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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/profile/reviews/paigeturner
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59 Public Reviews Given
Public Reviews
1
1
Review of Bumby Stumbles  
Review by Paigeturner
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: E | (5.0)
{REVIEW: 2204055}
Hi Jacky *GreetL*

I'm pleased to send you this review of your contest entry story Bumby Stumbles. Before I begin, however, I want to explain that any suggestions I make within my review are simply that, suggestions. You're the author, you're in charge! Please don't hesitate to ask me questions. If I don't have the answer, I'll be sure to find a way of getting one to you.

Let's start *Smile*
WHAT I LIKED MOST: Your writing style is spot-on for your flash fiction story. The descriptive yet concise construction of the premise, plot and characters provide a smooth and interesting read.

FAVORITE THINGS Your use of dialogue to move the story forward. I enjoyed the adult’s reasoning with the child. Her/his imagination and kindness. And, especially this: “I got bored. I looked back to see if you had learned to fly.” Amazing! What an absolutely delightful suggestion to offer a child. I pictured this as the center upon which your story revolved.

SHOW VS TELL
Dialogue is your bread and butter in this story, and it's as it should be. Your words, combined with facial expression/body placement, provide a wealth of information to the reader, and the only images they need. Job well done!

CHARACTERS
Three-year-old Sara is still sitting there, arms crossed, grumpy face, hunched shoulders, angry Delightful characterization.

KNIT-PICKY SUGGESTIONS
crumpled up == it could use a hyphen: crumpled-up

BASICS: [Note: Review rating points can be deducted for the following:]
GRAMMAR: No errors
PUNCTUATION No errors

SNAGS: [
[Snags occur when the reader has to pause to re-read something. Snags deserve to be investigated.
]
None found

RATING EXPLANATION: You have a 5 star rating due to you excellent construction of this story. Congratulations{e:Delight

CLOSING COMMENTS: I thoroughly enjoyed your story. I must say, I was surprised when I read it was a grandparent spending time with Sara. I had assumed it was a babysitter, for no other reason than, just cause...well... maybe because they were closer in age that they remembered Bumble Stumbly, or were of an age to enjoy it more.



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2
Review of City of Dreams  
Review by Paigeturner
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
City of Dreams
November 6, 2019
Review:

Wow! Very nicely done, Joe Nelson. I can’t wait to read more. 😊

Grammar and punctuation: Great

Tension and Pacing:

I think, and this is only one person’s opinion, that you could significantly increase the pacing, suspense and tension in this chapter by experimenting with sentence length.

Building Tension:
Shorter, focused sentences, create stronger feelings of tension and suspense. Longer sentences ease the tension. Try to develop a rhythm. Shorter focused sentences to build rising tension. Fast, [even clipped] single action focused sentences at the climax; then longer sentences to ease the tension between each 'conflict'.

I found something that maybe helpful to you, Joe, in this regard. https://writeitsideways.com/7-tension-building-tip...
The author provided some advice and examples that you may find helpful.


Character development: I have a clear picture of Jax, Fat Benny and even Charlie. I like the way you’ve given each of them their own voice, vocabulary and expressions. Not always easy. Even the bouncer and junkie felt unique.

Show vs Tell:
You have a comfortable, unassuming style that invites the reader to actively join your characters in the story. To hear, see, smell and feel what’s happening to them, and around them. You’ve accomplished something that many try but few achieve. Nicely done.

• The only place I felt I struggled to see and understand what was
happening was during descriptions of the Upper City.

Special kudos for excellent sensory depiction:

• When Jax was fleeing Benny, and when he was caught in the rain you
created excellent imagery. I could hear and see and feel what was
happening to your character and emphasized with him. No small feat. 😊

• The opening of nylon flowers. Wow, another super image.
• There are so many examples I decided to stop at three.

Suggestions:
I would suggest improving the suspense, tension and pacing of the chapter to let it reach it’s full potential.

Never stop writing :) You have a wonderful talent. I can't wait to read more.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
3
3
Review by Paigeturner
Rated: ASR | (4.0)
 River Folk - Part 1  (ASR)
Humorous tale of an unfortunate child that takes matters into her own hands
#1808858 by rosewater49


Hi Rosewater - Here's my review of River Folk-Part 1. Since this is the beginning of a longer piece, I've taken that in consideration as I write the review.

WHAT I LIKED MOST:
*Thumbsup* Hissy was a water moccasin Leder used for a belt.
*Thumbsup* Clothes were woven by Ma Minnie out of cattail leaves and various vines.
*Thumbsup* living alone in a hole in the bank of a quiet tributary
*Thumbsup* what she derisively called ‘man unkind’
*Thumbsup* Premium Cowhide Goodshot - love the name!
*Thumbsup* They then called for full payment on the loans and since no one could pay, the entire town was evicted. LOL!! Poor Minnie should have stayed a little longer

STRUCTURE/MECHANICS:

*Balloon5* Upon her arrival at this place she had... Perhaps consider inserting a comma after 'arrival' to close the adverbial phrase.

*Balloon5*Henry, as she named him, was found 'was found' is passive. Perhaps consider 'When she found him, unconscious with a large lump on his head, she named him Henry.

*Balloon5*whatever a working farm would required There are two options here - delete the word 'would' or change 'required' to 'require'.

*Balloon5* She then stuck the fur all over and especially a big bunch Perhaps inserting 'an' before 'especially'.

*Balloon5* If this were to be a musical play Musical play is redundant, perhaps delete 'play'

SNAGS/INTERRUPTIONS: Areas where a reader needs to pause, or the pacing is interrupted.

*Question* Hmmm, I’m wondering about your author's note, and the lyrics to the song, inserted in the pose. Author's notes are usually found at the end of the story. In this instance, however, the reader doesn’t know when this story is taking place. And, it sounds, from your description, that the farm was very poor. Was there a radio or TV? Perhaps consider foreshadowing the song, or perhaps a lyric that Minnie hummed or sung. If you want the lyrics to stay, I think that's great, just change the placement of the Author's note along with the credits to the end of the part 1.

*Question* Are the pictures necessary for the reader to understand what old man thinks he saw? Your short explanation could be expanded (without the apology). It seems to present an ideal situation for you to 'show' the reader through your vivid descriptions the images the poor rattled man devised.


CLOSING COMMENTS:
*Star* There seem to be the beginnings of three stories here - Minnie, Henry and her children; the orphanage, and the Goodshots' success. With the interruptions noted above,the pacing and flow of of your piece can lose the readers' attention. I would normally recommend that you focus on one of the stories in each part, and transition to another part of the story with a tease.

I hope this helps.

Keep writing!

All of my above comments and suggestions are only offered as something you may want to consider. It's your story, vision and you know your characters best. If I'm able to provide something that you may find helpful within this review, that's super!

*Flower5**Flower5* I'd be happy to review/rate your story again after an edit. Just send a message.

All my best,
Paige

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4
4
Review of The Village Idiot  
Review by Paigeturner
In affiliation with  
Rated: E | (4.0)
 The Village Idiot  (E)
Humorous tale of life on the farm.
#1801745 by rosewater49


Hi Rosewater49 –

Welcome to WDC!

As you requested, here is my review of your delightful short story Village Idiot.

FIRST IMPRESSION:
*RainbowL* From the beginning to the end of your imaginative story, I felt captivated by its delightful descriptions, whimsical settings, creative characters, and subtle humor. Kudos!

WHAT I LIKED MOST:
*Thumbsup* knickknacks pertaining to idiotdom. Delightful!

*Thumbsup* He came into notoriety when he received a lower SAT score than did Harmon, the family mule. you may want to consider deleting the word ‘did’, to strengthen the comparison
Fun!

*Thumbsup* I thoroughly enjoyed reading the litany of challenges and counter challenges involved in your story.

*Thumbsup* Loved Harmon and Clucky!

*Thumbsup* I enjoyed Tater’s clever transition and his barn ruse!

*Thumbsup* The ending was wonderful!


STRUCTURE/MECHANICS:

*Balloon5* 10 years running We usually spell out numbers that require one or two words, and use figures for longer numbers.

*Balloon5* In a small county in a very rural area of a southern state …
Perhaps consider revising run-on prepositional phrases. Maybe something like this might help: In a small county tucked inside a hidey-hole of a southern state, …

Try to avoid using words that can sap the strength of your sentences . Such as: very, slightly, almost, truly, a bit, quite, just, something, seem(s), some, somewhat, etc.

*Balloon5* fortune almost came to an end at the end of the fourth year
In this instance, perhaps consider rephrasing this passage to eliminate the repeated use of ‘end’. Maybe, at the conclusion of the fourth year might work.


PASSIVE VOICE CORRECTIONS :

In a passive voicethe subject is acted upon; he, she, it receives the action expressed by the verb. It invariably includes: was [word], will be [word], by [word(s)].

In a sentence using an active voice, the subject of the sentence performs the action expressed in the verb.

*X* No ordinary dullard can expect to be selected.

Simply stated, the dullard must be exceptional. Nothing less will satisfy the coveted award’s demands.

*X* that the damage had apparently already been done
Perhaps consider rephrasing this passage: that he didn’t think they could reverse the damage, and…

*X* The test was to be conducted
Maybe revising this passage to read something like: They decided to conduct the test…

PUNCTUATION:

*Right* If the Gunderstubles had known about this arrangement they…
Since the sentence begins with a prepositional phrase, a comma is needed at its conclusion: If the Gunderstubles had known about this arrangement, they
Please review your story for similar punctuation omissions.

*Right* “Get out of the way”. In this instance, the period should be inside the quotes.

*Right* When he was approached by Tater to consider the open position of VP he was afraid to decline. I would suggest putting a comma after ‘VP’, to close the adverbial ‘when’ phrase.
You may want to review your story for similar phrases.

*Right* Tater & Assoc. are making enormous profits, Tater… A period is needed, rather than a comma.

*Right* Harmon feels pretty lucky about his lot in life but the local veterinarian is at a loss…
In this instance, there are two related clauses separated by the conjunction ‘but’. Put a comma after ‘life’.
You may want to review your story for similar punctuation.

*Right* When he was approached by Tater to consider the open position of VP he was afraid to decline. I would suggest putting a comma after ‘VP’, to close the adverbial ‘when’ phrase.
You may want to review your story for similar punctuation.

SPELLING:
*Xr* commerical trade – I believe the word is ‘ commercial’

SNAGS/QUESTIONS :

*Question* Is it necessary to give the dimensions of the two huts, or could their description be simplified as: ‘a long rectangle, fifteen feet high.’

*Question* the mournful buss of the airplane’s engine Should be ‘buzz’ instead of ‘buss’?.

*Question* his class mates, the chickens ’Classmates’ can be spelled as one word.

*Question* , along with and four metal kerosene It seems that the word ‘and’ was missed during your edit. You may want to delete it.



SUGGESTIONS:

*Note4* , for the mule passed gas when frightened, I would suggest that you ‘showcase’ this information, rather than bury it within a long sentence. It’s a wonderful use of foreshadowing that could be missed.

*Note4* When Tater’s parents challenged the then-current Village Idiot,…

You might want to consider reviewing this paragraph. There are a number interesting and fun things within this long paragraph that the reader could miss. I usually recommend limiting the focus within a paragraph to one – two at the most. Perhaps consider giving ‘tater’ his own paragraph; the Oalf family’s protest another, and so on.

CLOSING COMMENTS:

*Star* I can’t wait to read more of your work!

*Star* Your imaginative premise to this story, supported by clever twists and turns, and its country-spun humor makes Village Idiot one of my favorites.

I’d be happy to re-rate your story after an edit. Just let me know when you’re ready.

Thank you for sharing such an enjoyable story.

Keep writing! You’ve got talent.

All my best,
Paige

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5
5
Review by Paigeturner
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
 Show, Don't Tell Short - Ruby  (18+)
What starts out as a typical day for Ruby quickly becomes surreal.
#1802383 by panicwritten


Hi Tazz

This is a review of your scene Show, Don't Tell Short - Ruby. I based this review on the Show Don’t Tell Contest’s Judging Criteria, as well as the Contest’s Reviewing Criteria.

*Gift4* How many elements of the "Contest Scenario" does the author show? 25

*Gift4* Does the scene show all 25 elements? Yes

FIRST IMPRESSION:

*Balloon3* The scene’s word count was perfect! Nice job.
*Balloon3* You incorporated all of the required elements of the Contest Scene.
*Balloon3* Ruby’s actions, thoughts, and dialogue were believable, and appropriate to the scene – Great job!

WHAT I LIKED MOST
*Gift1* I liked the way you began the scene, by immediately involving the reader into the action of scene.
*Gift1* The description of the lobby, security guards, and the interior interview room provided clear pictures.
*Gift1* I had a clear understanding of Ruby's surroundings within each segment of the scene.
*Gift1* “The movements were all slithery and slick; almost as if his feet never made contact with the floor under his highly polished black shoes.” This is a neat visual image!
*Gift1* Ruby’s reactions to , and within, the various events in the scene created empathy. I cared about her! Kudos *BigSmile*

PLOT DEVELOPMENT and RESOLUTION
*Balloon2* The scene’s plot development progressed smoothly without any snags.
*Balloon2* The scene’s pacing and tension were consistent.
*Balloon2* The scene's resolution contained tension. It clearly showed the emotional and physical toll that the day's experiences had taken on Ruby. Nicely done.

CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT:
*Balloon1* Ruby’s emotional reactions seemed appropriate to the various plot points of the scene.
*Balloon1* Her dialogue, both verbal and non-verbal, seemed appropriate to the situations.
*Balloon1* Ruby’s voice throughout the scene was unique and identifiable.

SPELLING:

*Bullet* No spelling errors found! Great job! It’s always a pleasure to read a careful author’s work.

GRAMMAR/PUNCTUATION :

*Bullet* “You have done quite enough, thank you.” She snapped in frustration and pushed past him.
Since the entire passage is meant to be read as one sentence, with only a pause between the quote and the identification of the speaker, a comma is needed before the quote. “You have done quite enough, thank you,” she snapped in frustration, and pushed past him. You may wish to review your story for similar punctuation revisions.

*Bullet* When she was several feet away Ruby began to feel remorse for her behavior.
When she was several feet away is an dependent clause, which needs a comma to separate it from the independent clause: Ruby began to feel remorse for her behavior. You may want to consider checking your grammar/punctuation settings on your word processor, in order to catch similar omissions.

*Bullet* The masked face slowly turned back to front smoothly as if on casters.
Since the phrase ‘as if on casters’ is a prepositional phrase and gives the reader more information on how the masked face turned, it needs a comma before it. The masked face slowly turned back to front smoothly, as if on casters. You may want to review your writing for similar prepositional phrase punctuation.

WORDINESS:

*Bullet* It was not the man’s fault. She was already in a foul enough mood she could pluck wings off flies and enjoy it.
In this example, I would suggest making: It was not the man’s fault. a complete sentence. I also would suggest considering a revision to the second sentence. Removing non-essential words can increase the overall strength of this sentence. it was not the man’s fault. Her mood was so foul that she could pluck wings off flies and enjoy it.”

*Bullet* Ruby yanked and pulled on it again and again all to no avail.
In this instance, ‘again and again’ is redundant and leads to wordiness – perhaps substituting ‘repeatedly’ and deleting ‘all’ could improve the sentence’s strength. When reviewing your writing for wordiness, be ruthless. Delete any non-essential words, and put every word to work in your sentences.

SHOW vs. TELL:
*Gift3*Overall, I think you accomplished a good ratio between Show and Tell, but I noticed only three of the five senses within your scene - taste and smell seem to be missing.

*Bullet* Giving in to her growing frustration Ruby jabs the wall of black in the shoulder blade with her index finger.
Perhaps letting the reader see the action in the sentence would be better. Maybe, Giving into her growing frustration, Ruby stared at the rude man’s shoulder blades, then jabbed her index finger against the suited wall of black.

*Bullet* There was a nudge from behind her and Ruby looked at the doughy security guard.
Perhaps using her sense of feel in this sentence would improve the Show vs. Tell factor: Ruby felt a nudge from behind, and then looked at the doughy security guard.


SUGGESTIONS:
*Bullet* Ruby caught a glimpse of a doughy older gentleman at the checkpoint and idly thought if he were..."

Perhaps consider changing the word ‘thought ‘ to ‘wondered’, which seems to fit more aptly into the prepositional phrase ‘if he were counting the days to retirement. ’

CLOSING COMMENTS:)
Tazz, it was a pleasure to read your scene. I feel that you created an interesting interpretation of the contest's scene.

Keep Writing!

All my best,
Paige

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6
6
Review of This I Believe  
Review by Paigeturner
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
 This I Believe  (13+)
An essay written for submission to NPR's this I believe.
#1800646 by quinlangal


FIRST IMPRESSION:
*Gift3* Awed
*Gift3*I'm a believer in Heaven, and have read quite a bit about life after death experiences. I find them fascinating and comforting at the same time.


WHAT I LIKED MOST:
*Thumbsup* I like the voice in your piece. Straight forward and succinctly written. Thank you for not over-dramatizing the event, although for your husband, family and friends it must have been six weeks of hell waiting until you could return to them.

*Thumbsup* The pacing was comfortable. I seemed like you were sitting in my living room and relating the story to me. Casually, but its impact is impressive.


STRUCTURE/MECHANICS:
*Balloon5* Very good


SNAGS:
*Question* Didn't notice any - Kudos!



SUGGESTIONS:
*Note4* None - I liked your story just the way it is.



CLOSING COMMENTS:
*Star* You are truly blessed, in my estimation, to be granted a glimpse of our next step.



Keep writing! You've got a wonderful talent and reasons to be here. Have fun with it.


All my best,
Paige
My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Go Noticed.

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7
7
Review by Paigeturner
Rated: E | (5.0)
 Good mommy (and bad mommy)  (E)
Just a crazy little reflection piece on good mommy and bad mommy.
#1801100 by LilacorFTW



FIRST IMPRESSION: (5 out of 5 points)
*Balloon3* Interesting format good versus bad
*Balloon3* clever juxtaposing between the two.

WHAT I LIKED MOST: (1 Bonus point for each = 3 +1=4 for being so clever in the ending)
*Gift1* The laid back, honesty in the piece. No preaching, just telling it like it is. Clearly and succinctly.
*Gift1* The layers of honesty on both sides were gently upgraded by sparks of dry humor.
*Gift1* The ending! Marvelous :D

PLOT DEVELOPMENT AND RESOLUTION: ( 4 out of 5 points)
*Umbrella* Slow, but consistent pacing, made this story interesting to read.
*Umbrella* The ending - unexpected yet fun.

CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT: (5 out of 5 points)
*Right* While we don't have a picture of either 'character,'
*Right* it was interesting to see my mind's imagined image of both 'Characters.' They were diametrically different in appearance, assumed backgrounds, etc.

THE BASICS: (25 out of 25 points)
*LeafG* Excellent job.

SPELLING:
*Bullet* Excellent job.

GRAMMAR/PUNCTUATION:
*Bullet* Excellent job.

PASSIVE VOICE:
*Bullet* Excellent job.

WORDINESS:
*Bullet* Excellent job.

SUGGESTIONS TO CLARIFY:
*Bullet* None


RATING POINTS: Total: out of a possible 45+ points = 44
40+ POINTS =5 without any BASICS' errors ; 35-39=4.5; 34-30=4; 29-25=3.5; 24-20=3.0; 19-15=2.5; 14-10=2; 9-5=1.5; 4-0=1.0

CLOSING COMMENTS:)
It was an interesting and fun read.

KEEP WRITING. You've got talent!


All my best,
Paige

My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Go Noticed.

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8
8
Review by Paigeturner
Rated: ASR | (4.0)
Hi Shawnte!

As you requested, here is my review on Ouija. Before you begin reading my review, please keep in mind that my comments and suggestions below are offered only as suggestions. Keep what you find useful and ignore the rest. *BigSmile*

FIRST IMPRESSION:
*Gift3* I liked your story. The premise of the story was very interesting.

*Gift3* The accents that you used throughout the dialogue were consistent and quite interesting.

*Gift3* I thoroughly enjoyed your writing style in this story.


WHAT I LIKED MOST:
*Thumbsup* Weaving two stories into one, can be troublesome - for both the reader and the author. I think you did a good job of keeping both story lines interesting and moving forward, without backtracking.

*Thumbsup* I liked the pacing and flow of your story.

*Thumbsup* It was late Spring, but you couldn’t tell by the gray sky that followed us out of school like a tiger stalking its prey. Great description.

*Thumbsup*She put a cigarette to her lips, drew it in slowly, and let the smoke out like she was about to give a dissertation. Clever! I love the image.


PLOT DEVELOPMENT AND RESOLUTION:

Shawnte, the plot development, and ending were wonderful, I thought.

The pacing and flow was consistent and engaging.


CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT:
*Thumbsup* I thoroughly enjoyed the characters in your story. Each had their own 'voice'. Very good job!


SHOW to TELL RATIO:

Your story is unique in its voice, its weaving and, to my way of thinking, you have achieved a comfortable Show to Tell ratio throughout.


GRAMMAR and PUNCTUATION:
*Bullet* “The Exorcist”, it had just went off Perhaps: "“The Exorcist” that we had just watched."

*Bullet*“Yeah it’s cool. Wait ‘til you see it, Lacy said, setting the game in the middle of the coffee table.

*Bullet*Carrie sneaked out of the house,

*Bullet*No one lived in the house acceptexcept me and my grandparents,

Shawnte, you may want to review your story for punctuation insertions.


SNAGS THAT INTERRUPTED THE FLOW OF THE STORY:
*Question* That’s what we were all doing in the living room watching “The Exorcist” anyway; we were at our Aunt May’s house entertaining ourselves while the adults played cards.

In your 3rd paragraph, the above phrase is redundant, since the reader remembers that you and your cousins had just watched the movie.


STRUCTURE/MECHANICS:
*Balloon5* I thoroughly enjoyed your 'voice' throughout this story. While the accents are regional, you've done an excellent job keeping each voice unique. Excellent job.


SUGGESTIONS:
*Note4* Picky warning! Auburn High School was a huge school with several exits to escape from Maybe instead of "from" use the word "through".

*Note4* Once we made it past the fence to catch the bus we were off school property and all the security guards could say to us was “You won’t make it pass the fence next time.”, but we had to get there first. I think you may have meant to end the sentence at "time." I would agree. You could begin your next sentence with "But we had to get there first."

*Note4* Picky warning!Lacy asked looking at Carrie, who in return shook her head yes. Instead of "shook her head yes" maybe "nodded her head"

*Note4*She put a cigarette to her lips,

*Note4*I told them how I decided I wasn’t going to wreck my brain Did you mean to say 'wreck' or 'wrack'?

*Note4*She had stood there looking into the darkness for a few minutes - just staring.

*Note4*and started grinding her lips. Hmmm, 'grinding her teeth' or maybe 'pressing her lips together nervously' (?)

*Note4*“I’m still mad at Dave, I swear I am,” Aunt Camille said,

*Note4*no one even blinked an eye. Blinked an eye falls into redundant phrasing, but, since your story is being written conversationally, you can consider this observation as Picky {e:BigSmile

*Note4*and pierced her lips, I think the word you're looking for is 'pursed' To gather or contract (the lips or brow) into wrinkles or folds.

{e:note4}The killer is said to be Gary Hilton on Auburn just. I'm not sure what "just" means in this sentence.

CLOSING COMMENTS:
*Star* Nicely done, Shawnte. I enjoyed the read. I found your characters memorable. And most importantly, I couldn't stop reading it!

Keep writing! You've got talent!

All of my above comments and suggestions are only offered as something you may want to consider. It's your story, vision and you know your characters best. If I'm able to provide something that you may find helpful within this review, that's super!

*Flower5**Flower5* I'd be happy to review/rate your story again after an edit. Just send a message.

All my best,
Paige

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My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Go Noticed.
9
9
Review of The Bodhi Tree  
Review by Paigeturner
Rated: 13+ | (3.5)
 The Bodhi Tree  (13+)
A 40-something woman living in Islamabad wakes up in her balcony and goes for a run.
#1786064 by Airaz Amor


Hi Airaz

As you requested, here is my review of The Bodhi Tree . Before you read further, please keep in mind that my comments and suggestions below are only offered as suggestions. Take whatever seems helpful, and ignore the rest. *BigSmile*

FIRST IMPRESSION:
*Balloon3* I really like the premise of your character study/short story. So simple, yet complex.

*Balloon3* In some writing instances, less is more. Meaning that succinct phrasing and selecting the 'perfect' descriptive word will do more to enhance your writing and descriptive pictures than '50-cent words' that some readers may have to look-up to understand. We never want to break the pace, tension or flow of a story for a reader.


WHAT I LIKED MOST:
*Gift1* "the night-ripened stars and the seashell moon above the sleeping city." Beautiful phrasing that creates a lovely picture. The phrasing is tight and every word works to create the image. Exceptional!

*Gift1* "the road turned north and the forest floor descended to meet it" Simple, yet well-crafted phrasing that creates a lovely memory-picture for the reader. You've struck a positive chord with this word picture. By giving your readers memory-pictures, such as this, the writer captures and holds the readers' interest. Again, every word in the phrasing works to create the image. Good job!

*Gift1* "A lone, straggling prayer-call was ringing in the air" Nice!

*Gift1* "The leaves whispered and the wood whistled" Oh wow! I love this image. Awesome.

PLOT DEVELOPMENT AND RESOLUTION:
*Bullet* You've done a good job organizing your story! I have a clear picture of Ana's path from awakening, to her jog through the forest until she arrives home.


PACING, FLOW AND TENSION:
*Bullet* Pacing, flow and tension gives your story rhythm.
*Bullet* Just like music, rhythm is the backbone of the melody and a story.
If there is no change in the rhythm, the reader will either become bored or exhausted.

*Bullet* You may want to review your character study to look for areas that stream - i.e., where the sentence structure is the same throughout a paragraph or section. Perhaps look for sections where you want the reader to feel Ana's rising excitement or tension. Also look for areas that you want the story to slow its pace to enhance the visual images or when you want to delve into Ana's reactions, emotions.

I've found the following helpful when developing tension in my stories:
*PointRight* Shorter, focused sentences create stronger feelings of tension.
*PointRight* Longer sentences ease the tension.
*PointRight* Shorter, focused sentences begin to build tension.
*PointRight* Use fast, single action sentences at the climax; then relieve the tension with longer sentences between each 'conflict'.

*Bullet* You may want to review the 2nd paragraph of your story. Perhaps look for ways to change its pace; Show the reader Ana's rising feelings by changing the length and focus of your sentences to build tension.

*Bullet* Pace and flow are also impacted by the focus, action, and/or intent of our paragraphs.

For example, in your 3rd paragraph there are a number of separate actions/descriptions that occur within it. You may want to review the paragraph to decide whether there are sections within it that you want to separate to enhance their impact, flow, tension and pace of your story.

*Bullet* A streaming (run-on) paragraph can have a negative impact on your reader by interrupting/snagging the flow/pace of your story. Rather than using semi-colons, consider biting the bullet and use periods instead. In my humble opinion, semi-colons should be used rarely within a story.

CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT:
*Bullet* First and foremost, I like Ana! Although I'm not sure I understand her motivations.
*Bullet* I noticed areas that you may want to review. These are areas that, as a reader, I wanted to know more.

*PointRight* "...she thought: So this is the part they leave out in the movies.

I like the thought, because it's open ended and can lead into so many interesting areas. However, it created questions for me. The first question is whether she's angry, disappointed, or just frustrated. Then the important follow-up question is - Why?

In this instance, her thought occurs in the early stage of your story. Your reader doesn't know anything about Ana other than she has just awoken on a balcony and is looking through the glass door at a sleeping person called Junaid.

It's easy for us (writers) to forget that the reader isn't in our mind and can't see what we are visualizing. They also don't know what we do about our characters.

*PointRight* "The tactile warmth of the rug below her feet made her stop on the way to the bathroom. She sat down on the edge of the bed."

Did Ana stop, then sit on the edge of the bed because her feet touched the rug, or was her motivation the sleeping Junaid? Who is Junaid? I ask the question because at this point in the story - assuming I haven't read the story to its end, I want to know.

*PointRight* I feel as if I missed the importance of the Bodhi tree to Ana. Is it a symbol to her? Or, perhaps it's an analogy, since you continue by tell us: "In the middle were the two of them, fearing no intrusion, human or animal, in that part of the forest off the beaten path."

Airaz, this may be an area to review and perhaps enhance, if the Bodhi Tree is an important element to the story and the reader's understanding of Ana.

SHOW VERSUS TELL:

*Bullet* As the Author of The Bohdi Tree you decide how you want to share your story with your readers.

'Tell' is passive. The reader listens to the narrator telling the story and relating facts. Stories involving action, emotions or centering on one character, as in a character study, usually require more show than tell; essays or journals may require more tell.

'Show' is active. It allows the reader's active involvement in the story and character bonding. Show allows the reader to relate to the characters' 5 senses - (seeing, hearing, feeling, smelling and tasting) This is accomplished through the word-pictures the author develops.


Airaz, you may want to consider increasing the ratio of 'Show' to 'Tell' in your story. By incorporating more 'Show' into your story, there are more opportunities to provide your readers with a keener understanding of Ana's thoughts and motivations.

Try it; you might like it. *BigSmile*

THE BASICS:

SPELLING:
*Bullet* Excellent! I didn't find any spelling errors. Great job!

} GRAMMAR/PUNCTUATION:
*Bullet* Semi-colons, run-on sentences and paragraphs - which I mentioned above. In my estimation, that's least onerous error within the category because it's the easiest to correct and move away from in your writing.

WORDINESS:


When I began writing I adored finding the longest, sometimes the most archiac words, to create what I thought were profound word-pictures. The best word I found at the time was Tintinnabulation.

I was trying to describe the sounds of trebuchets buffeting a castle's walls during a siege. I missed the mark - Tintinnabulation means tinkling bells - LOL. The morale of the story is that my readers spent more time in the dictionary than reading my story. Most stopped reading my work.

The bottom line: I wasn't impressing anyone with my choice of long, 50-cent or archaic words. 'Big or archaic words don't improve , or make your writing more readable. Many times they can diminish the quality of your work. Instead, look for words that paint the strongest visual picture.

*Bullet* Before using a word found in a Thesarsus, Ideanary, or other synonym finder, look up its definition! Words can have different meanings depending on its part of speech - verb, noun, adjective, etc.

TIPS ON HOW TO AVOID WORDINESS:

*Bullet* Put every word to work in your sentences.

*Bullet* Delete any non-essential words that may be cluttering your sentences. Be ruthless in your editing of sentences and paragraphs.

*Bullet* Avoid words that sap the strength of the sentence and blur the visual image. Instead, use the subject and verb to carry the sentence's strength.

*Bullet* Avoid stating the obvious.
*Cut* delete or reword passages that explain or describe in detail what would already be obvious to readers, or has already been explained in the story.

*Cut* Do not show every mundane movement of a character. If they are opening a door, you do not have to tell the reader the key went into the lock, the character turned the key then the knob, pushed/pulled and then saw the door open.

*Bullet* Avoid redundant phrasing
*Cut* sat down, stood up, past memories


STORY EXAMPLES:

*Bullet* "It was cold, and she had woken up with her elbows tucked between her knees. She was fumbling for the blanket, and not finding it, she tried to open her eyes. Blinking in the cerulean light of dawn, she saw it. Through the glass door to the room, she saw Junaid's foot hung over the side of the bed, the upper part of his body disappearing into the blanket. Watching it indolently moving with his breathing body,..."

The early morning air felt frosty against Ana's body. Elbows tucked between her knees on the balcony recliner, she softly moaned within the shiver rolling down her spine. A sleep-numb hand reluctantly left its warm pocket to chase away goosebumps, then blindly searched for the warmth of her husband's body.

An inaudible mumble of disappointment forced her mind beyond the soothing abyss of unconsciousness. Rolling on her back, Ana's hand searched for the blanket. "Damn," escaped her lips in a soft whisper.

Her eyelids fluttered. Capturing tiny snatches of the Cerulean hued dawn before quickly closing.

Rolling on her side, she slowly opened her eyes. Through the glass patio doors she looked into their bedroom. Cocooned within the warmth of her blanket, her husband slept. Ana's eyes studied the details of Junaid's disembodied foot dangling over the end of the their bed.



*Bullet* "She straightened out her legs"

*Bullet* she expanded out her arm to reached for the edge of the white sheet drooping

*Bullet* she dropped her feet to the stood on the cold floor and let them carry her inside. slowly walking into the bedroom

*Bullet* The undulating flesh of the calf above Junaid’s foot was visible where his leg emerged out of the blanket.

Is "undulating" the correct word? Undulating usually describes motion, i.e., moving as waves. Perhaps there is a better way to describe the curve of his leg.

*Bullet* A lone, straggling prayer-call was ringing in the air when she hit the asphalt, but she drowned the plaint by turning up the music in her ears.

"hit" breaks the image. While we may use the word 'Hit' conversationally, as in "hit the road", in our writing we want to avoid colloquial expressions, unless it's conversationally appropriate to the character.

"plaint" hmmmm, is Plaint commonly used to describe prayers?

*Bullet* She cut through the empty lot to make for toward the road heading east. to meet the It was the fastest path to the woods.



CLOSING COMMENTS:)
Airaz, I like your story, Bohdi Tree. It's got so much potential, especially with your ability to create such pretty word-pictures.

If there is anything I can do to help you further, please contact me.

Keep Writing! You've got talent!



All my best,
Paige

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My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Go Noticed.
10
10
Review of Prissy's Project  
Review by Paigeturner
Rated: E | (4.5)
 Prissy's Project  (E)
Prissy wonders if the phrase 'no good deed goes unpunished' will apply to her today...
#1301563 by i'mthemom


Hi I'mthemom! Here is my review of Prissy's Project Please keep in mind that these are only my thoughts, comments and suggestions and are offered only as things you may want to consider. Take whatever you may feel is helpful, if anything, and ignore the rest *Bigsmile*

FIRST IMPRESSION:
*Gift3* This is a delightful story centering on Prissy and the angst of being an eighth grader.
*Gift3* It was a fast and enjoyable read with sparks of humor.
*Gift3* The flow, pacing and tension were very well done. *Bigsmile*
*Gift3* The dialog in the story was realistic and moved the story forward. Each conversational segment gave the reader more insight into the characters and their lives.

WHAT I LIKED MOST:
*Thumbsup* Your writing style and the voice used in the story was very well done. Its candor and straight forward approach was refreshing.
*Thumbsup* While there was a primary lesson to be learned through the story, it was subtley presented, without preaching. The subplot involving Abbey and the twins was delightful.
*Thumbsup* Listening to Prissy's thoughts and the narration throughout the story was delightful. It brings back so many memories of those Junior High and High School years. Some things never change *Bigsmile*

PLOT DEVELOPMENT AND RESOLUTION:
The plot development in the story was done beautifully. The background gave the reader a good foundation. The plot developed slowly allowing the reader to understand and empathize with Prissy's concerns, and they could relate to similar experiences in their own lives. I thought the resolution was perfect. It wasn't over done, and like your conversations, it was both appropriate and realistic.

CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT:
Your development of Prissy was delightful. I bonded with her quickly and enjoyed meeting the other characters in the story. I would have liked to hear more of her thoughts and conversations, and see more of her world, but I thought that the narration style you chose for the story worked very nicely.

SHOW VERSUS TELL:
Prissy's Project has a much higher 'tell' ratio than 'show.' But the areas that were shown were wonderful and I enjoyed the involvement as a reader.

SPELLING:
*Check2* No errors noticed. Great job proofing! *Bigsmile*

GRAMMAR/PUNCTUATION:
*Bullet* "She didn’t seem anything like her friends moms." friends' moms

SNAGS THAT INTERRUPTED THE FLOW OF THE STORY:
*Question* None noticed! *Bigsmile*

STRUCTURE/MECHANICS:
*Balloon5* Perfect! *Bigsmile*

SUGGESTIONS:
*Note4* "She realized most kids in eighth grade saw Bree as some sort of alien creature, so different from them, as different as someone from another planet." I would suggest deleting 'as different as someone from another planet' since it repeats the earlier comparison of: 'as some sort of alien creature'

CLOSING COMMENTS:
*Star* I'mthemom, I thoroughly enjoyed your story! I found myself relating to Prissy on so many levels, which made the story so enjoyable.
*Star* Have you considered submitting this for publication in the pre-teen, or teen market?

Thank you so much for writing this story and sharing it with us!

I'd be happy to review/rate your story again after an edit. Just send a message.

Keep writing!

All of my above comments and suggestions are only offered as something you may want to consider. It's your story, vision and you know your characters best. If I'm able to provide something that you may find helpful within this review, that's super!

All my best,
Paige

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11
11
Review by Paigeturner
Rated: 18+ | (3.5)
 As We Wait We Sing  (18+)
A crossroads for two relationships.
#1293117 by Gabriel


Hi Gabriel! As you requested, this is my review of As We Wait We Sing. Please keep in mind that all of my comments and suggestions below are offered only as suggestions.

FIRST IMPRESSION:
*Gift3* This was an interesting, albeit dark, exploration of two lost souls searching for love.
*Gift3* The pacing was consistent, although I found some of the unique phrasing interrupted the flow of the story for me.


WHAT I LIKED MOST:
*Thumbsup* "rubbed the back of his neck as if sawing wood" Great description! *Bigsmile*
*Thumbsup* "Jonas’ head snapped up like an awakened dragon." Neat description! *Bigsmile*
*Thumbsup* "wind was still wrestling with the frail willow spines and leaves," Another great description. *Bigsmile*
*Thumbsup* This story has more than one level. On the top level is the story of two disparate individuals searching for what they believe will make them whole and end their unhappy existence. On a deeper level is their relationship - sharing the same home, but never really knowing one another or being able to tell the other how they feel, or that they care for each other. I found it haunting in its ambiguity and open ending. It echos many similar relationships that I've personally witnessed. *Bigsmile*

PLOT DEVELOPMENT AND RESOLUTION:
There are two stories here bridged by the father and son relationship of the main characters. They travel down the same path searching for an elusive element, which neither finds, but the reader knows that their search will never end.

CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT:
Both characters were developed slowly, with background information that allowed the reader to understand some of the hurdles they faced in their separate quests for happiness.

Lawrence: “I don’t pay you to ask me useless questions." OUCH! That sentence says volumes about Lawrence's personality.

SHOW VERSUS TELL:
There is more tell than show in this story. I think by bringing more show into the story, completing conversations, and giving the reader some physical descriptions, you'll be able to round out each personality and bring the reader closer to each character.

SPELLING:
*Check2* Good proofing! No errors noticed. *Bigsmile*

GRAMMAR/PUNCTUATION:
*Bullet* “No.” He responded truthfully. The usual punctuation for this would be "No," he responded truthfully.
*Bullet* “I don’t know.” He whispered The punctuation here would be: "...know," he whispered."
*Bullet* "“She wanted to.” Jonas responded" The same punctuation as above: "...to," Jonas responded."


SNAGS THAT INTERRUPTED THE FLOW OF THE STORY:
*Question* I'm not sure what 'bust' this means in this sentence - "Lawrence was bust watching her eat."


WORDINESS:

*Bullet* as he sat himself back in the car
*Bullet* Save for that he missed his son
*Bullet* Normally he wouldn’t take Kayla’s word WASN'T worth a grain of salt
*Bullet* that old cemetery on which WHERE he and his secret love
*Bullet* so readily was the sure confirmation of his beliefs.
*Bullet* and waited for the next crossroad. s to make its way to their feet.


STRUCTURE:
*Balloon5* The story's structure was appropriate. Nicely done. *Bigsmile*

SUGGESTIONS:
*Note4* " don’t- hell, just because I- s***, who cares what I believe in" Instead of a dash, I would suggest using ellipses ... to show a pause in his conversation, which will read faster. "don't ... hell, just because I ... s***, who cares

*Note4* " away from him, by the hands of organized religion" I would suggest deleting the comma.

*Note4* "He delved into his architecture" 'delved' threw me here. Is he researching, exploring points of architecture? Or did you mean he dove into his work?

*Note4* "asked his secretary not to be disturbed." As it's written, it sounds as if he was going to tell his secretary something that would be upsetting. Perhaps 'told his secretary he didn't want to be disturbed" would work better here.

*Note4* "along with the family of four who swerved into her on a snapped brake cable," Perhaps rephrasing this would make it clearer. Maybe something like: along with the family of four in the car when the brake cable snapped and swevered into her.

*Note4* "witnessing how easy their relationship" Perhaps, "how easily their ..."

*Note4* "Lawrence left with a heavy head." I've never heard the phrase 'heavy head' before. Is it like a heavy burden? Or guilt?

*Note4* "not to stop until she hit the airplane to California" Rather than 'hit,' perhaps 'boarded the airplane'

*Note4* "wanted her married hand" another new one :) Maybe instead of 'married hand' would "wanted to marry her' work here?

*Note4* "truck with everything she belonged in it" Instead of 'belonged" perhaps the word 'owned' would be a better fit.

*Note4*"darker than Satan lurked beneath those skins" her skin.

*Note4*"But these present tears tasted much bitter" perhaps: tasted more bitter

*Note4*"aimed to shout to wake the dead" Maybe instead: "wanted to shout loud enough to wake...

*Note4*"the weaved carpet of burnt..." perhaps 'woven carpet' would work here.

*Note4*"left his father with another path" Perhaps: 'left his father on a different path..."

CLOSING COMMENTS:
*Star* As I said above, this story had a haunting quality to it for me. Perhaps because i have known so many fathers and sons who have gone through the same endless search, never realizing that the closeness they were searching for was waiting for them at home.

Thank you for writing this, Gabriel. I would enjoy reading an edit of this story.

Keep writing!

All of my above comments and suggestions are only offered as something you may want to consider. It's your story, vision and you know your characters best. If I'm able to provide something that you may find helpful within this review, that's super!

*Flower5**Flower5* I'd be happy to review/rate your story again after an edit. Just send a message.

All my best,
Paige

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12
12
Review by Paigeturner
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
 The Tender Mercy of Death  (13+)
A story of a teenage boy and the encounter that changed his life.
#1293108 by Gabriel



Hi Gabriel! Welcome to Writing.com. It's a pleasure having you among us.

As you requested, here is my review of The Tender Mercy of Death. Please keep in mind that the comments and suggestions below are offered only as suggestions.

FIRST IMPRESSION:
*Gift3* This is an awesome story!
*Gift3* The writing style, voice, pace and tension throughout was excellent.
*Gift3* The premise of the story was unique, tender, and moving. You controlled the tension beautifully, interjecting soft, warm moments amongst frightening ones. Superb.



WHAT I LIKED MOST:
*Thumbsup* Your writing style and voice is unique and engaging. When I began the story I read it through non-stop.
*Thumbsup* In a story of this type you achieved an excellent show ratio. Involving the reader in every phase of the story through you deft descriptions and conversations.
*Thumbsup* Your phrasing and sentence construction was excellent. This is one of my favorites: "My eyes followed each drop pushing the other forward down the slope, until finally they hung off the curved tip of the ice. I waited for stretched minutes until the molecules threw in the towel and let go of the ice,allowing the droplet of water to free fall through the melting winter air."
*Thumbsup* "She spoke in a grainy, filtered voice that came through like an old radio." Beautiful description that allowed me to hear her voice.


PLOT DEVELOPMENT AND RESOLUTION:
The plot was so unique, yet developed with such maturity and insight that it surprised me and held me captive within the evolving story. Your braiding the past with the present was very well done. The resolution was painful yet peaceful, and left me wondering if that's what really happens.

CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT:
I genuinely cared about Harbor. So many questions remained, but they always do when something like that happens. But I feel as if I knew him. I liked the voice you chose for him. Matter of fact, candid and at times, I heard the little boy. Excellent job.

SHOW VERSUS TELL:
The show ratio was over the top in this dialog driven story. The reader was involved with Harbor during every moment, which is what made the story so captivating for me.


SPELLING:
*Check2* None noticed, excellent proofing! *Bigsmile*

GRAMMAR:
No errors noticed! *Bigsmile*

SNAGS THAT INTERRUPTED THE FLOW OF THE STORY:
*Question* None noticed *Bigsmile*

STRUCTURE/MECHANICS:
*Balloon5* Excellent structure and mechanics *Bigsmile*

SUGGESTIONS:
*Note4* None to offer. It's an excellent story, Gabriel! *Bigsmile*
Just never stop writing, Gabriel!

CLOSING COMMENTS:
*Star* Gabriel, you have a wonderful talent! It was a pleasure reading The Tender Mercy of Death. It's earned every one of the 5 stars!


Keep writing!

All of my above comments and suggestions are only offered as something you may want to consider. It's your story, vision and you know your characters best. If I'm able to provide something that you may find helpful within this review, that's super!

All my best,
Paige

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13
13
Review of Bacon  
Review by Paigeturner
Rated: E | (4.0)
 Bacon  (E)
Someone must stand up to the evil magical powers of Bacon. Bob is the only one who can.
#1133269 by sean


Hi Sean! As you requested, here is my review on Bacon. Please keep in mind that the comments and suggestions below are offered only as suggestions.

FIRST IMPRESSION:
*Gift3* This was fun! I love your imagination.
*Gift3* The premise was unique and other worldly, but strangely enough it seemed comically plausible.
*Gift3* After reading this, I would say, Yes! By all means write a sequel. Given the previous 'wars' I can't wait to see what new challenges Bob or other characters will have to face.


WHAT I LIKED MOST:
*Thumbsup* I love your imagination.
*Thumbsup* "Bob and Asmozedineus gazed at each other unblinkingly for what seemed like years. Bob was twirling a hotdog in each hand, Asmozedineus twirling bacon in his, each with reserves nearby. Both of them were now ready for the epic battle ahead." This is delightful!! The image made me laugh.
*Thumbsup* The whole story! Your imagination, creativity, humor and other worldliness earned you a rating point which offset some of the deductions. Great job. *Bigsmile*


PLOT DEVELOPMENT AND RESOLUTION:
Your plot development was very well done. I think with a little more foreshadowing to bring the grandfather slowly into the story, rather than plopping him in as a convenient save, will make the story stronger.

CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT:
Your development of Bob was very well done. It started slowly, and let the reader begin to bond. I really cared about Bob at the end of the story! Great job *Bigsmile*

SHOW VERSUS TELL:

Excellent Show throughout the story! *Bigsmile*

SPELLING:
*Check2* No errors noticed! Great Job! *Bigsmile*

GRAMMAR AND PUNCTUATION:
*Bullet* What’s up Bill?” Comma after 'up'
*Bullet* "parents and his brother Bill sitting" Comma before and after 'Bill'
*Bullet* "which is pretty cool man" comma after cool.
*Bullet* "along with the rest of the human race" comma after 'race'
*Bullet* "grandfathers last words" grandfather's (possessive)
*Bullet* "halt!” screamed -- Following ?" or !" the next word is always capitalized. "...halt!” Screamed..." same for: "bacon!” yelled..."

SNAGS THAT INTERRUPTED THE FLOW OF THE STORY:
*Question* Tense shift from past to present: "Bob notices more strange things happening throughout the day. One of his teachers is eating bacon while teaching, and at lunch, every meal there was served with bacon. Even stranger than all of that was what he saw on the way home from school."

WORDINESS:
*Note4*"Bob took a bite and immediately he felt amazing, he felt like he could conquer the world. He had more confidence then he had ever had, AND all of his SELF-doubts were completely gone.

*Note4*"until he could tell that he was very close to where the smell was coming from There was a clearing just in front of him. Bob knew that that was where the scent had to be coming from. he had found the source!

*Note4*"Just before Bob stepped out into the clearing, an enormous squirrel jumped DOWN ON at him from out of A tree.

*Note4*"but more were coming already and Bob

*Note4*"Asmozedineus was bleeding profusely from all over his body,his many wounds and MASSIVE TUFTS OF with fur were missing FROM HIS TAIL TO HIS HEADeverywhere, but NONE OF that did not seemED to slow him down at all.

STRUCTURE/MECHANICS:
*Balloon5* Check for capitalization of your characters' names (including King, Super Hotdog) Just a tiny blip - *Bigsmile*

SUGGESTIONS:
*Note4* "said Bill pulling a wad..." You may want to consider deleting 'said Bill' since the speaker is identified by the previous line. Perhaps identify Bill as 'his brother,' which moves the story forward for the reader.
*Note4* Dialog tags - use them sparsely. The reader remembers who is speaking and you don't want your dialog to resemble a script. Use tags only if there is a long non-dialog section breaking up the conversation, or if there are many people speaking.

In this instance, "replied Bob as he saw his alarm clock" I would suggest deleting replied Bob, and instead simply say, "he said looking at his alarm..."

*Note4* Foreshadowing - I would suggest that perhaps you have Bob's brother walking away from the bed eating the bacon and knocking his shin into the chest on the floor. Then have him angrily ask Bob why he never got rid of the old thing - which brings Grandfather into the story much earlier. You may want to foreshadow other memories of Grandfather before he's needed.

*Note4* "group of six or seven squirrels" I would suggest picking either 'group' or "six or seven" since they both say about the same thing.

*Note4* Try to avoid starting too many sentences with "Bob" Look for other phrases, or verbs to begin those sentences.

*Note4* "As Bob thought that thought" too many 'thought' Try something like: As Bob thought about that

*Note4* "and stopped in his tracks mouth agape with a look of surprise on his face" I would suggest ending the sentence with "tracks." And a new sentence "Mouth agape and eyes rounded into blue pools, he stared at the scene in front of him."

*Note4* "It read so:" I'd suggest deleting 'so'

*Note4*"can stop the problem from the source." at the source (?)

*Note4*" It felt hot as he held it in his hand" perhaps: "It also felt ...

*Note4*" bullets toward Bob and two more also before Bob could react...' maybe something like: ...toward Bob, immediately followed by another pair before

*Note4*" last of the hotdogs," There are 2 last of the hot dog references - one for the eagles and the other for Bill.

CLOSING COMMENTS:
*Star* Sean, I thought this story was so much fun. I had the feeling that it was written in one sitting. The energy within the story was consistent. It's a fast read, with good pacing and tension. It's not often I have a chance to read a story with as much imagination as yours. And I had fun doing it! Thanks for writing it and sharing it with us.

*Star* I like the title, but then I'm not the best one to ask for title ideas. The only other title I came up with was 'The great bacon war'

Keep writing!

All of my above comments and suggestions are only offered as something you may want to consider. It's your story, vision and you know your characters best. If I'm able to provide something that you may find helpful within this review, that's super!

*Flower5**Flower5* I'd be happy to review/rate your story again after an edit. Just send a message.

All my best,
Paige

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14
14
Review of The Best  
Review by Paigeturner
Rated: E | (4.5)
 The Best  (E)
A Fictional Bowling Story
#1307424 by OneJaguar


Hi OneJaguar As you requested, here is my review on The Best. Please keep in mind that the comments and suggestions below are offered only as suggestions.

FIRST IMPRESSION:
*Gift3* This is an very good story.
*Gift3* A fast read with good tension and pacing
*Gift3* Dice is well defined. The protagonist is well done.

WHAT I LIKED MOST:
*Thumbsup* The development of your story.
*Thumbsup* Letting the reader meet Dice and get to know him.
*Thumbsup* "Suddenly the room started spinning; the air around both of them shimmered and tendrils of smoke started engulfing them." Great description. *Bigsmile*
*Thumbsup* Your writing style. It is smooth, with good pacing.

PLOT DEVELOPMENT AND RESOLUTION:
You have developed the beginning, middle and end very well, and provided the reader with an understanding of the background and your character's motivation. The conflict is internal. Perhaps you could bring in something external that would serve as a catalyst to the protagonist's presence. The resolution was well done, but not entirely unexpected. Perhaps take the story a step or two further to show what happens after the show down - to complete the 'be careful of what you wish for' adage.

CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT:
Dice is developed nicely although his development is one sided. It's only from the narrator's view, which provides a clear external picture of him, but I would like to see him interact with others than the protagonist. People driven by a single goal can be antisocial, rude, or condescending. It would be interesting to see how people interact with Dice and vice versa. Conversations bring so much texture to a story and provide further insights into the character's psyche.

SHOW VERSUS TELL:
The one thing I noticed while reading your story is that it's almost all 'tell.' Look for ways to bring the five senses into your story to 'show' the reader what's happening versus telling them. Showing allows the reader to become actively involved in the story. It also provides a stronger bond to the character through that involvement. Telling communicates facts; showing invites understanding.

For example - "Andrew "Dice" Johnson pulled into a parking spot at the Strike Um Out Bowling Center and shut off the ignition to his vintage 1965 Corvette."

It could read something like this when "showing:"
"The vintage red corvette convertible swung into the Strike Um Out Bowling Center's parking lot. Slowly passing rows of parked cars in the crowded lot, the driver noticed a person near the entrance pointing and other watching as the car as it made an easy turn into the space reserved for Dice Johnson. Dice listened to the sweet hum of the motor, and felt exhilarated as he shut down the engine. Stepping out of the car, Dice casually ran his hand through his curly blonde hair as he walked to the trunk."

The best way I've found to 'show' more than 'tell' is to put yourself into your character's skin. Be aware of everything around him/her. The sights, smells, the people nearby, conversations, music that he/she hears, pins falling, balls rolling, waiters asking for orders, gleeful yells, taunts, cigar or cigarette smoke, the sour scent of beer, grunts of unhappiness, etc. Involve all your senses. Bring the scenes to life.

In this passage: "The Strike Um Out Bowling Center had only been open for a year and was equipped with activities for all ages. It had a concession stand, a large area with three pool tables, and two foosball tables. "

You could 'show' the reader these areas by having Dice notice them as he passed by. Or something could be happening that would draw his attention to one place or another.

Also evaluate whether all the information you've included in this 'tell' version is really needed for the reader. If it isn't necessary for the reader to understand the story, its plot or resolution, consider leaving it out or reducing the 'facts' to enhance the movement/pace of the story.

SPELLING:
*Check2* "This cant be real" can't
"Dices mind and ..." Dice's
very good proofing - *Bigsmile*

GRAMMAR:
Very well done! *Bigsmile*

SNAGS THAT INTERRUPTED THE FLOW OF THE STORY:
*Question* none noticed! Great job! *Bigsmile*

STRUCTURE/MECHANICS:
*Balloon5* Tense shift - "He walks back and picks up his bowling towel and wipes his ball down, willing his nerves to go away as he wipes the ball. Breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe out,...'

WORDINESS
Many time writers use shortcuts - meaning that you don't need to identify each movement of your character, since the reader will fill in the blanks.

Don't over explain. For example: "He pulled into the barren parking lot devoid of any people or cars." barren parking lot says it all.

'Acting as if he had not heard anything Dice stepped up .." Perhaps simply saying, "ignoring the taunt, dice stepped up..." will have more impact.

"and I will have beaten the best that has been before me

Don't put the cart before the horse when you are developing tension. For example: "Momentary fear caused his heart to skip a beat as he heard the sound of someone’s hands clapping."

Maybe something like this would help: The last pin fell. Within the rolling sound of the ball return, Dice heard someone's hands clapping. His heart skipped a beat as he turned.


SUGGESTIONS:
*Note4* "His eyes flew open..." I would suggest something to show surprise. His eyes are already open, or he felt his jaw drop, or something like that.

DIALOG TAG LINES
Use tag lines judiciously. You don't want to have your dialog sections read like a script. if you don't have long non-dialog sections between responses, the reader will know who is speaking. Also remember that the reader is involved in the story and is 'feeling,' 'seeing,' 'smelling,' etc. what your character is at that point in the story.

For example: "Why I can take you any day old man, any time and any place.” Dice replied with his face turning red from anger at being taunted by Johnny. You explained that he was being taunted, no need to repeat it.

perhaps something like: replied feeling the hot flush of anger on his face.

CLOSING COMMENTS:
*Star* OneJaguar, this story deserves more show to really flesh out the scenes and enhance the flow and tension.
*Star* I'm impressed by your writing style. Your voice is well placed and the clean and straight forward style creates a smooth reading experience.
*Star*I'd like to see more conversations with periferal characters to bring out Dice's personality, which I think will round him out as a character and allow stronger bonding by the readers.
*Star* You may also want to consider letting the reader hear periferal comments, which may lend itself to motivation for the protagonist's entrance.

I'd be happy to review/rate your story again after an edit. Just send a message.

Keep writing!

All of my above comments and suggestions are only offered as something you may want to consider. It's your story, vision and you know your characters best. If I'm able to provide something that you may find helpful within this review, that's super!

All my best,
Paige

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15
15
Review of Left Hanging  
Review by Paigeturner
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
 Invalid Item 
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#140121 by Not Available.


Hi Noe -

I really like the way you interpreted the prompt! You developed the girlfriend's character very well. By involving her emotions and the physical results, you let the reader see and feel her confusion and building anger at the embarrassing situation she found herself in among strangers. I also liked the scenery descriptions. You gave me so many pictures to see as I read Left Hanging! *Bigsmile*

The resolution to the conflict was unexpected! *Bigsmile* Great job! I liked with the way you handled the confrontation, and brought in the other characters into the story. It all fit and was really fun. Your development of the story's tension, tone and pacing was very well done. As was the "show" to "tell" ratio in the story.

The only suggestion I could offer would be to perhaps review the opening lines. Maybe consider revising them slightly so they aren't as similar.

I really enjoyed your story. Good luck in the contest!


{Keep writing!


*Flower5**Flower5* I'd be happy to review/rate your story again after an edit. Just send a message.

All my best,
Paige

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16
16
Review of Highways  
Review by Paigeturner
Rated: E | (4.5)
Highways  (E)
The road you are on may circle back, when you tinker with an old family recipe.
#1201268 by KimChi


Hi Kimchi!

FIRST IMPRESSION:
*Gift3* This is an amazing story!
I was a little nervous after reading the opening line. But it was definitely a hook -- I had to read the next paragraph, from there on I was captivated.
*Gift3* The story's plot, character development, pacing, tension, and resolution were excellent!

WHAT I LIKED MOST:
*Thumbsup* Adding the picture of you and your Mom to the piece. It was such a nice touch, giving the reader a chance to put faces with names.
*Thumbsup* Using the simple premise of an overheard remark as the story's catalyst.
*Thumbsup* Your descriptions are amazing! I saw so many pictures as I read through your story.
*Bigsmile* "Flap, swirl, stick. Flap, swirl stick."
I laughed reading this, I could see it perfectly and remembered doing the same thing as a child!
*Bigsmile* "How could she arrive in queenly glory, with the tangled hair of a peasant?" This is precious!
*Thumbsup* Your writing style has such a comfortable familiarity to it. It was a joy to read.

TINY SNAGS:
*Question* "I circled my wrist..." should it read: 'It circled' ??
*Question* "...“visitin’”. --> 'visitin.'
*Question* "I release the the toy at the top, and..." --> released
*Question* "I’m over-reacting", I thought. --> ...reacting," I thought

SUGGESTIONS:
*Note4* I absolutely adore this description: "I was draped over the back door of our '62 Impala" But the image doesn't seem to work for me -- perhaps adding: back door 'window'

*Note4* "The breeze snatched it away, and into the wake of our travels." Perhaps consider adding a transition to this sentence to tie into the next dialog. Maybe something like: '...away. I gasped, watching it swoop and dive in the wake of our travels.'

*Note4* "Where did you get such an idea?” she asked, twisting the large..." Perhaps consider identifying the speaker: "Mommy asked" And, perhaps instead of using 'the' large - maybe consider changing it to 'her'

*Note4* "...70 mph wind, watching the scarf flap..." Perhaps consider ending the first sentence with 'wind.' Then begin the next with "I watched..."

CLOSING COMMENTS:
*Star* Kimchi, I thoroughly enjoyed reading your story. It's beautifully written, and brought back so many of my own childhood memories. But what I liked most was the resolution, allowing Kimba to rediscover an important facet of childhood, while understanding a mother's concern.

Keep writing!

Paigeturner
*Flower5**Flower5* I'd be happy to review/rate your story again after an edit. Just send a message.

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17
17
Review by Paigeturner
Rated: 18+ | (3.5)
 Fixing the Dead Squirrel  (18+)
Don't you hate it when you see road kill? Here's a story a dead squirrel created...
#1283885 by charmed01


FIRST IMPRESSION:
I really admire your imagination. The theme of the story was unique and quite interesting.
*Gift3* The story developed slowly, while letting the reader get to know Nathan and Johnny. You did a very nice job of letting the reader bond with your characters.
*Gift3* It had good pacing and was a fast read.
*Gift3* The story grew to include a good edge during the 'fixing,' and the ending was fulfilling. Good job!

WHAT I LIKED MOST:
*Thumbsup* Your dialog! I thought the dialog was superb. It sounded very real and moved the story forward with each segment. Kudos! *Bigsmile*
*Thumbsup* I had the feeling that you were describing what you saw in your mind, as you wrote the story, which enhanced the realism. By including the senses, and emotions you allowed the reader to 'be there' with the boys in each of their activities.
*Thumbsup* Kudos on bringing in the gory, gruesome things that boys like so much. I thought the parts about the sticks, the eyes, and mushy parts were dynamite! Although, I'll have to wait a bit longer before I can think of fixing breakfast. *Bigsmile*
*Thumbsup* "Flies were hovering around its head. Its upper two teeth lapped over the lower jaw." Good description. *Bigsmile*


STRUCTURE/MECHANICS:
*Balloon5* Quotation punctuation:
“Oh man.” Nathan moaned. “Johnny, this ain't right.”
When you identify a speaker with a 'dialog tag', and the same speaker continues, you should use this format: "xxx," Nathan moaned, "xxxx." or, "xxx," he said, "xxxx" or, "xxx," Nathan moaned. "xxxx."

When the quotation includes a ? or ! then the format will be like this:
"xxxx?" He said with a shrug. The speech tag or following description is capitalized.

Easy way to remember - dialog never includes a ." before a dialog tag (he said she said they said he moaned he laughed etc.)

Punction always remains inside the quotes: “fixing”. should be: “fixing."

*Balloon5* "Yeh. Mom did say that.” A comma should follow "Yeh, Mom..."

MINOR SNAGS:
*Question* "Nathan always knew where to find dead things, which was good. He usually found coins." This sentence confused me. Perhaps you could clarify it a bit by saying something like: 'his brother, Nathan, always knew where to find dead things, which was good. While he usually found coins.'

*Question*“Why not? We-” I noticed the use of a dash at the end of a few sentences, which I believe you're using to show interrupted dialog. You could use an ellipse instead. "Why not? We..." But, use it cautiously. It should only be used to tell the reader there's been a pause in the dialog (such as a speaker thinking) or someone's dialog has been suddenly interrupted by another person's dialog, object or event.

*Question* ..."fixed on the trunk of the tree it lie beside..." the tense "lie" is incorrect within the context of the sentence. But, you could also write the sentence to read "...fixed on the trunk of the tree beside it." Since it's understood that the poor dead thing is laying on the ground

*Question* “What-ever.” Regarding the dash in the word "whatever" Did you want to emphasize the way he spoke the word? Rather than using a dash, which is incorrect, I would suggest either using the two words separately "What ever," or use a dialog tag to describe what you would like the reader to hear.
*Question* “Yeh. I suppose your right.” you're (you are)


SUGGESTIONS:
*Note4* I didn't notice any typos. Good job on proofing! *Bigsmile*

*Note4* "....took a deep breath in and held it.." To make the sentence stronger, I'd suggest deleting 'in' since the word is understood by 'took a deep breath'

*Note4* "...Nathan's talent was great especially when it came..." I'd suggest putting a comma between 'great, especially' since it gives more information regarding nathan's talent.


CLOSING COMMENTS:
*Star* It's a very good story, Charmed01! The fantasy (magical) side of the story was fun and interesting, but what really held my attention and kept me interested was the excellent interaction between the boys and their conversation. I think you've got that nailed. Areas that I think you might want to consider putting more focus would be on punctuation.

I'd be happy to review/rate your story again after an edit. Just send a message.

Keep writing!

Paigeturner
18
18
Review of To the Moon!  
Review by Paigeturner
Rated: E | (4.0)
 To the Moon!  (E)
The dream will live on.
#1276524 by E. D. Welt


Hi E.D. and welcome to Writing.com!

FIRST IMPRESSION:
*Gift3* I liked this story.
*Gift3* It showed good pacing and rhythm.
*Gift3* The read was fast and enjoyable.

WHAT I LIKED MOST:
*Thumbsup* I thoroughly enjoyed the 'tongue-in-cheek' attitude throughout the piece.
*Thumbsup* You kept the me involved, and interested in the piece.
*Thumbsup* I laughed at the closing line. Nice job!

STRUCTURE/MECHANICS:
*Balloon5* Parenthetical phrases -- As a general rule, I avoid Parenthetical phrasing, but if it must be used, I'd suggest keeping it to an absolute minimum. Since they are generally read as "asides" to the content, they interrupt the smooth flow of your piece.

Instead, perhaps consider using commas to set off the phrase. For example, in the first paragraph, "roadblocked (yet not completely sundered)," would read faster by deleting the parentheses and inserting a comma after "roadblocked."

In this instance, "bulldozer (or possibly [weather permitting] backhoe)" I'd definitely recommend that commas be used. It's confusing and a red flag to the reader. I stopped and stared at it. *Bigsmile* Before I went back to re-read the sentence.

Possible solution: Since the concern about the weather was mentioned to the reader in the previous line, you could simply put: ...bulldozer, or possibly backhoe,

I'd suggest reviewing your piece and changing the punctuation on similar phrasings.

*Balloon5*Ellipses - As a general rule, I only use ... to indicate a character's pause in his/her dialog, or the sudden interruption of a character's dialog but another person, object or event.

In the following, it appears that you're using the ellipse to end a sentence, or present a pause before continuing to the next line to complete the thought.

were made...
Plans which,

I would recommend ending the sentence with a period after 'made.'

CLOSING COMMENTS:
*Star* E. D. with the above structure/mechanics aside, your story is very well written. I liked the narrator and thoroughly enjoyed the offbeat premise of To The Moon!

I'm looking forward to reading more of your stories.

Keep writing!

*Flower5**Flower5* I'd be happy to review/rate your story again after an edit. Just send a message.

Paigeturner
19
19
Review of Taboo  
Review by Paigeturner
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
 Taboo  (18+)
I came up with it while an a trip to Missouri to visit some friends.
#1273085 by charmed01


Hi charmed01 -

FIRST IMPRESSION:
*Gift3* Gotta tell ya, I really liked your story. It had so many levels and emotional layers.
*Gift3* Your pacing was excellent, I thought. Giving the reader time to get to know each character. I bonded to both during my read.
*Gift3* While I read Taboo, I smiled, chuckled, and felt my brow furrow with concern.
*Gift3* I really didn't want "Taboo" to end. But, when it did I thought the ending you and your characters chose, was perfect.

WHAT I LIKED MOST:
*Thumbsup* I thought the "show" to "tell" ratio in your story was very good. Watching the road and scenery through your character's eyes was wonderful.
*Thumbsup* The character driven dialog was super! Casual, realistic, and engaging are the three adjectives which immediately come to mind.
*Thumbsup* Throughout your story you brought out so many interesting pieces of information about your characters, which began to develop into a clear image of them, without a description per se.
*Thumbsup* The climax of your story was unexpected, which I think made it even more powerful. The twist - involving emotions, rather than an overt action on the part of either one of your characters, was beautifully done. But again, I think its power really came from your careful pacing and the deliberate care taken to let the reader get to know your characters.
*Thumbsup*


STRUCTURE/MECHANICS:
*Balloon5**Bigsmile* Your avoidance of dialog tags, during the dialog/driving scenes was brilliant. Although it took a few paragraphs to get used to, once I relaxed with it, I began to feel the movement of the car over the twisting, rolling road. Hearing the voices, watching the driver's or passenger's next move was really cool. I never would have thought of using that ttreatment. Kuddos!

MINOR SNAGS:
*Question* "wish we worked the same hours so I can could just watch..."
*Question* I think an ellipse ..., with a comma would be better than a dash to show a pause before your character continued his dialog. You could also just put a comma after "and" to achieve the same effect.

"and-” he laughed. “Hell"

I think a comma after "laughed" would be better than the period, since "he laughed" is a dialog tag line and the same character is continuing his dialog.

*Question* Gotta admit, I like you already! LOL Because you spell Wallah just like me. "voilà" spells the word that sounds just like 'wallah,' Personally, I like the way the word looks spelled our way.

*Question* "Some things, men" I don't think you need to use a comma there.
*Question* " He drove slowly


SUGGESTIONS:
*Note4* In the sentence that includes, "He referred to the way the truck slipped..." Would "referring" be better than "referred" [past tense} since the slip just occurred?

CLOSING COMMENTS:
*Star* This is such a special story, Charmed01. The writing is tight, The pacing and tension very good.
*Star*Even though the structure of your story is a little unique, as far as dialog tags go, the purpose for your choice and the movement, speed and concentration values that it reflected back to the reader, I thought was excellent.

Great work!

Thank you for writing Taboo, I am really looking forward to reading more of your writing.

Best wishes, and Keep writing!

Paigeturner
I'd be happy to review/rate your story again, after an edit, if you would like me to. Just send a message.
20
20
Review by Paigeturner
Rated: E | (4.5)
 1857: The Revolt : Chapter One  (E)
A novel based on the Indian uprising of 1857, also known as the mutiny.
#1269240 by Ranjan


Hi, Ranjan:

FIRST IMPRESSION:
*Gift3* The "Show" vs. "Tell" ratio in your story is very good. Although, if your intended audience is not familiar with the historical military terms, and rivalries that play a part in your story, you may want to consider adding a glossary, just to help the uninformed...like me )*Blush*
*Gift3* Your story was a fast and very interesting read.
*Gift3* I learned some things from your story, which is always a plus for me.

WHAT I LIKED MOST:
*Thumbsup* Your dialog contains some delightful turns-of-phrase, and unique expressions, which gave me insights into your characters and brought them to life.
*Thumbsup* Your descriptions were very well done! For instance, your description of the betel-leaf effect was super! It painted a very clear picture of the character chewing it.
*Thumbsup* Your inclusion of interesting mannerisms for your characters was also very good. It leant so much realism to the story.
*Thumbsup* Kuddos also to your realistic, and character driven dialog.

STRUCTURE/MECHANICS:
*Balloon5* I noticed that you have used ellipses (...) at the end of a couple of paragraphs. I would suggest that they only be used when indicating a direct interruption of a character's dialog, or to indicate a character's dialog pause. When separated by another paragraph, ellipses looks out of place. For example: "horse trotted inside…" A period should be used here.

SUGGESTIONS:
*Note4*nit-picky comment"manly attire that she was clad in." I would suggest shortening this sentence by ending it with "that she wore" I usually try to avoid ending a sentence in a preposition.
{e:note4 You may want to review paragraph 7 (below the *** break) I would suggest perhaps breaking this long sentence up into two for clarity. Also check for an unnecessary "and" in the sentence.
*Note4* In this dialog, "sitting idle arise?” said Nana Saheb" I suggest changing the dialogue tag to "asked Nana Saheb" due to the punctuation.
*Note4* Perhaps consider adding "then" to this: "glanced at Azim-ullah, [then]he replied
{e:note4} nit-picky comment One of your characters says, "thanks." It struck me as being out of place, given the previous formality of their speech.

CLOSING COMMENTS:
*Star* I think you did a great job on this story, Ranjan. I felt like I was there and watching each of your characters interact with another.
*Star* Your writing is tight; the character and scene development was strong. Your judicious use of decriptives painted so many pictures for me while reading your story.
*Star* I especially liked the idea that this storyline may be continued.

I'm looking forward to reading more of your stories.

Thanks for creating The Resolution. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.
Keep writing!

Paigeturner
21
21
Review of Abe's day  
Review by Paigeturner
Rated: E | (4.5)
ID: #1274155 Rated: E
BY: stevelewis
TITLE: Abe's day
DESCRIPTION: Abe struggles to overcome the death of his father

FIRST IMPRESSION:
* Once past the first two paragraphs, your story moved smoothly and quickly.
* I was sorry the story ended.

WHAT I LIKED MOST:
* You brought Abe to life in the body of the story. * I too fished quiet, misty lakes in the the early morning with my father, and I thought you did an excellent job of bringing the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of the experience to your reader. Good work!

STRUCTURE/MECHANICS:
* I noticed several words that needed a possesive apostrophe -- father's, water's, etc.
* You may want to review your piece for appropriate comma offsets. For example: "instantly alive [,]like a badly behaved calf,..."

PROBLEMS/SNAGS NOTICED
* I re-read your second paragraph. Somehow the canoe got lost in the descriptives. But once past it, your story moved very well.

SUGGESTIONS:
I was sorry when your story ended. I enjoyed reliving my own memories of fishing while reading Abe's story. I also regretted not feeling that I really understood "why" at the end. Perhaps we never understand why someone choses to do something, but I truly wanted to in this instance.

CLOSING COMMENTS:
You captured the scene beautifully. Thanks for sharing your memorable story with us!

Keep writing!

Paigeturner
22
22
Review by Paigeturner
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
ID: #1273354 Rated: 13+
BY: Phoenixsden
TITLE: New York City Blackout
DESCRIPTION: A piece about the New York City Blackout, a man discovers the darkness within himself

FIRST IMPRESSION:
It was another fast read, Phoenixsden.

WHAT I LIKED MOST:
* Your story really took off when the lights went out!
* I thought your descriptions of the city, Mr. Pitzer's reactions to the blacksout and those of the people around him, were very good.
* I especially liked the transformation your main character went through during the period. It seemed very realistic and plausible. Good job!
* You have a good show versus tell ratio in the story.

STRUCTURE/MECHANICS:
I noticed some areas that you might want to review:
* wonder what where I should go once [did you mean: where I should go ??]
* Thank-you [we normally don't hyphenate the words]
* Most of their eyes were set on the ground behind their feet [?? think you might mean - in front of their feet ]
* There was blood on over his face - [did you mean: on his face ??]
* around his head with this darting blue eyes [I think you meant it to read: "his" darting blue...]
* right hand even though I had discarded the thing itself [perhaps consider deleting "itself"]
* I allowed myself to carried away [did you mean to write: to "get" carried away ??]
* The lights were in my apartment [perhaps add the word: "on" in my apartment]
* the Chrysler Building, were not longer hidden [did you mean to write: no longer hidden ??]

SUGGESTIONS:
* I thought you told this story very well. But, the introduction seemed to drag when I read it. Perhaps it's merely the placement of it in the story. Perhaps consider moving the how and why of the blackout to the bottom of the story -- when the TV news is on.

* I was a little disappointed that Mr. Pitzer slept so soundly at the end of the story. He had gone through a terrifying and unexpected transformation. And, because of that, I was wondering if moving one of the introductory paragraphs, when he opined: "What is it about the darkness?" might not work well as a closing or overview of his experience.

CLOSING COMMENTS:
Your writing is a pleasure to read! It's imaginative, and your characterizations, dialogue and descriptions make your stories shine.

Keep on writing!

Paigeturner
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