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289 Public Reviews Given
Public Reviews
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126
126
Review by Beholden
Rated: E | (2.0)
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.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
127
127
Review by Beholden
Rated: E | (5.0)
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!


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
128
128
Review by Beholden
Rated: ASR | (5.0)
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.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
129
129
Review of Easy  
Review by Beholden
Rated: E | (4.0)
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.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
130
130
Review by Beholden
Rated: E | (5.0)
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".

Altogether a most enjoyable read. Keep writing!


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
131
131
Review of The Breakwater  
Review by Beholden
Rated: ASR | (5.0)
Wonderful story, told with warmth and feeling. I couldn't put it down (as they say) and I really mean that - it's an enjoyable read that grabs and holds the reader from first to last.

A minor point that needs fixing: "I’ve been more or going through the motions" needs a "less" on there.

Otherwise, I can find no fault in it. Well done.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
132
132
Review by Beholden
Rated: 18+ | (5.0)
Excellent - can't fault it.

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.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
133
133
Review by Beholden
Rated: 18+ | (3.0)
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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134
Review by Beholden
Rated: E | (5.0)
The world needs more limericks. It's good to see that, even in WDC, there are those who are prepared to attend to this deficiency. Yours is a delightful celebration of promotion (I forgive you "winker" since it's part of the fun) and I can find no fault in it. Wonderful stuff.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
135
135
Review of Monday  
Review by Beholden
Rated: E | (4.0)
Poor Mr Barnes - he didn't really stand a chance, did he? I like that his problem is never stated but it is shown so well that the reader knows very quickly what the problem is.

In keeping with the flash fiction definition, the writing is tight and the flow direct. Dialogue is natural while still kept brief.

Overall an amusing read.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
136
136
Review of The Cat's Cradle  
Review by Beholden
Rated: E | (5.0)
Excellent. You set the scene so effectively and with such economy of words. The piece reeks of the atmosphere of a seedy jazz joint in a rundown neighborhood. You know how to get a reader to go with the characters into their environments. It is so important to establish setting quickly in a short story and you do so effortlessly so that we run with the story as it unfolds.

I really can't fault anything in the writing - the dialogue, the grammar, the flow are just right. A great read.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
137
137
Review of Pulpwood Truck  
Review by Beholden
Rated: E | (5.0)
I don't often do poetry but this made me stop and read deeper. You know how to reach a reader, sir, and this poem does it in spades. Such economy of words and yet so effective in making us see and feel the scene you paint. I'm impressed.

Maybe it's the prose writer in me but I do long for poetry that speaks in sentences, rather than bunches of descriptions that go nowhere. The only example of this is:
"On the way to the papermill, a pulp load,
overstacked and held on by trace chains
that slowly shimmer in the summer heat."
It's easily fixed by removing the period, thereby allowing it to flow into what follows and create a sentence. It's a prose writer's niggle, as I said, and may be completely wrong.

Otherwise I love the poem, especially the fact that it deals with harsh reality instead of the usual "poetic" subjects (fancy a flower or a sunset anyone?). More power to your pen!


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
138
138
Review of Saving the Planet  
Review by Beholden
Rated: E | (3.5)
Nice. I got a little lost in the beginning - it becomes hard to tell who is speaking because we don't yet understand what is happening - but the last sentence rewards any work the reader has to do. It's just unfortunate that it becomes necessary to go back and re-read to understand.

The storyline is great and the ending the really cool bit. Nothing wrong with the writing, flow and grammar either. Well done!


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
139
139
Review by Beholden
Rated: ASR | (4.0)
I am a little uncertain on this one. Let me tell you my impressions and then you can take or leave what I say.

You have said it's a short story so that's how I take it. It does seem a little like part of something longer, however, and this is reinforced by your indication that it's background to your "antagonist", as though the real story is to follow.

Having said that, I get the atmosphere of threat, the feeling that Patrick is not the pleasant character that he seems. This becomes stronger as we see him watching Amanda on the phone and then deliberately charming Nicki. The "presentation" is full of hidden meaning and unstated intent. This Patrick guy is not nice at all.

The final paragraph tells us that we were right to suspect Mr Smooth, if I may call him that. He has some deviltry plotted and this has all been a matter of "casing the joint".

The piece is well written, the dialogue natural and everything flows along admirably. It's just that thought that there is more to come - that this is merely the introduction. Ignoring my imagination, what really does Patrick have planned?



*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
140
140
Review by Beholden
Rated: E | (4.5)
Love the Scottish patois - almost a Robbie Burns!

This truly is a delightful little poem. It sings with a glint of mischief in its eyes and tells a story too. Excellent.

Typo in "kicking up s shindie". I'm no poet and I know nothing of poetic meter but I do feel that the second and third lines would be better made into one by the removal of "no notes". The reader would still hear the sound of the tuneless blast and the line would fit with the rest of the poem, I think.

Otherwise, I think the whole poem is wonderful - a thing of beauty indeed.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
141
141
Review of Bob Loves You  
Review by Beholden
Rated: E | (3.5)
Okay, Bob, I'll do it but only because you reckon you can take the heat. Nice to see a humorous "spiritual" piece for a change. You do risk offending just about everyone however. You're a braver man than I am.

Spelling is an occasional problem - "Gahndi" should be "Ghandi", Jesus should plead, not "plea" and Bill's surname is O'Reilly. Otherwise, nothing wrong with the writing that I can see.

It's amusing, certainly. Interesting that Bob's religion is environmentalism... ;)


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
142
142
Review of Sound Like You  
Review by Beholden
Rated: E | (5.0)
You're absolutely right, May - I agree with every word. Keep it simple is the best advice of all. Regarding contractions, their use in dialogue is what brings it to life. As you say, we all speak like that and that's what we're trying to achieve when we write.

I find that, as I get older, I care less about impressing people and I just write the way I talk. If people like that, it's wonderful; if they don't, well, I can't change who I am, can I? Your final sentence sums that up perfectly.

Well done - excellent article.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
143
143
Review by Beholden
Rated: E | (5.0)
A delightful tale indeed. Mean he may be but Connor held me spellbound throughout the story. A truly excellent read.

The writing is sound, the description sublime (particularly in the case of the banshee). Pace is almost relentless and you never allow the reader's attention to waver. The characters are quite believable in spite of being in what could be a folk tale. You know too how to keep us in suspense - we expected Connor's death from the moment he meets the banshee but you keep giving him a stay of execution. When it comes at last, it's from an unexpected quarter and quite a surprise.

Well done! A superb piece of writing.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
144
144
Review by Beholden
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
Well, you had me fooled! I took this as a serious exercise in lawn management and, even when you hit on the concrete idea, I went along with it. The surprise when the judge entered was total - I feel like a complete idiot. A brilliant little story, O. Henrylike in it's twist.

Clearly, I love the story and can see no fault in it. But I do have one tiny, little quibble. In the last sentence, "birds" needs an apostrophe. I leave it to you to place it since it depends on how many birds we're talking about. ;)

Most enjoyable read!


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
145
145
Review by Beholden
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Nice idea - to bring the reality of the siren/mermaid legend into sharp focus in a world that has Disneyfied such things. And you do it so well too. The writing is as smooth as the sea it describes and scenes are set with just the right amount of vivid description Pace is good, accelerating as we approach the end, and dialogue is natural and believable. Characters, too, are likable enough.

My one concern is the occasional slip in grammar - probably more typos than anything else. Examples: "She hadn’t know her husband to exceed his limit" (my kingdom for an "n"), "There was no way he hadn’t hear her" (or a "d"). Just needs one more careful editing.

An enjoyable read throughout. Thank you!


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
146
146
Review of Ponderosa  
Review by Beholden
Rated: E | (4.5)
A powerful little story. The scene unfolds slowly at first but gathers pace and brings us swiftly to the end. the conversation is most effective, gradually shifting our synpathy from one to the other in the last sentence. Clever and effectively done.

A very minor edit: "freedom laying beyond me" - "lying" is more correct in this context.

An enjoyable read.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
147
147
Review of On Giving Reviews  
Review by Beholden
Rated: E | (5.0)
I just had to review this - it's my contrary nature.

I like the style - it's conversational without wandering from the point. Very understanding too of those who have difficulty reviewing. At times it becomes a bit heavy going (I admit I skimmed a few of the paragraphs) but this is inevitable when a great deal of information is being shared.

Overall it's a very comprehensive and well composed guide. Thank you for providing it.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
148
148
Review by Beholden
Rated: 18+ | (5.0)
Okay, I've read the first part and want to write my reactions to it while they're still fresh. A quick, minor suggestion - change Dr Penner's name. It's too close to Penny and we don't want any confusion developing.

Right. The quality of the writing is every bit as good as the first piece I reviewed. You are so consistent; are you sure you need to write drafts? That's a rhetorical question - you don't need to answer it. I write straight to final version, editing as I go, but I'm aware that's not recommended by the powers that be.

The pornography discussion is beyond brilliant. You have so clearly illustrated the emotions and reactions of both Cain and Penny that it is entirely believable. I almost suspect that you're an alien remembering something that happened in college days back on planet Zorb. Seriously, you have a powerful pen and amazing insight into human experience.

Now a word of warning. You have to remember that you're writing of matters that I'm interested in too. It may be that other readers would not have a clue what you're talking about and they'd (naturally) become bored. It's nothing to worry about - it applies to all writers since nobody can reach everyone. Just be aware of it and don't get upset if some reviewers really don't get the point at all.

I'm supposed to offer suggestions on how you could improve your writing but I can't do that. There's absolutely nothing wrong as far as I can see.

Wonderful, wonderful stuff. Oh, by the way - if you need something to read while you're waiting for my review of the rest of the Cain and Penny pieces, go take a look at my profile and give me a little feedback on a story or two. Doesn't matter if you don't like them - I can take it. ;)
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Review of Cain's Puzzle  
Review by Beholden
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
This is brilliant - I love it. Apart from your accomplished writing, your knowledge of computers comes through in every line. The reader can feel in safe hands when you're discussing circuit boards and coding and the like.

I love the devlopment of Cain's personality as the story unfolds. This makes us part of the story, accomplices in Penny's creation of a new being. Oh, so cleverly done.

Penny is a wonderful character with her sense of humour and understanding of what she is doing. But the real star is Cain - it's impossible not to get on side with him and to applaud his efforts to improve himself.

Dialogue is natural and totally believable and everything flows at just the right pace. Really excellent stuff. Well done, Linn!


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
150
150
Review of A good lesson  
Review by Beholden
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
I love this bit: "...razing to the ground those who were not in his favour, and raising in position those who were." Never could resist a good pun. The change to present tense in the last paragraph is also good but shouldn't the second sentence adopt the same tense?

The story is good, the writing sound but, if I'm honest, the pace lagged at times. I found myself scanning some of the paragraphs because there was just too much detail. Do we really need to know all that you have included? Some judicious trimming is needed, perhaps.

The flow is great - you can really write. Nicely economical with the dialogue too. Overall, it's quite excellent in my estimation.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
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