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Printed from http://www.writing.com/main/profile/reviews/catchafire92
Review Requests: OFF
58 Public Reviews Given
Review Style
I am upbeat, positive, and honest. I try to be encouraging and point out what can be improved without sounding condescending or mean.
I'm good at...
I'm good at being kind and pointing out your strengths, while also drawing attention to weaknesses honestly and lovingly.
Favorite Genres
Fantasy, Science Fiction, Mystery, Thriller, Children's, Young Adult
Least Favorite Genres
Memoir, Autobiography
Favorite Item Types
Books, Blogs, Poems
Least Favorite Item Types
Articles/Technical
I will not review...
Erotica, anything with lots of vulgarity/gore.
Public Reviews
1
1
Review of Galaxy-Crossed  
In affiliation with Fantasy and Science Fiction So...  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hi Joto-Kai ! I was wandering through the Review Board, and your poem caught my eye!

I love how it tells a huge story in such a small amount of words. Also, the change in tone from one addressee to another in each stanza says a lot about the personality of this love-struck captain. The romantic notion of searching for a would-be love is so beautifully represented here.

I also love that the final line conveys his fatal mistake. It makes me as the reader feel so much more heartbroken for him, that she slipped through his grasp so easily, probably not even realizing what he was doing.

The only criticism I really have, and this may just be personal, is that I wish it were longer. I want to know more of this story, perhaps revealed through his interactions with other objects or people on board his ship or even at a planet he lands on to search for her. Does he have any hope of finding her again?

Excellent poem! I'm glad I stopped by to read it. *Smile*
2
2
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Hi, Leslie Loo ! Just stopping by to review "I Love You, Darnell! for you!

*BurstO*Overall Impression

This was a really funny and easy-to-read dialogue with a Valentine's Day theme.

*BurstY*Things I Loved

I liked the personality each character has. I get the impression of two college to middle-aged guys just hanging out when this strange other voice keeps butting in and confusing them. The voices were very clear and easy to follow. I also liked the extra line of dialogue at the end, implying the voices weren't just a dream.

*BurstG*Suggestions

I don't really have any suggestions for you, other than this one typo I spotted:

I had the weirdest dream. Heart-candies begin talkin' to me and sayin' stuff like, "I love you" or "be mine".

I think "begin" should be "began", or maybe even "started," as most people in dialogue will use "started" rather than "began."


*BurstB*Final Comments

Thanks for giving me the opportunity to read this piece! I wish you all the best in the Dialogue 500 contest!

*Pencil*Write On!

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3
3
Review of I: Wraith  
In affiliation with Fantasy and Science Fiction So...  
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
Hi, {user:soul-writer]! Just dropping by with that review I promised (and sorry I didn't get to it within the time frame of the review request!).

*Shield9* Overall Impression
I was really drawn in by all the details of your fantasy world! Some of the new terms were a little difficult to keep up with at first, but by the end of the chapter I felt I knew what everything was, at least to a general degree. I had a good idea of who the protagonists were, what their goals were, and who the antagonist is/what their goal is. I also got a sense of the relationships between the protagonists, which made me want to root for them throughout the rest of the story. I know what the stakes are for this world at large and for the people within it. Your opening chapter has accomplished pretty much everything it needs to--setting up the normal world, introducing main characters in a characteristic moment, and making the reader ask a few very important questions (what's going to happen next? Will Khemrissa be able to protect the orb? Will they escape the camp? Has Isabarra perished?). These are the questions that keep the pages turning, so good job with that.

*Shield6* Things I Loved

Such a small detail, but I LOVED the character's names. They are unique but not too hard to pronounce (unlike some other fantasies I've read haha). Also, all of your unique tools and words and drinks--it just totally makes your fantasy world come to life. I really want to try lemmafruit and nihan now haha. Your characters are very well-developed with personalities all their own. These aren't just a bunch of cool-looking people who all talk the same or even have the same goal (even though they're all on the same side). Isabarra has her own goals that Gennrik doesn't quite agree with, Gennrik feels an obligation to Isabarra even as he has to lie to Khemrissa, and Khemrissa is kept in the dark about all the details and isn't too happy about the vague answers Gennrik gives her. This already makes for some inherent personal conflict even among the bigger stakes of Kilvallen's treachery and the rhenn shortage. I was also very impressed by your vivid descriptions. I was able to see your world very clearly, as well as the characters and the objects around them. This really helped to bring me into the story world (and also helped give some clues as to the identities of unique objects or words that I hadn't quite caught the hang of yet). For instance, Gennrik bringing Isabarra the nihan in a decanter and describing it in detail nailed it into my mind that this was a beverage, probably a lot like tea or coffee, and I didn't forget it after that.

*Shield9* Suggestions

I really don't have much to say in the way of plot/characters/comprehensibility. I thought you really did quite an excellent job. The only comment I will make is to be wary of including TOO much unique detail in the first chapter. For me, it wasn't too much, but I'm used to reading fantasy, and I'm a pretty stubborn reader, so if I don't understand something the first time, I'll go back and make sure that I understand it before I move on. Many readers may not be so patient or persistent, so just be wary. If you're going to strictly market to a fantasy audience, though, you're probably completely safe, as those readers, like me, will already be used to keeping up with a wide variety of new words and terminology. It may also be helpful to include a glossary for all of your unique terms (if you haven't done so already).

I did also find a few typographical errors:

-In the 9th paragraph (I count dialogue as its own paragraph): But the determination in which she bore through him had remained unchanged… In the context it's written, I got the impression that in which should be with which.

-In the 13th paragraph: ...barren plateaus chocked by sand that stretched to the horizon... chocked should be choked

-In the 26th paragraph: “They should’ve been back by now,” he noted.will I was confused by the extra word "will" at the very end of the dialogue tag. I figured it was an error.

-In the 48th paragraph: "...You've done your duty protecting it, its time one of them shared the burden." Two errors here: a comma splice and a missing apostrophe.
Corrected: "...You've done your duty protecting it. It's time one of them shared the burden."

*Shield6* Conclusion

I very much enjoyed exploring this first portal into your fantasy world. It promises high stakes, interpersonal conflict, and an intriguing world to explore. I look forward to reading the next chapters. Please feel free to request reviews anytime! (And I'll try to remember them better. *Wink*)

*Pencil*Write On!

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4
4
In affiliation with I Write  
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
This is a very well-written and emotional piece. I loved the rhyme scheme and the repeated line--it worked very well for your topic to emphasize the line about tears repeatedly. It gave the image of a person crying multiple tears as they think through the lines of the poem. Also, great job keeping up the same rhyme scheme throughout--you found so many different words to express your ideas, although the rhyme scheme didn't jump out at me as I read it. I was caught up in the meaning of the text, not the rhyme, and that's what any good poetry should do. Awesome job!


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5
5
In affiliation with 30-Day Bloggers Group  
Rated: E | (4.0)
A very sweet and touching note to someone very special! I, too, worry about the day when my best friend and husband is gone from me, or vice versa. Though they say you can't feel anything or look back after death, it breaks my heart to think of leaving him behind, or of him leaving me. I can very much relate to the sentiments you expressed here. I love your metaphor with the "summer honeysuckle vine." As a fellow Kentuckian, I know exactly how sweet that is! *BigSmile* Also, a huge congrats on becoming a mod! *StarB*
6
6
Review of The Good Fight  
In affiliation with WDC Power Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hi there, cerpas ! I noticed your poem on the Review board and thought I'd have a look.

May I first extend my prayers for your recovery and for strength to battle through this difficult time in your life? *Hug1**hug**Hug2* I think you have an incredibly uplifting and determined outlook on your diagnosis.

As for the poetry itself, it has a very rhythmic quality to it that reminds me of song lyrics. You will want to watch your punctuation--you don't need to put a comma in the middle of each line to denote the meter. If you want that separation there, you can divide each line in half. The reader will pick up on the meter as they read along.

So, for instance, instead of: "I suppose he's tired of hearing me, praise the Saviors name"; you'd want either: "I suppose he's tired of hearing me praise the Savior's name" OR "I suppose he's tired of hearing me (hit enter) Praise the Savior's name."

I hope this review finds you in good spirits, and you will be in my prayers.

*Pencil*Write On!
"WDC Power Reviewers Group

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7
7
In affiliation with WDC Power Reviewers Group  
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Hi, Thankful Sonali - WDC POWER! ! I found your story "Stepping up for Santa on the Power Reviewer's "Review Me 2" List and thought I'd have a read!

*BurstO*Overall Impression

This was a humorous story about Santa Claus' mom having to take over for her sleepy son. It also involved some of our very own WDC members, which was really neat to see.

*BurstY*Things I Loved

I loved the personification of Mrs. Claus as she busies herself making soup and getting ready to load the sleigh. She reminds me of a sweet English grandmother, busy talking and giving orders, then scolding everyone else for talking. She also turned the entire sleigh around to heat her son's soup, which is a very motherly thing to do. Her quirks made her real and likable.

*BurstG*Suggestions

I didn't see any flagrant typographical errors in the copy, so as for your request for a look-over, I think it's good to go. The only thing that kind of threw me off was Mrs. Claus' monologues to herself (while cooking, etc.) about information she would have already known. It seemed she should be telling someone else these stories. However, I know the kind of character Mrs. Claus is represented as, and these characters do talk to themselves, often needlessly, just as a character quirk. So I have mixed feelings about the monologues.

*BurstB*Final Comments

I really enjoyed reading this fun little story! I wish you all the best in the contest (if you haven't gotten word of a winner yet).

*Pencil*Write On!
*CoffeeV*AlyCatAuthor*Wind*
"WDC Power Reviewers Group

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8
8
Review of Wild Anxiety  
In affiliation with WDC Power Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hi, BrandyBreath ! I saw your sonnet on the review page and thought I'd have a look.

*BurstO*Overall Impression

I like the emotion you express here. The poem has a very unifying tone: dark and restless. As a sufferer of anxiety myself, I could see myself in your verses.

*BurstY*Things I Loved

My favorite stanza is the third. It really lays open the heart of the poem. There is no real "reason" you should feel the way you do. You just do. And that's exactly the way anxiety works.

*BurstG*Suggestions

My suggestions are to pay attention to the meter. Poetry is typically a very forgiving genre when it comes to form, but if you're using a pre-established format (this being an Elizabethan or Shakespearean sonnet), you'll want to be especially careful with the meter. You'll want iambic pentameter: 5 sets of a pair of unstressed, then stressed syllables. Your line "I have no glaring faults, I have been told" is a PERFECT line of iambic pentameter. Strive to make your whole sonnet fit that model--it's a challenge, but it's also fun. *Wink*

*BurstB*Final Comments

Aside from comments on the meter, I truly enjoyed reading your poem. For being your first sonnet, it's really quite good. Keep practicing--you've got the grip on the emotions that you need. The technical stuff will come with practice.

*Pencil*Write On!

*CoffeeV*AlyCatAuthor*Wind*
"WDC Power Reviewers Group

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9
9
In affiliation with I Write  
Rated: E | (5.0)
This poem made me chuckle! The crocodile reminds me of the one from Peter Pan, the one with the ticking clock. I love that this short poem contains a whole story or even somewhat of a legend. It sounds like it should be in a children's book somewhere. Excellent job!
10
10
Review of Christmas Mixup  
In affiliation with I Write  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Awww, I loved this very relatable story! Such a good family this character has, that they could simply play it off and use it as just another way to enjoy Christmas together. This kind of thing happens all too often, and usually at the worst possible times as well. Great job making me feel the emotions of this character!

My suggestions would be to focus more on sensory detail instead of focusing so much on the character's internal monologue. It reads more like a journal entry at times than a story.

Overall, very enjoyable story! *Smile*


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11
11
In affiliation with WDC Power Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (3.5)
Hi there, A. C. ! I got your review request and just stopped by and had a look through "The Boy and the Ice-Maid. My impressions and comments are below!

*Snow1* Overall Impression

I really enjoyed this piece! I think your story concept lent itself well to a short story format. I didn't feel like it was too long, and the story drew me in. There were a few issues that I had with it that kept me from enjoying it as much as I wanted to.

*Snow2* Things I Enjoyed

I enjoyed the distinct personality and descriptive details you included for Merith. She was by far the most interesting personality in the whole story. I could see her so clearly in my mind, and I became the most attached to her throughout the course of the story. You could easily write a whole novel about this mermaid and I would gladly read it.

*Snow1* Suggestions

Some of your descriptions were lacking for other characters, including Jacob. I just saw him as a generic teenager, which may be what you were going for, but I couldn't relate well to his character because he wasn't as distinct as Merith. I was more saddened by her death than I was Jacob's. Also, some character motivations seemed to be last-minute or were not introduced very well, such as Alda's motives for tattling to the chieftain. I think if you foreshadowed these motives more concretely earlier in the story, they'd be much more believable and would tighten up your story so much.

Thank you for sharing your writing here at WDC. Never stop creating!

*Snow5*Write On!*Snow5*
"WDC Power Reviewers Group

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12
12
Review of The Offer  
In affiliation with WDC Power Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (3.5)
Hi, Blake ! I'm reviewing your short story "The Offer to fulfill the recent review request you made.

*LeafR*Overall Impression

This was an interesting and quite shocking story about youthful optimism in the face of corporate greed.

*LeafY*Things I Loved

I liked your characterization of Remy and Mr. Starcose. We get a clear picture of who Remy is and why he would be naive enough to accept Mr. Starcose's invitation. I also liked Mr. Starcose's speech to Remy about knowledge and how he changed his name--that was a clever way to introduce his personality. Also, part of me really liked the unusual ending. The story could have gone on much longer, but it didn't, and that's not typical of the type of story I thought this was. You surprised me there. :)

*LeafR*Suggestions

Many of your sentences/descriptions were a bit too wordy. Don't feel like you have to explain every little detail to the reader about how Remy is feeling. Show it in the way he reacts to events or by an inner monologue.

Try not to dump a lot of information on the reader at once. There was a whole section which explained Remy's background and college experiences. Try to perhaps include those details in flashbacks or inner monologues as he's thinking about why on earth he'd be invited to a grand party at the hotel.

Also, the ending was shocking and abrupt. It's definitely cool to end your story however you see fit, and like I said earlier, it was interesting to have it not end the way I thought it would. However, there was something a little too abrupt about it. I feel like you could foreshadow the ending, perhaps by giving the background of the hotel (how no one ever went to the basement and stuff like that) perhaps from a snippet of Mr. Starcose's POV before we see Remy going to the party. That way the reader knows something's not right but doesn't quite know what it is until the climax when Remy attacks Mr. Starcose.

*LeafY*Final Comments

Overall, this was a surprising and interesting story, and I enjoyed stopping by your port to read it! Thanks for the review request, and I'd be happy to do another review for you in the future.

*Pencil*Write On!

*CoffeeV*AlyCatAuthor}/i}*Wind*
"WDC Power Reviewers Group

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13
13
Review of One Shot  
In affiliation with WDC Power Reviewers Group  
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Hi, Tor ! I found your short story "One Shot on the Power Reviewer's list and thought I'd drop by to review.

*LeafR*Overall Impression

I really enjoyed this tense, dramatic story! You sowed a lot of good seeds for conflict and hard choices, so even in such a short piece I was on the edge of my seat.

*LeafY*Things I Loved

I absolutely loved the way you personified the cat, describing what it sensed and felt as it went back to reclaim its meal. I also loved the clear picture of the old man we got as he talks with his wife, and the way you SHOW that he's an old man (creaky knees, his wife's age relative to his, her concern for him) rather than just telling us.

*LeafR*Suggestions

Although the ending is very punchy and dramatic, it doesn't give the reader a sense of closure. It's like cutting off a piece right in the middle of its climax, and so to me, it loses a lot of its punch from that. It's your story, though, and so if you wanted to leave it with an unclear ending on purpose, just to kind of leave the reader on a note of cognitive dissonance, then that's totally up to you! I could see it both ways, but just thought I'd comment on that since for me, I like to at least have an ending where you could argue either way, where a certain outcome might strike one reader for one reason, and be a completely different ending for another reason for someone else. I don't know if that makes sense, but I hope it does! Your piece wasn't quite like that because it was so open-ended--you couldn't really argue either way because you had no evidence one way or another.

Aside from that, I almost would have liked to see a little more detail in the story beforehand. You included all the necessary elements, I think, but it was almost too short for me.

*LeafY*Final Comments

Overall, I enjoyed this piece wholeheartedly. It did what any good drama/suspense story is supposed to do: keep the reader at the edge of their seat! I was biting my nails the whole time! Well done, and thank you for sharing your work!

*Pencil*Write On!


*CoffeeV*AlyCatAuthor*Wind*
"WDC Power Reviewers Group

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14
14
In affiliation with SIMPLY POSITIVE GROUP  
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Hi there, RisanF ! I just read "Different and Cool- Part 1 and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I hope you'll find my comments helpful, encouraging, and uplifting!

*BurstV* Initial Reaction

This was a nicely-done introduction to what I know will be a story about unexpected friendship. I can't wait to read the rest!

*BurstB* Plot/Theme

The plot flowed well and didn't leave anything that felt confusing or forced. I like the theme of free-will that seems it will be ongoing throughout the story.

*BurstG* Character Development

I really liked your character development in this piece--we get to see both the major characters in their natural element or "normal world" before the inciting event happens that makes their paths cross. I liked seeing Andrew's history of struggle and a bit of his own past at the school, as well as Tarah's hilarious back-and-forth on determinism with Mr. Clark. Two VERY different characters, and you did a good job introducing both of them very clearly to the reader.

*BurstY* Grammar/Word Choice

I wasn't tripped up by any grammatical errors or spelling errors. I would have liked to see less adverbs and more attention paid to word choice. It seemed some of the descriptions were only half-done and could have been shaped up to be more powerful, especially as far as the dialogue was concerned.

For example: "I'm...sorry, Mr. Clark," Andy said, rubbing his head in a self-conscious sort of way. "It's just this class is so tough, I can't concentrate."

The description after "said" could be tightened with better word choice. "I'm sorry, Mr. Clark," Andy said. He rubbed his head and frowned down at the desk. "It's just this class is so tough, I can't concentrate."

From the fact that Andy is not looking at the teacher, is frowning, and is rubbing his head, we can assume he's feeling self-conscious/guilty just from examining his body language in conjunction with his dialogue. This shows the reader rather than telling them.

*BurstO* Technical Aspects

This was a good opening chapter, as it incorporated all the elements readers will need to be convinced to keep turning the page: characteristic moments, a bit of introduction to the normal world, some conflict with Andrew/Mr. Clark, and the broader, overarching conflict of the story is introduced toward the end (Tarah's announcement that they are partners).

*BurstR* Overall Suggestions/Encouragements

Overall, I really enjoyed this chapter, and I do want to read more. Work on putting a bit more effort into word choice/descriptions, and this story will shine even brighter!

I hope you can take something meaningful from my feedback, and as YOU are the author, please know that at the end of the day, this is YOUR piece and my suggestions are only that--suggestions.

Thank you for sharing your work with the WdC Community!

*Pencil*Write On!

*CoffeeV*AlyCatAuthor*Wind*

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15
15
In affiliation with WDC Power Reviewers Group  
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
Hi, Jonny Capps ! I saw your chapter on the Review Board and thought I'd give it a review.

*LeafR*Overall Impression

The plot drew me in right away--anytime there's confusion/loss of memory with the main character, there's automatic conflict, as the reader wants to know what's going on just as much as the protagonist does. I was intrigued by the futuristic setting and the other character Derrin meets when he wakes up. Some minor tense issues and an ending which left more to be desired--will explain in the "Suggestions" box.

*LeafY*Things I Loved

I really liked your descriptions of the cell, how comfortable it was, and the transition from that comfort to the utter shock of the outside. Your descriptions in general were very well-done--I could see the granite room they were in, the doorway and the map, and felt grounded in the setting right away.

I also liked how you showed the struggle with Derrin halfway remembering that he shouldn't be worried, but his mind panicking anyway. That felt realistic to me, like waking up from an immersive dream and only having half a clue as to what's really going on.

I also liked the small hints we get of the relationships and the scenario existing before all this happened--his dialog with Joshua helped give a sense of rootedness, that Derrin's instinct not to be worried is somehow correct even though he seems to have no idea what is happening or where he is.

*LeafR*Suggestions

In your beginning two paragraphs, the tense seemed to switch up in a few places. For example, your first three lines: The light is comfortable. In fact, everything is comfortable right now. The only sensation that he can remember feeling at the moment was this: bathing in this soothing, warm, light, sensation slowly creeping back into his limbs. When enough feeling had returned, he could feel that his body was lying, supine, in a body pillow.

It starts in present tense but then switches to past with the word 'was' in the second sentence and then stays there the rest of the chapter. That confused me a bit. Perhaps you were going for an effect there as he woke up, but it made me trip.

As for the ending, I guess I had expected Derrin to sum up a bit of his realization at the end to keep the reader hooked. It seemed to end rather abruptly. While it's a good technique to end a chapter on a cliff-hanger and not quite reveal everything, readers need to see a little bit of what Derrin is thinking here, just a short summary of facts; something like "There had been a war. They had survived. And now they were awake." That sort of lets readers in on a hint of the overarching conflict (the nuclear war they survived by going into those cells) but doesn't give away all the details that I'm sure Joshua will fill him in on in the next chapter.

*LeafY*Final Comments

Overall, I really enjoyed this chapter and I think it has a lot of potential. It drew me in and left me asking questions and feeling curious about the plot, which is what any good first chapter should do. Thanks for sharing!

*Pencil*Write On!

"WDC Power Reviewers Group

*CoffeeV*AlyCatAuthor*Wind*

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16
16
In affiliation with SIMPLY POSITIVE GROUP  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hi there, SisterCrow! I just read your chapter of ASHLANDS and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I hope you'll find my comments helpful, encouraging, and uplifting!

*BurstV* Initial Reaction

This was a beautifully-written snapshot of an unlikely automaton character's longing for affection and humanity. You have piqued my interest and my sympathy for poor Tommy, and now I need to know more!

*BurstB* Plot/Theme

I really loved your theme of an automaton being specially created to feel as humans do. It's interesting to read about the struggles Tommy faces, because he has the choice to revert back to a purely mechanical state free of pain--but also free of love. It presents a great thematic question and choice for Tommy--does he continue to suffer and hope for fulfilling love, or will he seek the ultimate escape and give up the indescribable gift his Maker gave him?

*BurstG* Character Development/Flow

I loved the way your chapter walks us through Tommy's past and present experiences and that he has a reason for climbing up to see the stars. His childlike prayer to his Maker really endears Tommy to the reader. We see in him the heart of a child who just wants to be loved, although this likeness to a child also reveals that he is something not quite human.

*BurstY* Grammar/Word Choice

I didn't note much in the way of grammatical errors except maybe a lack of commas here and there.

*BurstO* Technical Aspects

For an opening chapter, I think this chapter does what it's supposed to do on a technical level. We have a perfect characteristic moment for Tommy as he's silently speaking to his Maker. We have a hook that draws us in, as we know Tommy is a unique protagonist from the descriptions of his automaton body in the opening paragraphs. We get to know what he wants the most--affection--and some of what his conflict is--that he's different and some of his fellow human workers let him know it.

*BurstR* Overall Suggestions/Encouragements

Overall, I really enjoyed this chapter and could not find much of anything to criticize. I look forward to reading more of this story in the future! Keep writing!

I hope you can take something meaningful from my feedback, and as YOU are the author, please know that at the end of the day, this is YOUR piece and my suggestions are only that--suggestions.

Thank you for sharing your work with the WdC Community!

*Pencil*Write On!

*CoffeeV*AlyCatAuthor*Wind*

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*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
17
17
In affiliation with WDC Power Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hi, Kathleen! Your poem's title caught my eye as I was browsing, and after reading, I decided to leave a review!

*LeafR*Overall Impression

This poem has a very mystical and ethereal feeling to it, all the while conveying a story. I really liked this unique use of poetry, and the poem left me wanting to know more about the girl the Druid's Cane had chosen.

*LeafY*Things I Loved

Your use of imagery made the somewhat dark and fantastical atmosphere of the poem come to life. You get the feeling that being chosen by the Druid's Cane is not a light burden to bear. I just love the subtext you conveyed through the tone of the poem--it helped bring dimension and depth to the story it was telling.

*LeafR*Suggestions

I really can't think of anything to critique. Like in most rhyming poetry, sometimes it seems the lines are forced to follow a particular grammatical pattern because of the rhyme scheme, and sometimes that grammatical pattern isn't the most intuitive. I know personally, this is the area I struggle the most with in writing poetry. But to your immense credit, this minor issue (if you could call it that) hardly distracted me from the flow of the story.

*LeafY*Final Comments

Overall, I greatly enjoyed this poem and the story it told. You have a gift for conveying mood and atmosphere with your use of images and word choices. Please keep sharing your writing!

*Pencil*Write On!

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18
18
Rated: E | (3.5)
Hi, Ron! Sorry it's taken me so long to get back to your review request. I'm here now to give you my thoughts! *Smile*

*BurstR*First Impression

I'm not typically a fan of this particular genre of fiction, but anything that can grab me and give me an insight into the characters will keep my attention. I was really drawn in by the fact that the plot is carried mostly by dialog, and I could hear the Southern dialect strong as I was reading. Sounded like home. *Wink* The characters were intriguing and sound like people I want to know more about. Just a hint of a possible developing romance piqued my curiosity by the end of the piece.


*BurstV*Things I Liked

As mentioned above, I enjoyed the familiar banter and pace of the dialog. You did a really good job getting that Southern dialect and mood across in the dialog and descriptions. I also loved your direct references to real songs--it made the whole scene more realistic.

*BurstB*Suggestions

Your writing lacks commas, which can lead to more difficult reading. Commas break up phrases and words so they can be more easily digested while reading. Remember that commas go before conjunctions (and, but, or) most times. Instead of: Yeah, I just need to catch my breath and then I think I can make it; try this: Yeah, I just need to catch my breath(,) and then I can make it.

Also, you had quite a few run-on sentences. A run-on sentence means you have two or more sentences jammed all together into one. For example: Harold had already started walking across the parking lot to where they were sitting he crouched down on one knee and remained there for a few seconds.

To fix it, you would need to break apart the two sentences with a period. Harold had already started walking across the parking lot to where they were sitting(.) He crouched down on one knee and remained there for a few seconds.

*BurstG*Overall, I enjoyed reading your piece and I'm interested to know more about these characters and what will happen to them. Thank you for sharing your writing!

*Pencil*Write On!

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*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
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In affiliation with SIMPLY POSITIVE GROUP  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hi there, Jay! I just read your poem and I really enjoyed it. I hope you'll find my comments helpful, encouraging, and uplifting!

*BurstV* Initial Reaction

I really love the message of perseverance this poem has! I was also struck by your unique word choices and creative ways of rhyming.

*BurstB* Plot/Theme

As I said above, the message of perseverance is so vital to the success of anyone striving for a goal, athletes and artists alike. I really like the way that theme pervades through the use of examples from the sports world in this poem, as their triumphs even under apparent defeat can be an inspiration even to those of us who aren't athletes.

*BurstG* Flow

I like how you went from examples of famous athletes to your own experiences, and then broadened it to the wider message. That flow worked really well for this poem!

*BurstY* Grammar/Word Choice

In poetry, grammar/punctuation rules tend to be a bit looser, so I'll move on to word choice, as I didn't see much in the way of grammatical issues. I really liked your use of less common words. One that particular stood out to me was "eschewed." It's been quite a while since I've seen that word (maybe since high school vocab class!) and I just love seeing neat little words like that used by other writers.

I also like that you use the word "lovely" in the first stanza as a noun. Having "lovely" in one's heart is such a unique way to represent that spirit of perseverance and kindness that you're representing in this poem.

*BurstO* Technical Aspects

Some technical aspects that stood out to me were that your lines are sometimes rearranged grammatically to make the endings rhyme (which is part of why I DON'T write poetry, because I really stink at coming up with ways to rephrase things so that they rhyme. *Wink*) This makes the rhyme scheme seem a bit forced. I don't have much in the way of suggestions (as like I said, I'm not a great poet) but it stood out to me. Do with it what you like! *Smile*

You also use emphasis on some syllables by using an apostrophe to help the lines fit the meter, which is an interesting choice of technique. Again, not really a suggestion as much as just a note--depending on the style and scheme you're going for, it may be better to leave off forcing emphasis on certain syllables as it can be seen as archaic.

*BurstR* Overall Suggestions/Encouragements

Overall, I did enjoy this poem and your creative word choices and techniques! The first rule of writing is to learn the rules--and the second is to break them. *Wink* I always enjoy reading pieces that wander outside the lines of "traditional" techniques for poetry, and especially pieces with a great theme that are easy to follow along with, as yours was.

I hope you can take something meaningful from my feedback, and as YOU are the author, please know that at the end of the day, this is YOUR piece and my suggestions are only that--suggestions.

Thank you for sharing your work!

*Pencil*Write On!

*CoffeeV*AlyCatAuthor*Wind*

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In affiliation with SIMPLY POSITIVE GROUP  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hi there, hippychick! I just read your piece and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I hope you'll find my comments helpful, encouraging, and uplifting!

*BurstV* Initial Reaction

Oh, my. This piece reminds me so much of my aunt, in such a good way. Her backyard looks very similar to the porch you describe, with pretty little odds and ends and flowers everywhere, Christmas lights decorating the umbrella over the outdoor furniture, pinwheels in all different colors. I could just see every little detail of the porch and the morning glories and the sun reflecting on the CDs. Your descriptions struck me as so colorful and nostalgic and fit the mood of the piece so well.

*BurstB* Plot/Theme

Everything seemed to flow well, as this piece didn't have a particular theme or plot, per say, but was simply an observation of the lady and her porch. I liked the way it ended, with different people imagining who the lady could be to them.

*BurstG* Character Development/Flow

Nothing much to note here, as there wasn't much character development per se, but I do like the way you get differing views of the lady from different passers-by.

*BurstY* Grammar/Word Choice

You had a few instances of strange punctuation use. For instance: One could still feel the tummy tickling excitement of coasting down a long sloping street and hear the echoes of their delighted squeals as they flew down the road, legs stretched like wings astride their flying machine cleverly disguised as bikes; although the screams of delight are now whispered to their heart through the breeze ruffling the leaves.

Consider removing the semicolon and making it a period, as this sentence is rather long. It may make it easier for the reader to process all the beautiful descriptions you have embedded in this sentence. :)

*BurstO* Technical Aspects

Nothing to note here, personally. I liked the way you structured this piece, gradually leading into the lady and her porch, and kind of "zooming in" from the neighborhood as a whole to this one particular house that stands out from the rest.

*BurstR* Overall Suggestions/Encouragements

A very colorful piece, and a nostalgic one to me, so that endeared it to me right away. Do look out for longer sentences and try to vary your sentence length a bit more, especially in the descriptive portions of your piece. I very much enjoyed reading!

I hope you can take something meaningful from my feedback, and as YOU are the author, please know that at the end of the day, this is YOUR piece and my suggestions are only that--suggestions.

Thank you for sharing your work with us!

*Pencil*Write On!

AlyCatAuthor

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Review of Deletion  
In affiliation with SIMPLY POSITIVE GROUP  
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
Hi there, Fyn! I just read your short story and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I hope you'll find my comments helpful, encouraging, and uplifting!

*BurstV* Initial Reaction

I really, really like the concept you have going here! Of course as writers we can all relate to being banned from the 'delete' key, whether by our editor or by ourselves. But to twist it and put the writer in control of the editor's fate was a really interesting development!

*BurstB* Plot/Theme

Taking it slower in the beginning of the piece to really lay out where Abby was in her story set the framework up so nicely for the plot to progress. I didn't have any major hitches or "Whaaa...?" reactions as I was reading along. Each piece flowed right into the next and I never felt lost or that I wasn't sure what was going on.

*BurstG* Character Development/Flow

The way you set up the relationship between Abby and Sam really grounded me in their dynamic and helped me understand how they relate to one another as characters right off the bat. You just never know with editors and writers--with some it's a great relationship, and with others, it's more strained and strictly professional. I liked how close they are as I got a sense of warmth between them right away.

*BurstY* Grammar/Word Choice

There was only one bit that tripped me up: Crawling between the sheets, shoving the pup down to her feet, and nudging her husband, Kent, so that he'd stop snoring. You have a sentence fragment constructed primarily with gerund phrases, which means there is no subject/verb setup, which is required to make it a complete sentence.

Consider instead: Sam crawled between the sheets, shoving the pup down to her feet and nudging her husband, Kent, so that he'd stop snoring. It's small change that doesn't change the meaning or any of Sam's actions, but makes it a complete sentence.

*BurstO* Technical Aspects

I did note that I reacted with a little confusion at the very end when Sam calls Abby and knows that Abby had deleted her words. I wasn't sure if everything in Sam's dream had actually been happening to her, or if she was simply having some kind of a psychic nightmare about Abby's writing. Perhaps making that distinction more clear might help clear this up.

*BurstR* Overall Suggestions/Encouragements

I really don't have any other suggestions besides the ones listed above. It was a fantastic story overall, and well-written. I truly enjoyed reading it and appreciate you sharing it with us!

I hope you can take something meaningful from my feedback, and as YOU are the author, please know that at the end of the day, this is YOUR piece and my suggestions are only that--suggestions.

Thank you for sharing your work!

*Pencil*Write On!

*CoffeeV*AlyCatAuthor*Wind*

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Rated: E | (3.5)
Very keen insight into the tough choices we have to make in our lives from time to time, and the struggle of not always having a clear reason why we're here. I loved your last few lines. "They are just the PART of your life, they are NOT your life." The ups and downs are one part of a greater whole, and everyone needs this reminder that they are in control of their own lives.

My eye was caught by the pink color you used for your text, too! I like how it starts off softer and then becomes bolder as you reach the point of clarity in your piece.

My suggestion would be to really watch out for punctuation errors. You have quite a few run-on sentences or places where you need a period instead of a comma. For example, in your first sentence, almost everywhere there is a comma, there could be a period instead.

Overall, great job and great message!
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Rated: E | (4.0)
A really neat concept you have going here! I love how you really ground the reader in these girls' personalities before launching into the event that starts everything. One suggestion is that if these girls are 12, they seem to have a more mature vocabulary than most. Even with them both being writers, it seemed their speech was no different than Holly's mother's speech or even Atticus'.

Some descriptions also seemed out of place or disrupted the flow of the story, especially in the beginning. While it's always important to set everything up so that the reader is grounded with the characters and the setting, consider using more details in dialog more often, and action beats, rather than giving whole sentences of description at a time.

Overall, I'm very intrigued to see what the girls will have Atticus do next. :)
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Review of Back In Your Head  
Rated: E | (4.0)
A very keen insight into this age of information. So much is readily available to be seen and read and heard, and your encouragement to WRITE what we know for all posterity is not only an encouragement, but almost a command to those of us who have important experiences to share. In order to be heard or read by those who truly need what we write, we must be patient and wait. Most authors don't become well-known in their own lifetime, but someone down the line discovers the wisdom they have to offer and brings it back to the light. Thank you for shedding light on this. :)
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Review of The first Steps  
Rated: E | (3.5)
Awww! This was such a heartwarming little story! I love the range of emotions Duncan displays here. He goes from being on top of the world to so down in the dumps in such a small amount of time, but it makes so much sense. Even writers who don't struggle with other conditions go through these same emotions. To see this young character trying so hard to do something he loves seriously gives me so much inspiration.

One tip for improvement is to watch out for commas! You use them quite a lot in this piece and sometimes periods would go better. For example, your first sentence would be perfect if you changed all the commas to periods, as each little bit of that sentence you set off with commas is also a complete sentence.

Keep up the great work! ^_^
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