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10 Public Reviews Given
19 Total Reviews Given
Public Reviews
Review of Me and Binky  
Review by Jonathan Fore
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
I think perhaps one more paragraph would broaden this a bit maybe? The twist was there, but it seemed something was missing. However, what should be lauded and applauded is the 'southern ebonics' you pulled off there. The manor of speak allowed me to picture a character in my head with no description whatsoever. That was well done.
Review by Jonathan Fore
Rated: E | (4.0)
An adorable, little, quippy tale!

Some corrections to consider:

*and then when out* went
*thank me for me years* my
*After ten years of abuse* 10 or 15 years?
*Young Lady* should not be capitalized(?)

Keep writing!
Review of Snowbird  
Review by Jonathan Fore
Rated: E | (4.0)
It's small so hard to comment, so perhaps an artistic point to ponder?

*A bird with wings clipped*?
*Summer went and left her there(here)*?

Beyond any ponderings, it's a haunting poem...
Review of Last Day  
Review by Jonathan Fore
Rated: 13+ | (3.5)

It's been a while since I reviewed anything here, so bear with me and my rust.

The story is good, a plot, a transition, even a twist three-quarters through. These are actually not all that easy given the space of a short story, but you did it, and should be proud.

I also see that you hazarded to attempt some characterization dialog, i.e. "That priest you asked for will be here soon Lomas, so maybe he might get more talk outta ya,”. This is often over used or poorly executed, of which you did neither. Again, another thing to be proud of. The only issue I picked up--and this is purely opinion on my part--is I would have made it into two sentences, and drop the conjunction 'so.' Again, my opinion. In my experience, a person who speaks with poor pronunciation is someone likely to speak in shorter sentences made of as few syllables as possible: that, unless you were shooting for a regional dialect.

Your apparition, whom I think is the sage character in this tale(?) is well timed. You placed her in well-spaced, well-timed places, and the fact she did not vanish when Lomas blinked his eyes gave her a certain tactile existence. A simple thing like that made her just a little more than imagination. Nice job with that.

Finally, the length of the story is good for the way it is told. It is enough of a story in a small space, and it fits well in the mind.

Now, for the things I would recommend you consider with this story:

There are some places comma's should be, and aren't. Look for your clauses, and make sure you have a comma and a conjunction. These are easily fixed, and easier to identify. Read the piece aloud, to yourself, and be cognitive of when you hear yourself pause. If you do, stop, and consider placing a comma there. Also, look for "for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so." These are coordinating conjunctions used to link to clauses, be they dependent or independent. Just keep in mind the phrase 'F.A.N. B.O.Y.S.', or for, and nor, but, or, yet, so.

When I first started writing, I was a comma nut, and put them just about everywhere I could. Don't let this bother you, it's something you just learn through practice, or as another example, through 'dinning'. That was a word I used in my latest novel when I meant to use 'dining.' Turns out dinning means to learn through repetition, and the irony was not lost on me.

Finally, and this is the hardest thing to explain, at least for me, but a common issue with new rising literary stars: 'You're telling the story instead of showing the story.' See why that would be hard to explain?

Telling the story is when a writer states the things that happen along a plot line. But isn't that what a story is? No, and it is the hardest thing to learn, to tell, to explain, all that.

"Keys opening the cell door break his frightened thoughts before Officer Thompson and the warden enter. "

Here you're stating an action, a reaction, and then an action. "Keys opening the cell door" is one action, "Break his frightened thoughts" is a reaction, "Officer Thompson and the warden enter" is an action (I think warden should be capitalized (?)). An action and a reaction should be all that's needed in the sentence, but again, my opinion.

However, you're just stating what happened.

What you want to do is tell the story (plot) by expressing through what is perceived by your point of view character (Lomas.) When writing a story, don't look down the line of the plot, and write what gets you to the end. Look down the side of the plot, and write what the characters experience while getting to the end. Hide your plot behind the emotional, distracted, often skewed perceptions of your characters. This makes the plot harder to guess for the reader, and it gives you the ability to add definition to your characters (character development) using the same space as advancing the plot.

I know that was a lot of blah-blah-blah, so let me attempt to provide an example:

"The storm of thoughts broke in his head the instant keys rattled the lock, a sound that promised he was closer to his own death. Lomas turned to the door knowing who had to be coming, but not all that certain. When the metal door swung inward, Lomas felt a flood of relief wash through him when he saw the Warden and Thompson, and not that too-real specter of the little girl. Instantly, that relief was lost to the dread of what he knew was to come next."

Please forgive the melodrama there; I was attempting to amplify the point. The same things happened, yet we have given a little more insight into who Lomas is, reaffirmed (if it was needed) that what he did was bad, and more importantly that he is regretful of what he did to earn his place on death row.

I feel like I haven't explained this well, which I always think when I try to describe this "avoiding the plot" thing, but there it is. I hope you can gain something by it, if there is merit. If not, sorry for making you read this far!

In the end I say to you, 'nice job.' I also say, 'keep writing.' A solid structure is harder to learn than really anything with writing, and it is obvious you have that down.

I look forward to reading more of your work!


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
Review by Jonathan Fore
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)

Thank you for sharing your writing, and I am glad you’ve come to join us here at writing.com. I have read through this body of work, and am reviewing as per your request.

Your writing is good, and delivers a scene easy to imagine. This, to me, is a fine art. The less you describe but still convey, the more the reader builds for themselves--this permits an easier view by the mind’s eye as well as builds endearment for the tale. I think everyone, as they earn the badge of middle age, has at one time or another (or many,) lived in that relic of an apartment, and maybe even without air conditioning.

The opening tale is interesting, ease to consume, and a clear start for a haunted house novel. Making the protagonist attractive (a draw) and 31 years of age (ideal literary consumer age demographic) and female (the majority of fiction consumers), you have set the stage for good commerciality.

What I liked most was the warm breeze of your story telling. It was, I don’t know, comfortable? Like a tank top and pair of oversized Looney Tunes boxer shorts?

I did, however, want to point out something that if difficult to define. To this, I will provide some examples from your work below.

In many places in your story, you shift to a very narrative style of writing, as if it were being told by a narrator. A perfect example (and the worst one I found) is in your opening sentence:

It all began with a surprise inheritance from a beloved and slightly odd great-aunt, accompanied by an intriguing letter, delivered on a sunny, and quite average spring afternoon. From that point on things became a bit … intriguing.

This is stated to the reader, and not something the reader comes to understand while reading. Does this make sense?

Here is another:

Men generally used adjectives like leggy, shapely and engagingly sexy.

Your simply stating this as a fact instead of explaining this is what, say, the FedEx guy was seeing or appreciating. Although I don’t recommend using the single quote inner monologue (that can often times indicate a descriptive that the author could not craft,) you can simply state something along the lines of she could tell he was appreciating her slender leggy appearance, something she had grown used to in her 31 years…
One last example:

Little did she know how correct that would be.

This is a decent teaser line, leading the reader to the next chapter, but it just seems kind of tacked on, a bald stated fact. I hope I am explaining this in an effective way.

I also picked up on a couple of grammar issues, but very little considering the length of the work.

- You seem to put a space after the opening quotes of your dialog. There should be no space there.

- At first Jo went grudgingly, then Meri helped her to see the magic of old places and things. This is more an opinion then a grammar rule, but I think that should be and then.

- It was all still there, Jo knew in her heart, just waiting to be cared for and nurtured back to it’s former self. I question the apostrophe in it’s, as possessive it does not use the apostrophe, that is for the contraction of it is. I saw this in a couple of places throughout.

- When Jo unfolded the pages, she could almost see Meri sitting at the ancient partners desk she had restored herself, her trusty red Parker pen in hand as she wrote Jo the last letter she would receive from her. I think that should be partner’s, with the apostrophe.

- One last adventure with your crazy Aunt Meri. I almost did not bring this one up because it is in a letter, which essentially is dialog, and letters are often written as people actually speak. But I would be remiss if I did not tell you that this is a sentence fragment. I think you can use it there without any grammar cops writing you a ticket though.

I think that was about it. I can’t express to you how wonderful it is that you are making your writing comfortable to the reader, comfortable to the editor who will read and accept your work. That is a talent in its self, and reserved for those not burdened with the need to use language perhaps above their vocabulary.

This old-pair-of-jeans, worn-wood, leather sofa kind of writing is irreplaceable. Throw in a Snuggy, a fireplace burning some ever-scent cedar, a cup of coffee and the latest novel by SPBookLady, and you have yourself a lazy afternoon. Maybe throw in a sleepy yellow dog?

Please keep writing, take what I have said above as objective and not critical. I look forward to reading more of your work.

As always, please allow me to amplify or clarify if needs be.

Warm Regards,
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