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Public Reviews
Review by Alexander Briant
Rated: E | (4.5)
Review of:
 Reaching for the Stars  (E)
A story about conquering your fears.
#1858773 by Yera ~Twelve!~

This item was found at "Please Review.

If you have any questions on how I review or what the emoticons mean, you can find the answer(s) in "My Flash Fiction Review Notes.

         *CheckR*Scene: The depths of the ocean is Raeyna’s world, from which she has not ventured. She is not alone in her world; she has heard stories about those who live on the surface. The stories are inaccurate, and the surface dwellers must appear as mythical to the residents of the ocean as Raeyna's kind are to the surface people.

         *CheckR*Characterization, Dialog, and Diction: Raeyna lives in the ocean and is a mermaid; I see this from the fact that she wants to understand why her counterparts from the surface do what they do, particularly the women. She is both curious and afraid, and the story takes place at the point where her curiosity exceeds her fear. The dialog is internal to the protagonist, and we see a glimmer of the diction of her species in her thoughts of the Surface, always with a capital S. I took her to be young (for only the young are reckless), perhaps just out of her youth; far enough to dispel some of her fears, but not old enough for experience. There was only one place where I thought the diction was a little off, and that was the line containing ...why these land-women.... I had already been introduced to Surface, and wondered why she would not think of them as “Surface-women” instead.

         *CheckR* Crisis, Obstacle, and Resolution: As with the dialog the crisis (situation) is internal; she wants a star, which she mistakes for a diamond like the women from the surface wear. The obstacle is that the diamonds are on the Surface and to go there must be like jumping into a fire. The resolution in once again internal as she overcomes her fear and ‘goes’ for it.

         *CheckR* Wordage: I liked the wordage used in the story, I didn’t need more than the use of the word "surface" and her misconception that the stars were diamonds, that she lived in a very different world from myself. The only time the wordage appear to me to be a little off was in the use of “but” to start two adjacent paragraphs. I mention it here, as opposed to the grammar section, is because I don’t consider it a grammatical error. What struck me as off was that it was between these two paragraphs the protagonist made the transition between fear and overcoming that fear, and I felt that transition was hindered, the similarity of the beginning of the paragraphs holding it back. Perhaps maybe, dropping the first “but”, or changing the second, or it is perfectly right to disagree.

         *CheckR*Grammar, spelling, etc.: Nothing bit me.

         *CheckR*Overall experience: I enjoyed your story, just a small glimpse into the life of Raeyna , at the crucial point of chasing a dream.

Thank you for sharing your story. *Pencil* On!
Review of Trick or Tweet  
Review by Alexander Briant
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Review of Trick or Tweet

Plot: Reading your story, what I liked most about it was your plot, or more exactly, the progression of your plot. I confess that when I was reading the first part of the piece, (I later could see three distinct stages to your plot), I thought: oh, no, just another doomsday story. You progressed beyond that however, as you did past the second stage where I thought for sure you were heading for a ‘1984’ scenario, and you landed squarely on the main plot which is the most believable: humankind doesn’t learn from its own mistakes.

Style: There are a lot of styles that can carry this plot; I don’t believe one can say which the best is unless you compare them all side by side. What is interesting to note is that even though narrative tends to slow the pace of a story down, and conversely dialog tends to speed things up, you have managed to reverse that: your narrative accelerates the story through chunks of time, sometimes years, while your dialog acts as a pause button on a particular moment.

Voice: You chose 1st-person narrative which is not a bad choice; however, you have not only limited me to see what John Carter sees, but also constrained me to learn through him as well, and I was not entirely convinced that he had learned the lesson he was teaching at the end of the story. At the start with Carolyn the girlfriend and later with Carolyn the wife, he appears to follow her into this ‘technological mistake’. Had she miraculously lived and it happened again would he follow her again, or did he really learn the lesson?

Setting/Characters: I have grouped setting and characters together because: since the story is largely dialog, the setting is within the characters themselves, namely John and Carolyn. I wanted to see more of the world around them through their emotions. There were points: Randy’s death, Courtney’s death, when there was problems with the implants, where I would have liked to have seen much more through your characters. Even though John is the narrator, Carolyn is just as central to the story. I would have liked to have seen more conflict, not only between the two of them about their different views on the technology, but through John’s eyes, the conflict within Carolyn herself. She was ‘hardwired’ to technology way before the implants; it was her whole life, and she lost it all. Psychologically, would she really be so quick to jump back in? I wanted to be convinced enough so that I would want to reach into your story and throttle your characters and yell at them!

Dialog: Overall I liked your dialog. At points in the story as I have stated above and therefore won’t reiterate, I would have liked to have seen a little more depth.

Grammar & such: Your word processor can do a much better job than I can; nothing singed my eyebrows.

Suggestions: You’ll need many more reviews before you can even begin to get a consensus, so in the end it’s you who must love your story and love your characters, but remember, don’t be afraid to hate your characters, too. If your characters do things to tick me off, I want to hate them, but I can’t hate them, or love them, unless you do first.

Overall: Good plot with a lot of potential. Should you decide to rewrite, in whatever way you decide to rewrite, I would like to read it again. Thank you for sharing your story.
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