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44 Public Reviews Given
Public Reviews
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1
1
Review of I Want To Go Home  
Review by PlannerDan
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
This is very good, Bikerider. It deserves recognition.
2
2
Review of Old Glory  
Review by PlannerDan
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
Rarely am I moved as I was by this piece. You write from the perspective of experience....of that I am convinced. I commend you for your writing skills and thank you for your patriotic spirit. You have touched a theme that many take for granted. What impresses me is that you have done it with literary skill and emotional grace. Thank you.
3
3
Review of Witch Trials  
Review by PlannerDan
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Spidey,

This is an interesting appproach to recounting the Salem witch trials. The quotes from the accused was very effective.

It is interesting that you used the first person plural as the voice to this story. It is a little discordant in that the last paragraph is written in the first person single voice. The use of these two voices if very tricky. I would have preferred that the first person singular be used as much as possible.

Otherwise, I think this is very well written. I have no complaints with grammar or construction. I find if you can get involved with the story, I simply don't look for it. And if I don't look for it, it appears to me that you have successfully written a captivating piece.

Dan
4
4
Review of Flying Pegasus  
Review by PlannerDan
Rated: E | (4.5)
Sarah,

You use your words to pain a lovely and vivid picture. That is good, very good. I like the brevity of this story; it is well told. I am pleased that it has a happy ending. I envisoned the Pegasus being stranded on the flat rock.

One sentence felt awkward. I suggest changing it from:

His wings look like those which an angel would have, and they glimmer as if diamonds are encrusted within them.

to

His wings look like those of an angel and glimmer as if encrusted with diamonds.

This is well done and has prompted me to review more of your work.

Dan

PS. My first attempt at sending this review resulted in the dreaded "error" message...which then resulted in the "you forgot to send the ID" message...which then resulted in the "you've already rated this" message...which resulted in me starting all over again. So, if this review is repetitious, you know why.
5
5
Review of Flying Pegasus  
Review by PlannerDan
Rated: E | (4.5)
Sarah,

You use your words to pain a lovely and vivid picture. That is good, very good. I like the brevity of this story; it is well told. I am pleased that it has a happy ending. I envisoned the Pegasus being stranded on the flat rock.

One sentence felt awkward. I suggest changing it from:

His wings look like those which an angel would have, and they glimmer as if diamonds are encrusted within them.

to

His wings look like those of an angel and glimmer as if encrusted with diamonds.

This is well done and has prompted me to review more of your work.

Dan
6
6
Review by PlannerDan
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
spidergirl,

Again, I think this story is under-rated. It has a very good premise and shows a good imagination. I like the story. I do not like the ending for Bobo, though. I wish you would have ended differently. However, what you did worked.

I think you can do some work with verbs and make the story better. Get rid of as many of the "would", "had", and passive voice. The dialogue was very good. Expand it a little more.

Overall, I liked it very much. Again, when you refine it into a brand new diamond, let me know. I like sparkley things.

Dan
7
7
Review of The Attic  
Review by PlannerDan
Rated: ASR | (4.5)
Spidergirl,

This is an interesting piece. I think it is better than it has been recieved. I feel you could change some of the sentences to make the piece more active. Get rid of as many "would" and "had" verbs as you can.

Example: Change

We would play pretend, and I would be the beautiful princess, and he would be the brave knight.

To

We played pretend, and I was the beautiful princess, and he was always the brave knight.

Another example:

One dressed up lady would show the room to a couple, or a family. She would tell them all about the large space, and how you could store things here.

To:

One dressed up lady showed the room to a couple, or a family. She told them all about the large space, and how you could store things here.

You can also insert some dialogue. One location would be perhaps to overhear the conversation of the saleslady to the customers or even the to men talking about demolition. The ghost could even think some of this dialogue.

Regardless, I like this premise and believe it is a worthy work. Please let me know if you do any work on it. I would love to see it after you refine it some more.

Dan
8
8
Review by PlannerDan
Rated: E | (4.0)
askpaddy,

         This is a pleasant read. I enjoyed the descriptions of the characters. However, I felt the actual story about the "poleaxed" priest was anti-climatic. But, it seemed that the story was not your purpose, at all. I suspected that your main intent was to focus on the local color of the meeting at the cafe.
         At times our descriptions were very colorful and amusing. I got the sense that you were weaving a tale in the form of a Garisson Keillor "Stories of Lake Wobegon." That is very appealing in the spoken form but tends to get weary in the written form.
         I think your premise rgarding the meeting place at the cafe is a very plausable one and actually has a lot of promise. I would love to see more "showing" and less "telling." There are numerous opportunities to expand the story with dialogue. You certainly have the talent to weave a story and paint vivid word pictures. All that is needed is to make us a part of the story by "showing" it.
         I enjoyed reading this. I believe it is worthy of your furter efforts and would love to revisit it again.

Dan
9
9
Review of WITHIN CREATION  
Review by PlannerDan
Rated: E | (4.5)
dahan,

Unfortunately you will be the victim of my poor understanding of poetry. I am a man with six thumbs trying to create lace. It is an impossible task. But after reading your piece I felt that I should respond for I was moved. Isn't that what poetry is supposed to do? So I shall apply Dan's Simple Method of Reviewing Poetry.

1. Does it rhyme? Sometimes. And because it does sometimes, I expected it to rhyme more. However, I keenly suspect that it was not supposed to. Remarkably, though, at the times that it did not, I didn't notice or thought that it did.

2. Does it make sense?{/d} Beautifully so. I thought the emotion and the message were well timed and totally sensible. Truly beautiful houghts.

3. Do I like it? Yes, I like it. And that is the final test for me regarding poetry. The other stuff is literary mumbo-jumbo. You did good.

Dan
10
10
Review of My Little Gift  
Review by PlannerDan
Rated: E | (4.5)
Grammar Hawk,

         This is a delightful piece. The story line is well presented and developed. Unfortunately it is "told" and not "shown." Instead of being just delightful, it cold also be great if you would do more "showing." It appears that there is ample opportunity to do that. For example, added dialogue to the chaos of the pre-mealtime, or perhaps dialogue between the members of the family at the table...passing the food and general conversation.
         I absolutely loved the party line. Since I remember those things, it added color to the moment. All in all, I enjoyed this. It encourages me to read more of your work, which I intend to do.

Dan
11
11
Review of inside  
Review by PlannerDan
Rated: 13+ | (3.0)
Sarah,

You have already told me in your introduciton to the story that this is a draft. I am glad, because it needs a lot of help.

I will separate it into two categories: content and grammar.

Content:
The subject of your story is disturbing. That does not mean that you should not write about it. It means that you must be very careful what and how you write. You have to assume that most folks will be turned off a little already by the topic. That means you need to present it in the best form that you can. That includes proper grammar and punctuation, which I'll deal with later.

Your description in the title said she was a bisexual who self-mutilates. That is not really developed in the story. In fact I don't know what the story is really trying to say. Outside of the openning paragraph, most of the story deals with daily encounters with others. I suspect it is trying to show a normal kid with a hidden secret. The reader sees a good kid with a problem. We want to help her. It appears that she wants to be helped. Your writing should assist the reader to do that.

Grammar:
It appears from your writing, that you wrote this very quickly. You've repeated the same grammatical error several times. You have not spaced between periods and the first letters of the next sentence. The first letters of many of the sentences are not capitalized. The word "I" is written with the lower case "i." Dialogue has not been enclosed in quotation marks. In addition, dialogue should begin a new paragraph with each introduciton of a speaker.

In summary, Sarah, I think you have something to say in this story. I also think that you have the talent to say it. It appears that you need to take a little time with it. Refine it and polish it. I think you will like the way it dresses up when it is finally finished.

When I edit my own pieces, I polish and refine constantly. Even after I submit them, I notice a myriad of things that still need attention. Please don't abandon this. Give it the time and attention that it deserves. And when you have done that, get back with me and let me read it again.

Thanks for letting me read this story. If I can help, I'm just a click away.

Dan

12
12
Review of Glen  
Review by PlannerDan
Rated: E | (5.0)
Hi Loti,

Thought I would return the favor and read some of your work. I'm glad I did. I was rewaarded with this lovely piece. You developed it smoothly and naturally. As I have indicated earlier, the topic of "show not tell" is an interesting one. I think this piece is a "telling" story. You could have embelished it to force it to "show." However, I think that would have been a mistake. This story was meant to be told, and you did that very skillfully.

One sentence in your work has caused me to question the use of semicolons. I think I have read that it is proper to use semicolons in place of commas for series of complex items. Please tell me what you think. I have included the sentence as you originally had it and as I think it should be with the semicolons. However, I would like your input as to which is correct.

Original

He never regained the use of his legs and could never walk or run again but he did have the use of one arm and hand, could turn his head, move his shoulders and had partial use of the other arm.

My Revision

He never regained the use of his legs and could never walk or run again, but he did have the use of one arm and hand; could turn his head; move his shoulders; and had partial use of the other arm.

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

Dan

13
13
Review of In the Park  
Review by PlannerDan
Rated: ASR | (5.0)
Critic,

This is a delightful story with a perfect ending. The only thing that seems to be bothersome to me is that you begin with verbs in the present tense and end in the past tense.

I thoroughly enjoyed your word descriptions, and I even felt as if it were me skipping class. A couple of the sentences seemed to be excessively long. However, the story and thoughts flowed easily and sentence length was not a deterent to the story.

I am rating it very highly becasue I feel it is well crafted and successfully develops a very fine tale. I can get over the verb tense thing. I look forward to reading other material in your portfolio.

Dan
14
14
Review by PlannerDan
Rated: E | (5.0)
Lobelia,

I have no earthly idea why I read this article. Furthermore, I have no eartly idea why I am publicly rating and reviewing this article. While port-surfing one day I ran across this article. The title grabbed by attention. Please don't read anything into that other than it did. I said, "Is that for real?" I thought that perhaps it was a humor piece. But it was not listed as a comedy piece. So my interest brought me into the piece.

I read it. All of it. I must say I felt like I was standing by myself in a lingerie shop waiting for my wife to come out of the dressing-room and save me.

Although, familiar territory for women, the journey through this article was unchartered land to me. My mind's eye tried to paint pictures of your descriptions. I was really quite comical. My wife thought I was hilarious.

I am afraid to say that I enjoyed the article. I certainly can not say that it was very useful to me. I will probably not read it again nor will I add it to my favorites. All I can say is that from a male's perspective, which is totally useless on this topic, you did a good job relating the facts. I suppose it will be very helpful, but I will never know. Will I?

Dan
15
15
Review by PlannerDan
Rated: E | (4.5)
StoryMaster,

Your advise is good. The only problem that I have is that how can we educate the person who gives a piece, that is percieved by previous reviewers to be a 5.0, a 2.0. That rating pulls a really good piece down to a 4.0 or even less. I realize that ratings are no big deal. But if they did not mean something, we would not use them.

What concerns me is that the person who rated a good piece as being substandard will wander through "writing.com" afflicting other writers the same way. Some will be greatly offended and it will be counter-productive to them.

We should not "sugar-coat" our reviews. However, there should be some consistency with the rest of the writers reviewing the same piece. You have more than adequately tried to educate those in here on the rating system. I suspect it is a never ending battle that must be considered unwinnable.

As you can probably tell, this happened to me. My piece was "Invalid Item. It will never win a Pulitzer Prize, but it isn't "chopped-liver" either.

Thanks for letting me vent.

Dan
16
16
Review of Never, I Say!  
Review by PlannerDan
Rated: E | (5.0)
Lobelia,

I rarely review poetry, because I am inept at it. However, the smile that this piece placed upon my face forced be to do so. As you can see, I thoroughly enjoyed this. It is refreshingly light-hearted. You capture the author's frustration with getting the right words on the page. How natural it is to transfer our iadequacies to the little machine.

"Until it seems the mistakes are mine, Not yours."

That is a beautiful line, among many. Well, anyway, that is how I feel. What follows is Dan's Simple Method For Reviewing Poetry (Remember, I already told you that I am inept).

Does it rhyme? Although, in my world, poetry must rhyme; this does not. But it has rhythm. That's good enough for me this time.

Does it make sense? It makes perfect sense. In fact, I wish I had said it.

Do I like it? Oh yes, I like it very much.

Thank you for writing this simple little piece, Lobelia.

Dan
17
17
Review of The Prayer  
Review by PlannerDan
Rated: E | (4.5)
Summer,

I enjoyed the tone and emotion that is present in this work. As you will learn, there is no equal to my ignorance of poetry. Therefore I often feel it is a disservice to those that I review. However, I review each piece with equal ignorance so I percieve that each one is working from the same handicap. My simple system consist of three questions.

{Does it rhyme?} Although I realize that poetry does not alway rhyme, it helps me if it does. Or at least it should have a rhthym that fools me into thinking it rhymes. Your piece does have a ryhming scheme. Although I feel that it should be separated into couplets with a space between them.

{Do I understand it?} Your poetry make perfect sense to me. Yes, I understand it.

{Do I like it?} As a matter of fact, I do. However, I would like it more if it had punctuation. Now, I realize that punctuation is the bane of poets. What true artist is held captive to punctuation. Unfortunately, I believe that punctuation is an important part of writing and is a part of good writing. Yes, even for poets.

With all this said, I conclude only with I like this. It sounds like a psalm...perhaps some modern David is speaking these words.

Dan
18
18
Review by PlannerDan
Rated: ASR | (5.0)
Kathleen,

This is a thoroughly delightful story. I caused me to remember a similar circumstance that my own grandchildren had one Halloween night. It made me smile. It also has prompted me to record the moment. Thank you for the prompt.

As to your story. It is just perfect the way it is. I found one flaw...a missing word. I think it should read like this:

She would dash up to the porch, knock on the door, quickly holler "trick or treat!"

Thank you again for the enjoyable read.

Dan
19
19
Review of Cannot Help It  
Review by PlannerDan
Rated: E | (4.5)
JohnAshen,

This is well done. Unfortunately, you are the victim om my simplistic understanding of poetry. I look for three things:

1. Does it rhyme (doesn't really have to, but helps me to recognize it as poetry)? It does, and beautifully so.

2. Do I understand it? I think so. The idea that love is one-sided..one-directional, is unfortunate and inaccurate. I would have agreed with the phrase: Why does love sometimes flow in only one direction? The way you put it is an absolute statement, of which I can't agree.

3. Did I like it? Absolutely

Thank you for writing this. And thank you for making me use my poetry reviewing muscles. I know that they will surely hurt tomorrow.

Dan

"Invalid Item
20
20
Review by PlannerDan
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
Diane,

I imagine you enjoyed writing this as much as I did reading it. It was a fun piece that I suppose is the "rest of the story" that Paul Harvey is not aware of. You did a very good job of it. I liked it. You kept it simple and did not over-work it. Good for you!

Technical Stuff

1. The first line should be enclosed in quotation marks; and

2. Dialogue should begin a new paragraph regardless of the size of length of the sentence. example:

         "Hi, my name is Bob and I'm an alcoholic and an addict."

         "Hi Bob."

         These meetings always start the same way. I tried to go at least a couple of times a month to remind myself that I hit bottom once and could easily go right back down. I've been sober for ten years now but I still remember vividly the event that turned my life around.


3. I also recommend that you indent each paragraph. Its a "feel" thing.

4. The word "had" can be over-used. I do it also. Although, I don't think you are a heavy offender here. It's just something to look for. Example:

I had been drinking cheaper beersince early that morning because I was fired from my job earlier in the week... Notice also that I rearanged some of the words...its a subjective thing.

I
fell off the wall and broke my shell in several places.

I
changed my name because the rumor spread so quickly

5. I think there should be a comma after "Oh." ...Oh, and in case you're wondering...

All in all, I thought this was very clever and a delightful read. It is so refreshing to find something good that is short.

Dan


21
21
Review of Eagle  
Review by PlannerDan
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Alek,

I enjoyed this story. It was just the right length. i am pleased that you did not try to coax more length out of it. This piece is a little tricky with verb tense. It switches back and forth between present and past. I think you need to be very careful with that. there are a few locations where present is appropriate, like at the very end. Otherwise, I feel that is should be told in the past tense. What do you think?

Technical stuff

1. Missing word: The chunks it could rip and tear out of me would truly be massive.

2. I would indent the paragraphs

3. Capitalization: Perhaps you're sitting there saying, "But it's just a picture you freak!" Notice also that I inserted double marks for quotations instead of single.

4 Changing of verb tense. There are changes form present to past. I think it would best be told in the past tense. Examples:

The eagle stared at me every day. Silently, its eyes followed me where ever I went in the office.

I took it as a clear sign that it liked what I left{b/} it.

Again, i enjoyed this. I think this is worthy of a little refinement. it would not take much for it to be perfect.

Dan







22
22
Review by PlannerDan
Rated: 18+ | (3.5)
Karlaswan,

There is a very funny premise in this story. I think it is worth development. However, it jumps from place to place without any transition. There are a lot of rough edges. However, I think it is deserving of your time and you have the talent to refine it. I would love to see it when it is finished.

Technical stuff:

1. Center your title and indent your paragraphs.

2. I've ben taught tht it is poor form to end a sentence with a preposition or begin one with a conjunction. Instead of:

But even as you are doing the world’s important work, I know where your mind is really at.

try..Even as you are doing the world’s important work, I know where your mind really is.

4. Please check on this; I believe that a paragraph should be at least three sentences in length. You can have short one line paragraphs in dialogue. Generally, though, the paragraph should

5. You state, "There are two answers to explain my strange behavior." Then you list three item. Even though you immidiately say, "That's three", it is confusing to the reader. In addition, I believe that the period after behavior should be a colon to accept the listing.

6. I personally feel that any dialogue should be enclosed in quotation marks, not simply italics.

7. Throughout the piece you switch tenses with your verbs. It makes it difficult for the reader to follow. In spoken dialogue this can be overcome by your presentation. But the written word requires more discipline.





23
23
Review of Leoparigerions  
Review by PlannerDan
Rated: ASR | (5.0)
This is a thoroughly delightful read. I will purpose to share it with my six and eight year-old grandkids. The eleven year-old is much to serious it seems for fantasy (or so he says). This grandpa enjoyed it most of all.

As for the technical stuff:

1. Appears that there were a multitude of commas in the piece. I would bet that there are some comma flaws. However, I did not care to note them. I enjoyed the piece too much. But I did percieve that they were there. (there were opportunities to use some semicolons that were not realized)

2. Nothing...I have nothing for number two.

This is a glorious piece that builds self-esteem and challenges the imagination. I encourage you to go back and polish up the punctuation. You don't need to for me, but I suspect there are "punctuation cops" who would give you a ticket for the slightest flaw.

Dan



24
24
Review by PlannerDan
Rated: E | (4.5)
I feel a bit uneasy reviewing a letter. It is a personal offering and should somehow remain unchanged. However, since it is posted I will do so.

The sentiment and the emotion of your letter is priceless. The tension of your childhood is evident. It will be interesting to see how it surfaces as the years progress.

Two technical errors flawed my review, otherwise I would have given it a 5.

1. The verb tense in the second sentence should be "are" not "is"...There are so many things..".

2. Do not use the "#" sign. Like numbers, I prefer to write them out. six pounds-two ounces

Beautiful thoughts and very well written letter.

Dan
25
25
Review of Matthew's Letters  
Review by PlannerDan
Rated: E | (5.0)
I have not read the letters yet. But I already know that I love this idea. I am an avid history buff. I believe every family should have a written history. I see no better vehicle than to chronicle a child's history with a personal letter on his birthday. Of course, there should be more. But this one act is priceless.

I will now wander through your letters.

Dan
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