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Public Reviews
Review by Nova Dove
Rated: 18+ | (3.5)
Nicely written article!

I think that women value flowers not for their own beauty but as a symbol of a man's continued love and care. A bouquet of 12 flowers given once is nice; a single flower given once every 12 days is 12 times better. Why? Because it shows thought and effort 12 times.

Conversely, women count each day that no act of love or attention is made, and every missed anniversary counts 300 times more.

This is the central distinction of men and women; men want sex with a 100 different women; women want demonstrations of love and attention 100 times from the same man.

Evolution and natural selecton tells us why; a man can love many women, but a woman needs one reliable man to help her care for her children. Why are men unreliable? Because an unreliable man can still impregnate a woman.

Is one sex better than the other? Of course not. We cannot deny our genetic programming or thousands of years of evolution. We love each other, we use each other; the two acts and genders are inseparable.
Review of Bossman  
Review by Nova Dove
Rated: E | (3.5)
This is a well written piece that shows a lot of potential, both in the story and from the writer.

The characters are well drawn, both by actions and believable dialogue.

The nits are few:
- this is clearly a moral play and the name of the main character (Namsob = SOB man?) gives this away very clearly; usually a CEO is referred to by their surname, but he is called Morris throughout
- in one moment Namsob is presented as "uncompassionate" and the next "enraged", and then again "sarcastic"; only "enraged" seems too strong for his personality
- sometimes it's good to take time to build towards a climax or a significant event, but the final damning sentence about "... hinders productivity" gets this over with very quickly, potentially robbing the reader from a buildup of tension, and presenting the conclusion as something of a fait accomplit
- the writing would benefit from some more whitespace, e.g. before the line "Morris remained silent as they left" which is quite a dramatic line

I think with the skills shown in this piece, you could do a lot with corporate story material (I'm thinking work like Disclosure or Antitrust), but when you can do believable characters and dialogue, you can do almost anything.
Review of Death of a hero  
Review by Nova Dove
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
I *loved* this story. I love it because it's got a believable protagonist and beautifully sketched secondary characters. I loved the fantasy-within-reality element of the invisible flowers, as if Leon was somehow privvy to death's plans. And I loved the repeated "Gosh yes", which is exactly what I would have said if I was reviewing this story for the April contest.

When the story is this good, the nits are irrelevant. I was so grabbed by this story, that I forgot to be a reviewer and became a reader, a pure pleasure-seeking reading-thing.

I hope that when I read the rest of your portfolio, you can give me the opportunity to be a reader again. I also hope you get a book published so I can say I read your work before you were on paper.
Review by Nova Dove
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
I haven't seen the earlier chapters, but even looking just at this one, I can see that the quality of writing is very high and this story has great promise.

The two things that I would suggest to work on is perspective and pacing.

On perspective or voice, the narration is written from the viewpoint of first one character then the next. This allows the reader to get a balanced view of events, but it can blur the focus and impact of the writing.

On pacing, here's a quote that demonstrates this:

""Just as suddenly as it had started the siren cut out, the audible clicks as the deadbolts drew back unlocking the doors cut through the tension.

Now the dingy parking structure was ghostly quiet and amazingly seemed vastly empty. Devoid of life except the huddled bodies of the squad.""

This presents the events in a kind of abstract continuous present, when they are worthwhile narrating as if they were a series of surprises impacting on the reader one by one. It also splits two closely related sentences.

I'm not able to do this justice, but here's an attempt to show these events in a kind of visceral present:

"The oppressive wail of the siren stopped suddenly, leaving a cold vacuum. Shawn became aware of the sound of his own ragged breathing and the dull ache in his neck from bending over in the van.

A series of loud clicks sounded near his head made him twist suddenly before he realised it was just the deadbolts withdrawing on the door.

He looked at Andy who just nodded in response. Another member of the squad coughed dryly on the dust that had been shaken up. Shawn grasped the heavy handles and the door's weight gave smoothly, allowing a waft of cool air in.

The dingy parkhouse was eerily silent now except for muted sounds, presumably the echoes of the squad's movements.""

One other point, more to do with description than anything else. Shawn and Andy seem to have real possibilities as characters, but beware of cliches such as "gentle giant". These are your characters so reach deep and find a way to tell what's unique and memorable about them.
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