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64 Public Reviews Given
Public Reviews
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Review by Daisan
Rated: E | (2.5)
First and foremost formatting is an issue. Readers, over years, are accustomed to a particular format for novels/stories. The format deviating from that makes it difficult to follow dialogue and action. It's fairly obvious you know what you want to say and what your character is doing and seeing. The disconnect is laying that out for the reader in a way that adequately displays what you envision. Is the digital world a given? How does she know she's in a digital world? What were the boy and girl attempting to 'save' her from? That's never explained in any way.

Was this a first draft? I ask because of the formatting, spelling and the introduction are all over the place. I'd really be interested in re-reading this once you work out how you introduce us to the scenario and explaining how she became(?) what she is(?) which is spoken of at that beginning but is never described within the story.
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Review by Daisan
Rated: ASR | (4.5)
Very evocative of the passage and the all encompassing nature of time with the sand as a narrative stand-in for that which is not a living entity. Thanks for sharing.
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Review by Daisan
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
This was intriguing. Flowed fairly well. I'd recommend going back over it to remove redundant details which have been covered. You say kerosene three times in the first paragraph. After the first reference we know what your accelerant is for the fire. We don't need to keep being reminded. You may want to mix your pronouns up as well. "She" is used 25 times in the two paragraphs. For dramatic effect I know (I too have read Sidney Sheldon and Judith Krantz). There's a lot of exposition used for dramatic effect but, since it's just being introduced without context it isn't as impactful as I believe you want it to be. This has promise but there's a lot of fat that could be trimmed to make this read so much smoother but remain just as dramatic with some good editing.

Example: She raced toward the whistle of the oncoming steam locomotive far in the distance, patting the side pocket of her long dress the papers were still there. The set of deeds and certificates she had ransacked the store’s small office for while her employer was still in Topeka seeing to his political ambitions. She now possessed the evidence. As for MacDonald? Well, he was deceased and his business would soon be in smoldering ruins.

As is, it comes off rushed (to me) but it's obvious the way you've told the story these are revelations intended to be impactful but, because we're hearing them for the first time, we don't know why that's supposed to be the case.
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Review by Daisan
Rated: E | (5.0)
Wow! This was really entertaining. Other than some possible formatting issues, I don't really have any recommendations. The only possible thing was instead of breaking down actions one-by-one in separate sentences would be to combine them but, it works as is.
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Review by Daisan
Rated: E | (3.0)
No formatting? No spell/grammar check? Just a block of text? For real? The aforementioned issues negated any forward momentum this story may have because it's so distracting. Super small text and no spacing between lines. You have to work to keep track of who is talking and it just destroys the flow (if there is any) of the story. The approach/narrative shifts back and forth from what I can only assume is your attempt to emulate other writers/stories that have impacted you and inspired you to write. The problem with this is, since there are obviously multiple influences, the narrative is uneven. It's obvious - you know what you want to say. The execution is the issue. That said, it's really inventive (in multiple places it reads like a play/screenplay). Clean the formatting up, do a spell check and read this aloud and I believe you'll see what I'm saying.
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Review of My First Fight  
Review by Daisan
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
This was very enjoyable. Admittedly, the first part is funnier and more engaging than the rest. I believe this is the case because it's more representative of you whereas the latter parts call in the actions/comments of others. That said, formatting and punctuation are distracting. But those are technical things and can be corrected and learned over time. The first part really made me smile and I think you should lean into that and cultivate it into your first person narrative more. *I could actually see you doing a funny kid's untrained River Dance* Looking forward to reading more of your work.
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Review of the candle  
Review by Daisan
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
This is actually pretty good. Sets an ominous mood and dark tone. That said, the misspelling, punctuation and non-capitalization of the first words of sentences is very distracting. This is also a very short piece but, it effectively gets its point across and I enjoyed it. Spell and grammar check - it is your friend.
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Review of Gunner  
Review by Daisan
Rated: ASR | (3.0)
Lots of repetitious use of names, titles and events in consecutive sentences (Gunner-38 times; outlaw-6 times; Tom-35 times; and gun-44 times). Instead of repeate usage of names, try pronounds from time-to-time. There are some punctuation and dialogue formatting issues that would make it flow much better. That said, the premise of the story is a familiar western trope. It's familiar because it's so appealing. I know this is an older piece (2017) and was part of a lipogram contest but it can still be cleaned up and polished.
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Review of American Roots  
Review by Daisan
Rated: 13+ | (3.0)
Very imaginative. Be careful with your narration and word usage. Pretty sure "guy" and "kicks" weren't common terms in the 18th century. The character descriptions early on are shoe horned in and not as seamless as they could be. It's somewhat jarring. The entire piece comes off somewhat rushed. Not sure of there was a word limit or some other reason for how the timeline jumped around. That aside, Henry's story (albeit it much coming by way of exposition) is interesting.
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Review by Daisan
Rated: E | (3.5)
Kept waiting for this story to take off or do something unusual but it never happened. Competent storytelling but characters and story are derivative of countless other time travel tales surrounding weather events or physical trauma. Dialogue left something to be desired as well. Left me wanting more.
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Review by Daisan
Rated: E | (3.0)
This was interesting. Pre-date just insecurities and all. That aside, the POV kept changing and it was distracting. It's obvious you know what you want to say but appear to lack the patience to set it all up.
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Review by Daisan
Rated: E | N/A (Review only item.)
Really enjoyed this quick over view of the POV mystery. I know the differences reading it but have always been a tad bit reticent wading in on the POVs by name. I write different stories with different POVs. From a personal preference stand point, I don't really care for first person POV because I read so many stories where it was done so badly. That said, this really simplified the process of POV identification and a quick and dirty way to discern one from the other.
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Review of Cascade  
Review by Daisan
Rated: E | (4.0)
Very evocative and visual.
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Review of Beren the Bear  
Review by Daisan
Rated: E | (3.5)
1) Hours rushing up is difficult (for me) to conceive? An hour? Maybe. Hours? Not so much. Or, did you mean the early light of dawn came rushing up?

2) Long black mane whipping his face he stooped low in Snowfoot's saddle, his jet-black body rushing on through the wind hidden in the darkness of the night all save the white markings on his feet, which were his namesake. (Possibly?)

3) It seems like you've made a stylistic decision to sound a certain way (likely from the books/authors you've read) but aren't as adept at doing it on your own. The result it you have a lot of info packed in but not communicated as clearly as I think you'd like. Also - spell-check. EX:

Beren knew it was folly to push such a loyal beasts to it's limits. But ever since sunset when he saw the smoke rising into the sky, like some kind of black tornado of in pending doom. He knew the location it shot upwards. It was his homeland Argoth. Regret hung low in his heart for leaving his mother at her time of need. - This sort of goes no where and doesn't explain why it's unwise to push "such a loyal beast to its limits". Break it up. Get your thoughts organized and out there.

You're trying to get a lot of lore and info out there but, the way you're going about it ends up being a bunch of terms and inuendo with little to no explanation. You don't have to explain everything all at once if you're going to do so later on. Also, beware against appearing to have started; stopped; and begun again. By that I mean:

As Snowfoot galloped over the drawbridge he cried out in the dark silence, "Mother! Mother!" Beren shouted hysterically (we already know it's Beren, you don't need to tell us again). Snowfoot came to a quick halt at the castle's door as if he too had sensed the danger that had passed within these walls. Beren leaped off and rushed upwards past the broken doors and up the stair case. (How is this castle made? He came across a bridge and went right in? No guards? No portcullis? No other pre-entry points? He just pulled off the road and was in?

Slow down and paint the picture for the reader that you already see in your head. It's clear (for instance) that you see the castle but we don't. What was the first door like? Which doors to which rooms/hallways/entrances were smashed? Were there bodies? Guards Beren knew by name who were missing or dead? This is is home and he'd have an intimate knowledge of it.

You know this story but are struggling with its telling because you have so much to say. I'm assuming you want it to move briskly and fear bogging it down with too much detail. I say, put all the detail out there AND THEN pare it down to make it more streamlined. This is a scene that's a long standing fantasy trope (and that's okay) but, tell it in a competent way that's gets all you're seeing in your mind's eye across to the reader.








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Review of The Meta-Floor  
Review by Daisan
Rated: E | (4.0)
This was entertaining. There were some spelling and formatting issues (pretty sure it's Wet Willy for example). The best of this piece (for me) is also the partly its weakest parts. The dialogue was funny, as were some of the characters. Loved the banter between the wait staff and the hostess. The dialogue between Avery and Father Rick however; was stilted and cliché. I believe I know what you were going for (like that first time meeting between Luke and Obi Wan) but (once again, to me) it came off overdone and unrealistic.

Example:
“With respect, sir, you’re in a small-town Chinese kitchen sopping soy sauce from the floor into your clothes like some sort of monstrous wonton."

I don't know, that "monstrous wonton" line just seems a bit odd. The constant reference to "the priest", "a priest", "Father Rick" after it's only the two of them talking was (to me) unnecessary after a point. We know to whom we're listening because of the distinct voices you gave them. Speaking of which, Father Rick goes back and forth from formal/cultured speech to the common vernacular quite a bit. Although I know people code switch (because I do it myself) it is very noticeable when reading it.

Criticisms aside, this is a good piece. You clearly have a vision for what you want to communicate and where this story is going. I'd really like to see where this goes as you've painted an interesting picture here.
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Review by Daisan
Rated: 13+ | (3.0)
First paragraph: I was focused on the murder and had to have "the investigator of the murder" thrust upon me while still focusing on the murder. Suggest a better transition from one (the murder) to the investigator. Also, I'm fairly certain an individual in a deerstalker cap isn't what most people picture when thinking of a murder investigator.

2nd paragraph: Continuation of forcing a particular image of the investigator and transitioning to the school girl sleuth. Holmes (or a knock of of him) is unique to a specific type of reader/genre whereas just a policeman is the default for most. The only time a private investigator would get involved is at the behest of a patron or request of the legitimate authorities.

3rd paragraph: Are we supposed to take the statement she's forgotten her given name seriously? I get what you're going for but that's a stretch, even in a story. Also, I was confused a bit because she refers to herself as a farm woman just after we've been informed she's a school girl. Not a "big" deal, but the inconsistency is distracting. Also - a school for polite "and" petite girls? Does such a thing exist?

4th paragraph: So, is she British living in America or native born? She's in the eighth grade, right? Have her internal dialogue read/sound as such. Is this how she speaks in her every day conversations? I ask because, as a born southerner I'm pretty sure this wouldn't be how she would likely speak - even to herself.

5th paragraph: Pronouns. After the second "Ms. Jakob" I was mentally inserting "she".

6th paragraph: Ms. Jakob refers to Rye causing trouble but all she was doing was looking out the window. Not to nitpick but once again, it's distracting not having the action/events match the accusation/reference.

7th paragraph: Well. A bit of an over reaction to being call Mrs vs Ms but, okay.

8th paragraph: Glacier Town? A town called that in the south? by the way - what state is she in? "In the south" seems unrealistically unspecific except if you still haven't decided which one you want it to be. Once again, the lack of specificity for something so routine is distracting. Where is she? Tennessee? North/South Carolina? Virginia? Also - mess hall is specifically a military term. I think cafeteria or lunch room is what you are looking for here.

9th paragraph: She was "sent" to a boarding school in the U.S. suggests she's from somewhere outside the country but you say "I've lived in Glacier town all my life and even I was freezing." Which is it? Was she sent there or has she lived there all her life? I ask because, it's going to affect the details of your narrative this far and going forward. The inconsistency is also (you guessed it) distracting. Also, why is she waiting on her?

10th paragraph: Judgmental grimace. Still wrapping my mind around that one. She's "judgmental" but being tentative? Usually, someone being "judgmental" is coming from a position of superiority. Seems shoe horned in.

I can see the tone you're going for and it's obvious you've been heavily influenced by a few different genres (mystery, YA fantasy/possibly horror) because the story thus far is chock full of the tropes and character descriptive. Not sure if this was a first draft or not but, need to go back and check for inconsistencies and formatting. You also need to decide what this is going to be; where the protagonists is from; and what her narrative voice is going to be. Is she an adolescent teen or a middle aged/older British woman (ala Mrs. Marple) stuck in the body of a southern teen who is possibly a transplant from another part of the country?
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Review of To Look(DRAFT)  
Review by Daisan
Rated: E | (3.5)
This seems to be a case of "You know what you want to say and how the world is made up and its rules and have chosen to leave them out to make the reader anticipate their explanation". The only problem with that, in such a short piece is it ends before the explanation comes. As a result (for me anyway) some of the revelations you make land lightly than with any force to them. For instance, "...and then you just smash the boxes when they return!", meant nothing to me because I don't know what a brain (or heart) box is so their significance is lost on me right along with the smashing and the exclamation point following that revelation. It's clear you have this reality mapped out in your head. Hopefully, when you revise/edit the draft you'll flesh it out more.
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Review of Icarus  
Review by Daisan
Rated: ASR | (4.0)
Interesting. There are some formatting and grammar ticks, but those are easily fixed. The inconsistencies are minor but noticeable.

"He couldn't fathom something so beautiful ever being so dangerous, so searing, and so, so unmerciful."

Just an opinion but I think it would read better (and more like I think you intended as, "He couldn't fathom something so beautiful ever being so dangerous, so searing, and so...unmerciful." (or ..."and so...so unmerciful.")

At the beginning you say he's on the cusp of manhood but Hades sees him clearly as being a boy not close to military age. Which is it?

Grammar/formatting: “Good,” The god replied. "Because now is no time for tears.” or “Good,” The god replied, "because now is no time for tears.”

Just how I see it and just an opinion. This is a compelling imagining of this story. I'd be interested in seeing where you take it. Formatting/grammar are one thing, storytelling is another. I think you definitely tell a compelling story.
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Review by Daisan
Rated: E | (4.0)
Funny! Really enjoyed reading this. Very entertaining.
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Review of The Ride Home  
Review by Daisan
Rated: E | (4.0)
Interesting set-up. The only thing (I think) needs any work is the dialogue. Seems a bit stilted. Then again, it could just be my "having experience picking sommeone up at a wedding" experience speaking. "I forgot someone was sitting there" just seems like it would/should be, "I forgot you were sitting there" or "I didn't notice you sitting there". Also, "Randy was my roommate before he got married" seems as if it would just be, "Randy was my roommate" is explained by Susan recalling he was the best man. That said, the "no game, game" is a very effective approach. Has definitely served me well over the years.
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Review by Daisan
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
Interesting beginning. There are some issues with the tense you're using and how you go back and forth from what he's remembering and what's occurring real-time. Your dialogue tags and dialogue need work as well. There is at least one instance I require where it's written as if someone other than the speaker is talking. It's also a bit distracting/confusing for the mage to have the name of an actual pharaoh. Admittedly, that may just be a "me" thing vs one for the casual reader. Different world/mythology but it was distracting.
Going back to the dialogue, to me it feels a bit over done and tropey in parts.

Liberal usage of exclamation points to illustrate emotion would've served to make it flow smoother without so much exposition. "Amenhotep dismissed me..." then you write the dismissal. A tad bit redundant to have the narrator say it then actually have the character say it in the next breath. This has potential. Look over it again and listen to how it flows.
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Review of Ghetto Life  
Review by Daisan
Rated: 13+ | (3.0)
This piece is all over the place. First and foremost, the punctuation. Multiple direct questions with no question mark at the end of the sentences. Not sure I've ever heard a light skinned person refer to themselves as "high yellow" (then again it may just be my age showing). Not sure if this was your intent but, this piece comes off with a bit of a self-loathing hint to it. Most African Americans assume they have European or some other race in their background but, unless they know specifically what it is, rarely refer to themselves as "mixed". That aside, this piece would do well with some serious revision and fleshing out in certain locations. "I was beat in the street by clubs" would've hit harder if they were described as night sticks or batons.

Also, the narrator refers to this savage beating of their ten year old self as - embarrassing? Beaten in the street by the very people you were offering aid and they were only "embarrassed"? What were the assailants/police saying? What did folks in the neighborhood say? I have no doubt you know what you want to say but are struggling with how to say it. There's something here. If you want to offer insights your writing needs to be more insightful. For that to occur, you have to be more reflective or thoughtful regarding the message.
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Review of Entirety  
Review by Daisan
Rated: E | (3.0)
Not sure of what the point of this piece was other than to overstate the obvious. Of course repetition is a certainty. That's unavoidable due to the universality of existence and life within a longstanding community with the same/similar rules, opportunities and experiences. What is was and what was? So...thing tend to come around? Beginning is a focal point and not necessarily a declaration of time or space? Thoughts on time as a construct aside, I'm not what the point of the piece was, is or will be particularly on site where people share stories which must, for the sake of context have a beginning, a middle and an ending. Attempting to tell stories without this structure would take root with a small audience (if any) as it would lack context. That aside, this piece would've been well service by some editing to ensure no words were missing and your thoughts were properly clarified. I think I know what you were going for but this seems to be lacking an extra sentence or two in each section to crystallize the gist of what you're saying as it pertains to repetition, endings and beginnings as concepts.
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Review by Daisan
Rated: 18+ | (5.0)
This was interesting. I like how what was being done rose and fell as it pertains to their harm/potential harm. It was always framed in what "could" be done vs what had been done. That said, just knowing they were considering these things made it uncomfortable. Nicely done.
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Review by Daisan
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
This has promise. The narrator is interesting and, from how you've presented Philhaz he seems to be a generally good person. The narration is a bit inconsistent with language and tone going from traditional to more present-day trendy turns of phrase and colloquialisms. The dialogue from the accompanying friends goes a long way in describing their character as well. There are more than a few spelling and tense slip-ups but the story itself is engaging. The exposition is a bit uneven in that you have terms which go largely unexplained whereas there are others you go on into greater detail. I'd like to see what happens with this piece after you've really gotten into your story and settled into your narration style. Slip-ups aside, it's interesting and Philhaz has the potential to be an engaging and interesting character.
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