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I review for grammar, plot, characters and dialogue. I comb your story and make remarks where you can strengthen it. I give honest opinions on sentence structures, adverbs, and word choice. I look for active voice where it needs to be. I give encouragement where I like things and give suggestion where needed work should be done.
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I pride myself on character development. Though, I am no professional on it. I want real and honest characters.
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Science Fiction and Fantasy
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Romance and Non Fiction
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Public Reviews
Review by Charlie Cogwin
In affiliation with  
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Opening Comments: Hello my name is Charlie C. and I am happy to review your item. In my reviews I like to dig at concept, structure, plot, character and grammatical issues.

Title Decline of Humanity
Author KC1998
Plot: Between the earth tearing apart and zombies roaming the streets, humanity goes into chaos.
Personal Opinion:

I really like this futuristic concept of a zombie apocalypse. I also liked that you wrote it as a short. I see you have great ideas and show great potential. However, you have grammar problems. I will point them out along the way, but I recommend that you take the New Horizon grammar class. I have had the privileged of attending comma sense and the grammar, and I learned a lot. I think the classes would improve your writing if you gave them a chance. I know the instruction I received was invaluable.

Line by line:

It was the year 3946 when the earth stopped spinning on a Saturday, (comma-splice) people scrambled out of buildings and some jumped out windows. Everyone was going insane as the earth split open and people fell into cracks, (comma-splice) I was at my house in New York when a massive tremor knocked over my desk and fell on me. I lifted the desk off my chest and ran outside, (comma-splice --- this a clause and you need to have a coordinating conjunction or a subordinating conjunction between these independent clauses) I looked around and saw people panicking and dying all around me. ( I would be punchy on this sentence.) 4 weeks later, the Earth's continents were divided and pieces of the Earth were floating around. I was in Chicago driving down a road past thousands of corpses strewn all over the sidewalks. I heard moans and stopped the car, (comma splice) I got out and saw the corpses getting up!. I stood there frozen with fear thinking back to the priest's phrase three years ago "the dead shall walk" and reached for my pistol. As soon as I grabbed it and turned around a zombie was in front of me and blood splattered all over my face. (awkward)

It was the year 3946 when the earth stopped spinning on a Saturday.
“It” is a pronoun and “was” is a verb you have a complete independent clause with this -- (It was the year 3946). But you add the preposition “when” to reason out why it such an important date. And literally say when the earth stopped spinning on a Saturday. OK. That is one complete sentence. A good strong opening sentence that draws the reader in. s***! The earth literally stopped spinning.
However, I would advise caution. Usually, when I work with a short I try to keep it simple for the audience. Here you have one dramatic event happening and you are about to add another dramatic event. I struggle with this too, but I have found that readers enjoy a focus single minded story when it is a short. So, my suggestion would be to pick between Zombies or the earth’s core tearing apart.

Cool! You gave me a visual of panic, but you added the adjective “some” and made it a weaker sentence. I would suggest for you to be a bit punchy.
Ex. People scrambled and bodies dropped from high-rises. The pavement stained with crimson.
Ex. Bodies dropped from high-rises as people scrambled and crimson stained the pavement
Honestly, some prose come easier than others, but think about what you are saying and how to say it to give the most impact. So what if somebody dropped from a one story house. But somebody dropping out of a high-rise tells me two things. One, the story takes place in a city without you even telling me we are in a city. And two, and most important, it was a long fall.
I struggle between the vague and the blunt every day.

4 weeks later, the Earth's continents were divided and pieces of the Earth were floating around.

Advancing a short to the future is hard, though, I am not saying it can’t be done. Again, my suggestion is to focus on a single scenario. The earth crumbling to its doom is pretty big. How does that affect this character emotionally and physically? Also, and I do this too, but you used earth twice in the same sentence. My suggestion is to revise so that it is used once. Finally, I would move this to another paragraph.

Funny thing was, I didn't shoot and I saw a man with a ray gun in the distance- not a Nazi zombies reference-. (I don’t believe you can use hyphens in such a way. Though, I get you are trying to bring the characters voice out. My suggestion is to find another way to do so it is grammatically correct. Also, be careful of time and space. You went from a very close encounter to, what seems like, a very long range encounter.) The man threw a machine gun to me and I (capital) re-killed some zombies, I opened up my car's trunk and grabbed my custom sword. I cut a zombie's head off and charged up an energy bolt on my sword, I released it and all the zombies exploded, the man threw me a beer and I chugged it down. (I thought the idea of the energy was a good one.) I chucked the glass bottle at a zombie and lodged my sword into it's face. (Again I would sugest to elaborate on this idea. As your audience I am running into time and space issues. Be specific on the events, and use the event that are happening, to draw the reader to the emotions of the character when it is happening. To the audience, it sounds like this guy has no emotion. But all people have emotions and that is what makes a story honest.) We both rode off and I (capital) wasn't trustful of this man yet, (comma-splice) we drove to a mall to pick up food, ammo and supplies. (You have thrust a character upon the audience without even stating name. My suggestion would be to give your characters name so that the audience can identify them.) We got there and i (capital) pushed the doors open, Comma-Splice) we went inside and it was silent. (capital) we decided not to split up and went to the gun shop, (Hmm this one can be debatable but I am going to list as a Comma-splice) as we ventured there I didn't see a single person or corpse. I wondered why there were no corpses here as we reached the shop, (comma-splice) i (capital) hacked open the metal door and we starting (started) grabbing ammo (future tense).

As we did, i (capital) heard thousands of moans and saw hundreds sprinting around( adverb) a down the escalator. I shut the door and opened a window, (comma splice) we jumped out and fell a good 20 feet. The man broke his ankle (comma) and I saw zombies pounding the windows to pieces,"save him or run" I thought. I took his stuff and ran, something that karma was gonna get me for there. I started the car as I heard the man screaming as he became dinner and rode away. Yep karma got me right here, something went wrong and the car exploded. I got messed up and a piece of glass had lodged into my thigh. Everything went black as the dead closed in on me, (comma splice) I heard and felt them eating me as i died.

Fun story! I see some great potential! And I like that you were not heavy on the adverbs. I believe that is a plus. However, your grammar needs to be worked out so your writing can shine. Remember, if a dunce like me can learn grammar techniques, than grammar is the easy part. The hard part is to write, and I think you have down. ;o)

Closing Comments: Thank You for allowing me to review your work. I truly know how hard a review can be to go through. And I chose this one because I thought it struggled in the same places I do, and I could learn from it.

Below is an article I think you can profit from. I know I did.


Write On!

Charlie C.

*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
Review of The Gift  
Review by Charlie Cogwin
In affiliation with  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Opening Comments: Hello my name is Charlie C. and I am happy to review your item. In my reviews I like to dig at concept, structure, plot, character and grammar. I truly hope this review help.

Title The gift
Author Christinia Delford
Plot: A girl receives supernatural powers that our life changing.
Characters: Krisla Denicoli
Personal Opinion: The grammar is done well. The writing is excelent. However, I struggled with attachment to the story. At the end of the story, I did not feel the character climaxed to any significant position then what she started at. But that
Line by line:

It was as if Krisla Denicoli had “special glasses” which covered her eyes like thin, translucent eyelids. These so called special glasses were clear inner eyelids – just like alligator ones, covering her pupils and providing her with “another dimension” vision, as she called it. And, when it happened, mysteriously and out of the blue, she would see colors, symbols and anagrams right in front of her eyes, while she still acknowledged the real world around her. It was as if a pair of “weird” special glasses was put over her nose and in front of her eyes and she saw a parallel universe: a world of unexplainable signs and impossible meanings. The more she tried to understand them the more she got confused and puzzled with her “odd” but special intuition.

I like the idea of this paragraph on how you set the audience up with this supernatural ability. But, I think though there is a lot of telling going on. Also, the paragraph mentions eye in some form five times. I know you are narrating, but this goes over the mechanics and biology on this works. I believe that is a good thing. But I also believe you could lace in some emotion with them. Also, I have not made out the characters voice yet.

When she finally gave up trying to understand her paranormal abilities she still wondered why she was “given” (and by whom) these special inner eyelids (she wasn’t born that way...) and why wasn’t she simply a medium or a psychic - plain and simple. But she knew that being an ordinary human being in this world was a complex task as humanity is so filled with contradiction.
My suggestion is that eyelids formed and were not given. In a sense you are suggesting to the audience that she already knows that she could be a part of bigger mastermind game or that there is others like her and she is aware of it. My suggestion would be to allow the audience to come to that conclusion on their own. Another suggestion would be to rewrite the paragraph without the parenthesis; they were a bit distracting when I was reading.

Krisla was 43 years old. She was a lovely mature woman, but appeared younger. Her face was long with proportioned features and full sensuous lips. Her skin was flawless and seemed opalescent. She was very tall and had long dark hair parted in the middle and it fell to her shoulders. Her deep green eyes always glinted in the sunlight, always appraising. Men turned their heads around when they saw her. They never approached her though; maybe they felt intimidated by her height. She had a pert nose suggesting mischief. Her hands were big, her finger nails long, nails manicured and shining. She was Brazilian but her grandparents and great grandparents were of Portuguese descent from Lisbon. She lived in Alto da Tijuca in Rio de Janeiro in a shared apartment with a quiet, strange woman that was never there on weekends.

I would have loved some this to be shown. It sounds like the narrator has a deep grasp over the character, which is good, but again, I feel at distant from the character. Almost like someone is explaining quite literally her beauty to me. My suggestion is to expand this and show us how she feels about herself. The story has a long introduction. Three paragraphs that introduce her looks and special abilities and I am still being narrated too. My suggestion is to break it up between the character and narrator voice.

Krisla was a nurse in the local hospital in the Radiology Department. She loved her work but felt the deepest of pains, anguish and sorrow for her cancer patients that were about to start or about to finish their constant radiation sessions in different parts of their bodies. She would call it the final steps towards… pain - the chemotherapy treatment was so intense that they would often feel an intense burning inside their bodies; blisters, throwing up and bleeding were part of the deal. Sometimes she would go home feeling depressed and sad and wondering why scientist hadn’t yet invented a cure for such a devastating disease which was killing people all over the world --- and so many in Brazil.

It was probably at the hospital, some months ago, that Krisla’s “special abilities” started to occur on a bleak Friday afternoon. She heard the big machine make a loud, odd noise, right next to her. When she turned around to look at it she stupidly and violently bumped her head on the big, heavy and old-fashioned radiology machine and right there, on the spot, Krisla fainted in the room and in front of poor, sick Ms. Jorge.
You use quite a bit of adverbs for descriptions. My suggestion would be to make it punchy and eliminate some of the adverbs. Also, the last sentence read a bit awkward. I had to read it tow or three times to to understand its meaning.

She passed away for two hours and woke up with Nurse Angela holding her hand, worried, upset and healing a deep wound that was still bleeding from her head and on her spotless white uniform. Her head was aching and throbbing but she was fine – yet, at that very moment, suddenly, unexpectedly and without warning; not even with a “Hey, you are going to become paranormal now due to the bump on your head due to that dangerous machine ” - the “special glasses” or second eyelids immediately covered her red, dilated pupils! It was as if a humanoid vision covered her eyes and she saw numbers, colors and symbols… flashing in front of her. She wondered if she was becoming paranormal or simply… crazy. She wanted to scream and run away down the hall and but she thought that this would certainly disturb the chemo patients – and there were so many of them waiting patiently by the Nurse’s Station.

I like the above paragraph, though the hyphens are becoming distracting. I have to read the sentences a couple of times to understand them. My suggestion is to use the hyphens sparingly so it does not distract from the story.

And so, the events of what she called – the unexplainable occurrences, started to follow in her lonely life. These “moments” became part of her routine and they happened more on than off.

Once, on her way to Silvestre Hospital she noticed a nervous man sitting opposite her in the bus while she was going to work. He was behaving strangely. Suddenly, she saw a heart-shaped symbol floating and softly moving over his forehead! My Goodness, what was that heart doing there! The heart was small and red. While she stared at it she noticed that there was a very same red heart floating over a nervous woman --- that was sitting right next to him. Both hearts were beating faster now, in the same rhythm. She noticed that the woman had noticed the man looking at her from the corner of her eyes. She moved uneasily in her seat but… smiled. Was she observing a love connection, like love at first sight? What were those heart-shaped symbols trying to tell her? Did the size or the intensity or even the color of the hearts have any meaning at all? And more, why? Why did she see those symbols so vividly? So many unanswered questions. So many doubts. Was she a clairvoyant? A fortune teller? What? Why? Why… her?

She kept looking at both of them and trying to figure out a reason, a message or a logical clue so she could interpret the symbols. She was completely puzzled. The man was staring at the small woman and Krisla was thinking that he was in love with her. The moment the bus stopped, the woman got up and he… followed her. She got off the bus and Krisla followed them with her eyes. Both hearts were bigger now, redder and beating faster. Suddenly, on the sidewalk and like a lightning, the man grabbed the woman’s purse and ran around the busy corner and disappeared. The woman started to scream and people gathered around her but the bus had already turned around the corner and Krisla saw no more.

I read these paragraphs a couple of times. I am not sure I am making out the visual. I am imagining a heart shaped graphic over their heads. It took me a couple reads. Also you use the word suddenly in both paragraphs. My suggestion is caution. The reader should feel like it happened suddenly then the author suggesting it happened suddenly. Just a thought. Also where you second suddenly happens it read a little awkward.

He was not in love with her! He wanted to steal her bag and the hearts didn’t mean good feelings at all. She had got it all wrong. Was that the symbol of hurt and danger? Red hearts? It couldn’t be. How odd. So strange.

I like the transition here. :o)

Another time - it happened in a bank line. She was observing a handsome man in an elegant suit, but he was flirting with a woman who was dressed in a red dress. They were smiling at each other. Then, right there, right in front of her, hovering and bouncing over their heads she saw two golden, small knives, shiny and new, pointing at one another. Was he going to steal her purse? Or were they going to hurt one another? Was he a serial killer and she, the victim? She was about to walk towards the woman and warn her when the woman left the line, together with the man, talking and exchanging smiles. Krisla heard him invite her for a cup of coffee in a Deli nearby. The woman blushed and accepted the invitation. They left the bank together, happily. Had she got it all wrong, again? When she finished cashing her paycheck she left the bank, she immediately looked into the Delicatessen store which was right next to the bank. They were there, smiling and talking. When she looked at the knives over their heads, she saw that each knife was stuck inside each other’s heart, flashing colored lights all over the café, like a beautiful rainy rainbow afternoon. She was amazed and just stood there, observing and quietly looking at her own reflection in the Deli’s big glass. She looked so sad. She looked rather grayish-looking. She looked so lonely. And they, they were in love; knife-struck in a bank... Were the knives symbols of… love? Was that what happened to us when we found our loved one, our soul mates - struck by a knife instead of an arrow (and maybe striking and cutting our heart’s forever), and struck right there in the middle of our hearts? Maybe so.

The concept of the knives is fun. I just wish there was a bit more emotion attached to the character. She read’s a little desensitized to the experience.

That was how she had felt once. Why hadn’t she seen symbols or signs when she had been so painfully abandoned by Tancredo - after he had “used” her for so many years? Why hadn’t she foreseen her own fate? Why did she have to suffer in such a devastating way? Why is love so powerful and so evil at the same time? She thought that both of them had felt the climax of a symphony; the zenith of a real dream; the reaching of a summit but it was... the end for them both. He had suddenly tossed her aside like a used Kleenex. He had never loved her. She learned this in the hardest of ways and she also learned that the truth… is rarely pure and never simple.

At the hospital, weeks later, Mr. Cavalcante arrived on time for his last chemotherapy session. He was weak and thin. He always went there alone. She felt so sorry for him. He smiled at her and happily told her that this was his last chemo session. She helped him undress and put on the thin, white gown. She felt his feeble body as he sat up on the little bed. She wanted to hug him dearly yet she didn’t want to disturb the patient’s well being and psychological state of mind. He kissed her on her forehead and thanked her for her all her patience and kindness during all those 25 chemo sessions. It was then, when she was going to reply and tell him something sweet that, in awe, she noticed a small, black pentagram floating over his forehead! Oh my, what did that mean? Please, not with poor, old Mr. Cavalcante? What could he do wrong? He was so dear and so sweet; so hurt by sessions and sessions of constant burning rays going through his scarred chest! How could he be… mean or even evil? How could he but only love and be loved back? A pentagram? Him? Why? Wasn’t it a bad thing, a pentagram? Yes, she knew it was. She had seen it in films. She had read about it in books. That quiet roommate of hers claimed to be a witch – a white witch, of course, but a Wicca. She had found all of those… strange books in her closet once (and she had read them).While she helped him lie down and lowering the heavy machine over him – the pentagram never left his head but grew in intensity and size and moved softly over him, staying right there. So mysterious, so spooky and so supernatural. The dark five-pointed star symbol over him was similar to the Star of David and to the Wiccans symbol of faith. She also knew, from those books in her apartment and as a Catholic, that it also represented the 5 wounds of Jesus. She had also read that some pentagrams are enclosed in a dark circle (and they were part of Satan's doings) but this one wasn’t and it somehow looked rather odd looking and distorted, like a bad omen. One thing she knew for sure: pentagrams represented the spiritual dominance over the material therefore - she was more confused than ever. Did pentagrams really have anything to do with magic or with the occult?
A pentacle is five points and the peak point is upright these are wiccan tools. A pentagram is five points and the peak point is downward. Satanist or devil worshipers the star of David is six sided. If the character is knowledgeable a certain amount of truth might need to be there. My suggestion is rewrite it so that it clearly shows the knowledge of the girl. Just a suggestion.

While he was undergoing the treatment – and it usually took about 20 minutes, she quickly opened the heavy door and curiously looked outside. She wanted to see if she saw a pentagram hovering over somebody’s head in the waiting room as, she had guessed now, they always came... in pairs. She knew that. She had seen that. Happily, no one had a pentagram over their heads. She sighed in relief and smiled. Nothing would happen to him.

When Krisla returned to the room and held Mr. Cavalcante’s hand she observed that he was sleeping (he often took little naps). She sat down on a chair near him and waited for the 20 minute-session to come to an end while the machine hummed silently. She heard a deep gasp and then a sigh but thought that he was dreaming… dreaming with better days, with no more pain; no more chemo sessions; finally peace and tranquility. She wished he had a loved one somewhere that took care of him. Was someone waiting for him at home? She gently touched his hand to wake him up. He didn’t. He wouldn’t. He would never wake up again. She screamed in shock and some of the nurses came running into the room. She wanted to choke-up fer feelings but her tears were rolling down her face. She told them strange stories about colors, symbols, knives, hearts and pentagrams and about her alligator’s eyelids. She was told to go home and rest; see a psychologist next week and even a doctor. The job was too stressing and overbearing sometimes, especially for those who couldn’t handle death. Death and the lack of ability to face its meaning; the non-existence of consciousness; the mind-bogging speculation of a beginning, and of an end.

When she got home, late afternoon, she still thought about her deceased patient and the way he left this world. She felt troubled; as if something was… missing. She was impatient; annoyed. She wasn’t hungry. She was so tired, though. She walked into the bathroom and took her clothes off – what she really needed right now was a good, warm bath. She stepped into the shower. She felt the water fall on her naked body and she slowly relaxed, but in the privacy of her bathroom, she cried for her departed friend. She cried for herself. She cried for all those tortured patients and their endless anguish. She cried for the whole world but they were also cleansing tears as the human psyche begins or ends a healing process as old, totally unexplainable and wondrous as life itself.

When she finished her long shower she wiped the bathroom’s mirror which was covered with a film of moist with her towel and she looked at herself. She looked older, tired and had dark circles under her eyes. Should she have returned Tancredo's phone call last night? What did he want but destroy her heart completely? The strain and the weariness - perhaps nearer to a sense of defeat - were in her eyes making her poise look... crumbled. Her tear-stained face appeared drawn and old. She did look older. What was happening to her? Had she been exposed to radiation after all those years of being in that damned room? No, no way. It was safe. They had told her so. She looked kind of pale, though. Looking closer at her reflection on the small mirror… she suddenly…froze! The pink towel fell from her hand and she started to shake violently. There it was! There it was! There it was! Oh the very same pentagram, small, dark and odd was hovering right there, over her head! She covered her mouth with both hands but she couldn't scream. She breathed heavily. Oh she wished she was somewhere, anywhere else. The pentagram was moving together with her while she slowly turned her head to the right or to the left. She nodded. It moved. It became bigger as if it was sucking her energy, her soul. She smiled a sad smile of deep… understanding. She finally knew. She finally understood. They really and totally never came in ones --- they always came in twos. Mr. Cavalcante and now… her. She was his match. She believed in herself and in her intuitions at last. Her fate had come. You cannot change what’s written. Sometimes we try to erase what’s written – we can’t, it’s doomed to happen. As with Tancredo. Sadly she put on her favorite blue pajamas, tidied her things, closed the door and quietly went to bed. She covered herself neatly and switched off the night lamp not before touching Tancredo’s torn picture, which was hidden in little drawer on her bed-side table. She was too tired to fight against the mystery and the unknown; the shooting stars and the universe; she would not even cry or attempt to pray. Who would listen to her? She closed her eyes and her “special” eyelids closed as well, for the last time. As she fell asleep the pentagram became bigger and darker and then, after some minutes, it slowly disappeared over her head in the silent darkness around her.

To live is a rare thing. Most people simply exist.

The story is fun. And I think with some revision it could really shine. You have a great concept here. My suggestion is to be a bit more forward in your writing. Vagueness is tuff and when you trying to lay these great visual pictures, it down played the excellent writing. One last thing, the last three paragraphs started with prepsitional phrases. I would suggest to break up the routine a bit.

Closing Comments: Thank You for allowing me to review your work. I truly know how hard a review can be to go through. And I chose this one because I thought it struggled in the same places I do, and I could learn from it.

Write On!

Charlie C.

Review by Charlie Cogwin
In affiliation with  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Opening Comments: Hello my name is Charlie C. and I am happy to review your item. In my reviews I like to dig at concept, structure, plot, and character. Grammatical issues come second, that is because they should be last. If those three issues are not already done, then the grammar is hard to correct unless blatant. I truly hope this review help.

Title {item:}
Chapter {entry:}
Plot: A man walks to a library
Personal Opinion: The writer has a sharp sense of grammar. The adjetives are delightful with a sense of prim to the character. I have not written steampunk but I have read several shorts in the steampunk genre. What I have learned from the shorts, is that steampunk is pretty blatan. I think here you explore a personality versus a setting. Which is odd cause I know you are working hard on the setting.
Line by line:

Nathaniel meandered his way about the curve of Willow drive, his cane clicking sharply upon the cobblestones. Above his head towered the flat cream walls, the broad gables, lofty arched windows and frilly cupolas of the Library District. Though the sun had peeked over the horizon barely an hour since, the clogging scent of coal already hung thick in the air as the early morning traffic rapidly filled the streets. A handsome automobile with a sleek, gleaming black coat purred its way gracefully up the hill past Nathaniel, who, briefly recognising the face of his brother-in-law beneath the driver’s towering top hat, offered a cursory wave. On the other end of the road, the battered, rickety shape of a horse-drawn taxi-coach ambled about the corner, the poor, underfed beast at its head looking quite baffled and out of place as another automobile purred swiftly past it.

My suggestion would be to edit a little and allow the story to become a little punchy. Example: Nathaniel meandered up Willow drive. A cane in his hand clicking the cobblestones. -- I would suggest to talk a little about how Nathaniel percivers this chipper morning with the busy city all around him. As you Nathanield does that, you might be able to inter monologue a bit on whether he likes these new fashionable steam cars. Or whether he just wished for all of it to go away.

Rounding the corner of the drive, Nathaniel came to the intersection of Willow and Barcroft, where the road abruptly broadened into a vast highway and began a sharp, unwavering dive down toward the lower districts of the city. And from where he stood at its very peak, Nathaniel had an unobstructed view of the russet-coloured stones, the high windows and broad domes of the University – and, beyond that, the Factory District, with its rows of geometric structures of icy grey stone and reams upon reams of towering chimneys belching black smoke. Another horse-drawn taxi rounded the corner and turned down the hill, bearing a troop of factory workers. Most of them were already clad in their helmets – those blank masks of shimmering chrome with lifeless eyeholes of icy black glass set into them and those snarled tangle of wires twisting forth from their chins. And in the far distance, the low, resonant wail of a horn blared through the air as an immense airshift drifted its way across the skyline like a bloated, malformed grey whale, its multitude of vast propellers all flailing spasmodically.

My suggestion here is to really watch your adverbs. I sugest to rework the paragraph to give it sum punch. It is picky but I think the paragraph would be srtonger with a little rearranging. Also I would be a little bit more blunt about the aircraft. If it is an aircraft then I would try to incorporate the word aircraft in to the sentence. Ex. The wretched aircraft. A bloated, malformed grey whale with vast propellers flailing at every bird in sight.

With an impulsive exhalation, Nathaniel spun about on his heel and gazed up at the building which now stood before him, at the very tip of Barcroft highway: the Library of Ridgehaven, a towering structure of grey stone crawling with luscious ivy, a row of lofty Ionic columns across its face, a finely cut set of marble steps leading up to the doors of heavy oak.

Meandering his hurried way up the steps and through the doors, and flinging his hat and coat over one of the coathangers lining the lobby, Nathaniel almost gasped with relief as he stepped into the library’s main hall. He, quite frankly, adored the place; adored the soft, muffled tone of total silence that reverberated across the twisting hallways and bounced off the towering, whitewashed walls; adored that warm scent of mustiness that emanated forth from the reams of thick, fluffy maroon carpeting and shelves thick with ancient, steadily yellowing tomes.

This is a short so saying meandering twice stood out. c}

‘Good morning, Nathaniel.’ The libarian wheezed. A shallow, husky decrepit woman that hid behind the Name of Paper paper. The headline read 'KELVERIAN PEACE TALKS BREAK DOWN!'.

Nathaniel puffed. The sounds of the street gone while the smell of old books warmed his heart.

Closing Comments:
Thank You for allowing me to review your work. I truly know how hard a review can be to go through. And I chose this one because I thought it struggled in the same places I do, and I could learn from it. I always have listed reading that have helped me along my way. I suggest these to you because I think that you can profit from them as I did. If you already read them, then great! If not they are only a suggestion.

Please I suggest the following reading not be an arragont fool but to help. This guy can sound like an ass, but he knows what he is talking about. He is a published writer and amazing reviewer. Anyways it helped it me, so I am hoping it helps you.


Write On! Charlie C.
Review by Charlie Cogwin
In affiliation with  
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Opening Comments: Hello my name is Charlie C. and I am happy to review your item. In my reviews I like to dig at concept, structure, plot, and character. Grammatical issues come second, that is because they should be last. If those three issues are not already done, then the grammar is hard to correct unless blatant. I truly hope this review help.

I would like to believe I had some inspiriation to this story, but maybe not, just my own ego. Either way it made me smile at the end.

Also I would like to say that you are gifted writer, no matter what age you are, though you should use that to your advantage -- 18 -- especially if your still in high school. There are some writing competitions that only accept high school students. I am hoping you are not dwindling your talent and are actively submitting. Don't make me sad, go submit. This site will help you. Getting their publishings is a good start. Also they have highschool comps., due some research and get your name out there. ;o)


Now for the review.

The tick of the second hand on the old face clock seemed in slow motion. The long hand edged past the nine while the short hand tickled the beginning of the twelve. Eight hours my ass. This shift has gone on an eternity! Ruby slammed the cash drawer shut sending shockwaves through her aching head. Her fingers slipped up and over her eyes. Owww. Shouldn’t have done that.

Honestly I am not sure what an old face clock is? A grandfather, a windup, a cooku clock, or battery operated. What I know it not digital, I don't think you need the added description. The tick of the second hand is good enough to understand that the disposition is not digital. Also it shows me we might working with a period piece or a very poor neighbor hood or even steampunk. It is a good way of showing.

If somebody has a headache do they slam things, even in frustration? I would say that I struggle with this too, you want to add drama but the drama needs to be real. If the drama is not real, then the reader know's it's dramatic, it's like watching David Haseloff sing, the drama comes off fake, and the audience smirks, and become embarassed for the person. The line teeters but does not go all the way. Just a thought is all.

She stretched her hands upward, but her shoulder muscles protested from shelving two crates of Progresso soup. Thoughts of her Dalmatian puppy at home drifted through her mind when Charlie wandered in from the back room. A plume of smoke followed him. His cocked name badge displayed his dubious title of “Assistant Manager”.

Only someone who reads a lot can write a paragraph like this, this is very good. Description, narration, dialogue in thoughts. Very good.

“Can I go home now?” the teen shifted from one foot to the other while twiddling with the corner of the last remaining newspaper in the rack.

“I swear Charlie. You ask me every Monday night. You need to get a life, or a work ethic!”

Charlie stared at her – his eyes vacant. “So, can I go?”

Ruby exhaled. “Fine. We’ve had one customer in the last two hours. Go ahead. But know this, if this attitude…”

“Ok,” Charlie interrupted, “see you later.” Charlie slid his timecard from the stand and punched it into the machine. He tossed it on the counter.

Ruby’s face tinged pink and her eyes squinted. Pathetic. She shoved it back into the stand.

Charlie hustled out the door and the jangle of bells fell silent.

What is your time and place? I believe we can be in a period piece but something lurks in me we are not. Also time and place can be shown but in shorts it is difficult. If we are in the present use a digital clock there is no sense in jerking the reader around. Let them be shown quickly. Boys wearing tight jeans, girls wearing juicy on their ass. These trends set the period. If I told you I wore doc martins, flanel shirts, and a Nervana shirts where would you place me in time and what am I or if I wore tight jeans, a flat cap hat, and walked with an ipod. Where am I, and what am I. Time and place can be shown. But the reader needs it clarified and concise all the way through.

“I better clean the counter. At least it’s something to do.” An echo from the empty store walls seemed to taunt her. She glanced at the clock. Seriously? Ten more minutes? Ugh!

Headlights danced across the far wall and she peered into the parking lot. The store's Seven-Eleven sign yielded a moniker of light, but enough for her to see the glint of “Land Rover” plastered on the black vehicle’s hood.

The driver opened his door and tumbled to the ground while maniacal laughter ensued from the other three occupants. Ruby chuckled at the driver’s attempt at sliding his credit card through the pay slot. Five attempts later the tallest man got out and spied her through the front window. His eyes blazed in the streetlight’s soft illumination. Her head seemed to throb at the off-glance, and a buzzing voice crackled inside her brain – “I will have you.” The other three were pushing and shoving each other -- oblivious.

I really like the maniacal laughter. "The old man (me) is going to back pocket that.

Ruby jerked away and dropped down under the counter. What the…? Get hold of yourself. It’s just your imagination.

I sense you like drama, I like it too, I would only suggest that you don't over dramatize. Not over dramatizing is understanding the character. I would ask the question who is she? Is she a jumpy sort, or does she strong sort. In the next para, which is done nicely, you elude that she is running from her X. If that is true, then don't elude to make me feel like I am on the run too. Tell me what is she thinking during this time. There has be a lot more going on in her head than that to make her so scared. I know the word count is short, but think about her internal monologue and why Ruby would be so incredibly frightened that it would make her drop to her knees.

She heard their radio turn up and blast “All my Ex-es Live in Texas”. The bass knifed through her and she held her face in her palms. Oh, God. I do not need this.

The jangle of bells startled her.

“Wooooohooo! Let’s get some grub!”

All four men crashed through the door as the music increased in volume with its opening. “That’s why I hang my hat in Tennesseeeeeeeeeee…..”

She popped to her feet and glared at the four young men. The stench of alcohol caused her to place her hand over her nose.

“Looky what we have here.” The only redhead of the group blared. “I think my friends will have a cup of joe, and I’ll have me a C cup.” He extended a bear-like hand toward her breasts and she stepped back.

The others hooted and howled at the gesture, but they seemed intent on loading their pockets with various chips, candy bars, and a few bags of gummy bears.

Again people who are really really scared have a lot of bagage, the bagage alway's interrelates to why they are so frightened at the moment. That creates the emotional attachment to the reader. Creating bagage is what draws the reader to the drama, and the current course of action. What I tried to attempt in my work, which is not good work, is create Ruby a psuedo character Bobby her brother as the emotional baggage, something she cann't live up to and makes her question all the time what would bobby do. This emotional attachment actually happens in life so it is relatable to others. You have a good foundation to create some traumitizing bagage, you might want to tug on it a bit more, and let the reader experience it with her.

“Hey, Steve. Grab us a few brews,” the redhead shouted.

“Sure thing,” came the reply.

“How about a little smooch for the customer, sweetheart?” the redhead stated and puckered up.

Ruby’s face scrunched in disgust.

“Guess the peasantry don’t like good old-fashioned customer service.”

A row of laughter burst forth. “She’s not worth it anyway. All our trust funds wouldn’t buy this little chick-a-dee.”

A chill ripped through Ruby as the redhead licked his lips. Sam, where the hell are you? I should have never let Charlie go home. These guys are creeping me out. The clock chimed midnight.

I really like how you brought charlie back into all of this. You close him out well, something I can learn from.

The tallest man approached the counter with the other two behind. “What do we owe you?” he mumbled. His eyes downcast.

“I… I… don’t know I haven’t…rung up…”

“What the hell? Don’t you know the prices of all this s***?” He raised his face up and leaned forward. His eyes blazed again. Ruby’s head pounded in rhythm with her heart. Pain shot through her head and her eyes flew wide open. Her hands trembled as an image of dripping blood from a swinging gate appeared in her mind. The scene panned out to show a body – her body – laying across an old tire. Her throat ripped out like some animal mauling. The tall man stood over her and grinned.

She swallowed hard and her skin turned pale. The image faded from her mind.

“How much, bitch!”

“Forty dollars,” she blurted, “Forty ought to cover it.” Her eyes darted from man to man.

“Fine." He flipped open his wallet and tossed two twenties on the counter.

“Let’s roll,” the redhead shouted.

“I’ll catch up. I’ve got some more business here,” the tall man said. His eyes fixated on Ruby’s.

“C’mon man. We’ve got to make it to West Lexington. Mack is waiting on us.”

“Just chill. This little filly and me…”

“Dude.” He stared at the tall guy.

“Fine. I can… wait.” The last word slithered from his mouth.

The word drove through Ruby’s soul. He’s really going to kill me.

Sam opened the door as the four young men slipped by him. He threw a weary glance toward them and he sniffed a few times.

The door closed and Ruby burst into tears.

“Oh, my God, Sam. Those guys are … I mean that tall guy. He’s going to…”

“Whoa, whoa, whoaaaaa…. Slow down. Did those guys do something?”

“Well, they came in here and I…. I mean. That one. The tall one…” she stuttered.

“Did he grab you? What did he do?”

Ruby clutched Sam’s arm and squeezed. “I just need to go home.”

“Ok. I’ll take it from here.”

I think this is some decent dialogue, though I think you can spruce it up if you could really place the reader in the time period. Just some thoughts.

“Thanks, Sam.” She snatched two strips of beef jerky and threw two dollars on the counter. “I need a hot bath and some sleep.”

“Still can’t kick the jerky habit, eh?” Sam shuddered, "I hate that stuff."

“Nope. Your loss.”

Ruby reached behind the counter, grabbed her timecard, and fed it into the machine. A loud clang reverberated. She stuck it back into the stand.

Again time card? I know of so little places that actually use punch cards anymore. Where is this place? Backwoods Kentucky? I would sugest a solid foundation of where this would really bring the story alive.


“Night, Ruby.”

Ruby unwrapped one of the jerkies, took a bite savoring the smokey flavor, and slipped out the door.

Her hands shook with every step as she turned down Cravers Lane. Three empty lots lay to her right and a trashcan lay in the middle of the sidewalk. The bushes moved and Ruby froze. A brown patched mutt sauntered out and sat in front of her. He wagged his tail and eyed the jerky in her hand.

What? What happen to the dalmation. I was so looking for that dog to get saved. It would be ironic since it was fire station dog.

“You scared me, puppy! You want some? Here.” She extended the last bit to him.

He ate it and licked her hand several times.

Ruby gazed down the street where headlights from a side street flipped on. The engine revved and “Born to be wild” pierced the stillness. Ruby laid her hand over her heart. The dog growled. The vehicle eased around the corner and the brightness blinded her. The mutt barked and backed away.

The engine revved again and the SUV lurched forward. Tires screeched and the foul scent of rubber filled the air. The dog scurried down the middle of the street. The SUV gained speed -- The dog fully in its path. I’ve got to do something!

Ruby grabbed the trashcan and flung it with all her might. The trashcan rolled and crinkled upon impact with the SUV. The vehicle swerved and fishtailed to a stop. Headlight glass scattered over the asphalt.

Ruby’s heart pounded. Hairs prickled on her arms. Rage welled within her. The passenger door shot open and the tall man from the store stepped out.

“You!” he yelled.

Her mind raced with escape. Run! Get away! ... No! Stand up to him. Ruby stood her ground.

The man’s eyes blazed and Ruby’s head responded in pain. An image of the man’s hands around her throat flashed in her mind. The same buzzing voice menaced “You’ll pay for this!”

Ruby’s knees weakened. I’ve got to… Wait! That’s it!

Ruby took a deep breath. The man, arms extended, bared down upon her, a mere five feet away. Ruby belted out a soprano high G. The man clutched his ears and writhed in agony. Four windows in the SUV shattered. Ruby’s breath held as the words of her music instructor came to her – “There! Hold it! HOLD IT!!”

The man crawled toward the Rover. Ruby’s voice boomed over him. His ears bled and he curled into a ball and fell into unconsciousness.

Closing Comments: I believe this could lead to greater things.

I particlarly did not buy the ending. The problem is you had supernatural things happening and you ended with a natural cause, this sort of jerks the reader around. A reader buys by Genre cause he really wants the supernatural to happen. He wants superman to fly, and the wolf man to become the wolf man, but it is up to the writer to make it real. I think if you did some tweaking a very supernatural and authentic story would come out and grab the reader.

I am not a published writer, I am a speck on wall. Take everything I said and throw it out the window.

Listed Reading:
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Charlie C.
Review of Ruby's Rage  
Review by Charlie Cogwin
In affiliation with  
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
Opening Comments: Hello my name is Charlie C. and I am happy to review your item. In my reviews I like to dig at concept, structure, plot, and character. Grammatical issues come second, that is because they should be last. If those three issues are not already done, then the grammar is hard to correct unless blatant. I truly hope this review help.

Ruby rubbed her temples then looked at her watch. For Christ’s sake, it’s only ten-o-clock, still an hour to go.

“Ruby, did you hear me?”

“What…? Aww, Pete. What is it now? I'm trying to finish the sales report. I'm exhausted and my head's killing me.”

“It’s as dead as Michael Jackson around here; I need to cut out. I got an early exam tomorrow.”

I really like how you start this. ten-o-clock was a good showing point. I also like how you added pete into the lines. One of things readers do notice is whether or not a writer is being to clever. The sound and feel of the character must be adjusted to the characters background and geographic location. And since Pete has such short life how clever do want him to sound, especially if Pete knows she is a fighter. Just a thought. But honestly if this seven eleven was based in the city, in the USA, it would be a middle age black guy or indian behind the counter. And that is becoming more true even in suburbs, authenticy is what readers earn for. My question even though short lived, is the character authentic. How about an indian that was going to have a baby. Yes, sterotypes, but there are all kinds of truths in sterotypes. In my piece I used kids cause it was the 1970's, and that was my reason for it.

“What about the floors and the trash?”

“I already did the trash, and the floors aren’t that bad.”

“We are supposed to do the floors every night. I’ll catch hell tomorrow.”

“Shit--Ruby, nobody gives a rat’s ass about 7-Eleven. Do you really think one night will make a difference?”

“Forget it… I’ll do it. Make sure you lock everything up in back.”

Ten minutes later Ruby let the mop plop out onto the floor and began pulling it back and forth. A car engine revved loudly demanding her attention. A new 2012 Range Rover pulled in and three young men in their mid-twenties baled out. The windows rolled down and the thumping of the drums and upbeat electric guitars boomed out. Hum, No mistaking that Tennessee twang.

Because I know the ending, you might play with the audience a bit. I boxed in highschool, I constently came to school with black eye's, swolen knuckles and bruised ribs. It might be nice to show us some tidbits about Ruby, lead us down a path that she is abused then bam hit us with fighter thing at the end.

♫ No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problem.♪
♪ Blues what blues…hey I forgot them …♫

“Jake, you idiot, turn that horseshit down. Someone will call the damn cops.”

“Oh sure, if his highness, the deputy mayor’s son, wants to listen to something it’s okay. But if…”

“Whatever man, it’s your car; I’m not the one that’s going to get the ticket.”

The music stopped, and Jake hopped out heading for the door held open by the tallest of the bunch. The skinniest said, “Hey Tommy, how about some money, I bought the last twelve-pack.”

Honestly I feel a little intimideated, you have really good dialgue and it carries your story. But your Internal monlogue is what I am struggling with, it might just be the total word count you struggle with. But the great thing about being in a profressional athletes head, is knowing what she is thinking. How does Ruby assess this rowdy bunch. Does she canculate that they right footed, and probablly swing right. Does she notice their hands are soft and probablly never been in real fight. Or does she just generally get the sense of stupid.

“No, its Jake's turn.”

“Hey, I’m the designated driver; I’m the one that is supposed to stay sober. Why should I pay for the beer, when I'm not supposed to drink it?”

“Hahahah … it hasn’t stopped you so far… ass-wipe.”

“Okay then, it’s Simon’s turn.”

Jake, Tommy and skinny boy all looked at Simon, who chimed, “Sure, it’s always the Jew boy's turn.”

Ruby pulled the yellow sign off the side of the bucket and flipped it out. “Watch it guys, the floor is wet.” They trudged right through the middle of where she had just mopped, leaving dirty footprints. “Excuse me, gentlemen. Please be careful, the floor is wet.”

“We heard you, Mamacita. Don’t get your panties in a bunch," said Jake. "I’ll just have my maid come over. I ‘m sure your mama won’t mind a little overtime.”

Culture of society is big, because you have not placed me in a location 'mama' sounds false, Also panties in a bunch does too. What I am asking is who are these guy's? They have just ran into a hardbody. They are men with hormones that are use to geting what they want. They feel they have been disrespected. You go on to answer this question, but what does Jake do? Does he leer, lick his lips, grab his cock and tell her to suck it if she wants to keep her job. The mayor has pull.

Ruby bit at her lip, pushed the mop bucket around the corner, and returned to the register. She focused on the loud mouth as he fumbled through the snacks. Five-foot-six, 135 pounds, blue-green eyes, with blond hair a foot past my shoulders ... where does he get off with Mamacita?

Jake moved beside Simon. The beer cans made a funny scraping sound as he pushed them aside to set his selections of snacks down.

“Could I see some ID please?” Ruby asked Simon.

Jake piped in, “Can I show you mine, Chiquita? You think I can get you to polish my banana?” Ruby ignored him, concentrating on Simon, and bagging the beer.

I like this, and we are coming into spanglish. I don't really have a sense of what they look like, because I have not heard spanglish come from a blond hair shoulders male, but you might work it in with Internal monologue, when you say things like East LA there is an immidiate atchment and sterotypes that come with it and the authencity becomes real. Also Mixed Martial Arts and Boxing is not uncommon sport to be apart of in the area.

She turned to Jake, staring at her; his dark brown eyes bored right into her. The pressure built in her head--a steady throb pulsed, like someone beating a drum. She sensed malevolence in his eyes. He wants to hurt me. The hairs on her arms rose, and she saw the glint in his eye, as he noticed it too. She glanced at the others to see if they were all in this together. But they had already turned, heading for the door.

Wonder what Tasha will think when she finds me tied up, raped and dead in the cooler.

Sorry I must have missed it, but who is Tasha?

Tommy yelled back, “Come on Jake, you really think she's interested in some Malibu Hillbilly?”

OK we are in Malibu, I think. I honestly believe that this stories flow would be more impacted in a hispanic neighborhood, because it is a drama. Also I think it will come off more honest.

Jake’s glare never left Ruby. She saw her reflection in his eyes, and had trouble suppressing the images in her mind, of blood, and her naked body sprawled on the floor.

The front door jerked open, and the six-foot, two-hundred-forty pound, Tasha, plowed through the front doors. Their eyes locked and Ruby knew she understood.

Tasha yelled out, “Hey! Butt-head, you got some kinda problem? I think you best get your shit and hit da road." She threw her purse across the room to the back counter, and put her hands on her hips. "I’ll snatch you bald-headed moe’fucker. I really was not axing you no question. You best be getting along and I mean now!”

As the SUV left, Tasha asked, “You all right there, sugar?”

“I don’t know, Tasha, there was something menacing about that one." She walked around the counter. "I was seeing pictures of his hands around my throat, and my face turning purple. Will you ring these up for me? I am going home; I need something for my head, its pounding.”

“Girl, a Slim-Jim ain't no supper.”

Ruby made it all the way to the corner before her nerves flared again. She scanned the shadows. Then he bolted out in a single bound. The trashcan he was hiding behind toppled over and rolled towards her feet. Time seemed to freeze as each took in the sight of the other.

“Hello boy.” Ruby looked down at the jerky in her hand then at the ribs showing below his scruffy fur. A slight wagging began in his tail. Ruby held out the jerky. “Here, you need this more than me.” The Sheppard mix eased forward, with a quick grab, he took the treat, and backed away. He chewed on the morsel with some vigor, though he never took his eyes off Ruby.

From the next corner squeals of rubber on pavement pierced the night. The roar of the V-eight startled the dog and he jumped away from Ruby into the middle of the street. The car accelerated.

Ruby focused on the car again, the driver was looking right at her. Oh shit, he's gonna hit him! . She couldn’t stop herself. It all played out in slow motion. Her hand gripped the handle of the can. It flew like a rocket into the street a few yards in front of the SUV. Brakes squealed, smoke boiled off the tires, then it bounced up to meet the right headlight.

The driver baled out, his face ablaze with fury. “You fucking bitch!”

Ruby started towards the store.

“Oh no, you don’t, bitch!” Jake caught the back of Ruby’s work tunic. She turned, pushed her arms over her head, and then squatted, letting the tunic slip over her head. Jake stopped for only half a second before he threw her blouse down. Then he charged Ruby. She faded to her left, spun, and let her right leg sweep around in a wide circle. Her heel caught Jake on the chin.

Blood shot off in the opposite direction and he staggered. When Ruby’s foot touched the ground, she sprang forward, punching Jake in the throat twice. She shifted her weight and let loose her Taka-geri; it was her best high front kick ever. It hit Jake squarely in the chest, leaving him weaving back and forth like a cartoon character. Ruby didn’t stop; she slid to the side, Hane-goshi, the canon toss. She flipped him over her hip, sending him flying straight for the light pole.

I am fighter, and fight sene's are difficult for me, even though I know sort of what you are talking about, I have never seen one described in such a way. I am not sure if the technical names are more important, or the pain she is going through to do this is. Her foot could crack with sting, forcing her next move to be a stiff right. His belt could have scrapped her back, forcing to somersault away. There are so many reasons behind fighting, but they are all inside the fighters head. What is inside hers? Each moves calls for a tatical reaction and no move is perfect, unless it's a movie.

Ruby somersaulted backwards, in the opposite direction, moving to the middle of the street. Focusing on the other men, she posed in a classic marshal arts stance.

Simon yelled, “Goddamn; I told you it was her. Do you believe me now? Ruby Rousey, the 2011 MMA featherweight Champion, six-time US National Judo champion, and Olympic Bronze medalist."

I like this twist. It is good. Though I believe you can pawn the audience into abuse, and upsell them on a fighter. Let the descriptions take the audience in another direciton and then slam them. Also I am not sure if it is better to allow the audience to know she is a fighter, and lead them down the path for a climatic punch out.

The others just stood there, mouths agape. Jake sat slumped against the light pole. Blood ran down his face, his eyes pointed skyward, unseeing. Tommy slowly moved forward, his every muscle followed by Ruby's gaze. Picking up the uniform blouse, he held it out at arms length.

“Sorry, we tried to get him to stop, but he’s crazy when he drinks too much. Are you really Ruby Rousey?”

Ruby stretched out and took the blouse. “Actually, I'm Ronda Rousey, only my close friends call me Ruby. What’s it going to be boys? I got a headache. Do you want some of me too? Do we call the cops, or what?”

“If it’s all the same to you, Ms. Rousey, we will just get Jake and be on our way.”

Ruby bent down picked up the Slim-Jim she had dropped and let out a soft come-hither whistle. Her new black and tan friend fell in beside her and she handed him the meat stick. She started down the street, then stopped and turned. “Hey, when Jake comes to, ask him if I put enough polish on his banana.” The twitter that escaped her belly seemed to do more to relieve her migraine than a dozen Advil.

Closing Comments: I believe this is a good story that can become greater.I think if the authenticy of the locations and sound of the people becomes real you can draw the audience into believable characters. In the end I believe you are tittering on something excptional.

I am not a published author, just a speck on wall. Please take what I say and throw it out the window.

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Charlie C.

Review of unDEAD  
Review by Charlie Cogwin
In affiliation with  
Rated: GC | (3.5)
Opening Comments: I enjoyed this concept.

I am a writer just like you so take my opnion and throw it away. I read a lot of fantasy and surbaban fantasy - Have Jim Butchers entire collection...Read him when he was average. I read a lot of science fiction too. Asimov, Daily science fiction, flashfictiononline, I see what is getting published now a days.

When I review I ask questions that give a deeper involvement to the characters and plot. I reviewed chapter one because I saw the same issue's in the other chapters and thought it might help you progress the story.

Now for the review:

Jack Spring, Police Officer, did his job, no more or less. He’d go to work, sit at his desk, type reports, sort files, walk the streets, track down leads, look for clues, talk to people, say good night to his fellow cops, and go home at the end of his shift. In other words, he was just another policeman, nothing special about him; he did his job.
No more, no less. Nothing special.
Now he hangs on, with very little blood in his veins. They try a transfusion, but that doesn’t help. His life is just fading away…
Slipping in and out of consciousness, he can barely give a description of the killer before he passes out again. The truth is, he didn’t get all that good a look at his assailant – it was too dark, the guy was in shadows, he attacked too fast, got in too close to get an accurate image; it just happened too quickly!

Who is Jack Spring? A luke warm guy. Medocracy in characters is hard because no one cares. If Jack was a Stand up guy they would care. But Jack is moderacracy because you turn him into undead. Hence the way he has been going through life. I know that sounds really clever, but honestly your audience needs to care about Jack.

How do give an audience emotional attachment to care about your character? The great thing about writing is that you can poloraize characters.

Ex. If Jack was the best stand up guy in the world, and mother's secretly hated his wife, because he was the most awesome dad and lover then you have an emotional attachment instantly. Cause every woman wants a stand up guy. Wait - What you turned him into an undead? How does that work? That presses the reader to read on. Very few characters are written with medocracy in them. If luke skywalker just did his job and didn't care about big dreams of flying the galaxy there would never be Star Wars. There would be Tatoonie Farming.

Poloraizing characters are what take people into fantasy. Big Dreams - Big Doubts, make people care. Look at Jack and ask questions that make you care about Jack. That say oh my god that is horrible, poor Jack.

Sometime during the third night, Officer Spring died. He simply slid into unconsciousness, and never woke up. The hospital staff unhooked the monitors, loaded him onto a gurney, and wheeled him to the morgue. The bed was stripped of the linen, the room was cleaned; people who were still alive needed the space. Life goes on…
The word got out onto the street, to the cops, to the reporters, to anyone who pays attention to this kind of thing – there’s a cop killer on the loose. In an unspoken agreement, which every policeman knows: shoot to kill.
What no one knows, what no one even thinks is possible, is the killer doesn’t care; he just laughs. “Ah, drama,” he sneers, “This could be an amusing adventure for the next ten years here…”

Synapsis? Why? Limited third is what you are writing in. If jack hear's someone says he is dead that is something else. But once you start with someone you stick with them for the entire chapter. Confusion is your enemy. Jack doesn't know he is dead and neither should the audience. The audience should be able however to think to themselves. Oh he is a zombie now, because your title is Undead. You don't need to explain it, you need to show it. What is dead like? Or what do you think dead would be like. Angle's, bright light, a cup of tea with Jesus. You tell me. As an auther this is a perfect time to express your opnion through jack what dead is like. Remember though the closer to fact you get to with a trinkle of fiction in it, the better people will believe it.

Jack Spring, Police Officer, Deceased, awakens in total darkness and silence. He is not amused. Wherever he is, it’s cold and stuffy, and smells like death. “Cold, stuffy, silent, dark, death…oh, no, those idiots put me in the morgue!” thinks Spring, “What the hell? I’m not dead!”
He tugs, pulls, rips the cover off of his face and body. He is still wearing the hospital gown. “At least they haven’t stripped me yet,” he grumbles. He steps off the gurney, but his legs give out from under him, and he falls to the floor. “Dammit, I’m weak, “ he says to himself, “I gotta get my legs to work, get some clothes, and get outta here. Go home and rest up for a little while. And then go after this bastard.”

Back at the scene of the crime, there's no one around – police tape covers the door, trash on the carpet; couple of bloodstains. A tall man, in shadows, ducks under the tape, has a look at the apartment. It's obvious this place hasn't been used as a home for a while; probably where the whores take their clients for a quick one, or maybe the junkies go for some fix from diluted shit. It stinks in this place, like desperation, dead dreams, and fear.
And vampires, and blood, and...something else? “Hmm...” thinks this guy. There's something new to the story. The tall man looks around, crouches at the few drops of blood, gets down on all fours, sticks his nose to it. “Ugh.” Yeah, some human blood, but also – vampire blood?

Jack? Where is Jack? If Jack is sleeping then the reader is sleeping. Your book is title the Undead. We know that some undead is going to be in this. When you switch to these sysnapsis it confuses the reader. Stay with Jack. What is Jack feeling like when he sleeps? Does it hurt him? Is he transforming? One chapter, One person. The dresden files are written entirely in first person, we see nothing outside of Harry Dresden limited first person view. 8 books never switch's pov. George R.R. Martin (Game of thrones) writes five books with about 20 different Pov's. Still each perspective is one person, one chapter. He even names each chapter by the name of the POV he is going to write about. Never change perspective. :o)

Only the dead are the residents of the morgue, maybe the occasional security guard – and let's be honest: sometimes he likes to look at the OD victims – they ain't too old, or ugly, thinking “What a waste of some good tail; clean her up, get her off the drugs a bit, we fall in love for about a week, then put her back on the streets with $50 in her hand – she'll go right back to whatever crap she was on before her Prince Charming left her.” HR always skips the background check if there's nothing outstanding in the records...and the perverts get hired and do nasty stuff when they can get away with it.
Circle of life, baby.

Again one perspective. Jack Springs live in limited third. ;o)

Jack Spring, creeping quietly out of the refrigerated room, limping past the preoccupied perv guard who's – well, maybe it's better left unsaid, huh?
Despite the chill in the air, Spring can feel heat coming off the guy as if he was in a sauna, can smell his sweat (and other bodily fluids), can hear the labored breathing. He's drawn to it; oh he wants to go and latch on to it so badly, but what he really wants to do is get the hell out of that dead place as soon as possible. He's a cop; he's been to that hospital, that morgue so many times he could find his way around in the building with his eyes closed – he knows where the spare scrubs lockers are. In no time, he looks like any other overworked intern finishing their shift. One snag: the lockers are located near the blood bank. Now Spring gets this gnawing, hollow, almost unstoppable hunger! He's thinking, “This place is full of food! I can go anywhere, and I'll have my pick of whatever I got a taste for – Chinese, Mexican, Middle Eastern, Indian, Italian – just whatever! What the hell am I waiting for – let's eat!”
“Whoa, wait...”

I like the way you trying to add some sense humor to all this. But it is your sense of humor, not Jack's. Ask yourself a question, Does Jack have a sense of humor? If he does then you need to ask yourself another question. What type of sense of humor does he have. A trickster, dead pan, or cynical. How does jack see the world? These questions answered in showing tales allow the reader to attach the peice a bit more.

The cop in him starts analyzing these thoughts. What kind of hunger is this? Yeah, I want something in my stomach, or do I? This isn't about filling my gut with food, this is more like...addiction? I'm jonesing? For what?!
Shit, I gotta get back to my place, gotta get a shower, gotta figure out what that maniac did to me. Gotta think...

How old is Jack? Does he even know what Jonesing is? This question are not being shown. What does an addiction feel like. Check out some addication sites and read what adicts say they feel like then show that by spicing it up with your own description of how Jack would interept this new state of being.

That walk home, man, what a nightmare. He was cold, weak, hungry, and everywhere he turned was that desire to grab the next person who looks at him funny and just tear them to pieces. Funny thing, though: morning, noon, night the city was full of people and for some reason they didn't mind shoving you aside to get where they were going, but tonight it's like folks were nearly jumping out of the way when Jack lumbered by. He had an...idea...that if he didn't get home before sunrise he was gonna have a really bad day. But a couple blocks more and he'd be in his nondescript apartment, and he'd get a coffee and a sandwich and – shit, he didn't have his keys! They were probably in a box in the hospital, or in the evidence locker! Now what?! Wait, calm down; he gave a spare key to the cat lady in the place across from his door, and she's a light sleeper, just like her five million cats. It's cool.

Well, that could have been easier. First, Spring knew he looked like he was stuffed in a bag for a couple days, and tried to straighten out the more obvious rogue hair strands. Second, even before he knocked on her door, it was like he could feel the cats tensing up, or like they were getting ready to fight for territory, or something. But the kicker was when Cat Lady opened her door after being assured it was really Officer Spring – damn if those cats arched their backs and started hissing like he was the devil himself! Sounded like steam escaping from an overheated boiler! Weird thing was, he hissed back, and those cats went nuts, scattering around that room like they were on fire. Surprised him, Cat Lady, and the cats, and Cat Lady gave him the spare, stepped back and slammed that door right on his nose! She looked very scared, and Jack knew that look was on his face too.
Ah, finally! Back in his flat, but man, all he wanted to do is sleep – what happened to shower, coffee, and a snack? Oh, well, just cover the windows – he was used to that; he's pulled night shifts before – curl up, and crash. “I'll wake up in four hours, and get to doing stuff, but now – good night!”

I liked how you worked hard staying in third limited in these last couple of paragraphs. You did a lot of telling though. If you haven't already I would sugest you read Orson Scott Cards Ender Games. It is written in third seen with five different Pov's, but it is a great read! And a great way to learn how stay within the frame work of POV's. Also the Games of thrones is too.
Closing Comments: I enjoyed this concept. I think if dig deeper into Jack you can come out with a great character that people will love. As a suggestion, when creating characters, I would ask more questions, such as, Why would people love or hate this guy. These questions, I think, would drive your fictional story elements farther into the realm of reality.

As always thanks for the read.
Write On!

Charlie C.

Review of The Nanny  
Review by Charlie Cogwin
In affiliation with  
Rated: 18+ | (3.5)
Opening Comments


All my reviews may be thrown out, these are personal opinions that I am hoping could improve your story.

I figured I would review some of the horror stuff since it looked like so few people reviewed there. I enjoyed this story more the second time I read it, then the first. Your grammar is good and you have a great sense of description. I learned a few things. I rolled the first time through the story very quickly, I usually do this just see if I don't get lost. I got lost, so I took slower the next time around. I think one of the bigest obstacles was figuring out the place. It almost seem you were in a bit of a pickle trying to figuring out where this place was.

Main Character:
Claudia is nanny who has been hired to watch a girl. She is desperate at wanting this work and is hoping to be the best Nanny out there.

She is hired, but is forewarned she will not last the night.

A comercial building of some kind.

Watch the child without getting killed. I won't tell what happens.

Line review below.

Glancing at the clock she shifted nervously in her seat, rearranging her skirt and brushing stray strands of hair back from her face. She had arrived way too early, leaving the house before seven thirty and reaching the house with more than an hour to spare. After milling about outside for long enough she buzzed to be let in, and there she had sat in a cramped reception room occupied by two chairs and a hideous plant for over an hour with nothing to keep her entertained.

Comment: I would be more blunt with the place. We understand hat she is going through but we do not understand where she is going through it at. It was a tad frustrating trying to place it.

She felt as nervous as she did the day of her interview; her stomach twisted in knots as her hands sweated profusely, clammy in the heat of the office.

Comment: Great description this really gives a clear understanding that she wants to do well. A good nervous without say it.

What’s taking so long? she thought to herself as she watched the minute hand inch closer towards the finality of the number twelve.

Then, something was bustling behind her and as she turned she saw the woman who had interviewed her. “Come with me,” the woman spoke, not waiting for an answer. Hurriedly, Claudia jumped up, hustling herself together and trotted after the woman. She found it hard to keep pace though the lady in front was clearly a lot older and wearing heels that she wouldn’t even consider.

Comment: The woman, I know is irrelevant but another place I felt disoriented at is that it was a woman and not Lydia's mother. I almost felt like this would had a proper feel to it, if it was done in a comercial laboratory and they were using her as testing experiments. But because the place is so vague I can figure out who this woman is besides the girl that will hire Claduia.

“This is where you will spend most of the day,” the woman gestured into a brightly decorated room. “Currently Lydia is asleep. You will get her up, washed and dressed and return to this room promptly. She has lunch at twelve which will be brought through. I will return by five and you will be dismissed. All clear?” The woman was cold.

“Yes,” Claudia stammered, heart racing.

“Good.” Spinning on her heel the woman marched away before seeming to rethink and paused, glancing back. “Nobody else has made it past a day, I’ll be surprised if I see you tomorrow.” And with that, she was gone.

Comment: Spinning on her heels make it sound military is she in a military compound?

What was that? Claudia’s mind was reeling with shock. She stood for a whole minute, purse in hand, lost. Get to it! she finally scolded herself and hurried upstairs to locate the bedroom.

Comment: Reason's, I believe this was short, so you didn't have time. Anyways I will explain something that a writer once told me and you can toss if you don't like. Everything has a reason/motivation, what is her motivation to "Get to it!" after she is threatened? Allowing motivation/reason gives character depth. Sick grandma. New apartment or even school loans. The idea of capturing these tidbits allows your reader to go deeper into the characters to an understanding they didn't have before. Motivation that it is your job can be done, but most of the time it is weak. A detectives strong urgency to bust the robers and take their money because his daughter is dying of stage 4 diabetes at home and he can't pay the medical bills. Is a better motivation than, I bust bad guys because it is my job. Just food for thought. What's her motivation beside's I do my job.

At the top of the grand, sweeping staircase she found herself assaulted by a never-ending row of plain teak doors. For a moment she felt panic rise before pushing herself onwards. Flat shoes crept along the plush red carpet as she began to search for signs; nothing jumped out at her.

Comment: Again I am sort of confused because I felt like I was in a comercial building and now I was pulled to a grand sweeping staircase. Really let me have the place right off. If the seceratary is the mothers assistant then let me have that tell me it is the Mother assistant. The place should indicate how people act. Military bunkers, Comercial enterprise, and Chucky Cheeses all have completely personalities when it comes to employment. Being employed by any one of these places gives you a different persona when at work, and you immediately know how people are going to act. Currently I feel the writer is holding back on me and having me try and figure this place out. And honestly that is tiring.

Which is her room?

She steeled herself and began to open doors. The first door she teased inwards led her into a bedroom that wasn’t in use, all that occupied its space was a made bed. She hurriedly closed the door and moved onto the next. The next few were the same, opening onto variants of single and double bedrooms, lavishly decorated and all unused.

Comment: OMG this is a great sentence! The first door she teased inwards led her into a bedroom that wasn’t in use, all that occupied its space was a made bed. The "tease" is brilliant, I am going to back pocket it. You basically took a lengthy description down to a word, and made me understand it right away. Great JOB!

The next door she came to she heard noises emanating from the room. Pausing to listen she pressed her ear to the door, being careful not to make a sound. Claudia could hear the small whisperings of a young girl; murmuring to herself or her dolls.
With a brief smile, Claudia rapped on the door and pushed it open. A little girl of ten stood in the centre of a room as sparsely decorated as the rest. Lydia was dressed in a black dress that reached to her knees and a pair of black shoes to match. Her hair was brushed neatly; a red ribbon tied half of it up. It cascaded the length of her back in brunette waves.

Comment: OK big word time, emanating = to flow out. Great use of the word. It shows sophistication, and I loved it cause I learned something new. Great JOB! However, I looked it up because the whole paragraph resides on that one word for the reader to get the idea of it right away. A suggestion - I might have been the only one to look up but it stopped the flow of the story for me. This is a short, sometimes stuff like this can hurt you as much as it can help you. Just food for thought.

“Hi Lydia, I’m Claudia, your new Nanny,” Claudia beamed.

Lydia remained silent.

“How come you’re already dressed?” she asked, knowing that had been part of her task.

“The other lady dressed me,” Lydia answered in a small voice, betraying no emotion.
Claudia took a step forward, “Which other lady sweetie?” she heard the door click shut behind her.

“The other Nanny.” The girl was straight-faced.

“I’m your Nanny, sweetie,” Claudia took another step.

“Deborah won’t like that,” Lydia shook her head, eyes wide.

Comment: Deborah, What? OK she is the killer the unnamed mysterious woman was talking about. How come I can think of that and Claudia can't, because she is too preoccupied in her Job and she wants to be the best Nanny out there. Again why? There are not many Nanny's that want to be the best Nanny out there. Most of them work a Nanny gig because of Motivation. So what is Claudia's.

“Who’s that?” Claudia knelt to get closer to the girl. She saw her eyes were dark, her lips as pink as the rouge that adorned her face.

“My Nanny.”

“She’s not here anymore,” Claudia tried again, her tolerance high.

“She is.” Lydia nodded, her hair bouncing briefly before falling back into place.


“Right behind you.”

Lydia’s eyes flickered past Claudia and she felt a chill run down the length of her spine. Lydia’s gaze was fixed. Claudia felt her stomach drop, something bulge in her throat as she began to turn around. She looked upwards from her position on the floor, into the shadows by the door. She made out the dark shape of a woman hunched close to the door.

Comment: RUN CHILD! RUN! --->Just what I was thinking.

“Oh, hello,” Claudia blew out a gust of air and pushed herself up, holding out her hand to shake. The figure didn’t move. “I’m Claudia, the new Nanny.” She smiled.

“I’m the Nanny,” the raspy voice emanated from the figure. Claudia’s hand dropped as the woman stepped from the shadows. Claudia followed the exposure from the grimy, mud covered heels to the bloody tights and ripped skirt. The woman’s shirt was just about gone, held together by tiny pieces of frayed material, dotted with red. Claudia gulped, forcing the bile that threatened to rise, back down her throat. Her eyes travelled upwards to her neck where an angry, gaping wound was slashed across the length of her throat, exposing tendons and nerves. Then she met her eyes and wished she hadn’t. They were the darkest black pits she had ever seen; they bored a hole into her being. Her spirit shrivelled instantly.

Comment: I really really love your description, you do a fantastic job on engaging a reader in description, which is some of the hardest things to do. Just top notch stuff! Major Kudos!

The woman stepped forward and in her right hand raised a gleaming butchers knife. With a shriek of rage she brought the knife down, slicing across Claudia’s throat. Claudia felt the blade carve through her neck, hot blood spilling down her front and onto the hardwood floor.

One last glance at the woman showed a malicious grin as she repeated, “I’m the Nanny.”

Closing Comments: FANTASTIC WRITING! I believe your description is Top Notch! I enjoyed reading it as you really engaged me through the story with finness of words. I feel your struggle was in the character's, I did not feel they had enough depth for the emotional impact you needed at the end of it. Creating characters that strum the readers personal emotions, envolves the reader to immediately pity/love/hate the character when they die. When Claudia was offed I did not feel the impact I needed for the death to matter. Again my personal view.

Thank You for the read. Simply delightful.

Review of Covering Letter  
Review by Charlie Cogwin
In affiliation with  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Jelly Belly,

I think this is good. I would trim your Bio in half and just take the most recent stuff, since most of it is from a single publishers.

Love it, looks professional.

Review of FOREVER  
Review by Charlie Cogwin
Rated: E | (4.5)
A wonderful piece. It is amazingly written and has a great twist at the end. Everybody should read this piece.

I noticed only one thing that you do, that I constantly do too. You repeat in your main idea several times almost verbena.

--- > I have waited and watched through years, centuries, millennia, periods, and ages.

----> I have waited, silently watched, observed, and most importantly remembered.

In these moments I felt like the story drag. But honestly it might be something of intention to get the idea of your main character. Either case, the story still reads well, giving an obscure look on how the people of the planet are viewed.

Thank You for the read, I loved the piece.

Charlie C.
Review by Charlie Cogwin
Rated: E | (3.5)
This a wonderful little story you are putting together. And I see you are emerging as a writer. Let me talk about what I like first, and then talk about what I struggle with as a writer. I see in some areas we struggle with the same thing.

What I liked.
I liked how you kept it in single perspective and we saw the story through the sisters eyes. I liked the tree idea, clever. Also I liked how you use LARGE print to try and show an intensity in what she is thinking. I also liked how you kept it short and tried to perserve the word count.


I struggle immensely with honest characters. An honest character is a very real character. In the story I wrote I had to be two old ladies, and one of them is a queen, and I have never been either one of them. Yikes! How can I make my story sound honest and true so you believe when I have no experience in being either one. Lots and lots of revision's. Cinderella's War I have revised eight times! And I still need to revise it more for Grammar, Concept, and authenticity.

So if you don't mind I would like to take some things out of your story to try and make them more authentic.

--- A lot of people think they know what really happened in the story of Cinderella. They think that I am her evil sister that never let her go to the ball with the prince. They think that I am the person who destroyed the dress that she made to go to the ball with him! They also think that this story had a happy ending. Everyone who thinks that are WRONG! ---

The fun part about writing is nobody ever knows what happened, because it is your story. If I was to start this story I would have talked about myself as a tree and how much I hated it. What would it be liked to be tree. Is she is a big or small one. Does her leaves grow or whither. Maybe Cinderella is sitting under her and she hates that she is resting up against her trunk giggling with her children. That would invoke a very honest emotion, jealousy. These type of interactions create different emotions to people. Those emotions are what drives us as honest people.

--- We went to the dance together in the most beautiful white pumpkin anyone has seen. When I asked Cinderella where she got it, she said she bought it on e-bay for $99.99. I told her that she is very addicted to shopping and that she should stop spending too much money. She said she doesn’t care about money because everything came from the money that I worked hard for. When I was about to tell her that what she was doing was wrong, we arrived at the castle. ---

Another thing I struggle with is defining time period. Not many take white pumpkins to a ball anymore. And I was a bit confused when you added e-bay for $99.99. To help with authentic places try to decide what time and event your working ahead of time.
My story for instance was written around the 17th century. At first though I wrote in a the 11th century and so I had to revise it, because things were not adding up and I was confusing the reader. E-bay is modern. And britain uses the pound as their currency and she is taking pumpkin to the ball. Each one of these sentences sort of displaced me from the story, and I was not sure what time period or place I was working in. My suggestion is to write it, then go back through the story and check for errors and consistency through out the story. I struggle there a lot too. And I consistently go back and find mistakes in my work.

--- When people asked Cinderella about how she met the prince, she made everything up because she didn’t want people to know the truth about her. Do you now feel the feelings that I have for her? She is the most selfish person that I have met and this isn’t something that can easily be forgiven. Now that you know my side of the story, whose side do you believe? ---

People love conclusions. Have you ever read or saw something that was a dream or a to be continued at the end and thought to yourself hmm...I really wanted an ending. I would have not asked if they believe or not, because I honestly am a tree. I don't want to be tree. And I want your sympathy. Whenever somebody says, "You got to believe me charlie?" the first thought in my head is their lying. Even if they are not. But it does not matter because the thought is already in my head now. I would have not written this in a way that honesty was taken out of the measure. I would have written in a way, that she was so honest that you hated Cinderella at the end of it. But that is just me.

After thoughts: I believe there is a great story here, and I loved the idea as the tree for the step sister, clever. I suggest looking through it once more and finding places where honesty can bring the character further into reality.

Lastly, I have a piece out called Craven where a God is a tree. It might give you some idea's.

Thanks For the Read and Best of Luck
Review of Greater Good  
Review by Charlie Cogwin
Rated: 13+ | (2.5)
I see your emerging with your writing. I am too. I just wanted to point a couple of things that might help or learned upon the way.

When I read your first sentence I thought to myself this could be nearly a page or two.

---> Spencer walked into the bathroom where his girlfriend; Stacy, was showering.
The idea of spencer walking into the bathroom of her showering could allow to show the character in light. Everything you write has particular point that you could be making about the character.

For example: How does spencer assess this bathroom. Does he brood cause his girlfriend has pink towels and he never gets a choice in picking anything around the house. Does he smile in the mirror and wink cause he believe is a gift from heaven. Does he draw a picture on the mirror that is obscene because he knows his girlfriend won't like it and he finds it funny to annoy her.

The idea here is that in first sentence is a sequential event. In life we all do sequential events, but in books all the events need to be blown up so the reader can attach to the character instantly.

After he closed the door and started to brush his teeth, Stacy screamed.
Why does he close the door, does he like the steam. Was anticipating something. What are the reasons behind this that can lead the reader to a better understanding of your character.

In reaction, Spencer jumped and dropped his toothbrush in the sink.
Stating the reaction is not showing the reaction, showing is a big part of writing as telling is. I struggle with showing too. You just simply say, Spencer jumped.

I read the story and noticed that all your sentence were written in a very sequential telling action. I picked the first sentence because it is the most important sentence to the reader. It is what draws the reader in.

Hoped this helped. And please throw everything I said out the window.

Charlie C.
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