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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/profile/reviews/poeros
Review Requests: OFF
16 Public Reviews Given
Review Style
Often I create a google document for your story where I make comments and share with you. I will happily tell you what I think of the concept of your pieces and provide suggestions in any given area you feel that you'd like me to look at. There isn't a template I follow, but I like to point out what is done well before touching on what may need work.
I'm good at...
If you would like me to review, my strengths tend to be with looking at dialogue and pacing, though I am able to (and happy to) look at other elements in a story. I will also find all your passive words and highlight them in the google doc if I feel they are too many.
Favorite Genres
I really enjoy reading urban fantasy of any sort and anything involving mythology or fairy tales tends to have my full and undivided attention. Horror and the occult are also genres that I enjoy reading.
Least Favorite Genres
Non-fiction
Favorite Item Types
Short stories, novelettes, or novels/novel chapters.
Least Favorite Item Types
Poems. I suck at these so I cannot give you any feedback worthwhile other than how it made me feel.
I will not review...
Fanfiction. I'll still read it, but I'll grind my teeth the entire time.
Public Reviews
1
1
Review of Seven Hills 90210  
Review by Poeros
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Hey there.

I haven't been a fan fiction fan for a while, but this was a good chuckle I needed after reading something serious. Below I have a google doc where I offered suggestions to word choice or grammar. Should be able to edit it.

First thought
You can really milk this for all it is worth. There is some gold here and you're only just touching the surface. Go back and see where you can really make it happen.

Corrections
You have some grammar bits here and there to fix. Otherwise, I would have given it a 5 star.

Suggestions
I'd do a bit more research on the Buffy Universe and see what you can pull from that to add to your story. The Wish granting demon is a good one, but those abilities come at a cost. What should hers be? Maybe causing pain? That would inspire her to make the girls suffer more without their knowing. Just a thought.

Good read overall. Thanks for sharing.
2
2
Review by Poeros
Rated: 18+ | (3.0)
I am responding to the review request you submitted to me. Overall I try to be constructive in my feedback and I don't want you to feel that I am personally attacking you or your work. All I seek is to help you improve what you have.

Let's do this.

Overall
You have a solid idea here and I think you can follow it through to the end. I’d like to read more of this as you continue to share Kyle’s journey with us. Getting a reader's interest is important and you have a natural talent for this.

First Impression
It was easy to feel for Kyle as he lives a common life in modern day America. I was rooting for him when he was with Jennifer and cringed with Josh and his friends beat in on him. This is important as it is characters that really build a story. Excellent job.

What I liked
I was curious where you were taking me with this. I enjoyed that there was conflict of the love interest and her ex-boyfriend. You never want to have a chapter without some conflict in it and you painted this naturally.

Thought/question
I thought Josh’s reaction to the picture was very escalated. Maybe hint somewhere when mentioning him more about his violent nature under the nice guy face?

Mechanics
My main concern is the writing itself. I am not sure what your past writing experience is at present, but it feels as if this is your first serious attempt? Or that this is a rough draft. Correct me if I am wrong, I hate making assumptions.

Your format for this piece is a little all over the place. When folks write, they either pick block paragraphs with spaces between them or indented paragraphs with no spaces. Here and there you have extra spaces which I think you are better off without using. In two spots I saw you used them for scene breaks, but I would just stick with the *** in the middle of the page to avoid confusion for your reader.

Any numbers under 100 are spelled out.

Tense issues as you switch from things happening now to it had happened. Give it another look over and you see what I am talking about.

Grammar
So, I’ll be honest, not your best area.

You do what I see a lot of online roleplayers do with the ?! to add influence to the question. I understand what you are trying to do there, but that’ll get you slapped by an editor and rejected by a publisher. Instead, I would only use the question mark and have your dialogue tag be “snapped,” “shouted,” or “yelled.”

Speaking of dialogue needs a review. I’m not going to point out all the spots that need correcting, but I will leave you a link about how to punctuate dialogue properly in fiction: https://www.thebalance.com/punctuating-dialogue-pr...

You have a colon in one part of your story and I would replace that with a common. The majority of writers avoid colons and semicolons.

Writing Style

Your writing is very passive, which detracts from what you have written. Especially when Kyle is cornered by the boys. If you have Microsoft Word, use the find tool to locate these words and do what you can to get them out of your manuscript.

Passive words: was, could, would, should, that, and any word ending in -ly.
Telling words: feel, think, believe, noticed

If you have time, I think you should read an article written by Chuck Palahniuk on verbs. I only mention it because you do a lot of telling your story and I know you have it in you to take that nonsense out and really paint the scenes as I know you can do.

https://litreactor.com/essays/chuck-palahniuk/nuts...



That's my review of your work. Please poke me when you rewrite it and I will be happy to look at it again.
3
3
Review by Poeros
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Hello Friend :)
I am doing the review in response to your request. Thank you for asking me to do this. I am sorry that I was not able to get to it sooner as I had a family emergency that took my full attention. For that I am sorry as I promised to do the review much sooner than I am.

What I liked
I am an outdoors person so I enjoyed reading about the travel and seeing how the characters interacted with each other. Your dialogue was very good and it flowed naturally much of the time. A lot of folks have trouble with that, but you seem to have a good grasp of this.

Your Writing Style
Your writing goes back and forth between being detailed about what is going on and skimming over other things. It's clear to me what parts had your interested more ;) There are places where your writing reads like something from an instruction manual. You are trying to tell us what is gong on, but the delivery is bland/telling.

What I would like to see
This is hard for me to write about as I am picking up the story after a few chapters. More showing for sure. You have some good bits going on that I would love to be expanded on. You also have moments where there is build up and then... nothing. For example, you have the two guys on the road worried about what will happen to them when the others catch up. However, when they do meet up, it is all resolved in a few lines of dialogue. If your characters have worry and tension, then something needs to happen.

Recommendations
Again, hard for me to be elaborate on as I am picking up in the middle of the story. Below I have a link to a google document where I point out a lot of things I see. Everything highlight in yellow is passive words. They suck the energy and life out of your writing. Anything you see as blue are adverbs that need to go. Typically anything outside of dialogue that ends in -ly shouldn't be in your writing.
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1KscFfp9iiz0v1f...

I hope this helps you and please keep writing. You've got something here :)

4
4
Review of A Life Unlived  
Review by Poeros
Rated: E | (3.5)
Hey there!
I saw your request for review and took a peek at it. Just to let you know, everything I have here is just a suggestion for you

First Impression
There is some great description here. You do a wondrous job of painting the setting and what is going on. I can practically feel the air on my skin and hear the sounds all about me as if I was the one on the bench. Bravo on that!

Overall
You have a few hiccups here and there (which I pointed out below). My only real criticism is that I wasn’t super confident what the take away from this story was. I gather that it was about living life and not dreaming it, but it was such a passive approach to the revelation that it almost didn’t matter to me. Make it matter! Show me why it matters! Slap me in the face with it.

Technical

I have three suggestions here!

1. You’ve got a lot of “sticky” words in your piece that slow down the pacing of the writing. Words like the, was, for, that, if, to etc. Try to keep an eye on those (fear not, I do the same).

2. Feel/felt/feeling
Don’t tell me those words, describe it. Let me feel it, too!


3. Seeing large blocks of texts, for me, is really hard as it makes it feel like a daunting piece to read. I would look over your “blocks” and see where you can make new paragraphs at. Separate description from action and thoughts. For example, with your first one, I tried to group up your setting with description and actions that was occurring.

Sometimes at night, I lie awake in my bed and daydream about a life that never was.
I lay stretched out, flat on my back, and stare into the darkness with the echoes of the night ringing in my ears as my mind wanders off into that far off parallel time that exists only in my mind, always starting off with me sitting on a park bench. It is the type of day that comes perhaps in February. One of those unusually warm days that give just a temporary glimpse into what the spring will bring in a few months. Occasionally, a walker will give a gentle nod his head hello or maybe give a "Nice day to be outside.", but otherwise I am left alone to ponder my thoughts.
After a few minutes I can feel the weight of my body pressing against the wooden boards of the bench and my feet crossed as they stretch out before me. I survey the horizon from left to right and back again taking in all of my surroundings. There is a black fence surrounding the park and to my right is the gate for the entrance from Main Street and greeting everyone who enters is a concrete monument that says "Welcome to City Park". Behind the monument is a large live oak whose base is encompassed by azaleas that are waiting for April so they can display their blooms of pink and white. The massive branches from the tree serve as temporary shade depending on the time of day as well as something to climb for the more daring children. From the gate entrance there is the sidewalk that continues in from the street, goes under the oak, past the bench where I sit, and proceeds on around the couple of acres that makes up the park.
In front of me are the play-sets; one a large structure that contains a high tower with two giant curving slides traversing down in a curvature angle along with a series of walkways with different climbing apparatuses such as a rope wall and some monkey bars. The other play-set contains swings and a merry-go-round that also doubles as a ship. The playing children run back and forth from one set to the other giving off a gleeful incomprehensible chatter that reminds me of blackbirds that populate the newly bare pecan trees in the fall. On the other side of the play-sets is an open space of grass where the older kids play kickball and soccer. Watching them, I want to jump up and take a kick at the ball, but knowing it is better off as a dream, I let out a quiet sigh instead and continue with my survey.


Suggestions

Take a look at what I suggestions and I honestly think you have a stellar piece. The concept of what you are writing is very good and I encourage you to keep at it. Don't ever stop.


5
5
Review of The Date  
Review by Poeros
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
Hey there!

First Impression
I like the overall feel of the poem and how the narrator fell in love and her life become joined with another. Everything as a good flow to it and I was very engaged by it.

Overall
You have a few hiccups here and there (which I pointed out below). I made some suggestions on rewarding a few lines here and there. Feel free to disregard as you need to. I would suggest having someone besides you reading it out loud and see how it sounds to your ears.

Technical
Your tenses jump around a bit (mind do as well, no worries!) but I gather this is mostly in the past tense. If you have present tense, maybe show they are more thoughts?

Suggestions

Life simple
Maybe reworded to:
Life so simple? It feels as if it has a better flow to me.


Maybe rewrite this as:
There once was time I never knew you.
Life so simple.
Unbound by your presence.
Unmarred by the turmoil of your new arrival that first day.

In to is normally written as into
Our time together rolled into years.

Oh yeah there were times I would go... I need break, not now!
Maybe changed to:
Oh, there were times I would go…

But then you did take a vacation.
Maybe change to
But you did take a vacation

I realized how scared I was going to be without you.
Maybe change to
I realized how scared I was without you.

What have I done to upset you
Maybe change to:
What had I done to upset you?


It was time go.
Maybe change to:
It was time to go.
6
6
Review of I: Wraith  
Review by Poeros
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)

What I enjoyed
The story so far itself is wonderful and I really enjoyed reading it. Thanks again for asking me to do so, it was a real treat. :)

Your writing flowed well! It was very easy for me to read for without me wondering when it was coming to and end. I was also very engaged in the story and following it. This is rather impressive for me right now as I have a cold and my aptitude to focus on anything in one sitting is limited, but I had to finish this prologue! I kept wondering where this was all going to lead me and wasn't disappointed. The hook at the end was also of expert quality, so well done there! You managed to work in background information very well without detailing your story and making us forget what we were reading in the first place.

Awesome bits

Your descriptions are fabulous that paint a vivid setting without diving into information your reader doesn't need to know. As you describe the world, I was both impressed and curious to learn more about it. World creation isn't a strength of mine, bu you clearly put a lot of thought into this and I enjoyed learning more about it as I read. The character's themselves stand out wonderfully without anything to help give them depth. More importantly, you let them guide the story and the writing which makes it far more engaging to read than opening up with information that could be found on a wiki.

Suggestion
Your work is so well done and polished that I would almost think this is a published novel. If I had to pick on anything to suggest a change it would be:

"“Isabarra?” he asked, gently squeezing her hand. “Sit, it’s okay,” he assured, helping her to a chair. He returned with a small cloth to wipe the thin trail of blood that spilled from her nostrils. "

I can't properly explain to you why, but seeing "okay" there threw me off. You have a wonderful world with defined dialect and suddenly I saw that and it threw me. I think it is because of that word, in particular, is very modern and your world is anything but that. Again, this is the extreme nitpicking. I am sure many others would roll their eyes at me for it.

Grammar/Sentence

I have nothing to offer you here. Everything from excluding too many passive words to sentence structure, and even word choice. If anything, I would say this is your strongest area.


Impression
If this isn't published yet, you need to get on that!This is one of those stories people are waiting for! I will be reading more your work, but you seriously need to look at finding a publisher.


Best of luck to you
7
7
Review of The Librarian  
Review by Poeros
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
What I enjoyed

You have a lot of wit and it shows in your creative wording either in dialogue or in description. There were a number of times I either smiled or chuckled, which I normally don’t do when I read things. It’s clearly a strength of yours that I wouldn’t let go of.

Awesome bits
Just the fact that Jess got up to make the attempt was amazing. A lot of weak willed people let opportunities pass them by, but only the brave take a leap at that. Even going back after a rejection took some guts. I really enjoyed reading that.

Suggestion

I love your dialogue, but it’s missing something for me. It’s like watching a ping-pong match at times. Perhaps add some descriptions of how they are sitting or their expressions?

“Embarrassing me in a public place.”
I am not sure how he is embarrassing her unless he’s talking loudly?

Grammar/Sentence

A nearby chair scraped across the floorboards. “Hey, Jess. What you doing here so early?
Either missing a word or a description of an accent. Possible suggestion; “What are you doing here?” or “What’re you doing here?”

“... a five feet five fox squeezed into a size five dress.”
I think you have an extra five in there, but other wise that is a super cute wording :)


Impression

This was an enjoyable snippet. If you added in some details about the setting and people and I think that this would make a great short story. I’ll keep an eye on it and thanks so much for sharing it with all of us :)
8
8
Review of A Mother's Love  
Review by Poeros
Rated: E | (5.0)
I love this so much. Mostly because I grew up in a motherless home and always wondered what a mother's influence would be. You worded this so well with the good and the bad of a single parent raising their child and it pulled at my heart. Thank you for sharing this with us.
9
9
Review of Tourist Time  
Review by Poeros
Rated: E | (4.0)
This was the first Flash Fiction I have reviewed, so bear with me :)

I really enjoyed the twist of the story at the end when the narrator ended up tossing her guide off the board. Throughout it all, I was more curious about the setting as to where this was all taking place. It didn't need to be in detail, just stating which island in the world it was that she was visiting.

A few grammatical errors (I do them all the time)
He was a charmer alright. ----> He was a charmer, alright.
He’d struck up the conversation and as soon as I mentioned I was single and traveling alone, the charm just oozed out of him. ----> feels awkward when I read it out loud.


Again, this was a fun piece that I enjoyed reading. I hope you keep doing more!
10
10
Review of Family Tree  
Review by Poeros
Rated: E | (5.0)
I loved this very much. A lot of people take their families for granted until it is too late. Your poem warms my heart. Thank you for sharing it with us.
11
11
Review of Promises  
Review by Poeros
Rated: 13+ | (3.5)
This is a very solid start. You should be proud of what you have done. I really like what you did with the dialogue here. A lot of times folks attempt to make it "English perfect" even though we as people tend to speak in run-on sentences.

There are some minor grammatical errors in the writing (we all do it) that another look over would help correct. The only other thing that I would recommend right now is when you have "... and your performance, I promise!!!” Matthew would..." I would advise to only use one exclamation and maybe find a way to describe the extra two in your description.

Again, very solid start with a lot of energy. Well done.
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