*Magnify*
SPONSORED LINKS
Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/profile/reviews/lapia
Review Requests: OFF
45 Public Reviews Given
Public Reviews
1
1
Review of Eight Bells  
Review by LaPia
Rated: 13+ | (3.5)
Graham, your story has great potential and is told well. However, I felt as if it lacked a certain something, something mysterious other than what was told and with more physical contact. Also, the story felt rushed.

Suggestions:
Put the reader in Jeremiah’s seat at the oars. Let us feel the sweat trickle down his back, the tightness of his shoulders, the ache in his neck. Give us more physical presence in the story. Keep us grounded more.
In Clive’s story about the Flying Dutchman, something unusual (more unusual than just another sighting) should have happened to him. I thought perhaps young Clive thought he heard the Flying Dutchman, or its sails, or some other part of it, speak or whisper his name in passing. This experience could have haunted him the rest of his life. This would make his death on ship more powerful and the possibility that the odorous passing was indeed the Flying Dutchman come to get him and take him home.
I also expected something to bump into the ship- softly - during the passing of the mysterious ‘other’ to make it seem more real. If nothing else a simple wave that turned the ship slightly.
In other words, the physical has to be there along with the mystery in order for the reader to engage fully in the story, which, by the way, was very good.
2
2
Review of Still  
Review by LaPia
Rated: 13+ | N/A (Review only item.)
Thank you for sharing this short story with us. I understand that it is a work still in progress so I will approach it from that angle. Mr. Ryan is in a job that neither satisfies nor stimulates him but we don't yet know why or how he got himself into this situation. From this reader's point of view there are too many unanswered questions to think of this story as finished. These are my concerns: Why is he homesick? Is this something new or an ongoing problem, and what are the circumstances behind it? Why is he in this particular unsatisfying job and not some other? If I read this correctly there was, or is going to be a still birth involved in a relationship that is not nor will not end in marriage. So how did that situation affect him personally and how did it affect the relationship? If the couple has parted is there reason for hope in a reconciliation? These are the "stressors" as I see them in the story but they are not clearly enough defined for the reader to get involved with.
As a side line, you used 2nd person POV which did not resonate well with me. I prefer a limited 3rd person if only so the author can dig more clearly into the psyche of the characters rather than direct his attention on the reader.
My biggest question is this: What is is story really about?
Yes, to answer your question, the story is interesting. I was involved in the travel aspects, in the diverse characters and in the struggle Mr. Ryan has in dealing with and trying to make this a positive experience for them, which seems at the onset to be a lose-lose situation and possibly a dead end job.
Amy's very short insert showed a very strong character. I wanted more of her.
I wanted more of Mr. Ryan's inner struggle with Amy, too.
There is so much here to work with I felt it was too rushed, rather than to slow, for my preference.
All in all you have the makings of a really interesting and grabbing short story to write here. Good luck to you and I hope I get to read the finished product.
3
3
Review of Patchwork  
Review by LaPia
Rated: 18+ | (3.0)
HailiN, hi, I just read your story. Since you wrote this to submit to a graduate degree program I thought I'd stick to some basic problems I saw in your writing. While your dialogue and grammar are good, there are some other concerns I have.

One of the things educators look at is POV. Your's is not consistent and that is a problem. For example, in Paragraph one you are in third person POV, using he walked, she died, he started, etc.
In paragraph two you switch to 1st person narrative. "I can't believe that blanket had more sentimental value to her than I did." It is a common mistake, but because it happened on the very first page, a red flag is going to go up and your piece may not be taken seriously.

I would also eliminate a lot of speaker tags, such as "he said, she said, Kieran said, etc. When dialogue is between two people, it is not necessary to use them. You are correct when you begin each new speaker with a new paragraph, and that is enough for the reader to keep track of who said, she said, he said. Once you have established who said what first, the rest is easy enough, for the most part, to follow.

Try not to begin so many sentences with the word "he." He did this. He did that. Maybe you can combine two sentences into one in some places, eliminating some of the redundancy.

You began your story with the importance of a quilt. You ended your story with the mention of the same quilt. BUT, between the beginning and the end, the quilt got completely lost. You must either remove the quilt or make it more accessable (important) to your overall plot.

And speaking of plot, I felt that the mystery of Lena's disappearance could have taken on a bigger space. Perhaps get the police or missing persons involved, concentrate more on building up a mystery and the suspense and toning down Danny's emotional status.

Good luck with your story. Thank you for the read.
Lapia
4
4
Review of A Lesson In Less  
Review by LaPia
Rated: E | (3.5)
M. I found this intriguing. And it is a nice play on words.

A couple of suggestions: Omit "that" brings forth on line one; and the word, "one" in line two.

"By withering their garden flowerless"--I did not, could not fathom the meaning. It think it was the verb choice. I felt that it should be a gardener's action verb like, tending, or hoeing, etc.

"The end to harmless is doubtless" This, too was puzzling for me. Are you saying that an end to pain and suffering is doubtful? Or that doubting ends pain and suffering? Either way, I think a change in word choice would be more satisfying to the reader.
Up to this point you had me, but your ending needs a little more work.

All in all I liked it.
5
5
Review by LaPia
Rated: 13+ | (3.5)
parable, I stoppedc by for a quick loo at chapter 2.There's a few things I'd change about your opening dialogue. Speaker tags can be tricky. See what you think of this:

Detective Sergeant Don Wilson laid the file on his desk. "What did you think of Masterson?"

Talbert, having burnt his lip on his hot coffee, set the cup down. "He was a work horse back in his day. I checked his record. He was awarded several commendations over the years, and cracked that big double murder case back in 1979. You heard about it before, I'm sure."

[putting some kind of action ahead of the speaker elliminates the need for speaker tags and makes the dialogue flow a bit more smoothly]

Also, Wilson is the speaker here: " Oh, yeah. The Nelson-Temple murders. He cracked it? " And does not belong with the bit about Talbert nodding. Rather...

Talbert nodded. " That one brought alot of heat down on the department."

A good portion of this chapter has to do with tension between two men and a woman. I think you should consider choosing a topic for each chapter and sticking to it. Each chapter needs to progress the plot. Make sure that you allow that to happen without veering away.. The male/female relationship is a sider note, so give it a side note's amount of importance in this chapter. You can use that scenerio in a chapter of its own between two or three people bringing the history of this relationship into light and allowingt it to complicate the final solving of the murder.

It feels to me that you are rushing your story and there is no need to do so. Stay focused and keep up the good work
6
6
Review by LaPia
Rated: 18+ | (3.5)
parable, I just finished reading chapter one of your murder mystery. As you know, mysteries should capture the imagination and hook the reader from the very beginning, meaning the first chapter. This is what I understand about the "mystery" of your story: An unsolved murder dating back to 1961 has been re-opened.

Instead of beginning with so much narrative about what your story is about, I suggest you begin with the mystery, itself. Open your first chapter with new investigators intering the room with their theory. In that way, you open the reader up to their own sense of anticipation. Past history, for example the history of the original investigation, should be secondary information and filtered in through conversation and the current investigation. Likewise for the deceased background, the tour of Indianapolis, etc.

Today's reader is impatient and, in my opinion, has a short attention span. It;s like going to a restaurant. Thje reader is hungry. They don't want the waitress to talk them to death, They want to eat. If the first bite is good, they will take another and another until the dish is empty and the reader goes away sated with a good experience.

As for grammar, you need to watch your verb tense.Participles do not have the same punch as stright past tense. Examples of your work and suggested useage: Could smell=smelled; was staring=stared; had been=was; would do=did; have progressed=progressed. Here's the difference. "I could smell a dog." Take out the participle and see how much more immediate and personal it gets: "I smelled a dog." I was staring at a horse." I stared at the horse."

Lastly I would caution you about using too many simile's, especially as conscerns the same object, in this case the huge house in Indianapolis. It :belonged on a Hollywood movie set instead of here in central Indiana." and "the "rug that probably cost more than I made in six months." also, "the "den as big as my livingroom and two bedrooms combined." When you tell the reader that the house was something he might expect to find in Hollywood we get the picture, the cop was impressed with the size and cost of the house. To constantly remind us is not only redundant but irritating to have to read over and over.

Long story short, start with the idea of your story (an old murder is being re-investigated), and begin with a scene between the new investigators and the old. That will also help to create a sense of tension that the story needs to keep it going.

Old mysteries revisited are very good story ideas. The sky's the limit as far as plot-line goes. I understand why you chose such a genre. An author can have a lot of fun with something like this. I wish you lots of happy hours of creating. Once you have the first chapter under tour belt the rest should be fun, if ever that is possible. Anyway, best of luck and good writing.

My review has been submitted for consideration in "Invalid Item.
7
7
Review of the wright rock  
Review by LaPia
Rated: 13+ | (2.5)
Hope, you have described what I would call a "prologue" of a potentially good story. The difference between a prologue and the story itself is that prologues summarize, in story fashion, what the real story is about. Your summary is thus: While sitting quietly on a rock near the sea, I heard men talk about a ghost ship and it scarred me.

The reader wants to know about the ghost ship. The element missing in your story is action and proof. You could accomplish this by eaves-dropping more closely to the men talking, or by asking them a question like, "What did you see?" With that the real story can be told.The men saw this, they saw that, they did this, it did that, etc. Now you have a real story! The object is to get the reader to get scared along with the narrator and the sailors. We can't feel that unless we get to see what happened.

The character of the old man needs to be fleshed out more. By that I mean how and why did he become the protector of the village? And what is it about him that the narrator mistrusts? It isn't enough to say these things, you must "show" them. Create a scene or two demonstrating his actions.

Sentences like, "My body was paralyzed and my mind whirled with tons of alarming thoughts" leaves the reader empty. You did not give us examples of those "alarming thoughts" and we want to know what they are and why they entered your head. Paralyzed is a strong word, maybe too strong for the mere mention of a ghost ship. Maybe if the ghost ship were made to be more real (by way of action as I mentioned above) the reader could feel some of that paralyzing fear, too. That's what writing is all about, getting the reader to feel something of their own, whether they too are paralyzed or not is not the point. Even if they simply cringe a big while reading, you will have accomplished a lot. But they won't cringe without some visual sensability. We want to know what happened!

Your title caught my attention right away. Maybe you could do just a little more in the way of setting to make that rock stand out even more, and give it a bit of importance to the story.

When writing stories you can never use the text-message codes like "u" unless you are actually quoting a text-message that you received. There are places when verb tense and POV are misused, and some of your phrases need cleaned up as well. I won't go into details about that. The most important thing is that your wrote a story and that it needs more work. The biggest need right now is action, addition of scenes to bring the reader into the action, and maybe some dialogue to bring the story out of the narrative.

I like the idea of a ghost ship. It has so much possibility. You can go just about anywhere with a ghost ship. Like I say it is a great idea and I hope you put your imatination back to work and let it fly. Make things up, imagine what that ship looks like, what it's crew members look like (if it has any), what kind of havoc it can create, then write it down with vivid images. THAT will get your reader's attention.

Keep up the good work and don't get discouraged. The best of the best had to re-write their stories dozen's of times before they got it published. It takes time, it takes dedication and it takes a lot of effort. You've got a good idea and a good start. People love this kind of story! Keep at it.

My review has been submitted for consideration in "Invalid Item.
8
8
Review by LaPia
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
I liked this very much. It's well thought out.. The only thing Id like to see is a longer, fleshed out version. Give us a bigger picture of the cafeteria lady, how the devices would work, how the kids would relatye to them. You spoke of the writer/humorist scenerio, what about business men, teachers, dance instructors. I'd like to hear your take on more options. Other than than,it was great. Nice job.
9
9
Review of The Sound  
Review by LaPia
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
This was a very entertaining read. It isn;t often that I laugh right out loud. This was hilarious..

There were only two sentences I thought needed help.

"I tried to just stand and enjoy the silence as it closed in, but my head felt like it was going to explode." Drop the word 'JUST'

and; "As my senses started to return, I said, “I think so.”" This has an awkward start to it. Maybe just eliminating the word 'as' eould do the tick.

Otherwise I found nothing wrong with this. Very good work. Kudos
10
10
Review by LaPia
Rated: 18+ | N/A (Unratable.)
I'm going to be honest with you. I like the plot idea, a man seeks revenge and perhaps justice for his family. We see this in modern day mysteries, but you've put it into a Western. I liked that.

Did it sound like a Western? No, it didn't.The part about the trees planted at the court house, and what it all will look like years later--no. They didn't think about landscaping back then I'm sure.
some of your dialogue was too modern, too. Diamond is on a blood thirsty hunt for revenge. Does a guy like that come into towb and say things like "I need to talk to tge marshal but he seems to have disappeared," Or feel the need to make explanation about why he does not consider himself a bounty hunter? I objected to the slang "iffy" the answer "That would be me." All to modern, I think.

The other thing that didn;t work for me was the long list of buildings in town. We don't need that. We all have a general idea of a typical Western setting. Besides that it took up too much space and didn't get the protagonist to the sheriff's office in a timely manner.

There was a point in the beginning where you were using the horses POVm, how they felt,about the train ride, that they were not happy, etc.

I really like the scenerio you've set up, but when you write this, get yourself into the macho, cowboy, badass mode and leave out the modern language.

Good luck with this. Don't give it up. Keep going.
11
11
Review by LaPia
Rated: 18+ | (3.0)
George, I really liked the idea of this story,m a Book thast counter balances The Book. A very interesting scenerio. You also propose some interesting philisophical questions. I'm interested in how you work them out.

Having said that, I have to tell you that I had a lot of problems with your writing. I can't think of any better way of describing it except "distanced" from the reader. Here are a few examples:

"not one member of the band seemed to care about Damien's twenty-fourth birthday." I felt ignored. What was going on that made them "seem" not to care? Was it body language? Snide remarks? Ignoring him?

"Obviously touched, Damien tore off the gold wrapping paper..." OBVIOUSLY? What was so obvious about it? What did he do? Say? How did he act?

"The evening moved along smoothly until..." There is a whole period of "smooth" time that the reader is not allowed to witness. If it went along so smoothly or un-notable, why even mention it? Why dangle that smooth time frame in front of the reader? What purpose does it serve?

"As the two men continued to hlare at each other," Again, the reader is not let into those glares. What ewas going on during those glares, and why. What was at least one of them thinking? Please, let us in.

"Seeming less amiable," This is like closing the curtain and narrating the story by peeking behind the scenes.

The other thing I objected to was the way you use dialogue in place of narration. Here is an example of what I mean: "When Damien asked me to hire you, you were blowing your sax, as well as anyone who could come up with fifty Eueo, on the corner of Rue De Shit, etc, etc." This kind of
conversation isn't realistic. The fix is to add this little bit of informatiob like a rememberence or back story.

One last thing. In the beginning you explained who the band members were, how and why they got their names. Later on you re-introduced them, like "the clicxk of high-heeled shoes on tile preceeded the three backup sibgersm Delilah, Jezebel, and Salone. And, "Cain, the bass guitarisdt, sat hunched over..." Threre is no need to re-introduce them. In fact it was rather irritating.

You are four chapters into your story. I don't know how many chapter you have planned but I hope you come to the really cool stuff pretty soon.
12
12
Review of The Garden  
Review by LaPia
Rated: E | (2.5)
This is a really good synopsis of a story, but it isn't really a story. There is no action, only a description of what action was suppose to have taken place. Consider the plot again. It's got potential, but a reader doesn't want to hear about the movie, they want to sit in the seat and watch the story unfold, Think about it. Try writing for your audience. I think they'll like it.

By the way, its they're, not thier.
13
13
Review of Butterflies Die  
Review by LaPia
Rated: ASR | (4.0)
I don't know a lot about lyrics but i liked what I read. I had a small problem with the refrain, though.
I didn;t like the use of the word "as". It somehow wilts the rest of it. Instead of "as he tears apart..." maybe simply "he tears apart.." Yes, I think I would like that better. I can almost hear the music that goes with this. Nice job.
14
14
Review of Dodging the Drops  
Review by LaPia
Rated: E | (3.0)
Hi, I just read your piece, and your bio. I'm going to be honest with you. This is not bad for a first try, but I've got some suggestions to help you improve.

I gather that you wanted the reader to feel like he/she was riding along with you in the car and experiencing the drive with you. In your last paragraph I felt as if I was there.. That was very good. However there were so many other places that took me out of the story and disrupted the flow. Statements like these:" I say ours.. because of course it's not mine totally, although I like to think it is" and "although, I suppose, I wouldn't know if the ford was there years ago." and "unless of course you are 'in training' for some fitness event" and "at least you didn't have to be blind freddy to know that the sun was never going to shine today" These comentaries disrupt the drive, and the scenery, and rhe interest in the story. Work on staying focused.

You're off to a good start .Keep writing.
15
15
Review of Trial and Error  
Review by LaPia
Rated: E | (3.5)
I don't know about this. If it weren't for the intro I wouldn't have undstood this. What I think would help is the use of a few metaphors. For example: I slithered after her LIKE ------. Like what? Like a snake in the moss. That way we know that you are not a snake.

It was the cold. LIKE something Not human so we know that you are.

The third one held on LIKE -----. Like what? Maybe a spider not particular about her prey, the scales, the fur, etc.

I like the way you intend a metaphor but like I said, without the intro I wouldn't have understood this. I would really like for you to work on this and I'd like to read it again when you do. gppd luick in the contest. I'll watch for the results.
16
16
Review of My Family History  
Review by LaPia
Rated: E | (3.5)
This was actually kind of funny, you mongrel, you. You might consider leaving out the first person "I" until the very end. Maybe begin with "On my father's side, etc, etc." Then paragraph two, "On my mother's side, etc. etc."

The destruction of records, I'm not sure is necessary, but yeah, maybe a nice little tid-bit after all. Anyway the ending was perfect.

Nice job.
17
17
Review by LaPia
Rated: E | (2.0)
Okay, so you have a protagonist who is rough and tough, lives alone, has an attitude, not too picky about his meals,etc. So far, so good. When he stumbled and splashed over the rocks I thought that was a little out of character. I would have expected him to make that landing spot on.

The only dialogue he has is between himself and an eel that doesn't speak back, so you can't really call it dialogue.

The suspense comes at the very end of the chapter when the "ugly Hound" rustles in the background and it was a welcome relief to the detailed narrative of scenery that came before. I'm almost sure that the chapter could have started with the last paragraph, move forward a bit with bits and pieces of scenery thrown in and it would have made for a much better read. So much scenery takes away from what appears to be a scary, action-packed story.

I wondered what the Hound was. His claws and scales made him sound very menacing.And I certainly don't want to read through two more pages of fluffy scenery to find out. If this is going to be wearwolf, scary type of stuff, get to the action first, throw in a little fluff to give the reader a breath of fresh air once in a while, then back to the action. At least that's what I want in a good read.
18
18
Review of Summer Storm  
Review by LaPia
Rated: E | (3.0)
Lovina, I wanted to return the favor and review one of your works. Unfortunately I am not a connoisseur of poetry so I'm afraid my review will be, at the very least, "Iffy."

I broke it down and looked at it this way. You were relying on the 'ing' form of words for rhyme and pattern so that's what I investigated. This is what I found.

Stanza I "warning (a noun) a thing
"raining" (future progressive tense) anticipation =

The warning is an anticipation of the rain

Stanza II ""Playing" (progressive present) happening Now
"Complaining (a noun) a thing, a what =

Playing right now prevent complaining

Stanza III "Alleviating (adjective) descriptive
" Cheering (future progressive) anticipation =

Alleviating of heat anticipates future cheering

Stanza IV "scorching" (adjective) descriptive
"Pouring (future progressive) anticipating=

Scorching describes pouring????????

Stanza V "watching (progressive Present tense) In the Now
"flashing (a noun, I think) a thing, a what =

Watching ???? flashing????

Stanza VI "everything (noun) a what, a thing
"blazing (progressive Present tense) in the now =

Everything becomes blazing

Stanza VII "shining" (present Perfect tense) in the Now
"passing" (future Progressive) anticipation =

What is shining now anticipates the rain's passing???

So, in my mind, stanza IV, V, VII don't come together very well.

In Stanza IV "the sun not longer scorching" has no reflection on the "pouring." Same with V and VII.

How does everyone watching inside relat to the rumble outside and the flashing?

How does the sun's rays affect rain as it pours and drenches? Perhaps the rays provide a rainbow, maybe?

Anyway, not being a poet myself, I can't find anything else to speak of. I love thunderstorms so I enjoyed reading your poem. As a matter of fact I can hear one coming right now. I see the skies in your poem, the flashes, etc.

Nice job. Nice read.
18 Reviews · *Magnify*
Page of 1 · 25 per page   < >
Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/profile/reviews/lapia