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Printed from http://www.writing.com/main/profile/reviews/poethero
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50 Public Reviews Given
Public Reviews
1
1
Rated: E | (2.5)
Hey Audra,

This piece has deep characters and solid descriptions and a few great moments of humor, but there are also awkward transitions, copious issues with grammar and word choice, and a narrator who doesn't really add much to the story.

Your story shines in the moments where it's just Mark and Edi (and Nate), a simple opposites-attract thing that you add a humanizing touch to, but the added perspective of the narrator was more distracting than anything else: this other person is long-winded, has trouble making transitions, and makes jokes that just don't land for me. I might feel differently if their future bridesmaid had actually introduced Mark and Edi (or interacted with them in any way throughout the rest of the story aside from snooping through their IMs), but right now, that other character just seems superfluous.

To help deal with the grammar and wording problems, I'd recommend reading the piece out loud (or having someone close read it to you): hearing your own writing is the best way I know to better understand how each sentence flows into the next and catch any particular phrasing that might not sound exactly how you wanted it to in your head.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
2
2
Review of Amour  
Rated: E | (2.5)
Hey Kathie,

There are some nice images here (arguably too many, actually, given that they don't all work together), but your inconsistent meter and rhyme scheme make it difficult to get through on first read. I'd recommend reading the poem out loud- or having someone close read it to you-, just to get a better sense of how each line flows into the next and where images might clash.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
3
3
Review of Forget Me Not  
Rated: E | (2.5)
Hey Tales,

There's some nice sentiment at the heart of this, and the second stanza has a clever turn with the play on the flower's name. That said, your rhymes are a bit off in the first stanza, you lose the plot and get redundant in the last, and your meter is inconsistent throughout.

If you haven't already, I'd recommend reading the piece out loud (or having someone close read it to you); it's the best way I know to get a better sense of how your writing flows- or doesn't- and catch any places where a line doesn't sound quite right.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
4
4
Review of Wings  
Rated: E | (3.5)
Hey ParadoX,

I like that this piece seems earnest without taking itself too seriously, and the Magic/Nature (whatever your dragons are) vs. Machine twist you've brought to the Allies/Axis conflict definitely works, but it seems like you're almost overwriting your descriptions while not delving as deep into your narrator's "War is Hell" side as you could've.

Your writing style is very fluid, but your sentences run a bit choppy, so giving your grammar another look might help you restructure your pauses and cut away any excess verbiage that's bogging down a scene. If you haven't already, I'd read the piece (or at least an excerpt) out loud to yourself, just to get a better idea of how it sounds to another reader.

As is, this was a plenty fun piece to read- with a bit more work, it could be something even better.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
5
5
Review of Reflected  
Rated: E | (2.0)
Hey Alice,

You've got an interesting concept that you support with some powerful images, but I feel like like I didn't know enough about your narrator to form a connection with them and your conclusion both feels muddled and rushed.

There's not much to your story's universe outside of the scary white room, and there's not much to your main character outside of what they see in the mirrors: to a reader who knows nothing of your setting, your characterization of a vaguely sinister psychology lab "making extreme... advances" is at best clichéd and at worst insulting; to a reader who knows nothing of your narrator, there's no clear reason for him to be so crushed by an experience that doesn't depict him as anything worse than a human being with both good characteristics and bad ones. Your character and your plot hinge on this mysterious experiment, but you haven't told your readers how it works, why it was created, or what its ramifications are, so it's hard to know how you want your readers to feel about any of this.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
6
6
Review of Mirror,Mirror  
Rated: 13+ | (2.5)
Hey Tales,

There's a solid premise at the heart of this, and a few good turns of phrase, but you're having trouble keeping your meter consistent and there are a few places where your wording could be better. If you haven't already, read the poem out loud (or have someone close read it to you): this should help you get a better sense of where your writing starts to lose it flow or where the phrasing isn't quite right. One last suggestion I have is a bit drastic, so feel free to disregard it if you feel like it changes too much: your third stanza isn't as strong as the rest of the poem, and I don't actually think you need it there.

This isn't a bad first effort, it just needs a bit of cleaning- if you can make that happen, I think you'll like what you see.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
7
7
Review of Wrapped in Winter  
Rated: E | (3.5)
Hey Whitemorn,

Your meter is solid throughout, and your rhymes are good, but your phrasing and punctuation are a bit awkward in places- the major issues seem to result from an inconsistent use of articles and too many commas. If you haven't already, I'd recommend reading the piece out loud to yourself, just to get a better sense of where your pauses are/ought to be, as well as where your wording feels a bit forced due to syllable constraints.

That said, the poem is rather adorable in its current state- with a little tweaking, though, I think it could be even better...


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
8
8
Review of Dragonfly  
Rated: E | (2.5)
Hey S.A.,

There are some lovely images here, but you're having problems with phrasing and your meter throughout, in addition to some grammar issues.

You have a strong commitment to your form, which I can appreciate, but your syllable counts often don't line up, and sometimes force you into awkward syntax (e.g. "despite what life just might seem", "and no more tears she'll have to hide") when they do. If you haven't already, I'd recommend reading this poem out loud, or having someone close read it to you: this will help you get a better sense of your flow and meter, and taking it slowly might make it easier to catch individual grammar mistakes.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
9
9
Rated: E | (3.5)
Hey Rhychus,

There's very strong voice and commitment to form here, and touching content that approaches saccharine but never stays long thanks to the few surprises you have here, but there are also a few places where the meter or the end rhyme are just a bit off or ideas don't quite flow between lines. If you haven't already, I'd recommend reading this poem out loud (or having someone close read it to you), which should make even these subtle errors stand out more noticeably.

I do have one other suggestion, but it's something that changes your poem pretty drastically, so feel free to disregard this if you think it would turn your work into something that doesn't feel right to you: to me, your poem's most moving images come in the fourth stanza, but the fifth and sixth stanzas (particularly the fifth) just aren't as strong; I'm not actually sure that you need those two stanzas to fully capture the passion you want to express.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
10
10
Review of Stop Watch  
Rated: 13+ | (2.5)
Hey John,

This is a charming little story with a fun twist, but it runs a bit long after your reveal, and you're having problems with grammar and sentence structure throughout.

As short a piece as this is, balance is especially sensitive- because you have everything building up to the moment when Peter stops his watch, the resolution that follows needs to wrap everything up efficiently, before the story starts to drag.

To help with the grammar, I'd recommend reading this out loud (or even just an excerpt) and listening for areas that don't sound quite right: pay particular attention to where you're pausing, and add commas or start a new sentences to break up your run-ons.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
11
11
Review of ARREST ME!  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hey Christo,

This is solid stuff, but your wordplay goes a bit disjointed in a few places.

You say that the people you're addressing the poem to would be upset with you for luring their daughter out to dance with you (a familiar premise, almost bordering on cliché), but outside is probably the safest place for her if you're simultaneously a grassfire burning her house down.

Everything flows smoothly and stays tight until you stop talking about yourself and start talking about the wave of people like you: your initial transition is a bit jarring, which is a damn shame after a turn as clever "before my virus spreads/ oh you better quarantine my thoughts", and the rest of the stanza just seems to lose the plot; honestly, I think you can cut everything in that stanza after the first line, especially because you just repeat its points in the next stanza (but do it better the second better).

Seriously, though, nicely done with this piece as is- that said, with a little tweaking, it could be even better.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
12
12
Review of Restless  
Rated: 18+ | (3.0)
Hey Joshua,

Your story is interesting, if a bit familiar, and your physical descriptions are solid, but it seems like you're having some problems with pacing and in separating yourself from horror tropes.

I see what you're trying to do with the up-tempo action sequence, but I think you've actually been too effective in shortening your prose to keep up- the sentences begin to run together, and it gets difficult at times to know who's saying what, or to differentiate between Sean's general narration and the moments when you switch to his inner monologue. If you haven't already, I'd recommend you read this all out loud (or even just an excerpt), which can really help you get a better sense of where things might start to get muddled.

A related problem you have is the lack of depth to your characters. All your readers get to know about the Summit Paranormal Investigators is that they're a pretty typical teen/young adult ghosthunting group, aside from the one with special powers- it's not yet clear who they are as individuals beyond that, or how exactly the Bensons fit into the mix. If you want your audience to connect with your characters and feel concerned or even scared when bad/strange things happen to them, you need to personalize them and give your readers something about them to connect with. It doesn't all have to all be explained at the beginning, either; interspersing small details about who the characters are among their reactions to what's happening can help slow an action sequence down for you a bit without bogging it entirely.

What's made this piece interesting so far is the unique abilities of Sean, the character at the center of all of it. If you can flesh out the world around him and sort out your prose some, you should wind up with something pretty special...


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
13
13
Rated: 13+ | (2.5)
Hey D.B.,

There are some good moments here, but right now there's far too much smoke and mirrors for my taste. From your prefacing note, I understand that this is meant to build suspense as the introduction of an eventual longer piece, but all you've done in this excerpt is tell your reader that some vaguely horrible thing happened that they're not allowed to know about. Even a few small, unimportant specifics about this mysterious event or how your characters feel about it might be enough to keep your reader intrigued as you delve deeper into each new level of your conspiracy, but I'm not sure you've given your audience enough information about what's at the center of it all to convince them that it's something they should care about enough to keep reading.

That aside, I noticed grammar issues and awkward/incorrect word choices occurring at a decent clip, mainly in instances where it felt like you were trying to say too much in one sentence. If you haven't already, I'd recommend reading this piece aloud to yourself (or even just a paragraph)- it's an incredibly helpful way of figuring out where your pauses are/should be, and phrases that don't sound quite right will stick out more clearly.

It's cool that you have a story that you seem so passionate about telling, but your readers depend on you to give them enough information about what's going on so they can get their own sense of how to feel about it- if you can do that and clean up your prose some, they might like this story as much as you do...


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
14
14
Review of Just Run With It  
Rated: ASR | (3.5)
Hey A for Alias,

There's a lot that I like about this scene, even if you're not providing quite enough information about your setting (though there is enough to build an entertaining universe, though it's somewhat familiar) to let this passage stand on its own. Right now, it seems like your problems deal mostly with how you are presenting this information, aside from some grammatical issues here and there.

The interplay with Mellisan and the goblins is fun (I particularly like the "goblins speak Cockney" angle), but it seems like what you're telling us about Mellisan's race- specifically, that her race is such a big deal- is getting buried in the action. The reader doesn't figure out that the reason she's hiding from the Peelers is because they simply don't like her kind until you describe how the clockwork hound senses that she's a demon/Tiefling/something else closely related. Your choice to introduce her stranger features one by one is an enjoyably subtle way to tell readers that Mellisan isn't human, but I think it would help if you found a way to hint that her not being human could be problematic at the same time.

Other than that, there are intervals where your grammar and sentence structure could use some work. Your transitions from narration to dialogue (and vice versa) are somewhat messy at present, and your general style of prose runs a bit choppy with all the fragments. To help sort some of that out, I'd recommend reading the piece out loud, which will give you a better idea of where your pauses are and where you can combine sentences to improve the flow of your writing, and also highlight any universe-specific jargon that needs defining.

All that said, this is already a good start to whatever larger story you're planning to tell- with a bit of tweaking and some more exposition, I'm sure it'll be even better...


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
15
15
Rated: E | (3.5)
Hey again, SLove,

This is a charming piece, and I love the tone, but I think it still needs some functional tweaking.

The best advice I can give you is to read your piece out loud (or, if you've already done that, then ask someone else to read it to you)- this can really help you get a feel for the flow of your writing, and any places where the meter's off or a rhyme isn't quite right will really stick out. Right now, I'm noticing your tendency of trying to fit too much into one line, and your descriptions are already so good that you don't always need all of them.

Other than that, I think you may have had some word processor problems yourself- a few of your end rhymes aren't at the end of their lines right now.

That said, I do like the poem as it is- with a bit of fine-tuning, though, I'm sure it'll be even better...


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
16
16
Review of All the Above  
Rated: E | (3.0)
Hey Thaddeus,

This piece has some nice moments, but it's more than a tad disjointed in other places- you have a strong commitment to your rhyme scheme and meter that the few places where the writing's not quite there do stick out some. If you haven't already, I'd suggest reading this piece out loud, so you can hear these things for yourself.

You have such strong repetition in the first stanza that your clipped switch to something passive ("the times been smitten") is a bit jarring. Additionally, the stanza forms the beginning of a thought that you never seem to finish: what are you trying to say about all the words you've written and said or the times you've been smitten or the that times you've
bled?

Your second stanza is the strongest, and segues into the third well, but that transition is somewhat unclear on first read- when you say "Do not seek until mature/The ripened vine grows vast", it's initially difficult to pick apart who should be waiting to seek what, though you do straighten that out some with the next stanza.

The only other concerns I have are about a few of your language choices in the last stanza, but those are probably more a difference of style than anything else. Give the whole thing another look, and I think you'll like what you end up with.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
17
17
Review of Boredom  
Rated: ASR | (3.5)
Hey A for Alias,

First off, just wanted to thank you for rating my poem so positively- I really do appreciate the feedback, and I'm glad that you enjoyed it.

More to the point, I thought this piece made for a good scene, but I'm not sure you've provided enough backstory of your characters and/or their universe for it to stand well on its own right now. That said, what I do know about them at the moment is pretty great.

That aside, the only real concern I have about your writing is regarding some of your physical action descriptions: you have a very strong close 3rd-person narration style that works really nicely for you, but that strength makes things awkward when you try to quickly switch between that close 3rd to Shelby's inner monologue and then back again. If you want to keep that pace (which is a bit rushed for me, but if it's the style you prefer, then more power to you), something as simple as shifting the inner monologue stuff into Italics could do you a lot of good.

All told, you've got some good stuff here that I'd definitely be interested in reading more of- if you can clean what you have up and do a bit more to ground your characters and their powers (assuming Eric can also do something as awesome as shooting plasma from his hands), you'll have something pretty special here...


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
18
18
Review of The Memory  
Rated: E | (2.0)
Hey Wayne,

There are some nice elements here, but you're having problems with grammar and punctuation throughout the piece, and I'm losing the plot toward the end.

You start out with clear, familiar ideas about the importance of memories, but I'm more confused about what point(s) you're trying to make in the last two paragraphs: it may just be grammar issues obscuring your message, but I have no idea what "the elders didn't seem to know/ how much we're kept at lengths." is meant to express. You follow that with a stanza that seems to contradict itself- if old wounds don't always heal with time, then why would anyone want to hang onto those old memories?

If you haven't already, I'd recommend you read your poem out loud, just to get a better sense of how it sounds to another reader- this should help you sort out your grammar issues and realign some of your punctuation to create a better flow.

You have enough here to make a really nice poem, but I feel like it still needs work to get there- if you can sort out your ideas and fix all the cosmetic stuff, I'm sure you'll like what you see...


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
19
19
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hey BD,

Bottom line, I thought this was brilliant- clever premise, strong commitment to form, and some lovely surprises in the rhymes you chose. I see nothing fundamentally wrong with the piece, just have a few nits to pick with some of your language choices.

Your meter is incredibly tight throughout, so the few places where there's awkward wording or a missed syllable count can really trip up the reader's rhythm. To start, I'd take another look at the stanza that begins Sam's Christmas letter- read it out loud, even, if you haven't already-, "for example" doesn't seem to work so well with the poem's "A Visit from St. Nicholas"-esque voice (which is letting you get away with things like "'neath the pine"), and Claus/was isn't up to par with the rest of your rhymes.

Other than that, your "Silent Night" joke is a bit tired, but those things are really all the criticism I have for you. This poem is great as is, but a few moments of tinkering might make it just a little bit better.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
20
20
Review of Understudy  
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Hey Joto-Kai,

I really like this, but there are some inconsistencies with your tenses and and persons that detract from how good the rest of the piece is. The shift from past to present is fine the first time, but going back and forth just isn't working for you. Additionally, you bury the lead some by waiting to directly address the love interest at the very end of the second stanza- I'd trim your introduction some if you really like using the direct address, but I also think it would work if you got rid of the direct address entirely (it'd be a different poem, sure, but still just as good).

That said, this is already a nicely written poem- with a little fine-tuning, it should become even better.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
21
21
Review of The Journey  
Rated: E | (3.0)
Hey Ponkacheese,

There are some really nice elements to this piece, but also a few things that I think may need a little tweaking.

While most of your rhymes work well (I particularly enjoyed the spirits/fear it), there are a few places where you've put too many syllables in a line, so it throws off the rhythm that you're trying to create- this is most noticeable in lines 1 and 3, but pops up again towards the end as well. I would suggest reading the poem out loud to yourself, which might help your ear catch some of the places where the meter is off. Also, I found it odd that you started your sestet with two non-rhyming lines, then followed it with rhymes in lines 12 and 13; not necessarily saying this is bad, just pointing out an inconsistency.

The subject matter, I'm not sure how to comment on, as I get the sense that it's a religious metaphor which I don't feel I understand (which is totally fine- not every reader has to understand every poem). What bothers me, though, is that I couldn't tell who the "we" you refer to is meant to represent- the way the poem is structured indicates that it signifies the (possibly metonymic?) souls around you, but it wasn't clear how they relate to the journey you find yourself on.

All told, a good effort- keep at it, and you could have something rather special.


Cheers,
Max


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
22
22
Review of Arrival of Autumn  
Rated: E | (2.5)
Hey Mina,

There are some nice images here, but it seems like you're having some trouble keeping an even rhythm. Reading this out loud, I kept tripping up in places where you attempted to fit too many syllables into a line- part of the trouble here may be that the lack of punctuation leaves a reader without clues about what you want to emphasize and where to pause. Other than that, there are a few awkward grammatical errors that really stick out in a piece this short.

The decoration and the use of multi-colored text made me smile as well, but I feel like this poem could use some revision to help the writing match the light whimsy of its packaging. If you haven't already done this, I think reading your piece out loud could help you identify some of the more problematic areas and figure out how to make them flow more breezily.

Do keep at it, and you might wind up with something amazing. =)


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
23
23
Review of Falling Ash  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hey, this is pretty raw, but it's definitely some solid writing. The grammar needs some polishing and the descriptions are generally pretty loose (lots of redundant details), but any time I wanted to focus on criticizing that stuff, I read another really good passage or piece of dialogue and got distracted- I mean, dude, the mere fact that you used the word "anticubital" is worth two stars all on its own.

Other than that, I think you need to develop your setting more at the beginning. I'm getting the Everytown vibe, and that's hardly a bad thing, but it's hard to understand the general universe you're working with; is this realistic fiction, alternate history, prelude to an alien invasion, or something else completely different? You don't have to spell it out for us, just include some more concrete information for the reader to work with- work it into the radio station intro (which is really working for you) or something.

Really, though, this is good stuff. Your style is definitely entertaining, definitely clever, just needs to be cleaned up a bit. Best of luck with that...


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
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