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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/profile/reviews/dmcarroll
Review Requests: OFF
60 Public Reviews Given
Review Style
I tend to first look for whether there is an interesting story in the writing and if it leaves me wanting more before getting into the nuts and bolts of writing.
I'm good at...
I look for plot line, character arch, and point of view.
Favorite Genres
Dark, Fantasy, Science Fiction.
Least Favorite Genres
Non-fiction, erotic.
Public Reviews
Previous ... -1- 2 ... Next
1
1
Review by DMCarroll
In affiliation with Fantasy and Science Fiction So...  
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
I am enjoying this story. I hope you continue to write more about this character. I think this chapter does answer some of the lingering questions about what is going on from Chapter one while creating many more questions.

I feel as though more dialogue may be needed, even if they are just Michael recording thoughts to transmit later to Synthia. There were opportunities where a couple of lines would worked well to breakup what Michael was doing physically and would also create a sense of personality.

You wrote the action well. I could see Michael moving through the ship, but I would love to know more about what Michael was seeing (colors, shapes, sounds, etc).

Lines that stopped me in my tracks:

"Just like in the movies, one could easily remove it, to find a green in the red cables in it." This may be just comma placement or need to be re-written for clarity.

"His black uniform tightened and softened with his rapid breaths, his cold, black eyes wished my death a thousand times in every single second." This sentence just needs to be separated into two sentences.

I look forwarded to your next chapter.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
2
2
Review by DMCarroll
In affiliation with Fantasy and Science Fiction So...  
Rated: ASR | (4.5)
Your story sucked me in. I was breathless by the end. This was very well written.

The character is well thought out, but I was not able to visualize her. Told in the First person, it is sometimes hard to include some visual component. It would add to the story to know what the psychic looked like.

Grammar is not my strongest skill, but this seemed very clean. It reads as though you have spent many hours polishing this story.

Overall, this story does well as a stand alone, but I could also see this as part of a bigger story.

Keep writing!


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
3
3
Review by DMCarroll
In affiliation with Fantasy and Science Fiction So...  
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
You have a wonderful writing style. This short story was almost romantic and emotional.

The characters are well developed and believable. I could feel deeply the naivety of Nella and her longing to find a connection with another person.

I had almost hoped that there could be any other outcome than Aleithaz's having to feed on her, and you conveyed that same desire in the characters. I think that helped to solidify the ending. Even though I would loved to have seen a happy ending, this was the best ending for this story.

The pace was perfect. You wasted no time in getting Nella into the cave and then spent the needed time to build the relationship between Nella and Aleithaz.

Grammar is not my strong area, but this seemed very clean. I can tell you have taken great pains in editing to polish this story.

I am curious if there is a bigger story here. You have created a backstory and world worth exploring. There could be a larger story for Aleithaz.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
4
4
Review of Death at the Door  
Review by DMCarroll
In affiliation with Fantasy and Science Fiction So...  
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
This is an interesting scene of a soul meeting death. You can do a lot from here or leave this as a stand alone. The basic plot of death taking the soul is met. You have left a few questions (I am sure you are aware) about how he died, why, and ultimately what happens to his wife. I assume this is because of the word limit you were trying to achieve.

I would love to see what you can do with this without a word limit.

Your perspective (point of view) is perfect. A true first person, would have spoiled the stories surprises. On the other hand, it would have been interesting to have Johnson a little (more) confused when he first woke up would have helped foreshadow his death.

I enjoy foreshadowing a lot. I feel this is an essential part of writing in a Dark Genre. The only question I have is the use of the maggots in the fridge. It seems a little out of place if the wife had just killed her husband. Perhaps explaining how Death touched these items and then they had maggots would clear this (just a suggestion).

Your writing style is suited to the dark and macabre. You do show skills in foreshadowing (imperative in setting up suspense) and writing without being grotesque in your descriptions (also important in my opinion).

I am not a good editor (Grammarly is my friend), but your work appeared very clean and clear of any blatant grammar errors.

Keep writing.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
5
5
Review by DMCarroll
In affiliation with Fantasy and Science Fiction So...  
Rated: 13+ | (3.5)
This has promise. I am curious how you will write this story from this point. You have set up a kingdom, history, and mythical creatures combined with the macabre of vampires.

I must admit that the second half was easier to read than the first. The language of the character which is heavily accented can become difficult to read. That being said, the second half included a lot of internal dialogue. This may have been improved by either limiting the internal dialogue or changing the Point of View to a true first person telling from Zahilla.

The plot is interesting. I would be curious to read more. You have raised enough questions to keep me turning the pages so I can find out more.

Grammar is my weakness (Grammarly is my best friend). I did not pay attention to this in the second half. However, in the earlier edited part, I did find a couple of sentences you may want to take a look at.
1. "The usual speech had now begun and as if a flame had been snuffed out both mother and child they closed off their ears and a sort of boredom fell over the crowd." This seems to need a comma or two, or maybe would benefit from being re-written in to two separate sentences.
2. "Fore boding doom continues to wash over Zahilla" I believe this should be Foreboding.

Overall: You have piqued my interest. You have combined a lot of elements that have not been tried together, and I am curious where you will take the story.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
6
6
Review of Coffee Bleeds Red  
Review by DMCarroll
In affiliation with Fantasy and Science Fiction So...  
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
I love dark imagery. Thank you for using the classics to foreshadow death and doom. Whether intentional or not, the red mug breaking prepared me for the blood you later had on the floor in the kitchen. These are little techniques are little used now-a-days.

I felt the intensity you must have experienced in writing this short story. It felt as though it were a dreamscape or nightmare.

Beginning, middle, and end is evenly balanced. I felt you moved the story along at a very good pace.

I am terrible at grammar (Grammarly is my best friend), so no feedback there. However, you may want to read through. Is Tamp the name of the place? "cool 73 degrees on that sunny Tamp morning,"

Overall, I am eager to troll through your profile. I enjoy the macabre.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
7
7
Review of Dark Energy  
Review by DMCarroll
In affiliation with Fantasy and Science Fiction So...  
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
This was a fascinating read. I am a fan of science fiction and love that you shown cross-sections of a future history. I never felt lost and loved that you connected the Smith family from each generation.

I felt, in the end, like I had just read a novel in just a few minutes.

My only suggestion would be to expand on this and turn it into a larger project. There is a fantastic plot you have created but I would love to have gotten to see more about the characters and how they developed through the generations.

I am terrible with grammar suggestions, as this is my weakest editing still. (Grammarly is my best friend). There were no obvious grammar issues.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
8
8
Review by DMCarroll
In affiliation with Fantasy and Science Fiction So...  
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Beautifully written! Though this was a narrative, you managed to show the story rather than just tell me what was happening. I thought the addition of the meet-cute with Cindy was a fantastic way to humanize the narrator and showcase the time and space traveling he was doing.

I am not the person to critique grammar (I am weak in this area); however, there was one line that did stand out as needing to reviewed.
"It is a wise choice however, that we make to live here in the present and move only in a stable linear direction."

As for suggestions, I really do not have any. I am not typically a romantic, but I would like to have seen more of a conclusion to the budding romance with Cindy. Possibly having him see her again before the story concludes or having her call rather than his buddy.

Overall, I really did enjoy this narrative.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
9
9
Review of Memories Immortal  
Review by DMCarroll
In affiliation with Fantasy and Science Fiction So...  
Rated: E | (4.0)
What an interesting, thought-provoking idea for a character. You an absolutely infinite number of stories and a variety of points of views you can take.

I like the philosophy behind the immortal, the boredom, and the cycle of unending learning, relearning, etc. You do manage to punctuate a beginning and middle without actually ending the immortal existence.

Suggestions: None. Since your genre indicated that this was a philosophy, I was not expecting this to include a story line; however, if you wanted to, you could set up scenes which illustrate the different cycles of the immortals life.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
10
10
Review by DMCarroll
In affiliation with Fantasy and Science Fiction So...  
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
I love stories. This has great elements of fantasy and science fiction. You have managed to narrate a lot of description and history into this short story. I like the well, thought out culture and characters. You gave a lot of information in a short time about the Pern and the characters.

I felt like you had a lot of telling in this story. I would like to have heard more dialogue between characters. This would have helped to show the mating desire between the captain and Brylla, and also to show the landing sights and sounds. You could have used this technique to build up the climax before Prell's final attack.

ON A SIDE NOTE: I have been re-reading stories about the Dragonriders of Pern by Anne McCaffrey. This threw me for a moment in the beginning of your story.

Keep Writing.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
11
11
Review of FOREVER  
Review by DMCarroll
In affiliation with Fantasy and Science Fiction So...  
Rated: E | (3.5)
At the start, I thought this should be a poem. You have created a descriptive march through time. Revealing only in the end that the narrator is a self-aware machine. As the story progressed, I felt the shift from a beginning young world to almost an intimate relationship with one man as he aged and finally died. The growth of the machine was noted in the shift in writing style. (I am not sure if the change in writing style was intentional or not).

The first person Point of View is ideal in this story, as you are reciting those observations of the machine.

Suggestions: It felt like the beginning was set in a rhythm and then it stopped. As I mentioned, this would be an incredible poem (just my personal opinion), and when the rhythm moved into a narrative story about Jonathan, I felt the shift in style. My suggestion would be to make sure the style is the same in the beginning and the end.

Keep Writing!


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
12
12
Review of The Flawed Gods  
Review by DMCarroll
In affiliation with Fantasy and Science Fiction So...  
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
I am excited by the premise of an immortal protector. This short story is a great opener for either a graphic novel or novel. I can tell you have more to tell. It reminds me a little of a Dark Comic's character.

May I suggest that you blend the narration and some dialogue. Starting with the dialogue in the beginning and then moving to straight narration caused me to become slightly confused, almost as though these parts were written by two different people.

The writing was clear, clean, and by staggering the sentence length, I feel like you were able to convey the scenes without causing me to have to re-read the sentences to understand what was happening.

Small request: I am weak in the eyes, and the small font was hard to focus on. It would be helpful if this were just a little (not a lot) larger than it is.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
13
13
Review by DMCarroll
In affiliation with Fantasy and Science Fiction So...  
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
If I have not said it before in previous feedback, I really like what you have created. I am eager to see if you have a finished product published.

Your writing style is very enjoyable and humorous. This is not a style I am able to pull off, but you do very well.

Keep writing,

DM


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
14
14
Review by DMCarroll
In affiliation with Fantasy and Science Fiction So...  
Rated: 18+ | (5.0)
Teasing with tidbits! I am enthralled and cannot wait to see what you do with this. Is this published?

You certainly have created a fascinating character. The supporting characters and dialogue really allow for Michael's humor and personality to shine.

I hope to read more.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
15
15
Review by DMCarroll
In affiliation with Fantasy and Science Fiction So...  
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
It took me some time to find this at the bottom of the list of stories about Michael, but I found the larger project I was hoping you were writing with this character.

This was an interesting opening and it moved along fast. I love the action scenes with Michael because it really showcases his sense of humor.

Obviously, this Harry is not the Harry from the "Stronger than Rage" story. I really am enjoying the mystical creatures.

SUGGESTION: (take it or leave it, it is just a suggestion) I would love to have "Seen" more mythical creatures drinking at the bar through Michael's eyes. You could have included the good and some bad.

LOVE THIS: "Said 'Happy Sweet Sixteen WDC'?"


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
16
16
Review by DMCarroll
In affiliation with Fantasy and Science Fiction So...  
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
More fun with Michael. I am really enjoying this character (if you have not figured this out by now). I like the action and the introduction of the Mystical creature he is fighting.

Question: Was this intentional? “Welp, it’s been fun!” Or did you mean "Well, it's been fun!"?

Kyle should not be forgotten. Though his memory is whipped, I think a repeat scene with this character would be fun. Kyle is just the sort of "Straight man" that Michael needs to come across from time to time.

You keep writing, I will keep reading.

DM


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
17
17
Review of The Ghostly Heart  
Review by DMCarroll
In affiliation with Fantasy and Science Fiction So...  
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
I love this character you have created. Michael is sarcastic and comical. I find his fearlessness reminiscent of "Han Solo" character (yes, I just referenced Star Wars. I am a Sci-Fi Nerd).

About half-way through, I was questioning your use of First Person Point of View, but that ended when Michael began to narrate to me and fill in the "blanks."

I see by your portfolio that you have spent time building this character. I hope you intend a larger project for him.

Keep writing,
DM


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
18
18
Review of Free Spirit  
Review by DMCarroll
In affiliation with Fantasy and Science Fiction So...  
Rated: E | (4.5)
I am not a poet. It take a special mind to put on paper a poem that creates a pressure in the chest and a tear in the eye. This is one of those poems. If I had not read the dedication at the end of the story, I would have assumed that this was a mother's final goodbye to a child who died early. Having lost a puppy (puppy was 14, not really a puppy, but my puppy none-the-less), I understand completely that they consume your heart much like a child would and the love you have for a furry-child is no less than any other.

Your poem does a wonderful job of conveying the love you had for Tara.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
19
19
Review of Avrak & Eve  
Review by DMCarroll
In affiliation with Fantasy and Science Fiction So...  
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
This is wonderful introduction to Avrak. I hope you are planning a continuation to write more about this character. It feels like there could be a wonderful story centered around this rogue.

The title suggests that there would also be a second character; but I did not feel that I had enough in this story to get to know Eve. However, you did portray her well, and I did learn that she was skillful with the sword and an excellent fighter.

I would suggest making some changes to the following sentences. It felt awkward while reading and was the only part of the entire story where I was brought back from the story to reality until I could read past it: "Instinct taking over, he ran behind her, scratching the hairs on the back of her neck with a small knife. Instinct fled as quickly as it had come; he couldn't do it."

Overall, I liked this. I would love to read more about Avrak.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
20
20
Review by DMCarroll
In affiliation with Fantasy and Science Fiction So...  
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
This is fantastic! I loved the interaction between Henry and the Red man in the beginning and was never confused by the dialogue, which can happen when not written clearly. You have done a wonderful job of showing the action that happened prior to this scene with being grotesque. I felt the humor in the Wizard, Michael, and would love to read more about this character.

I can offer no critical feedback, as this short story is perfect just the way it is. Only, I would love more. I would love to read more about the Wizard. Michael is fantastic.

Thank you,
DM


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
21
21
Review by DMCarroll
In affiliation with Fantasy and Science Fiction So...  
Rated: 18+ | (3.5)
Please remember to take any opinion with a grain of salt. It is only an opinion. When we write, we should always write what interests us so the passion shines through.

First Opinion: I believe you have an interesting story here. I like the idea of the futuristic war and the battle ground being on multiple planets. The story was a little hard to read due to run-on sentences. Also, there was a lot of story "telling" rather than showing through action. The backstory about Michael and Sylvana's love would have been better described if you had more interaction between the two characters and displayed the tension and love between them. Telling me that Michael loves Sylvana is never as good as showing the love through his actions, words, and thoughts when he sees her.

Plot: Obviously with only one chapter, there is not enough of the plot revealed to offer feedback. I can see the beginnings of a futurist, science fiction, interstellar war and a star-crossed-lovers style romance.

Pacing: The first chapter includes a lot of information, and I felt that you delivered it succinctly. However, it felt mechanical rather than organic. How much of this information is important in Chapter one?

P.O.V.: Your story is very large, and in chapter one, you have selected a first person point of view. This can be dangerous as you limit you ability to share information that can help to show the world you are creating and how the story can progress. This also limits you from being able to explain to the reader anything that the protagonist does not already know. You may want to consider a narrator for this story so that you can fill in any missing information you are not able to show through character actions and dialogue. A Narrator can help you to include information about the futuristic technology and backstories of all the characters.

Grammar: I am not the person to have as an editor, it is a weakness of mine. As I mentioned above, there are a lot of run-on sentences that can be hard to read through. You may want to consider breaking them into smaller more actionable sentences.

Overall: There is an interesting sci-fi/fantasy story here. I want to encourage you to continue to write this. I recommend working on showing the story by using more of the characters actions to describe what is being seen rather than telling what is happening. I also recommend considering a different point of view. You may want to consider a Narrator or 3rd person.

We are writers and are allowed to hold to our belief that what we have written is what we meant to write.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
22
22
Review of Train Wreck  
Review by DMCarroll
In affiliation with Fantasy and Science Fiction So...  
Rated: E | (3.0)
I want to first apologize. Yours is the first I have read and reviewed in over 6 months. For reasons of my own, I have been absent from writing.com.

Overall Impression: You intrigued me with your early descriptions of the train wreck and how you cycled in to the main character (yourself?) and your panic. I was further drawn in as your story grew to include the town, firefighters, and neighbors. The story seemed to crest early and I felt there was an ending that was left dangling. You did, however, complete the story by flashing forward to the future and the safety of the children and the question of what chemically damaged patients really means.

Suggestions: I would love to see more clearly the message you were writing. If this story was related to the lack of information about chemical damaged brains, you might want to write in a character which displayed the results of the damage. If this story was, in contrast, about the families survival, you might want to have include someone else's tragedy to emphasize the good fortune of the children and mother.

Please take what you will from my suggestions and leave the rest.

Thank you for sharing this story. Keep writing.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
23
23
Review by DMCarroll
In affiliation with Fantasy and Science Fiction So...  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Riveting!

I will confess to you that I am personally in the throes of some personal dilemma which has me away from my computer more than on it, and so when I checked the status of this review and the length of your story, I nearly turned away and let it expire.

But, the first few words captured me. Once I was into the church and attending service with your characters I even turned down the volume of the News which I had on in the same room so I could better hear your story. (Yes, when I read I actually hear it).

I had a tear in my eye for the way the parishioners were treating the laborer who sought to hear the word or God, and I welled with anger at Virginia. How dare she be so unwelcoming. In many ways, I identified with that feeling of being the outcast during mass.

Your story took a turn and I was unsure for a moment why the Padre was so accommodating to perform confession at that moment until I heard the argument. (very well written dialogue).

I understood quickly that the two men were brothers and that one had stolen the others life, but I did have to reread a couple of sentences to clearly understand that the brother who had stolen the life of his brother had stolen it again in the end. (by the time I got to this point in the story, I was reading so fast that it began to get confusing).

I cannot tell you the anger that I felt when I realized your ending. Not because it was bad, but because I believed it. I felt the anguish. I felt the horror that Virginia must have experienced.

Do not change a thing. This piece is wonderfully written.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
24
24
Review of Divorce, Murder  
Review by DMCarroll
In affiliation with Fantasy and Science Fiction So...  
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
Please remember to take any opinion with a grain of salt. It is only an opinion. When we write, we should always write what interests us so the passion shines through.

First Opinion: I was holding my breath through this entire piece. You created very real characters whose interaction brings into light the simple fact that men are also subject to domestic violence. The passive-aggressive manner in which this wife subjugated her husband is a somber reminder of that fact.

I felt the pacing was good and that it allowed the reader (me) to float through Brownfield's life. I do wish that there was a glimpse of him at work and wonder if work was effected by his failing marriage or if work was his sanctuary.

P.O.V.: I love playing with point of view until I find just the right one for any piece. I would not change the point of view at all. You have presented this piece in such a way that you are able to see the struggle that Brownfield goes through with out him stating 'this is my life' thus creating a more believable character.

This point of view also allowed for more dynamic dialogue. If I may make one suggestion, the dialogue between Brownfield and the therapist needs a little more body language. It seemed to read a little like 'Dragnet.' I would love to see more of Brownfield's discomfort and perhaps only a little body inflection from the therapist to indicate whether there is sympathy from him or not.

Grammar: I am not the person to have as an editor, it is a weakness of mine, but this seemed clean.

Overall: This very emotional piece felt a little to real. I mean this in the best possible way. After reading this, I want to hug my husband and thank him for just being here.

We are writers and are allowed to hold to our belief that what we have written is what we meant to write.



*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
25
25
Review of It's Too Late  
Review by DMCarroll
In affiliation with Fantasy and Science Fiction So...  
Rated: 13+ | (3.5)
Please remember to take any opinion with a grain of salt. It is only an opinion. When we write, we should always write what interests us so the passion shines through.

First Opinion: I love the idea of this story. My favorite writing subjects center around the end of the world, morbid though that may be.

The writing felt a little broken up in the beginning, possibly repetitive in the desire to offer Kevin the lawyer. I thought in the early paragraphs that you were going to tell me that Kevin raped/killed rather than just groped the victims. There seemed to be a somber/severe mood earlier on that did not equal the offence.

I am curious where you attained your interview techniques. My understanding (based completely on American police TV) is that there is less offering of a lawyer after the rights have been read and more trying to get the perpetrator to admit guilt.

I love the science you presented. You obviously did some research here. It was believable and touches on one of the fears people have about scientist and those experiments.

P.O.V.: I love playing with point of view until I find just the right one for any piece. If I can suggest a rewrite to a First person told from the detective's point of view. This would allow all the description about Kevin to be told from an inner monologue and would allow the reader to be the detective and more involved with the story progression.

Grammar: I am not the person to have as an editor, it is a weakness of mine, but this seemed clean.

Overall: I did enjoy this. The title is what drew me in, and as I said before this is one of my favorite subjects. I think it is fascinating how many ways we as writers can destroy the Earth.

I want to say again, this is just my opinion and you are free to take what you want from my suggestions and leave the rest. We are writers and are allowed to hold to our belief that what we have written is what we meant to write.


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