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Review of Stir Crazy  
Review by iguanamountain
In affiliation with WYRM  
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
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A review by iguanamountain "WYRM member of {A group for those dedicated to writing and reviewing speculative fiction..

Stir Crazy
by Let's have a sox to sox talk

Hello rinsoxy,
This is a review for Part 3 of Lodestar Contest based on your story from the
Part One Entry: Spaceman by J.B. Ezar
A man lives in a sealed habitat on a desolate planet, leaving it only for short walks in his spacesuit. He’s been there a long time, clinging to formal routine and scraps of his sanity. He starts seeing things: old colleagues come to visit him, people he buried years ago. Then unsuited strangers start coming to his base. Tired and desperate, he succumbs to his madness: he opens his airlock door, depressurizing it, and steps outside. He can breathe. Strangers are real.
A possible reveal
He’s still on Earth. Strangers are tourists at a newly opened desert national park. All this time, he’s been in a forgotten training facility, left behind after his space colonization program was revealed to be a scam and suspended.
This is a different kind of review because of the contest requires that the reviewer pay attention to how the stories are built around the ideas in Part One.

I believe you have followed the suggested story exactly as described. The emotion and detail is amazing as it all come to life.

>>> He grew his own nutrient slurries from the cultures they base had in stock.
First thing, you solved the food problem with cultures. I can imagine they must have tasted awful. Note that the word 'they' should be 'the' base.

>>> They had wandered off into the desolate landscape of this world, dying as the poisonous atmosphere slowly killed them.
This is the physical world as John believes it to be from his experience.

>>> a very convincing hallucination of Tom Roberts the mission commander stated.
The first appearance of a hallucination.

>>> It was really beginning to wear him down.
I think the emotional reaction to the 'visions' when they first appeared could be detail a bit more. He must have questioned his sanity and then justified it somehow because he's learned to accept or ignore them as a mental defense. (?)

>>> James frowned. Why did their emotions seem so real?
This is written as a James thought, which would be a POV head jump. John can hear dialogue and see them, but he can't know what the visions are thinking.

>>> The reason for the separation was the high levels of cyanide in the atmosphere.
Ha! Clever belief for John so the lack of pressure difference is justified. *thumpsup*

>>> He was shocked when he entered the main habitat and saw his mother sitting at the dining table. "
This would be the most challenging hallucination of all. Great.

>>> Somehow that was his way of denying they existed at all.
Perfect, but I wonder if this idea should be introduced earlier when he's first working out his mental defenses. (?)>that's me thinking. *Think*

>>> Too bad the cyanide content of the native soil meant he couldn't eat a bite of them.
This introduces something I question. Why would he bother to build a greenhouse outside if the soil was poisoned. Wouldn't he try to grow food inside.(?)

>>> Denying the hallucinations in this way helped him clutch on to the illusion of sanity.
Yes! Very clear and justifies all. *ThumbsUp*

>>> He hasn't been exposed to Covid or vaccinated so he is very susceptible.
Wow, I like that you have brought this into our real world.

>>> He just might as well step out there and let the cyanide rock him into the big nap.
The suicide decision (HUGE) could use a bit more dispair and giving up. (?) *Cry*

>>> No, this was his last walk, he headed off to the right of the habitat.
This is a very important idea (the new direction) To make it stronger can you have some high rocks or big sand dunes that he has to cross so we understand why he never saw beyond the barrier.

>>> There was a glass front door like what John remembered a convenience store to have. Inside was a snack bar and a counter filled with brochures.
I love this finding a very ordinary piece of the real world. Great plotting.

>>> "Holy...cow. That's you. You're John Garret! I have to call somebody!"
I like the lady's reaction, but what about John's. What is he thinking at this moment? (?)

>>> The woman removed the object from her ear and put it back in her pocket, "Do you want onions on that?"
I loved this last line of the story. It brings it back to something so ordinary and real.*Delight*

FINAL COMMENT: Loved the story. I wish we got a little more of John's emotional reactions as he finds the truth with the brochure and then the chili dog. After all that degusting slurry!
You have transformed the suggestion into a live, engaging story. Great job!
Best, Gale

*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
Review of The Cylinder  
Review by iguanamountain
In affiliation with WYRM  
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
WYRM's Logo as a badge for members.
A review by iguanamountain "WYRM member of {A group for those dedicated to writing and reviewing speculative fiction..

The Cylinder
by Lovina

Hello Lovina,
This is a review for Part 3 of Lodestar Contest based on your story from the
story suggestion by iguanamountain: Making an instant decision, Captain Robinet yelled, "We have to move now. Get the damn thing into the elevator. Emergency packs and weapons. Let's go."
The six military Specialists crowded into the freight elevator with the stainless steel cylinder, still on its wheeled rack, the life-monitor lights blinking orange on the power indicator. The elevator lurched and settled into a lifting grind. Jason, his eyes wide, said, "I came in the tunnel shuttle, I've never been topside. What's up there?"
I'm excited that you chose my trigger idea. It's so interesting to see where another writer will go from the limited, but specific information. *Delight*

And you jumped right in with a POV Sergeant and the cylinder in the elevator. The life monitor light was the major element of my suggestion and you have created a wonderful solution!

>>> He didn't want to tell him that he himself had only been to the surface once since coming to this planet.
World-building starts instantly. Tension and mystery about what might be on the planet surface.

>>>Three years ago. The only other time they had found a live specimen. Barely alive, but alive nonetheless.
Because of the previous two lines, I first assumed he found the live specimen on the surface and had to rethink in the next moment.
To make the story easier to understand it would help to have a small detail about where they found the live specimen. All I can guess at the moment is underground, and guessing again somewhere Earth humans do not go. (?)

>>>Boils filled with pus crowded their features and clothing could not hide the lumps created by the boils covering their entire bodies,
Oouu . . . lovely gross description. *Shock2*

>>>He realized then why they weren't allowed to visit the surface,
Consider putting a comma before the first 'why.'

>>>Then it all gushed out, the disgust, the horror, every detail. The men stared in disbelief.
This is absolutely the most emotional moment in the story and the justification for the ending. Consider holding back what happened the first time and let Robinet tell in in his own emotional words instead of the narrator telling us it gushed out. It would be infinitely more powerful.(?)>just me thinking.*Think*

>>>They said the inhabitants only had a couple of years left, tops."
There it is, the rest of the justification. *ThumbsUp*

>>> It looked a lot like a baby rabbit that had its ears lopped off.
Yes, but could the large eyes have a look of intelligence? (hope for the future).

>>>To sum it all up, maybe their version of Mother Nature is trying to rectify a mistake."
Add a question mark to the end of this sentence. He says maybe. *ThumbsUp*

>>>There was not a soul in sight.
Did everyone die off. They can't prove it, but maybe? Makes one think.

>>>Sgt. Robinet reached over and pushed the down button, no one objected.
Makes possibly a world-changing decision. Nature can rectify and the Earth soldiers can do the right thing.

FINAL COMMENT: This turns into a beautiful story with a very thoughtful ending.
Nicely written and should touch people who read it. Great job Lovina!
Best, Gale

*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
Review by iguanamountain
In affiliation with WYRM  
Rated: 18+ | (5.0)

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A review by iguanamountain --- member of "WYRM , A group for those dedicated to writing and reviewing speculative fiction.

Kaiba's Prostitute - Part 2
by K5Rakitan

Hello K5Rakitan, Here I am back to review Part-2.

(Chapter 6: The Lion's Den)

>>> When Joan got outside, Roland held the door to the limo open...
To make a better link from the previous chapter and a more active POV, I suggest:
>>> Outside the burger joint, Joan dropped her phone into her shoulder bag and aproached the Limosine. Roland held the door open...

>>> ...one hundred dollars Fridays through Sundays."
...one hundred dollars >on< Fridays through Sundays."

>>> Roland waited for a stoplight and then passed a handheld scanner from Joan's feet to her neck. He scrutinized the image. "That's a copper IUD, right?"
Very neat high-tech action at a stoplight yet. *Delight*

>>> He put everything back where he found it and glanced at the test strip. "
This examination sequence has some confusion. You establish they were in the limo's front seat, stopped at a stoplight. BUT all of the following action cannot happen while he's driving. So a transition is necessary to stop the vehicle and continue while parked, or something like that. (?)

>>> "OK."
Joan has a number or responses like this. Remember this is Joan's POV, it's her experience of Roland's examination of her and instructions and rules about the planned encounter. If she has no personal, private reactions to all this, she comes off as very two-dimensional and you miss an opportunity to expand our understanding of her character. She says, "OK" and "I guess, sure," but what is she really thinking? *Think*

>>> "What does he like, I guess?"
This sounds very unsure like a teenager. Joan is more professional than, I guess.
What if she said, "I'd really like to know what he likes." (?)

>>> "Oh. Uh . . . I mean does he like kissing and stuff?"
The same teenager kind of remark. What if she said:
"I mean, does he like kissing and tounge action?"

>>> Joan dropped her purse on a bedside table and texted Marc and Michael her location.
Not believable action if we're really with her.
>>> Joan retrieved her phone and dropped her backpack and purse on the bed. She texted Marc and Michael her location.

>>> ...and gazed into eyes a clearer blue than that of the bay outside the window.
This is the first image of Kaiba. The -bay outside the window- is a writer's cliche. If you saw him through her eyes and mind, what would his eyes do to her emotions?

*Ninja*> Sorry, I'm being picky about everything around Kaiba. He's a powerful character and in this chapter we're with a very naked Joan who is seeing and feeling his hands up close. Her reaction will enhance his power and our comprehension of his presence. *BigSmile*

>>> Kaiba shoved Joan backwards and pinned her to the bed.
Complete the action and image:
Kaiba shoved Joan backwards and pinned her to the bed >with his body.<

>>> Joan struggled a little but remained calm, analyzing his body, conserving her energy.
This is the first aggressive action. Think about this...
What is he wearing?(silk shirt) What will she feel when his body weight presses into her bare flesh (silk, leather, belt, slick fabric???) There has to be smell. What does Kaiba smell like up close, plus his breath. This is FIRST CONTACT! Readers want to know. Joan can show us through her experience of the moment. Is he pinning her arms and hands? Does it hurt? Is he very heavy?
*Ninja*> Note dangerous, passive words like 'analyzing' and 'conserving' . . . this is her first moments with Kaiba. Is it pleasureable, alarming? What does she do to remain calm? Is that a strategy, or startled fear? Be Joan and show us what it's like. *Shock2*

>>> She spotted triumph creeping over Seto's features and swiftly flipped him onto his back.
Here we know the 'pinning' does not include hands and arms. But we wonder how she does the flip. Press herself up and shove his shoulder to flip him onto his back as she climbs on top of him.(?) And the first time you use his first name in this chapter add Seto 'Kaiba' so there's no confusion.

>>> Speechless, Seto gazed up at her. The delicate, unadorned lashes. The cushiony, bare lips. Innocence and insolence interfacing seamlessly. He finally whispered, "Show me how you fuck him."
This just jumped into Kaiba's POV and that's not possible. Shift it to Joan's POV:
>>> Seto gazed up at her, blue eyes searching. "Insolent and yet so innocent--all at the same time." He paused, then whispered, "Show me how you fuck him."

(Chapter 7: The Morning After)

>>> Seto woke to panicked knocking and an arm draped over his torso. "Mr. Kaiba! Are you all right?" Roland's voice boomed through the bedroom door.
Great start to chapter. We already have an idea what happened. *ThumbsUp*

>>> His and Joan's mingled sweat would have to stay, for now.
Detail shows a lot.

>>> However, he'd been so exhausted by the end of it that he'd collapsed and shut his eyes, just for a moment, and then Roland was pounding on the door.

>>> ...Seto Kaiba!"
Lose the exclamation. If you need, say: With a wide gesture, he announced, "Seto Kaiba."

>>> "You um, kinda smell."
Chapter ends with my smile. I liked the more honest speech and added support for Mokuba. It was like going to a writer's conference.

(Chapter 8: Dumpster Dice Monsters)

>>> "Yes, sir." Roland had not been blind to his boss' transformation. For one thing, he'd never known Seto to sleep in, much less in the same bed as a whore. Seto didn't want them to get clingy. He'd occasionally ask for "one of the good ones" to be brought to his mansion in Japan, but he never had anyone in particular in mind. Roland kept a list of those who seemed to put Seto in a good mood for such occasions.
Please see that this jumps to Roland's POV, which you cannot do. At this point all you can use is: "Yes, sir."

>>> Duke smiled. "Great! See you there."
No problems with the Duke-Seto sequence. Dialog flowed.

(Chapter 9: Clubbing)

>>> Mokuba knocked on the door to Joan's second-floor apartment.
Definitely establishes Mokuba as the POV character for this chapter.
Watch out for POV jumps...

>>> Joan answered the door in the glittering one-sleeved dress that Marc had bought for her.
First off think POV.*Think* Mokuba could not know that Marc bought the dress. So let's put this opening moment into Mokuba's experience only:
>>> Joan answered the door in a glittering one-sleeved dress. Her smoky eyes greeted him and scanned him from toe to head with a slight pause at his leather covered crouch. "I love that look on you."

Mokuba gulped. "Ah. . . thanks. You look amazing. I'm sorry, this is still really new to me."

*Ninja*> (Keep thinking--His experience, not her's.)
>>> "Relax." Joan pulled Mokuba in for a hug and pressed her sleek body warm against him. "Just let me know if anything isn't working for you and we can change it." She drew back and smiled warmly.

>>> "Oh, uh, hi?" Mokuba replied.
First view of Michelle...What does Mokuba see? He's gotta be more than just a voice.

>>> Joan took Mokuba's arm and headed towards the stairs.
Add one thing to complete your intro...
>>> Slipping a black purse over her shoulder, Joan took Mokuba's arm and pulled him towards the stairs.

>>> Again, the conversation remained restricted to light topics. With all the scenery flashing by outside the windows, Joan had an endless supply of inspiration.
POV jump>>> One to delete unless you have something about Mokuba driving.(?)

>>> Music pounded through the sound system as they stepped up to a long, glossy wooden bar where Joan ordered a ginger ale.
Get it specific to Mokuba rather than 'they'.
>>> Music pounded through the sound system as Mokuba guided her up to a long, glossy wooden bar where Joan ordered a ginger ale.

>>> Joan recognized one of Marc's friends dressed as Dark Magician Girl shaking her cute little bubble butt on the central pole. Her pink and blue off-the-shoulder costume displayed generous cleavage. Joan waved, but had forgotten the cosplayer's name, so she didn't engage her in conversation.
POV Jump>>>This calls for a rewrite: Narration becomes live action:
>>> "Oh, I know her."


"The one dressed like Dark Magician Girl."

Mokuba checked out the cute little bubble butt in pink and blue on the central pole. "Yeah, big boobs."

She's one of Mark's friends, but I don't remember her name.

"Come on." He pulled her forward.

= = = = = = =

>>> "It's the life!"
The dialog scene goes OK, but lose the exclamation point.

>>> She stood up and pulled Mokuba onto a nearby balcony.
(lots of clubs have indoor balconies.)
>>> She stood up and pulled Mokuba out the nearest door to an outside balcony.

>>> "Guilty as charged." Joan's smile, however, radiated no guilt.
Good clean discussion about Brothers. And her honesty is entertaining.

>>> "Hey." Mokuba searched for what to say next, but nothing came. He was in uncharted territory but could tell she knew the way.
Somehow this has the feeling that it could develop into more than a casual relationship. Interesting.

>>> He kidnapped me when I was a child to lure my brother into a duel and stole our souls in an attempt to resurrect his dead wife."
Instead of 'stole' it should be 'steal' our souls... I assume it did not happen.

>>> Let's have a little chat," Pegasus invited.
The chapter ends setting up the next one...

(Chapter 10: The Orgy)

>>>"Rumor has it that last Friday, you treated your vibrant and diverse," Pegasus stopped to giggle, "your vibrant and diverse office staff to an," Pegasus giggled again, and this time the other businessmen joined him, "to an orgy!"
(See if this works better & without the exclamation point.)
>>> "Rumor has it that last Friday you treated your vibrant and diverse . . ." Pegasus stopped to giggle, ". . . your vibrant and diverse office staff to an . . ." Pegasus giggled again, and this time the other businessmen joined him, ". . . to an orgy."

>>> "Rumor has it that last Friday, you treated your vibrant and diverse--" Pegasus stopped to giggle, "--your vibrant and diverse office staff to an--" Pegasus giggled again, and this time the other businessmen joined him, "--to an orgy."

>>>"And that's not even the best part!
"And that's not even the best part.


>>>"Go! Go!" Mokuba screamed at the driver.
They might accept the exclamations because he screams... (?)

>>>"My husband," Joan corrected.
Oh, great surprise. Good plotting! *ThumbsUp*

>>>"It was all a joke gone horribly wrong," Mokuba began.
Not a joke, but spin it for the Media.

FINAL COMMENT: Excellent action for the ending. The two brothers working together, although briefly, had a nice feeling. Seto was more aggressove in this last part. However Mokuba is becoming more detailed and really a good guy under it all. Now I wonder if Joan has finally found her mythical brothers she's always dreamed about. I liked that she told about the Tibetian tradition. And culture of the style of Yu-Gi-Oh! fan fiction seems consistant with the really bad guys and their actions. Sometimes Seto needs more visual details to help reader images. I caution about the POV jumping within chapters. It's just a basic No-No for writers. If it's really important, add a *** break and let the new character carry the scene after being identified. Enjoyed this.
Best, Gale
Image #2010471 over display limit. -?- Image #2118570 over display limit. -?-

*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
Review by iguanamountain
In affiliation with WYRM  
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)

Formal cover for iguanamountain
A review by iguanamountain --- member of "WYRM , A group for those dedicated to writing and reviewing speculative fiction.

Kaiba's Prostitute
by K5Rakitan

Hello K5Rakitan,
The following will be my reaction and comments to your story. The review is long to cover the 5 chapters.

(Chapter 1: Introductions)
>>> Joan stepped off Caltrain with her phone in hand,
Very clear that this is the third-person POV protagonist character.

>>> The tall, Filipino descendant of Genghis Khan strode towards her on the platform, a prince of this urban jungle.
A second character introduced. Good image of Marc.

>>> ...and escorted her through the town as she worried about office etiquette.
Awkward tagging her 'worried' onto Mark's action. Better she ask a question. (?)

>>> Marc led Joan through the maze of desks to the only other familiar face in the room: his wife Laura.
Now the first hint of the polyamory theme. The lack of reaction is noted showing acceptance of the relationship.

>>> Laura’s middle-aged features were smoothed by flawless makeup and an impeccably clean-cut Italian stood beside her chair. Joan tried to get a good look without staring too hard.
Please note that this is passive narrator voice rather than Joan's view and reaction to Laura and her companion.

>>> Marc kissed Laura and Joan exchanged nods with her. “Matteo has a theory on Dark Magician Girl,” Laura said.
A couple of points here: The first sentence is Marc's action connected with 'and' to Joan's action. Feels divorced from Joan's POV and more like a narrator's voice. The second sentence is Laura's live dialog with a tag. Her dialog really should be a new paragraph. Now the reference to 'Dark Magician Girl' would pull a reader out of the story to wonder what that might mean. The fact that the company develops video games is never introduced. When they first enter the building Joan could see a small sign. (?)*Smile*

>>> Joan admired the dents and scratches, wondering how many hours he had spent with the thing.
See, this is perfect live POV thought. We learn something about Marc and about Joan's knowledge.

>>> ...but the CEO wants his face on everything.
The first fact about 'the CEO' ... yet to be named.

>>> “You’ll probably want to steer clear of my brother. He only fucks prostitutes and won’t get a real girlfriend because he’s afraid of gold diggers.”
Great background information about his brother (Kaiba is last name)

>>> “Well, Joan only fucks married men,” Marc said with a grin.
Is this a joke or true? We wonder.

>>> “One of my Michaels isn’t married,” Joan corrected. “I’m steering clear of divorced men, though.
Which she confirms immediately that she has multiple partners, but not that she might be a pro.

>>> “Later,” Marc said. He then led Joan over to...
Note that 'led Joan' is being repeated too many times. Find other ways to say. (?)

>>> ...to anyone who would listen.
It's a wrap up to the chapter that ends sort of nowhere. It really needs a reaction from Joan. Maybe she's not going to listen to anything that boring. (?)

(Chapter 2: That One)
>>> Seto stepped out of a limo onto a quaint street lined with intricately detailed three-story buildings.
New character as third-person POV. Not sure yet, he might be the Antigonist. *Think*
Beginnings of a location description.

>>> Before Roland could reply, Seto was assaulted by a “Big brother!” call from Mokuba.

For serious writers, intending on publication. The big editors frown on any use of the excalmation point. They warn that they stop reading if they see one within the first 3 chapters and suggest that they'll allow maybe three used throughout an entire novel for wild, extreme screaming. If the dialog is correct, the emotion is understood.

>>> “Better,” Seto admitted.
Not sure they would accept 'admitted' as a dialog tag. Better to be an action: Seto nodded. "Better."

*Ninja*> The idea is that a dialog tag should rarely try to explain the dialog. The words and the action should be what shows the meaning.

>>> Rob stuck out a hand for Seto to shake, which he reluctantly took. “Hey bro, amped to finally meet you. How long are you going to be in Cali?”
This is a good example I want to breakdown for you. The first sentence is passive narration creating a separation from the POV of a very interesting character. Consider a more specific timeline & a deeper reaction that launches our perception of Seto:
>>> “Hey bro, amped to finally meet you." Rob stuck out a hand for Seto to shake.
(new paragraph:)
>>> With a reluctant flash of his eyes, Seto accepted the offered hand for the shortest moment. He internally flinched at the touch of warm sweat.
(new paragraph:)
>>> "How long are you going to be in Cali?”

>>> “Noted.” Mokuba led Seto over to Laura and Matteo.
Please note that 'led' is being repeated again. I say never again. Find another way to guide or gesture the transition to new action.

>>> It’s going to take a month to approve our application,” Mokuba lied.
The 'Mokuba lied.' is a POV slip—out of Seto's knowing.

>>> “Seto, no! That’s my art director’s girlfriend, and you already threatened to fire his wife!”
*Shock2* Two exclamation points. Not necessary---replace with periods.

>>> He jerked his arm out of Mokuba’s grasp and strode past the chattering game developers towards his target.
Great ending for chapter.

(Chapter 3: The Deal)
>>> Marc slid a hand around Joan’s waist and pulled her close.
As it turns out, Joan is the POV character to start this chapter, which means her name needs to start the chapter:
>>> Seeing the intense-eyed man approach, Joan moved closer to Marc. His hand slid around her waist and pulled her close...

>>> He enjoyed watching the emotions flicker across her face as she crunched the numbers.
Written this way, it is a POV slip. To stay with Joan, what are the emotions?
>>> Cautious surprise flickered across her face as she crunched the numbers.

>>> “Oh . . . OK. Wait, are you talking tonight? Because I’m already spoken for tonight. Unless you happen to be into threesomes,” she added hopefully.
This opening dialogue is flowing great. I got the feeling that she started off almost joking and he switched to serious very fast. Cool. Her casualness is entertaining. This paragraph needs to delete the 'hopefully' adverb. The dialog says it all without the tagged explanation.

*Ninja*> Remember the big editors hate the 'ly' adverbs. Never use them unless absolutely necessary.

>>> Joan smiled with her lower lip between her teeth and Seto’s cock pulsed again. “K thanks bye.” Seto rushed back to Mokuba and Roland.
OK, now there's a big problem about the POV. *Worry* In order to shift POV within a chapter, you have to insert a break: *** And then start the new POV with the different character identified. Otherwise readers get confused and editors say, "rewrite." So delete the above paragraph.

*Ninja*> Only one POV character is allowed in a scene or sequence without a break or new chapter.
(after the break...)
>>> Roland looked up to see Seto rushing away from Joan and Marc. Seto's pants had a tell-tale bulge.
(So now, Roland is the POV character.) *Smile*

>>> As soon as Seto was out of sight, Roland sighed. “I hate cleaning up after his messes.”
See, by this line it is solid that Roland has the POV, meaning what he sees, hears and feels is what you are showing.

>>> If she does, don’t tell me how much it costs. I don’t want to think about how much I’m paying her. As long as it’s a reasonable rate, I’ll trust you to manage it.”
One of the things about this polyamorus life style is the absolute casualness about any kind of emotion other than an almost pure sexual drive. I don't find it offensive, just kind of empty and narrow in how relationships might work.

>>> Roland nodded to the driver as he took it and then made his way back up the narrow staircase.
It's an OK wrapup for the chapter, but Roland's personal thought while carrying the briefcase up the stairs would add some depth. *Think*

(Chapter 4: Shopping)
>>> Joan's weekend with Marc was a whirlwind of grappling in bed, ....
Joan is the new POV for this chapter and I guess the location is Marc's apartment.

>>> "I see. May I suggest the costume shop on Bargain Boulevard?".
Tacky clerk ... *ThumbsUp*
This chapter is flowing along without problems.

>>> "Hello Ms. Saunders," Roland greeted..
You see, the 'greeted' is explaining something that is so obvious from the words. Try 'said.'

>>> While they ate, Marc texted his wife about the situation. "Have you told Michael you're not coming home tonight?".
Confusing because the question is not in the text for his wife. Better add:
>>> To Joan he said, "Have you...etc..

>>> Joan swatted Marc's arm playfully.
Easy, good-natured ending for a chapter that flowed nicely.

(Chapter 5: That Stupid Banner)
>>> After lunch, Marc and Joan went to a park, where he showed her some stick fighting basics. They were still going through drills when Mokuba arrived. The raven-haired man stood quietly watching until Joan noticed. "Oh, hey!"

Just a little confusion about who has the POV, and it should be Mokuba, which takes a bit of re-arranging and lose the exclamation point:
>>> Makuba, unnoticed, stood quietly watching Mark and Joan going through some stick fighting basics. Joan looked around the park and spotted him. "Oh, hey."

(Makuba has the third-person POV)

*Ninja*> I see a problem coming up. There is some POV head hopping between Joan and Makuba. In a single scene it only can be ONE POV character. If there is a jump to another character, there must be a ***break. Watch out...

>>> Joan watched Marc walk away and focused on preserving the memory of his touch. He never kissed her goodbye, only hello. Turning back to Mokuba, she slung her backpack and purse over one shoulder. "So what's the plan?"
(Too soon to switch, so adjust...)
>>> Joan watched Marc walk away, then turning back to Mokuba, she slung her backpack and purse over one shoulder. "So what's the plan?"

>>> Joan eyed the almost-stranger before her. He dressed casually in jeans and a striped shirt, approachable. The best way to make him less of a stranger was to get closer to him. "OK, let's start with a hug. Americans do that a lot."
( And here's the next one:)
>>> "Well you look approachable, so how about we make you less of a stranger and start with a hug. Americans do that a lot."

>>> Joan couldn't put into words most of what she felt while hugging him, but it was a nice hug once he loosened up. She settled for saying, "That you need more practice. Are you a virgin?"
(And another POV slip)
>>> "Ah...It was a nice hug, but I think you need more practice. Are you a virgin?"

>>> The practice struck Joan as a public humiliation tactic, but at least it was more benign than the backstabbing she'd experienced at her erstwhile internship. "Why don't you ask Marc and Laura to hang out sometime?"
(I not sure how important these thoughts are for Mokuba's past history dialog.)
>>> Joan laughed. "Nothing like a little humiliation, but better than anywhere I've worked. Why don't you ask Marc and Laura to hang out sometime?"

>>> Joan felt that she had gathered enough information from Mokuba to go on. "In that case, maybe we should start over."
(Not such a biggie:)
>>> Joan thought for a moment, smiled, and said, "In that case, maybe we should start over."

>>> Joan suppressed a giggle at his stated preference for American food. "I passed a place that looked good earlier. It's not far," Joan gestured north.
(simple change:)
>>> Joan suppressed a giggle. "I passed a place that looked good earlier. It's not far," Joan gestured north.

>>> The conversation went on like that as they ordered food and stuffed their faces, sticking to surface-level topics. Joan refrained from mentioning her other guys as they got an overview of each other in terms of favorite colors, animals, cities they'd visited, and music.
(Just a deletion:)
>>> The conversation went on like that as they ordered food and stuffed their faces, sticking to surface-level topics like favorite colors, animals, cities they'd visited, and music.

>>> Several times now, Joan had noted the use of the term "guardian" and decided to avoid asking about his parents. That conversation could be saved for a later date. "You know, I've never been clubbing. Most of my friends are too nerdy to do that with me."
(Delete her thought:)
"You know, I've never been clubbing. Most of my friends are too nerdy to do that with me."

>>> ...but I never got to, you know, just dance, like to popular music and stuff."
I'd say this is the end of Mokuba's POV... so BREAK:

>>> Several times now, Joan had noted the use of the term "guardian" and decided to avoid asking about his parents. ... etc...
(Joan is now POV character.)

>>> She slipped Mokuba a business card with her phone number on it and gave him a peck on the cheek before scampering away.
End of the chapter and I think a new relationship has been established. Mokuba really opened up to her.

FINAL COMMENT: I'm not sure. This final POV switch might not be necessary and just stay in Mokuba's experience. This was a great backstory and character development for Mokuba in this last chapter. Joan is a very likable person with a lot of empathy for others. The character of Seto is a little soft. I would expect more of his built-in arrogance and enjoyment of shocking and surprising people with his negative reaction and cruelty. Sometimes he comes off as slightly two-dimensional. I think I would enjoy being deeper into his mind. *BigSmile* When writing for an in-depth POV character you have to put your writer's mind inside their brain and see, hear and feel what they do. It's like "Who's got the camera?" Lots of good stuff in this story and the characters are all there. Let them play. (email me if you have questions)
Best, Gale
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Review of Peach Bottom  
Review by iguanamountain
In affiliation with WYRM  
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
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A review by iguanamountain --- member of WYRM, in-depth reviewers and novelists.

Peach Bottom
by Jackie Snax

Hello Jackie! Welcome to WYRM. I'm Gale or iguanamountain. I do my own version of in-depth reviews working chronologically through your material and always place a copy of the referenced line first so you know where I am...and it's easys to find. If I put a (?), it's just means it's me thinking beyond what you've written. Writing novels is very exciting and very difficult; it's the ultimate of creativity and a technical-structure nightmare. Finding your own balance within all of it is the challenge! Here we go...

Prologue -

>>> It was the second home she had lost.

>>> That was the first thought Tye had, stretched out on the highway, her blood sinking down into the porous, cracked up tarmac. The second was that there were more homes than those two, and here she was again, too late in recognizing it. Another was being lost as she bled.

I only went as far as the first line and the first paragraph. Now look at what I've written below. It is only one potential version. Can you see the difference?

>>> That's the second home I've lost...

It's Tye's first thought as she lay stretched out on the highway, her blood sinking down into the porous, cracked tarmac. Her second thought--But there were more homes than those two...and here I am again...too late to recognize it. I'm bleeding and I'm losing another one!

I tried to minimize the narration and jump the moment into Tye's mind.

*Star* Definition: If you are active, you are doing something. In a sentence written in active voice, the subject of the sentence is doing the verb.
Definition: If you are passive, something is done to you. In a sentence written in passive voice, the subject of the sentence is having the action of the verb done to it by something else. Sound complicated...it is! To put it in better words:
For the most part, you probably want to write in the active voice when possible. That’s because sentences written in active voice are generally clearer, more direct, and more compact.
The main problems with passive voice, then, are as follows:
It can be wordy. A lot of the time, passive voice requires awkward, lengthy, convoluted sentences instead of short, punchy, straightforward ones.
Most of the time, moving passive voice sentences to active voice will tighten your prose, make it more readable, and as a result confuse your readers less.

*Star* When you begin creating a story, the object is to get the story down into words, one way or another. So everything ends up 'was this and were that', because it's fast. The images, action, dialogue are mostly all there, but the word structure is not in a finished form for a yet-to-be-published novel.

Now the words 'was' and 'were' are not the final indicators of Passive Voice and sometimes they are appropriate and correct, but they do produce red flags to check.

>>>>>Do this: Under Edit, choose Find & Replace, In 'Search for' enter 'was', and choose 'Find All'. While they are showing highlight with yellow and Save. They become your little red flags to check and shockingly see paragraphs sprinkled with flags. You can do the same with 'were'. Now they all are not passive indicators you have to study carefully and be creative. It will stretch your brain to find new ways to bring the story to life! Once you see and understand the process you will never write the same again.

>>> Heat was a slow river over the road.
(simple switch of placement)
Heat flowed over the road like a slow river.

>>>...the green and the blue, every shade of human grey susceptible to the raw power of green and blue.
I like the use of colors as images. Maybe a bit clearer if you said 'human-made' grey. (?) I had to stop for a moment to figure what you meant.

>>> She b}was watering the future with her blood, her blood.
She watered the future with her blood, her blood.
This is a very striking image-idea.

>>> She b}was going to stay here, somehow, and that b}was alright. Oh, that b}was more than alright.
Stronger verbs might help...(?)
>>> She intended to stay here, somehow, and that seemed alright. Oh, that felt more than alright.

>>> Pavement broke under the force of vegetation. Human roads and houses were flimsy to face it. And in that moment, Tye didn’t mind. She could feel nature hatching underneath her, cracking that road, ready to take it all back, and that b}was fine, fine, fine. It b}was all already lost, anyway. Lost, like Peach Bottom.
Oh, I like this idea-concept very much. I see so much of that happening in
Belize where the salt air corrodes all the metal and wood, then the jungle plants take everything back. And it makes a good introduction to Peach Bottom.

>>> “So many fireflies,” (paragraph)
>>> “Half our food came from the back garden, (paragraph)
Really rich, textured descriptions. *ThumbsUp*

>>> ...and sometimes meat whenever someone b}was slaughtering a pig or something.
Needs a comma after 'meat' and try 'whenever someone 'slaughtered' a pig...

>>> “The stars looked like spilled milk,” this b}was her favorite,
>>>Then she'd say her favorite. “The stars looked like spilled milk, so bright!”

>>> So bright, all the freckles were, but beyond those, space b}was all so thick you could see this creamy haze right down the middle, where the milky way stretched. Suns and planets - bright white mist, from horizon to horizon.”
It's all there, just needs some re-ording and a new verb. It's beautiful.
>>> All the freckles were so bright, but beyond those, space looked so thick you could see...etc.

>>> But it couldn’t really be true, because logically she knew that by 2031, the year of her birth, at least where Peach Bottom, PA b}was, light b}was everywhere.
Ah ha! That means we're now into the 2040's. And adjust maybe like this:
>>> ...at least in Peach Bottom, PA's location, the light has invaded everywhere.

>>> ...the sky b}was the carnage of something bigger...
...the sky 'represented' the carnage of something bigger...

>>> - a double whammy, her being a Black Christian and Zenia a white Jew, their togetherness not nearly heterosexual enough even on top of its basic un-holyness.
I believe this is the human core of this story paralleled with the location and the survival mode. Complex and good world-building.

>>> She hadn’t known she’d take herself with her.
Very deep, and interesting that she now knows...

>>> It b}was kind of a lie, though, to say her town b}was ‘destroyed.’ One of the only lies Tye b}was capable of telling without shaking and dropping her eyes - because it b}was also true. It b}was true, even if it b}wasn’t true in the way the city folk who half-listened to her fiercely nostalgic ramblings believed it b}was.
Paragraphs like this are crying to be totally rewritten. *Worry*
You are 'telling' about an important element of Tye's character. Why not a dialogue scene where she actually shows her capabilities of lying --- contrasted with her inner flashes of the truth?

>>> Tye had been in middle school herself during that first burst of patriotic sacrifice. (entire paragraph)
Note that this narration becomes generic and way beyond Tye's experience...UNLESS YOU SHOW SOME OF IT. The 'telling' becomes all very similar about the bad times. They are not personalized to Tye. I fear readers will early on catch the mood and tone and then skip ahead looking for actual story material. Realize that it becomes living story material when it is shown through Tye's eyes and emotions. (Sorry, I started to lecture) *FacePalm*

>>> Tye had gone home once, after the war, back when Dom was still alive and she was pregnant and she knew her parents were dead but she’d hoped, just hoped, that maybe one of her brothers or her auntie Kaye or someone had kept their little trailer by the river whole and safe.
This is one sentence with how many images and ideas strung together?
And it's followed by four dense paragraph blocks of narrative detail. Don't get me wrong, the writing of the language is good, BUT how much of it could be focused into Tye actually arriving, looking around and finding the abandoned trailer...and the moment she walks inside. (?) In real time sharing her emotional reactions.

(Now this caught my eye)
>>> “It was never quiet. Not like here, though - no traffic. Crickets, cicadas - Oh! You’ve never heard cicadas. No lie - they scream. It’s a mating call, but it sounds like screaming. HEY SWEET THIIIIING,’ Tye’d bellowed once at a smaller, babier Xena in winter, blankets hung over all the windows and a space heater between them, soft and orange, a gentle glow on her chubby face. Xena’s eyes wide and shining, wondered rapture like she was hearing about dragons or faeries or something else that couldn’t exist.
This is a real living memory, full of energy and life. Needs a close quote after 'THIIIIIING'. The difference is amazing! *BigSmile*

>>> That was right before she got the job at AedosDynamic. She was still doing the preliminary work, then - making money any way, every way, hoarding it, saving for her first initial payment to the woman in the Microsoft tower, who’d agreed to let Tye use her address while applying for jobs for a ‘small’ price, and then later, as a surprise, for an additional monthly fee.
Again, all ONE sentence. Too many ideas for a reader to string together. And this begins to sound like the introduction to Chapter-1 and the real story of this book. (?) The world-building is good and tweaks my interest.

FINAL COMMENT: Okay Jackie, I have no doubt about your ability to write and truly create. I see brilliant moments in this prologue where a vibrant active voice flashes out, but I also felt overwhelmed by well written narration centered around a basic theme of bad times now and good times remembered.
*Star* I fear you are going to hear more about why a prologue? Is it necessary? Cannot some of the historical background be incorporated into the actual story?
I faced the same problem when I started Knights of Sparrow with a long historical background. Finally had to cut the prologue and only include a short paragraph to begin my first chapter. For certain, your dialogue sections are not dull or passive, they're wonderful. That's your strength! Now I'm anxious to get into the real story soon.
Best, Gale

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Review of Delta 07  
Review by iguanamountain
In affiliation with WYRM  
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)

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A review by iguanamountain --- member of WYRM, in-depth reviewers and novelists.

by Ember


Hi Ember, Final review of this batch for Delta 07.

>>> Jonathan jumped out of the shower...
Opening paragraph = dull narration and my usual encouragement for you to get inside Jonathan's head. Note that the phrase: 'moving toward' is used twice.
Why not he gets dressed in one sentence and then looks in the mirror to check how he looks. THEN we see him through his eyes. Does he have doubts, likes, wishes? What is he about to do? Obviously this is for a planned event.

>>> He unlocked and opened the door and there Alexandra stood, next to the stairs with her jacket on and patiently waiting for him.
Is it significant that he locked the bathroom door? Was he afraid Alexandra would jump him in the shower? *Shock* Otherwise it's an unnecessary detail. (Simplify)
Opening the bathroom door he found Alexandra patiently waiting next to the stairs with her jacket on.

>>> “Miss me?” He heard her ask playfully.
...'he heard' makes distance from the reader... This is a two person scene. Let them be together.
“Miss me?” she asked playfully.
Jonathan smiled, crossing the hall. “Maybe.” Giving her a hug, he said, “Are you ready?”

>>> Jonathan slammed his hand on the biometric...
This paragraph is nicely written with active voice. The solarium is an important element and where it is stored is a good high-tech thing. Like this.

>>> By the time he had reached the top and made sure that the stairs had closed all the way, he looked to his side to see Alexandra give him a nod.
>>> “She just pulled into the driveway.”
(Put it together.)
>>> He reached the top, making sure the stairs closed completely just as Alexandra called, “She just pulled into the driveway.”

>>> ...hopped into Mrs. Potts’ car,
>>> Jonathan hopped out first...
Double use of 'hopped', plus it's kind of silly. Most people get in or get out, or slide in and slide out, or step out of automobiles.

>>> Jonathan noted of a smile erecting on Mrs. Potts’ face and he could only guess why.
(Too many extra words.)
Jonathan noted a smile on Mrs. Potts’ face; he could only guess why.

>>> Room 624 was quiet when they had arrived.
(Passive and wordy paragraph, some action out of order)
>>> When they arrived, Alexandra gently knocked on the door to room 624.

In the hallway, Jonathan spotted the doctor he had spoken to before. The man looked up from a clipboard making eye contact. Jonathan didn’t blink, only issued a silent nod and the doctor acknowledged the nod and went back to his notes as he walked away.

Jonathan felt Alexandra’s pull. They walked into the quiet room, whispering, “Hi.” to Mrs. Daniels. He watched Alexandra give Mrs. Daniels a long hug, debating whether she meant to console Mrs. Daniels or herself. They both needed it.

>>> It was the first time he had hugged someone that he didn’t know,
(make it active)
For the first time he hugged someone he didn't know, but thanks to Alexandra, he knew he could do it.
Like that Johnathan is learning to socialize. *ThumbsUp*

>>> Mrs. Daniels’ sniffles grew louder in his chest and before long, she was crying in his arms.
Mrs. Daniels' sniffles grew louder, then she began crying in his arms.

>>> Alexandra, with her own frail expression, nodded her head and he saw her make her best attempt to smile.
Note you used 'her' three times in one sentence.
Alexandra nodded with a frail expression, making her best attempt to smile.

>>> His hand rubbed her back and let her cry.
This means his hand let her cry? *Confused*
He rubbed her back and let her cry.

>>> Jonathan analyzed her, seeing that Dera had lost nearly all her hair and her skin was pale. Jonathan touched her hand to feel that it was colder than normal.
Jonathan studied Dera, seeing the pale skin and loss of nearly all her hair. He felt her hand, which seemed to be colder than normal.

>>> As Jonathan stared more at Dera’s body, he barely saw her breathing.
...'stared' and 'barely saw' in the same sentence?
...he observed her shallow breathing.

>>> Just at the sight of her, Jonathan cursed himself for not being faster with his work. He knew the Solarium took time to take to whatever processes surrounded it, but he didn’t know how long it took before it set in the metal. A part of him wasn’t sure if he took enough time at all and he doubted if the Solarium would even work.
All of this is telling us what he is thinking. Why not let him think for himself. His thoughts would be more interesting and exciting because they might reveal some emotional feelings.

>>> It didn’t take another analysis for him to know that Dera Daniels was on her last breaths and if she died, regardless of the circumstances, he would take fault for not acting quick enough.
You don't need a summary of his thoughts if you let us experience his living
thoughts! *Smile*

*Star* I have experienced a number family and close friends dying from the disastrous treatment of chemotherapy and the follow-up drugs. Seeing them shrink down to almost a bald skeleton is heartbreaking. A lot of people can associate with this part of the story.

>>> It was his fullest intention of placing it on the bed stand next to Dera and leaving it at that, but he knew there was a chance that she may not wake up.
Another passive sentence that needs work.
>>> He fully intended to place it on the bed-stand next to Dera and leave it at that. But he had to face the chance that she might not wake up.

>>> “Mrs. Daniels, may I?” He asked.
Dialogue tag, no cap.

>>> He leaned over and held the necklace opening and placed over Dera Daniels head and around her neck, letting the shard rest on her neck.
We have to assume the necklace chain is long enough to fit over her head without a clasp. But then it would reach to her chest. Plus if on her neck, she would never be able to see it if she did wake up. (e:Worry)
>>> He leaned over and held the necklace open, slipping it over Dera Daniels head letting the shard rest on her (neck) chest.

>>> “Happy Valentine’s Day, Miss Daniels.” He spoke to her, although he was sure she couldn’t hear him.
It is a passive dialogue tag, comma and turn it around.
>>> Although knowing she couldn’t hear him, he said, “Happy Valentine’s Day, Miss Daniels.”

>>> Jonathan waited for Alexandra and Mrs. Daniels console themselves before moving to leave.
Missing a 'to' before console.

FINAL COMMENT: Really nice togetherness kind of ending. I have to assume he has discussed the Solarium possibilities with Alexandra. This scene feels much more like they are working together, which I like. The concept-content of the scene is perfect. The passive voice and narration gets in the way of a more intense emotional scene, especially for Jonathan being afraid he is too late. I've given you enough examples of converting passive to active. I'm sure you'll find more creative ways to word the action and thoughts. I think the transition taking place within Jonathan is very significant. He becomes more complex as the story moves forward. Good plotting, Ember. Now that my Knights is almost finished, you are beginning to get the full impact of WYRM reviews. I wish you well.
Best, Gale
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Review of Delta 07  
Review by iguanamountain
In affiliation with WYRM  
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
A review by iguanamountain ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬---‭ ‬member of WYRM,‭ ‬in-depth reviewers and novelists.

‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭

by Ember‭
‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭ ‬ ‭
Delta‭ ‬07‭ ‬-‭ ‬CHAPTER‭ – ‬4‭ – ‬JUST A MASSAGE‭{‬/b‭}

‭What is Alexandra up to? I think Jonathan will remember this day.

>>> Jonathan heard the knock on the door as he‭ ‬was pulled out the parmesan chicken from the oven.‭
‭A little off here. I think you mean:
Jonathan heard the knock on the door as he‭ ‬pulled the parmesan chicken out of the oven.‭
>>> He saw her bright smile and paused for a moment as he went back toward the kitchen.
The order of actions?
Pause - see her smile - go back to the kitchen.

>>> Someone’s happier today.‭ ‬He noted as he spotted her crimson red lipstick.‭ ‬He could already smell the cherries and Jonathan could feel his cheeks warm.‭ ‬He quickly stepped back into the kitchen.
Note that all this paragraph happens during the PAUSE above. And he can only go into the kitchen once. *RollEyes*

>>> He could hear Alexandra happily proclaim.
It’s a dialogue tag when active.
..,last week!” he ‘heard’ Alexandra happily proclaim.

>>> He tracked her footsteps before she‭ ‬was wrapping her arms around his stomach in a warm hug.‭ ‬Jonathan freed up his hands before her tight,‭ ‬energetic hug wrapped around him.
(passive) & the order of actions:
He tracked her footsteps, freeing up his hands before she wrapped her arms around his stomach in a tight, energetic hug.

(These sentences go together in one paragraph.)
>>> Jonathan denied the awkwardness and reached his hands back as much as he could to entertain Alexandra’s hug. ‭“‬I missed you too,‭” ‬he replied.
(Note it’s a dialogue tag with comma and no cap.)

>>> I hate you.
‭Confusing and out of place unless explained.

>>> Almost by instinct,‭ ‬their lips met and Jonathan‭ ‬was removed from everything:‭ ‬logic,‭ ‬fear,‭ ‬or his overwhelming sense of duty and mission.‭ ‬It‭ ‬was in these moments that Jonathan remembered combating the serenity and peace Alexandra’s lips brought him.
>>> Almost by instinct,‭ ‬his lips touched hers, removing Jonathan‭ ‬from everything:‭ ‬logic,‭ ‬fear,‭ ‬or his overwhelming sense of duty and mission.‭ I‬n these moments Jonathan remembered combating the serenity and peace Alexandera’s lips brought him.

>>> Jonathan inquired at first,‭ ‬but‭ ‬was almost comforted by the thought that Alexandra‭‬was getting the same feeling he‭ ‬was getting when they kissed.
‭Three ‘was’ in one sentence? What is Jonathan thinking INSIDE his mind? That’s different from telling me with passive narration!

>>> Jonathan returned to the food,‭ ‬concealing his disapproval.
‭Different character action needs to be separate paragraph.

>>> ‭“‬I asked just for an extra pair of clothes.‭” ‬He remarked
(Note it’s a dialogue tag with comma and no cap.)

>>> Almost instinctively did he look back toward the hallway,‭ ‬hoping he could catch a glimpse of what Alexandra‭ ‬was trying to sneak into his house.
‭ ‬Almost instinctively he looked back...(Cut ‘did’, looked)
...glimpse of ‘why’ Alexandra tried to sneak... (change ‘what’ & ‘was trying)

>>> ...accounted for the bread,‭ ‬minorly suspecting that...
Hung up on ‘minorly’, consider deleting, it’s not necessary.

>>> ...before grabbing his own seat.
...’grabbing? find another word. *Frown*

‭ ‬>>> It‭ ‬was Jonathan’s fullest intention of attempting a blessing of the food,
(Make active)
Jonathan fully intended to attempt a blessing of the food, ...

>>> ‭He quickly took his hands back and raised his head to make his plate. As he made his way to the breadsticks, Alexandra ‬was‭ already making her way to the salad and Parmesan chicken.‬
‭He’s not making a plate, he’s loading it.
‭The use of ‘made’ twice is very awkward, plus making his/her way suggests physically moving. People say, helping themselves to salad or?

>>> ‭“So how have you been?” He asked.‬
(Note it’s a dialogue tag with no cap.)

>>> ...and grabbed the red merlot.
...grabbed? find another word. *Cry*

>>> But Jonathan knew he‭ ‬was detected and did not care,‭ ‬as he‭ ‬was already unscrewing the cork and pouring himself a glass.
(passive, make active)

‭ ‬>>> He occasionally glanced up at Alexandra,‭ ‬her expression not changing,‭ ‬while he poured his glass.‭ ‬Once finished,‭ ‬he heard her clear her throat from the opposite end of the table.‭ ‬Alexandra’s index finger traced the lip of her empty glass while he nodded to the bottle.
Why couldn’t this be an active action paragraph for Alexandra? It would be much more interesting. ...he heard her clear her throat... is very distant from, she cleared her throat while her index finger...

>>> ‭“So, what have you been working on?” She pried.‬
‭ ‬ (Note it’s a dialogue tag with no cap.)

>>> Alexandra simply blinked her eyes.
Different character action = new paragraph.

>>> How does that match the need for a drone‭?” ‬She asked sarcastically.
(Note it’s a dialogue tag with no cap.)
Review DIRECT QUOTATION requires a comma (except for question or exclamation) and NO caps unless proper name. He said, she replied, asked, remarked, exclaimed...you know, direct action words of speaking. Should be part of your first proofing.*Worry*

>>> Placing food in his mouth‭ ‬was an impossible task.
Placing food in his mouth became an impossible task.

>>> He adjusted in his seat and continued to fight through the awkward,‭ ‬sexual pressure that‭ ‬was building.‭ ‬Love‭ ‬was something new to Jonathan and expressing it‭ ‬was nearly impossible.
(passive, make it active) It’s his POV, what is he thinking? In his words, not the narrator’s.

‭ ‬>>> Of Jonathan’s words,‭ ‬he found that he‭ ‬was telling the truth and it had frightened him,‭ ‬vulnerability still setting it.
What am I saying? s***! Can I do this?
Inside his head is more honest and direct. (HINT)

>>> He watched Alexandra nod her head,...
See, they’re in the same room, at the same table. Of course he can see and hear her. His POV must be direct, not filtered. A separate paragraph for her:
>>>Alexandra nodded her head,‭ ‬her smile widening.‭ “‬That’s sweet‭!” she said ‬delicately.‭ “‬But what are you attracted to about me‭?”

‭>>> ‬Yet,‭ ‬his eyes were scanning a glass that‭ ‬was reaching a third consumed.
‭(passive, make active)

‭>>> ‬He listened to her giggle,
‭ See the distance? She giggled.

‭>>> ‬Relationship‭? ‬Jonathan‭ ‬was still getting used to the term,‭ ‬nonetheless its application to him and Alexandra.
‭ What could be his DIRECT THOUGHT about this idea?

‭>>> ‬“Physical beauty‭?” ‬Jonathan could see her inquisitive eye and Jonathan sighed again.‭ “‬You’re uncomfortable,‭ ‬aren’t you‭?”‬
‭(Stay with her)
>>> ‭“physical beauty?” Her eyes squinted inquisitively. “‬You’re uncomfortable,‭ ‬aren’t you‭?”‬
‭(Then to to Jonathan)
>>> Jonathan couldn’t bring himself to answer the question. He sighed.

‭>>> Every time he ‬was‭ sparring against the bag or put Alexandra in a suppression, he thought about Alexandra somehow getting turned on by it. He even noted that her left arm ‬was‭ a weakness, a weak “side,” which he would continually exploit to teach her the error in her skills. He didn’t know it ‬was‭on purpose.‬
...he thought about...? Let him think for himself. He’s questioning very personal motivations. BE HIM!

‭>>> ‬He‭ ‬was interrupted by her gentle laugh.
‭Alexandra’s gentle laugh interrupted him.

‭ >>> ‬His heart‭ ‬was pounding in his chest as he watched Alexandra’s eyes remain focused on him,‭ ‬somehow focused and entranced by his words.
‭His heart pounded in his chest. (end of paragraph)
‭(new paragraph, note double use of ‘focus’.)
‭Alexandra’s eyes remained focused on him, entranced by his words.

‭>>> ...‬he watched Alexandra nod her head...
‭Why can’t she just nod her head, we know he sees her. Then it would be her paragraph.

‭>>> ‬His heart‭ ‬was relieved,‭ ‬fearful that the conversation would take an unfortunate turn for the most awkward topics he could imagine.
‭ (rewrite) What about the wording of the ACTUAL THOUGHT?
‭Teenagers have these thoughts all the time.

‭>>> ‬Jonathan noted that Alexandra‭ ‬was not eating anymore,
Jonathan noted that Alexandra had stopped eating.

‭>>> ‬The heat flashed hotter as Jonathan watched Alexandra push .her seat back and stand from her chair,‭ ‬her eyes in an unusual fix on him.
>>> Alexandra pushed her chair back to stand, her eyes fixed on Jonathan.
(new paragraph, separate her actions from his.)
>>> The heat flashed hotter. Jonathan rubbed his face looking at his plate of uneaten food.

‭ >>> ‬He‭ ‬was frozen,‭ ‬petrified by the uncertain emotional escalation that‭ ‬was walking toward him.
‭ (passive, make active) You have to turn it around.
‭The uncertain emotional escalation walking toward him left Jonathan petrified, frozen.
‭ THINK who or what is the actor, and who or what is the target?
‭Also this semi-seduction event is almost like writing a battle/fight scene. *BigSmile*

‭>>> ‬Jonathan‭ ‬was flushed,‭ ‬certain that her fingers had felt the immense amount of sweat that had soaked his undershirt and‭ ‬was likely visible on his dress shirt.
(passive, make active.)
Jonathan’s face flushed, knowing her fingers felt the immense amount of sweat soaking his undershirt and probably showing on his dress shirt.

‭ >>> ‬He‭ ‬was certain that Alexandra would have retreated by now,‭ ‬as his body language‭ ‬was not welcoming or matching any signs of affection...
(Rewrite into direct action and thoughts.) She should have retreated by now. I'm not...etc. REAL THOUGHTS.

‭ >>> ‬I have no idea what I’m doing.‭ ‬Jonathan honestly admitted to...
‭ Internal dialogue tag, needs a comma.

‭(Please recognize this as a dialogue tag)
‭>>> “‬Come with me.‭” ‬She whispered.

‭ >>> ‬Jonathan ‭‬wasn’t sure if he‭ ‬was entranced or investigating Alexandra’s intention,‭ ‬but he found himself following Alexandra’s playful pull.
‭(make it active, turn it around)
As he found himself following Alexandra’s playful pull, he thought, ‭I don’t know if I’m entranced or investigating her intentions.
‭(You know that internal dialogue could be in italics to make it stronger)

‭>>> ‬Jonathan noticed that Alexandra‭ ‬was leading them towards his bedroom and the fear returned.
‭ Besides needing a rewrite, the time order of actions is wrong, this belongs where she actually touches the bannister to go upstairs. Unless you mean he has a bedroom in the lower level. I don’t remember if we’ve ever seen that room. (?) That needs to be clear to understand the change of direction that is to follow.

‭ >>> ...‬that today‭ ‬was the one day that he didn’t.‭ ‬Jonathan‭ ‬was fearful that a dirty bedroom would be a notion that perhaps he ‭‬wasn’t ready for her,‭ ‬even though he knew that he really ‭‬wasn’t.‭ ‬Jonathan would have never thought he would find himself in the situation now,‭ ‬but it‭ ‬was too late.
‭ Very wordy, passive and could be much simpler in his own thoughts.

‭ >>> ‬The last time he‭ ‬was,‭ ‬it‭ ‬was when he‭ ‬was first moving in.
OMG Ember!
‭The last time I saw that room had to be the day I moved in.

‭>>> ‬At first,‭ ‬Jonathan thought he had forgotten about ‭ ‬he remembered it‭ ‬was a bathroom.an extra bedroom in his house,‭ ‬but as they got closer,
A little confused and incomplete.

‭>>> ‬His attention‭ ‬was turned to the one door on the right,‭ ‬one of the bedrooms.‭ ‬He could feel some warmth coming out of that room and into the hallway,‭ ‬fighting off the bitter winter chill.‭ ‬There‭ ‬was an orange light and a sweet smell that invaded his nose.
Mixing passive and active

‭>>> ‬To his surprise,‭ ‬the furniture that he had yet unpacked from his move‭ ‬was pushed against the walls.‭ ‬Two of his dressers were unpacked and placed along the adjacent walls from the door.‭ ‬A small coffee table‭ ‬was next to one of the dressers.‭ ‬A CD player‭ ‬was placed on top of the coffee table and attached to a small speaker,‭ ‬which‭ ‬was across from the CD player.‭ ‬Candles were lit and illuminating the room.‭ ‬An electric heater‭ ‬was on low in the back,‭ ‬pointing towards the ceiling.
This cries for your attention. ...yet ‘to unpack’ from... From the first impression, shocked glance around the room, what would his eyes see. A narrative-based itemized list just slows down the action. His mental reaction is what is exciting. And there is a lot of nervous fear at that moment. *Ha*

‭>>> ‬A massage table lay in the middle of the room.
Tables do not ‘lay’. A table would be standing or stood.

‭>>> ‬He watched Alexandra giggle,‭ ‬Jonathan‭ ‬was sure it‭ ‬was because of his face.
‭ Make it active... It’s still a battle scene.

‭>>> ‬...equally surprised as he‭ ‬was.

‭>>> ‬He watched Alexandra giggle...
This should be her direct action.

‭ >>> ...‬but he didn’t dare let her try to take his pants off and did those himself.
‭This would be better as a combination dialogue and action moment.

‭>>> ‬...as he lied on the massage table,
as he 'lay’ on the massage table,

‭>>> ‬Alexandra left him for the bathroom across the room as he lied on the massage table,‭ ‬placing the comforter over his back and left wondering how he had let himself get to where he‭ ‬was.‭ ‬
‭Too much in one sentence. Three would be OK.

‭>>> ‬Alexandra‭ ‬was already rubbing his back with massage oil and moving over his back.
Alexandra already started moving over his back, rubbing with massage oil.

‭>>> ‬As soon as I get off this table,‭ ‬that shirt is going in the incinerator.‭ ‬Wait,‭ ‬I don’t have an incinerator,‭ ‬do I‭? ‬How much do they cost‭? ‬Where did I get that shirt‭? ‬How did I get up here‭? ‬Where am I‭?‬
‭ And here at the end of the chapter you break into a total internal dialogue that makes me laugh. Good wrap up for this seduction.

‭FINAL COMMENT: This is a very long review! And mostly about Passive Voice needing to be converted to Active Voice. Also narration turned into live action rather than ‘telling’. The content and dialogue is fine, it’s just the structure that needs attention. Again, review dialogue tags. The idea and action is enjoyable, but I wonder about the theme of this chapter being about the school friend who might be dying of cancer and Jonathan’s strong reaction to that possibility. Maybe the purpose of the dinner was to take their minds off the scene at the hospital (as a reminder). When it’s put together, this section will be very entertaining for readers!
‭Best, Gale
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Review of Delta 07  
Review by iguanamountain
In affiliation with WYRM  
Rated: 13+ | (3.5)
Cover for iguanamountain reviews
A review by iguanamountain --- member of WYRM, in-depth reviewers and novelists.

by Ember

Delta 07 - CHAPTER – 3 – Retrovirus?

>>> ...but his mind wondered to Dera’s face.
Don't you mean 'wandered'?

>>> He read over the giant screen as it continued to screen over his blood sample.
Note 'screen' is duplicated. Second one could be 'scan'.

>>> Jonathan scanned his bunker,
...'scanned' is more a technical term. Looked over or checked out?

>>> Jonathan knew it was unlike him to let his bunker become so dirty, but after considering what he had saw, Jonathan understood that Dera’s illness had clearly distraught him.
(passive) Consider that this thought occurs WHILE he is seeing the mess. ...'had' saw, 'had' clearly 'distrssed' him. Otherwise he comes across as a very slow thinker. *RollEyes*

>>> It amazed him that even though she was the first to cry about Dera’s fate, she was the first to accept and overcome it. He admired it.
(passive) Note repeat of 'it'
>>> It amazed Jonathan that Alexandra cried first about Dera's fate, and now could accept and overcome the idea. He admired that.

>>> ...components around him that lied on the ground.
components around him that “lay' on the ground.

>>> “Jonathan?” He could hear her concern and it annoyed him, knowing that he was discovered.
“Jonathan?” He heard her concern and being discovered annoyed him.

>>> He scrunched his eyebrows as he thought about what had truly bothered him.
Cut 'had'. It still bothers him now.

>>> To his far left, the wind resistance cell was open, revealing the predator drone that he had finally finished just a week ago.
(check the difference...)
To his far left, the open wind resistance cell revealed the predator drone that he had finally finished just a week ago

>>> He watched Alexandra frown to his words. He could see the realization on her face, but it did not devastate her.
He watched Alexandra frown at his words. He could see the realization on her face and it didn't devastate her.

>>> So many resources wasted on technology to do harm.” Jonathan declared.
Dialogue tag, comma after 'harm'.

>>> likely at the computer that he was running the test on.
likely at the computer running the test.

>>> “Is there anything I can do to help?” She offered with sincerity.
The; way 'offered” is used makes it a dialogue tab. No cap on 'she'.

>>> “It’s that look in your eye that I don’t like.” Alexandra’s voice called out...
'called out' makes it a dialogue tag. Comma after 'like'.

>>> He knew she was likely headed up to go home.
He guessed she headed up to go home.

>>> He waited until he heard the sliding door beep and the elevator lift up before he walked down the center of his bunker toward the computer. Jonathan stepped over the mechanisms and weapons before he slid into his chair and stopped just short of the desk. The roll met an unconventional thud, as the front wheel hit one of his biology textbooks. He picked it off the floor and glanced over the page, citing where he was and logging it in his head.
This becomes very wordy and complicated for a simple action. Note how many 'he' is used.
>>> Once certain that Alexandra had left, Jonathan went to the computer and slid into his chair, which met an unconventional thud. The front wheel hit one of the biology textbooks. He picked it off the floor and glanced over the bookmarked page.

>>> Jonathan’s fingers ran over the keyboard and he was about to minimize his genetic scan when an alert popped up. The ominous beep sounded out and quickly gathered his attention as a red caution box appeared in the middle of his screen.
Oddly worded + passive sentence.
>>> Jonathan’s fingers ran over the keyboard intending to minimize his genetic scan when an alert popped up. The ominous beep sounded, quickly focusing his attention an a red caution box in the middle of his screen.

>>> ...he saw nothing unordinary about his blood sample.
...he saw nothing 'unremarkable' about his blood sample.

>>> Regardless, his heart was pounding in his chest,
Regardless, his heart pounded in his chest,

>>> ...and they brought him some ease to the terrible discomfort and guilt that was haunting him.
...and they brought him some ease to the terrible haunting guilt and discomfort.

>>> Jonathan knew that the Solarium was a vital variable of the Delta Project.
Jonathan knew that the Solarium is a vital variable of the Delta Project. (?)

>>> Jonathan could not outline what the determining factor was which decided when or if the metal would react and to what.
(Just change the word order... and simplify.)
Jonathan could not determine which factor decided when or if the metal would react and to what.

>>> After hours of theories and data, Jonathan glanced at the time to see that it was just passed midnight. Ordinarily, he would have been in bed. But he was more awake than ever. He knew he would regret it in class tomorrow, but it took him hours to get to where he was.
(Make it active.)

>>> He knew he was clear of developing cancer now, despite that he was not able to rule out genetic predisposition or lifestyle choices. Yet what bothered him again was that Dera couldn’t be any more than a year older than him and she was ailing from the disease.
(Make it active.)

>>> After years of handling it, Jonathan was barely able...
After years of handling it, Jonathan 'found himself' barely able...

>>> It was moments like these that Jonathan knew that he was gifted. He remembered when he was in boarding...
(Make it active.)

>>> Radiation was more precise than chemotherapy, but was less effective and could...
(Make it active.)

>>> The only problem was that cancer was not a virus or bacteria, but a string of dysfunctional and ineffective cells.
(Make it active.)

>>> He knew that if he exposed the metal to a healing process, then maybe it would take to it, and that would be Dera’s best shot of survival.
The possible solution is presented...Making us read on.

FINAL COMMENT: OK...here's my thought. Using narration, telling us what he is reading is DULL and not interesting to read.
IF the information were integrated into a dialogue argument with Alexandra, purely as dialogue, maybe with some disagreement and emotion involved, it would be exciting and relevant. There is a pile of passive narration that must be converted into active voice. You do great with physical action and dialogue, but this kind of telling information is a reader killer. And the subject is interesting and touches on some controversial concepts for the medical profession. Just google the pros and cons of chemotherapy, or look at: http://www.naturalnews.com/050540_chemotherapy_ner...
As long as you don't use names of direct quotes the information is interesting and the kind of thing Jonathan would be attracted to. *BigSmile*
Where you are going with this is really good. The first draft narration needs a lot of creative word work! Have fun.
Best, Gale
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Review of Delta 07  
Review by iguanamountain
In affiliation with WYRM  
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)

Cover for iguanamountain reviews
A review by iguanamountain --- member of WYRM, in-depth reviewers and novelists.

by Ember

Delta 07 - CHAPTER – 2– Metastasized

>>> The afternoon rain brought despair with it as the temperatures fell to the mid-forties.
Note that 'brought' and 'with it' mean the same thing
The afternoon rain brought despair as the temperatures fell to the mid-forties.

>>> Alexandra’s hand was in his right, (passive)
His right held Alexandra’s hand.

>>> Alexandra was distraught not only by the diagnosis, but also that it had struck a friend of hers.
The diagnosis made Alexandra distraught, but also that it struck a friend of hers.

>>> Jonathan assumed that because of the nature of their trip, it was best if she remained quiet.
Jonathan assumed that because of the nature of their trip she remained quiet.

>>> “We’re here.” He could hear Mrs. Potts’ voice, her tone faint with sadness.
(make it active)
“We’re here.” Mrs. Potts said, her tone faint with sadness.

Note that you write: >>> He stepped out and quickly moved ...
Then you repeat the same action differently: >>> He picked up his pace and swung around...
Narrow it down to one clean action. And possibly cut: >>> He spotted Mrs. Potts open her door and swing out. (Mrs Potts swinging? *RollEyes*)

>>> Jonathan watched her open her umbrella to shield her from the rain and held it over both of them.
See that you used 'her' three times in one sentence plus a connecting 'and' for a very simple action.
>>> Jonathan watched her open her umbrella, holding it over both of them.
(The shielding part is assumed without telling us.)

>>> The sound of the car door closing interrupted their moment. Jonathan watched Mrs. Potts close the door from the corner of his eye. He could feel her glare on him and he turned away from Alexandra and walked toward the hospital, her hand clutching onto his as they walked closer to the doors.
(This could all go together as one moment so it's not so wordy.)
>>> The sound of the car door closing interrupted their moment as Mrs. Potts shut hers. Out of the corner of his eye he could feel her glare on him. He turned and walked toward the hospital with Alexandra clutching onto his hand.

>>> Mrs. Potts assumed the lead as they walked through the hospital entrance, Jonathan holding onto Alexandra the walk inside.
Note 'walk' used twice. Last phrase incomplete, maybe cut it?

>>> Jonathan slowed them both to a stop as he watched Mrs. Potts speak with the receptionist. After a moment of talking and looking through charts, Jonathan watched the receptionist nod her head.
(Make it active)
>>> Jonathan slowed them to a stop to watch Mrs. Potts speak with the receptionist. They talked for a moment, the woman looked through charts, then nodded.

>>> Jonathan noted of Alexandra’s hurry as they eventually made it to the sixth floor. When they exited the elevator, Jonathan noticed that Alexandra was merely dragging him along with Mrs. Potts by her side. He watched the room numbers count down until they were at room 624. Jonathan felt the warmth of Alexandra’s hand leave as she met the closed door. He could hear a slight whimper, and Jonathan speculated that she was on the verge of tears again.
(Overly complex paragraph) The 'hurry' is after the elevator, not first. He can count the room numbers while she's dragging him along. (rewrite)
At the door she let go of his hand with a slight whimper. Jonathan speculated that she must be on the verge of tears again.

>>> He watched her knock before the door was opened from the inside. Jonathan watched a doctor open the door with an odd smile, Jonathan speculated that it was hiding something. A woman took a step next to the door, peaking her head out in the hallway. By the depression on her face, Jonathan knew she was the mother.
Three red flags in one paragraph, plus 'peaking' should be 'peeking'.
>>> Jonathan watched Alexandra knock. A doctor with an odd smile opened the door. He must be hiding something, Jonathan speculated. A woman took a step next to the door, peeking her head out. By the depression on her face, she had to be the mother.
Most reviews would also ask how did her face look depressing?

>>> Alexandra’s whimpers turned to cries as Dera’s mother greeted her in.
'tears' would be better than 'cries', and delete 'in'.

>>> ...walked to the greeting desk.
The greeting desk is at the front lobby of the hospital. In a ward, this would be a nurse's station.

>>> Aside from Alexandra’s cries when...
Aside from Alexandra’s crying when...

>>> A part of him was still getting used to Alexandra being in his life, but he would never have guessed he would be visiting a cancer patient that was his age.
(passive to active)
>>> Just having Alexandra in his life took getting used to, but now he never guessed he'd have to visit someone his own age who had cancer.

>>> The door was cracked and he could hear some of the words and another giggle before he saw Alexandra’s red fingernails arch around the door.
(make active, lose one of the 'and's)
He heard some of the words through the cracked door and another giggle before Alexandra’s red fingernails 'arched' around the door.

>>> He took the moment to take in a deep breath before she let go of the door and walked out of the room and towards him.
(linking with 'and'?)
...before she let go of the door walking out of the room towards him.

>>> “You can come in, ya know” Her smile was bright and, although some of her makeup was washed away,...
You see, each one of these is a tiny puzzle to rework the words or find another way to say the same thing... *Smile*
>>> “You can come in, ya know,” she said with a bright smile. In spite of some missing eye makeup, Jonathan couldn’t see any other signs that she had been crying.
*Star* I don't want to solve all of these for you, but I want you to see that it's usually natural, simple and logical.

>>> What do I say? He patted Alexandra’s hand as he rose from the bench, Alexandra following. He caught a glimpse of her eyes, seeing that she was almost as shocked as he was. He watched her eagerly jump up and move in front of him to open the door. He watched her offer a knock on the door before opening and speaking. Jonathan could feel his heart race as she continued to talk.
Study this paragraph... Two 'was', two 'watched'. You have 'Alexandra following', and then: 'her eagerly jump up'...I'd cut the following part.
He shocked himself, then he caught a glimpse of the shock in her eyes.
(New paragraph for:)
She eagerly jumped up to move and gently knock on the door before opening.
She said...what? (He can hear it)

Again I suggest that often easier solutions are internal personal dialogue. It is definitely most active if he thinks, God. What did I just do? His face flushed.
And stuff like that so you don't have to tell us he is shocked.

>>> He watched Alexandra walk in and could hear her speaking.
You see how separated this narration is from:
She pulled the door open, walking in and quietly said, “He's here, and he'd like to come in to see you.
He's squeezing the flowers, does he feel the moisture? Then we know he's nervous without more narrative.*Think*

>>> ...of her when she was in school. She was on Alexandra’s debate team,
...of her in school on Alexandra’s debate team,
(And all the rest of the 'was' phrases in this paragraph. I count eight! *RollEyes*)

>>> The room erupted with awes and Mrs. Potts rose from her seat to grab the roses.

“He’s such a sweetie.” She complimented as they made eye contact, her glare instructing him not to stare.

These two sentences belong together for Mrs. Potts. Also note the use of 'grab'...not cool, Ember, remember what it means. How would her hands receive the roses?

>>> Mrs. Daniels gave a weak smile as she grabbed the bouquet...
She might admire the bouquet since it was handed to her several sentences back. For sure she never grabbed' them.

>>> What perplexed Jonathan more was the source of her emotions: he didn’t know if he was looking at defeat or despair.
Your own first proofing should not let sentences like this get past you!*Cry*

>>> Dera didn’t move for a moment, and Jonathan cursed himself in his mind.
That's a clue for what you should have written. If we're in his head, we'll really know what he is feeling. This is a simple, yet powerful moment.

>>> “Thank you, Jonathan.” Her voice was weak,
In a soft, weak voice, she said, “Thank you, Jonathan.

>>> ...before turning and striding out the door.
Very nice and strong moment for his exit.

>>> The doctor’s eyes were stuck on a clipboard he was holding,
The doctor’s eyes were stuck on his clipboard,...

>>> “Excuse me?” He asked.
Dialogue tag, no cap.

>>> “I did my homework already, Doctor.” Jonathan retorted back.
Dialogue tag, comma after Doctor.

>>> The doctor patted Jonathan on the shoulder as his own head sunk.
Not clear about who says the last line. Or maybe it's the Dr's head? *Worry*
The doctor patted Jonathan on the shoulder.

Jonathan’s head sunk. “I'm sorry.”

FINAL COMMENT: This final dialogue with the Doctor is very good and more of Jonathan being aggressive, which is his usual state. The science he can handle, but sensitivity to death is something else. The hospital scene feels like you rushed to write it and didn't check it carefully. Also I know well how difficult it become when you have multiple characters in a scene. (I draw maps to know where the hell they are!) The underlying emotion of Jonathan’s discomfort about facing a dying teenager is very correct and will be a good true experience for readers.
You have constructed some moments, which will be very powerful once they are alive in an active voice.

>>>>>Here's the thing to do: Select All, Go to Edit, choose Find and Replace, type 'was' and click on Find All. Then save the document with all the was's highlighted. Then...where you need to work is obvious. You can't ignore this, it is too important. The stories about Jonathan are too good and interesting to not do it! *BigSmile* Best, Gale

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Review of Delta 07  
Review by iguanamountain
In affiliation with WYRM  
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Cover for iguanamountain reviews
A review by iguanamountain --- member of WYRM, in-depth reviewers and novelists.

by Ember

Delta 07 - CHAPTER – 1 – Mitosis Explained

You've been busy. Another big section ready for review. As usual I'm breaking it into smaller chapters.

>>> Jonathan Dale Trescot rolled his eyes in disappointment as he took his seat at his desk and continued to watch his American classmates scramble to copy each other’s biology homework assignment before turning it in.
For an opening sentence, the flow could be better by avoid using 'and' and 'as” to link phrases: Also see the 'he' and three 'his' in one sentence.
>>> Jonathan Dale Trescot sat at the desk, rolling his eyes in disappointment to see several American classmates scramble to copy each other’s biology homework assignment before turning it in.

>>> It was small moments like these that gave Jonathan little hope about the future, not just for his classmates, but as a human being.
(Change the sentence to an active voice.)
>>> Small moments like this gave Johathan little hope about the future, not just for his classmates, but as human beings.
Note that classmates is plural so 'beings' should match.

Ember, they will call you on duplicate or repeated words. There are usually ways to manipulate the language around that problem. And always for stories the intent is to SHOW not tell. Watch for the red-flag words 'was' and 'were'. There are many instructions and opinions written about Passive vs Active.
An exciting story was written by Ember. Readers were excited.
Ember wrote an exciting story for readers. *BigSmile*

Writing in the passive voice means constructing sentences where the subject is Passive-- acted upon, rather than agents of action. For many forms of writing, this can create an undesired effect: sentences often become confusing or simply dull. Sentences in the active voice have energy and directness, both of which will keep your reader turning the pages! Sentences written in the active voice are also less wordy than those in the passive voice--and cutting unnecessary words

>>> Jonathan could read the answers and he smirked as they realized they were copying wrong answers.
Don't you mean 'he' realized? Note the repeat of 'they'.

>>> Forever doomed. If they were struggling to keep up with the differences between DNA and RNA, they were not going to survive this semester.
You have 'they were' twice in the same sentence. (simple fix)
If they struggled...
...those guys would not survive...

>>> ...because today-”

Pop quiz.

“-we’re having a pop quiz!”

Hypens don't cut it, and a double hyphen makes a dash, which is used for interrupted/stopped dialogue. For CONTINUING DIALOGUE use ellipses.
It indicates a pause for narrator comment or some action, then the same dialogue sentence continues. An internal thought is instantly seen if it is italicized.
...because today...”

Pop quiz.

“...we’re having a pop quiz!”

>>> Jonathan didn’t study the look, but rather her earrings, as he was toying with the hypothesis that every time she wore those exact ones, jade crescents, that that was a sign that they were having a quiz.
Passive plus the last phrase has three 'that'. Consider:
>>> Jonathan didn’t study the look, but rather her earrings. He toyed with the hypothesis that every time she wore those exact ones, jade crescents, it meant Miss Cramer would pop a quiz.

>>> This wasn’t the only class that Jonathan saw people cheating. Matter of fact, most of lunchtime was spent copying homework and socializing instead of eating. It was becoming a tolerable nuisance to the teachers in these schools and Jonathan couldn’t begin to understand how they could ignore it.
- - - - - (What is the actor, what is the receiver of the action?)
>>> Jonathan saw people cheating in more than one class. Matter of fact, copying homework and socializing instead of eating filled up most of lunchtime. Jonathan didn't understand how teachers could ignore this tolerable nuisance.
When you see the red flags it means you probably need to flip the sentences around.

>>> Miss Cramer’s eyes went back to the empty seat to his left, in the direction that she wasstaring at before.
Please see in the same sentence you have:
...eyes went back … and ... was staring at before ... They say the same thing in two different wordings.

>>> ...filled with one, sole student.
The 'sole' is overwriting.

>>> With an extra, quick step, Miss Cramer swept around the desk and eyed the two classmates.
(Combine the two actions instead of 'and'.)
With an extra, quick step, Miss Cramer swept around the desk, eyeing the two classmates.

>>> As Jonathan moved ahead to the page Miss Cramer directed him too, he was surprised that they were}/b} skipping up to cell reproduction.
>>> As he moved ahead, it surprised Jonathan to see the page Miss Cramer had directed, skipped up to cell reproduction.

>>> Mitosis. It was something Jonathan had already reviewed over...
Mitosis. Jonathan had already reviewed that over...
(See the simplification?)

>>> As Jonathan listened to her, he tried piecing together what she was saying and its relation to the missing classmate. To Jonathan’s understanding, mitosis was the healthy replication of cells in order for the body to regenerate. Feeling that he was missing the point, he listened more carefully.
(Your turn...make it active)

>>> The more Miss Cramer spoke, the more Jonathan was beginning to think more on the how this pertained to the real world and why it was so important to Miss Cramer.
- - - - - -
Jonathan began to think that...
...and that it must be...

>>> As Jonathan reviewed over the cell diagram, him mind thought back to his ankle and when it wasinjured by the wolves that attacked during his survival training.
This is a totally screwed up sentence. Just start over. *RollEyes*

>>> ...but he knew it was shorter.
Besides being passive, I don't think this is the entire meaning you want.
...but he knew he had healed faster than he should have.
The Solarium idea at this point is just planting a seed. Great plot idea.

>>> He knew that wasn’t it. He wasn’t a biologist, but Jonathan knew there was no reason why a biological entity would stop healing, unless it was dead.
- - - - - (A great twist around to keep it active)
>>> Even without being a biologist, Johathan could not imagine why a biological entity would stop healing unless it had died.

>>> Damnit. Jonathan was sure that he had it, but by his teacher’s quick response, he knew that wasn’t it.
Damn it. By his teacher's quick response he knew he didn't have the right idea.

Note: In a chapter where Jonathan is reacting and thinking about what is happening. CONSIDER how easy it would be to use first person inner dialogue. Give us his actual thoughts instead of telling us what he is thinking. Even struggling to stay in active voice, it is still a form of telling if it is narration about characters thoughts and reactions. *Think*

>>> Most of the class was moving toward their book bags, but Jonathan knew something was wrong.
Most of he class moved toward...
...something is not right.

>>> Jonathan turned the page and by perfect coincidence, the next page that Miss Cramer didn’t direct the class to turn to went to what she was talking about.
- - - – - (Find a different way to say the same thing.)
Jonathan turned the page and by perfect coincidence, he found what Miss Cramer had talked about and didn't direct them to read.

>>> The bell rang and the room was flooded with scooting chairs, books closing, and book bags shuffling.
- ------- (Just turn it around)
The bell rang and scooting chairs, books closing, and shuffling book bags flooded the room.

>>> His mind was focused on one thing: wondering how his life would turn out if he was diagnosed with cancer at such a young age.
- - - ----
With a diagnoses of cancer at such a young age, he focused on one thing; wondering how his life would turn out.

... when Jonathan 'first traveled' to the United States...

>>> ...but now that he’s seen it and knew that an innocent classmate of his was affected,...
- - - - - - simplify:
...but now that he’d seen an innocent classmate affected, it brought remorse.

>>> “Is everything okay, Mr. Trescot?” She calmly inquired.
Dialogue tag. No cap on 'she'.

>>> “Is it actually cancer?” He asked.
Dialogue tag. No cap on 'he'.

>>> “I’m afraid so.” She answered.
Dialogue tag. No cap on 'she', comma after 'so'.

>>> “How can there be no cure?” He asked.
Dialogue tag. No cap on 'he'.

>>> He frowned to her words,
He frowned 'at' her words,
This is a different character action, so make a new paragraph. And it can merge with the next paragraph since it is also Jonathan’s.

>>> His offer was not to the visit, but perhaps finding a way to discover a cure. He knew he was smart enough to help with the research. Perhaps not a ground-breaking cure, but Jonathan’s assistance alone would be of help. As he watched Miss Cramer turn to leave, he turned toward the hallway, taking on the next challenge. His mind couldn’t get over the shock of such an unfortunate diagnosis, nor the excuse that there was nothing man could do about it.
(bring to active:)
He did not intend to visit, but rather to help by finding a way to discover a cure. Jonathan knew that he could help with the research.
OR-- I'm smart enough. I can help with the research.
- - - - - - -(and the last sentence:)
His mind couldn’t get over the shock of such an unfortunate diagnosis, nor the excuse that man could do nothing about it.

FINAL COMMENT: Wow, a whole new problem laid out with a suspicion that the Solarium metal might be useful. It is only an idea, but could be amazing.
You need to review what is a dialogue tag. You had them all backwards. *Shock*. And more important—what are the signs of a passive voice and the obvious solutions, and why that is necessary for good fiction. The more you learn, the easier it will be polish what you're already written. Now, I'll say again, there is nothing wrong with the plot or the characters. The story is all there. The thoughts and the dialogue is good, just crying for correct structure. Thank you for breaking this section of Delta into chapters. I know I threw a lot of editor stuff at you on this first chapter, but I think you are invested and committed to this project to handle my rants. Every review has a reply window that you can tell me what you are thinking. I would love to get some reaction. (hint)
We are moving on...I have to know what Jonathan is going to do. *Smile*
Best, Gale
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Review of Delta 05  
Review by iguanamountain
In affiliation with WYRM  
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
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A review by iguanamountain --- member of WYRM, in-depth reviewers and novelists.

by Ember

Delta 05 - CHAPTER – 5 – The Race

Here we go..This should finish the reviews for Delta 05.

>>> He heard
These words are used twice in the opening paragraph.
Suggest the second time be replaced with a rearrangement:
Alexandra adjusted the settings, making the metal clank as it fell to the rubber track.

>>> Anthony spoke aloud, pacing...
If he's speaking, we assume it is aloud. Anthony spoke, pacing...

>>> Jonathan watched as Cassandra froze to his voice, her body freezing and standing down to give her full attention to the coaches in front of her.
I'd cut 'her body freezing and' --froze is enough.
Jonathan watched as Cassandra froze to his voice, standing down to give her full attention to the coaches in front of her.

>>> and you will hunt down anything tries to make your distance before you.
Missing a word. ...anything 'that' tries to make...

>>> “Welp, let the ass-whooping begin.”
That 'welp' stopped me. It that someone's name or you meant, 'Well,'

>>> Jonathan hopped up and looked at Alexandra, her eyes beady with concern, but he could see that she was still mentally wishing him luck.
Note that you have 'looked at Alexandra' AND 'he could see' in the same sentence. Plus 'was still' is passive. That could be: ...her eyes beady with concern, mentally wished him luck. As simple as that... *Smile*

>>> ...he realized that the adrenaline was kicking in and suppressing any other pain.
...'was kicking'? (see how the 'and' is not necessary?)
he realized that the adrenaline kicked in, suppressing any other pain.

>>> “I would kiss you good luck, but I know you wouldn’t approve.” He could hear Alexandra whisper to him.
This is passive. And should be a separate dialogue paragraph.
>>> Alexandra whispered to him, “I would kiss you good luck, but I know you wouldn't approve.

>>> Jonathan shook to her words,
Begins a Jonathan paragraph.

>>> He eyed her shadow and Alexandra’s curly hair...
No 'and'---I think the hair is part of the shadow 'with' Alexandra's curly hair...

>>> ...and smirked back.
Replace 'back'. The word is already used in previous sentence.

>>> He watched her turn her head and reach for the charm he gave her before giving it a kiss and letting it dangle from around her neck.
I'm uncomfortable with 'gave' and 'giving'. We know he gave it to her, why not cut that? Plus there are two phrases starting with 'and'. (Simple active is better.)
>>> He watched her turn her head, reaching for the charm to give it a kiss and letting it dangle from around her neck.

>>> It was the uncertainty that Jonathan never liked in racing.
(It was the)
Jonathan never liked the uncertainty in racing.

>>> ...but with the excitement of him summing the odds of Alexandra coincidently dreaming of his guardian’s murder.
Spelling would be 'coincidentally'.
Glad you mention this again. It's gotta be ever present in his mind.

>>> burst through his ear
OR 'burst into his ear'?

>>> Jonathan watched Cassandra’s body expertly rise from her knees and into her sprinting stance. He noted of her readiness and reacted the same, lifting his knees off the black rubber.
(Too many words. Think shorter tighter to increase the tension. It's like writing a fight scene.)
Cassandra’s body expertly rose from her knees into her sprinting stance. He reacted the same, lifting his knees off the black rubber.

(What is more important?)
>>> In the silence, Jonathan’s eyes drifted down to the track below him as he listened for the shot.
>>> Listening for the shot in the silence, Jonathan's eyes drifted to the track below him.

>>> Jonathan knew that Cassandra’s ego and title was at risk and expected her to defend accordingly.
Note you have 'knew' and 'expected' about one idea in a passive sentence..
>>> With Cassandra's ego and title at risk, Jonathan expected her to defend accordingly.
Ember, I hope you understand there is nothing wrong with the story content. It's just the “First draft, getting-the-story-down wording, that has to be polished and shaped into an active voice.

(Take this sentence for example:)
>>> The only way Jonathan could hope to stop her from doing this was if he had a lead on her, even if it was a fraction of a second.
(See the two 'was'?)
>>> If he had a lead on her, even by a fraction of a second, he could hope to stop her from doing this. (You could add) Jonathan knew,It's the only way,
(But that's my style, not yours. {e:Smile)

>>> Jonathan’s muscles tightened and pushed forward.
End of the same paragraph, this is very goodactive sentence! You can't have passive and active in the same paragraph. It jumps readers from passive narration to real time active.

>>> He knew his body would never forgive him for the unconditional strain that he continued to press upon it, but he would deal with the consequences later.
Can you boil this down to: I'll deal with the consequences later.

(Now a serious question and thoughts about the race itself.)
This race lasts only 20.51-seconds. That represents tremendous exertion of energy in a very short time. To read it from Jonathan's POV, I want to feel that timespan. You have distance markers and the turn. He is pushed to his absolute limit and a little more-----And it all must happen INSIDE HIS SENSES and we are inside his awareness with him.

There is too much verbage for the intensity of 20.51-seconds. Split second flashes of where he is--of Cassandra and where she is IF he can see her. Snatches of outside sounds but very limited. I think most sprinters are unaware of anything outside of their full body performance. When writing the race, you can stretch time like we see athletes in show-motion, but having complete analytical thoughts is not possible. And if it's slow-motion it becomes a narrative voice about the action---not his internal thoughts. Is this making sense?

---Can you rewrite this race inside Jonathan?

It returns to real time when they're over the finish line.

>>> Jonathan was still chasing her, his heart not wanting the race to be over.
Jonathan still chased her, his heart not wanting the race to be over.

>>> There was commotion behind him, classmates cheering and yelling. Jonathan didn’t pay any attention to it.
(Make it simple and direct, it's one idea and action.)
>>> Jonathan didn’t pay any attention to the commotion of classmates cheering and yelling behind him.

>>> Unlike him, she was standing tall with her hands in the air, signaling her victory. Marcus Grant was by her side, cheering his girlfriend’s name with the rest of the group. Very little attention was directed in his direction.
Make this active...

>>> Coach Williams remained silent for another second, motionless. “0.43 seconds to be exact. She ran a 20.18.”
This is amazing and we have great thoughts about the effects of Solarium metal. And I believe it affected both of them. {e:BigSmile}

>>> The Solarium necklace was gripped tightly in a victorious fist, raised above her head.
Great ending!

FINAL COMMENT: This is a very important challenge for Jonathan, and an illustration of the effect of the Solarium metal. As I said, the content is great. The race is overwritten and needs your creative senses to dig in. The build up to the race is good. This entire Delta 05 is an exciting story. Just needs some cleaning up. The relationships between the characters are well-defined. Cassandra is a very strong antagonist and with great contrast to Alexandra. The murder of Max is an over-hanging element, which carries the story forward as a subplot. Again I ask if you can do more internal dialogue for Jonathan instead of narration about what he is thinking and debating. (?) There are elements of a budding romance happening with lots of conflict. I like all of that. If you've worked on some of the chapters I would love to see how you are doing. (hint)
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Review of Delta 05  
Review by iguanamountain
In affiliation with WYRM  
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)

Cover for iguanamountain reviews
A review by iguanamountain --- member of WYRM, in-depth reviewers and novelists.

by Ember

Delta 05 - CHAPTER – 4 – Solarium Effect

>>> ...identifying that she was likely carrying a natural predisposition to combat.
(Drop the 'was'.)
identifying that she likely carried a natural predisposition to combat.

>>> Although he would want to take credit for his training, he knew that another variable was in play.
(Eliminate the 'was' and 'would')
Although he wanted to take credit for his training, he knew there had to be another variable at play.

>>> But with the introduction of the Solarium, she was able to wield a bow and...
(Eliminate the 'was' )
But with the introduction of the Solarium, she could wield a bow and...

>>> Jonathan speculated that the Solarium was to blame.
(Eliminate the 'was' )
Jonathan speculated that he had to blame the Solarium.

>>> The only part he identified was the potassium nitrate which made up only 6.8 percent.
(Eliminate the 'was' )--Do you see a pattern here? Plus need a comma before 'which'.
He only identified potassium nitrate, which made up just 6.8 percent.

>>> He suspected that perhaps he had stumbled upon rare compound that was either worth a fortune or was the key to future energy needs.
(More of the 'was' signs of passive voice...)
He suspected that perhaps he had stumbled upon a rare compound worth a fortune or the key to future energy needs.

>>> He pondered aloud as he grabbed ahold of the metal...
You have to find different words for 'grabbed'. In this case maybe 'fingered' or 'touched'. Note that 'ahold' is not a word. *Frown*

>>> but now Jonathan saw that there was more to it.
but now Jonathan saw that there had to be more to it.

Have you thought about first-person INTERNAL dialogue? You know, Jonathan's thoughts as he is thinking to himself. Not a narrator telling us what he is thinking.
It is sort of a personal, internal debate he is having about the Solarium. Your narrator is so logical and orderly, laying it all out without emotion.

(Take this paragraph...)
Jonathan noted of Alexandra’s agility, her endurance, her stamina, and her ability to fight at a level very similar to his own. Her own mastery was the same as his own, so it was further evidence that the Solarium had an effect. He thought back to Alexandra’s retelling of his murder and its accuracy, even with Jonathan keeping that story completely to himself. Jonathan couldn’t understand what had prompted that sort of ability, if it was caused by the Solarium.
>>>>>>>>>>How can you make it lively and active? Can you go inside his head and listen for him while he talks to himself...questioning his beliefs...and what he thinks he knows? That would be more interesting...and probably shorter. *Think*

>>> as Jonathan forgot to retrieve it before she was taken away.
as Jonathan forgot to retrieve it before they took her away.

* * *
>>> As he did his warmup lap
Not one word: warm-up

>>> Her eyes had that concern that they always bore and Jonathan couldn’t help but sigh.
Note the two 'that's. You can delete the second one. Cut the 'and'.
Move Jonathan's action to the next paragraph, which is his anyway.

>>> and she notioned for them to move
and she 'motioned' for them to move

>>> Cassandra’s smile converted to a smirk and Jonathan assumed it was because of his awkwardness in conversation.
(Just reorder words...)
Jonathan assumed because of his awkwardness in conversation, Cassandra's smile converted to a smirk.

>>> Jonathan nodded his head in approval.
New paragraph, different character action.

>>> “And he wouldn’t dare cross his girlfriend either, so it can be assured.”
New paragraph, different character dialogue.

>>> Jonathan watched her offer a wink to Alexandra.
New paragraph, different character action. Add to next paragraph

>>> He was sure that he could sense the disapproval of his actions just by the absence of her smile.
Make active.

>>> Cassandra’s voice was confident and did not falter.
Cassandra’s confident voice did not falter.

>>> Regardless of her peaceful intentions, Jonathan respected that she held her ground.
New paragraph, different character action.

>>> Cassandra’s face was plain as Alexandra eyed him with disdain
Cassandra’s face had no expression as Alexandra eyed him with disdain
>>> Jonathan was stretching behind his starting point...
>>> Her form was remarkable, but Jonathan was worried more about...

>>> ...and break your will.” She advised.
Dialogue tag: ...and break your will,” she advised.

>>> “I hope she runs you into the ground.” He commented.
Stopping here. The next chapter is The Race.

FINAL COMMENT: You have to review the rules about paragraphing. That is basic structure that you have to follow. The other thing is avoiding passive voice. The idea is that we do the first draft, telling ourselves the story, but it has to be converted later into a story that shows the story to be shared with a reader. Giant blocks of text are hard to read. Paragraphs are markers for new ideas, new characters, different speaker, etc. Fast readers follow those cues. *BigSmile* Underneath the draft is an intriguing story, good conflict and well-defined characters. I like very much the new information about the Solarium metal and its potential effect. You have stepped into Speculative Fiction, my friend!
Best, Gale
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Review of Delta 05  
Review by iguanamountain
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
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A review by iguanamountain --- member of WYRM, in-depth reviewers and novelists.

by Ember

Delta 05 - CHAPTER – 3 – Deadly Dreams

Once again, back at it after Christmas break.

>>> There was a gentle knock that echoed throughout Jonathan’s bedroom.
This first paragraph has SEVEN repeats of the word, 'was'. That's a cry for the Active Voice rather than Passive!
(To start it off:)
>>> A gentle knock echoed throughout Jonathan’s bedroom. Because of the habitual silence in the house, the knuckles faintly hitting the wooden door, echoed through the walls, quickly alerting Jonathan of the presence outside of his door. Regardless of his deep sleep, Jonathan’s eyes quickly opened to search through the darkness at the closed door.

Review that rule:
Active verbs express meaning more emphatically and vigorously than their weaker counterparts – forms of the verb be or verbs in the passive voice. Forms of the verb be (be, am, is, are, was, were, being, been) lack vigor because they they convey no action. Verbs in the passive voice lack strength because their subjects receive the action instead of doing it.

There should be the idea that IT IS HAPPENING NOW as you read it. Not be separated by a narrator telling you what 'was' happening. As you are editing, constantly see the action as and through the awareness of your POV character.

Like this line: >>> It was four o’clock in the morning.
That's not what Jonathan could 'see' in the dark...
>>> The digital screen read four o'clock in the morning.

>>> Another knock echoed as Jonathan stirred in his bed,
Next paragraph. I immediately see a repeat of the word 'lethargy'.
Try sleepiness or low energy to replace one.

>>> As he rolled out of bed and on his feet, Jonathan switched on the lights and searched for a pair of sweatpants. As Jonathan pulled through his laundry for any shirt, he could only find his Solarium, so he placed that around his neck.
Using 'and' to link actions that are not specifically related is a sign for editors that this is a first draft.
Later, you might write: >>> Jonathan rolled out of bed, switching on the lights to search for a pair of sweatpants, which he pulled on.
In your original paragraph I note that he didn't put on the sweatpants so it reads like he is only wearing the Solarium. And I question that the solarium is in the laundry when he finds it?

>>> Before him as Alexandra,
Please note that the 'as' refers to no action. And if it's a typo for 'was', it's just as bad.
Before him stood Alexandra, loosely dressed...

>>> Alexandra’s arms open wide to embrace a hug.
(missing who is embracing who)
Alexandra’s arms opened wide to embrace him with a hug.

>>> Jonathan wasn’t sure what was happening or why.
>>> Jonathan’s was fairly confused,
(some more 'was' to deal with)

>>> He only wrapped his arms around her and her held tight as her arms wrapped around him and her resolve collapsed and her body shook from her heavy sobs.
Can you write this with no 'and's? You have three in one sentence. *RollEyes*
Plus some extra words or words out of order?

>>> He wasn’t sure what it was that caused her to breakdown in such a way or time.
He felt unsure about what caused her to breakdown in such a way; or why at this time?

>>> the tears smearing with her cheeks and rubbing on his breasts.
the tears smearing with her cheeks rubbing on his chest.
Men don't have breasts they have a chest and nipples.

>>> His eyes scrunched as they didn’t get in front of the lights until then. But as they adjusted, Jonathan led her to one of the island seats and sat Alexandra on the first one before walking by the second and to the fridge.
Awkward sentences.
>>> His eyes scrunched adjusting to the bright lights. As they adjusted, Jonathan led Alexandra to settle her on the first of the island seats. He walked by the second to the fridge.

>>> grabbed a carton of Tropicana
Remember 'grabbed' means aggressive or violent motion. (?) Save it for the fight scenes.

>>> grabbed the same glass
(same comment)

>>> as he moved to the refrigerator to put the juice back.
I would cut this phrase because the next question is more important than the walk to the frig.

>>> as she grabbed the glass and took a sip of the orange juice.
Really? *Frown*

>>> “I just needed comfort, I’m sorry.” She admitted.
“I just needed comfort, I’m sorry,” she admitted.
Dialogue tag

>>> but still at the counter.
Who or what is still at the counter? She hasn't stood or moved.

>>> that he was picking
that he gained from Alexandra's...

>>> It sounds to me like someone needs to be talked to.” He reassured with...
This is a dialogue tag. Comma and lowercase.

*Think*--->The rule is: In dialogue, begin a new paragraph to mark the change in speaker. (or action)

>>> Jonathan frowned as he watched Alexandra shake her head, as if hypnotized.

“You would honestly laugh if I told you why. It’s just so silly…”

He watched her lips begin to tremble as her words neared the end of the expression.

“You taught me to be better than this.”

(And again with this sequence:)

>>> “You’re being too compassionate, right now.” She made another attempt to smile.

>>> Jonathan’s heart beat more deeply when he saw it a second time, this time with concern.

>>> “You should be telling me to do pushups or something.”

>>> “It was a dream I had.” She answered.
“I had a dream, she answered.
Dialogue tag.

>>> Jonathan’s heart pounded in his chest and instantly, Jonathan cursed himself without wearing a shirt as he felt his blood thicken with anger, fear, and anxiety.
Awkward sentence. Too many 'Jonathans'.
>>> Jonathan’s heart pounded in his chest. Instantly, he cursed himself for not wearing a shirt, feeling his blood thicken with fear, and anxiety.

>>> Jonathan didn’t blink, only stare directly back at her brown eyes, redden from the tears she shed, but also unblinking.
...only stared directly...
...eyes, red from the tears...

>>> There was nothing for her to go off of.
She had nothing to go on.

>>> but her expression of a gym, a murder, and Maxim’s name was too precise for him to ignore.
(new sentence)
But he could not ignore her precise expression of a gym, a murder and Maxim's name.

>>> It was as if he died at my hands.”
It felt like he died at my hands.”

>>> Jonathan complimentarily placed his free hand...
That means to compliment or approve. ?
Jonahan sympathetically placed his free hand...

>>> Jonathan’s mind matched her retelling...
Start a new paragraph for different character action.

>>> “I hit him with everything I had and soon...
Start a new paragraph for different character dialogue.

*BigSmile* I like her emotional telling of this dream.

>>> Abruptly, Alexandra hopped off the island stool and walked around.
Start a new paragraph for different character action.

>>> Jonathan watched her carefully, as she circled around with her red eyes and hugged him desperately, as if he was the only way to stop the nightmare from playing in her mind. But just before Jonathan accepted her hug, he eyed the Solarium around her neck, still dangling on the black string he tied around it.
(Some of this is out of order.)
>>> Jonathan watched her carefully, as she circled around to stop in front of him with her red eyes. She desperately wanted to hug as if he could stop the nightmare from playing in her mind,. Before Jonathan accepted her embrace, he eyed the Solarium around her neck, still dangling on the black string he tied around it.

>>> Jonathan hoped that his heavy heart...
Start a new paragraph for different character action.

>>> By habit, Jonathan was still stroking her back,
By habit, Jonathan still stroked her back,

>>> Jonathan was staring at the necklace ...
Jonathan stared at the necklace...

>>> With Alexandra’s precise recollection, Jonathan was equally distressed, fearing that Alexandra had mysteriously stumbled upon his darkest secret.
Equally distressed by Alexandra's precise recollection, Jonathan feared that Alexandra had mysteriously stumbled upon his darkest secret.

>>> His mind threw out random chance; her knew there was simply no way it was random. But as Jonathan thought back to something he may have said, it didn’t match up either. Jonathan knew he wasn’t the most sociable person, but when he did interact with others, we knew he was a proficient liar. Alexandra was not totally immune to that either. His mind was left to the only possible outcome.
Six 'was' in this paragraph. Make it active. Have you considered first-person inner dialogue?

>>> gazing down at the Solarium that Alexandra was wearing.
gazing down at the Solarium that hung around Alexandra's neck.

>>> as he grabbed hold of his Solarium,...

>>> He was entranced as he walked down, the door closing shut as he marched down the stairs.
Two uses of 'down'
Question 'entranced', which means wonder and delight.
He seriously studied the idea as he walked down the stairs. The door closed behind him.

(end of chapter)

FINAL COMMENT: Lots of little stuff to correct, but inside it all there is a very important, emotional scene that basically is well written. And perhaps the beginning of the discovery of some high-tech or science fiction type of effect with the Solarium metal. I guess the biggest challenge is to get all of it into a flowing active, alive voice. Take this draft and work it. It is going to be good! The exposure of Jonathan's alleged killing of Max is shocking and a great plot element. I'm eager to go on and see how they deal with this unpleasant truth.
Best, Gale
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Review of Delta 05  
Review by iguanamountain
In affiliation with WYRM  
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)

Cover for iguanamountain reviews
A review by iguanamountain --- member of WYRM, in-depth reviewers and novelists.

by Ember

Delta 05 - CHAPTER – 2 – Jackrabbit Run

Here we go, back at it after your break.

>>> “How was your super-secret meeting?” She asked as...
'She asked' is a dialogue tag, needs no cap on 'she'.

>>> A chill ran down his spine to the word; he was still getting acquainted with the title.
Ha! Independent Jonathan is no longer.

>>> ...and she threw the towel over her shoulder again. “Indoor track...
This should start a new paragraph with 'She' for different character action and dialogue.

>>> You’ll need a six-minute mile to lead the team.” He answered honestly.
Dialogue tag. Comma after 'team' and no cap on 'he'.

>>> “Six minutes?!
Either question or exclamation, but not both! *RollEyes*

* * *

>>> ...the sprint aching and calling for energy and thrust that he naturally didn’t have.
Too many 'and's, plus 'sprint aching' is odd:
the sprint calling for energy and thrust that he...

>>> track team continued their cooldown jog,
cool down or cool-down
>>> Marcus Grant’s white and red new balance sneakers...
I think one comma after 'red'.

>>> Jonathan spotted a decrease in his enemy’s steps, his footing slowing as he crossed the 200-meter mark and they straightened out to the final stride.
...'decrease in his enemy's steps' does not mean the same as 'footing slowing'. He didn't take less steps, he just slowed. 'his footing slowed'.
...'final stride' is a kind of walk. Better to say 'final stretch'.

>>> Jonathan’s attention took in noise as he heard his harsh breaths, nearly gasping for oxygen to fuel his body.
...'took in noise”?
Jonathan’s attention heard his harsh breaths, nearly gasping...

>>> Jonathan broke by Marcus Grant
Jonathan broke past Marcus Grant (beside him or past him)(?)

>>> He heard a grunt and from his peripheral vision, Jonathan thought he saw a last-second flinch of a lead.
Rethink this: he 'heard' from his peripheral vision?
Jonathan heard a grunt. His peripheral vision thought he saw a last-second flinch to push for a lead.

>>> Jonathan pushed more, the pain searing in his legs as he pumped his arms more and more.
I'd cut that first 'more', the two at the end are enough.

>>> His arms stopped pumping as soon as he saw his foot cross over, his legs instantly turning to jelly as he continued pass the surveying crowd of schoolmates, all of which were cheering for Marcus Grant.
Too much in one sentence. *Frown* And he wouldn't see his foot when running full out.
>>> His arms stopped pumping as soon as he crossed over, his legs instantly turned to jelly. He continued to pass the surveying crowd, all of which were cheering for Marcus Grant.

>>>...on the ground, flat as a number of his posy massaged his legs...
(note spelling of posse.) period after 'flat'.
...on the ground flat. A number of his posse massaged his legs...

>>> It was customary. Jonathan knew and witnessed it time and time again, in academics to sports.
(Awkward to read)
Jonathan knew this customary behavior. He'd witnessed it time and time again in academics to sports.

>>> throughout the night, he heard a whistle
Make two sentences. They are not related.

>>> ...mouth. “Trescot, stop running with the jack rabbits and get back to your mile cooldown run.
Like this line, Note: cool down or cool-down.
It is a dialogue tag (yelled out) so comma after 'mouth'.

>>> ...Jonathan’s ears almost instantly...
Cut 'almost', it was instant.

>>> The group of students around him looked at Marcus and then at him before displaying the same, egotistical smile that he targeted in the first place.
(clean up who did what)
The group of students around him looked at Marcus and then at Jonathan before displaying the same egotistical smiles that he targeted in the first place.

>>> Jonathan’s heart leapt to his own words...
(I don't think a past-participial fits this instance.)
Jonathan’s heart leaped at his own words...

>>> Marcus spared a wink and Jonathan’s heart pulsed as he turned completely around and took a single bold step forward.
Two character's actions in the same sentence. Consider separating.
Marcus paragraph should end with 'wink'.

>>> Marcus Grant’s eyes widened with joy as he saw the response from Jonathan.
POV slip. Jonathan has to see the eyes.

>>> But before could take a third step forward, someone moved in front of him,
New paragraph for new action and character entrance.

>>> followed with an occasional laugh and Jonathan couldn’t focus.
End sentence after 'laugh'. New sentence: Jonathan couldn't focus. Connecting with 'and' makes it weak.

>>> “Don’t do it.” She whispered in his ear,
Comma after 'it', dialogue tag. No cap on 'she'. *Smile*

>>> “He’s a really big asshole.” Jonathan spoke back
Comma after 'asshole', dialogue tag. Better to say: 'said' back.

>>> a means to try to calm his body out of combat mode. “Walk with me.”
Move her dialogue to Alex's paragraph.
>>> Jonathan twisted his lips... (new paragraph)

* * *

>>> “Then, perhaps, you are just as immature as them.”
Oh, words of wisdom from Alexandra. Like this!

>>> Jonathan’s eyes spotted a shadow, outlined of Alexandra’s figure.
Jonathan spotted a shadow outline of Alexandra’s figure.

>>> In her fragment, he
Cut 'In her fragment', not needed. Start with: He knew that...

>>> “See…” Jonathan turned to see Alexandra looking back at him with her inquisitive expression. “It causes you pain.”
(Maybe better as two paragraphs.)
>>> “See…” Jonathan turned to Alexandra

She looked back at him with an inquisitive expression. “It causes you pain.”

(Nice emotional moment) *Cry*

>>> He watched Alexandra blink with concern. “I can see it on your face. You carry it with you and you don’t forgive yourself.”
More wise words from Alexandra.

>>> He searched her blank face for any sign of an emotional flicker, but she held her stance, her face fading of any.
(to avoid repeating 'any'.)
...her face showed nothing.

>>> Jonathan stared at the blue lockers
New paragraph...

* * *

>>> It had petrified his nerve and, unable to do anything functional, Jonathan moved to the one last thing he hoped could distract him.
Period after 'nerve'. New sentence starting with 'Unable'.

FINAL COMMENT: Jonathan goes to sleep making a good place to end this chapter. It is a good plot point that he is guilty and uncomfortable both about Max and Alexandra. His control is still needing discipline. Alexandra is the wiser one and gives him good analysis and advice. They make an interesting combination.
Still some dialogue tags missed and needs more attention to paragraph separation for each character and new action and dialogue.
The story is good and is moving along.
Best, Gale
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Review of Delta 05  
Review by iguanamountain
In affiliation with WYRM  
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
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A review by iguanamountain --- member of WYRM, in-depth reviewers and novelists.

by Ember

Delta 05 - CHAPTER – 1 – Sound Waves

Hi Ember... Back with the amazing Jonathan Trescot for another adventure. I guess you are beginning to get more reviews now as folks finish up with Knights. Brace up, there will be a lot more!

I had to guess that this is a video call similar to Skype, and that the US Military calls with visual contact? Or it is a secure system, if there is such a thing?

>>> He wasn't sure if he had extended his network invitation too far, as when the “incoming transmission” flashed on his huge computer screen, Jonathan debated if it was such a good idea to have a contact in the US military pinging his private line. In a last minute attempt before he took the call, Jonathan quickly rolled around in his chair. Alexandra was running on the treadmill all the way in the back, nearest to the elevator door. Her headphones were in during her three mile run while her CD player was likely playing Justin Timberlake or some other artist he didn't give the time of day. His eyes scanned around her, the exercise equipment out and the weapons cell out of his immediate view. To his luck, maybe his contact would assume he was at a gym or community center, although explaining how he could be contacted there would be in question.
Note how this slides into passive voice.
'incoming transmission' with single apostrophe.
Multiple 'was' and 'would'.
Too many words makes narration slow down.
Possibly the Justin Timberlake comment is not a thought for this kind of semi-panicked moment? Just seeing her on the treadmill might be enough?
Think about trying to stay in active voice.

>>> Jonathan considered that the network invitation had been extended too far when the 'incoming transmission' flashed on his huge computer screen. Maybe not such a good idea to have a US military contact pinging his private line. In a last minute attempt before he took the call, Jonathan quickly rolled around in his chair to see Alexandra running on the treadmill all the way in the back, nearest to the elevator door. To his luck, with the exercise equipment visible and the weapons cell out of sight, his contact should assume the call reached a gym or community center. Explaining how he could be contacted there might be a question.

>>> and a generic soundwave display appeared,
I think you'll find that 'sound wave' is two words.

>>> You’re lucky I like you.” His voice leaked of some disdain and Jonathan was glad Matt Watson couldn’t see his smile.
Tagging Jonathan's reaction to Matt's paragraph with 'and' feels awkward better to end the paragraph with 'distain'. And start the new paragraph with the Jonathan's reaction.

>>> I do thank you for taking care of that for me.” Jonathan replied back.
Direct dialogue tag requires a comma after 'for me,” Jonathan replied...
Same problem about dialogue tags and commas.

>>> “If it helps…” Matt Watson’s voice dropped the casual conceit at his loose expression and Jonathan eyed the soundwave carefully. “Your friends in customs and—etc.
The ellipse at the beginning says there is more to Matt's sentence. So complete it with: “...your friend in customs, and—etc.
Note: Sound wave.

>>> “And you probably have ahold of some pretty big toys too.
...have hold of...

>>> “Agreed.” Jonathan answered boldly,
Another dialogue tag that needs a comma.

>>> “There are a lot of risks associated with this kind of work, Trescot.
Building up some tension here. I knew it wasn't simple or easy.

>>> You have a bunch of assets that will have to be liquidated or eliminated in order for you to be mobile.
One of the complications. How does he get rid of those kind of assets.

>>> Their potential was lost in Rwanda,
A hint about past history of his parents. What happened to them?

>>> Jonathan chuckled aloud and Matt Watson joined in.
Jonathan's reaction is separate from Matt's previous line.
New paragraph return.

>>> “It would have to be small shipments.” He answered.
Comma needed for dialogue tag.

>>> “Anything, so long as I get a proper heads up and its reasonable.” His voice dipped and Jonathan squinted his eyes at the screen, analyzing his voice pattern. It felt as if he was holding back.
Two characters, two actions. Connecting with 'and' not good. How about:
>>> “Anything, so long as I get a proper heads up and its reasonable.” Matt's voice dipped.
(new paragraph)
>>> Jonathan squinted his eyes at the screen, analyzing the voice pattern. It felt as if Matt was holding back.

>>> Jonathan replied with his chuckle. “Understandable.”
Dialogue tag.

>>> “I just have one question…” Jonathan frowned to the soundwave, its crests and troughs lowering significantly.
Separate Matt's dialogue from Jonathan's reaction.
And I think it's: 'frowned at the sound wave,....'

Jonathan was slow to speak. “Let’s just say, I upset the wrong people.”
(putting into the chronological order and two paragraphs:)
That felt pale compared to Matt Watson's immediate, dissatisfactory grunt, but he let it go. “Fair enough.”

>>> Instead, DNA test results found that those were a pack of hybrid wolves, a crossbreed between gray wolves and artic wolves, or those giant, mysterious-looking ones that you can only find in the northern tips of Alaska and Canada.
Now this is a new surprise and very interesting. *ThumbsUp*
Note spelling and capital: Arctic

>>> those wolves you and your friend killed: they’re older than me.”
The first colon of this sentence is OK, but then a dash would be better after 'killed--'
Wow, a very surprising statement.

>>> but it’s definitely scary.” Matt Watson replied.
Note dialogue tag.

>>> I guess you can call it a happily ever after story.” Matt Watson replied.
We know he's talking, so I don't think you need the tag, but if you want it, then give it a comma. *Smile*

>>> a happily ever after story.” Matt Watson replied.
Dialogue tag...

>>> Jonathan’s mind flashed at the Solarium he had given to her.
Remember the original meaning of 'Solarium' is a kind of room. Probably should say: Solarium stone, (?) Also new paragraph for this new thought.

>>> ...valuable survival skills.” Matt Watson remarked.
Dialogue tag...

>>> The green soundwave abruptly
sound wave

FINAL COMMENT: Some interesting ideas came out this conversation.
Same old dialogue problem with structure of tags. Now that you know about how they work, best skim your chapters and correct as many as you can before more reviewers point out the same errors. The content is almost all working smooth and good, but structure is a hang up. I liked the hints about Jonathan's mission and about his history. Always want to know more.
Talk with you soon.
Best, Gale
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Review of Delta 02  
Review by iguanamountain
In affiliation with WYRM  
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
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A review by iguanamountain --- member of WYRM, in-depth reviewers and novelists.

The Delta Affinity
by Ember

Delta 02 - Chapter 10 – Battlefield Farewell

Here we are at the end of Delta 02. How will it go?

>>> He pressed forward, swinging the wide staff around him and gripping it tight as he looked around him, a number of wolves entering their perimeter.
The last thing Jonathan had in his hand was a burning tree branch, so the 'wide staff' does not match.
>>> Jonathan pressed forward, swinging the burning branch to face a number of wolves entering their perimeter.

>>> Damned dogs.
Doesn't feel right. Dogs are not wolves. How about 'beasts' or 'canines'?

>>> "Any ideas in that survival head of yours?" She yelled out to him, her voice trailing sarcastic and exhausted.
No cap on 'she'. It's a dialogue tag.

>>> He looked to his left to see Erika backing up as well,
Are they backing up towards each other?

>>> Jonathan twirled the staff around in front of him,
See, you do have him with a staff, but he never picked one up after the wolf jumped him. How did he get it?

>>> As Jonathan's arm swung around in recoil, the once-retreating wolf leapt at him, its head dashing into Jonathan's chest and the weight shoving him to the ground.
Start new paragraph. Too much action in a long sentence. Better short ones.

And see this long block of ACTION TEXT. Divide action into paragraphs with short, sharp sentences to keep the battle moving. Also using 'as' to link two actions or reactions begin to look like a pattern.

>>> As Jonathan fell on the snow, his right ankle burned in pain as the second wolf grabbed on tightly with its teeth.
Look at the chronological order of the action and put it into real time.
>>> As Jonathan's arm swung around in recoil, the retreating wolf turned and leapt at him. The animal's head dashed into Jonathan's chest shoving him to the ground. The second wolf grabbed Jonathan's right ankle tightly with its teeth causing burning pain. Jonathan yelled, throwing his elbow in the first wolf's snout before catching a glimpse of the second wolf's teeth embedded in his ankle. His anger flushed out the pain enough for Jonathan to savagely kick the wolf with his left boot.

>>> He looked to his left and saw his USP.45, knocked out of his hand from before. It was just in range and his hand quickly grabbed ahold of it before firing at the wolf on top of him and then the one at his leg.
New paragraph. (real time action)
>>> On his left he caught a glimpse of the handle of his USP.45 in the snow where it had fallen. Stretching out, he quickly grabbed it, aimed and fired at the wolf on top of him and then the one at his leg.
(This is one place where your word, 'grabbed', is perfect.) *BigSmile*

>>> His eyes quickly searched around him,
Start new paragraph...

>>> Instinctively, he fired at what he saw while crawling back, his left arm clawing in the snow and dragging him back as his right arm fired the remaining shots in that magazine.
Note the word 'back' used twice. Also 'fired' is used twice.

>>> Jonathan heard a feral yell from Erika
New paragraph...

>>> She looked at him and Jonathan nodded as he saw what she was thinking in her eyes.
What was she thinking. Can you make this active?

>>> Instead of reaching for his second and last magazine, Jonathan took out his last stun grenade and pulled the pin.
New action, new paragraph...

>>> "Cover your eyes!" He yelled as he tossed...
No cap, dialogue tag.

>>> Jonathan could hear a few yelps of pain from the wolves in the forest and he thought he had missed them. He felt his belt for the final magazine and when his fingers touched it, he quickly grabbed it and loaded it in the weapon.
Narration creates a layer from the action with too many words.
>>> Jonathan heard yelps of pain. Damn, maybe I missed them. He felt his belt for the final magazine, slipped it out and loaded it in the weapon.

>>> The first leaped for him as the second followed closely behind.
New action, new paragraph...

>>> As he pulled his arms back to brace himself for the assault, to his rescue, Erika leaped overhead...
New paragraph... And you lose the impact of Erika's action by merging it into a longer sentence. Can you separate the attack of the wolves. So the new paragraph is her sudden and unexpected rescue move? It could be more exciting and move the action up a notch.

>>> Erika searched around her with the bow and knife at hand, circling around her own position and then lunging to the bonfire and grabbing one of the burning staffs that Jonathan had placed in the fire.
You have too much in her hands, and she's going tp need both hands for the bpw in a minute, not a burning staff. (?)

>>> Erika engaged the target, her body dashing forward toward the animal.
Like all of this paragraph! Good action, love the sound. *Shock*

>>> "Savage." Jonathan complemented.
Dialogue tag wants a comma after 'Savage,”

>>> He swung his bo staff low, spinning around and striking something.
As last seen, Jonathan had a gun in his hand, not a bow. (?) He was going to shoot when Erika went into attack mode instead. He has to be near the fire to pick up one of the staffs.

>>> Through the snow and wind, he could hear Erika speak to him. "And you say I'm savage..."
Why not a direct dialogue line? Instead of 'could hear'. It would be a new paragraph.

>>> Jonathan's shoulders fell as he finally accepted...
New paragraph...

>>> "What, did you get into a shair-pulling contest with one of them?"
I think you mean 'hair-pulling'.

>>> "I think you're the one that needs help." She offered back.
Dialogue tag: comma after help, no cap on 'she'.

>>> Erika looked around and Jonathan looked as well.
...'looked' twice.

>>> "Is it over?" She asked, her voice soft.
Dialogue tap, no cap on 'she'.

>>> Jonathan looked around...
Now 'looked' is repetitive.

>>> "It's okay." He whispered back...
Dialogue tag...You know.

>>> She couldn't guess what she was thinking...
Hopefully you meant 'He' couldn't guess...

>>> It feared him more about dealing with it than seeing it, but he knew it had to be done.
Needs a rewrite.

>>> He looked up to see Erika watching his tend to it alone and he offered her a silent glare before sucking in his breath and pulling off the boot with a final pull.
Better as two sentences instead of the 'and'. Also it should be watching 'him' tend...

>>> before dragging it to the fire and tossing it in.
Keep in mind that mammals are not flammable without a lot of fuel to make a very hot fire. Jonathan and Erika would have to collect and pile a huge mound of firewood to burn that many bodies. It's not like throw another log on the fire.

I have serious doubts about their ability to accomplish this considering their exhausted physical condition. And what purpose does it serve in the cold snow of winter? It would make a terrible smell...roasted wolf...ewww. *Gag*

>>> "That's not going to heal." Erika noted...
Dialogue tag, you know.

>>> "What did we do?" She asked him.
Dialogue tag, you know. (Double check, because I may have missed some of the dialogue tag punctuations.)

>>> but got damn it!"
but God damn it

I like that Jonathan keeps getting hugs. The boy needs to relax. *RollEyes*

OK...Now this:

>>> Jonathan was breathing heavily as he let the end of the staff remain where it was, finally taking in what he and Erika had done. Through the snow and wind, he could hear Erika speak to him. "And you say I'm savage..." Jonathan's shoulders fell as he finally accepted that the bloodbath was over. Unlike what he had presumed, the two of them were more than a match for the pack. Jonathan heard a heavier crunch of snow behind him and he turned his head to catch Erika in his peripheral. He turned completely, dragging the bloodied end of the staff in the snow in hopes to clean it. She had a couple of scratches along the left side of her stomach, enough to where Jonathan saw some blood. Her hair was wild from melted snow. Her right arm was completely covered in blood, fur, and dirt.

FROM THIS PARAGRAPH to the end of the chapter the writing is almost all in PASSIVE VOICE NARRATION except for the dialogue lines. *Worry*
A quick Find & Replace, Find All search for 'was' as a whole word will show you the damage. It's a daunting amount, but necessary. I know you have the creative ability to do this. *Smile*

ALSO I want you to do a Find & Replace, Find All search for 'as' as a whole word to see how often you conncect phrases with 'as'. Close the box and you can look at the entire chapter before they disappear.

FINAL COMMENT: The story wraps up with a happy ending, but they'll never know or believe how much these two young teens accomplished in the wilderness. It makes a great action-adventure episode. See those big blocks of text as something that happens when you write a first draft getting all the ideas down. Getting it into an active voice to carry the reader through all the excitement is the next step.
Let me know how you're doing with this. I want to see this story come to life and blast right off the page! Once you do this, you will be a master at writing battle and fight scenes.
Best, Gale
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Review of Delta 02  
Review by iguanamountain
In affiliation with WYRM  
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)

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A review by iguanamountain --- member of WYRM, in-depth reviewers and novelists.

The Delta Affinity
by Ember

Delta 02 - Chapter 9 - Bait

I think Jonathan is planning to combat the wolves. This could get interesting and dangerous.

>>> As they set their materials down, Jonathan began to clear out any of the small, baby trees that were along their perimeter.
He doesn't begin clearing until after they set their materials down.
>>> After they set their materials down, Jonathan began...etc.

>>> He had given her the knife only a day ago and she was working it expertly. He didn't know if it was the fear of the attack or the motivation, but Erika was moving on to the next one to rapidly sharpen it.
Rewrite to active voice.

>>> Jonathan's cold gloves were
Start new paragraph.

>>> "Knife." He called out.
Dialogue tag needs a comma and no capital of 'he'.

>>> He put the small shavings in the grow the flames an...
Did you mean, 'in the growing flames'?

>>> as the flames grew.
Duplicating grow-grew,

>>> He watched her nod in acknowledgement before building the fire up.
That would be 'acknowledgment'. Which one of them built up the fire?

>>> Jonathan knew that visibility would likely fall and they would need light. He knew that the animals' boldness was already high, as evident by the one stalking them so closely that morning.
This is becoming a lot of telling. Can this be turned into dialogue? It would increase the tension of the scene. *Smile*

>>> He knew that the animals' boldness was already high, as evident by the one stalking them so closely that morning. Still, he found it difficult to prepare himself. He knew what he was going against, but didn't know how many. As far as he could count, one of them was majorly wounded while another was killed before them, so he knew that one of them was dead. Yet, his mind went back to the howls and cries the night before. Surely, their barks bounced off the trees and echoed around them, but Jonathan could not distinguish between them. If this was his final fight, he knew he would want to put as many of them down as he could while somehow protecting Erika.
Passive narration, which loses any sense of immediacy, Makes it feel dull and slow. Can you get the same idea into one worried thought sequence?

>>> Jonathan looked back to see her a distance away,
This paragraph drags as well. See her alertness, see the necklace & ask the question. Look up, see, think...done! Can you write live internal dialogue?

>>> Erika returned with a number of sticks ideal for making spears.
Take this long block of narration and reduce it to their physical actions, so you get right on to, “Why?” she asked.
And note that the 'she' is not capitalized because it's part of the same sentence as the dialogue. *RollEyes*

>>> "Bait?" Erika asked, her voice with some confusion.
Nice twist. Like this a lot. Simpler to say, 'her voice confused'.

>>> ...and Jonathan looked up at the sky as the clouds began to thicken overhead.
Let Jonathan see the clouds instead of a separate action.
>>> ...and Jonathan looked up to see the clouds thickening overhead.

>>> At the same time, the wind began to blow again and Jonathan knew that the storm was returning.
Passive. Can he feel the cold wind on his face. Looks like the storm...?

>>> As he pushed off the ground and continued to build up the fire, Jonathan watched as Erika continued with her spears,
Two 'continued' back to back.

>>> ...where they marched silently.
What does this mean?

>>> Jonathan had armed himself with the bow staff and had his USP.45 ready with his last stun grenade clipped on his hip.
Why does this have to be past tense? Can't he arm himself now? (The difference between tell and show.) *Worry* Extra space between 'stun' and grenade.

>>> Erika stood perched on the boulder behind them,
New paragraph.

>>> Jonathan's fire held, now the size of a small bonfire.
New paragraph.

>>> As the time grew near, Jonathan stopped his march and knelt down in the snow before taking off his gloves and bandaging his own hands in preparation for their stand. As he did so, he saw the meat wrapped in his jacket from before and took some to eat.
>>> Jonathan stopped his march. He knelt down in the snow, taking off his gloves. He bandaged his hands to prepare for their stand. He noticed his jacket wrapped around the meat from before. Pulling out a piece to eat plus one of the larger ones, he called out, “Erika! Here, catch! Have a snack.”

>>> She caught it, fumbling it in the air, before catching it and nibbling on it.
New paragraph.

>>> Jonathan knew that she was hungry,
New paragraph.

>>> "Contact!" Jonathan yelled, his voice filled with sudden urgency and cutting through the winding tree branches and snow.
Delete the 'and'. ...urgency, cutting through...

>>> as he watched her draw an arrow in preparation and placed it in the weapon.
Replace 'placed' with 'place'.

>>> ...a number of howls joined after.
... a number of howls joined one after another. (?)

>>> Without any warning, Jonathan heard a dog yelp in the forest to the right of where he was looking.
I've never heard wolves refereed to as 'dogs'. Better to use 'canine'.

>>> "LOOK OUT!" Jonathan turned the weapon and fired twice before he could see what Erika had spotted before him. The gun puffed twice as Jonathan heard the bullets strike meat and lungs. Another painful growl sounded as Jonathan jumped back, a wolf sliding to a bloody stop at his feet.
...fired twice...and...gun puffed twice. That's four shots? This kind of action is better with shorter sentences. Look at the huge block of text. Break it into ACTION (showing)

>>> However, before he could pull the trigger, Jonathan felt a sharp pain in his right ankle.
New paragraph. Delete the 'however'. And what comes first? The failure to pull the trigger or the sharp pain. Real live action in sequence...?
And remember, short, sharp sentences. *Shock*

>>> As he made a full circle, Jonathan watched as Erika leaped off the boulder...
Rewrite this entire paragraph into live action seen through Jonathan's eyes.
Is he afraid for her? What does he see? He can't get to her. Where is the emotion he feels seeing this vicious attack. This should be getting to the climax of this scene.

>>> "Well do-" Before Jonathan could finish his sentence, he was pushed on the snow, a wolf growling as he slid to a stop and jumped on top of him with a vicious growl.
If you interrupt the dialogue with live action, you don't have to say, before Jonathan could finish his sentence...

>>> "Well do--" Out of the swirling snow, the full weight of a wolf hit his body hard, slamming Jonathan down into the snow. The vicious growl filled his head as he half-rolled toward the fire reaching for a flaming branch. He caught a fast glimpse of Erika's panicked face. With a wicked swing, Jonathan smashed the burning end of the tree limb across the wolf's face. His lungs emptied with a guttural yell. Sparks and ashes flew into the air. The animal yelped in pain scrambling off Jonathan, leaving the scent of burning fur.

(New Paragraph)
>>> Jonathan rolled to his right to find his bo staff. Next to it was bloodied snow, near both the wolves and where he was standing. Jonathan was reminded that he was injured and the fast-pumping adrenaline in his body was blocking the pain from now, but the sight of that much blood had discouraged him.
Sometimes you write 'bo' and other times, 'bow' I think 'bow' avoids confusion.
The lines about the blood are not clear that he sees his own blood to realize he has been wounded. And decide where the injury is. Through his clothes or his exposed face and hands? Also he was bitten on the ankle? Does he have a moment of weakness before he stands? Emotion? No dialogue from Erika after seeing him taken down?
Where is the excitement and emotion?

FINAL COMMENT: This seems like a good place to put another chapter division.
We don't know how badly Jonathan is wounded or if there are more wolves.
Very climactic battle scene that cries to be put into live action. You have pieces, but it does not flow yet. And you know what to do. *Ha* Ha!
You mostly have to deal with the long blocks of narration that are telling the action. Stay inside your character's heads. Jonathan sees it all and it happens to him while he's worried about Erika. That's layers of conflict.
It's going to be a great scene.
As they say, “Write on...”
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Review of Delta 02  
Review by iguanamountain
In affiliation with WYRM  
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)

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A review by iguanamountain --- member of WYRM, in-depth reviewers and novelists.

The Delta Affinity
by Ember

Delta 02 - Chapter 8 - Top of the food chain

Back to survival and waking up in the darkness...What's going to happen?

>>> ...but what drew his attention was Erika, wide awake and frozen.
Erika was not frozen with cold, which this could mean. Maybe add: frozen with fear. (?) Did he follow the direction her eyes were focused?

>>> Jonathan squinted his eyes before he heard a growl, a one close by.
Cut the comma and 'a one'.
...heard a growl close by.

>>> and listened in again.
And listened again. The 'in' sounds like tuning a radio. *Smile*

>>> The wind blew a bit and whipped the tree branches overhead before another growl and snarl sounded off, this one closer than the first that he heard.
Awkward wording. To simplify with less words:
>>> He heard tree branches whipping in the wind, then another growl and snarl, this time closer.

>>> Jonathan rolled over and sat up on his knees, the weapon out and him aiming it in the shadows where the sound was traced back to.
Read this out loud, it's scrambled.
>>> Jonathan rolled over getting up on his knees and aiming his weapon towards the sound in the shadows.

>>> Erika moved from his side and crawled toward the small pile of wood that Jonathan had gathered before dusk had fallen.
Start new paragraph with new character action.

>>> The temperature change had cut the flames down, so much that Jonathan's visibility was drastically lowering. "Erika, don't smother it!"
New paragraph and reads better if you just use his line, which says exactly what is happening. Cut the temperature change stuff.

>>> Jonathan heard something move in the woods, kicking up snow as it dashed by and Jonathan didn't like it.
New Paragraph for Jonathan's action. Would it be stronger without the 'and'?

>>> He spared Erika a glance and saw that she was correctly tending to the flames, as now that the heat was coming back to the fire, it was beginning to consume the wood Erika put on it. As the light brightened up,
Again a lot of words to show a simple action already described.
>>> A quick glace at Erika confirmed she had it under control. The light brightened up.

>>> As the light brightened up, Jonathan saw a hind leg move in the darkness and Jonathan did not hesitate to take the shot.
(Turn it around and lose the 'and'.)
>>> Jonathan did not hesitate to take a shot when he saw a hind leg move in the darkness.

>>> The suppressor silenced the shot and the bullet hit, as Jonathan heard the bullet hit bone and a dog yelp in pain.
Delete 'and the bullet hit', redundant. He actually hears it. *Wink*

>>> ...shuffled through his stuff before he grabbed on to one of the stun grenades.
>>> ...shuffled through his stuff before finding one of the stun grenades.
You know about the meaning of 'grabbed'. *RollEyes*
(Then this sentence says he tossed the firing pin?)
>>> As he pulled it out, he snatched the firing pin from the holder and tossed it in the snow where he heard the yelp.
>>> ...and tossed the grenade into the snow where he heard the yelp.

>>> As Jonathan opened his eyes, he was surprised to see that his vision was disoriented still,
This doesn't make sense if he covered his eyes before the flash. (?)

>>> The smell of that deer carcass may have driven them here."
Rather than 'driven' I'd suggest 'attracted'.

>>> Erika's fear had gotten to her, as her voice was fragile and coarse as she yelled back.
Two 'as' in the same sentence. 'yelled back' suggests that Jonathan was yelling, which he did not. Also that is a dialogue tag requiring a comma.
Maybe rewrite that?

>>> "Here?!"
Can't have both question and apostrophe. If you want the excitement add a dialogue tag: “Here?” she said, her voice raising.

>>> ...before tossing it over the flames and to Erika's feet.
Cut the 'and'.

>>> His voice was frank and cold and Erika froze to his words, her eyes not even glancing at the knife.
You've connected Erika's action to description of Jonathan's dialogue.
To make it active change to:
>>> "All yours. Good luck," he said, his voice frank and cold.
(Then new paragraph for Erika)
>>> Erika froze to his words, her eyes not even glancing at the knife.
(New paragraph for Jonathan)
>>> Jonathan didn't blink, only kept his ears open for any sounds of the returning animals.
(New paragraph for Erika)
>>> Erika blinked after a moment and took her seat back down where she was sleeping, her hand grabbing the knife and keeping it close to her.
(New paragraph for Jonathan)
>>> He kept his eyes on her and she did the same to him. (and the rest of the paragraph..)
Ember, note that narration that is active description of action that jumps from character to character (with or without dialogue) have to be separated. Stringing them together into one long block of text makes reading difficult & editors cranky.

>>> A couple hours later, Jonathan was awoken by the sun's rays falling on his face and warming his skin.
>>> The sun's ray falling on his face and warming his skin woke Jonathan a couple hours later.

>>> As if he had never slept,
Doesn't this belong to the seeing of Erika? She hasn't moved.

>>> The twigs he used where singeing 'from' the flames.
Change 'to' to from. New sentence: Jonathan found himself...

(cut 'and' and reorder action)
>>> When one of the flames singed his finger, Jonathan quickly took his hand back and waved it in the air to cool it off. Coincidentally, Erika woke up.


Erika smiled as she saw him waving his hand in air. "At least there's a lot of ice around."

(New paragraph:)
>>> Jonathan rolled his eyes...etc.

before taking the one he put his fingers on and giving Erika the other one. He leaned to the left and reached around the flames to hand Erika her kabob of meat.

Notice you give Erika the meat twice.
>>> ...before taking the one he put his fingers on, he leaned to the left, reaching around he flames to hand Erika the other kabob.
(delete 'and' & 'of meat' since the kabob is the meat.)

>>> She stretched her hand out and grabbed it as she sat up. no comment *Wink*

>>> "Eww!" Jonathan looked up to her face in disgust
Sounds like Jonathan's face is in disgust. *Gag*
(It looks like it should go together like this:)
>>> "Wait, you've never had steak and eggs?" Jonathan looked up to see disgust on her face as the words left his mouth.

"Eww! That's a man's breakfast."

Jonathan smiled as she began to chew on some of the deer he had just cooked. "She said, as she ate wild deer," he teased.

(Now this:)
>>> " Erika giggled and Jonathan accepted that she was thinking in her right mind again. Erika did not hesitate to gobble down the deer that he had just cooked and Jonathan presumed she was very hungry. He was as well, but in anticipation of this training program, Jonathan knew to fight his hunger off and he had done so before. The meat he ate yesterday was still enough for him that morning, although he knew that he would get hungry later that day and needed to eat.
Active, direct thoughts or action would work so much better than this passive narration. How much can you delete and get on with the story? *BigSmile*

>>> Erika's eyes follow him as he turned away and checked the surroundings, the snow stopping and the sun reflecting off of almost everything he saw.
POV slip *Wink*

>>> The blood was near a stump under a tree, just fifty meters downhill from where they were. As Jonathan got closer to its location, his mind went back to the shot he took in the dark. The wolf's cry came from that direction and Jonathan figured the blood he saw was the result. He thought back again to the chances of him actually hitting it and he took a moment to look back at the snow den they had made. But as Jonathan noted the distance, he frowned. Jonathan saw the blood pile, a lot of it soaking in the snow, but a few footprints could be seen. There was no corpse.
This slides into passive voice. And back gets a workout. Jonathan found the blood near a stump under a tree. (can you describe the blood?) It couldn't have been more than fifty meters downhill from where he had taken the shot. --- is he excited, confused, concerned? Blood, but no corpse? That could mean the animal is still alive. Scary tension could build here.

>>> Jonathan watched her gain ten meters before he kickied some snow on the flames

>>> "Relative positioning." Jonathan answered bluntly.
One sentence, needs a comma.

>>> "Good. Hopefully I can use the restroom then." Erika explained.
One sentence, needs a comma.

>>> Jonathan heard the crunch of Erika's boot from behind him...
This paragraph is really good. You've done short, clear sentences building the pace and excitement of Jonathan's action. *ThumbsUp*

>>> ...prompting its last-minute yelp in pain
...yelp of pain.

>>> ... and motioned to place an arrow
... and moved to place an arrow

>>> As he gained some distance, it...
It would make more sense to say: As he approached, …

J >>> Jonathan cut his eyes before aiming the USP.45...
What does 'cut his eyes' mean?

>>> "It's stalking us, Jonathan!"
It is dead now, so wouldn't she say, “It was stalking us, Jonathan!”
and stronger to say: “Jonathan, it was stalking us!”

>>> "Why us?!" Erika asked. The anxiety flooded her voice and Jonathan didn't blame her for being fearful. It was too much for him to handle.
Cut the 'and'. Start a new paragraph with: Jonathan didn't blame...etc.

>>> "Those things eat us for breakfast.
"Those things will eat us for breakfast.

>>> Jonathan smiled to her agreement.
Should be a new paragraph.

FINAL COMMENT: You have some sections that work perfectly, but still review the general rules for paragraphs: I know it's a pain, but it comes with writing fiction in the English language. *BigSmile*

Think of paragraph breaks as giving the reader a second of pause to take the content in, absorb the meaning and place it in greater image of the story. It's a bite-sized portion of information. Sentences are for clarity while reading and sections/chapters are for continuity separation, but paragraphs are the most important units of information, absorbable by the reader as a whole.
>>> Every utterance by a different person needs a new paragraph.
>>> Essentially, every turn of action should get a new paragraph, especially if it's a different character.

Good tension in the story. I think the mystery of why the wolves are tracking them is good and scary. Maybe add some distant howls near the end to reinforce the threat. (?) Also I like the idea that Jonathan is not perfect and this new situation has un-nerved him. I keep thinking there is more to Erika's back- story since she has surprising skill and resilience. Good job with content of this sequence. Several sections need your attention to move them from passive to active, but it's all there.
Best, Gale
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Review of Delta 02  
Review by iguanamountain
In affiliation with WYRM  
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)

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A review by iguanamountain --- member of WYRM, in-depth reviewers and novelists.

The Delta Affinity
by Ember

Delta 02 - Chapter 7 - We're twins!

This is a short chapter, but I kept it separate because it doesn't belong with the previous or next chapters. Just a bit confusing.

>>> Jonathan checked the time on the oven from his room and squinted his eyes before making it out and opening up his old "holiday" music folder and clicking the play button.
Feels like there is some missing information.
>>> With squinted eyes, Jonathan checked his room's computer for the time on the oven. Then he opened up his old "holiday" music folder and clicked the play button.

>>> As he turned around, Alexandra walked pass the stairwell, looking around the house as the music played.
New character, new action. Start a new paragraph to break up the long block of narration.

Note that at this moment, Jonathan is inside his room and Alexandra is outside in the hall. Not sure how his room relates to the stairwell? Where did Alexandra come from? She just came into the house or from another room?

>>> ...as she dropped her jacket and merrily trotted to his doorway and jumped to give him a hug.
Alexandra is dressed up, wearing high heels, looking quite grown up. The words 'trotted' and 'jumped' do not match the image, unless she reverts to a childish teenager, which blows the image. I think she is being more seductive. (?)

>>> for the embracement
This is a little formal for the moment, don't you think. You could just say:
>>> He mentally thanked himself for getting his arms free in time to hug her back. They pulled away from each other to look into each other's eyes.

>>> He could taste the cherries and the warmth and affection gave him that extraordinary relaxation that he could never find.
He also is going to have crimson red lipstick on his mouth and face unless you give her a more subtle lip makeup. *RollEyes*

>>> ...where the food he made was awaiting.
...awaiting should be 'waiting'.
Note that we started the chapter with checking the oven, which tells us that part of the meal is not served yet.
The soup would go in a bowl, served first. The medallions with scalloped potatoes would probably be in the oven to stay warm. (?)

>>> Alexandra's hand calmly slipped over his which grabbed the plate...
Need a comma before 'which'. And remember the definition of 'grabbed” = to seize suddenly and roughly. Find another word. *Smile*

>>> ...and Jonathan sighed as Alexandra smiled in his face.
Lose the 'and'. Make a new sentence. Connecting non-related actions with 'and' makes it harder to read.

>>> ...as it was a silent sign of Alexandra that he was going too far.
I think this would make more sense as: ...sign 'from' Alexandra that...
She's trying to let him know he's over-doing it.

This text block about the food and trying to serve it, is very scrambled. I think you should lay out the action in a chronological order and let him talk while he is serving. Why does the narrator tell us what the food is. Jonathan can tell Alexandra with his dialogue. *Worry*

>>> "Thank you." She grabbed the plate from his hand and began to make her own. Jonathan reached around her and grabbed his plate before making his as well.
I'd call this a 'grab-fest'! You really must never use this word again and find some new ones. It only belongs in first-draft-getting-the-ideas-down.

>>> in the doorway to the dining.
...dining room.

>>> Alexandra rolled her eyes as her shoulders sunk and she grabbed her seat across from him.
...'sunk' is not right, maybe slumped? Grabbed her seat?
>>> ...as she seated herself across from him.

>>> As she sat, Jonathan couldn't help
She's already sat, cut 'as she sat'.
New paragraph with: Jonathan couldn't help...

>>> Jonathan looked up from the bottles of Andrto see Alexandra's head bowed and her hands clapped together.
Need a space between 'Andr' and 'to'
And 'clapped' should be 'clasped'.

>>> before her whispering stopped and a light "amen" was spared.
...'spared' would mean there was none. Don't you mean 'shared'?

>>> "Amen." Jonathan said,
OMG you did a dialogue tag. This requires the comma! *BigSmile*
“Amen,” Johathan said, his tone...

>>> "You could be my cook." Jonathan assumed a playful smile on her face and he chuckled to himself again. "But in actuality, we never discussed what you actually wanted to do career-wise. I guess that you did a good job at keeping the focus on me."
Total confusion here. Is this Alexandra's dialogue?
...'assumed ' a playful smile... (a Jonathan action?) Is she asking about his career? *Confused*

>>> ...for a little over two months and I feel that I know...
I think the 'and' weakens the two thoughts. Let them be separate.

FINAL COMMENT: Not related to the winter survival with Erika, so that's a big question. This chapter is Jonathan doing Thanksgiving meal for Alexandra, with a kiss and some grown-up talk. And of course, I want to know more about Jonathan. A couple sections require some creative rewriting, but the scene is all there though not as intimate and personal as I know you can make it.
Happy writing!
Best, Gale
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Review of Delta 02  
Review by iguanamountain
In affiliation with WYRM  
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
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A review by iguanamountain --- member of WYRM, in-depth reviewers and novelists.

The Delta Affinity
by Ember

Delta 02 - Chapter 6 – Who are you?

Here we go. Still out in the snow with Jonathan and Erika.

>>> Jonathan smiled before turning his body and taking a few brief steps before starting a light job.
I think you mean a 'light jog' *Wink*

>>> Erika wanted her answer, but the cool air persuaded her to go with him.
This would be a POV slip if this scene belongs to Jonathan.

>>> "Seattle. My parents were going to visit family, but they couldn't beat the snow." Erika explained between breaths. Her voice was broken, and Jonathan noticed of this and pondered that perhaps Erika was either struggling to keep up or talking and running was not her forte either. "You?"
It would be stronger writing to keep this in active voice.
>>>“Seattle. My parents planned to visit family, but they couldn't beat the snow,”
she explained between breaths. “You?”

(new paragraph)
>>>Jonathan noticed Erika's voice breaking, probably from struggling to keep up and talking at the same time.

>>> as we can." He assured.
As we can,” he assured. Dialogue tag, comma, one sentence, no cap.

>>> That's what you get for mentioning parents.
This belongs with the next paragraph, and since it is internal dialogue, perhaps add: ...parents, he thought.

>>> "16."
Should be: “Sixteen.”

>>> If you think a fourteen-year-old can take you down,
I'm shocked. This is a time jump back into the past? I though Jonathan was 16 going on 17.

>>> "You mean you don't have food?" Erika cried out to him.
This dialogue section while they are running reads smooth and well written.

>>> in which Jonathan and Erika were glad.
Suggest cutting this so it reads:
The wind had also died down. Had it not been for that, the temperature drop would have affected them more.

>>> a small part of the earth.
'earth' sounds awkward, try 'ground'.

>>> He handed Erika the knife back and she sat and watched as Jonathan expertly worked on the fire.
Maybe start a new paragraph here to break the long block of text. Cut the 'and' and make two sentences. The two unrelated actions are better separated.

>>> Erika sat in a clearing and watched Jonathan took out the black bow with some of the arrows with highlighted tails.
Touching on a POV slip. I'd just cut 'Erika sat in a clearing and watched'

>>> "Wait is that a...?"
Erika dialogue must be a separate line.

>>> 'Within the hour,' OR 'before long,'
one or the other, but not both. *Smile*

>>> Erika nodded her head slowly, not taking her eyes off the deer and holding the bow still.
This is a long paragraph. I think you want it to build tension about Erika shooting or not. The sentences are too long and there is too much extra information. The action gets lost in all the considerations. It's mental,but it has the tension qualities of a fight scene. *Worry*

>>> Jonathan wasn't sure if it was sheer coincidence
The same goes for this long paragraph. Too much info if it can't fit into shorter sentences to move with the action.

>>> It was aimed directly at him.
A great surprise and raises the excitement level.

>>> "Look!" She yelled over breaths, her left hand pointing in the woods behind him.
Erika dialogue. Separate from Jonathan's action.

>>> Jonathan had carved enough of the meat for them to eat...
I would cut the 'had'. The tense is getting all mixed within the paragraph. You are telling instead of showing so the narration feels distant and heavy with the narrator's voice. Show us what happens with them and Jonathan's real time thoughts about Erika. *Wink*

>>> Yet, even with that fear, his nightmare came back in mind.
Maybe clearer if: 'back to his mind.'
This is an interesting jump into an important memory and leads us to focus on the Solarium necklace. Cool.

>>> Jonathan instinctively concealed it, tightening his grip around the metal and completely covering it from view.
Separate character action needs a new paragraph. And can contain Jonathan's next dialogue.

>>> Jonathan gazed back at the fire before...
Maybe start a new paragraph. Sort of a change of tone and mood.
It is very interesting that he gives Erika the piece of metal. I think it will bring them closer together as friends.

>>> his rookie mistake would have cost him his life if Erika was actually targeting him.
I'm not sure about this idea. He is almost paranoid and looking at everyone as a potential threat.

FINAL COMMENT: A number of important things happen. They kill a deer for food, and we learn about the blue metal that becomes a gift. Erika has more skill than Jonathan expected. The narration about the deer hunt and kill want to be more straight action and less narration. You are missing the good part about the meat cooking, the hunger, the smell, the juicy satifaction. *Ha* The sense of being there by the fire in the snow is a sensual event. (Hint) I think what you learned about fight scenes can be applied to the bow and arrow hunting.
Every time there is a mention about the past history with Max, I become more curious about exactly what happened. Keeps me reading.
Best, Gale
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Review of Delta 02  
Review by iguanamountain
In affiliation with WYRM  
Rated: 13+ | (3.5)

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A review by iguanamountain --- member of WYRM, in-depth reviewers and novelists.

The Delta Affinity
by Ember

Delta 02 - Chapter 5 - Erika

Jonathan's survival test becomes more complicated with the introduction of a new character and the winter storm continues. This is long, but with a purpose.

>>> He stopped in his tracks and he breathed in and took in the fragrance of smog, unlike a natural smoke.
Combine into one action instead of the 'and' connect.
>>> He stopped in his tracks breathing in the fragrance of smog, unlike a natural smoke.

>>> From further distances,
Cut this phrase, the action is clearer without it. Start with: Jonathan thought it was a fireplace...

>>> Jonathan knew that something wasn't right with the weather and a normal person would either dig in or call it quits, but the smoke was unusual.
Can you change this to a real-time internal thought? Stay with Jonathan.
OR cut this sentence and and pick up the next paragraph, which starts with an internal thought. (?)

OK, Ember, I want you to see an experiment. Just in this chapter. I'm posting it below I did an Edit, Find & Replace, for 'and',and chose Find All. See the results: I did them red and bold...*Shock* Sort of a visual-in-your-face!
- - - - - - - - -
Jonathan could smell smoke as he continued his travels out toward the second POI. He stopped in his tracks and he breathed in and took in the fragrance of smog, unlike a natural smoke. From further distances, Jonathan thought it was a fireplace or a campfire, but as he was coming closer and the wind changed directions, Jonathan didn't smell wooden tinder, but oily smoke. He stood on the top of an old tree stump as he breathed through his scarf, his body completely covered except for his nose, as he inhaled. The snow had only gotten worse, thick snowflakes falling down and piling onto the ground as the wind blew up the lighter snowflakes and obscured his vision. Jonathan knew that something wasn't right with the weather and a normal person would either dig in or call it quits, but the smoke was unusual.

Something's not right. Another gust of frozen wind shot a puff of the smoke in his nostrils, strong enough that he could smell it through the scarf that covered the bottom of his face. He looked around before rubbing his snow goggles of the snow and proceeding forward. He took careful steps forward, continuing the march as he patted his USP.45 on his belt. Jonathan wasn't sure what to expect as he continued forward. If he stumbled upon people, he would have to evade. With the winter conditions, he assumed it would be easy to go about unseen. He just needed to know.

There was a sound, a metal clamping down to his foot as he stepped off a log and onto the ground. The sound bounced off the trees and Jonathan looked around, trying to track its source. The steep incline to his left was nothing but snow and there was no trace of any metal. As he stepped again, the metal cracked and Jonathan knew it was under his feet. He drew his weapon and kneeled down before brushing the snow aside with his leather gloves and found a car door, crumpled and mangled from an obvious collision. Jonathan looked up to his left, trying to find any metal, but he knew it was pointless. He remained still, trying to listen for cars or traffic, but after a moment of nothing but the wind blowing, Jonathan knew that no one could be driving in this weather. It would be absurd.

Burning rubber? Maybe a car broke down, but it's not my problem. Jonathan figured worse case that it was a car broken down or evidence of a collision months if not, years ago. He shrugged it off and kneeled up as he checked his surroundings and moved forward, keeping the gun at his side and loosely walking in the direction of the POI, keeping the incline to his left.

As he turned the corner, the sight caught him off guard and he quickly took a step back, moving the gun in both hands and holding it ahead of him. Damnit. His heart raced to the excitement and shock as he leaned down and slowly inched forward. It wasn't a person, from what he could tell. The size and its motionlessness stood out. The glowing flames blew to the side, dying to the slightest breeze of frigid air. Jonathan eased over around the corner again, first scanning for anyone and then quickly turning with the weapon raised. It was a wrecked car, the rear side stabbed with a piece of metal forked in it. The hood was smashed and the windshield in pieces with a large tree branch stabbing through it. The fractured glass was painted in blood and the snow that fell on it was absorbing it and turning to a warm red colored mush. Jonathan didn't know what he was looking at, his mind only thinking that he may have stumbled on a murder scene. The weather made it unlikely, but at a second thought made him think otherwise.

He approached slowly, moving the gun to his sides while scanning around and making sure no hostile was present. There were no bodies or no blood trails. Perhaps with the rate of snowfall, Jonathan thought it may have been covered up. But he would have seen other signs before. From the indentation in the frozen earth, Jonathan looked to his left to see the trail in which the car had fallen, twisting tree branches and violently moving boulders and crushing bushes on its descent down. He looked back at the car and examined the passenger door open. Jonathan looked around again and then back at the hill to see if he had missed something. He stepped to the side and looked at the ground, kneeling down and letting his fingers sweep the snow. His fingers brushed the newly fallen snow aside as his fingers hit and traced a hardened layer of snow underneath. Its ridges and bumps outlined that of a boot and Jonathan looked around, trying to assure that no one was near. As his fingers outlined a footprint, Jonathan brushed all the snow aside and looked at the direction of the print. It was a step back toward the ledge and Jonathan squinted his eyes to try to make out anyone climbing up it, but with the wind blowing the snow, it was impossible for him to see that far.

No one would go through with that. He stepped up and walked toward the end of the car before circling around the torn metal and placing his hand on the trunk. As his leather gloves met the metal, the door of the trunk clamped down a bit. Jonathan stopped as he could feel the car move a bit on its own, almost like a nudge. His breathing quickened as he tightened the grip on the weapon and rotated his body to face the trunk of the car. Jonathan's left hand slid to the left of the trunk before his fingers wrapped underneath the opening. Warm air met his hands and began to melt the snow stuck to his gloves as he tightened his grip and opened the door, his gun pointed at the opening.

There was a gasp over the wind as Jonathan saw a young girl, around his age. She was wrapped in her coat and a thin blanket and was looking right at him as they met eyes. From the look of her eyes, Jonathan saw the remains of tears. Her beady eyes confirmed her fear and Jonathan was sure that she was shaking from fear and not the cold.

Damn. Jonathan didn't expect anyone to be in it, perhaps a clue to what happened here. But now that he was staring at her with a gun, he was certain that she was terrified.

He lifted the weapon up slowly, letting the weapon rotate along his index finger and raising his other hand up as well. "It's okay. I'm not here to hurt you."

"Who are you?" She didn't move, her eyes only blinking as snowflakes landed close to her face. Jonathan didn't know what to say, not that he didn't know the answer, but didn't know how to react.

"I'm Jonathan. I'm taking part in a Special Forces training program. I stumbled across here and found you. What's your name?" He asked.

She didn't move again, only kept her brown beady eyes locked onto his. "I'm Erika."

"What happened here, Erika? Are you hurt?"

Erika shook her head. "No, I'm fine. Just cold. My parents hit a deer on the road and the car slid down. I thought they were coming for me." She sniffled and Jonathan hoped she wouldn't start crying.

He lowered his hands and holstered the weapon to his side before looking behind him. "Your parents are up there? Are they okay?"

"My mom was knocked out, but my dad got her out. But the car was sliding and I was scared and I didn't know what to do. My dad tried to help..." She started sniffling more and Jonathan watched as the dried tears began to wash away to new ones.

Jonathan was eager for information. "When? How long ago?" But Erika shook her head as she couldn't hold herself anymore and the tears started streaming down.

"I don't know. Maybe ten hours ago?" Jonathan sighed before debating what to do. Part of him wanted to help her, but he wasn't sure if he could. Even if he called for help and utilized the emergency beacon, the storm would be too much for them to try to get them. Jonathan watched Erika cry as she readjusted herself on her blanket and looked at her pile of empty fruit snack wrappers, likely what she was eating to keep her energized. "Can you call for help?" She managed to get through her sniffles.

Jonathan shook his head. "If we did, they wouldn't be able to do anything. I would hope that your parents found help where they were, but no one could get to us with this storm." Erika sat up and crossed her legs as Jonathan continued to think. He watched the gusts of wind and knew that Erika couldn't stay here. Even if he had marked up top with flares, no one would be driving in the weather. He only had one other option, but he didn't like it. "I guess you'll have to come with me. Your parents are smart and they know where you are, but this weather has likely shut down everything. If we get to my extraction point, then we can get you to safety first. Can you walk?" She nodded her head and Jonathan set his backpack down before taking out some additional clothing, a sweater, socks, and an extra pair of gloves before tossing them to her. He quickly moved to the driver's seat and scanned the car remains for anything else, ideally a lighter, paper for fuel, or anything he could use for warmth, but the car was already ruined with dirt, snow, and bloodied glass.

The car shook mildly as Erika hopped out of the trunk, quickly taking off her winter coat and putting on his black turtleneck sweater. Jonathan thought it was an odd thing for him to have with him, likely concealed with his underarmor and clothing and out of his sight, but now it was useful for him to have. As Jonathan stepped out, he could see Erika fully, her short, straight, blonde hair collecting snowflakes as the winter storm continued to bury them both. Her tears stopped flowing down her white cheeks, red from the bitter cold air hitting them. Her eyes were wide and observant, looking at everything and reacting to every noise. Jonathan figured perhaps it was shock that was somehow delayed, but it had disappeared when she took a few steps around the car. She was staring at the descent that the car had fallen down and Jonathan wondered what she was thinking.

"I should be dead..." She spoke aloud, turning to look at him. She was worried, her eyelashes and teenage makeup smeared, but her voice drunk with relief. Jonathan walked toward her and watched as her eyes scanned him, likely looking for the gun he had put away. She had a right to be scared and to not trust him, but Jonathan knew that the same applied to her. Jonathan doubted that this was an elaborate setup by Matt Watson, especially if this was someone his age. But he didn't know her either, or more importantly, how she acted under stress or fear. Jonathan understood that survival was contingent on sanity and simple objectives.

He walked to her side and looked up the steep hill that the car had collapsed down and Erika turned and looked up at the hill with him. "No, death didn't mean to claim you here." He glanced at her to see her eyes back at him so quickly, frozen on him with what Jonathan wasn't sure was fascination or distress. "Before we set out, let's make this clear. I'm setting out to a set points of interest for extraction. You're invited to join, but we have to do so quickly. Once we get to the extraction point, then I can call for help and hopefully get you to your parents. Are you in?"

Erika only blinked before nodding her head.

With that, Jonathan kneeled down and took out the bo staff that he recovered from the drop site and handed it to her before looking at the car and the direction in which it fell. The excitement of finding someone had distracted him from his location, but now, he was able to relocate himself just by his surroundings. Visibility was getting worse as he gauged his location and set off. He waited as Erika slipped her jacket over his sweater and moved behind him. Jonathan debated pulling out his weapon again, but didn't see much use in it if he couldn't see far enough. Jonathan could trace his route by the wind mostly, as its direction was consistent to yesterday's and he remembered the news report. Although all he could see was white and distant trees, Jonathan knew he was in the right direction and would be able to verify it when the heavy parts of the storm passed by.

Jonathan felt something was wrong as he and Erika moved by a few feet from the car when he stopped and turned around. To his surprise, Erika was not with him, but instead, staring at the bloodied, frozen windshield with the tree lodged in the center. Erika was frozen by it, staring at it and not letting the snowflakes force her to blink. Jonathan watched her for a second before walking back to her side and standing in silence with her. The wind howled and the trees whipped and threw pinecones and fragments of branches in the snow below. As the wind began to pick up, Jonathan turned to face a motionless Erika, confused by her dead stare at the ruined, black 2004 Honda Accord. Jonathan couldn't help but guess that she was thinking about the crash and how lucky she was. He couldn't imagine what fear-tainted thoughts were running through her mind, but he was equally lucky that he didn't stumble upon her frozen body.

"I'm sure your parents are fine." He offered to her as he swatted at a snowflake that was too large for him to resist.

She nodded her head. "I'm sure they know how to survive in this weather, but what about me?"

Jonathan smiled to the question. "Maybe you are lucky, after all." Erika spared a fragile smile and Jonathan nudged his head to his right. "Can you run?"

"How far?"

It shows 'and' was used 105 times! Your narration is strung together with all those disconnected bits of action and description. This is FIRST DRAFT when you first wrote your ideas down. Essential to get the story out of your head and onto the screen, but THEN you have to polish and edit. *BigSmile*

>>> Maybe a car broke down,
Note that you repeat ' a car broken down' in the next sentence.

>>> As he turned the corner,
The use of 'corner' belongs in a city, not out in nature. Gotta be a better way to say that. (?)
>>> eased over around the corner again
A 'corner' of what? A tree? A big rock?

>>> moving boulders and crushing bushes on its descent down.
You are missing the obvious thought that there must be a highway up above.

>>> examined the passenger door open.
...examined the open passenger door.

>>> as he tightened his grip and opened the door,
We don't call a trunk lid, a 'door'.
...he tightened his grip to open the trunk lid,...

>>> She was wrapped in her coat and a thin blanket and was looking right at him as they met eyes.
First view is incomplete. Hair showing & color? Is she wearing a hat, a hoodie?
He would be aware of a lot of information at this first view. (?) Plus too many 'and's.
Note: >>> ...as their eyes met.

>>> Jonathan didn't know what to say,
New paragraph. Jonathan's action

>>> She started sniffling more and Jonathan watched as the dried tears began to wash away to new ones.
You've stuck a Jonathan action in the middle of an Erika dialogue. I suggest cutting it. We know he's seeing her action.
Also: >>> She started sniffing more as new tears began to wash away the old ones.

>>> Jonathan sighed before debating what to do.
New paragraph. Narration of Jonathan's action cannot be in the same paragraph as Erika's real-time dialogue.

>>> "Can you call for help?" She managed to get through her sniffles.
Must be a new paragraph.

>>> She nodded her head and Jonathan set his backpack down...
See, these two actions do not belong together with an 'and'.

>>> and an extra pair of gloves before tossing them to her.
Feels awkward unless he says something. (?)

>>> He quickly moved to the driver's seat...
New paragraph, new action. Dump the 'and':
...driver's seat to scan the car remains for...

>>> As Jonathan stepped out,
Back out of the driver's seat, he saw...

>>> but it had disappeared when she took a few steps around the car. She was staring at the descent that the car had fallen down and Jonathan wondered what she was thinking.
New paragraph with real-time action:
>>> Erika took a few steps around the car. She stared at the descent the car had fallen down. Then go right on with her dialogue: "I should be dead..." Cut the ellipse.
(Jonathan does not have to wonder, because she tells him.) *Smile*

>>> She was worried,
POV slip. Plus it's passive. It should be what he sees.

>>> Jonathan walked toward her and watched as her eyes scanned him,
New paragraph, new character action.
>>> Jonathan walked towards her, watching as her eyes scanned him...

Cut the 'and' and combine the two actions. You have to decide if they are part of the same moment, can they can flow together? Otherwise, they are two sentences or even another paragraph.

>>> I'm setting out to a set points of interest
(Note setting and set in the same phrase.)
>>> I intend to move to a set point of interest...

>>> With that, Jonathan kneeled down and took out the bo staff that he recovered from the drop site and handed it to her before looking at the car and the direction in which it fell.
Too many actions in one sentence.
...kneeled = knelt
...bo staff = bpw staff
>>> With that, Jonathan knelt down taking out the bow staff, recovered from the drop site, and handed it to her. Then he looked up at the direction the car had fallen.

>>> ... as he gauged his location and set off. He waited as Erika...
(He didn't set off, because he waited.)
>>> ...as he gauged his location and prepared to set off. He waited as Erika...

>>> pinecones
pine cones (two words)

>>> "How far?"
I wonder if she means that she is a runner...or not?

FINAL COMMENT: It looks like Jonathan is taking on a huge responsibility. This is a great complication and makes the story much more intriguing.
Nice plotting, Ember. The chapter needs a lot of polishing and lifting it up out of the first draft mode. The story is all there under a network of 'and's. *Laugh*
I'm anxious to see what you do with it.
Best, Gale
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Review of Delta 02  
Review by iguanamountain
In affiliation with WYRM  
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)

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A review by iguanamountain --- member of WYRM, in-depth reviewers and novelists.

The Delta Affinity
by Ember

Delta 02 - Chapter 4 – Winter Storm

We're about to meet some new characters and add many layers to the complicated story of Delta 02.

>>> Andrea Cole gripped the chair rest next to her seat as her husband continued to speed along the empty road along one of the fake mountain peaks in the national forest.
(arm rest is more specific, note the two 'along'.)
>>> ...gripped the arm rest next to her seat because her husband continued to speed along the empty road in the national forest.
The 'fake' mountain peaks stopped me cold. Can't imagine what you mean? The information is important that they are in a national forest.

>>> "Eric, just slow down, will you?" Andrea asked with concernas Eric tightened his grip on the wheel and gently tapped on the accelerator.
You have Andrea's dialogue combined with Eric's action. Separate paragraph.
>>> "Eric, just slow down, will you?" Andrea asked with concern.
Replace 'tapped' with 'pressed'

>>> Eric only stared out the covered windshield as he toggled his high beams on to test his view.
In snow, the wipers are going all the time, otherwise you are blinded within a few seconds. High beams make it impossible to see beyond the falling snow in front of the vehicle. If the windshield is 'covered' he cannot see out. Re-think this with wipers. *Smile*

( 'was' playing?)
They continued down the winding road with the radio playing the weather.

>>> Erika Gianna Cole sat in the back,
Start new paragraph for new character and action.

>>> Erika Gianna Cole sat in the back, her headphones on and listening to Corrine Bailey Rae's Like a Star as she watched the fattening snowflakes nearly white out her view outside.
Too much information in one sentence. Generally use quotation marks for song titles. Cut the 'as', make new sentence. 'white-out' is hyphenated. Note that you've already use 'fat' to describe snow flakes (big, large, fluffy)

>>> Even with the white snow, the sheer volume of snow began to darken the morning's overcast.
Note repetition of the word 'snow' and repeating 'white' from the previous sentence. I would cut 'Even with the white snow'. (We know it's white)

>>> Everything will be-"
The dash suggests interrupted dialogue, but you don't have an interruption, so finish the line, or cut it.

>>> When she was younger, she thought that their exchanges were discussions of love and passion, but as she got older, she found that their frequent discussions were arguments and the more she witnessed it, the more she understood that her parents were eventually moving to a divorce.
Way too much. Simplify.

>>> But in instances like now, her headphones weren't enough to block out their words and she rolled her eyes as she watched the snow.
(use less words, note the 'and' and 'as' connectors)
>>> She rolled her eyes watching the snow. Now even her headphones couldn't block out their words.

>>> The continuing argument wouldn't get a fifth dispute, as before Erika could mentally notice the silence and relief, her ears were filled with her mother's screams.
This is a very round-about narration into what is a sudden, dramatic moment.

>>> The argument stopped abruptly. Her mother screamed, “ERICK LOOK OUT!”
(Remember, the faster the action, the shorter the sentences.) *Shock*

I think the action of the crash narrative gets a little out of order. This is from
Erica's POV.
>>> Her mother's screams scared her. (Instant sound first.)
>>> she saw a large brown object move over the hood of the car and over the top.
>>>The 2004 Honda Accord bumped and jerked as the windshield immediately cracked. (airbag? Sound?)
>>> The car was swaying to the right and as Eric fought the spinning, it moved more out of control.
>>>Erika's head bounced off the seat cushion, knocking her headphones off and throwing her arms in the air, (Erika voice sound?)
>>> the windshield, caked with snow and blood, (Has to be a fast glimpse)
>>> Her headphones, her purse, and her MP3 player flew back and forth before finally wrecking into something on the right (She would be moving too!)
>>> The crash broke the glass on the passenger side windows
>>> The sound of twisting metal filled the car as the car broke through the metal guard rail and the car began to lean down at the sudden incline into the snowy forest below,(This goes beyond the POV)
Imagine how it would feel INSIDE THE CAR IN THE BACK SEAT when it hits the guardrail. Sound, impact, direction she might be thrown? She wouldn't know exactly what happened until later. Stay with Erika. Where does her head end up?

>>> As the car finally slid to a stop, Erika could hear the whimpering of her mom, her body motionless as her father leaned against the steering wheel, his forehead bleeding against the wheel when the airbag failed to deploy.
Making one sentence does not make it easier to read. Break it up.
Feel the motion of the car and sudden or slow stop. Sound? She would have to sit up to look forward to check mother & father. What does she see from the back seat? Mother's airbag has deployed.

>>> Her body didn't have enough time to produce adrenaline in the shock and all that was left was fear.
>>> Because of the shock, her body didn't have enough time to produce arenaline---nothing remained except fear.

>>> Eric Cole growled as he gritted his teeth to the throbbing pain in his forehead, fighting the stun of his forehead slamming into the pleather wheel.
MEMO FOR EMBER: You've got to proof more carefully. You need to see that you've repeated 'forehead' twice and a typo on 'leather'. Try reading the text out loud, you'll catch a lot right then! AND that this is a POV slip. Erika has to see this.
>>> She could see her father gritting his teeth from the throbbing pain in his forehead from slamming into the leather wheel.

>>> and Erika slowly leaned forward to face her father.
Move this down to start the next paragraph before, “Dad!”

>>> At the sound of her voice, Eric Cole jumped out of his stun...
Start another paragraph. Different character's action.

>>> ...and quickly turned to unclick his seatbelt. The car shifted forward toward the ridge. He froze. (need reaction from Erika)

(New paragraph)
>>> Erika was reaching for hers when the car began to move back slowly.
Does her movement cause the weight to shift back?

>>> A sharp metal end of the guard rail had punctured the trunk of the car and pinned it from behind, catching its fall. Eric Cole could see the crease of the metal along the road and how it was slowly bending back, eventually tearing and due to break.
You are in Erika's POV. Eric would have to say something to tell her what is happening. Then maybe she can twist around to see it starting to give way.(?)

Erika pleaded as her tears began to drip on the floor.
>>> Her face wet with tears, Erika pleaded, “Don't leave me!"

>>> "I'm not." He hushed his child before moving to unstrap Andrea from the passenger's seat. Erika's mother began to murmur as he yanked the seatbelt free and crawled out of his seat and toward hers. He moved over his wife and pressed against the car handle, but her door didn't budge. Eric snarled as he looked back and kicked his open, the door crackling with glass as it swung open. The car budged and Erika screamed as her father froze and waited for the movement to stop.
Rewrite this enough so that it is from Erika's point of view watching him struggle with her mother's unconscious body. Stay with Erika! I think she's terrified.

>>> "It's okay, I'll be right back for you!"
separate dialogue line.

Make a clearer picture of the position of the car. The end of the guardrail is in the trunk---which means all of the car is OUTSIDE of the guardrails and precariously hanging over the edge. Maybe at an angle so the driver side door can open out over the very last of the ground before the drop-off. Does that make sense? The bulk of the car's weight has to be over the edge and only held by the rail in the trunk.

>>> As Eric slipped out of the car, he stepped into an inch of snow, the car creaked and he froze.
This is the largest weight shift that has happened. When Andrea is free of the car, there should be a bigger shift of the vehicle. Erika screams, mother wakes. The snowflakes on Andrea are out of the POV. Only her dialogue can be heard

>>> "Eric, where's Erika?" She whispered.

"MOM! I'M RIGHT HERE! HELP ME! PLEASE!" She cried out through the wind.

Leaving Andrea, Eric dashed to grab the rear bumper to stop the car from leaning more. It only slowed. Too much of the car's weight was over the edge. The metal rail was twisting and due to snap at any second.

“Erika, don't mov---” His words were cut off as the guard rail snapped in two and The car began slipping over the crumbling edge. ”Nooo---I can't hold it!

Andrea cried out, “Oh my God! Erika! My baby!”

See, short, sweet, terrifying action.
From here the POV has to stay with Erika INSIDE THE CAR. That's the last she hears from her parents.

>>> The car rolled and flipped twice on its descent before finally crashing down at the bottom and slamming into two trees, a branch shooting through the shattered windshield and into the seat directly behind the driver's seat. Erika was left with only a few cuts and bruises and she was knocked out, her seatbelt jammed and locked tight from the first collision above. With the windshield gone and the driver side door ripped off its hinges, the remaining heat that did not escape the broken windows or open door rapidly seeped out of the car and dropped the temperature of the cavity.

Mostly outside of Erika's POV. Let her be aware of some of the descent---first roll and maybe the first flip---then she blacks out.

This would be the next paragraph:
>>> As more wind blew and snowflakes began to pile up on the wreckage, Erika finally became aware of herself.
Pain, specific parts of her body? The cold. Eyes open, struggle up, windows broken, snow, more cold, wind. She's still strapped in the seat. That's what saved her life.

>>> No. Her breath quickened to the fear that no one was there to help her. Aside from her parents, no one knew where she was and she was in the middle of nowhere.
(Needs a creative rewrite.)

>>> She quickly tried to unfasten her seatbelt, but instead, found the tool that had saved her life. The seatbelt was jammed from the initial crash, pinning her to the seat and undoubtedly keeping her alive.
This is very cool and logical. Note that 'seat belt' is two words. Eliminate the 'was'.
>>> Her seat belt jammed during the initial crash,...

>>> and it opened the door as well.
>>> And it opened the trunk lid as well.

>>> She opened the door and hopped in before moving the tire aside and laying out the blanket and coat she had looked around one final time.
Note that the trunk is already open...and tires in trunks are always bolted down. She would have more room if she could remove it. The tire iron is usually clipped inside the tire or nearby. I don't think she could 'hop' in. She would have to climb in, probably on top of the tire and pull the lid down, but not locked for sure. Opening a trunk from the inside is very difficult. *BigSmile*

The scene ends as the lid closes. And it's dark inside, but warmer.

FINAL COMMENT: This is called the isolation Erika Cole---with a real, live cliff hanger! Some problems with shifting POVs, but not too hard to fix as long as you stay in Erika's head.
I think, maybe, you visioned the car ending up trunk pointing to the edge, but then the guard rail would probably have to be impaled on the engine hood and more awkward as the doors open toward the cliff edge instead of away from it. Pulling Andrea out of the car is a critical moment for movement of the vehicle.
Then, revision Erika inside the car when it goes down. So, Ember, you have created a complex batch of action with multiple characters. I love the solving of it all. You need to work on some of this before Chy or DayDreamer get into your book. You don't want to have repeats of my comments. *Worry*
Let me know how you are doing. There is so much good stuff already there, you know.
Best, Gale
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Review of Delta 02  
Review by iguanamountain
In affiliation with WYRM  
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)

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A review by iguanamountain --- member of WYRM, in-depth reviewers and novelists.

The Delta Affinity
by Ember

Delta 02 - Chapter 3 – Nightmare

Back the Jonathan's survival test.

>>> as he rushed through the snow.
I question use of the word, 'rushed' in relationship to moving through snow.
I assume he is not on a packed trail, so each step requires the extra effort to lift each step up out of the snow high enough to slip forward into the next step. The deeper the snow, the more effort. Try 'pressed' or 'pushed'.

>>> He pushed his arms as his feet broke through the snow and as he neared the ravine, he leaped, pushing his foot off the last step of the edge and launching himself over.
...'pushed his arms' doesn't make sense. Maybe balanced with his arms. Plus two connectors using 'as'. *RollEyes*
OR maybe a different order of words:
>>> At the edge of a ravine his feet broke through the snow crust. Balancing with his arms, he pushed with his foot launching himself out.

>>> The cool air blew to his right as he peered down to see the small stream under him, the cold water trailing down as he moved overhead. His leap fell below the elevation of where he left off and gravity took hold of him. As it did, Jonathan leaned forward and began to execute a roll as he fell below the ledge he leaped off and landed on the edge of the cliff where he was intending to go.
Here's more sentences with 'as' connectors. *Shock*
This is live action...'peered down' is something that takes too long, plus the extra phrase about the trailing water. (?) The air blowing to his right is not related to his leap into the air. Consider:
>>> Cool air blew into his face. He caught a glimpse of a small stream under him. Gravity took hold and Jonathan began to execute a roll. He landed on the edge of the cliff on the far side of the ravine where he intended to go. He rolled in the snow...etc.

Remember, the faster the action, the shorter the sentences. Think real time. All the extra words slow down the excitement of real-time action.

>>> He pressed up as he looked behind him to see the twenty feet he cleared and brushed off some of the snow that stuck to his small pack and his clothing.
This was a mighty leap. It loses impact tagging the brushing off at the end. Consider:
>>> Brushing the snow off his small pack and clothing, he pressed up to look back at the twenty feet he had just cleared.
This would lead nicely into the next paragraph, which is great.

>>> ...he found what he was looking for. It was a dark green, rectangular metal crate,...
Just to drop one of the 'was” : use a dash.
...he found what he was looking for---a dark green, rectangular metal crate,...

>>> He grabbed onto the handle (Remember 'grab' means seize suddenly & roughly) Try 'grasped the handle...'

>>> He cleared off one of the fallen trees and took a seat as he rotated the crate and opened the rotating latch.
(First draft wording) Note use of 'and' twice and another 'as'. Plus rotate twice. Put it all together:
>>> Clearing off a fallen tree, he sat down, turning the crate to open the rotating latch.

(Here's a new kind of problem. Doing a highly technical list and not having it in a passive voice in a large dense block of text. ***)
>>> Jonathan frowned as he looked at the contents inside. Part of his was hoping for more elaborate materials, but as he rethought back to Matt Watson's reaction when the park ranger gave him his old USP.45, he should have expected what he got. Inside the crate was a Bo Staff, retractable and adjustable to grip. As he grabbed it, its weight caught him off guard, expecting it to be wood. It was a dense metal and Jonathan nodded his head in approval. There was a metal bow and arrow with six arrows, as Jonathan counted. They were equipped with a bold, metal arrow with folding blades to stop the arrow from being pulled out. He also saw the laser lighting, which would help him track it if his shot didn't immediately kill the target. He never used a bow and arrow before, personally because he felt the technology was archaic, but he didn't expect to use the USP.45 for hunting. He was equipped with four signal flares, each marked with a different color. There were two other small canisters with pins. They were unmarked, only striped with a red band and after looking it over, Jonathan could only assume they were stun grenades. The last item in the crate was a bottle of Hydrocortisone cream and Jonathan only figured it was because of the poison oak outside. Snow or not, Jonathan considered it wouldn't be a problem.

***The solution is to not be a narrator, but rather stay in Jonathan's mind while he searches through the crate, discovering, uncovering, with his reactions. Some things might be better revealed at the time of crisis when they are really needed. You know, the suspense stuff. Keep the list to essentials only.

*** ***
(More work to do here)
>>> A black liquid pulsed through Maxim's erect vein just above his temple as his weak voice called out to him. He could feel his body warm in anger as he charged in to continue his assault. Jonathan knew this story already and was fearful of the outcome. He knew he had just gained a critical lead over his legal guardian and was assuring that it would be his last. But now that he was looking at it, Jonathan could feel how he felt when he had acted accordingly, but he felt removed from it.

The entire sequence that is a nightmare-dream about Maxim is essentially in a passive voice. (Chose Edit, Search & Replace, Find All for 'was'.) and see where you are. How is a nightmare different from the real event? What would it look like if you wanted to see it as film or video? Do you want to narrate the dream or show Jonathan's emotional experience inside the dream? It is a kind of fight scene, only more difficult because of the dreamlike qualities. *Cry*
Later you write about the dream: but he never had a nightmare so detailed before. It was an out-of-body experience unlike any he's experienced before.

>>> "NO!" Jonathan shook violently as he yelled out,
The waking up paragraph is good with texture, temperature, wind, show, etc.

>>> and Jonathan had underestimated him finding it so quickly.
and Jonathan had underestimated his finding it so quickly.

>>> and Jonathan heard a distant crash
Is this fore-shadowing? Hmm... *Cool*

>>> obscuring his earing.
obscuring his hearing.

>>> If it was any luck, hopefully all the old trees fell before he continued his march. (awkward)
With any luck, all the old trees fell before he continued his march.

FINAL COMMENT: Lots of stuff to do here. The story is fine, but structure is crying for creative rewriting. You have created a real writing challenge with the nightmare sequence. Obviously you have great imagination, dig into it! I would love to see what you can do with it. You know you can email sections to me and I will reply. With some folks, we go back and forth a number of times struggling with problem sections. Sometimes a review is just a trigger for a whole lot of exchanges. Just like you and I did about the opening of Knights. That has caused me to work on a new first chapter. *Laugh*
Talk to you soon. Best, Gale

(EXTRA INFORMATION from other sources)
Generally speaking, the more action you incorporate into your prose, the more you engage your reader's attention. With this in mind, writers commonly use the active voice to write about unconscious do-ers. For instance, it's practically a cliche to write a sentence like, “The sun beat down upon the rider's neck.” Readers will take for granted that the sun is not consciously trying to beat anything. And the sentence is more pleasing than, "The rider's neck was being beaten down upon by the sun.
On the other hand, treating unconscious do-ers as thought they were conscious gives you an opportunity to communicate something about your narrator or point-of-view character's personality...
“The sun beat mercilessly down upon the rider's neck, slowly searing his flesh, punishing him for his stubborn determination to travel in broad daylight and his stupidity that made him leave his hat at home.”
When you use the active voice, you tell the reader directly who or what is doing the action. Sentences in active voice follow the pattern in which someone or something (noun) does something (verb). The do-er, the person or thing that does the action, is the subject of the verb. For instance...
“The boy threw the ball. It ricocheted off a lamppost and landed in the fountain with a splash that drenched a sleepy pigeon.”
Here the do-ers are specified: the boy, the ball, and the splash.
When the passive voice is used, the recipient, the person or thing the action is done to, is the subject of the verb. The do-er, if included, is there simply to modify the verb. Here's what the above example would look like in the passive voice...
“The ball was thrown by the boy. A lampost was ricocheted off of by the ball. The fountain was landed on, and a sleepy pigeon was drenched by the splash.”
In this version, the subjects of the verbs are: the ball, the lampost, the fountain, and the pigeon.
Need more help deciding whether a sentence is passive? Ask yourself whether there is an action going on in the sentence. If so, what is at the front of the sentence? Is it the person or thing that does the action? Or is it the person or thing that has the action done to it? In a passive sentence, the object of the action will be in the subject position at the front of the sentence. As discussed above, the sentence will also contain a form of be and a past participle. If the subject appears at all, it will usually be at the end of the sentence, often in a phrase that starts with “by.”

Passive sentences are very common in dialogue, and are typical representations of everyday speech, so there is little need to change them, for instance:

I don't know if any of this helps. I think it all is a grey area.

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Review of Delta 02  
Review by iguanamountain
In affiliation with WYRM  
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
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A review by iguanamountain --- member of WYRM, in-depth reviewers and novelists.

The Delta Affinity
by Ember

Delta 02 - Chapter-2 - The Gift

note: Back to a diifferent time and place. Still looking for a connection to or from the survival training.

>>> He clicked the safety off before peering back at the computer screen and reading the "loading" display.
If you’re talking about the rifle, and they are done with an excercise, why would he click the safety off...OR...is this a safety switch on the computer?
Consider: >>>...peering back at the computer screen to read, ‘loading display’.
OR some folks would prefer loading display in italics.

>>> He could hear Alexandra's dashing steps to his position, the weapon hanging from her chest holster as the computer began to calculate the final results.
The computer is sort of hanging on the end of the sentence.
He could hear Alexandra’s dashing steps to his position to watch the final results begin calculating, her weapon still hanging from her chest holster.

>>> slowly watching both reports begin to load.
You’ve alread used ‘load’. Try, >> roll on <<.

>>> The bunker ran quiet and a moment later, the bunker made its decision.
...’bunker’ twice in the same sentence. Maybe: The computer ran quiet...etc.

>>> A high-pitch ping sounded off as Alexandra's report completed and to the sound of it, Jonathan knew that she did it.
Cut the ‘off’, not needed. It’s not clear what the sound means. Consider:
Alexandra's report completed with a high-pitched ping and from that sound Jonathan knew that she did it.

>>> "Congratulations!" He said just...
Dialogue tag is part of the same sentence. No capital on ‘He’.

>>> He kneeled down and sat his Scar-L on the ground before unloading the weapon.
Not ‘ground’, they are not outside. Tiles, floor, metal plates...? AND remember he clicked the safety ‘off’. *Worry*

>>> He took slow steps toward Alexandra
Better new paragraph. He went from kneeling to walking.

>>> Her sniffles made them bounce and in the back...
Cut the ‘and’. Make two sentences. One is physical action, the other is Jonathan’s thought.
Funny idea.

>>> Jonathan chuckled as he wiped one of the tears from her face.
There are two sentences with ‘face’. To remove one ‘face’, try:
...wiped away one of the tears.

>>> Jonathan couldn't tell what Alexandra was thinking or...
Start new paragraph here.

>>> As they made it to the top floor, Jonathan opened the gate for her as the stairs retracted and opened the way to the kitchen. As she walked in and turned to the right,...
See if you can remove at least two of the ‘as’.

>>> He let his hands slide around in the dark before his hands met a cold, heavy plastic box.
You have ‘his hands’ twice in the same sentence. For the second one, try: before he touched a....

>>> but what mattered more were the contents inside the box.
but the contents inside the box mattered more.

>>> putting up her hair with a bobby pin...
putting her hair up with a bobby pin...

>>> ...placed the case on the ground at his feet...
...on the floor at his feet...

>>> Jonathan bent down and grabbed the case
You know ‘grab’ means to seize suddenly and roughly. How about, picked up?
Or lose the ‘and’. Jonathan bent down picking up the case before...

>>> He patted his hand against hers before stepping aside and backing away. Alexandra's hand lingered before rubbing his hand and looking up to Jonathan.
How can she rub his hand if he has already backed away? Better rework that.

>>> Alexandra's voice was hesitant,
Start new paragraph here. Alexandra’s dialogue.

>>> Jonathan frowned to her joke and it brought a smile on Alexandra's face.
New paragraph, lose the ‘and’.
Johathan frowned at her joke, bringing a smile to Alexandra’s face.

>>> "Perhaps you could join Mrs. Potts. They seem cheerful."
Separate paragraph.

>>> so we could do then.
do it then.

FINAL COMMENT: They can shoot, fence, have mock battles, but asking for a date is a major hurdle. They resort to being ordinary teenagers with Jonathan being so unsure about ‘girls’. As professional as they are, it makes them sort of sweet and charming. It is his lack of confidence that makes the scene play really well with good dialogue.
Mostly in this chapter there are duplicate words close together. Read this material out loud to youself. You’ll see and hear the places to rearrange the words. Sometimes you put the phrase in a complicated word arrangement when it can be said simpler. I left some examples for that.
Alexandra’s joyful breakdown feels a little over the top for such a hard-ass controlled fighter. Consider softening her reaction just a bit. (?) The gifts are nicely described. And does he really have the kind of blacksmith shop that can produce that kind of sword? We’d better catch a glimpse of that area at some point. (hint). I did note that were no POV slips or passive voice. I give you big credit for that! *ThumbsUpR* We’re moving on. Looking forward to more survival training. *Delight*
Best, Gale
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Review of Delta 02  
Review by iguanamountain
In affiliation with WYRM  
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
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A review by iguanamountain --- member of WYRM, in-depth reviewers and novelists.

The Delta Affinity
by Ember

Delta 02 – Chapter 1 - New Challenges

Here we begin a whole new section of Delta Affinity. I'm breaking it down into workable chapters.

(Right off we have passive voice dulling the narration.)
>>> She was off the treadmill now and he expected her to move from one cardio to another and assault the punching bag, but instead, she was stretching. she was sitting on the mat, her legs in a perfect split and leaning to her left, letting her arms fall to her left foot.
(Turn the words around and it becomes active and more alive.)
>>> Now that she had finished with the treadmill, he expected her to move to the next cardio and assault the punching bag. Instead Alexandra sat on the mat with her legs in a perfect split, leaning left letting her arms fall to her left foot.

>>> She had her back to him as he examined her discipline and form and then sighing to himself before walking in and preparing his mind to ignore her.
(It's like stream of conscientiousness..and...and...)
>>> With her back to him, he could examine her discipline and form. Jonathan sighed to himself, preparing his mind to ignore her when he walked in.

Consider the order of action---the thought first, physical response follows.
>>> Keeping in mind what he had originally came down for, he exited out of Alexandra's stamina report to begin entry codes for the Solarium Project.
>>> "I needed that." She joked as...
This should be a separate dialogue line not part of your narration about Jonathan;s action. ALSO you punctuation of dialogue tags is consistently in error. IT IS ONE SENTENCE. Dialogue>>>comma, unless ? or ! >>>tag without a capital.
>>> “I needed that,” she joked.
My other question is what is it that she needed? Is something missing?

>>> The only thing that was identified was potassium nitrate,
>>> The only thing identified on the list, potassium nitrate, or what...

>>> Gun powder. It only made up 6.8 percent of the molecular composition of the cool blue metal, but it was his first hint in trying to find the origins of it. Even with his own research, Jonathan couldn't find any material close to that of what he found.
(a little simpler and add a dash to connect gun powder, and cut the was.)
>>> Gun powder---making up 6.8 percent of the molecular composition of the cool blue metal, but it proved to be the first hint for finding the origins of it. Even with his own research, Jonathan couldn't find any material close to what he had found.
(just to clear another 'was' and replace 'barely'.)
>>> His mind raced back to a younger Jonathan when he had just managed to gather the metal before causing the minute earthquake in Argentina.
Would it sound more scientific if you said: low-frequency earthquake?

>>> At the tapping of his fingers, the cylindered containment cell pressed up from the metal ground, releasing some of the cold nitrogen gas from the pressured container.
I think it would be more correct to write: 'metal floor' rather than ground.
'cylinder-containment-cell' or 'cylinder containment unit'. Then: 'from the pressurized container'. See **** below.

>>> disrupting Alexandra from her stretching stance and watching as Jonathan rolled his chair over to the cell and picked out one of the fragments.
This becomes a POV slip. Easy fix:
>>> Jonathan noticed Alexandra stopped her stretching stance to watch him roll his chair over to the cell and remove one of the fragments.

>>> He let go of the blue metal and noted of its light blue radiance before standing up from his chair and walking to the weapons cell.
Something wrong here. If he lets go of the metal, how is he to carry it to the weapons cell?

>>> The ground cell closed upon detecting his absence and Jonathan listened to the sealing of the compartment as he hopped into the weapon's cell and grabbed one of the lighters.
Some confusion between the main room and the cylinder containment, which is not a 'cell' as human-sized compartment like the weapon's cell. The cylinder containment unit rises up from the floor bearing pressurized cylinders. Is that right? When he walks away from his desk area, the containment unit returns to the floor and seals. So better to not call it a 'cell' because you're not describing human-sized rooms. **** Then I'm not sure if it HOLDS cylinders or is in THE SHAPE of a cylinder. (?) I think it is a cylinder that has open shelves or bins that raises up out of a tank that holds nitrogen gas.
>>> The cylindrical containment unit closed upon detecting his absence, sealing back into the floor. He could hear the hiss as he hopped into the weapon cell to choose one of the miniature blowtorchs.
I think he needs something more substantial than a lighter. (?)

>>> He flipped the lighter off and picked up the hand before tossing it up in preparation for it to be hot,
'picked up the hand' makes no sense. I think this is what you mean:
>>> He flipped the torch off and with an insulated clamp, picked up the fragment expecting it to be hot, but it still remained at its normal temperature.
This is very cool stuff!

>>> Her Solarium charm fell from her sports bra and hung directly in front of her breasts.
Nice touch to end the sequence. *ThumbsUp*

* * *

>>> The scout helicopter's motor purred even more as it began to increase its speed over Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest
Very accurate as to where we are...but WHEN and how does this connect and relate to all the has gone on previously? (?)

>>> He sighed and watched his breath freeze before his eyes and observed as Park Ranger Harrison Carter and Special Forces Survivalist Matt Watson peered back at him before leaning over to the pilot and issuing so more directions.
Strangely connected ideas. The introduction of the two men is important. Too many 'and's. Needs more of a feeling of real time action.
>>> He sighed, not surprised to see his breath freeze before his eyes. He watched as Park Ranger Harrison Carter and Special Forces Survivalist Matt Watson turned to peer back at him before leaning over to issue more directions to the pilot.

>>> He enjoyed the hikes and the parker ranger and him often traversed some of the longest trails together.
Too many extra words, it is 'park'.
>>> He enjoyed the hikes with the park ranger, often traversing some of the longest trails together.

>>> and expressed more of a challenge,
...wanting... ?

>>> but after seeing potential in the young man, he decided to aid him in his challenges to become a survivalist. Park Ranger Harrison Carter reached out to Matt Watson, one of his colleagues from when he was in service.
POV slip. This has to be something Jonathan was told or learned. *Smile*
Note rest of paragraph is also out of Jonathan's POV.

>>> "So Carter, remind me why we're sending a kid out in a forest for three days?" The survivalist trainer inquired as he shook his head...
Dialogue tag should not be capitalized, part of one sentence. Also 'inquired' feels formal for this type of conversation. “asked' is better. Remember, this is dialogue that Jonathan hears.

>>> "This here is Jonathan Dale Trescot, parents of Aaron and Corinne Trescot, the ones that worked with USAID and the United Nations.
Missing some words: 'his parents were Aaron and Conrinne Trescot, ...
Good back history here.

>>> Jonathan met eyes with the survivalist and nodded his head before extending a hand, saying, “Sir.”
You had the 'Sir' in the wrong paragraph.

>>> He smiled. "I always admired a man with a solid handshake."
This is correct, not being a dialogue tag. But needs to be a separate paragraph, and better to use his name, ' Matt Watson smiled.'
Jonathan's actions and the other men's dialogue ALL NEED TO BE SEPARATE. You have to do that to know who talks next.
- - - - - - - -
Matt Watson smiled. "I always admired a man with a solid handshake."

Jonathan nodded his head before letting a small smirk rise on his face.

"So you're the one that wants to learn to survive. Ordinarily, I would dismiss you because of your age, but seeing the circumstances..." Matt Watson glared at Park Ranger Carter before returning to an eager and attentive Jonathan. "...I guess we can make an exception." He leaned to his right and grabbed a small bag that sat beside him before he slid it in front of himself and opened it.
- - - - - - - -

>>> "Did he say 'loadout?' I didn't even know that was a word when I was your age."
Like this...

>>> Jonathan nodded his head with an eager smile...
Start a new paragraph with this line. The block of text is overwhelming to read.
Cut the 'and'. Then start another new paragraph for Matt's continuing dialogue.

>>> He would legitimately have to start on his own.
Good setup with difficulty defined.

>>> over the propellers or the wind blowing,
Propellers or 'rotors'?

>>> Jonathan nodded his head as he peered out the helicopter again.
Separate this out of Matt's dialogue. Note that using 'as' for a connector is not always the strongest wording.
>>> Peering out of the helicopter again, Jonathan nodded his head.

{new line for this:}
"Besides, if you die, that's a s***-ton of paperwork to do."
{new line for this and merge together, with clearer internal thought:}
>>> We'll see, Jonathan thought. He chuckled with Mat Watson as the helicopter pulled to a hover
{new line for this, note 'as' is gone.
>>> Matt Watson kicked the small bag of supplies to Jonathan when he stood up from his seat, poking his head out the side of the helicopter and peering down at the clearing.
{new separate line for this:}
>>> "All right, let's go!" Matt Watson yelled as he spun his hand around in a circle to signal Jonathan to jump.
(And a new line for Jonathan's action.)
>>> He was caught by surprise, expecting it to land,
{new separate line for this and more real time than 'He could hear':}
>>> "Good luck, Trescot!" Matt Watson yelled after him, his tone still hinting of some entertainment and doubt.

(Putting the action in the right order)
>>> Jonathan looked up to see something being tossed out of the helicopter. Park Ranger Carter yelled, "Use this if you need it!"

(OK, this action happens in a matter of 3 or 4 seconds before the copter pulls away. The rest of the narration gets in the way of the action.)
>>> "Did you just give the kid a gun?!" Matt Watson's voice rang out over the rising helicopter blades.

"It's my old one, I don't need it anymore..." (we know who's voice)

Jonathan watched the black metal item fall in the snow a few feet from where he landed. The helicopter rose above the tree line, leaving the clearing and flew back in the direction that it had come. Jonathan leaned down to pick up a USP.45 in the snow with a suppressor and a laser sight attached to it and already loaded with one extra magazine. He'd never seen a weapon with a suppressor before. They were considerably harder to get a hold of.

Most of this are your words trimmed down to flow the action. Also to active-up the passive sentences. *BigSmile*
(The rest of this is good)
Question: would the gun be in a holster or a protective case? (?)

>>> so he knew it wasn't manmade.
Not one word, either man-made, or man made.

>>> "This will be a piece of cake." Jonathan slid the USP.45 in between his belt and his waist before moving onward toward the sun.
As we say, famous last words... 'onward' is awkward, better: moving out toward the sun.

FINAL COMMENT: Well, we have certainly moved out with a new adventure. I still want to know where in Jonathan's timeline do we find this outdoor survival test? It is nicely set up with hints at a very difficult challenge.

The biggest problem with this new material is the structure. Individual character dialogue or action must be separated from each other. It becomes very difficult to read and follow who's who. I know you've recently written all this, and it has the quality of a first draft. Which is fine to get the ideas and plot down. Everyone does that, but you must go back and clean up the structure, which is not hard, just time consuming. I've provided enough examples for you to see what to do. From now on I will just indicate: STRUCTURE or POV slip or PASSIVE VOICE. Large blocks of text are always suspect. I would love to see some sequences that you have worked on---so I know my reviews are making sense. Feedback please! Those are simple emails and my replies are just email.

There is no problem about the story, the plot, the characters. You have a really cool action-adventure novel generating (evolving) here! Clean up some of this material soon, so when you write forward, it becomes easier and easier. Once you instantly see what you're doing, it works! *Delight*
Write on...See you around next week.
Best, Gale
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