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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/profile/reviews/pgarraud
Review Requests: ON
18 Public Reviews Given
Review Style
I tend like to focus my reviews on commenting about how well a story is told and try to show my emotional reactions to it. I try not to focus on minor things like grammar and typos, but I will point out technical mistakes if they're egregious. While I'll make an effort to point out things I like, I tend to focus my reviews on what can be improved. I don't go into exact changes to make, as I feel that you, as the writer, would no better what works with your work.
I'm good at...
Analyzing story structure, pointing out tropes and extracting meaning.
Favorite Genres
Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Dark Comedy
Least Favorite Genres
Romance
Favorite Item Types
Scripts/Plays
Least Favorite Item Types
N/A
I will not review...
Poetry, because I have practically no knowledge about the medium and fanfiction, because I probably don't have enough knowledge about the source material
Public Reviews
1
1
Review by thesuperpapagai
Rated: 13+ | (3.0)
I found that the beginning of the story did a good job establishing the character's personalities through their actions. Each character feels really in depth and natural. I also liked the way RPG elements were included in the story after Adrian was transported to Soluvia.

I think the overall pacing of the story could be done faster and the chapters made shorter to improve the story. A lot of details, such as the RPG rules and the descriptions feel over-described. While the prologue does succeed in introducing us to the main characters, it also tells us more than is necessary about them. We are shown a lot of different parts of Adrian's character that don't really come back later in the story.

In a similar vein, the chapters in Soluvia feel like they just exist to explain the rules of the planet. While this exposition is necessary, it can be made more interesting by combining it with more character arcs and development and by moving the story along quicker.

I also really like the idea of a story that deals with LGBT themes. However, I think they would feel more powerful if they could be combined in the concept of the story, rather than being a smaller part of Adrian's character.

I think it's very impressive that you're writing a novel while in school. If you have any more free time, I would encourage you to keep working on your story.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
2
2
Review by thesuperpapagai
Rated: E | (2.5)
The concept is really compelling. There is a lot of potential in seeing the emotional drama of Harley life changing from the suddenness of her mother's death and getting magic at the same time.

One of the greatest weakness of the story is that emotional moments are told rather than shown. For example, the motivation behind Harley's anger at his father isn't described in enough detail to make it feel compelling.

The emotional presentation really hurts the climax of the chapter, where Harley yells Nancy. Because enough detail hasn't been given into the complex mixture of painful emotions Harley feels at the moment, her extreme reaction makes her hard to like due to her unjust meanness.

In a similar vein, a lot of the actions suffer from too much vagueness and showing rather than telling. The story bluntly tells us past events like Harley having a problem with her emotions and her planning a surprise party for her dad, leaving no room for the audience to be enthralled by the emotions behind these actions.

Finally, the chapter contains several typos such as the line "My dad was a scum", the sentence "My face was... outside." being repeated, and his dad apologizing to "Barbara", a character who's never been mentioned in the story earlier.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
3
3
Review of The Diagnosis  
Review by thesuperpapagai
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
The idea of a man being so depressed that he'd rather kill himself than fight his cancer felt dark and interesting. Duncan's character felt well-developed and his motivations well explained. The state of his family make his defeatist attitude towards life feel authentic. Similarly, the other characters manage to play roles big enough to not intrude on the rest of the story, while also having their own personalities.

Most of the descriptions, especially when Linda finds Duncan's body, sufficiently build on the emotion of each scene. However, some moments, such as the opening scene in the restaurant and the Wheel of Fortune segment, feel like they were described in too much detail put into them relative to their significance in the story.

The majority of the story is coherent, however, small details such as the hitman knowing about Linda's affair don't feel sufficiently foreshadowed. Similarly, it also doesn't make sense for Duncan's character to love his daughter, but also kill her mother and leave her an orphan out of spite.

Finally, in my personal opinion, I felt Linda being killed and the ironic phone message at the end felt like the story was trying too hard to push more darkness into a story that was already dark enough. Personaly, I would have found Linda having to live with the pain of his husband's death a much darker punishment than having her killed.
4
4
Review by thesuperpapagai
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
Overall, this was a well-developed take on a simple premise. The story was strong and sets up a detailed world that would be compelling to read more about.

The attention to detail is what I liked most about this story. Necessary world-building elements are efficiently explained and descriptions of encryption, geography and corporate structure showcase knowledge of subjects the story deals with. I also enjoyed small details such as the Japanese broker watching baseball and drinking sake that helped to show how well-thought-out the piece was.

The style of writing fits well with the story and the language Carrio uses in his internal monologues does a good job of showing his professionalism. The action scenes contained smooth transitions and enough description to develop suspense without dragging on with unnecessary detail.

I also had a couple of complaints while reading, but most of them ranged from minor to nitpicky.

Some of Carrio's internal monologues felt unnecessary. He frequently explains emotions the audience could have easily inferred from the surrounding situation. The worst example of this, in my opinion, was his explanation of the symbolism surrounding tools, which is a conclusion the audience should be left to come up with on their own.

Some parts of the setting feel over-explained. Aspects, such as the current inflation, are mentioned, but not really showcased further in the story. However, this could be forgiven if this is foreshadowing events that happen in later instalments.

Finally, and this is really minor, but the convention feels like it has more in common with a future CES than a future E3.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
5
5
Review by thesuperpapagai
Rated: 13+ | (1.0)
The biggest problem by far is that this is clearly a plot with the complexity of a short film padded out to the length of a full movie. Every other issue in the script stems from that one problem. 95% of this, without exaggeration, could have been easily removed without any of the story being lost.

The plot is very poorly structured. The rule of starting the story as close to the climax as possible is grossly violated leading to an overly long, overly boring exposition with far too much information. There is no Inciting Incident, a scene where we see a major change in Stanley's life that jump-starts the rest of his journey, causing the rest of the story to read more like a series of days where things just happen than an actual plot. I believe the only strong element of the plot is the climax where Stanley shows up late to work, as it shows us how he is finally able to free himself from a toxic need that destroyed his old relationship and almost costed him his new one. After this, the resolution should have consisted of him asking out Rita and that marking the end of the film. However, instead of doing that, the film pads itself with additional unnecessary conflict and repeated information, which bogs down the story and makes the ending a bore to sit through

Far more exposition is used than actually needed. You frequently stop or delay the story to tell flashbacks that give information that could have been delivered much better in a single sentence. Information is also often thrown at the audience before they would have any desire for it. The most egregious example of this is the flashbacks in the beginning where you give us information about the characters before we've even met them.

Despite making sure the audience knew extremely minute details in each character's past, you neglected to tell what, in my opinion, was the most important detail: Why is Stan obsessed with always being on time? (even after we see it cause the death of his wife). Even if you didn't give us the most logical reason, this simple insight onto the main character's motivations would have given us a lot more reason to root for, or at least understand his actions (especially after he forced Rita to arrest the robber at his office).

Finally, the dialogue and interactions in between characters aren't natural or entertaining. Most exchanges can be described as one character delivering information to the audience, and then that exact bit information just being repeated 10-15 times. Characters also remain static from the beginning to the end of each scene making a lot of them feel pointless.

I feel like that at the end of the day, this is a really good story being choked by horrendous storytelling. I believe that if it were rewritten into a 10-20 minute film, it would pretty nice story, but as it stands now, it's extremely boring and a pain to read through.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
6
6
Review by thesuperpapagai
Rated: E | (4.5)
You did a pretty good job setting up the story and foreshadowing different elements. You also do a good job in showcasing the personalities of the characters through the way they talk, and they all seem to have reasonable motives. The only complaint I have with the dialogue is that they are some points where the lines don't feel natural and that the characters are just spouting information (the exchange at the end of Chapter 4, for example)
One minor complaint I have is that the idea of the story so far seems to fall into standard fairy-tail clichés, however a lot of standard tropes could be subverted as the story continues.
7
7
Review by thesuperpapagai
Rated: 13+ | (2.0)
I feel like you have a lot of interesting ideas, but they aren't very well focused. The pacing moves too fast and you set up a lot of different subplots at once without taking a moment to first really develop the world, the characters or the different stories you're trying to tell. Throughout the chapters, we get a lot of different glimpses into character's actions, but those actions lack unity, and we don't see them form around a single idea or motivation.

Another complaint I had is some character descriptions in the beginning felt too technical and interrupted the story too much. While useful in a character bio, the audience reading the story doesn't really need to know the exact height and weight of the characters and some characteristics, such as Celeste's changing eye colours could be better shown as it happens, rather than in a paragraph in the beginning.
8
8
Review of When Vampires Die  
Review by thesuperpapagai
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Pretty good story with a very interesting premise. The only complaint I felt the delivery of some of the exposition felt a bit clunky. In later drafts, I feel you could focus more on showing, rather than telling the readers some of the information.
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