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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/profile/reviews/jbdrydenco
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39 Public Reviews Given
Public Reviews
1
1
Review of The Clock Tower  
Rated: 13+ | (3.0)
I think there are two issues with this piece.

The first is that the unidentified first-person voice in the story is jarring. It took me a minute to even recognize that it was intentional, and I think there ought to be something to distinguish it in the text. I would suggest adding a mechanic in the story like italics or something to give us an indication that it is almost "outside" the story in some way. I also think that it needs to be better explained in the story as to why it is there at that place and time.

The other is that the end is *too* "Aha!" for me. I think that there needs to be some lead-up to that moment where the reader has more of a feeling of "I knew it!" than "Wait, what?". The latter of which is what I had.

I really like the pacing and tone of the story, and while I feel it is a little more clock- than steampunk, it fits well into the genre. You have a good feel for the necessity of visuals in a story, and I definitely had no issue with picturing this place.

Overall this is good. I think it needs some fine-tuning, but it's a good start.
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Review of Cast off  
Rated: E | (3.0)
This is definitely a nice introduction to what I would assume is a much longer piece. I think you've got a nice setup and certainly building a few intriguing characters right from the beginning. I am interested in the military dynamic, and I am curious to know what sort of "missions" this place might carry out. Looking forward to more.
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Review of Red Tide  
Rated: ASR | (3.0)
While I enjoyed the characters in this story, the plot is entirely driven by the dialog, and I felt like a lot of was very forced. Overall the characters are well-developed, but I do not think that their dialog and actions along can carry the story. I feel as though there needs to be more in the way of description, especially of the characters' physicality, the port, and some of the scenery. I really did not get a very vivid image of what these places looked like, smelled like, sounded like, etc. I think this definitely has potential, and I certainly feel the steampunk element in the story. I think a polish and some added material could bolster this piece sufficiently.
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Review of Abducted  
Rated: ASR | (2.0)
Oh, the disappointment of a deus ex machina. I was expecting a much lengthier resolution to the story; I not only got a too-neatly-packaged ending, I got no true resolution to the story. The real conflict in this story lies with the intentions of RTG and the use of quantum tunneling. How are they going to use it? How will this effect the world and how it is divided and organized? What does Anna have to do with resolving the conflict? There are so many questions not only left unanswered at the end but raised at the end, and that should never be.

There is a very strong science fiction feel to this piece that I enjoy. I am always intrigued by new stories and new concepts, and I like this idea of quantum tunneling. I think there is definitely a story and a problem that can surround that. However, you've built this world where the US is in shambles, the Europeans are powerful again, and China is some sort of isolationist entity. All of these things lead to a much larger story than is being told to us (the reader). I think some of those other bits can be taken out or fleshed out slightly more to give us a better picture of the world you're giving us.

You might want to pick up a copy of Staffs & Starships magazine and read the story "At War" by Karl el-Koura. He creates a device in that story similar to what you've presented with quantum tunneling.

Looking forward to a rewrite.
5
5
Rated: 18+ | (3.0)
Hard to rate this accurately, so I'll put it in the middle.

Who's she waiting for? If this person is late again, why is she surprised?

Is this a favorite place of theirs?

It's mentioned that it's "our song"; does that means it's her significant other?

Why is that person late?

Just some questions to possibly move you forward. Language is good so far. Watch the tenses, as sometimes they shift a bit. Also, with a first-person story, be sure to keep the narrative tone consistent throughout. Right now it's dry and witty; don't lose that.
6
6
Rated: 13+ | (3.0)
A few thoughts. I believe the attempt to write a courtly romance piece is admirable. There are few people who endeavor to challenge themselves with something so stringent in its process. That being said, I think you ought to take some time to read a few of the more prominent courtly romances from the 13th and 14th centuries.

There are a lot of modern colloquialisms in this story, and a number of somewhat modern thoughts being presented here. If it's a more modern take on "courtly romance", then it needs to be dressed up a bit more to reflect that. If it's truly intended to be a courtly romance piece, then there needs to be some attention paid to the style of writing, and the actions of the characters. A lot of this piece reads more closely to a Jane Austen novel than courtly romance (i.e., a bit more Romantic than Courtly).

I do like the character of Cecilly; she's well done. Leopold doesn't have much of a character as of yet, though.

You do repeat yourself at times when you switch from one character to the other. Some of that can be weeded out with a good read-through. Remember that the reader will remember things, so you don't always have to give both characters' viewpoints on the same topic.

Overall, a good start and has great potential. If you're interested in some suggested reading, please let me know.
7
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Review of Pib  
Rated: 18+ | (3.0)
A strangely compelling euphemism for sex. I don't like the reference to "pogo stick", but other than that, this piece certainly held my interest. I'm not truly sure I understand the meaning behind each of the Bible passages, but after a bit of work there could be some better correlations between the story and the passages.

The last line, "they were lovers", isn't necessary. I think with a bit of rewording throughout the story, this can come across evidently without needing to tell the reader this.

Nice piece.
8
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Review of Heatlink  
Rated: E | (3.0)
"For the last time in his life, Martin Jones trudged through the thick blanket of snow." This is your story.

I like the scene that you set up throughout this entire story: the house is wonderful, the characters are great, and there is a host of great visual details. However, there's no plot; nothing happens in the story. That line that I've pulled out - your very last line - is the most intriguing line of the entire story.

Why is it his last one? I assume he dies, but I want to know about that. That line makes me question everything that comes after that moment, and I forget all of the things that come before it.

I also got a little lost in the story he tells because it seems like an info dump. It's disguised as dialogue, but it's still a lot of information dumped into the story to tell a lot of back story that could be delved into through the last line.

"For the last time in his life, Martin Jones trudged through the thick blanket of snow." What happened in all the other snows before this one? What kind of life did he lead? Give us a story that we can truly relate to. Does he remember a lot of good things in relation to the changing of the seasons? Does snow bring back bad memories? So many questions.

I liked it, though. I think the storytelling is great, and I'd love to read more. Well done.
9
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Review of The Ant Farm  
Rated: E | (2.0)
This feels much more like a character sketch or a story concept write-up. I think there needs to be some attention paid to producing a plot to encapsulate this idea a bit more. Dialogue is a must (more than what is here) and a bit more exposition that takes the time to develop the world, the characters, and the storyline.

I really like your idea. It's strange, but comfortable. It reminds me a little of "The Martian Chronicles" in it's style. I look forward to more.
10
10
Rated: 13+ | (2.5)
I got pulled out of this piece very quickly. The dialogue is very elevated and in such a way that it is distracting to the reader. I understand that these people are philosophers, but in like company, it seems as thought they would talk as friends. Also, the language in the prose is very elevated, too, and it reads very much like an old history book. I understand the concept behind the writing of the story, but it has to be done in such a way that it doesn't pull the reader out of the story.

I think that you have a good way with words, but you need to take some time to consider that your reader isn't going to want to have a dictionary sitting beside them while they read your story in order to process everything in it.

I would look forward to a rewrite of this piece. Definitely consider some time spent on strengthening the dialogue to counter the method in which you tell this story.

Best of luck
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Review of The Unnamed One  
Rated: E | (3.0)
I'd like to see where this goes. The concept is intriguing enough to keep me reading, but the dialogue certainly needs some work. There is a lot of explaining that happens in the dialogue that could be handled in other ways. I realize that this is unfinished and just the beginning of a longer work, so I hope that you can polish it off and repost when you're done. I think it's got some good potential.

Also, keep your descriptions in mind when you write. I got a little confused as to who was who with all the black cloaks and such.
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Review of Cogito Ergo Sum  
Rated: 13+ | (3.0)
The concept behind this is spectacular. This character makes me visualize what I think the character of "The Haitian" (from Heroes) might think about when he retrieves memories from people.

I think this story could be much longer. Can the main character interact with the memories of the dead? Is there a possibility of getting trapped within those memories? What happens if they do? I think you could definitely explore those routes in a longer story; and I think this story could be longer because there is a substantial amount of characterization regarding the main character/narrator that is left out.

I also think that the mystery behind why they have him locked up is something that needs to be answered by the end of the story. I think the story would benefit from that sort of elaboration.

I'd be eager to read more. Good story. Great concept.
13
13
Review of The Only Light  
Rated: E | (3.0)
There is definitely potential in the idea of a buried New York City sometime in the future. A sense of a post-apocalyptic world is definitely evident, and I get that you're hoping for some sort of revelation, but I think there is a lot more to this story to be told.

Who are the Atlantians? What really did happen to NYC? Who is our narrator?

We need to know a bit more of the story to truly empathize with anyone. The narrator gives us very little about himself/herself; I'd like to know more. Look forward to seeing some more to this (maybe?). Let me know if you'd like some more input.
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