*Magnify*
SPONSORED LINKS
Creative fun in
the palm of your hand.
Printed from http://www.writing.com/main/profile/reviews/mblank
Review Requests: OFF
366 Public Reviews Given
Public Reviews
Previous ... -1- 2 3 4 5 6 7 ... Next
1
1
Review of The Blue Apple  
Review by mblank
Rated: E | (5.0)
I really, really like this story! It would make an awesome children's book. The blue apple imagery would be awesome for illustration.

Most of this read perfectly smoothly. The tone was just right, and I love the way you build from the parents to the brother to the climax of the whole crowd of people bickering. Classic.

My only critique is of the last two paragraphs. I think the second to last would be more powerful if you cut out the "but for some reason he was very sad." The reader understands from the rain and the him going home defeated that he's sad, and it's more poignant when only shown.

I like the sentiment of the last paragraph (it's dark for a children's book, but I think that's a good thing. Just look at classic fairy tales). I just think it might benefit from a revisit, to make sure it's completely clear and concise. Just my opinion, of course.

Anyway, thanks so much for the awesome read! I love the metaphor, and I would really encourage you to share this piece :) It's so well written.

Angela


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
2
2
Review by mblank
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
I like the way this one unfolded! Your rich man was deliciously evil and deserved his comeuppance, and I greatly enjoyed the spunk and assertiveness of his foil.

One thought, the first paragraph could be stronger if you showed how wealthy the man was, perhaps by describing his possessions or attitude, rather than simply stating it. You have such good imagery of him later, but I think it would draw the reader in to get these tidbits sooner.

Also, I was wondering how the foil, for lack of a better word, knew of your rich man's secret identity? I would love some elaboration on this!

Anyway, thanks for the read!


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
3
3
Review by mblank
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
Hi Georgina,

This was a very cool story! The strength of your main character made her intriguing, and I enjoyed the friendship between the two women very much. The suspense of the journey was well built and kept me interested throughout. Great work!

If I may offer a bit of criticism, the story really seemed to start at the beginning of chapter one. The prologue, while providing valuable insight into the character's life before the trip, felt a little bit heavy handed. There are enough hints sprinkled through chapter one, especially in the way her friend speaks of her husband, that his behavior is implicit, and as a reader, I feel like allowing the abusive relationship to slowly unfold in this way is more powerful. Of course, this is just one reader's opinion!

Overall, this was a very well done story, and I'm curious to see where your main character's journey takes her. Hopefully it's far away from her horrible husband!

Thanks for the enjoyable read!

mblank


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
4
4
Review by mblank
Rated: 18+ | (5.0)
Hi Royal Eduardo,

This story was great! I loved the narrator/ghost's tone. I'm a firm believer that characters make the story and this one got me hooked instantly. I can definitely see following this character as it torments more Real Housewives type characters :P

The only suggestion I have is to perhaps revisit the third to last paragraph. The second and third sentences felt a little redundant, and I'm not sure what was meant by the fifth (though this may be because I have never seen an episode the Real Housewives, so I may be missing a reference?). This is total nitpicking, but I always like to offer something in the way of criticism. This is awesome, especially as you had to write it so fast for the Cramp. If you do more with the ghost character, I'd love to read it!

Thanks for the story and good luck! :)

mblank


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
5
5
Review of "UNGH!"  
Review by mblank
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Hi Angus!

This was a really fun read. I didn't see the twist coming at all, especially, the second one (trying to avoid a spoiler, here!). I love your dark, twisted imagination.

You did a really good job setting up the tension in the first section, and I felt a compelling need to press forward and see what the issue between the cousins was and where it came from. I feel like it might be strengthened by a little more characterization of Ben and his wife in the first paragraph, so we know what kind of people they are a little more clearly, and can "see" his reaction to his wife's meddlesome phone call. The argument which follows is well done and shows the characters very well. My only suggestion here is maybe add a little setting? This might draw the reader even deeper into their world.

I love the descriptions of Ben's halted motions as the reality of his situation is setting in. Very compelling and cool.

One thing that kind of struck me is the insinuation concerning Tracy and Ben's earlier interaction. It makes me wonder how Mike still could have married her? It can totally have happened, but I feel like some kind of qualification or something might smooth over this aspect of the story for your reader. Just one reader's opinion, of course.

Thanks for the intriguing read! Your stories never disappoint :) I'm sure you'll be hearing from me again soon!

mblank
6
6
Review of Liquid Sugar  
Review by mblank
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Hi CCD,

I saw your request for a review and enjoyed your story very much, so I figured I'd offer a few thoughts. I hope you'll remember that this is the opinion of one reader and I hope you'll use what works and disregard the rest.

I liked the painting of the opposite life-styles of the two brothers, and the bomb you dropped at the end certainly served to cast a whole new light on your tale, making the whole scene more interesting and disturbing. And the closing image was lovely. However, I felt that the opposition between family and riches may have been a bit overplayed.

For instance, take Sarah. To me, she seemed pretty rude and arrogant. You have Clyde try to explain away her behavior, saying she respects Jamie, but she sure doesn't seem to. I wouldn't speak that way to anyone I even liked, let alone respected. Her irritation with Jamie's lifestyle seems laid on pretty thick, and again, she seems far more rude than "impatient." Perhaps consider thinking more about why she hates Jamie's lifestyle so much, because as a reader, I found her pointlessly obnoxious and meddlesome.

Jamie also seems like quite the braggart. This story is about his life choices and what he values, but he's too impressed with himself for it to be wholly believable to me. Clyde was a very well-rounded character, and I feel like his depth made the story interesting and accessible.

Again, I enjoyed this story and my thoughts about character are merely suggestions which I feel may help to deepen the piece as a whole. My last bit of criticism is on a technical issue. When writing dialogue, the convention is to insert a comma before the quotes if you're going to use a dialog tag. For example:

"She isn't man...really" insisted Clyde.

Should be:

"She isn't man...really," insisted Clyde.

Thanks for sharing this piece. I enjoyed the plot, especially the surprise ending, and am glad to have had a chance to read it. I hope my comments were helpful to you.

mblank


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
7
7
Review by mblank
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Aw, I really liked this! I'm glad you went ahead and finished it. The tone is a lot of fun and shows a lot about the times, and I like the lingo you made up for your story. And Ashley is freaking adorable.

This story makes me wonder if Elizabeth has kids? Troublesome kids that make you feel more than a hundred years older than them? lol

My only crit is that there's POV shift from Elizabeth to Grand Pa near the beginning, but that can easily be remedied with a break if you choose.

This was definitely one of those "fast reads." The language was fun and rhythmic, and the imagery was vibrant. I got a really good feel for the characters and their emotions. Overall, awesome story. I love your sci-fi. Now I want another story...


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
8
8
Review of Equals?  
Review by mblank
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
Port Raid Sig

Hi blue jellybaby,

I'm back for my third and final review. I'd like to start by saying I've thoroughly enjoyed my tour of your port. You've got a lot of really cool stories and poems, and I'm glad to have had the chance to read your work. For this last review, I've chosen one of your poems, despite the fact that I don't normally review poetry. So in this review especially, please take my comments with a grain of salt (or maybe the whole shaker).

I read a few of your poems, and chose this one because it spoke to me. The content is very easy to relate to (probably for too many people), and the style of the poem makes it deeply felt by the reader. Especially in the first three paragraphs, the imagery is so strong and powerful. I was immediately hooked. And the ending is so heartening and strong. I loved it.

My only criticism is that you set a very definite meter in the first two stanzas. I enjoyed the rhythm very much. But then you began to deviate, by little bits at first, then more through the middle of the poem into the end. As a reader, I felt like this poem could be strengthen if you kept to the original meter, because it was so driving. It worked well with the emotion and propelled me through the poem. After I read, I went through and counted syllables, and noticed my favorite stanzas all conformed to the first two.

Overall, this was a very powerful piece, and I enjoyed it and your other poems very much. You have a knack for imagery, and you're really good at getting to the meat of the emotion and bringing it across to your reader. Thanks again for sharing your work. I'm glad to have had the chance to read this piece. It's just so strong, and the narrator is so strong. It's inspiring. Again, I hope my comments have been helpful and that you've enjoyed your mini port raid!

mblank


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
9
9
Review by mblank
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Hi blue jellybaby,

I've selected you to be my second victim in the Power Reviewers mini-port raid challenge! I hope you enjoy the reviews that follow, and that you'll bear in mind these are the opinions of one reader, and I hope you'll use what works and disregard the rest.

I loved the tone of the narrator in this story. She's got a humorous voice that drew me in immediately and made me want to learn more about her supposedly irrational fear. (Seemed pretty rational to me by the end of the story!) She's very relatable and entertaining. I'd definitely read more of her yarns.

I'd like to offer some thoughts about the first paragraph. You begin by completing the sentence started in your summary, which kind of threw me off. It necessitates beginning the story with a fragment, which felt a little weird to me as a reader. Other than that, I love the conversational tone here. It's intriguing, and it remains consistent through the rest of the story. Very well done.

In the second paragraph, your narrator states that she's "not so sure" her fear is irrational. This felt a little misleading to me by the end of the story, since, if she believes her tale, she DEFINITELY should be afraid of the toilet. (I'd be digging holes in the ground from there on out.)

I loved all the description in the third paragraph. The familiar gripes about public restrooms were fun, and written with enough wit to be a truly enjoyable meandering.

The whole story of the one fateful day she learned to fear toilets is also really well done. I love the descriptions of her discomfort, her internal monologue, and, of course, the evil toilet. This was all incredibly humorous and very well written. I appreciate having had the chance to read this story, and hope you have found my comments helpful.

mblank


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
10
10
Review of Nothing  
Review by mblank
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Port Raid Sig

Hi Angus,

I'm back for review number two of your port raid. Remember the standard disclaimer *Wink*

Congrats on getting this piece published! It truly deserved it. Very chilling and thought-provoking. It highlights the discomfort of just being. Whether being a human or being sentient or whatever, it brings to the forefront a very familiar feeling and makes it so strong it chills the reader. Great imagery, once again. Your style translates well to poetry, which I admire. It's definitely not a talent I have.

I'd like to make a couple of comments, and hate to give them to a published piece, but I wanted to review this poem because I liked it so much, and I hate to give a review without giving any criticism, so here goes. I hope you'll take my thoughts in the spirit in which they are intended, because this poem is excellent as it is. And these are just my nit-picky little thoughts.

The first thing that struck me was the second line. It's a lot longer than any other in the poem, and while the imagery is beautiful, I feel like this line can be strengthened by cutting a few adjectives (specifically "crisp dark shadows" and "bright light" feel a bit too wordy.).

But nothing is something. - Concerning this line, you refer to nothing as a specific nothing in most of the other areas of your poem. Here, you slip into a general nothing, which I felt lessened the impact. I think changing it to "But the nothing is something," would keep things a bit more cohesive.

The square eyes of the buildings are dark. - Love this line. To me, it's a completely new image, and I never come across those, so congrats on that.

I love the simplicity of the last line, and the philosophical meanderings scattered through the poem. It's a really well done piece, and I'm glad to have had the chance to have read it. I'm really enjoying my tour through your port so far, and am glad I chose to raid you! Once again, I hope my comments are helpful.

mblank


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
11
11
Review by mblank
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Hi Mitchopolis,

I'm finally here to return your review. Sorry it took me so long, but the holidays had me crazy and then I just plain forgot. The old mind gets wonky sometimes.

I really liked Crenshaw! He's a great character. My favorite part of the story was when he looked at the young boy and thought about how he could take him. That made me laugh, and made the character's crotchety humor come to life. It was also really nice to see the generation gap close for once, and to show the mingling of different ages, which you don't see in a lot of fiction, especially among unrelated individuals. The juxtapositions of the old man's wackiness and the bonding with the boys made this story a feel-good piece that didn't have a hint of the usual corniness such a story would typically be plagued by. Once again, I have to say, I really like your style.

I'd like to offer the following comments, but please bear in mind these are the opinions of one reader, and I hope you'll use what works and disregard the rest.

Since this was set in a park (presumably public), I found myself wondering why Crenshaw was yelling at the boys for just sitting beneath a tree, and why no one was bothered by the crazy man who was just sitting there, yelling at harmless, nice kids. If they were being rowdy, I could see him behaving that way and not being bothered. But as it was, I almost expected a patrolman to come cart the man off to a sanitarium for a minute. Which was part of his charm, I guess, but as a reader, it did give me pause.

Another thing that caught my eye was the boy's age. It's less distracting, and more of the convention, when numbers are written out in fiction.

Other than that, I have nothing to offer. Crenshaw was fantastic. I loved the wiggling fingers with the story about the bullet wound, and "Why can't I remember Gary's name?" and pretty much everything else about the old coot. Thanks for sharing your story! I hope my comments are helpful to you. Thanks again for your earlier review.

mblank


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
12
12
Review of A Helping Hand  
Review by mblank
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Hi Charlie,

I found your story on the review request page and decided to check it out and return your review. I'm glad I did! This was a really compelling tale, and I very much enjoyed the narrator's tone. The speech was reminiscent of an old detective novel, but modernized enough to be interesting in its own right. I felt pretty immediately drawn to Rob, and the stakes of your tale had me riveted the whole time. Really nicely done!

I'd like to offer the following criticisms, but please bear in mind these are the opinions of one reader, and I hope you'll use what works and disregard the rest.

I liked your first sentence, but the second one didn't do much to add to the sentiment expressed in the first. It felt like a reiteration and seemed to only slow down the prose. I feel like launching right into the list of what went wrong, which is very strong, would draw your reader in faster and make for a more compelling beginning.

the kid wasn’t mine, in fact, I was infertile. - This is a bit of a run on. A period before in fact would make it flow a little more smoothly. Also, I found myself wondering if/when/how the guy realized he was infertile. The way its written makes it sound like he knew all along, when it's clear from the story he didn't.

At one point, you list Rob's age as "25." The convention in fiction is to write numbers out.

I love the conversation after Rob gets home from the bar after nearly being beaten up. The way Mike interrupts is a perfect show of the direness of the situation. Really nicely done. I knew the story was going to go nuts from there. And you didn't disappoint.

I'd like to see more emotion/fear when Rob thinks to himself that his brother might kill him. It's stated so matter of factly, and adding more of the feel of the realization might help to bring your reader closer to Rob and his frame of mind.

My last thought is that the ending seems like a beginning. This would be an amazing first chapter. Thanks for sharing! I'm glad to have had the chance to read this story, and I hope you find my comments helpful.

mblank


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
13
13
Review of Master Inventor  
Review by mblank
Rated: E | (5.0)
Hi hyperiongate,

I just wanted to drop a note to tell you I really enjoyed this story. The set up was perfect, and the last line hit just right. Well done! Sorry I don't have any suggestions to offer, so I'm sending you your gps back. Good luck in the contest!

mblank


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
14
14
Review by mblank
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Nice! I liked this, especially the parts where Wanderer and Saiorse get to walk together. It's funny, from the beginning of the story, I thought Saiorse was your character because of the extra attention paid to her. Wanderer is barely mentioned in the beginning, except for a brief introduction to show he's there. I definitely got curious about him when he kept appearing in front of her, and really got to like him through the course of the tale. Way to leave a cliffhanger, though.

I have a couple of thoughts I hope you don't mind my sharing. They may be irrelevant due to the nature of the contest, but here they are.

In the beginning, there are two full paragraphs before the introduction of any characters. For me, this tends to lead to a feeling of stagnance. You know how you like the speed my stories start with? Most of that comes from introducing a character immediately, and making sure they're already doing/feeling/thinking something, right in the first couple of sentences (usually the very first, but always in the first paragraph). The story really took off once your characters were introduced, because they're really interesting, and I got invested in knowing about them pretty immediately.

Another thing I noticed was there was nothing about Wanderer beyond the fact that he was there for a long time in the story. Even if Saiorse doesn't know who he is at first or why he's there, maybe showing these thoughts would make the beginning feel a little more balanced?

I also didn't quite understand why Saoirse was taking part in the race. Her back story explained a lot about her, but not that.

I liked all of the survivalist stuff quite a bit, and Wanderer is a really cool character. Again, my favorite bits were the back and forth between them as they got to know each other in the desert. You have a knack for conversation and interesting characters, and for creating an epic feel in your tales. I can't wait to see what you come up with for the next installment of the contest.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
15
15
Review of Skuz-bucket  
Review by mblank
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Hi Turtle,

What an appropriate title! I found this piece on the Daily Flash page and enjoyed it, so I decided to drop a review. Please bear in mind the following is the opinion of one reader, and I hope you'll use what works and disregard the rest.

The emotion of the main character was so palpable in spots, I could almost feel her rage. The only spot that gave me pause, and didn't seem quite right, was the moment where she fantasized about a world where people didn't feel the need to hide their true selves. This thought seemed really introspective and thoughtful for a person gripped by an uncontrollable rage. I didn't quite buy it as something she'd think in the moment. It seems more like a reflection she'd have after the fact, or even at the end, after her rage turns into hurt.

The other thing I wanted to mention is there were a few spots where brevity might have better served your purposes. For example, describing the hand shaped mark reddening on his face was pretty wordy when just saying a red hand print would have sufficed. In the same sentence, the word calmly is implied by the rest of the sentiment. I mainly bring this up because of the word count restriction.

Thanks for sharing this story! I truly enjoyed the read, and I hope you find my comments helpful.

mblank


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
16
16
for entry "Her Name Was Angela
Review by mblank
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hi parable,

Thanks for sharing this story! I enjoyed the tale of comeuppance a lot, as well as your style. I'd like to offer the following comments, but please bear in mind they are the opinions of one reader, and I hope you'll use what works and disregard the rest.

There were two issues with the plot that I could see. The first was that I suspected Angela's true nature before the reveal, which weakened the story a bit for me. I think, to make this more subtle, it might help to have the pedophile suggest the first meeting, instead of his intended victim. Little girls can be quite stupid, but this one seemed like she'd be a bit shy, and to just suggest a meeting like that made me feel something was up immediately.

The second was the last segment of the story. When the officers are discussing the serial killer, I was expecting one of them to be "Angela." This was never actually revealed, though the last line further serves to suggest it, where you use the name Patterson as though your reader should know it. A little more clarity here would make for a much more satisfying ending.

The last thing I want to mention is formatting. I realize this is a rough draft, considering I found it in your Bradbury Challenge folder, but it would make it easier on your reader to double space between paragraphs. I'd also suggest finding a way to mark the IM conversations as such, either with italics or quotes. I'm not sure of the proper protocol, but the way they stand, they are difficult to distinguish from the narrative.

Thanks again for sharing. I really enjoyed your story and wish you luck and many more good entries for the rest of the challenge. I hope my comments are helpful to you.

mblank


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
17
17
Review by mblank
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Hi Amber,

I found your story on the plug page, and enjoyed it, so I'm writing to offer my opinions on the piece. Bear in mind these are the thoughts of one person, and I hope you'll use what works and disregard the rest.

First off, thank you for the opportunity to read your story. I'm intrigued by the two main characters presented and the juxtaposition of worlds both in the story, and as the story's genres. I'd definitely like to see where you're going with this. The writing style is interesting and easy to follow, and I found the overall tone of the piece very enjoyable.

One thing I noticed, though, from the first sentence was a bit of a tendency toward redundancy in the narrative. To offer some examples:

In the first sentence, the spinning globe is described as both complacent and lazy, and upon reaching the second adjective, I had a brief feeling of deja vu. In the same sentence, describing sunlight as happy does nothing to alter the reader's impression of sunlight. We have an innate understanding of sunlight as a happy thing.

"he pored over the files of a current case he was working on" - In this sentence, current case implies it's a case he's working on, so having both sentiments expressed merely served to clutter up the sentence for this reader.

Later, a character answers with a "sarcastic snort," when snorts are normally construed as sarcastic.

I've been given a good rule of thumb by other reviewers on this site to limit adjectives to instances where they change the reader's impression of the object being described, and feel that another read through with an eye toward this would serve to strengthen the language of your story.

I also felt that a little more attention to setting, particularly when describing the clutter of the office, might help paint a brighter picture for your reader. I wanted to see more of the room, and know what specifically was cluttering it up. This would not only add to the visual aspect of your story, but might lend a bit of perspective about the main character.

The last thing that I want to mention is your chosen font size. I know crits like this seem pedantic, but the type is so small, I almost clicked away without giving the piece a fair chance (and I'm only thirty, with pretty good vision). Luckily, I scanned and found the prose interesting enough to keep me squinting at the screen, but you might be losing readers before they give your work a fair chance.

Thank you for the opportunity to read your story. You definitely have me curious about what happens next. I hope you found my comments helpful.

mblank


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
18
18
Review of IMPORTANT!  
Review by mblank
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hi Angus,

I found this on the review request page, and want to thank you for sharing another interesting and intriguing story. First off, perfect hook and title. I absolutely had to read it. I also like that you started with the ellipses and ended the same way. It adds to the feel of entrapment you've created and the timelessness of the author's world.

I'd like to offer the following comments, but please bear in mind these are the opinions of one reader, and I'm going to be extremely nit-picky since you're such a good writer. It's honestly a wonderful piece as it is.

It happened yesterday - Here, I feel like started might be a better way to phrase this than happened. Most of the story happened after the library, not at it.

Later in the same paragraph, you mention that the narrator tried to alert the old man, who was already on a bus. I found myself wondering exactly how he tried to alert the man. Did he knock on the window? Wave his arms? A little detail here would help to suck me into the story rather than stop to ponder.

You put the word important in quotes a couple of times in this story, and it kind of distracts without adding much. I guess it lends a bit of a sarcastic tone, but that's implied by the demeanor of the narrator already.

but I still put the photo in my wallet, - Since this is micro-fiction, I'd take out the still as it's implied by the rest of the sentence.

Personally, I'd like to see a picture of the old man as he's saying "Because I'm lonely," (in words of course). I feel like it would add to the unease the narrator and reader feel at this point.

to warn you if you see this place - This was taken from the last sentence, and I felt a bit like it might make more sense to say "to warn you away from this place" or something like that. Just to make the warning a little more clear, since it's the focus of the story.

Again, another great story. The only other comment I have is that this might be cool as a longer piece, if you feel the urge. Details would make it even more horrifying. Thanks for sharing, and I hope my comments are helpful.

mblank

A colorful aquairum with an angel fish


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
19
19
Review of No Time To Scream  
Review by mblank
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Hi Angus,

I figured I'd pop by your portfolio and return a review. Thanks for sharing this chilling tale! It was a really cool story, and the writing was well done. I enjoyed the perspective shifts, and the detail in the evisceration.

I'd like to offer the following criticism, but please bear in mind these are the opinions of one reader, and I hope you'll use what works and disregard the rest.

In your first paragraph, the image of the officer stepping into the light felt a little matter of fact. This early in the story, tone and atmosphere are essential, and I felt like a little more description here, and a little more mood setting could do a lot to strengthen the beginning of this piece.

I felt like more detail throughout the whole first segment would add a bit, now that the contest is over and word count not as much of a consideration. You get good and graphic in the fourth section, and this is where I got swirled up in the story the most.

In the fourth section, you mention that the Beast doesn't know why he wants male meat instead of female, but later in the same section (and therefore from the same narrator/perspective - the Beast's), explain his reasons.

In the final section, you write from the Beast's perspective in the first person. This is the first place first person is used in this story, and it threw me off for a second. Third person is the established pattern, and to deter for one section at the end felt a little jarring for me.

Forgive the nit-picky review, but I really enjoyed your story and wanted to give you a good, thorough review. I hope you found my comments helpful, and I appreciate having had the chance to read your work.

mblank


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
20
20
Review of Insecurities  
Review by mblank
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hi Abundance,

Thank you for sharing this piece. Your arguments are well thought out, and I enjoyed reading your take on insecurities (since I'm often swathed in them, myself). I liked how you explored the idea of insecurities, used an example from your own life, and presented the reader with a sound and reasoned resolution.

I'd like to offer the following criticism, but please bear in mind these are the opnions of one reader, and I hope you'll use what works and ignore the rest.

I felt like this piece could be even stronger if you developed the individual sections more. For instance, the first part (where you explain the nature of insecurities is made up of a lot of single sentence paragraphs, where I felt more development of the ideas in these paragraphs might add impact to your observations.

The second section, where you discuss your personal insecurity might also benefit from a little flesh. A little showing of this insecurity and how it affects you could serve to make it even more powerful. Though i know this isn't fiction, treating yourself as a character you're telling a story about might serve to make the feelings you describe more immediate.

The resolution is very mature and honest, but very brief. Overall, this was a well written and organized piece, that can really only be served by more meat. Thank you for the read. I hope my comments are helpful to you.

mblank


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
21
21
Review of My Stalker  
Review by mblank
Rated: E | (5.0)
HI Odessa,

Thank you for sharing this poem! I love the narrator's light tone, especially in the lines "The crazy little jerk" and "I hope he doesn't poo." They added a nice bit of humor that really made the poem unique and fun. Also, I thought it was really well done. I found no fault with the rhythm or rhyme scheme, and don't actually have any suggestions to make about the poem itself. It's funny and cute, and I wish you the best of luck in tomorrow's cramp.

The one thing I wanted to mention was adding a descriptor besides "Writer's Cramp" might serve to draw in more readers. If that had been my initial exposure, I probably would have passed right by this, but I found it through a review and didn't see the tagline. And since this made me smile, I would have been sad to miss it!

Thanks again for the fun read.

mblank


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
22
22
Review of Me And Brad Pitt  
Review by mblank
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
Dear W.D.,

Thanks for sharing this intriguing piece! I'd like to offer a review as part of the WDC Power Reviewers raid.

I liked the dual perspective on the date, and the mental tags that went with the verbal sparring. The thoughts were particularly amusing, as they often echoed the insecurities of the other party. It was a sweet story, and the ending felt right for these two characters. I'd like to offer the following criticism, but please bear in mind, these are the opinions of one reader, and I hope you'll use what works and disregard the rest.

As much as the dual perspective was central to this piece's intent, its execution was kind of confusing for this reader. Typically, the convention is to write in third person limited to keep a character in one person's head and closer to the story. Obviously, this tactic won't work for this piece, but it is still written with the feel of an third person limited narrator, which left me feeling a little jerked around. Perhaps a more omniscient tone would serve this tale?

(If I may make a recommendation, a novel I love that makes great use of dual perspective is "Sometimes A Great Notion," by Ken Kesey. He manages to integrate two character's thoughts into the same piece using different notation for each speaker and a story-teller style narrative voice that keeps the reader grounded in the story. If you have time, it's well worth the read.)

I also felt like more detail as they got to know each other might have helped me to more fully believe the evolving bond. Use of body language in addition to thoughts might help the reader to understand how the wall between the couple begins to disintegrate. Relying so heavily on speech and thoughts takes away from what the reader perceives of the chemistry between the parties, which between this couple, with their misgivings and slip ups, seems like it must be a very strong part of the reason they start to groove on each other. I felt this particularly while they are at the movie theatre, talking and beginning to like each other.

The characters are charming through their faults and insecurities, and I enjoyed the awkward tale of two people trying hard to impress each other, while being unsure they are impressed. Their discomfort was very well done, and I definitely found myself chuckling at thoughts I'm sure I've shared with the female narrator, and my dates have shared with hers. Thanks again for the story! I hope my comments are helpful to you.

mblank

Shared group image


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
23
23
Review by mblank
In affiliation with Showering Acts of Joy Group  
Rated: 13+ | N/A (Review only item.)
SAJ Rainy Night by Aqua -- Group Signature

*CakeB* HAPPY WDC ACCOUNT ANNIVERSARY FROM "Anniversary Reviews*CakeP*


Hi Nixie,

I'm sending this review as a part of your SAJ shower. This was a really moving piece, and I thoroughly enjoyed the characters and the mingling of the fantasy genre with the harsh reality the characters faced in the story. Your ending got me all misty, and I especially enjoyed the meeting of the two sisters and the mother's moment of clarity. Really, really good story. Thank you for sharing.

I'd like to offer the following comments, but please bear in mind these are the opinions of one reader, and I hope you'll use what works and disregard the rest.

I felt like more detail in certain areas would make this story even stronger. For example, when Marcy finds Kayla, it feels a little rushed. More about the internal panic and feelings of the mother would serve to make this section more immediate and more raw for your reader. Also, in the beginning, perhaps a little more about Marcy's appearance to indicate her mental state might make her a more solid character more immediately. I liked it very much that you had the wind chasing her, that set up a bit of character, but more physical description would make her even more vivid.

Amelia will need a warm car. No, I'm looking for—"The words died in her throat when she saw Dancer limping - There is no opening quotation in this paragraph. Also, there's reference to Dancer here, whom I'd assume from context is a dog, but Dancer is mentioned neither before nor after, which makes this single name drop a bit distracting.

The last thing I'd like to mention concerns perspective shifts. The first few are done with a separation that makes it very clear there is a change in narrator and prepares the reader for this change. However, as you get to the section with a lot of quick shifts, you stop doing this, and it gets a little confusing, because paragraphs from the perspective of the parents are interspersed with paragraphs from Kayla's. Perhaps consider continuing the demarkation of shifts for continuity and ease of reading?

Again, this was a really moving story. I'm glad I had the chance to read it, and that I took another visit to your portfolio. Thanks for sharing, and I hope my comments are helpful.

mblank



*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
24
24
Review by mblank
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
I found this on the winners page of the "Boy Have I Got A Story For You" contest. Congrats, and thanks for the story! I enjoyed the extended metaphor, and the style of the narration played in very nicely. It reminded me of a couple of Vonnegut short stories in its conversational tone of the story teller to the reader. That's something I'd like to play with more, actually. Omniscient narrator type stuff. It makes for a very cool effect when pulled off well, as it was here.

I love the notes you put at the end of stories sometimes, too. It's not something you see often, but it works well with your style and the fact that you're often directly communicating with your reader. Even though the story ended paragraphs before the end of the piece, I felt compelled to read on by the continuing thought process.

And "Still am." is an excellent last line for this tale.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
25
25
Review of Every Moment  
Review by mblank
In affiliation with Showering Acts of Joy Group  
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
** Animated Images For Use By Premium+ Only **

Hi Nixie,

I'm reviewing this piece as part of your shower from SAJ. I like your take on the prompt and the characters you created from it. Neil was lucky to run into an english professor, considering he was looking for the right words. The story unfolded at a good pace, and the tone was enjoyable. I'd like to make the following comments, but please bear in mind these are the opinions of one reader, and I hope you'll use what works and disregard the rest.

It seemed to be implied there was a reason Melanie approached Neil, but it was never made clear. She doesn't give much of an explanation, even though she seems to have some sort of intention floating in her head before they meet. He was the one who wound up asking the favor, and all she got out of the interaction was to meet the man. I feel like revealing her motivation would make her a more immediate character for the reader.

Also, it seemed at first that Neil was trying to blow her off (when he looked at his watch and said I only have a few minutes), but then he ends up engaging her in conversation, asking about the statement he should make. What changes his mind?

Who would anyone think to look here? - I think you mean "why"

On the whole, I very much enjoyed your story, and think it could be made even stronger if you expand on the characters a little, now that the contest is over and you don't need to stick to a word limit. Thanks again for sharing. I hope my comments are helpful to you.

mblank


*CakeB* HAPPY WDC ACCOUNT ANNIVERSARY FROM "Anniversary Reviews*CakeP*


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
153 Reviews · *Magnify*
Page of 7 · 25 per page   < >
Printed from http://www.writing.com/main/profile/reviews/mblank