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Review of Dragonfly Effect  
Review by chimpy121
Rated: E | (4.5)
I'm not usually one for rhyming poetry--but this was great. Your wording is succinct and balanced. What surprised me the most was that the characters actually had LIFE{/c:} in such a small space.

Another thing that I liked was the use of Chaos Theory/Syncronicity in the piece. I'm a big fan of the theory that unrelated events impact each other--and this is a good example. What does a dragonfly have to do with winning a lottery ticket and saving a marriage?

Good job! Keep writing!
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Review by chimpy121
Rated: E | (4.0)
This is quite beautiful and uplifting. I'm horrible at poetry, so I'm always impressed with writers who have a good ability of the craft--and you do.

There was one line that sort of pulled me out briefly: "Twisting the dragon’s spine,". Up until this point there are no references to any mythic/fantasy elements. The poem is grounded somewhat in its own world without intrusion from outside forces (that's the best I could come up with--sorry--LOL).

Other than that--great job. Keep it up!
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Review by chimpy121
Rated: E | (4.0)
See, now this is nice for newbies. A quick, easy tutorial for structuring paragraphs without getting into a mess of grammar (the math of the English language).

Good stuff.
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Review by chimpy121
Rated: 13+ | (2.5)
This is a really funny premise, but (to me) it doesn't feel like you've followed it all the way through. It feels like the beginning of something larger. Here's a few specifics:

1. These aliens have come to the planet to investigate rap. Why? If they were somehow influenced by rap, this needs to be more clearly stated. As it is, there seems to be only one reference to rap-speech: "I am Captain, and you'll not dis' me. Not on my watch."

2. The use of present tense: It's reallly difficult to write a good story in present tense. You're to be commended for attempting this. In my reading I can think of only one or two cases where this has succeeded (Jay McInerney's Bright Lights, Big City comes immediately to mind.

3. Word variance: Be careful to vary your wording. You don't want stuff like this: "He then walked over to individually look over his horde of warriors from head to toe." And, if you don't have one, a Thesaurus is a great tool. "Smirk" is used far too often...

4. I LOVE this line: "A bit startled by the intercom, his alien sleep toy fell to the floor as he responded through a much needed yawn." All I can picture is some tentacled squeeze toy...

5. Speaking of #4 above, what DO the aliens look like?

6. And what is the motive of the aliens? Why are they invading? Or are they just investigating?

In a nutshell: This is a good premise, but you need to put it through some serious work for there to be a payoff. I can't find a motive to the character's actions, nor visualize them. Sentence structure needs some work as well.

Sorry to be sort'a tough on you. I think with some work this could be a good piece. Pour yourself into it some more.

And if you ever have any questions, feel free to contact me. That's one of the reasons I'm here!

Take care.
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Review by chimpy121
Rated: ASR | (4.5)
Egad! I just got back from picking my wife up from the hospital--waaaaay too soon for me to read this! Wow. Very powerful stuff!

I noticed one punctuation issue in line 7. The period should be a comma.

Very strong writing here. Keep up the passion!
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Review of Fill 'Er Up  
Review by chimpy121
Rated: 18+ | (3.5)
This is pretty funny and has a really good set up. Much of the dialogue is quite good as well. I have a few points:

THE GOOD:

1. Some of the descriptions were great. I particularly liked "Rahway’s centerpiece is a big round prison. How many towns can say that?" LOL

2. I loved the way sweety kept creeping farther down in the seat.

3. The 9/10ths of a cent is a stupid thing to me, too.

THE BAD:

1. When typing dialogue, use a comma at the end of the sentence if you are then writing the speaker. For example, you write: (“Hey, gas is $1.86. That’s a good sign.” I say to my sweetie as we pass the first rest stop.) The period after "sign" sould be a comma. You do this throughout the story.

2. Uzis? They had guns??? I found that to be a shift in the tone of the piece. Up to that point it was a believable bit of social commentary/satire. But with the intro of such an over the top element, you lost me.

3. The ending is just too abrupt.

Overall this is pretty good stuff; just needs a little push, that's all.

Take care and keep writing!
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Review of "Thank You RAOK"  
Review by chimpy121
Rated: E | (5.0)
This is such a great thing to help writers along! Thanks for the month-long upgrade!
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Review by chimpy121
Rated: E | (4.0)
LOL; I have the same problem with lizards here in Florida. Except for snow it's thick downpours of rain.

Once the lizard wasn't all the way dead and crawled up my shirt. It proceeded to salsa dance all over my back and chest while I screamed like a little girl...

This is a nice little slice of life piece. Good work!
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Review of Nightfall  
Review by chimpy121
Rated: 13+ | (3.5)
This is a good piece when it comes to atmosphere. It would be nice to see it expanded into a story with a more detailed plot. Unfortunately, I was distracted by a few cliches (the name of the saloon, the whores, etc.). It's difficult to approach a western with original concepts as it is so ingrained in our collective consciousness. Larry McMurtry has managed to create some original stuff (Lonesome Dove is terrific).

I'd say the best way to approach a western is to combine a unique POV (let's say that the main character is a saloon owner instead of a stranger entering the saloon; or a sheep farmer with a deadly secret) and odd circumstances (maybe the saloon owner's bar burns down--what would he do then? And maybe the sheep farmer is a psychopathic killer hiding from the law).

However, much of what you did was quite good. I particularly like the next to last paragraph; it was a great example of how much detail can be covered with very few words.

Overall, it's a pretty good piece. Keep up the good work!
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Review of The Mist  
Review by chimpy121
Rated: E | (4.0)
The mood of this piece is astonishing. I found the prose to be very good, particularly in the way that it propelled me into the atmosphere. I also love the way that you never quite tell us who the narrator is; it is left up to us.

At first I thought of a vampire; then of the mindset required by warriors in battle; then of the mist itself.

What pulled me a bit from this was the reference to a panther in the next to last sentence. By doing this are you indicating that the narrator is a panther, or just equating the narrator to this animal?

Good job overall--very nice work.
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Review by chimpy121
Rated: E | (4.0)
This is a nice little story, full of hope. I enjoyed the many elements of humor (Larry, in particular).

There are some typos ("...It makes the transion easier." should be "transition"). Some of these are in punctuation--the use of question marks (or lack thereof) in questions and such--that should be corrected.

Other than that it's a nice story; makes me want to go on a cruise...

Take care!
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Review of Please Review  
Review by chimpy121
Rated: E | (5.0)
I love this aspect of the site! Without it I would have far fewer readings/reviews of my own works. Thanks for offering it!
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Review by chimpy121
Rated: ASR | (4.0)
Having battled gout for many years, I can totally relate to most of these--particularly number 9...

Good stuff here! Quite funny!

Keep up the good work!
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Review of PESTO PETE  
Review by chimpy121
Rated: E | (4.0)
I love pesto!!!! This is such a true article... I particularly liked the "blood from skinned knuckles."

Very good stuff here. Good work!

PS--I have two basil plants in my back yard that I treat like Gods...
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