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Printed from http://www.writing.com/main/profile/reviews/plscholl2
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258 Public Reviews Given
Public Reviews
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1
1
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: ASR | (4.0)
A House Stark review for "Red Wedding updating , for Joy of House Florent.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS I love humorous holiday stories, even if they are fiction.

WHAT I LIKED

1.) Characterization — I really liked that Pete was not physically perfect. I also liked that he saw Bettie's parents in a different light and that perhaps he could help her see them that way too. Too often our view gets colored by our perceptions and it's hard to see beyond that.

2.) Family dynamics — I thought you managed to capture these rather eloquently. I bet you get asked if this is based on your family: hence the "This is FICTION" disclaimer.

3.) Irony — She ends up meeting the love of her life at a family dinner.

SUGGESTIONS/OBSERVATIONS

1.) I saw the relationship with Pete coming a mile away. Not that this is a problem——just an observation.

2.) I really did have an aunt Betty Davis.... *Smile*

3.) The comedy factor was amusing but not laugh-out-loud. Of course, this is strictly a personal opinion.

GRAMMAR

1.) Verb tense — Switch to past perfect tense whenever it is an ongoing action in the past. Example: "I had all my life." Instead: "I had had all my life."

2.) Spacing — Example: " I am in a...." Instead: "I am...."

3.) Comma between independent clauses — Example: "Chicago and my sister...." Instead: "Chicago, and my...."

PARTING COMMENTS Cute story.


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2
2
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Rated: ASR | (4.0)
A House Stark review for "Red Wedding updating , for Joy of House Florent.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS Fall is one of my favorite times of the year. Since many of your other stories have great imagery, I looked forward to one written about this time of year.

WHAT I LIKED

1.) Characterization — I liked the way the two characters talked in fragments, which illustrated how neither really knew what to say.

2.) Imagery — Favorite: "scattered the fallen leaves on the water."

3.) Plot — It was beautiful how nature led the father down the path to forgiveness.

SUGGESTIONS/OBSERVATIONS

1.) Formatting — inconsistent spacing between paragraphs.

2) Characterization — The mother doesn't seem to have much of an emotional reaction other than displaying shock. She does seem to try to persuade her husband to accept her daughter but again this doesn't seem very emotional. I would suggest adding onto the scene where she settles Fran in. She could take her up to her old room, give her sheets, and reach out to push back a stray hair of Fran's but then pull back as if afraid of rejection. After she leaves the bedroom, she could close the bedroom door and even have a few silent tears. These are just a few suggestions to heighten the emotional charge of the story.

GRAMMAR

1.) Verb tense — Example: "a full year did not pass...." Instead "a full year had not passed...."

PARTING COMMENTS I loved the concept of the story and the nature setting.


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3
3
Review of The Skull  
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Rated: 13+ | (3.5)
A House Stark review for "Red Wedding updating , for Joy of House Florent.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS Nasty ghosts? Sounds intriguing.

WHAT I LIKED

1.) Imagery — Favorite: "the trees stood shivering, crackling, and naked...." I thought this was beautiful.

2.) Plot — I liked how the gypsy mother communicated with her daughter.

SUGGESTIONS

1.) Plot — I doubt Martha would be allowed to start her candy striping immediately——all that paperwork and parental permission. Plus, no way would a candy striper be given access to someone with an unknown contagion. Also, wouldn't that kind of skin disease be a huge deal? I can just see the CDC swarming in on little Nora's Creek and quarantining everyone.

GRAMMAR

1.) M-dash — Example: "angels--only" These look like two hyphens strung together? I know the m-dash never looks long enough either, which is why I always put two of them together. Instead: "angels——only" Tip: Hold down the alt key and simultaneously type 0151 to get a clear m-dash.

2.) Introducing a list — Example: "anything; the teachers..." Instead of a semicolon use either a colon or an m-dash. "anything——the...."

3.) Word Choice — Example: "snuggling into her snorkel...." Snorkel? Isn't that a tube used to breathe underwater? Since she's trudging through the snow along a creek bank, this doesn't make sense here. Could this be a colloquialism common to your area?

4.) Spelling — Example: "shopping back." Instead: "shopping bag."

PARTING COMMENTS With some revising of the plot issue mentioned above and some minor editing problems, the story has the potential to be quite good.


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4
4
Review of BREAD  
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Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
A House Stark review for "Red Wedding updating , for Joy of House Florent.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS I have a soft spot for stories about the Holocaust, so I couldn't wait to read this one.

WHAT I LIKED

1.) Humor — Favorites: "little schnitzel." and the engagement scene with the dough. That was easy to visualize.

2.) Voice — the voice of the narrator is strong and clear. There is humor laced with seriousness. I also thought the feeling of distance comes through as well. That is authentic to anyone who is older and telling about events from a long time ago. The emotion is there but it is muted.

3.) Title — I loved how the title fits so well and how bread is woven throughout her memories. At every stage of her life, those connections pull the reader along right with the main character.
It's funny but food really does often play a central part in many of our memories.

SUGGESTIONS/OBSERVATIONS

1.) Point of view — Just a personal opinion, but I find questions at the end directed to the reader to be distracting from the story.

2.) I wanted to slap the teacher.

GRAMMAR

1.) Comma between independent clauses — Example: "bread and I...." Instead: "bread, and I...."

PARTING COMMENTS I really enjoyed this story and how the memories all connected to food. I'm giving this a 5 star rating, and I don't do that very often.


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5
5
Review of Fairy’s Favor  
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Rated: E | (4.5)
A House Stark review for "Red Wedding updating , for Joy of House Florent.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS I loved the description as this tooth fairy did almost get caught.

WHAT I LIKED

1.) I suspect that this poem will bring a smile to any reader's face. I had to smile as it brought to my memory the time I was almost caught. I was bent over my son's head as I was blindly searching for his tooth. He woke up and asked me what I was doing. I just smiled and said, "Giving you a kiss goodbye." Since I usually left for work in the wee hours of the morning, he believed me. Phew!

2.) I like that this is first person told from the point of view of the child. Gives it a playful feel.

3.) I loved the description of the tooth fairy. Favorite: "sulking on Mommy's palm"

SUGGESTIONS

1.) Confusion — "stopped to play." This may be one of those "I am really over-analyzing things", but I wasn't sure what image this was portraying. She holds up the tooth and then stops to play? Is is possible this is suppose to be "stopped my play"?

TECHNICAL

1.) Rhyme — Follows a rhyme scheme of aabb - no major issues.

2.) Rhythm — Rhythm is strong and consistent.

PARTING COMMENTS What a charming poem that made me really think about my own children and tooth fairy encounters.


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6
6
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Rated: 13+ | (3.5)
A House Stark review for "Red Wedding updating , for Andrew

FIRST IMPRESSIONS The description made me wonder what was meant by "I knew but never knew."

WHAT I LIKED

1.) Imagery — Favorite: "their clarion call was a single word." Considering the musical references in the story, this was a great word choice.

2.) Plot — Great job of portraying the dichotomy of a funeral: the underlying grief and horror conflicting with the reunions and joy of old memories.

SUGGESTIONS

1.) Point of View — Switching point of view within a short story is difficult because the reader needs time to connect to the character. Switching jerks the readers away from one character and puts them in the head of another. In this case, it was more troublesome because it switches from first person to a third person. Every time it did I kept thinking, "How could he possibly know this?" If you want to maintain the switching, maybe experiment with making the narrator a third person. That might make it a little less jarring.

2.) Characterization — At first, I did not understand that the narrator was a teenager, and I had a little trouble figuring out that Lynn was Mrs. Ambrose. I even flipped back to the first page to see if I had missed something. This may be because to you the writer these people are real, and it is obvious to you who they are and what their relationships are. I would suggest expanding the opening scene so that these things can be made clearer.

3.) Disclaimer — No need for a long winded explanation and example of how you changed things. It's enough to say that the story was based on real events though names and some events have been changed.

GRAMMAR

1.) Possessives — Rule: add ('s) for singular nouns no matter the ending. Incorrect: Mr. Ambroses' death. Correct Mr. Ambrose's death.

PARTING COMMENTS Thank you for sharing this difficult memory. I suspect it could be much more powerful and much more emotional if one point of view was maintained.


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7
7
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
A House Stark review for "Red Wedding updating , for Charlieee 🌈

FIRST IMPRESSIONS I chuckled when I read the title the first time. It even got a laugh out of my teenage son when I shared it with him.

WHAT I LIKED

1.) I loved the title.

2.) Dialogue — "Not today, sister!" Just found this amusing.

3.) Plot — I found it amusing the way the narrator takes advantage of the fight to make her move.

SUGGESTIONS

1.) The title and description made me think this story was going to be set in a school cafeteria. I think I made this leap partly because the implied subject is rather juvenile. In some ways, that is part of the humor that these are adults. On the other hand, it was rather disconcerting for me when I realized it wasn't.

2.) Humor — The story does take suspending belief about human behavior as adults typically do not act this way. For some readers, that is okay and is part of the appeal. Certainly, some people do seem to become animalistic, don't they?

GRAMMAR

1.) Comma between independent clauses/sentences — Example: "motion and there was...." Instead: "motion, and there...."

PARTING COMMENTS Are provolone Cheez-Its really that good? LOL!


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8
8
Review of Into The Rain  
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Rated: E | (4.5)
A House Stark review for "Red Wedding updating , for Charlieee 🌈

FIRST IMPRESSIONS I find it intriguing the way the point of view changes our perceptions of the story so I couldn't wait to read this one.

WHAT I LIKED

1.) Great Imagery — Favorite: "lightening spidered across the sky...."

2.) Point of View — I loved how the sympathies and perceptions change depending on the point of view. The neighbors think he's crazy, his wife resents him, but in the first person point of view the reader finds sympathy.

3.) Plot — I also liked the feeling of hope the final lines leaves us with.

4.) Characterization — I loved our glimpse into the narrator's psyche as he showed us what stepping over the edge looks like.

SUGGESTIONS/OBSERVATIONS

1.)Plot — I kept waiting for something to happen to the narrator like getting struck by lightening. I guess in a way something already has.

2.)Plot — The fact that the children do not join their father is sad and so indicative of the mother's influence.

GRAMMAR

1.) Spacing — "I- Is he...." Instead "I-Is he...."

2.) Comma between two independent clauses — "Margie and she...." Instead: "Margie, and she...."

PARTING COMMENTS This look at the same story from three points of view does an excellent job of showing the impact the point of view has.


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9
9
Review of Wildflowers  
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Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
A House Stark review for "Red Wedding updating , for Charlieee 🌈 .

FIRST IMPRESSIONS When I saw the title and the description, I immediately thought of the old short story "The Yellow Wallpaper," by Charlotte Perkins Gilman.

WHAT I LIKED

1.) Great imagery — "the sunlight reflecting their bright colors...."

2.) Tension — There is a good building of tension, especially in the scene where Logan goes back to the abandoned shack alone.

SUGGESTIONS/OBSERVATIONS

1.) Description — an hour drive seems a bit far for teens to go on a regular basis, even if it is the weekend. Most teens will look for someplace more local.

2.) Formatting — use asterisks or other symbols to indicate scene breaks. I was a bit confused after Logan's investigation of the bedroom. One minute he's in the bedroom and the next he's in a car with Sarah.

3.) Plot — His arms and legs were gone and he is still conscious? Maybe I'm too literal of a person. I would suggest it would be more believable for him to be injured and dying but not missing limbs.

4.) Prediction — Well, my first impression was "dead" wrong.

GRAMMAR

1.) Commas between independent clauses — Example: "paranoia and I...." Instead: "paranoia, and...."

2.) Verb tense — Example: "I plead...." Instead: "I pleaded...."

PARTING COMMENTS Great use of tension keeps readers entranced.


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10
10
Review of So Far Gone  
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Rated: E | (4.0)
A House Stark review for "Red Wedding updating , for ~WhoMe???~ .

FIRST IMPRESSIONS The title made me wonder gone where? Or is it not a physical distance but so far committed to a path in life or decision?

WHAT I LIKED

1.) Metaphor — Loved this analogy: "the treadmill of life...." So appropriate to this piece.

2.) Subject — I suspect a lot of readers, myself included, can relate all to well to the issue of overcoming obstacles in our lives. I thought you captured the sense of inertia that many of us struggle to overcome. I also liked that you left the reader hanging at the end with just a tiny bit of hope that you would triumph in the end. That lent a touch of realism.

SUGGESTIONS

1.) Style — While this works great as a personal essay, I wonder if you could turn it into a longer short story based on your experiences? Think about how powerful it might be for someone to see the narrator struggling with these issues. You might even have your readers in tears with such emotional impact. As it stands now, it is poignant but not as, shall we say, gut wrenching as a longer story might be. It might even be cathartic to write.

GRAMMAR

1.) Formatting — Indent paragraph: "Well, the..."

PARTING COMMENTS Thanks for the updates at the end. A moving and poignant essay.


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11
11
Review of Shadow Detective  
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Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
A House Stark review for "Red Wedding updating , for ~WhoMe???~ .

FIRST IMPRESSIONS The title intrigued me. What did "Shadow Detective" mean? Is this a real person? Does he/she investigate from the shadows or does he/she investigate the shadows?

WHAT I LIKED

1.) Tension — The opening builds fantastic tension with the way the narrator knows something or someone is there and can't move for fear of giving away the fact that she is awake.

2.) Humor — "she should go into writing horror stories,...." Thought that was funny.

SUGGESTIONS/OBSERVATIONS

1.) Plot — There were a few points that I just didn't buy. a.) the narrator turning her back on the intruder, b.) it doesn't occur to her to call the police the next morning c.) she forgets about the intruder after a tough day at work——must have been a horrible day because I doubt I could have thought of much else. Now, at the risk of giving something away I realize that these events occurred during a dream, so logic isn't always necessary. The question becomes will readers disengage before they figure this out? I stayed because of the tension, and I suspect others will as well.

2.) Plot — At the point where she decides to enter the basement, it reminded me of all those horror movies where some not-so-bright character sees blood all over a door and still thinks its a great idea to go into that room. *Bigsmile* I was thinking, "No way would I be checking out that basement."

GRAMMAR

1.) Unnecessary comma — Example: "exhausted, and had...." A comma should only be used here if there is a complete sentence on the other side of the conjunction. Instead: "exhausted and....."

PARTING COMMENTS Creepy story, but then I'm always creeped out by sleep-time horror stories.


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12
12
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: E | (3.5)
A House Stark review for "Red Wedding updating , for ~WhoMe???~ .

FIRST IMPRESSIONS I live in an area where we have all four seasons. Though I might grumble a bit during the extremes, I wouldn't have it any other way.

WHAT I LIKED

1.) Great imagery — Favorite: "It was here Crayola drew her muse for creating new crayons." The opening paragraph sets up the setting very well.

2.) Personification — I loved the personification of Father Winter and his "last hurrah."

3.) Plot — I liked the way everything went quiet.

SUGGESTIONS/OBSERVATIONS

1.) Plot — In one moment the narrator says he can't see because of the blinding snow and then the next he is looking around and sees the trees.

2.) Plot — This is my own personal hang up, but whenever there is a supernatural element in a story, I like to see a hint of it coming. When it catching me by surprise, it pulls me out of the story.

3.) Plot — Did you have a word limit? I know this was written on the fly, but I would suggest that this might be a more powerful story if you expanded it.

GRAMMAR

1.) Capitalization — Example: "sister sun...." Instead: "Sister Sun...."

2.) Comma between independent clauses — Example: "was out and the frost...." Instead: "out, and the...."

3.) Tighten — Example: "Everything was waiting. For what?" The reader is already asking this question so there is no purpose in posing it.

4.) Spelling — Its vs. It's

PARTING COMMENTS A unique look at the change of seasons.


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13
13
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Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
A House Stark review for "Red Wedding updating , for L. Stephen O'Neill of House Targaryen.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS Well, the description made me think of Chaucer from the movie A Knight's Tale. LOL! Sometimes my mind goes in the strangest directions. I shall endeavor not to allow that silly image to color my reading of this tale.

WHAT I LIKED

1.) Great imagery. Favorite: "low gray sky hung lower and lower..."

2.) Unlike most bards, Hunter was multi-demensional. Instead of being the stereotypical bard who is a bit wimpy, Hunter is also an accomplished hunter.

SUGGESTIONS/OBSERVATIONS

1.) Vocabulary — I learned a new word: skald. Thanks!

2.) Internal thoughts — There is no need to add a "thought Hunter" after every italics thought. The reader will understand that it is his internal thoughts they are reading.

3.) What happened to the first village? I kept expecting to discover that Murchadh had something to do with it but it was never mentioned again.

GRAMMAR

1.) Comma splice — Avoid using commas to join two complete sentences. Example: "strong, he...." Instead: "strong; he...." Since these two sentences are closely related a semicolon will work here.

2.) Verb Tense — Example: "he hoped...." Instead: "he had hoped...."

3.) Capitalization — Seasons are not capitalized: winter.

PARTING COMMENTS I would love to hear more of Hunter's tales and travels.


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14
14
Review of Minor Key  
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Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
A House Stark review for "Red Wedding updating , for ☮ Goofy Old Grum .

FIRST IMPRESSIONS The description suggests a missed opportunity and this is something most readers can relate to.

WHAT I LIKED

1.) I loved the description of the lagoon. Favorite" "pulsating jellyfish...." Great imagery.

2.) Great characterization really captures the imagination of a young boy and then follows throughout his life. Favorite: "his imagination had been stunted...."

SUGGESTIONS/OBSERVATIONS

1.) Show vs. Tell — When possible, let the actions and dialogue speak for how a character feels. Example: "He felt stunned,..." Instead: "He froze, his eyes wide...."

2.) Foreshadowing — When introducing a supernatural element, try planting a few hints of what's to come. As it stands now, the mermaid caught me by surprise and really felt a little jarring.

GRAMMAR

1.) Avoid passive voice — Example: "The cliff top was carpeted with wildflowers,..." Instead: "Wildflowers carpeted the cliff top,...."

2.) Adverbs — Most of the time, they are unnecessary and slow down the writing. Try finding the adverbs and either deleting them or replacing them with stronger verbs. Example: "He approached the shore-line diffidently...." Instead: He edged toward...."

PARTING COMMENTS A great moral lesson.


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15
15
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
A House Stark review for "Red Wedding updating , for Smee of House Targaryen.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS Though I rarely review poetry, I am a huge Star Trek fan. I've come across several of these tributes to Leonard Nemoy written as a part of a contest, and I can't wait to read this one.

WHAT I LIKED

1.) I loved how the poem progressed with running dialogue. That made the poem unique and also brought back a lot of memories for this Trekkie. I could just hear Spock talking.

2.) Favorite line — "Fascinating, Jim." What an iconic statement.

SUGGESTIONS/OBSERVATIONS

1.) The break at the end to talking to Leonard Nemoy was a bit jarring for me. The poem seems to be focused on the character of Spock, so I would suggest changing Leonard to Spock. In other words: stay in character.

TECHNICAL

1.) Rhyme — Poem follows a scheme of abcb and holds this fairly well.

2.) Rhythm — At times there seems to be a natural rhythm but then it loses it and really seems forced. However, keep in mind that this is one of my biggest weaknesses so take this comment under that consideration.

PARTING COMMENTS The use of common Star Trek phrases really takes readers on a journey where "No poet has gone before."


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16
16
Review of The Steps  
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: E | (4.0)
A House Stark review for "Red Wedding updating , for GrueSum1 of House Martell.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS I don't normally review satire but the description caught my eye.

WHAT I LIKED

1.) I loved the opening description, especially since it sat in the middle of a modern city.

2.) Great use of personification. I particularly liked the naming system and how each had a personality and a history of its own.

3.) "deep baritone voice of the wall...." My favorite description.

SUGGESTIONS/OBSERVATIONS

1.) No real suggestions — perhaps a few of the flashbacks could be expanded to provide a bit more description. However, I don't know that it is necessary.

GRAMMAR

1.) Commonly confused words: lead vs. led. Example: "them lead up...." Instead: "them led up...."

2) Comma splices — Avoid joining two independent sentences with a comma. Example: "now, don’t...." Instead: "now. Don't..."

3.) Comma in direct address — When using a name in speaking directly to someone, set off that name on both sides with a comma. Example: "right Four, we are...." Instead "right, Four; we are..." I changed the comma after the name to a semicolon because it is actually another comma slice and should end as a sentence.

PARTING COMMENTS A great piece with a solid message: each of us has value.


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17
17
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
A House Stark review for "Red Wedding updating , for GrueSum1 of House Martell.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS I have always been intrigued by the idea that some people have a gift, or a curse, of a second sight.

WHAT I LIKED

1.) Loved the double homicide scene. So how did he do it?

2.) Great ending line by bringing the story full-circle with the ring tone.

3.) Good foreshadowing.

SUGGESTIONS/OBSERVATIONS

1.) Voice - (Strictly opinion) Maybe I'm stereotyping, but I would picture Jay as being much more brusque and to the point, especially when he has just been woke up. Example: “Can you give me a few quick details?” Instead just simply "Details?"

2.) Time Line — In every detective book or movie I have encountered, the CSI is called in at the same time as the lead detectives. Often they are stepping around each other and the lead detective may even wait for the CSI to do certain things to avoid contaminating the scene. Maybe I have been watching too much TV but it just seemed weird that they weren't called in until an hour after the lead detective arrived.

3.) Satisfying ending — This is a personal opinion, but I generally do not like being left in the dark. I saw the ending coming (trying not to give too much away) but would have liked to have seen a resolution. Maybe Jay could recognized the killer's face?

GRAMMAR

1.) Comma in direct address even if it is a title — Example: "personally Lieutenant." Instead: "personally, Lieutenant."

2.) Avoid unnecessary adverbs. — Most of the time they can be replaced by stronger verbs. Example: "quickly drove..." Instead: "sped"

3.) Multiple comma splices — Avoid joining two sentences with a comma. Example: "for a fare, maybe he’s...." Instead: "fare. Maybe he's...."

4.) Apostrophe — Avoid using to show plural. Example: "camera’s...." Instead: "cameras...."

PARTING COMMENTS Good detective story.


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18
18
Review of Anomanunka  
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Rated: E | (4.5)
A House Stark review for "Red Wedding updating , for Turtle ~ KanyáthƐko:wa:h .

FIRST IMPRESSIONS As someone with Native American Ancestry, I am always attracted to Indian legends of any kind.

WHAT I LIKED

1.) Voice — A legend is really told with a different, almost distant voice, than a short story is. This story maintains that voice throughout.

2.) The story frame is well-woven to include all the elements of a good legend: a hero in tragic circumstance with a good moral lesson to save the day.

3.) I liked how the reader stayed in suspense about the meaning of Anomanunka for the entire story. I also liked how the art work at the top of the story ties in.

SUGGESTIONS

1.) No real suggestions. This could be made longer with greater details, but I don't think it is necessary.

GRAMMAR

1.) Avoid repetitive words or phrases — Example within one sentence: "without his wife... find his wife...." Instead: "find her...."

2.) Tighten — Example: "sub-chiefs of the village." Since it has been established that the main character is watching the village, there is no need to clarify that the chiefs are from that village.

3.) Avoid comma splices — Example: "snuck in, I only...." Instead: "snuck in. I..."

PARTING COMMENTS Just a great Indian legend. Thanks for sharing.


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19
19
Review of Coffee Shop  
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Rated: E | (5.0)
A House Stark review for "Red Wedding updating , for Turtle ~ KanyáthƐko:wa:h

FIRST IMPRESSIONS The title and the description intrigued me. Was this literal or figurative? (SPOILER ALERT: Do not read further if you intend to read this story.)

WHAT I LIKED

1.) Loved the opening paragraph — pulled me right into her world.

2.) You balanced the real world with her inner thoughts perfectly. I almost felt like I took the journey with her, and when she gets pulled back, I almost felt as disoriented as she did. Bravo!

3.) I liked that the voice was familiar.

SUGGESTIONS/OBSERVATIONS

1.) Wait! What is the question? What is the answer? I'm not sure whether to admire your storytelling craft or be ticked that you left me hanging. LOL! However, I guess the question and even the answer is not the point, is it? It's more about finding the answers deep within yourself. In my family, we call that zoning. Hmmmm, could she be a writer seeking the answer to some conundrum in her story?

2.) Because the reader never knows the answer either, he/she is left with a sense of solidarity with the narrator.

GRAMMAR

1.) No major issues.

PARTING COMMENTS Well, other than still grumbling *Wink* about not knowing the the question or the answer, I thought this little short was fabulous. I'm giving it a five, and I don't do that very often.


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20
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Review of Jolene!  
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
A House Stark review for "Red Wedding updating , for Turtle ~ KanyáthƐko:wa:h

FIRST IMPRESSIONS When I first saw the title, I immediately thought of the old country song "Jolene." I wondered if this piece would have any connection?

WHAT I LIKED

1.) I thought the characterization of abuse was very realistic.

2.) I liked the alteration between the present and the past. It flowed very well and really provided a lot of background info.

3.) It is extremely easy to sympathize with Jolene. Because both characters are believable, the reader really dislikes Ed and is rooting for Jolene.

SUGGESTIONS

1.) Formatting — Double space between paragraphs. The white space gives the eye somewhere to rest between paragraphs. This may not seem like a big deal, but readers will give up or react unfavorably if they keep losing their spot.

2.) Jolene tells us about the abuse, but it might be more dramatic if Jolene actually flashes back to the it.

GRAMMAR

1.) Misplaced Modifier — "Jolene’s father being the old fashion type, they...." The way this reads the sentence should be about the father. Instead: "With Jolene's father...."

PARTING COMMENTS Well, the story didn't have anything to do with the country song, but the story could definitely be inspiration for a good one.


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21
21
Review of The Visitor  
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: E | (4.0)
A House Stark review for "Red Wedding updating , for Turtle ~ KanyáthƐko:wa:h .

FIRST IMPRESSIONS When I first saw the title and the description, I wasn't sure how the two connected.

WHAT I LIKED

1.) Ahhhh, when he said he didn't know about the past, but he knew he loved her now, my heart melted. Then when he said he would go to sleep just to "rush the morning light." What a sweet ending.

SUGGESTIONS

1.) Formatting — Paragraphs should be indented 1/2 inch. These look like maybe the space bar was used?

GRAMMAR

1.) Verb tense — Example: "what he came...." Instead: "he had come...." Example: "hobbies he had...." Instead: "he had had...." Any time the narrator talks about an on-going past activity that did not have a specific beginning and end, switch to the past perfect tense.

2.) Tighten — Look for unnecessary words or phrases. Example: " He stirred in his bed, and as he did this she looked up...."

3.) Commas with introductory phrases — Example: "her finger she left...." Instead "finger, she...."

4.) Spell-check error — Example: "her check...." Instead: "her cheek...."

5.) Run-on — Example: "him One...." Instead: "him. One...."

PARTING COMMENTS This was such a sweet story that renews the reader's faith in love and mankind.


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22
22
Review of Hard Truth  
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: E | (3.5)
A House Stark review for "Red Wedding updating , for Turtle ~ KanyáthƐko:wa:h

FIRST IMPRESSIONS The title made me ask, "What truth?" The description made me wonder if this was one of those "ah-ha" moments?

WHAT I LIKED

1.) The descriptions of the other character were mesmerizing. My favorite: "eyes never ceding their lock on mine."

2.) I liked the message inherent in the story: we are each responsible for finding our own happiness. I also fervently agree with the last lines about jealousy—such a destructive emotion.

SUGGESTIONS

1.) I never quite figured out who the narrator is talking to. Is it some kind of supernatural being? Some kind of mystic?

GRAMMAR

1.) Tighten — Look for words or phrases that are repetitive or unnecessary because the reader will make the leap on his/her own. Example: "he knew the power he held over me at that point in time." The last phrase is really not necessary because the reader will assume it is at that point in time. Clarification might only be necessary if it was a past power.

2.) Avoid double punctuation. "?!?!" While it is intended for emphasis, it is really more of a distraction. Instead, use a speaker tag with screamed or shouted.

PARTING COMMENTS I enjoyed this short piece but ended up feeling like I missed something. Was there a word count limit on this?


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23
23
Review of River Run  
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: E | (4.5)
A House Stark review for "Red Wedding updating , for Turtle ~ KanyáthƐko:wa:h

FIRST IMPRESSIONS I tend to like nature stories. Plus, I like photo prompts and always enjoy seeing what other writers do with them.

WHAT I LIKED

1.) The sprinkling of technical jargon made the whole story totally believable.

2.) What an adventure! I had no trouble following the action as the descriptions are fantastic. My favorite: "My ears filled with the crush of swooshing sounds as my ear drums imploded."

SUGGESTIONS/OBSERVATIONS

1.) I know it is not always possible, but I would have loved to have seen the pictures. You can insert a link back to the contest sometimes.

2.) Do those kinds of scientist really survive flash floods like that? Incredible. Don't get me wrong, I bought the whole thing; I just want to know after the fact if you made it up? *Wink*

GRAMMAR

1.) Avoid repetitive phrases — Example: "Demerchant, and I set up camp, making sure to tie down...." However, "set up camp" already appears in the previous sentence. Instead: "I tied down...." Another one: "rest of the day..."

2.) Typo? — " ports., We...." Instead: "ports. We...."

PARTING COMMENTS Great fast-paced action keeps this story moving.


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24
24
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: 13+ | (3.5)
A House Stark review for "Red Wedding updating , for ~ Aqua ~ of House Martell.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS I'm a real sap for a tear-jerker, so I couldn't resist the title and description.

WHAT I LIKED

1.) Great dialogue - Smooth and keeps the story progressing.

2.) Lily seems like a precious girl.

SUGGESTIONS

1.) Word choice — "non-tedious personality...." Of course, this is completely a personal choice, but non-tedious seems so clinical to me. Perhaps lively, or precocious?

2.) Plot Concerns — I'm a little confused about how Peter came to be in the hospital. Was he sick previously? Did he pass out and wake up there? If so, why doesn't he ask how he got there? I think my confusion comes from the fact that the cancer seems like a surprise. Perhaps the conversation with the doctor could be revised so that she is simply giving him the latest news. Then his hospital stay would make perfect sense. In addition, Peter also seems, at times, to be rather robust for a dying man.

3.) Time line — Peter is discharged on Dec. 29th. The next day Lily says it is New Year's Eve?

GRAMMAR

1.) Use comma between independent clauses (sentences) — Example: "set in and he saw...." Instead: "in, and he...."

2.) Repeated phrase, perhaps an editing error? — Example: "Peter held his five-year old daughter." This was repeated.

PARTING COMMENTS Though I thought Lily was endearing, I never really felt an emotional pull for Peter. I think I was distracted by the plot concerns I mentioned earlier. Perhaps revising to solve these issues would create a strong connection for the reader.


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25
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Review of "UNGH!"  
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
A House Stark review for "Red Wedding updating , for Angus of House Night's Watch.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS Family reunions can be horror stories in themselves. (Warning: Spoiler Alert — Don't read on if you plan to read this story.)

WHAT I LIKED

1.) Loved the title.

2.) What a cold-blooded thing to do. I loved it! (Not sure what that says about me. *Bigsmile*)

SUGGESTIONS/OBSERVATIONS

1.) Point of view — In such a short story, it is often better to tell the story from just one character's point of view. Readers have a limited time to connect to characters, and this can help ensure that they connect to at least one character. The opening seems to start from Ben's point of view but then switches quickly to his wife's. How would the opening scene be different if it was told from hers? There are also points later in the story that seems to shift back to Ben's point of view. Example: "Ben felt...." Jill should only be able to see what is happening to Ben.

2.) I know sometimes in contest entries there are often word count maximums to contend with. However, I would love to see this story expanded. Prior to the big scene, it might intensify the conflict if the reader could see more of Jill's anxiety through dialogue and actions. There could even be an exchange between Jill and Tracy that might shed more light on the subject.

3.) Plot Point — I'm not sure that I buy that Mike has hated Tracy all this time. I mean, the football game happened over 20 years ago and Mike still married her. That seems like a long time to plot their demise, even for a cold-blooded killer. Now, I could see it as an excuse but there would have to be more background to build this idea.

GRAMMAR

1.) No major grammar errors. Dialogue flows well.

PARTING COMMENTS Well, I'm not sure Mike thought this one through. I wonder how he is planning to get away with it?


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