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Printed from http://www.writing.com/main/profile/reviews/redpenlady
Review Requests: OFF
35 Public Reviews Given
Public Reviews
1
1
Review by Cassie Reynolds
Rated: E | (4.0)
Well, first I have to admit that "Time for Me to Fly" was my favorite REO song, and it has some powerful memories attached to it, so that's what caught my eye.

I don't have time today to give you a full review, but I did want to leave a few words because I know this was your first entry here and so maybe you're a little curious about whether anyone has a reaction to your work.

I liked the opening and then the transition to the memory from 1991 and it's direct correlation to the introductory paragraph was very satisfying! That drew me in immediately, made me want to stick around and read more. Nicely done!

I thought your grammar, vocabulary, and punctuation were all good! There were no errors that stopped me dead in the middle of reading.

Suggestions:

Every time a new person speaks, start a new paragraph.

Be careful about descriptive dialogue tags. “I ran all the way over here and need to see Ben,” I gasped frantically. Your dialogue tag should not need a description. The story should suggest the character is frantic or gasping, but the tag should not be responsible for both. It just said she was breathing heavily when she rang the doorbell. Something like...

Still frantic and struggling to catch my breath, I couldn't speak for a moment. "“I ran all the way over here and need to see Ben,” I gasped.

If this is the end of the story, it might have been cool to come full circle and come back around to the "time for me to fly" premise. If it is not the end of the story, well, then I would certainly read on to its conclusion.

Thanks for sharing your work here! Keep going, you're doing great!

Cassie
2
2
Review of The Deck  
Review by Cassie Reynolds
Rated: ASR | (5.0)
*Flower2**Flower5* HELLO! *Flower5**Flower2*

LeMarquis - I read your story!


Below are my thoughts, comments, opinions, and/or suggestions.

It was the charm and familiarity of the junk drawer that drew me in, but the sudden and unexpected switch in venue took my breath away and kept me riveted until the very last word.


*Heart* *Heart* *Heart* Parts I Really Liked! *Heart* *Heart* *Heart*


*Heart* Secondly, a brand new and as yet unopened deck of cards greeted him like a pearl in a rather strange looking oyster.

*Heart* “We were about to invite Ho Chi Minh over to play some spades,” Snakeman hooked his thumb toward the jungle in front of the bunker. “but he seems to be a bit busy and seeing as how you’re here…I guess you’ll do.”

*Heart* The professor nodded at Lenny and Lenny nodded back. It was a gesture that signaled the initial acceptance between grunts. A primordial beginning of a year long ritual. The commencement of a life sustaining bond between brothers.

*Heart* The professor and Hillbilly had seen this before, but both were always amazed. Lenny would get the card lesson of his life this day in the shade of the poncho awning.

*Heart* It always amazed him how the very thing which carried them away from the war those long years ago was now the vehicle which bore him back to it.


*Idea**Idea**Idea* Suggestions and/or Edits *Idea**Idea**Idea*


Just three very minor suggestions:

*Idea* The furniture would never make good housekeeping, but it functioned well for them.
Capitalize the name of the magazine, Good Housekeeping.

*Idea* “There’s no way I’m letting that happen Snakeman.
Insert a comma after “happen.”

*Idea* The Professor gave a sheepish smile and nodded. I am not so sure about being all that smart he thought.
Insert a comma after “smart.” I would also recommend putting the thought in italics. The format would look like this: {i}I am not so sure about being all that smart,{/i} he thought.



*Exclaim* *Exclaim* *Exclaim* Overall Score *Exclaim* *Exclaim* *Exclaim*

5.0 *Star*’s.

Very well written, this story transported me to another place and time.
I highly recommend it!

*Flower2**Flower5* Keep writing! *Flower5**Flower2*

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3
3
Review of On Giving Reviews  
Review by Cassie Reynolds
Rated: E | (5.0)
*Flower2**Flower5* HELLO! *Flower5**Flower2*

Roseille ♥ - I read your article!


Below are my thoughts, comments, opinions, and/or suggestions.

Given that your in-depth reviews were the inspiration for the format I use,
I applaud your initiative in sharing these strategies.
The explanations are clear and concise and the tips are useful and helpful.
The use of WritingML to emphasize and organize is flawless.

Wonderful job! This article was well-organized and composed,
and interesting from beginning to end.


*Heart* *Heart* *Heart* Parts I Really Liked! *Heart* *Heart* *Heart*


*Heart* Could you explain their personalities if you were asked, or would you be able to just smile and wonder about an intentionally mysterious character?

*Heart* Were you always aware of where you were, and some skeletal characteristics of that place? The best description utilizes the senses of smell, taste, hearing, sight and sound to plunge a character into a universe that they can touch.

*Heart* If description, plot, dialogue and format were the furniture in a house, the format would be the house itself, the thing that holds all of the garnishes.


*Idea**Idea**Idea* Suggestions and/or Edits *Idea**Idea**Idea*


*Idea* Did it sway previously concrete opinions.
Change the period to a question mark.

That’s it! The grammar and spelling are flawless.

*Exclaim* *Exclaim* *Exclaim* Overall Score *Exclaim* *Exclaim* *Exclaim*

5.0 *Star*’s.

Great job, Roseille ♥ ! Oh, and thanks for the plug. *Smile*

*Flower2**Flower5* Keep writing! *Flower5**Flower2*

** Images For Use By Upgraded+ Only **

4
4
Review of One Life  
Review by Cassie Reynolds
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
*Flower2**Flower5* HELLO! *Flower5**Flower2*

Adam - I read your story!


Below are my thoughts, comments, opinions, and/or suggestions.
Hopefully there will be something helpful, but I wouldn’t bet the farm on it. *Smile*


*Balloon6* The Hook
Excellent hook! One of the best first three sentences I’ve seen outside of a published novel. The premise of transitioning from youth to old age while behind bars was an attention-grabber, and these first three sentences were skillfully crafted to do just that.

*Balloon3* The Setting
There was just enough detail provided to bring the reader into the prison yard, the jail cell, and the visiting room. The description of the guard “expertly whipping out his keys” as he escorted Paddy through the maze of corridors was the kind of elaboration that brings the reader right into the story. Very well done.

*Balloon2* The Character(s)
The main character, Paddy “Kid” “Irish” “Pops” Murphy was well-established as a multidimensional personality. His story, particularly the tragic death of his wife and children, established empathy and contributed to the rich portrayal of his seemingly hopeless existence. The characterization of Danny Miller, with his deep voice and large stature was also satisfyingly detailed. Other characters (prison guards, his original attorney, the chaplain, Richard Zimmerman, and Katie) were touched upon just enough to give depth to their places in the story.

*Balloon1* The Dialogue
The dialogue was natural and appropriate to the setting. Dialogue tags were varied, well-placed, and properly punctuated.

*Balloon5* The Conflict
A man who truly cannot remember if he is innocent or guilty, who has lived almost his entire adult life behind bars, who has lost his family and therefore his reason for continuing existence, is suddenly given hope. It is a powerful premise for a story, rich with dramatic promise.

*Balloon4* The Resolution
The ending was thought-provoking, emotional – and somewhat unexpected. Given that there were basically two possible endings and the reader knows what those two possibilities are, one particular element was unanticipated. I won’t give it away here. Nicely done.


*Heart* *Heart* *Heart* Parts I Really Liked! *Heart* *Heart* *Heart*


*Heart* Another winter, he thought. Another Christmas. And like every year, he wondered if he could survive it. Wondered if he could make it to the twenty-sixth without thinking about the dark thing, the black thing he kept hidden in a secret compartment in his mind.

*Heart* The lawyer glanced at his watch and then pulled out a pen from an inside pocket and began tapping his upper teeth with it. He stared at Paddy intensely far a moment, appearing to contemplate something, and then he went on.

*Heart* It was a cool and windy morning, but the bright sunshine and blue sky made the day feel a bit warmer.


*Idea**Idea**Idea* Suggestions and/or Edits *Idea**Idea**Idea*


*Idea* "Come ’ere, kid," he`d say, "let me tell ya about the Attica riots," and the young, stupid punks would gaze at him wide eyed like he was freaking Joe Dimaggio.
Hyphenate “wide-eyed.”

*Idea* In the years between kid and Pops, they called him Irish.
Capitalize “kid.”

*Idea* He was a hot tempered Irish kid back then, especially when drinking. He had done a lot of that that night.
Hyphenate “hot-tempered.”

*Idea* But, as long as he lives, he’ll never forget waking up in a jail cell next morning, his head aching, and wondering where the hell he was until he turned over and saw the steel bars, and the two fat guards with smirks on their self-satisfied faces.
Insert “the” after “cell.” Delete the comma after “bars.”

*Idea* “Well, Frank, not only is he a drunk and a murderer, but he ain`t too bright neither."
“Murderer!” Murphy screamed. “Stop playing games with me!”

Add a carriage return between these two paragraphs.

*Idea* There was a small window in front of his cell, and from where he lay on his bunk, he could see tiny snow flakes fluttering softly to the ground below.
“Snowflakes” is one word.

*Idea* I Can’t do it! he screamed in his mind.
Make the “C” in “Can’t” lowercase.

*Idea* When he woke early next morning he jumped from his bunk like millions of little boys had done that day.
Insert “the” after “early.” Insert a comma after “morning.”

*Idea* Little Katie asks about her Daddy every day, and Paddy Jr. Looks just like you.
Make the L in “Looks” lowercase.

*Idea* Chaplin wants to see you."
Correct the spelling to “Chaplain.” This occurs several times.

*Idea* The chaplains office was small and cluttered,and a plump little man sat behind the desk.
Insert an apostrophe into “chaplains.” Insert a space before “and.”

*Idea* I am truly sorry to inform you, Mr Murphy, but theres been an accident.
Insert an apostrophe into “theres.”

*Idea* Apparently your family were on their way here to visit you.
“Family” is singular, “were” is plural. Either “...your family was...” or “...your family members were...” would make the tense match.

*Idea* It was only several days later that paddy was called back to the chaplains office and told that his daughter had survived. The little chaplain was waiting at the door of his office and he took paddy`s hand warmly into his own. His face was flush and his eyes were afire with the glory of his god.
Insert an apostrophe into “chaplains.” Capitalize “paddy.” You might want to review the rest of the story for capitalization of proper nouns and words at the beginning of sentences. There are quite a few occurrences.

*Idea* He has told me your daughter,Katie, is alive and that...that it`s a miracle she has survived! A miracle!" he exclaimed, proudly.
Insert a space before “Katie.” Also, I would strongly recommend that you do not include adverbs to describe dialogue. Show the action, don’t describe it with an adverb. In this case, the “he exclaimed” would probably suffice. If he stood taller and puffed up with pride at the feat accomplished by his God, then show that.

*Idea* That it was his fault , however indirectly, that her family was killed in a car accident coming to visit HIM.
Delete the extra space after “fault.”

*Idea* This letter is to inform you that I have been retained on your behalf to petition the District Attorney of Monroe county, N.Y., to release d.n.a evidence collected from the crime scene of the crime in which you were convicted, and to order a blood test of yourself , for the purpose of d.n.a testing, conducted and administered in a timely manner by the department of correctional services of New York State.
Capitalize “county.” Capitalize “D.N.A.” Delete the extra space after “yourself.” Capitalize “department,” “correctional,” and “services.”

*Idea* Paddy stared at the letter stunned, and for a moment thought he was dreaming.
Insert a comma after “letter.”


*Exclaim* *Exclaim* *Exclaim* Overall Score *Exclaim* *Exclaim* *Exclaim*

4.5 *Star*’s.

I was truly captivated by this story and riveted throughout.
It was a satifying read, and only when it’s this good,
do I feel compelled to give edits this detailed!
Please continue to write and add more short stories to your port.
Oh, and email me when you add more, I’d love to read more. *Smile*


*Flower2**Flower5* Keep writing! *Flower5**Flower2*

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5
5
Review by Cassie Reynolds
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
*Flower2**Flower5* HELLO! *Flower5**Flower2*

katsy - I read your story!


Below are my thoughts, comments, opinions, and/or suggestions.
Hopefully there will be something helpful, but I wouldn’t bet the farm on it. *Smile*


*Balloon6* The Hook
I don’t know if you did this on purpose or not, but after the bible quote took me to one place, the first sentence of the second paragraph sent my (apparently dirty) mind to a place that the next three sentences abruptly zinged me back from. This rubber-band effect in itself was a hook for me! My curiosity whetted, I had to read further.

*Balloon3* The Setting
You did very well at illustrating not only the hospital room setting, but the contrast between that and the home she was missing. I am a very visual person and when I read I want to “see” where I am. Excellent.

*Balloon2* The Character(s)
In such a short prologue, you have managed to introduce this main character in a manner that definitely elicits sympathy and admiration for her strength and bravery.

*Balloon1* The Dialogue
There was little dialogue, which was appropriate for this setting. The short exchange between Victoria and the nurse and Victoria’s whispered comment to the room were all well-executed. Dialogue tags were appropriately utilized and properly punctuated.

*Balloon5* The Conflict
All of us mortal beings know that we will someday face our own death, and face it alone, so the premise for this prologue is compelling.

*Balloon4* The Resolution
Despite the title, one is left wondering where the story will go from here. If not for your personal note at the end, giving me a hint as to what will be next, I might have assumed that subsequent chapters would be composed of flashbacks to her lonely existence. What you have planned is so much more interesting! I might suggest that you find a way to whet the reader’s appetite to read further by slipping that juicy tidbit of information into the end of the prologue.

*Heart* *Heart* *Heart* Parts I Really Liked! *Heart* *Heart* *Heart*


*Heart* The woman on the bed moaned softly and tried to ease herself into a more comfortable position. A hand stroked her forehead. "Try to rest, Miss Dobson." It was the nurse who came every night to take her vitals and chart them.

*Heart* Her own home was filled with antiques that gleamed like glass and smelled like lemons.

*Heart* And so her pupils at the elementary school became her children and her succession of fat tabby cats became her companions.


*Idea**Idea**Idea* Suggestions and/or Edits *Idea**Idea**Idea*


*Idea* She checked the water carafe and busily straightened the sheets on the bed as though that would make every thing better.
“Everything” (one word)

*Idea* The nurse left closing the door softly.
Comma after “left.”

*Idea* Her heart was too weak to keep beating and yet her mind, her imagination and her will were as strong as ever.
I was taught, thirty-some years ago, not to put a comma before a conjunction (“and” or “or”). I’m not sure when it happened, but many contend that this rule has changed.

From the Tameri Guide for Writers http://www.tameri.com/edit/punctuation.html:
The most common use for commas is the construction of lists. If the list is “simple” there is no need for a comma before the conjunction according to most current grammar texts. However, we prefer a comma be used before the conjunction in all cases. Strunk & White suggest commas in all lists, but the AP Stylebook does not.

*Idea* In all her 70 years of life no man had ever captured her heart.
Comma after “life.”

*Idea* Her practical side had waged a ceaseless war with her more romantic side urging her to marry and have children who would fill her life.
Comma after “romantic side.” Also, I would recommend changing “urging” to “which urged.”

*Idea* Perhaps she would marry and have a house full of wonderful messy happy children.
All three adjectives modify “children,” so there should be commas after “wonderful” and “messy.”


*Exclaim* *Exclaim* *Exclaim* Overall Score *Exclaim* *Exclaim* *Exclaim*

4.5 *Star*’s.

To answer the question in your personal note at the end, YES! I do want to know what happens next! Nice beginning, and I hope to see a continuation soon!


*Flower2**Flower5* Keep writing! *Flower5**Flower2*

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Note to all: Please R&R: "The Stone of Coel Coeth. Thanks!

6
6
Review of Solid Ground  
Review by Cassie Reynolds
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
*Flower2**Flower5* HELLO! *Flower5**Flower2*

Miss_JoJo - I read your story!


Below are my thoughts, comments, opinions, and/or suggestions.
Hopefully there will be something helpful, but I wouldn’t bet the farm on it. *Smile*


*Balloon6* The Hook
That first single-sentence paragraph definitely had this reader hooked! The ambiguity in itself was an effective snare; Was it just a figure of speech or are we talking literally here? I just had to know. How gratifying that it was the more entertaining of the two!

*Balloon3* The Setting
The setting in this story is Glasgow, specifically and largely within the corporate headquarters of a long-established firm. Although not described in great detail, there is ample description woven within the story itself to establish the ambiance of the building (sweltering attic, imposing oak doors, dark uninviting lobby).

*Balloon2* The Character(s)
Lena was established early on as a likeable character simply by the contents of her wardrobe. The introduction at a critical moment to both her inner prude and her inner feminist was, however, the coup de grâce. At that point, I couldn’t help but admire this character. Other characters such as Aurelie, Archie, and Tom, are well-defined and well-established. The short, tantalizing glimpses of Adam Greaves left me wanting more, as I am sure was the intent.

*Balloon1* The Dialogue
The dialogue was natural, the tags well-placed and perfectly punctuated. A pleasure to read.

*Balloon5* The Conflict
This is a three-chapter segment. All three short chapters led to the loss of this young woman’s dreams for her future. The confirmation of her boyfriend’s illicit activities was irresistible and satisfying; it was as if I would cover my eyes and peek through my fingers.

*Balloon4* The Resolution
The end of the third chapter left the main character at a crucial turning point in her life. With her previous plans in shambles and some sage advice from her good friend, she can make her life whatever she wants it to be. It left me, as it should, squirming in anticipation. Having developed empathy and caring for this character, I’m dying to know what she will do next.


*Heart* *Heart* *Heart* Parts I Really Liked! *Heart* *Heart* *Heart*


*Heart* “When you’re done staring at my cleavage, would you mind telling me who you are and what you are doing here?” she glared, trying her best to sound intimidating.

*Heart* “No! I mean it was hot. Yes. The weather was hot.”
One fat hairy caterpillar of an eyebrow crept upwards on Archie’s forehead.
“And everyone had gone so I decided to cool off and take off some clothes.”
The other eyebrow decided to be neighbourly and joined its predecessor.


*Heart* Really think about what you want. Because every day you live from now on is supposed to get you closer to what you want. Nothing else is important.”


*Idea**Idea**Idea* Suggestions and/or Edits *Idea**Idea**Idea*


*Idea* But then it had been a toss up between ultra low-rise denim and orange lycra that morning
Hyphenate “toss-up.”

*Idea* Make-up was just a bit of powder to ward of ‘Rudolph nose’;
Correct “of” to “off.”

*Idea* And yet, nobody else, not even Archie, had hinted that Bigelow Junior had finally handed over the reigns.
Although I do acknowledge some differences in spelling (from my perspective as an American, that is), I do think “reigns” should be “reins,” as in the straps attached to a bridle.

*Idea* “You just come back this afternoon then and I’ll show you that your man doesn’t even make the effort to cheat on you behind your back
Previously, Archie shared that Tom arrives every day at 11 a.m. Subsequently, Lena attends a meeting at 10:30 and is then drawn outside by Archie in time to watch Tom arrive in the park. Perhaps change “this afternoon” to “later this morning.”


*Exclaim* *Exclaim* *Exclaim* Overall Score *Exclaim* *Exclaim* *Exclaim*

5.0 *Star*’s.

I loved these chapters! Your writer’s voice is amusing and engaging, the story itself compelling. I hope to read more chapters soon!


*Flower2**Flower5* Keep writing! *Flower5**Flower2*

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Note to all: Please R&R: "The Stone of Coel Coeth. Thanks!


7
7
Review by Cassie Reynolds
Rated: E | (4.5)
*Flower2**Flower5* HELLO! *Flower5**Flower2*

I read your article!


Below are my thoughts, comments, opinions, and/or suggestions.
Hopefully there will be something helpful, but I wouldn’t bet the farm on it. *Smile*

I loved this article! I have never before given much thought to the difference between “why” and all the other “w” words, but this opinion piece makes a strong argument, citing examples and charming this reader with the reference to the two-year-old.


*Heart* *Heart* *Heart* Parts I Really Liked! *Heart* *Heart* *Heart*


*Heart* They might not fear it, but I know they hate it.

*Heart* With enough research they'll have all four answers on your desk within a suitable deadline.

*Heart* Any two year old can ask it, but I haven't met anyone who can answer it.


*Idea**Idea**Idea* Suggestions and/or Edits *Idea**Idea**Idea*


*Idea* When I teach English there are times I can explain why.
Comma after “English.”

*Idea* But even as I study Korean I discovered the problem is the same.
Comma after “Korean.”

*Idea* In language as in life one question seldom gets answered to our satisfaction.
Comma after “language” and also after “life.”


*Exclaim* *Exclaim* *Exclaim* Overall Score *Exclaim* *Exclaim* *Exclaim*

4.5 *Star*’s.

Nicely done! I would love to read more articles like this from an English teacher!


*Flower2**Flower5* Keep writing! *Flower5**Flower2*

** Images For Use By Upgraded+ Only **

To all: Please R&R: "The Stone of Coel Coeth. Thanks!

8
8
Review by Cassie Reynolds
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
*Flower2**Flower5* HELLO! *Flower5**Flower2*

I read your story!


Below are my thoughts, comments, opinions, and/or suggestions.
Hopefully there will be something helpful, but I wouldn’t bet the farm on it. *Smile*

Another compelling installment! Excellent.

*Heart* *Heart* *Heart* Parts I Really Liked! *Heart* *Heart* *Heart*


*Heart* The one called Lee stood gaping at Katrina while she backed away to prepare for another salvo. Pride was already wandering further down the road to get away from the fighting.

*Heart* Katrina turned her head to look at the newcomer. “You!” she said, placing a hand on her sword hilt. “You were the ones who attacked me on the road!”

*Heart* He waved his hand and the image of Katrina running through the inn with Leeland faded.


*Idea**Idea**Idea* Suggestions and/or Edits *Idea**Idea**Idea*


*Idea* Pretty girls wear armor sometimes, and when they are, you’d better be worrying about the location of their swords rather than how the light plays in their hair.”
I would recommend, “and when they do,” instead of “are.”

*Idea* Her head felt light, either from the alcohol she’d been consuming while dancing with Tomas or from the brief fight she wasn’t sure, so leaned back against the door beside Arick.
Perhaps insert a semicolon after “fight.” Insert “she” between “so” and leaned.”

*Idea* “Good,” she mumbled, pressing her lips to
his clasping her hands behind his neck.

There is an extra carriage return here. Also, perhaps insert “and” between “his” and “clasping.”


*Exclaim* *Exclaim* *Exclaim* Overall Score *Exclaim* *Exclaim* *Exclaim*

5.0 *Star*’s.

I hope you write fast! More, please!


Keep writing!
*Flower2**Flower5* Cassie *Flower5**Flower2*



To all: Please R&R: "The Stone of Coel Coeth. Thanks!

*Bigsmile*

9
9
Review by Cassie Reynolds
Rated: E | (5.0)
*Flower2**Flower5* HELLO! *Flower5**Flower2*

I read your story!


Below are my thoughts, comments, opinions, and/or suggestions.
Hopefully there will be something helpful, but I wouldn’t bet the farm on it. *Smile*

I enjoyed this chapter even more than the Prologue! Well done!

*Heart* *Heart* *Heart* Parts I Really Liked! *Heart* *Heart* *Heart*


*Heart* Lord Taylor nodded. Silver streaks showed in his reddish-brown hair which Katrina had not noticed before. “All this is as I have been told. Very well, I grant permission,” he said, looking directly into the eyes of his daughter. She saw pride in his familiar green eyes.

*Heart* “Thank you, Father,” she said with awe. She turned to leave, then stopped. “May I ask you a question, Father?” He nodded in response. “Why didn’t you give this to Jonathan?”

*Heart* “Yes,” Aldair answered, taking his drink from the waiter. “I’ll be able to see what she’s doing anywhere in the kingdom as long as she’s wearing that locket.”


*Idea**Idea**Idea* Suggestions and/or Edits *Idea**Idea**Idea*


*Idea* She followed him inside, timidly. She had never been insider her father’s rooms.
Correct “insider” to “inside.”

*Idea* “I’m not very good at sword fighting and stuff,” Alyssa complained, wrinkling her nose.
“Stuff” was jarring to me – it doesn’t seem to fit with the setting. Perhaps “…and the like” might work better.

*Idea* Her stuff lay in a corner of the stall.
Stuff again. Perhaps “gear” might be better.


*Exclaim* *Exclaim* *Exclaim* Overall Score *Exclaim* *Exclaim* *Exclaim*

5.0 *Star*’s.

Again, I was drawn into the story, enchanted by the setting, captivated by the characters, and fascinated by the adventure. Good stuff! *Wink*


Keep writing!
*Flower2**Flower5* Cassie *Flower5**Flower2*



Note to all: If you liked this review, please R&R: "The Stone of Coel Coeth. Thanks!

*Bigsmile*

10
10
Review by Cassie Reynolds
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
*Flower2**Flower5* HELLO! *Flower5**Flower2*

I read your story!


Below are my thoughts, comments, opinions, and/or suggestions.
Hopefully there will be something helpful, but I wouldn’t bet the farm on it. *Smile*


*Balloon6* The Hook
What an enchanting mechanism to use as a prologue. The introduction of the bard in his preparation for public speech (number one phobia – good enough hook for me!) drew me in, curiosity whetted to hear what he was going to say. His opening words polished it off – words like minions, wraiths, and demons. I was well and truly hooked.

*Balloon3* The Setting
The bard’s speech takes place at the Feast of Magaar, in a kingdom which is intimately known and understood by the end of the speech. Vibrant and interesting, the details are many but ultimately fascinating. Nice job!

*Balloon2* The Character(s)
The bard’s character is only hinted at – but his role is superfluous to the more central characters he describes during his performance. Magaar is well established as a force to be reckoned with simply by the team strategy (I loved that, by the way) that was employed under his leadership. The other characters were introduced with juicy bits of minutiae that readers will ingest but be left wanting more – and what better outcome for a prologue?

*Balloon1* The Dialogue
With the exception of the first and last paragraphs, this piece is all dialogue – or perhaps “performance” is more accurate, since dialogue infers a reciprocal interchange. Whatever you want to call it, call it well-written! Punctuation was flawless and the vocabulary was entirely appropriate.

*Balloon5* The Conflict
Which one? The victorious conquest against dark forces? The establishment of a kingdom? The degeneration of a magic crystal and subsequent decay of barriers against darkness? This story abounds with alluring, captivating conflict. Delicious!

*Balloon4* The Resolution
The ending, in this case, is a marvelous beginning.


*Heart**Heart**Heart* Parts I Really Liked! *Heart**Heart**Heart*


*Heart* The Demons, being single-minded in their service to their lord, never learned the art of fighting together. Teamwork was their weakness, and the strength of Men.

*Heart* Magaar’s own son was the first to take this Leave from home, and with the eldest son of Forona, the eldest daughter of Soraine, and the second son of Fomeen, he wandered the forests and mountains and plains in search of Demons.

*Heart* “And so it is, that on this day of the Feast of Magaar, we celebrate the beginning of the reign of Light, and Leave, and all traditions we hold dear.”


*Idea**Idea**Idea* Suggestions and/or Edits *Idea**Idea**Idea*


*Idea* So it was that Forona’s was the only casstle built in a village besides the one that Magaar built for himself in the village by the Haunted Wood.
Correct “casstle" to “castle.”

That’s it! I didn’t find any other errors.


*Exclaim**Exclaim**Exclaim* Overall Score *Exclaim**Exclaim**Exclaim*

5.0 *Star*’s.

I was truly enchanted by this prologue!
Be assured that I will be back to read Chapters 1 & 2 – very soon!


Keep writing!
*Flower2**Flower5* Cassie *Flower5**Flower2*

Note to all: If you liked this review, please R&R: "The Stone of Coel Coeth. Thanks!

*Bigsmile*

11
11
Review of Death's Lingering  
Review by Cassie Reynolds
Rated: ASR | (3.5)
*Flower2**Flower5* HELLO! *Flower5**Flower2*

I read your story!


Below are my thoughts, comments, opinions, and/or suggestions.
Hopefully there will be something helpful, but I wouldn’t bet the farm on it. *Smile*


*Balloon6* The Hook
You might want to start the story with some hint of what the central conflict is (the death of a friend at such a young age and the subsequent haunting). Since the story is written in past-tense, you might think about, perhaps, a single line or paragraph in present tense that conveys how Ellen misses Rae now that the haunting is over. Be careful not to give the whole ending away though! *Smile*

*Balloon3* The Setting
The bulk of the story takes place inside Ellen’s house, specifically in her room. However, there is little description of that room, nor of the school or funeral home. You might want to have Ellen look around and capture a description of each setting from her perspective, what she sees. Bring the reader into the room with Ellen.

*Balloon2* The Character(s)
I like the premise that the two girls were drawn together by a shared sense of humor. This establishes both of them as likeable, simply because everyone appreciates humor and enjoys a good laugh, so readers will identify with the characters. It’s important, though, to keep the reader compassionate throughout. When Ellen tells her mother, Just shut up! – even though she’s certainly lashing out in pain, it’s a little over the top. I would recommend deleting that and moving “Don’t talk about God!” to the beginning of that paragraph instead.

*Balloon1* The Dialogue
The dialogue was good! Be careful, though, about punctuating your dialogue tags. Remember that if the tag comes after the quote, there should be a comma and no capitalization. Review the story carefully, as there are quite a few instances of this.

*Balloon5* The Conflict
I love haunting stories, especially ones that are endearing, like this. The death of such a young child is a source of raw emotion, and you have captured Ellen’s reaction well.

*Balloon4* The Resolution
I like the premise that the original “curse” was what kept Rae around, and the separation of the two friends at the end was handled well.


*Heart**Heart**Heart* Parts I Really Liked! *Heart**Heart**Heart*


*Heart* “NO!” Ellen screamed. She dropped the phone. She ran around, screaming, “NO! It can’t…she can’t be gone” (I’d put an exclamation point at the end, though)

*Heart* All she heard was a little, quiet tinkling noise, barely audible over the rustling of the leaves in the harsh November wind.

*Heart* But Ellen swears that on quiet nights she can hear tinkling noises in her room.


*Idea**Idea**Idea* Suggestions and/or Edits *Idea**Idea**Idea*


*Idea* and RaeAnna had waist length red hair and kind green eyes.
Make “waist length” hyphenated. Waist-length.

*Idea* It couldn’t be her moms voice, it was much to sweet.
Change “to,” which should be “too.”

*Idea* After her mom had tucked Ellen in that night, And had left the room, Ellen tried calling Rae again.
Uncapitalize “and.” Also, remove the comma after “night.”

*Idea* “Sure, I’ll tell you one!” Ellen said loudly. One joke led to another, and another, but that one special joke was never told.
I would remove “but that one special joke was never told.” It’s too much of a hint to the ending.

*Idea* No, I wasn…..oh, yes, you must be right, mom” Ellen said sarcastically.
Remember that an ellipsis (dots to indicate a pause) is composed of only three dots. When indicating that a word or sentence is cut off, use a dash instead.


*Exclaim**Exclaim**Exclaim* Overall Score *Exclaim**Exclaim**Exclaim*

3.5 *Star*’s.

This story has a lot of potential!
It has all the elements, just needs some polish.


Keep writing!
*Flower2**Flower5* Cassie *Flower5**Flower2*

12
12
Review of Love's First Kiss  
Review by Cassie Reynolds
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Hello,

You wrote a review for me earlier this week. I've been pretty busy but I wanted to reciprocate and read something from your port. Now it's the weekend and here I am. *Smile*

I just read Love's First Kiss. Once I started reading, I couldn't stop! It was, for me, a trip back in time to my own teenhood. The story as written portrays innocence and wide-eyed naivité while introducing just the faintest bit of early sensuality. I was riveted.

I do have a couple suggestions:

Watch your use of "your." When the word is used as a contraction of "you" and "are," use the contraction, "you're." This is, admittedly, a pet peeve of mine to see the word "your" used incorrectly, but it's a common mistake that unfortunately detracts from the overall quality of your storytelling.

Be careful about tense. I noticed that a few times you switched from past tense The word hit Jason hard to present tense and Kelly sees it but doesn’t understand. It should be Kelly saw it but didn't understand. Read this piece over carefully, the tense changes in several places.

Also, be sure and punctuate properly around dialogue tags. “Never mind, goodnight Mr. Calder.” She says in a voice that conveys the finality of the conversation. Even though it was the end of what she had to say, if you're going to have a dialogue tag there, you need to make that period a comma and not capitalize "she."

Or - if you really want that period to be there, turn the sentence around:

She spoke in a voice that conveyed the finality of the conversation, “Never mind. Goodnight Mr. Calder.”

You have a natural talent for storytelling. Keep at it!

Cassie
13
13
Review by Cassie Reynolds
Rated: E | (5.0)
I absolutely LOVED this! I read every word, down to the very end!

I am an infrequent Subway customer nowadays, but years ago my office was down the street from a Subway and I used to go there for lunch at least three times a week. I have watched other customers make the mistakes you have highlighted here, and have been silently amused at their apparent unfamiliarity with the Subway "system."

You woulda liked me as a customer. *Smile*

If I had to pin a label on myself regarding what I do for a living (my title is Project Director which tells nothing really), I would say, "I'm a trainer." The trouble with being a trainer, however, is that a trainer, deep in their hearts, wants to train everybody. The cashier at McDonalds who doesn't know how to count back change, the bagman at the grocery store that puts my canned ham on top of my bread, the driver in front of me who was never shown how to use a turn signal.

Thus the appeal of your content, specifically to me.

Well written, love your writing voice (humorous yet respectful), organized and interesting.

Bravo!
Cassie
14
14
Review by Cassie Reynolds
Rated: 18+ | (5.0)
This story was a wonderful read!

I love the premise of this - Merriment vs. Misery, and the roles they carry out, how they balance each other. Mizzy shrugged. “I’m here for a reason, like everyone else.” This statement brought the story full circle, explaining the first conversation the couple had had.

Even the use of their nicknames was clever.

The hook at the beginning could have been stronger - but then again, it did effectively draw me in, so I'm not recommending a change.

Nice work!
Cassie
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