*Magnify*
SPONSORED LINKS
Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/profile/reviews/kimchi/sort_by/r.review_creation_time DESC/page/6
Review Requests: OFF
857 Public Reviews Given
Public Reviews
Previous ... 2 3 4 5 -6- 7 8 9 10 11 ... Next
126
126
Review of Fool in the Snow  
Review by KimChi
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hello Kotaro !

I am reviewing your entry as guest judge for February's "Quotation Inspiration: Official Contest"   by Writing.Com Support

Thanks for entering!

First Impressions:
The first paragraph sets the secene nicely and gives Jim's motivation. *Thumbsup*

Suggestions:
Please accept or discard according to your vision of this piece.

Blowing into his cupped hands, he stamped his feet. Boy, was he cold!
The second line can be omitted; it feels obvious. I don’t know how to explain my vague feeling any better—sorry. Anyway, you set the scene before this point well, so you don’t need it!

coming down.
drifting down.
Consider re-ordering phrases or removing on of the “down”s.

the earrings he had bought for here earlier in the day.
Perhaps: “The earrings he had bought.” The second clause is not necessary information.

Maybe, she wouldn’t come out on this cold snowy night.
Cold and snow are used often in this piece; could you find synonyms? Or show more of Jim’s personality. Something like: “Maybe she wouldn’t come out on a miserable night like this.”

To take his mind off the cold he played back the first time they had met.

“Hey, what are you doing here?”


I was expecting the dialogue to be the start of a flashback. “He began to play back” might make the transition more smooth.

I love the story; it runs the gamut of sensations from longing to teasing. If I’m interpreting this correctly, Jim pushed the cop? I find it hard to believe there would be no hard feelings or apologies in that instance.

Favorite line/s:
Love the onomatopoeia here! *Thumbsup*

Craning his neck around the front window, he looked down the street; there wasn’t a soul, only an approaching sedan that moved slowly through the slush with a duet of swish and splat.

Overall:
The comedic twist meshes nicely with the prompt. Thanks for story with romance, humor, great dialogue and a few surprises. Good luck in the contest, and write on!

In gratitude,
Kimchi

** Images For Use By Upgraded+ Only **

127
127
Review by KimChi
Rated: 13+ | (3.5)
Hello mARi♥BusyWithWork !

I am reviewing your entry as guest judge for February's
 
SURVEY
Quotation Inspiration: Official Contest  (ASR)
Use the quote provided to write a story and win big prizes!
#1207944 by Writing.Com Support


First Impressions:
Ella is such a wonderful character you are rooting for her from the very beginning!

Suggestions:
Love the first two paragraphs—a crying character is a great way to get the reader’s attention! *Thumbsup* The third paragraph begins to ooze from showing into telling. You could give this information from Ella’s point of view to draw a more complete picture of her sadness. Just a thought.

The story is all there, and a few details might enhance the emotion. Here is an example:

She felt like crying.
Was her mouth dry; did her stomach clench?

“I guess it can’t be help then. And I was even very excited in seeing the brother.” Graziella said, pouting and pretending she was eager to meet the brother, in order to change the mood.
The above bolded phrase is repeated information. Suggest showing how her words and her body language were saying different things.

Other spots could be tightened by removing extraneous words. Too many “be” verbs and adverbs lessen the impact of the nouns and verbs they modify.

For example:
Graziella just stared
Here, “just” seems to have the connotation of either “mute”, “immobilized”, or both. I suggest exploring words in that range of meanings to find the perfect phrase to more fully describe Graziella.

Punctuation:
It’s just a sweet beginning.” She replied.
It’s just a sweet beginning,” she replied.

What I liked:
I love how Ella puts her friend’s needs before her own; it’s a huge statement of character. *Star*

The fact that Ella could not remember her childhood is a nice pin connecting the stories, although the idea borders on cliche. I also enjoyed how Chris was genuinely chivalrous toward her—nice foreshadowing.

Favorite line/s:
Their exchanged glances, the knowing smiles and secret clasping of hands during the whole wedding ceremony was enough to convey their emotions. *Heart*

Overall:
Please accept only those suggestions which might make your work stronger. I think you have the talent to polish this solid framework into a memorable story.

Thanks for the misdirection and twist--your theme fit perfectly with the romantic comedy prompt. Good luck in the contest, and write on!

** Images For Use By Upgraded+ Only **

128
128
Review of Wheel of Love  
Review by KimChi
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Hello Funky Lean Monkey !

I am reviewing your entry as guest judge for February's
 
SURVEY
Quotation Inspiration: Official Contest  (ASR)
Use the quote provided to write a story and win big prizes!
#1207944 by Writing.Com Support


First Impressions:
I adore the theme of the ever-turning wheel; there is a beautiful symmetry in this story about an indigenous male's life experience.

Kudos for erecting an original yet timeless framework!

I felt the rhyming was not used to its best effect. There did not seem to be an even application of the technique. I suggest removing all the uncentered rhymes. In this reader's opinion it is too much of a good thing. Your prose flows beautifully without rhyming; to force it detracts from the accented poems.

A few places where the prose is poetry enough:

And there it was, the small….
A breeze caught her hair

Suggestions:

Where = Where are you?
Were = Where were you?
I get these confused sometimes, too, and a spell checker won't catch it!

would have appeared quite insanely.
would have appeared quite insane.

Since you've established the Source of all things as a name, it should be capitalized throughout: Source.

I love how your story flows! You've got the phrasing mojo, but you could use punctuation more to your advantage. There were a few spots which might need a semicolon or at least a few more commas.

Each speaker should have his own paragraph.

but then I heard it”.

*Paragraph*It was a man who took up the last part of the story, raising his ancient voice to the air, letting it soar without a care:


The father does not yell his own name, so start a new paragraph:
“Father!”

*Paragraph* h He turned and noticed his two sons, six seasons old now.


Favorite line/s:
Consider removing “that were” to strengthen your opening line, which sets a lovely ambiance:

The orange glow softly empowered the grassy fields, the warm feeling of red light lingered here; an outer calm that were welcomed and gifted to anyone who would chose to take an evening’s stroll.

Overall:
You've done a wonderful job with the structure, tone, and theme of the story. Thanks for the intertwining symbolism which gives a lush depth to this romantic piece.

Good luck in the contest, and write on!

In gratitude,
Kimchi
** Images For Use By Upgraded+ Only **

129
129
Review by KimChi
Rated: ASR | (4.5)
Hello ragefire2000!

I am reviewing your entry as guest judge for February's
 
SURVEY
Quotation Inspiration: Official Contest  (ASR)
Use the quote provided to write a story and win big prizes!
#1207944 by Writing.Com Support


First Impressions:
Well done! You reeled me in with with intriguing, realistic dialogue which goes on to display both characters’ personalities. Great story in all. *Thumbsup*

Suggestions:
Watch your adverbs--especially in dialogue tags, which are opportunities to flesh out the character with movement. I probably wouldn’t have noticed if they weren’t in successive sentences:

Lara stared at me incredulously.

“What?” I cried out defensively.


It’s just something that I never got around to mentioned.
It’s just something that I never got around to mentioning.
(Or is this a regional thing?)

We’re getting married in a few weeks, and it’s time to put all the cards on the table.
I’m not sure present tense works here. Perhaps italicize it as internal thoughts?

Favorite line/s:
“Ingrid?”

“Rolled over her foot on my motorcycle... and clipped her ankle with the kickstand.”


Overall:
Loved the set-up banter, and the ending was perfect. Thanks for a quirky yet feel-good story. Good luck in the contest, and write on!

In gratitude,
Kimchi

** Images For Use By Upgraded+ Only **

130
130
Review by KimChi
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hello Just an Ordinary Boo! !

I am reviewing your entry as guest judge for February's "Quotation Inspiration: Official Contest"   by Writing.Com Support

First Impressions:
This sentimental story holds the flavor of an historical romance. I love the formal speech patterns.

Suggestions:

Rati and Ravi are similar names, but this is only noticeable during the vehicle scene.

Ravi stared the beribboned
missing word: at

Ravi glowered his way in their wake, his steps dragging and uncaring of the quicker peal of the class bell.
As written, "uncaring" seems to modify his steps. A comma after dragging may help.

“Oh, no. I have got all
The speech and tone seems a bit formal in spots for child’s play.
Suggest: "I've got"

was a bud yesterday, it will be
was a bud yesterday; it will be
(Semicolons join independent clauses.)

The fates seemed to be conspiring with Ravi, his mother allowed him to cut one of her cherished flowers; and he carefully wrapped it in moistened tissue.
Ask the comma and semicolon to switch seats. *Smile*

bright scheme.

He spent much of the first period scheming ways

I only noticed the repetition because the words are so close together, although separated by a paragraph break.

Favorite line/s:
His entire demeanour for that day made him akin to those sullen black thunderclouds that spit rain and threaten lightning.

Overall:
I love the romantic language, the way you explored a young boy's motivations, and the simple gesture of the rose. A sweet and sentimental story, good for the *Heart*. Write on!

In gratitude,

** Images For Use By Upgraded+ Only **

131
131
Review by KimChi
Rated: ASR | (4.5)
Hello Maryann !

I hope my honest review will be helpful to you during future edits. Keep in mind these are one reader's suggestions. I like to review older pieces that the author probably hasn't played with in a while. And, despite my opinions on the finer details of the piece, it most assuredly deserves an awardicon!

First Impressions:
I love the mixing of past and future with a fairy tale! It gives the piece a classic air.

Suggestions:
Most of these comments are fine-tuning for the mechanics of your story. The plot, pacing, and characters are well wrought. These are my suggestions to make it shine even brighter. *Smile*

of his fine swordsmanship ability.
I'm not sure this phrase is needed. The next one speaks of swords clashing, so you could remove this reference. The teasing details might lead the reader to the next sentence in anticipation.

Lord Petrus said playfully
You could delete the adverb here, because you show the Lord's playfulness when you describe him mussing his son's hair.

and immediately noticed the mess
In this exchange you've used "mess" three times. Suggest removing the first usage and condensing the sentence.
"...and immediately noticed the (debris? mass? litter?) of sunflower seed shells encircling his sister."

Margaret snapped with a venomous look
I like the conflict here. She spit a sunflower seed in his face, so the "snapped" is perfect. *Shock* Consider a period after snapped and a full sentence to more fully describe her venomous look. Perhaps her eyes narrowed? Her lips pursed? {in that pout that only little girls can get away with)*Rolleyes*

Their parents were going through great pains of trying to make a lady and gentleman out of their children.
This sentence seems out of place where it is. It could be the motivation for Margaret's behavior, but it isn't told from her perspective.

Opportunities for precision:
While some adverbs are necessary, many times you can omit them and use a more precise verb, like in this awesome example:

Miles scampered over to her, *Thumbsup*

sitting lazily
How do you know she is sitting lazily? Suggest a verb that contains the connotation of laziness within it. Slouch? Slump?

quick tug
Margaret sprang up fast.
"Sprang" and "tug" both carry the idea of "quick". Consider:
"Margaret sprang to her feet."

Dialogue tags:
If you are using a substitute for "said", the tag should be linked to the sentence with a comma. Also consider sticking with "said" and "asked" for most of the tags.

of my seeds.” Margaret commanded
of my seeds," Margaret commanded

remarkable indeed. It’s thick white
Consider linking these two related ideas together. ("It's" is a contraction of "it is"; "its" is possessive. I know it seems backwards and I forget it all the time.)
"remarkable indeed; its thick white...."

Miles stood quietly for a split second, and then he let out a loud, hearty laugh when he realized that the seeds were stuck very nicely to the web.

Silently, she was planning their next adventure.
In order to leave the reader with a concrete image, as well as a sense of mystery, consider expanding this line to show her scheming.
Maybe:
She sat silently, her mind filled with the possibilites of the next great adventure.

Shine:
This shows your talent for mood and setting:

*Star*The dancing breeze was just as entrancing, while it whispered a soft song through sturdy branches. *Star*

Overall:
I loved this story. The characters are rendered beautifully through dialogue, and the setting sings. A subtly powerful story of fortitude and friendship, as siblings learn to trust each other and themselves.

In gratitude,
Kimchi

** Images For Use By Upgraded+ Only **
132
132
Review by KimChi
Rated: E | (3.5)
Hello Crazy !

Welcome to Writing.com! If you have questions about the site or my review, feel free to ask! Please know that I offer any suggestions in the spirit of assistance, but take only those which might make your work stronger.

First Impressions:
This is an excellent idea for an article. I noticed you have citations. Was it written for a class, or are you looking to publish it?

Polish:
Besides a few typos, your language fits the theme. My biggest suggestion is to expand each section with more concrete examples.

because the child run
because the child runs (around?)

but when is protection going to the extreme.
but when is protection going to the extreme?

so they understand what is bad.
"Harmful" might fit better than "bad", which brings to mind behaviors which are morally unacceptable vs. harmful to health.

Good health and nutrition help with the development of your child’s mind.
How does this work? Since this is an article, it may be helpful to flesh out this idea.

Here is to help you with the development of your child.
Is there a word missing?

Shine:
Child development is critical to a child as they grow. They are precious and innocent, always learning and needing help. *Heart*

Overall:
Your article is well-organized, covering the basics of child development. A few concrete examples, like learning not to touch a hot stove, might leave a more lasting impression in the reader's mind. We learn through symbols, too! *Laugh* Good job condensing the huge job of child's safety into a smaller package we can understand.

Keep writing, and sharing your advice!

In gratitude,
Kimchi

** Images For Use By Upgraded+ Only **
133
133
Review by KimChi
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hello Cat-Claws is 20 Years Old! !

This is the first of three reviews you won in the
 Invalid Item  []

by A Guest Visitor
I hope my honest review will be helpful to you during future edits. Please accept any suggestions which might make your work shine brighter, and forgive if I've stepped on your unique style.

First Impressions:
Normally I do not enjoy stories which address the reader, but your character's realistic dialogue pulled me in. Nicely done!

Polish:
My suggestions are minor editing nits; most relate to modifiers and unusual phrasing.

fantastic story or implausible tale that
a fantastic story or an implausible tale which

into the yellowed, rough surface
in (or on) the yellowed, rough surface

insisted to stay with his brother for days, refusing eating or drinking anything when he did.
insisted on staying with his brother for days, refusing to eat or drink anything.

Soon, he began to talk incoherent things to himself
Soon, he began to speak incoherently to himself

his deciding to follow it, and his encountering his late brother’s spirit;
I think you could leave out all the uses of "his" except the last one.
He wrote about seeing a mysterious light...

yes, he said all these
yes, he said all this
or
yes, he said all these things

chatting or reminiscing their time together
chatting or reminiscing about their time together

had eventually had it enough.
had eventually had enough.

They said that, until now,
The sentence before speaks of Jonathan's family, so I would think that "they" in this sentence refers to them also. However, they could not possibly be alive. I think you mean "they say" in the general sense. I suggest adding a noun to clarify this. Perhaps "the townspeople say".

I so fond of.
I'm so fond of.

Shine:
Love this description! It hints of the supernatural occurrences to come. *Thumbsup*
He needn’t think of what to say for his quill pen wove the words in an almost possessed way, stopping only to dip itself into the inkbottle.

Overall:
Yup--it's a classic ghost tale! You have a solid plot, your characters are drawn well, and it all flows nicely. You executed the ending so perfectly I never saw it coming. This short story is a keeper for sure.

Keep writing!

In gratitude,
Kimchi

** Images For Use By Upgraded+ Only **
134
134
Review by KimChi
Rated: E | (5.0)
Hello Brooke - RIP Spike !

*Gift1* Merry Christmas! *Gift1*

I hope my honest review will be helpful to you during future edits. Keep in mind these are one person's suggestions. Please keep those which will make your work stronger, and ignore the rest.

First Impressions:
Comprehensive. You cover setting, language, content, and give links to other resources.

Punctuation:
Check your commas. I'm no expert but it seems a few may be in the wrong spots. For example:
Not because I am a superb writer and have an ego the size of a small football stadium(,) but because I realized(,) it's my opinion as a reader that is important. *Laugh*


Flow/Content:
This is a smooth essay, flowing nicely through why people write/review to what to include in a review. I especially like that you encourage reviewers to look at the other works in a person's port to get an idea of what kind of items they write.

Favorite line/s:
For some, it's a release of personal nature and for others, it's for critique with the hope for improvement. For most, I believe it has alot to do with the encouragement. Considerate reviewing gives them that encouragement.

Personal Opinion:
I can only give you my idea about 4.5s. Once upon a time, I thought every plopper I wrote deserved a 5. I mean, isn't it just perfect? *Rolleyes* The more I review, the more elusive a 5 becomes for me personally as well as those I review. A 4.5 is darn close to perfect--leaving the .5 open. Here are possible reasons:

1. Some people only give 5s to items they consider better than their own. Depending on the quality of the author, this could range quite a bit.
2. Some people only give 5s to items they consider to be perfect--similar to the slush-pile reader, any tiny error is enough to toss the item into the "not quite perfect" pile. They reserve 5s for works of absolute genius.
3. The item wasn't their style, opinion, genre, etc.
4. Technical excellence without emotion (or vice versa).
5. A vague feeling that the piece wasn't quite perfect.
6. A combination of the above.

I'm sure there are other reasons. Many times my 4.5 will be someone else's 4 or 5. A 4.5 means your piece is really good, and that's good enough for me.

Overall:
I appreciate all the time you've spent reviewing, and all the tips you've compiled in this work. There's a lot to think about here, and a huge amount of encouragement for reviewers.

Keep writing!

In gratitude,
Kimchi

** Images For Use By Upgraded+ Only **
135
135
Review by KimChi
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Hello Shaara !

Thank you for entering today's "Daily Flash Fiction Challenge.

I loved that you told this story while including the animals' point of view. The little girl's faith was cute and heartwarming.

Congrats on winning first place today! Your gps are enclosed.

Write on!

In gratitude,
Kimchi

** Images For Use By Upgraded+ Only **
136
136
Review by KimChi
Rated: E | (3.5)
Hello InspiredOne !

Welcome to Writing.com! (I love your user name!) If you have questions about the site or my review, feel free to ask. Please know that I offer any suggestions in the spirit of assistance, but take only those which might make your work stronger.

First Impressions:
Sabrina's a tough one; her anger will propel her. A quest means there will be challenges to empower her on the way. *Thumbsup*

Suggestions:
I like to read my piece aloud. When I get confused or tongue-tied it means that part needs work. *Laugh* Consider removing "filler" words, many of which are derivatives of "to be".
A ray of sunlight shining on her face made her wake up from her vast sleep that seemed to have last weeks.
You could keep the effect but shorten it for clarity, along the lines of:
"A ray of sunlight awakened her from a sleep that seemed to last weeks."

It's always a good idea to run a story through spell-check, and there's one here on-site. Also, some programs like MS Word will check grammar along with spelling. We all miss typos and commas here and there.

Still sleepy she stumbled
Still sleepy, she stumbled

it was autumn had begun.
autumn had begun.

Shine On!:
There's a nice use of body language, such as when she clenches her fists.

But the romance of this phrase completely wowed me!

*Star* she stood at the field where damp and dawn lay upon the hazel colored grass. *Star*

Outstanding imagery with a touch of personification! (I believe the past of "lie" is "lay"). *Smile*

Overall:
I can see you are inspired! You've been here one day and you are writing a book? *Shock* I love the premise of your story and the anticipation of mother and daughter finding each other. I'm waiting for Chapter 2--I just know there will be action. Keep writing!

In gratitude,
Kimchi

** Images For Use By Upgraded+ Only **
137
137
Review of My Pregnancy  
Review by KimChi
Rated: ASR | (3.5)
Hello betiscute !

Welcome to Writing.com! If you have questions about the site or my review, feel free to ask! Please know that I offer any suggestions in the spirit of assistance, but take only those which might make your work stronger.

This story focuses mainly on one moment in time--your reaction to the news. I can definitely see how hearing those words from a doctor would make you numb.

I like the way you look upon this as a learning experience. So many people would have let that knowledge destroy their hope, but you've used it as an opportunity to be grateful for what you do have, and to watch your son grow. *Heart*

My only suggestion is to provide details to immerse the reader in the story. You could slow down time and describe exactly how numb felt. Did it affect your stomach, head, hands? Did it creep up your body or turn you to ice in an instant? More descriptions might help the reader feel your pain even if she's never had anything close to such an awful heartache.

Thanks for sharing your story of strength through adversity. It would make a perfect entry for "Invalid Item, if you like contests, although it is closed until January.

Keep writing!

In gratitude,
Kimchi

** Images For Use By Upgraded+ Only **
138
138
Review by KimChi
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hello - !

Welcome to Writing.com! If you have questions about the site or my review, feel free to ask! Please know that I offer any suggestions in the spirit of assistance, but take only those which might make your work stronger.

First Impressions:
You've displayed the feeling of "not knowing what to say" very well. The awkward silences here set the mood of the piece.

Suggestions:
Consider adding a blank line between paragraphs. It makes text easier to read on a computer screen.

Sun
I'm missing the significance of the capitalization here. Is it that they were each other's suns? If you personify the sun, it might make this more obvious.

her soft hair fell behind her face
I'm not understanding this image. Perhaps her soft hair fell away, exposing her face?

She looked back to the floor, ‘O.K.’
She looked back to the floor. ‘O.K.’
More as a matter of style than technical perfection, consider only linking actual tags (said,asked) with a comma to the action. This frees up an entire sentence to move the character around, which you do so well.

floor, she loved
floor; she loved
(These are two independent clauses which could be separate sentences, and I would suggest it because the ideas are not closely aligned.) I love that you give their internal thoughts to show that even though their relationship is ending, the love was real.

Favorite line/s:
...for a second he loved her, the way her delicate hands tied knots in her soft yellow hair, the way the loops freed themselves of her fingers and fell free into the air.

Overall:
Your opening line is killer! The actions show a girl/woman waiting, impatient and unsure of herself at the same time. *Thumbsup* I love the way you use the slightest motions to show what the characters are thinking without words. Nicely done!

I'm always available to look at a piece again and re-rate after an edit. Keep writing!

In gratitude,
Kimchi

** Images For Use By Upgraded+ Only **
139
139
Review of Drowning  
Review by KimChi
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Hello xmcr4lifex !

Welcome to Writing.com! If you have questions about the site or my review, feel free to ask! Please know that I offer any suggestions in the spirit of assistance, but take only those which might make your work stronger.

First Impressions:
This is a creepy little tale about a dream of dying. Or is it a dream?

Suggestions:
I was drowning
The remainder of the story is in present tense. You may wish to use "am" vs. "was".

Again I try to call
This sentence is too long to hold the tension. Suggest beginning a new line at "however".

Online, it is much easier on the eyes if there is a blank line between paragraphs for the eye to rest. 'Specially for us old folks. *Laugh*

Favorite line/s:
I can see the children coming towards me with those maniac, black scribble eyes. They look hungry.

This image completely freaked me out. It's those black scribbles. Truly an original description. *Thumbsup*

Overall:
The emotion in this piece is almost overwhelming. Nicely done!

I'm always available for questions, comments, and/or re-rating after an edit. I love the mood in this piece; you know how to make a reader horrified.

Keep writing!

In gratitude,
Kimchi

** Images For Use By Upgraded+ Only **
140
140
Review of Arrival  
Review by KimChi
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
This review was requested at

** Images For Use By Upgraded+ Only **


Hello hbar !

I hope my honest review will be helpful to you during future edits. Keep in mind these are my personal suggestions based on my knowledge, beliefs, and limitations. Please accept only those which might make your work stronger.

You asked that this review cover punctuation and clarity, so I'll do my best.

First Impressions:
You've made me miss the farm I lived on as a child. Your description of the "arrival" surrounded me, transporting me into your world. You're an expert at setting the scene and filling it with ambiance. *Check5*

Punctuation:
Realizing your weak areas is half the battle! I'll give some general rules, but I'm not a grammar expert. I'm also unsure if you are using sentence fragments on purpose as part of your style, but I'll point them out just in case.

There's some punctuation missing here. Descriptions of people should be offset with commas.
Lizzie their eldest now twenty-one at his left and
Lizzie, their eldest, now twenty-one, at his left (?)

I won't attempt to punctuate the entire sentence. *I* would split it into two sentences to get around the semicolon/colon issue.*Laugh*

“Oh look at you Jack,
“Oh, look at you, Jack,

*Note6* Dialogue tags:
In general, if the verb is said/asked/etc., link the dialogue tag to the dialogue with a comma.

It’s Jack everybody.” Jeremiah yelled
It's Jack everybody," Jeremiah yelled

“Well ask him in Jeremiah.” Eleanor exclaimed
“Well, ask him in, Jeremiah,” Eleanor exclaimed

If the verb is a non-speaking action, such as smiling, walking, or beaming, you can create a separate sentence, which might free up your possibilities.

Jack looked at his feet, “No sir, no I haven’t.”
Jack looked at his feet. “No sir. No, I haven’t.”

Perhaps this pause could be enhanced by starting a new sentence?
to visit my folks,” he paused, adding with quiet emphasis “I made peace with my dad
to vist my folks." He paused, adding with quiet emphasis, “I made peace with my dad

*Note6* Sentence fragments/comma splices/etc. (ignoring style issues):
waist, it matched
waist; it matched
(A semicolon joins independent clauses.)

would be seated; watching her family
would be seated, watching her family
{The second clause is not independent; it needs a comma.)

A tire swing hanging from a limb just visible.
(The gerund form (ing) makes this an incomplete sentence.)

Work boots on his feet,
You may wish to condense/combine the description here and add a verb on which to hang the phrases.

resumed eating. Not meeting Jack’s eyes.
resumed eating, not meeting Jack’s eyes.

Warmth.... Fried chicken....
Consider combining the clauses in a different way to put the description and his reaction in separate sentences:
"Warmth seeped from the open door, along with the smell of fried chicken, dill and potatoes, and baked apples. Frank and Eleanor...."

their supper. Except Thomas, a solid stream
their supper, except Thomas. A solid stream...issued
or
their supper. Except Thomas--a solid stream...issued

*Note6* Other:
sweat stained hat = sweat-stained

Clarity/Flow:
I believe your opening paragraph is a good hook. There's a homecoming for the main character, and we sense his uncertainty about whether he'll be welcomed.

The gravel crunched beneath his boots as he walked the road to his unknown destiny. *Thumbsup*

Excellent! What do you think of putting the character's name in the first paragraph, or even the first sentence? It might help the reader connect to him as a person. That way, when the other people are introduced in the fourth paragraph we have a good idea who Jack is.

Jack watched absorbedly
I'm not sure you need the adverb. You do a great job of showing how Jack watched her every move.

The home was visible
The house was surrounded
limb just visible.

You know what I'm going to say here, right? *Laugh* Passive voice puts the emphasis on the house, which is fine if that is what you wish. Consider giving the information through Jack's eyes. I think it might work, especially considering this gem of a sentence:

He looked at the home, not moving, inner conflict turning his feet to stone.

You could even leave out "he worried", because you give internal dialogue.

Fear absorbed him, leaving him unable to move. *Star*
Excellent!

The Cleef’s had taken him on as a hired hand. He had walked....
This seems backwards. Consider switching these sentences and/or combining them.
"He walked onto the Cleef ranch looking for work."

Jack hoped they would welcome him again.
Consider starting another paragraph here, since the first portion describes when he worked for them, and the remainder is more about his feelings. What do you think of putting this sentence at the end of the paragraph? It might be a strong closing and a segue back to the present.

Description:
I love the setup! The overheard discussion, the tire swing, and the sights and smells of the house are great details that say "home" to a weary traveler. Perhaps describing Jack's feelings in more detail might flesh this out. For example:

He stood nervously before the front porch.
This is a moment of tension. Is there a way to show how nervous he is? Sometimes a tiny detail adds just the right amount of emotion to a story. Perhaps his hands got hot despite the cold temperature, he sighed, or he crunched his hat in his hands--a physical symbol to reinforce his trepidation.

Standing off the porch
I'm not sure if this is a regional saying, but normally we say "standing on the porch", or "beside the porch". It took me out of the story for a second to translate. You could describe where "off" is. Perhaps he had one foot on the first step? That would show he's hesitant, too.

Eleanor gave him an appraising, worried look
This is a great description of a mom's action, and an opportunity to flesh out some details if you want. How does she give an appraising, worried, look? My mom would probably look me up and down, frown, then give a fake smile to cover her worry, and pat me on the back.

He watched only Lizzie....
I love the description here. It shows exactly what it is about Lizzie he admires.

Plot:
The plot is good. The ending kind of left me hanging, which is probably your intent. We don't need to know whether he gets the girl or not, but it would be nice to know what he thinks about the situation at the end. Does the fact that his woman has a new beau leave him resigned, or is he determined to win her back? My personal preference as a reader for nice, tidy endings makes me wish for a subtle clue as to whether this is a tragic situation or a new beginning.

“Stay here, Jeremiah,” Frank said softly.
A subtle authority shows in this line. Frank is a wonderful character. You show his love for the young man well in his actions (the handshake), in his dialogue, and in the unspoken places between action.

On the other hand, Lizzie seemed an ethereal love, almost an archetype. To me, the story was more about the concept of family than about romance. You've conveyed this well, although you may wish to enhance the ending to make it more clear.

Favorite line/s:
He could hear indistinct supper conversation interspersed with laughter.

This short sentence really painted the ambiance for me. Without any description, I heard clanking dishes and people talking in my head. Awesome!

Overall:
Complex emotions and motivations in this piece made it an absolute joy to read. You have a unique insight into your character's souls which gives a depth to the story.

I may not always understand the subtleties of your work, but I'm always available for questions, comments, accusations, and re-rating. *Smile*

Write on!

In gratitude,
Kimchi

141
141
Review by KimChi
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hello, Just an Ordinary Boo! !

Thank you for entering the Rising Stars Shine Brighter contest for November.

This has a lovely cadence which simulates a reverent tone. The line you repeat adds to that feeling. I love that you've evoked all the senses here.

My favorite line/s:
Staccato crackers explode cheer
Festival of light, Good triumphs
Lamps flicker bright benign welcome
Traditional instruments thrum.


What a lovely picture of people in worship! Good luck in the contest.

In gratitude,
Kimchi

** Images For Use By Upgraded+ Only **

142
142
Review by KimChi
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
Hello ⱲƹbⱲitϚћ MooseyingAbout !

This is the third of three reviews you won in Simply's Thanksgiving auction. I hope it is useful. This is merely one person's opinion; only you have the master blueprint for your work.

First Impressions:
A heart-stirring story about the timeless strength of a mother's love.

Suggestions:
My Momma is alive! She is taunting me
This is in present tense while the remainder of the story is told as a remembrance. You could use italics to denote inner dialogue here for consistency.

I remember when
Consider beginning your story with "when", and using the word "remember" for the last line. It might make the image of chasing unicorns more visual.

Fave line/s:
*Star*However, you must remember that I too will be magical, just like that unicorn in your beautiful mind. *Star*

Overall:
I love the simple and straight-forward tone of this piece. It has a realism that is hard to find, as if the woman were transported back to childhood in the telling. This is especially evident in the child's inability to feel sorrow for her aunt.

It was my pleasure to get lost in your port today. You write eloquently and take great care choosing your words.

Thanks for the emotion and humor in your prose, and keep writing!

In gratitude,
Kimchi

** Images For Use By Upgraded+ Only **
143
143
Review by KimChi
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
Hello ⱲƹbⱲitϚћ MooseyingAbout !


This is the second of the three reviews you won in "Invalid Item. I hope my honest review will be helpful to you during future edits.

First Impressions:
Now I understand why you and Acme are such friends--you both have blood type C: Comedy! *Laugh* That you filed this under "drama" is perfect, and I am not looking forward to
"the dark side of lunar terror known as the ages between nine and nineteen." But you've given me a great idea!

Fave line/s:
*Star*The stark sunlight fuses its way into the formerly tranquil domestic paradise and converts it to the new training ground of the female mutant power takeover. *Star*

Overall:
I have no suggestions for this piece. I love the juxtaposition of the more formal tone with the descriptions of the beasts beauties.

An excellent piece of parental advice told with humor and literary flair. The variety of items in your port might have me lost for days!

Keep writing!

In gratitude,
Kimchi

** Images For Use By Upgraded+ Only **
144
144
Review by KimChi
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Hello ⱲƹbⱲitϚћ MooseyingAbout !

This is the first of the three reviews you won in "Invalid Item. I hope one of my suggestions as a reader will be helpful to you during future edits. I can only give my opinion on how I would do it, so take what will make your work stronger. I'm always available after an edit to re-read and re-rate.

First Impressions:
I love the title, the teaser, and the story. Since you have a word count, I'm guessing you had to limit the length. For the brevity you have the perfect amount of description to paint your individuals and their quirks. *Star*

Feathers were flying everywhere, resembling a snow storm inside the cabin. *Left* Love this image!

Technicalities:
Tense:
There are a few spots present tense creeps in which took me out of the story.
A harsh snowstorm is imminent = was imminent
(Also this sentence is more telling than showing. Because you describe the clouds so well, consider describing the temperature from the character's perspective.)

Nightfall comes quickly in the woods
This is perfect in present tense, because you are speaking about an on-going process.

should end
would end? Or you could use internal dialogue for the main character.

Thank goodness, it wasn't locked.
You might cut this, as the reader can infer that it wasn't locked because it yielded. Or go with inner thoughts and change it to present tense.

"Be" verbs:
They take the sizzle out of a person's style, in my opinion. When I see too many on my page I like to search and replace them with more active verbs. They work well for ethereal concepts, but in writing description you want more life.

There was a fireplace with some dry logs near the opening.
How about "a fireplace...stood"? Lay/beckoned/whatever.

Other:
My mini mix...
Consider putting these two sentences together in reverse order as they are related.
"The mini-mix of binocular-toters hurled an assortment of snarls, curses, and other indignities my way as the pushed past me."

I screamed and twisted awkwardly
This idea could be more fully realized if you take time to discuss how the twist was awkward. I'm envisioning a flapping chicken-type dance. Just a few more words might make this more "visual".

Plot:
Your characters are interesting individuals. *Thumbsup*
Mr. Twitch grabbed that spot by the window and just stood there casting weird shadows with his jerking head movements. *Laugh*

The understated humor is great!
Who would have thought he possessed the intelligence to even get dressed in the morning?

The alliteration is right smack in the middle of the comedy. Awesome job!
Finally, Miss Chunky thought she would weigh in with a wicked whack of the wicker broom and--Wham!

Overall:
I wanted to give a five just for the plot! This is an excellent write that only needs minor editing to be outstanding. Your characters glow, and you have a natural gift for pacing. All in all, I just love your style!

I appreciate you inviting me in your port, and thanks for a great example of unusual characters. Keep writing!

In gratitude,
Kimchi

** Images For Use By Upgraded+ Only **
145
145
Review by KimChi
Rated: ASR | (4.0)
Hello maryann!

First Impressions:
I'd vote for you in a heartbeat, just for the colorful buildings! *Laugh*

What a happy little world you'd create! The short length of the piece would be perfect for stand-up comedy. The rhetorical questions add to that feeling.

Even though this is comedy, you took the time to describe the sensual details of the luaua. *Thumbsup*

Shine: *Laugh*
*Star*We would finally have world peace, which women have hoped for in beauty pageants for years*Star*

Overall:
I love your low-key humor bordering on satire! There are a few spots were you might consider getting more outrageous. Since you use rhetorical advices so well, consider shorter sentences in some spots. The jump from bargain shopping to well adjusted humans is one area you could use shorter sentences to make the absurdity of your leap more clear.

If you decide to edit this again, shoot me a note and I'll take another look at it. Thanks for making me laugh about politics for a change! Keep writing!


In gratitude,
Kimchi

** Images For Use By Upgraded+ Only **
146
146
Review of Simply Rain  
Review by KimChi
Rated: E | (5.0)
Hello Maryann !

This completely rocks! I want someone to illustrate each line on a page so my daughter can look at it while I read it aloud. This is a fun poem with a deep impact from all the words that make noise. Each line carries a complete image in two words.

The reader feels the thunder and lightning of the words, and responds emotionally. The rhythm is a short and choppy ride mirroring the quickly-changing sky.

Gray sky,
Fragrant scent,
Swaying trees,
Rain meant.


This would be perfect for a children's book! Keep writing!

In gratitude,
Kimchi

** Images For Use By Upgraded+ Only **
147
147
Review of To My Mother  
Review by KimChi
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hello Going Away For Two Months !

Well I had to read the companion piece, right?

Wow-this definitely does justice to the mother's POV. I feel emotional undercurrents in this relationship that aren't stated. Or it could be that I'm responding to this more viscerally because I'm adopted. Either way, you show the girl's feeling of betrayal and confusion well--the tone is incredibly realistic.

It has been my pleasure to check out your port and get to know you through your words. You are not only proficient in the mechanics of language, but you also have a unique style to showcase your talent. Keep writing!

In gratitude,
Kimchi

** Images For Use By Upgraded+ Only **
148
148
Review of To my daughter  
Review by KimChi
Rated: E | (5.0)
Hello Going Away For Two Months !

How do you tell a story in such a short piece? You slice right into the heart of the matter and say only what needs to be said. The mother's point of view is completely realistic here, and I empathize with her pain.

*Star*Every time you move, every time a sweet sigh escapes your newborn lips, you twist the dagger that is already buried deep inside my heart. *Star*

I have one little nit of sentence construction.
at your innocent face, sleeping peacefully in my arms
One might read "sleeping" as modifying "face". Consider "as you sleep peacefully". I told you it was minor!

Thanks for showing that we don't need a lot of words to show emotion if we make each one count.

In gratitude,
Kimchi

** Images For Use By Upgraded+ Only **
149
149
Review of Meditation  
Review by KimChi
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hello Going Away For Two Months !

Thank you for inviting me to peruse your port! I was drawn to this poem because I'm a big proponent of meditation for all ages.

I love the way you sandwiched the description between reminders to breathe, because that is one of the most important and fastest ways to bring on the calm. Everything starts and ends with the breath. It also sounds fluid when read aloud--a nice rhetorical flourish.

This poem has a lovely symmetry. I did feel a "hitch" at "muscles cramp/pull them back". The rhythm fits, but I felt like this wasn't quite descriptive enough of the process of clenching and relaxing. I might have used the word "stretch", but it is your poem and only you have the blueprint. As poetry is not my strongest area, my suggestions arise from vague feelings rather than any technical knowledge.

I truly enjoyed this reminder to slow our lives and listen. Keep writing! I love to read about how other people contact the voice within.

In gratitude,
Kimchi

** Images For Use By Upgraded+ Only **
150
150
Review by KimChi
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Hello Going Away For Two Months !

Wow! You have a solid opening for your novel here. It was all I could do not to cry along with Olivia as she gave up her newborn daughter. Way to pull the heartstrings!

I'm definitely going to continue reading. I want to know what this little girl turns out to be, and I'm guessing from the title that she eventually meets her birth mother again.

I noticed nothing to detract from the flow of this piece. It seems short for a prologue, but it gets the job done well.

I would suggest using italics for internal dialogue, and putting it in a separate paragraph for easier reading.

Totally enjoyed the start of your book! Keep writing!

In gratitude,
Kimchi

** Images For Use By Upgraded+ Only **
259 Reviews · *Magnify*
Page of 11 · 25 per page   < >
Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/profile/reviews/kimchi/sort_by/r.review_creation_time DESC/page/6