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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/profile/reviews/lynncar
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512 Public Reviews Given
Public Reviews
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Review by Gunny
Rated: E | (4.0)
This is a poem full of emotion. One could almost feel the anxious wait to call and then when her brother answered, her emotions almost boiled over. Good work.
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Review of Time Before Time  
Review by Gunny
Rated: E | (4.0)
Opening s/b present tense: "I like to think that I'm ready for anything, but . . . "

Too many of your sentences start with "I." Try to word them differently as in:

Instead of: "I walked home more nervous than my manliness would admit; glancing sideways into each alley. I started to relax as I saw the outline of my apartment building growing larger."

Try: "Glancing sideways into each alley, I was more nervous than my manliness would admit. It wasn't until I saw my apartment building that I started to relax."

Using the same pronoun starting sentence after sentence is distracting and soon becomes boring. Also, notice how many words I omitted, and yet the same thing was said. Try to cut as much "dead wood" as possible by studying each sentence and seeing where you can cut words without changing the meaning of your sentences.

Also, you are separating each thought of the narrator with new sentences. If they are all part of one scene, they should be written in paragraphs. However, keep your paragraphs from getting so large that there is little "white" space between them. Readers like "white" space, but not too much where it becomes distracting. Remember, don't distract the reader . . . attract the reader with what they are used to. Read more books to see how the masters do it!
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Review by Gunny
Rated: E | (3.0)
I'm not a poet critic by any means. All I know about poems is that they are intended to convey images and stir emotions through words and patterns of rhyming. I enjoyed reading this poem and the message is clear. However, I thought the work "fader" was straining to find a rhyming word for creator. Perhaps you are trying to rhyme a three syllable word with a two syllable word? I'm sorry, I haven't a clue of how to fix it. It just sounded "clunky" to me. Other than that it was a great read.
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Review by Gunny
Rated: E | (3.5)
From what little I know about poetry, they are either free verse, or they maintain a pattern of rhyming. Yours was a mixture of free verse, and a random bunch of patterns which make for an awkward read. Don't get me wrong, the poem did convey what you were trying to say, it's just that it was done in a awkward way. For instance, the first verse has a pattern of ABBC:

One Minute You walked Into My Life (A)
One Minute You Broke All Ties (B)
All Your Promises Were A Lie (B)? [Were Lies} is better.]
And Then You Were Gone. (C)

This is not really a pattern that most poems take on. Usually four line stanzas go something like: ABBA or ABAB, or AABB. This is not to say that you can't use any mix of patterns you want, but it's better to make it simple for the sake of your reader. How about the patter ABBA? How would that look?

One Minute You Walked Into My Life (A)
One Minute You Broke All Ties. (B)
All Your Promises Were Lies (B)
Then Into My Heart You Put a Knife (A) [This is a much more graphic, vivid picture isn't it?]

Then each Stanza or Verse should maintain that same pattern ABBA throughout. It doesn't have to mind you, but as I said, it makes it a better read for your audience and after all that's what you are after if you want to sell your work. If that is not your goal, then free-verse to your heart's content. It's a wonderful catharsis and doesn't hurt a thing.
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Review by Gunny
Rated: E | (5.0)
A wonderful description of a tender-hearted person falling hopelessly in love with a dog, his long feathery tail moving slowly from side to side. I think most of us can relate exactly to your poem. Very clever with message of NOT OVERLY HANDSOME as the first letter of each line. I pretty much found my dog (or did she find me?) but it wasn't in a dog pound, she was a beautiful brown, brindle-coated mix pit/shepherd puppy with the most expressive eyes that I have ever seen. She happened to wonder into my shop one day and wandered over to an old sofa in the back, jumped up and claimed her territory. She seemed to tell me that she was tired and whether I liked it or not, "I'm staying put." She has been my companion for 10 years now and I wouldn't trade her for all the money in the world. I loved your poem.
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Review by Gunny
Rated: E | (4.0)
Very nice piece of poetry. It's something we can all relate to. I'm not a poet so this may not be correct, but I think that rhyming with the same words is not cool. My suggestion is: . . . Take out the line, "Then she sees the cause, of the sound." Then you would have:

She held her breath and looked around
. . . It was just a rabbit, hopping around.

This balances the poem where you had an unbalanced ending with three lines rhyming but the rest of the poem is paired with two lines rhyming. Does that make sense?
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Review by Gunny
Rated: 18+ | N/A (Review only item.)
Excellent characterization. I was wondering when the actual conflict action was going to take place and planned to mention it in my review, but I see that this is really an exercise. This is a good way to come up with stories too. You start with a character and let it take you where it wants to go. Most of the time, it dead-ends, but sometimes it leads to an idea that can be explored deeper after you have filled out your protag and antag characters. I clearly saw that your main character was a whack job, borderline psycho and very unreliable so you accomplished your goal with this one. I can well imagine that it was unpleasant getting into this guy's head.
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Review by Gunny
Rated: ASR | (5.0)
Excellent story, well written and easy to read. Good characterization of Charlie and his father. The theme wasn't given away too early, and a good life's lesson was revealed at the end. It took a lot of moxey for Charlie to claim his own life back from his father. Conflict and resolution were appropriate. I feel certain that many readers will relate to this story. I was lucky that my father never tried to live his dreams through me or my brothers, but having played sports as a kid, I saw it in other boys. I felt sorry for them as they tried to live up to their father's expectations. I know one case where the father would get so upset that if his boy screwed up, he wouldn't talk to him for a week. What a jerk!
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Review by Gunny
Rated: 13+ | (3.5)
An excellent tempo that kept the story moving along. The only distracting part was the use of modern day idioms and slang in a story of the ancients. That was very distracting to me. Other than that, it is wonderful chapter to a longer story.
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Review by Gunny
Rated: E | (2.5)
I understand that you have worked very hard on this story, but you need some more work on English and the rules of grammar to make this story workable. I also understand that English is a second language and I applaud you for attempting to write in a language that is foreign to you. I could never even try to write a story in Chinese, German, or Hindu or any other language than English. Now to the story: Your opening paragraph does nothing to set the stage and you introduce a character "Herriot" with whom you took too long to explain his relationship to Justin and his son, and when you did, it was in an obviously contrived way. You used dialog as a means of describing your character's relationship. Instead of going through all the convoluted gyrations of using dialog like " I am Justin and you are Herriot, right? My grand-dad?" You could have had Justin come up quietly behind Herriot and simply say "Grandpa Herriot?" Now the reader knows immediately what their relationship is.

Another area that needs work is:

He made Justin stretch his hand and wore a wrist watch around his thin hand.
This sentence makes no sense and needs to be rewritten something like this: "He made Justin reach out his small arm and he placed a delicate watch on his thin wrist."


"Have this with you... Annie gave this to me... it is all I can give you"
This sentence is very awkward English and needs to be rewritten something like this: "Take this. Grandmother Annie gave it to me . . . it is all I can give you."


"Granny gave this to you?"
Herriot nodded.

"Why is this broken in the dial?" This is another awkward English sentence and should be rewritten: Justin looked at the watch and his brow furrowed. "The dial is broken," said Justin.

A long silence followed.

"It broke in the accident that ate Annie up", he said finally finding voice out of his somber. This is an example of using an inappropriate idiom, and inappropriate use of a dialog tag. It should be rewritten something like this: "It was broken in the accident that killed Grandmother Annie." The reader knows that Herriot is responding to Justin so there is no need for a dialog tag at the end.

These are just a few of the problems I spotted. Again, I applaud your efforts to write a short story in English, but you need to study the rules of grammar to make your writing clearer and more understandable. There are, if I remember, some free classes on this site that will cost you nothing but some point. If you don't have enough points, the monetary cost is very minimal. I hope I have not caused you to be discouraged. You have a definite talent for story-telling, you just need to hone your English language and grammar skills. Only lots of practice can help in that. Here are a thousand points which should be more than enough to get you enrolled in one of the writing classes offered here on WDC. Good luck in your writing endeavors, and whatever you do, keep on writing . . . Lynn
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Review of Life begins at 40  
Review by Gunny
Rated: E | (4.5)
Your writing style is refreshing, like the bow of a sleek yacht slicing through the waters, always moving forward to its destination. You kept my interest and arrived at a few of my own insights reading your piece. Well done. There was only one minor tense error in the third paragraph from the end, where journey should be "journeyed."

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Review by Gunny
Rated: E | (4.0)
I will say that you paint a good picture with our words. This is what writing fiction is all about. You have used exageration to make your point and this is good. I was able to see the entire scene and in this respect you did an excellent job!
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Review by Gunny
Rated: E | N/A (Review only item.)
I liked the story because, I too am continuously studying English grammar and punctuation and have two dogs who are a major part of my life. Both dogs are very patient while I'm on the computer or reading to discect a particular author's style. On the other hand, my wife insists that I am wasting my life away with all this study. I prefer my dogs. They totally support my life-style while my wife wants me to continue working well past retirement age.
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Review by Gunny
Rated: E | (3.5)
Well, I liked this poem, but it was written in the past and the poem never came to a conclusion. Most of hate to be hung out to twist in the wind by an unsatisfying end to a poem or story. So you wanted him. Did you realize that you didn't want him, or couldn't have him, or realized that it was only wishful thinking? C'mon, you have to give a real ending to your story or poems.
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Review of My room, my life  
Review by Gunny
Rated: E | (4.0)
I was able to relate to this poem. We all have the idea that this earthly plane is our real home, but it isn't. This whole life experience is nothing more than a preparation time for our real home.
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Review by Gunny
Rated: E | (4.5)
This story has wonderful possibilities. You are a good story teller, that is obvious, however, your technique has many errors that beginning writers are always prone to make. If I may make some suggetions in your opening sentence. Lose the adjectives.

Like this: [Storm clouds gathered on the horizon holding the late summer heat close to the Earth.]

Notice how many unnecessary words I eliminated, yet the sentence still carries impact and allows the readers to imagine the approaching storm in their own minds instead of you telling them. Always get the readers involved by showing them the storm rather than explaining it to them.

Storm clouds gathered (ominously) [eliminated] on the horizon. (Black and heavy,) [eliminated] (they held) [changed to one word: holding] the late summer heat (in) [eliminated because the word holding implies holding in] close to the Earth.

The other problem I noticed is you don't use dialog tags. This is very confusing to the reader. The use of "Bella said,," or "Cecily said" or even "she said" are so common that the reader doesn't even notice them, yet it keeps the readers informed of who is speaking. Don't use the dialog tags unless it is NOT obvious who is speaking, but don't be afraid not to use them either. A good way to get around using them is to use some narrative by the POV character to determinine who is speaking. Such as:

“The doctor will be here soon, sister.” This could be changed to: {Bella helped Cecily to finish bandaging her foot. "The doctor will be here soon, sister."}

“She’s gone completely mad.” This could be changed to: {Cecily looked at her aunt playing with the stones. "She's gone completely mad."}

“The storm is ravenous.” {To change the pattern of dialog attribution this could be written as: {The storm is ravenous," Aunt Natalia whispered.}

Both women looked from each other(, then) to their aunt. “What?”

One more point I'd like to make: The ending doesn't quite fit the rest of the story. I get it that Aunt Natalia knew that something bad was going to happen, but it seemed to me that it was Cecily that Aunt Natalia who was foreshadowing to die. How would the story be affected if after Cecily has the baby, she is the one who dies?

A great story with powerful emotional pull. Work on this and don't let it die.

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Review of Undead Longing  
Review by Gunny
Rated: E | (4.5)
I've never been a poet, but I enjoy reading it. In my opinion, this poem was good because it pulled no punches and told me exactly how you were feeling when you wrote it. I felt that your poem had power and made me think. I didn't like the ending though. It was sort of depressing thinking about how one person can be so depressed over what another person thinks about them. But that's okay, that's what poetry is supposed to do . . . create an emotional response. You did an excellent job of expressing your feelings. Keep writing. Gunny
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Review of Today, I Will  
Review by Gunny
Rated: ASR | (5.0)
What a wonderful sentiment! This is some of the best writing I've read on this site in a while. I like the way you just let the words flow and let your mind take you wherever it wanted. This is the kind of stuff that gives us would-be authors incentive to keep going. I really enjoyed the images that came to my mind as I read your poem. Keep up the good work.
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Review of The Dance  
Review by Gunny
Rated: ASR | (5.0)
I hope you don't take offense, but I got the biggest laugh out this little vignette. I like surprise endings and this one was a jewel. Thanks. I really enjoyed this story.
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Review of Martial Arts Poll  
Review by Gunny
Rated: E | (4.5)
When I was in the Marines I studied Jujitsu which I think is the best form of martial arts because it uses the strength of your opponent against himself. I also studied a little Karate when I was in Okinawa. It is a laittle different than the Korean form of the same art called Tai-Kwon-Do (Fist to Chin) and should properly spelled Tek Kwan-Do. I also studied Judo but found that the American version was based on brute strength rather than the Oriental sophisiticated leverages that takes advantage of the opponents strengths and movement. The kind of Judo Im talking about is seen in the Olympics. I prefer Jujitsu because you can control the amount of pain and injury you want or should inflict on your opponent. Women can learn Jujitsu and is probably more effective than the other arts because it is more straight-forward and simple.
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Review of What I want  
Review by Gunny
Rated: ASR | (4.5)
I give you a lot of credit for being so brave in your writing. Most new writers are too timid to really let it all hang out like you have. I'm a 70 year old man who still cries at romantic movies. (I'm also a retired Marine) so don't think that you are somehow flawed because you are sentimental.All teens are self-centered. It's just the way it is. If they weren't it would be weird. You only unhappy because you have unreal expectations about what life is all about. The first thing you have to do is to STOP listening to all the news you are hearing today. Stop that for a week at least and get back to your inner self. The 24/7 news coverage is designed to grab our interest and to hold it. The consequence of this is that anyone who even has this crap in the fringes of their mind will cause stresses that we don't consciously recognize are happening. You are looking at life as a result of too much TV where everyone ends up happy and rich.

If I could give every teem-ager advise -- Forget the idea that happiness is a goal of life. Happiness is not an end to life, it is the essense of life in which you are happy regardless of what happens to you.

Happiness is not going to happen to you because it is a way of looking at life. I can't make you happy. NOBODY can make you happy. I could give you 20 imillion dollars and you would find no happiness. It isn't about material things, it's about a mental attitude.
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Review of Look Away  
Review by Gunny
Rated: E | (4.5)
Reading your poem reminded me of my own youth when VietNam separated me and my "true love" from our comfort zone. It didn't take long for me to change my outlook on life when I found out that she had found another man. I cried myself to sleep many nights. You described very well the moment when one realizes that the our anchor really isn't there, and we have to depend upon ourself if we are going to make it in this life. I loved the images and memories your poem pulled up from my past.
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Review by Gunny
Rated: E | (4.0)

I know these pieces are giving you a release and I am somehow drawn to your pain.I hope you find a way to deal with life without this person you believe you can't do without. Science has proved that most relationships that you describe are a matter of "habit." In other words, if you are a smoker, doing without cigarettes brings about the same desparte feelings. i.e. you feel that you can't survive without another cig. Probably the biggest revelation I 've ever had is: you can't go back to the old times, damn it!
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Review of Winston  
Review by Gunny
Rated: E | (4.0)
Wow! This is one messed up dude. It is an excdellent background piece in a typical day of a character. I will actually use what you have done here to help define my own characters. The only thing missing is the character's feelings and vivid emotions. You are being too subtle. To be a real story character, you have to show how the way his mother treats him negatively affects his psyche. In Steven Kings's story Carrie, the girl's mother treated her much the same way as your character was treated. King always made sure that carrie's feeling were in contrast to the way her mother treated her. You have to have contrast or conflict between the way one character treats another. This is what makes a story! So if you were to show your character seething under his mother's treatment. Show it in many subtle ways in how he responds in his dialoge with his mother. You might show physical responses like the rolling of his eyes or sighs or gritting of his teeth. But whatever you do, show conflict!!!
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Review of Innocence  
Review by Gunny
Rated: E | (5.0)
The caliber of writing is high. I liked the story and you conveyed the emotions you felt very well. Good editing job -- no glaring grammar or spelling errors, which always makes for good reading. My dad used to make a joke about it when he dropped crabs into the boiling pot. "Listen real hard and you can hear them scream!" Of course, all us kids would tell him how gross he was. I think he did that knowing we wouldn't want to eat the crabs and that was all the more for him. Keep writing. I think your future will involve a career in writing.
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