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Public Reviews
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1
1
Review of Appy Days  
Review by Mastiff
In affiliation with The WDC Angel Army  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hello,

My name is Mastiff and I'll be reviewing your piece because I posted after you in I Write 2020. These are just my thoughts and forgive me if I ramble, and realize I make just as many mistakes as anyone else. Thank you for sharing your writing, and I hope this is helpful!

Title: I love it. It's a neat little play on words without giving up the whole story. It looks like a good bet to draw in readers.

Initial Reaction: It's hard to have one with such a short piece, but I think very quickly I knew things weren't going to go well. But, since I didn't know what was going to go badly, it's still a good beginning.

Setting: It's very short, and we never really read about anything in detail. You had a few more words to play with on the 300-word count, so perhaps this is one place you could spend them.

Character Development: It's a shame we didn't get to see Tania a little better as well. You kind of assume she's younger and good looking, but it never says that. There would be more impact in the story if we knew for sure. Sometimes people of both sexes have very unreasonable expectations when it comes to dating, so who knows? He might have been in her league. *Smile*

Plot: It's cute and quick. That's a good combination for flash fiction. It could have been a bit more powerful, as I've noted, but it works!

Ending: I'm not sure you had to include the title on the last line. It really lightens the mood, and I'm not certain that was what you wanted to do. If it was, it worked, but I think your main character was at least a little bit upset. She didn't even meet him to politely turn him down. I understand why she bailed, of course, just not sure that would put her in a light mood.

Line-by-line and Suggestions:

Para. 7 Ln. 1 - Consider a comma after "need it."
Para. 9 Ln. 3 - Long sentence. It also ends in a question. Perhaps rework it that way. "What was he thinking with those tight jeans?!"

Overall - Not bad at all technically. Nothing was incorrect, those were just my suggestions.

Adherence to Contest Rules: No problem here that I see. I'm not sure of the prompt, but the word count is under the 300 allotted.

Overall Opinion: I did enjoy it. It was kind of fast, down and dirty! Sorry this review took so long, I've been in bed sick. At least it's not the virus!


Writing On!

Mastiff *Dog2*

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2
2
Review of Time For Regrets  
Review by Mastiff
In affiliation with The WDC Angel Army  
Rated: 13+ | N/A (Review only item.)
Hello there,

It's Mastiff, and I'll be taking a look at your work today. I'm not a good poet, I am still learning about poetry. So take everything I say with a grain of salt, or a winter bag of it, knowing these are just my thoughts. I won't do much as far as technical corrections unless I see something that really sticks out, because the rules are just so different. Thanks for sharing your writing!


Why I chose it: I had the good fortune of posting after you in I Write 2020. I don't review much poetry, but I enjoyed reading this one.

How it made me feel: Probably about the same as you felt writing it. It's about something that we are all facing, together and apart. I hadn't heard "Boomer remover" before, but it sounds about right. Even so, it's still killing anyone without regard to much, except people with certain conditions.

Points I thought you made: This is a scary time for everyone, and you've really caught the essence of it. It does seem like several of the lines you have penned are very personal, too. It's affecting all of us, but not everyone is taking it the same.

Anything Technical: I think capitalizing the first line in the last stanza would be appropriate, even though it almost looks as if you meant to make a statement by not doing it. I'm just not sure exactly what it is...

Adherence to Contest Rules: The line count is fine and properly noted. This piece seems to be free form and allowed by the contest. It does read a bit like prose, though. I know I got nicked for that once in a contest.

Overall Opinion: You move through a timeline in the poem, and I like the way you went about it. It seems many people, myself included, have been writing about this pandemic. I believe what you've created here is a very good representation of all the work that we've done.

Thanks again, and happy writing!

Mastiff *Dog2*


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3
3
Review by Mastiff
In affiliation with The WDC Angel Army  
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
Hello,

It's Mastiff and I'll be reviewing your piece. These are just my thoughts and forgive me if I ramble, and realize I make just as many mistakes as anyone else. Thank you for sharing your writing, and I hope this is helpful!

Title: It works. You don't give too much away, but still guve the gist of the piece. It may not work as a big draw, but not all titles do that.

Initial Reaction: It seemed non-fiction right from the start! But it was interesting, so I would have kept reading in any case.

Setting: There wasn't too much to really say about the setting, here. It just wasn't that kind of a story. But one can certainly read the frustration you were feeling.

Character Development: Well, it's all about one person for the most part. Anyone else mentioned is just kind of an offstage character or part of the big machine. You probably could have added a little depth here, I know I would have liked to read it.

Plot: Simple and to the point. I certainly can relate to how finding a job can be very frustration!

Ending: It seems like you are still upbeat, and hopeful for that lucky day. I'm hopeful for you as well.

Line-by-line and Suggestions:

Overall - I didn't find a thing!

Adherence to Contest Rules: I didn't see any dialogue, and you were well under the 700 words limit, so it seems good to me.

Overall Opinion: It was an interesting glimpse into you life (Or whomever you were describing), and it read well. I'm certainly pulling for you!


Write On!

Mastiff *Dog2*

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4
4
Review of First meeting.  
Review by Mastiff
In affiliation with The WDC Angel Army  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hello,

It's Mastiff and I'll be reviewing your piece. These are just my thoughts and forgive me if I ramble, and realize I make just as many mistakes as anyone else. Thank you for sharing your writing, and I hope this is helpful!

Title: It doesn't give too much away, but it may not give quite enough description. You might consider adding in a descriptive word that hints at the type of meeting.

Initial Reaction: I was hooked fairly quickly, so it was well written from the start. You knew almost immediately what the whole thing was about, even though we weren't sure what we'd find when we got there. The subtitle made me curious, too. Aside from WDC, they are rarely used. I find that a shame.

Setting: The cafe is well set up. You could have added a few visuals, but it was easy enough to picture that kind of establishment without getting down to the color of the tablecloths.

Character Development: Also quite well done. You get a sense of both of them from each other's eyes. You could add a few more visual details, but I didn't particularly need them. Very nice touch with the sense of smell, too.

Plot: I liked it. I think anyone reading it will know she doesn't like the man! Perhaps the only thing missing is that he never references the phone call she gets to steal away from him. Perhaps it was unimportant to him, as he doesn't see it as the set up "getaway." Or, maybe you didn't want to give it away!

Ending: It really gives it some punch. Especially since he's obviously oblivious to it. You could mention it subtly in his rendition of the meeting without giving it away, but it would be a challenge.

Line-by-line and Suggestions:

Para. 2 Ln. 3 - I'll bet you meant to add a line to create a new paragraph here. Same on paragraphs four and eight.
Para. 6 Ln. 1 - Consider a period after minutes and a new sentence. It's long as written, and that would be a natural break.
Para. 7 Ln. 2 - The point is good, but it's a bit clunky. Instead of "I suppose that to lose" consider just "that losing."


Overall - Well written! I found very little, and I'm a hard marker.

Adherence to Contest Rules: I'm not sure if this is a contest entry, but it would fit in the No Dialogue contest. That's saying something for a story about the first meeting between two people!

Overall Opinion: An interesting way to tell a tale. I had a sense of what was coming, but it was still fun to read. It wasn't perhaps a laugh out loud pice, but definitely a smile or a grin. It was the way I prefer my martinis... dry! *Smile*


Writing On!

Mastiff *Dog2*

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5
5
for entry "In the Cold
Review by Mastiff
In affiliation with The WDC Angel Army  
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Hello there,

It's Mastiff, and I'll be taking a look at your work today. I'm not a good poet and am still learning about poetry. So take everything I say with a grain of salt, or a winter bag of it, knowing these are just my thoughts. I won't do much as far as technical corrections unless I see something that really sticks out, because the rules are just so different. Thanks for sharing your writing!


Why I chose it: Obviously I posted after you in I Write 2020. But it was an interesting piece. I know you are a poet, so it's a tad intimidating to review your work!

How it made me feel: Cold. But there was something else there. I took the last two lines kind of personally. I'm moving 2000 miles away to take a job after being unemployed since early November, so it's been a long cold spell. Perhaps this is my thaw.

Points I thought you made: I think you mixed the icy winter with the promise of spring quite well, and that might have been what you were attempting to accomplish. If it was, you did it well.

Anything Technical: I usually have to really read up on the type of poetry here to make any critique, but this is free verse. It would be hard to find much wrong with such freedom.

Adherence to Contest Rules: I went to look at the picture, and to me, you really nailed it.

Overall Opinion: It was a very nice read for all the reasons I've mentioned. I enjoy reading poetry now and again, I'm just not very good at writing it! *Smile*

Thanks again, and happy writing!

Mastiff *Dog2*


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6
6
Review of SPRING LOVE  
Review by Mastiff
In affiliation with The WDC Angel Army  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hello there,

It's Mastiff, and I'll be taking a look at your work today. I'm not a good poet, I am still learning about poetry. So take everything I say with a grain of salt, or a winter bag of it, knowing these are just my thoughts. I won't do much as far as technical corrections unless I see something that really sticks out, because the rules are just so different. Thanks for sharing your writing!


Why I chose it: Clearly I posted after you in I Write 2020. I'm not a real poetry review person, but I like to think I'm getting better at it!

How it made me feel: It sounded like spring was just around the corner, and that's always a good feeling for me. I'll bet many people see lots of love in this poem as well, but it didn't really speak to me quite like that, even though I could see it. In all, it was a good feeling.

Points I thought you made: You have one line that, at first, doesn't seem to quite fit. It's the "symbol of peace." At first, I wondered about it, but then it made sense to me. Peace and love is a great combination, even though you just touched on it, it's represented. I liked that.

Anything Technical: At first I wondered about repeating "locked in love" and "gentle coos." But after reading it a couple of times, it really grew on me. Of course, in free verse, it would be fairly difficult to find technical issues! *Smile*

Adherence to Contest Rules: I assume the last picture was of doves because they don't keep the old ones. Unless that isn't the case, everything looks fine to me.

Overall Opinion: I enjoyed it quite a bit, and liked how you formatted with the five by three. I really don't read much poetry, but I do know what I like!

Thanks again, and happy writing!

Mastiff *Dog2*


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7
7
Review of The Love Drug  
Review by Mastiff
In affiliation with The WDC Angel Army  
Rated: E | (3.5)
Hello,

My name is Mastiff and I'll be reviewing your piece. These are just my thoughts and forgive me if I ramble, and realize I make just as many mistakes as anyone else. Thank you for sharing your writing, and I hope this is helpful!

Title: The title is very enticing. It's one of those that you aren't sure where you're headed, but you want to go. I would, though, be more careful with the subtitle. It gives away too much, especially in a short piece. I would probably make it more cryptic.

Initial Reaction: It was enough to make me want to keep reading, and that's what you want to accomplish. This is part of I Write 2020, so I would have in any case, but I may have reviewed it anyway as well.

Setting: It's hard to add a setting in a dialogue only story. It's not impossible, it just has to be told by the people speaking. You give a few glimpses, like a crowd and a float, but we're left wondering if they are at some kind of circus or parade. I think you could push this aspect a little harder and give readers a better picture of the surroundings.

Character Development: It's a little easier here, but still needs more description. It's short, so there isn't a lot of room to add much, but some small additions could make it pop.

Plot: It's unusual. There are some spots that you could smooth out to make it flow easier. In fact, a few more line breaks, particularly where Phil disappears, might help. It was almost like shifting gears without a clutch.

Ending: An interesting, but odd, turn of events. I certainly didn't expect the girl to be in a coma.

Line-by-line and Suggestions:

Para. 1 Ln. 6 - I'd have probably used a question mark instead of ellipsis.
Para. 1 Ln. 8 - I think you want "what" instead of "where."
Para. 1 Ln. 9 - I use ellipsis quite a bit in dialogue as well, but it's not needed here.
Para. 1 Ln. 10 - Comma after "months."
Para. 1 Ln. 12 - Consider moving the "so" to the spot just before "addicted."
Para. 1 Ln. 20 - I have no idea what the "Whoof" is all about. If it's Phil disappearing, you need something more suitable.
Para. 1 Ln. 21 - Try something like, "Phil?! Where did you go? And... who the heck are you?!"
Para. 1 Ln. 27 - Using all caps is a bad way to emphasize. Use italics instead. Italicize "everybody" as well for even more emphasis.
Para. 2 Ln. 2 - Have the doctor use a name so we know who is in the room with him.

Overall - You have a little work to do, but it's not too bad.

Adherence to Contest Rules: I'm thinking this might have been an entry into The Dialogue 500. If it was, you seem to have accomplished the goal. However, when you use dialogue, you really need to put all of it in quotes. If it didn't have to be all talk, you probably missed several opportunities to beef up the story. Also, always read the lines to yourself. A few sound a little stilted, and not how people in a conversation would actually talk.

Overall Opinion: I'd enjoy seeing it a little longer to add in some setting work and more character development, and also using more than dialogue, which would help with that as well. It has potential if you ever want to expand it. *Smile*


Write On!

Mastiff *Dog2*

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8
8
Review of Dear me  
Review by Mastiff
In affiliation with The WDC Angel Army  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hello,

I'm Mastiff, and I'm going to review your work! I'm just an amateur, so take it all with a grain of salt, as it's just my opinions. Thank you for sharing your writing, and I appreciate being able to read it.


*Vignette5*First impression:
I realized pretty quickly you were having a rough go of it. So I was very interested in what you were going to do about it.

*Vignette5*Things That Might Make It Better:
I think you need to edit your paragraphs. Adding spaces after your opener and between a few paragraphs would make it much easier to read.

*Vignette5*Mechanics:

Para. 5 Ln. 1 - Need a comma after "commitmemnt."
Para. 6 Ln. 1 - Either make two sentences by using a period instead of a comma. Or, add a conjunction.
Para. 7 Ln. 1 - Need a comma after "weeks."
Para. 8 Ln. 1 - Need a comma after "past." Might add a conjunction after your comma as well.

Overall - Not bad. Just some minor edits.

*Vignette5*Things I Like:
I very much enjoyed the goals you've set for both your life and your writing. I think you'll find that I Write is kind of daunting, but is incredibly fulfilling. I know it was for me last year! I'm determined to do it again.

*Vignette5*Adherence to Contest Rules:
It all looks fine to me... Of course, you forgot to sign it! *Smile*

*Vignette5* Overall Opinion
It's a good job. For some reason, I've found it to be both a pleasurable and deceivingly difficult item to write. It takes some serious, no joke, introspection for it to really help you. That takes guts, and I think you dug deep and put it out there. May you achieve everything you set out to accomplish!

Mastiff *Dog2*

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9
9
Review by Mastiff
In affiliation with The WDC Angel Army  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hello there,

It's Mastiff, and I'll be taking a look at your work today. I'm not a good poet and am still learning about poetry. So take everything I say with a grain of salt, or a winter bag of it, knowing these are just my thoughts. I won't do much as far as technical corrections unless I see something that really sticks out, because the rules are just so different. Thanks for sharing your writing!



Why I chose it: I posted after you on I Write 2020! It looks very interesting, though, both of them. So if I'd have seen it elsewhere, I may have reviewed it anyway. Of course, reviewing your work is a little bit intimidating, knowing you excel at poetry and I don't.

How it made me feel: Which one? *Smile* They have some elements that are the same, yet they are very different. The first is tentative and troubled, while the second is bold and fearless. They certainly work well as bookends!

Points I thought you made: First, that no one can just write at the drop of the hat, and sometimes, inspiration eludes us. (I did look up "bark beetle.") And secondly, when it does hit, it can be pretty awesome!

Anything Technical:

Line - 1 (First poem) I don't think you need to capitalize on "inspiration."

Adherence to Contest Rules: It looked good to me. Since you created it, I assume you know better than I do if you met the standard.

Overall Opinion: I enjoyed reading it and learning yet another form of poetry. On a personal note, when I was quite young, we used to visit Waldon Pond often. I had no idea how significant it was, but the quiet amazed me even then... Some day I'd love to visit as an adult.

Thanks again, and happy writing!

Mastiff *Dog2*


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10
10
Review by Mastiff
In affiliation with The WDC Angel Army  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hello,

My name is Mastiff and I'll be reviewing your piece. These are just my thoughts and forgive me if I ramble, and realize I make just as many mistakes as anyone else. Thank you for sharing your writing, and I hope this is helpful!

Title: I had to laugh. As soon as you say something like that, it's sure to be worse. So, I'd say it fits the story to perfection. It's would be a decent reader draw, but even though I do it as well, sometimes using the subtitle will draw even more people. Consider a dropnote or popnote to add the contest rules.

Initial Reaction: I generally read a bit, then decide if I'm going to review. This is part of I Write 2020, so it's not an option. But you had me at man cave, and then add in the craft room? Oh my, did those hit home! I enjoy flash fiction, so I most likely would have done it anyway, but still...

Setting: I know it's very hard to set a piece with a short word count, but do think about the five senses. I say this as much to remind myself as anything, but it really helps create the space if you can manage it.

Character Development: Are they young or older? What do they look like? Yes, it's only 300 words, but try and fit in some descriptors of the people in your story. A little goes a long way in that regard!

Plot: It's a new take on an old theme, really. Listen to The Bickersons someday, and you'll realize couples arguing over stuff isn't really new. However, the "man cave" and the new version of the craft room, the "she shed" are certainly of late.

Ending: Whups! A little too late! As I said, as soon as you say what you did in the title... your character tempted fate! And you know how she can be!

Line-by-line and Suggestions:

Para. 2 Ln. 2 - The hyphen is okay, but in a conversation, a period would work just as well.
Para. 7 Ln. 1 - Consider dropping the second "at work." Ending after "week" might make for a better flow.

Overall - Not bad! Very good technically!

Adherence to Contest Rules: Everything looks fine, almost... but even though it's not required, a word count is nice. Not only for the contest but to anyone reviewing the work. I did my own and it was 301. I just like to know because it factors in how much room you might have to add to the story.

Overall Opinion: It was a fun read, especially since it hit so close to home. Of course, I'm not sure the door to the craft room can still open it's so packed with stuff!


Write On!

Mastiff *Dog2*

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11
11
Review by Mastiff
In affiliation with I Write  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hello there,

It's Mastiff, and I'll be taking a look at your work today. I'm not a good poet, am still learning about poetry. So take everything I say with a grain of salt, or a winter bag of it, knowing these are just my thoughts. I won't do much as far as technical corrections, unless I see something that really sticks out, because the rules are just so different. Thanks for sharing your writing!


Why I chose it: It's part of I Write! Normally, I probably wouldn't review poetry from someone so well versed in poetry! Pun intended. *Smile*

How it made me feel: I know this is meant to be a happy piece, but it made me sad in a couple of ways. My kids are grown, and we might have a nice meal, we don't really do much for the season anymore. Also, with money tight, I can't even buy everyone nice gifts. So, the second stanza really hit home. Ah well, at least the religious angle reminded me of the Christmas mornings of my youth.

Points I thought you made: I thing you were saying it is often a time of joy, but not for everyone, and people should be reminded to be kind, because of that fact.

Anything Technical: I read through the notes, and I couldn't find a thing.

Adherence to Contest Rules: No problems here. After all, it "prompt free for all poetic styles."

Overall Opinion: It sent me through a range of emotions in three stanzas, so I'd have to say I enjoyed it.

Thanks again, and happy writing!

Mastiff *Dog2*

12
12
Review by Mastiff
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hello there,

It's Mastiff, and I'll be taking a look at your work today. I'm not a good poet, am still learning about poetry. So take everything I say with a grain of salt, or a winter bag of it, knowing these are just my thoughts. I won't do much as far as technical corrections, unless I see something that really sticks out, because the rules are just so different. Thanks for sharing your writing!


Why I chose it: Clearly, I posted after you in I Write. Oddly, I just wrote one of these myself as part of Rising Stars. Sorry it's taken so long to get this review done, but it's been pretty wild around here.

How it made me feel: I almost wish I'd done this yesterday! It was a wonderful read, and it made me smile remembering how nice it was with family. I'm agnostic, so I'm not really a god person, but it's one of those times you give thanks to whatever higher power you choose.

Points I thought you made: Well, clearly this was about Thanksgiving. But I must say, that had to be one heck of a spread! A bounty indeed. Wish I'd been able to see it through more than words.

Anything Technical: Last line, just one "s" on his.

Adherence to Contest Rules: It looks good to me. Kind of hard to mess up this type of poem! *Smile*

Overall Opinion: I enjoyed it. I covered everything I love to eat!

Thanks again, and happy writing!

Mastiff *Dog2*


13
13
Review by Mastiff
In affiliation with I Write  
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
Hello,

I'm Mastiff, and I'm going to review your work! I'm just an amateur, so take it all with a grain of salt, as it's just my opinions. Thank you for sharing your writing, and I appreciate being able to read it.


*Vignette5*First impression:
At first I didn't quite get it, but then I read the contest rules and it made sense. I got the references, but I didn't know the reason for them. An interesting little piece!

*Vignette5*Things That Might Make It Better:
I think you might have used a bit more of your 300 word count to tie everything up. It's fine as it stands, but it would be nice to know who is saying what.

*Vignette5*Mechanics:

Para. 1 Ln. 2 - I'd put the second sentence on it's own line, and and a close parenthesis.
Para. 2 Ln. All - I think this is also someone speaking, so it needs quotes. I think this goes for all the next paragraphs.
Para. 5 Ln. 1 - I think you want a comma after "rescued" and "princess."

Overall - Not too bad, just needs a little bit of editing.

*Vignette5*Things I Like:
It was a good selection of fairy tales that really do have a common thread.

*Vignette5*Adherence to Contest Rules:
It looks like you covered all of the items well. Good work! *Smile*

*Vignette5* Overall Opinion
A very unusual contest, and you handled it well. Tying four fairy tales together in such a short piece isn't an easy task!

Mastiff *Dog2*




14
14
Review by Mastiff
In affiliation with The WDC Angel Army  
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
Hello,

Hi, it's Mastiff and I'll be reviewing your piece. These are just my thoughts and forgive me if I ramble, and realize I make just as many mistakes as anyone else. Thank you for sharing your writing, and I hope this is helpful!

Title: It's straight and to the point. It would be especially intriguing if a potential reader didn't know the contest you were entering.

Initial Reaction: I generally read in a couple paragraphs, then decide to continue and review. In this case, I found the dialogue interesting enough to continue. Especially since I kind of knew this was personal.

Setting: It's well done, particularly since it's all done through the "eyes" and interaction of the items themselves. Of course, the inside of a camper isn't too difficult for the majority of us to imagine.

Character Development: Also well done. We not only get to know the clothespins, but they have very different attitudes on their lot in life. It's kind of odd, in that you're meaning to bring an inanimate object to life, but your writing shows how much you rely on them. I think this is the first time I've reviewed this contest, so it was fun to see them develop.

Plot: It was certainly a cute way to approach the contest. It wasn't so much of a plot, as it was an interesting interaction between two clothespins.

Ending: Ending with a "moral to the story" was an excellent choice. In fact, many of us could learn a thing or two from your clothespins. It added a nice punch to the piece.

Line-by-line and Suggestions:

Para. 2 Ln. 2 - Generally, it's after all, not one word.
Para. 5 Ln. 1 - Consider a comma after "help."
Para. 7 Ln. 1 - Typo... "Yeah" is what you want.
Para. 9 Ln. 1 - No need for extra exclamation points.
Para. 11 Ln. 2 - Rethink the colon. I bet an ellipsis would suit you better.

Overall - Two things. First, most normal dialogue uses contractions. Technically correct, yes, but if you say it out loud it sounds stilted. Second, it's almost never good to use all capitals for emphasis. Both times would be better suited to italics.

Adherence to Contest Rules: All looks fine!

Overall Opinion: I enjoyed reading it quite a bit, and I hope my review helped. Most don't go back and edit old contest entries, but I try and be helpful for future writing as well.


Writing On!

Mastiff *Dog2*

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15
15
Review of Pretty Ugly Words  
Review by Mastiff
In affiliation with I Write  
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
Hello there,

It's Mastiff, and I'll be taking a look at your work today. I'm not a good poet, am still learning about poetry. So take everything I say with a grain of salt, or a winter bag of it, knowing these are just my thoughts. I won't do much as far as technical corrections, unless I see something that really sticks out, because the rules are just so different. Thanks for sharing your writing!


Why I chose it: Clearly I posted next in I Write 2019, but I like to think I'm getting a little better at poetry reviewing, and even if I wanted to cherry pick, many of ours writers are poetry people.

How it made me feel: I laughed! That's a rare thing these days, so congratulations. Even if you hadn't used Halloween, it would have been clear through the candy corn and color use.

Points I thought you made: A joke. I hadn't heard of the Little Willie form of poetry, I am always amazed how many are out there. Also, don't eat too much candy or go to an old hag's door!

Anything Technical: If anything, you might want to work on the four stresses per line. It seemed to me you may have had more than four on at least one line.

Adherence to Contest Rules: Aside from the accentual (#2), it looked fine. And that's just my opinion, really. I'm certainly not the expert here...

Overall Opinion: It was a quick easy read that was lighthearted, even with a busted spleen! *Smile*

Thanks again, and happy writing!

Mastiff *Dog2*


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16
16
Review of I Write in 2019  
Review by Mastiff
Rated: E | (5.0)
Because this contest has been awesome!
17
17
for entry "~ The Disaster ~
Review by Mastiff
In affiliation with The WDC Angel Army  
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
Hello,
It's Mastiff and I'll be reviewing your piece. These are just my thoughts and forgive me if I ramble, and realize I make just as many mistakes as anyone else. Thank you for sharing your writing, and I hope this is helpful!

Title: I suppose I'm up for a disaster story anytime, so it made me want to see what happened. Not sure what to make of the ellipsis, but it seems fine to me.

Initial Reaction: I always read a bit, then decide if I'm going to continue and review. At least, when it's not compulsory at I write! Now I had to wonder what kind of disaster could happen at a birthday party. I know you couldn't use the word, but I can! *Smile*

Setting: In such a short piece, it's difficult to set the scene, but you had enough for a reader to get a good feel for where we're located. At least, anyone who's been in the south. People who haven't would need much more than you could provide in a short story.

Character Development: If you ever lengthen the story, this would be a good place for development. I'd have liked to have "seen" your people with some description. I got a feel for them through their actions, but couldn't visualize them.

Plot: It's cute, and certainly not what I expected. Maybe it should have been Kitchen Disaster! It tells the tale front start to finish, and flows well.

Ending: It wasn't what I expected, that's for certain. It could have even worked better if you had foreshadowed the "giant hole" earlier when you mention the rented cabin.

Line-by-line and Suggestions:

Para. 1 Ln. 1 - I think you need a comma after "day."
Para. 2 Ln. 3 - A comma after "more." Also, you should avoid ending a sentence with a preposition, even if it's not as big a deal these days.
Para. 5 Ln. 3 - I would have incorporated the text in parenthesis into the sentence, but that's just me.
Para. 6 Ln. 1 - Comma after "baker."
Para. 9 Ln. 1 - Comma after "reveal."
Para. 11 Ln. 2 - I think you want "chagrin" there.
Para. 14 Ln. 2 - Computer, or "leetspeak", still isn't a very acceptable unless you're writing about computers or an internet story.

Overall - Not too bad, mostly just punctuation. I'm sure a quick edit could fix those right up.

Adherence to Contest Rules: No problems here, I didn't see one naughty word.

Overall Opinion: It was an easy read, and I liked it. I do think it could be better if you added more content.


Write On!

Mastiff *Dog2*

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18
18
Review of Origin  
Review by Mastiff
In affiliation with The WDC Angel Army  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hello,

I'm Mastiff, and I'm going to review your work! I'm just an amateur, so take it all with a grain of salt, as it's just my opinions. Thank you for sharing your writing, and I appreciate being able to read it.


*Vignette5*First impression:
I must say, you got me hooked from the start. The title doesn't give much. In fact, I never assumed it was a name. You don't always get the subtitle, so the title and the first few lines might be all you get. You did a fine job with the opening, so good job. One thing I'd mention, it's easy to add a cover picture, and they have plenty of stock items here. Use them, they can also draw people into your tale.

*Vignette5*Things That Might Make It Better:
An opening chapter is a good place to let us "see" your character(s), and here is no different. A nice spot could be where you describe the black gloves. If you made him dark in hair and features, for example, we can start to get a mental image for the rest of the story. Since it is a chapter, you have more writing that can fill out the setting and develop more people who will be part of the overall body of work.

*Vignette5*Mechanics:

Para. 2 Ln. 2 - Even though people are more lax about it these days, "with" is a preposition, and it's best not to end a sentence with one. (Next sentence, too.)
Para. 4 Ln. 2 - Same thing. Those should be easy to work with and end them differently.
Para. 6 Ln. 1 - As begins a prepositional phrase, which generally requires a comma. It would be after "beings." Also, I think you missed an "it" in there.
Para. 6 Ln. 2 - Again, same thing. You need a comma after "detective" and another "it." Remove the "from" as well.
Para. 7 Ln. 3 - I do believe "Depending on how you look at it." is a fragment.
Para. 9 Ln. 2 - Another comma after "awhile." Also, I believe you want "mastered."

Overall - Not too bad, really. Punctuation fixes and a solid edit is mostly what you need.

*Vignette5*Things I Like:
I like your writing style in this piece. You seem to have a good lexicon, and it shows. But further, you put them together well. If you do write more chapters, let me know, it would be fun to follow.

*Vignette5* Overall Opinion
Is it the newest plot? Maybe not. But it's not one I've seen explored often, and it looks like you're going to continue the story. It will be interesting to see where you take it! *Smile*

Mastiff *Dog2*

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19
19
Review of Mercy  
Review by Mastiff
In affiliation with The WDC Angel Army  
Rated: 13+ | (3.0)
Hello Mia,

My name is Mastiff and I'll be reviewing your piece. These are just my thoughts and forgive me if I ramble, and realize I make just as many mistakes as anyone else. Thank you for sharing your writing, and I hope this is helpful!

Title: Short and to the point, and you give us more in the sub-title. Just remember you won't always have the latter to bolster the first. Descriptive titles can often draw in readers.

Initial Reaction: I tend to stop after a little bit to decide if I want to review and read on, and you had enough of a hook in the beginning to get me to finish the story and review. That's a good thing. Catching a readers interest in a few lines means you've started off well.

Setting: It's quite short, so it's difficult to add much description. At the end, Emma "found her way into town," so I imagined it in a kind of rural setting. If you work on this more, it wold be a good way to beef it up.

Character Development: The same is true here, even though we certainly understand all the parties on an emotional level. I think knowing their ages, and capturing a snapshot of how they look would be a nice addition to what you've already accomplished.

Plot: I enjoyed it. I think it needs some revisions, additions, and polish, but it's a good start on a story.

Ending: Truthfully, I wanted to know more about what happened to Emma. At times, authors will leave a reading hanging on purpose, but be careful not to do to much of that. I'd enjoy having a few more paragraphs to let me know how it turned out for her.

Line-by-line and Suggestions:

Para. 1 Ln. 7 - This is a fragment, so consider reworking it. Also, you want "me" instead of "I."
Para. 2 Ln. 2 - When doing dialogue, you don't have to be formal. Is it more likely Cole would say, "I have.." or, "I've?" Just a thought.
Para. 3 Ln. 1 - Use a comma after "well."
Para. 3 Ln. 2 - Again, "cannot" is probably not what Emma would say. Replace it with "can't" and it will give better flow.
Para. 8 Ln. 1 - Try it without the "um." It takes away from the exclamatory sentence.
Para. 8 Ln. 3 - In general, all capitals is frowned upon in formal writing, even though they have their place. I'd replace all of them with italics.
Para. 9 Ln. 2&3 - I read your piece twice and have no idea what "comma" or "the demon" mean to the story. You could just pull those two sentences.

Overall - This would be a much easier read if you broke it into paragraphs. Start with separating the narrative from the dialogue.

Overall Opinion: I hope this didn't really happen to you or anyone you know. It was one of those times I want to slap a fictional character. It certainly needs some work, and I tried to give a bit of advice. If you decide to do a rewrite, let me know and I'll be happy to look at it again.


Writing On!

Mastiff *Dog2*

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20
20
for entry "A Gift of Freedom
Review by Mastiff
In affiliation with The WDC Angel Army  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hello,

My name is Mastiff and I'll be reviewing your piece. These are just my thoughts and forgive me if I ramble, and realize I make just as many mistakes as anyone else. Thank you for sharing your writing, and I hope this is helpful!

Title: It works. It's apt, and doesn't give away the story. I clicked on it! *Smile*

Initial Reaction: This is usually where I stop and decide if I'm going to do a review, after a couple paragraphs. It is an I Write 2019 item, but it's an extra review, so I can choose what I wish! I was drawn in enough to continue to read and then review, so good work!

Setting: It does what it needs to do on a short word count. If you ever decide to beef it up, this could be one place to add some description. Not sure if German hospitals differ much from the US, and most readers have been in one, but scene setting is important. The objects are well described, and that is more important to the piece.

Character Development: Again, not bad at all. I think we could "see" them even better with some description of their features. Usually Doctors Without Borders are younger, but not always! A bit more wouldn't hurt.

Plot: It paced along nicely, and was devoid of the hiccups you often find in short fiction pieces. I enjoyed it throughout.

Ending: There was a little mystery left when you finished, and it really made for a strong ending. We don't know exactly how the doctor will be able to use the gift. Will it just be flying like in a dream, or will he eventually control it more? I'd like to believe he can use the gift to visit places he wants to see!

Line-by-line and Suggestions:

Para. 1 Ln. 2 - Consider a comma before the "and."
Para. 6 Ln. 2 - Perhaps a comma before the "but."
Para. 13 Ln. 3 - One more before the "but."

Overall - Not much save a little comma work, so very well done!

Happy Writing!

Mastiff *Dog2*

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21
21
for entry "~ Rosebud backwards ~
Review by Mastiff
In affiliation with I Write  
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
Hello,
It's Mastiff and I'll be reviewing your piece. These are just my thoughts and forgive me if I ramble, and realize I make just as many mistakes as anyone else. Thank you for sharing your writing, and I hope this is helpful!


Title: I'm glad you used the title you did. I'm not sure I'd have ever read the name backwards and realized this fact!

Initial Reaction: This is where I would normally decide if I were going to review or not, but since it's part of I Write 2019, it's kind of mandatory. I think I'd have gone ahead anyway, since I'm big on dog stories, but you caught my attention right away. I had a pitbull mix who was about six months old. One his first vet trip I asked about docking his tail. I remember clearly, and this was in 1985, the veterinarian saying, "Well, he knows he's got a flag, and he likes to fly it." So I didn't have it done. Oh yes, he could slap you around with it or clear a coffee table, no problem!

Setting: There was enough for us to get the idea. You could always buff it up here if you do a re-write. But anyone who has had a similar experience will fill in the blanks easily.

Character Development: The dogs are very easy to picture, but you forget to describe yourself to us! I would have loved to have known more about the dog owner, and it would have invested us into the story even more.

Plot: Of course I loved it, but I'm a sucker for dog stories. It's well told, and I enjoyed it from beginning to the end.

Ending: It's sad. I know about losing dogs, too. My roaming rover used to climb the chain link fence paw over paw. Unfortunately, it ended up costing him more than a strange new home, he was hit by a car. I wrote a whole lot about that dog. I even have an oil portrait of him on the wall next to me!

Line-by-line and Suggestions:

Para. 1 Ln. 3 - Probably need a comma after "and."
Para. 2 Ln. 3 - I'd consider breaking up the sentence into two.
Para. 7 Ln. 2 - A comma after "eat" is probably in order.
Para. 12 Ln. 4 - Comma after "but." It might not hurt to divide this sentence into two as well.
Para. 14 Ln. 1 - You may want to add punctuation to this one.
Para. 18 Ln. 1 - Probably best to break this sentence into two or three. Also, 'til is just fine, but it needs the apostrophe.
Para. 19 Ln. 2 - Comma should be in front of the "but." Also, if it were me, I'd put -- on either side of "having a taste of freedom."
Para. 20 Ln. 1 - Comma after "wide."
Para. 21 Ln. 1 - Comma after "home."

Overall - Be careful beginning too many sentences with a conjunction. You seem to have an affinity for "as" and "after." *Smile*

It was a very nice story, sorry how it ended.

Mastiff *Dog2*

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22
22
Review by Mastiff
In affiliation with The WDC Angel Army  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hello there,

It's Mastiff, and I'll be taking a look at your work today. I'm not a good poet, am still learning about poetry. So take everything I say with a grain of salt, or a winter bag of it, knowing these are just my thoughts. I won't do much as far as technical corrections, unless I see something that really sticks out, because the rules are just so different. Thanks for sharing your writing!


Why I chose it: I really am trying to do more poetry review, I'm doing extra reviews for I Write, and the title caught my eye. I really wasn't sure what to expect, so I was curious.

How it made me feel: Well, I'm glad I read it. It was very relatable on two levels. First, it reminded me of times when I've been so wrung out, all I can think of is bed, and also the times I've been in bed, but sleep eluded me.

Points I thought you made: I think you are speaking about the longing to be in the bed, and sleep will come. The second item I mentioned, not necessarily insomnia, but restless nights. The subtitle suggests the former.

Anything Technical: I'm not sure why you didn't rhyme the second stanza. The first and last are axa, and it would have been easy to create the same scheme in the middle stanza. Perhaps, for example, use "light" singular with "covers tight" instead of "the covers." Just an idea.

Final Thoughts: It's a nice take on "to sleep, perchance to dream." But Hamlet was talking suicide there, and I think you just wanted some rest! *Smile*

Thanks again, and happy writing!

Mastiff *Dog2*


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23
23
Review of Pretty Ugly Words  
for entry "Halloween--Luc Bat
Review by Mastiff
In affiliation with The WDC Angel Army  
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
Hello there,

It's Mastiff, and I'll be taking a look at your work today. I'm not a good poet, am still learning about poetry. So take everything I say with a grain of salt, or a winter bag of it, knowing these are just my thoughts. I won't do much as far as technical corrections, unless I see something that really sticks out, because the rules are just so different. Thanks for sharing your writing!


Why I chose it: Well, I'm going to be doing some extra reviews (Don't know if I'll get 16 or not...), and your piece looked interesting. I used to love Halloween quite a bit, but now I'm old and want them off my lawn! *Smile* Of course, my wife is a witch, so I can't escape.

How it made me feel: It made me remember how much fun I had dressing up as a scarecrow and scaring kids, or putting fluorescent lights in the trees and keying up my ham radio to make them light up with seemingly no power source! Good times.

Points I thought you made: Clearly you were showing how much fun All Hallow's Eve can be, and maybe reminding a few of us to boot. But additionally, the first three lines suggest that just fall in general is a season you enjoy.

Anything Technical: Well, you played a little fast and loose with a couple of the rhymes, but everything else looks fine to me.

Final Thoughts: It was a cute little poem, and another form of poetry I'd never seen. I'm beginning to think it's a barrel that has no bottom!

Thanks again, and happy writing!

Mastiff *Dog2*


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24
24
Review of Pretty Ugly Words  
Review by Mastiff
In affiliation with I Write  
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
Hello there,

It's Mastiff, and I'll be taking a look at your work today. I have to be honest, I'm not a poet, don't know much about poetry, and the rules are much different than other writing. So take everything I say with a grain of salt, or a winter bag of it, knowing these are just my thoughts. I won't do much as far as technical corrections, unless I see something that really sticks out, because the rules are just so different. Thanks for sharing your writing!

Why I chose it: Clearly I posted next on the I Write 2019 contest! I don't know about you, but doing reviews of different types of items, like poetry, has made me a lot more comfortable reviewing them.

How it made me feel: I related to this quite a bit. You really caught the essence of those nights when sleep just will not come. I usually just read, because it's usually some stress item keeping me up. I also felt a little sad for whomever experiences this.

Points I thought you made: I get the overall message is that sleepless nights are awful, but I also came away with that understanding that you simply cannot force natural sleep. The question of where the dreams have gone left me a little curious. Nice take-off on a line from Hamlet, even those his words were a contemplation of suicide. I'm fairly certain that wasn't your intent here.

Anything Technical:

Stanza- 1 Line - 3: Caffeine doesn't really rhyme there, but I'll bet you knew that. *Smile*
Stanza- 2 Line - 5: Same thing, "now" and "allowed" are quite close, though.
Stanza- 2 Line - 5: I tend never to emphasize with all capitals. I know these days it's considered like a shout, but I'm old school I guess. I'd have used italics instead.

All in all, it's a nice piece of work, hitting a subject most of us have dealt with at some point. I've never seen this form before, so it was nice to see something new!

Final Thoughts: I liked how you ended the three stanzas with the same sentence. I assume that's your refrain. Of course, dreams can be a mixed bag. So, be careful what you wish for!

Thanks again, and happy writing!

Mastiff *Dog2*


25
25
Review of Wheel of Fortune  
for entry "September 9, 2019
Review by Mastiff
In affiliation with I Write  
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
Hello,

I'm Mastiff, and I'm going to review your work! I'm just an amateur, so take it all with a grain of salt, as it's just my opinions. Thank you for sharing your writing, and I appreciate being able to read it.

*Vignette5*First impression:
Interesting reading the title and the first line. I had to try and decide if I believe that being mindful is the remedy for all things. It certainly can't hurt, but I'm not sure a real panacea exists!

*Vignette5*Things That Might Make It Better:
I think you could have exchanged "everything" to make the piece work better for you. Perhaps mindfulness is really the path to inner peace, which seems to be where you went after the first line.

*Vignette5*Mechanics:

Ln. 1 - Panacea coupled with everything is somewhat redundant.

Overall - Syllable counter says... 24! It's handy https://syllablecounter.net , but not always accurate!

*Vignette5*Things I Like:
The last line. If I'm correct on what you intended to convey, it would be listening to yourself without preconception or judgement. That's what it said to me. *Smile*

*Vignette5* Final Comments
You conveyed quite a bit in just the 24 syllables, and it made me think. That is always good!

Mastiff *Dog2*




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