*Magnify*
SPONSORED LINKS
Get it for
Apple iOS.
Creative fun in
the palm of your hand.
Printed from http://www.writing.com/main/profile/reviews/elle/sort_by/r.review_creation_time+DESC/sort_by_last/r.review_creation_time+DESC/page/5
Review Requests: OFF
531 Public Reviews Given
Review Style
I generally give an overview of the item, then point out any corrections, suggestions or highlight favourite lines. I am a member of the Paper Doll Gang and a captain of the "WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group. See my reviews below for examples.
I'm good at...
Proofreading and catching typos, spelling mistakes and incorrect grammar.
Favorite Genres
Romance, fantasy
Least Favorite Genres
Horror
Favorite Item Types
Poetry.
Public Reviews
Previous ... 1 2 3 4 -5- 6 7 8 9 ... Next
101
101
Review by Elle
In affiliation with P.E.N.C.I.L.  
Rated: E | (3.0)
*Pencil* A "P.E.N.C.I.L. Review *Pencil*


Hi Christina,
I'm here for another chapter. *Smile*

This chapter is from Butchie's point of view, and it tells us his excitement at the prospect of meeting Christina. I think there is a huge potential for more 'showing' instead of 'telling' with this. When Butchie starts looking up flights on the internet, show us him sitting at his computer. Is he in a comfy chair using a laptop, or an office chair at a desk? Is he drumming his fingers as he waits for pages to load? When he hears from his daughter, show us this by letting us overhear the phone call, rather than relaying the information. Let us see him and hear him. What do his expressions tell us? What is his tone of voice as he talks to his daughter?

It was time to see her, meet her, taste her, feel her and see if their touching, their kissing and their lovemaking was electric, passionate, different, if there was that sparkle or that magnetic force that put two lovers together and kept them together, if there was that so called chemistry.
This long sentence could easily be broken up into shorter sentences that would be easier on the reader.

He started working his way out on the Internet and see about tickets to Brasilia.
This sentence is a little awkward. What about something like 'He started researching tickets to Brasilia on the internet'?

I wanted to be there when you got home, when you do that around five thirty six pm, and leave you a thought, love, care, and how much you have become to mean to me.
'five thirty six pm' is a pretty exact time. Unless you mean between five thirty pm and six pm, but if so, you need to separate the two times somehow.

Butchie babbles a bit in his email. I'm not sure if these emails are cut and pasted from the original emails between yourself and Butchie or if you are writing them for this story - if it's the latter, I would suggest having a look over it and seeing where you can trim words. What words are necessary, and which aren't? It certainly gets across his excitement and nervousness though.

This chapter gives us another step forward in the relationship between Butchie and Christina - they are finally going to meet. Not only that, but Butchie has made a commitment of sorts by booking the tickets. This is a very relevant chapter - if we can just work on the action, putting the reader IN the scene, and showing instead of telling, this will be a great addition to the story.

*NoteO* ~ Elle

*StarO* WRITE ON! *StarO*

Image for all reviews done for the PENCIL group.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
102
102
Review by Elle
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: 13+ | (3.0)
A dragon reading a book by candle light


I found this item through the CLASH tournament, for which I am a judge. I hope my comments can offer some assistance in preparing for future rounds.

Weaknesses: Wanderer is not an open book and so any weaknesses he has aren’t just going to be aired out for you to take advantage of
This is certainly how I would have felt going into a tournament for the first time, but most of the competitors feel secure enough in their characters to reveal their weaknesses. Indeed, some of them reveal some startling weaknesses, but still manage to come out victorious. Have a read through some of the other characters' references and see what you think.

The High Council gathers, confers (and do so in stereotypical, hushed tones High Councils take when a story needs dramatic tension added to it by such a delay)
This seems an unusual way of reminding the reader that they are not part of the story, but just reading your work. I would take out the sarcasm and just write 'gathers, confers in hushed tones' etc. It is usually considered better not to mock your readers. *Laugh* Seriously though, I would consider removing this and staying 'in character' with your story.

I do like the fact that you have limited his 'legion, and too numerous to list in their entirety' skills to a more reasonable level for the tournament. This perhaps makes up for not noting any weaknesses. There has to be an element of risk or danger for the tournament to be exciting, I think. (Having read further on, you clearly agree. *Smirk*)

I still wish to race, even with this rather non-sensical and capricious, albeit interesting, caveat you’ve shackled upon me, which I’m sure will provide lots of dramatic story development.”
Here again, I don't understand why the character is referring to the story. As a reader, this annoys me. It sounds like you're mocking me and the tournament as a whole. I'm not sure that's what you intended, but that's my reaction as a reader.

As I reach the end of your introductory story, I still have a lot of questions about your character. I wonder how he'll do in combat, whether he has the proper motivation to win, whether he is tough enough or ruthless enough for the tournament, and a number of other queries. I think you've given us a glimpse, but I'd like to have seen more. I would suggest in the next round that you allow us to see him in a more dangerous situation so we can see if he really has the talents to back up his words. I look forward to reading it.

Image #1968925 over display limit. -?-


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
103
103
Review of Blue Hide  
Review by Elle
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: 18+ | (3.5)
A dragon reading a book by candle light


Hi there,
I found this item through the CLASH tournament, for which I am a judge. I hope my comments will help you prepare for the following rounds.

Race: Kruzen (live on outskirts of galaxy, nearly extinct, most are hired guns, bed reps)
Bed reps? Can I assume you mean bad reps?

I think your first two paragraphs, while they share a little of your character's personality and bitterness, aren't necessary. I think you'd grab the reader's attention more if you started with action, and allowed the reader to infer the other information. I'd start with 'I land my small hovercraft'.

Typical I grit my teeth and continue to walk away from what could turn into a bloody situation. I can already feel my right eye tick ticking from my rising anger.
I think the word 'Typical' could be a sentence on its own if you put a full stop after it. Tick ticking is awkward. The actual facial tic doesn't have a k in the word. So it's tic ticking, but still, I would try to find another word other than ticking. 'I can already feel my right eye twitching from my rising anger.'

I’ll your blue hide a pretty penny.
This sentence is missing something and doesn't make sense.

At least I did the other blue hided ladies the other night.
I realise this is dialogue and so might be more colloquial than regular writing, but still, this is an awkward sentence. Blue hided? I would suggest removing the word hided. You've also got the word other twice in this sentence, so one of them should be replaced with a different word.

but by no means was I not armed
Erg, a double negative. I would change this to 'but I was certainly still armed'.

As his life drains away, I turn and head into the Octopus.
Brutal! She certainly has temper issues!!

At least most of this crowd is too drunk to notice what I ma
Small typo there.

The guard look s as if he’s about to say something
Another small typo.

I doubt he knows what he means, but he bristles anyway.
I think that should be 'I doubt he knows what it means'.

He runs backwards into another wall and I wince as pain ricochets up my spine.
Love the use of the word ricochets here!

I really enjoyed the end of this. You used more descriptive language, and it seemed a little more polished.

Overall your character certainly seems well suited to the tournament. She is absolutely ruthless and not afraid to kill or to be hurt. She has rapidly healing and regeneration which is a highly useful trait. I'm not sure if her short temper will work for or against her. There seems to be a latent sense of sardonic humour lurking beneath the surface which I'd love to see come out more in future rounds.

Good work, and I look forward to seeing more of your work in future rounds.

Image #1968925 over display limit. -?-


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
104
104
Review of The Assignment  
Review by Elle
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
A dragon reading a book by candle light


Hi Alex,
I found this item through the CLASH tournament, for which I am a judge. I hope some of this feedback helps you as you move into the next round.

I like the way you don't use dialogue tags for all your dialogue. Sometimes you do, which is fine, but you often use neighbouring sentences to illustrate who is speaking, and their expression or tone. Sometimes the dialogue doesn't need any accompaniment for us to know who is talking. You do this very well. I have taken some notes for my own writing! *Smile*

At the age of twenty, Jayce Richardson was having sex for the second time.
That's certainly an attention grabbing first line!!

As he made love to the beautifully pale blue-skinned Ruluvia, he couldn't help remembering his first time having sex with the beautifully pink-skinned, Private Janice Whitcomb.
You have used the word beautifully twice in this sentence, I'd recommend changing one of them to another word.

The High Command had insisted that that they do the full deed in order that Janice's rape accusations be provable in a court of law.
Hmm, that's interesting information to add to what we read in the character reference. Now my mind is buzzing!

Jayce put on shorts and opened the door to see his brother, Michael, no less.
You spell Michael this way (which is what I would have thought was correct) but it is spelled Micheal in the character reference and throughout the rest of this story.

Just about everyone on this planet whether human like his brother, or Gringan like Ruluvia thought that the Grand Overlord was the most wonderful being in the known universe.
I think the comma is in the wrong place in this sentence. I would have written it as 'Just about everyone on this planet, whether human like his brother or Gringan like Ruluvia, thought that the Grand Overlord was the most wonderful being in the known universe.'

"Really?" said Micheal.
Because that's a question, it should be probably say asked instead of said.

Besides, another corner of his mind reminded him, to be too pro-marine would hurt his cover.
Ooh, more to get us thinking. I sense a twist ahead. Good foreshadowing!

"Have you," asked the Grand Overlord, "watched the holovision at all in the past twenty-four hours?"
He touched a button on his remote control, and a perfectly good Holovision came to life in the room.

In the first sentence you refer to the holovision with a lower case h, but in the other sentence you use a capital as if Holovision is a brand name. You need to pick one or the other and decide if it's a generic name or a brand name.

He actually had a few different emotions at the moment partly because he had a few different roles each with their own emotions.
I think this sentence is redundant, because you explain his conflicting emotions sufficiently in the following sentences. I'd take this sentence out.

This is a satisfacrory outcome.
A small typo there.

Out loud, he said.
When Krylon didn't respond, he said.

There should be commas at the end of those instead of full stops, to link the dialogue with the dialogue tags.

"an unsatisfactory outcome," said Jayce.
You need a capital letter at the beginning of that sentence, even though he is effectively continue the dialogue of the previous speaker.

Overall, this is a very intriguing story. There are clearly multiple storylines working away in the background, and your plot seems far more intense than any of the others I have read for this tournament. If you keep control of all the plot threads, you have an excellent advantage.

In terms of your character, you have set him up with physical fighting skills, intelligence, a certain ruthlessness and a superior skill at lying. We haven't seen him in combat, and I am always disappointed by that in these auditions because it is a character versus character tournament and ultimately I want to see one character outwit or physically conquer the other. However, this is just the audition and there is plenty of time for that. We don't know for sure if he can bring himself to kill an opponent if it comes to that, but you have certainly set him up with the right background to be able to do it if need be - he sees the benefit in sacrificing a few to save the many, and is prepared to break the law to do what is right.

Overall, excellent work. I am very impressed!

Image #1968925 over display limit. -?-


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
105
105
Review by Elle
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: 13+ | (3.5)
A dragon reading a book by candle light


Hi William,
I found this item through the CLASH tournament, for which I am a judge. This review is just supposed to give you some basic feedback that you can take into the next round, and maybe help you to know if you're on the right track for your character to win favour with the judges. *Smile*

You seem to have put a lot of effort into the background story - where others competitors have done simple 'question and answer' surveys for their character references, you have gone far more in depth. While not necessary at the audition stage of the game, it will be to your benefit in the long run, so well done. The better you know your character, the easier you will find the tournament and the more likely you are to succeed. Just be wary of over-complicating things so that you don't confuse the judges. I must admit at this stage (after reading the character reference but before reading your story) I am a little confused about the effect of this neurite material on Vince, other than giving him telekinesis abilities. But I'm off to read the story and hopefully all will become clear!

I, Mitch, Thea, and Will were watching the newsfeeds together at home, on our giant entertainment center screen.
I think this should read 'Mitch, Thea, Will and I' rather than 'I, Mitch, Thea and Will'.

After we were probed in by Telalabs, tons of information on the stuff we got struck with has been gathered, and nearly every channel aired something related to the iridescent mineral.
'Probed in' should be just 'probed'. 'Tons of information on the stuff we got struck with has been gathered' should be 'they gathered tons of information on the material we had been struck with'.

"The hell's going on here?" Mitch said in an annoyed whisper.
Because it is a question, the dialogue tag should be 'asked' instead of 'said'.

Please bear in mind that I'm not pointing out these small errors to be a picky judge - at this stage in the game and particularly as the audition round is not an elimination round, this is just to help you learn and point out some things you might have overlooked. Characterisation is more important, but it is true that if there are two stories that are well told, with strong characters, one without spelling errors or grammar mistakes might win over one that does have errors. But I am genuinely just trying to help at this stage. *Smile*

Probably a gigantic hoax, perpetrated by some rich nut-job with money to burn." Will said, in the same annoyed tone as everyone else.
Don't wanna be dead meat." Mitch said, glancing at me with pale white eyes

With both of these, you need a comma before the name, rather than a full stop. The dialogue tag 'Will said' or 'Mitch said' is part of the same sentence as the dialogue.

I realise you only have a short space of story in which to say a lot, but it seemed his friends went very quickly from shock and horror at the idea of him participating to encouragement and support. It didn't even seem like he gave any particularly good reason. It might have seemed more realistic if someone (Thea?) was still reluctant and angry, even as he left. Also, his reasons for entering seem tenuous. He's after fame and glory? A cushy lifestyle? I'm not sure that seems a good enough reason to risk his life. Perhaps I missed something?

I stared out into the void of space, thinking about what I'll do if I won the race.
You changed tenses in this sentence. 'I'll' should be 'I'd'.

The titanium alloy chassis gleamed in the bright light of the hangar. The Dale-Tela logo, two stars separated by a line, was being slapped on by a filthy-looking engineer. After attaching the sticker, he leaped off the bike to greet me with a greasy pat on the back.

"Heya, V. Wanna ride this bike in the race?" The engineer reeked of synthetically enhanced oil and nitromethane.

I loved all your description of the engineer and Vince's interactions with him. I could practically picture (and smell!) him. *Smile*

I saw a brief flash of red as a monitor scanned my retinal patterns, it giving the OK.
That's an awkward way of saying it, 'it giving the OK'. Personally I always write OK as 'okay' in fiction like this, but even so. I would amend this to something like 'giving approval for me to board'.

"You are qualified for a quick screening, as we doubt your physical attributes. Actually, I'll provide you with a riddle if you would. Complete it, and your bike’s qualified to enter."
I'm confused. He doubts Vince's physical attributes, so he gives him a mental challenge? Why not a physical challenge if he doubts his physical capabilities? His mental capabilities weren't in doubt, were they?

I stared hard at the laser generators, trying to spot a way to get past them. One mess up could get me killed instantly. I thought about it for a while until the solution hit me. I picked up a box, a turquoise aura forming around it, and slammed it against one of the generators
There was no drama or suspense to this. Although it's hard to add drama and suspense to a mental challenge, you could potentially have added tension by having a time limit, by having Domumen goad him, by having him nearly sear himself on a laser, by... Well, there's a few things.

The one thing I really felt was missing was any evidence or even implication as to how Vince would cope in combat. Can he cope in a physical fight against another competitor? Is he ruthless enough to beat the others? Would he kill someone, if it came down to that? Some of his competitors are pretty dangerous.

Good work on the audition and I look forward to seeing your round one entry.

Image #1968925 over display limit. -?-


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
106
106
Review of Cold Desperation  
Review by Elle
In affiliation with WDC Addicts Anonymous  
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Header for The Gift Shop


This review is part of the gift basket from "Invalid Item that was bought for you with the message: 'Trick Or Treat On Behalf Of Your Haunter!!!'

Hi Calvin,
I found this through the CLASH tournament. I read through the character reference and got a rough idea of Alexea and her motivations, skills and weaknesses. Then, with the story part, you did a good job of staying true to the original prompt and it seemed a seamless continuation of that, but you also stayed true to the character you set up. It was an easy, enjoyable read.

She did not know this, but Likolo had emotionally adopted Alexea as a replacement daughter. He wanted to help avenge her sister’s death, even if that meant betraying his own nation.
My suggestion would be that if Alexea doesn't know it, then reveal it to the reader in another way, through action or words, rather than telling the reader. This helps us to avoid 'head hopping' but instead staying in Alexea's point of view.

She quickly started up the engine, and turned to the logging console. A quick punch destroyed any records she was there.
It's a very minor detail, but you used quickly and quick within two sentences there.

It seems unlikely that the guards at the planet's space port wouldn't have some sort of weapon they might fire at her. I was left wondering why they didn't fire or use more force to stop her leaving so abruptly.

Alexea muttered and obscenity.
That should be 'an obscenity'.

Slowly, as to not allow the making of noise, Alexea crept her bike up the line.
That sentence feels a little awkward. Perhaps 'Slowly, so she didn't make any noise, Alexea crept her bike up the line.'

When they got on the inside of the station, they both removed their helmets.
I think 'on the inside' should be 'to the inside'.

“No,” both said at the same time. “She snuck in with me at the same time!”
Here you have 'at the same time' used twice in close proximity.

“Now, now, miss,” Domumen seemed genuinely amused. “We won’t disqualify her just yet. We like people who break the rules.”
I loved this, and it seemed perfectly in character. Well done.

Gula shoved Alexea aside and dashed down one path. Alexea darted through the second path. She flipped over the first pit and paused for a second to allow a swinging blade to pass. She vaulted over more pits and ducked under spinning blades. She wished she could see how Gula was doing, but there was a wall with knives sticking out of it between them.
This was high action and drama, yet it seemed to be over so quickly. I don't have the skills at writing this kind of fast paced action to be able to make many suggestions for improvement, but I did feel like you could have spent a bit more time on this, and made us feel like we were running and dodging with Alexea. Was her heart racing? Let us see through her eyes as things come swinging at her. Let us feel like we're there.

Overall, I think you did an excellent job of setting up Alexea's character. By the time I got to the end of the story, I felt able to say whether things were in character for her or out of character - that shows that you've done your job well. Great work!

Elle

Come and check out "Invalid Item next time you're looking to pamper yourself or someone else. Reviews, raffles and more!


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
107
107
Review by Elle
In affiliation with P.E.N.C.I.L.  
Rated: E | (3.0)
*Pencil* A "P.E.N.C.I.L. Review *Pencil*


Hi Christina,
This is a long narrative chapter, and while it is written as an email from Christina to Butchie, it reads as the author's memoir. I would take snippets of the email, and intersperse them with Butchie's reactions as he reads them. This will help the reader to see these snippets as communication between the two main characters, rather than communication between the author and reader. It will also keep the focus on the present relationship rather than on the past.

After a year, I wanted to be a Sabra, too (in Hebrew: צבר. Sabra is a term to describe a native-Israeli Jew - also a fruit, a pear cactus that grows in the country).
The definition should ideally be worked in to the paragraph, rather than told to the reader. Of course, if this is in the context of an email Christina is sending to Butchie (which it is at the moment) then it's a little different. I would remove the reference to the fruit which is completely irrelevant and adds nothing but confusion.

I decided to stay with Jack's other sister, Chava, after an accident that happened in their home on a Friday or on their Sabbath (where from the sundown or dinner of Friday to the dinner of Saturday or when 3 stars appeared in the sky, the Sabbath is observed both by positive observances, such as three festive meals, and restrictions.)
I would leave out the definition of the Sabbath here, as it slows the pace of the writing, and isn't strictly necessary for the reader's understanding. You explain what is forbidden on the Sabbath in the next sentence which is enough.

I F L U S H E D the damn toilet!
I wouldn't separate the letters with spaces as you have done here, as it looks a little unprofessional for a novel. This type of informality is fine in a blog but not so much in a novel. The exclamation mark is sufficient, although you could perhaps italicise the word flushed.

(Please, my reader: click on this link as follows to listen to the Toilet Flushing Sound to really understand, grasp and have an idea of what I had done, that very instant, to that poor family all the way in Tel-Aviv, Israel!) http://www.bathroomjokes.com/bathroom/flush.htm
This is you, the author, talking directly to the reader, and pulls the reader right out of the story they are reading. I would remove this entire section. Your readers know what a flushing toilet sounds like, and the last thing you want as an author is to send your reader away from your writing to another site.

I had flushed their "loaded" toilet on Sabbaht! The family went mad! When I came out of the bathroom they were all standing there, angry, boiling red, ready to kill me. I had committed a mortal sin, ruined their names in Israel, their ancestors' names, I was a sinful, atheist girl, I was an eyver or from the other side(I guess here, from the other side of the world...), no ancestors, no traditions, a mad girl! What would the neighbors say? To flush the toilet on a Sabbath, no, never! Was I crazy??? My only defense was: nobody told me about this!!!
You captured both their horrified reaction and your own shocked response well here. I'd leave out the multiple questions marks and exclamation marks, but you do a good job of sharing those emotions with the reader.

I guess it's still there... ש"ע) כריסטינה, שם פרטי לנקבה

and this one as I wasn't sure... YISKA

As these are part of the same sentence, I would keep them on one line.

Now I hated not only nuns, but priests too, because of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher (or the Church of the Resurrection) Affair within the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem. She asked me why so I told her the story.
Instead of the reader being able to be a part of Christina's life in the 'present' and witness her growing relationship with Butchie, you are now relating a story from Christina's past to another character in Christina's past...not even to Butchie. I think some of Christina's past can be related to Butchie as part of the getting-to-know-you stage of the relationship, especially considering that it is a long-distance courtship, but I have said above and in previous chapter reviews that these need to interspersed with current communication and 'action' so that we aren't reading pages and pages of history. This story takes us another step further away from the relationship between Butchie and Christina. Butchie isn't involved as a third party listener here. I appreciate that this is the email you were sending to Butchie, but you are distancing the reader from the relationship which should be the focus of a romance novel. It would be different if this were a memoir, but you have 'marketed' it as a romance novel, so every chapter should move the relationship forwards. I would either remove this section, or, if you think it is relevant to the growing relationship between Christina and Butchie, then reword it so that it appears more relevant.

I wore bell bottom jeans, hippie blouses and Dutch shoes, I was reading books like Sexus, Plexus and Nexus by Henry Miller, Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, Treblinka by Jean-Francois Steiner, Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Animal Farm by George Orwell, Le Petit Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Don Quixote by Cervantes, War and Peace by Tolstoy, The Complete Stories by Franz Kafta, Being and Nothingness by Jean-Paul Sartre, 1984 by George Orwell, all the books by Arthur Hailey, all Morris West books, The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger and the Wisdom of Life by Arthur Schopenhauer.
This is a really long sentence and a list that is quite hard for the reader to take in. It definitely slows the pace of your work. I would consider whether it was necessary to list so many. Perhaps one or two examples?

I wanted to say goodbye to Panela... where was she, my friend Pamela Huber?
Is it Panela or Pamela? You spell it two different ways here.

I learned many positive things (any negative things, too) such as learn how to speak French very well, how to ski, how to behave, good manners and basically, how to "survive".
I think 'any' negative things should be 'many' negative things.

She was sweating and liking her lips rapidly, breathing heavily and moving on her chair heavily, next to my bed.
Liking should be licking.

I would remove the excerpt from the kissing book as it doesn't add anything of value to the relationship between Butchie and Christina.

You have lived an utterly fascinating life, Christina. I am quite in awe of all you have done and seen, and this is only the early stages of your life as of this chapter. It is quite remarkable. I think you could certainly consider writing this as a memoir rather than a romance novel. That would allow you to write the past in present tense, rather than having to keep the focus on the relationship all the time. And the relationship would come later, as it did in real life. I think a lot of this background info isn't relevant to a romance novel, and I can see that it would be hard to remove it all. Anyway, that's a consideration for you. Of course, my reviews are all looking at this as a romance novel, so if you do decide to switch focus, please remember that not all of my suggestions will still be relevant.

*NoteO* ~ Elle

*StarO* WRITE ON! *StarO*

Image for all reviews done for the PENCIL group.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
108
108
Review by Elle
In affiliation with P.E.N.C.I.L.  
Rated: E | (3.5)
*Pencil* A "P.E.N.C.I.L. Review *Pencil*


Christina,
This is the best chapter I've read so far. You stayed 'in character', attributing all the thoughts to the character rather than a narrator or yourself as author. Really well done.

I also noted that the long run-on sentences weren't as obvious here, and in fact there were places with quite short sentences that kept the pace moving and made it easier to read. Good work!

I only noticed two small spelling errors:
'asking him to leave for good and take with him his deeds, his irresponsibility’s,'
Irresponsibility's should be written as irresponsibilities.

'the famous Brazilian steatok houses where you would eat the best meat ever'
This might be a language/cultural thing, so if it spelled correctly, please just ignore this, but I wondered if 'steatok' should just be 'steak'.

A couple of times you used multiple questions marks (three or four) which isn't necessary. One question mark looks more professional and doesn't distract the reader.

At the beginning, you write:
They...

wait,

wait,

wait

and

wait…

I see what you're trying to achieve there, I really do. With the words on different lines, broken up effectively into separate paragraphs, it draws out the sentence and emphasises the waiting. But to me it look unprofessional. I don't see that in the novels I read. Perhaps it is personal opinion, in which case you must consider it as a suggestion and not a hard and fast correction, but I would have it written as a regular sentence, not broken up like that.

I have mentioned in reviews of previous chapters that I'd love to see the introspective thoughts broken up with action, and this chapter is no different. What is Christina doing as she thinks these things over? Perhaps instead of telling us that she had been to the movies and eaten popcorn, you could show her sitting in the theater, thinking. What did she see on the screen that prompted her thoughts?
'Christina looked up at the screen as the hero declared his love for the heroine, and sighed. She popped another piece of guarana popcorn in her mouth, savouring the [what?] flavour. Butchie had declared his love for her, but she'd miss the tastes of Brazil if she left to be with him. Still, a movie on her own didn't satisfy, did it? Christina looked up to see the hero and heroine celebrating their happy ever after. That could be her. She could be the heroine in her own romance story if she took a chance. Couldn't she?'
By giving us some action, you help us to SEE Christina and picture her as she goes about her life. We can imagine her sitting in the movie theatre, eating popcorn, looking up at the screen, and we can emphasise with her thoughts.

You mention her daughters. Instead of telling us about them and their success, why not have a phone call with the daughters? Have Christina mention her uncertainty and the daughters try to convince her to give it a chance.
'"Mum, we're both grown up now! We've graduated, we've got careers... This isn't like it was with Dad - I know you stayed with him for our sakes. But we're grown up now. It's time for you to do something just for you. Take a chance. Give Butchie a chance."
Christina opened her mouth to reply, but Sylvia didn't give her a chance to speak.
"Claudia and I just want you to be happy, Mum. Do it. Tell him you'll meet up and give this relationship a real chance."'

That phone call has told us the same information about the two girls being grown up, having graduated and embarked on careers, and it imparts it in a way that breaks up the introspective thought.

These are just suggestions of course, and you can write whatever scenes you want, but I strongly recommend breaking this up with scenes that show Christina 'doing' rather than just 'thinking'. *Smile*

As I said at the beginning, this one was definitely more in character for Christina in the book, rather than you the author speaking directly to the reader, so well done.

*NoteO* ~ Elle

*StarO* WRITE ON! *StarO*

Image for all reviews done for the PENCIL group.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
109
109
Review by Elle
In affiliation with P.E.N.C.I.L.  
Rated: E | (4.0)
*Pencil* A "P.E.N.C.I.L. Review *Pencil*


Hi Christina,
I'm back for another chapter. *Smile*

This one is quite a change in tone, as things get more heated between Christina and Butchie. This chapter drives the relationship forward, which is exactly what we want in a romance novel. *Smile*

As I've said in previous chapters, I would intersperse moments of action between the email quotes. How does Christina react to each thing she reads? Show us her reaction to his words. Show us him as he types them. Does he sit there typing furiously as the passion fires his blood, or does he get up, pace, think of the next thing he wants to say and sit back down again?

Because this is based on a true story, I'm not sure if the emails are being quoted from the actual emails sent between yourselves, but they read well. If you've written them just for this novel, you've done an excellent job of them. I think you've captured Butchie's longing and passion really well. Just break it up a little bit with some action and I think this will be one of your best chapters yet.

Just be sure to check for run-on sentences that need to be broken into smaller sentences and the occasional typo. This is a good example of a sentence that is far too long:
Our kisses are slow, but we come inside with tastes of each other, moving inside, eyes closed, imagining the best kiss is long, sweet, and almost endless, and in this there is no meaning of time and place, because the kiss is forever, and we're breathing so close, our mouths are inside, and the hours go by, and I'm feeling how warm breasts can make me all there is in loving Christina, and we cling to this, and love this, we're friends, we're lovers, we're children, we're a man and a woman, and when we love we make love and let the rest of the night rest peacefully, in the end, and I my head falls against Christina's head and she kisses my hair, falling against her green eyes.
It would be better broken up as:
Our kisses are slow, but we come inside with tastes of each other, moving inside, eyes closed. Imagining the best kiss is long, sweet, and almost endless, and in this there is no meaning of time and place, because the kiss is forever. We're breathing so close, our mouths are inside, and the hours go by... We cling to this, and love this. We're friends, we're lovers, we're children, we're a man and a woman, and when we love we make love and let the rest of the night rest peacefully. In the end, my head falls against Christina's head and she kisses my hair which falls against her green eyes.

That's not perfect, but it gives you an idea of how you can break up one really long sentence into shorter sentences. Shorter sentences speed up the pace of a story and are easier on the reader.

Good work!

*NoteO* ~ Elle

*StarO* WRITE ON! *StarO*

Image for all reviews done for the PENCIL group.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
110
110
Review by Elle
In affiliation with P.E.N.C.I.L.  
Rated: E | (3.5)
*Pencil* A "P.E.N.C.I.L. Review *Pencil*


Hi Christina,
I apologise sincerely for the delay between this review and the previous one. I hope to finish the rest in good order. I appreciate your patience.

This chapter is a bit divided for me. The start is you, the author, talking to the reader and telling me what your opinion of love is. This should be coming from the view of the character. The latter part of the chapter you have done just that, and used such words as 'She didn't agree' and 'She probably could change' to show the character's views. You just need to go through and do that throughout the chapter to show that the whole lot is from her viewpoint. It would be great to mix it up with some action. What is she doing while she's thinking all of this? Is she at home, pottering around the kitchen? Sitting in a movie theater watching a romantic movie that gets her thinking? Mulling over an email from Butchie? Let us SEE her. Let us be there in the moment with her. Another option is to have her discuss it with a friend. "No, I don't agree. I think love is..."

This chapter doesn't move the relationship forward very much. While I appreciate that this is a bit of a memoir/autobiography for you, it is being 'marketed' as a romance novel, and for that reason, every chapter should move the relationship forward. I think you can probably keep it in there, once you revise it a little to have the thoughts coming from the character, but you should consider whether it is needed or not, and how badly you want to keep it.

I do like that you share her concern and curiosity over whether there would be shared chemistry with Butchie. This is a valid and expected consideration for her to have, and the reader will agree that this is in character and in keeping with the plot of the novel. Whether you decide to keep this chapter or not, definitely keep this idea of her wondering over their 'chemical attraction' when they meet in person. *Smile*

See you on the next chapter!

*NoteO* ~ Elle

*StarO* WRITE ON! *StarO*

Image for all reviews done for the PENCIL group.




*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
111
111
Review by Elle
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
A dragon reading a book by candle light


Hi Murray,
I thought I'd give you some feedback on the contest. First up, I love the idea. I think one thing all novelists want is an audience, and the idea that someone will read their work, even if it's just the first chapter, is highly appealing. Secondly, the chance to win a full novel review is another big draw.

Title - I like the name, but I think if you have the room, you should have '1st' written as 'First' in the title.

I think you should open it to all novels, not just those written during NaNoWriMo. Perhaps limit it to those written in 2013? Although I suppose that's not as fair, because some people will have had longer to edit their work. No, you might be right, perhaps just those from NaNo.

You say 'all those who successfully took part in NaNoWriMo' but what if they didn't reach 50k words, but still wrote a few chapters? Can't they enter?

we though tit may be nice to run this in memory of the 2013 winner of the Man Booker Prize
You have a typo there, and because Eleanor Catton is still alive, I'd say 'in honour of' rather than 'in memory of'. *Smile*

for a chance to win a novel review by "P.E.N.C.I.L."
I would say 'a full novel review' to make it clear that it's not just a single chapter review.

Please feel free to email me is you have any questions.
Typo there. *Smile*

Entries edited between the closing date and the confirmation of the prize winners will be disqualified.
I like that, but I'd make it clear that you mean the closing date of the contest and not the closing date of NaNo.

There are, however, a few rules that need to be complied with:
This is redundant, I'd take this sentence out.

Prizes

}
1st Place will receive a review with "P.E.N.C.I.L." . (Minimum of 3 entries)
2nd Place will receive a 20K Awardicon, MB, and 20K GPs (Minimum of 5 entries)
3rd Place will receive a 10k Awardicon, MB, and 10K GPs (6+ entries)

You have a spare } under the subtitle there.
Again, I'd say a 'full' novel review from Pencil.
I'd also give away an awardicon and MB for the winner. A 50k one?
There are no 20k awardicons, this should read '25k'.

I look forward to seeing it kick off, and once the small corrections are made, will come back with a 5 star rating. *Smile*
Good luck!

Image #1964548 over display limit. -?-

Check out the "Roots & Wings Historical Fiction Contest
112
112
Review of Echo Your Pages  
Review by Elle
In affiliation with WDC Addicts Anonymous  
Rated: E | (3.5)
Header for The Gift Shop


This is one of the reviews paid for with the gift certificate you received for placing 3rd in the "Shadows and Light Poetry Contest.

First off, I have to admit that I have no idea what this poem is about, and that makes it difficult to provide a constructive review. The title, 'Echo Your Pages' is intriguing and suggests a literary connection (a poem about poetry or about writing or...?). The short description, 'Be careful what you wish for' doesn't shed any light on the subject matter, and I find it hard to match this description to anything I find in the poem itself. Finally, the words 'Falling in love through poetry' are the only other clue that make me think maybe this is a poem about poetry. About poetry coming to life? About personifying poetry? I'm really not sure, and while some poetry can be beautifully vague, I think it would be beneficial for your theme to be more clear for your reader.

I'm dying to dig into you, Desire.
I'm curious as to why you capitalised the word desire. Is it a proper name? If not, I'd lose the capital letter, because honestly it makes me think of a woman named Desire and if that's not what you're going for...
I'm not 100% sure on the use of the word 'dig' which is a pretty brutal term when talking about love and even sensuality. The poem is not overtly sexual, but it does allude to sensuality. What about the word 'delve'? 'I'm dying to delve into you, desire.' That gives an impression of looking beneath the surface. Anyway, over to you as always. *Smile*

I hear you request
that I proceed gently
through your skin,
Every layer
stings to peel away.

Without a clear idea of exactly what is happening and what we're referring to, I have to admit this comes across as really creepy, a la Silence of the Lambs.
I'm called to suggest that the first line might work as 'A whispered request', adding to the soft, senusality of the poem.
Should the comma after skin be a full stop?
Stings is a great word, and adds a real bite to the poem. I'm just not sure what to suggest (if anything) to detract from the creepiness of these lines, without knowing for sure what you were trying to achieve or indeed, what the subject of the poem is.

I am your ointment
made specially for you.

When I think of an ointment, I think of a soothing relief, and I wonder if we can spruce these lines up a little with those words. 'I am your relief, a soothing ointment, specially for you.'

I was made
of all the same pains
healed over time
by self baby kisses

What are self baby kisses? They sound really cute and sweet, but I'm trying to understand the words. Are they baby kisses from oneself? Hmm... I have no suggestions for this. The lines intrigue me...

Self
was all I had.
I can teach you
I can be yours

Just punctuation needed here, I think. A full stop at the end of each of the last two lines? I particularly like 'I can teach you' and 'I can be yours'.

Falling in love through poetry
I hear you from inside that fortress
I see you pacing around

Love these lines. Just a little punctuation?

Even through my own walls
I know this goes with the pacing line, but I just don't quite get it. Might need to take another look at this line.

We built the peering holes
in the exact same places

I think these lines are just a little too pedestrian for your poem. Perhaps... 'We peer through holes, seeing the very same views' or something? Maybe?

I see you
I see you
It's safe.

Ooh, I like the repetition. Nice. Just a little punctuation. *Smile*

I have definitely noticed a tendency in you to start not-so-strong and finish strongly. I like the end of this poem, and I think it wouldn't take much to bring the whole poem up to that standard. You definitely have the framework, it just needs a little tweaking. As always, my suggestions are just that, and you need to make the poem work for YOU, so take what works, and leave what doesn't. *Smile*

Elle


Come and check out "Invalid Item next time you're looking to pamper yourself or someone else. Reviews, raffles, images and more!


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
113
113
Review of Warping  
Review by Elle
In affiliation with WDC Addicts Anonymous  
Rated: E | (3.5)
Header for The Gift Shop


This is one of the reviews paid for with the gift certificate you received for placing 3rd in the "Shadows and Light Poetry Contest.

I like the idea you've had, of a basically physical description of a spiritual experience. Very unique. And in poetic form too - definitely something I haven't seen before.

This piece feels like it's lacking polish. It almost feels too raw. I think some of the lines could be made stronger and more powerful, and that will help give it a more complete feel.

I'm assuming, for the purpose of this review, that there is no set structure to this poem, so forgive me if that's not the case but I can't see one.

A vague remembrance of warping,
or something,

These lines certainly aren't strong. The words 'vague' and 'something' don't hold much weight with the reader. What about replacing 'vague' with 'indistinct'? It means much the same thing but the word feels a little stronger with the hard consonants. And I think 'something' needs to go. What if you move 'warping' to its own line, because that's a great word.
'An indistinct remembrance,
of warping and distorting.'

Of course, these are just suggestions to help, and you may choose to use or not use any of them as you like. A poem is a very personal thing, and I do appreciate that. *Smile*

into deep space made of air and magic things -
This is fine except for the word 'things' which like 'something' is just a filler and leaves the reader a little unsatisfied.
'Into deep space, made of air and magic.' That works, I think. Just leave off 'things'.

occurrences with time and circumstance attached
feed us and drive us around.

I think if you remove 'around', this would be stronger. Instead of 'driving us around' which feels more like a Sunday drive, it gives power to 'drive' and could mean more like a race car kind of power.
'Occurences with time and circumstance attached
feed and drive us.'


Where things go and stop,
where things radiate,
where all of everything collapses together
and all is different, and all of the same stuff

I love the use of the words 'radiate' and 'collapse', but 'stuff' lets you down again and 'things' is not strong either.
It would reduce flow, but it might add emphasis and force if you say 'Things go. Things stop.' and split them up. Then have 'radiate' on its own.
'Things go. Things stop.
Radiate.
All of everything collapses together.
All is different, and all is the same.'


A light flashed fast
and a sound of white
hummed into a dense voice
which lifted and carried me here,
laid me down, closed my eyes,
and clapped so loud I forgot what was happening.

I think if you remove the 'a' from the first line, that will give more focus. I love the word clapped which gives force.
'Light flashed fast
and a sound of white
hummed into a dense voice
which lifted and carried me here,
laid me down, closed my eyes,
and clapped so loud I forgot.'
I've removed 'what was happening' from the end of that last line too, it just feels less vague. *Smile*

It was supposed to deafen me,
but I still hear the hum.

These lines are great, and I love that last line for a final poetic finish. *Smile*

I've taken some liberties with your poem, and I hope you don't mind too much. I got a little carried away. *Blush* I found the theme and idea quite inspiring, and wish you all the best with getting this one completed to your satisfaction.
Elle


Come and check out "Invalid Item next time you're looking to pamper yourself or someone else. Reviews, raffles, images and more!


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
114
114
Review by Elle
In affiliation with WDC Addicts Anonymous  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Header for The Gift Shop


This review is part of the gift basket from "Invalid Item that you won at the "12 Days of Midwinter Christmas raffle.

Hey Ken,
Like many reviewers, I find it hard to leave a review when I can't think of a single thing that the author could improve on. Especially when it's a review that has been bought, such as one from "Invalid Item. I read your marble poem and thought it was lovely...but I couldn't honestly think of enough to write about it to warrant a review. It was great, I enjoyed it, and I wouldn't change any of it. So I moved on to these lyrics, and enjoyed them too. Can you imagine my delight when I found a spelling error? *Laugh* It's sad, isn't it, but at least I decided to take the time to leave a review.

If I could chose and start again
I’d park this truck and never roam.

Chose should be choose.

And that, truthfully, is the only suggestion I can make. It reads well, and although I found it unusual (not that I read a lot of lyrics) that the chorus had a different rhyme scheme to the verses, I thought it worked well. The rhymes were good, the rhythm was smooth, and I thought it was great. I'm very curious to know how it would sound set to music. *Smile*

Great work, and thanks so much for sharing both these lyrics AND the marble poem. *Delight*
Elle


Come and check out "Invalid Item next time you're looking to pamper yourself or someone else. Reviews, raffles, images and more!
115
115
Review by Elle
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (4.0)
A dragon reading a book by candle light


Hey Ruwth,
Thanks for the review request. I don't consider myself an expert on writing articles, but I'll give you any suggestions I can.

Rule #1 in writing articles is probably not to write about yourself. Journalists don't say 'I had a great time' or 'I loved the movie' but rather quote other people. You haven't put yourself into the article, which is good. That was the first thing I checked for. *Smile*

Another good thing is to provide proof or evidence to back up your statements and this is probably where your article falls a little short. Right at the beginning you say Writing.com celebrates 13 years of being the number one online writing community. Number one according to whom? Where's your proof that they are the number one online writing community? Can you quote someone, or a fact or figure to back that up?
You tell us that SM and SMs are involved on the site on a daily basis and know many members by name, but how can you prove that to the reader? Can you tell us the average number of hours they are online each day, or can you quote someone (which is clearly the easiest way!) telling you that they are around a lot, helpful, know lots of people, etc. You'll note that I used quotes to back up my points in my article. I said something, then used a quote to prove that it wasn't just ME who said so.

You mention the promotions to Preferred and Moderator status, but you don't explain this. For an article, it would probably be helpful to have some small one-sentence explanation of what it means, even if it's as simple as 'the use of different colour portfolios being used to highlight such community-minded members amongst the many users on the site' or something.

Content settings is another place where you can add additional information. Even link to the Writing.com 101 page where the content ratings are, as proof/evidence, or quote from them. Tell the reader what they are, or how they work. Are they enforced? Yes, moderators pick up on incorrect ratings and can override them (I actually forgot to mention that in my own article, but it's a good point to make!). Quoting from 'official documents' is an excellent way of backing up your points AND adding additional explanation for your reader.

It might be worth explaining what the newsfeed is, and perhaps even mentioning that the blogs are on the site itself, not external to it?

After you say 'Books are written, poems are written, essays, articles and MORE!', that's the perfect place to add a statistic. There are 132,310 poems, 53,868 short stories and 4,185 books on WDC at the moment. THAT is your proof, and they're big enough numbers to be worth adding in anyway, because they add weight to your sentence.

You could mention some of the recent improvements as examples to back up your sentence 'It just gets better and better with constant and never-ending improvements'. Like what?

I think your writing style and 'voice' is fine for an article. I'm not sure I'm the best judge on that anyway, because I know I have a very casual writing style/voice myself, but I didn't think there was anything much wrong with it. To me, it's just about backing up your points with quotes, statistics and evidence, so the reader isn't left wondering 'Why should I take her word for it?' but realises that the proof is in the numbers, or that all those other people you have quoted say the same thing. It can be useful (although of course I didn't do this myself) to get quotes from high ranking people. If it was a news story, you don't just want a quote from a guy on the office floor or the janitor (although they do use those too!) but you want a quote from the boss or a high ranking manager. So consider that too. The more 'important' or influential the person you're quoting, the more weight the quote holds with the reader.

I hope that helped somewhat. *Smile* Good luck with the contest! I'm not worried about winning or losing as such myself, just trying to get back into writing more often, something I've been letting slide lately. Reviewing too, so thanks for prompting me to write this. *Smile*

Elle


Image #1947527 over display limit. -?-

Check out "Invalid Item

Image #1938451 over display limit. -?-


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
116
116
Review by Elle
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: ASR | (5.0)
A dragon reading a book by candle light


Hi Jo,
Thanks for reviewing me! I'm just returning the favour. *Smile*

I have been absent from this contest for ages, and I'm sorry about that. I get so caught up in the 'community' of Writing.com that I never seem to find the time to write. I will be back though...

The logo image is smart, and appropriate. *Smile*

I like the way you give encouragement right at the beginning to use all our senses and make you relive the moment, not just us telling you about it. Showing, not telling. The way you've done that is encouraging and really helps to remind people what you're looking for in an entry.

I think my preference is for non-fiction, but I understand that entry numbers have been low *Blush* so I can understand why you're now accepting fictional entries as well. And of course others on the site will prefer fiction to non-fiction - there is a huge variety of preferences on this site.

The rules are clear. I'm not a favour of including word counts in entries, because a) I'm not sure what advantage it provides to the contest owner and b) it's the most common reason for entries being disqualified. That's just my opinion though.

The prizes are very generous and encouraging. I like that you give winners a choice of prize.

I've always found your judging to be fair, and your management of the forum to be prompt and attentive.

Good luck with the contest, and I promise I'll be back soon. *Smile*
Elle
117
117
Review by Elle
In affiliation with P.E.N.C.I.L.  
Rated: 18+ | (3.0)
*Pencil* A "P.E.N.C.I.L. Review *Pencil*


Hi Christina,
I'm not going to labour on about showing instead of telling this time. I think we've covered that to the point of exhaustion in the previous chapters. I'll just comment on any other points I note.

Dear adored man of my life,
I just adored living in Panama City, Central America.

You use the word 'adored' twice in quick succession there. I would change one to another word that means the same thing.

In Panama City, I spoke Spanish, in the Canal Zone, I spoke English. At home, Portuguese.
That's quite interesting to the average reader, I think. *Smile*

I enjoyed reading your paragraph about the Beatles movies and albums. *Smile*

Your paragraph about Ferdinand Porras y Porras was amusing, and should definitely be left in, but it requires the rating of your item to be 18+. You absolutely cannot have an E rating with that paragraph in there.

I also sat alone in the school bus, I hadn't made friends in high school yet, only in Panama City and my friends were mainly diplomat's daughters (which my mother insisted me on having), the kind of different type of friends, the safe kind friends but that's what my father wanted too, he asked me to do this and I always did what he asked.
This sentence is really long, and doesn't really make sense. 'The kind of different type of friends' - what does that mean?

- Love is good, right, Peter Ethan?
- Ahh, yes. And we love her respectfully, don't we, Paul Elliot?
- Ahh, yes.
- What do you think, Paul Elliot?
- I think it's good, Peter Ethan. And what do you think, Peter Ethan?
- I think it is fair, Paul Elliot.

I think you've muddled up their names there. And did they really use each others full names all the time like that? That seems very unrealistic.

- Ok.
- Ok.
- Ok.
- Let's go.
- Ok.
- Ok.
- Ok.

There's too many 'Ok's there, and they don't add anything to the scene.

And then, four days after my 14th birthday, my dear, my sweet, my loving father had a fulminating heart attack and died at 3 am holding my mother in his arms.
Instead of 'my dear, my sweet, my loving father', I would suggest 'my dear, sweet, loving father'.

That was the last time they met again after his death...
You say 'they' but I think it should be 'we'.

I went for long walks in Ipanema Beach and had a surfer boyfriend in Arpoador Beach, called Bobby but I often thought of Paul Elliot and Peter Ethan. Where were they? How were they? She missed them very much.
Again, you're switching between first and third person. This needs to be 'I missed them very much', not 'she missed them very much'.

This was very good for me because it was very, but...
I think you're missing a word there. Very what?

I think you need to be very careful about using people's real names without their permission. If you used just first names, and not surnames, I think that would be okay. Your item is viewable by any member of the public, not just WDC members, so I think you shouldn't use full names without permission.

This chapter needs work on showing instead of telling, but I said I had gone over that in the previous chapters, so I wouldn't repeat it over and over again from here on out.

There are certainly some interesting points in this chapter, but you need to relate them back to the overall relationship between Christina and Butchie - this is a romance novel first and a memoir second, so everything needs to be seen to move the relationship forward. There is no Butchie in this chapter - bring him in and help the relationship stay at the front of the reader's mind.

Hope this all helps you.


*NoteO* ~ Elle

*StarO* WRITE ON! *StarO*

Image for all reviews done for the PENCIL group.
118
118
Review by Elle
In affiliation with WDC Addicts Anonymous  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Header for The Gift Shop


This review is part of the gift basket that Shaye bought for you at "Invalid Item with the message 'Thanks for buying my package in "Invalid Item. *Bigsmile*'

Hi LostGhost: Seeking & Learning ,
This is a great contest for those who enjoy writing for children. It's actually a shame that it's only going to be running for a short time, but I understand that helps make the birthday week here on WDC even more special. *Smile*

The forum desperately needs images to brighten it up and draw the eye, but I understand you have those on order and will add them before going public with this.

I think calling the different themes and prompts 'rooms' which people can 'wander in and out of' as if they were physical room, is very cool. It gives a unique feel to the contest which makes it different from others on the site. I like the idea of viewing WDC as a physical place I can visit (I did a whole blog entry on it once! "This morning on WDC) and this appeals to me. *Smile*

The dates are clear. The prompts are clear, and while they are short and don't need to be hidden under dropnotes, this gives the forum a little extra 'mystery'.

The rules are clear. I love that you can enter a story or a poem for each prompt.

It is very unusual to have to write in first person and I think this gives the contest another difference and makes it a real challenge.

Your prizes are very generous and clearly listed.

I think this will be very successful and wish you all the best with it.
Elle


Come and check out "Invalid Item next time you're looking to pamper yourself or someone else. Reviews, raffles, images and more!
119
119
Review by Elle
In affiliation with WDC Addicts Anonymous  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Header for The Gift Shop


This review was bought for you at "Invalid Item by Maryann with the message 'Thinking of you, Aunt Dottie!'

Hi Dottie,
I just had to review this lovely testimonial. It hit home for me. A lot of the reasons you mentioned are ones that ring true for me, but I'm not sure I would have thought to mention them.

It’s very stimulating
Regardless of age, this is something everyone needs. When I was a new mother, staying at home with the baby, the thing I missed most was adult conversation and interaction. It was then that I joined Writing.com. While I've gone away and come back since then, I can agree wholeheartedly that the intellectual stimulation this site provides is not something to be sniffed at!

I’m meeting wonderful people on this site
The people are what make this site so amazing. No matter how wonderful The StoryMaster and The StoryMistress are (and I do think they're wonderful!), this site could never be as fun, diverse, creative and enjoyable without the efforts of the community here. And it truly is a community. I find myself worrying about members here who mention troubles offline, I cheer when they are promoted in status here, I love to get smiley thank yous and delight when they win things. The people here are friends. *Smile*

Even if nothing of mine ever gets published, I’m thrilled to see my work displayed
I agree. While being published holds a certain allure, it's not something I actively seek. Having people read and enjoy my work is enough for me.

Thank you for reminding me of some of the wonderful things about Writing.com that I do take for granted sometimes. This is a wonderful testimony, and I believe it's as true now as when you first wrote it ten years ago. Thank you for sharing it.

Elle


Come and check out "Invalid Item next time you're looking to pamper yourself or someone else. Reviews, raffles, images and more!
120
120
Review of The Leprechaun  
Review by Elle
In affiliation with WDC Addicts Anonymous  
Rated: ASR | (4.0)
Header for The Gift Shop


This review was bought for you at "Invalid Item by Elle with the message 'For your epic entry into "The Lair. *Smile*'

Hi Thursday--Goodbye Virus! ,
I'm delighted to finally review this epic. I have had a few long poems entered into "The Lair, but this was the first real 'epic' entered. *Smile* Before I give my thoughts, please keep in mind that I speak with an accent (a New Zealand one, specifically) which can sometimes affect the way I view rhyme and rhythm. What works when I say it may not work when you say it, and vice versa. So just bear in that in mind and take what works for you out of my comments. *Smile*

You mentioned that you were considering changing the first stanza, and I agree, it doesn't quite work as is. The rhythm falters on the last line, I think, plus I'm not sure I like the curdled milk. *Smile* I much prefer the 'carved out' line you have in your alternative, so I definitely vote for the alternative first stanza.

“How can I prove myself,” he thought
As he pondered upon his lamentable lot;

I think the rhythm stumbles a little on that first line.

For months he mused and thought of else naught:
“If only there was a foe to have fought!”

While the rhythm and rhyme are well done on these, that first line seems a little awkward because we would never say 'I thought of else naught'. We'd always said 'I thought of naught else'. I wonder if you could reword it to flow more smoothly, whilst maintaining the rhythm and rhyme... Tricky, but might be worth playing with it.

For where there once were fertile, rolling green downs,
There was now only barren land, goldens and browns

The rhythm doesn't work with these lines. Perhaps 'For where once there were fertile, rolling green down, Barren lands now, goldens and brown.' Anyway, have a play with it and see what you think work.

And so for some reason unexplainable,
Their rich land was no longer sustainable,
And the people, once so full of mirth,
Began to wither in their nutrient dearth

This stanza is awkward, and I honestly don't think you need it at all. I'd remove it altogether.

But Fergus mac Léti, not a tear did he shed,
For a marvelous thought to him had come instead.

That last line is awkward in the phrasing, again because it's not how someone would normally say it. Perhaps 'But Fergus mac Leti, not a tear did he shed, For a marvellous thought had come to him instead.'

He would save his people and grant them their fill.
It would be so, so strong was his will.

I feel like that last line needs an extra word or syllable...

He stood hardly three small feet off the ground,
And almost as wide, his stomach so round;
His shined shoes wore buckles and he a cocked hat,
A red coat with buttons, each large, gold, and flat.

Love that stanza!

His face was old and wizened with age,
But his wisdom fit more the trickster than sage,
For his eyes, though wide in fright for his life,
Had a sparkle that glinted like light off a knife

Love this one too!

“Lie to me not, scheming Leprechaun!”
He said once with one hand his sword he had drawn.

These two lines were really awkward. You might need to take another look at them.

He was so consumed in his abilities,
He neglected all other possibilities

I think these two lines might need an extra word or syllable, they feel short.

Overall, the epic is very good. It certainly tells a story and the story is relatively easy to follow. I think it wouldn't matter if this was read aloud or not, it would still work well. The story has a moral which is always a bonus, and epics are well suited to these. You've used the leprechaun character very well. All in all, an excellent work. Well done!

Elle


Come and check out "Invalid Item next time you're looking to pamper yourself or someone else. Reviews, raffles, images and more!


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
121
121
Review by Elle
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (4.0)
A dragon reading a book by candle light


Hi MysteryAuthor ,
I came to your portfolio from the "Noticing Newbies forum. You said you were feeling nervous about posting your work, so I wanted to drop by and see if I could help at all.

Your writing is excellent. It's very well done. I only noticed one tiny error. The big problem is the way you're 'marketing' it, for want of a better word.

Your title currently says 'Ever Wondered (shipping warning!!!)'. I would just give this piece a title that fits what is there at the moment. Something like 'Heart of the Mountain' or similar.

Your short description currently says 'Should I write something like this? I have no idea, if you like it let me know!' I would change this to 'Some of Bilbo Baggins' adventures from a new perspective' or something like that, which gives the reader an idea of what the story is about. LOTR fans might be drawn in to read.

The genres you have currently selected are 'Death', 'Gay/lesbian' and 'Gay/lesbian'. First off, there's no point at all in choosing the same genre twice. You'd be better off having just two genres chosen in that case. But there's nothing gay/lesbian about this piece so far. It's very misleading, and it will put people off who might otherwise be interested. 'Fanfiction' should be your first choice since your characters are taken from JRR Tolkien's LOTR series. I would definitely go with 'fantasy' as well, which is hugely relevant to this piece. Perhaps 'Action/Adventure' as the third choice if you want one? Those will draw people in, but more importantly, they fit the piece you've written. If it was gay/lesbian themed, I'd have no problem with a gay/lesbian genre, but it's simply not suited to the piece.

At the bottom of the piece, you have the following:
••••••
Did you ever wonder what Bilbo's version of The Hobbit was like? As you can see it had many more drawings, and different words, it can't be the same right? Well you were right.
••••••
If you would like to find out more, rate and review! Bad reviews are also greatly appreciated!

I would remove all of that. If you intend to write more, then perhaps simply write 'To be continued...' and that will suffice and let people know the piece isn't finished. Telling us that we can see it has many more drawings and words, when I can't see that at all from this sample is bewildering for your reader.

The only error I noticed in your piece was in this sentence:
Thrór's love of gold grown too fierce and sickness had begun to grow within him.
It changes tense. I think 'Thror's love of gold grew too fierce and sickness began to grow within him' would work better.

I hope this info helps. Like I said, your writing is excellent. It's easy to read, well edited and uses some great vocabulary. Once you fix up the non-writing aspects of it, the 'marketing' as I said, it'll be really good. You might want to review your other items too and see if they need the same attention. *Smile*

All the best,
Elle


Image #1938451 over display limit. -?-

Check out "Invalid Item!

Image #1928975 over display limit. -?-
"The WDC Advertisement Board


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
122
122
Review by Elle
In affiliation with P.E.N.C.I.L.  
Rated: E | (3.0)
*Pencil* A "P.E.N.C.I.L. Review *Pencil*


Hi Christina,
I'm back again for chapter 8! *Smile*

This chapter is pretty hard on the reader, for all that it's short. There is no action. It's not even written as an internal monologue (one person's thoughts) but rather it's the author TELLING the reader about the character's history. I said it in my last review, and I'll say it again. The reader needs to be carried along by action the whole way - we should eavesdropping on their lives as they live them.

Here's an example of what I mean. You wrote: 'He knew he was important, a winner, special. He was also considered to be famous (or infamous). He knew that he would keep going on. He had escaped many traps, survived on his own. If people didn't like him, that was OK. He had what he wanted, he had done nothing wrong, he had Italian suits and cowboy boots in his closet, he was peaceful and lived a quiet life, did not want to be disturbed by neurotic, American women who only wanted his money.'

Here's another way of saying that which draws the reader in and carries them forward in the story: 'Butchie slammed the door behind him and stopped in the foyer for a moment to rotate his neck and shoulders. Thank goodness that was over. He reached up and undid the buttons of his shirt, the soft expensive material just emphasing his recent encounter. Clearly the woman in the lift had catalogued the cost of his outfit in one glance and moved in for the kill. Butchie frowned and shrugged out of the shirt, throwing it in the laundry as he walked past. The cold beer in the fridge beckoned him. He hated shallow women who wanted nothing but his money. He'd put up with ten years of such behaviour and he was never putting up with it again. Okay, so he'd been a bit brusque with the woman in the lift, but honestly, what did she expect? He reached up to the cupboard to grab a glass, then decided against it. He lived alone, no one was going to know if he drank from the bottle. He wondered if Christina had emailed while he was at work. He made a mental note to check as soon as he'd taken off his boots and changed into more comfortable trousers.'

Do you see what I mean? It's about taking the same information but giving it to the reader in a way that draws them into the scene while carrying the story forward. The reader should always be able to picture where the character is and what they're doing at any time in the story. If they're sitting at a computer for two chapters, that's fine, but we should know it, and we should see their facial expressions, hand movements, that sort of thing. If they're moving, take us along with them. What did Butchie's kitchen look like? Was his bedroom painted in masculine colours or neutral ones? Let us SEE, let us HEAR, let us FEEL. That will draw us in and make us care about the romance that is building.

He knew that it was hard for American women to find a smart, intelligent man. Most were losers and boring, without something more to add.
Be very careful about offending your readers.

He wasn't unhappy but he needed somebody in his life even though he was peacefully settled into not having another relationship again.
This sentence contradicts itself. He needed somebody even though he was settled into not having another relationship? That doesn't make sense.

You clearly know your characters well, and that's so important for a good story, but you need to allow the readers to get to know your characters gradually over the space of the whole story, not throw the information at them in huge chunks. Weave the information in. What can we tell by watching Butchie in an encounter at work? What can we tell by the way Butchie unwinds at the end of the day? Then, what can the characters share with each other and therefore the reader? And always keep the scene alive by adding action and dialogue where possible so we can picture the scene.

*NoteO* ~ Elle

*StarO* WRITE ON! *StarO*

Image for all reviews done for the PENCIL group.




*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
123
123
Review by Elle
In affiliation with P.E.N.C.I.L.  
Rated: 13+ | (3.5)
*Pencil* A "P.E.N.C.I.L. Review *Pencil*


Hi Christina,
Sorry for the delay between reviews. I'm back for chapter 7!

On the first time they spoke on the phone they were kind of embarrassed, uneasy, nervous, happy, excited and shy. They talked for an hour and he sang a whole country song to her, miles away across countries, oceans, wind and space, just because she said she loved American country music and Dwight Yoakam. He sang it well, like a real sad, sweet country music singer does it so well and she screamed and laughed with pleasure, maybe becoming, for a while, that little girl that Gabriela had touched...
Oh, I would have liked to have been a fly on the wall for that phone call. You've summed it up in one paragraph, but instead that could have been a major moment in the story. What did his voice sound like? Were there moments of awkwardness? What did they talk about? I love the list of emotions, but I would have rather you described the scene to the reader so we could see each emotion play across her face, hear it in her voice, listen to the awkwardness fade and the romance blossom. This is an important step in the relationship and I think it warrants a scene. *Smile*

I love that you used Butchie's actual email. Excellent. The reader gets to see what Christina sees. You could break it up by sharing her reactions and emotions as she reads it, instead of the whole email and then her final reaction, just to break up the text a bit, but it's okay as is.

She never thought again of emptiness, fear, loneliness, the future, the unexpected, the same weekends, the wanting something new, the reality of being 56, divorced for 8 years (with an ex-husband already married again after two years of the divorce), she never thought again of the empty-headed younger men hitting on her and narrow-minded, old-fashioned men her own age hitting on her but completely weird, neurotic and smelling of mold but that had their eyes on younger women with sexy bodies that were in the same room or restaurants, looking like horny, Brazilian macho-men fools.
That is a REALLY long sentence! It definitely needs to be broken up. I know you like your lists, but it wouldn't be hard to make this long sentence more powerful by breaking it up. 'She never felt empty anymore. The fear of being lonely in the future while her exhusband had found his new love, didn't haunt her any longer. She never thought about the empty-headed younger men who couldn't see past the sexy bodies of younger women, they didn't bother her now.' You see what I mean? Take that long list and make shorter sentences out of it that are easier for your reader to digest.

She thought that just because you're over 50 people think that your life has ended, you are "dead", you have no more feelings or desires and that there is no more sex life, no more sensuality, no more tingling in between the legs feeling thing and the wetness down there by feeling attracted to another human being that you desire, in you and in your body.
This one can also be broken up into smaller sentences. I think too, with an E rating, you need to be very careful what you say when it comes to the physical responses to sexual attraction.

the feeling of feeling wanted.
This sentence needs a capital letter.

Age is not important nowadays, our society and mentality is changing and thank God for this because she believed that in the year 3099, people will still be hired after they reached 50, because, if today being 50 means being 10 years less based on medical researchers, imagine what will happen to us in all the next years and decades to come!!!
This is really the author lecturing the reader. It's not the thoughts and feelings of the character as she is in that moment, or if it is, it's not being written that way. You've written this so it's directly aimed at the reader. If these are truly the character's thoughts, you need to add some 'Christina thought', 'Christina mused as she wandered to the kitchen sink', kind of things to show this. Giving us these actions will help break up the blocks of text too, and help keep the action going and keep the reader engaged. At all times, the reader should know where your character is and what she is doing.

She started feeling better at 41, looking younger, feeling younger and always taking care of herself, doing what she wanted to do (and not giving in to family and children - sometimes children want you to feel older, stay home and become old...), being productive, meeting people, enjoying herself, going to the movies once a week (even if it rained), reading at least ONE book per month (and she did this and in Portuguese, English, Spanish and French) and walked at least once a week in the Brasilia's City Park.
This is another really long sentence that needs to be broken up. But even better would be if, instead of listing these things, you showed us these things. Take us to the movies with her. 'Christina glanced out the window and saw the spattering of rain drops as the weather slowly disintegrated. She shrugged to herself, she was going to the movies regardless. It was her gift to herself, to stop her from stagnating. What would she see today? She grabbed the daily newspaper and her coat as she headed for the door. She'd check the movie listings at the cafe and see which one appealed.' See, the same information, but the reader can see the action and we're drawn along with her as she goes about her day. Do the same with the books. Don't list a whole day of activities, but put these things in here and there - maybe she reads a book in chapters one and three, goes to a movie in chapters six and eleven, walks in the park in chapter nine... You see what I mean?

All the information about what pills Christina takes each day, and her hilarious conversation with her gynaecologist would be much better written as a conversation with another character. Perhaps she can be talking about it on the phone with Butchie? Perhaps she can be meeting a friend at a cafe (see, you're sharing another of the events from that list!) and she can relate the story to them. Have them laugh hysterically or giggle over the memory. Have the friend say 'So what do you use to keep yourself looking so young?' or similar. Don't just have Christina tell the reader. She shouldn't be tlaking to the reader. We should eavesdropping on her life.

Having said that, the conversation with the gynaecologist is briliant, so definitely keep it in the story. *Laugh*

*NoteO* ~ Elle

*StarO* WRITE ON! *StarO*

Image for all reviews done for the PENCIL group.




*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
124
124
Review of Uniform  
Review by Elle
In affiliation with WDC Addicts Anonymous  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Header for The Gift Shop


Thanks for your order at "Invalid Item.

The title of this poem first captured my attention, and I was delightfully surprised by what I found. This poem has really nice flow and is so easy to read and enjoy.

I did find my fingers itching to add additional punctuation. I know that some poets prefer to use standard punctuation rules (like me) and others use much less punctuation because it's a poem and not prose. I'd like to see a few more commas, but the only 'must have' is an apostrophe in its in the line 'Strip it all off when its only us'. You need an apostrophe there to keep the meaning of 'it is'.

There isn't a single word I'd change....it works beautifully as is.

Thanks for sharing this,
Elle


Come and check out "Invalid Item next time you're looking to pamper yourself or someone else. Reviews, raffles, images and more!
125
125
Review by Elle
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (4.5)
A dragon reading a book by candle light


Hi Aundria,
This is an incredible poem. I love the descriptive nature of it. Poetry is often emotional, and this one isn't, but it is certainly beautiful.

I couldn't pick a favourite line, or even a favourite stanza, because your choice of words makes each quite magical on its own.

The only one I feel could use a little improvement is the first one. I felt that the first stanza seemed a little forced, in contrast to the rest of the poem which flows very smoothly. I'm not sure how to suggest improvement, I only know that the first four lines don't have that smooth flow of the rest.

There are a few words which are repeated, like proud and proudly, and shine which is mentioned a few times, but I don't think they're an issue. There are no typos or other errors that I noticed.

All in all, if that first stanza had the smooth flow of the rest of the poem, this would rate five stars from me. It is unique and beautifully written.
Elle


Image #1938451 over display limit. -?-

Check out "Invalid Item!

Image #1928975 over display limit. -?-
"The WDC Advertisement Board
224 Reviews · *Magnify*
Page of 9 · 25 per page   < >
Printed from http://www.writing.com/main/profile/reviews/elle/sort_by/r.review_creation_time+DESC/sort_by_last/r.review_creation_time+DESC/page/5