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21 Public Reviews Given
Public Reviews
Review of Oranje  
Review by carlton607
Rated: E | (5.0)
Congratulations on your win! I enjoyed your entry and the clever use of the prompt words. There was one line that I found confusing (maybe it was just me): "He had turned a hundred less one day," is a word missing? Or does it mean Mr. King is 99 years, 364 days old?

You did a great job and I look forward to reading more from you.

Keep writing!

*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
Review of The Big Race  
Review by carlton607
Rated: E | (3.5)
I read your entry; some advice:

Use paragraphs - your story, as entered, is difficult to read; break up the story line into smaller cohesive "chunks" so your reader can remain interested...it makes for easier reading.

That's a negative.

Here are the positive points:

You have a good command of language and storytelling. You created a nice pace by keeping the reader in the action. I was confused, though, about the bike: In my mind it was a standard bicycle, but when you wrote "...my bike choked..." I thought, "Does that mean it's a motor-powered bike?" - some extra words prior to that statement would have alleviated the confusion in me...either way - standard bicycle or motocross (or whatever they're called). Be mindful of that going forward.

Good entry! I wish you luck in the Cramp contest and look forward to more from you (just remember to use paragraphs so it's easier for us readers to relish your writing talent!)

*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
Review by carlton607
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
Bravo! I'm glad I found this piece this morning.

In my own writing, I strive to work with dialogue - making it believable, at the same time moving the story forward is something I struggle with.

You have accomplished both. You exhibit an excellent command of language. I especially like how your dialogue is believable - it flows naturally and sounds like real human beings interacting. You use contractions correctly: as most natural conversation occurs.

You successfully set the scene with just enough details to keep your reader informed about the whereabouts this story takes place; indeed, I could almost hear the dinging dishes, clinking silverware, and hubbub of a popular restaurant. Kudos to you for that!

I'm a pretty strict reviewer - I rarely rate something with five stars. There are minor issues with your effort:
"Cody stood looking at Trent with an astonished gazed. “It’s grilled.”" minor - "gazed" should be "gaze"
"It’s just another way you’ve tried to manipulated me.” " minor "manipulated" should be "manipulate"

Those are two things I picked up; I have a feeling at some point in writing this, you changed from past tense to present tense (I do that quite often when writing something) - you went back to your words to change tenses, and overlooked some minor instances.

I realize most of your story is dialogue (and I applaud you for that; I think someone at WDC hosts a dialogue contest on a monthly basis; I strongly suggest you enter that contest!) - you followed all the rules of "conversation" in your writing - kudos to you! (so many ppl here at WDC do not understand the importance of that) - quotation marks, different paragraphs. Your submission reads like the script to a play/movie with all the seperate paragraphs - maybe insert an additional "return" after each line? To be honest, I had difficulty at times reading from one line to the next; perhaps spacing (presentation-wise is what I'm referring to) could be something to experiment with.

I enjoyed this read very much; thanks for posting it.

I'm rating it five stars (with minimal changes) - it's a good story, this reader was involved in the story, and I smiled at your ending.

Good job! I look forward to delving into your portfolio.

Keep up the good work; and keep posting your efforts!
Review of the last carriage  
Review by carlton607
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
Hey Dave –
I got around to reading your story and here are some thoughts…

Passive language – for instance, in the second paragraph, you wrote, “It was the shriek of the brakes that woke me.” Try, “The shriek of the brakes woke [or awakened] me.” The next sentence you penned, “There were alarm bells ringing, men shouting, babies crying.” I would suggest rephrasing that to read, “Alarm bells rang, men shouted, and babies cried.” Don’t worry, I’m not going to give you a blow-by-blow for the entire story; I’m noting these as I read through it in the hopes you realize where changes can be made to the rest of the story.

Tense shifts – be mindful of them. Your story starts out in present, then switches to past, then back to present – it’s confusing to this reader. You must decide how to relate your story. It’s okay to switch tenses at various parts of your story – obviously some will be your character telling things as they happen, and later the character will reflect what has occurred – but both tenses cannot be used in the same paragraph, though.

Long sentences and punctuation – the comma can be your friend. For instance, this sentence, “Across the way from her on the opposite table another lies its right hand trailing as if pointing me forward.” I had to read it several times to get the gist of it. Suggest: “Across the way from her, on the opposite table, another lies, its right hand trailing as if pointing me forward.” That might seem like many commas, but I think it reads easier with them inserted.

Sentence fragments – be careful of incomplete sentences; “Blood stains on both windows.” That technique works if the entire paragraph is composed of fragments; i.e., a list of observations in this case. But to plop one into the middle of the paragraph makes for a bumpy read. If you want to keep it there, suggest writing, “Blood stains both windows.” Although in your story, I get the sense the “blood stains” are integral. In that case, suggest, “The windows display bloody scrawls” or something like that.

Numbers – as a rule, numbers from zero to nine are spelled out; anything above nine uses numerals. An exception is if a paragraph starts out with a number; i.e., “Forty-seven year old Matilda…” is proper, not “47 year-old Matilda….” You reference carriages by numbers: 1, 2, 3; it might be better to refer to “first carriage” or “second carriage” etc. unless that is how the carriages are known, in which case I would suggest using quotation marks – “Carriage 2” Not sure how important the carriage numbers are to your story, so it’s up to you how to portray them.

Foreshadowing – you write, “Believe me I wasn’t particularly happy the moment it happened but afterwards when he explained to me the state of the creature further up the train I understood. Well I understood then, now is a different matter but we’ll come to that.” It’s confusing to the reader what is really going on – up to this point it’s unknown there’s a creature; by mentioning it here, the element of surprise or tension is eradicated. Your character is telling the reader information that happens later in your story. Your character, in this instance using present tense, does not know anything more than what is happening at this instant. Suggest: “Believe me, I wasn’t particularly happy at the moment,” and leave it at that. You have the rest of the story to explain what’s ahead.

Titles – I presume you are from UK so this probably won’t make sense to you. You refer to the policeman as “Mr Sills”…is that how you refer to police officers? Would it make for better reading if he was referred to as “Officer Sills” instead of the (what I think is) generic Mr? It might a be a culture thing; I notice you use single quotation marks to denote dialogue; here in US we use double quotes. I also noted that Mr does not have a period following it – Mr. If it’s a culture thing, forget I mentioned it; I’m easily adaptable once I know what’s going on.

Consistency – You write, “Carriage 10 is full of dead. The monster, if that is what it is, has devoured these people. They are everywhere.” How can there be bodies if they’ve been devoured? Doesn’t devour mean eaten? Perhaps if you wrote, “The monster, if that’s what it is, has fatally injured/attacked these people.” Or use a word other than “devoured.”

POV – be mindful of narrator’s role in telling the story. This is written from Tom’s POV. You write, “Mr Sills can see it also though he sees it from a different angle. It hits him just above the nose taking the top of his head clean off. He looks at me surprised for a second then drops.” How could Tom know what Mr Sills can see? The order of your sentences in this passage seems a little out of whack. Suggest exchanging the second and third sentences…if the bullet has taken the top of his head off, how can he look surprised? That’s probably nit-picking…but picture in your mind what is occurring as though you’re watching a movie of the action.

You write, “It takes one hard kick and I am through. The man behind the door is not expecting this and it knocks him to the ground.” Tom cannot know what the man behind the door is expecting…suggest, “It takes one hard kick and I am through, knocking the man behind the door to the ground.”

Presentation – there are irregular paragraph breaks in your story that make reading tedious. When posting something on WDC, I suggest using the “preview” feature to see what it looks like; WDC has implemented check boxes on the create-an-item page that automatically format a story for easier reading.

I would strongly suggest you change your ending so that the final two sentences form the final paragraph…or even make the last two sentences two paragraphs to read:
“My name is Tom.
“This is the last carriage.”

The effect of having those separate brings a finality to your story that is lost if they’re tacked onto the current last paragraph.

General Thoughts – I’m not a fan of sci-fi or fantasy, so I tried to read this with an open mind. I’m pleased that your twist at the end surprised me: it was neither…kudos to you for leading me down one path and ending me on another one. That’s talent as a writer.

You definitely possess great story-telling capabilities – that’s the most important part of being a writer. If you notice, nearly all my comments had to do with mechanics: formatting, grammar, etc. Little about the story itself. And that’s a good thing – I doubt most writers have perfect grammar skills – that’s what editors do. But if you want to submit something to be considered for publication, it would be best to have someone edit it first; publishing houses won’t read something if it’s presented badly. In a sense, all I did was provide you with some editing suggestions. Your story is solid and with a little cosmetic work it could be five-star material…but that being said, I must rate this as a four-star effort. The sloppiness hindered my enjoyment of the story, and as writer, you must be conscious of your readers’ experiences.

You mentioned a review you received for this story and suggested I read it. I don’t have access to reviews given to you. I hope I wasn’t completely out of line here with my words/suggestions/thoughts.

I wouldn’t mind if you took a poke around my port here on WDC. I don’t possess the story-telling skills you do, but I’d be interested to know what you think of my efforts.

In any case, I strongly encourage you to keep writing. I admire your talent and wish I possessed a thimbleful of it.

All the best
Review of The Unknown Girl  
Review by carlton607
Rated: ASR | (4.0)
This angst-ridden piece tells a mostly sad tale with a glimmer of hope near the end.

The story flows fairly smoothly from beginning to end for this reader. The main character seems to be depressed because there is little cheerfulness in her life. And that is sad. If only all the negative energy spent on writing this piece had been channeled into a positive direction, this reader would have found the piece more enjoyable.

The writer does an adequate job of chronological recollection that serves to move the story along, but there didn't seem to be any change in the main character from the start of the story to the end and that's one of the rules of writing - a noticeable change should take place. This went full circle from despair to brief hope to despair.

The voice comes across in a monotone - "just the facts, ma'am" - with no feeling put into the words. Chandra seems to be the only bright spot in the story, but this reader never felt the closeness that the characters shared.

This was originally written nearly 4-1/2 years ago and continues to be revised, which is a good thing. It seems clear that this is an excellent start for a longer piece - if the angst can be downplayed a bit.

Keep writing and observing the world around you. Perhaps instead of constantly looking inward you will find a way to express through outside stimuli.

Write, write, write...

Review of Lost  
Review by carlton607
Rated: ASR | (3.5)
Your poem is heartfelt and painful to this reader. You successfully conveyed your feelings of loss in a piece that utilizes several different rhyme schemes, which work well with the mixed up feelings of the writer. Good job.

I like the repetition in the first stanza: it shows the writer's naiveté and sets the tone for the rest of the piece... The third stanza is the only one without a rhyme scheme and I like it's placement in the poem. It sticks out and exhibits confusion. Very nice.

This is obviously a very personal piece - the anguish in the author's voice is loud and clear. And saying that, it's difficult for this reader to judge another's words when they're written with such feeling...

I note that it was originally written nearly three years ago and that a recent update had occurred. It's refreshing to know that the author is still revising the piece as time goes on. The writer shows promise.

There were no grammatical or spelling issues.

Keep writing and revising.
Review by carlton607
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hello --

I read your story. It is short, poignant and filled with hope.

It flows easily from start to finish. The transitions of time and place are well-crafted and allow this reader to follow along with ease. You obviously have a good grasp of story-telling. Good job.

Grammatically, I found no errors. There is one typo:
"... sprang to live..." should be "...sprang to life..."

Some suggestions:

You wrote, "'Hello?' She was very nice to me, the nurse from the hospital." -- That's a lot to deduce from just saying, "Hello?" I would suggest moving the "...she was very nice..." to later in the phone conversation.

You wrote, " I knew exactly how much hardwood flooring would cost..." -- Would a 17-year-old really know the cost of such an undertaking? It doesn't ring true to this reader.

One final suggestion: Make your last sentence a stand-alone paragraph for emphasis.

Your command of language is evident in your word choices. This reader's only regret is that the story was short; perhaps there was a word-limit imposed? I would encourage you to keep writing and writing some more.

I look forward to reading more of your stories.
Review of Twisted Desire  
Review by carlton607
Rated: 18+ | (2.5)
Hello --

I read this story and have a few comments.

I'm not a fan of fantasy, so I'm not really a good judge of the content. I tend to abhor violence of any sort, so this is a stretch for me to even consider reviewing this piece. However, that said, I read it and think that your writing is quite good.

There are a few grammar errors, but all-in-all, it's a technically accurate piece.

The opening line:
'The lightening lit up the night sky in beautiful flashes of white and blue. as I drifted into...'

* - 'lightening' s/b 'lightning'
* - 'as I drifted...' s/b 'As I drifted...' since it's a new sentence.

'2:25...It had been ten minutes since I heard the last noise and I was starting to think it was all in my head when I saw a dark figure pass in the hallway. I was still too stunned to move so I laid perfectly still waiting to be attacked, raped, killed or all of the above.'

* - You indicated very early on that this was fantasy by making the main character a victim: '...still waiting to be attacked...' Prior to this point, nothing had been mentioned about waiting for something to happen, yet here the character is 'still' waiting. It was refeshing to note that the 'victim' used 'or all of the above' instead of the short cut 'etc.' :) At least the victim came across as a somewhat literate willing participant - I got the impression she probably had either a degree in journalism or mathematics.

'2:40....I heard him downstairs. I thought maybe he's just robbing me. Maybe he'll rob me blind and then leave.'

* - And here it's announced that the intruder is male. But then...

'2:45...The sound of the stairs creaking sent my brain into shock. I watched as what appeared to be a man approached my bed. I pretended to be asleep, thinking he might just leave me alone if he knew I hadn't seen him. However, to my dismay he sat on the edge of my bed. I could feel him watching me. He smelled of clean sweat and a cologne that I knew I had smelled before.'

* - ...five minutes later 'what appeared to be a man...' approached the bed. Careful attention to pronouns is essential to telling a believable story.

* - And speaking of believable things: what is clean sweat? And how can it be detected apart from cologne? Just curious...

'2:55...He was still staring at me. I heard him struggling to get something out of what I can only assume was a bag of some sort...'

* - Oh, anyone who is 'struggling' to get something out of 'what I can only assume was a bag of some sort' - umm, neither description speaks very highly of either participant's intelligence, ya know? A bag is a bag - it doesn't take much assuming to make that determination in my experience; and also in my experience, if 'struggling' was involved with getting something out of a bag, well, it's been a dog or cat trying to get a treat that was hidden inside. I'd like to think even the most stupid rapist could maneuver his/her way through a bag... This was unbelievable to this reader.

'His hands started to massage my feet and ankles. Slowly and expertly he worked his way up to my legs, caressing my skin as he continued his way up my body.'

* - Okay, I get the erotica part of this, but I'm wondering where were the legs that '...he worked his way up to my legs...'? I'd suggest removing the word 'to' in that sentence to read '...he worked his up my legs...'

'He brushed the hair out of my face and kissed my forehead and lips.'

* - Is it possible to kiss someone's lips if the person is gagged? I have no idea...I'm just curious...

'I knew what he wanted and he knew that he didnt have to worry about me doing something stupid like biting him because I was too scared and too smart to piss him off.'

* - It seems there are two POVs occurring here in this passage. How can you know what he's thinking and how can he know what you're thinking? I'd suggest rewriting it to read something like, "He seemed determined. I complied and gave him no reason to think I'd do something stupid..."

'This is when I panicked. I'm choking...I cant breathe and he's still got a death grip on me.'

* - This passage is out of tense with the rest of the piece. Suggest: "That is when I panicked. I choked...I couldn't breathe and he still had a death grip on me."

'He pulled out of my mouth and exploded all over my chest leaving behind a warm sticky reminder of just how much of a man he is.'

* - Ahh, the money shot! Ain't love grand? :) I'd suggest changing 'is.' to 'was.' just to keep tenses consistent.

'I cried again...almost hysterically this time.'

* - I had to search for the previous episode of crying and found it - right before the money shot. Why the hysterical crying at this point?

'We went on like this for hours..silently making love again and again until we collapsed on top of eachother completely worn out and completely satisfied.'

* - I'd suggest changing 'this' to 'that' for consistency purposes, and making 'eachother' 'each other'


Umm, as erotica, I guess this piece will serve its intended purpose to a certain audience.

As a story, though, it has several problems. There is little suspense, the suspense that is there is unbelievable, and neither of the characters is believable.

In addition, although this is a fantasy, glorifying rape is personally repulsive. Fantasies live in peoples' minds - I have nothing against fantasies; they allow us to explore new worlds. There are some fantasies, though, in my opinion, that should remain private.

With your writing talents portrayed here, I hope you will consider all avenues of writing available.


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