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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/profile/reviews/reamie
Review Requests: OFF
17 Public Reviews Given
Review Style
Covering technical (grammar & style), character and world-building. Usually private reviews. Please specify if you want a public review.
I'm good at...
characterisation and world-building.
Favorite Genres
Fantasy, Sci-fi, historical.
Least Favorite Genres
Non-fiction and contemporary romance
Favorite Item Types
Static items and books.
I will not review...
poetry, children's fiction, young adult or contemporary romance (historical, scifi or fantasy romance is ok).
Public Reviews
1
1
Review of Prey  
Review by Tileira
Rated: 18+ | (3.5)
*Noteb*Overall Impressions*Noteb*

Prey is a horror story focused on the grip of fear. It is a story of woman vs fear and woman vs snake. The python is a very interesting antagonist because its method of predation - constriction - parallels the effect of the protagonist's fear.

*Noteb*Characterisation*Noteb*

It is difficult to write a story with only one active human character. 'Prey' is intended to invoke Michelle's fear.

Some physical symptoms of fear are described in the beginning, which good. You could include more details like those and perhaps consider what fear responses Michelle has which might be unique to her.

There is a lot of repetition of 'image' and 'imagine' beside the earlier use of 'vision'. Alone with the subject of her fear, Michelle has no outlet and is almost in a dialogue with herself about the worst case scenario. This makes her very real, but the story could be improved by finding a way to make these thoughts fit more naturally into the narrative.

Jack, despite being critical part of the events in the story, doesn't make much of an impression. He is referred to as a zoologist, which may or may not be accurate, and the story implies he has teased Michelle for her fear of the python, but we don't learn a lot more about him or why he and Michelle are interested in one another. I think that could be enhanced a little bit.

*Noteb*World-building*Noteb*

The pacing for your world-building in this story is a little off. In some places you try to force too much detail at once. In others you give unnecessary explanations.

You don't need to repeat that Jack is her new boyfriend or the snake's name, so both words can be cropped from the opening sentence.

"The alarm on her cellphone, which she’d snoozed moments before, sounded once again": you don't need to tell us she had his 'snooze', you can rely on 'again' to tell us the alarm rang earlier.

The introduction of the weather and Jack's side job is also awkward. It is expressed awkwardly and quite late I feel. The fact Jack is not in the apartment really ought to be addressed earlier.

*Noteb*Other Comments*Noteb*

The opening sentance is missing a comma and is structured a bit awkwardly. It might read easier as "Michelle Stewart watched with dawning horror as, just as nicely as you please, Alexander, her new boyfriend’s nine-foot-long reticulated python undulated into the bedroom". This isn't the only place where phrases interrupt a sentence which already needs commas in it and some of those sentences are rough to read.

"The giant reptile seemed to def[ied] gravity..." - Alexander is defying gravity. He is literally exerting enough physical force in opposition to gravity and other forces to lift his body from the floor.

"...to coil itself about her" - This feels passive to me, prehaps because of the reflective phrasing. "Startled, Michelle made a sound..." is also passive.

"She watched the snake..." - for this entire paragraph you only refer to Michelle as 'she' and 'her'.

*Noteb*Technical and Grammar*Noteb*


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
2
2
Review by Tileira
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
*Noteb*Overall Impressions*Noteb*
'Veronica's Red Sweater' is a creeping tale that nutures suspicion. The narrative focuses on the titular Veronica as she anticipates the arrival of her paramour and while she waits for him, we wait for a revelation.

*Noteb*Characterisation*Noteb*
The first clue that something is not right with Veronica is in "between 1:12 and 1:19 and it was already 1:18 in the afternoon". These numbers are too precise, demonstrating an acute attention to detail or desperation.

Another indication that Veronica is not what she appears is her explanation for Sally's absence. Veronica could have given any other easy and believable excuse and a woman with even minimal respect for another woman would have given another excuse. But Veronica says something that is likely to taint Sally's reputation and it becomes clear why.

There are other little markers like the dated phrases the narrative uses, Dennis' utter lack of appealing qualities and the manager's distaste for Veronica, all of which lead up to the reveal.

*Noteb*World-building*Noteb*
The story is self contained and does not require a lot of context. A contemporary setting is implied by the refeence to selfies. The language and currency also confirm an American bank. And this is enough. The other details double up with characterisation as everything shown is shown through Veronica's eyes and described in words much like her own.

*Noteb*Other Comments*Noteb*
You could probably omit "Veronica covered for her rookie workmate by lying about where she was" because the lie is implied by the two sentences that follow.

*Noteb*Technical and Grammar*Noteb*
3
3
Review by Tileira
In affiliation with World Weavers  
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
*Noteb*Overall Impressions*Noteb*
The Spinster is a wonderfully wretched tale. The story is filled with awful people and compellingly graphic descriptions in a way that reminds me of tv shows like "Tales from the Crypt" and "The League of Gentlemen", although The Spinster is not a comic story.

I can't recall where, I think it was linked in the bottom of one of the horror newsletters, but I have read the first part of 'The Spinster' before. I'm delighted more has since been written, although it ended very well at the point of Benoit coming out of the bathroom. Where the story ends now seems to be the beginning of a novella or a much longer short story still in progress, leading in to the mission Benoit has been given with the shadow of the spinsters stalking him.

*Noteb*Characterisation*Noteb*
Benoit is a terrible egotist. Before I get to the end of the first page, there is plenty of evidence for this just in his tone. He finds insult in little things as though the world ought to be doing more to humour him, while clearly expecting to be handed the short end of the stick. By the end of the story, we see a degree of sociopathy. Benoit is the kind of man who believes that if he doesn't take the short end of the stick and beat the world into giving him what he wants, he won't get what he deserves.

It's a telling touch that Benoit says "That's all you need to know" when Gert is probing about his brother. It's a defensive comment telling her to back off rather than a reticent answer stopping at "He had an accident". This is a nice hint that he's not hurt by the memory, he's afraid of it.

Gert is completely unashamed of herself. I get the impression she find satisfaction in forcing her company on Benoit. Until her identity is revealed, she is a powerfully drawn version of a public conversation many people have been trapped in: the elderly person you are certain you don't know, but who takes advantage of politeness and will not let you get on with your business. Excepting that Gert proves to have ulterior motives.

Dennard clearly has no patience for Benoit. He shows as much unspoken disdain for the lawyer as Benoit has for the oily vet.

The introduction of Regina could do with some more work. Although Benoit has met her previously and is initially distracted when he arrives, this is the first time she appears in person in the story. Benoit could provide more information by comparing her behaviour in this meeting to the last time they met or you could weave in more little details in gestures and actions.

*Noteb*World-building*Noteb*
Your world-building is well paced again, like in DOMINO EFFECT . It seeps through slowly as needed, making the story and setting one. It also crosses over into characterisation nicely, particularly because Benoit is our narrator. The things Benoit observes show the world and the other characters, but through Benoit's eyes.

There is one thing that strikes me as off: we are in Louisiana and Regina is Creole, but Dennard has to be told Benoit – a French name – is European, despite the setting. Maybe that's just Dennard's personal ignorance, but this appears to happen to establish for the reader how the name is pronounced. I think you can cut out the exposition between "hey, I thought" and "sophistication".

*Noteb*Other Comments*Noteb*
Check on "it"s. In some places, where "it" doesn't refer to the last noun, the sentances can be clarified.

"but with nothing to show for my venture makes it sting" feels like it needs a verb. Perhaps "but having nothing to...".

More on clothing: "custom tailored" is tautology. Also soles are the bottom of a shoe and can be replaced or repaired, it's the uppers that you wouldn't want to damage. So "soles" might want to be "shoes" or "loafers".

Pendants hang on chains, it's why they're called pendants, so you need to change this word out when you're talking about the brooch.

I find it Dennard's strong reaction to Benoit's story about Gert to be too strong. I understand there is a secret he doesn't want out and he might not be rational, but Benoit's manner at this point doesn't haven anything to indicate malice. He's just as confused about Dennard's question as Dennard is about the answer. I just think Benoit's story is a very strange lie if it were a lie.

*Noteb*Technical and Grammar*Noteb*
4
4
Review by Tileira
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Thank you for your review request. This isn't the sort of item I would normally choose to review, so I hope my thoughts will be helpful to you.

Masters' Origin seems to be a word play exercise, which needs to be treated a little bit different from a story in presentation and review.

The use N nouns and complex vocabulary makes Masters' Origin something like a tongue twister or brain teaser. It can be a little bit difficult to follow the flow of events and it lacks some clarity. I believe the main fix for this is simply paragraphing: if you add some line breaks at the right points, it will be easier for the eye to keep its place and the mind to process.

As a rough guide, try adding a line break whenever the subject (actor) changes. For example "... the nefarious intentions of the Masters were clear." could be the end of one paragraph and the next sentence the beginning of a new one. You should also put dialogue on separate lines.

In extension to the above, it's important that you are happy with the placement of your commas, apostrophes, and other punctuation marks. The text itself is complex, so you want to make every extra effort.

There are one or two little word tweaks which might smooth things out as well, but not many. You have worked a little bit of magic yourself here.
Examples

This was interesting to read and an unusual item to review! I'm surprised at how much you managed to cover with N words and how many of them I knew (I admit I did have to look up a couple).

If you mull on the story contained within the prose, I think it would be good to add a little bit more clarity and world to it. That might be challenging to keep up the word play, but there are a couple of things I think you could build more on.
*NoteB* What's the significance of the necropsy? What is it being performed on?
*NoteB* What's the significance of the neonate? If I have read this correctly, he isn't mentioned again after the beginning of the piece.
*NoteB* A bit of description of the village would be helpful to get a sense of time and place. It needn't be long, it could simply be an adjective here and there added to 'village' and 'villagers'.

Thank you, wow, and good luck *Bigsmile*
-Tilly
5
5
Review by Tileira
Rated: E | (4.0)
Good morning! *Bigsmile*

I'm sorry that you weren't able to complete World Weavers' Championship  round 2. I'm glad you gave your best effort you get through them though and I hope things have settled down for you.

Although you don't qualify for a prize, I want to make sure everyone gets feedback on their work. I’ve scored the round on a 100pt scale, judging each prompt separately and then the whole. Because you only completed 3 days though, I will adjust these scores accordingly to give you a better idea of how you did.

General (8/9)

Content (7/10)

Overall Impressions (10/20)

I want to thank you for taking part in round 2 and wish you luck for the future *Bigsmile*

-love Tilly
6
6
Review by Tileira
Rated: E | (4.0)
Title: Homework on Christmas?

Setting: There is not a lot of description in this piece, but that suits the style in which it is witten.

Character Development:
Both the student and the teacher are shown well in this. Extra brownie points for giving the teacher a personaliyty
On one side it's easy enough to see how pleased the student is with his excuse. It's emphasised further by his excited continuation while the teacher tries to interrupt him.
Shifting focus to the teacher shows first her exasperation with the child who insist on continuing this ridiculous story, and then her complete disbelief at his second attempt.

Historical Referencing:
Casual reference of cheques and cars set it in the modern era, but no more description is given to it. A little more would make it clearer, but then I don't think that would suit the style of the piece.

Plot:
It's all about watching the excuse snowball, and yet knowing that's going to fail. Then in the end he discards it again for something far simpler, and yet even more ridiculous. That extra touch about Christmas at the end is fantastic.

Grammatical:
The second sentance is a bit messy. It needs restructuring to make it a bit easier to follow. Also 'off' has been spelt as 'of'.
Fresh quotes should also be out on a new line.

General:
I would move comments like "I was doing great" onto a fresh line as well. It gives it the comic emphasis it needs.

Personal Opinion:
^^ You know, some of my favourites in this contest have been the excuses that could not possibly work, because they are the most ingenius and the funniest.
This is one of them.

Comment in a Box Score:
4.0
7
7
Review of Bagged Improv  
Review by Tileira
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
Setting
Setting it at the beginning of a university exam, was a more interesting choice than simply setting it in a high school. The past that the professor has with being mugged on campus is a thoughtful touch.
Character Development
Gina jumps from tears, to anger, to triumph in such a short time. The professor and the friend who helped her cheat are also very nicely done. The fact that the professor is a nice woman is another difference that sets this entry aside form the others.
Historical Referencing
Again, modern era, and no particualr description of the setting to point it out the time period beyond the existance of the university and exam.
Plot
Excellent. It was a very imaginative excuse, and then having Oliver deliver her some essays that she'd paid for was another wonderful stroke of genius.
Grammatical
I didn't notice any grammatical errors so if there is one lurking in there, it hasn't damaged the quality of the piece.
General

Personal Opinion
I loved this one. The detail, the style, the ending, the characterisation...
Comment in a Box Score
5.0
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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/profile/reviews/reamie