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Review of The Proposal  
Review by Eiric
Rated: ASR | (3.5)

*Cursing softly she tucked the flyaway strands of her blond hair behind her ears*

I really like the sound of “flyaway strands”- it’s a very unique a endearing way of referring to it.

*Jashen flashed her a brilliant smile still shaken some of the dampness out of his hair.*

“still shaken” doesn’t work. What are you trying to say here? Maybe “Jashen flashed her a brilliant smile while still shaking some of the…”?

*Making a perfect bow he addressed her formally more for Broswell’s benefit than for hers.*

Perhaps, for readability, “…addressed her formally, more for Broswell’s…” would work better? I stumbled over the sentence meaning at first.

*Mellyora smiled her gaze flashing between Broswell and Jashen,*

Another comma issue “Mellyoora smile, her gaze…” It helps the reader to separate the thoughts and adds a more professional touch. Consider, when you proof read, reading through with a ‘voice’ in your head (or else aloud) and catching those missed pauses. I always have an internal voice (which is why I read slower), but it always tends to catch those things as a result.

*Jashen raised a brow, “Really?” he wouldn’t have been surprised if the Kyndale lad never recovered enough to return, although with the care he had received, his grey eyes flashed a bit of old anger, but his face smiled.*

Do I sense a little bit of a run-on sentence here? That is all ONE sentence. Whew. Let me try a redo (you can redo it however you like, though). “Jashen raised a brow, “Really?” He wouldn’t have been surprised if the Kyndale lad never recovered enough to return. His grey eyes flashed a bit of old anger as he remembered the care he had received, but his face smiled.”

*“The news was so exciting however, she had to try.”*

Simple comma issue “The news was so exciting, however, she had to try.”

*This was not at all the Jashen she was use to seeing.*

Instead- “Jashen she was used to seeing”.

* She had often wondered how he stood to be near her when that happened, quietly she whispered, “I’m sorry.”*

Comma to period “when that happened. Quietly, she whispered, “I’m sorry.” “

*“No Mel,” he smiled, “It’s just that,” he did not often find himself at a loss for words.*

I’m not sure that a comma is best here when you do not plan to complete the sentence in that paragraph. I would recommend “ “No Mel,” he smiled, “It’s just that…” He did not “ Note I also capitalised He, to make a new sentence.

* All she had wanted since the days she had first met him and he had believed in her abilities was to be able to have a life with him.*

Definitely has to be broken up a bit. Suggestion- “All she had wanted since the days she had first met him, when he had believed in her abilities, was to be able to have a life with him.” You might consider adding a little more meat (word phrasing) to “when he had believed in her abilities”. Random example might be “when he had believed in her and her abilities regardless of the circumstances”, etc. Whatever you like, it just felt a little bare.

*“Mel?” Jashen gently took her by the shoulders pushing her away so he could see her face.*

Comma- “…took her by the shoulders, pushing her…”

*He reached over and pulled her face close to his kissing her eyes,*

Comma- “her face close to his, kissing her eyes,”

Did none of the other reviews you receive catch these? Nothing huge- and only one spelling mistake (and that was one a spell-checker wouldn’t catch, since it was a word use issue). Just phrasing, commas, etc.

It’s funny that someone would tell you it was too long. It was just fine. It reads to me like an excerpt from an existing story- one that I’d be interested in going back to read the beginning of to see if I liked it or not. It’s very nicely written and professionally done minus the basic clean-up. It is hard for me to be as close to the emotion since I do not really have a prior attachment to the characters. I don’t know either of the two lovebirds, I don’t know what all these experiences have been that they have faced together, nor do I really know anything about what she does or he does except through your hints. I gather she must be a fighter, and he fights as well- though he implied craftsmanship abilities from his making of the ring (Lord of the Ring? Hee hee… one ring to rule ‘em all, my preeeecious. I do a great impression for that, by the way, heh!). This is where you get my impression as one used to reading books and not short stories.

If you are going stylistically for the perspective of “slice of life”- an exerpt out of life in their world- then it works fine. However, if that isn’t your point- if you aren’t purposely trying to just jump into the story and end without binding the readers more- you might consider that the story, to me, is not as good a stand-alone story as I have seen before. It stands alone well in the sense that this specific little plot is fairly contained and weaves in past experiences enough that you follow well. People can relate well, especially with past romantic experiences like this. However, for an American style self-contained short story it might try to explain the random references a little bit better. While it is interesting, for me personally there is nothing in this short story that acts as a “hook” for me. The wonderful wording and beautiful story-telling is potentially a hook, and the romantic build up is too- but not quite enough to truly hook me. It interests me, so, like I said, were this from a full book I would go to the beginning (which, in the usual fantasy novel, is designed to ‘hook’ more and also give a sample of what this book will be about). I might also read the back cover to get a summary somewhat of the plot and see if it is something I’d like to invest more of my time in.

Hah, I’m not a great short story reader am I? So, from that perspective, I’d have to say I’m left a little unsatisfied by the story. There is a certain amount of unsatisfaction that is NOT bad (like in a good anime, where you wish you could read more- BUT, you got something good from it up to that point that you feel made it worth it). However, I didn’t really get that something from the PLOT of your story. I did get a reward from the well written feel of it. It is rich with phrasings and word pictures that do not draw attention to themselves (ie- I don’t think “wow, what a complicated/intricate description”) but rather beautifully complement and deepen the story.

At present, based on the rating criteria given by the storymistress at writing.com, I’m giving this a 3.5 star rating. It is above average enough to be a .5 because of the skilful writing you put into it, but the plot doesn’t quite reach the point that it would fill the requirements for 4.0.

This item is above average for me. I enjoy almost every aspect of the item, but not strongly enough to rate it as perfect. The Author has paid some attention to the language used and words chosen. I will leave this item with favorable feelings and I would recommend this to another reader without hesitation. Almost every single grammar issue has been resolved and there are very few spelling mistakes.
- If it's a static item, I will enjoy reading it. The item is somewhat original and creative in the theme, plot and layout. Most of the item is clear and concise in its wording, meaning or plot. The item flows fairly consistently and smoothly without many bumps.

Once you correct the ‘bumps’ I found, I could stylistically and in most of the ways mentioned here give you 4 stars, but content-wise I can’t say it’s 4.0 quite yet. With the grammar and flow issues fixed I think I could make it a 4 since I’ll admit the fact it makes me interested in finding out more about the ‘book’ it is from probably makes it a good short story. :P If you added maybe something of at least equivalent length to it that drew me in to the setting and characters more I think I could feel better about a 4 star or even above rating. Just me opinion, ‘course. :)

I hope I was able to give you a good, honest review that was supportive in the right spots and productive in pointing out where I personally felt strengthening points were. I'll admit that not being prone to short stories is my weakness here. For me, starting a book is the HARDEST part of the book- once I get into it, I often get carried away (especially fantasy!).

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