Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/profile/reviews/jmccarty
Review Requests: OFF
83 Public Reviews Given
162 Total Reviews Given
Public Reviews
Review of Contrast  
Review by Light
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
I feel this is a good poem, even though I'm not an expert on poetry. To answer its question, I would go with contrast. But, there is much involve, there.

Sometimes I found your choice of words a bit confusing. However, this poem is clever and makes its point. What I had the most trouble following is the last line in the second stanza.

I hope this helps. Good luck and keep on writing.
Review by Light
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
Hello, ~*Arpita*~ , this is Light reviewing “The Girl by the window.” The following is my opinion. You may use this review as you wish.

This flash length story clearly describes two experiences of child abuse of two of its characters. Pain and anger can be felt by the reader.

I did see some points of concern. The largest one seems to be a few point of view shifts. More on that later.

About the rating: I’m not sure what the lowest content rating would be for this story. The major factor with this item is its violence level. I seems to be somewhere near the border between [13+] & [18+]. I question its intro being rated [E], however. You can check with "Content Rating Support, if you haven’t already done so, and see what they say.

The title seems to work well for me. However, I would capitalize the word “window.”

The first paragraph gets the reader’s interest. So, well done with that.

Plots with two timelines can be tricky to do well. Putting back story in the middle of a story is avoided my most of the better writers. But, done well, and sparingly, it can work. Be sure that the time shifts are clear to the reader. You have indicated that the character is experiencing a flashback, and returns to the original timeline. But, the time shifts seemed a bit clumsy. Inserting scene breaks at the time shifts would make them clearer to the reader. I put asterisks between paragraphs for my scene breaks.

The story arc may be a issue. That is one of the most difficult things about flash fiction. This story has a beginning and a middle; but the ending doesn’t seem to be complete. It didn’t seem to have any kind of resolution.

The standard formula for a story is to introduce the main character, the setting, and to give the main character a goal and conflict to reaching that goal. Have the character attempt to overcome the conflict, only to have another conflict pop up or the first one get worse. In the ending, the main character resolves the conflict. That does not mean that it needs to be a “and they lived happily ever after” ending.

What was resolved? Perhaps, she could overcome her own feelings enough to report the child’s mother. All three of them need help.

None of the characters have names. A name makes it easier for the reader to identify with the character. I would at least give the main character a name.

The main character, the girl in the window, seemed will enough developed, with the exception of not having a name. I feel most readers will feel for her.

The child is described well, as for its experience. Perhaps well enough for its appearance. The reader should feel for this character as well. However, this character does not have a gender. Giving the child a gender would make it a much stronger character.

The child’s mother seemed well enough developed for the central antagonist.

There isn’t a lot of setting in this story. But, it is probably sufficient for a flash story of this type.

Voice & Style:
My main thought here was the points of view (POV) in this story. You started off in limited omnipotent, not from any character’s POV but not all knowing, the narrator. Then you make a shift to your main character’s POV in the third person. As the story continues, sometimes she seems to know things that she would not know from her POV. The narrator seems to butt in.

POV shifts can be another tricky thing in fiction. Changing POV in the same scene isn’t easy to do well. I suggest writing this whole story in her POV, only. And make sure she doesn’t seem to know thing that are not a part of her POV.

It looks like, at least three times, you started a new line in a paragraph (hit the enter key) where it wasn’t needed. You may not want to do that, unless you are going to begin a new paragraph.

You wrote, “Memories-nightmarish ones-which she had kept shut in the deep closet of her heart, were threatening to come up now.”

When setting off a phrase of additional information in the middle of a sentence, don’t use a single hyphen. Use either a double hyphen or an M-dash. ( — ) If you have trouble with M-dashes at WDC, you can ask me how to do that.

“Memories--nightmarish ones--which she had kept shut in the deep closet of her heart, were threatening to come up now.”

Also, when using double hyphens or M-dashes, you need to be consistent about which you use, and about having spaces before and after them, or not at all. But, don’t have a space on one side and not on the other.

“A ruin of memories flashed her long-submerged feelings--- memories that spanned through years of bruised upbringing.”

Did you want run instead of “ruin?” And, I wouldn’t use triple hyphens.

Just earlier, I saw a sentence that needed a comma. “Just then, her shield gave away.”

Here you wrote, “For all she knew, that man and his wife had died for her the day she set her foot outside that house. The house that could not be her home. The house that can never, ever be anybody’s home.”

The phrase, “for her” clashes with how you began the sentence. You may want to strike one or the other. The second and third sentences are fragments. It would be better as all one sentence.

Here, “A figure appeared beside the child. The mother.” This should be one sentence, divided by a comma.

Here is a sentence where I added two words. She looked at the sleeping child for a few seconds.

You could make it clearer what you were writing about when you wrote, “The door creaked open.” Which door opened, and why? My best guess is that it was the child’s mother opening her door. But, would she notice that during an emotional flash back?

This is an emotionally charged story describing experiences of child abuse. I could feel much of what you wrote here. With a little improvement, it should do very well.

I hope this helps.*Smile*
Review of Truth  
Review by Light
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Hi, Miranda. This is Light, reviewing "Truth." The following is my opinion. You may use this review however you wish. Poetry does not tend to be my style of writing. However, I have read some poetry here from time to time. I have a poem in my port, but it isn't very good.

This poem has a lot of hidden, and not so hidden messages in it. It shows that you put a lot of deep thought into its writing. You do seem to have something to say about life.

Its shortcomings seem to be with rhyme and structure. The first line seems that it would be better as two lines. Grammar is not so much of an issue in poetry. But there, you made a rhyme in the same line.

In most of this poem, you were rhyming two lines, and then put in a non-rhyming line. That makes it less rhythmic. But then, you broke that pattern later and made it even less rhythmic.

You may want to either use a more conventional rhyming pattern, or drop rhyming altogether. In either case, I feel it would help to make this item more rhythmic. It is a very deep poem, however.

I hope this helps. Keep on writing!*Smile*
Review by Light
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hello, Chris, this is Light, reviewing "The Passing of a Star."

This is a nice poetic story about Astronomy. It reads well and is fairly close to being technically correct. You may want to research some of the subjects in this story, however. (Massive stars, Super novas and Black holes) I'm a bit of a nerd.

The type of star you seem to be describing is a "Dark Star." They are not sure they actually exist; but they are called that because they are thought to be powered by "Dark Mater" at their cores. They are very large and shine for a very long time. And, they may have been some of the first stars.

I saw one possible writing issue. When using an ellipse at the end of a sentence, it is correct to use four dots (....), while using three dots anywhere else.

With the few technical errors aside, this is a nice story. It sounds like something you might tell a child. However, you would need to simplify the vocabulary a bit.

I hope this is helpful. Keep on writing!*Smile*
Review of I... They...  
Review by Light
Rated: E | (3.5)
Hello, Otakon, this is Light, reviewing "I... They..." *Smile*

The following is my opinion. You may use this review however you wish.

I don't review very much poetry, but this poem's subject caught my interest. Overall, it makes a profound statement. I follow what it is saying.

The title seems to work for this piece, but it is a little brief. And, I'm not sure if putting ellipses in a title is a good idea.

What concerns me about this poem is that it does not flow well, and the length of your lines are very uneven. This is not always a problem with poetry. However, each stanza, except for the ninth stanza, has two lines, while the ninth stanza has three lines. This completely disrupts the flow of this poem, almost in the middle.

Perhaps, this poem could have a different structure of lines and stanzas, by breaking up the longer lines.

I hope this is helpful. Keep on writing! *BigSmile*
Review by Light
In affiliation with Let's Publish!  
Rated: 13+
Hello, Winnie. This is Light, reviewing "Where Did Mama Go?" as a member of "Invalid Item The following is my opinion and you may use this review as you wish.

I didn't know I was going to be reading an autobiographical story. However, it is interesting that I have come upon it. Your story really hit home with me, and it was an emotional experience, without a doubt. We are close in age. We came from families that are similar in a number of ways. And, I am experiencing a like situation with my dad. He still lives at home. With my experienced working as a Psychiatric Technician for fifteen years, he may die here. So, I am reviewing this with a different perspective than most.

This is a well told story. The "hook," if you want to call it that, is spread across the first scene. You really reminded me of my childhood. So, it worked for me. But, you may want to inspire more emotions for the other age groups.

The family member count was a little confusing. I couldn't keep track, and it sounded like there were eight kids, instead of six. However, you set the story up very well.

The ending seemed a little abrupt. You may want to fill it out a little more.

I have one correction. You wrote, “Okay, Mama. I’ll be back later.” The nurses would wink at me, and I’d stand there and watch her struggle over her “work”. The last period should be inside the quotes.

Overall, I feel you have a very good story here. I'm sure it will fit in well, somewhere. Keep on writing!
Review of I AM  
Review by Light
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hi Dreaming1

This is Light reviewing I AM

I don't think of myself a an expert in prose poetry, but I'm learning.

I don't think many poets write in bold, except for the title. When something is written in bold or all caps, one may get the impression that it is being shouted. God very seldom shouts. God prefers to whisper. It's the human I that shouts.

I understand the inspiration behind this poem, we are alike in this way. As you have written this poem, many others will understand it also. I do not wish to be an editor here, but in the last stanza, where you wrote the "I am the..." lines, I would have put it as I am in the.... The way you wrote it, it makes God sound like a part of the physical world.

I hope this is helpful. Keep on writing.

Member of
"Invalid Item
"Help Me Get Published
"Invalid Item
Review by Light
Rated: E | (3.0)
Hello, khaki, this is Light reviewing "HAIKUS (about trees)"

The fallowing is only my opinion. You may use or not use what you wish.

You may want to stick to using real common words in the title. Other words tend to put the reader off.

This poem feels like a start of a poem that could go a lot farther. I also would not separate your stanzas with a line of asterisks. I does not seem becoming of poetry.

Poetry is one of the most artistic forms of writing. You want your poem to be pleasing to the ear and the eye. It needs also to spark the imagination and emotions of the reader. And, I don't feel this poem has lived up to its introduction.

What you have written sounds pretty, but you may want to take it farther. Can you describe the trees more? How are the trees speaking to each other? What might they be saying? What thoughts, ideas and feelings have these trees caused you, the writer, to have? These are a few suggestions you may want to think about when you revise this poem.

Writers revise nearly everything they write, many times, even the best of them.

I hope you find this helpful. keep on writing.
Review of Twelve Bells  
Review by Light
Rated: ASR | (5.0)
What a piece of work!

You have a talent for discribing the experience of another. You discribed all the needed aspects of her experience well, including her own feelings. Keep up the good work.

One thing you could work on is the ease of flow as it reads.
9 Reviews · *Magnify*
Page of 1 · 25 per page   < >
Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/profile/reviews/jmccarty