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202 Public Reviews Given
204 Total Reviews Given
Public Reviews
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Review by Damon Nomad
Rated: 13+ | (3.0)
Hello JT Baker , I came across this story in the newsfeed. From your profile it looks like you are in the early stages of posting your writing here on WDC. From this story it looks like you have gotten a good start, the flow of story is logical and keeps the reader engaged to see what is going to happen to your character Shawn.

This is a challenging story, because there is only one character, or is there? This makes the dialog, particulary difficult to write to keep the reader engaged. A few suggestions, if you are looking to improve your story.

A new paragraph should start when each character begins to speak, but here you have three voices of a sort. Besides the coach who quickly exits the story.

Shawn when he actually verbablizes aloud. Those should be in quotes. Shawn muttered, "Crap I'm late." Shawn shouted, "Please stop bothering me." For example

Next you have Shawns inner dialog, for your story this is where it is difficult because it kind of breaks into two parts. Typically inner dialog is not in quotes, but in Italics as a thought. So much for my Saturday night. Shawn sighed with exhaustion.

His alter ego, what you calling the voice for most of the story. Maybe you write it more like a character and avoid signaling to the reader exactly what's going on. Is it something in his head only or something other people can't hear?

For example, a rewrite of the first encounter with the voice for you consideration:

"Why do you do this to me?" Shawn muttered quietly.

The gravelly voice answered after a few moments of silence, "I did not choose this. You were in the wrong place at the wrong time."

Shawn looked around to make sure no one was watching. He knew that no one else could hear the voice or see what it was. He didn't want to look like a crazy person talking to himself. He answered, "I didn't say I blamed you."

Then you continue with a dialog between the voice and Shwan leavign the reader curious as to what is going on until it becomes more clear.

An idea any way.

A final observation on mechanics, scene changes. Mark them with
***
then start a new line

For example,

***

The next morning, Shawn woke up . . .


Keep writing, I hope you find some of my suggestions useful. Best regards.





*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
2
2
Review by Damon Nomad
Rated: E | (5.0)
Well it is a story of sorts, a short autobiography. I think you encountered what many, many writers face in the world of publishing. The last and most difficult task of all, marketing. Even for traditional publishing for small publishers the burden mostly falls on the author. Welcome back and post some of your writing.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
3
3
Review by Damon Nomad
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
Hey not my thing Jeff but I saw a reference to this in a posting and decided to take a peek. Incredibly well laid out and professional. Awesome job.
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Review of The Firemen  
Review by Damon Nomad
Rated: E | (3.5)
He Amethyst Angel🌸📝🪽 I gave your story a read to see if you went purple. I didn't see that problem with this story, I thought the description of the characters and the settings were pretty balanced. You never really tipped off into a series of sentences filled with long adjectives that kind of freeze the story. Overall, I like how the story started and your dialog kept things moving along well. I lost the continuity of the story a bit with the scene that started. . . I squirmed inside. The change in setting and who was narrating became a bit confusing for me . . . and kind of bumped me out of the flow as I tried to figure it out. Overall, I think it is a good story.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
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Review of Fugitive  
Review by Damon Nomad
Rated: E | (4.0)
This is an artfully and finely written steam punk piece. The imagery of the characters and the scenes vividly drawn. Kate comes alive as a sentient being. The writing style and language fits the story and the dialog and action keeps it moving along. I was a bit thrown by the ending in the last two paragraphs, unsure of what happened. Maybe that is what you were after.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
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Review by Damon Nomad
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hello J.R. PETE , I wanted to read one of your stories and scanned through your profile and picked this one. Not sure exactly what drew me to it, but it is quite a jewel. I can see from your portfolio that you taught literature. As a beginning point for my review is clarity, your writing is crystal clear. The mechanics of writing far exceed mine, but that could be the case for a writer of dry and boring writing. That is clearly not the case here.

This story is artfully written and without dialog, a very difficult thing to do successfully. The description of the the scenes, including the sensation of the weather sets the tone. The story gently moves along with the journey of the narrator and Sophia toward a melancholoy yet approprate end with a wonderful twist at the end. This is very different from how I write and so well done.

Recommendations, sorry I have nothing to offer to improve this fine short story.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
7
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Review by Damon Nomad
Rated: ASR | (4.0)
Hello {v-user}, Sorry it has taken me a while to review this story based on my three item prompt. Half filled coffee cup, leather notebook and gray tabby cat for a political thriller. All three are there is a short story of the correct genre. I like the setting which is clear and the dialog moves the story along. Minor editing point, more white space to break up your paragraphs. A new paragraph for each change of speaker. Besides that my suggestion is make more from this, there seems to be something particularly sinister about these identical characters. Best wishes.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
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Review of Writing Blog  
for entry "20231020 Question
Review by Damon Nomad
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
My advice is caution, you never know what lies underneath the surface of someone. Especially in cyber world and you don't want some cyber stalker chasing after you.

If the person seems okay but maybe a bit naive, then maybe try a query. You have any short stories I could read? If you get a good response, you could say a lot of people start that way by getting reviews.

I would stay silent if they are just aggravating you a bit of arrogance.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
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Review by Damon Nomad
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hello H❀pe

I stumbled across this story somehow, I can't remember exactly how to be honest. I am a big fan of Johnny Cash's music. This is very well done, a wonderful description of the scene. I have never seen a prompt like this, I like what you have done with it.

I have only one comment. Change the short description so the reader doesn't know what is coming. A song writer finds his muse or some such.

Nicely done.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
10
10
Review by Damon Nomad
Rated: 13+ | (3.5)
Hello Amethyst Angel🌸📝🪽

I have been meaning to review your writing, but I have been a bit occupied with some other writing duties. No excuse, I have gotten far behind on giving some reviews here on WDC. It is one of the great things about WDC, useful and honest reviews.

I chose this story because it sounded interesting, I see you did well with it in a contest here on WDC. It's a good story and plot, I like your main character Daisy. You do a good job of starting with some action and getting a description of Daisy right in the beginning. Your dialog throughout is good.

My thoughts on taking your writing to the next level are working on scene setting and credibility of some of the dialog and story.

It's very easy to lose readers, there are lots of ways to lose them, I have mastered all of them myself. Scene setting is one way, which characters are in the scene and generally where are they. Here is an example early in your story where I got lost.

[Need a scene break here. Give the setting before the dialog. Lose the reader a little bit. Who is in the room? Where is the victim? Where is the suspect? Does Daisy already know the victim or his reputation? How?]

"Hope you didn't miss breakfast for this, Daisy. It's a cut-and-dried affair." Detective Lenny Stewart greeted me brusquely. "We caught her with the knife in her hand."

My hardly-full-enough stomach cringed when I saw him. We had been on opposite sides of severe cases more than once. His reputation as a clever guy is overrated. I brushed him aside and turned to my client, sitting on an elegant French sofa. [This would have been better when the wife called.]

[Clear about who is speaking. Why does she just start speaking? ] "I pulled the knife out when I saw - anyone would!" She was still in a frantic state, frazzled blonde hair flying loose about her bony face. I sat beside her and tried to comfort her, noting her clean white nightgown and pale thin arms. I also noticed a shattered lamp and an overturned table.

Turning to credibility, the dialog and actions of characters have to ring true given the circumstances. Here are some examples where I thought it was a bit suspect.

My job was to be on their side no matter what. [That’s not the duty of a defense attorney. Their duty is to zealously defend their clients regardless of what they think of them personally.]


"Call me Daisy. What's your problem?" [First things first. “Who are you and you need to calm down. Just call me Daisy.”]

These are my humble thoughts, I hope it does not seem harsh. I see great potential in your writing. The only times I have improved in my writing is when I have gotten some constructive feedback.

Keep writing.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
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Review by Damon Nomad
Rated: ASR | (3.5)
Hello Phizva

I found this promising short stry on Read a Newbie. I see from your portfolio that you are just getting started writing. Well, I encourage you to keep at it. This is quite a well written story, with vivid imagery and an interesting story line. The descriptions of the settings are excellent.

Reviews are about helping improve, a few observations in my humble opinion. Chaptering short stories like this is distracting to the reader. I did the same thing when I first got started, it helped me keep track.

A better approach is to use scene breaks, a series of three astericks is the standard approach.

A narrative piece like this without dialog is challenging, but you do it well. Consider taking it to the next level with dialog and character interaction.

For example here:
Lily, drawing upon her newfound knowledge of magic and her own inner strength, stepped forward. Her voice quivered, but her resolve remained unshaken. She spoke on behalf of Willowbrook, acknowledging the town's past transgressions and offering a heartfelt apology for the sins of its ancestors.

Your describe your heroine at the end, bring that to the beginning so that your readers bond more with her.

Take a look at some of your sentence structure and compound sentences with commas.

Here is an example:
One fateful summer evening, as the sun dipped below the horizon, casting long, inky shadows across Willowbrook's streets, Lily embarked on an aimless stroll, guided by an unexplained longing.

Move the focus to Lily
One a fateful summer evening, Lily strolled down the street guided by an unexplained longing. Long, inky shadows fell in her path as the sun dipped below the horizon.

Some thoughts in my humble view. You have a great start. I look forward to seeing more of your writing.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
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Review of The Victor Chip  
Review by Damon Nomad
Rated: 13+ | (3.5)
Hello Kittygoyl , I came across this story in Read a Newbie and it sounded interesting. You have a good concept and story idea. The concept of a creation becomes something the inventor did not foresee in the beginning. A difficulty I had with the story is that it is told completely with narration, without any real scene setting and no dialog. That makes it a bit of a dry read. Its all tell and not show. I would suggest breaking out of the monologoue when you introduce Marsden. How your character and Marsden work together. Just an opinion. Keep writing.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
13
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Review of Just Another Day  
Review by Damon Nomad
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hello Lorelei , I came across this short story in Read a Newbie. It's a pleasant story and you do quite a nice job describing the setting, including smell and sound. If I were to offer any suggestion, a short description of Clara beyond here eyes. Minor point. Nicely done.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
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Review by Damon Nomad
Rated: 13+ | (3.5)
Hello Saolibas , I found your recent first chapter and gave it a read. You seem to have a good start for your novel. This piece is well-written and you have obviously edited it to an advanced draft. Your characters seem to be embarking on an adventure of sorts. A first Chapter is critical to drawing the reader into the journey. You have created a dramatic question with the discovery of this orb. No specific suggestions, other than keep it going, I expect more will be revealed about these friends and what adventure lies ahead of them. Best of luck.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
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Review of Helping Hand  
Review by Damon Nomad
Rated: 13+ | (3.0)
Hello cfish , I found this short story in Read a Newbie and the introduction sounded interesting. You have an interesting plotline and a lot going on with Scott. You are writing in first person as Scott narrates the story which seems to work well. You have some dialog with one of the technicians, which I would normally think of as orderlies or nurses for a mental hospital.

I suggest you take another look at the story structure again and ask yourself the following question. Does the reader know where Scott is during the story? It reads as if he is twenty-two and has been in a mental hospital the whole time. But according to the dialog he was under a bridge at some point, so when did he get out, and how did he return?

Also take a look at verb tense, present verse past tense, and be consistent.

I think you have a good start on a creative story, but don't lose the reader along the way. Best of luck.



*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
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Review of Pressure  
Review by Damon Nomad
Rated: E | (2.5)
Hello Noah M. T. , Saw this as a recently revised short story in Read a Newbie. I like to read science fiction and this has some interesting ideas. From the introduction, it seems as if you might be going further with this story. I would encourage you to do so, you have a good start with an imaginative concept. As you continue, I would offer a few suggestions that might help.

Right now it is a wall of words, with no paragraph breaks. As a start, the first paragraph might nicely be as follows using your text. As the investors leave the room.

----------------------------------
The room is quiet. The machinations inside the holoprojectors whir like lions, so loud, yet no one cares. Above are the faces. I don’t know if they know yet. If I try to lie, and they know, I’m dead… but what good is it for me to keep this from anyone? I can’t keep living in a crusty basement forever, and… this would make me rich. I look into the eyes of all the investors. They know I’m a genius, and my work has made it into the lives of everyone with any form of income. They’re expecting something new, fresh, and something to make them richer than they need to be. I decide to lie. I just… don’t know this new… something too well yet. The investors sigh, I know they wanted something but choose to lie along with me, treating me to somewhat heartfelt goodbyes and wishes. The investors disappear, and the lion stops whirring.

-------------------------------------

As a next step, study each paragraph for clarity for the reader. Step by step as you build your story. For example, is there a clear image for the reader of this scene. It's in a crusty basement but it's a bit muddled beyond that. Fore example, Above are their faces. What does that mean, whose faces and they are above what?

---------------------------------------

A little more of a hint about the nature of the lie would help as well.

----------------------------------------

I think you have an image in your mind of this scene, I can catch glimpses of it but as the reader I cannot follow what is going on enough to stay interested. But I think with some additional work you can get it there.

These are my opinions and I wish you the best of luck with your writing.



*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
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Review by Damon Nomad
Rated: E | (3.5)
Hello jackiemuse, I found this in recently revised short stories. This is a curious short tale for a contest. Without knowing what the goal was it's a little difficult to say how well you met the objectives. First-person narration works for this story. My only comment is the end, I didn't really get it. It seemed like something was missing, but I suspect it might be something to do with the contest. Best of luck.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
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Review by Damon Nomad
Rated: 13+ | (2.5)
Hello Rumba , I came across this in Read a Newbie and the introduction indicated it was a science fiction story. I gave it a read, but it does not really seem to be cast in the form of a story. It reads a bit more like some type of allegorical essay or commentary. I think it might need a bit of restructuring into a more logical flow. I got seriously lost when you introduced the concept of Mose.

----------------------------------
Mose is the first element to be generated by reacting to the sensations experienced by people who have certain values in their ego.
----------------------------------

It was an interesting start but I could not follow to the end. My suggestion is some better structure and some editing. A few sentences including the first are difficult to understand.

---------------------------------
Letter to posterity, in case our world should return to be excluded and forgetful of that confederation composed of all the other worlds that populate our universe.
---------------------------------
I think there are two or three sentences blended together there in one.

I wouldn't give up on it,you have a lot of imaginative thoughts and concepts wrapped up in here. In my humble view it's hard for the reader to follow you along on the journey. Could just be me.

Keep writing.



*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
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Review by Damon Nomad
Rated: ASR | (4.0)
Hello Writer_Mike , I came across this in recently edited short stories and the introduction sounded interesting to me. When I saw all of the bold and checked the prompt, I thought about not reviewing it. But I could not imagine trying to write a short story with so many movie titles. So I had to give it a look and I am glad I did. I didn't know all of the movie titles, but I assume they are in fact movie titles. Impressively done, it's a bit awkward in just a few spots with the use of the titles as not the best turn of phrase, but that is not a criticism. I certainly could not improve on it. It's a funny and interesting story and you keep it moving along. Well done. No suggestions from me.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
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Review by Damon Nomad
Rated: E | (3.5)
Hello bn skinner , I came across this in Read a Newbie and the introduction sounded intriguing. I like the story idea and the plot line you have for this classic ghost story. The flow of the story is good as the intrigue grows about who the ghost is and why he is visiting.

I think it is a great start, I have a few suggestions if you are still working on this. These are my opinions.

----------------------
Regarding the use of the Blue Room something does not feel right about the backstory of why people are there.
There is a dark room for developing pictures. Sounds kind of 1970s but that is fine. It sounds strange that visitors would go into the dark room. That is a complex process and a bit dangerous with chemicals. I think maybe another backstory would be more credible.

The paragraph that first describes the apparition might need some clarification. The Blue Room is now a darkroom; is the presence of the bed part of the ghostly illusion? If so, you might want to clarify.

The long section where the exorcist is giving the explanation drags a bit as it is all exposition of au unknown story teller. Maybe you could make for some dialog back and forth between Glaring and the exorcist to engage the reader.

Minor edit - - - He doesn't say a world; only smiles. word

I think it is a good story and best of luck.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
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Review of Thunderstorm  
Review by Damon Nomad
Rated: 13+ | (3.5)
Hello Revan1466 , I came across this work in progress under Read a Newbie. I guess it is the start of a long short story, novella, or novel. It would help reviewers if you put that into the introduction so they know what they are looking at. It's a fast-paced story that you move along mostly through the dialog. You seem to have the start to an interesting plot line for what has happened and will happen to your two main characters. On the mechanics, I would recommend that you look at dialog tagging and action beats to help the reader keep track of who is talking in each scene. There are a few places with extensive dialog without any form of tags to the speaker. On a future draft you might want to fill out your characters a little more, what are they like, what do they look like etc. Keep working it, you have a good start. Best of luck.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
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Review by Damon Nomad
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hello W.P. Gerace , I came across this short story in Read a Newbie. This story is told in a classic third-person omnipotent storyteller mode. Difficult to do, but you have certainly done it well. The descriptive scene setting is finely crafted to bring the scene alive. What I like most about this story is that the reader kind of knows where it is headed, but you put a bit of twist in as John meets lost loved ones. I offer that you take a look at the following sentence:

--------------------

Out in the distance a little further down the walkway from his place John could hear the festive tweeting of Robins, their petite brown bodies hanging out in the towering oaks that lined the street.

---------------------
It's a bit awkward and at first I thought John was down the path on the walkway. Maybe something like:
---------------------
John could hear the festive tweeting of Robins coming from a little further away. He could picture their petite figures perched in the towering oaks along the street.

----------------
Just my opinion.

Nicely done. Keep writing and posting on WDC.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
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Review by Damon Nomad
Rated: E | (3.5)
Hello Sophia Snowflake , I came across this short story in Read a Newbie. The premise is clever, imaginative, and original. The tone of the story is consistent throughout which is good for the reader. The story is told by a third-person omnipotent storyteller in a classic style. A few suggestions that might improve your story, IMHO. Why does Timmy immediately suspect that the coat is talking to him? It's just a note in a pocket. Maybe if the means by which the note appears is a bit more magical.

For example, Timmy felt something moving and wriggling in the bottom of the pocket. He pulled his hand back and then slowly felt again to see what it was, it was a small sheet of paper that was making its way through the liner of the coat.

Just an idea.

On a mechanical point, spoken dialog is in quotes and not written information. A standard approach is to make it in italics.

Best of luck and keep writing.





*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
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Review of Carved in Stone  
Review by Damon Nomad
Rated: E | (3.5)
Hello Archer , I came across this in read a newbie. I like the plot and the twist you have built into the story. You tell the story through first person narration which seems to work well for this action story. My only suggestion is the brevity of the story, which might be necessary if it is for a contest of some sort. There is a lot of action that get's diluted because it is told so quickly and the climax is reduced. Best of luck and keep writing.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
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Review of Bent  
Review by Damon Nomad
Rated: 13+ | (3.5)
Hello WriterAngel . I came across this story as recently revised. It is a fast moving story as the protagonist and Orc Boy struggle. The description of the action is good. You stay with first person point of view which works well for the story. A few observations for your consideration. The first paragraph felt awkward. Here is a suggestion.

-------------------------------

I should have known better. That's the thought that flashed through my mind as I prepared for death. No images of the memories from my life as I stared at the barrel of Orc Boy's blaster in front of my face. I squeezed my natural eye shut and willed the aperture of my ocular implant shut as well. I imagined the white-hot plasma vaporizing my skull as I knelt in the darkness. I heard the click of the trigger in the last nano-second of my life.
------------------------

You might also take a look at some other sentences that seem to be run-ons with comma splices.

I think this is a good story but it could use some editing focused on sentence structure and punctuation. I recognize it because it is something I struggle with as well. I have spent a lot of time studying compound sentences using coordinating conjunction and sentence subordination over the last year to try and improve the quality of my writing.

Best of luck with your writing.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
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