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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/profile/reviews/han_t
Review Requests: OFF
18 Public Reviews Given
Review Style
Honnest reviews centred on style, flow and overall impression. I'll always try to look for the 'issues' with any piece of work, but will balance that with what I thought worked well. If I see something that's not quite working I'll try and give suggestions for how it can be changed. If you want to know what I do, have I look at my past reviews. I'm also happy to do follow ups and discuss points via email afterwards.
I'm good at...
Taking over the world... Honnestly.
Favorite Genres
Most fiction
Least Favorite Genres
Favorite Item Types
Chapters or short stories
I will not review...
A chapter/item that is not yet complete, I don't mind a whole chapter from the middle of a story, as long as its finished and been checked through by you at least twice.
Public Reviews
Review of Bailey  
Review by Pan
Rated: 18+ | (2.5)
Hi there,
I'm not sure what level of feedback you're after, and what you want from this piece, so I have just picked out the main points of issue I have with the piece if you are trying to improve it in general.

You have a very unique writing style, however for me it it not my cup of tea. I like the concept of what you have tried to create here, and it is certainly an interesting idea, but in my opinion it is all too fast and superficial to really achieve the depth that I think a piece like this really needs. I would like to see generally longer sentances with more intricate sentance structures, and more observations on the world/setting that the MC inhabits.

This reads like a first draft or an outline of something that could be two or three times as long, and my main recomendation for improvement would be to go back and expand all aspects of the piece. You've chosen what I think of a first-third person, that is: you use third person narative, but it's all internal monologue that you expect from first person. That is perfectly fine (I use it myself) but you still need to describe suroundings so that your readers can fully imerse themselves in the world you've created. The surroundings can also play a big part in adding or subtracting from the feelings of the story, what you describe and how you're MC sees the world gives insight into how you're MC thinks. So describe her home, the street, how the kids look in the park, why she chooses that particular child, how the open road makes her think of the freedom and new life she wants to start with they boy she as abducted...?

Finally, what is it you wanted to achieve with this piece of writing? Is it a short story, an opening chapter, do you want to write the journey of a woman with mental troubles, or about an unlikely villan, or simply an insight into the mind of a stay at home mum whoes dreams start to spread into her reality until she realises how lucky she really is to have what she has. Your story could be any of these things, but at the moment it is none, because it touches upon all of these aspects but does not focus enough on any of them. To focus on them I need to read more background detail and build up into how she got into the situation where she is driven to abduct a child. I don't just want you to tell me, I want you to show me by describing scenes where your MC wants her husband and daughter to be something they are not - show don't tell.

If you have more questions please feel free to email me, and I hope that my feedback is something of what you are after. Like I said, without direction as to what you want from a review I just give a general overview of my feelings on the piece. If you wanted something more specific please drop me and email and I'll be happy to answer any questions to the best of my ability.

Review by Pan
Rated: 13+ | (3.5)
Right, so first of all I would like to say that tecnically you write very well. I'm not the best at gramma myself but I didn't notice anything jarring with your work, so I wouldn't worry about that.

Now this is personal preference but you asked whether I would want to read more, and unfortunatly the answer is no. This isn't anything against your ability as a writer. There are a couple of reasons for this, which I will explain to the best of my ability, but mostly this just didn't catch me. It's writen and edited well, but I just don't feel engaged enough by the main character to feel like I want to know what's happening - you don't catch my attention soon enough.

Part of this is almost certainly linked to the fact that I'm not really sure what's happening. Most of the time when you read a story you have an idea of what's going to happen in it, either from a blurb or on writing.com the short summary. That helps to lure people, but it's also a good way to get a bit of a hook in your readers by aluding to what may be going to happen. You have no synopsis, no blub and as a result I'm not sure what I'm reading and what I'm supposed to be rooting for. If you don't do that you really need to set the tone in the first chapter/section by carefully setting a balance between answering enough questions to set the scene and character profile, give hints as to the storyline, and leave enough questions left unanswered to make people want to read more.

Obviously some questions can be left open to be answered later in the story (such as those surrounding Jade), but my main questions that I think you ought to address in the opening sections are: who is Tom, what is he doing in that hotel, you say he's gone as a tourist, but it's fairly unusual for a twenty-two year old guy to just take himself to a hotel by himself, so what is going on in his head space right now? Is he recently out of a relationship/job? You need to make me care about him, and give an indication of what you want me (as a reader) to want for him. I think you want me to want Jade, but really I'm not sure how I feel about her because their random meeting is fairly bizzare and gives me no real reason to think Tom and Jade should be together other than Tom's stunted and socially awkward declaration. I'm not actually sure how I feel about Tom for that matter, especially after he was frankly pretty rude to Becky and seems to be obsessing over someone that as far as I can tell he likes because she had pale skin and dark hair. (He's also pretty shallow with Becky). You need to answer the question above in a way that makes me want to read your story as apposed to all the romance stories that I can choose from - what makes Tom and his situation unique and story worthy rather than just an insight into the life of a regular guy.

In and of itself your writing is good, it's well structured and the flow seems fine. Your writing style seems very old fashioned though, because you've chosen to write in first person it reflects on Tom's character and ends up making the piece pretty hard to date. This could honnestly be set a hundred years ago if the women weren't so forwards, and Tom could be fifty for the way you've writen him - drinking g&t doesn't help.This again links to my confusion, because obviously as a reader I want different things from a twenty-two year old MC than I do from a fifty year old one. I'm saying all this, I don't really know how old he is, I had to guess from a comment you made.

So linked to these points, I would recomend that you consider the formality of the language you're writing in, because it is an important aspect that helps set the character up, espcially in first person, which in turn helps catch readers - no one really wants to read a story about a person they dislike (and to be honnest I kind of dislike Tom, because you've given no justification for his calous attitude and judment of people based on appearance - which links back to the questions part: why is he here, what's going on in his headspace). In first person the way you write should be the way Tom thinks, for example: " though the effect was, on the whole, pleasing. I felt like sharing this observation with her," no twenty-two year old thinks like this. You have some beautiful decriptions and the formal style is nice, but they would sit better if this was third person because then it matters less - when you chose what perspective to write in you have to make some decisions on how you're going to write, and unfortunatly there are usually compromises.

I imagine that this is probably a bit more negative than you would have liked. Like I said, your writing per-say is good, its just your style, story-line and structuring of the opening sections just haven't quite gelled to pull me in and make me want to read more. My oppinion is of course my own, and I hope that you take this as it is meant to be, feedback designed to help you improve your work. If you have any questions, please feel free to message me back.

All the best


Review by Pan
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
I enjoyed your opening chapters, they do a good job of setting the scene, introducing the characters and leaving you curious enough about certain aspects to make you want to read more.

This was let down in a couple of places where for me as a reader it felt a little clunky. You have a tendency in some of your description work to add in unnecessary words or sentances. The two examples for me that stood out the most were:

"The assistant to the Seer stood in the doorway blocking my view back down the hallway. He [was] a massive man," (nb you've put has in the text rather than was.)

"Someone was headed down the hallway towards my room. I had slept in the end of the dormitories for years now and the sound of footsteps carried easily over the stones that made up the floor throughout Apalon, and held its roof in place. Three sharp blows sounded against the door."

In the first one, there are two aspects, firstly, do I really need to know that he can't see down the hallyway? When I read this sentance it jarred, as Pricion was reading, not looking down the hallway, so would he really notice? Something like "The (massive frame of the) assistant to the Seer filled the doorway" would do the same thing more smoothly. When I went to copy it here I noticed the first part of the next sentance is also repeating yourself, as, if he's big enough to block the view, he's clearly a big guy, you don't need to say it again in the next sentance, if you want to make it clearer I recomend adding it in the first sentance like I've done in the ().

In the second example the second sentance is saying the same thing as the first, just in a more fancy way, if I were you I'd get rid of the first sentance completely and it will probably read more smoothly.

There are other places were you do similar things, I just picked these two out as examples, when you read through it yourself just try and look through fresh eyes (easier said that done I know) and see if you are saying the same thing in different ways.

A finaly point is your main character's name, I read it as Prissy-on as in "Excessively or affectedly prim and proper" which is probably not what you want as an association for your main character I'm guessing? Maybe try writing it with a y instead so it's Prycion. I am slightly dyslexic so that may play a part but I just thought I'd mention it.

Otherwise a really nice and intriguing start, and good luck with the rest
Review of Bang  
Review by Pan
Rated: 13+ | (3.5)
I felt a little confused when I reached the end of this piece, and having read it through a few times I still couldn't quite get my head around who was speaking.

I think you need to use their names when you describe their appearance in the first two paragraphs, or add a note refering back to their ages/apearances when you use their names in paragraph 4.

Also while I apriciate that you are trying to add a twist at the end, I feel that you need a little forshadowing before Paul kills Jay. In my opinion his apology when he presents the broken glass item doesn't quite match up with the cold killer at the end.

Otherwise this is a really interesting piece of flash fiction.
Review of the story of Anna  
Review by Pan
Rated: E | (3.5)
Hi again,

This is definitely an improvment, this time when I read it through it read more smoothly and much more like I would expect from a book. I had a better understanding of the characters and the events that had led them to this meeting seemed more realistic.

In my opinion, I would still try and work on smoothing out your speech style, for example you write:

She went and sat down next to him and said “I am Anna, what are you? I have never seen your kind before!"
This clearly stumped him, as he said "I am an Orion, don't worry I don't bite. So are you just out hunting?”

Where as I personally would change this to:

She went and sat down next to him.
“I am Anna, what are you? I have never seen your kind before!" she asked (you could then describe the kinds of creatures she is used to, which would make the viperoid attack easier to describe).
This clearly stumped him, "I am an Orion, don't worry I don't bite. So are you just out hunting?” (you don't even need to say he said, because its only the two of them speeking and he's introduced himself in the speech so you know its him).

another example, you write:
He then replied “Yes I am ok, it’s just that your life has been a reminder of why I am here. You see I am an outcast no one on my planet want’s me there so I left ...

you could change that to:
“Yes I am ok," he replied (maybe insert some description). "It’s just that your life has been a reminder of why I am here. You see I am an outcast no one on my planet want’s me there so I left ...

In my opinion starting with the speech (rather than the stuff that describes the speech) helps me as a reader to get inside the story and really experience it, its all part of the show don't tell rule. When you're writing you want the reader to experience the story rather than just be told about it, it helps with visualisation.

The work you've done on the second half is really good, it reads much more believably now (at least in a fantasy sense lol). It no longer reads rushed and you've definitly managed to get rid of the list style you had before. Your descriptions are nice and with another check through for a couple of mistakes you've left in when you've changed things this will be a nice piece.
Review of the story of Anna  
Review by Pan
Rated: E | (3.0)
This seems like a nice intro or prologue and it seems like you've created a really interesting and unique world, with some wonderful races.

I have a few issues with the formating and writing style, but nothing that you shouldn't be able to work out with a good edit.

For me I felt in places it read a little bit like a list, try interspersing the action with description of the people and place. You tell us that she looks like a dragonfly, but try describing the way the light ripples along the veins of her wings, or how the dew runs from her armor plating (I only know about the plating from reading your apendix, and in my opinion I shouldn't have to read a seperate document to find out what a character looks like), and describe the setting more, what does his ship look like, and what do the creatures that attack them look like, why was Adam on the planet? These are the little details that I want to know, but importantly I want you to show me the world rather than just tell me. You should also try not to write, 'and then she said', start a new paragraph write the speach and then just write she said/ he said/ said Anna and this will also help stop it sounding like a list.

Linked to that formating is pretty important in my opinion, it helps make the piece easier to read and understand, and makes it look more profesional. Each time a person starts talking you should start a new paragraph, and for putting stuff up on writing.com I would also recomend double spacing the paragraphs breaks. As well as for speech you should also start a new paragraph everytime something new starts.

For example:
"She had found someone to confide in and to like for his deeds and character; she had found her soulmate, her mate for life. (I would start a new para here) Adam was not shocked, knowing what had happened and that he had found his soulmate, his true companion for life. "

Try reading it outloud to yourself, this always helps me with with pacing and also with tenses, as you've switched tenses a few times, for example at the start you say crouches, and as you've mostly writen in past tense it should be she crouched.

I also think the last part reads a little rushed, in fantasy it is acceptable for characters to just fall in love and find their soul mates, however even so I felt they accept this very easily and tell each other their story's with a bit too much ease considering they're supposed to be outcasts who would naturaly be wary of trusting people. I think properly formating it and getting rid of the 'and then' will help considerably, but I would pad this out a little, with some more descriptions.

I hope this is helpful and is the kind of feedback you were after, I enjoyed reading your work and its nice to read some fantasy that isn't about elves. If you have any other questions message me back.
Good luck, Pan
Review by Pan
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
I noticed this again on the request reviews page, so I thought I'd have a look at the changes you had made.

You've made it much clearer and easier to get into. I thoroughly enjoyed reading all the way through and fully understood what was going on with the new base station, Sta'sa's job, and what how the role's of chaser/pirate ships work and interchange. Because it flows better I was more able to apriciate both Sta'sa and the captain's personalities and friendship in the intial section.

I have to admit, I'm now very curious to read the next part :)

I've upped my rating to 5 stars, which I now think you deserve all the way through, congratulations,

Review of Roots and Wings  
Review by Pan
Rated: E | (4.0)

I enjoyed reading this, I liked the idea of a nervous little girl ending up going on a grand adventure.

Your descriptions and writing style are good, my only real qualm with it is that in some places it reads very much like a description of events rather than drawing me in.

For example "The task before her seemed daunting. How would she ever complete this journey? She missed her father and siblings and she knew she may never see them again. How could she have left the comfort of family and home for an unknown land and a persecuted church?"

I feel this could be better demonstrated by describing Priscilla and how she feels through showing us, rather than telling us. Embed your reader into the story by pulling them into the world. Does her chest burn with longing as she stares out at the sea that is so similar to the coast of her childhood, recalling the faces of her of beloved family to the forefront of her mind. Does the wind tear at her clothes threatening to drive her back home? Whistling the names of her brothers through the sand. Relating her feelings to things that are happening physically improve the depth of a story, for me at least :)

Other than that, the only other issue for me is the "until now..." this just grated for me when I read it, and broke the flow.

This works well as a short story, but if you do have more words to use, or fancy another challenge after this one, I think it could certainly be made into a longer piece. I know I am intrigued about Priscilla's destiny and how the timid Prissy ended up on such an exciting adventure.

Good luck for your competition, and feed free to email me back if anyting doesn't make sense.
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