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Review of The mirror image!  
Review by KimChi
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hello {suser: cemetarykat}!

Santa (Tigger) told me you were looking for reviews for Christmas, so I thought I'd sneak a long-overdue look in your port.

Man, do I understand this story! I look exactly like my mother also, and it bugs me daily. Now, I never looked like her when she was young and gorgeous, but not that I've hit 40 I look just like her. I wouldn't call that fair, but many of us go through it.

I love your ending--the fact that she's lived longer than her mother means her face is now an honor as opposed to a curse.

I did find a few grammatical errors, which hamper the flow somewhat.

She didn't mean too. (She didn't mean to.}

If you'd like some help with editing I'd be happy to help.

You've captured the feeling of growing older and the cycle of life at the same time. Great story!

In gratitude,
Kimchi

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Review of Grace  
Review by KimChi
Rated: E | (5.0)
Hello SonofDrogo !

I think this poem is more than what it simply appears to be! Layers of meaning here, mythos entwined, a trip through symbols into reverence--not unlike the delicious digs of Carol or Castaneda; but wrapped into one delectable piece of sushi.

Which means this is over my head and I'll need to ponder more. *Thumbsup*

Enchanting write, my friend!

In gratitude,
Kimchi

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Review by KimChi
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
Hello, SueVN

Here I am enjoying a glass of wine, and got sucked into your story. *Laugh*

Love that your morality tale is a low-key ride on a slippery slope. I found the memory loss a particularly effective tool to show the woman's state of mind. Nicely done--most deserving of the red ribbon gracing this item.

Favorite lines:
She had good ideas for the company but couldn't seem to spit them out during the day. At the parties they spilled like freshly washed marbles.

Thanks for a glimpse inside the bottle. Keep writing!

In gratitude,
Kimchi

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Review by KimChi
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
Hello, CrazyCranium

I was checking out fellow Rising Stars and your port called to me.

This is one original review of Mozart's new album. As a fan, I knew I had to find out if it was any good, just in time to play it for Halloween.

One of several lines successfully merging myth and reality:
On it he voices scathing criticisms for the Demons and Devils guarding the paths of the dead; at one point going so far as to compare them to music executives.

I laughed out loud several times reading your review. I look forward to seeing if Ludwig will be suing that Walter Murphy dude for stealing "A Fifth of Beethoven".

Highly creative musings in your port. Write on!

In gratitude,
Kimchi

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Review of I See Dead People  
Review by KimChi
Rated: 18+ | (5.0)
Hello Pennywise !

I heard your work was brilliant so I decided to check--and I'm sure glad I did.

I don't usually enjoy the gory side of death, but I consider this masterfully written. You have perfected the art of pacing, leading the reader to the pinnacle of fear on the edge of realization. Good stuff--I'm learning a lot from your work.

Keep writing--I'll be on the lookout for more freaky thrills in the future!

In gratitude,
Kimchi

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156
Review by KimChi
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hello, Victoria !

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

Great character development for the husband! Everyone knows a sore winner, and you've shown him in full gloating glory. I especially liked the ending, because turn about feels so dang good. *Laugh*

My favorite line/s:
"You can't beat me! I win again! You two are LOO-OO-SERS!"

Thanks for the laugh!

Good luck in the contest, and write on!

In gratitude,
Kimchi

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Review by KimChi
Rated: E | (4.5)
Ah... the witch knows her full moons!

A few simple words to tell a tale of longing and hope. The witch has caught fifty-five in her web to spin a mother's love.

She's a crafty one! Check out more writes from this talented author.

Write on!

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158
Review by KimChi
Rated: E | (3.5)
Hello mwonder !

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 wonderful story. I love that the title mirrors the theme, and the way you unravel the past while the main character is doing her ritual. However, with some editing this will shine.

Mechanics:
Some paragraphs are missing a blank line before or after (formatting.) If you put the story through spell check (there is one built-in on-site) it will catch misspellings. If you have MS Word, it can also pick up some grammar problems. I couldn't type my name without it!

Tense consistency:
I know it is difficult when you are describing time periods in the distant past. I've pulled a few examples, but I would be glad to go over this in more detail if you wish.

the clouds had turn into
had turned into

Every evening at this ritual, in her retrospection, something new and long forgotten facts will come to the surface and will make her feel warm and mushy.
Consider: Every evening, in her retrospection, new realizations and long forgotten facts bubble to the surface to make her feel warm and mushy.

Can you describe "mushy" more? Weak at the knees? Safe? Nostalgic? This awesome concept needs a more engaging word on which to end. I want to know if the feelings wrapped around her like a blanket, keeping her warm, or if her health is "mushy"--deteriorating in grief. This is a perfect opportunity to wow the reader by ending the paragraph with an image of the widow and her pain brushed against the sunset. Awesome setting!

Flow/Content:
The story is a fine accounting of a woman dealing with her husband's death. The ending is a strong affirmation of the continuation of love, and ties all the threads together nicely.

The flow seems uneven in spots, as the main character's recollections ramble on due to her pain and indecision. Consider condensing her feelings and/or adding a few detailed metaphors to leave a picture in the reader's mind. I've given you the idea of the blanket, but you could also use the cup of coffee. Her thoughts could rise like the steam, or she could put her hands around the mug and let it warm her like the memory of Andy. Those are just quick suggestions--I know you can think of something more creative!

Favorite line/s:
Yes she was thankful to Andrew for his insightful suggestion; her agitated self has suddenly heard a tragic but melodious song to let her feel the inner peace.

Overall:
The line above is brilliant! It shows how Andrew helped her mental state without giving too much detail. Your talent shines in this area--inspirational stories that leave the reader with an "inner peace".

I'm always happy to re-read and re-rate after an edit.

Thank you for a look inside the complexities of grief and love. Write on!

In gratitude,
Kimchi

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Review of Chasm  
Review by KimChi
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
Hello, ImpulseZip !

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

I love that you are pushing the boundaries of your writing. This is a creative take on the "empty nest" syndrome. As such, I think the "post-it" notes are a great way to show the rift between husband and wife, and the "he thought/she thought" worked well also. I wasn't sure about the physical rift at first, but I actually like the way you left the ending open to interpretation.

The portion about the clams served to take me out of the groove, however. I think it is funny, but it doesn't mesh with the remainder of the story. Perhaps condense it to a few lines?

I laughed at Maggie's secret fantasy, which is just strange enough that it could be real *Laugh*:
In between gasps she’d catch words like “expulsion” and “hazing accident” and “reasonable doubt” and “Mom, come and get me.”

Good luck in the contest, and keep experimenting!

In gratitude,
Kimchi

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Review by KimChi
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Hello, Patricia Gilliam !

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

By personalizing a contentious issue, you've deflected some of the criticism that might be thrown at you. Well done!

Your opening is especially thought-provoking, and involves the reader's senses immediately. I like the examples you give from your own experiences. Few would argue that our children and teens are desensitized to violence. However, I don't feel that you successfully linked this trend to a lack of God in the schools, since there are other factors at work in our culture that glorify violence.

Suggestions:
The thought occurred me (missing "to"?)

I understand the difficulty of word limits! You may wish to expand this more after the contest. Perhaps you could give specifics to flesh out your thoughts. For example, I'd like to know how your textbook was re-written to make it look like our country has no Christian heritage.

My favorite line/s:
Something I've never heard of anyone suggest--and would still be very diversity-oriented--would be just having every religious (or lack thereof) expression open and welcome in our schools.

I like your idea; I just don't think our society is ready for it. Not everyone is comfortable having Muslims pray in school, much less Wiccans!

Thank you for a well-written essay. You write from your heart, without forcing the issue, and with tolerance for other religions. Good luck in the contest, and keep speaking your mind! *Smile*


In gratitude,
Kimchi

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Review of The Viagra Song  
Review by KimChi
Rated: 18+ | (5.0)
Hello Ravenwand, Rising Star! !

First Impressions:
I found your parody on the Public Review Page, and I'm glad I clicked. I laughed out loud. I know my husband will find my choral rendition most amusing.

Flow/Content:
This follows the original song quite closely, and it is easy to sing. Prefering not to clean up puke, I'll only sing the chorus once. *Laugh*

Favorite line/s:
Are you sure?
Yes I’m sure, come take a ride!


Overall:
Funny stuff! I'd love to see this as an actual TV commercial--it is far more amusing than any of the ones I've seen. However, I doubt the words that make this funny would be allowed on a "G" TV spot.

Thanks for the laugh!

In gratitude,
Kimchi

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Review by KimChi
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hello, ShiShad !

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

I would never in a million years have thought to couple such an horrendous story with the sonnet form. This is a creative idea, well-crafted.

The only hitch I noticed (and I'm by no means a poetry expert *Laugh*) was the line: Followed with enemas speeding up plights. I think it feels forced to me because we no longer speak in that manner. "To speed up their plights" sounds more natural, but it is one extra syllable, so I see your predicament!

My favorite line/s:
Around Olalla walked the skeletons,
And locals called the place "Starvation Heights".


I especially liked the ending couplet--a nice turn, and poetic justice! Good luck in the contest, and keep the poems coming!


In gratitude,
Kimchi

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Review of Blinded?  
Review by KimChi
Rated: ASR | (4.5)
Hello, mars !

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

This poem evokes pain as well as compassion. Well done!

Each line is a favorite, so I won't quote any. I especially liked the question asked at the end that causes the reader to stop and think, to view the world through another's eyes.

Good luck in the contest, and write on!

In gratitude,
Kimchi

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Review by KimChi
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hello, embe !

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

The opening line throws the reader right into the heart of the matter--a wake up call to the problem of abused children.

The cacophonous sound...
Remind me of where I am.


In the cause of picky grammar I hold that the verb should be "reminds". *Laugh*

Because the opening is so dramatic and emotional, the section rhyming pray/today seems mundane in comparsion. This reader often misses poetic devices, so please forgive if I've misinterpreted something.

I like the way you've described the problem as a "cancer", not holding it to one country or region, and that you've directly addressed other writers to pick up the pen to fight the disease.

My favorite line/s:
Come? I invite you
Be part of the solution.


Thanks for writing about the solution as well as the problem. Good luck in the contest, and write on!


In gratitude,
Kimchi

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165
Review of Make a difference  
Review by KimChi
Rated: 18+ | (3.0)
Hello manu !

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 are so right on the difference between what we have to do and what we want to do. You are also correct about how our attitude is everything!

Typos and Technicalities:
Phrasing:
But we read it again and you will find

Subject/verb agreement:
For example a son...have has to takeover
will give results, right?

Missing modifiers:
takeover the family business
early for the office

Flow/Content:
Your ideas and examples are easy to understand. This flows well from explaining the difference in responsibilities and pleasure to asking the reader to slow down.

However, the conclusion seems rushed. This is my favorite line, and it is the perfect summation of your essay:

Try to do ‘have to do’ thing with smile or else by changing your attitude towards it.

The entire essay to this point has been about the duties of life, and how we put things off, so the switch appears abrupt. With a few more sentences, you could give examples of how an attitude adjustment can change your mood. You could even contrast them with the prior examples.

I like the concept that we can choose how we react to our duties. Even if we don't get to the "want to" list, the "have to" list doesn't have to break us. Thanks for the reminder to live in the present, and keep writing!


In gratitude,
Kimchi

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Review by KimChi
Rated: 13+ | (3.5)
Hello Jay Remi !

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 is only one reader's opinion, and I could very well be wrong!

First Impressions:
You have some wonderful details--the sights and sounds bring your settings to life. The hum of the lights, the breath visible in the air, the torn wallet--all great descriptions!

Mechanics:
You show a nice command of language; your grammar and spelling are great. I've picked out a few of my favorite punctuation nits. They aren't a huge deal, but I find that fixing minor "stuff" makes a piece seem more polished.

Semicolon to join complete sentences:
She has just given birth to a little girl, she was stillborn.
She has just given birth to a little girl; she was stillborn.

Some missing punctuation:
"We need to operate"
"We need to operate."

Flow/Content:
The plot so far is riveting. You've thrown the main character into a tough situation right at the beginning, and it is easy to feel sorry for him.

There are places that could be tighter, in my opinion. There is some repetition, where you've used the child's passing and the frosty breath in two places. You could cut the extras or rephrase those sections.

Doctor O'Connell has just started his shift,

Consider starting a new paragraph here. You could even go into the doctor's brain and give this information through his point of view. It would be easy since you've already discussed how he'd rather be shooting pool--another wonderful little tidbit that fleshes out this story.

Jeff stands up and walks....

This would be a nice place to start a new paragraph. The prior sentences show his internal state, and here you are giving him action. I love that you show that he looks a mess on the outside too--so much that the nurse thinks he's drunk! That is a detail that makes the scene real.

The one thing that disrupts the flow seems to be point of view--which is difficult for most people. I try to start a new paragraph when the speaker or actor changes--that helps me remember who's eyes I'm using. Usually. *Laugh*

Here, when Jeff walks, you are speaking as narrator, but the second sentence seems more like it is from Jeff's point of view. It can't be, though, because he can't see his own eyes. There is nothing wrong with the paragraph as it is, but it could be finessed.

Consider combining two of the sentences for clarity and flow. Maybe something like:

He stares lifelessly down the hall with hazy, distorted eyes.

Another thing I scan for are verbs like "be/make/do". They tend to throw an active sentence into passive voice. This is my favorite line. It is excellent as foreshadowing and setting at the same time:

"The exit sign occasionally flickers making the room tint red.

Consider:
The exit sign occasionally flickers, tinting the room red.

Overall:
I've given examples of some of the things I've noticed. You've got the story down--it is interesting, emotional, and descriptive. Having a solid story is the hard part. The remainder is editing, which isn't difficult so much as boring.

There is a lot of tension in this first chapter, which is a great start for a novel. Heartbreak and indecision rule, and just when you think the guy will off himself--bam! Boy, do you know how to write an end line! This one really captures a sense of adventure, and courage in the face of adversity. It makes me want to read the next chapter, so if you let me know when it's finished, I'd love to review it. And, if you decide to edit the first chapter, I'd be happy to take another look at it.

Thanks for showing how setting is integral to the story, lending excitement and holding the pace. Keep writing!

In gratitude,
Kimchi

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Review by KimChi
Rated: ASR | N/A (Review only item.)
Hello Nikola~Loving Winter! !

I don't normally rate folders, although I couldn't tell you why...but your title is beguiling, and the nature poems contained inside are worth reading several times. The ribbon is well deserved!

You write well in this genre, and bring the outside world onto the page. Thank you for proving that an unadorned style can flow with grace and thoughtfulness. It is a pleasure to experience the seasons through your words.

In gratitude,
Kimchi

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Review of Renewal  
Review by KimChi
Rated: E | N/A (Review only item.)
Hello Nikola~Loving Winter! !

I hope my honest review will be helpful to you. Please understand that this rating is based more on my sense of aesthetics rather than any technical knowledge.

First Impressions:
I love the title--succinct and meaningful.

Flow/Content:
This has a lovely lilt due to the parallel clauses in the first three stanzas. I don't know if the switch from breaking/finding/filling to "takes place" was purposeful to set one up for the final line, but it did slow me down, and I read it several times because I was expecting "taking".

But I wasn't expecting the final line, which is a stunning summation.

Favorite line/s:
The Earth Mother is
rejuvenated.


Overall:
Another poem, another slice of nature's beauty. You do this so well.

In gratitude,

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Review of Barely Breathing  
Review by KimChi
Rated: 18+ | N/A (Review only item.)
Hello Nikola~Loving Winter! !

I hope you find my honest review helpful.

This is a raw account of what bipolar must feel like. You give an overview in one stanza, then the highs, then the lows, and finally sum it up with four words: "I am barely breathing". I like the parallel construction of the first and third stanzas with the middle one holding the active imagery.

There is so much I can relate to here. As with all of your poetry, this piece is honest and succinct. There was one portion that stood out for me:

Racing thoughts
play bumper cars
in my head.
Make them stop!


The reason this isn't a five is because it feels like you are holding back some emotion that would give life (death?) to the lows. That is my personal intuition; I can't back it up with proof. Your technique is solid, and I'm learning a lot from it.

Thanks for describing a piece of your inner world. I have enjoyed each poem in your port!

In gratitude,
Kimchi

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Review of Winter's Night  
Review by KimChi
Rated: E | N/A (Review only item.)
Hello Nikola~Loving Winter! !

I love the sparse style of your poetry! You say just enough, without any filler words, and yet the scenery is crystal clear. Well done!

I have no suggestions because each word is well-placed. I cannot choose a "favorite line" because it would be out of context in this small, simple, and elegant piece.

Thanks for the scenery!

In gratitude,
Kimchi

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Review by KimChi
Rated: E | (5.0)
Hello Fynanew !

I have nary a suggestion for this wonderful piece.

First Impressions:
I got chills at the end of your story. Exceedingly well done!

Favorite line/s:
"Sure thing," bubbled the waitress and bustled off with ankles swelling over the sides of her shoes.

Overall:
Love the details of the story--they are things to which readers can relate. The language is simple but the emotions conveyed are complex, and just when I thought I knew where this was going you switched it up. You told the tale so well that I was in the diner instead of behind the screen noticing typos.

Thanks for taking me into someone else's problems. I hope you are submitting this--it is a lovely read!

Kimchi

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Review of Complicated  
Review by KimChi
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hello HiddenEmotions !

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:
Great expression of your feelings. You've described three people here so well that I feel like I know them.

Mechanics:
My first suggestion is to leave a blank line between paragraphs so that the text is easier to read. Also, your entire piece consists of three paragraphs. The paragraph about "hope" could be separated into three paragraphs--one about how you fell for him, one showing his good points, and the last one about his betrayal. The same goes for the paragraph about "madness".

I still have hope that maybe one day he would start realizing how stupid he’s living his life and probably just maybe probably make the effort to CHANGE.

Using "maybe" and "probably" more than once as a rhetorical device may work when punctuation highlights the effect. In this instance "stupid" is used as an adverb, and would be "stupidly", except I do not believe that it's a word. You might want to check that.

Suggest:
I still have hope that one day he will start to realize how poorly he is living his life, and make the effort to change.

I was head over heels passionately mad about him, but his unfaithfulness, betrayal and mostly his lies was what I hated.
Sentences are easier to read when the structure is parallel. I was...I hated. He said...she loved. Also there are three traits, so the verb should be plural--"were".

Flow/Content:
You've packed a lot of emotions in this piece. *Thumbsup* My suggestion is to recheck your punctuation and formatting. Just a bit of cleaning up makes all the difference.

Favorite line/s:
Loneliness is like murder; it slaughters your soul without mercy.

Overall:
I like the way you've contrasted "hope" with "madness". It does get complicated, but you seem well on your way to untangling the mess and finding "pure love". Good luck...and write on!

In gratitude,
Kimchi

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Review by KimChi
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hello Kimi !

I am sorry it took so long to answer your request. I hope my honest review will be helpful to you during future edits. Keep in mind these are one person's suggestions. Take those which will make your work stronger, and ignore the rest.

First Impressions:
A detailed explanation of a philosophical concept that many would reject as "relativism".

Crits and Nits:
The quotation you have used gets lost in the paragraph. Normally one would set it apart in its own paragraph, indented on both sides. I do not know the formatting code, but you could easily make it a separate paragraph.

It says “But whatsoever
It says:

“But whatsoever....

Then begin a new paragraph with:

Too often we dismiss....

and see them as good?
and see them as good.

from an immoral one from what society sees it to be
from an immoral one by what society sees it to be

we live in, that is perspective
we live in; that is the perspective

who is right; The former
who is right? The former

Flow/Content:
In my opinion, the length and complexity of your sentences weighs down the essay. Modern humans no longer speak in this manner. If this was written for a philosopy class, then it is perfect. If you wish the piece to be read by a large segment of the population, consider using more modern construction.

For example:
great divide between the good and the evil.
great divide between good and evil.

confliction of principals in action or thought of another relative to ourselves
This arrangement seems wordy.
Suggest:
conflict of principles between ourselves and another

This applies to us only when
Suggest starting a new paragraph here to contrast with the prior one.

Favorite line/s:
How then do we explain the negative actions of the few, who are punished and are deemed as evil by the society? This is because they think and live in a microcosmic environment, such that their plight or problem seems to overthrow the principles of society.

Overall:
I like that you took the time to explain the concept of "majority rules". The explanation of convicts was especially illustrative of what society deems proper. However, specific examples for each supposition, such as "stealing bread to feed your family", might serve to underline your points.

This is a good essay--it made me think. Each idea led logically to the next. For the philosophy and the rhetorical devices--thank you! Write on!

In gratitude,
Kimchi

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Review of Gross Boys  
Review by KimChi
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hello HeatherS !

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. If you decide to make changes, I'd love to re-read and re-rate this.

First Impressions:
A fun adventure with realistic characters and silliness. Love the kids' competitive spirit at that "in-between" age!

Mechanics:
Other than a few punctuation nits, this is a solid piece. Well done!

good,” Zach beamed,” Here’s
good.” Zach beamed. ”Here’s

gulped,” If
gulped. ”If

scary,” Missy
scary.” Missy

forget,” Missy paused, “You’re
forget,” Missy paused, “you’re

(The continuation of a sentence after a tag should start with a lower case letter. In this case, one cannot beam or gulp dialogue, so you could make those separate sentences. As long as a complete sentence follows the dialogue, it does not need to be attached.)

of the parks fence.
of the park's fence.

Robbie added climbing
Robbie added, climbing

Flow/Content:
It had begun.
This seems anti-climactic and self-evident. It pulled me out of the story for a split second.

Otherwise, the action unfolds smoothly, and you didn't add any extra bits that were not needed to tell the story. *Thumbsup*

Favorite line/s:
They sauntered by the bank with heads held high and ponytails swinging. Suzy spoke loudly so the boys would certainly overhear. *Bigsmile*

Overall:
This is a cute story about children's ingenuity. I can see the personality traits of the characters, although I didn't have a clear picture of what they looked like. The girls have more movement, while the boys smile a lot. It wasn't until the end that we learn Zach has freckles. Despite the lack of physical description, the story comes to life. That is good writing!

This answers all the questions I had at the beginning. The tangled mess at the finish line and the pizza parlor antics had me laughing! You have a talent for dialogue, and there is humor throughout.

I look forward to reading more of your work. Write on!

In gratitude,
Kimchi

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Review of Grammarama  
Review by KimChi
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
Hello ❄️ Kraken Through The Snow !

I wanted to point out this useful library to others on the site. Hope you don't mind.

First Impressions:
A feast for the grammar-starved.

Flow/Content:
I used your "Basic Word Choices" section to check the tenses of "lie". The "General Grammar" section explains concepts in more detail.

Overall:
A great collection of information for a crash course or a refresher on grammar. Good stuff. I have been using it a lot lately. Thanks for taking the time to create this.


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