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Printed from http://www.writing.com/main/profile/reviews/blanghinrichs
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1,484 Public Reviews Given
Public Reviews
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Review of Olde Style  
Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: E | (5.0)
I saw your poem in the Poetic Traditions Poetry Contest , and though I also entered this round, I had to respond to your poem. I love it! The tongue-in-cheek message, your clever wordplay (e.g., The meter’s not running), and your use of intension which I wondered at before reading your note. Well done!

One minor quibble is that in our poems are now free of convention, you could drop the word are and it would sound more even. But you may have even intended it to be uneven.

Write on, and good luck in the contest!


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
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2
Review of First Steps  
Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: E | (5.0)
I found your poem through the Read & Review feature.

I have to admit, I've never tried high heels, but I can certainly imagine how awkward and difficult they must be. You do a good job of capturing the moment, and I like the image of a toddler.

It's also fun to see different poetic forms, and you did a good job with this one. Write on!


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
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Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: 18+ | (3.5)
I saw your chapter through the Read & Review feature. While some things might be harder to understand because I didn't start at the beginning, I've tried to look at this and see what I could offer.

You sometimes refer to the invading creature as a wolf and sometimes as a fox, and then as a giant wolf man. I had some trouble being sure what it looked like given those differences.

There are also a few rough spots, such as "did little to know damaged" which should be "did little to no damage", or "the Universities basement" which should be "the University's basement", but I imagine you will clean those up in edits. I always advise people to read the text out loud, as it helps to catch this sort of minor issue.

Overall, a fun piece of fanfiction, though somewhat rough still. Write on!


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
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Review of the dance  
Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: E | (4.5)
I found your poem through the Read & Review feature. What an interesting way of describing life as a dance. While that imagery is not so new, the idea of the different "partners" is very clever, and the italicized phrases they use to lift you or keep you down are great.

I enjoyed this a lot. Write on!


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
5
5
Review of Protocol  
Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: E | (5.0)
I came upon this while using the Read & Review feature. What a hoot! It is always confusing why aliens might want to probe humans, but I must say I am glad there is some protocol to the whole thing.

Anapestic Tetrameter is not easy to write, and you made it seem almost effortless. My favorite stanza was the second to last, but since that feels spoilery, my next favorite was another parenthetical one:

(I would rather be dancing than entertain steel
probing quick with abandon and making me reel.
Those staccato high pitches from voices nearby
helped my liver go under and lymph nodes run dry.)

The "heart in my neck" felt a bit off, but I looked it up online and it (or "heart in my throat") seems to be a traditional way of describing nervousness. Always fun to learn something new.

Nice job with this one, and lots of fun. Write on!


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
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Review of Ravage  
Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: E | (4.5)
A very enjoyable story. You have a good sense of pacing and character, and I enjoyed the conversations. All in all, a very good read. I love the character of the king, especially lines such as "Reconnoiter!" scoffed the king. "We want to kill the ogre, not write a book about him." Both clever and draws a clear picture we can all imagine of what it is to deal with a king past his prime and without many resources. His frustration at not being able to simply command an army works very well.

I have a few suggestions which you might consider, though of course it is your story to keep or revise as you see fit.

There are a few places where the tone of the story is interrupted by a turn of phrase or word that pulls the reader out. An example is Sir Connor was a forthright person with a poor ability to dissimulate his views. Even though he said nothing, therefore, it was evident from his anxious half-smile... This feels like the point-of-view is shifting around, and could more cleanly be something as simple as Connor shifted uneasily in his chair. Shorter, less convoluted, and allowing the focus to stay on the storyteller instead of Connor.

You have the king admittedly quietly. and it should be admitted.

Finally, I am a bit torn about whether it works to have you skip from Connor making the argument to the scene where it has worked. Obviously, the reader can fill in the blanks, but it might work a bit better if your showed the ogre pondering the notion. Instead, you have the odd little bit about Connor berating himself for considering drawing his sword, which pulls attention away from the (successful) gambit he tried.

Anyway, a nice bit of writing. Thanks for sharing it. Write on!
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Review of Flying  
Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: E | (5.0)
Nicely written. I enjoyed this, and thought you did a good job using the form's features. Plus, I like the ending.
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Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: E | (4.0)
This is fun, a lighter sort of villanelle than I usually see. I enjoyed your walk amassing the treasures, and your poetic skill in putting it all together. The feather and ball were my favorites finds; the key ring was a little harder to visualize.

Glad to find your poem on the Read & Review. Write on!


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
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Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: E | (4.0)
I found this through the Read & Review. You do a good job in a short span of setting up the scene, the confrontation, and the resolution. This feels like the start of a longer story in terms of laying the groundwork for understanding Kevin through his brother's eyes, but it is effective.

The one technical problem which seems important here is in the two lines, pivotal lines:

"We're going to play," one of them announced, pushing Kevin to get to the ball.

"Just stay out of my way," he grunted.

In the second line, the "he" appears to refer to Kevin rather than the "one of them". Read that way, the rest of the piece is very confusing. Even though somebody might go back and figure out who "he" refers to, you've lost the impact.

Aside from that, it's a good character layout. Write on!


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
10
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Review of Life Undersea  
Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: E | (4.0)
I found your Rondeau through the Read & Review feature. I like trying out different forms and seeing where they lead me, and it's also fun to see others flexing their poetic muscles to try as well.

I know little about the life of a submariner, but your poem gave some fun glimpses into it. I laughed at Ninety days underwater, he was no longer tan. My only problem was not being sure whether "quals" were like "qualifying exams" or something else. You might want to throw in a mini-glossary at the bottom for the landlubbers among your readers. I'd be intrigued to know what a "Poopie Suit" is, and whether "Bubblehead" is a term used or a literary invention.

I think you used the form fairly well, though the refrain felt a little forced in the sestet. Nonetheless, this was a lot of fun. Write on!


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
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Review of The Beach  
Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: E | (4.0)
I found your piece of flash fiction through the Read & Review feature. I liked how you used the literal fork in the road to have the character muse about her potential life choices. I laughed a bit at the end, both because of the signs and because there is more than a bit of parental fantasy going on here. (I have three kids, 23, 28, 32, and there are times when I wish they'd read the signs, but they live their own lives and make their own mistakes.)

Write on!


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
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Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
I found this through the Read & Review feature.

Starting in the middle of a novel like this makes it a bit harder to judge what was going on, so take my comments with a healthy few grains of salt.

I liked the early part, especially the bit with the zing. It added a nice connection between mother and daughter, and it helps to clarify that Lynne is recognizably smitten and not just having a series of crushes.

The fight went well, though without a lot of detail. Not knowing the rest of the book, I don't know whether that matters. The interaction with Carl, her brother, seemed a little odd and possibly mean to portend something, though I don't know what.

I found it a bit disconcerting to then go straight into the double date scene, though as it developed into a fight between Brian and Mike, I thought it might have been used to parallel the fight in the boxing ring, or possibly to foretell something about Brian boxing at some point.

I was a bit surprised to see the mom acting chilly toward Brian, as the earlier zing seemed to indicate acceptance and was not followed by any indication that mom was less than thrilled.

Anyway, I hope thaat feedback helps. Write on!


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
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13
Review of The Blooded Rose  
Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
I found your story through the Read & Review feature. I enjoyed reading this from the POV of the assassin. You do a good job of evoking his meticulous care in preparing. I especially liked the touch with his fingers on the walls.

There are a couple of places where the flow was interrupted a bit.

I think back on the days when he would come to his home,

I was not sure whether the "his" should be "my", or if not, why the assassin would be in his house. Whatever was intended, it pulled me out of the story. Another place is:

Walking over, rather surreptitiously,

felt awkward. The "rather" seems out of place. Perhaps you could just use:

Walking over surreptitiously,

or even better, you could show him being surreptitious rather than telling us he is.

While I like the idea of the "target" being somewhat anonymous, I think I'd like to know something about their relationship. Is Adri supposed to be a boarder or a student or what. That relationship would make the anonymity even more powerful in the last paragraph.

Write on!


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
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Review of the groundhog  
Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: E | (5.0)
What a delightful haiku. I must admit, I am a fan of haiku that don't take themselves too seriously.
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Review of Airow  
Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: E | (3.5)
Well, that's certainly dark. I don't know if you are writing this as a placeholder for a longer piece or as a bit of flash fiction, so it is hard to know how to rate it. I'd encourage you to fill it out, give her some justification for her actions, or at least a point of view to explain why she feels justified. But I do like the way you have his voice quieter and quieter, but harder to ignore. That speaks to some inner turmoil she may be hiding over taking this action (that I imagine she may regret some day).
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Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: E | (4.0)
I found your essay through the Read & Review. This was a very enjoyable and well-written essay. I was drawn in by the title, partly because while I have always loved reading, I didn't really start writing until a decade ago in my mid-forties when I mostly focused on short stories and poetry, and my first novel wasn't published until this year, at age fifty-five.

There are a few small glitches I noticed. You have places such as "Always remember that, through constant practice you'll" where you either shouldn't have a comma or should have an additional one after practice. There are others such as "As a writer your main goal is to entertain" where you should have a comma, in this case after the word 'writer'. There is also one typo I noticed where you have "garner" and it should be "gardener".

But these are minor. Overall, the essay is strong. Perhaps the one area I would quibble with, it is the paragraph about consistency where you say "The cardinal rule is, once you start writing you must finish it." As a novelist, this can be a dangerous philosophy. Some ideas don't develop the way you would like. Others fail to have enough meat on their bones to sustain through a novel. So, you have to know when to continue and when to cut your losses. I might suggest you put a caveat on that paragraaph saying the rules are somewhat different for fiction than for other writing, but it is just my suggestion.

Nice job. Write on!


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
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17
Review of Snow day  
Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: E | (4.0)
I found your poem on the Read & Review for new members. What a lovely image of the joys of snow and Christmas and the joys of winter. I enjoyed this very much.

I do have a few suggestions as a poet, but they are only meant to help you think about different ways to make your writing even stronger. Poetry can be very personal, so only take them as things to think about.

In poetry, and to some degree in other writing, there are words which serve little purpose, but which we can take or leave as they fit the flow and musicality of the phrases. One of those is "that". Sometimes it feels right, as it emphasizes or prolongs a thought. Other times it is an impediment and interrupts. In your first two lines, I feel like it does the latter. So, instead of:

Everywhere that I look
All that I see is white


how about the following?

Everywhere I look
All I see is white


Another suggestion is one I received from a critique partner while writing my current book. Sometimes you can switch to a very in-the-moment exclamation to emphasize excitement and bring the reader closer. So, instead of:

You can feel the excitement of all the children
They get a day off from school


you could make the second line closer to the children's point of view and say:

You can feel the excitement of all the children
A day off from school!


If you like, you could put that second line in italics in the poem, thus setting it off as their exclamation, but you wouldn't have to.

Thanks for sharing your poetry. Write on!


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
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Review of Ticked Off  
Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: E | (4.5)
I found your story through the Read & Review features. This was quite entertaining, and I enjoyed it very much. I'm not sure whether Horror/Scary is quite the right category, but I don't think WDC has a Horror/Comedy category. You build it up quite well, and I liked it up to the very end.

Write on!


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
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Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: E | (4.0)
I enjoyed your poem very much. Of course, I am completely in agreement about the message, but I also thought the rhymes and wordplay was entertaining and catchy, which helps the message get across. The title was clever, as well.

Nice job, and best of luck with the contest.
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Review of Building Castles  
Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: E | (4.5)
I love the way this starts so descriptively, then pivots into the storm and the chaos, then pivots again to the fixing and rebuilding we must do to satisfy that need to forgive and accept ourselves and our roles. My favorite lines were "I know I'll build again" and "on the same fabled beach with sea birds whizzing by,".

Well done!


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
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Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
I got a laugh out of this. Nice job! I especially liked the appreciative "It feels like a grease fire in your mouth", as well as the last line, of course.

Part of me feels like you should have kept up the rhyming pattern of the first stanza abcb, but honestly I kind of like that it gets increasingly chaotic to match the cooking. Write (and eat) on!


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
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Review of Fela's Journey  
Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: 13+ | (3.5)
I am reviewing your story as a judge for Short Shots: Official WDC Contest  for October 2018. Thanks for entering!


Overall impression
A strange sort of story that doesn't quite come together, but shows a lot of creativity.

What I liked most
I like the visual effects you add, especially with the rings and what they represent.

My general suggestions and technical concerns
There is a lot of creativity here, but it feels a bit like a fantasy story which is trying to be a science fiction story. It is hard to conceptualize bacteria eating the moon, or what sort of nets could contain that.

Rating and Rationale
I think you have a good touch with characters and visuals, but the story didn't quite hold together the way it is, so I gave it 3.5 stars.
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Review of Escape!  
Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
I am reviewing your story as a judge for Short Shots: Official WDC Contest  for October 2018. Thanks for entering!


Overall impression
A suspenseful and dark story that was good, but could easily be expanded to something even better.

What I liked most
I liked the atmosphere you create, and how you build toward a dark conclusion.

My general suggestions and technical concerns
There are few technical issues, but I think the story suffers a bit for feeling constrained by the word count. I'd love to read more, to have you build the suspense even further, and have you take your time with the resolution. It's good, but this story needs more room to breathe.

Rating and Rationale
A well written story that begs to be expanded, so I gave it four stars and encourage you to do so.
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Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
I am reviewing your story as a judge for Short Shots: Official WDC Contest  for October 2018. Thanks for entering!


Overall impression
A bittersweet story of trying to go back to the past when it may not be there anymore.

What I liked most
I liked the way the tone of the story evolved as she dreamed about the past, then essentially repeated her mistake.

My general suggestions and technical concerns
I didn't see any technical issues. Very clean writing.

Rating and Rationale
A good story well told. It earned 4.5 stars from me.
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Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: E | (3.5)
I am reviewing your story as a judge for Short Shots: Official WDC Contest  for October 2018. Thanks for entering!


Overall impression
Odd, brief story with a multitude of characters.

What I liked most
When this paused to actually build on characters, it did it well.

My general suggestions and technical concerns
This story could have been so much more, and it had the spare word count to do it. As it was, it remained a concept rather than getting properly built out into a story. It would also perhaps be better if many of the named characters were not named and were given roles such as "a tailor from Nantucket". When a name is used in a story, there is usually at least a tiny promise that we will get to know the character a bit.

Rating and Rationale
Due to its brevity and stifled plot, this would have earned three stars, but I gave it 3.5 because I enjoyed the characterization it did have.
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