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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/profile/reviews/girlsnglasses
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31 Public Reviews Given
Public Reviews
1
1
Review by GirlsNGlasses
Rated: E | (4.0)
(Returning gp's - I don't give or take gp's from YA members. I figure it's all part of the game.)

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Title: Hannibal's Elephant Girl Chapter 1 

Chapter: 5-8

Author: ariion

Plot:
Our young lady returns with her bread. Without direction, she keeps scurrying all evening without direction. Jabnet doesn't talk much to her, but still manages to be antagonistic. There is a question of what came of the original jug of wine, since she is certain it hadn't broken, there were no jug fragments, and the stopper was in tight. Makes me wonder if Jabnet didn't try to get her in trouble.

She to Yzebel recounts what she remembers of the river being pulled out by Obulus. She learns that Tendao is Yzebel's son, but was taken by the priests when they took her husband. No one has seen him since. (If no one has seen him since, how does Jabnet and Yzebel know she has Tendao's cape?)

Yzebel gives her a bracelet for her work that evening and makes her a dress. Since Obulus is alive, she chooses the name Liada for herself instead (smart girl). After everyone is asleep, she slips back to Elephant Row and spends the night with Obulus.

The next morning, Liada she joins Yzebel to barter for meat then is sent for more bread. On the way, she meets a slave girl spinning yarn. She sits and talks with her for some time, helping her spin the yarn, but the only thing the girl says is "Tin tin ban sunia." She doesn't respond to anything else.

After spinning three balls of yarn, the girl goes up the hill to the home of a huge, ugly man who greets her with a punch in the face and kicks Liada. He then pulls the girl into his hut, leaving Liada in the dirt.

She returns to the village, bumps into Tendao again, who asks her to deliver a statue to Lotaz. Tendao reads the inscription on the statue and on Liada's bracelet, and hints that, though it's illegal, he might teach her to read.

She returns to Yzebel's tent just after sunset (did that day go too quickly?) and again helps feed the soldiers. She asks about Hannibal, and Yzebel offers a snide remark about Lotaz.

While they are cleaning up after supper, a group of drunken men come by and make fun of her.

Style & Voice:
I like seeing the village through the eyes of Liada. She's a good guide.


Referencing:
Liada seems quite mature and observant for an unlearned slave girl. But all seems consistent with the time frame. (Okay you forced me into it. I had to double check where Carthage was. My book credits a "Dido" to the founding, with the same story about the ox hide. I don't blame you for changing the name, though that may just be a difference in versions.)


Scene/Setting:
We're still in the village, set on the side of a hill in north Africa.

Characters:
Yzebel sounds like a wonderful mother, patient, gentle, always believing.

Tendao is weird. Why does he keep disappearing and why doesn't he let anyone see him?

Bostar is a good friend to have.

Tin Tin - we don't know much about her. She apparently is a new addition to the village, but no one seems too concerned about her plight or cares much about her. In spite of that, she is happy - until she goes to deliver her yarn.

UglyMan - Apparently Tin Tin's owner. Mean - and ugly to boot. What's he doing kicking other people around. While his own slave may be acceptable (but wrong) what right does he have to kick Liada?

Grammar: It looks rather clean, but I'm not reading for grammar.

Just My Personal Opinion:
She spent a lot of time serving supper the first evening and I was tired - the scene seemed to drag.

But I liked meeting Bostar, and Tendao really intrigues me.


Line by Line: Just a few things that jumped out at me as I was reading. I'll copy the paragraph, rather than the whole chapters.

*Bullet*Comments (Wow! I like this./I'm really confused here.) will be in blue.
*Bullet*Critiques/suggestions (Have you tried. . ./Maybe reword like: . . .) will be in red.
*Bullet*Grammar/spelling suggestions will be in green.
*Bullet* Other things I feel are noteworthy will be in violet.


Use this review like chewing gum:
Gnaw on it a while to get out the good stuff,
then out spit the rest.


Chapter 8
context:
“This gold chain is too much for eight loaves, you get three more to make us even.”

“Hmm,” I said. “Yzebel was right.”

“About what?” He stacked the additional loaves on the cloth.

Yzebel had told me that Bostar was a good man, a fair trader. How did she know about men? How does a girl learn the difference between people, separating the good from the evil? We "heard" Yzebel say this in the previous chapter - this is repeated info.
2
2
Review of Missed  
Review by GirlsNGlasses
Rated: E | (5.0)
You so perfectly hit on what I felt when I held my first after three miscarriages - even the joy of late nights with a fussy baby. The opportunity to show my love by giving up milk when I found out she was lactose intollerant.

I really like the missed/found play on words. It's so perfect.

And I like the sublte changed in the revised version - b/c you were a mother after the first. Just a mom with empty arms.

Blessings,

Deborah

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3
3
Review of The Car  
Review by GirlsNGlasses
Rated: E | (4.0)
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This is a review of The Car .

I'm supposed to be heading to bed, but I saw this on the plug page and had to bite. So, it'll be quicker than normal, but it's well written, so I should be good.

As you read the review below please remember: the opinions expressed here are my thoughts and suggestions only. I am not the final authority on any grammar or writing style. This is your work, you have the final say about which, if any, of my suggestions you choose to take.
Use this review like a piece of gum: chew on it a bit to get the good stuff out, and spit out the rest.

Please email me if you have any questions or if you would like me to take another look after you have rewritten this work.

For a detailed explanation of my rating and reviewing philosophy, see Reviews, Ratings and Gift Points .


Plot: 4 pts
I had trouble getting through the first paragraph, with all the passive verbs. But, once the story got going, I really enjoyed following the little Nissan through her trials.

Setting:
There wasn't much of a setting - but the story didn't suffer for it.

Characters: 5 pts
I really felt sorry for the poor car -- giving her all and no one appreciating her.

Overall: 4 pts
I love creative stories and stories told from odd viewpoints. You did great with this one.


Grammar/Spelling 4 pts
Below, I am copying parts of your story then adding my comments and suggestions. Remember: it is chewing gum!
*Bullet*Comments (Wow! I like this./I’m really confused here.) will be in blue.
*Bullet*Critiques/suggestions (Have you tried. . ./Maybe reword like: . . .) will be in red. *Bullet*Grammar/spelling suggestions will be in green.

As I mentioned, the first paragraph is full of passive verbs. See what would happen if you could rearrange it to use active verbs. Also, this is the only paragraph in the whole story not told from the car's pov.

beautiful Nissan still ran like the day it she I like how you refer to the car as "she" throughout. Makes her more personable. drove off the assembly line

Things were looking up for this Nissan. Then, it happened again. Did she start getting regular maintence, then it stopped? or was it a one-time tune-up?

Do you have a driver’s license, (comma to set off "adressee" within a quote) kid?” also, you have "kid" used twice within words of each other. Maybe change one to boy or . . .

“All right, I’ll take her.” Sniff, sniff. Pout.

She had been sitting in a dark ally way for two or three years, when someone came by and stripped her of all her parts. They took her brand new tires, her still spotless interior, and some of her engine. They left her doors, the paneling, frame, and her steering wheel. Would a car with "brand new" tires be sitting in a dark alley for three years?

“Well, (comma) I'm looking for something Your next quote also starts with "well." I'd drop one.

Look at that paint job. Nice huh She's been sitting in the sun for years. You've just said, "she's pretty beat up." This comment doesn't seem to follow.

It was what any red, 1980 280zx, turbo engine, two-seater, t-top Nissan would have wanted. Especially this one. Awwwww! I like this ending!

Kinda makes me feel guilty for getting rid of my cars - and not taking care of them.

And you asked about the title. What about "A Car's Life" or "Always faithful" or maybe she could have some phrase she keeps repeating to her self toward her owners (such as always be faithful) then you could use that. Just a few suggestions.

I really enjoyed reading this creative story. Thanks for the opportunity. Write On!


*Reading* *Reading* *Reading* *Reading* *Reading* *Reading* *Reading* *Reading*


The boys all cheered, “For the blue team! For Idania!”

Dominic whispered to Jacob, “For the crown kissers!” He then sent the five volunteers, one at a time, into red territory to create the diversion. After the last boy crossed the stream, Dominic, Jacob, and Antonio slipped through the trees.

Read more and review: Of Mountains, Beasts, and Kings 
4
4
Review by GirlsNGlasses
Rated: E | (4.0)
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This is a review of Christmas Miracle Disguised .

As you read the review below please remember: the opinions expressed here are my thoughts and suggestions only. I am not the final authority on any grammar or writing style. This is your work, you have the final say about which, if any, of my suggestions you choose to take.
Use this review like a piece of gum: chew on it a bit to get the good stuff out, and spit out the rest.

Please email me if you have any questions or if you would like me to take another look after you have rewritten this work.

For a detailed explanation of my rating and reviewing philosophy, see Reviews, Ratings and Gift Points .



Lovely story.

I was a bit confused, thought. Does a flashback start at the second paragraph, then the present resume at "Being Christmas Eve, Missy knew the store would soon be closing. . ."?

You might set off the flashback portion with a series of astrics (or an emoticon if you want to get fancy) like this:

* * * * *


You have a good description of the necklace, but it might be nice to see a bit more of the storefront or town.

Beyond that, I saw no gramatical or spelling errors. For a short story you did an excellent job of letting us meet Missy.

Write On!


Deborah

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#1275574 by GirlsNGlasses


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5
5
Review of Cat  
Review by GirlsNGlasses
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
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This is a Rising Star Member-to-Member Review of Cat .

As you read the review below please remember: the opinions expressed here are my thoughts and suggestions only. I am not the final authority on any grammar or writing style. This is your work, you have the final say about which, if any, of my suggestions you choose to take.
Use this review like a piece of gum: chew on it a bit to get the good stuff out, and spit out the rest.

Please email me if you have any questions or if you would like me to take another look after you have rewritten this work.

For a detailed explanation of my rating and reviewing philosophy, see Reviews, Ratings and Gift Points .


Plot: 5 pts.
Okay, this definately falls in the "this is too wierd" category. I liked the way the story unfolded, the bond Cy had with the cat and the "friendship" they developed. I definately didn't see the ending coming. (I like plot twists!)

Setting: 3 pts
I know this is the woods, it's cold, and secluded, but that's about it. Pine trees or maples? Mountains or ?? Could you drop a few more hints into the story line?

Characters: 4 pts.
This was a good story, but I felt rather disconnected from the narrator, like it wasn't mine to be in the story. Though, given his confusion, the distancing might help the story along?

Overall:
I was carried along wondering when the wild creature would go back to the wild. Then, bam! you ended it.

Aside from some rough reading (I'll explain below) I really enjoyed your story.

I'm giving you 4 stars for this imaginative story.


Below, I am copying parts of your story then adding my comments and suggestions. Remember: it is chewing gum!
*Bullet*Comments (Wow! I like this./I’m really confused here.) will be in blue.
*Bullet*Critiques/suggestions (Have you tried. . ./Maybe reword like: . . .) will be in red. *Bullet*Grammar/spelling suggestions will be in green.

The dog’s teeth had not gone home before it had died itself. This sentence seems a bit awkward. Maybe: The dog died before its teeth hit their mark. ??

Overwhelmed myself with admiration I think "myself" needs to be set of in commas (it's there only for clarification) or maybe drop it from the sentence.

How the dog had missed its arteries or failed to crush its trachea with that death grip, (comma) I doubt I will ever understand; but though from the look of it the cat had lost much blood, it still lived. The last half of this sentence is reading rough. Maybe: the cat had lost much (a lot of?) blood, yet, still lived. I think I'm having trouble with "from the look of it" You have five dead (or nearly-dead) animals there. How can you tell whose blood is whose? They're all torn up, so it's obvious they've all lost a lot of blood. Making sense?

Not really expecting it to live, yet I boiled some water Reading rough - I think because you changed verb tenses: expeting. . . boiled "I didn't really expect it to live, yet.(Dropping "really" would make for a stronger sentence.)

If it lives until morning, I thought, I will take it to the local vet and see if she thinks it worthwhile to sew up. A cat such as this deserves a chance, I thought. 1)Generally, thoughts are set off in italics. 2) I think you only need to think once *Smile*.

What sort of idiocy is this, I asked myself as I was drowsing. Who takes a wildcat to bed with them and expects to wake up alive? Again, I'd set "your" thoughts off in italics.

In the morning, (comma) I was awakened by a rough tongue on my face which was nose to nose with the cat. Its eyes were open and clear and bored into my own as I opened them. I could not tear my eyes away. It seemed to be holding them by sheer force of its own will, boring into my mind, indeed into the soul I had never before been sure I had. Repeated word - bored/boring I'm sensing a lot of repeat in this picture. You're together in a sleeping bag, the cat's eyes boring into yours - of course you're nose-to-nose. I'd try rewriting this a couple times (Ask the cat what it was like, what she wanted?) and see if you can't tighten it up a bit.

Feelings came to me which nevertheless seemed not to be my own, and that I found hard to identify – I love this section here - the confusion - the connection - it's great!!!

one would have to feel it oneself to know the experience! This just reads awkward. It may just be my personal hang-up with the one/oneself thing. Could you say something like, "I have failed in every attempt to explain the experience"?

No little shaken I don't know that I've ever heard this remark (maybe it's regional?) Not a little shaken,. . OR More than a little shake . . . OR More frightened of the cat than the awaiting icy cold lake *Smile* (An icy-cold bath each morning would be a deal breaker for me camping out all summer).

trying, (comma) as it were, (comma) to scrub myself free from the morning’s experience.

The animal’s response had, (comma) in no obvious way, (comma - setting off an adverbial clause - and I think it should come after "been" so as to not split the verb) been threatening. (period and new sentence) It{c} had even, with its lick, been apparently affectionate.

Beginning, (comma) now, (comma - setting off a time reference) to feel the cold of the water, and no little foolish, Here's the strange (to me) structure again. not a little? I climbed onto shore, searched for a few moments fruitlessly fruitless moments? OR searched fruitlessly for a few moments? for the towel I had forgotten to bring with me in my haste, and laughing now laughed - maintiain verb tense at my foolishness, ran back to camp. I might start a new sentence with "I laughed . .

From here, on, the story reads very clean. Almost like you "saw" the ending, but had to hash out the beginning. (Happens a lot to me.)

fastened on the doc like thumbtacks. fastened like thumbtacks on the doc I like the word picture.

what a handful this lady can be when it’s its OR "it has" a mind to be I'm not quite sure of your intent with this comment

She pulled off the glove and ran it under the water. ran the finger. . ., the wound. . . I'm sure she didn't run the glove under the water *Smile* Also, several other times in this paragraph, you've used "it" without clearly stating what "it" was.

She's just hurt and scared, (comma) I imagine

What an amazing animal, I thought. Here's a wild beast, never been in a truck before, and acts like she's born to ride. Again, it's easier to recognize thoughts when they're set off in italics.

She stood up and stretched, which looked like it hurt her, what did she do that made it look like it hurt. Did she wince in pain? Limp? Show me, don't tell me.

lay her down again on the still-open I think it's supposed to be hyphenated.sleeping bag

When I got back to shore, the cat was waiting for me there."there" is assumed.

It padded along next to me and ate its sunnies I have her eating sunnies while walking. Maybe, "then ate her sunnies"

Also, you keep bouncing between "it" and "her." I would choose a point when you "connected" with the cat, and from that point on, use "her." It's just a little more personal.

just enjoying the cool night air, (comma) and the crackling fire, (comma) and the satisfied feeling that, (comma) after all what I had done for the cat, (comma) everything? it? (need a word here, I think) had worked pretty darn well. (period)

The Next morning, (comma) I woke, (comma) feeling a weight on my chest

This time the atmosphere was charged. You need to take me to town. You've told me about it, but haven't said you're going.

The doc says the bites weren't cat bites maybe the coroner, to avoid confusion??

A great story. I'm glad I stopped by to hear it. I know I picked a lot (that's what I do), but you have a strong, creative plot/storyline - that's the hard part. Anyone can fix grammar and sentence flow. Write On!!

*Reading* *Reading* *Reading* *Reading* *Reading* *Reading* *Reading* *Reading*


The boys all cheered, “For the blue team! For Idania!”

Dominic whispered to Jacob, “For the crown kissers!” He then sent the five volunteers, one at a time, into red territory to create the diversion. After the last boy crossed the stream, Dominic, Jacob, and Antonio slipped through the trees.

Read more and review: Of Mountains, Beasts, and Kings 
6
6
Review by GirlsNGlasses
Rated: E | (3.0)
Thank you for the opportunity to read your story. As you read the review below please remember: the opinions expressed here are my thoughts and suggestions only. I am not the final authority on any grammar or writing style. This is your work, you have the final say about which, if any, of my suggestions you choose to take. Use this review like a piece of gum: Chew on it a bit. Get the good stuff out, then spit out the rest.

Please email me if you have any questions or if you would like me to take another look after you have rewritten.


Plot: 4 points
The image of little tots wandering through the dark woods by themselves really caught my attention. I was just as confused (in a good way) as the twins about the dream. I kept reading to know what it was about.

The ending seemed "preachy"

Setting:4 points
You captured the setting in the dream quite well: the darkness and mystique. You could have expanded on the "real life" setting a bit, but I understand you were constrained by word count.

Characters:2 points
The characters seemed superficial - I think because the conversations seemed stilted and artificial.

Pacing and Flow:3 points
I liked the switching from dream to reality. After the first switch (which the twins seemed to be confused with, too) I was able to follow the in and out.

Again, the end seemed "chopped." I think you would have done well to use the last 250 words to "show" me how they changed.

Spelling, Grammar, and Word Choice:2 points
I noticed several areas where the word choice was a bit confusing (see below).
Generally, it's best not to use "were," "had been". . . Using more active verbs pulls the reader into the story better.
I didn't notice any spelling errors.

Overall:
What did I like most? Why? I really liked the first couple dream sequences. They pulled me in and really intrigued me.
What did I like the least? Why? The ending seemed chopped and didn't flow with the rest of the story. To have the "voice" just tell them what the dream was about was disappointing. It would have been nice to let them discover it somehow.

Your paragraph spacing confused me. Generally, one space between paragraphs helps the reader see the flow. If you are breaking a sequence (like moving to a dream) a set of asterisks, like this (****) can help indicate the break.


Below, I am copying parts of your story then adding my comments and suggestions. Remember: it is chewing gum!
*Bullet*Comments (Wow! I like this./I’m really confused here.) will be in blue.
*Bullet*Critiques/suggestions (Have you tried. . ./Maybe reword like: . . .) will be in red.
*Bullet*Grammar/spelling suggestions will be in green.

Two little girls jostled their way through the thick dark forest. Starting with a strong, descriptive verb (I'm really into strong verb choice.).The view ahead was quite scary, yet inviting. Can you show me? Dark and thick says "scary". Maybe use inviting as a verb and move it to the end of the paragraph.Wherever their eyes could traveltraveled, only bald branches were visible they could only see bald branches, and the only sound which I don't like this word. I think it's too vague and breaks the flow of the story.tried to break the only sound that broke (or breaking)the suffocating silence was the cracking of dry leaves under their feet.Or: Only the cracking of dry leaves under their feet broke the suffocating silenceIt's a more "active" sentence - something is definitely doing something.

Ding- dong! "Ding-dong" - to me - sounds like a door bell. I think of a clock going "bong." The clock struck eight. They get up for school at 8:00? What time does it start?

“Um… Late for what?” Shoshi asked sleepily, with one eye still closed. I like the confusion here. Sounds like conversations I have with my husband early in the morning.

The word “test” added fuel to Shoshi’s energy. I'm not sure "added fuel" is the right phrase here. She doesn't seem to have energy to add fuel to. *Smile*

About half an hour later, both the girls were seated comfortably in their white Toyota car. The car was a gift from their parents on their eighteenth birthday. Can you combine these two sentences to avoid the word repetition?

“You know Shoshi; I had a very strange dream today.” this morning? last night?

The algebra question was a tricky one.Only one question on the test?

He had serious anger painted on his face. Anger registered/clouded/painted his faceMore active sentence.

“None of you know even the “a” of algebra. Only the twins managed to score well,” he hissed. Very unprofessional - maybe even illegal. I like the verb choice (hissed)

All the students glared at the twins. The sisters were smiling ear-to-ear.If all the students in my class were glaring at me, I would not be smiling.

There were some white, soft things on the path that looked like breadcrumbs. Can you make the "white, soft things" the subject of the sentence, then give me an active verb?

Each white crumb glowed as the little girls jumped over them. interesting!!

between sips of tea. . . gnawing on a carrot. . . Shoshi looked impatiently at her watch. This didn't follow for me. They're sipping tea, gnawing on carrots, then all of a sudden, Shoshi is impatient.

We have a concert to attend, . . . The merry sound of applause filled the atmosphere as the twins concluded their performance. Are they attending the concert or giving it?

they had attended music courses regularly. Passive voice. Can you make it active?

The merry sound of applause filled the atmosphere as the twins concluded their performance. I can almost hear it!

“Wish we Icould play like them,” many teenagers whispered.

Many parents had accompanied their children teens or young children? to the concert that day. When the twins noticed many mothers and fathers in the audience Did just the presence of the parents bother the twins, or were the parents particularly doting, loving, close. . . ?

Sometimes you become so desperate to fulfill your desires that you act like children.How?
Both of you always wanted to dye your hair golden, but your parents never allowed you. Dye black hair golden yellow? Did they respond to their parents' denial in a childish manner? Show me.

You can break through the darkness when you stop brooding over your shortcomings. I understand "shortcomings" to be a personality flaw. It sounds like the twins brood (I like that word, by the way) over their insufficiencies or deficits.

Remember your names- Usha and Shoshi (the sun and the moon). Cool names. I'm not sure I understand the significance to the story - Are the sun and moon to to break through the darkness?

Can you make it so the twins "discover" the meaning of the dreams - even somehow through the dream - instead of being told. I found it a disappointing ending.

You have a strong, unique plot - to me the hardest part of a story to capture. I know I cut and chopped a lot, but that doesn't mean I don’t' like it. The flow and word choice are relatively easy to fix. You have the makings of an excellent story.

Write on!

7
7
Review by GirlsNGlasses
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
Um? Okay! That was funny.

I love working with/trying to write pieces that are only quotes. It's hard and you've done a great job.

I'll admit, the title caught my attention from the sidebar.

Plot: fun and engaging
Characters: for the length of the piece, you did well
Spelling: I didn't see any errors
Grammar: I didn't see any errors
8
8
Review of Twins Without  
Review by GirlsNGlasses
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Wow! What a wonderfully, unique story. You have great descriptions, the story line flows well.

Here:
Late, late, Sandy thought, I am always running late to pick up Brady: her eight-year-old precious son. You switch pov mid-sentence. I understand the first part is Sandy's thoughts, the second part is clarification, but it reads funny.

Characters direct thoughts should be in italics.

Great Read! Great Job!
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