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Printed from http://www.writing.com/main/profile/reviews/brina1203
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61 Public Reviews Given
Public Reviews
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Review by Joyous
Rated: E | (2.5)
Before I start, I feel obligated to tell you that I am not a pious person. This ONLY means that I am not aware of the belief systems and practices of organized religion, and I ask for your forgiveness if I say anything that Upsets you. Also know that anything I say is my own personal opinion and you are, by all means, allowed to take or leave any or all of it.

Now for the review:

The organization is a little confusing by the lack of paragraphs. I would make a new paragraph at "I finally just gave it all to God and asked him for guidance in writing them a final reply." From here on, I will refer to anything before that sentence as the first part, and afterwards as the second.

I see the first part as setting the scene for the second part, but it's vague. I realize you may not want to share your life struggles with a bunch of strangers, but if you try to keep your readers from your conflict, you'll only succeed in distancing them. I would lay the details out on the situation and leave them to decide on that part. It isn't the focus of the piece, and if you play it right, the conflict will only serve to increase the impact of your connection with God. I would put in the injustice of placing this fight in a public setting instead of talking to you and your sisters personally, tell the story in full of your conflict from your side so that you are the underdog heroine, and leave it at that. Then the second part would have a larger impact because the reader would see God helping a person in need, as you are trying to convey.

Line by Line:

"About two months ago our whole family got into a Facebook war." Going back to my original point, after reading this first line I am expecting to hear about this war in detail. From the Title, I would assume that it would lead to angels and karma...perhaps sudden luck or a personal savior. The next line I find a bit redundant. In my experience, war is never good. I have never seen it depicted as such. Sure the heroes are doing what is right and so on but the war itself is never good. So to say "let's just say it wasn't good" is redundant.

The next 10 sentences list out the reasons you feel abused. The simple number of reasons allows me to connect with your emotions a bit. It feels as though it goes on and on and I get tired just reading about it. However -- and please understand that emotionally I know where you're coming from, and this is just from a reader's perspective -- it seems as though you are trying to justify yourself in a childlike way...almost begging me to understand that your are right and they are wrong. Again if you give the details of the conflict as you see it, then there is no need for all of that, and I believe it would have a more powerful impact because then I as the reader would feel as though I had come to the conclusion that you are right on my own. I wouldn't need convincing at that point.

I WOULD keep the sentence "We were told Karma was going to get us back." That's a really good Segway to the second part of your story.

"Which I didn't ever pay attention to." Never start a sentence with "which". Consider "I never really paid any attention to Karma." The next sentence is another redundant one. The fact that you don't pay any attention to Karma implies that you don't believe in it. I do like "I believe things happen as they come." That gives the reader an understanding of what you think of instead of Karma.

"I couldn't take it anymore." Is also redundant.

"He was with me the whole time I was writing. Before I submitted it...talked to in years. It was one of those chain messages." I would suggest combining those three sentences: "He was with me the whole time I was writing, but before I submitted it, I received a message from one of my sisters who I haven't talked to in years with one of those chain messages."

"I almost closed her message just as soon as I realized what it was. But something got into me to keep reading." And combine these... "...realized what it was, but something kept me reading."

At this point, I would quote the actual chain message. Again to add detail and allow the reader to connect with you more.

Unless you feel as though your audial vision is too significant, I would suggest leaving that out. It doesn't change anything in the story, and you can simply say "as I was reading this, "In The Arms of an Angel" instantly came to mind." Or something to that effect. Short, and gets the point across. If you DO think it's too significant to leave out, I would weave it in with first part, preferably as part of the details of your conflict. That would allow the reader to automatically connect the two together and see the significance then.

"I went ahead and sent the message to my family. I went on with my day like usual." Suggest combining: "I went ahead and sent the message to my family, and went on with my day as usual."

"I knew that all I knew in the song was in the arms of an angel fly away from here and I just had to know the rest of the song." Suggest revising: "I only knew one line from the song."

"Everyone that knows me knows I follow my husband to his jobs and we stay in a hotel" Consider revising...you want the readers to feel like they know you. By saying "everyone that knows me" you break that connection.

"Where it said I sent you an angel last night. It was God letting me know he sent me an angel." Consider combining: "...angel last night, it was God..."


I hope this review helps and that I haven't offended you in any way. Please remember my first statement that these are only my opinions that I am stating as fact, and you are free to take or leave them as you see fit.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
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Review by Joyous
Rated: 13+ | (3.5)
An interesting read, and one I would like to continue reading. The voice comes through as someone who tries to think things through, even surrounded as he is by chaos. A man not afraid of any action that is needed...basically a survivor. I would like a bit of description of what he may look like, though.

The first paragraph was almost poetic, but doesn't match the first line. "This day never came in his dreams." I was expecting to learn of what he dreamt, not his history...what he expected his future to be like in contrast to his present. I would change the first line to reflect that.

All in all I like the contemplation interlaced with just enough action to display the first conflict and the main character. A good start, and I hope to see more.
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Review by Joyous
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
I like the headings, but what is their purpose? For some you had nothing to say...I feel like I'm walking into the middle of a conversation. And perhaps I am come to think of it. *Smile* safe travels!
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Review of Patchwork  
Review by Joyous
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
From the first sentence the reader is put into a passive tone, but do not think that this is always a bad thing. Passive simply works better with internal thoughts, bringing more attention to what is being affected than the actual effect. so: "The scent of lavender was overpowering" is passive, rather than the active version "The scent of lavender overpowered..(either the room, or Keiran)" A simple way to get rid of a lot of them is to look at all the "was", "is" and "are" verbs and try to rework the sentence so those verbs are nowhere in it. In some cases it's not practical, or necessary, but in others, it's a good way to highlight he passive sentences.

Active sentences put more stress on...well...action, but also the time in which they occurred. consider these two sentences:
"Kieran's breath was coming fast and short."
"Kieran's breath came fast and short."

It's subtle, but can you see that the first sounds more like you're retelling the action after it occurred as opposed to the second where it sounds more like it is happening in the present? That is really the difference between the two. I you want the character to reflect, passive sentences can help. If you want action and talk as though in the present...narrating the events as they happen, then active sentences work a lot better.

I hope this helps. Great story though. Truly great dialogue too. Thanks for the read
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Review of Fallen Sword  
Review by Joyous
Rated: 13+ | (3.0)
I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to do this….I’ve been really busy of late. I would like you to remember two things as you’re reading this if you can. One is that I have no experience beyond a love of reading and writing and a high school diploma. So if I say something that you don’t agree with, I will take no hard feelings at all. Second, for the longer pieces such as yours I review as I read so I don’t forget what I’m thinking. This may however mean that I contradict myself in certain areas. Just try to bear with me in that. Now on to the review!
The first thing I noticed is the diction is a little too redundant for the feel of the beginning. When I open a book, I assume that the world is silent right before it. Therefore, it is easy to break that silence, but I would suggest that you use harsher diction to do so. Even just rearranging the first sentence would help immensely. Something like “The clash of swords bit into the silent town, ending with the anguished cry of the beaten samurai who now lay dying in (insert place)” Just a suggestion, but perhaps you see the difference and the more overt description? I would then be careful to build up the suspense once again, by immediately following with softer diction in the next sentence. Perhaps something like “Berry brushes rustled softly as two travelers (which only has one “l”) strolled passed, making their way up the hill”
Next, I feel you combined the wrong sentences to make the second paragraph. I would suggest that you combine similar sentences, such as “Takemaru was the leader of the two. He was at that time, claimed by many as being perhaps the greatest Japanese sword teacher in the land,” to perhaps “Takemaru, claimed by many of his time as the best swordsman in the land, took the lead.” You can then go on to explain that he is a Samurai, who carried two swords and so on. Be careful not to make those explanations into run-on sentences.
I’m sure you’ve heard the cliché “Show, don’t tell.” It applies when you say “He was a good master and never abused his authority over his employee” I could actually see that by the simple statement that he kept the pace slow for said employee.
Something I was told that surprised me was that every time you say he said, she said, she grumbled, whispered, thought, etc, it actually makes the piece sound immature. If you need to express the person talking, have them do an action of some sort before the words come out of their mouth. Something small would do… “He frowned. “Why are you here?”” “She pointed down the hill “What’s that?”” While you are not technically wrong, and I have seen many authors use said, sighed, grumbled and so on, it’s good food for thought and may change your audience to a younger crowd if you use it. Itallics are a good way to suggest thought as well.
The piece reads like a play. A very analytical one at that, dealing mainly with the code of the Samurai and their lifestyles. You do well with the conversation and you have a good plot. I really hope that you continue with this. Write on.
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Review by Joyous
Rated: 13+ | (3.5)
First of all…you do a lot of telling instead of showing. It’s something that I hear myself a lot of the time, but I can recognize it in your piece. For example, instead of telling us that time is measured in seasons, show it to us. Perhaps you can put it into the thoughts of a character as in “He was preparing for the cold time.” Or “the sun cyle was coming to an end. Zahilla could already smell the rain in the air.” And so forth
Another example could be that instead of telling us that the other kids shunned Zahilla, you could imply it by placing him in a setting where such things happen….a playground where he plays by himself perhaps… and it would continue with his history.
You can’t always show instead of tell, but showing is most often the preferred method because it will allow your readers to connect with the character a lot more easily. It would be the difference between knowing a person and hearing about them.
The language itself is distracting…partly because it’s not completely correct. Any time you remove an H you need to put an apostrophe there to show that the letter is missing. Otherwise the natural instinct is to say that it’s misspelled. ‘ush now child. Other I know that there are other problems, but I’m not versed enough in that dialect to be able to help you there.
If the characters are not fully human you need to clarify it. I went from bird to Dragon sound to vampires to dogs… I need to have some form of history or anatomy lesson for me to understand what’s being said here. Again, show, not tell…but It does need to be clear that these people are not human. For example, if Zahilla is a dog…ish vampire person, give him some dog traits. Have him sniff the air… use diction to your favor. If you have him eating you could say “he lapped up his food” or something of that sort. It gives your readers that this character is not entirely human. I like that you show that he saw Mrs. Nox as dehydrated. That helped…showed an urge.
As for your style and voice, I like the second half a lot more than the first. It sounds a lot more refined. Just work on your coherency. Have someone read it aloud for you and you might see how confusing it can be.
It's seems like a really good story though! Keep it up!
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Review by Joyous
Rated: E | (3.0)
This is a good piece! I like it! I'm a little confused on your voice...who you are porporting to be...a child? A wise old person? It seems to fluctuate within the sentences, and I would suggest you take a closer look at that. A lot of it has to do with your word choice: "Very fast" for example sounds like a child where an adult -- when speaking normally -- would say "quickly" or something similar. At the same time you talk of learning and gaining wisdom from the rain as if you have a lot of experience with such things, which in turn gives the image of an elder. This may make rhyme harder, but alas, that is the trouble with poetry.

I love listening to the rain and your imagery is wonderful. Good job!
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Review of I'm Always  
Review by Joyous
Rated: E | (4.5)
I am a violist, and though I am not fortunate enough to join my crowd at the current moment I do remember the exatct feeling that you depict....the freedom to float along the tune and let it fill you with the peace and happiness. To simply lose yourself in the music.

I don't particularily like the title...it doesn't quite fit the piece. Perhaps if you completed the sentence? Im alway reaching. Im always searching. Im always singing.

I am not advanced enough in poetry to know all the nuances of the art, so I have to ask if you meant to make "I love" in line four of stanza three it's own line. It works either way. This way it sounds like a climax, or a held note, but that is dimmed somewhat by the continued intensity with the rest of the poem. The other way lets the poem keep building but the climax comes out at "I am free" at the end of the next stanza.

These are mere opinions of mine, from one with only a highschool education and a love for writing. So please take them as you will.
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Review by Joyous
Rated: E | (4.5)
Oh I love it! Laughing the whole time. The plot light and simple, but I could see it as a scene within a book, rather than a short story. Unfortunately, I don't have enough experience to even try to tell you how to fix that...if you want anything "fixed" at all. Very good work though.
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Review by Joyous
Rated: E | (5.0)
Well I have no personal experience with blogging, but your's has followed what I have expected such a thing to be. As for the blog and book option, I know for a fact that you can't select anything other than a static item when you are not subscribed. I don't know what you get when you do, but you can only have ten item in your portfolio without the subscription. If you were to read my poetry, you would see a lot of dark feelings within them and the reviews I have gotten from those has been really good. So I would have to assume that there is nothing wrong with negative writing, as long as you can put your best style on it. And don't be put off from the writing talents...a lot of the people here are like you in that they just can't stop writing and that is what is important. One can have all the talent in the world, but if he never writes, then the talent is never shown. I can see your drive and for that you have my respect and admiration. I really hope you enjoy yourself in WDC. I have found home here, and I think you will too.
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Review by Joyous
Rated: E | (4.5)
This was incredibly helpful. A lot of information and ideas packed into "characterization for dummies" style writing. :) It was a bit redundant with the other things that I have read, but that comes from me reading a lot, and nothing you could have done differently. Thank you for the information!
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Review by Joyous
Rated: E | (3.5)
Interesting! I like it. I would expand a bit on why, if fact he did like the park...only because you only mentioned the things that weren't right about it. It is a nice twist at the end, though, and I really did enjoy it! Great job!
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Review by Joyous
Rated: 18+ | (3.5)
This is an interesting concept, and I hope to see more of it. I would suggest a few things:

First, you don't seem to think about the placement of furniture or such things in your rooms. In every bathroom I have been in, for example, the mirror is above the sink, not in the tub. Of course it is possible for it to be otherwise, but if that is the case, perhaps you should spend some more time describing the scenery.

Second, I think there are a few glitches in your writing:

"It was about 9 P.M. and ever since the mayor had announced a curfew for anyone under the age of eighteen, the children were already tucked inside." I think that you meant to say "...and since the mayor..." I stumbled a bit with this sentence because there is a problem with the tense; if it is supposed to go "and ever since the mayor..." it would have to follow with a past-present tense, and I'm not sure how you would do that. The easiest way is to cut the word "ever"

Something that I've learned from here is that to announce when your characters are speaking is an amateur habit. Things like “”what is it?” He asked his wife” are not much better than “he said.” Instead I would suggest that you use an action to establish the speaker. You do it well when you say “She shook her head, "No, honey. Not even a scrape…” and in other places… just use it more.

And easy typo to fix is the word "it's" when you say "retrieved her dog-eared romance novel from it's place on her nightstand and headed to the bathroom" It's is a contraction meaning "it is" There is no possessive "its" and is instead written without an apostrophe.

As to your style, I like it a lot. You seem to have a natural talent for suspense, and I hope that you continue to write!
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Review of Dreams.  
Review by Joyous
Rated: E | (4.0)
You have some really good ideas, and you're doing the best thing that you could opossibly do: writing what you know. The best advice that I can offer you that helped me tremendously when I learned it, is to always shoot for a shift. Poetry, just like a story, has to show some sort of change and/or development. For this particular one, perhaps you could talk about a specific part of a dream, like a scent or a sight, and just leave out the subject (your lover, I assume), then as the stanzas progress, reveal the subject. There is a poem by Dylan Thomas: "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night" that shows what I mean. It's kind of depressing, just to warn you, but it's a good example.

I would also suggest you read a bunch of poems and find wich ones you like. Then you could mimick those poets and develope you voice even more.

You are a great writer! Keep it up, and don't lose that voice.
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Review of Exquisite Love  
Review by Joyous
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
This is a haunting look into a sick man's thoughts. You did really well. Just a couple of suggestions that have helped me in the past. When you wand to isolate a certain sense, you need to let it show up mor often. You started the piece with dripping water, and then most of the rest of it was visual. Or, if you want to focus on a certain aspect of the whole, you can use a variety of senses that allow the reader to see it, such as the wetness of the body (drip drip drip...the moist skin...the salty tears...the smell of the ocean...the wetness of her blood ran through my fingers). You do a lot of this already, but it seems a little disjointed because the focus is to broad.

Sentence length and structure can help move the scene as well. If you have a few short sentences put together, it quickens the pace and adds suspence. Similarily, if you make them longeer, it slows it down for the opposite effect. Also, if you rearrange them to make the sentences just a bit out of the ordinary, you could show something that seems logical to the character, but the reader could see that it is because of his mind. (Blood. Red, and lusturous, she could make those blemishes seem perfect.)

Both of these are really nit picky, and that's only because I don't see any real issues with th piece itself. You are at a level, I think, where you could make language into an art. :)

Note: please pardon the spelling, if there is any. My computer is slow, and I type too fast for accuracy. It's something I am trying to fix.
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Review by Joyous
Rated: E | (5.0)
Clever. Just clever! I love it. Even if you don't remember the words, you'll remember the story, though I don't think I'd like it so much in prose. Nor remember it half as well. I'm not a published author, but as a reader, I really like this!
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Review of Flaming Hearts  
Review by Joyous
Rated: E | (4.5)
This is really good. I like the focus on the imagery and similies. It flows quite nicely, and the rhymes are great. Good job!
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Review by Joyous
Rated: E | (3.0)
This would be a good comedy. I would expand a little more. This helps if all you know about the story is the dialouge, but now that you have that in front of you, I wold suggest explaining a bit more. What is the robber doing? Or the police? The kid might be fidgeting and doing the potty dance as he needs to use the restroom. What are their names? What are some of the facial expressions that the people have. Just some ideas. Keep writing!
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Review of Break the Norm  
for entry "Chapter 5
Review by Joyous
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Very well done. Can't wait for the next one! Just the italics I mentioned in chapter 4.
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Review of Break the Norm  
for entry "Chapter 4
Review by Joyous
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
I would suggest you to use italics when you are having the characters talk inside their head. It gets a little hard to follow without them. Great work on the story.
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Review by Joyous
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
I usually shy away from verse, not liking to analyze something that can be - and is supposed to be - interpreted in different ways...but I'm a hypocrite because I love writing it as well and want reviews. :), so I will not shy away from this one, and be perfectly honest as always.

I liked the story line and the layout of the poem, but I prefer those with more obvious meters, not that that has anything to do with you. Your voice shines through here as well, and its obvious what your opinion is of high school. Overall, I liked the piece. Good job.

Brina
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Review by Joyous
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
This is an interesting viewpoint. You see the viewpoint of animals in other stories and movies and such, but I have never experienced either portraying man and "beast" as equal. I would suggest that you choose a title for the tiger...wether it be the hunter, or Starin. It gets a little confusing when there's an interaction between the two characters. It was good, though, and I enjoyed it.
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Review of Break the Norm  
for entry "Chapter 3
Review by Joyous
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
I hope to see more of this. It is a really interesting story-line. As forthe different viewpoints, I like them too. It gives more of the story than you get from the first person stories as a general rule...something I have always hated. I know that you probably want review to tell you how to improve...but unless you want to point something out to me, I don't really know what to say. Great work. PLEASE keep writing.

Brina.
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Review of Break the Norm  
for entry "Chapter 1
Review by Joyous
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
I like the start, and, of course, I'll continue reading. I would suggest a little rework with the first paragraph...speaking as a reader, I find the sentences continuously starting with the subject a little dull after a while. Beyond that, it was great!
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Review of La Bella Vita  
Review by Joyous
Rated: E | (4.0)
This is cute! I liked it, and would certainly be something a child could recite, or a mother can read to her child...well done.
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