It's been a pleasure to review your story, "Sora the Flying Dragon." , on behalf of "The Rockin' Reviewers" .
Thank you for the review request and the gift points. That was the first time I have received one of those. I will have to keep it in mind for use in the future.
I enjoyed reading your story and hope you find this feedback useful. I am just another writer, so please use what works for you and discard the rest.
What I liked:
This is a cute story about a little girl and her flying dragon. I think a child would enjoy this story as it is simple and likely something they can relate to. I would have loved to have had a flying dragon. No, let me rephrase that. I would LOVE TO HAVE a flying dragon. (O:
As noted above, the story is simple. It involves a little girl, named Stella, that is awakened by a noisy dragon. She is angry with the dragon, Sora. Who wouldn't be if a dragon roared and woke you from a restful sleep? She returns to bed and dreams of flying. I had a good friend that always dreamt that she could fly. Not me. I run. Flying would be great. I am sure every little one would like to fly on the back of a dragon.
Sora takes Stella for a spin around the city and then leaves her to return home or wherever his brothers are located. I like the fact that the end surrounds the dragon leaving Stella, but at least the leaving is to return to his brothers.
I do have a few questions. If Stella can understand Sora, why doesn't he just tell her he has to go home or to help his brothers? (I see another story) The notation of the brother's roar at the end feels forced and unnecessary (if she can understand Sora).
Her parents don't move the story forward and their involvement is minor. The mom's comment about breakfast is not even responded to and could be omitted via a statement as, "After breakfast, Stella..." instead. I found it odd that her parents were playing with her in the yard before school, when most families are rushed before school.
Style and Voice:
The style is a fairly easy read. I am not an authority on children's book so I cannot say what age this would apply to.
There are some big words that might be troublesome such as whimpered, dull, autumn, prepared, understand, yesterday, bellowed, etc. It all depends on your intended age group. Just something to think about.
The setting is Stella's backyard, in her house and her city that they fly over. This keeps the story contained and makes it easier for a youngster to keep up with, I believe. Just referring to school was a good plan rather than having her go there. On second thought (later in the review), why is school even in there? It doesn't advance the story and brings up a point that her parents would be looking for her while she is flying around the city, so running inside and going to sleep in the end may not work. Or am I just overthinking a children's book?
There are only a few characters in this story which I think is best for a children's book. The least amount of characters the better, I imagine. Stella, Sora, the dragon, and her parents round out the list. As noted in the plot section above, I am not sure the parents are integral to the story.
There is a bit of dialog which seems adequate for the story. It moves things along with Stella verbalizing to the dragon and his answering in roars.
I found a few formatting things for you to look at.
There are a few instances in which, following an exclamation point or question mark, the dialog tag and verb is capitalized. Some low end apps like on my phone, erroneously capitalize the next word. It does not occur on the laptop as far as I have noticed, but I do try to keep an eye out for it. Here is one example.
"Stop it, I was sleeping!" She shouted at the dragon in her backyard.
'She' should be lowercase and since you said 'shouted' you could drop the exclamation.
Grammar and Mechanics:
I noticed that there are about ten exclamation marks in this short story. The use of this piece of punctuation should be limited to rare as its overuse lessens its impact.
"ROAR!" The beast roared, the sound so loud it must have woke up everyone in the city!
'Roar' is used twice in four words. Since he has already roared, and if you keep the exclamation, you may want to say something like: The beast was so loud he must have awakened everyone in the city.
There are a few more instances of the double roar reference throughout.
Stella woke up with, startled, scared by the sound. She remembered what the sound was, it was Sora. Stella jumped out of bed and went to the window, angry. "Stop it, I was sleeping!" She shouted at the dragon in her backyard.
The three underlined words do not make any sense to me.
Given this is a children's story, should she be angry because someone disturbed her sleep? Maybe happy to see her friend but annoyed? Just something that occurred to me when I read she was angry.
The dragon spun around in a circle and roared as if it were happy.
Why isn't the dragon just happily spinning or dancing around instead of 'as if it were happy'?
There are several instances of what appear to be run on sentences throughout your story. I have listed a few below.
She woke up, feeling happy, she had a dream about flying.
For hours and hours the dragon was flying, until he finally landed back at the house, Stella jumped off the dragon and hugged him as hard as she can. Sora started flying again, Stella waved goodbye and went inside the house, she went straight to bed, and slept, trying not to cry. Sora was happy, the dragon heard a call from his brothers the night he woke Stella up, now he's probably with his brothers, in a land far away.
"Sora!" Stella ran through the yard and hugged the dragon, Sora. Sora was red, with dull spikes on its back and two sharp horns on its head. The dragon was the size of a school bus. Sora was with Stella for as long as she can remember, they were best friends of sorts. But no one was able to see the dragon, and the dragon never let Stella ride it, she always wanted to fly.
If Sora it's the size of a bus, does Stella just hug his leg? Does she have to climb up from her tail? How can she get her arms around his neck? At first, I thought the creature was small like the picture, until the comment about the size.
Why are they only friends of sorts? Will a child understand that? It sounds like they are not really friends when it is said that way.
Why won't Sora let Stella fly with her? Why the big change of heart suddenly? That was something that bothered me when I read the story.
"It's ok, when I come back we can play all day!" She says, smiling at Sora. "You know, I had a dream yesterday. I was flying!"
There is a change of tense here as well as needing a lowercase "she" and "said".
I am unsure why there are italics in the latter half of the story on the 'he', 'his' and 'him' words.
I really do like this story. It's cute. I can see it in my head in a little book with pictures to accompany the text. With some editing I think it will be a stronger story.
If you would like me to re-review this once you have made some corrections, please let me know. And no gift points are required as you were already quite generous.
Please let me know if you have any questions about this review.
I did ask SM if he had a copy of the preview in his logs and he did not. I definitely learned my lesson. And I disabled that blasted power button.
Thank you for sharing your story.