guess that the flowers are under the sheet.
An interesting read. I do wonder why you have rated it as Fiction, however. It seems to be biographical - of your son, according to your Author's Note. I know some things we write are difficult to fit within the categories offered but this piece would benefit from a re-think in that respect, I think.
As regards the politics in the piece, you didn't really expect me to declare my own opinions, did you? I'm far too cagey to let that one out of the bag... ;)
Unsure where to go with this one. I suppose it all depends on what you want it to be. If it's a descriptive vignette, it's very beautiful, very celtic in its delight in the language, so ready to depart into the world of dreams. If it's a short story, the description becomes too much, a distraction from where we're going. Is it a part of something bigger you're writing? I think not, for the last lines are very suggestive of an ending.
I like it but that is thanks to the deliciousness of the words and says nothing about how effective it is regarding purpose. It all depends on where you're going with it...
Wow. I'll not pretend to understand why anyone would put themselves through the restrictions of an abecedarius (I looked it up) but you do it apparently effortlessly. I do understand, however, that free verse is an incredibly effective way to reach people (and it is, therefore, poetry). This is an intense, deeply-felt and honest poem. There is no way that I would suggest an improvement - it seems perfect to me.
It is very, very good. I just hope that others can see that too - they must, surely...
Not really my area of expertise but you brought it to life for me, reminding me that one of my favourite items of clothing is really a bunch of pockets sewn together (a fisherman's vest, I believe, although I'm no angler).
Your writing is competent but a little given to redundant phrases and statements. "Truth be told" is an example since we already believe that you're telling the truth; "Not to mention" is another - don't mention it if you say you're not going to. It's all about what we need to know and feel; everything else doesn't matter.
As I say, it's an enjoyable read but needs a little trimming.
Quite difficult to read because it is divided into only two paragraphs. Breaking it down further into several paragraphs would help enormously.
The piece reads as a very personal account of past problems, present situation and wondering about the future. It is only the fact that it came up in the Read & Review section that enables me to ignore my feeling that I'm prying. Certainly, I am not qualified to make suggestions to solve any problems and I'm not sure you're concerned about the quality of the writing.
I do hope you overcome your problems and enjoy a happier future. Your positive attitude should ensure success, I think.
A charming piece on memories. Do you really have such a detailed memory of that first day? I think you're embellishing a little - and that's okay. It's what writers do, after all.
The writing is competent if a bit overloaded with detail and aside. It's easily fixed with some careful editing to trim the unnecessary words or phrases. Keep the atmospheric detail, cut the the things we don't really need to know.
Otherwise it's an enjoyable read. Well done and keep writing!
I feel like the last person who should be reviewing this - exercise is not exactly my forte in life. But perhaps I have the greater understanding because of this. You certainly taught me more about the "why" of it than I have ever understood before.
And you are quite lyrical about jogging. You have me trailing behind you in complete belief of what you're doing - me, the unbeliever. If that isn't great writing, I don't know what is. Everything is right about the way you've approached your task; the separated, short sentences like the breaths you take; the accuracy of the words that express the feelings you have; the steady progression through a well-chosen pace (the very word speaking of the activity you describe).
It's excellent stuff and I can find no fault in it.
Great little tale told with economy and clarity (unlike the instructions!). I liked it a lot, particularly since it brought back memories of fighting with similar instruction sheets. It's a picture of home life as we all know it, culminating in the gentle twist in the end. Very nicely done.
What a delightful tale! I may be a little biased in that I love a good, modern, slightly tongue-in-cheek fantasy but that doesn't alter the fact that your writing is excellent. Everything flows along quite happily and the pace is just right. Dialogue, too, is natural yet economical.
The character of the leprechaun is fascinating - the device of the riddle is clever too, involving the reader in trying to solve it before the characters. It reminded me of Bilbo's encounter with Gollum in "The Hobbit".
This a tale both beautiful and terrible. You guide the reader surely between the two poles, showing us things that raise us above ordinary life (and so smoothly) to awful things almost impossible to read. You're a master of the writing art and I salute you.
Now we understand the separation foretold in the title - blackberries and poison ivy, the sweet and the bitter. Brilliant indeed.
Flow: Like a slow, unhurried river, filled with ripples and eddies yet relentless in its drive to the sea. Superb.
Grammar: No way am I going to carp.
Mechanics: You understand more about this than do I. I'll keep silent and hide my ignorance. ;)
Dialogue: Beautiful in its simplicity, economy and contribution to the story.
Characters: So well drawn, especially Grace and Dylan. I cannot look again into that bedroom...
Closing thoughts: I'm so glad I decided to have one last look at the Please Review section in spite of the late hour. It has been a pleasure to read your story, sir, and an unwarranted honour to express my admiration. Applause.
Good story, although I think I've seen a TV show or film with a similar premise - that almost everyone has seen a show that they can't stop thinking about. The obsession with the show develops into some evil force attempting to take over the world and it's up to the few who missed the show to save humanity. Of course, you may well be going in a totally different direction.
I may have picked up on the sinister nature of the obsession-producing show a bit early, thanks to whatever it was I watched, but the unfolding development of the main characters' suspicions kept me interested. I still wanted to find out what was going on when I reached the end. Obviously, to satisfy my curiosity, you have to continue!
There's a bit of a problem with POV, I think. It was quite disconcerting when you first switched POV from Brad to Haley. I was more prepared for subsequent switches but it still didn't feel right to me. That might be because the first few occurred when Brad and Haley were together - it was unsettling to be jumping from one view to the other so often. The later switches are not so abrupt but I do think you need to consider whether they are necessary.
As I've said, it's a good story and I think you should continue, whether or not you do something about the POV. As seems to be the motto here, keep writing!
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