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151
151
Review by Ben Langhinrichs
In affiliation with SIMPLY POSITIVE GROUP  
Rated: E | (3.5)
This review is offered in the spirit of encouragement and assistance. I appreciate your sharing your work, and am simply sharing my opinion in return. I hope it can be of use.

Overall impression
A poem about thinking too much, and how your brain works for and against you.

What I liked most
I like the message of the poem, and the way you phrase it as questions.

My general suggestions
The key to poetry is making every word count. I tend to write the lines as I think of them, then go back and work and rework. Let's take an example from your poem:

My brain is often working overtime.
Regrettably,
it's not even getting paid
for all its hard work.


Great sentiment, but needs pruning. For example, "is often working" is passive and wordy. How about "works"? The next part is even wordier, "Regrettably,
it's not even getting paid
for all its hard work." How about "unpaid, regrettably"? Then you would have:

My brain works overtime --
unpaid, regrettably.


This is the same basic sentiment, but much stronger, more active. Some would even argue that you should lose the "regrettably" and have:

My brain works overtime --
unpaid.


It packs a punch. Of course, it shortens the poem, but if you keep adding content to the poem and paring down the excess, you get a poem that is stronger, more active and more compelling.

Another example that is even more simple. You have:

It my brain not my slave
but my master?


What would you think about the following?

Is my brain slave, or master?

Does that feel punchier?

Technical issues
You have "It my brain" and it should be "Is my brain".

Conclusion
This is a good poem. You can make it a better poem with careful pruning and enhancing, but you should feel good about the start you have. It may take a lot of polishing to make a diamond shine, but no amount of polishing will make a clod of mud shine.

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152
Review of Quiet Yearning  
Review by Ben Langhinrichs
In affiliation with Let's Publish!  
Rated: ASR | (3.5)
Review of Quiet Yearning  for "Let's Publish!"...

Let me start by saying it is very hard to review poetry that is highly emotional, especially when the content is highly personal to the author. It is tempting to rate it high and go lightly on the review, which is probably the kind thing to do personally, but not the kind thing to do as a reviewer for someone who wants to be published. I am deeply sympathetic to those struggling with infertility (two of my three brothers have struggled with this with their wives, and have adopted rather than having children naturally), but I am reviewing this on its merits as poetry more than its merits as a subject.

Title: The title seems a bit ambiguous. I like the sound of it, but the sadness in the poem makes it sound as if the yearning has not quieted, at least yet.

Style and Voice: I like the gentle humor and quiet pain which is exhibited. That works well.

Rhyme and Rhythm: This is my biggest problem with the poem. There are basically two styles acceptable out there, free verse and formal poetry. There are all sorts of styles for free verse, and all kinds of formal poetry, but if you choose the latter, you need to be far more aware of meter, rhythm and flow. While the rhyme scheme abcb is followed fairly well, the rhythm and meter is very choppy.

Let's take this from the perspective of syllables, which need not be exact, but which often identify choppiness.

First stanza: 8/6/7/9
Second stanza: 8/6/8/6
Third stanza: 8/5/9/6
Fourth stanza: 6/7/9/8

You can see the choppy nature with these numbers, and that is what you hear when you try to read this out loud. The whole point of a formal rhyme scheme is the sing song sound, and it isn't here. If I were you, I'd try to rewrite these to have either an 8/6/8/6 or 8/8/8/8 beat, as those work well with abcb. You might even try for a somewhat iambic meter, which you tend to start with in your first line, then lose as you go along. For example, with that first stanza:

When we were young and newly met,
our parents said, "Just wait.
Someday soon you'll have a son,
with all your biological traits."


As is, it is 8/6/7/9. The first two lines are iambic:

When we were young and newly met,
our parents said, "Just wait.

but the third is trochaic with a missing end stress:

Someday soon you'll have a son,

and the last is all over the place:

with all your biological traits."

Again, you may not have to be strict about this, but formal poetry magazines are likely to be sticklers for a lot more flow and rhythm than you have now.

Theme and Meaning: This is strong, and I like how the separate stanzas tell various stages.

Personal Opinion: I like the general language and flow of the stanzas, but I think it will be unpublishable without a more consistent rhythm and meter.

I also think you should work on some of the wording you chose that sounds forced due to rhymes, or for reasons I can't tell. Would the parents really say you'll have a "son" or "child"? And what does "we watched them all transcend." really mean? The language has to be crisp and precise or it muddies the intent of the poem, which deserves better.
153
153
Review by Ben Langhinrichs
In affiliation with Let's Publish!  
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Review of Hatching Day on Earthenwok  for "Let's Publish!"...

Title: Cool title. Draws you right in, and lets you know a bit about what you are in for, but just a bit.

Plot: The plot is intriguing. Chickens, sort of, engaging in human activities, sort of, with a healthy dose of fire and humor. I think this has a good shot at the flash speculative fiction market.

I like the foreshadowing, such as the "newest husband Roger".

Style & Voice: This is great. I liked the way the characters react. The perfume bit is great.

Referencing: Some odd chicken-dragon world. Light-hearted science/speculative fiction.

Scene/Setting: These are fairly well written, although a bit expository.

Characters: I like the characters.

Grammar: Seems fairly clean.

Just My Personal Opinion: My guess is, most of the places that would take this sort of fiction are not overly demanding about exact literary style or expository vs. action. I'd submit it and see whether somebody bites. I love the last line, and it works well with the rest of the story rather than changing everything. I think there are lots of places where this would work, although most are probably eccentric e-zines.
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154
Review of Love's Sunset  
Review by Ben Langhinrichs
In affiliation with The Talent Pond  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Koyel~writing again , I am judging your poem as part of Round 22 of the Pond Poetry - ON HIATUS!  contest. I appreciate your sharing your work, and hope that this review can be of some use.


Round 22 - Image Prompt - Form: Triquint

A Triquint consists of 3 verses of 5 lines each. Lines 3 and 4 of verse 1 (Refrain) repeat in verses 2 and 3. The syllable count for each stanza is 9, 7, 5, 3, 1 and the form has an aaAAb rhyme scheme.

Overall impression
You took a very difficult form and made it look easy. Bravo!

Technical adherence to form and prompt
This was executed perfectly in all respects.

What I liked most
I loved the language and easy flow of your poem. If I had to pick a favorite part, it would be "He fled away with that sly coquette/With sorrow I am beset."

My general suggestions and technical concerns
I have none to make except to keep on writing lovely poetry.

Rating and Rationale
Because you executed the form perfectly and had a very clever poem, I awarded you 4.5 stars. Good luck with the contest!
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155
Review of Subservient  
Review by Ben Langhinrichs
In affiliation with The Talent Pond  
Rated: E | (4.5)
🌓 HuntersMoon , I am judging your poem as part of Round 22 of the Pond Poetry - ON HIATUS!  contest. I appreciate your sharing your work, and hope that this review can be of some use.


Round 22 - Image Prompt - Form: Triqunt

A Triquint consists of 3 verses of 5 lines each. Lines 3 and 4 of verse 1 (Refrain) repeat in verses 2 and 3. The syllable count for each stanza is 9, 7, 5, 3, 1 and the form has an aaAAb rhyme scheme.

Overall impression
A lovely, well executed Triquint with strong imagery.

Technical adherence to form and prompt
You followed the form perfectly, and with seeming ease.

What I liked most
I like your language in this, especially "Myriad textures litter the ground/Farewell message, most profound."

My general suggestions and technical concerns
Not a lot to make. This was well done.

Rating and Rationale
Because you executed the form well with consummate skill, I have awarded you 4.5 stars. Good luck with the contest!
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156
Review of Bound By Love  
Review by Ben Langhinrichs
In affiliation with The Talent Pond  
Rated: E | (4.0)
ShiShad , I am judging your poem as part of Round 22 of the Pond Poetry - ON HIATUS!  contest. I appreciate your sharing your work, and hope that this review can be of some use.


Round 22 - Image Prompt - Form: Triquint

A Triquint consists of 3 verses of 5 lines each. Lines 3 and 4 of verse 1 (Refrain) repeat in verses 2 and 3. The syllable count for each stanza is 9, 7, 5, 3, 1 and the form has an aaAAb rhyme scheme.

Overall impression
A very nice poem with a sad story of love lost.

Technical adherence to form and prompt
You followed the form fairly well, but did have a bit of trouble with the syllable counts. The first line below is what the syllable counts are supposed to be, and the second is what your syllable counts are:
9/7/5/3/1 9/7/5/3/1 9/7/5/3/1
9/7/5/3/2 9/8/5/3/1 10/7/5/3/1

What I liked most
I like the rhythm and grace of this poem, especially "Sitting alone today beneath this tree,/was it that we could not see?"

My general suggestions and technical concerns
Be careful about syllable counts in a strict format such as this. Count them all a couple of times to be sure you don't mess up.

Rating and Rationale
Your poem was quite lovely, but did suffer a bit from the syllable counts, so I awarded it 4 stars. Good luck with the contest.
157
157
Review of Maizie  
Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: ASR | (4.5)
I am reviewing your story as one of the official judges for Quotation Inspiration: Official Contest . Thanks for entering!

Quote of the Month: October 2009

An idea, like a ghost, must be spoken to a little before it will explain itself.
~Charles Dickens


Overall impression
A fascinating story that grows on you. At first, I had trouble relating, but the twists and turns of the story captured me.

Adherence to rules and prompt
The prompt was followed well with a unique interpretation of the quote. The other rules were all followed.

What I liked most
I like how you back into the description Maizie's true nature when the tech guy came into the department. Prior to this, the way she didn't accost the shoplifting teen was nagging at me, and then it turned out to be excellent foreshadowing.

My general suggestions and technical concerns
While I very much like the connection between Macys and Maizie, I would think hard about using a different name. At least where I am, Macys does not have thee elegance and flair that you describe, and that is very distracting in the early going. If you made up a department store name, it would be easier to describe it the way you do.

Note: Please, do not make any changes before the results are announced, or your entry will be disqualified.

Rating and Rationale
The prompt was followed in a somewhat unique way in a delightful and interesting story, so I awarded this 4.5 stars.

Good luck with the contest!
158
158
Review of Soul Mates  
Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
I am reviewing your story as one of the official judges for Quotation Inspiration: Official Contest . Thanks for entering!

Quote of the Month: October 2009

An idea, like a ghost, must be spoken to a little before it will explain itself.
~Charles Dickens


Overall impression
A wonderful, mystical story about science and faith and spirits and ideas, all mixed up.

Adherence to rules and prompt
The prompt was followed well with a well done dual interpretation of the quote (using ghosts and ideas intermixed). The other rules were all followed.

What I liked most
I loved the way you have the two collaborate, and how the external impression of that collaboration transitions from awe to worry to... madness.

My general suggestions and technical concerns
I have little to suggest, except that you should make sure your WritingML works properly. It takes one completely out of a story to have a broken WritingML tag.

Note: Please, do not make any changes before the results are announced, or your entry will be disqualified.

Rating and Rationale
This was very well written and unique. It had the style which I have come to expect of your stories, but with an excellent interpretation of the prompt, so I awarded you 4.5 stars.

Good luck with the contest!
159
159
Review of Muse  
Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
I am reviewing your story as one of the official judges for Quotation Inspiration: Official Contest . Thanks for entering!

Quote of the Month: October 2009

An idea, like a ghost, must be spoken to a little before it will explain itself.
~Charles Dickens


Overall impression
A well written and gripping story, dark and compelling.

Adherence to rules and prompt
The prompt was followed, sort of, with the idea of an idea personified and explained. The other rules were all followed.

What I liked most
Your characters are rich and well developed. The brooding Patrick and the free spirited Jess were a joy to read about.

My general suggestions and technical concerns
There were a couple of places where lines felt slightly ambiguous. For example, "How many dire warnings from friends and families had she laughed off? In the context it is used, it sounds like they warned her about Patrick, although perhaps they just warned her about accepting rides from strangers or about trusting authors or something else entirely.

Note: Please, do not make any changes before the results are announced, or your entry will be disqualified.

Rating and Rationale
Because this was well written and compelling, and even though the connection to the prompt was a bit of a stretch, I awarded this 4.5 stars.

Good luck with the contest!
160
160
Review of Intruder  
Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: E | (3.5)
I am reviewing your story as one of the official judges for Quotation Inspiration: Official Contest . Thanks for entering!

Quote of the Month: October 2009

An idea, like a ghost, must be spoken to a little before it will explain itself.
~Charles Dickens


Overall impression
A flash of inspiration on a dark and desolate night, but more is needed.

Adherence to rules and prompt
The prompt was followed fairly well with a somewhat literal interpretation of the quote. The other rules were all followed.

What I liked most
I liked the setting and scene you build, with the writer struggling to find words to put on the paper. You capture the essence of this process in a colorful and descriptive manner.

My general suggestions and technical concerns
The story just doesn't go far enough. What happens next? What does the protagonist do to attain his goals. You need more than set up and the initial action - you need follow through of some sort.

Note: Please, do not make any changes before the results are announced, or your entry will be disqualified.

Rating and Rationale
Because the writing and setting were good, but because the actual story was incomplete, I have awarded you 3.5 stars.

Good luck with the contest!
161
161
Review by Ben Langhinrichs
Rated: E | (3.5)
I am reviewing your story as one of the official judges for Quotation Inspiration: Official Contest . Thanks for entering!

Quote of the Month: October 2009

An idea, like a ghost, must be spoken to a little before it will explain itself.
~Charles Dickens


Overall impression
The writing is elegant, but upbeat it certainly is not.

Adherence to rules and prompt
It was a stretch seeing how the story followed the prompt. The other rules were all followed.

What I liked most
The writing is lovely. You have a good way with words, and share her sorrow and despair well.

My general suggestions and technical concerns
While a story does not have to have a happy ending, this story doesn't really have any ending, or exactly a beginning. You could sum up the whole story with "A woman has nothing left to live for, but no energy left to kill herself." It might bee better to have her resolve something, attempt something, do something other than think about the others she has known who killed themselves.

Note: Please, do not make any changes before the results are announced, or your entry will be disqualified.

Rating and Rationale
Because the story didn't really go anywhere, and didn't follow the prompt well, but was at least well written, I have awarded it 3.5 stars.

Good luck with the contest!
162
162
Review of Gaseous Storm  
Review by Ben Langhinrichs
In affiliation with Let's Publish!  
Rated: ASR | (4.0)
Title: I'm not too sure about the title. Extravaganza just has the wrong feel to it, like a celebration rather than a military campaign. I guess I'd call it "Attack" or "Vapors" or "What You're Dealt" or something like that.

Plot: This is entertaining, if a bit light. My only problem is the motto, which somehow just isn't quite enough.

Style & Voice: This is great. I liked the style throughout.

Referencing: It is what it is.

Scene/Setting: If I think of this as the description of the army, it is very well described. I like the rich language and clever ways the soldiers (if you can call them that) communicate.

Characters: We don't really get to know individuals, but I think that is fine for this sort of story.

Grammar: I didn't see any issues.

Just My Personal Opinion: This is very clever. I think you might be able to find a magazine that would publish this as flash fiction, although you might need to expand it a bit, since 500 is usually the minimum.
163
163
Review of The Irish.  
Review by Ben Langhinrichs
In affiliation with JUST BECAUSE I WANT TO FORUM T...  
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Gothic Angel gone , you have been gifted a Read All About It Deluxe Package from the "JUST BECAUSE I WANT TO FORUM CLOSED 4NOW by ~WhoMe???~ as an incentive for purchasing 100+ tickets in her Holiday Raffle. Have a great day and enjoy the reviews! Review 1 of 3.


Overall impression
A clever story-poem about messing with an Irishman (always a bad idea).

What I liked most
I like the humor, especially at the end. I also liked the stanza where you realize the man is accosting the Irishman, not just asking...

The man sneered as he grasped it in his fist
"I'ts a piece of junk" he said giving it a twist
"But i'll take it anyway i'll consider it a gift
I could use a little luck from your Irish myth"


My general suggestions
My only real suggestion would be to work a bit more on the evenness of the lines. When read out loud, the phrasing is a bit choppy, although it doesn't detract much from an enjoyment of the poem.

Technical issues
It should be written "a lot" rather than "alot".

Conclusion
This was fun, and I was glad to find it as I browsed through your port. Write on!


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164
Review of Mangled  
Review by Ben Langhinrichs
In affiliation with JUST BECAUSE I WANT TO FORUM T...  
Rated: E | (3.5)
Hello and welcome to WDC! You have been randomly selected from the Read A Newbie page to receive a Read All About It Package from the "JUST BECAUSE I WANT TO FORUM CLOSED 4NOW by one of its group leaders, Mike~Dolphins Fan 4 Life . Have a great day and enjoy the reviews! Review 2 of 3.


Overall impression
Having grown up in upstate New York (East Aurora, outside Buffalo), I certainly could relate to the weather you describe.

What I liked most
I like your last line, and the way you build up to that eloquent statement.

My general suggestions
Just as a lovely garden can gradually become overgrown, you language has a tendency to creep away from you. You need to prune it down and let the garden show.

For example:

Green buds were just beginning to make their first appearance on the trees as if escaping an icy tomb in which all life seemed to have been trapped for months.

Try to read that out loud. Besides running out of breath, you likely stumbled over a few errant phrases that were jammed in between the metaphors. How about pruning it down?

Green tree buds were just escaping their icy tomb.

Play with it and see if you can get it to be just what you want, but try to whittle it down to an essence.

Technical issues
You switch from past the present tense a few times (fairly typical of 9th grade, I'd guess). Check carefully for that.

Conclusion
I enjoyed your story, but think you could make it even stronger with some careful pruning and trimming.

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165
165
Review by Ben Langhinrichs
In affiliation with JUST BECAUSE I WANT TO FORUM T...  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hello and welcome to WDC! You have been randomly selected from the Read A Newbie page to receive a Read All About It Package from the "JUST BECAUSE I WANT TO FORUM CLOSED 4NOW by one of its group leaders, Mike~Dolphins Fan 4 Life . Have a great day and enjoy the reviews! Review 1 of 3.


Overall impression
An interesting, well structured poem about loss of love and the emotions around dealing with that loss.

What I liked most
I like the structure you use, and the language is very rich. In particular, I liked the second stanza:

Portray me not as I say—
An affronted man forgotten, dismayed, and bewitched
All the tears you wished you would view
All the strife you hoped you could brew


My general suggestions
There are a couple of places where you start crossing the line between rich and obtuse. In particular, the stanza starting "Portray me at my most fallacious reign—" feels like it has crossed the line. While it is wonderful to have and use an extensive vocabulary, you have to not get caught up in it.

Technical issues
Nothing that I saw that is inconsistent with poetic license.

Conclusion
This was interesting. I look forward to reading more of your work.

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166
166
Review of The Gates Of Hell  
Review by Ben Langhinrichs
In affiliation with JUST BECAUSE I WANT TO FORUM T...  
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
Congratulations, you have been randomly selected from the Read A Newbie page to receive a Read All About It Package from "JUST BECAUSE I WANT TO FORUM" , courtesy of one of the group's leaders, Mike~Dolphins Fan 4 Life .
Review 3 of 3.


Overall impression
An interesting, dark poem about Hell, and getting there.

What I liked most
I liked the gradual increase in anger and pain which seemed to emulate the process of entering Hell.

My general suggestions
There feels like some sort of switch in perspective between the person entering and somebody within Hell which made the poem disconcerting. Read it through and think about point of view and see if you agree.

Technical issues
many were frozen in track -> Should be "in their tracks"

cause now is to late -> Should be too late

and if you push to hard -> Should be too hard

lets get on with the business -> Should be let's

Conclusion
I find this disturbing, but I think it is meant to be. You write well, even when descending a bit into madness (now, there's a mixed compliment, eh? *Smile*).

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167
167
Review of Mercer Street  
Review by Ben Langhinrichs
In affiliation with JUST BECAUSE I WANT TO FORUM T...  
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Congratulations, you have been randomly selected from the Read A Newbie page to receive a Read All About It Package from "JUST BECAUSE I WANT TO FORUM" , courtesy of one of the group's leaders, Mike~Dolphins Fan 4 Life .
Review 2 of 3.


Overall impression
Intriguing and powerful poem about life growing up in the projects.

What I liked most
I like the way you use images and references rather than spelling things out explicitly. My favorite was:

playing doctor seems so great
injections draw no blood but leave a mark
confusion bares a scar that last forever


I also liked the innovative wording which gave a different-than-usual impression, such as "of all the doors that spurt their treasures on Halloween".

My general suggestions
Not really sure what to suggest. As before, a careful, line by line edit is almost always advisable, but this is very good as is.

Technical issues
This is categorized as a "Short Story", and it should be "Poetry".

or maybe scrape you knee on painted bases -> Should be your

when holidays are lonely and gone -> The last word seems incorrect. Perhaps you could rewrite it to end with "alone".

Conclusion
Another very good poem. I enjoy your writing, and am glad I have the opportunity to review it.

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168
Review of Father  
Review by Ben Langhinrichs
In affiliation with JUST BECAUSE I WANT TO FORUM T...  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Congratulations, you have been randomly selected from the Read A Newbie page to receive a Read All About It Package from "JUST BECAUSE I WANT TO FORUM" , courtesy of one of the group's leaders, Mike~Dolphins Fan 4 Life .
Review 1 of 3.


Overall impression
A lovely poem about fathers, and what they mean.

What I liked most
I like that you go beyond the strictly warm fuzzy sentiments and address real issues, like birth control, and don't sugarcoat the relationship, as when you say "and when you drink beer and discuss women/don't forget that I'm only ten".

My general suggestions
The poem is good, but could use a little polish and careful editing. These don't detract much, but it is a poem that deserves the little extra effort.

Lines that have awkward word for rhyming, or that I didn't understand:

tell me about the things that made you flow

and to that surprise party that you forgot to set

Technical issues
so lets set a date -> Should be let's

now that your old and gray -> Should be you're

Conclusion
Very nice job on this. I look forward to reading more of your work.

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169
Review of My waterfall  
Review by Ben Langhinrichs
In affiliation with JUST BECAUSE I WANT TO FORUM T...  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Congratulations, you have been randomly selected from the Read A Newbie page to receive a Read All About It Package from "JUST BECAUSE I WANT TO FORUM" , courtesy of one of the group's leaders, Mike~Dolphins Fan 4 Life .
Review 3 of 3.


Overall impression
A lovely poem that both reads and looks like a waterfall.

What I liked most
I like much of this poem, but my favorite lines are:

My dream with you is to be
Married under a waterfall.
With each other's heart dripping
Wet with the other's love we share.


My general suggestions
There are lots of little issues, such as words run together, for example "Everytingle", "touchof" and "eachothers". There are also a few typos, such as "continueing", which should be "continuing", and "One my body", which should be "On my body". Just read through the poem carefully and I am sure you can catch these.

Conclusion
Your fiance sounds like a lucky man.


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Review of My heart, defined  
Review by Ben Langhinrichs
In affiliation with JUST BECAUSE I WANT TO FORUM T...  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Congratulations, you have been randomly selected from the Read A Newbie page to receive a Read All About It Package from "JUST BECAUSE I WANT TO FORUM" , courtesy of one of the group's leaders, Mike~Dolphins Fan 4 Life .
Review 2 of 3.


Overall impression
A very sad poem of despair and loneliness.

What I liked most
I liked the way you steooed back and saw yourself in stages or layers (woman, girl, child) in:

Emptiness builds a home in this woman
In this girl, this child where hollows have bred
A deepening sea of nowhereness consumes
And eats away at every connecting thread


In general, I think the abcb rhyme scheme worked well here, giving a sense of some order and some chaos, mixed together.

My general suggestions
Some of the lines could use a little care in editing. For example:

Leaving nothing considered worthy remains

This doesn't quite make sense. You could have "Nothing considered worthy remains" or "Leaving nothing considered worthy", but not both. I think a careful read out loud would probably reveal these sorts of issues quickly and easily.

Conclusion
I hope that your heart is not as sad as this poem implies. The world is a brighter place than this, but sometimes it does not appear to be so.


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171
Review by Ben Langhinrichs
In affiliation with JUST BECAUSE I WANT TO FORUM T...  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Congratulations, you have been randomly selected from the Read A Newbie page to receive a Read All About It Package from "JUST BECAUSE I WANT TO FORUM" , courtesy of one of the group's leaders, Mike~Dolphins Fan 4 Life .
Review 1 of 3.


I enjoyed your happy poem, even as a certain amount of sadness was clearly being forcibly pushed aside. The rhymes make the poem feel more light and breezy, and I can almost imagine you talking yourself into a good mood as you plan a day for yourself.

My only suggestion from a technical point of view is to watch out for places where you mingle a noun and verb, such as "A crossword or cogitate". It would be better as two nouns (things which you try) or two verbs (things which you try to do).

I was glad to come across your poems. Welcome to Writing.com, and I hope you enjoy your time here.

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Review of My Trusty iPod  
Review by Ben Langhinrichs
In affiliation with SIMPLY POSITIVE GROUP  
Rated: 13+ | (3.5)
Title: I like the title in terms of drawing a reader in, but less so in terms of its actual meaning.

Plot: Wow! I haven't the foggiest idea what I feel, since my head is still spinning.

Style & Voice: This is good, but shifts wildly from the beginning to end with the almost disconnected music world feel to the later fantasy/horror feel.

Referencing: I started off with this seeming like one sort of story, and it switched gears so suddenly, I never quite recovered.

Scene/Setting: This is all brilliant, although it is hard to see how the different scenes fit together.

Characters: The characters are drawn well, and were easy to relate to (when they weren't turning into monsters)

Grammar: There are some issues, but not too many. I could do a careful edit, but I think there is bigger work to be done first.

Just My Personal Opinion: This was a wild ride, and some of it was fun, but some of it was just too weird for me. I am also confused, because the iPod didn't seem to do much for her. It would have helped the guys, but she didn't seem susceptible to their music anyway. It just seemed a bit of a let-down when all it did was help her clear her head. At that rate, she should have given it to the guys.

I think there is a lot of potential in the story, but the shift between music scene and rampaging monsters was too abrupt for me.
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Review by Ben Langhinrichs
In affiliation with SIMPLY POSITIVE GROUP  
Rated: 18+ | (3.5)
Title: I like the title. It has an ambiguous meaning at first that gradually makes more sense.

Plot: This is one of those plots that starts well, but seems to fall short of the original promise. You introduce is to a pair of partner detectives, so it seems reasonable to assume that they will detect something, but almost as soon as they start detecting, they fall victim to what they were trying to find. It is possible that if this had happened six thousand words later after a series of attempts and miscues, it would feel appropriate, but right now it just feels chopped off.

Style & Voice: The style is interesting, for the most part, but only starts to develop as the story goes on. If it started right from the beginning, and continued all the way to the end, the story would feel more smooth. The voice of the characters is also a bit inconsistent. The protagonist starts with a strong internal voice, but the dialogue between him and Sherm is fairly wooden.

"Hey, Jim! There does seem to be a common link here. All these people were working on their computers when they died."

"You’re right, Sherm, but what could that have to do with their dying?"

If you find yourself writing "You’re right, Sherm" in a dialogue, it should be a big red flag.

Referencing: I seldom have much to say in this category, but in this case, I am genuinely confused. Is the story supposed to be detective or horror, realistic or paranormal? His extrasensory perception seems completely out-of-the-blue and random, almost as if the author couldn't quite figure out what how to resolve the situation.

There is also a weird disconnect between the first corpse, which has been drained of blood somehow, and the latter ones, which have died with no trace of how. Also, the weird screen saver shown in the first death is way too much of a giveaway as to the importance of the computers, but also seems not to be there with the others.

Scene/Setting: The early scenes are pretty good, but they get less realistic as you move through the story. The final "facilities" are very hard to picture or imagine based on the story.

Characters: The only character who is given any depth is the protagonist, and even he is a bit hard to imagine based on what is said. I would suggest more interaction between the partners to give us a sense of both appearance and character.

Grammar: There are small problems, but nothing huge. There are much bigger issues with the story which should be worked out before worrying about grammar and spelling and such.

Just My Personal Opinion: I think the story has promise, but I think you need to clarify for yourself what kind of story it is. If it is a detective story, there needs to be much more detecting and discovery. If it is a classic "ghost story", it would be better to have the main characters not be detectives, and just stumble on the problem somehow. If it is a paranormal story, that should be made clear early on and play into the plot from the beginning.

Of course, these are just my thoughts. Do with them what you will, and I hope I was able to be of some small help.
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Review of The Remnants  
Review by Ben Langhinrichs
In affiliation with SIMPLY POSITIVE GROUP  
Rated: E | (4.0)
This review is offered in the spirit of encouragement and assistance. I appreciate your sharing your work, and am simply sharing my opinion in return. I hope it can be of use.

Overall impression
This looks like a fun and exciting story. I'd certainly be happy to read more.

What I liked most
I like the characters, who manage to jump out of the page with just a few lines. I'd like to get to know them better, and find out the story behind them.

My general suggestions
Don't add too many of the "whatnow", "prolly" and "ya" type words, as they seem a bit overdone. Dialect or mannerisms usually require only a very light touch to be effective.

Technical issues
This is a rough draft, so I didn't bother to either check for or evaluate on grammar/spelling/etc.

Conclusion
Definitely, write on. This sounds like a lot of fun to me.


** Image ID #1467580 Unavailable **
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Review of If I Could  
Review by Ben Langhinrichs
In affiliation with The Talent Pond  
Rated: E | (3.5)
percy goodfellow , I am judging your poem as part of Round 21 of the Pond Poetry - ON HIATUS!  contest. I appreciate your sharing your work, and hope that this review can be of some use.


Round 21 Prompt: Use the words SOLD, LEAVES and KEY somewhere in your poem.

Round 21 Form: Diatelle
The Diatelle is a fun, syllable counting form like the etheree with a twist. The syllable structure of the diatelle is as follows: 1/2/3/4/6/8/10/12/10/8/6/4/3/2/1, but unlike an ethere, has a set rhyme pattern of abbcbccaccbcbba. This poetry form may be written on any subject matter and looks best center aligned in a diamond shape.

Overall impression
An interesting poem in a difficult form.

Technical adherence to form and prompt
You adhered to the form well in one sense, but not so well in another. I think you got tripped up by the fact that words like "hour" and "power" can be either one syllable or two, but if they rhyme, they must be the same number of syllables. You use "power" as one syllable and then rhyme it with "bower" as two syllables.

Additionally, you shouldn't really use the same word as a rhyme multiple times, but you repeat "hour", "could" and "would".

What I liked most
I like your images and language in this piece. The vocabulary adds life and interest to your words.

My general suggestions and technical concerns
When writing with syllable-counting forms (which frustrate many people), be wary of words that may be pronounced with different numbers of syllables, or that may sound like they are (e.g., "oil" and "smile" are both one syllable, but sound to some people like two).

Rating and Rationale
Due to the difficulties with the rhymes and syllables, I counted this down some, but the language and style raised it up a bit, so I gave it 3.5 stars, which is above average at Writing.com.
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