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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/profile/reviews/nmarshall/sort_by/r.review_creation_time DESC/page/12
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1,125 Public Reviews Given
Public Reviews
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Review of Disappearing Act  
Rated: E | (4.5)
I am reviewing your story as a judge for "Short Shots: Official WDC Contest"   by Writing.Com Support . Thanks for entering!*Smile*



First Impression: That this would be a fun story. I was right!



Comments:

into the back, where he cried out in

The comma isn't necessary here.



Character Development: Very nice! I could feel the mother's exasperation and Thomas' fun. Very believable characters.


Dialogue/Monologue: Again very nice. The dialog between the mom and her ex at the end was priceless.


Plot Structure: Well done! The story moved along nicely with no holes.


What Worked: The charm of Thomas pulled me in for more fun. I couldn't wait to see where he'd be next.


What Didn't Work: No comment here.


Overall Impact: *Laugh* It was a definite feel-good, laugh-out-loud story. Fun to read.


Thanks for sharing this piece!

~Nikola
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277
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
I am reviewing your story as a judge for "Short Shots: Official WDC Contest"   by Writing.Com Support . Thanks for entering!*Smile*



First Impression:Good opening! It draws the reader right in.



Character Development:Very nice! I can feel the fear of the parents. Even little Savannah has a lot of character for a little one.


Dialogue/Monologue:Believable and powerful. The dialog moves the story along and infuses it with tension.


Plot Structure: Moved along smoothly. Lot of suspense. It kept me on the edge of my seat.


What Worked: I think what was most powerful was the tension of the plot and the strong emotion. The description also gives the reader a strong sense of place.


What Didn't Work: I have absolutely no comment for this space.


Overall Impact: Powerful! Emotional!


Closing Remarks: This piece pulled at my heartstrings and then broke them. Excellant writing!

~Nikola
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Review of Indigo Girl  
Rated: E | (5.0)
I am reviewing your story as a judge for "Short Shots: Official WDC Contest"   by Writing.Com Support . Thanks for entering!*Smile*


First Impression: From the beginning sentence I was hooked. Being an Indigo myself I was intrigued to see where you took this story.


Character Development: I felt like the development of the characters had a slower pace than normal. It built up right until the conclusion. It worked very well as a tool to keep readers interested.
I felt for Angela. I was in suspense as to what the couple would decide.
And I wasn't fond of the administrator. You did an excellant job with her.


Dialogue/Monologue: Believable. It made your characters real.


Plot Structure: Flowed smoothly. There were no holes to confuse readers.


What Worked: Actually it all worked for me. I feel this is a well written piece.


What Didn't Work: Nothing jumped out at me here.


Overall Impact: I would love for you to delve more into the lives of Angela and Samantha after the adoption. It would be fascinating to watch them grow together.*Smile*


Closing Remarks: Thank you for sharing! This was a delight to read.

~Nikola
279
279
Review of Having My Cake  
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
*Shudders**Sick*

This piece nails one of the most basic gross outs humankind knows. It's the kind of piece that elicits chills and repeated "eewwws" even after the initial read.

I thought your imagery was excellant. It would have to be to keep the kind of gross out factor I mentioned above.

Excellant!
~Nikola
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280
280
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Intriguing. I love a good ghost story. This is nicely self contained as a whole. I didn't feel it was a good as your other pieces. It felt weak in a few places. By no means a bad story. Just a tweak or two needed.

it continued to cry with bone chilling shrieks
Try choosing one or the other. Perhaps "the bone chilling shreiks echoed behind him."

Just tossing thoughts out there. Thanks for sharing your talent.

~Nikola
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281
Review of Under the Rug  
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
More! More!
This stands alone well but I want to know more. You could easily expand this. Include more of the legend, perhaps some previous disappearances. I want to know more about this family too. I think this would be a wonderful short story!*Smile*

You do well in your word choices. You make the most of the few you have to work with. Well done.

~Nikola
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Review of Black Wind  
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
Ooohhhhh...I LIKE this! Your wording is intense and kept my interest. It is often so difficult to tell a complete story in so few words.
There is a wonderfully sinister feel to this. There is just enough to let your reader connect with the characters.

I wasn't expecting the end. Great job!

~Nikola
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283
283
Review of Skin Art  
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
Hi Lou,

I can't believe there's been no reviews for many of these pieces!*Shock*

The great thing about flash fiction is that they are good bones for a longer short story or perhaps a novel in disguise. I'd love to see you take this and run. (I have a feeling you may hear more of that from me as I read these items.)

I want to know more. Why is this happening? Is it the tattoo itself or did the artist have something to do with it? Hmmm...

The only word that bothers me in this piece is "gore." It sounds cliche.

I like this. It gives me some things to ponder as to the whys and what happened over time.

~Nikola
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284
Review of Storm Warnings  
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
First Impression:I live in Tornado Alley so the title caught my attnetion right away.



Comments:
*She stopped just inside the door. Shelly ducked out from under her protecting arms and saw her daddy sprawled at the kitchen table,
Who stopped just inside the door? Make it clear so that your readers aren't confused.



Character Development:Your characters come to life on the page. They are vivid, flawed, just like the real deal.


Dialogue/Monologue:I thought this was excellant! The dialog flowed easily and your characters spoke realistically. Very nice!


Plot Structure:I like the way that you weave this story. It flowed well, no snags at all.


What Worked:Everything really. The plot is solid, the characters believalbe, good word choices.


What Didn't Work:Other than the one comment above, I have nothing to add here.


Overall Impact:I thought this was a well written and entertaining piece.


Closing Remarks:Keep up the good work!

~Nikola
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285
285
Review of Night Terrors  
Rated: E | (4.0)
I can relate to those unknown creepies that scare us all. As a child I had monsters in the closet and still am leery of those dark places.

Have you considered omitting some those "little" words? Words like "an, the, a, etc." can clog up a poem and it won't have the impact it otherwise might. Read this again and see what you think.

I love this subject matter and you've done a good job of relating it to your readers. Just maybe a little tightening up would make it sing!

~Nikola
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Review of The Silence  
Rated: ASR | (4.5)
I love this twist on an otherwise joy-filled holiday.

once lived. Then there was the stench it permeated the room and smelled like an open grave.
Begin a new sentence with "it."

We had to use a specially constructed trailer to carry the mechanism, that‘s going to cost me a pretty penny.
Change the wording of this sentence to make it clearer for your readers. Perhaps "It cost me a pretty penny..."

You tell a good story with the word limit That's not always an easy thing to do.

I enjoyed reading this. Keep writing!

~Nikola
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287
287
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Nicola,

This is a powerful, emotional vignette. I see that it is nonfiction and that alone makes this heart wrenching.

I simply cannot offer any criticism on such a piece. Even so I found no errors.

Your word choice reflects the pain as does the imagery you use. The title choice is a good one and well fitted.

I'm sorry that your friends, and you through them, suffered such pain. Stay strong.

~Nikola

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Review of Closet Doors  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hi!

I really like this poem!

I could relate to the beginning where the monsters of childhood lurk. I had monsters in my closet and to this day don't like the doors opened at night.

And I could relate to the monsters that lurk later in life.

I thought this was well worded and the emotion shone through as well as imagery. I felt. I saw.

I honestly don't have any comments. You brought forth emotion and that's what poetry does best. Thanks for sharing this piece!

~Nikola

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289
289
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
First Impression:I love the beginning sentence. It drew me in, wanting more.



Comments:
Not even my friends, anymore.
You really don't need this sentence. The reader realizes that no one is around.




Character Development:Excellant!



Plot Structure:Very nice. This story wove around and took a few turns that were a pleasant surprise.


What Worked:Great imagery! You choose descriptive words that make your readers feel a part of things.


What Didn't Work:Be careful not to overdo those descriptive words. They can become overwhelming.


Overall Impact:I thought this tale was well put together.


Closing Remarks:I enjoyed reading this very much. I really don't have any comments to add.

~Nikola

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290
Review of Longing Memories  
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
First Impression:Is this non-fiction? It reads like a true story. I was intrigued from the beginning.



Comments:
This morning will be like every other, Teodore thought to himself.
Use italics to emphasize the thought. It is a visual aid for readers to recognize the change from story to thought.

through the grassland to where he finished his work yesterday.
This reads choppy. Perhaps "to the place where he finished his work yesterday."

and then return back to his work.
You don't need the word "bakc" here. It's repetitive.

With a small material sack on his back, holding his belongings, Teodore slowly made his way home and headed for the nearest train.

What kind of material was the sack made of? It helps the reader to visualize if you have something specific.
The last of the sentence reads rough to me. Perhaps "slowly making his way home, he headed for the nearest train."

Florea in the kitchen *tiding up
*tidying



Character Development:I'll say there wasn't a lot of character development but this is a plot driven piece so it works. It is easy for your readers to know who is who.


Dialogue/Monologue:Very realistic. Well done!


Plot Structure:There is a large timeline in this piece and I felt it does jump around a bit leaving me confused. However, I think this would be a wonderful novella or novel. There is a lot of background, both of your characters and the history surrounding their lives, that would make for interesting reading.


What Worked:I loved the storyline and the historical significance surrounding it.


What Didn't Work:Only the jumpiness of the plot where time changes.


Overall Impact:Enjoyable reading.


Closing Remarks:I think you've got something special here. With a bit of work it could make a marvelous novel!

~Nikola



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Review of Absolute Horror  
Rated: 18+ | (5.0)
Hi Pennywise,

What a great group! I'm so happy to see the horror genre receiving more and more attention on WDC.

I'd love to be a part of the group if you'll have me.

~Nikola
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292
Review of No Safety  
Rated: 18+ | (5.0)
I don't feel this qualifies as classic horror but the subject itself is horrific.

I have several friends who are police officers and I volunteer for my local PD. I know how easily something terrible can go down.
I've also been held up at gunpoint so I can relate, in my own way, about having a gun trained on you.

This is a very powerful piece and a sobering look at how dangerous law enforcement is. Bravo for bringing it to people's attention!

~Nikola
293
293
Review of The Painting  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Hi ♥HOOves♥ !

This is a reciprocal review on behalf of writetight, whom you were so kind as to have reviewed recently, and is in connection with "Invalid Item.

I'm really taken with this story! The fact that you chose a famous painting to write your story around made it more vivid to me. The theme of reincarnation is nicely done.
This is well written. I honestly see nothing out of kilter.

One thing--Have you ever considered taking this further? An ongoing story through the ages, perhaps captured in other famous paintings. It would be intriguing!

I thoroughly enjoyed this piece. Keep writing!

~Nikola
294
294
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hi Wildvine,

I like the simplicity of this poem! You say much with few words, a mark of good poetry.

I really like the little vingettes that you paint with each stanza.

I love the line
And be bright yellow
Very nice!

I enjoyed this poem. It is set up in a way that I may pause after each stanza and consider my own thoughts on each. Keep writing!

~Nikola
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295
295
Review of jillian  
Rated: 18+ | (3.5)
First Impression: I saw in this piece a story about unrequited love and teen angst. A young woman who wishes to change things for one she loves, yet can't get through.


Comments:
I sat *on my usual corner...
Perhaps *in?

The phases and sentences that you set apart, put them in italics for a better impact. The reader will know these are the narrator's thoughts.

But I never left my *until he was still there.
*while

really was different *comparing to all the guys
*compared

You have no Idea how happy you made me!
Separate and place in italics.

Even if I only met him for a little time
This sentence you don't really need. It's too much foreshadowing and takes from the twist at the end.

or make contact *wit me
*with


Character Development: The first person narrator seems a bit stiff. Give her some freedom! Show her personality, describe her and her friend. Delve deeper into her feelings. It will make your readers relate to and care for, your characters.



Dialogue/Monologue: The asides, as I mentioned, place in italics. More actual dialog between your characters would liven your tale. It will show how they interact.


Plot Structure:
You wavered between past and present tense. It will confuse your readers. Choose one and tell your story in that tense. Believe me, I catch myself doing the same thing!
The plot works well enough, but with some work, it will become much better.


What Worked:
It is a good story to tell! I like the young adult viewpoint. The twist is nice.


What Didn't Work:
Work on character interactions, dialog and your narrator's personality.



Closing Remarks: Rewrites are all a part of being a writer. Give this piece some loving attention and it can be a really good story!

~Nikola
296
296
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hi Charm,

An interesting piece. It does bring up some thought on appliances. But what good are they when the electricity goes off?*Wink*

I felt this piece is good, but needs more. Perhaps let your readers in on the contest from the beginning. It is a bit confusing. Also what is the reason for this contest?

When quoting, use either quotation marks or, in this case, you could probably italicize the words. It will help your readers stay with you.

One thing..."broasted?"

I feel that if you work on this some more, you'll have a very good piece! Keep writing!

~Nikola
297
297
Review of First Snow  
Rated: E | (4.5)
This story is excellant in its description and in its telling! I'm impressed!

My only comment:

*He was the face of her brother,...
Perhaps *his in place of he?

You show the horrors of war and the emotions experienced so very well. I really have nothing to add. This is wonderfully written!

~Nikola
298
298
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
Hi J. Allen,

This is an interesting and engaging piece. I really like your writing style.

My comments:

Look over your first paragraph. It is one long sentence. You can break it up into two or three sentences and won't leave your readers breathless.

,the one I've had since I was seventeen hunting with my dad.
This doesn't read right and does run on.

Though nothing was actually *broke,
*broken

I grabbed for my compass to check the storm's direction........it was gone.
First, you only need three dots. There are several places where you used so many.
Second, this sounds funny when read. What is gone? The storm's direction? That is how it came across to me.

But let's not go there again, it's a sore subject with me.
Love this!*Smile*

The pain in my elbow and shoulder *is worse/About here, you start switching verb tense from past to present and back. Go back and make sure your tenses match up.*Smile*

The description of Stoli is great!

"You guys made it through okay?" he asked *suprisingly.
How about ", suprised."

Your descriptions and style bring your readers along on this adventure. Being, ahem, 40ish myself, I could relate to your plight.
Good work!

~Nikola

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299
Review of A Father's Love.  
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
Finnley,

I think this is an excellant poem that deals with a very real subject.

*Star*I felt it read smoothly both to myself and then out loud.
*Star*I especially like beginning each stanza with "Forgive me child...." I feel it adds impact.

This is a powerful piece that brought me to tears. And, in my mind, that makes for good poetry. You want your readers to feel.

Well done!
~Nikola
Review for RAOK
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Review of Friesian Horse  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hi Mystica!

This caught my eye as I love this breed also. They are gorgeous, aren't they?

I wouldn't leave a space between lines in each stanza. It's okay to group stanzas together...line-wise. Do that even make sense?

I'd go back and play with this some more. You could really do justice to the breed. Many people have never heard of them.

Best of luck and keep writing!
~Nikola
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