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Printed from http://www.writing.com/main/profile/reviews/hallgerd
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179 Public Reviews Given
Public Reviews
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1
1
Review by Hallgerd
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Hi,
Congratulations, you have been awarded first place in the Jump Off From Here contest! There were only four entrants this month so only one prize of 6000 gps is being given. You also get 250 gps for taking part and 250 for having a steampunk slant to your story.

I thoroughly enjoyed this story and I'm not surprised it already has an awardicon. It's very interesting and the idea of a ghost writing to a newspaper is great. I wanted more! This story works well as it is but it definitely has mileage in it for a longer work if you wanted to take it that way.

Thanks for entering my contest. Good luck with your writing,
Hallgerd
2
2
Review by Hallgerd
Rated: E | (4.5)
What an interesting idea for a contest! Good luck, I hope you get lots of entrys.
Hallgerd
3
3
Review of Mystical Times  
Review by Hallgerd
Rated: E | (4.0)
I loved the idea here – plunging into the story with a rousing speech really caught my imagination and the idea of runaway slaves combined with a fantasy element and then the tragic ending was very exciting and unexpected, well done! I think you could expand this story a lot – the idea is easily big enough to give you a novel, I would have thought, if you like it enough to run with it. I particularly liked the scene on the boat. The idea of the teeth in the water is wonderfully horrible and the sense of hopelessness as James sees what is about to happen is very compelling.

I will mention a few typos/spelling mistakes/grammatical points to help polish this, if you’re interested in that sort of thing:

‘treasonistic’ This isn’t a word – ‘traitorous’ would be better. I think ‘treasonistic’ would be a fantastic word to put in the mouth of one of your characters and would really help build a sense of that character’s voice but it doesn’t work coming from the author.

‘towards the boat that the slaves and him’ – the slaves and he

‘that it had been only a full century ago’ Here the word ‘only’ fights against the word ‘full’. Only implies that a century isn’t a long time while using ‘full’ suggests that it is. As you are implying that a century has worked a swift change on the land, I think it would read better as ‘that it had been only a century ago.’

‘that was only found in those minds’ – mines

‘she had secret desires from him’ I wasn’t entirely sure what you meant here. Does she desire him (and he doesn’t know?) or does she have secret desires (for someone/something else) which she hasn’t told him about?

‘Playing mind games too heavily on the slave’ – slaves

‘He knew the slaves and himself would never…’ – and he

Thank you so much for entering my contest. I was thrilled with the quality of the stories and hope you will enter again!

Best wishes,
Hallgerd
4
4
Review of Saying Good-bye  
Review by Hallgerd
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hi,
you've captured this moment in a child's life wonderfully. The little details give it a strong sense of reality and I liked the characterisation through the short bits of speech the characters have. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.
Best wishes,
Hallgerd
5
5
Review of Fishing Buddies  
Review by Hallgerd
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hi,

I think this is lovely! A neat, happy episode that captures a moment of freedom, camaraderie and getting things wrong. A pleasure to read. The dialogue is strong and natural, and although there is little description, the conversation and terse scene-setting make this a very visual scene. It would be interesting to see how you would expand this.


Best wishes,

Hallgerd
6
6
Review of Lilacs  
Review by Hallgerd
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
Hi,

I think the start of this story is very strong. The lilacs are a romantic, intriguing hook, with the locked shop deepening the mystery. There is a good sense of the network of relationships here, without giving any too obvious clues about what is going to happen.

The main character Bernie seems worn down, and could become dull, if not for the lilacs and the memories about Bo and her grandfather.

Only other criticism, apart from the couple of typos below, is the close similarlity of the names: Bernie and Bennie. Unless there's a particular reason for this, it seems a bit awkward.

On the whole, I thoroughly enjoyed this chapter and it definitely makes me want to read more.

A couple of typos:
will find out through the natural coarse of time (course)

slipped an arm around his waste (waist)

Best wishes,

Hallgerd
7
7
Review by Hallgerd
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hi,

I can see why this won 'Grand Prize!' It's lovely - moving without being sentimental, well thought out and well written. I love the little details that get picked up again and again and the metaphor of the island works brilliantly.

Best wishes,

hallgerd
8
8
Review by Hallgerd
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Hi,

What a great idea! I love the language you use here, creating two wonderful characters. The twist(er) at the end as the couple's argument dissolves into love and then into more, affectionate jibing, is lovely. I particularly liked the argument about Christopher Columbus.

One typo in the title, though: it should be 'Argument' rather than 'Arguement'

Best wishes,

Hallgerd




9
9
Review of assigment 18  
Review by Hallgerd
Rated: E | (3.0)
Hi,

I like the sickroom scene with the queen tenderly smiling and sewing and doing her best to help her husband.

The description of the queen makes her sound like a very interesting character - I'd be very interested to read more about her! When I first read the story I became a bit confused when Pathwalker appears. Was it Pathwalker or the queen who was a great beauty? On re-reading it, it's clearer but the sense would be helped by putting a '.' after "...Pathwalker"

Gillerian and Quegmore's wicked deeds all happen out of sight. It would be nice to see them doing the robbing or enjoying it afterwards! Overall the balance of the story was more with the king and queen than with the robbers, (with the setting rather than the action) which makes the story not quite as powerful as it could be.

One typo: "steel" should be "steal"

I enjoyed reading this! The king, who rarely counts his money, and the queen with her druidic staff sounded like great characters for a longer story if you wanted to expand this.

Best wishes,

Hallgerd
10
10
Review of Blizzard  
Review by Hallgerd
Rated: ASR | (3.5)
Hi,

This story is well written and you build up a sense of suspense that draws the reader right in. I particularly liked the image of Lynsey reading in the chair.

My criticism of this story would be that the suspense is unfounded - the story doesn't go anywhere. I hope you write more as you have a great style here.

Best wishes,

Hallgerd
11
11
Review by Hallgerd
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Hi,

I love the structure of this. I also love the way you sidestep the problems of cliche by writing so darn well! The descriptions of the music and the girl at the piano are wonderful. Some great bands mentioned as well.

Best wishes,

Hallgerd

{imagae:1032352}
12
12
Review of Thirsty Gnomes  
Review by Hallgerd
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hi,

This is a very imaginative piece of writing that captures Sara's blurred existence on the edge of dreams. I liked it a lot, particularly the way you move from dreams to symbols like the moth and then to the slightly sordid reality of Sara's former life with Magick Man. My only criticism would be of the way the action jumps sometimes without any warning to a new scene. Are you planning more of this?

Editing point:

She secret is on the other side forever. - The secret...

Best wishes,

Hallgerd
13
13
Review of short stories  
Review by Hallgerd
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
Hi,


This folder contains three excellent stories that are a delight to read. All three are innovative and interesting and show sensitive characterisation, natural dialogue and a lightness of touch that makes each one special.

The folder itself could maybe do with a bit more of an introduction to the stories. As it is, it is functional and to the point!

Best wishes,

Hallgerd
14
14
Review of D.A.H.G.R.I.  
Review by Hallgerd
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Hi,

This novel-in-progress looks like it is going to be great. So far only the prologue and the first chapter are here but the pace is ogod, the plot looks like it will be strong and the main character interesting.I look forward to seeing what happens next!

Best wishes,

Hallgerd

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15
15
Review by Hallgerd
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Hi,

This is a good chapter to follow the prologue - it brings us straight into the main character's life and the information from the prologue gives the reader an overview that Dag lacks. Good stuff. I like the detail of the information cafe, which is a good idea and well developed.

Editing points:

You could find out anything from almost anywhere within the connected galaxies. “Too much data will burn anyone out,” they always warned. - It is a bit clumsy to have so many words beginning with 'any'. Change 'anyone' to 'you', perhaps.

Without papers she had no way to get anything except the most mudane, abysmal paying, slag jobs available.
- abysmally paid

hort black hair with blue streaks belayed the fact that she was female. - belied

Best wishes,

Hallgerd

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16
16
Review by Hallgerd
Rated: ASR | (4.0)
Hi,

This is a good start to this story. You set out the situation, which seems to have huge and drastic implications for two, possibly more races and introduce the idea of this child, who has some potential that is as yet unclear to the reader. It promises to be good!

Editing points:

researcher rung his hands. - wrung


Best wishes,

Hallgerd

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17
17
Review of Short Stories  
Review by Hallgerd
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Hi,

There's only one item in this folder so it's difficult to give it a review that draws on the different qualities of the contents. I think it is a good idea to have a folder dedicated to short stories so they don't get lost with longer pieces and I like the way you present this one. The Apprentice and the Crystal Ball  is a good story and worth a visit. I hope you will have many more stories to put in here in the future!


Best wishes,

Hallgerd

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18
18
Review by Hallgerd
Rated: E | (3.5)
Hi,

This is a lovely story of two victims overcoming their tormentor and the magical setting works well to show how the power in these relationships works and changes. There are some great moments - I like the way Mouse turns and finds the wizard behind her and the climax with the crystal balls shattering is great. The characters are well defined, each with their own way of speaking - this could be developed further. I love the way Alia says 'posh' and 'hogswash'. Mouse eventually learns to fight back and the wizard gets his comeuppance! On the whole I thought Mouse was a little dull as she is so easily pushed around. It might be worth showing her memories of her past life or her dreams for the future.

There are quite a few grammatical mistakes (see below) and some punctuation mistakes but the story flows well.


One suggestions:

She cursed leaving the sanctuary that Greel had made for the two of them, and wondered if he still looked for her. - it might be worth hinting at this relationship or certainly at Alia's life before she was imprisoned earlier. Otherwise Greel's appearance seems a bit like an after-thought.

Overall I thought this was an interesting story with a good sense of the desperate situation and good characters. Well done!


Some editing points

he was always scowled at her. - either 'he was always scowling at her' or 'he always scowled at her'

her blonde hair intricately braided and beaded. Her gown ornately decorated. “Are you real?” The girl whispered, afraid that speaking might break the enchantment. - beaded, her gown... "Are you real," the girl whispered...

Spells are just larger they take more practice, - ...larger. They take...

. Filling a bowl with stew, - There's a '.' hanging around doing nothing at the start of this paragraph!

Have you cleaned up the workroom girl, so I may try again? He asked before eating. - This bit of speech needs speech marks.

if he so dislikes you is quiet beyond me.” - quite beyond me

Is that what your doing with Master Ah’Fez - you're

Best wishes,

Hallgerd

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19
19
Review by Hallgerd
Rated: ASR | (4.0)
Hi,
I really enjoyed reading this story. It is very simply and straightforwardly told and you really catch the chacracter of Semele and the eternalness of her personality - young women still run off on impossible schemes. You also manage to make Zeus quite nice, which is an achievement! As a result you inject an element of realism into this fantasy story that makes it particularly good.

Some editing points:

who counseled, “go home son - Go

Discerning my mothers intentions - mother's

knowledge of the ships journey - ship's

discretely - discreetly

Best wishes,

Hallgerd

20
20
Review by Hallgerd
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Hi,

It was lovely to pop by your port again and find this. I think it's a great story. I really felt for Pertwee and Frances 'Bazookas' Benson is brilliant! The use of old saws gives this a very good structure.

Only one editing point:
‘They’re coming, Francis, - Frances

Best wishes

Hallgerd
21
21
Review by Hallgerd
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Hi,

there is lots of great stuff in this first chapter and it definitely makes me want to read more. There is perhaps a bit too much of a potted history of the two main characters but the first part, where the mystery of Nell's past comes dramatically to life is excellent.

Some editing points:
it’s flowing waters - its

“Are you okay Nell?” - okay, Nell

let me in Ellie?” - in, Ellie (I also think this line is a bit of a cliche.

I can’t do this Anthony. Not now.” She whispered. - this, Anthony. Not now," she whispered.

Nell , the most beatiful women - remove the space before the comma

Not the kind of women - woman

hansom - a hansom is a kind of cab, you want 'handsome'

There her parent’s hopes - parents'

Best wishes,

Hallgerd
22
22
Review by Hallgerd
Rated: ASR | (4.5)
Hi,

this is an excellent take on an old story - I love what you've done with it. There is a wonderful lightness of touch here - the dialogue is good and the plot works well. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

A few superficial editing points:

“Did you accept it,” I croaked. - it?"

“Reconsider sweeting.“ - "Reconsider, sweeting."

“I’m sorry Gerald,”...But the answer is still no
- sorry, Gerald ... still 'no'.

He fell on her then, on the bed and a furious wrestling match ensued. - lose 'on the bed', it slows the sentence down and the reader would have to be pretty unimaginative to guess where they fall.

“It’s you Lord Sommers.” I will take a chance on you my Lord.” - you, Lord Sommers ... on you, my Lord

until you were a frog, did it.” - did it?"

Best wishes,

Hallgerd
23
23
Review of Weathervane  
Review by Hallgerd
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hi,

I was intrigued to see what the first prompt was for the Daily Flash Fiction Challenge and then delighted to read your story - it's got everything flash fiction should have, including a great ending. I particularly liked the line: 'Now a weathervane, with no wind to turn it.'

Best wishes,
Hallgerd
24
24
Review of Paudro Qro  
Review by Hallgerd
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hi,

This is a marvellous story. It has a wonderful sad quietness to it as well as a richness of imagination. The philosophical moments give it a great depth as well. I particularly like Paudro's observation that it takes slightly longer each day for his master to respond to him - from which the reader infers so much and the bird so little.

I think it needs to be clearer that Enyar is dying. On a first read of the line "On his dying day the boy made his grandfather promise to give the bird his heart." I thought it was the grandfather who was dying - this is sloppy reading on my part but just a line making it clearer - perhaps through some tiredness of the boy's or the grandfather's sadness might help.

A few editing points:
grandfathers creations - grandfather's
An mechanical bird - a
but, now drummed out of society by his beliefs. - now was
cliff the extended - that extended
Glints metal reflecting in the sun - glints of metal
The solid green eyes with pale blue center - centers
I think your ready - you're
said outloud. - out loud
"What is my purpose now." - needs a '?'

Best wishes,

Hallgerd
25
25
Review of The Sacred Words  
Review by Hallgerd
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hi,

I think you've created an interesting world of injustice here and I liked the sense that this relatively peaceful moment will lead to great clashes in the future.

I didn't quite see why Cirinda decides to torment Jaun with "You can't read...And I have even completed my studies before the summer plantings begin." - if Jaun is culturally not meant to read why would this be a torment? It would be like mocking a man for not having breasts. Knowledge is power so she might be more likely to mock him with the things she knows - because she's read about them.

Otherwise I think this is a great story and I love the ending. Aunty Toletta seems like a very sensible woman!

A couple of editing points:

it was not easy thing - no easy thing

Aunty Toletta was a small women - woman

Best wishes,

Hallgerd
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