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Review by Hanna
In affiliation with Fantasy and Science Fiction So...  
Rated: 13+ | (3.5)
Beyond the darkness by Smee


My name is Hanna and I'm doing this review per your request at SFSF.

My reviews are always honest and mean no disrespect to you. My suggestions and comments are written as constructive criticism in order to give you an unbiased opinion about your work. Use what seems right to you and discard the rest.

I wrote a few remarks in the body of your story (red color) below this review.

Overall impression

Chapter 1 is easy to read, quite well written but is very superficial in content. It is too short for a first chapter and that is why there's lack of information - no details about the character, little descriptions about his surroundings, almost no action.

After reading one chapter, a reader wants to know what kind of book it is going to be - fantasy, SCI-FI or anything else. For a first chapter which is meant to draw the reader into the story, I think this is not enough.


I haven't read the next chapter so it's hard for me to know if the title suits the story. It sounds OK though.

Style and voice

Your style of telling the story is excellent. I like the use of short abrupt sentences. They build suspense quickly, and add a sense of urgency to the story.

The character's voice comes across strong but he needs to avoid using clichés and pay more attention to his wording.

Scene setting

Due to the shortness of the chapter, there are not too many descriptions of the one room where the character goes through some strange occurring. Neither are there any details about the character.
I needed more details about where his room was - in a castle? A villa? In a village or a large city? Were there other people near-by? I just couldn't get a good picture of the scene.


There's only one character in this chapter. The reader, after having read the entire chapter, knows very little about him; his name and gender, his occupation (writer) and the fact that he is often drunk. We know nothing more about him. One more reason to add more to this chapter.


A few minor missing commas were located, other than these - no complains.


I need to read your next chapter and see what can be transferred from there to here… I see a lot of potential in this storyline. Keep up the style but don't forget to supply enough details for the reader to understand where he is and what is going on.

More comments in the body of your story below.

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Beyond the darkness by Smee
Chapter 1 - Writer's block

Sej threw down the quill in disgust. Ink splattered across several sheets of thin parchment spread haphazardly across the table. Youthful hands, also ink stained, thrust through his thick brown hair as he tried to contain his irritation.

Why!(?)Why couldn't he manage to finish one page, just one single page, without being dissatisfied and tearing it up? How could slum dwelling authors churn out book after book, whilst he couldn't even finish a prologue! (This is a question. Should end with a question mark?)

Note: These two first paragraphs are the beginning of a novel. Needing to hook a reader by the first lines, I find these paragraphs dull and uninteresting. Nothing here to make me want to go on reading. Use some Fantasy images to bring around the despair of the character - 'the splattered ink had turned into a demon who mocks the writer's incompetence… A fairy offering help…' Something which will pull the reader in.

He stood up, dark eyes intent on the half-filled bottle of whiskey waiting on the nearby shelf. His chair, forced back so suddenly, teetered on two legs for a second and then crashed to the floor. Sej jumped, his arms flinging outwards in fright. His flailing hand hit the small bottle of ink on his desk and he could only watch as it flew across the room and smashed against the opposite wall in a spray of black and glass.

"Oh, that's just perfect!" He waved one hand towards the wall, as if to deny the situation ever occurred, and completed his journey to the shelf to pour himself a generous double.

The fiery spirit slid down his throat, heating his chest with a soft warmth as he knocked back half the measure. A couple of deep breaths and he finished off the second half with a brief shudder. He dumped the glass back on the tray next to the bottle and squinted menacingly toward his desk.

He was bending down to right his chair when a strange glint of light caught his eye. It came from the direction of the spill spreading across the floor. He stared at it. Like an inky pool of darkness, not a trace of a reflection from the candle-lit room could be seen within it.

Trying hard to attribute his unease to the alcohol, he turned back to the chair. He was still feeling the burn of the whiskey in his throat and enjoyed the growing numbness in his head. There it was again! Some strange flash of colour, yellow, almost gold. His eyes flicked back to the ink stain. It was somehow bigger than before and just as dark. How many drinks had he had?

Shaking his head in a bid to clear his thoughts (add comma) he picked up the chair and sat down again. Once more he faced the defiant ranks of blank parchment in front of him. Internally (try another word here or change the sentence - what you mean is that he frantically wished for inspiration) he begged inspiration to come whilst a separate nagging voice instead demanded another whiskey. He blocked out the voice, determined not to finish another evening slumped unconscious over his desk, and (add:he) reached into a drawer for a new bottle of ink.


The flash was definitely gold, and maybe a hint of red? He turned again (Why again? This is the first time) to where it came from, his eyes desperately seeking confirmation. {/c:red}(This sentence makes little sense. The word 'desperately' is somewhat strong. Where is the fire? The urgency? And what do eyes do when they are desperate? Look around? Roll up and down?
Try: Looking for someone to confirm what he saw…. Nothing! But the ink stain had grown again, and now it was beyond the realistic. It had only been a small bottle of ink and there shouldn't have been that much pooling on his floor! It was so dark and featureless, it almost seemed to be a hole. A pitch black hole, right in his floor.

Of course that was nonsense. His study was on the first floor. Such a hole would open on the dining room below, and the candles down there would still be lit. If it were a hole (add comma) he'd see them.


This time he was already staring directly at it. He'd seen the flash blink invitingly from the direct centre of the pool. Without knowing how, he found himself on hands and knees crawling toward the ink.


So pretty. Must touch it. Sej was on the edge. He reached out toward the middle, trying to get closer, ready for the next flash. Further and further he leaned, his arm stretching as much as he could, his knees as close to the edge as he could get them.

Glint. (I don't know why this word has been used several times. The suspense you've built up successfully up to this point is being blown to pieces by these interruptions. It throws the reader off and breaks the tension. Utterly out of place!)

He stretched... and fell into blackness.
The darkness shrouded him instantly. It covered him as thickly as a blanket, (Please try to avoid clichés. You can always use live descriptions such as: It was thick and covered him completely…) allowing no glimmer of direction or location. There was no feeling that he was falling. No wind rushing past his ears, no coldness. He felt like he simply hung there, suspended by infinite darkness.

There was no sound. He was sure he was trying to scream; he thought his mouth was open. But the darkness was so thick it smothered sensations as easily as it smothered sound. He couldn't feel any part of his body. He was just a thought, a thought floating in the black. Would it go on forever? Had he died? Was this what the afterlife was like?

He tried to think back to what had happened. Had something killed him? He remembered his room, his study for writing. He remembered the smashed bottle of ink. He remembered the glints, the flashes of colour. Had someone entered his room and killed him as he crouched on the floor?

For some reason it was difficult to think, like he had to push on the darkness to let any thought flow. The door! The door to his office was thick oak and he always locked it. No one would have been able to enter without disturbing him. It was so hard to think now. The blackness pushed harder. What had he been thinking about? His name? What was his name?


Sej felt his eyes opening and a distant thought welcomed the return of his body. Light seared into eyes, and he snapped them shut. How could anything be so bright? Tears streamed down his face as he fought to block out the agony. His hands appeared from somewhere and he managed to put them over his face, plunging himself once again into blissful darkness.

He lay there for a few minutes, breathing heavily as he recovered. Finally his mind began to work. He was lying on something hard, but not cold. Wooden he thought. What had happened? The memories came back. The ink stain, the glint. The darkness! He must be lying on his floor, he decided. Lying on the hard wood floor of his office, passed out from too much whiskey.

He inched his fingers slightly apart and felt the light assault his eyes again through the thin membrane of his eyelids. Slowly he moved his hands away, allowing his eyes to adjust to the brightness. His mind screamed for the comfort of the darkness again, but he pressed on. He parted his eyelids. The pain reignited and he shut them again, waiting some few seconds. He tried again.

For what felt like an eternity (add comma) he carefully tried to coax his eyes into accepting the light so he could look around. Eventually he peered through tear-blurred vision at the lone candle producing such devastating quantities of light. With a grunt he sat up and looked about. It most definitely wasn't his office. The sphere of light from the candle only pushed the darkness back a few feet in each direction. Sej felt the ground with his hand. Not wood, but some kind of stone, smooth and warm!

Looking down to get more detail from the stone, he noticed his clothing. Gone was his elegant white shirt, and fine tunic. He was wearing some kind of leather pants, with a rough cotton shirt, so dirty it might have been any colour. His silk slippers had vanished leaving his feet bare, but strangely filthy, as if he had walked a league through heavy mud. A clunky looking dagger was attached to the left side of a thick leather belt.

A kind of panic started to grip him, and he stumbled to his feet, casting around for any kind of explanation. The candle was resting on a small barrel set on the stone floor. The light didn't give any indication how large the area was, ending abruptly in the kind of solid darkness he could vaguely remember from before.

Something jostled against his chest, and he looked down to see a quill fastened around his neck by a piece of string. A sudden sound, a crash in the distance behind him, made him look up sharply before he could examine the quill further. A shout followed in a language Sej didn't recognise, but the tone somehow announced the speaker was cursing.

"Oi, quick, blow out the candle." A second voice cut through the darkness only a few feet away. It was strange, how Sej imagined a mouse might sound like if he could speak, and sounded anxious.

"Quickly boy! Blow it out!" (This can't be the end of chapter 1! 1,618 words. Too short for a chapter and bearing in mind that there's very little information/actions in it, I'd say you need to end this chapter properly, leaving some anticipation in the reader's mind.)

*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
Review of I tried....  
Review by Hanna
In affiliation with  
Rated: E | (3.0)
Hi Miss Dragon,

My name is Hanna and I'm doing this review per your request on the Review forum at We Write for Kids Group.

I will give my honest opinion on your work, and please don't be offended by what I have to say. I'll point out areas which I think need attention and praise when praise is due. I, in no way mean to hurt your feelings, but help you improve your work.

I tried…. By Miss Dragon

Overall Impression

A rhymed poem with no meter, lovely topic, with a sound advice for children.


The never ending sibling rivalry, ties to one's mother and the resolution that one must try until his goal is reached.

As a whole, I like the poem. I found the fact that it was rhymed but otherwise written in the free verse form, very disturbing.

There was no flow in reading and I thought that it could have been a short story and not a poem. Too many dialogues just enhanced that feeling. The first stanza was great - the meter was kept more-or-less and it sounded right.

I have no suggestions to make. I like the topic and the way you handled it, but I found the poem hard to read.


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*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
Review by Hanna
In affiliation with Fantasy and Science Fiction So...  
Rated: ASR | (3.0)

My name is Hanna and I’m doing this review per your request on the Auto-Reward page.

My comments and suggestions are purely my intake of your work and mean no disrespect. You can adopt my ideas or discard them, at wish.

I enjoyed reading it and hope you find this feedback useful.

Overall Impression

This is chapter 1 of an interactive story. It's very short and the reader knows nothing of the background, unless he reads first your introduction.


Due to its shortness, there is little plot in this chapter.

Style and Voice

I think it's a mistake to use the Present Tense for this story. The Past tense would be better.

If you want this story to make sense, write the introduction as chapter 1, in which you'll tell about Jake, his friends and family. This will give the story a solid base.


Although the chapter is short, you need to place the characters somewhere defined. The only mention of a location is in the sentence where they walked to the driveway. Where are they? In a town? City? Village? Someone's house? Their parents' house?


A first chapter of any fiction needs to draw in the reader. Here, we meet two boys/men whom we are told nothing about; Not their age or what they look like and not anything about what they were doing at that location.

Grammar and Mechanics

As I've mentioned above, I would rather see this story told in the Past Tense.


My first recommendation is to write longer additions to the story. It will allow a better development of both story and character. The second issue is the use of Present Tense for the story. The Past tense would give you a stronger voice for the narrator.

Turning your instruction for the participants into chapter 1 is recommended.
Some descriptions of environment and the characters will not go amiss.

To conclude my review, I would like to say that the public is well acquainted with the idea of "shrunken" people (the movies) so on this account it is not a new or shocking idea. In order to make it unique, you must keep the tension throughout your story and surprise the reader with new ideas.

If the story is meant for the younger readers, please say so in short line which describes the story when you post it.

I hope my comments will be of use. I'll review as many chapters of this interactive story as I can. Just keep writing! You can build up a very nice story with the combined efforts of all participants!


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Review by Hanna
In affiliation with The Coffee Shop for the Fantas...  
Rated: 13+ | (2.5)
Review of Unbound Words: by Ben Crawford

Chapter 1 (4,474 words)

Hi Ben,

I am Hanna and I'm doing this in-depth review per your request.

I will give my honest opinion on your work, and please don't be offended by what I have to say. It's not meant to hurt your feelings, but help you improve your work.

General notes

This is chapter 1 of a Fantasy novel. It consists of 4,774 words. In such a long first chapter, one expects to be given some details of where the story takes place (a fantasy world), what kind of inhabitants in that world, how society is organized, etc. All these details are important in a Fantasy work. Very little was given here.

The main character is a self-centered man who pays attention to trivial details like what people wear and what kind of tiling is used for stairs. He tends to be childish and his journey to where he was about to start a new life is boring.

There is lack of basic grammar in the chapter. The tenses were all mixed up and elemental punctuation was not used. Syntax is bad. Long sentences which lead nowhere, no capitals when needed, repetitions, use of slang language where it is obviously not needed, dealing with trivia instead of sticking to what is important and moves the story forward.

Notice please how many words and sentences were crossed out by me. I think it will make half of the chapter.

The story you were trying to tell in such a long chapter is actually simple and short. A man is travelling from one place to another in order to join the Magic system of Schools. A bit of hardships on the way and then a meeting with the School Masters and joining them after a vote.

I think Ben that you need to do a few things before you post a story/chapter for members to comment on.

I can see the wheels turning in your head and I know that you wrote of images you'd envisioned vividly in your mind. But what you have written doesn't reflect the wonders of your imagination. You need to work hard on it in order to bring it to life and make me, as the reader, see what you had seen

When you start a new chapter, write headlines to specify what you want in that chapter. Then, after it's done, use a grammar check to be sure that the language is ok. Then, read it again and trim all the unnecessary adverbs and adjectives. Check for consistency and repetitions. Don't forget that the first paragraph must be a "HOOK", to draw in the reader.

After all this, if you're happy with it - post it in your port.

I must be frank with you - no one will edit a story the way I have done here. I had to change/cut/fix almost every sentence. You can't be a writer and depend on an editor to fix your writing. I would suggest browsing the net and reading whatever you can about writing. I can refer you to some interesting articles. Even here, on WDC you can find a lot of guidance.

I must say I liked the basic idea of your story. A lot of potential there. The characters are versatile and interesting; just tell about them and not about what they wear!

Here is the edit of your chapter, comments written in the body of the story. The best way to revise your copy is as follows:

Make a copy of your saved chapter on your computer. If you can - use 2 screens - one for your version and one for mine. Then - sentence by sentence - make any adjustment you think suits you.

I would like to read this chapter again when you've fixed all the problems. Just give me a tinkle.

Again, please accept my comments in the spirit they were given. I think that with some help, this can be a good start for a novel.


Unbound Words by Ben Crawford

Word count: 4,774

Chapter 1: Kenton The New Master

"Damn it to hell!" Yelled Kenton as the carriage lurched and his pen murdered yet another page. He crumpled the letter into a ball and tossed it on the floor with the others. "How am I going to get any work done if the carriage hits every single hole in the road?" he said Thought to himself.

He grabbed another piece of paper from his dwindling supply and placed it on his hardback. A pile of finished letters lay to Kenton's side and for every letter, at least three were crumpled up on the floor of the carriage floor.

This The letter needed to be finished; it is was too important to wait. He knew that once he arrived in Sayrune he would be too busy to write it. The other letters felt like warm-ups compared to this one and the world seemed to be conspiring to keep him from writing it.

Use Italic for the letterDear Quin,

I know my departure was very short and i did not have the (Change to:a) chance to give you the full account of where I am going and why. You are the only family I have left and I never want to shut you out of my life. (c:red}Try: would never shut you out of my life
Big (Replace with: great) things are happening for me add comma sis and I am very excited about these new opportunities. I have worked hard to keep the school going after Kengy passed away Add comma and having the Sayrune school finally recognize acknowledge Kinetomancy is all he ever wanted.

I got the letter from the Magi council(Capitalize) two days before I had to leave. Can you believe they chose your brother to be the Master of our very own headship school?

In two days I had to pack, arrange for a boat off the island and a carriage that could woul) take me all the way to Sayrune. Three weeks in a little wooden box is not what I would call a... This sentence is redundant. It adds nothing to the story.

The carriage lurched again and Kenton's pen skidded across the page leaving a long line. "This is absolutely impossible." A simple word like PEN in a fantasy story raises a question. Since we don't know when your story takes place, and since most writers tend to place their stories in past eras - I ask myself what kind of pen was used in the carriage to write the letters? Surely not a feather dipped in ink? A pencil perhaps? Give this some thought.)

Kenton waded through the small sea of wadded Two words with different meanings which are pronounced the same. When reading it sounds like repetition and burdens the sentence paper and opened a shudder(Spelling. Should be 'shutter'). He saw the carriage driver and bodyguard sitting on the buckboard. He knew this (Change to: the) trip had been even rougher on these men (replace with: them) then (Spelling: than) it was on him, (Replace comma with stop) but all these (those) bumps are making (Replace with: made) it hard to work.

"Do you think you can try and avoid the potholes (Try a simpler sentence: Can you avoid the potholes,?), please? I am trying to write back here."

"Sorry sir, I will try," replied the driver.

"I know it's not your fault, but I am running out of paper" replied (Repetition. Use: said) Kenton.

Kenton almost turned around Not clear. Turned around from the open shutter? Decided to go back?, but just before he did the carriage came around a corner and the roads changed from cobble stone to a smooth seamless stone road. This meant they must be Add: have been on final approach to the capital city of Sayrune.

The streets of the capital city Add: in the are were quite amazing,Chang comma with semicolon the seamless stone running through each street spoke of the city's power and wealth. These those seamless and unnaturally perfect roads also whisper a different story, but only to those who truly listened, it tells you that this city is ripe with magic. Chang this sentence into the past tense

It took a few minutes for the carriage to clear a group of trees and when it did the gates of the city loomed in the distance. They gates are something to behold, they look to be made of dark seamless wood. There are no bolts, rivets or metal bands to be seen. The gates are attached to the wall using very large hinges that disappear into the wood with no visible sign of their existence. Such a door would be unbreachable by any means; this too spoke of the powerful magic within the city. Change to past tense

"How long do we have before we reach the Archium?" asked Kenton. Was he talking again to the driver? Since he was sitting alone in the carriage, you must specify

"I would say it should take us at least fifteen minutes to reach the gates and depending on how crowded it is , we should be there in an hour," said the driver.

"Why so long?"

"It's a crowded city, sir."

Kenton looked down at his wrist and consulted a shiny golden device comprised of smaller and smaller rings each with symbols and numbers on them. He frowned and thought "I should have arrived yesterday." When mentioning thoughts of a character, don't write it under inverted commas, like in direct conversation. Either us the Italic font for these thoughts or write it with a comma at the end and the words HE THOUGHT. Here, since you wrote the words HE THOUGHT at the beginning, just add the word THAT. As to what he thought: What difference would it have made if he had arrived a day earlier? Nothing was said about that day being especially busy. If you make a statement - you must base it on something valid.

"My first council meeting begins in a little over an hour. I don't have time to drop off my belongings Drop off where? right now so take me right to the Archium,Replace comma with stop I will get dressed back here" said Kenton as he closed the shutter.

Looking around at the mess, Kenton frowned again.Try to find another word to show his concern He quickly picked up all the wasted paper and put them in one of his trunks. Keeping the windows covered, Kenton pulled a little lever and a few holes in the roof opened up letting light in. His clothes felt soaked in sweat and they smelt like it too. He never traveled in his best clothing knowing that they would not come out on the other end in any kind of wearable condition. The sentence about his clothing sounds like something one would find in children's book. The explanation is irrelevant and does nothing for the story.

The size of this afforded him the ability to change his clothing and wash up. Try: The carriage was large enough to enable quick refreshing and change of clothes He stretched and made a few fluid movements, a small and graceful display of his art. The movements helped to free up his tight muscles. He opened a large trunk that sat on one of the seats. He pulled out his best clothes and a large stoppered bottle of water. He disrobed and placed his sweat soaked clothing in a different case from his clean ones.

He placed the bottle on the floor of the carriage, he then traced his arms through the air gracefully and as he did, they gained a blue glow that stood out in contrast with his nut-colored skin. After a few more movements he raised his hand and the stopper popped out of the bottle. The water started to glow and it rose from the bottle and covered his body, first his legs, then chest, then arms and finally as he took a deep breath his head and waist-length brown hair.

The water swirled around Kenton's body following the motion of his hands and reinforced by his iron hard will. This is his art, Kinetomancy the conversion of kinetic motion into magical energy. When he could no longer hold his breath, he lowered his hands and the water returned to the bottle. Grabbing the stopper he corked the bottle of filthy water. He let go of the remaining energy collected by the motion of his arms, it rose off him like mist rising from a lake.

Please go through these paragraphs and cut them in half. The entire process of "washing" can be described in shorter sentences. You have burdened the reader with flat words to describe an event which is most interesting and unique. Skip the exercises. Pay attention to punctuation.

He returned the bottle of sullied water to his trunk, then started to get dressed. The clothing he brought were in the Laraelian style, natural colors and patterns made of thin breezy fabric. He picked out a deep blue shirt, pants in an earthy brown color and an overcoat of deep black. He tied his hair in a simple ponytail using a gold clip that was rounded and had an ornate pattern engraved on it. He put on his best shoes. They looked well-polished and looked as black as his coat. How important is it to describe every detail in his attire? Won't it be enough to say he wore such and such colored clothes?

After he put everything away, he moved the curtains aside to see where they were. He saw houses, upscale inns and a few high class shops, Replace comma with period they must have entered the upper quarters of the city. As he was admiring the buildings ,a runner boy darted out of a side street and ran up to the side of the carriage.

"Are you Master Kenton Gladstone?" asked the boy huffing a little.

"Yes, how can I help you?" asked Kenton. If the conversation is one on one - no need to say who was saying it

"I have a letter for you, sirCapitalize."

"How did you find me?"

"I was just told to come to this street and deliver a letter to you"

"Come up onto the running board, what do I owe you for the delivery?"

"I was told a soft quarter bit, but I would not say no to a hard quarter bit" said the young boy.

"I am new to the area, what exactly is a bit?"

"Beg your pardon, sir, a bit is a Copper Penny and a soft quarter bit is 2 iron pennies and 5 shims while a hard quarter bit is 2 iron pennies and 6 shims"

"If you tell me who sent the letter and I will give you a full bit"

"I wish I could tell you, sir, but I was just given the letter by my boss BOSS is a modern word. Try: chieftain or Lord and told where to deliver it to,replace comma with period can I still have the full bit?" asked the boy hopefully.

"Sure, let me get my money pouchadd period" Kenton said, Add: Heduckeding back into the carriage.

He rooted around in his trunks until he pulled out a small pouch and then sorted out coins until he found a round copper one. Why use such long sentences when all you want to say is that he needed some money from his purse? Normally, people keep some coins on them just in case… So, why not say he reached for his pocket and produced some coins.

"Here is your bit,Replace comma with period is this term something everyone uses?"what the coin is called around here?

"In the marketplace mostly, but us Replace with WE runner boys use it too," said the boy.

"Thank you very much," said Kenton as he took taking the letter. The young boy got down and ran off.

Kenton sat down in the carriage We know he is still in the carriage… and looked over Try: Examined the letter. It was written on heavy parchment and had a wax seal of a stack of books surrounded by six stars.

"This must be the new seal of the Magi council, the old seal had five stars for the five headship schools but now my school makes six" Thought Kenton.

He looked the letter over carefully and examined it from every angle, making sure He already examined it. Try: He made sure that it held no danger in any way. He reached out with his supernatural senses and could feel a magical lacing over the wax seal. It seemed like an alarm of some kind that would alert someone when the wax seal is broken. Try: It would alert the sender when the seal was opened Kenton Kenton is the narrator. He must refer to himself in third person: Try: He himself used the same lacing himself when sending important letters. He broke the seal and the magic went out to find its master.

Add: He read:

Dear Master Gladstone,

I am writing to you this letter to prepare you for the environment you are about to walk into. I hope you realize how rare it is that we recognize new headship school branches. Perhaps capitalize The last new school established was Literamancy and that decision has had turned out to be a major headache Replace with:problem for the masters.

If you are wise you will Try: It would be wise not trust a word I say because I am yet unknown to you. Try: you do not know me If you continue to read this letter then you are either more trusting than I expected or more curious. This sentence is redundant

You may think you know the people you are about to meet with but I bet you have no idea of what they are truly like. This is a novel. You can't use here, in this fantasy story, fragments of talk from our 21st century. It's out of place. Use better language and make the dialogues sound authentic to the period, whatever it is. Replace I BET YOU with: I'm sure

I am aware that you personally know Halbert Swale the Physicamancy mMaster. I would watch my step around him if I was you because he is not quite the man you used to know. As you are aware for the longest time Kinetomancy was considered a part of Physicamancy. When the council reviewed all the applications for new schools they realized that motion and force are not quite the same and the applications of the two types of magic awere different enough to separate them two into different schools. As you can imagine he is worried he will be robbed of students. Just try to stay on his good side until he calms down a bit.

Blyth Gartside the Luxamancy master is a very kind and generous man. If you don't do anything extremely and immeasurably stupid, you will find a friend in him. I find him to be fairly neutral and a keeper of the peace.

Mandassa Lisadar the Audiomancy master is someone to watch your step around. She is very manipulative and she will use her skills at seduction and social warfare to get her way. She uses her feminine gifts to put men off balance and bend them to her benefit. No need for these details. You've already said she's using her skills to seduce men to get her way

Eleanor Atterton the Vitalamancy master has a mind like a steel trap and if you are not careful you might get caught in it. She believes in logical answers and if you approach her using logic , you will find your words get through much easier.

Last is the king high bastard of the lot, Torin Tarsus the Literamancy master. He is the only master that does not teach because he refuses to accept any students. A teacher without students is like a lake without water. He hads been resting safe inside a loophole of our laws for years. He cannot be replaced because there is no one to replace him and his school cannot be renounced because that requires a unanimous vote. If you have ever seen the man you would realize there is something very unnatural about him. He has a young face, but stark white hair. No one knows how old he really is but many say he is well over 70 at the least.

I amtelling you these things all this to prepare you for the world you are Add:about to entering. I know that each and every mMaster has done their research so it is only fair you knew something about them.

Step carefully, learn quickly and be heard.

Add: The letter was not signed.

Kenton read the letter a second time {to Add:so he could commit it to memory. He was nervous before, but now at that moment he was in an outright panic. The letter must have come from someone either on the mMagic Council or someone well connected in Sayrune.

He thought he could cope, he thought and that they picked him for a good reason, but once again, that little voice of self doubt crept in and he felt like a little kid boy playing at being a grown up. Was he really the best choice for this Add: mission?

He tried to tuck ignore these those feelings away, he is was there and that was somethingthe main thing. If he did not deserve his position right now he would work harder than anyone to make sure he kept it. He had to work harder to deserve his post He may might have been be some slightly a sheltered island dweller, but he had something to prove. His master did not devote his life to getting Kentmancy recognized for Kinton to piss Find another word/s instead all over it because he was scared of failure.

He tucked the letter safely away in his trunk and then double checked all his belongings to make sure they are in order and safely secured. This is something a frightened and insecure person would do… He saw the pile of ruined letters and knew it might be a while before he could finish the job task.

The carriage gradually came to a stop. and Kenton could feel it sway slightly as someone dismounted. This is an example of a sentence that adds nothing to the story and is redundant. Who could have gotten off the carriage but the driver? The door opened and he saw the driver staring back at him.

"We are here What do you mean by HERE? Try: We have arrived, Sir, sir."

"Thank you, " said Kenton as he exited the carriage.

The building before them looked vast and more than a little intimidating. The walls of the building curved away from Kenton suggesting that the whole building was in fact round. The courtyard entrance was gorgeous, the flower beds held the most wonderful array of colors and senses. Some of the blooms had a brilliant mix of orange and red making the flower look like flame when the wind caught it. Other flowers had a frosted blue color that looked so much like ice that you would expect them to be cold to the touch. The flower beds stretched off into the distance and he could faintly see other types of flowers but they were too far away to make out clearly. I've counted at the beginning of this paragraph, 3 repetitions of the word BUILDING. The first sentence should say that he looked around and saw this and that. Pay attention to punctuation.

Statues stood exhibiting many of the magical styles of the sSchool or noting historical figures. The front entrance was a covered staircase made of white seamless and unblemished stone. Standing at the top of the stairs was a man with black skin, Structure of sentence. Try: a dark skinned man stood at the top of the stairs. it was not tan or merely dark it was pitch black. Again, structure. Try: The man had the darkest skin he had ever seen. Kenton had never seen anyone like him before, his eyes seemed to almost glow in comparison to his jet black visage. Standing next to the man was a young boy whose skin was a few shades lighter but still very dark.

As Kenton exited the carriage He had exited the carriage earlier… and did a few stretches, It's the second time you mention that he does stretches and exercises. Why? It sounds peculiar. the man and the boy descended the steps towards him. {c"red}Simpler to say:The man and the boy approached him The man's long blue coat fluttered in the wind and revealed a Gray shirt and gray pants underneath.How important is it to describe every garment he's wearing?

"Greetings to you, you must be the awaited Master Gladstone," the man said as a statement rather than a question. The reader understands that this is a statement and not a question, so why say it? It's redundant.

"I am indeed,Replace comma with period May I ask your name,This is a question. Put a question mark instead of comma" said Kenton as he held out his hand.

"I am Blyth Gartside the master of the Luxamancy School," said the man taking Kenton's hand firmly.

"This might sound rude, but are you Orthy?" asked Kenton.

"I am indeed, one of the few pure blooded Orthy left," he said with a smile.

"It is a double honor to meet you sSir"

"Have you settled in yet?"

"I only just arrived in the city, period I had planned to arrive yesterdayTry: I meant to arrive yesterday but the weather chose to disagree with us"

"Do you have an attendant traveling with you?"

"No, it's just me"

"Well then, where have you taken up residence?"

"I arranged for rooms at the Red Crown" I would choose a more original name for the Inn

"My son will accompany the driver and make sure your belongings are well looked after," said Blyth looking down at the young boy.

"That would be most welcomecomma" replied Kention.

The young boy climbed up onto the carriage followed by the driver, Replace comma with periodas they pulled awayadd comma Kenton turned back to Blyth.

"He looks like a nice young lad"

"He is indeed,period he takes after his mother too, and that is good" he replied.

"I am glad that I did not miss my first council meeting" said Kenton.

"Yes, but it was a near thing miss,period I just arrived myself for the meeting; shall we walk together?" go?

}ס{"Lead the way"}/x} It seems that this is an official meeting. There's no need to add a lightheaded atmosphere to it: "Shall we walk together?" or "Lead the way". It is redundant and ruins the story.

Blyth walked up the covered stairs of the Archium and Kenton followed closely behind.We know they are together and naturally they are walking together. Why all these words? Just say they walked up the stairs. The inside interior of the school was just as wonderful magnificent as the courtyard. Paintings and sculptures of all kinds lined the walls. They entered the main foyer and turned right. It is not important if they turned right or left and unless there is something important in the fact that they had entered the foyer - you can cross it out As they walked Kenton saw the walls continued to curve again reinforcing the impression that the building was round.

"If we had more time I would give you a full tour, but there is no time to lose" said Blyth.

"I totally understand, there will be plenty of time for that later" Kenton replied.

They turned away from the hallway and headed down a different path. These hallways looked straight and held less ornamentation. Blyth was rather silent as they walked, but he answered any question Kenton posed quickly c:grape:Try: all of Kenton's questions. They took another turn and headed down a long spiral staircase, at the bottom was a large set of doors.

Kenton could feel some an intense magical pressure coming from the doors. This it was a powerful magical lacing, ; he had never encountered wards like these.

"Go ahead and enter, the door has been made to know you already so you don't need to worry about the wards" said Blythe with a smile almost reading Kenton's mind.

Kenton reached for the door, he could feel the door it, reach ing out , and recognize him before swinging open.

"That door is quite special, It can be taught to recognize some any one by their magical impression, around here we call it a person's Clout" said explained Blythe.

"We call it the same thing up north, it is also a measure of someone's power," replied Kenton with a bit of a worried look.

"So it is, but you would not be a master if we doubted your skill, " he replied with a smile.

Kenton entered a circular room, Replace comma with period he could see bookshelves lining the rounded walls. He could see Repetition multiple clean- burning lamps, lighting the room, but he could not smell even the faintest scent of oil. In the middle of the large room, he saw a round ring table with room in the center for people to stand. On the floor inside the ring was the same emblem that was on the letter Kenton received. The stone work was amazing and it must have been put in very recently to have the six stars.

At the far side of the roomhe saw, a man and a woman were talking. The woman looked to be in her fifties, she had light brown short hair and her eyes are a bright auburn.Present tense used. Should be past tense. Why complicate a simple sentence? And the colour auburn is used for hair and not for eyes. Try: bright ????? eyes She was slender and wore a classy red dress that had a high neck and it flowed long to the floor. Kenton thought her clothing looked to be in the Shenala style, very modest but with a little dramatic flair. Think again how much space you want to give the detailed info about clothing

Standing next to her stood} was a man Kenton knew very well. Halbert Swale was short with tanned skin and a shaved head. His body was all hard muscle and he wore tight clothing to accentuate his musculature. Kenton needed to watch his step around him until he could get on his good side providing he had one.

Both the woman and Halbert noticed Kenton at the same time and their conversation was abandoned stopped at once. Kenton approached them and did his best to look confident and sure of himself.

"It's nice for of you to join us, Kenton,replace comma with period I had no idea you havearrived yet already," said Halbert.

"Bad weather delayed us by a day and I arrived here just as Blyth was the same time as Blyth."

"Well, we are pleased to have you with us, " said the womancomma offering her hand.

"The pleasure is all mine lLady Atterton" replied Kenton as he took her hand.

"Have we met before?" asked Eleanor. You must introduce the name properly and not just throw it into the story

"No, I have not had the honorperiod until now, but I know there are two women on the council and based on your appearance I made an educated guess that you are not lady Lisadar"

"Not a hard deduction conclusion" said Halbert.

"It is also nice to see you again Halbert replied Kenton.

"It has been a while, replace comma with period how's your sister, "What ever happened to question marks at the end of a question?" he replied.

"Same as always, breaking the hearts of half the men and breaking the arms of the other half" Kenton replied with a smile.

"I am sorry I was not able to make it to Kengy's memorial" said Halbert breaking eye contact.

"I understand, the life of a master is not an easy one as I am sure to learn first hand"

"Old Kengy would have been proud of you, he was a good man and he picked the right man to follow in his footsteps" replied Halbert.

The door opened up and Kenton turned around to see a woman standing there wearing a scandalous blue dress that left very little to the imagination. This woman is either a very nice and extremely inappropriate welcome gift or she is Lady Mandassa Lisadar.

"Oh Kenton you are here!" She squealed like a young girl.

"Lady Lisadar?" Kenton said slightly off balance.

"Oh, you remembered me," she said and runningran toward him with with stretchedarms open for an embrace.

Kenton held up a hand,replace comma with period he tried to remained calm looked firm and unmoving as he stared into her eyes.

"I am sorry, Master Lisadar but we have not yet met and it is not quite appropriate for me to embrace you in the manner you are attempting" he said with a firm but polite tone. This is not a nice sentence. It is offending and somewhat childish. Instead, I would make Kenton take a step back which will serve as a "hint" to the lady that her embrace was not welcome.

"Oh, I like him this one, he knows how to play the game, " she said smiling.with a smirk.

"Did you really have to wear a dress like that to for his first meeting?" Asked saidHalbert.

"Why not,? I like putting my best foot forward, "she replied, placing her right foot forward accentuating the slit in the dress that went all the way up her side to her waist.

"He is just a boy, don't tempt him,period " he replied.

"I am not exactly a boy, I am thirty years old" Too defensive. Give him a bit of a backbone… Try: A thirty years old boy?Kenton said a little defensively.

"Son, to some people you are still a pup" said Eleanor with a little bit of a smile. smirk

"Well, now that we got that out of the way I think we can get started" said Halbert.

"What about Master Tarsis? Is he not joining us?" asked Kenton.

He saw a mix of exasperation and amusement on the faces of the masters,replace comma with period soAdd comma not everyone hated him.

"Torin does not attend every meeting, he only shows up to meetings where when we decide very important issues are discussed,period this meeting will be very light The agenda this time is of marginal issues." said Eleanor.

"His appearances at this table are few and far between, the lazy bastard" replied chuckled Halbert.

"Quite right, but I could not miss the first meeting with our new friend,period" said a voice coming came from the far side of the room.

Leaning back in a chair with his feet up on the table, Why would Kenton put his feet on the table? He's not that much at ease with these people, nor does he want to show disrespect Kenton saw a young man with brilliant white hair, glasses and a grin on his face so wide it looked almost indecent. His amber eyes looked clear and bright. He dressed in black robes that looked more formal than the situation required. The most worrying part iswas that Kenton could not feel even a hint of Clout from the man. All the masters had it, but thisthat man is was either no mage at all or something else entirely. Instead of going into a detailed account of what the man was wearing, give us some character observations like what impression he leaves on the onlooker, kind or mean eyes, hand gestures, the way he carries himself, smiling or serious - that kind of things.

"When did you come in"? asked Kenton amazed.

"Somewhere between the whore throwing herself at Kenton and master fist insulting me," he said, pulling an apple out of his robes.

"Master Tarsiscomma if you are finished, we would like to begin" said Blythe.

"By all means Blythe" he said with a tone that showed a hint of respect.

Everyone started to take took their seats. Kenton stood for a little while until only one open chair remained and he took it. Earlier you said Kenton was sitting with his feet on a table, so how come he's now standing, looking for a vacant seat?The door to the hall opened and a young man came in with paper and ink,; he stood behind a small table off to the side. He must have been be the scribe who wrote the official record of all meetings.

"This meeting will be short Period, and sweetthe first order of business is that we must officially induct Master Gladstone as the first Kinetomancy Master, " said Blythe and at these words Torin stood comma and clapped wildly then sat back down.

"All in favor of this appointment?" said Blythe with a note of amusement in his voice.

Five hands went up, but Torin's hand went up first and stayed up the longest.

"Then let it be recorded this day that Kenton Gladstone is hereby given all the rights and privileges of a mMaster of the magi council, " said Blythe as the sound of quill on paper came from the young scribe.

"Our last order of business is that we need to assign someone for first class duty" Blythe said with a smile as his eyes flicked for a second towards Torin.

"First class duty?" asked Kenton.

"Oh, right, you would not know,Replace comma with period in the Sayrune school the first lesson in the introduction to magic class is traditionally taught by a master" Blythe replied to Kenton.

"We normally vote on who is assigned tothis job task." again, his eyes flicked to at Torin.

"I move that we assign this job to Torin" said Mandassa.

"I second that, " said Halbert.

"Then let us voteperiod" as he said this, all hands, but Torin's and Kenton's went up.

"Kid you do know that you can vote now, right?" said Torin.

"I don't know enough about the issue and even if I voted against it the motion would pass regardless" he replied.

"Reason speaks in the places we may not expect" replied said Torin with a smile.

"Well, it looks like it's Four against twoperiod the motion passes, please record this in the official records We know there's a man present who records all meetings, so why the need for Blythe to say this?" Blythe said with a smile.

"Bloody brilliant, that's why I don't come to these blasted things" replied Replied to what question? Torin.

"We are dismissed Try: Meeting adjourned" said Blythe standing up to leave.

Kenton stood up and walked over to Blythe before he could leave the room.

"I feel like I am missing some kind of private joke" said Kenton.

"In a way you are, Torin has no students and he does very little compared to the other masters so when a job comes up that is tedious it tends to be assigned to him" he replied with a smirk.

"So he does nothing at all?" Replied Kenton in a low voice.

"Well, he does act as the head archivist for the school library and surprisingly he is rather good at that, but other than his work there we are not sure what he spends his time doing"

The masters filed out of the hall and surprisingly Torin stopped Kenton before he left the room.

"I hope you are enjoying your first time in Sayrune Kenton" he said with a genuine smile.

"Well I quite literally went from the carriage to this meeting so I am still trying to get my feet up under me"

"Well, don't listen to these people when they tell you how bad I am because I assure you that I am a whole lot worse, " he said with that devilish smile of his then he walked out.

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Rated: E | (2.5)
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Review By Hanna

Story by QueenOwl ~ A New Day Dawns of House Martell

Love Story Ten Thousand Miles Away By Queen owl


My name is Hanna and I’m doing this review for the Game of Thrones contest.
My reviews are honest, with no intention of belittling your work or offending you personally. I will refer to grammar issues, wording and context. I hope you'll find this feedback useful.

Overall impression

A free verse poem which deals with a "Long distance relationship."

As a reader, I found that the poem "missed" me somehow. Instead of writing it in a personal manner (first person) or as recounting the hardships, in third person, you chose to talk about it all in a distant tone, as if you're telling someone else's story.

Style and voice

Your voice was lost in the poem and was found only in the last three lines.

Although written in Free Style, the lines are much too long, and repeating the first and last words in the lines adds nothing to the flow and inner rhythm.

"To send sweet notes across the Pacific Ocean ten thousand miles away;
To travel half the world someday to see his lady and take her away;

In a way, your poem reminds me of a famous song from The movie The Man of La Mancha, sung by Sinatra/Williams. The song is titled "To dream the impossible dream."

You wrote the poem and you're trying to describe a certain situation. It is your POV. The second and third lines were written from "his" point of view, which is confusing to the reader. It is not clear who's POV it is in the rest of the poem.
"To dream of playing in the snow with his princess like Preppy and Jenny in Love Story;

I understand what you wanted to say, but, writing single lines which tell of different occurrences, with nothing to connect them with, doesn't make this poem work.

What I like about the poem is the deep sense of love, woven into everyday life. This you managed to deliver.


The only thing to do is connect the lines together. One way of doing it is by changing a few words and keeping the POV yours. Like, in the lines where you tell about what "HE" did, try saying something like: Do you remember when we…

Change the first words of all lines. Connect them to each other. Please read the following lines - I just wrote them to explain what I mean by connecting the lines. I must say that I'm not sure what you meant in the last 3 lines.

Sweet notes were sent across the Pacific Ocean,
Ten thousand miles away.
You've travelled half the world
To see me and take me away.
Remember when we played in the snow,
Like Preppy and Jenny in Love Story.

We fished in Vermont on a summer day,
And drove to New York City to see the
High rises and the Statue of Liberty.

I hope I haven’t offended you in any way. My suggestions are merely my opinion. Use or discard them. If you will edit this poem, I'd love to read and rate it again.

Keep writing,


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Review by Hanna
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Rated: E | (2.5)
Tim Chiu - The desire to sleep - Children

Hi Tim,

My name is Hanna and I’m doing this review per your request (Auto-Reward section).

My reviews are honest, with no intention of belittling your work or offending you personally.

I read your poem with interest, although reading was not smooth and there were a few bumps on the way.


You have categorized the poem as 'children's rhyming' and I expected it to be a poem for children.

Starting with the title - the expression - 'Desire to sleep' is not something a child would say or think. Needing to sleep, or wanting to sleep are more suitable for a children's poem.

The first two stanzas are definitely not suitable for children, language and ideas wise. When children go to sleep, they don't think about goals to reach or the changing times.

The first lines in the second stanza - I don't see the connection to children going to sleep.

Last line of first stanza:
"And not hear alarms go beep...

Children normally are awakened by their parents - no use of alarm clocks. Alarms are part of the adult's world.

In the third stanza, I didn't like the lines:

"Bed clothes on, now wait and see,
what it takes to rise again."

I'm not quite sure what you meant by it - what does it take to wake in the morning? If I don't understand it, what would a child think of these lines?

I also couldn't make out the meaning in the last stanza. "A splendid wink's a health cause" - I'm sure you thought of something connected with the ritual of going to sleep, but I think you didn't finish the thought, and I'm sure children will not understand either.

The first two stanzas are rhymed and so is the last one. For some reason, the third stanza is not rhymed. You must either keep the rhyming throughout the poem, or have none.

The lines I liked best are the two last ones of the poem:

"Golly, there's no time to wait;
Go to bed, it's getting late!"

To sum up this review:
Before you start writing something for children, you must decide to which age group you're aiming. This will determine the level of language and ideas.

Children love rhymes, so on this aspect, your poem is fine, providing you'll fix the third stanza and rhyme the lines. I would also suggest metering the poem - certain number of syllables in each line, throughout the poem. Children love the fixed rhythm.

Think about the scene as if you were a child, and use language that he/she will understand. If there is a message for the children, don't be afraid to put it in. Poetry is an excellent educational tool. I've done so myself in many poems.

I hope you find this feedback useful. Use what you think suits you and discard the rest.


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Review by Hanna
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Rated: 13+ | (3.5)
A Lieutenant's Dilemma By Teguettler


My name is Hanna and I’m doing this review per your request (Auto-Reward section).

My reviews are honest, with no intention of belittling your work or offending you personally. I will refer to grammar/syntax issues, wording and context.


I thought hard about the title. It matches the story, but it has no strength in it or allure for a reader. The word 'dilemma' is a mild word which doesn't do justice to the horrible outcome of the military attack the lieutenant tells about. I was thinking more along titles like: 'The Prince's war', or 'Disobeying orders', or Govern with a fist'. Mind you, these are only suggestion to show you were my mind was going… I know that this chapter relates to your other chapter which was told from the standpoint of the Commander, and was also titled in the same way - 'The Commander's Dilemma'. I guess that if you'll decide to change this title, it will affect the other story.

Overall Impression

After having read your item, I'm at a dilemma too… This is a chapter in a novel and I have no idea what the background is or who are the main characters. However, the story is told in first person by the Lieutenant, whose name is only mentioned in the explanatory sentence at the beginning of the story (Ames); It is never used in the story. So, I'll have to make do with what information is supplied in this chapter. We also don't know if this chapter is the first in the novel, or comes later.

In this chapter, we were thrown into a situation where professional soldiers were questioning the orders they were given, but only after carrying them out. The outlay of the story is simple and narrated fluently. Characters take only second place in the story to the account of events. I'm not saying this is bad, but since I have no info as to the nature of the novel, I can't say if this was done on purpose in this chapter and the characters will be developed in other chapters.

Although the story was labeled as Fantasy, there is little evidence of it. Characters are soldiers, addressed by their military ranks, weapons are ordinary, no use of magic or other powers throughout the story; in short, what we have is a story of a paranoid sovereign who had sent his troops to ruin an entire village, people and all. Using bow and fire arrows was the only evidence that the time-zone wasn't our modern days.


I would say the plot is interesting, although not Earth-shaking. Atrocities of war are well covered in literature, and here, sans any Fantasy elements, I can't say I was overwhelmed.

Style and Voice

The Lieutenant who takes part in the raid realizes, toward the end of the raid, that there was no reason to suspect those innocent villagers were traitors. A simple enough plot which climaxes at the end facing the horrifying error which was made by the paranoid prince.

An effort was made to write this chapter in a military lingo, like a report. The dialogues are formal: "Lieutenant, you are not to question orders in front of the men, am I clear?” and there is an evident distance between the ranks. This is only an observation and not an issue which needs changing.

The voice of the Lieutenant came through loud and clear, but I needed from him a bit more of inner conflict as to what was going on, his possible ways of reaction and his final decision not to do a thing. Or so I assume, for I don't know what's in the next chapter…

Grammar and wording

1. The first paragraph was written in what I call a "round-about" way. "The village was reported to be a base for rebel"--- "once the archers flew the fire arrows"---- "we would spring into action."----

What we have here is an officer who relates to a military operation, from his POV. It's not likely that he will use words such as "The village was reported to be----" or: "we would spring into action". The paragraph, to my mind, should begin with facts - the soldiers went out for a mission - destination (xxxxx) village, harboring rebels, etc. Then he can lay out the plan of attack.

2. The second paragraph starts with the words: "Something was wrong." You need to continue what was said in the first paragraph and tell about the battle. Then, you can put in the "something's wrong" sentence and analyze the battle.

3. "In the chaos of the battle, many figures (are) The story is written in the past tense. Replace with WERE) cut down without question."

4. “It is not my place to question orders Commander (Add comma) but what the hell are we doing here?”

5. “Yes Commander. I apologize,” I said (,) cursing to myself to the mental lapse.

6. (Start a new paragraph)The crackling of the fires filled the uncomfortable silence.

7. ---" it appears that(Add THE) prince is exercising----"

8. .”I could detect a hint of sarcasm in the Commander’s voice, but dared ( to) not say anything."

9. "The village was in ruin. Many of the old wooden buildings were easily combustible and the fire arrows spread flames to most parts of the village relatively quickly. Many fires still burned as we walked through the remains, obscuring the sky with a haze of smoke and ash. Some of the dead and wounded were old men, probably once soldiers based on some of their antique equipment. They stood no chance against our elite force."

I would re-write the above paragraph, as follows: The village was in ruin. Many of the old wooden buildings were easily combustible and the fire arrows spread flames to most parts quickly. Many fires still burned as we walked through the remains, obscuring the sky with a haze of smoke and ash. Some of the dead and wounded were old men, probably past soldiers, judging by their antique equipment. They stood no chance against our elite force.

To sum up this review, I would like to say that giving the objective obstacle of reading just one short chapter from a novel, I tried to bear this fact in mind and refer only to the relevant issues.

The story has a lot of potential, but needs to be brought into the Fantasy genre by adding the right elements. It also needs a bit of work on punctuation, wording and grammar. It would also be a good idea to show more of the narrator's inner conflict when faced with the horrific results of his soldiers' attack.

I hope you'll find this review beneficial.

Keep well,


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Review by Hanna
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Rated: 13+ | (3.0)

Review of Unexpected Consequences by Simple Dykie(21)

My name is Hanna and I’m doing this review per your request (Auto-Reward section).

My reviews are honest, with no intention of belittling your work or offending you personally. I will refer to grammar/syntax issues, wording and context. I will praise when praise is due and suggest alternatives when needed.

Overall Impression

I've read the story which is aimed at Young Adults and deals with atrocities committed on far away planets by a cruel race.

As a Sci-fi story, I can't say the general setting and motivation of the characters were exciting or new to me as a reader. Slave trade is well known in our own world, cruel attacks by tribes and nations are common on Earth, and fighting back in order to defend one's home and children is also known. This is one of the limitations of writing Sci-Fi, because all we humans know is how humans behave, think and act. It's hard to create new instincts, drives and urges and attribute them to imaginary species. Therefore, I won't discuss these points any further.

However, the story is basically good, depicts a few cruel beings which I know Young Adults love, and has a twist at the end.

I would like to make some general observations as to the concept and the way the story was written.

Young adult readers (not to be confused with Young Adults definition in Socioeconomic studies) are kids between the ages of 12 and 19. Judging by what this age group reads - they are all ADULTS. One cannot write for them in a different style or tone. Sex and hard violence is usually omitted, but the rest stays the same. While reading the story, I had a feeling that there were too many explanations which I know were meant for a younger group but were actually not needed. The general tone was somewhat childish on one hand, but there was no holding back when the brutal nature of the Pern was discussed. I think the story needs to be more unified.


For a story with a good twist at the end, I feel that the title chosen ruined the sting at the ending. I was "expecting" a "something" and I would have been more surprised if the title was for example 'Trade Hazards'.


The plot is simple and straight forward. A Pern ship wanders through the galaxy, searching for inhabited planets in order to capture as many beings as possible for the slavery-trade. With a twist at the end, the story is cut abruptly, leaving the reader wondering who or what were the beings on the visited planet, defending their young.

Style and Voice

The story is presented by third person POV who makes too much effort to mention measurements and weights of characters, neglecting simple facts about them. Information about the Pern race is scattered over numerous paragraphs and burdens the story. It would be better to gather all this info at the beginning.


I thought the story needed information of where the characters came from, what was their planet like, what kind of spaceship carried them through the galaxy and even what they looked like. Saying they were "huge" was not enough. If the captain was about 3 meters tall and Brillya was even taller by one meter, then how big was their ship? In a Sci-Fi story, small technical details can make or break a story. Sights and sounds from worlds they had passed would add interest to the story.


Characters are not described adequately. We've read about their big size, females larger than males, having thick Rhino skins, but other than that, I couldn't picture them in my mind's eye; Very little personal details were given.

I have a feeling that the size of the Pern people was important on one account and that is why so much emphasis was put on it - being successful in their trade due to their physical strength made them over confident and their unexpected fate made for a nice twist to end the story. This is fine with me. It's a great idea to show that muscle doesn't always win…


Dialogues are limited to issues concerning technical orders or reports from/to Captain Prell and Brillya at the communication center. The third crew member said nothing throughout the story. I can't honestly say that any personal conversation between the characters would have added anything to the story. Giving the short duration of the events, perhaps there was no room for familiarities…


There are no grammar mistakes in the story.


This short Sci-Fi story has all the right ingredients to make an excellent story. All it needs is a new arrangement of the different parts plus a few additions.

When I say arrangements, I mean you need to construct it with a beginning: all about the Pern people, their planet, introducing the characters and their goals, their physics and their vicious nature and trade. I think you need to mention at the beginning the fact that there are more crew members aboard the ship - how many and in what capacity. You learn about them only when they had landed.

In the Middle section, you can describe their voyage, planets they had passed or pervious successful/unsuccessful job. You can hint in some way the possibility of a failure of their mission. This will add some tension to the story, for there is no suspense what-so-ever.

The last part will be the ending. Usually in the end part, conflicts are resolved. In your story, the ending is the twist so there is no need to change anything.

About those "people" protecting their children, perhaps you can add info about them through Bryllia and her computer - the same way she managed at the end to translate their language, perhaps earlier, upon approaching that planet she can find out who they are and what they do. If the info will say they are peaceful people, that will increase the impact of the twist.

These are my comments. I truly think this story can be a winner. If and when you'll manage to give it a slight "facelift" - give me a shout and I'll be glad to read it again.

All the best,


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Review by Hanna
In affiliation with Put Your Best Foot Forward Par...  
Rated: ASR | (3.5)
Put your best foot forward - Review assignment

Heart of the Dragon by (24) Jordi

Hi there Jordi,

It's a pleasure to review your story. I liked it a lot, although there are a number of issues I think you need to attend to.

I'm going to make my comments first and later I will refer to grammar and wording issues.

Just know that my reviews are always honest, and if I sound harsh and you feel offended, please remember that I have no intention of hurting your feelings. All I want is to improve your lovely story so you can win this contest!

General comments

1. Why have you titled the story "Heart of a dragon"? There's nothing in it about a dragon's heart. It sounds like the name of a wonderful Fantasy movie called "Dragon Heart" with Denis Quaid and the voice of Sean Connery. Perhaps, if you want to intrigue the reader, you could find a name which will not mention the word "dragon", but will somehow describe their ability to transform. The dragons appear in the story only towards the end and I was wondering during my reading where they were… When they arrived, they made a nice twisted surprise, which I like a lot. Perhaps the word "Transform" can be used, something like "The Transformers Battle" - just an idea.

2. Your first paragraph is not a good hook for the reader. It starts with one sentence mentioning a child and moves to the wounded lying in the Great Hall. I think it could have a greater impact on the reader if you could start the story with sounds and visions from the vicious attack, then move the scene to Jenna and the Hall. About the attack - it is not clear who were the raiders that attacked the village and why. There is also no info about the villagers and the main characters. Who are they? Where do they live? Are they peaceful people or war people? Who threatens them? You can in a short paragraph tell all this, like in the beginning. Show the ruined village, mention names of some who were killed and their part in the community. Tell about the attackers. In Fantasy, it is essential to describe the world, even in a short story. Are they part of a kingdom? Do they use magic? Who is their leader?

3. In the paragraph where Jenna goes out to the balcony, you said she was "an image of strength for the villagers to draw upon in this hour of need." No foundation was laid in the story for this statement. We don't know what Jenna's position was, and there is no evidence that anyone down below, in the ruined village, was looking up at her standing there, let alone, looking up to her as their leader. You must support statements like these, if not - the story loses credibility.

4. I like the emotional connection between the sisters. What I missed was a better visual of them both. You have mention but a few details (blue eyes, slender hands). They are young, that we can gather, but what else?

5. “They will return, Krysta. There were quite a few raiders, this time. It may be taking them longer to track them down.” She gave her sister a reassuring squeeze whilst her eyes anxiously scanned the horizon. Why hadn’t she told him that morning? She had been going to but her stomach had started its morning roll, Callum had knocked on the door for Jaden and the moment had gone. Her eyes closed against the pain gripping her heart as she remembered that she hadn’t told Jaden how she felt before he left to go after the raiders."

In this paragraph, you have interrupted the flow of the story to introduce a new issue which was not mentioned before. "Why hadn’t she told him that morning?" Told whom? The reader knows nothing about Jaden or the fact that Jenna is pregnant too. So far, he was not mentioned in the story. Yes, it is a good idea just to hint about her pregnancy by talking about her "morning roll", but as a whole, you need to start a new paragraph. I think it would be useful to have this new paragraph written as Jenna's thoughts about the situation, about the fact that her sister wasn't the only one trapped in a situation and about her feeling guilty for not talking to her mate before the attack.

Grammar and wording

I found very few spelling mistakes (sympathized = sympathized) and a few others which derive from using the Brits way of spelling (woollen, defences, smouldering). I must say that when I joined the WDC, I used to write the South-African way (almost like the Brits) but I was forced to change to the American spelling because I couldn't stand the constant comments about "bad spelling"… But, with me it wasn't that important, but if this is how you spell, stick to your roots, I say!

There are a few commas missing, a few repetitions of words in one sentence and a couple of words I would have changed. Examples:

1. "As she straightened (add comma) her troubled green eyes…"

2. "So many thoughts were going round and around in my mind that I thought I would go insane with it." - To begin with, a couple of paragraphs above this one, you have used the phrase "So many" twice, and here again. This sentence is too long and can be written in a more precise way without changing its meaning; Try: My mind was preoccupied with swirling thoughts and I couldn't set it at ease.

3. "Jenna looked down at their joined hands. Krysta’s so pale, her slender fingers with their neat, clean nails resting against her darker hand with the smears of blood and grime seemingly ground into the soft skin. Such a simple act of unity that seemed able to break through the defences that she had erected that day."

In the previous paragraph you have already mentioned that Jenna's hand was blood stained, and here again, the description is more elaborated. I would suggest deleting it in the previous paragraph, and leaving it here.

4. "Krysta’s desperate words grated upon Jenna’s already stretched nerves …."

5."... as she watched villagers slowly searching the smouldering ruins, searching out any bodies hidden in the rubble." Twice the word "searching." I think the second one is not the right word. Unearthing would be a better word.

6. "…where they would lay with other victims until they could be…" - The word "victims" doesn't sound right in this sentence. Victims can be still alive… and you're talking about bodies - dead people. And the word "lay" also generates unwarranted feelings. The entire sentence is long and contains unessential details. I would suggest the following sentence: Corpses were carried on wagon beds to the church, and kept there temporarily, until they could be committed to the earth.

7. "Agony rippled through her…" This sentence starts in the middle of the above paragraph. You need to start there a new paragraph.

8. "She vowed that as soon as she saw Jaden (add comma) she would tell him how she felt and of the child they had created between them." It's an odd expression to use about a child created by a man and a woman. 'Created by them' would be more appropriate.

9. "The pain around her heart started to fade away as she thought about Jaden and their future." Here, I thought that the phrase 'pain around her heart' sounded wrong. Most times, we say 'pain in her heart…' Also, I would delete the word 'away' after 'fade'. It's redundant.

10. "Fingers gripped tightly at her hand…"
- I think here it would be better to say that Krysta had gripped tightly at Jenna's ARM rather than her hand.

11. "Strangely, it was Krysta who now appeared to be the older of the two women, - I would replace 'women' with 'sisters'.

To sum up my review, I would like to say this is a nice story, written by a sensitive writer who had the heart to write about urgent personal issues in the midst of a catastrophe. I would recommend changing the title and beginning of the story, elaborating a bit more about the environment, people and circumstances, and last but not least - take care of punctuation and wording.

I would love to do a second review before the deadline, if and when you'll do the edit.

I hope you'll find this review beneficial.

Keep well and good luck in the contest,


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Review by Hanna
Rated: 18+ | (3.0)
Review: The long wait, part 1 by druid

My name is Hanna and I'm doing this review because I like to read…

My comments and suggestions are merely my opinion - no offense meant. Take them or leave them.

I'm writing my comments as I read along. Suggestions will appear in the body of the chapter.

First impression, before I even started reading

1. From the title, I could learn that this is a chapter in part 1 of a novel. Is it the first chapter? You MUST specify.

2. If this is chapter 1 - the opening line, to my opinion, is not strong enough to hook a reader. It is too simple, too banal, just not it. I will write my suggestion later on. I'll use your double spaces to write my comments in…

3. There is no need to use such large spaces between the paragraphs. It threw me off, just looking at it. I can't explain exactly why, but the human eye is connected to the brain, and my brain wants a fluent print, because it knows I'm reading a book. Makes sense? Trust me on this. Even if the chapter is just a draft posted for comments, a reader needs to be able to read fluently and not pause between paragraphs.

Comments and suggestions

The long wait - part one

Chapter ???

It started with a phone call. This is not such a good opening line for a novel. I would cross it out and make some changes in the next paragraph, to turn it to a good "hook".

I still can't really believe it, standing here listening to the message on my answering machine. Repeating it over and over. And over. "Hello Ru… I'm… sorry I missed you. I'll call you tonight. Uhh… it's Myra". Funny that I didn't need to be told, that I still remembered your voice so well. God, it's been a long, long time. And feels even longer too.

In this paragraph, I found a few problems. "Standing HERE" - where is HERE??? It is a place, somewhere, but if you don't say where you are, how can the reader know where it is?
Some repetitions of words clutter the paragraph, beyond a reasonable use of fragments.

I would suggest the following opening paragraph:

How could I have missed your call? However, I did listen to the recorded message. I played it a hundred times and still couldn't believe it. I was in [my mother's kitchen] {Choose a place} when I noticed it. I stood still while listening: "Hello Ru… I'm… sorry I missed you. I'll call you tonight. Uhh… it's Myra". Of course it was you. I'll recognize your voice any time, and the fact that I haven't heard it for a long time didn't change a thing. God, it's been a long, long time.

I remember the last time I heard from you.

Add: It wasA tearful goodbye for both of us, though I'd like to fool myself that you didn't hear it in my voice. We'd become way too close over the previous few months. All-encompassing, our passion for each other had taken over both of our lives. Constant contact,Change comma to semicolon via phone, Skype, email, instant messenger. I don't think that a list of the various means of communication is needed here. We all know them. The word "constant" says it all We couldn't get enough of each other. Late nights talking via Skype, you speaking discreetly in hushed tones, me staying up late Add comma night after night, paying for it at work the next day, my performance falling way below what I'm capable of, and for the first time in my working life, not caring.

It came suddenly , but it was inevitable. You had been getting a hard time at home about your time spent online and I had finally been placed on a "performance improvement plan" at work, my boss' patience finally giving out.

The word IT at the beginning of this paragraph is too general. You need to specify. It can be: trouble, a bad day, changes or similar.

I came home that day in a blind fury, stamping across the car park like an enraged bull Here you are using both the "show" & "Tell". Stamping your feet is the "show" and "like a bull" is the "tell". I think you should cross out the bull.,and into the building, slamming each door behind me. Storming into the apartment, locking my door behind me, flinging my keys at the wall with a scream of rage. I pulled my phone from my pocket, noticing for the first time that I had missed a text message from you. Fingers flying across the touch screen with barely a thought, the phone as my primary link to you having become almost an extension of myself these past few months: "Calling you earlier tonight. 5 your time". A terse message even for you from whom I was used to receiving very brief texts. A quick glance at the clock confirmed I had 20 minutes till you called, but there was no way in hell I could speak to you in this mood, I had to calm down.

The above paragraph is kind of "heavy". With one breath, you are blind with fury, you stamp, slam, storm, lock fling, pull and fly. That makes 7 strong verbs to tell and show the reader that you were furious. You need to re-assess your feelings at that moment, and calmly, while looking back at what you felt, organize the feelings into short sentences, which will show what it was you felt. Sometimes in writing - "more" makes "less".

Stripping off as I crossed the apartment, I grabbed my portable house phone on my way to the shower in case I wasn't ready by the time you called. Standing under the shower, the high pressure hot water pounding me, I closed my eyes and thought of you, feeling the tension and anger slowly draining Add:awayfrom me as if it were being washed away, down the drain with the waste water. I lost track of time and before I knew it , the phone rang, shrilling in the quiet apartment. I banged my elbow painfully against the shower door while stepping out and reaching for my phone, muttering darkly under my breath. Bringing the phone to my wet ear, I answeredsaid "Hello?".

Your voice came Add: on. down the line to me "Ru!" Add:You said,as though you'd been waiting forever to speak to me, bringing a smile to my face. "Sweetheart," I answered "is everything okay?". Holding my breath while I awaited your answer, fearing I knew not what, but concerned nonetheless. The line wasn't good, you were probably calling me via Skype as usual but it was good enough for me to hear you crying quietly. A surge of adrenaline rushed through me as thoughts of disaster raced through my mind.

"Myra? Baby, please talk to me. What's wrong?" I began to panic at this stage, fear fuelled by a strangled sob escaping from you.

Until now, the story was written addressed to Myra - a letter, or sort of document with her as addressee. In the last sentence, you switched to direct dialogue, which feels odd at this point in the story. I must say that this is most confusing to the reader. A sentence like "A surge of adrenaline rushed through me as thoughts of disaster raced through my mind." doesn't make sense in the way you chose to tell the story. It would have been much better if the story could have been written in the past tense, telling the events and including direct dialogue in the proper way.

The word "panic" seems a bit strong for this situation. You have hardly laid down any information about the girl or about life threatening facts. She calls you, and she's crying. That's not reason enough for panic. Perhaps "alarmed" would be better here?

"Ru… it's over… we need to stop now…" I gasped in surprise, sheer shock. Stock still, unable to move or think for what seemed like an eternity.

Again, you want so much to transmit to the reader what you felt at that moment, that you use all the nouns corresponding to that feeling. Take it easy. Choose your words carefully.

"Ru… I'm sorry, we can't… ". You burst into tears and I instinctively tried to comfort you, no thoughts really penetrating my shock yet.

This sentence is a good example why I don't like the way you're telling the story. It is one thing to tell Myra what you did and how you felt, but here, you are telling HER what SHE said and how SHE sounded to you. I'm sure she knows what she said and knows that she was crying. This is why I said that the story gives out a strange feeling.

"It'll be okay love, it'll be okay… don't worry. I love you, you just cry if you need to, I'm right here".

It was like flipping a switch, your crying stopped and you almost screamed at me "No, Ru! Not this time, it's over. It's fucking over!" For this one curse word you're story is rated 18+ I think younger readers will enjoy it as well, and there's nothing else in the story that needs to be at this rating.

My paralysed brain snapped back to reality, Why was your brain paralyzed? You seemed awake, talked to Myra, tried to calm her down, in control, that is. Was Myra's last sentence the reason you snapped out of reality? Describe what you felt. Unbelieving she had closed the gates on your relationship. your words sinking through the confusion, the fear for you. A wave of terror swept over me, like I'd never felt in my life, there was no way I could lose you, no way I could let you go, not you, not my angel!

In the second half of this paragraph, the reader tackles new hurdles. What was the reason you feared for Myra? Was she in danger? Was she sick? You felt terror, so it must have something serious, but WHAT was it? I, the reader, have no idea. I can understand your reaction to the bad news, but the way you go about telling it, needs clarification.

"No Myra, no! Whatever it is we'll fix it, we've done it before, we've been through so much", tears pouring down my face, barely seeing myself in the bathroom mirror I faced, shock and panic etched in my face. Almost as suddenly, you returned to outward calmness, though I knew you must have been hurting so badly inside.

"No, Ru. It's over, there's too much at risk now. I don't want to, but it's over. I need to go now."

Find a way to get rid of the direct dialogue and tell what was said in another way.

I knew then that nothing I could say or do would change your decision, and the reason for it didn't matter. I stood, shaking like a leaf, frustration and grief competing for control and I won the battle with myself to remain calm, though how I did it, I'll never, ever know.

"I love you Myra. You've always been the one for me, I love you more than I have ever loved anyone. Please don't do this…" my voice trailed off as I realised how futile my pleading with you was.

"I have to, Ru." I could hear the emotion, you were on the edge of breaking down again. "I love you too, but we can't do this anymore. Goodbye Ru." Your voice, your soft, sweet voice cracked on my name, and the last thing I heard was the click as you put down the phone before I passed out. Passing out is a bit too dramatic in the given situation. In literature and movies, girls sometimes pass out as a result of an emotional problem. Never the guys. So, why did you pass out?

I haven't written any more comments from this point on. I've read the story to its end.

I know there's a part 2, which is probably the second chapter. I also noticed that your story was awarded with a ribbon. Well done.

This is a wonderful story, sensitively written, portraying you as a young caring man who couldn't deal with his broken heart. I'm impressed, because men don't normally tell in public about issues considered among men to be a soft and mushy. For this you are to be commended.

The main obstacle in the story is the way you deliver it. The content is fine, only I think that addressing the story to Myra on one hand, but on the other, there are parts which can't be addressed to her, and that is where the clashes are. They hinder the flow, they make the reader wonder what is going on, and together with some lack of information in the story, it makes a VERY hard read.

You have everything in front of you. Change the point-of-view. Tell the story straight forward, like telling to a third person. Don't leave too many issues unexplained. Yes, it's good to keep some suspense. Keeping the readers from knowing Myra lives overseas and you've never met her - not a bad idea. But some reader will ask how come such a strong love exists when the parties had never met… Just a thought.

Give the story a frame - beginning, middle and end. Tell a simple story. A love story. Watch the adjectives and the nouns. Type paragraphs with normal double spaces.

I know you can fix this chapter and make it a wonderful love story.

I hope I haven't offended you in any way. I'm always honest in my reviews, and try to improve small things which make or break a story. If I think a piece is no good, I just don't review it.

That's it from me.

I would love to read the story again if and when you'll revise it. Give me a shout.


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Review of Slaughterhouse  
Review by Hanna
In affiliation with The Coffee Shop for the Fantas...  
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
Hey there old friend!

Long time no talk! I’ve been away for a very long time,except for occasional visits. I wrote almost nothing this year, but somehow I found myself today reading your new story. Welcome back to writing! Perhaps this is an omen for me and I’ll start writing too.

Your story is very good. It reads almost smoothly and for the tiny bumps - here are a few comments which I know will be welcomed.

In my comments, quotes from your story appear in green. Specific words which need attention are in red.

1. Inconsistent use of tenses: The story is told in past tense but suddenly ”What happens next on the kill floor no longer unfolds in a logical manner. “Harley sees one strange image after another”. Then, later in the same paragraph, you’ve switched back to the past tense: “The employees all waded through blood that was ankle deep---”.

2. “It was Halloween.”
- I would add the word ‘time’ at the end, or ‘day’.

3. “At the end of the day, Harley noticed a breeze had sprung up, and with the coming of the night, it had grown into a gusty wind. The air was turbulent and chilly; it hissed and moaned. It was Halloween.”

After the above paragraph, there’s the following sentence:

Harley would always stop at the local bar for a drink.” - when? After work, on Halloween day? On other days? Be more specific. Later on, after Harley sang in the bar, you say:“When he finally arrived at home that night he made---“. This just shows you that indeed you needed to specify and say which night it was.

4. ” When he finally arrived at home that night he made sure he brought in his cutting knives. He knew a dull blade could cause trigger-finger, and he made sure to always perform the 'sharpening ritual' for the following day. Tonight was no different,” - Please stick to the past tense. It should be “That night”.

5. “He rushed (to) them, “- Add.

General comments

I liked your story. By using simple language and repeating the things Harley would do every day, you managed to indicate that he wasn’t smart or educated, that in fact he was all muscle and knew there was madness in his family. The way he looked at the ongoing activity in the slaughterhouse also helped to understand him as a person.

I must be honest with you and say that with me, you’ve lost the surprise of the twist at the end, for I knew what was going to happen. Perhaps you didn’t mean to surprise the readers?

All in all, It was an excellent read, and I hope to see more coming from you in the near future.


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Review by Hanna
In affiliation with The Coffee Shop for the Fantas...  
Rated: E | (3.5)

Hi Maryann,

My name is Hanna and I’m doing this review as part of the parcel you bought at the auction.

My comments and suggestions are purely my intake of your work and mean no disrespect. You can adopt my ideas or discard them, at wish.

First impression

A short poem, rhymed but not metered. Leaves a wondrous feeling of endless space. I liked the feeling.

Comments and suggestions

1. I must say that I like rhymed poems, and being hooked on the traditional way of writing poetry, I find a poem which is NOT metered quite unbalanced. Sometimes when the meter is odd by one syllable here and there, it is not noticeable while reading. In cases like this poem, the meter varies considerably, thus reading is not smooth and the poem loses its momentum.

2. In the first verse, the first three lines start with the word the,not to mention an addition of two more in the second line. To begin with - I want to say that such repetition ruins the tempo and weakens the lines. All four lines in this verse were written as one sentence, judging by your punctuation marks. The constant repetition of this word makes it an awkward sentence.

3. In the second verse, the last two lines are the longest in the poem and I found it ruined the little balance there was in the poem.

4. I quite liked the images in the poem although in their simplicity, I thought this poem could be read well by children.

To sum up this review - I enjoyed your poem for its vivid images but felt it needed more balance as to the meter. I know many poets don’t like counting syllables and prefer the free verse style, but to my humble opinion, if the poem is rhymed, it needs a meter. Below, I copied your poem and marked by each line the number of syllables in it. You can see right away the inconsistency in the meter.

I hope you find this review useful. Use what you need and ignore the rest.


The magnitude of stars by Maryann-power reviewers

The sparkle and splendor so far away, 10
The black, the blue, the yellow, the gray, 9
The magnitude of stars is majestic, they say, 12
In the incredibly enchanting Milky Way. 12

The stars dance and wink in the glistening night, 11
For eyes to see and hearts to delight. 9
Glowing beams against blackness fashion the sky into light. 14
All assembled with great power, fine royalty and might. 14

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Review by Hanna
In affiliation with The Coffee Shop for the Fantas...  
Rated: E | (5.0)

So good to read your poems. I've enjoyed the one about Leon and now this... Fantastic! It is absolutely wonderful! It's been ages since I last read a fun poem. The rhythm is good and the poem flows beautifully.

Would you say this poem is suitable for children? Teens? If you think so, add "children" to the tag of the poem and you'll get a wider range of readers.

One advice though - please use punctuation marks in your poems. It helps setting the tempo.

Well done! Lets see some more of your work!



PS 1. Try my fun poems:
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2. You need a couple of signatures to be used here on WDC. Go browse my Signature Market and I'll make you free of charge any signature you want. Send me mail to let me know you've made your choice. Here is the link to the market: "Invalid Item

Review by Hanna
In affiliation with The Coffee Shop for the Fantas...  
Rated: 13+ | (2.5)
Forever in my heart by Lady Fati - from CSFS Review Request


My name is Hanna and I’m doing this review for the CSFS Raid in honor of WDC 12th birthday.

My reviews are honest, with no intention of belittling your work or offending you personally.
Use what you feel will improve your work and discard the rest.

I began editing your story and found you have a few fundamental problems in your writing. To list a few:

1. Use of many clichés:
2. Use of too many adjectives.
3. Long sentences/ignoring rules of syntax
4. Telling the story in a way that reminds a phone call more than a prose piece.
5. grammar mistakes and repetitions.

I have edited more than half of your story, but I had to stop since I felt I’m re-writing it. That was not what I meant to do.

You have here a good topic which will make a great love story. Please go through my comments in the part that I’ve edited. See where you went wrong and try to revise the other part. You must remember that the reader wants a straight forward story, told in a fluent language, without having to pause and wonder what the writer meant by a certain sentence. Put in the story some of the magic you felt. Don’t use cliché idioms. It damages your work. Have a spelling and grammar check. Pay attention to punctuation. Avoid adjectives.

Please don’t feel offended, because it is not what I want to do. I’ve read one of your poems which was well written, and I thought that perhaps you need to narrow down the ideas for a story, the same way we do when we write a poem. If we don’t put boundaries to our written prose, it results in chaos. In prose, as in poetry, every written word must be weighed and every sentence must have a purpose.

Please work on this story. I would love to read it again and would gladly give it another review.

I’ve written my comments in the body of the story (red). Words or parts of sentence which I thought should be deleted are crossed over. I’ve underlined words or sentences which I commented on. I hope it won’t be too confusing.


Forever in my heart

In my island of dreams never had I thought a dream like that would come true. A dream of finding the soul mate-one true love. It was a unique love for no other reason but our age.

The last time I saw Daniel Shawn was 15 years ago. I still remember his million-dollarsCliché disarming smile that showed dimple's and perfectly white shiny teeth. His kind and happy go luckyCliché character got a smile out of every human he ever met, just like me. Daniel was drop dead gorgeousCliché with hair falling over his blue-green eyes. All one had to do was stare at those eyes and be lost forever. There was magic in those eyes. His typical American accent made me fall in love every single day. Our love was unique because we were passing the age of romance, both of us were workaholics. He was 30, and I was 27. To me, I was a perfectly healthy creature with a proper height, smart, good-looking, loner, dreamer, witty, and I could go on. I never thought love would hit us at this age, well. All I can say is miracles happen even though it is rare.

I thought back to the first time we met, I was walking in the middle of the road on my way to a new hotel, which I could not find. The hotel eluded me not because it was late, but because i had misplaced the address. That day, but I found something precious, something that would take the breath out of me, that something or that someone was Daniel.Check this sentence. Perhaps some words were omitted. Add space for new paragraph Searching for a restaurant which seemed to have gone invisible was not easy, I was so lost in thought that I did not see the car coming with full speed and the spectacularly amazing guy, except he looked offensive enough to make my chops, but even then he looked devilishly mouth-watering.

He (peeped out) and yelled: "Princess, this road does not belong to your father! Move away."Add space for new paragraph
Even though it was my fault, but he should have known better than to yell at Daisy D’Souza.
I said (sarcastically): "Destiny said I would meet you in the middle of a road except you took your own sweet timeCliché to come. Just so, you know my name is DaisyHow could he have known your name?. Let me tell you there was no pleasure meeting you, so let us get going shall we?' Add line space for new paragraph
With these words, I went and sat in his car, in a car with a man completely unknown to me. I do not know why I did, I would revise this sentence. Try: Having said that, I entered a complete stranger’s car. I have no idea why, but it just feltAdd:the rightAdd:thing to do. There was no reason just a reaction, chemistry, a feeling of trust, warmth and a sense of safety

He was stunned at what was going on wondering how he was stuck with such a strange crazy woman. The look on his face could have caused a lion to smile, had there been a lion.Why don’t you say simply that he was smiling? The simile doesn’t fit here. All my anger went down the drainChange cliché for: subsided onchange for: seeing his confused and surprised look,Change comma to period and I burst laughing until tears rolled downReplace by: hysterically. He could not control himself Add: either, and we both laughed like mad people in the middle of the road.
People were honking so loudly, andAdd: while we were trying to catch our breath.

To save our lifeShould be plural - lives from being cursed forever, we drove away. We introduced ourselves and then he asked me what I was doing wandering around like a buffoon. To which he had got many curse's from my sideReplace: I paid him back by calling him names too. Today, seemed to be his lucky day being cursed from the time we met was not a great start. Check this sentence. Something is missing here It was terribly late, and I had forgotten what time it was in my quest for that restaurant. So, having no other option I asked him to drop me home.

That day he left me home perfectly safe and in one piece, like a perfect gentlemanI would like to use this sentence as an example of wording which arise questions in the reader’s mind. The first thing which into my mind was that there was no reason why you shouldn’t have arrived home in one piece, unless you had doubts and sat frozen in his car expecting him to harm you. Was this the case? And the comment “like a perfect gentleman” stresses the fact you were scared. You mustn’t let the reader guess as to what you thought and felt. Innuendoes are fine in a story, but not in this case. , he said: “I will pick you up at eight Daisy. Be ready, do not want princess wandering on the street again and troubling busy people like me. It will save you the trouble of embarrassing yourself to death. I promise to take you to dine in that exact hotel unless you wish to search it for yourself. There is something unreal about the way the man speaks. It doesn’t sound natural and isn’t the way a man speaks to a woman he just met and wants to see again. It is stiff and pompous. Make him sound more natural.

Knowing two is always better than one, I said, “yes." He went awayAdd: and before sitting in his car, he yelled: "And princess, it's not a date."

It's only after going inside that I thought I should have called him inside for a drink, but then I thought he was a mere stranger, and seldom people meet like this, and I was not good at all this, being a loner much of my life hardly guests showed up except for my parents who come to see if their daughter had a guy in her life or she is still alone. This is a paragraph consisting of one long sentence. It leaves the reader breathless...Go over it and divide it to shorter sentences.

Unknown to the game of destiny What exactly do you mean by ‘unknown’? Perhaps you meant UNFAMILIAR?, I went along with Daniel after work and just as he had promised. It was dangerous to go out with someone whom I did not know,You’ve already said that you didn’t know him. No need to repeat. but it was exciting at the same timeReplace by: nonetheless. It has been quite some time since I had been in a relationship. OnceReplace by: as soon as we reached the hotel we ordered food
right away, I was famished.

Daniel ordered a Chicken Fried Steak, and I was waiting for him to get over his order when he looked at me and asked what I wanted to have. I sat wondering what the heck was going on and if I am supposed to just order one dish or was he dieting, my situation was more like an elephant race was going on in my tummy, and I needed a huge dinner. I ordered a chicken meat ball and baked macaroni and cheese pasta. I do not know how, but he just knew what was going on in my head because the next thing he said was " Do not worry I had a snack before coming, you do not have to feel embarrassed to order a proper meal. He winked and added, “after all it's my treat, so you can take advantage of me. Is that not what women do the best? It was his good luck that I was ravenous, and dinner came at that same time, so I tried ignoring the dialogue and started digging into my food. This entire paragraph is absolutely redundant. I don’t think it adds anything to your romantic story, especially when the sentence structure is not so good, your thoughts are not clear and Daniel is saying things a teenager would say on a first date with a girl. My advice is to re-write this paragraph if you want to leave it in the story.

We reached home back at two.AM? The feeling of takingTry:wasting or spending so much time after a busy day seemed like a crime and it was not like I was jobless. It was a crime I enjoyed and would not mind doing again. It is not as if it would have hurt me to give him some compliment, so I said: “hey Prince Daniel I thank you for being my knight in shining armor. I shall remember this day till I die, it was one of the most memorable and lovely nights of my life.

Review by Hanna
In affiliation with The Coffee Shop for the Fantas...  
Rated: E | (4.0)
An Unexpected Visitor by Leon

Hi Leon,

My name is Hanna and I’m doing this review per your request (Auto-Reward section).

My reviews are honest, with no intention of belittling your work or offending you personally.
Use what you feel will improve your work and discard the rest.

In you Bio-Block you said you like psi-fi, but not the mechanical part of it. With this saying you’ve won me over even before I’ve read your story. I feel the same.

I didn’t find any grammar/syntax or wording problems in the story. The only thing that irritated me was the small symbol ~ which you’ve placed between the paragraphs. Unnecessary.

The story develops nicely with the right amount of suspense. I wouldn’t call it a story, for it consists of dialogue only, which is fine. I’ve written a few of these. The only trouble is that the amount of information delivered to the reader in this kind of style, doesn’t allow for a broader view of the story told. The main point is delivered, but the questions arising after having read are numerous: Who are the characters? Where does it all take place? Who is the visitor?

On the other hand, perhaps you didn’t want to give away all this info. You kept a moderate sense of humor and the characters showed their loyalty and consideration to the “others”.

I enjoyed reading it.


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Review by Hanna
In affiliation with The Coffee Shop for the Fantas...  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hi MC,

Long time no speak! How are you doing?

I enjoyed this little poem. It reminded me of some of my poems about our harsh world... well written and as always, true to Traditional poetry!


The last two stanzas start with the word WHEN. I'd change one of them.

Using the 8/6 meter forced you to cut lines in mid sentence, which when reading aloud, hinders the rhythm. It also prevents you from using commas at the end of a line to balance the reading. I would rather keep the same meter throughout the poem, or make sure that a line is not cut in the middle because it doesn't fit the meter.

Other than this - a good poem.


Review of Doctor's Orders  
Review by Hanna
In affiliation with The Coffee Shop for the Fantas...  
Rated: E | (3.5)

Not bad at all! The message is clear! It's humorous and written in the way one would tell his experiences on the phone or on stage, as a Standup funny story.


Review of Fade Away  
Review by Hanna
In affiliation with The Coffee Shop for the Fantas...  
Rated: ASR | (3.0)
Hello Ezra,

I’m doing this review as part of our CSFS Easter raid.

We were told by our Lord Matt to review someone whom we wish to thank for some reason or another. This is my thanks to you for helping me out when I needed a second pair of eyes…

I’ll start my review with my suggestions, written in the body of your story. Then I’ll add general comments.

Parts or full sentences which I comment on appear in RED
Suggestions for change – in GREEN
General comments – in BLUE
Your text which I haven’t touched remained in black.

I hope you won’t find this too confusing…

Here we go.

Fade Away By Lightbringer


It was cold today (If the time is today, then you must use the present tense and say: It IS cold today. For the rest of the story too…But having read a bit further down, I could tell that your story was written in the past tense. So I would suggest changing the opening sentence to: It was cold THAT DAY and this will bring the sentence to the past to join the rest of the story.). It wasn't the kind of cold that would make me shiver or give me goosebumps; it was just . . . different. When I woke today,(delete) my mind was in a fog. I dragged myself out of bed and I've felt off ever since.( “ever since” suggests a long time, but we are talking about a short period, only moments before, when you got out of bed… The air around me (delete) felt thick, and everything sounded muffled. As I tried to (delete) rubbed the blurriness out of my eyes, even (delete) the light (Add: had still) cast far(delete) too many shadows.

As(delete)I slowly climbed out of bed, feeling the stale air around me, I wondered if I was coming down with something. I looked at the clock, surprised at how late it had gotten. I've never slept in this late. I rushed to the bathroom, brushed my teeth, and shaved in attempt to look presentable for the day. When I kept cutting myself shaving, I gave up and put the razor down. My hands were shaking. I balled them into fists, then tried shaking them out, to no result. I had hoped it would go away after I had eaten breakfast, but the tremor of my hands (delete) would not stop.

This paragraph needs some work. I’ll point out a couple of issues to guide you: “Stale air” adds nothing here. In the previous paragraph you’ve already mentioned “thick air”.

Instead of the sentences about looking at the clock, it would be sufficient to say you’ve never slept that late. The morning ritual in detail is also redundant here. Just say that you couldn’t stop the tremor after going through your morning ritual and breakfast. That would give the reader the right idea.
Sluggishly,(Try to reduce the number of adverbs, when not absolutely necessary. This one adds nothing to the sentence). I returned to my room, (Perhaps add, “feeling sick or dizzy) and proceeded to get (delete, change to GOT) dressed. I gathered my books together (If you gather your books, they are TOGETHER, aren’t they?) and put them in my backpack before I headed(replace by HEADING) out the door. Looking at my cellphone, I wondered why no one had called me yet to ask why I was running so late. (You don’t need to look at your phone in order to wonder why there were no calls!) I tried calling into work as I headed towards the subway, but no one picked up on the other end. As I (Bad habit to start sentences with AS. Delete and change the next word entered to ENTERING)the subway (add STATION), the sounds around me (You keep using this phrase. It’s not that you’re alone in the universe. The air, sounds and everything else are indeed around you, so no need to mention it.) seemed distant. I put a hand to my forehead; it didn't feel hot.

Approaching the turnstile, I reached into my wallet to retrieve my metro card, unnerved at how my hands were still shaking. I had to take a few swipes with the card before it registered. Shifting my backpack on my shoulders, and jamming my hands back into my pockets, I pushed through the turnstile and down to the F train. As I walked down the tunnel, I saw a mandolin player I recognized. I don't know his name (Present tense! change to: I never knew his name), but every time I saw him, I tried to give him a little (some) money. Usually he responded with a kindly smile; today (Change to:That day, add comma) however, he ignored me as I dropped some change into his hat. I don't think it would have bothered me otherwise, but with the day starting off so poorly, it further unnerved me.

Looking down, I saw my hands stopped shaking. At least that much was going well (add comma) I thought to myself(Delete, add period). Just as I thought the day might finally be getting better(Twice the word THOUGHT. Try: But when the day seemed to be getting better,) someone slammed into me, and knocked (Delete for KNOCKING) me to the ground. (Add comma, delete period) I lay there on the ground (delete. We know you were knocked down to the ground. Add: Leaving me sprawled amongst my books. An angry looking businessman stood there, looking down at me. He blinked and (delete, add comma) shook his head as a look of confusion crossed his face. (Try a shorter sentence, like: looking up, I saw an angry businessman shaking his head, confused.)
Instead of offering to help me to my he ignored me and proceeded to gather the spilled contents of his briefcase. (How about: Ignoring me, the man started gathering the content of his briefcase.) He picked up a couple items of mine, and not recognizing them as his own, tossed them aside, closed his briefcase, and rushed off to where ever it was he was originally headed. (Try this shorter sentence: (He tossed aside items which were not his, closed his briefcase and rushed off, without a word or a glimpse at me.) I lay there in disbelief. I expected him to help me up, or help me pick up my stuff. At the very least I expected an apology, or for him to angrily tell me to watch where I was going. Nothing. (We know your position on the ground. (How about: Stunned, I looked after him. I expected the man to either tell me to watch where I was going, or to do the right thing, apologize, help me up and gather my stuff.)

Who does that? What kind of person knocks someone over, and ignores them? I could not rationalize why a total stranger would act like that. I got up slowly (add comma) with the intention of yelling (Try: intending to call) after him, but I couldn't bring the (Change to MY) anger to the surface. All I could feel was a shadow of anger. I stood there feeling lost and confused. I caught myself staring off into space and had to shake my head to get going. Everything around me looked dull and blurry around the edges. Gathering my things back together, all I felt was (Add:AN) overpowering fatigue. The day had just begun and already I felt my energy fading away. I just felt . . . (Don’t put spaces between the dots) off.
(Start a new paragraph}Bruised and annoyed, I continued walking down the tunnel until I reached the subway train. (we know you’re in the subway station. Is there any other kind of train?) Looking down, wanting to be left alone, (Does one look down when he wants to be left alone?) I watched my feet as I shuffled towards the train. Just (delete) as I was about to enter, I was rudely shoved aside (Add Semi colon) as (delete) another man pushed his way past me. Just as I was beginning to recover my balance (add comma) it happened again. People kept knocking against me as if I wasn't there. At first I kept seeing brief looks of anger turn suddenly to confusion, then (add comma) they stopped acknowledging me entirely. What was going on?

I struggled to push my way into the train before the doors closed. Considering how everyone ignored me, I thought it safer to stand than risk sitting down. I had to hold on to the bar tightly to keep from getting knocked over. When the train came to my stop, I found my exit barred, and I was unable to get by the mass of people exiting and entering the train. Seeing the door start to close, I forced my way towards it and fell through just before the door closed. I barely managed to pull my hand away from a descending high heel, as I got back on my feet. Brushing myself off, I walked down the tunnel towards my exit.

As I cleared the subway, I tried calling the office once more, but to no avail. (In the next sentence someone did pick up the phone, so this part of the sentence is not accurate) This time someone picked up, but the voice that kept saying (Add inverted commas) hello, is someone there,(“ Add IT)
sounded muffled. (Add: Suddenly,)The line was disconnected. Were they intentionally ignoring me, or was there something wrong with my phone (Add?) Feeling a bout of dizziness overcome me, (Check the tenses in this sentence) I shook it off and walked the rest of the way to work. As I approached (approaching) the office building, I gasped to catch my breath. The building (Add: seemed to be warped and distorted,delete comma. Add semi colon) and (delete) my vision grew gray around the edges.

Maybe I should have thought (change to GONE) to see a doctor when my hands started shaking in the subway,(Consistency: As I remember, the tremor began at home before leaving for the subway.) but my mind wasn't working very (delete) clearly (Add period){/c:red}... isn't working very clearly
. (Delete this repetition of the former sentence. And writing it in the present tense added nothing) It was too late for me to make it to a hospital, and I could no longer see the keypad on my cellphone clearly enough to dial 911. I pushed my way through the entrance and worked my way (Repetition: Try to get rid of one of them…) to the front desk. My limbs felt like rubber as I collapsed. Start a new paragraph“Help me,” I said to the receptionist, shocked at how weak my voice sounded. “Please help me. Call an ambulance.”
Paragraph He ignored me. I tried shouting, but my voice wasn't strong enough. “Please! Help me.”
Paragraph“Why is no one listening to me?” I cried out. "Why won't anyone help me?”
ParagraphI grabbed his arm, but couldn't get a proper grip. He shivered, looking at me for a moment before his eyes glazed over. Blind to me again, he shook my hand off and went right back to his work, answering the questions of the next person who walked up to the desk.

“Help me, please! There's something wrong with me. Someone . . . Anyone . . . Please help me.”

With my back to the desk, I sunk down crying as everyone ignored me. My tears ran dry and the sweat on my forehead evaporated. I looked down at my hands in shock as I noticed (noticing) how transparent they'd become. I would have screamed if I still had the voice to do so (delete). I reached for the man standing near me and was horrified to watch my hand pass through his leg. (Normally, when we reach for someone near us, it won’t be for the leg; a shoulder or an arm would be more likely)

I didn't know (Try, sounding better: I had no idea)what to do. No one would help me. No one could help me. (Make it one sentence: No one would or could…) To the rest of the world, I no longer existed. I sat there losing hope, losing myself. (Add: BUT)I couldn't just give up and let it end like this}/c}. (change to:that) (Start a new Paragraph I reached into my backpack and pulled out a pen, the only voice I had left to me. (This is quite dramatic. Try: The only tool to carry my voic.) I felt my fingers burn as I tried to get a grip on it. Pulling out my notebook (For the sake of the story, we don’t need the “pulling” action twice: first the pen, then the notebook. Pull them out together and then continue with trying to get a grip on the pen.) and holding on to that pen was. I'd never felt pain like that before. (Try: Never before had I experienced such pain}/c}. Excruciating is too strong a word in this context.) It was only when I began writing that I realized there's no stopping this (Change to THAT). I am going to fade away. With each word I write it gets harder to hold the pen. I don't know how much longer I'll be able to write I already feel my grip on the pen slipping. It's my only lifeline and it's fading fast. It was a cold day. That is the first thing I rememberabout this) morning; I fear(ed) cold is the last feeling I'll ever know.{/c{{c:blue}Change the tese in this last passage from present to past.

In order to make sense of the tenses, use the past tense when you’re telling about what has happened, and when you switch to your thoughts, write them either in inverted commas or in italic font. That would separate the tenses. Can’t think of a better solution…

The panic is setting in. It's getting harder and harder to write. Will anyone remember me when I'm gone? This isn't death; whatever this is, it's worse. Will my friends miss me? Maybe . . . maybe you're (I was)only here so long as your (Change to: MY) life has (had) some value. Maybe . . . I'm (was) not important enough to (add: BE) remember (ed)--My fingers hurt—(Change to past tense all the following sentences)Is that what happens?--I can't hold this pen anymore--When nothing you do matters any more, do you simply fade away?--It's too heavy--Someone please (comma) help me. Remember me while there's still time. Please. Don't do this to me. Please. I don't want to fade away. I'm too young for it to end like this. Why wo— “


To begin with, I would like to say that I liked the concept of your story. The mysterious events the hero encounters make a fine foundation for a thriller/suspense story. However, there are a couple of issues you need to attend to in order to stand true to your label of the story: “Suspense/thriller”.

I have no idea whether this story was written for a contest and had a word limit. I would strongly suggest expanding the story and giving it the desired flavour of suspense, and adding volume to the character.

I know my suggestions in the body of the story are plenty and will give you a heart attack, but please, if you can use two screens, work it line by line until you’re done. Then, read the new version and think what else you can add to describe better the environment, the character, his innermost feelings, why he thinks that he’s of no value and was brought to that particular moment in time. His fears and uncertainties can be a well of material for this story. You also need to add a third element of suspense other than him and what hapends to him. Some outer factor, to help build the thrill.

As the story stands now, I was quite neutral about the hero. He hardly managed to evoke any feelings in me. He should be touching the reader; making him either sympathetic or unsympathetic.

Please take extra care with the tenses. I know that unlike me who can’t tell ‘past perfect’ from ‘past participle’, you know your English, but somehow, while being in a trans of writing, you tend to skip from present to past, and honestly, this can ruin a very good piece. Use grammar programmes, not just for spelling. Even the WORD grammar programme, when ticked for most items would check wording, sentence structure and tenses.

I’m thinking about this story as a draft, no more. I know you can bring it to life and make it one hell of a story. I’ll be glad to read the re-write and shower you with compliments!!!

Oh, I forgot to add at the beginning the customary paragraph about my review being only my opinion, no intention of hurting your feelings and mention your right to ignore everything I’ve said. Here. I gave you the warning, but I do hope you’ll find some use of everything I’ve said. A lot of time went into this review, and a lot of heart. If you want to chop my head off, please do it publically.

Your team-mate,


PS If there are here and there mistakes in the colours of the fonts - please forgive me. Setting them up took longer than writing the entire review...!

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Review of The Magic Cat  
Review by Hanna
In affiliation with The Lords of High Fantasy  
Rated: E | (3.0)
Hi Cynaemon,

My name is Hanna and I’m doing this review as part of the Spring Review Raid held by my group The Lords of High Fantasy.

My reviews are always honest and my main wish is to point out weak spots, to help you improve your story. I mean no disrespect to you and your work. My comments and suggestions can be used or ignored - it’s up to you.


Since I’m looking for Fantasy items to review, in the best tradition of my group, your title drew me in. I had a feeling your story is aimed at children, but after reading it, I wasn't completely sure. I would suggest though that if it’s for children, say so in the tag.

As for the title - there are many stories/books carrying this title (Patricia Telesco’s anthology of cats in Mythology and Fantasy is one). If you decide to name the cat (see my comment further on), you could name the story XXXXX THE CAT or THE CAT AND THE UNICORN. Just passing thoughts.

General remarks

When I’m reviewing a story, my considerations are primarily given to the presentation of the plot, the language used and the purpose of the story.

One of the most important aspects of any story is grammar, which I find lacking here. I will refer to it later, under a separate heading.

I like cats and I like them more in Fantasy stories. However, it bothered me, from the beginning of your story that you didn’t find it in you to name the cat or the unicorn, for that matter. Since all the characters are cats, one gets kind of lost without names, at least one for your main character.

Language and word choice

The story starts with a strange sentence, one that neither serves as a hook to draw the reader in, nor as something which is connected to the next sentences.

The first paragraph tells about the way the cat remembered herself as a young and beautiful feline. This is too early in the story to give this information. The reader knows nothing about this character except it is a cat. It makes no difference at this stage what she looked like in the past. Come to think of it, I’m not sure this adds anything valuable to the story, unless you tie it with how the public accepted her as a “Gift Giver”.

You are using the term MODERN a few times in the story. I know what modern times mean, but in the story it’s rather mystical since you didn’t bother to define the present; Neither the time nor the place. You’re trying to put the modern world on trial (in a subtle way of course…) but you neglected to lay any kind of foundation for this. Perhaps at the beginning of the story, where you’ve described the young cat, a few words added about who she was and how she made people happy back then would widen the screen and make the story more credible.

Now, let’s talk about a phrase you’ve used as part of the Modern world vs. Old world. Those who can “see” know who the cat is. Why can they see her and others can’t? Have they been benefited by her in the past? Have they remembered her? You need to elaborate this argument. What you wrote all along the story reads like a petty grudge the cat is holding against those who do not recognize her. ”Oh, if only those villagers had known then, how well they would have treated her. How they would have feasted her and cared for her and lodged her in the finest of rooms, and they would have found the grandest stables for her companion. But they had grown blind to her magic, so none of those things happened” You need to discuss this issue. Show her sentiments about it, analyze how hurt she is, how it is affecting her life and circumstance.

”The world seemed to have lost its ability to wonder---“ - What exactly do you mean here? Ability to wonder - is it the ability to recognize magic? If it is you need to explain better.

From this point, the story repeats itself about how unhappy the cat and the unicorn were and how hard their life was. The scene where the House Cat makes use of the magic in the flowers is packed with too many details and was written as one long paragraph. I think you need to go through it and make it simpler. Sorry, but I felt this part was burdening the story.

Naturally, the story has a happy ending and the cat got the respect and recognition she deserved.

The story left me feeling uneasy and depressed, despite the happy ending. There were too many unexplained issues. The characters in the story are all cats, which means the world you’ve created is an animal’s world. You didn’t say so anywhere in the story. Any reason why you chose to use animals and not humans? The personification is all human, all the bad social and economic diseases that rid our world were mentioned in your story, including the “not seeing the obvious” which is the main motto of your story.

The story is not meant for children, or you would have said so in your tag. For adults, the story is written in a childlike language, doesn’t have any tension, and makes a hard reading. I hate to have to say all this because I like the story a lot. The old cat could have been a marvelous character if only you would have described her in a more favorable way and not engage her thoughts so much with feeling sorry for herself. The unicorn could have gotten more attention by elaborating his character. The extensive list of flowers could have been shorter, for it doesn’t add anything to the story.

I hope my comments will give you a new perspective about the story, and should you re-write it, I would be more than happy to review it again.


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Review of If I Were. . .  
Review by Hanna
In affiliation with The Lords of High Fantasy  
Rated: E | (4.5)
If I were… by Shaara

Hi Shaara,

My name is Hanna and I’m doing this review on behalf of the Lords of High Fantasy group -Spring Raid. My reviews are honest and aim at improving the item I’m reviewing, offering an objective opinion. I mean no disrespect and my comments/suggestions can be ignored if so wished.

I must say, before even starting my review that this is one of the best children’s poems I’ve read in a long time. The illustrations are just perfect (Have you done them?) and placing them between the stanzas was a brilliant idea.

You have used fantasy icons for each stanza, ones that children know and love, incorporating light humor and rhymes. The poem reads well and apart from a couple of stumbles, I wouldn’t change a thing.

I wrote a few observations in the body of the poem.

If I were…

If I were a princess, I would catch a frog Add comma

And dance about the hill, and place him on a log. Delete the 1st AND

Then I’d pucker up and kiss . . . the log Add period

Fooled you, didn’t I. I'd never kiss a frog! Delete period after DIDN’T I and add Question mark

If I were a magician, I would wave my wand. Change period to comma

And I’d prance mightily over to the fishpond PRANCE is a hard word for children. Add comma at the end
Where I’d catch me that mean, old catfish Comma

And I’d cook him up and serve him on a dish. Delete 1st AND

If I were a witch, why , I’d grab my broomstick.

“I’d sweep out my kitchen, then give one swift kick” Two words with similar pronunciation - sweep and swift - these do not sound well in one line. The word I’d appear in two consecutive lines (repetition). Try RAPID instead of Swift.

And fly into the sky, where I could gaze down

And see what everyone was doing downtown. Change WAS to IS

If I were a girl, just like silly old me,

I’d compose rhymes, one, two and three,

But I’d prepare to stop when I got to four Add comma

‘Cause I’m sure there's a dragon’s coming to my door. Delete ‘s from dragon

To sum up my review, I’ve enjoyed reading it, it’s well written and I’m sure children love it.

For me, writing for children is a sacred task, and I find myself writing for them as much as I write for adults. Their education is in our hands; What’s a better way to teach them morals and values than by the written word?

Well done and please keep writing for the children!


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Review of Let's Kick Dust  
Review by Hanna
In affiliation with  
Rated: E | (3.5)
Hi Mia,

The two of us seem to think on the same wave-length, for some years ago I also wrote a poem about the insult elderly people feel when they lose memory, muscle and drive. Infuriating indeed!

I like you poem, the ideas come through clearly, and it flows rather nicely although the meter is not kept. A rhyming pattern of BD adds flow to the poem.

I like the humor in your poem. I find that growing older sharpens one's sense of humor. Without it, life would be dull when all we can do is write about kicking butt... Sorry - dust!

In case you'd like to take a look at my "twin" poem and another one with a lot of humor, here are the links:

 Growing Old  (13+)
The inevitability of growing old
#708637 by Hanna

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Review of Two Hearts  
Review by Hanna
In affiliation with The Coffee Shop for the Fantas...  
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
Raid 4 U - CSFS - Poem - Two Hearts By Melissa Murphy

Hey there Melissa,

This review is being done for the Raid 4 U, on behalf of CSFS. My name is Hanna. The comments and suggestions in this review are my own thoughts regarding your item and can be ignored if so wished.

Am I glad I bumped into your POEM!!! For it is 100% poem, despite what you wrote in the intro for it, and I quote: “This is the closest I'll ever get to a poem. I know nothing about them. :)”

You are a sensitive and talented writer. What you wrote, with a bit of rearranging the lines, is a wonderful poem. This piece is a short something, like an entry to a diary or a blog. Highly personal, and full of images. Here it is, like you wrote and posted it:

“Two hearts beating in time. Sensations ebbing and surging, yet filling each and climbing to new heights. Fingers intertwined overhead, gripping each other and the silk beneath. Emotions running high. His touch. Her feel, smooth, soft and slick. Her taste, her honeyed skin, unlike any other, salty and sweet still. Tousled, damp tresses, darkened in the dim light, whispering across his face bringing her scent closer with them, hardening his every muscle further.

His eyes, filled with desire and something else, something deeper, something more. Husky, deep murmurs in the near silence, urgings, taking her under, under his spell, his wishes becoming her desires. His weight, so much greater, welcomed, treasured, even needed. Teeth tease, nibble. Tender kisses draw the hurt from the sensitivity left behind. Longings, heightened with each caress, every thrust. Heat pooling, flooding, pounding, rising, engorging, bringing with it an urgency.

Little gasps, catches in her cries driving him, pushing him towards that which he craves. His release…and hers. Holding back, holding on, iron will keeping him from lone completion. Her arch against him, becoming one, and a tightening around him, his cue, his redemption, his glory.

Two hearts beating in time. Fingers intertwined. Two souls, each touching another like no other ever will.

Now, please read the following lines. I changed the line breaks. I made a couple of suggestions in the body of the poem and changed a few punctuation marks. That is all. YOU are the one who wrote this outstanding poem. See for yourself:

”Two hearts beating in time.
Sensations ebbing and surging,
Yet filling each and climbing to new heights.(Filling each OTHER? Feeling? Unclear)
Fingers intertwined overhead,
Gripping each other and the silk beneath.
Emotions running high.

His touch.
Her feel, smooth, soft and slick.
Her taste, her honeyed skin,
Unlike any other, salty and sweet still.
Tousled, damp tresses, darkened in the dim light,
Whispering across his face,
Bringing her scent closer with them,
Hardening his every muscle further.

His eyes, filled with desire
And something else.
Something deeper, something more.
Husky, deep murmurs in the near silence,
urgings, taking her under, under his spell.
His wishes becoming her desires.
His weight, so much greater,
welcomed, treasured, even needed.

Teeth tease, nibble.
Tender kisses draw the hurt
From the sensitivity left behind.
Longings, heightened with each caress,
Add WITH every thrust.
Heat pooling, flooding, pounding,
Rising, engorging, bringing with it an urgency. (delete AN.)

Little gasps,
Catches in her cries driving him,
Pushing him towards that which he craves.
His release…and hers.
Holding back, holding on,
Iron will keeping him from lone completion.
Her arch against him,
Becoming one, and a tightening around him,
His cue, his redemption, his glory.

Two hearts beating in time.
Fingers intertwined.
Two souls,
Each touching another like no other ever will.

WHAT DID I TELL YOU? This is an accomplished poem, written in free style and will be the envy of all poets!

I like this poem. It’s real and tells of a relationship with open mind and heart. It touches the hidden panels of touching another soul with our mind as well as our bodies. All the power and energy of the persons involved run through the words to the surface and hit the reader. A powerful poem it is.

And please don’t say you can’t write poetry. I’ve just proved you wrong.


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Review by Hanna
In affiliation with The Coffee Shop for the Fantas...  
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Raid 4 U January 2012

Three types of darkness By the last cicada - Poem


My name is Hanna and I’m doing this review as part of CSFS’s Raid 4 U activity. I love reading poetry and my comments are given with no intent of hurting the poet’s feeling. My suggestions are merely suggestions and can be ignored, if you so wish.

Title: Fits the poem to a Tee. Has a good hook in it.

Form/style: The poem was written in free style, one fluent stanza of six lines.


I love this poem. It’s fresh, it has vibrancy and although it doesn’t divulge unknown facts about a third kind of darkness as was expected from the title (at least I did expect…), the facts are presented in a delightful way. Without rhyme, meter or stanzas, the poem flows beautifuly.

I found a few wording/spelling/punctuation issues:
1. Because the poem is short, I feel the lines need periods or commas at their ends.

2. Take a look at line 3:
“But worse than all the darkness you have known”

This is an unfinished sentence. The word BUT cannot be connected to the previous line and there is a part missing in the sentence - what is worse than all the darkness? The next line doesn’t give the answer because you used the word WORSE which is an adverb and you should have used WORST(adjective) for an answer… I would suggest turning this line into a question by adding 2 words like so:

But what is worse than all the darkness you have known? And the answer in the next line:
“The worst is when your eyes are torn”

3. Line 5

“Because now and on your own” - This line has no meaning. Either you skipped a word or two or typed something other than what you meant to type. I think the line should have been:
Because now you’re on your own. It makes sense reading the next line:

You are in the dark alone!

To summarize, an enjoyable poem, although it deals with a dark issue… I like the way it was written and with minor changes it will be SUPER!!!


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Review by Hanna
In affiliation with The Lords of High Fantasy  
Rated: E | (3.0)

Hi Sinem,

I’ve read your poem and here are my comments and suggestions. My review is given in the sole intent of helping you improve your work and I hope you’ll find it constructive.


A bit on the banal side. I would call it, giving it a mysterious pull for the reader: DOES IT EXIST ANYMORE? But this is only a suggestion.


The pink font color is wrong here, although you’re dealing with love. Your conclusion was negative towards the end of the poem. Try another color.

There is no need to put any space between lines in a poem other than between stanzas. If there are no stanzas, one space between lines is enough


The poem was written in free style with no meter and no rhyming. It also has no division into stanzas.

Grammar & Syntax

1. Line no. 4: I learned the hard way, was written twice in a sequence. It might have been fine had you divided the poem into stanzas, but as it is, it’s wrong.

2. The following lines need a bit of work, for the sentence structure is not good and the words lose some of their momentum:

“I tried to teach them,
what LOVE was,
what friendship was
oh I tried, Only,
to see them runaway”
- Running away is not what they did. They ignored the issue.

I would suggest:

I tried to teach them
What love and friendship were,
Oh, how I tried.
But they ignored the issue.

3. “the words, - delete comma, add colon.
I LOVE YOU!,” - Delete comma.

.4. ”overwhelms the population,
of this vast country,
of this small town,
they are only ready, - Delete the word ONLY, delete the comma
to throw it away.

5 ”I was 8 then
now Im 23, I grew up
Grammar- I’M ; Move: I GREW UP to the next line. Put a period after 23.

6. Put punctuation in the lines that follow.

7. My favorite lines are:
”I learned the hard way,
That in this vast country,
In this small town,
Respect for LOVE,
Was non existent,

To conclude this review, I would like to say that I find your poem interesting, refreshing and full of passion for the cause… The repetition of lines gives the poem extra strength and drives the message through.

You need to pay attention to punctuation and the form (style) of the poem. It is advisable to divide into stanzas, but not a “must”.

Post more of your work and I’ll have a look at it.

Well done.


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Review of 'Droid Void  
Review by Hanna
In affiliation with The Coffee Shop for the Fantas...  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hi David,

My name is Hanna and I doing this review as part of the CSFS Review Raid for November 2011, with Comedy as theme of reviewed items.

I love Sci-Fi and your title caught my eye. It is a lovely story, short but full of vibes.

In recent years, personification of robots has become popular thanks to the movie industry. We gave the robots not only a human character but intelligence too. I love it!

Your story is well written, flows nicely and comes to the predictable end. The “hook” you’ve planted in the first lines of your story was ingenious, for until the end I kept hoping the robot will find a way to save himself. It is a classical trick and it works each time. Well done.

In your introduction for the story you categorized it as Satire/comedy. I agree completely. Sci-Fi humor is often sarcastic and within the satire range. I’m not sure it is comedy as we perceive it, but still brings a smile to our faces.

I especially loved the robot’s complaints and wishing he’d been created as something else. This is typical human mannerism, when nobody is happy with what they’ve got. I loved it in you robot!

Keep writing, and I’m sure to visit your port again.


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