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Review Requests: ON
376 Public Reviews Given
379 Total Reviews Given
Review Style
My review style will change to conform to the needs of the work. If I find no grammatical issues, I move onto something else, and I will always key on requested aspects of the piece per the author's instructions.
I'm good at...
Helping with descriptive phrasing, less capable in the realm of grammar, but always aspire to be honest yet polite. I feel that those who concentrate on criticizing are compensating for something, which is lacking in themselves.
Favorite Genres
SciFi, Fantasy, Horror, Country, and almost anything else I'm asked to do.
Least Favorite Genres
X rated. Other than that, I haven't met one yet.
Favorite Item Types
Short Story, Novel chapters, etc.
Least Favorite Item Types
Poems, because I know very little about that art. However, I am very willing to give my impression of a poem. I just make no promises as to how helpful it will be.
I will not review...
X rated or anything over a rating of 18+
Public Reviews
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101
101
Review of Eden's End  
Review by jdennis
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Review of "Eden's End"

by jdennis

This reads like an opening chapter for a much longer piece centered on an enthralling set of topics that are part of today's current events, although it also works as a stand-alone piece. The underlying theme dealing with immigration into a more successful environment while escaping oppression, starvation, and one's life being subjugated under a totalitarian system.

Your writing evokes a great deal of emotion, issuing from characters who are believable and in many ways, familiar from today's news accounts. The atmosphere you paint with your words is that of a futuristic world where prosperity has been developed through technological developments in agriculture, housing, and even societal norms or cultural guidance.

Killian: The P.O.V. character.

The story opens with Killian strolling across the complex where he lives. Along his journey, you build a scientifically advanced world around him through your writing and bring this new world to life with your descriptive prose. We, the reader, see the evening lights, hear the water gurgling, realize that earlier there was a celebration, but now all is quiet. Your exposition then gives us background information necessary for the understanding of the events to come.

Dr. Lessa: During Killian's stroll, he encounters another character destined to be an integral part of the plot for the story. Dr. Lessa is a new arrival in Eden and a physician hoping to become a researcher. The two eventually become romantically entwined.

Jessica: As the story progresses, the reader is introduced to another character, Jessica. Jessica is Killian's colleague, who is advancing into more of a managerial position with another organization and expresses that she would like Killian to go with her.
With these main characters introduced, the story continues to unfold, telling a tale of love, intrigue, temptation to accept a financially successful carrier over a budding love affair, but if taken, Killian would lose the love of a lifetime.

Eventually, Killian follows his heart to the life he always dreamed of having.

Well done.

The story does need a thorough perusal for grammar issues (I did notice a few), but a quick rewrite should take care of that. Also, I got the feel as I read that this piece held the possibility of becoming a much longer piece. Is that in the plans? If so, I am available for future readings and reviews.

Thank you for writing this and letting me read it.


jdennis
102
102
Review by jdennis
Rated: E | (4.5)
Suezz,

You raise some very astute points and postulate reasonable solutions, however, the point I believe you missed is the old standard of being responsible for what you say and, at the same time, respecting the rights of others to agree or disagree. This guidline should be the rule-of-thumb we all go by when evoking the "Right" to express our opinions. Also, the trend to belittle someone else for expressing their opinion has, today, been replaced by violent outbursts, especially in the political arena. This is the disappointing aspect of discourse these days. Mind you, when I say "violent outbursts," I am including "outbursts" to the point of bodily harm to the person or group opposed. Especially in today's political environment, one must measure one's words, and, in so doing, capitulate to the other side. Therefore, leaving a bitter taste in one's mouth when espousing one's "diluted" opinion.

Throughout history, subjects like politics, religion, sex and so on, have stimulated intercourse between opposing factions, however, in today's culture, intellectual intercourse seems to be abandoned too readily. Tempers seem to ignite too quickly for honest discussion to take place. Maybe that is due to past obstructions, which have caused sore egos, raw from suffering too much abuse without the opportunity for rebuttal. It is my opinion that both sides of any argument must first take hold of the ragged edge of civility before continuing for there to be a substantial basis for a civil discussion.

I appreciate and respect your interpretation and the utilization of the chronoscope and government coercion in explaining the evolution of "argumentation" in today's existence. You are correct that the internet has provided a shield for many to pounce upon opinions, which they do not agree with. I also believe you have identified a core cause of our current state of discourse due to the ability to hide behind the veil, which the internet provides.

Thank you for writing this and letting me read and review it.

jdennis
103
103
Review by jdennis
Rated: E | (3.5)
Laurel,

Not saying you did anything wrong, just a suggestion: "The heat and humidity in the dome was near stifling and Lyra was unused to all the plant life she was encountering." My mind kept tripping over the passive verbs in some of your sentences, as well as some transitions from past tense to past perfect tense. This sentence contains past tense and past perfect tenses.

I understand that both are grammatically correct; however, the slight change interrupts the flow of the read (for me, not necessarily for everyone.) For me, it reads smoother to fix the tense in the past, something like this, but in your own words: "The heat and humidity in the dome stifled Lyra, while the unfamiliar plant life she encountered engrossed her attention." Just a suggestion and not a criticism. I do the same thing, almost everyone does, but I am passing on some advice given to me, which I believe helped me.

"Lyra’s focused once more, hearing growls around where she was sitting." Here, I believe you meant to write: "Lyra focused once more..."

“You must return here in five days, or your sister replaces you.” A loud crash echoed through the dome and something heavy knocked Lyra in the head. Lyra opened her eyes feeling dizzy. She was sitting outside the dome, and in her hand was the vial of medicine. There was a note on it, reminding Lyra that she only had five days to complete her task. Lyra slipped out the dome and into the crowded marketplace to find a horse. After finding one, Lyra rode the horse back home quickly, making the journey in only a few hours." Here you place a time transition, so you should denote it somehow, maybe something like this:

("You must return here in five days, or your sister replaces you." A loud crash echoed through the dome, and something heavy knocked Lyra in the head.
"When Lyra opened her eyes she felt dizzy, she...." By starting a new paragraph you give the reader an indication of time passing. Or you could use "*****" for longer time passages or something else that you would prefer.)

Overall, this was an enchanting beginning for a more extended tale, and I do hope you continue it and let me read the rest. Thank you for the opportunity to read your work.

jdennis
104
104
Review by jdennis
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
PastorJuan,

The only booboo I found (I think) was this: "As he did this, a hush fell over all the people who were watching and, Jose Gregorio Cortez De La Mancha, III, though (should this be "thought?") he even heard a gasp from one of the ladies who was watching."

I really liked this story. For a short, short story (Flash), you capture a complete story in very few words. You build suspense nicely. You include an undertone of humor in a suspenseful situation, where much is at stake. All while maintaining your decorum as a writer by not introducing graphic violence, which many cannot resist.

I will be reading more of your work in the future, with your permission, of course.

Thank you for writing this and letting me read it—for free.

jdennis
105
105
Review by jdennis
Rated: E | (5.0)
Hi,

I found this in "Read and Review" here on WdC and decided to give it a read. After reading it I couldn't help but comment.

This piece is exceptional. I find myself thinking about "time" quite often these days, but I have not broken it down into as precise increments as you have here. Doing so brings home the true value of a moment and makes me want to gather every moment in every day and squeeze it in a hug.

Thank you for writing this and letting me read it.

jdennis
106
106
Review of Baby Steps  
Review by jdennis
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Loaf,

1. "The classroom is a rush of noise as students mingle as we wait for everyone to trickle inside." This sentence might read a little better with a slight change: "The classroom is a rush of noise as students mingle, while we wait for everyone to trickle inside." Two "as's" so close together kind of makes the inner "tongue" trip.

2. You might want to attribute your conversations more often, I had to keep referring to previous attributions and skipping back to where I was. Some readers may get annoyed with that and stop reading, and that would be a shame because your story is quite good.

3. The first two items are all that I could come up with. Your story depicts a young woman with two entanglements, prospects with uncertain outcomes and this makes the reader want to read on, so I would recommend continuing this story to a satisfying conclusion. Your readers will love it.
Thank you for writing this and letting me read it.

jdennis
107
107
Review by jdennis
Rated: E | (4.5)
Great description of life on an Aircraft Carrier, never been there, but feel like I have now. I also loved the video and especially, the fireworks.

jdennis
108
108
Review of Thrice Prompted  
Review by jdennis
Rated: E | (5.0)
Here is just a small donation for the cause.

Thank you for sponsoring this contest. I hope this contest inspires many in their journey to somewhere they always wished they would end up.

I'll be back.

jdennis
109
109
Review by jdennis
Rated: E | (5.0)
Great short-short! I love the banter back-and-forth between the husband and wife, sounds familiar. Also, I resemble that remark as we have a large outbuilding with about 100 tons of old items inherited, hand-me-downed, lost-then-found (after a new one was bought) and they all sit in the dark waiting for one of my children to come home and search through them. It's fun, isn't it?

I enjoyed this brief excursion into my past along with you. Keep writing and stay in touch.

Thank you for writing this and letting me read it.

jdennis
110
110
Review of Trapped  
Review by jdennis
Rated: E | (5.0)
Purely satisfying. Short, sweet, to the point, I love that in a story. I hate to waste words, although, I have been accused of it many times. Keep up the compact structure and succeed.

Thank you for writing this and letting me read it.

jdennis
111
111
Review by jdennis
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
A most enjoyable short-short. I hope I don't have nightmares tonight. Thank you for the quick, but enjoyable and entertaining read.

jdennis
112
112
Review of June 14--Gun  
Review by jdennis
Rated: 18+ | N/A (Review only item.)
Your story is wonderfully written, powerfully portrayed, impactfully implemented, succinct and satisfying to read. Thank you for writing it and letting me read it.

jdennis
113
113
Review of Summer Kiss  
Review by jdennis
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
I remember that night. I was so scared, but she drew me into the kiss with such ease, I calmed in the middle and fell completely under her spell by the time it was over. Thank you for bringing that back to me in living color and with all the other trimmings. That was the most innocent, yet sensual kiss of my life, and the first one.

jdennis
114
114
Review by jdennis
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
Okay, you got my attention. Where's the rest? Please.
115
115
Review by jdennis
Rated: E | (5.0)
Your poem brings back memories of another time when I was free of the encumbrances of age and clutching onto a heart eager to be broken by the next beautiful soul to cross my path. Thank you for rekindling those memories, making me feel young again

jdennis
116
116
Review of The coin  
Review by jdennis
Rated: E | (3.0)
"The stone altar feels cold as the flame from the floor lamps at the altar dances to the gentle breeze coming into the giant hall." Word count 25

Search for ways to minimize the number of words in your sentences. Not only to economize and emphasize but to heighten suspense and lighten the burden on the reader.

Try something like: "A chill imbibes the stone alter under dancing lanterns and an invasive breeze, sweeping the grand hall." Word count 17

The first paragraph sounds good if you consider the above notations. However, I do not understand your change in voice in the remainder of the first part of your story. You seem to be explaining the story instead of describing the action, dialogue, and movements occurring in the story. My suggestion at this point would be to make your initial attempt a first-person rendition of your tale. Write the story as if it were about you and describe the scene as you see it in your mind using your words as you see the story taking. You may even want to express the events as if they just took place in the past tense, your preference in that respect. The first person, past tense, is sometimes more comfortable because it is as the story appears to you and as you might describe an occurrence as it has just happened. I prefer to write in first person myself.

Your story appears to be something many people would find of interest, and you need to adopt a "voice" with which to tell your tale comfortably. I believe you will take off from there.

jdennis
117
117
Review by jdennis
Rated: E | N/A (Review only item.)
You have written an inspiring rendition of Mary Magdalene and her thoughts of Jesus. I imagined her speaking with your words during my read and felt her calm resolve and grateful acceptance of his grace. Thank you for gifting me with this brief moment of reflection upon what humanity can be, should be, has been once and, with hope, shall be again.
118
118
Review of Dracarys  
Review by jdennis
Rated: 18+ | (5.0)
Wonderfully put and inspiring!

Thank you,

jdennis
119
119
Review by jdennis
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
1. “No! Well do this and if you don’t screw anything up, maybe after.” One small issue in this dialogue. It should be, “No! We'll do this and if you don’t screw anything up, maybe after.”

2. “”Why was the door unlocked, Ralph? No alarm either. What’s up?” Should only be opening " at the beginning.

These are the only two booboos I found.

An enjoyable short-short with comedy, endearing characters, a moral and an uplifting ending. What more could one ask from about 300 words? Your two characters, Ralph and Phil, are comical and their banter is enjoyable (everyone wants to think crooks are stupid and not a danger). However, they are sometimes dangerous.

Thank you for writing this and letting me read it.

jdennis
120
120
Review of Nonnative Species  
Review by jdennis
Rated: E | (4.5)
Great Flash Fiction story! A story and a story-in-a-story. The only point of correction I found was: "Big Country," Larry smile. "You should have seen the one that got away." Larry looked up at the officer, "It must've been forty feet long." Should be "Larry smiled."

Thank you for writing this and letting me read it.

jdennis
121
121
Review of A Love To Worship  
Review by jdennis
Rated: E | (4.0)
Your poem is beautifully written and filled with worship, but I hesitate because you asked about renaming your poem. I propose that your poem is not about love. Oh, it may be a young person's love or the misunderstanding of love, but your poetry is about the opening, the herald of love. Love consumes your soul over the years and decades as the adoration wanes, and the embers of your passion smolder into glowing coals under welcomed blankets. So you see, young soul your poem is about passion. That spark which ignites flames inside the souls of two young people in the beginning, when wanting is discovered, and love is forthcoming. Only when the wanting persists into and beyond discovery is love introduced, so you see my young friend, you misnamed your poem. May I suggest "A Herald to Love."

Thank you for writing this and letting me read it.

jdennis
122
122
Review of Dumb and Dumber  
Review by jdennis
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
Ken,

Fantastic short-short. You caught me off guard. I mean when the little boy ran up to his mom, I was suspicious, but I didn't anticipate the boy's last comment. I won't say anymore because I'm sure it would spoil the end for others. Since this will post publicly.

Congratulations on another winning story.

Thank you for writing this and letting me read it.

jdennis
123
123
Review of Just Showing Up  
Review by jdennis
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Inspiring. This is an uplifting release of inspiration that should spread over this site like a tsunami, lifting those who understand with its travel and leaving those unknowing souls in its wake wondering what hit them. Thank you for releasing it, and for giving me the ride.

jdennis
124
124
Review by jdennis
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
This short story is imaginative and well written. I found nothing, which in my opinion, necessitated change. Keep writing like this and posting stories and I'm sure you will garner many followers among the citizenry on this site. I do apologize for not giving you at least some advice, other than to keep writing, but that's all I have.

I will visit your home here at WdC, to read some more, if you don't mind? In the meantime, well done and keep on.

jdennis
125
125
Review by jdennis
Rated: E | (4.0)
jonblair,

Review of the First Episode of "Star Voyagers"

First, let me preface my review by saying that I have never been an expert in any subject, and during those few times in my career when I was considered an expert, in a limited field of endeavor, I proved my first point.

Suggestion 1: Just a preference comment about the first paragraph of Episode 1. It read fine to me. However, you might consider a slight change. This approach would only be "what I would do," and that doesn't mean it is a good thing to do, but instead of being a detached statement from an unidentified narrator (the author), I would make it a comment interjected by one of the crew. A character like, Beta Ghislaine Vangelos, who is the first character you introduce. That way the author is not stepping into the scene. I would instead assign that task to one of the characters. This tool may also come in handy during later events.

Suggestion 2: Sorry, but I am reviewing your story and, what good would a review be without input that is meant to help improve the piece. Again, please understand that these suggestions are opinions:

"Down, get down," Foxwell suddenly, but quietly shouted as he turned and motioned repeatedly downward with his arm to the surveying party, all following in a straight line behind him and Science Officer Beta as they immediately dropped to one knee, while the Captain, a foreboding look unfamiliar to his crew, turned again to confirm what only moments ago he had witnessed, a Metropolis of gargantuan and futuristic design as far as the eye could see."

This paragraph contains a good action scene, the first action scene in the story, so you might want to punch it up a little. Might I suggest breaking this one sentence into shorter, more impactful sentences, separating the action into jabs? I compare action scenes in my mind to a good boxing match. Boxer's always begin their attacks with a flurry of jabs leading up to a knockout punch.

Example: "Down! Get down!" Foxwell shouted in a whisper as he repeatedly motioned for the trail of crewmembers behind him to drop. Beta immediately dropped to one knee, and the others followed suit. A foreboding scowl, unfamiliar to his crew, spread over the Captain's face as he scanned a futuristic Metropolis spilling over the horizon.

Suggestion 3: This suggestion concerns the ending of the episode:

"It IS a map, Captain. A map and invasion plan - target is:

"PLANET EARTH."

May I suggest rearranging some words to:

"It's a map, Captain, with an invasion plan. The target is—Earth."

I only make this suggestion for maximum impact purposes. This ending is a classic segway into the next episode.

Again, it's your story; use your words. All of the above are simply examples of my observations as a reader and the limited knowledge of writing I possess.

However, I do know that your terminology is sound. (I say that from an in-depth scientific background from many, many years of working with military contractors, NASA, and many other high-end electronics manufacturers. I worked extensively with the R&D departments from all of the above.)

Your premise and plot are strong enough for a series of short stories, books or television shows, and your characters seem well fleshed out. You must have been thinking about this for some time.

I also appreciate your use of words like "conurbation" because I learned from your writing (and referring to the dictionary a few times) and have discovered increased fodder for my works.

I noticed a few spots where you will need to perform some rework on your wording, very few grammatic issues and just a few suggestions like the above examples, but overall, the story(episode) flows well.

My main advice is to keep plugging and when you come to a point where your imagination dries up, go back and touch up the work you have at the time, and the rest will come to you.

You have talent, my friend. Keep using it because that is the only way to ensure that it will grow.

Thank you for writing this and letting me read it.

jdennis
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