| Hi! I prefer to add comments within the body of the essay, poem, story, etc. that I am reviewing. As you read through my review of your piece, look for the
( ). My comments are inserted within the parentheses. I will make a recommendation for change only once--you get the fun of hunting for similar problems in your work! This frees me up to enjoy your writing and turn my focus to content. I love to review and encourage other writers, so please know that my comments are offered with the best of intentions. I'm giving you more than what you asked for (grammar suggestions)--hope that's OK. Don’t miss my comments added after the story ends. Blessings, Lindy
Review of - Introduction
by Blue Head
It had been merely a year since the first boat had debarked (great verb!) upon the shores, carrying its cargo of citizens to the New World. The ageing ten-eyed wooden beast had watched them from the water, having brought them so far from the mainland. (In this sentence,"had watched" and "having brought" function as passive verbs. The tense your are using is called"past perfect tense". To create a sense of action, in this case, use "simple past tense." For example: "...beast watched them from the water, after bringing them..." If you aren't familiar with the terms I'm using, you can look them up on the internet--that's what I did! I googled, "perfect tense" and then selected http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/601/01/... .) Anchoring in the virgin bay, it had dispelled (I don't think this verb quite fits; I'd look for another verb) from its hold those pioneers who had inhabited the beast’s belly for nearly a month to the sandy southern shores, as a deity sending mortals to do his bidding; and just beyond the beachfront, after some initial scouting and debating, those people once held captive by timber and sea began their civilization. (That is a l-o-n-g sentence-I recognized this because I am guilty of long-winded sentences myself) Constantly,( "constant-ly" is an adverb. I'm told adverbs are no-nos. Watch for the "ly" ending and rework your sentence; try something like: It eyed them with diligence") it eyed them from the center of the waters as they erected their first government center and during the construction of their market place. Houses popped up on the outskirts of town, succeeding (I think "succeeding" is correct, but I stumbled over it as I read. I would probably look for verb that keeps the reader moving forward) the primary buildings, as did a sturdy harbor. Not but a few (This wording sounds outdated—is that what you intended?) days after the completion of a small church in the heart of the town, the once occupied bay was abandoned - the beast sent back to the old East, having served its intended purpose for the townspeople.
The land was quickly carved up among the citizens, as the local area was void of the heathen Indians that haunted other towns. In the first use of the government center, those elected to office began to measure out the land into chunks, and started allowing citizens to lay claim to the surrounding grounds. To Mr. Whittle, once a farmer in the old world, went a twelve acre strip just north east of the town center. To Mr. Bilberry, a former doctor, went the fourteen acre plot of land just below Mr. Whittle’s. Beside both property, the governor, one by the name of John Lewis, selected the plot that spread forty acres. In a similar fashion, the land was - as the self-elected executives said - sectioned honestly among the other men, plowed, and readied for farming for the early summer season planting.
The citizens quickly settled down in the rough world, cutting into the lush growth, and establishing a clearing in which to live. The wood surrounded the little civilization, enclosing them in a green canopy, and, as noticed by some of the more spiritually acute members, encapsulating a sense of anxiety throughout the town. As the church bells of home would once ring (I think “would once ring” needs to be changed to “rang”) through the clear air with such dignity and power, the church built upon the bay only loosed a dull, unattractive series of tonal thuds as the hours passed, as if the very air suffocated (wonderful verb) its potentially beautiful vibrations. (great description) As citizens of the Old World would feel free to roam the cobble streets without true purpose or direction, here, upon the dirt paths of the bay-set town, few felt comfortable under the forest’s gaze as they moved from their homes to the Sunday mass. Many feared the trees, though never openly proclaimed this to their neighbors. Under the moon’s gaze, branches would scrape and claw at the walls when the wind rolled through the leaves. Strange rustles and movements held captive the ears of the sleepless people in the early twilight. They were quick to blame this (rather than using “this” or “that,” be more specific: what’s the “this”?) on animals with their tongue, though none could convince themselves of this within their mind.
Stories soon emerged from the mouths of those living outside the town: of blood-red eyes peering from the undergrowth; of children disappearing without warning; of odd hymns being repeated by the most obscure birds. So, as a true (“true” is similar to “devout,” so use only one) devout and pious society is prone to do, they were quick to blame their fears on the darker spirits. So they erected a twisted tale, based solely on their spiritual values. A demon lived in the forest - said those gossips – cardinal-red hide, horns the length of a human limb, and teeth sharper than the tip of a bayonet. “Aye,” said they, “and ‘e’s out for the town, he is. We’ve seen ‘im sulkin’ (do you mean “skulking?)‘bout, ‘aven’t we, gossips? Aye, ‘is revenge ‘ll be quick on us. Quick as Beelzebub’s dark ‘orses can ride.” (great job creating dialect!) And, so, fear was personified by the townspeople, moderated and renewed daily by those with perpetually running mouths.
As Time’s beard extended ever further to his toes,(great description of time!) he, holding the sun and moon in either hand, let the days rise and fall with indecision; and the storyteller’s tall tales grew ever longer, and ever more complex.
Blue Head, you are a wonderful storyteller. The story built at a slow pace at first, and then, when you got to the paragraph beginning, “The citizens quickly settled down …”, the story took off—and I went with it. I love that you use unique verbs—this tells me that you are putting effort into your writing. I think the story flows well.
My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Go Noticed" .