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Printed from http://www.writing.com/main/profile/reviews/rig0rm0rtis
Review Requests: OFF
157 Public Reviews Given
Review Style
I will tell you what I liked and didn't like. My reviews may be blunt but never harsh, I can always see the passion and work you put in. My job is to help polish anything I see :)
I'm good at...
Descriptions, world building, poetry, perhaps plot structure? I'll point out anything that bothers me or sounds a little off. My style is about making writing and poetry flow and sound as natural as possible.
Favorite Genres
Horror, Mystery, Sci-Fi, Poetry and anything Gothic.
Least Favorite Genres
I don't have any least favorites because if it's well written you can make a believer out of me. Except Romance. *blech*
Favorite Item Types
Anything and everythaaaang
Least Favorite Item Types
Hm. I'll get back to you on this.
I will not review...
There is nothing I won't review, but I'm sure time will change that haha.
Public Reviews
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1
1
Review of Battlefield  
Review by Ray Scrivener
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hello there, L.A. Grawitch

Very sorry for this belated review. No time like the present however, let's get started without further ado! *BigSmile*


Synopsis



Two armies stand across a battlefield, waiting for the inevitable command. Each man is convinced what he fights for is a just cause and fully prepared to die for those convictions.

Those very beliefs also result in the firm conclusion that the enemy is a horrible brute that deserves his impending death. Everyone hates what they don't understand, after all.

When the horns of war are sounded, all honor is lost upon death - the great equalizer.

The final verse is a call to emotion, encouraging each other to put away the weapons of war and embrace our differences. Surely we can all co-exist on this blue rock, can't we?

Impressions Upon Reading


I really liked the creative way you formatted this! The beginning was really interesting with how you separated the lines, providing a visualization of two forces on opposing sides.

But this entry was more than just a parlor trick. A great number of your lines were excellent examples of prose, giving me pause upon reading them. I would like to point out several that I enjoyed:

Justified by pride's allegiance


Dubbed enemy by defiance


Nobility erased by the sea
Of salty scarlet river shed


There were plenty more but I could spend the majority of this review highlighting your words. Let's move on to other topics, shall we?


This entry stood out from the others because you aimed for the "epic" feel of a massive conflict and succeeded. I felt like a bystander to a bloody crusade, unsure which side had the more 'just' cause. That was something I applaud you for as well!

Nobody goes to war thinking they are in the wrong. Either they are the preemptive attacking force or the ones defending their sacred homeland. You did a great job pointing this out.

Suggestions for Improvement


Here comes the dreaded part of this review. The only thing I could fault this piece for is how impersonal it felt. Even though you had two armies duking it out, I had trouble picturing either one. Perhaps some backstory or a bit more detail on each side would provide some more clarity?

But I understand you weren't going for specifics with this entry. You were making a commentary on war as a concept, especially apparent with your call for peace at the end. So this argument is a toothless one at best! I have no other qualms with this poem.

Closing Thoughts


When I asked for an epic poem, I was hoping someone would deliver the tall order I requested. You did that and more! I can't thank you enough for taking a risk and try something new. This was a wonderful entry and I relished it more than you know. I hope you had as much fun creating this as much as I had reading it!

Have a great holiday, I hope to read more from you soon :)



*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
2
2
Review of Battlefield  
Review by Ray Scrivener
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hello there, L.A. Grawitch

Very sorry for this belated review. No time like the present however, let's get started without further ado! *BigSmile*

Synopsis


Two armies stand across a battlefield, waiting for the inevitable command. Each man is convinced what he fights for is a just cause and fully prepared to die for those convictions.

Those very beliefs also result in the firm conclusion that the enemy is a horrible brute that deserves his impending death. Everyone hates what they don't understand, after all.

When the horns of war are sounded, all honor is lost upon death - the great equalizer.

The final verse is a call to emotion, encouraging each other to put away the weapons of war and embrace our differences. Surely we can all co-exist on this blue rock, can't we?

Impressions Upon Reading


3
3
Review by Ray Scrivener
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
Vampires? A corporation that creates synthetic blood? A skilled mercenary/salesman?

This is a fascinating premise! Vampires are a guilty pleasure of mine, provided they don't sparkle of course *Wink*

I loved the conversation between Madam Careen and Richard. When she remarked how she hated humans for their eagerness to make a quick buck off anything, I couldn't help but chuckle. Great dialogue! Verbal sparring is always appreciated, especially when both parties are hiding their figurative fangs, waiting for the best moment to strike.

You did a wonderful job painting a Gothic scene: the mysterious visitor arriving during a rainstorm, stepping into an elegant mansion filled with fanged nobles.

What felt a bit strange was the anachronistic technology, generators and desert eagles. The time period is difficult to pin down, but it seems like you have this set in present day. If this is the case, why would the vampires act and dress like they are still in Victorian times? Wouldn't they want to blend in?

I would also expect a daughter of Dracula to put up a fight instead of being killed so easily.

That aside, I'm curious to see where Richard goes with his bag of vampire-slaying gadgets!

I'll read the next chapter when I can :)


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
4
4
for entry "Chapter 7
Review by Ray Scrivener
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
Hello again Octavius!

It's been quite a while since I returned to this world of yours. I can see that I've been missing out, this chapter is packed with new and exciting set pieces that you spent a great deal of time crafting.

The battle with Ryzor and his daughters against Debra and the Alternian army was fantastic. Very creative use of powers! It's clear that Ryzor has a great deal of combat experience with how quickly he adapts to the ebb and flow of the battlefield.

Dissandra and Ordenia have a secret weapon, I see! Merging to form one being, they use their combined skill to wreak havoc on the attacking lizard-men. This wasn't something I expected at all, it was a pleasant surprise and part of the reason why Debra's attack ended in failure.

What I also liked was how separate verses can be chained, forming unique spells. But this is also a gamble, as each spell can only be used once. Do you go all out in one attack or carefully use each verse as the situation requires? I feel like this is going to make for some very interesting fights in the future!

When the story returns to Drake and Kevin, it seems that the mysterious Darkall is the reason for the gates being closed. He is the mastermind behind the golems, but why he wants so much destruction is still unclear. Is this part of his strategy? Are they in a different land from the Dalmecians?

A map would be helpful to give readers some perspective and understand where everyone is. It's difficult to picture the landscape without something to use as reference.

The sandstorm in the beginning could use a few more lines describing how it was hiding the enemy forces, I was puzzled as to why Ryzor's mages were dissipating it with wind.

Another thing that confused me was how Debra and Ryzor used multiple spells that behaved contrary to the verses. Nitro and Blastvolley are fire magic, so how did Debra summon lightning? Likewise, how was Ryzor able to levitate with Tremor, Shatter and Quicken?

Aside from those inconsistencies, this was a solid chapter! Thank you for letting me read another great installment to your action-packed fantasy novel.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
5
5
for entry "Ghosts
Review by Ray Scrivener
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Hey there Ken!

Let's take a look at the sonnet you created *Wink*

I am a little jealous of your ability to whip up a poem in any form, I spend a painstaking amount of time fretting over each line I create. More often than not I end up scrapping what I have and starting over! When I read your entry, I was reminded of those half-finished works, ghosts of ideas that I discarded in lieu of something else.

Your sonnet is a melancholy reflection on days long past. We are always moving forward towards an unknown future, ever haunted by spectral memories left behind.

"The lonely echoes help me to recall
those happy moments that went by too fast."

I loved this! We tend to take the good times for granted, those fleeting seconds of bliss passing before we know it.

The next verse talks about a treasured remembrance, time spent with family and friends. In hindsight those flashbacks grow harder and harder to define, fading like "footprints in the sand."

After soaking in this nostalgia, the narrator stares into the distance as these thoughts play in his mind. The final lines summarize these reflections, saying they are nothing more than empty shells, meaningful to him alone.

I find that your poetry has an introspective style, pondering questions we all ask ourselves. Why are we so keen on reliving the past? Perhaps since our futures are unknown this is a form of comfort, a way we can travel back to simpler times.

This sonnet was a delightful reflection, but I felt that it was a bit too similar to your previous entry. I want to see you out of your comfort zone! As my English teacher once told me, writing about NOW and not about THEN is always more powerful.

Thank you for gifting this contest with your lyrical talent! It's always great to see heavy hitters like you interested in my humble competition. I look forward to seeing what you dream up next. May your quill stay ever sharp!



*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
6
6
Review of The warm tree  
Review by Ray Scrivener
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hello there, K.HBey

It's time for your review, are you ready?

Trick question, of course you are! Let's get started now *Type*

Synopsis:

A young boy travels to the tomb where his mother lies. After shedding tears before her grave, he is surprised when a tree greets him. Embracing the grieving boy, the beech tree reveals that it is a friend of his mother and becomes the orphan's new guardian.

Overall Opinion: This was a heart-wrenching tale of a young orphan coming to terms with his mother's death. I loved the gloomy tone you used throughout the entire poem. Also, you did an excellent job conveying emotion with the vocabulary you chose!

"Within the cemetery penumbra,
His hot tears burn such ground..."

I love that you used the word 'penumbra', it's a lovely description for a shadowy place and very fitting for a graveyard.

Also, great use of 'lugubrious'! I was quite impressed with your descriptions in this piece.

While I was reading through there were several errors that I spotted:

"He is lost like being out of such womb"

"His hot tears burn such ground"

I understand that you use the word 'such' to draw attention to something specific. You could use "that" or "this" instead.

"Where his mother corps remains for the eternity,"

Corps is a different word from corpse but they sound very similar! English is quite tricky, isn't it? *Laugh* It rarely makes sense to me at times.

Don't despair, you are doing extremely well for a non-native speaker! I can see great improvement with each piece you write.

Closing thoughts:

I found "The Warm Tree" to be a bittersweet story of loss. The ending was lovely with the melancholy boy finding a new friend to share hot summer days with. This is something that you should be very proud of! Well done on another exceptional entry.

Thank you for your continued interest in this contest, it's always a pleasure reading your work *Bigsmile*



*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
7
7
Review of In my dream  
Review by Ray Scrivener
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hello there, K.HBey !

I would like to preface this review with a little anecdote.

Being a judge is a difficult job at times. I try my best to provide clear, concise advice to participants, often wondering if my words are helpful or a waste of energy. It seems that my efforts have not been in vain! You have listened to my feedback and responded to it by taking the criticism to heart.

This poem was a joy to read, equal parts mysterious and atmospheric. Well done on the win! I can see your hard work paid off *BigSmile*

Using the endless stair prompt, you wrote about someone experiencing a bizarre, vivid dream. In it, they are climbing stairs in a thick fog.

Once they reach a spot, the narrator discovers a large crowd ascending the endless stairs. Though there are so many people around, everyone seems reclusive and withdrawn. People that are too weak to climb vanish into the darkness, only the strong manage to keep going.

But though they are driven to keep going, nobody ever reaches the top.

I found this poem raised an interesting issue about how ambition creates a need to climb over our neighbors, too focused on our own lives to care for others. But this self-absorbed mentality ultimately gets them nowhere.

Why is this the case, I wonder? Is your message that we should work together to reach the top of that endless stairway?

You've certainly given me something to ponder *Laugh*

If I had some suggestions for improvement, it would be to focus on the grammatical errors that cropped up here and there. Using a word processor or some other writing program will help point out some mistakes. I love using them because I'm terrible at spotting my own!

Aside from that, you did a fantastic job. Thank you for sharing this wonderful entry! I hope to read more from you soon *Type*



*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
8
8
for entry "Treadmill
Review by Ray Scrivener
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
Hello again Dave!

Once again, you've presented me with an intriguing piece. This one was read over a steaming cup of coffee as your words percolated in my mind.

Choosing the surreal stairway prompt, you describe the struggles of a man doomed to climb endlessly. Why is he trapped on this aptly named treadmill? He is a man, wandering without a plan. Since there is no destination in mind, there is nothing for the lonely climber but "rewards of trudge".

We've all experienced the cycle of hard work and short sleep, feeling a bit like this unfortunate soul. It is true that we need a plan to avoid the pitfalls that he fell into.

I really enjoyed this poem, I saw that you went a little further with your creative whimsy and shaped the verses to match the stairs! Nicely done *Wink*

What I would suggest for improvement is to avoid using the same word for the ending lines. In such a short piece, repetition is felt more strongly since every word matters.

Aside from that, you have another great entry for your stellar portfolio. Thanks for participating in this round, I love reading your work *Bigsmile*


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
9
9
for entry "Fragments
Review by Ray Scrivener
In affiliation with Rising Stars of WdC  
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Hello there, Ken!

I see you have another interesting poem for me to read, let's get started *Type*

Choosing the surreal liquefying prompt, you envisioned the pipe-smoking man melting from emotion. I thought this was great idea and you executed it quite well!

"A lingering smell of tobacco,
a gossamer haze in the air..."

A very strong opening! I loved reading the story about a lonely man enjoying a smoke in the darkness. You excel at painting scenes with well-chosen words.

The flashbacks he remembers are poignant ones, sure to make anyone a blubbering mess. It's no wonder he starts to melt!

If I had to make any recommendations for improvement on this piece, I would say that the ending felt a bit unsatisfying. I would have liked to seen a few lines about how the man copes with these melancholy memories. Have they made him stronger or does he resort to wallowing in self-pity? A little closure would have been the cherry on top!

This is just a minor complaint really. Perhaps I just wanted a bit more to read, a selfish desire that I try to justify *Laugh*

Thanks for another wonderful entry, Ken. It's always a delight to read your work. Have a great rest of your Sunday! *Sun*


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
10
10
for entry "Chapter 6
Review by Ray Scrivener
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
We meet again Octavius, sorry for the delay...

I can see you've been quite busy in my absence! As I read through your latest installment a few things jumped out at me. I'd like to take a few moments to talk shop with you.

When I first joined Drake on his journey, I was impressed by the world that you envisioned. Perhaps a little rough around the edges, but there was a great amount of promise in this fantasy adventure. This recent chapter really shows how far you've come. Not only is the chapter well-paced, but you also show great strides in descriptive style and character development.

Drake has seen a fair amount of suffering after being enslaved in the Dalmecian quarries. But he has little to no knowledge of the world as a result, slowly growing to understand the widespread misery that war spreads to even the smallest of villages.

Kevin has a very tragic past, witnessing the brutal murder of his parents. The Cugarian were-people are another great addition to the varied amount of races, I wonder where they fit into the story? Are they a nomadic tribe? Are they serving someone or bound to no one?

His flashback was a great way to enrich the story but I felt that it lost some of the impact by telling it in third-person. If Kevin is reliving that bloody past, let the readers see it from his eyes.

I remember the screams, the burning night, and the coldness of those hiding behind the safety of the wall.

This was such a powerful opening, you should really consider keeping this point of view for the entire memory. It's harder to feel the emotional turmoil if we are just passive viewers. Make us FEEL it *Wink*

Another thing I would like to mention is the golem fight.

Last chapter, I asked you to provide clearer action and you really delivered on that! I had no trouble following along as Drake single-handedly took down another rock monster. (Without any magic either!) It's clear that our hero is becoming more skilled with each encounter. My only complaint is that Kevin really didn't do much for this scene. Was he worried when his new friend dove into the fray head first? Maybe he could try and distract the creature, even if for a few seconds.

Again, this was just a small thing I wanted to nit-pick. You did a fantastic job with the fight scene. Like Drake, you are also honing your skill with each chapter!

Some great bits I want to mention: Using the moldy bread to show how Drake was used to a hard life, something he and Kevin bonded over.

The excerpt at the beginning of the chapter was a great idea! I hope you continue to add these tidbits to previous and upcoming chapters, they really add some flavor and hint at the mythology of this world.

Drake and Kevin trying to help the wounded after the fight, I wonder how they will manage to save the victims when help refuses to come. This is a great conflict that I look forward to see them overcome. Perhaps they won't be able to? I wonder how things will play out...

Once again, your story takes another interesting turn! Thank you for bringing me along for the journey. Don't let that keyboard get dusty, I'll be waiting for chapter 7 *BigSmile*



*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
11
11
Review of Amazing birds  
Review by Ray Scrivener
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hello K.HBey ,

My apologies, I intended on writing up this review sooner but I have failed you and for that I am sorry. I hope you can forgive my tardiness!

Let's start now, shall we?

Opening the poem with a soaring nightingale, you describe the bird singing sweetly as a group of anti-social people gather. None of them interact with each other, lost in separate worlds.

It wasn't clear what the birds referred to. Were they a metaphor for people's hearts, longing to be free from gilded cages of their own creation? Perhaps that is why cold-blooded people try to capture the birds, seeking to ensnare them for selfish gain.

A pretty young girl arrives, but nobody bothers to greet her smile. She hopes to free the caged birds with flowers of love and kindness. Sadly, the devices hold everyone's attention and her blossoms are discarded.

She wants to sell flowers, red rose and jasmine
For free and to get birds freedom instead...


I loved these lines here :)

Your ending was great as well, I loved how you said that liberty was a cacophony so the people chose to stay in the safety of their technological worlds.

This is sadly true! I see lots of people sucked into those phones and not giving anybody a second glance. Reality has become too painful to deal with, it's much easier to stay comfortable and sedated. You have a keen sense of observation. The world is becoming emotionally colder and more impersonal because of technology.

I really enjoyed reading this entry! You have a very thought-provoking and introspective piece here. If I had to make any recommendations for improvement, it would be to fix some minor grammatical errors I noticed while reading.

English might not be your first language but you are doing extremely well. I only know one language and even then I still struggle, keep up the great work :)

Thank you for entering my contest, I hope to read more from you soon. Have a great weekend!


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
12
12
Review of Shape-Shifter  
Review by Ray Scrivener
In affiliation with Rising Stars of WdC  
Rated: 13+ | (3.5)
Hello LazyWriter ,

I always enjoy being the first to review a new story, today is my lucky day! *Laugh* Let's get started now, shall we?

To me, this story feels like a dark fantasy. I wouldn't quite label it as horror but there are certainly some creepy elements to it! The way Rick drags Shelly along makes her feel like a prisoner, even if her hands are free.

Synopsis: Shelly is a maid in the service of Master Rick, a high-born who has been 'Rift-Touched'. After burning down the family manor, he flees the property and takes Shelly with him despite her misgivings.

After being on the road for several weeks, they reach an inn where Master Rick defends his companion by using the shape-shifting Rift power. By the end of the story, Shelly seems to accept him even though he is 'a monster'.

Overall Opinion:

I thought this story was interesting and has great potential. Shelly and Rick being on the run together has a lot of possibilities, I liked how she fears his power but still has some trust in him. Rick is a mysterious individual, I wondered why he picked his loyal maid over his family/servants. Perhaps Shelly is the only one he can trust?

Suggestions for Improvement:

First off, I would focus on breaking up the long block of text you have here. It's hard to read a story with no pauses for breath!

Secondly, there needs to be more information on certain plot points. What exactly is the Rift? How does one become Rift-Touched and why are they feared? Why does Rick insist on protecting Shelly? What made him burn down the family home?

These are things that confused me and will puzzle future readers. Some more details would really help this story and expand on the intriguing world you've created :)

Closing Thoughts:

I enjoyed reading this tale and hope that you will consider adding more to it at a future date. Keep writing! Every story is a chance to learn something new, I look forward to reading more of your work. *BigSmile*






*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
13
13
for entry "Chapter 5
Review by Ray Scrivener
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
Hello again Octavius!

Sorry to make you wait this long, I've been a bit too preoccupied for my liking lately. To atone for my tardiness this one is on the house *Bigsmile*

Quite the action-packed chapter you have here! Not only is the Alternean army attacking in dramatic fashion but Drake has managed to harness some of Fane's flaming power.

What I found interesting is King Ryzor, who seems to possess an icy magic. No wonder he is pitted against the fiery Alterneans!

Drake also manages to run into Princess Celta yet again. She spares him for an unknown reason, it seems we will discover her motivations later.

We are also introduced to a new face and possible sidekick Kevin! He proves useful in educating Drake about the world and guiding him along the path to Estoria.

Things I loved about this chapter:

Seeing Debra in action, transforming into her true form was an awesome moment!

Drake using the sword to split the golem's beam and smash the ruby. Pretty badass *Cool*

Ryzor spurring his troops to action. His frosty breath made a great image!

The addition of Kevin, adding some much needed context to the world.

Things I didn't like:

The opening, when the nameless guards were speaking. Maybe add some titles/rank or other distinguishing traits to help the reader? For example, one could be a scout or bowman and the other a spear-wielder, swordsman or etc. This will help add details to the scene too :)

Drake didn't seem too fazed after fighting the golem, I thought he was supposed to feel drained after using a new spell?

We still don't know why the two nations are warring. Maybe add some more dialogue between King Ryzor and Darkall?

Other than that, I felt this was another welcome addition to the Verse of Estoria :) I'll be looking forward the next installment!


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
14
14
Review by Ray Scrivener
In affiliation with Rising Stars of WdC  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hello there, Dave !

Once again you are daring to try a new style, something I was very pleased to see. This sound poem was very entertaining and rather catchy. I found myself reading it multiple times, marveling at the jaunty rhythm as it bounced along. I can tell you had quite a bit of fun creating this!

Using the prompt of stylish women making fun of their drab neighbors, you created a rollicking entry about the narcissistic upper-class. I really liked these lines about the snobby passengers:

"...with elegant arrogance
in spiritual ritual of catty chatter..."

Great use of alliteration and assonance!

A few things gave me pause in this work, however. The one line
'...going gaga over dada' sounded a bit odd compared to the strength of the ones preceding it. I felt it could have been worded better.

I wasn't sure if this was intentional, so I looked up the definition of dada and found to my surprise that it referred to: an early-20th-century international movement in art, literature, music, and film, repudiating and mocking artistic and social conventions and emphasizing the illogical and absurd.

If this was what you meant then bravo! You are certainly more knowledgeable about the arts than I expected *Laugh* Dada is a proper noun so capitalize on that *Wink*

My other concern was the ending could have been a little stronger and used some of the great onomatopoeia you showed at the start.

Thank you for another wonderful entry, Dave. If there were more entries, I would have awarded this the best entry for prompt no. 1!

I'll be awaiting your next work with great interest. Enjoy the rest of your Sunday :)


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
15
15
Review of Statue  
Review by Ray Scrivener
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Hello there Melly Lane !

It's time to take a look at your winning entry, let's get started :)

Despite there only being a few entries for this prompt, they were all well done in their own right. This submission came out on top with all the wonderful images you carefully painted.

Using the weeping prompt, you imagined a melancholy soul standing in their garden as the elements rage around them. When the narrator cries, her tears water the flowers until they grow up towards the moon.

I liked the bittersweet ending you chose! Endings are very important, no matter the medium. You've knocked it outta the park here :) Well done.

Many of your lines were exquisite: "The growing rain,
That fell in my smile..."

You allow the reader to feel the emotion without actually going out and saying it! This is something many struggle with (myself included!) but you uphold the age-old tenant of 'show, don't tell'. Nicely done, might I add *Wink*

To me, the garden represents the mind. Each flower is a memory, which is why the narrator stands out in the cold for so long. She can't bear to look away from the beauty of those petals, wanting to hold on as long as possible.

When she finally allows herself to cry, the flowers grow to the moon. It is time for them to pass on, causing the gardener to smile sadly.

I really enjoyed the brief yet poignant story you told here. Thank you for sharing your vision and entering my humble contest. I'll be on the look out for more of your work in the future :)


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
16
16
Review of Black Feathers  
Review by Ray Scrivener
Rated: ASR | (5.0)
Hello there The Dark_Huntress Returns! !

Time to take a look at your winning submission, let's get started shall we?

Out of the varied entries I received about the screaming prompt, this one was by far my favorite. Envisioning the painting as someone trapped in a shadow world, you describe their horrible fate with expressive imagery.

I loved the part about dressing in black feathers and ashen clothes. Such fantastic visuals and a great way to reference the monochromatic prompt!

I also enjoyed these lines quite a bit:

"...we are crushed beneath it,
slaves to a merciless rhythm we never chose."

Poignant and thought-provoking! There are many who are victims of society, marching to the beat of someone else's drum.

The bleak ending really makes you feel the hopelessness of this piece. I was wondering how the narrator came to be in her situation. Is she dead and wandering in limbo? Perhaps being a shadow is a metaphor for how she feels: invisible to an unforgiving world.

Maybe this is a version of hell, being forced to drift with the other shadows but never given a voice. Regardless of what you intended with those haunting words, I found this entry to be entertaining and very enjoyable. This was certainly deserving of the win!

Thank you for entering my contest, I hope to read more from you in the future :)


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
17
17
Review by Ray Scrivener
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
Hello there Dave!

Thanks for being so patient with me, I'm sorry for making you wait so long for this review. Let's get started, shall we?

I found it interesting that you envisioned the movie Psycho while staring at the prompt. It really is quite similar to that classic scene with Janet Leigh screaming in the shower.

The shrill soundtrack was playing in my mind as I read your well-crafted sentences. I appreciate how you spared no grisly details when describing the fate of the unfortunate women that fall into Norman's clutches.

Some of your lines were fantastic! I loved these especially :)

"...and runs down drain
in gurgling vortex,
which matches the sounds
coming from her throat."

Deliciously twisted! As a lover of horror, you've really appealed to my insatiable bloodlust. *Devilish*

What I would have liked to see would be a little more about Norman, why does he hunger so? And not even a mention about his mother! For shame *Wink*

Once again, you provided an excellent 'Word Picture' for my reading pleasure. Thank you for entering this contest so often! It's always a treat to seeing what you come up with.



*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
18
18
Review of Screams  
Review by Ray Scrivener
Rated: E | (3.5)
Hello David!

Sorry for the wait, I've had my hands quite full as of late. Onward to the review *BigSmile*

With this entry, you imagined the screaming mouth pleading for someone to help. But nobody answers that forlorn cry, leaving the unfortunate soul alone in the darkness.

The lines you chose bleed with desperation. I could feel the crushing hopelessness as the narrator realizes nobody will come to their aid. Great use of the prompt! This piece complemented the painting quite nicely.

My favorite line would have to be this one:

"I scream to you, looking with hope for the answer."

What answer is that poor wretch so desperate to hear, I wonder? Some soothing words or the reason behind their suffering? Perhaps they are just looking for a response, an acknowledge that there is someone else in the void.

I really enjoyed reading this piece. What I didn't like was how short it was and how it left many of my questions unanswered. I would have liked to see more lines hinting at their current fate and/or who they were speaking to. This was a great poem but I wanted more!

It's possible I'm being greedy *Laugh*

Thank you for sharing your dark vision, I hope to see more of your work soon *Wink*


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
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Review of Wheel of Fortune  
for entry "April 1, 2019
Review by Ray Scrivener
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
Hello there ridinghhood--p. boutilier ! Apologies for not sending this out sooner, I hoped to finish in time but life tends to have designs of its own.

Onto your review!

Oh how I missed reading your tarot-inspired writings, they are always interesting and varied in subject. This one did not disappoint in the slightest *Bigsmile*

Drawing from the tale of Baba Yaga, you viewed the angry prompt as the witch herself screaming among the trees. I could feel the malevolence through your lines, hissing threats to any that might oppose Baba Yaga or her sisters.

The image of that twisted crone chewing on organs with metal teeth made my skin crawl. In a good way, of course. *Wink* As a lover of horror, this poem was one of pure delight. Naturally it is no surprise that my favorite lines are the grisliest ones!

"With my mortar and pestle
I will grind the bones
of lying leaders
and chew their entrails
in my iron teeth."

Beware the anger of Baba Yaga... I certainly wouldn't want to get on her bad side!

My only issue with this great piece is the ending. I wasn't sure if the witches were turning their backs "just 'cause" or if they punished all who didn't serve a 'just cause". This is obviously an easy fix, just be careful to make things clear for your readers :)

Thank you for drawing a card and sharing your creation! I hope the next reading foretells great fortune for you and your loved ones.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
20
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Review of Tears  
Review by Ray Scrivener
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hello there K.HBey ! Apologies for not sending this out sooner, I hoped to finish in time but life tends to have designs of its own.

Onto your review!

From the very start, you painted rich descriptions and used emotional language to convey how the weeping woman feels. I found myself surprised at how potent those words were, imagining the warm tears spilling out into an unforgiving world.

"The sun will not rise in your sky,
The moon will not light your night."

These lines were so impactful! In fact, they are also a great example of how depression makes someone feel trapped and worthless to everyone else. They view their existence as inconsequential, no sun would bother to rise for a person like them.

You did great in capturing the emotion of anguish with your entry :)

If I had to make any recommendations, it would be to create a stronger ending. While your closing lines are thought-provoking, they are a little too vague in subject and left me feeling a little unsatisfied.

I would also add punctuation in the second to last line: (No human remains no kindness lasts)

Aside from that, I enjoyed reading your free verse poem. *Bigsmile* I hope you continue to sharpen your pencil and write more soon. Thank you for sharing your talent with the rest of us!


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
21
21
Review by Ray Scrivener
Rated: 13+ | (3.5)
Hello there, Mastiff!

I enjoyed reading your entry, musing over the tough questions you've asked your readers. Nobody knows for sure what will happen when the chips are finally down, occasionally we surprise ourselves with our actions. People are capable of change, whether they choose to or not.

As you say: 'Depends on the day
And depends on the people
If you go out with love or not'

Great lines :) These were my favorite! But while I enjoyed reading your poem, it didn't match with the prompts used and thus wasn't eligible for a prize. I also felt it was a bit too short, a few more lines can never hurt!

Thank you for sharing your work, I hope to see more of your lyrical talent in the future *Wink*


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
22
22
Review of Tea for Three.  
Review by Ray Scrivener
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hello Laurie! Ready for your review?

Choosing to write from the animals' point of view was an inventive spin on the prompt. The possessive way you describe the two women 'invading' the feeding grounds and the manner which they laid out the 'strange water' really added to the feeling that we were witnessing strangers acting in a mysterious way.

I often wonder how animals view our comings and goings. Do they understand our curious rituals? Perhaps they accept us as an eccentric species with odd inventions.

Some of your lines were excellent in giving a unique perspective: "...tasty and heated, like sun-scorched." This was an interesting way to imagine how tea tastes to a four-legged creature.

My only issues with this piece is that I would have liked to see a little more about how the animals viewed their invaders.

Other than that, thank you for sharing this imaginative poem about tea for three. I enjoyed this flight of fancy immensely, well done!


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
23
23
Review of The lovers  
Review by Ray Scrivener
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hello there, K.HBey

Ready for your review? Let's dig in *Shovel*

Taking my prompt of two people clinging to one another, you envisioned a tree with two intertwining trunks. I really liked the tone you used in this work, it felt dismal and heart-warming all at once.

These lines were my favorite!

Shaken by the years,
Find shelter in each other.


While I enjoyed this poem, it could have been a bit longer. I liked your descriptions but ended up wanting more!

Short and sweet, I found your entry did a fantastic job capturing the prompt. Great job :)

Thank you for sharing your talent, I hope to read more from you soon *Bigsmile*


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
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24
Review by Ray Scrivener
In affiliation with Rising Stars of WdC  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hello again Dave !

Ready for your review? Let's get this party started *Cool*

It can be very difficult to stay within the constraint of the villanelle and create a poem with meaning and intention. But here you've managed quite well, using the alternating refrain to your advantage.

Choosing the Nebraska plains as your subject fit the mid-western theme of the prompt very nicely. I liked reading about the calico women beneath an indigo sky.

My favorite verse was in the middle, great use of the refrain!

Within pristine tableau,
the wind will muss your hair
when prairie breezes blow...


While I enjoyed this poem greatly, I felt it was a bit skimpy and needed more details about the hardy folks of Nebraska.

Some of your lines could have been a little longer, the villanelle is usually about ten syllables per line. A few extra words here and there would have helped flesh out this piece a little more.

For instance: " ...to challenge picnic pair..." is only six syllables! Ten is the limit, giving you some more room to play around :)

Aside from being a little sparse with details, this work was a great for your first attempt in a new style. Thank you for stepping out of your comfort zone and trying something daring!

I hope you use this style again in the future *Wink*


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
25
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for entry "Chapter 4
Review by Ray Scrivener
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
My my, it seems you have quite a few characters planned for this story! I had some trouble differentiating between the new faces but you helped my confusion by describing each of the characters.

The Alternean (lizard-men, right?) castle was described very well, I had no trouble picturing the massive fortress in my mind. It seems most of the magical races are capable of shape-shifting, do they look human or is there a tell-tale sign they are from another race?

The dragon king/queen were revealed to be the leaders of the Alternean army, having sent their daughter on a training mission to help her tactical skills.

Debra comes across as a curious character, royalty and part-dragon to boot! I look forward to seeing more of her in coming chapters.

Speaking of new characters...

I'm wondering what the future has in store for Celta and the other Dalmecian soldiers. Are they on the bad side or just helpless pawns in the overall scheme of things?

In fact, who is in the wrong here? It's hard to know who to root for aside from Drake. You mention the Alterneans being traitors so maybe there's more to that.

You helped clear up some of the mystery by revealing Drake and the other quarry workers were being punished for the death of a queen. That sounds like an interesting bit of history!

I also loved how you clarified how magic works. Now I understand the title! Making verses one use per day is a great idea, it forces the user to think carefully about using magic in a fight.

This chapter ends with a cliff-hanger, Drake will be forced to use all of his knowledge to fight a massive golem. I wonder how this will play out?

If I had to make any recommendations/point out issues, it would be to make the action sequences a little more straightforward. Shorter sentences and breaking up the paragraphs would help the pacing.

You have a great imagination and so far the story seems to be getting even richer and more complex. I look forward to the next installment :)


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