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Review by Norbanus
Rated: ASR | (4.0)
What a delightfully imaginative story. It not only provides an excellent outline but gives you a super base to find those opportunities for improvement that we all need to locate to build those first telling, wordy, and repetitive yarns into short stories.

Let's take a look at the opening:

It feels like yesterday when I turned 16, and it turned my entire life upside down. Not realizing it until it was too late, but my family was hiding a big secret. We’re called the seekers and were from an ancient line who have the power to change things before they happen.

The first paragraph contains four uses of the word 'it'. Undefined pronouns can turn an exciting segment into a boring drag. Why not open with action and save the important information in that paragraph to feed into the story after it's off and running?

Paragraph three seems like a better place to start the story. All the information from the opening fits nicely at that point. Use caution to avoid wordiness such as 'On my birthday, I received the most significant gift in the world—the family heirloom, which is a mirror.

"which is" are unnecessary words.

Good luck with this great story idea.

Review of Law of the Jungle  
Review by Norbanus
Rated: ASR | (5.0)
I watch in fascination as they dance,
The spider and that other nowhere bug.
Starvation forces all to take a chance,
on eating, or to take that final slug.

We kids, accustomed to our daily joy,
know nothing of those lowly creature's strife.
We jump and run as any normal boy,
unthinking of the others hapless life.

One moment and that nature’s scene is gone,
Its light a harsh reality of truth.
I know I'm not the course and jagged one,
I pick the pig's remains out of my tooth.

Just then, the smell of flowers from the plain
drifts in and grab my thoughts fully away.
No further minding of that spider’s pain,
just tracing trophies of my day at play.

Some sadness for the fantasy I lost
but not a moment more on nature’s cost
Review of Rebirth  
Review by Norbanus
Rated: ASR | (4.0)
Wow! I never suspected it for a minute, but now, it is clear as a foggy day in December.

We all waited for years for the world to end on December 12, 2012, as prophesized by the Incas. When that date seemed to pass with no event we thought we'd missed the boat.

Little did we know. The apocalypse did occur and we were all killed and then restored by the third in command, the delightfully imaginative, Archangel Marc.

As often happens when great power rules
a winning strategy brings only grief.
The God of Storms smiles down at nodding fools
They jump right in to seek her quick relief.

Now, back at home, the Hell God steals the show
But drops the ball and starts another track.
Distraction lets Marc's soaring ego grow.
He grabs the reigns. They'll never get 'em back.

The flooding of the Earth has worked it's way.
His sidekick does his best, but there's a hitch.
The puddles left behind have won the day
and tossed the same old folks back in the ditch.

Nicely imagined.


Review by Norbanus
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
One trouble with a real cop drama like you portray is that there are none of the PC required characters. You mentioned the missing Marine, but what about the kick-ass female detective which has become a necessary element? Or, you might gain forgiveness, if you stick in an autistic savant who is smart enough to know better than to call the police.

Those other points hit the mark, too.

Nicely done.

Review of Letting Go  
Review by Norbanus
Rated: E | (5.0)
For love, we often search both site and soul
for confirmation hidden 'neath a shrug
But such a notion can't reduce the role,
bestowed on us by lifelong holes we’ve dug.

But trusting love to show us how to fall
onto a path that we've not seen before
with other hopeful shadows on the wall
perhaps they've found the one we’re searching for.

In truth, it’s watching others in so deep
that lets us see the truthful moment’s gem
It's left there so that we can finally reap
the joy of thinking we’ve found one of them.

Perhaps these few words, spoken from the heart,
will give our moving on the proper start.
Review by Norbanus
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
As beginning writers, we spend a lot of thought on the subject of showing vs telling: ‘Show don’t tell’ examples are everywhere. One place where telling is indeed useful is at the start of a book. But, it can often be built into the action of the story where it can speed up time and narrate unimportant transitions and avoid boring the reader.

When telling, is it often hard to avoid the twin bugaboos of wordiness and repetition. Sometimes, one can even leave out the telling narration and feed the information in as actions by the character. Mix showing and telling to add tone and mood. You might consider using a combination of showing and telling to move the opening along and still give all the information that the reader needs.

Although I believe the 'New Year's Eve' transition would be a better starting point for this tale, The Opening, as presented, has interesting lines and could benefit from tightening to reduce the wordiness and bring the action to the fore.

Olivia, was a relatively normal girl, who just happened to have psychic powers. The first power she discovered, and the only one she knew she hadof until she was nearingnearly her 21st birthday, was the power to hear the voices of the voiceless. She could understand words coming from people who could not speak. Despite her wanting to believe she could understand animals, it was apparent that her ability only applied to humans and possibly humanoid beings from other worlds and dimensions. She first discovered it at the age of 19 when she and her friends were exploring an abandoned insane asylum on a Sunday afternoon. They heard footstepsFootsteps and crashing sounds coming from the floor above convinced them. They were just about to leave in case it was the sound of a police officer, but Olivia stopped them:

That suggestion would reduce the word count for the segment from 138 to 97 and thus speed up the opening.

I know this little tidbit can't be much help, but I hope you find something useful in it.


Review of The story  
Review by Norbanus
Rated: E | (4.0)
Greetings Crazybee,

It seems, from the wee bit we know so far that you have the beginnings of a story worth building, beating at the inside of your brain, trying to find a way out. My guess is that one day soon, it will find the exit and rush forth with a shout.

You ask if you are at the right place. I assure you that you are. We have several excellent novel reviewers, (I am not claiming to be one of them) but it may take you a while to learn which offer suggestions that fit with your style and with issues you are ready to address.

Please accept this lack of review as a welcome to WDC and with my one suggestion:

The length of your submission is good, for our purposes here but I'd suggest that you give attention to paragraph breaks to add a bit of white space to make the page easier to read.

Let us know by your response what you'd like to hear. Is it comments on ways to make your work more likely to be accepted by a publisher, suggestions for dialogue use, ways to avoid wordiness, repetition, or SPAG issues? Someone will probably address a lot of issues. (if we notice them) So, respond to comments and tell us if we are looking in the right corner.

In my portfolio, you'll find an item titled Prologue to Olyvia up a Creek It could give you an idea of what I think a story opening should do, and what sort of suggestions I might make.

All the best.

Review of Little Chubby  
Review by Norbanus
Rated: E | (5.0)
You've grabbed my muse and shook him with this flash
You've forced my thoughts of some unbranded smile
You open with a jolt of coming crash
without a touch of caution--for the while

But then, although the fragile shard is broke,
no hesitation draws our thoughts astray.
There moves encouragement behind the cloak
and twists the tender notions which we play

Now is it true denouement at the end
or do we hold solution by a thread?
Their knowledge of the facts sneaks past the bend
Don’t sweat the thoughts one thinks after he's dead

There seems no limit to the stuff we read.
We know your wild story has now been freed.
Review by Norbanus
Rated: E | (5.0)
What a delightful way to inspire your audience. I like the idea of supporting you so, the 99 cent idea didn't fly with me. I instead purchased The Seal of God at its full price of $9.99.

thank you for the inspiration and for the excellent book of ideas.

All the best.

Review by Norbanus
Rated: E | (4.0)
Yoo our understanding of history, nature, roads, architecture, and a lot of other things. It's a shame you felt it necessary to toss in the twenty-first century PC nonsense about its negative effects on the environment. But then, everyone's entitled to their religious view.



Review of Ecdysis  
Review by Norbanus
Rated: E | (5.0)
Consumption by a need for other's thought.
This verse reveals imagination wild.
A vivid picture of what doubts have wrought,
gross, gory and defined, but not defiled

With tenderness not getting in the way,
and unaware, at all of tears he's shed.
The poison in the song can ruin one’s day
and plant a foot upon a place we dread.

Without the least regret, he's flunked the test.
"I've shed my fur as a satyr." And yet,
it's time to make a pact and do your best.
What is fate’s final word? 'You wanna bet?

The broken treaty flaunts another kind
of haunting, which you'll never leave behind

Review of Let 'er ride!  
Review by Norbanus
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
No there's a turn in luck that really paid off, but we don't know if John has learned his lesson at the track. Will he still be looking for the big payoff and mess up his relationship with Jeanne? There is plenty of potential left for the next round or to turn this into the opening for a full-length novel.

Nicely done,


Review by Norbanus
Rated: E | (5.0)
You open with a statement, loud and clear,
to keep us reading on to find the why.
But on we go. It's Luke that we first hear.
We see the same old thing and start to sigh.

Then, from the shadows of the middle lines,
as Luke gets help from Mathew—Peter, too
the story takes the turn that it defines.
My thrashing guilt delivers marks of blue.

Fight not the flesh, but spirit, so you say,
where wickedness builds traps that we all know.
Will unbelievers change and save the day?
Or will God's Word now simply end the show.

The turn delivered in the final line,
is one that needs no magic to define.
Review by Norbanus
Rated: E | (5.0)
Henry Augustus must have been an interesting man. You have given us an excellent picture of his life and the twist and turns he had to negotiate as he made his way through one of the most exciting times in recent centuries.

I like the way you separated the segments to give each more emphasis.

Nicely done,


Review of Sad Life  
Review by Norbanus
Rated: E | (4.0)
You've given us just what the title expects us to find. A pair of sad eyes reflecting on things that might account for the sadness. This is a good job of making sure the reader knows the inner conflicts of the sad-eyed boy. But that is not a story.
The sad eyes at the beginning are still contemplating the sad situation with Regret. Perhaps, if the sad-eyed boy did something at the beginning to show his sad state of mind and then considered those various issues which brought about his sadness, he could either end the story being less sad or more sad. The story would then be the change in his perspective.

Good luck with this. There is a story here if you can find a way to let his character show and change.

All the best,


Review of The Dentist  
Review by Norbanus
Rated: E | (5.0)
As often is the case with Jacky’s tales
this one reveals imagination wild.
It happens, and the picture seldom fails.
to show us things implanted when a child.

This time, it's dentistry behind the door,
which leads us to the place breezes blow
and time gone by walks right across the floor
to tickle thoughts of what now has to grow.

The new and happy view that will attest
to how we fit the world (lest we forget)
The story lets ol' grumpy do his best,
then yanks the rug and says 'You wanna bet?'

The yarn goes on, creating something new
that leaves behind a tale we hope is true.
Review by Norbanus
Rated: E | (4.0)
When Paddy's Day comes around next
Let's send him a personal text
If he's got what it takes
to get rid of snakes.
the damn things have got me perplexed.

Some folks tell us that snakes are Okay
It's nature at work so they say
I hear that we need 'em
but don't ever feed 'em
Let's wait for St. Paddy to pray
Review of Lavender Wind  
Review by Norbanus
Rated: E | (5.0)
While pondering the purple rain and life,
I watch the swirls of hair and falling leaves.
Then find the soothing balm for natures strife
within the lonesome wind-song as it grieves.

When wind call out for me, I hear my name
and flutter, stammer, beg to still my cries.
But I shriek even louder in the flame
as desperation spews from both my eyes.

The angels ride the wind into the past,
to blind me to the rain, which cannot last.

Review of Reality  
Review by Norbanus
Rated: E | (5.0)
All pushed aside and dulled by founded fears
and those who know all things fill up the maze.
They've blurred out all the wisdom of the years.

Where are the sinless brothers in this world?
Is it our lot to flounder or to win?
The flags of knowledge wave when they're unfurled
and shade the path that just might let us in.

So, without hope and nothing to be gained,
we've done our best to polish off the slate
but cannot clear what faith has so ingrained.
We wonder what's required. Is it too late?

The universe so grand, but is it true?
There's but one to decide and that is you.
Review of Facing the Night  
Review by Norbanus
Rated: E | (5.0)
Darkness cheered and dragged the mind asunder.
Those thoughts preserved press 'round to build a throng.
Triumph of the night shows crescent wonder.
The glaring orb is missing far too long.

Fear left him stranded in the nightly battle
On starways scattered with their specks of bright.
A god appears and lifts a lusty rattle.
He spat the words, "You'll never get it right!"

The darkness wins. We step into a ditch.
All hope is lost, that gods can save the day.
Now, we're informed but that's another hitch,
The darkness takes its charge, and we can't see.

"Too far!" the gods still shout out from the dark
And we concede, the night has made its mark.
Review by Norbanus
Rated: E | (5.0)
I cannot bear the thought of going on,
not in the state of mind the dawning brings.
Uprooted thoughts turn then to being gone,
to shuffle off these painful mortal things.

When darkness veiled the bright and shining light
and caused this shift, a renewed love of life
My nature should have saved me with its fright.
But will the darkness save me from day's strife?

Drear agony caroused within my mind,
and issues went from thoughts to something more.
The nerve I thought had I could not find;
I gasp in shame and lie down on the floor.

Why had I failed to answer my own cry?
Oh, God, I cannot even say good-bye.
Review of Ichor  
Review by Norbanus
Rated: E | (5.0)

Begone this day of angered deed
allow my wicked heart to bleed.
Infested hate I stole with greed,
while pain provides the wanton seed

When darkness comes upon my way;
mine eyes grew blank for want of day
Cold fingers grasp the anger tight.
I struggle now to make it right.

I want not what this path decreed,
but swallow it as I agreed.
Now, venom roils my sours me.
My breakfast hurls and sets me free.

That day I laughed and pushed the door
She found me cold upon the floor.
Review of Invidia  
Review by Norbanus
Rated: E | (5.0)
If I can get the greed out of my head
there might be something in this verse for me.
The rival smiles that grin I always dread.
his fingers crossed behind where I can't see.

Both friend and foe have learned but who can tell
with first-place prizes there dispensing dread.
Tradition says that neither did too well
but can they trust a single word we said?
Review by Norbanus
Rated: 13+ | N/A (Review only item.)
My first impression

What a terrific idea for fantasy, adventure, and coming of age story, all rolled into one. Plenty of complications keep the reader wrapped in the segment until the end. It doesn’t have the wordiness, repetition, and excess description that often mar fantasy yarns at the beginning.

What I liked most

Each of the characters exposes themselves in a unique way, and you let the reader discover them rather than telling them, which lets us feel closer.

My general suggestions and technical concerns

This is an excellent story segment, but it needs the rest of the story. Or, if it is part of a series, I'll just head over to Amazon and purchase the other volumes.
Review by Norbanus
Rated: E | (5.0)
To contemplate such depth is what I need.
My thought is fixed too firmly where I stand.
The meter which you show I've failed to feed
into my ancient notions, which are bland.

You point to musicality, I see
and show us more than just the de-DAH beat.
John's resurrection was a key for me;
something to ponder when I'm in defeat.

Some say we’ve ruined the verse with unrhymed stuff
but I don’t think a bit of that is true.
When meter holds the hand that is enough,
to show us struggling rhymers what to do.

I thank you for this glimpse of poet's tools.
A message that is needed, by us fools.
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