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1
1
Review of Vengeance  
Review by Katzendragonz
In affiliation with Activity Bank  
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
Hi Dominique!

I read your Vengeance for I Write 2019.

I liked that the ending was unexpected. It gave a sweetness to the story even though I expected something a bit more startling at the end.

         *BookStack3*  General Impression

Unfortunately, for me, this story fell a little bit flat. As it stands it is choppy and doesn't read entirely believable. I realize the word count limit for your contest made doing much with Simone's story almost impossible and you were working to craft the entire plot onto a tiny frame. You gave that an excellent effort!

         *BookStack3*  Something to Think About

I think your Vengeance is a wonderful idea. I'd love to see you go back to it at a later date and expand and develop your plot and characters. With an unlimited word count there is so much that can be done with this tale. It would be great to know how the identity mix up happened and what Nadine did to stay under the radar for so long and why no one knew or believed that Simone had an identical twin. There are a huge amount of possibilities for developing this story line. Have some fun with it!

         *BookStack3*  A Few Things You Might Want to Work On

I can see why you are taking the Grammar Garden class this term. There are quite a few grammar, punctuation, and capitalization boo-boos in this short piece. You are taking the right steps in learning more about how to craft well-written stories in learning the foundations of good writing craftsmanship. Correct grammar and punctuation enhance the meaning and understanding for your writing.

         *BookStack3*  A Few Closing Comments

Dominique, you have a wonderful idea in this tale, and I believe you have the talent to expand and develop it, as well as do the same for many other stories. I'm looking forward to seeing what you can do as you learn and grow as a writer.

These are my thoughts and ideas alone. I hope you found them helpful. Not all of us see writing or any one piece in the same light. Please take what helps you from my comments and ignore the rest.

Thank you for allowing me to read and review your writing. Keep up the good work, and best of luck with all of your writing.


Happy Writing!

Katz  

Writing Siggy


2
2
Review of Dear Me  
Review by Katzendragonz
In affiliation with Activity Bank  
Rated: ASR | (4.0)
Hi!

I read your Dear Me contest entry this week for I Write 2019. I have to say it felt really weird reviewing another person's entry for the same contest that I entered this week. Your approach is very different than mine.

I especially liked the way you showed your sense of humor and fun throughout this piece. It made me laugh in several places, and it kept me reading through to the end.

         *BookStack3*  General Impression

You did a good job with grammar and punctuation. No glaring errors jumped out at me or jerked me out of your narrative. Way to go!

         *BookStack3*  Something to Think About

The one thing about this piece that did make me question a bit is, that while you have excellent goals to work toward, you didn't really give yourself any set measures for completing most of them. It caught my attention since part of the instructions for the Dear Me contest was to set measurable goals.

You might set how many chapters you want to write each month, or plan ahead and schedule some special time and activities with your kids throughout the year, or give yourself a set number of glasses of water you'll drink each day. Doing so may give your piece a better chance to win one of the prizes. *Smile*

And before you roll your eyes and think I'm being a superior pain in the backside, I'll tell you I'm the person who starts out every year and swears she'd going to do A, B, and C every day or week for the whole year and rarely makes it past January. *RollEyes* It will be a challenge to see if I make I Write 2019 all the way to the end this year.

         *BookStack3*  A Few Closing Comments

Your goals are admirable, and will enhance your life whether you achieve them all or not. They made me think about a few things in my life that I had not thought about looking at. I enjoyed sharing this brief look at your life and how you see it. Goof luck in meeting your 2019 goals!

These are my thoughts and ideas alone. I hope you found them helpful. Not all of us see writing or any one piece in the same light. Please take what helps you from my comments and ignore the rest.

Thank you for allowing me to read and review your writing. Keep up the good work, and best of luck with all of your writing.


Happy Writing!

Katz  

Writing Siggy


3
3
Review by Katzendragonz
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hi HuntersMoon!

I read your Naturalization Act after I ran across it in Read & Review this morning. I love the story overall and the ending made me laugh.


         *Books1*  General Impression

Your characters are strong, believable, and well developed for a short story. You scattered hints about them and their personalities throughout the story rahter than lumping them in a "laundry list" at the beginning. Good Job! I had no trouble following their conversations, and your dialogue flowed naturally.

You give just enough description to paint a clear picture of your setting for the reader without overloading him with too many unneeded details.


         *Books1*  A Few Things You Might Want to Work On

There are a few things that did slow this piece down a bit and distance your reader. First of all, you used way too many participial phrases in this piece. At times they are distracting, at other times it is difficult to tell which noun they are modifying. Again is is distracting and muddies your action somewhat.

I also suggest you limit your use of adverbs ending in LY. Using single, strong picturesque verbs and adjectives will create vibrant visual images and tighten your prose writing. The same goes for helping verb phrases. Don't use two or three words when one strong word will do the job better.

Instead of using numerous dialogue tags, insert your characters' actions to identify the speakers.

Let's take a look at a short excerpt from this story, so you can get an idea of what I mean here.

“Oh my,” she said, sliding the chain off and opening the door. She knew a call for help when she heard one.

A raggedy, wet box filled with black hair lay soggily on the welcome mat. She picked up the box and headed to the kitchen.

“What’s that?” asked George.

Here's one way it could be written to tighten the prose and pull the reader in.

"Oh, my!" She slid the chain off and opened the door. A raggedy, soggy box full of wriggling, black fur covered the welcome mat. Pathetic mews filled the air. "Poor darlings!"

"What's that?" George's voice drifted from the living room.

“Kittens! Someone left a box of kittens on the porch!” She scooped the box up and darted toward the kitchen.

Do you see the difference between the two? In the first you are telling us what happened, in the second the reader is drawn deeper into the story and experiences the actions and emotions along side your characters.


         *Books1*  A Few Closing Comments

I loved all of this story, but my favorite part is the ending. The way you added humor and revealed George's real personality made the story that much more memorable and made me laugh out loud at the ending.

As much as I loved this story it has a ways to go before it is perfect. I gave it a *Star**Star**Star**Star* rating because I believe the writing craftsmanship needs more work to make it the best it can be.

These are my thoughts and ideas alone. I hope you found them helpful. Not all of us see writing or any one piece in the same light. Please take what helps you from my comments and ignore the rest.

Thank you for allowing me to read and review your writing. Keep up the good work, and best of luck with all of your writing.


Happy Writing!

Katz  



4
4
Review of The Delayed Joke  
Review by Katzendragonz
In affiliation with The Iron Bank of Braavos  
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Hello Naveed!

I read your The Delayed Joke as part of my participation with "House Targaryenin the "Game of Thrones event this month.


         *Dragon*  General Impression

When I first started reading this story I thought it was going to be how Albert buckled under and believed what everyone told him he could not do. The story thrilled me when I realized Albert refused to give up on his dreams and kept fighting to find the one that would make him the happiest.

Albert is an excellent character. He is lovable and he made me want to root for him even when his situation seemed impossible. I loved his small rebellions, like when he went to the pub with Joey when he knew his dad wouldn't like it and when he kept practicing his jokes when his father wanted him to stop. Any character that is too good is not realistic. These little not-so-perfect things made Albert come to life and make me like him.


         *Dragon*  Something to Think About

I appreciate that you focused on two important ideas in this story and showcased them in a positive way. A challenge, like stuttering, does not make a person less. You showed that in Albert's friends and how they stuck with him and helped him find his dream. People need to be reminded that being different does not made a person undesirable or less than anyone else. This story gives that message.

You also reminded us that work and perseverance can make almost any dream come true. Albert persevered until he found the key to his dream. This too is a valuable message people need to hear.

Your dialogue is good and flows naturally. You wrote Albert's stutter in a way that is believable but still easy and comfortable to read. you didn;'t let it overload and slog down your action. Good Job!


         *Dragon*  A Few Things You Might Want to Work On

There are two things though that slowed this story down.

The biggest thing that slowed this story down is that it is written largely in passive voice. Passive voice distances the reader from the action and minimizes the emotions in your scenes. Any time you write with any form of the verb, to be, you are writing passive voice. Note the explanation below.

Passive voice is created when the subject receives an action rather than performs the action.

Consider these two sentences:

         *BulletO*   John was opening the door.

         *BulletR*   John opened the door.

Do you see a difference between these two sentences? There are a couple of things that make one passive and the other active.

*NoteY*  In the first sentence, John existed in a state of opening the door; he was not actually performing the action of opening the door. This is a passive verb usage.

The use of any form of the verb to be indicates that the subject exists in a state of being. This means the subject of the sentence is not actively performing an action. When you see a being verb in a sentence it is a passive voice sentence and is Telling.

The verb to be has many forms. These are the most common: is, am, are, was, were, be, been, and being.

*NoteR*  In the second second sentence, John actively performed the action of opening the door. This is active verb usage. When the subject of a sentence is performing an action, the sentence is written in active voice.

Do you see the differences?

For some great tips on reducing passive voice, check out the article below.

 Dealing with the Passive Voice?  (E)
Passive Verbs haunted my writing. I now possess the answer to curing this Black Death.
#1758458 by Rixfarmgirl

Secondly, a story moves faster and draws the reader in deeper when you minimize the use of dialogue tags. Instead of using "he said" or "she said" or a variation of those phrases, insert a character's actions and emotions to identify who is speaking.

What our characters say and mean as they speak goes beyond their actual words. Just like humans in real life, our characters need to talk with more than their words. Their body language, facial expressions, and gestures will speak to your readers as much as the words you put in your characters' mouths. As you write dialogue for your characters keep in mind what they are doing and thinking as they talk.

Rather than depending on dialogue tags to identify your individual speakers scatter actions throughout the dialogue. Doing so can also break up blocks of too much dialogue as well as giving clues to a character's state of mind, mood, and the situation at hand.

Here are some links for additional information on the subject of realistic dialogue if you're interested in learning more on the topic.


I gave your tale a *Star**Star**Star**Star* rating because the dialogue tags need to be replace with actions and the passive verbs and verb phrases need to be replace with strong, picturesque action verbs.


         *Dragon*  A Few Closing Comments

This is an excellent story. It made me smile and cheer for Albert almost from the first sentence. I especially liked that Albert's father witnessed his breakthrough and was proud and happy for his son. That doesn't always happen in real life.

These are my thoughts and ideas alone. I hope you found them helpful. Not all of us see writing or any one piece in the same light. Please take what helps you from my comments and ignore the rest.

Thank you for allowing me to read and review your writing. Keep up the good work, and best of luck with all of your writing.



Happy Writing!  *Dragon2*

Lady Katz  



5
5
Review of On the Runway  
Review by Katzendragonz
In affiliation with The Iron Bank of Braavos  
Rated: E | (3.5)
Hello Donna!

I read your On the Runway as part of my participation with "House Targaryenin the "Game of Thrones event this month.


         *Dragon*  General Impression

I enjoyed this story quite a bit. When I was young one of the things I wanted to be was a fashion designer. For a number of years, I actually designed and made most of my own clothing, so it was easy for me to slip into your story and identify with your characters.

You did a good job with them. Each one is clear and unique in her own way and believable and realistic. I love that you used unique models instead of going with the "standard." I especially like that you revealed their quick minds and concerns and care for each other, especially in the unrealistic world of high fashion.


         *Dragon*  Something to Think About

Your plot is solid but other than the insanity of putting on a couture fashion show there isn't a much in the way of suspense or high emotion, nor do we see any changes or growth in your characters. I realize that you can't do a whole lot in a short story, but a story is stronger when the crisis the main character faces forces a strong change in that character, be it a change for the better or the worse.

Your dialogue is good and flows naturally, but you have way too many dialogue tags. Rather than depending on dialogue tags to identify your individual speakers scatter actions throughout the dialogue. Doing so breaks up blocks of too much dialogue as well as giving clues to a character's state of mind, mood, and the situation at hand.

When you use actions or gestures within your dialogue you are Showing how something is said and bringing your reader deeper into your story. Think about the conversations you have and you hear throughout a normal day.

Beyond what your characters are saying, are the specific words you choose for them, their sentence structure, colloquialisms, and the dialect and accents they speak with. All of these things help build an image of the character in your reader’s mind. You would not use the same patterns of speech for a college professor that you would use for an uneducated migrant worker. They come from different worlds and their speech patterns are miles apart.

Give each one of your characters a strong and individual voice.


         *Dragon*  A Few Things You Might Want to Work On

The biggest thing that slowed this story is that it is written largely in passive voice. Passive voice distances the reader from the action and minimizes the emotions in your scenes. Any time you write with any form of the verb, to be, you are writing passive voice. Note the explanation below.


Passive voice is created when the subject receives an action rather than performs the action.

Consider these two sentences:

         *BulletO*   John was opening the door.

         *BulletR*   John opened the door.

Do you see a difference between these two sentences? There are a couple of things that make one passive and the other active.

*NoteY*  In the first sentence, John existed in a state of opening the door; he was not actually performing the action of opening the door. This is a passive verb usage.

The use of any form of the verb to be indicates that the subject exists in a state of being. This means the subject of the sentence is not actively performing an action. When you see a being verb in a sentence it is a passive voice sentence and is Telling.

The verb to be has many forms. These are the most common: is, am, are, was, were, be, been, and being.

*NoteR*  In the second second sentence, John actively performed the action of opening the door. This is active verb usage. When the subject of a sentence is performing an action, the sentence is written in active voice.

Do you see the differences?

For some great tips on reducing passive voice, check out the article below.

 Dealing with the Passive Voice?  (E)
Passive Verbs haunted my writing. I now possess the answer to curing this Black Death.
#1758458 by Rixfarmgirl


As you move toward writing with active verbs instead of passive verbs, you need to rev up your vocabulary and your imagination. There is a plethora of verbs out there that are active verbs, but they are weak and don't paint your action in a way that brings a vivid picture to your readers' minds.

Take a look at the pair of sentences below.

Weak:

         Mark sat on the sofa.

Strong:

         Mark sprawled on the sofa.

Both sentences use an active verb, but which sentence gives you a stronger visual image of what Mark is doing and how he is doing it?

Here are more examples to give you an idea of how you should be writing with strong action verbs.

Weak:

         Sandra walked down the street.

Strong:

         Sandra strolled down the street.
         Sandra strutted down the street.
         Sandra scurried down the street.

Weak:

         The child went in the pool.

Strong:

         The child jumped in the pool.
         The child dove in the pool.
         The child swam in the pool.

Are you getting the picture now? When you are writing think about the scene you are working on. Picture it in your mind. Instead of plopping in the first general active verb that comes to mind, slow down. Think, review your mental image, and then select the action verb that best paints the scene the way you see it in your mind, so your reader will see it exactly the way you want him too.

If you are having trouble thinking up action verbs to spice up your writing, check out the two sites below. They have comprehensive lists of action verbs for your reference.


I gave your tale a *Star**Star**Star**Halfstar* rating because the dialogue tag use needs to be minimized and the verb usage needs to be tightened and strengthened.


         *Dragon*  A Few Closing Comments

The ending to this story was a bit too predictable, but the way they triumphed was fun and creative. I had no trouble at all visualizing that final walk down the runway and the victorious gleam in Ajanta's eyes. Your final line gave the underdog the victory and was a clever way to include the word phrase required by the contest. WELL DONE!

These are my thoughts and ideas alone. I hope you found them helpful. Not all of us see writing or any one piece in the same light. Please take what helps you from my comments and ignore the rest.

Thank you for allowing me to read and review your writing. Keep up the good work, and best of luck with all of your writing.


Happy Writing!  *Dragon2*

Lady Katz  



6
6
Review by Katzendragonz
In affiliation with The Iron Bank of Braavos  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hello Wordsmitty!

I read your Mary had a bunch of littles poem as part of my participation with "House Targaryenin the "Game of Thrones event this month.


         *Dragon*  General Impression

This poem if fun and silly and made me smile. I sure enjoyed it more than I did the original when I was a kid. *Smile* I love that this poem also has a learning aspect to it. This is a great way to catch a child's attention and make him think a bit about math too.

Overall you did a wonderful job with the poem's format, and you made it visually interesting on the page. I know how a poem looks on the page has a lot to do with how much I enjoy it, or if I even finish reading it at all. I suspect other readers out there feel the same way. This poem is easy on the eyes and fun to read.


         *Dragon*  Something to Think About

I love the way you incorporated the sing-song feel of the original nursery rhyme in this piece. The rhyming at the end of each line is great and the animals' names made me smile.

One thing kept this poem from being perfect for me. As you got deeper into the verse your sentences were longer and you lost the rhythm and cadence. Those sentences are kind of cumbersome and choppy to read. That minimized the happy sing-song feel and sound of this poem.

Because of that cumbersomeness I gave this poem a *Star**Star**Star**Star**Halfstar*rating.


         *Dragon*  A Few Closing Comments

I'd love to see you go back in and tighten this poem up. If you could find a way to maybe breakdown the longer sentences and restore the nursery rhyme rhythm this poem would be perfect.

I know it takes a lot of talent and effort to write even simple nursery rhymes. I appreciate the time and craftsmanship you put into this poem. It delighted me and made me smile!

These are my thoughts and ideas alone. I hope you found them helpful. Not all of us see writing or any one piece in the same light. Please take what helps you from my comments and ignore the rest.

Thank you for allowing me to read and review your writing. Keep up the good work, and best of luck with all of your writing.


Happy Writing!  *Dragon2*

Lady Katz  



7
7
Review of We'll Rise Up  
Review by Katzendragonz
In affiliation with The Iron Bank of Braavos  
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
Hi Winnie!

It's me again! *Smile*

I read your We'll Rise Up as part of my participation with "House Targaryenin the "Game of Thrones event this month.


         *Dragon*  General Impression

First of all, this is an incredible story. It touches the reader on so many levels and reveals a horrible time in our history yet shows the dignity and beauty of a people who were used as tools and often tossed aside.

Your characters are well-rounded and engaging. You revealed them gradually through their actions and their words.

Your dialogue is excellent and you captured the cadence and flavor of slave lingo without overloading it or making it a trial to read.

I can't say I love this story, because it delivers a difficult message to hear and makes one feel sad and and angry. But I do think it is an amazing work.


         *Dragon*  Something to Think About

You did a fantastic job of painting your scenes and depicting the brutality of the whipping without getting too graphic or gory. You showed the growth and change in Tumai as she finally, even though she'd heard the tale many times before, understood and embraced her heritage and the hope it offered.

The hierarchy of the plantation is clear through the actions of your characters and interactions with each other.

I really wanted to give this story a five star rating. The story itself, your plot, your characters, and the family curse are all perfect. I wouldn't change a thing about them.


         *Dragon*  A Few Things You Might Want to Work On

I hate to say this part, but you I know I never pull any punches when it comes to writing craftsmanship in prose. There are two areas in your writing craftsmanship in this story than need more polishing.

First, there are too many dialogue tags. In some places you did an excellent job of identifying your speakers through their actions. In others you fell back on "he said" or "she said" or some variation of that. My personal rule of thumb is no more than two dialogue tags in a short story if any at all.

I also noticed a lot more passive verbs and passive verbs phrases in this story than there should be, especially in a piece of this length.

I'm not talking about your dialogue here. You dialogue is excellent, and I wouldn't change a thing in it. People talk all the time using being verbs, and they helped make your dialogue more realistic and believable. But in your expository sections I suggest replacing at least half, if not more, of your passive voice sentences with action verbs. This story will be even stronger for the change.

Okay, this is where I just have to gloat a tiny bit. I found a grammar error you missed. *Bigsmile* Note the sentence below. OOOPS!

         “Let you’re papa rest, Tumai.”

There is also a spacing error where you set the curse apart. I only noticed it because I'm so visual, and it startled me a little but.


         *Dragon*  A Few Closing Comments

It pains me not to be able to give this story a *Star**Star**Star**Star**Star* rating because it screams for one. But it isn't perfect yet. It's very close to perfect, but not quite there yet.

I am touched and amazed by your talent and your creativity. This story is a strong tale and one we never want to forget. People are not objects or possessions. They are God's creations, and all should be treated with respect. If not, one day the curse will rise and justice will be served.

Thanks for this tale. It touched my heart.

These are my thoughts and ideas alone. I hope you found them helpful. Not all of us see writing or any one piece in the same light. Please take what helps you from my comments and ignore the rest.

Thank you for allowing me to read and review your writing. Keep up the good work, and best of luck with all of your writing.


Happy Writing!  *Dragon2*

Lady Katz  



8
8
Review by Katzendragonz
In affiliation with The Iron Bank of Braavos  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Hello Rhyme Maven!

I read your Lift Your Blinds poem as part of my participation with "House Targaryenin the "Game of Thrones event this month.


         *Dragon*  General Impression

First off, let me say every word in your poem is so true. It both angers me and saddens me to think and know people feel bound to teach their children to hate what is different. Your poem stirred me and in a way made me grieve, because in my life time I've seem too much of that hate-building behavior.

This poem, with graciousness and beauty, tells those people in no uncertain terms to knock that behavior off!


         *Dragon*  Something to Think About

While I know very little about poetry forms and rules, I have to say the patterns and rhythm of this poem are lyrical and pleasing. You wrote it in such a way that the rhythm and pattern doesn't sound forced, and it does not cloud your meaning.

You used grammar and punctuation not only correctly but in a manner that added emphasis to important thoughts. An added plus for me is that you also presented it in a visually pleasing format.

I rarely do this, but I gave this poem a *Star**Star**Star**Star**Star* rating, because I saw nothing in it that needs improvement. EXCELLENT WORK!


         *Dragon*  A Few Closing Comments

I hope this poem reaches a lot of people, both those who agree and those who don't. For those who agree to remember they need to take a quiet but firm stand for what is right, and for those who don't to be reminded that we are all human beings no matter what color or race we are. Thank you for sharing this. I appreciated the reminder and I admire the craftsmanship you poured in this poem.

These are my thoughts and ideas alone. I hope you found them helpful. Not all of us see writing or any one piece in the same light. Please take what helps you from my comments and ignore the rest.

Thank you for allowing me to read and review your writing. Keep up the good work, and best of luck with all of your writing.


Happy Writing!  *Dragon2*

Lady Katz  



9
9
Review of Who is She?  
Review by Katzendragonz
In affiliation with The Iron Bank of Braavos  
Rated: 13+ | (2.5)
Hello Joseph!

I read your Who Is She? as part of my participation with "House Targaryenin the "Game of Thrones event this month.


         *Dragon*  General Impression

I liked this story. You painted and excellent picture of her morning and kept up a running internal conversation that clued the reader into her thought and her enhanced perceptions. I enjoyed this character, She has an air of mystery and that made me want to know more about her.


         *Dragon*  Something to Think About

This story is all telling and has almost an monotone sound to it. That is distracting to the reader and distances him from the action ad emotion of the story.

I expect you've heard the phrase Show! Don't Tell! all over here on Writing.Com. But do you have any idea how to do that in your fiction writing? Let me give you a little bit more information that may clarify this concept for you.

Have you ever watched an entire Silent Movie?

What captured your attention the most? The flash of words written on a dark background? Or the actions and movements flowing across the screen? You can think of Show! Don't Tell! kind of like a silent film. Tell is like the words that flash through the dark to "tell" you what the actors are supposed to be saying. Sure they impart something about the story, but they don't really have any sizzle or pizzazz. Show! is like the moving, visual images that capture our eyes, our hearts, and our imaginations, and then submerge us into the tale being "shown" on the silver screen. Once you walked out of the theater or away from your TV which one stayed with you the longest? The cryptic, silent words? Or the vivid, lush pictures? Now you have a visual image of what Show! Don't Tell! is supposed to be in our writing.

There are too many aspects of creating Show! in our writing to cover in a single review. Here are the links to a couple of articles that will help you begin to develop this skill in your prose writing.

Make Your Writing Sparkle by Robyn Opie
http://www.fictionfactor.com/articles/sparkle.html...

Pacing by Dr. Vicki Hinze
http://www.fictionfactor.com/guests/pacing.html


         *Dragon*  A Few Things You Might Want to Work On

The one thing more than any other that made your story a little bit hard to read is that you kept jumping back and forth from writing in past tense to writing in present tense. Unless you are doing a flashback or have characters telling what they will do in the future, your entire story should always be written in the same verb tense.

When you change verb tenses in the middle of the story you confuse your reader and muddy the flow of your plot.

You have a number grammar and punctuation issues in this piece. There are a couple of setting changes and several idea changes as your story progresses. You should have started a new paragraph with each on of those changes. Not only does that make your ideas flow better, it is visually easier on the reader and makes your thought flow smoother.

You also have a problem with repetitious words. You used some form the word, knew, twenty-two times in this story. Instead of telling the reader she knew something writer out either inner dialogue or dialogue with another character and have her talk about what she knew.

I gave this piece a *Star**Star**Halfstar*because while you have a good plot and a strong ending, your grammar, verb usage, and writing craftsmanship still need a lot of work and polishing.


         *Dragon*  A Few Closing Comments

I loved the twist at the end. It was unexpected and intriguing. It also explains why the bus driver is not emotionally flipping out after hitting the girl with his bus. Excellent ending to this tale. I really enjoyed it.

This story has a huge potential. I hope you have the change to work on it more and make it all it can be.

These are my thoughts and ideas alone. I hope you found them helpful. Not all of us see writing or any one piece in the same light. Please take what helps you from my comments and ignore the rest.

Thank you for allowing me to read and review your writing. Keep up the good work, and best of luck with all of your writing.


Happy Writing!  *Dragon2*

Lady Katz  



10
10
Review by Katzendragonz
In affiliation with The Iron Bank of Braavos  
Rated: E | (3.5)
Hello HOOves!

I read your The Night I Ate My Words as part of my participation with "House Targaryenin the "Game of Thrones event this month.


         *Dragon*  General Impression

This story was fun and made more so because the actual eating of words was not what I expected from the title. I like stories that give me a good surprise best, and this little story did just that. It is fun and upbeat and gave me a few laughs. Yoru main character's/narrator's voice come through clearly, as does his personality.

The exchanges between Hooves and Bessie sound natural and flow easily.

Two things in this story did throw me off a little though. First, it doesn't fit for me that Hooves' human would go off and completely forget about him. and that he would not be upset about that. Second, it's hard to imagine that any library would close down at night and everyone would leave without without turning off all of the computers and printers.


         *Dragon*  Something to Think About

There is one main thing that really slowed this story down; it is written almost entirely in passive voice.

Passive voice distances the reader from the action and minimizes the emotions in your scenes. Any time you write with any form of the verb, to be, you are writing passive voice. Note the explanation below.

Passive voice is created when the subject receives an action rather than performs the action.

Consider these two sentences:

         *BulletO*   John was opening the door.

         *BulletR*   John opened the door.

Do you see a difference between these two sentences? There are a couple of things that make one passive and the other active.

*NoteY*  In the first sentence, John existed in a state of opening the door; he was not actually performing the action of opening the door. This is a passive verb usage.

The use of any form of the verb to be indicates that the subject exists in a state of being. This means the subject of the sentence is not actively performing an action. When you see a being verb in a sentence it is a passive voice sentence and is Telling.

The verb to be has many forms. These are the most common: is, am, are, was, were, be, been, and being.

*NoteR*  In the second second sentence, John actively performed the action of opening the door. This is active verb usage. When the subject of a sentence is performing an action, the sentence is written in active voice.

Do you see the differences?

For some great tips on reducing passive voice, check out the article below.

 Dealing with the Passive Voice?  (E)
Passive Verbs haunted my writing. I now possess the answer to curing this Black Death.
#1758458 by Rixfarmgirl


         *Dragon*  A Few Things You Might Want to Work On

Another thing that slowed this story down is that you are Telling the reader what you want him to know, rather than dropping him into the scene and Showing him the action as your characters experience it.

Reading stories that Tell is like standing outside a warm, cozy house on a cold, blustery night and watching the people inside eating a delicious dinner by a blazing fire, laughing and enjoying the meal and the company. What you see is wonderful, and you want to be a part of it, but the windows and doors are all locked, and the people inside don't hear you knocking and pounding and longing to come in and join them. You are stuck on the outside looking in.

Show flings all of those doors and windows wide open and not only invites you inside, but also encourages you to dive in, savor the feast, and bask in the warmth and the wonderful feelings happening inside.

I know what I'd want. Which one would you prefer?

One good way to Show instead of Tell is to write out dialogue between your characters. Include their actions and use their words to show what your characters are experiencing and feeling.

There are too many aspects of creating Show! in our writing to cover in a single review. Here are the links to a couple of articles that will help you begin to develop this skill in your prose writing.

Make Your Writing Sparkle by Robyn Opie
http://http://www.fictionfactor.com/articles/spark...{/link}

Pacing by Dr. Vicki Hinze
http://www.fictionfactor.com/guests/pacing.html

I gave this piece a *Star**Star**Star**Halfstar*rating because of the two "glitches" in the plot line and the fact that the piece would be much better if written in Active Voice with strong action verbs.


         *Dragon*  A Few Closing Comments

This is a fun story. I didn't have any trouble visualizing the library or the crowd of people waiting their turns to use the library's computers. The idea of a bull in a library being taken for granted made me smile and want to know what happened next. It's a delightful story, and I think it would make a great children's tale.

These are my thoughts and ideas alone. I hope you found them helpful. Not all of us see writing or any one piece in the same light. Please take what helps you from my comments and ignore the rest.

Thank you for allowing me to read and review your writing. Keep up the good work, and best of luck with all of your writing.


Happy Writing!  *Dragon2*

Lady Katz  



11
11
Review of Drownin' in Air  
Review by Katzendragonz
In affiliation with The Iron Bank of Braavos  
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Hello Patrice!

I read your Drownin' in Air as part of my participation with "House Targaryenin the "Game of Thrones event this month.


         *Dragon*  General Impression

This poem gave me a sense of not-quite-sadness as if the narrator thought he should be happy and maybe felt a tiny bit guilty that he wasn't. Your words paint a vivid picture without belaboring the issue or overloading your poem will unneeded fluff.

I had no trouble identifying with your narrator and seeing the situation through his eyes.

         *Dragon*  Something to Think About

There are a couple of places in this poem that didn't ring quite true for me.

The first in is the first stanza.

Sometimes is the serious
Rock/scissors stage.

I'm not at all sure what you are getting at here. Sometimes is the serious in my mind would read better and make more sense if it was written Sometimes it's the serious. I'm not sure here if this is a missed typo or something obscure you were trying to communicate, but it muddied the meaning for me.

The second place that caught me up short is in the fourth stanza.

Just one of the other
Animals at the zoo.

This part does not paint a clear picture or communicate a true emotion for me. If it read, Just one of the other Animals in the zoo, it snaps out frustration and hopelessness and makes me identify instantly with your narrator.

I gave this poem a *Star**Star**Star**Star* rating because it looked like there were a couple of typos, and those muddied the meaning and emotion of this poem for me.


         *Dragon*  A Few Closing Comments

There are two things I really liked in those poem. The first is where you used the text spellings in the second stanza. This gave a time setting for your poem and told a bit more about your narrator. It took me a minute to figure out what was being said, but that did not pull me out of the mood of the poem.

The thing I liked the most was your last line. (I love when I get a twist or a surprise at the end of a piece.) You made it very clear with your rhyming pattern what the last word in your poem is intended to be, but you didn't say it outright. VERY NICE TOUCH!

I know a lot of work goes into writing poetry, and poets often feel like they are pulling their souls out and splashing them on the screen for the world to see. I honor and respect that. Thanks for sharing yours in this poem.

These are my thoughts and ideas alone. I hope you found them helpful. Not all of us see writing or any one piece in the same light. Please take what helps you from my comments and ignore the rest.

Thank you for allowing me to read and review your writing. Keep up the good work, and best of luck with all of your writing.


Happy Writing!  *Dragon2*

Lady Katz  



12
12
Review of I Remember Daddy  
Review by Katzendragonz
In affiliation with The Iron Bank of Braavos  
Rated: 18+ | (3.5)
Hello Neva!

I read your I Remember Daddy as part of my participation with "House Targaryenin the "Game of Thrones event this month.


         *Dragon*  General Impression

I enjoyed this story, especially the byplay between the two sisters. You gave just enough description to help me visualize the scene, and the characters' dialogue not only adds to their personalities, it moves your storyline forward.

You also did a good job of writing with action verbs rather than passive being verbs. Action verbs move the pace of the story forward and draw the reader into the scene so they can experience the action as your characters do. GOOD JOB!


         *Dragon*  A Few Things You Might Want to Work On

There are two glaring things that did pull me out of your story and a couple of times made it a challenge to decipher . . . incorrect grammar and spelling and punctuation errors.

Not taking the time to polish your work and eliminate these sneaky little bugs minimizes the effectiveness of your writing and can make a reader turn away from your work. If you are moving toward publishing your stories, and not proofreading and editing your work, more than likely it will end up in the reject pile. That is something no writer even wants.

Here's the link to an article I wrote a while back that gives several ideas for proofreading ans polishing your writing. While originally written for novelists, these methods work great on short stories too.

 
STATIC
So You Wrote a Novel! Now What?  (E)
Proofing, Editing and Polishing Your First Draft Novel
#2076097 by Katzendragonz

I gave this piece a *Star**Star**Star**Halfstar*rating because the writing craftsmanship needs polishing and the grammar and punctuation errors need to be corrected.

         *Dragon*  A Few Closing Comments

This is a good story. I liked the ending and the upper hand Jez has when Mag realizes she knows about their father's will. It was a nice little twist, and I love stories with a twist or a surprise at the end.

These are my thoughts and ideas alone. I hope you found them helpful. Not all of us see writing or any one piece in the same light. Please take what helps you from my comments and ignore the rest.

Thank you for allowing me to read and review your writing. Keep up the good work, and best of luck with all of your writing.


Happy Writing!  *Dragon2*

Lady Katz  



13
13
Review by Katzendragonz
In affiliation with The Iron Bank of Braavos  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hello Daniel!

I read your Train of Consciousness as part of my participation with "House Targaryenin the "Game of Thrones event this month.


         *Dragon*  General Impression

At first I thought this piece was nice, but didn't give me anything new or exciting. Then I got to the last line! OH MY GOSH! That is absolutely fantastic! I loved it. Your final line in this piece made the whole thing. It caught me off guard and surprised me. That's a favorite for me. This ending is unique, and I have to say one I never expected. Excellent job!


         *Dragon*  Something to Think About

Even though this is a "stream of consciousness piece," I think it can be much stronger. You will give your reader a better "vision" of your character if you also include the actions she performs as she gets ready to go on her business trip. Show her packing her bags, selecting just the right outfit, picking her make-up, and preparing for bed as her inner thoughts rattle through her head. Make these actions as ordinary and commonplace as you can. Showing her like she is any average business woman will lull the reader even more. These common actions will add more impact and surprise when the reader gets to your last line.

There is also a sentence toward the end of this piece that didn't quite make sense. I'm guessing this is probably a typo you missed.

. . . the revelation of an enormous equivocation that for all intents and purposes may no be called a lie.

Were you thinking may be called a lie or may not be called a lie. This caught me up short and interrupted the flow of the story. That is something you never want to happen in your writing.

I gave this story a *Star**Star**Star**Star* rating, because while it is fun and a delight to read, it isn't perfect yet. I believe with the addition of your character's actions this story can be fantastic.


         *Dragon*  A Few Closing Comments

You did a great job of showing your character's personality and little things about her relationship with her boyfriend using a minimum of words. Her inner dialogue flows naturally and are believable.

And an added bonus for me . . . your little story triggered an idea (nothing like this tale though) for a new Fantasy story I'll be working on this week. Thanks for that! *Smile*

These are my thoughts and ideas alone. I hope you found them helpful. Not all of us see writing or any one piece in the same light. Please take what helps you from my comments and ignore the rest.

Thank you for allowing me to read and review your writing. Keep up the good work, and best of luck with all of your writing.


Happy Writing!  *Dragon2*

Lady Katz  



14
14
Review of A New Journey  
Review by Katzendragonz
In affiliation with The Iron Bank of Braavos  
Rated: E | (3.5)
Hello Angel!

I read your A New Journey as part of my participation with "House Targaryenin the "Game of Thrones event this month.


         *Dragon*  General Impression

This is a lovely and poignant story. You captured the love and devotion between Sally and Jen through their actions and interaction with each other. It was easy for me to identify with Sally, because I have a friend who would do that for me (and I for her) if it was ever needed.

There are several wonderful elements in this story that captured my attention and imagination and drew me into your story. The first one is the cat that is friendlier that its owner, and then later that Jen called Sally even when everything else in her mind was a blur. These are wonderful touches that added personality and insight to your story.

Your opening sentence is crisp and instantly reeled me in. People are just exactly like that. I see it happen in my part of town on a regular basis.


         *Dragon*  Something to Think About

As I read your story I was very much drawn in and made to care about your characters and what happened to them, but I was also unsettled and felt like something was off with this story. It took me a little bit to figure out why.

First of all, you change the story's point of view (POV) three different times. Your first paragraph is from the all-knowing point of view of an outside narrator. Even though this paragraph sets the stage for the tale, it doesn't bring the reader in close to your two main characters. Then the next three paragraphs are told from Sally's point of view, and at the end you slide to Jen's POV for the last two paragraphs.

This constant change is distracting to the reader, because you don't have any transitions to clue the reader to the change in POV. It interrupts the flow of the plot.

Ideally a story this short should be written in only one point of view.

The other thing that made this story feel not quite right to me is that you packed so much intensity and emotion into such a short space without following up or giving the reader time to get into the scene with your characters. Again this was distraction to me as your reader.


         *Dragon*  A Few Things You Might Want to Work On

One main thing really slowed this tale down. This story is written primarily in passive voice. Passive voice distances the reader from the action and minimizes the emotions in your scenes. Any time you write with any form of the verb, to be, you are writing passive voice. Note the explanation below.

Passive voice is created when the subject receives an action rather than performs the action.

Consider these two sentences:

         *BulletO*   John was opening the door.

         *BulletR*   John opened the door.

Do you see a difference between these two sentences? There are a couple of things that make one passive and the other active.

*NoteY*  In the first sentence, John existed in a state of opening the door; he was not actually performing the action of opening the door. This is a passive verb usage.

The use of any form of the verb to be indicates that the subject exists in a state of being. This means the subject of the sentence is not actively performing an action. When you see a being verb in a sentence it is a passive voice sentence and is Telling.

The verb to be has many forms. These are the most common: is, am, are, was, were, be, been, and being.

*NoteR*  In the second second sentence, John actively performed the action of opening the door. This is active verb usage. When the subject of a sentence is performing an action, the sentence is written in active voice.

Do you see the differences?

For some great tips on reducing passive voice, check out the article below.

 Dealing with the Passive Voice?  (E)
Passive Verbs haunted my writing. I now possess the answer to curing this Black Death.
#1758458 by Rixfarmgirl

I also suggest you work more on Showing this story to your readers rather than Telling them what you want them to know.

Reading stories that Tell is like standing outside a warm, cozy house on a cold, blustery night and watching the people inside eating a delicious dinner by a blazing fire, laughing and enjoying the meal and the company. What you see is wonderful, and you want to be a part of it, but the windows and doors are all locked, and the people inside don't hear you knocking and pounding and longing to come in and join them. You are stuck on the outside looking in.

Show flings all of those doors and windows wide open and not only invites you inside, but also encourages you to dive in, savor the feast, and bask in the warmth and the wonderful feelings happening inside.

I know what I'd want. Which one would you prefer?

One good way to Show instead of Tell is to write out the dialogue between your characters. include their actions and use their words to show what your characters are experiencing and feeling.

I gave your tale a *Star**Star**Star**Halfstar* rating, because the verb usage needs to be strong action verbs instead of passive, to be, verbs and the tale needs to be expanded to give the reader a clearer picture of what happened to Jen and results of her attack.


         *Dragon*  A Few Closing Comments

That story is packed with so much it's almost overwhelming in its brevity. It has a huge amount of potential. I would love to see you develop it and expand on what happened. It's a wonderful tribute to true, long-lasting friendship, and I think it deserves to be expanded and highlighted. When I finished reading it, I sent a message to my best friend just to let her know how special she is to me. Thanks for reminding me of the treasure I have in her.

These are my thoughts and ideas alone. I hope you found them helpful. Not all of us see writing or any one piece in the same light. Please take what helps you from my comments and ignore the rest.

Thank you for allowing me to read and review your writing. Keep up the good work, and best of luck with all of your writing.


Happy Writing!  *Dragon2*

Lady Katz  



15
15
Review by Katzendragonz
In affiliation with The Iron Bank of Braavos  
Rated: 18+ | (5.0)
Hello Winnie!

I read your The Reluctant Patient as part of my participation with "House Targaryenin the "Game of Thrones event this month. When I saw a Comedy (that's our review category for today) with your name on it I knew I'd get a kick out if it! I did!


         *Dragon*  General Impression

OMG! I loved this piece! I laughed myself half silly at the ending. And giggled like crazy at a number of the images of Jim in the truck and his attitudes and posturings.

This story is so much fun and delightfully tongue-in-cheek! You set us up and led us by the nose into thinking Marie was taking Jim to a Stop Smoking specialist. You never missed a beat. Not for a minute did I see that end coming. I missed it at even with the hint you gave when the other passenger fled the elevator.


         *Dragon*  Something to Think About

It is a big treat to me to read a piece that I don't need to make corrections and comments about writing craftsmanship on. Then, of course, I know you have been working hard all the time you've been with the Academy to master and constantly improve your own writing craftsmanship as you teach it to our students.

I must say here you've done a wonderful job of doing just that. I'm proud to have you as my friend and as one of our instructors. I have a great confidence in you, and that you will always do the best by not only our students but by all of the people you touch here on WdC. (Nope, I didn't double check my comma placements. *Smile* Just going by the gut feeling here. *Rolling*)

I didn't really feel like you needed a review from me—your piece is perfect in my opinion. I wanted to send you one anyway . . . just because. And it's also fun to shower friends in praise! *Bigsmile*


         *Dragon*  A Few Closing Comments

I always look forward to reading your work. You have a wonderful sense of humor that I find fun and stimulating. I've tried to kind of take humor lessons from you over the years we've known each other, but you're the master there. I can never hope to match you in your creative and delightful humor.

Thank you for allowing me to read and review your writing. Keep up the excellent work, and best of luck with all of your writing.


Happy Writing!  *Dragon2*

Lady Katz  



16
16
Review of The Tree  
Review by Katzendragonz
In affiliation with The Iron Bank of Braavos  
Rated: E | (2.0)
Hello Stephen!

I read your The Tree as part of my participation with "House Targaryenin the "Game of Thrones event this month.


         *Dragon*  General Impression

I was intrigued at how a tree could be a medical (Medical is our category for today's reviews in Game of Thrones.) part of an experience. The idea of seeing yourself and communicating with yourself as if in two separate bodies caught my attention. It has an ocean of possibilities, if not in reality at least in the world of fiction, and made me want to know more.

         *Dragon*  Something to Think About

One thing that jerked me out of the piece right off and made it a bit difficult to read is the excessive amount of grammar and punctuation errors I came across as I read it. They interrupted the flow of your narration and muddied the emotion and the meaning of what you are working to communicate.

Writing of any type is, at its most basic, communication between the writer and the reader. If the writer does not compose his work so the reader clearly understands the meaning the writer has not yet completed his task.

You should always take the time to proofread and correct any errors before you post your work for public view. This give your more credibility and as author and is a gift to your readers as much as your story is.


         *Dragon*  A Few Things You Might Want to Work On

Another problem I saw throughout this piece is that you switched back and forth between verb tenses, often within the same sentence. Unless you are doing a flashback or have characters telling what they will do in the future, your entire story should always be written in the same verb tense. Past verb tense works best for most stories.

When you change verb tenses in the middle of the story you confuse your reader and again muddy the flow of your plot.

Your descriptions are clear and made it easy for me to visualize your setting and what your narrator was experiencing. Unfortunately, they are overdone. There is way more in your descriptions than is needed to drop the reader into the scene so he can experience it as the action evolves. If a segment of description does not help advance your plot, leave it out. You don't need it.

The paragraphs when you went on about the color, Yellow, didn't make a lot of sense to me in the context of this chapter. It seems to come out of nowhere and launch a new unrelated thought. I understand it may fit in your book later on, but the reason for introducing in this chapter is unclear.

I gave this piece a *Star**Star* rating because of plot inconsistencies, grammar and punctuation problems, irregular verb usage.


         *Dragon*  A Few Closing Comments

The idea behind this chapter is intriguing, and as I mentioned before, has a huge amount of possibilities. I can easily see a book coming together with each of your narrator's "double-body" experiences. But, this beginning needs a lot of work. I hope this doesn't discourage you. Anything worth doing is worth all the work necessary to make it the best it can be. I believe you have the ability to make this a wonderful book, but you need to develop the writing craftsmanship that will make reading your story a delight to those who pick up your book.

These are my thoughts and ideas alone. I hope you found them helpful. Not all of us see writing or any one piece in the same light. Please take what helps you from my comments and ignore the rest.

Thank you for allowing me to read and review your writing. Keep up the hard work, and best of luck with all of your writing.


Happy Writing!  *Dragon2*

Lady Katz  



17
17
Review by Katzendragonz
In affiliation with The Iron Bank of Braavos  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hello Terry!

I read your My Mom Is The Worst Cook In The World! as part of my participation with "House Targaryenin the "Game of Thrones event this month.

You story caught my attention because while my mom isn't the worst cook around, she certainly is cooking-challenged. I was curious what odd things this mom might have subjected her family to. (Ours was this weird casserole dish made with sauerkraut, mushy potatoes, and hot dogs. We hated it!!!!)

         *Dragon*  General Impression

This little story is an absolute delight. From the very first sentence you communicated your character's personality and delight in his mom. The love shines through.

I picture your main character/narrator as a eleven to thirteen year-old-boy, who is smartp and precocious. You captured the cadence and uncluttered speech patterns of a young person and carried it through the entire story. It added personality and helped me see the mom through his eyes.


         *Dragon*  Something to Think About

As good as this story is, it can be even better. A lot of it is written in passive voice. Passive voice distances the reader from the action and minimizes the emotions in your scenes. Any time you write with any form of the verb, to be, you are writing passive voice. Note the explanation below.

Passive voice is created when the subject receives an action rather than performs the action.

Consider these two sentences:

         *BulletO*   John was opening the door.

         *BulletR*   John opened the door.

Do you see a difference between these two sentences? There are a couple of things that make one passive and the other active.

*NoteY*  In the first sentence, John existed in a state of opening the door; he was not actually performing the action of opening the door. This is a passive verb usage.

The use of any form of the verb to be indicates that the subject exists in a state of being. This means the subject of the sentence is not actively performing an action. When you see a being verb in a sentence it is a passive voice sentence and is Telling.

The verb to be has many forms. These are the most common: is, am, are, was, were, be, been, and being.

*NoteR*  In the second second sentence, John actively performed the action of opening the door. This is active verb usage. When the subject of a sentence is performing an action, the sentence is written in active voice.

Do you see the differences?

For some great tips on reducing passive voice, check out the article below.

 Dealing with the Passive Voice?  (E)
Passive Verbs haunted my writing. I now possess the answer to curing this Black Death.
#1758458 by Rixfarmgirl

Yes, people do tend to speak in passive voice, and when you write in first person POV it feels like the main character/narrator is speaking to you. Even so, replacing about half of the passive verbs in this story with strong action verbs will draw the reader deeper into the story and still maintain the fresh feel of the narrator's personality.


         *Dragon*  A Few Things You Might Want to Work On

I noticed quite a few grammar and spelling errors in this piece. These tend to yank the reader out of the story and interrupt the flow. This is something writers never want to happen. Taking the extra time to proofread and polish your work only makes it better, and helps bring readers back to your work time and time again.

I gave your tale a *Star**Star**Star**Star* rating because the writing craftsmanship needs some proofing and polishing and the verb usage needs to be tightened up a bit.


         *Dragon*  A Few Closing Comments

The ending of your story was the best part for me.

I laughed at your last sentence. Stories that surprise me at the end with a clever twist are my favorite! I'll be thinking about your tale for a long time to come and wondering if being dyed purple would have helped that horrid sauerkraut dish from my childhood go down any easier. We'll never know!

These are my thoughts and ideas alone. I hope you found them helpful. Not all of us see writing or any one piece in the same light. Please take what helps you from my comments and ignore the rest.

Thank you for allowing me to read and review your writing. Keep up the good work, and best of luck with all of your writing.


Happy Writing!  *Dragon2*

Lady Katz  



18
18
Review of Impious Hearts  
Review by Katzendragonz
In affiliation with The Iron Bank of Braavos  
Rated: E | (3.5)
Hello Sam McG!

I read your Impious Hearts as part of my participation with "House Targaryenin the "Game of Thrones event this month.


         *Dragon*  General Impression

My first thought on reading this story was that it reminds me very much of some of the early Star Trek episodes. That isn't a bad thing, because I really like Star Trek. The thing that captured my imagination the best in your story is the crew's mind-link to the computer that runs the ship. You did a great job of showing that by the way they kind of go blank when they communicate with the computer.

The idea for the planet they discover is great and the mystery attached to it intrigued me. I want to know more about them!

You did a good job of revealing your characters through their actions and their dialogue. Your dialogue is natural and believable and you didn't overload this story with a lot of dialogue tags. GOOD JOB!


         *Dragon*  Something to Think About

One thing that did distract me and pull me out of the story somewhat is the minute detailed descriptions of the holo displays, the area surrounding the planet, and the nature of their exploratory journey. They dropped a sluggish feel into the middle of what is a tense and, as it progresses, an emotionally charged situation. You don't want a sink-hole in the middle of this scene, and to me that is exactly what you have.

When writing descriptions only add enough to give your reader's imagination a boost so he can picture his version of what you are describing in his mind. Leave the excess off. If your description does not advance your plot in a strong way, it is not needed. Instead take that time and space and use it to build the emotions of your characters and insensify the action of the scene instead.


         *Dragon*  A Few Things You Might Want to Work On


Another thing you want to watch when writing fiction is the use of passive being verbs in your expository sections. Any time you write with any form of the verb, to be, you are writing passive voice. Passive voice slows the action and distances your readers from the action on the tale and from your characters' emotions.

Please note the explanation below.

Passive voice is created when the subject receives an action rather than performs the action.

Consider these two sentences:

         *BulletO*   John was opening the door.

         *BulletR*   John opened the door.

Do you see a difference between these two sentences? There are a couple of things that make one passive and the other active.

*NoteY*  In the first sentence, John existed in a state of opening the door; he was not actually performing the action of opening the door. This is a passive verb usage.

The use of any form of the verb to be indicates that the subject exists in a state of being. This means the subject of the sentence is not actively performing an action. When you see a being verb in a sentence it is a passive voice sentence and is Telling.

The verb to be has many forms. These are the most common: is, am, are, was, were, be, been, and being.

*NoteR*  In the second second sentence, John actively performed the action of opening the door. This is active verb usage. When the subject of a sentence is performing an action, the sentence is written in active voice.

Do you see the differences?

For some great tips on reducing passive voice, check out the article below.

 Dealing with the Passive Voice?  (E)
Passive Verbs haunted my writing. I now possess the answer to curing this Black Death.
#1758458 by Rixfarmgirl

I gave this story a *Star**Star**Star**Halfstar*rating, because there are a couple of areas of writing craftsmanship that need strengthening and polishing.


         *Dragon*  A Few Closing Comments

This story has a lot of potential. Your cliffhanger ending is great and left you plenty of room to go back and revisit KP-186.01. I can see a novel or a series starting from this one incident. You left me wanting more, and isn't that what we all want when we write our stories.

These are my thoughts and ideas alone. I hope you found them helpful. Not all of us see writing or any one piece in the same light. Please take what helps you from my comments and ignore the rest.

Thank you for allowing me to read and review your writing. Keep up the good work, and best of luck with all of your writing.


Happy Writing!  *Dragon2*

Lady Katz  



19
19
Review by Katzendragonz
In affiliation with The Iron Bank of Braavos  
Rated: 13+ | (3.5)
Hello Neva!

I ran across your (The Haunted Refrigerator) while perusing the Read and Review page. This review is also part of my participation with "House Targaryenin the "Game of Thrones event this month.


         *Dragon*  General Impression

This story is fun and cute. It left me questioning and wondering. I'm not sure if that is exactly what you intended or not. Either way I enjoyed the story, although I am disappointed somewhat in the ending. It isn't clear if Aunt Lora is playing a trick on KC or if there is someone else in the house or a ghost.

         *Dragon*  Something to Think About

You did a great job of using the characters' dialogue to move the plot forward and you used their actions to identify each speaker. This helped keep my attention riveted on the action and exchanges between the characters. GOOD JOB!

You also gave just enough description to set the scene in each room without overloading the brief tale with unnecessary fluff that would have slowed the story. I had no trouble visualizing the scenes and the characters' actions in them.


         *Dragon*  A Few Things You Might Want to Work On

Be sure you proof and edit your work before you post it. I noticed a few places where there are careless spelling or punctuation errors. That detracts from your story and pulls the reader out of the tale. That is something you never want to happen.

         One Additional Thought . . .

There are a number of places in this piece where you use adverbs ending in LY with a weaker verb. Your writing will be stronger and move vivid if you replace them with strong, picturesque action verbs.

One current trend among editors is an aversion to writing containing more than one or two adverbs ending in LY.

LY adverbs do describe the action and the setting, but they do not add movement or life to the scene. In fact, LY adverbs diffuse the emotion of the scene. They Tell the story rather than dropping the reader into the action alongside your characters and Showing him the action.

If you need to use LY adverbs as you zap out your initial idea and plot of a story in order to keep the muse flowing and help you remember what a scene should look like, okay. BUT . . . no one else should ever read that version of your scene. Do not even keep it as part of your first draft.

As soon as you have your general concept and plot down go back. Get rid of those over-used LY adverbs. It will take more words to write a scene with a minimum of LY adverbs, but when you do your scene will vibrate with life.

I gave your tale a *Star**Star**Star**Halfstar*rating because of the weak ending and a few writing craftsmanship areas that can use a good polishing.


         *Dragon*  A Few Closing Comments

I loved the idea and plot for this story. It caught my attention right off and kept me locked to the action until the last line. Even if you purposely chose not to reveal who or what was playing in the refrigerator, I think the ending would be more effective if it was written so Aunt Lora appears to know and understand what is going on and is getting a bit of a laugh out of the whole situation. The way it read to me is that she knows but feels sad and unhappy about it. For me, those emotions don't fit well with the lighthearted feel of the rest of the story.

These are my thoughts and ideas alone. I hope you found them helpful. Not all of us see writing or any one piece in the same light. Please take what helps you from my comments and ignore the rest.

Thank you for allowing me to read and review your writing. Keep up the good work, and best of luck with all of your writing.


Happy Writing!  *Dragon2*

Lady Katz  



20
20
Review by Katzendragonz
In affiliation with The Iron Bank of Braavos  
Rated: ASR | (2.5)
Hello!

I found your Intemperance - Chapter 1 on the Read and Review page this morning and read it as part of my participation with "House Targaryenin the "Game of Thrones event this month.

         *Dragon*  General Impression

So far you have a pretty general opening here. Your main character is clearly defined and you've given several important aspects of her personality, her past history, and her relationships. These all point to things that appear will cause her problems as the novel progresses.

You used her reactions and interactions with other characters in the chapter to help establish her personality and some of her habitual responses to others. These came across clearly and made me want to know more about her. They haven't really made me care about her yet, but I do want to know more.

Unfortunately, this chapter is also sluggish and overloaded with way too much minute description and unnecessary information. If the description does not move your plot forward, you do not need to include it. Give just enough description to open the scene in the reader's mind and no more.

         *Dragon*  Something to Think About

There are several other areas of writing craftsman that need to be polished and honed to help make this chapter an attention grabber that will pull your reader into your story and make him or her want to keep going and dive into the next chapter.

First of all this chapter is written almost one hundred percent in passive voice. Passive voice slows the pace of the story and distances the reader from your characters and the action.

Any time you write with any form of the verb, to be, you are writing passive voice. Note the explanation below.

Passive voice is created when the subject receives an action rather than performs the action.

Consider these two sentences:

         *BulletO*   John was opening the door.

         *BulletR*   John opened the door.

Do you see a difference between these two sentences? There are a couple of things that make one passive and the other active.

*NoteY*  In the first sentence, John existed in a state of opening the door; he was not actually performing the action of opening the door. This is a passive verb usage.

The use of any form of the verb to be indicates that the subject exists in a state of being. This means the subject of the sentence is not actively performing an action. When you see a being verb in a sentence it is a passive voice sentence and is Telling.

The verb to be has many forms. These are the most common: is, am, are, was, were, be, been, and being.

*NoteR*  In the second second sentence, John actively performed the action of opening the door. This is active verb usage. When the subject of a sentence is performing an action, the sentence is written in active voice.


Do you see the differences?

For some great tips on reducing passive voice, check out the article below.

 Dealing with the Passive Voice?  (E)
Passive Verbs haunted my writing. I now possess the answer to curing this Black Death.
#1758458 by Rixfarmgirl


         *Dragon*  A Few Things You Might Want to Work On

A story moves faster and draws the reader in deeper when you minimize the use of dialogue tags. Instead of using "he said" or "she said" insert a character's actions and emotions to identify who is speaking.

What our characters say and mean as they speak goes beyond their actual words. Just like humans in real life, our characters need to talk with more than their words. Their body language, facial expressions, and gestures will speak to your readers as much as the words you put in your characters' mouths. As you write dialogue for your characters keep in mind what they are doing and thinking as they talk.

Rather than depending on dialogue tags to identify your individual speakers scatter actions throughout the dialogue. Doing so can also break up blocks of too much dialogue as well as giving clues to a character's state of mind, mood, and the situation at hand.

Here are some links for additional information on the subject of realistic dialogue if you're interested in learning more on the topic.



         An Additional Thought . . .

One current trend among editors is an aversion to writing containing more than one or two adverbs ending in LY.

LY adverbs do describe the action and the setting, but they do not add movement or life to the scene. In fact, LY adverbs diffuse the emotion of the scene. They Tell the story rather than dropping the reader into the action alongside your characters and Showing him the action.

If you need to use LY adverbs as you zap out your initial idea and plot of a story in order to keep the muse flowing and help you remember what a scene should look like, okay. BUT . . . no one else should ever read that version of your scene. Do not even keep it as part of your first draft.

As soon as you have your general concept and plot down go back. Get rid of those over-used LY adverbs. It will take more words to write a scene with a minimum of LY adverbs, but when you do your scene will vibrate with life.

I gave your tale a *Star**Star**Halfstar*rating because several areas of writing craftsmanship still need polishing. This chapter has potential but it still reads too much like a rough, early draft.


         *Dragon*  A Few Closing Comments

You have a great start at developing your characters and making them people your readers will care about and follow. One of the best skills you can develop as a fiction writer is understanding and using Show! Don't Tell! in your fiction writing.

This might help illustrate what this skill does in our stories.

Have you ever watched an entire Silent Movie?

When you watch a silent move what captures your attention the most? The flash of words written on a dark background? Or the actions and movements flowing across the screen? You can think of Show! Don't Tell! kind of like a silent film. Tell is like the words that flash through the dark to "tell" you what the actors are supposed to be saying. Sure they impart something about the story, but they don't really have any sizzle or pizzazz. Show! is like the moving, visual images that capture our eyes, our hearts, and our imaginations, and then submerge us into the tale being "shown" on the silver screen. Once you walked out of the theater or away from your TV which one stayed with you the longest? The cryptic, silent words? Or the vivid, lush pictures? Now you have a visual image of what Show! Don't Tell! is supposed to be in our writing.

I urge you to pursue that understanding and develop this skill. Here are two links that will help you get started.

Make Your Writing Sparkle by Robyn Opie
http://www.fictionfactor.com/articles/sparkle.html...

Pacing by Dr. Vicki Hinze
http://www.fictionfactor.com/guests/pacing.html


These are my thoughts and ideas alone. I hope you found them helpful. Not all of us see writing or any one piece in the same light. Please take what helps you from my comments and ignore the rest.

Thank you for allowing me to read and review your writing. Keep up the good work, and best of luck with all of your writing.


Happy Writing!  *Dragon2*

Lady Katz  



21
21
Review by Katzendragonz
In affiliation with The Iron Bank of Braavos  
Rated: E | (3.5)
Hello Zen!

I read your An Omnibus Adventure as part of my participation with "House Targaryenin the "Game of Thrones event this month.

         *Dragon*  General Impression

Oh my GOSH! I barked out a huge laugh when I read the last two lines in this story. I one hundred percent love surprise endings. Your pace in this tale is great. I could hardly wait to get to the end. You held my attention every second.

The phrase, the little bundle of furry fun in her handbag, is marvelous. It paints a clear picture in the reader's mind and sets him up wondering how the doggie will influence the story's plot.

Your characters are well presented and each has a clear and easily identifiable personality. I wanted to know more about your first-person narrator and the young woman who carries a dog in her purse.

         *Dragon*  Something to Think About

As good as this quick story is, it can be even better. At least I think it can. There are three things in this tale that slowed it down and in some ways diffused the intensity of the scene and the situation.

The first thing is that much of this story is written in passive voice.

Passive voice distances the reader from the action and minimizes the emotions in your scenes. Any time you write with any form of the verb, to be, you are writing passive voice. Note the explanation below.

Passive voice is created when the subject receives an action rather than performs the action.

Consider these two sentences:

         *BulletO*   John was opening the door.

         *BulletR*   John opened the door.

Do you see a difference between these two sentences? There are a couple of things that make one passive and the other active.

*NoteY*  In the first sentence, John existed in a state of opening the door; he was not actually performing the action of opening the door. This is a passive verb usage.

The use of any form of the verb to be indicates that the subject exists in a state of being. This means the subject of the sentence is not actively performing an action. When you see a being verb in a sentence it is a passive voice sentence and is Telling.

The verb to be has many forms. These are the most common: is, am, are, was, were, be, been, and being.

*NoteR*  In the second second sentence, John actively performed the action of opening the door. This is active verb usage. When the subject of a sentence is performing an action, the sentence is written in active voice.


Do you see the differences?

For some great tips on reducing passive voice, check out the article below.

 Dealing with the Passive Voice?  (E)
Passive Verbs haunted my writing. I now possess the answer to curing this Black Death.
#1758458 by Rixfarmgirl


         *Dragon*  A Few Things You Might Want to Work On

A story moves faster and draws the reader in deeper when you minimize the use of dialogue tags. Instead of using "he said" or "she said" insert a character's actions and emotions to identify who is speaking.

What our characters say and mean as they speak goes beyond their actual words. Just like humans in real life, our characters need to talk with more than their words. Their body language, facial expressions, and gestures will speak to your readers as much as the words you put in your characters' mouths. As you write dialogue for your characters keep in mind what they are doing and thinking as they talk.

Rather than depending on dialogue tags to identify your individual speakers scatter actions throughout the dialogue. Doing so can also break up blocks of too much dialogue as well as giving clues to a character's state of mind, mood, and the situation at hand.

Here are some links for additional information on the subject of realistic dialogue if you're interested in learning more on the topic.



         One last Thought . . .

One current trend among editors is an aversion to writing containing more than one or two adverbs ending in LY.

LY adverbs do describe the action and the setting, but they do not add movement or life to the scene. In fact, LY adverbs diffuse the emotion of the scene. They Tell the story rather than dropping the reader into the action alongside your characters and Showing him the action.

If you need to use LY adverbs as you zap out your initial idea and plot of a story in order to keep the muse flowing and help you remember what a scene should look like, okay. BUT . . . no one else should ever read that version of your scene. Do not even keep it as part of your first draft.

As soon as you have your general concept and plot down go back. Get rid of those over-used LY adverbs. It will take more words to write a scene with a minimum of LY adverbs, but when you do your scene will vibrate with life.

I gave your tale a *Star**Star**Star**Halfstar*rating because several areas of writing craftsmanship still need polishing.


         *Dragon*  A Few Closing Comments

This tale is one that will linger in my memory for a long time. You painted excellent word pictures, and I can still see that unwise young man with a growling teacup poodle gnawing on his most intimate parts, and that seasoned cop trying to stifle roaring laughter when the sassy young lady admits she can't order the pup to let go. Everyone needs a good laugh, and you certainly provided mine for today with this fun story.

These are my thoughts and ideas alone. I hope you found them helpful. Not all of us see writing or any one piece in the same light. Please take what helps you from my comments and ignore the rest.

Thank you for allowing me to read and review your writing. Keep up the good work, and best of luck with all of your writing.


Happy Writing!  *Dragon2*

Lady Katz  



22
22
Review of Small Fry  
Review by Katzendragonz
In affiliation with The Iron Bank of Braavos  
Rated: E | (3.5)
Hello Maci!

I read your Small Fry as part of my participation with "House Targaryenin the "Game of Thrones event this month.


         *Dragon*  General Impression

This is a delightful story. I loved it. You used language that a child can easily understand without sounding condescending or talking down to the reader/listener. I think that is a valuable skill to have when writing for kids.

Small Fry is a likable character and teaches a valuable lesson; you are never too small to help. Your plot is engaging and kept me interested throughout the entire story. You didn't overload it with unnecessary fluff. Definitely, a plus for a children's adventure story.


         *Dragon*  Something to Think About

There is one thing that especially slows your story and distances your reader From the action. This story is written in passive voice. In thirty sentence you have twenty-four uses of a being/passive verb. These need to be replaced with strong, picturesque action verbs. Doing so will add life and vividness to your little tale.

Before you can eradicate passive verbs and verb phrases from your writing, you need to understand what they are and what makes them passive. Miss Rixy's explanation of passive and active verbs helps teach us how to recognize passive verbs when we encounter them. Here's what she has to tell us.

There are basically two kinds of verbs.

Action verbs are those that show action. They tell us that the actor of the sentence is taking some kind of action.

Examples:

1. Sally hit Mary. (Hit is an action verb because Sally (the subject) is doing something.)
2. The huge oak tree fell on my car. (Fell is an action verb because the tree did something.)


Verbs of Being or Linking (passive verbs) tell us that something exists in a state of being . . . The verb "to be" has many forms. These usual forms are the following: is, am, are, was, were, be, been, and being.

Examples:

1. Tom has been a teacher of English literature for five years.   (This sentence means that Tom began existing in the past as a teacher and is still at it.)
2. You be home at six sharp.   (This sentence says you better exist in the house at six sharp or momma's gonna ground you!)


Alert!

Some verbs may look like action words, but are truly acting as being verbs. A few of these are the following: seem, become, feel, smell, grow, stay, and taste. If you want a longer list, Google being verbs.

Examples:

1. Mary became a famous singer.   (Mary exists as a singer.)
2. The pumpkin pie tasted delicious.   (The pie existed--as long as it lasted--delicious.)

A Test for Determining if Regular-Looking Verbs are Truly Linking Verbs.

If you can rewrite the sentence substituting a form of "to be" for the verb and it still has the same meaning, you have a linking verb.

Examples:

1. The dog seemed friendly.   (The dog was friendly.)
2. The snowman stayed frozen for a week.   (The snowman was frozen for a week.)
1

Active and passive verb usage is one of the hardest things a writer must learn if he or she wants to improve and strengthen their writing.


         *Dragon*  A Few Things You Might Want to Work On

Another thing you might want to think about is adding dialogue to your story, rather than telling the reader the fireflies talked. Once you write their actual dialogue add actions instead of dialogue tags to identify who is speaking. This will help draw the reader into the story and identify closer with your characters.

Instead of writing, He told her to follow him, Try something like this instead.

Small Fry hovered above the tiny child. "Come! Follow me" He grinned and held a hand out to her. "I'll take you to your mum!"

Even when writing a children's story these writing craftsmanship tools will make your story more real and vivid in their minds.

I gave this tale a *Star**Star**Star**Halfstar*rating because the writing craftsmanship needs polishing and I think actual dialogue will the it a much better piece. It has so much potential! I'd love to see you to it justice!


         *Dragon*  A Few Closing Comments

I know children's stories are most often brief to hold their short attention span. Even so adding dialogue and maybe some more descriptions about the firefly town would make this tale even more delightful.

As I mentioned at the start, I love this tale. It's precious and made me smile and think of my childhood. Children (and Adults) need to know, and be reminded, that no matter how small or insignificant we may think ourselves, we can always find a way to help someone in need, and we come out better in the end ourselves when we do.

These are my thoughts and ideas alone. I hope you found them helpful. Not all of us see writing or any one piece in the same light. Please take what helps you from my comments and ignore the rest.

Thank you for allowing me to read and review your writing. Keep up the good work, and best of luck with all of your writing.


Happy Writing!  *Dragon2*

Lady Katz  



Footnotes
1  Lesson 6 - Verbs for Writers I
by Rixfarm Girl © Copyright 2010 Rixfarmgirl (UN: rixfarmgirl at Writing.Com).

23
23
Review by Katzendragonz
In affiliation with  
Rated: 13+ | (3.5)
Hi!

I'm Katz, and I'm your judge/reviewer for the Rising Stars Candidates Dialogue Challenge, and I'm back for your second dialogue review.

Many of the weak areas I mentioned in your last review apply to this one, specifically—incorrect punctuation as well as overly formal sentences that don't convey the characters' emotions—so I won't go into those areas in detail here.

The first thing that sounded odd in this piece and pulled my focus from your main argument is in your opening paragraph. Take a look at this sentence.

         She is in enormous pain since her morphine pump isn’t working.

My first thought is . . . "What's wrong with her doctors and the technicians that they can't or won't fix her morphine pump?" Then too a broken morphine pump is not a good reason to consider euthanasia. Later I realized that you may have meant that the mother's illness has progressed to the point where her body needs too much morphine to safely control her pain. This would be a reason to consider euthanasia.

My main point here that your opening paragraph needs to capture the reader's attention and draw him or her into the piece so they can't put it down. That did not happen with how your first paragraph is written. In this case it made my mind wander off on an irrelevant tangent rather than focusing on the argument. That is not what you want happening.

Here is a better way your opening could be written with the focus on the fact that the mom's pain medicine is no longer effective.

"My mother has advanced lung cancer. It breaks my heart watching her suffer day in and day out. The morphine isn't working any more. She's in so much pain–all the time–that she just wants to die and be done with it. It's awful. I love her so much but watching her in agony is making this whole thing unendurable!"

Do you see the difference here? Not only does this opening state the problem but it engages the reader's emotions and makes him or her identify with the speaker. As the argument continues capturing the reader's emotions will also draw him or her deeper into the argument and make him more open to the possibility of euthanasia in cases of patients with an excruciating, terminal illness.

Your arguments and reasons in this piece are well thought out and you do an excellent job of presenting both the for and the against sides of allowing euthanasia, but there are a few fuzzy areas where the flow of the argument as a whole wavers.

For instance . . . exactly what is the difference between a fundamental human right and a fundamental liberty right? Is this something specific to The Netherlands? Does something make one more immediate, legal, or compelling? The point–other than one character is for and one is against–is muddy here. It isn't clear which one's argument is stronger or more valid. This weakens your piece overall.

You did a good job addressing the grey areas of what is considered harming the patient under a doctor's Hippocratic Oath. The question, "When is causing pain more harmful than helping a terminal patient end his or her own suffering?" is a valid one and one with no pat answer.

Your examination of the possibility of misuse and abuse of euthanasia with the poor, uneducated, minorities, and mentally challenged people is important and an area that must be considered in the overall picture.

Another less-clear area is where you discuss the religious ramifications of euthanasia. Neither character makes a strong stand for or against on the stand of religious beliefs. This section comes across almost like the character who is against euthanasia is grabbing at any straw to keep from losing the argument rather than presenting a strong, heartfelt opinion.

Your closing has the potential to be emotional and heart-rending and memorable but again the wording and formality of the sentences defuse the emotional impact. The argument is left with neither character convincing the other of her point. And yes, there are some topics, like euthanasia, that have no clear right or wrong.

As in your previous dialogue you have a strong start and well thought out points and arguments, but the piece needs a lot of polishing and rephrasing to make it the best it can be. For that reason I gave you a 3.5 rating on this piece also. Feel free to take advantage of the rewrite option for this challenge and resubmit this piece for reconsideration and the possibility of a higher rating.

These are my thoughts and ideas alone. I hope you found them helpful. Not all of us see writing or any one piece in the same light. Please take what helps you from my comments and ignore the rest.

Thank you for allowing me to read and review your writing. Keep up the good work, and best of luck with all of your writing.


Happy Writing!


Katz  

Rising Star Group Member to Member Review Sig
24
24
Review by Katzendragonz
In affiliation with  
Rated: 13+ | (3.5)
Hi!

I'm Katz, and I'm your judge/reviewer for the Rising Stars Candidates Dialogue Challenge.

Your Persuasive Argument Dialogue is full of well-researched facts and information. I can see that you have strong feelings against smoking and really want people not to do it.

The dialogue itself doesn't quite ring true for me. Even though you have all of the information clearly stated, and it is easy to tell which character is speaking at any given time, you haven't captured the emotions that each character must be feeling. Smokers are passionate about not stopping and even though your male character put up all sorts of blocks and comebacks to each of the female character's reasons, I didn't feel any of his or her emotions.

In many ways this comes across as a clinical discussion or an informative essay rather than a lively argument/discussion between two passionate people who care deeply about each other.

With all of the information in this piece you have the foundation for a fast-paced, emotion-packed discourse between the two characters.

The first thing that pulls the passion and intensity out of this conversation is that all of your characters' sentences are spoken in perfect grammar with few contractions. People in real life do not talk that way, especially when their emotions are high and they are discussing something they disagree on. You need to shorten your sentences, use some sentence fragments, and make the characters jump in and interrupt each other. Show their feelings by what they say and how they say it.

People don't remember things that are stated quietly and logically as easily or as well as they remember things that are presented with passion and drama. This is a vital topic that impacts lives. Splash your characters' feelings throughout the piece. That will draw your readers in, help them feel the passion your characters feel about the subject, and make the reader remember the important points in your argument.

Let's take a look at your opening exchanges. Here is what you wrote.

I don’t like it that you smoke. You should stop smoking!

I am addicted to smoking; you knew that from the beginning. Why bring it up now?

I care for you; it’s bad for your health. You can suffer from lung cancer.

I know it’s bad for my health.

But do you know that 158,080 people in the U.S. died of lung cancer in 2016?

Okay, but my father always said: You have to die of something!

Here is one way it can be written to intensify the characters' feelings.

"I hate it when you smoke. It's nasty. You need to stop!"

"I've always smoked. You know that! I'm addicted. Deal with it! It's not gonna change."

"Darn it! I care for you. Smoking sears your lungs. It causes lung cancer."

"Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Smoking's bad for my health. So what? Like I care at this point."

"But you could die! Over 158,000 people died of lung cancer last year in the US alone."

"Big deal! My father always said, 'You have to die of something!' "

Do you see how this excerpt draws out the characters' feelings and shows them to the reader. The facts are still given, but in a way that makes them stand out and makes the reader feel the passion and worry of the female character and the dismissal and reluctance to change of the male character. This is what you want to be working toward as you write fictional dialogue.

Another area that made your piece harder to read and follow is that you are not using correct punctuation. When you write dialogue, even in an all-dialogue piece, each character's words need to be set apart with quotation marks.

Titles of books are always capitalized and either italicized or underlined.

You wrote the following: You can start by reading this book by Allen Carr, The easy way to stop smoking.

Actually this sentence should be written like this.

         "You can start by reading this book by Allen Carr, The Easyway to Stop Smoking."

Then you could make the sentence tighter and more intense.

         "Start reading this, Allen Carr's The Easyway to Stop Smoking."

Side Note *Smile* I looked Allen Carr's book up, and that is how he wrote the title. When you write it's important to get the tiny details like a book's title correct. It adds to your credibility as a writer and to the quality of your writing craftsmanship.

You have an excellent start here. You have good points and the potential for a highly-charged, emotional discussion. I could only give this piece a 3.5 rating because it needs a lot of work to make it all it can be. I encourage you to take advantage of this challenge's option to rewrite your dialogue. I think you can make it so much more compelling and memorable than it is right now. Doing that will bring your rating up and make this a piece one that lingers in the reader's mind long after he finishes the last line.

These are my thoughts and ideas alone. I hope you found them helpful. Not all of us see writing or any one piece in the same light. Please take what helps you from my comments and ignore the rest.

Thank you for allowing me to read and review your writing. Keep up the good work, and best of luck with all of your writing.


Happy Writing!


Katz  

Rising Star Group Member to Member Review Sig
25
25
Review of Gift for Natalie  
Review by Katzendragonz
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Hello Charlie!

I read your Gift for Natalie as part of my participation in the "Red Wedding updating event this month and this week's Raid.

This story was a great surprise. From reading some of you other work, I was suspecting something macabre to happen about or with the peonies. I liked how you set the scene and began to build your tale and your character with all of the people in the office praising Paul for being so romantic and no hint something might be "off."

The first hint comes when the reader realizes he is in his own solitary bedroom, not on he shared with a wife. HMMMMM! That made me want to know more. Then we realize he's going to pick Natalie up, and I'm thinking "AHHH! He must be one of those who is too shy to propose so had dated this lady for ten years."

Then we know more is not right as he peers in the window. Great move! You built the tale and the suspense expertly and added a surprise ending with a twist. You held my attention to the last word with each surprise or unexpected bit of information, and revealed the depth of Paul's problem with that last line. Well done!

Two things kept this story from being perfect for me. One of course, is the use of passive and helping verbs and verb phrases. They slow your action and distance the reader from your characters and your scene. The second is the use of present tense writing in your tale. I find fiction written with present tense verbs comes off gimmicky and stilted. It too slows the pace of the story. It does not draw the reader in and make him more in tune with your characters or closer to the action. My opinion of the use of present tense verbs in fiction is that if I notice it is there, it isn't written well enough to be effective. In my experience writing strong fiction in present verb tense is extremely difficult and even published authors have difficulty doing so seamlessly.

These are my thoughts and ideas alone. I hope you found them helpful. Not all of us see writing or any one piece in the same light. Please take what helps you from my comments and ignore the rest.

Thank you for allowing me to read and review your writing. Keep up the good work, and best of luck with all of your writing.


Happy Writing!

Katz  

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