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Printed from http://www.writing.com/main/profile/reviews/hyperiongate
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6 Public Reviews Given
Public Reviews
1
1
Review by Hyperiongate
In affiliation with Let's Publish!  
Rated: 13+
Hi Winnie,

It's my pleasure to offer my opinion of Where Did Mama Go. I saw you had a star by it on the board.

I think I want to give my overall impressions first.

I learned something here about writing, reading and perspective. By the time I was half way through, I realized (at least I think I did) that this is a true story possibly meant to be shared with others going through the same ordeal; or possibly just to fill a need to relive a life through writing. Whatever it was, once I saw this wasn't a work of fiction, my whole outlook and appreciation changed. The traditional things that I look for in an entertaining story no longer applied. I started to read this as if you were telling me in a way that would help me to understand what you had gone through and that I was not alone.

Title: Loved it.

Plot: My observation here is that the plot was clear yet not evenly distributed. The first few paragraphs seemed to be more about introducing the family while later it was more about Mama's deteriorating condition. I think this may be intentional to set the stage for an appreciation of what was lost. However, if I didn't have the title as a guide, I would have been well into the story without being sure of the plot.

Style and voice: First person POV always appeals to me. It has that Stand By Me feel when reflecting back on the past.

Characters: There was Mama and you. Everyone else was fairly minimalized. I never quite "felt" the connection between you and her. I am not sure why this is. Her eyebrow expression was a great way to show something that you loved but missed. However, there were other things that put distance between you. She had a car incident, maybe. The was confrontation over groceries and the need to be secretive about the bills. Maybe this is the intent. (As I write this and realize that this may be a true story. Please forgive any offense that my observations may cause with regards to how I saw your relationship.) I see that you miss her but there is a lot of emphasis on conflict that lessens the feeling of loss for me. Now, if the intent is to demonstrate how difficult managing such a situation can be, then I think you are right on. Once again, this is a lesson for me on how this is perfect or not - depending on your intended audience.

Grammar: You have several sentences with over 30 words in them. These, while structurally correct (as far as I can tell) are a bit distracting in their length. Now, I love long sentences. The Teaching Company has a course on Constructing Great Sentences. I loved it. there is a lot more to it that correct punctuation. For example: One long sentence after another has a lulling effect. A long sentence followed by a short one has an impact. Anyway, you may want to take a few of the longer ones and see how they feel if you shorten them; or maybe just insert a short one that is not already there.

Overall, this is a great story that, I think, many of us can relate to.

Thanks for sharing it with me.

Jim
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2
Review of Pearl, Maybe  
Review by Hyperiongate
In affiliation with Let's Publish!  
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Hi Ben,

It is my pleasure to give you my opinion on this piece. Please keep in mind that any critique I give is only my humble attempt to explain what would have made the story better for me, and me alone.

Title: This is certainly a unique title and I think it was in keeping with the light humor of this story. However, and possibly because I was in the mood for action, it didn't really grab me and say, "Read On!!" Had I read this later in the day instead of between tasks at work, it probably would have suited my mood better.

Plot: This is basically a boy wants girl because he can't think of a better option. I love this kind of story. There is always a ring of truth to it because we guys are basically clueless anyway. The subtle humor that carried on throughout the story was great. If I were to critique this, it would be to strengthen the basic plot over those that would fight for attention. By this I mean, there was a little "Mother's boy" in there. Some "spoiled rich kid" and a dash of "How clueless can a guy really be." All of these contributed to the basic plot while, at the same time, made me think the story was about to turn more in their direction. I don't know if that makes sense or not.

Style and voice along with setting: I was never sure where this was taking place. It sounded British until, "Angela’s flat, as she liked to call it." If they really were in England, that statement would not be necessary. However, using terms like "blokes" says they are, in fact, in England. Also, and this is strange, the use of Honda Civic made me think United States. I'm sure they have those over there but...

Characters: I don't like Jeremy. That is actually a good thing. When I see a character that I really don't like and I'm not suppose to like, that means, to me, he/she is well developed.

Grammar: This is my weakest point so disregard if you have any doubt. the sentence, "While some blokes were independent and living the good life at twenty-four, Jeremy had not been lucky with his various jobs, and he depended on that allowance for his independence." had the word "independence" in it twice. I might suggest something like substituting the second one with pseudo-freedom or some other word.

Just my opinion: I always love to read your stories. I liked this one but if I could change only two things it would be to lose about 200 words and focus more on the negligence rather than the weather.

Cheers,

Jim

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