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58 Public Reviews Given
Review Style
To me, one of the best ways to improve my writing is to review the work of others. Reviewing is the dues we pay to belong to the community. So, thank you for giving me the opportunity to help both of us. I applaud your willingness to step out and take some heat. I am not into frilly words and sugar coating rather I prefer communicating thoughts that I hope will help you (and me) improve our writing. I want to critique your story, not your ability to use basic grammar, spelling, and punctuation. You are not a high school student and I am not your tenth grade English teacher. With all the software tools available today, there should be minimal grammar, spelling, or punctuation mistakes in any manuscript, including the first revision. If you are sloppy, I will assume that you don’t care, and neither will I. Advice in advance: Always read your stories out loud. Your tongue will force your brain to slow down, allowing you to catch many mistakes that your eye would pass over.
I'm good at...
Dialogue. My writing requires a lot of dialogue. I have worked hard to learn how to do it well and I think I have succeeded. Reviewing dialogue represents a challenge that will help me get even better.
Favorite Genres
Looking at the list, there are some I don't know the meaning of. I hope I am broad-minded enough to tackle any genre.
Least Favorite Genres
Romance/Love, Woman's
Favorite Item Types
Prose, Articles, Essays, Fiction, Nonfiction
Least Favorite Item Types
Books -- sorry. Reviewing a book is a bigger task than I am willing to accept because I am writing one.
I will not review...
Poetry, Erotica *** Books -- sorry. Reviewing a book is a bigger task than I am willing to accept because I am writing one. *** If I read your item and feel I am not competent to review it, I will advise you and decline.
Public Reviews
Previous ... -1- 2 ... Next
1
1
Review of That Little Room  
Review by flyfishercacher
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Yes! I've seen it too. Scary.
2
2
Review of Nosedive No More  
Review by flyfishercacher
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (3.0)
Story Review


Hello Roy :
I'm flyfishercacher and I found your story on:
 
IN & OUT
Please Review  (E)
This is a page to request reviews for static items and books.
#819237 by Writing.Com Support

I am reviewing it for:
"WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group

I enjoyed reading it and hope you find this feedback useful.

Title: "Nosedive No More


*Check2* Objective / Notes from the author:
          – Children's fiction.
          – A young bat has to master the art of landing... Bat Style!
          – Basil, a young bat whom everyone calls Nosedive, must learn to land before he can return to Grandpa Owl's story time.

*Check2* Was this written for a contest? If so, what were the constraints:
          – Unknown

*Check2* Word Count:
          – My count: 3,268

*Check2* Clarification:
          – To help us stay oriented, I have numbered the paragraphs as you have assigned them.
          – The text beginning “Look Out!” is paragraph 1
          – The text beginning “Because it looks cool” is the last paragraph which becomes paragraph 141.
          – The text “***” (2 instances) are not numbered
          — Major Divisions (chapter equivalents?)
                    — "Look Out!" becomes paragraph 1.
                    — "Big News" becomes paragraph 26.
                    — "Let's Get Started" becomes paragraph 44.
                    — "If at First You Don't Succeed ..." becomes paragraph 65.
                    — "Not Again!" becomes paragraph 76.
                    — "Goodbye Meadow" becomes paragraph 88.
                    — "Where's Nosedive?" becomes paragraph 103.
                    — "The Great Escape" becomes paragraph 115.
                    — "Nosedive No More" becomes paragraph 129.

*Check2* Overall Impression:
          – I applaud your willingness to step out and take some heat. What follows may seem harsh, partly because I am not into frilly words and sugar coating rather prefer communicating thoughts that I hope will help you (and me) improve our writing.
          – I’m not into writing for children, so maybe my comments are completely off base. But I’ll give you what I can.

*Check2* Presentation / Appearance: (What I see first. The look of the piece.)
          – What the reader/viewer sees when opening your work for the first time will make an impression, good or bad, no matter the quality of the writing. Font type, font size, use of bold and italics, line spacing, paragraph spacing, all play a part in convincing the reader to continue. I believe the reviewer owes the writer a comment on this matter.
          – Presentation deals with the first impression your story makes when a reader clicks on the title. Call it the cosmetics. It looks at abstract items from text density to scene dividers in an effort to ferret out any unfortunate habits that might cause a reader to move on without actually reading anything; before you can dazzle him with your show, you have to get him into the tent!
          – You ran afoul (badly) of WdC formatting. I’m not sure what happened, but the product that appeared on my screen was a real mess.
          – Did you try tp upload a whole file from your Word Processor into WdC? I have found that to be a disaster.
          – There were many large spaces in your text. I suspect you had illustrations in those locations that did not transfer properly.
          – Random changes in font face and size.

*Check2* Images
          – Let me spend a few words on images. If my comments above about you having images in your story are incorrect, then disregard this and move on.
          – What you can do with images/photos/clipart depends on your membership level. I have a ‘Premium’ membership, so my ability to use images is pretty broad. My advice may not help you, but here it is anyway.
          – First, there is no connection possible between images you put in your ‘Photo Album’ and images you use in your stories and covers. I had a difficult time learning that one.
          – I have setup in my portfolio a folder I labeled ‘Images.’ Into that folder goes every image for every story I write. I’ll let you and WdC work out how to do that.
          – Once in that folder, the image picks up a seven digit identifier.
          – In my stories, I use this line of text to insert the image
{center}{image:xxxxxxx}{/center}

          – If that capability does not exist for your membership level, then you must delete all images from your file before posting.

*Check2* Readability
          – Readability is a measure of how easy a piece of text is to read. The level of complexity of the text, its familiarity, legibility and typography all feed into how readable your text is. Who is your target audience? Readability is a key factor in user experience. Accessible content builds trust with your audience.
          – A readability score can tell you what level of education someone will need to be able to read your text easily. The score identifies a grade level approximate to the number of years of education a person has had. If the score is too high or too low, your reader will quickly close the book and your message will never reach them.
          – Here is a website you can use to check the readability of your text:

          – Using that website, here is the Readability score for this work.
          – Based on (7) readability formulas, your text has scored:
                    – Grade Level: 5
                    – Reading Level: easy to read.
                    – Reader's Age: 8-9 yrs. old (Fourth and Fifth graders)
          – You have classified this story as ‘Children’s Fiction.’ That’s a WdC genre. My sense is that is too broad.
          – For your own purposes, you need to cut it much finer, e.g., a story suitable for a fifth grader would not be suilable for a child in kindergarden.
          – I think understanding ‘Readability’ will help you there. I suggest you dig into that subject a little more.
          – While not mentioned in the subject of ‘Readability’, I think word count/story length comes into play. Will your target audience sit still for a story of this length?

*Check2* Story/Plot:
          – This is a nice plot that flows easily and carries a moral.

*Check2* Scene/Setting:
          – Setting deals with the locations you've established for your action, the ways in which they affect that action, and your ability to describe them clearly and concisely. You could say that this aspect answers (or fails to answer) the first question of fiction, What's going on here? Setting can be used to challenge a character, to highlight a skill or quality, to set the mood of a scene without overtly saying a single thing about it, and a host of lesser impacts too numerous to mention. You might think of it as a print artist's equivalent of a movie's "mood music," always important yet never intrusive. All in all, a pretty big deal.
          – I think you did this well.

*Check2* Structure:
          – The basic unit in reading is the chapter. The basic unit in writing is the scene. Write scenes and think about chapter breaks later.
          – Did I reformat your story correctly? If so, the structure works fine. If not ?

*Check2* Characters:
          – Characters are clearly identified.
          – A few more words of description here and there might be worthwhile.
          – Give mother and father names.

*Check2* Dialog:
          – There are many rules for handling dialogue, but these will keep you safe most of the time:
                    – New paragraph every time speaker/actor changes.
                    – Action goes in the same paragraph as the words.
                    – Comma at the end of the speech only if a tag follows. Otherwise a period (? !)
                    – Speech Tags: As few as possible; as many as necessary.
                    – Convention seems to be: Thoughts and inner dialogue in italics, without quotation marks. I think it is a good one.
          – Review carefully for correct and complete punctuation (especially closing quotation marks). To me this is the hardest part of writing. I hate it.
          – “But Ellis was too angry to listen”. Move this last sentence in paragraph 100 to be the first sentence in paragraph 101 to keep action and speaker together.

*Check2* Mechanics:
          – Mechanics: Whether you're writing fact or fiction, prose or poetry, the "holy grail" that you're striving for is immersion. This is an area that no author, myself included, ever wants to talk about: I've done all this work, and you want to argue over a comma?" But those commas are important. What you're really doing as a writer is weaving a magic spell around your reader, and your reader wants you to succeed. He wants to escape his mundane world for a period, and lose himself in your creation. Errors in spelling and grammar, typos, "there" vs. "their" issues, use of words inconsistent with their actual meanings, all yank him out of his immersion while he backtracks to re-read and puzzle out what you meant to say. This is never good.
          – Always read your story out loud. Your tongue will force your brain to slow down, allowing you to catch many mistakes that your eye would pass over.
          – Paragraph 5: ‘hopper’ s/b ‘Hopper’
          – Paragraph 39: calling Basil Nosedive after s/b calling Basil “Nosedive” after
          – Paragraph 108: I prefer okay to ok (personal preference)
          – Paragraph 113: "Mmm, breakfast," he thought. better as "Mmm, breakfast," the owl thought. (clarify speaker)
          – Paragraph 122: “AWESOME”. All caps doesn’t make it louder or more emphatic.
          – Paragraph 134: “but Belfry lingered” Why? No follow up.

*Check2* How did the writing make me feel? Did it invoke any emotions?
          – This is a nice story. As my first attempt at reviewing ‘Children’s Literature’, a genre I do not write in, I felt very inadequate.

*Check2* Can I relate to the writing through a personal experience?
          – Don’t know. If my guess about the role of images in this manuscript is correct, I will claim some expertise based on hard lessons learned on WdC.

*Check2* Did the plot interest me? Were the characters believable? Did the dialog flow naturally?
          – Yes.

*Check2* Is there anything I would change within the writing?
          – Create a separate file to format your story for WdC.

*Check2* Suggestions:
          – See above. Pick and choose.

*Check2* This advice I give always, totally, and without exception or reservation:
          – Stories are always richer when characters, places, and events have names – even fictitious ones.
          – Always read your story out loud. Your tongue will force your brain to slow down, allowing you to catch many mistakes that your eye would pass over.

My thanks to Jack Tyler blimprider for several of the explanatory paragraphs in this review.

Thank you for sharing your story. I believe that one of the best ways to improve my writing is to review the work of others. So thank you for giving me the opportunity to help both of us write better.


flyfishercacher

*Exclaim* Please remember that you are the best judge of what is right for your story! Whatever another person says -- especially me! -- whether positive or negative, is just their opinion! You are the only one who can decide what is right for your story. *Exclaim*

This is my work in progress. Reviews and comments on any part of it are welcome any time.



*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
3
3
Review by flyfishercacher
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
Story Review


Hello Odessa Molinari :
I'm flyfishercacher and I found your story on "No Dialogue Contest - ON HIATUS

*Jackolantern2* I am reviewing in the "WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group" Ghostly Hallows Raid."

I enjoyed reading it and hope you find this feedback useful.

Title: "Political Correctness


*Check2* Objective / Notes from the author:
          – No dialogue

*Check2* Was this written for a contest? If so, what were the constraints:
          – Yes. "No Dialogue Contest - ON HIATUS October 2020
          – Words <700
          – No dialogue
          – Prompt: Scarecrow

*Check2* Word Count:
Word counting programs vary in how they count things such as hyphens, en dashes, and em dashes so the final count varies depending on which software you use. I try to get at least ten words away from the requirement.
          – Required: <700
          – Your count: 289
          – My count: 290
          – Over/under: 411

*Check2* Clarification:
To help us stay oriented, I have numbered the paragraphs as you have assigned them.
          – The text beginning “The scarecrow stands” is paragraph 1
          – The text beginning “I kick the crap” is the last paragraph which becomes paragraph 5
I wish WdC had some way to assign line numbers, but they don’t, so we are stuck with just paragraph numbers.

*Check2* Presentation / Appearance: (What I see first. The look of the piece.)
What the reader/viewer sees when opening your work for the first time will make an impression, good or bad, no matter the quality of the writing. Font type, font size, use of bold and italics, line spacing, paragraph spacing, all play a part in convincing the reader to continue. I believe the reviewer owes the writer a comment on this matter.
          – Easily readible
          – Font size and paragraph spacing good

*Check2* Overall Impression:
I applaud your willingness to step out and take some heat. What follows may seem harsh, partly because I am not into frilly words and sugar coating rather prefer communicating thoughts that I hope will help you (and me) improve our writing.
          – I enjoyed this little piece. I could sense the farmer’s frustration with the scarecrow that wouldn’t perform and the “Why can’t I get some help from nature”

*Check2* Plot:
          – Farmer expresses frustration with the conspiracy between nature and the scarecrow.

*Check2* Style and Voice:
          – First person, present tense works well except that it robs you of the ability to describe the farmer.
          – Contest rules say no dialogue or inner dialogue, but are silent on monologue. This piece could be called a monologue.

*Check2* Scene/Setting:
          – No scene/setting included. OK in this case because of first person.
          – You have plenty of words available. You could work in some scene description in the form of: As I sit here on my porch looking out over the _______, ________, ________ fields and _______, _______ trees, blah, blah, blah

*Check2* Structure:
          – Monologue vs story

*Check2* Characters:
          – Only one. No description

*Check2* Grammar and Punctuation:
Always read your story out loud. Your tongue will force your brain to slow down, allowing you to catch many mistakes that your eye would pass over.
I ran your story through Grammarly which always finds many comma placement mistakes. Most I ignore because I disagree with them, so I do not comment on them in my reviews.
          – I found no grammar or punctuation problems worthy comment.

*Check2* How did the writing make me feel? Did it invoke any emotions?
          – I empathacised with the farmer.

*Check2* Can I relate to the writing through a personal experience?
          – Like all of us, I have had the experience of doing everything right and having everything go wrong.
          – I am familiar with this contest and have entered it several times.

*Check2* Is there anything I would change within the writing?
          – You created this on 02 October and I am reviewing it on 25 October. You have plenty of words available but not much time. The piece is good as it stands. I wouldn’t mess with it.

*Check2* If this were my own writing, what would I want to know from a reviewer?
          – Did I meet my objective? Satisfy contest requirements
          – Answer: Yes.

*Check2* Suggestions:
          – See above. Pick and choose.

*Check2* This advice I give always, totally, and without exception or reservation:
          – Stories are always richer when characters, places, and events have names – even fictitious ones.
          – Always read your story out loud. Your tongue will force your brain to slow down, allowing you to catch many mistakes that your eye would pass over.

Thank you for sharing your story. I believe that one of the best ways to improve my writing is to review the work of others. So thank you for giving me the opportunity to help both of us write better.


flyfishercacher

*Exclaim* Please remember that you are the best judge of what is right for your story! Whatever another person says -- especially me! -- whether positive or negative, is just their opinion! You are the only one who can decide what is right for your story. *Exclaim*

This is my work in progress. Reviews and comments on any part of it are welcome any time.
 
Renaissance Man - Part 1  [13+]
Story of Torey Campbell, Part 1. Beginning through First Plot Point. Work in progress.
by flyfishercacher



*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
4
4
Review by flyfishercacher
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Story Review


Hello Sumojo :
I'm flyfishercacher and I found your story on "The Taboo Words Contest ~ On Hiatus

*Jackolantern2* I am reviewing in the "WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group" Ghostly Hallows Raid."

I enjoyed reading it and hope you find this feedback useful.

Title: "A walk in the forest.


*Check2* Objective / Notes from the author:
          – A dead friend revisits
          – The Taboo Words Contest #2139468

*Check2* Was this written for a contest? If so, what were the constraints:
          – Yes "The Taboo Words Contest ~ On Hiatus October 2020
          – Words <750
          – Topic: Ghost Story | Taboo Words: ghosts, spectres, creepy, haunting, fear.

*Check2* Word Count:
Word counting programs vary in how they count things such as hyphens, en dashes, and em dashes so the final count varies depending on which software you use. I try to get at least ten words away from the requirement.
          – Required: <750
          – Your count: 615
          – My count: 600
          – Over / under: 135

*Check2* Clarification:
To help us stay oriented, I have numbered the paragraphs as you have assigned them.
          – The text beginning “It is almost impossible” is paragraph 1
          – The text beginning “This is a true story” is the last paragraph which becomes paragraph 28
          – The scene breaks (2 Instances) are not numbered
I wish WdC had some way to assign line numbers, but they don’t, so we are stuck with just paragraph numbers.

*Check2* Presentation / Appearance: (What I see first. The look of the piece.)
What the reader/viewer sees when opening your work for the first time will make an impression, good or bad, no matter the quality of the writing. Font type, font size, use of bold and italics, line spacing, paragraph spacing, all play a part in convincing the reader to continue. I believe the reviewer owes the writer a comment on this matter.
          – Font face and size are fine.
          – Paragraph spacing is good.
          – Using the graphic of a dog as a scene break is clever and appropriate. I like it.

*Check2* Overall Impression:
I applaud your willingness to step out and take some heat. What follows may seem harsh, partly because I am not into frilly words and sugar coating rather prefer communicating thoughts that I hope will help you (and me) improve our writing.
          – Got me to share your sadness and recall my own.

*Check2* Plot:
          – No plot, just a monologue.
          – Works fine.

*Check2* Style and Voice:
          – First person, past tense works well.

*Check2* Scene/Setting:
          – You have about 100 words still available.
          – Add some description to paragraph 5 and paragraphs 19-25.

*Check2* Characters:
          – Maybe a bit more description of Mitzy. I would like to know her better.
          – I mentally substituded my own dog.

*Check2* Grammar and Punctuation:
Always read your story out loud. Your tongue will force your brain to slow down, allowing you to catch many mistakes that your eye would pass over.
I ran your story through Grammarly which always finds many comma placement mistakes. Many I ignore because I disagree with them, so I do not comment on them in my reviews. However there was one worth of comment
          – Paragraph 19: “sadness and guilt was complete” s/b “sadness and guilt were complete” (verb form)

*Check2* Mechanics:
          – Monologue is appropriate for telling this story.
          – At first I thought paragraph 28 was unnecessary. On reflection I think I would have felt cheated if you made this up.

*Check2* How did the writing make me feel? Did it invoke any emotions?
          – Tore my heart out.
          – I lost my dog ten years ago and I still miss her every day.

*Check2* Can I relate to the writing through a personal experience?
          – Oh yes
          – I enter this contest frequently.

*Check2* Is there anything I would change within the writing?
          – No.

*Check2* If this were my own writing, what would I want to know from a reviewer?
          – Did I meet my objective? Write a good story that complies with the contest requirements.
          – Answer: Yes. I hope the ideas expressed above will be of value.

*Check2* Suggestions:
          – See above. Pick and choose.

*Check2* This advice I give always, totally, and without exception or reservation:
          – Stories are always richer when characters, places, and events have names – even fictitious ones.
          – Always read your story out loud. Your tongue will force your brain to slow down, allowing you to catch many mistakes that your eye would pass over.

Thank you for sharing your story. I believe that one of the best ways to improve my writing is to review the work of others. So thank you for giving me the opportunity to help both of us write better.


flyfishercacher

*Exclaim* Please remember that you are the best judge of what is right for your story! Whatever another person says -- especially me! -- whether positive or negative, is just their opinion! You are the only one who can decide what is right for your story. *Exclaim*

This is my work in progress. Reviews and comments on any part of it are welcome any time.
 
Renaissance Man - Part 1  [13+]
Story of Torey Campbell, Part 1. Beginning through First Plot Point. Work in progress.
by flyfishercacher



*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
5
5
Review of Scarecrow  
Review by flyfishercacher
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Story Review


Hello Queen NormaJean resting up :
I'm flyfishercacher and I found your story on "No Dialogue Contest - ON HIATUS

*Jackolantern2* I am reviewing in the "WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group" Ghostly Hallows Raid."

I enjoyed reading it and hope you find this feedback useful.

Title: "Scarecrow


*Check2* Objective / Notes from the author:
          – He's Outstanding in His Field - No Dialogue Contest - October 2020

*Check2* Was this written for a contest? If so, what were the constraints:
          – Yes. "No Dialogue Contest - ON HIATUS October 2020
          – Words < 700
          – No dialogue
          – Prompt: Scarecrow.

*Check2* Word Count:
Word counting programs vary in how they count things such as hyphens, en dashes, and em dashes so the final count varies depending on which software you use. I try to get at least ten words away from the requirement.
          – Required: <700
          – Your count: 700
          – My count: 698
          – Over / under: 0/2

*Check2* Clarification:
To help us stay oriented, I have numbered the paragraphs as you have assigned them.
          – The text beginning “I will stand proudly” is paragraph 1
          – The text beginning “My last night” is the last paragraph which becomes paragraph 13.
I wish WdC had some way to assign line numbers, but they don’t, so we are stuck with just paragraph numbers.

*Check2* Presentation / Appearance: (What I see first. The look of the piece.)
What the reader/viewer sees when opening your work for the first time will make an impression, good or bad, no matter the quality of the writing. Font type, font size, use of bold and italics, line spacing, paragraph spacing, all play a part in convincing the reader to continue. I believe the reviewer owes the writer a comment on this matter.
          – Font size and paragraph spacing are fine.
          – You included the title in the body which I do also but I ‘center’ and ‘bold’ and increase the size.

*Check2* Overall Impression:
I applaud your willingness to step out and take some heat. What follows may seem harsh, partly because I am not into frilly words and sugar coating rather prefer communicating thoughts that I hope will help you (and me) improve our writing.
          – Story unfolded well. I enjoyed it and was not plagued by unanswered questions.

*Check2* Plot:
          – Scarecrow is retired from his job in the garden to being a halloween porch decoration. He is embarrassed by all the tacky inflatables and punces holes in them then rides off with the witch to someplace.
          – Plot works well.

*Check2* Style and Voice:
          – First person, present tense works well.
          – POV character is the scarecrow.

*Check2* Scene/Setting:
          – Setting well described.

*Check2* Structure:
          – First person monologue works well.

*Check2* Characters:
          – POV character, the scarecrow is the only character. No problem.

*Check2* Grammar and Punctuation:
Always read your story out loud. Your tongue will force your brain to slow down, allowing you to catch many mistakes that your eye would pass over.
I ran your story through Grammarly which always finds many comma placement mistakes. Many I ignore because I disagree with them, so I do not comment on them in my reviews. The following items are from both Grammarly and me.
          – Paragraph 5: “good sign” better as “promising sign” (good is overused)
          – Paragraph 6: “stuck in the garage, I cannot move” s/b “stuck in the garage; I cannot move” (comma splice – two independent clauses)
          – Paragraph 8: “set searlier, the leaves start” s/b “set searlier; the leaves start” (comma splice – two independent clauses)
          – Paragraph 9: “to my garden, Gary isn’t” s/b “to my garden; Gary isn’t” (comma splice – two independent clauses)
          – Paragraph 10: “Mockery of real things.” (sentence fragment)
          – Paragraph 10: “mail drop” s/b “maildrop”
          – Paragraph 10: “my post, then I am” s/b “my post; then I am” (comma splice – two independent clauses)
          – Paragraph 12: “guard my world from artificial” better as “guard my world against artificial”

*Check2* Mechanics:
          – First person chronological walk through the days of late October.
          – That works.

*Check2* Can I relate to the writing through a personal experience?
          – No. I have no personal experience with a scarecrow to inform this review.
          – This contest is one of my favorites and I enter it frequently.

*Check2* Did the plot interest me? Were the characters believable
          – Yes

*Check2* Did the time, place and other setting characteristics work together?
          – Yes

*Check2* What did I like most? What did I like least? Did anything stand out?
          – Most: Scarecrow observations.
          – Least / Standout: dead crow. Uses up words without contributing to the story.

*Check2* Is there anything I would change within the writing?
          – Review carefully for dead or useless words. Try to get a little farther away from the word limit.

*Check2* If this were my own writing, what would I want to know from a reviewer?
          – Did I meet my objective? Tell a story while meeting the contest requirements
          – Answer: Yes to a great extent. I hope the ideas expressed above will get you the rest of the way.

*Check2* Suggestions:
          – See above. Pick and choose.
          – Change genre from ‘Contest’ to ‘Contest Entry’
          – Change genre from ‘Other’ to something else. Don’t waste an opportunity to be seen.

*Check2* This advice I give always, totally, and without exception or reservation:
          – Stories are always richer when characters, places, and events have names – even fictitious ones.
          – Always read your story out loud. Your tongue will force your brain to slow down, allowing you to catch many mistakes that your eye would pass over.

Thank you for sharing your story. I believe that one of the best ways to improve my writing is to review the work of others. So thank you for giving me the opportunity to help both of us write better.


flyfishercacher

*Exclaim* Please remember that you are the best judge of what is right for your story! Whatever another person says -- especially me! -- whether positive or negative, is just their opinion! You are the only one who can decide what is right for your story. *Exclaim*

This is my work in progress. Reviews and comments on any part of it are welcome any time.
 
Renaissance Man - Part 1  [13+]
Story of Torey Campbell, Part 1. Beginning through First Plot Point. Work in progress.
by flyfishercacher

6
6
Review of Death's World  
Review by flyfishercacher
Rated: 13+ | (3.5)
Story Review


Hello:
I'm flyfishercatcher and I found your story on "Please Review
I enjoyed reading it and hope you find this feedback useful.

I am reviewing it for
GROUP
The Rockin' Reviewers  (13+)
~Quality reviews given in a positive and encouraging manner
#1630911 by Osirantinous


Title: "Death's World


*Check2* Objective / Notes from the author:
          – I would like to have my static item Death's World reviewed in an honest and hopefully timely fashion.

*Check2* Was this written for a contest? If so, what were the constraints:
          – No

*Check2* Word Count:
          – Word counting programs vary in how they count things such as hyphenated words and contractions so the final count varies depending on which software you use.
          – Required: N/A
          – Your count: 1,449
          – My count: 1,487
          – Still available: N/A

*Check2* Clarification:
          – To help us stay oriented, I have numbered the paragraphs as you have assigned them.
          – The text beginning “Death was on her way back” is paragraph 1.
          – The text beginning “To be continued” is the last paragraph which becomes paragraph 42.
          – I wish WdC had some way to assign line numbers, but they don’t, so we are stuck with just paragraph numbers.

*Check2* Overall Impression:
          – I applaud your willingness to step out and take some heat. What follows may seem harsh, partly because I am not into frilly words and sugar coating rather prefer communicating thoughts that I hope will help you (and me) improve our writing.

*Check2* Plot:
          – Not enough available to evaluate.
          – If forced to guess, which I shouldn’t have to do, I think I am reading the beginning of a “Casper, the Friendly Ghost” type story.

*Check2* Style and Voice:
          – Third person narrative OK

*Check2* Scene/Setting:
          – Give the residence a name. I suspect it should be spooky.

*Check2* Characters:
          – Names are blah — T-1/F-2, Forms, lead council. Give them names.
          – If you insist, then “lead council” s/b “lead counsel or counsul”
          – Here is a website that is great for naming characters and places https://www.fantasynamegenerators.com/ I use it a lot.

*Check2* Dialog:
          – There are many rules for handling dialogue, but these three will keep you safe most of the time:
                    – New paragraph every time speaker changes.
                    – Action goes in the same paragraph as the words.
                    – Use a comma at the end of the speech only if a tag follows. Otherwise use a period (? !)
          – Review carefully for correct and complete punctuation (especially closing quotation marks). To me this is the hardest part of writing. I hate it.
          – You appear to handle dialogue well, but dialogue needs to be accompanied with action and emotion. I don’t know how you do that when the characters are death.

*Check2* Grammar and Punctuation:
          – Always read your story out loud. Your tongue will force your brain to slow down, allowing you to catch many mistakes that your eye would pass over.
          – I ran your story through Grammarly which always finds many comma placement mistakes. Many I ignore because I disagree with them, so I do not comment on them in my reviews. The following items are from both Grammarly and me.
         – Paragraph spacing inconsistent (some separated by space, some not)
         – Many cases of passive voice. Though appropriate sometimes, passive voice weakens your writing. Search for opportunities to rewrite sentences using strong action verbs.
         – Paragraphs 23 and 26: "middle aged" s/b "middle-aged" (hyphenate word)
         – Paragraph 31: "screamed loudly" remove redundancy (can't scream softly)
         – Paragraph 31: "screamed" used twice in two sentences. Use synonym
         – Paragraph 33: "never ending" s/b "never-ending" (hyphenate word)
         – Paragraph 34: "all the way" unnecessary. Consider removing it.
         – Paragraph 39: "affair so" s/b "affair, so"
         – Paragraph 40: "Oh but" s/b "Oh, but"

*Check2* Mechanics:
          – Nothing stood out, positive or negative, except the lack of names. I think that’s because I don’t know where this story is going.

*Check2* How did the writing make me feel? Did it invoke any emotions?
          – Kind of bored.

*Check2* Can I relate to the writing through a personal experience?
          – No. I have no personal experience to inform this review.

*Check2* Did the plot interest me? Were the characters believable? Did the dialog flow naturally?
          – No plot visible
          – Characters believable but need names and better descriptions.
          – Dialogue is okay

*Check2* Did the time, place and other setting characteristics work together?
          – Can’t tell

*Check2* What did I like most? What did I like least? Did anything stand out?
          – Most: The idea that the angel of death has a personality and an opinion about how to do the job.
          – Least: Names or lack thereof.
          – Stood out: No plot yet.

*Check2* Is there anything I would change within the writing?
          – Finish the story before asking for a review.

*Check2* If this were my own writing, what would I want to know from a reviewer?
          – Did I meet my objective?
          – Answer: I don’t know what the objective is.

*Check2* Suggestions:
          – See above.

*Check2* This advice I give always, totally, and without exception or reservation:
          – Stories are always richer when characters, places, and events have names – even fictitious ones.
          – Always read your story out loud. Your tongue will force your brain to slow down, allowing you to catch many mistakes that your eye would pass over.

Thank you for sharing your story. I believe that one of the best ways to improve my writing is to review the work of others. So thank you for giving me the opportunity to help both of us write better.


flyfishercatcher

*Exclaim* Please remember that you are best judge of what is right for your story! Whatever another person says -- especially me! -- whether positive or negative, is just their opinion! You are the only one who can decide what is right for your story. *Exclaim*

This is my work in progress. Reviews and comments on any part of it are welcome any time.

7
7
Review of Madam President  
Review by flyfishercacher
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: 18+ | (1.5)
Story Review


Hello Robert:
I'm flyfishercatcher and I am reviewing your story at your request.
I hope you find this feedback useful.

I am reviewing it for:
GROUP
The Rockin' Reviewers  (13+)
~Quality reviews given in a positive and encouraging manner
#1630911 by Osirantinous


Title: "Madam President


*Check2* Objective / Notes from the author:
          – I've just written this short story for this month's What a Character Contest. It's rough around the edges, so I'd love your thoughts on how I can improve it.

*Check2* Was this written for a contest? If so, what were the constraints:
          – Yes. What A Character Contest (August 2020)
          – Fiction
          – Rated 18+ or lower
          – Word Count <2,000 words
          – Prompt: Write a story about a character who has their greatest wish come true, only to then have to deal with an unexpected price or consequence of it.

*Check2* Word Count:
          – Required: <2,000
          – Your count: 2,000
          – My count: 2,071
          – Still available: -71

*Check2* Clarification:
          – To help us stay oriented, I have numbered the paragraphs as you have assigned them.
          – The text beginning “Mary Soaring Eagle” is paragraph 1
          – The text beginning “She brought up” is the last paragraph which becomes paragraph 87
          – The text “***” (1 instance) is not numbered.
          – I wish WdC had some way to assign line numbers, but they don’t, so we are stuck with just paragraph numbers.

*Check2* Overall Impression:
          – I applaud your willingness to step out and take some heat. What follows is harsh, partly because I am not into frilly words and sugar coating rather prefer communicating thoughts that I hope will help you (and me) improve our writing.
          – When offering a review, one should always start with something nice. I can’t. You acknowledge the story is “rough around the edges.” I’m sorry to say it is fundamentally flawed. Trying to polish it up as minor improvements does you a disservice, and makes me a failure at the task I have willingly chosen to perform.

*Check2* Plot:
          – Wonder Woman faces two earth destroying crises on Inauguration Day and solves them by waking up and changing her major.

*Check2* Characters:
          – Protagonist is too far over the top to be believable: Youngest, first woman, first LGBT, first Native American. I thought I was about to read that she had obtained three PhDs by age ten while attending school on the reservation.

*Check2* Dialog:
          – There are many rules for handling dialogue, but these three will keep you safe most of the time:
                    – New paragraph every time speaker changes.
                    – Action goes in the same paragraph as the words.
                    – Use a comma at the end of the speech only if a tag follows. Otherwise use a period (? !)
          – Review carefully for correct and complete punctuation (especially closing quotation marks). To me this is the hardest part of writing. I hate it.
          – You do well handling dialogue.

*Check2* Grammar and Punctuation:
          – Always read your story out loud. Your tongue will force your brain to slow down, allowing you to catch many mistakes that your eye would pass over.
          – Paragraph 79: “Bidden” s/b “Biden.” If you are trying to make this a fictitious character, changing Biden to Bidden won’t cut it.

*Check2* Mechanics:
          – The technique of putting the hero in an impossible situation, then rescuing him by waking him up (ha ha it was all a dream) is frowned on by readers and especially writers. It tells the reader that you don’t have a complete story and had to use a cheap trick to end it. It will stain your reputation — it already has.

*Check2* How did the writing make me feel? Did it invoke any emotions?
          – Cheated. It made me disappointed in you.

*Check2* Can I relate to the writing through a personal experience?
          – Only other experiences reading bad stories.

*Check2* Did the plot interest me? Were the characters believable? Did the dialog flow naturally?
          – Sort of, then stretched my credibility to breaking with characters that were not believable.

*Check2* Did the time, place and other setting characteristics work together?
          – Inauguration Day events are pretty well known — oath, speeches, parade, parties. You went from oath to world shattering crises before she could hardly get off the stage. You can dismiss that because the whole thing is a dream, but it doesn’t work for me.

*Check2* What did I like most? What did I like least? Did anything stand out?
          – The story did not work at all.

*Check2* Is there anything I would change within the writing?
          – Start over.

*Check2* Was the writing memorable? Why or why not?
          – Yes, but not for good reasons.

*Check2* If this were my own writing, what would I want to know from a reviewer?
          – Did I meet my objective? Satisfy the contest requirements.
          – Answer: No
          – “greatest wish come true” — didn’t happen. She dreamed it came true.
          – “lived with the consequences” — didn’t happen. She just changed her major.
          – Word Count: 71 words over. Maybe I’m too fussy, but I consider exceeding the word count to be a sign of disrespect to the contest host and to the other contestants. It shows me that you really don’t care and are willing to lie about it.

*Check2* Suggestions:
          – Pull this out of the contest before it gets judged or disqualified.

*Check2* This advice I give always, totally, and without exception or reservation:
          – Stories are always richer when characters, places, and events have names – even fictitious ones.
          – Always read your story out loud. Your tongue will force your brain to slow down, allowing you to catch many mistakes that your eye would pass over.

Thank you for sharing your story. I believe that one of the best ways to improve my writing is to review the work of others. So thank you for giving me the opportunity to help both of us write better.


flyfishercatcher

*Exclaim* Please remember that you are best judge of what is right for your story! Whatever another person says -- especially me! -- whether positive or negative, is just their opinion! You are the only one who can decide what is right for your story. *Exclaim*

This is my work in progress. Reviews and comments on any part of it are welcome any time.



*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
8
8
Review of Winner  
Review by flyfishercacher
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Story Review


Hello again Odessa,
Thank you for the opportunity to review your story. I enjoyed reading it and hope you find this feedback useful.

I am reviewing it for
GROUP
The Rockin' Reviewers  (13+)
~Quality reviews given in a positive and encouraging manner
#1630911 by Osirantinous



Title: "Winner

*Check2* Objective / Notes from the author:
          – What can I do to improve this story?

*Check2* Was this written for a contest? If so, what were the constraints?:
          – Yes. What A Character Contest (August 2020)
          – Fiction
          – Rated 18+ or lower
          – Word Count <2,000 words
          – Prompt: Write a story about a character who has their greatest wish come true, only to then have to deal with an unexpected price or consequence of it.

*Check2* Word Count:
          – Word counting programs vary in how they count things such as hyphenated words and contractions so the final count varies depending on which software you use. I try to get at least ten words away from the requirement.
          – Required: <2,000
          – Your count: None provided.
          – My count: 929
          – Still available: 1,071

*Check2* Clarification:
          – To help us stay oriented, I have numbered the paragraphs as you have assigned them.
          – The text beginning “Oooh, Fernando” is paragraph 1
          – The text beginning “Oh, that’s nothing” is the last paragraph which becomes paragraph 32.
          – The text “_*_” (three instances) is not numbered.
          – I wish WdC had some way to assign line numbers, but they don’t, so we are stuck with just paragraph numbers.

*Check2* Overall Impression:
          – I applaud your willingness to step out and take some heat. What follows may seem harsh, partly because I am not into frilly words and sugar coating rather prefer communicating thoughts that I hope will help you (and me) improve our writing.
          – This is a fun story and an ingenious fit to the contest prompt. You made it work well with humor and good descriptions woven into the story.

*Check2* Plot:
          – Unattractive, self-indulgent girl wins a dinner date with a movie star. Turns out to be a bummer plus costing her big bucks for a dress and a long wait on hold.
          – This plotline makes an interesting story and works well with the contest prompt.

*Check2* Style and Voice:
          – Relaxed and easy to read.
          – A lot of subtle humor, well done.

*Check2* Scene/Setting:
          – Apartment — duly noted, then invisible. Good.
          – Dress Shop — well done.
          – Restaurant — obviously a private room set up for a photo op and to dispatch this chore as quickly as possible. I like the way you handled it.
          – Ride home — no mention. You have words available to work with. Did the limo take her home or did they make her take the street car? She could have an angry conversation with the limo driver.

*Check2* Characters:
          – Good job creating characters — both Sheree and Fernando.
          – Sheree should go in your character file for future use.
          – Maybe a few more words to emphasize that Fernando is a pompous ass who is bored stiff.

*Check2* Dialog:
          – There are many rules for handling dialogue, but these three will keep you safe most of the time:
                    – New paragraph every time speaker changes.
                    – Action goes in the same paragraph as the words.
                    – Use a comma at the end of the speech only if a tag follows. Otherwise use a period (? !)
          – Review carefully for correct and complete punctuation (especially closing quotation marks). To me this is the hardest part of writing. I hate it.
          – You handled the dialogue well. Fix paragraph 1 “oooh.” s/b “oooh,” because a speech tag follows.

*Check2* Grammar and Punctuation:
          – Always read your story out loud. Your tongue will force your brain to slow down, allowing you to catch many mistakes that your eye would pass over.
          – I ran your story through Grammarly which always finds many comma placement mistakes. Many I ignore because I disagree with them, so I do not comment on them in my reviews. The following items are from both Grammarly and me.
          – Paragraph 3 "spoil sport" s/b "spoilsport"
          – Paragraph 4 “dialled” s/b “dialed”
          – Paragraph 4 "Contest line, you are" s/b "Contest line; you are" or "Contest line. You are" Two independent clauses improperly joined with a comma. Corect the comma splice.
          – Paragraph 15 "hurumphed" s/b "harumphed"
          – Paragraph 19 "limosine" s/b "limousine"
          – Paragraph 20 "paperazzi" s/b "paparazzi"
          – Paragraph 21 "surounded" s/b "surrounded"
          – Paragraph 21 "join her but he" s/b "join her, but he"
          – Paragraph 21 "so called" s/b "so-called"
          – Paragraph 22 "conversation but she" s/b "conversation, but she"
          – Paragraph 24 "his own career" s/b "his career" Remove tautology
          – Paragraph 25 "amuse buche" s/b "amuse bouche" I think. Check spelling.
          – Paragraph 28 "her glass she covered" s/b "her glass, she covered"
          – Paragraph 29 "was more like it. Chocolate mousse with" would be better as "was more like it — chocolate mousse with"
          – Paragraph 32 "hundred and thirty five quid" s/b "hundred and thirty-five quid"

*Check2* Mechanics:
          – Story flowed well.
          – Three separate settings usually not a good idea in a short piece, but you made it work here.

*Check2* How did the writing make me feel? Did it invoke any emotions?
          – I enjoyed it. Made me laugh while still feeling sorry for Sheree.

*Check2* Can I relate to the writing through a personal experience?
          – No. Being a guy, I have no personal experience to inform this review.

*Check2* Did the plot interest me? Were the characters believable? Did the dialog flow naturally?
          – Yes, yes, yes.

*Check2* Did the time, place and other setting characteristics work together?
          – Yes.

*Check2* What did I like most? What did I like least? Did anything stand out?
          – Most: Sheree gulping her food and the telephone bill punch line.
          – Least: nothing.
          – Stand out: the opportunity for a ‘ride home’ scene.

*Check2* Is there anything I would change within the writing?
          – The story stands well as written, but with plenty of words available, I would take a shot at a scene of disillusionment in the limo trip home.

*Check2* If this were my own writing, what would I want to know from a reviewer?
          – Did I meet my objective? Satisfy the contest prompt.
          – Answer: Yes to a great extent. I hope the ideas expressed above will get you the rest of the way.

*Check2* Suggestions:
          – See above. Pick and choose.
          – Change Sue’s name. I never have two characters with names that start with the same letter.
          – Capture Sheree as a character for future use. You can have a lot more fun with her.
          – Use available words: a scene in a hairdresser or nail salon (make Sheree spend more money, then make the telephone bill a real whopper), or a ‘ride home’ scene.

*Check2* This advice I give always, totally, and without exception or reservation:
          – Stories are always richer when characters, places, and events have names – even fictitious ones.
          – Always read your story out loud. Your tongue will force your brain to slow down, allowing you to catch many mistakes that your eye would pass over.

Thank you for sharing your story. I believe that one of the best ways to improve my writing is to review the work of others. So thank you for giving me the opportunity to help both of us write better.


flyfishercatcher

*Exclaim* Please remember that you are best judge of what is right for your story! Whatever another person says -- especially me! -- whether positive or negative, is just their opinion! You are the only one who can decide what is right for your story. *Exclaim*

This is my work in progress. Reviews and comments on any part of it are welcome any time.



*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
9
9
Review of With My Own Money  
Review by flyfishercacher
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: ASR | (4.5)
Story Review


Hello Sonali:
I'm flyfishercatcher and I found your story on "Please Review
I enjoyed reading it and hope you find this feedback useful.

I am reviewing it for


GROUP
The Rockin' Reviewers  (13+)
~Quality reviews given in a positive and encouraging manner
#1630911 by Osirantinous


Title: "With My Own Money
Author: Thankful Sonali Wdc POWER RVW!

*Check2* Objective / Notes from the author:
          – Is the plot clear? Does the character come through? Any errors? All feedback welcome, please!

*Check2* Was this written for a contest? If so, what were the constraints?:
          – Yes. What A Character Contest (August 2020)
          – Fiction
          – Rated 18+ or lower
          – Word Count <2,000 words
          – Prompt: Write a story about a character who has their greatest wish come true, only to then have to deal with an unexpected price or consequence of it.

*Check2* Word Count:
          – Word counting programs vary in how they count things such as hyphenated words and contractions so the final count varies depending on which software you use. I try to get at least ten words away from the requirement.
          – Required: <2,000
          – Your count: 1,769
          – My count: 1,779

*Check2* Clarification:
          – To help us stay oriented, I have numbered the paragraphs as you have assigned them.
          – The text beginning “Vishnu’s thin brown hands” is paragraph 1
          – The text beginning “Some things count more than” is the last paragraph which becomes paragraph 61
          – I wish WdC had some way to assign line numbers, but they don’t, so we are stuck with just paragraph numbers.

*Check2* Overall Impression:
          – I applaud your willingness to step out and take some heat. What follows may seem harsh, partly because I am not into frilly words and sugar coating rather prefer communicating thoughts that I hope will help you (and me) improve our writing.
          – I love this story. A very human experience, well told.
          – There is another WdC Contest “Holiday Short Story” (Item:2142083) where the July theme was “chocolate.” This would have been an excellent entry for that contest.

*Check2* Plot:
          – Simple, straightforward, but with an element of suspense and a surprise ending. Meets the requirement of the contest prompt.

*Check2* Style and Voice:
          – Third person, past tense works well.

*Check2* Scene/Setting:
          – Family circumstances and relationships well described.
          – Physical location noted but not elaborated. OK.

*Check2* Characters:
          – Every one described well enough for the story.
          – Is there an Indian equivalent for ‘Ma’ and ‘Pa’? If so, use it. Ma and Pa sound very American and out of place in this story. Also give Ma and Pa real names.
          – ‘Maadhav Uncle’ plus others. Is it Indian usage to put the name before the title? That caught me by surprise. Would it apply to other relatives like mother and father?

*Check2* Dialog:
          – There are many rules for handling dialogue, but these three will keep you safe most of the time:
                    – New paragraph every time speaker changes.
                    – Action goes in the same paragraph as the words.
                    – Use a comma at the end of the speech only if a tag follows. Otherwise use a period (? !)
          – Review carefully for correct and complete punctuation (especially closing quotation marks). To me this is the hardest part of writing. I hate it.
          – You handled dialogue perfectly. I found no punctuation errors.

*Check2* Grammar and Punctuation:
          – Always read your story out loud. Your tongue will force your brain to slow down, allowing you to catch many mistakes that your eye would pass over.
          – Paragraph 10: I suggest that “third birthday – and this was” would be better as “third birthday; this was”
          – Paragraph 14: Dayaal is only three, so “cherished for ages” is a bit excessive.
          – Paragraph 18: What is Diwali?

*Check2* Mechanics:
          – I am confused about your use of the terms aunt and uncle. Are these proper titles for real aunts and uncles or just the familiar way kids refer to adults in their immediate world? You capitalize Uncle but not aunty.

*Check2* How did the writing make me feel? Did it invoke any emotions?
          – I enjoyed it. It made me think of my grandkids and their efforts to please.

*Check2* Can I relate to the writing through a personal experience?
          – Yes. I write a lot of short stories and enter many contests. Also I have been to India — once, a long time ago.

*Check2* Did the plot interest me? Were the characters believable? Did the dialog flow naturally?
          – Yes, yes, yes.

*Check2* Did the time, place and other setting characteristics work together?
          – Yes.

*Check2* If this were my own writing, what would I want to know from a reviewer?
          – Did I meet my objective? Contest prompt: “Write a story about a character who has their greatest wish come true, only to then have to deal with an unexpected price or consequence of it.”
          – Answer: Yes, you nailed it. I hope the ideas expressed above will make it a little better.
*Check2* Suggestions:
          – Consider changing “Mishra Uncle” to “Uncle Mishra” and others. While this form may be correct, to me it was a bit disconcerting because I am not comfortable with it. It may bother other readers too.
          – You have plenty of word count to spare. How about weaving in a bit more physical description of Vishnu and Ma.

*Check2* This advice I give always, totally, and without exception or reservation:
          – Stories are always richer when characters, places, and events have names – even fictitious ones.
          – Always read your story out loud. Your tongue will force your brain to slow down, allowing you to catch many mistakes that your eye would pass over.

Thank you for sharing your story. I believe that one of the best ways to improve my writing is to review the work of others. So thank you for giving me the opportunity to help both of us write better.


flyfishercatcher

*Exclaim* Please remember that you are best judge of what is right for your story! Whatever another person says -- especially me! -- whether positive or negative, is just their opinion! You are the only one who can decide what is right for your story. *Exclaim*

This is my work in progress. Reviews and comments on any part of it are welcome any time.



*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
10
10
Review of Lone Wolf  
Review by flyfishercacher
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: 18+ | (5.0)
Story Review


Hello:
I'm flyfishercatcher and I found your story on "Please Review
I enjoyed reading it and hope you find this feedback useful.


Title: "Lone Wolf
Author: Christopher Roy Denton

*Check2* Objective / Notes from the author:
          – A woman goes on a road trip to fulfill childhood dreams.

*Check2* Was this written for a contest? If so, what were the constraints?:
          – Yes. Rhythms and Writing Contest (July 2020)
          – Fiction
          – Based on prompt (song lyrics)
          – 2,000 words max.
          – Newly written for this contest

*Check2* Word Count:
          – Word counting programs vary in how they count things such as hyphenated words and contractions so the final count varies depending on which software you use. I try to get at least ten words away from the requirement.
          – Required: <2,000
          – Yours (stated): 2,000
          – Mine: 2,005 or 2,009 (there are four instances of *** that may count as a word.)
          – Go through and trim words wherever possible.

*Check2* Clarification:
          – To help us stay oriented, I have numbered the paragraphs as you have assigned them.
          – The text beginning “Marta clenched her” is paragraph 1
          – The text beginning “He smiled” is the last paragraph which becomes paragraph 88.
          – The text *** does not get numbered (four places).
          – I wish WdC had some way to assign line numbers, but they don’t, so we are stuck with just paragraph numbers.

*Check2* Overall Impression:
          – I applaud your willingness to step out and take some heat. What follows may seem harsh, partly because I am not into frilly words and sugar coating rather prefer communicating thoughts that I hope will help you (and me) improve our writing.
          – I am particularly grateful when a review opportunity causes me to do a bit of research thus learning something new. In this case, I was not familiar with the Twilight novel series nor the prompt song “The Long Way Around”. Now I am.

*Check2* Plot:
          – A woman goes on a road trip to fulfill childhood dreams and escape from a deadbeat boyfriend, then meets and presumably falls for a werewolf.
          – The RV road trip picks up the prompt and the camper description nicely.

*Check2* Style and Voice:
          – First person, past tense works well.

*Check2* Scene/Setting:
          – The bar scene at the beginning is well written, but given the word limit, it takes up too much space. Recommend cutting it way back and using the words elsewhere.
          – Setting for the wolf encounter well done.

*Check2* Characters:
          – Marta: Hard to describe in first person narrative. Maybe a few words from Bob or Sue.
          – Ted: Well described.
          – Bob: Well described. I see him in a short sleeve shirt with a wide gaudy necktie, tied too short, probably with food stains.
          – Sue: No description, but her dialogue paints a good picture.

*Check2* Dialog:
          – There are many rules for handling dialogue, but these three will keep you safe most of the time:
                    – New paragraph every time speaker changes.
                    – Action goes in the same paragraph as the words.
                    – Comma at the end of the speech only if a tag follows. Otherwise use a period (? !)
          – Review carefully for correct and complete punctuation (especially closing quotation marks). To me this is the hardest part of writing. I hate it.
          – Both conversations (with Bob and Sue) are very well done. They move quickly with no need for speech tags.

*Check2* Grammar and Punctuation:
          – Always read your story out loud. Your tongue will force your brain to slow down, allowing you to catch many mistakes that your eye would pass over.
          – I ran your story through Grammarly which always finds many comma placement mistakes. Many I ignore because I disagree with them, so I do not comment on them in my reviews. The following items are from both Grammarly and me.
          – Paragraph 2 - I think 'dinner' s/b 'diner'
          – Paragraph 6 - 'I’ve given you. Every goddam day since' s/b 'I’ve given you — every goddam day since' (incomplete sentence)
          – Paragraphs 22 and 59 - V.W. or VW Pick one.
          – Paragraphs 49, 59, and 76 - 'Twilight' as a book title should be italicized.
          – Paragraphs 57 and 58 - 'Great Outdoors' why capitalization?
          – Paragraph 58 - 'laying' s/b 'lying'
          – Paragraph 60 - 'became obvious' how about 'became apparent' Word 'obvious' is overused.
          – Paragraph 61 - 'prize' s/b 'pry'
          – Paragraph 76 - change wording. The word 'she' is used five times in this paragraph.
          – Paragraph 78 - 'kinda' how about 'quite', 'somewhat', or 'rather'

*Check2* Mechanics:
          – Story flows smoothly.
          – Need an early reference to werewolf, maybe in paragraph 49. Someone unfamiliar with Twilight would not get the punch line. It made sense to me only after research.

*Check2* How did the writing make me feel? Did it invoke any emotions?
          – Good. I travel a lot in my RV, and I am old enough to remember the VW buses and their role in the culture of the 60s.

*Check2* Can I relate to the writing through a personal experience?
          – Yes. Writing short stories, RV road trips, VW buses.

*Check2* Did the plot interest me? Were the characters believable? Did the dialog flow naturally?
          – Yes. Story kept me involved.
          – Yes. All characters fit.
          – Yes. Excellent dialogue.

*Check2* Did the time, place and other setting characteristics work together?
          – Timeline worked well.
          – Setting for each scene worked well.

*Check2* What did I like most? What did I like least? Did anything stand out?
          – Most. Relationship between the story, the prompt, and Twilight.
          – Most. Conversation with Bob.
          – Least. Had I not checked out Twilight, the punch line would have made no sense.

*Check2* Is there anything I would change within the writing?
          – Cut to get under the word limit by a safe margin.

*Check2* If this were my own writing, what would I want to know from a reviewer?
          – Did I meet my objective? Short story satisfying the prompt
          – Answer: Yes to a great extent. I hope the ideas expressed above will get you the rest of the way.

*Check2* Suggestions:
          – Get rid of about 20 words.
          – Cut the bar scene way back and use the words to describe Marta.

*Check2* This advice I give always, totally, and without exception or reservation:
          – Stories are always richer when characters, places, and events have names – even fictitious ones.
          – Always read your story out loud. Your tongue will force your brain to slow down, allowing you to catch many mistakes that your eye would pass over.

Thank you for sharing your story. I believe that one of the best ways to improve my writing is to review the work of others. So thank you for giving me the opportunity to help both of us write better.


flyfishercatcher

*Exclaim* Please remember that you are best judge of what is right for your story! Whatever another person says -- especially me! -- whether positive or negative, is just their opinion! You are the only one who can decide what is right for your story. *Exclaim*

This is my work in progress. Reviews and comments on any part of it are welcome any time.
 
Renaissance Man - Part 1  [13+]
Story of Torey Campbell, Part 1. Beginning through First Plot Point. Work in progress.
by flyfishercacher



*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
11
11
Review by flyfishercacher
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: E | (3.0)
Story Review


Hello:
I'm flyfishercatcher and I found your story on "Please Review
I enjoyed reading it and hope you find this feedback useful.


Title: "My name is George Beggs

*Check2* Objective / Notes from the author:
          — Over all writing quality. Do I need more or less descriptions? Was it boring? Grammar ok?

*Check2* Was this written for a contest? If so, what were the constraints?:
          — No

*Check2* Word Count:2,755

*Check2* Clarification:
          — To help us stay oriented, I have numbered the paragraphs as you have assigned them.
          — The text beginning “My name is George Beggs” is paragraph 1
          — The text beginning “I met a guy named John Green” is the last paragraph which becomes paragraph 77
          — I wish WdC had some way to assign line numbers, but they don’t, so we are stuck with just paragraph numbers.

*Check2* Overall Impression:
          — I applaud your willingness to step out and take some heat. What follows may seem harsh, partly because I am not into frilly words and sugar coating rather prefer communicating thoughts that I hope will help you (and me) improve our writing.
          — I like this story and the two characters, but the quality of the finished product was lacking.

*Check2* Plot:
          — Paragraph 24 You introduced the town of Carterville then did nothing with it. Remember 'Chekhov's Gun'
          — Paragraph 48 Confusing: First sentence "spot not visible". Second sentence "guy in front could see me". Third sentence "we did it any way" Why could he be seen in a spot that was not visible, then proceed with the plan if he was seen by the guy in front of the truck? Delete second sentence.
          — Paragraph 77 (he'll do it free) contradicts Paragraphs 27-29 (He must have money). See suggestion at the end.

*Check2* Style and Voice:
          — First person is good choice for this story.
          — Use of slang and dialect good.

*Check2* Scene/Setting:
          — OK. No issues.

*Check2* Characters:
          — George Beggs: Well described physically and personality.
          — Angela Beggs: Could use a little more physical description, especially since George suspects her of having an affair. Is she sexy, dowdy, frumpy?
          — John Green: Description is good, but give poor John a more interesting name. I always use https://www.fantasynamegenerators.com/ to find names.
          — Maybe give Jonesy a more interesting name too.

*Check2* Dialog:
          — There are many rules for handling dialogue, but these three will keep you safe most of the time:
                    — New paragraph every time speaker changes.
                    — Action goes in the same paragraph as the words.
                    — Use a comma at the end of the speech only if a tag follows. Otherwise use a period (? !)
          — Review carefully for correct and complete punctuation (especially closing quotation marks). To me this is the hardest part of writing. I hate it.
          — You have several instances where you end the speech with a period, then follow it with a speech tag. When a speech tag follows, end with a comma even though it is a complete sentence.

*Check2* Grammar and Punctuation:
          — Always read your story out loud. Your tongue will force your brain to slow down, allowing you to catch many mistakes that your eye would pass over.
         – Title: ‘My name is George Beggs’ s/b ‘My Name is George Beggs’
         – Paragraph 01. 'tired' s/b 'tried'
         – Paragraph 03. 'things; Car' s/b 'things; car'
         – Paragraph 04. 'was worried." I said.' s/b 'was worried," I said.'
         – Paragraph 11 'up anything - Not now.' s/b 'up anything - not now.' or 'up anything. Not now.'
         – Paragraph 15 'That's to bad, well you can't' s/b 'That's too bad. Well you can't'
         – Paragraph 18 'showed' s/b 'shoved'
         – Paragraph 21 'from' s/b 'front'
         – Paragraph 31 Second sentence - no quotes on thoughts.
         – Paragraph 34 s/b included in Paragraph 33
         – Paragraph 50 'strait' s/b 'straight'
         – Paragraph 51 'by' s/b 'my'
         – Paragraph 51 end paragraph and start new paragraph at 'The trashman'
         – Paragraph 65 'Both the truck and I was thoroughly wet' s/b 'Both the truck and I were thoroughly wet'
         – Paragraph 69 s/b part of Paragraph 68

*Check2* Can I relate to the writing through a personal experience?
          — No. I have no personal experience other than writing and reviewing to inform this review.

*Check2* Did the plot interest me? Were the characters believable? Did the dialog flow naturally?
          — The very first sentence pulled me in, then the plot unfolded nicely.
          — The characters were believable.
          — Dialogue flowed well except for a couple spots I mentioned elsewhere.

*Check2* Did the time, place and other setting characteristics work together?
          — Yes, yes, yes.

*Check2* What did I like most? What did I like least? Did anything stand out?
          — What did I like most: The character George Beggs
          — What did I like least: Plot hiccups in paragraphs 24, 48, and 27-29/77
          — What hit me was the massive spacing between paragraphs. Why?

*Check2* Is there anything I would change within the writing?
          — Fix grammar and consider other recommended changes.

*Check2* Was the writing memorable? Why or why not?
          — No.
          — If you have a great story with great characters, but turn out a poor finished product, the work will not be memorable.
          — Most of the grammar and spelling errors I found never should have gotten past your first review. A capitalization error in the second word of the title does not give the reader confidence that you care.
          — Formatting counts. You should want to post a product that is finished in appearance and pleasant to read.

*Check2* If this were my own writing, what would I want to know from a reviewer?
          — Did I meet my objective?
          — Answer: Partly. I hope the ideas expressed above will get you the rest of the way.
          — Most of the grammar errors mentioned above should have been caught before you posted this piece.
          — You need to work harder on editing and formatting. Show the reader (me) that you care.

*Check2* Suggestions:
          — How about dropping Paragraphs 27-29 and rewriting Paragraph 77 to pick up this flavor:
Mrs. Jones at the Legal Aid Organization put me in touch with a lawyer named John Green. He is a young lawyer looking to build a reputation. He agreed to look into your case. When we met again, he told me he had looked at the record and found a lot of holes in it and thought ... and offered to do it for free.

*Check2* This advice I give always, totally, and without exception or reservation:
          — Stories are always richer when characters, places, and events have names – even fictitious ones.
          — Always read your story out loud. Your tongue will force your brain to slow down, allowing you to catch many mistakes that your eye would pass over.

Thank you for sharing your story. I believe that one of the best ways to improve my writing is to review the work of others. So thank you for giving me the opportunity to help both of us write better.


flyfishercatcher

*Exclaim* Please remember that you are best judge of what is right for your story! Whatever another person says -- especially me! -- whether positive or negative, is just their opinion! You are the only one who can decide what is right for your story. *Exclaim*

This is my work in progress. Reviews and comments on any part of it are welcome any time.
 
Renaissance Man - Part 1  [13+]
Story of Torey Campbell, Part 1. Beginning through First Plot Point. Work in progress.
by flyfishercacher



*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
12
12
Review by flyfishercacher
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: 18+ | (3.0)
Story Review


Hello Stu Gillam, Mantis, freeradical:
I'm flyfishercatcher. I am responding to your review request and I hope you find this feedback useful.


Title: "Producers Of The Grijalva Leaf Part 1

*Check2* Objective / Notes from the author:
          – Rated: 18+ · Novella · Supernatural
          – Part 1 of a long short story
          – Genres: Supernatural, Thriller/Suspense, Horror/Scary
          – I've been working very hard to make part 1 of this story (well all 6 parts actually) well written and captivating. But I'm not sure where I stand on that account. Hence my request for your feedback.

*Check2* Was this written for a contest? If so, what were the constraints?:
          – No

*Check2* Word Count:4,393

*Check2* Clarification:
          – To help us stay oriented, I have numbered the paragraphs as you have assigned them.
          – The text beginning “Lasioderma Serricorne” is paragraph 1
          – The text *** is not numbered
          – The text “Honestly, dear cousin, I have no idea.” is the last paragraph which becomes paragraph 72.
          – I wish WdC had some way to assign line numbers, but they don’t, so we are stuck with just paragraph numbers.

*Check2* Overall Impression:
          – I applaud your willingness to step out and take some heat. What follows may seem harsh, partly because I am not into frilly words and sugar coating rather prefer communicating thoughts that I hope will help you (and me) improve our writing.
          – I am a cigar smoker. Happily surprised to encounter a story that appears to be built around the cigar industry.
          – By paragraph 72, I had a lot to confuse me, but not enough to intrigue me.

*Check2* Plot:
          – Not yet apparent, but it’s early.
          – Beginning at paragraph 34, things start to come apart before the story get going:
                    – 1. You have an encounter with a stranger that appears to resolve itself without moving the story forward or creating suspense.
                    – 2. You introduce five new entities in rapid succession with no information: Paulo, The Box, The Producers, The Ones, The Aura. I suspect that is all part of the mystery, but it is too much, too fast. I had to stop and go back and reread “Did I miss something?” “No I didn’t. WTF.” So I reached the end with a head full of questions, no grasp of a storyline, and an inclination to close the book rather than an eagerness to turn the page for more. Way back in paragraph 33, we left Manuel walking to Luze.

*Check2* Style and Voice:
          – “Well written and captivating” You have done well. I like your style of writing. Your weak areas are structure and storytelling.

*Check2* Scene/Setting:
          – Paragraphs 1 to 25 give a good description of Manuel and his normal world.
          – Paragraphs 34 to 38 give a good description of Quoquerdas and his normal world.

*Check2* Characters:
          – Miguel: first character, well described. I assume he is the protagonist.
          – Quoquerdas: gets a lot of ink. It appears he will be the antagonist.
          – Stranger: Is he a walk-on or does he show up again later? If he comes back, you need to make his walk off more foretelling.
          – Paulo: makes a late appearance, but I get the feeling he has more of a role later.

*Check2* Dialog:
          – There are many rules for handling dialogue, but these three will keep you safe most of the time:
                    – New paragraph every time speaker changes.
                    – Action goes in the same paragraph as the words.
                    – Use a comma at the end of the speech only if a tag follows. Otherwise use a period (? !)
          – Review carefully for correct and complete punctuation (especially closing quotation marks). To me this is the hardest part of writing. I hate it.
          – So far, you are handling dialogue well.

*Check2* Grammar and Punctuation:
          – Always read your story out loud. Your tongue will force your brain to slow down, allowing you to catch many mistakes that your eye would pass over.
          – I ran your story through Grammarly which always finds many comma placement mistakes. Many I ignore because I disagree with them, so I do not comment on them in my reviews.
          – Grammarly found over 150 issues. Many I dismiss. Many are issues of style which I think are authors choice.
          – Many (too many) are legitimate points of grammar and punctuation that need to be addressed. Too many to itemize here. Your job, not mine.

*Check2* Mechanics:
          – The basic unit of reading is the chapter. The basic unit of writing is the scene. Write complete scenes then insert chapter breaks with hooks and transitions later.
          – I have many thoughts and questions here, worthy of discussion, which I will cover in a separate email.

*Check2* How did the writing make me feel? Did it invoke any emotions?
          – I feel the presence of a good story. I hope there is more.

*Check2* Can I relate to the writing through a personal experience?
          – I am a knowledgeable cigar smoker, so I look forward to a good mystery built around cigars.

*Check2* Did the plot interest me? Were the characters believable? Did the dialog flow naturally?
          – Yes, yes, yes.

*Check2* Did the time, place and other setting characteristics work together?
          – Yes.

*Check2* What did I like most? What did I like least? Did anything stand out?
          – Most: Miguel
          – Least: Confusion

*Check2* Is there anything I would change within the writing?
          – See all other comments.

*Check2* Was the writing memorable? Why or why not?
          – Could be memorable. Not enough there yet. I hope to see more.

*Check2* Suggestions:
          – All above plus comments on “Mechanics” to come as separate email.

*Check2* This advice I give always, totally, and without exception or reservation:
          – Stories are always richer when characters, places, and events have names – even fictitious ones.
          – Always read your story out loud. Your tongue will force your brain to slow down, allowing you to catch many mistakes that your eye would pass over.

Thank you for sharing your story. I believe that one of the best ways to improve my writing is to review the work of others. So thank you for giving me the opportunity to help both of us write better.


flyfishercatcher

*Exclaim* Please remember that you are best judge of what is right for your story! Whatever another person says -- especially me! -- whether positive or negative, is just their opinion! You are the only one who can decide what is right for your story. *Exclaim*

This is my work in progress. Reviews and comments on any part of it are welcome any time.
 
Renaissance Man - Part 1  [13+]
Story of Torey Campbell, Part 1. Beginning through First Plot Point. Work in progress.
by flyfishercacher




*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
13
13
Review of PROXIMA b  
Review by flyfishercacher
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Story Review


Hello reyalicia
I'm flyfishercatcher and I am responding to your review request.
I enjoyed reading it and hope you find this feedback useful.


Title: "PROXIMA b

*Check2* Objective / Notes from the author:
          — Fiction Sci-fi
          — 100 word Flash Fiction

*Check2* Was this written for a contest? If so, what were the constraints?:
          — Unknown
          — 100 word Flash Fiction

*Check2* Word Count: 97

*Check2* Overall Impression:
          — I applaud your willingness to step out and take some heat. What follows may seem harsh, partly because I am not into frilly words and sugar coating rather prefer communicating thoughts that I hope will help you (and me) improve our writing.
          — I love Flash Fiction. 100 words is really tight, almost a Blink, but you did it very well.

*Check2* Plot:
          — Space travel to another planet with a surprise crash landing at the end.

*Check2* Style and Voice:
          — First person, past tense. Good.

*Check2* Grammar and Punctuation:
          — Always read your story out loud. Your tongue will force your brain to slow down, allowing you to catch many mistakes that your eye would pass over.
          — Paragraph 2: ‘crash-land’ should be ‘crash-landed’ (past tense)

*Check2* How did the writing make me feel? Did it invoke any emotions?
          — Surprise at the end, just as you intended. Good job.

*Check2* Can I relate to the writing through a personal experience?
          — I do have experience with Flash Fiction and Blinks. They are two of my favorite forms.

*Check2* Is there anything I would change within the writing?
          — In paragraph 1: Change ‘partner’ to ‘crew’. This is too long a trip for just two people.

*Check2* Was the writing memorable? Why or why not?
          — Yes. A little piece of well-done Flash Fiction.

*Check2* If this were my own writing, what would I want to know from a reviewer?
          — Did I meet my objective?
          — Answer: Yes. A complete story with a surprise ending in under 100 words.

*Check2* Suggestions:
          — If this is for a contest, include the prompt in your introduction. Then after, for the piece that stays in your portfolio, two thoughts.
          — Paragraph 2: Change ‘debris’ to ‘their space junk’
          — Paragraph 2: Add the sentence ‘Our map of their planet put us near a place called Roswell.’ This dilutes the surprise somewhat (but the punch line is only one sentence away), but adds a touch of humor and history.

*Check2* This advice I give always, totally, and without exception or reservation:
          — Stories are always richer when characters, places, and events have names – even fictitious ones.
          — Always read your story out loud. Your tongue will force your brain to slow down, allowing you to catch many mistakes that your eye would pass over.

Thank you for sharing your story. I believe that one of the best ways to improve my writing is to review the work of others. So thank you for giving me the opportunity to help both of us write better.


flyfishercatcher

*Exclaim* Please remember that you are best judge of what is right for your story! Whatever another person says -- especially me! -- whether positive or negative, is just their opinion! You are the only one who can decide what is right for your story. *Exclaim*

This is my work in progress. Reviews and comments on any part of it are welcome any time.
 
Renaissance Man - Part 1  [13+]
Story of Torey Campbell, Part 1. Beginning through First Plot Point. Work in progress.
by flyfishercacher



*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
14
14
Review of Immortal Tear  
Review by flyfishercacher
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: E | (3.5)
Story Review


Hello:
I'm flyfishercatcher and I am responding to your review request. I hope you find this feedback useful.


Title: "Immortal Tear

*Check2* Objective / Notes from the author:
          — Short story, Sci Fi
          — Redemption takes time FLASH FICTION
          — Created: May 2017. Modified: June 2020

*Check2* Was this written for a contest? If so, what were the constraints?:
          — Unknown

*Check2* Word Count: 383

*Check2* Clarification:
          — To help us stay oriented, I have numbered the paragraphs as you have assigned them.
          — The text beginning “I am Thanatos” is paragraph 1
          — The text beginning “I stepped through the door” is the last paragraph which becomes paragraph 11
          — I wish WdC had some way to assign line numbers, but they don’t, so we are stuck with just paragraph numbers.

*Check2* Overall Impression:
          — I applaud your willingness to step out and take some heat. What follows may seem harsh, partly because I am not into frilly words and sugar coating rather prefer communicating thoughts that I hope will help you (and me) improve our writing.
          — First reading left me confused. After the third reading, I made some assumptions about the plot and pressed on.
          — This story is too big for Flash Fiction. Every story has a natural length. You can clean it up with editorial trimming around the edges, but too much cutting destroys the story. If you have an 800-word story and you cut it to 500 words; you don’t have a 500-word story, you have a 500-word mess.

*Check2* Plot:
          — Not clearly discernable. I read the piece carefully, three times, to come up with my interpretation of the plot. Still I’m not sure I got it right. The reader (me) should not have to do that.

*Check2* Scene/Setting:
          — Paragraph 9: Why the great hall and silver door? Why not ‘When we disembarked’? If there is some real significance here, I missed it completely.

*Check2* Characters:
          — Were all these characters spirits or living creatures?
          — Pick a couple (Thanatos +1) and make them alive with more description.

*Check2* Dialog:
          — There are many rules for handling dialogue, but these three will keep you safe most of the time:
                    — New paragraph every time speaker changes.
                    — Action goes in the same paragraph as the words.
                    — Use a comma at the end of the speech only if a tag follows. Otherwise use a period (? !)
          — Review carefully for correct and complete punctuation (especially closing quotation marks). To me this is the hardest part of writing. I hate it.
          — Paragraph 3: Two speakers, same paragraph.

*Check2* Grammar and Punctuation:
          — Always read your story out loud. Your tongue will force your brain to slow down, allowing you to catch many mistakes that your eye would pass over.
          — Paragraph 11: ‘bokeh’ Was this a typo? Did you mean ‘broken’?

*Check2* Mechanics:
          — Paragraph 1: ‘overlooking a lifeless world’ is present tense. But story that follows shows much life throughout galaxy. So first sentence sets me up looking in the wrong direction.

*Check2* How did the writing make me feel? Did it invoke any emotions?
          — Confused. Felt like I was being jerked back and forth between past, present, and future.

*Check2* Can I relate to the writing through a personal experience?
          — No. I have no personal experience to inform this review.
          — I am not a sci-fi writer, but I did not feel that to be a necessary prerequisite to read this story.

*Check2* Did the plot interest me? Were the characters believable? Did the dialog flow naturally?
          — Yes, No, Somewhat

*Check2* Did the time, place and other setting characteristics work together?
          — Since this story involves travel around the universe, the distinction among the words ‘world’, ‘universe’, planet’, ‘galaxy’ becomes important. Thus in the first sentence what does ‘world’ mean?

*Check2* What did I like most? What did I like least? Did anything stand out?
          — Most: The basic idea of redemption
          — Least: Lack of character description.
          — Stand out: Missed opportunity to describe space.

*Check2* Is there anything I would change within the writing?
          — Don’t use the word ‘world’. Then carefully choose between planet, galaxy, and universe to keep the reader oriented.
          — Space travel offers the sci-fi writer great opportunities to describe the grandeur of the universe. Google pictures taken by the Hubble telescope, then weave them into your story. Invent planets and star clusters with interesting names, then describe them as you fly by.

*Check2* Was the writing memorable? Why or why not?
          — No. This could be a great story with more words and more work. You short changed it.

*Check2* If this were my own writing, what would I want to know from a reviewer?
          — Did I meet my objective?
          — Answer: I don’t know what the objective was. That in itself is a fault. Was it ‘redemption takes time’? I hope the ideas expressed above will get you the rest of the way.

*Check2* Suggestions:
          — Expand this story:
                    — Provide more detail so the reader (me) can stay in the story.
                    — Provide more description of Thanatos and the children and how they came about
                    — Make the trip across the galaxy a grand adventure with big descriptions of the vistas in space and maybe some minor encounters along the way.

*Check2* This advice I give always, totally, and without exception or reservation:
          — Stories are always richer when characters, places, and events have names – even fictitious ones.
          — Always read your story out loud. Your tongue will force your brain to slow down, allowing you to catch many mistakes that your eye would pass over.

Thank you for sharing your story. I believe that one of the best ways to improve my writing is to review the work of others. So thank you for giving me the opportunity to help both of us write better.


flyfishercatcher

*Exclaim* Please remember that you are best judge of what is right for your story! Whatever another person says -- especially me! -- whether positive or negative, is just their opinion! You are the only one who can decide what is right for your story. *Exclaim*

This is my work in progress. Reviews and comments on any part of it are welcome any time.
 
Renaissance Man - Part 1  [13+]
Story of Torey Campbell, Part 1. Beginning through First Plot Point. Work in progress.
by flyfishercacher



*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
15
15
Review of Last Words  
Review by flyfishercacher
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Story Review


Hello:
I am flyfishercatcher and I found your story on "Please Review
I am reviewing it for
GROUP
The Rockin' Reviewers  (13+)
~Quality reviews given in a positive and encouraging manner
#1630911 by Osirantinous

I enjoyed reading it and hope you find this feedback useful.


Title: "Last Words

*Check2* Objective / Notes from the author:
          — Short Story, Death

*Check2* Was this written for a contest? If so, what were the constraints?:
          — No

*Check2* Word Count: 1,570

*Check2* Overall Impression:
          — I applaud your willingness to step out and take some heat. What follows may seem harsh, partly because I am not into frilly words and sugar coating rather prefer communicating thoughts that I hope will help you (and me) improve our writing.
          — “Last Words” is a great story. It kept me hooked throughout.

*Check2* Plot:
          — Writer gets access to dying people and records their last words for story inspiration.
          — Clever idea for plot.

*Check2* Style and Voice:
          — First person, present tense. Good choice, handled well.

*Check2* Scene/Setting:
          — Excellent description of POV character’s digs.
          — Hospital setting well known, so description can be minimized. Writer handled well.

*Check2* Characters:
          — Give the lady in room 9 a name.
          — Possibly a name and a bit more description of the young man and his relationship to the dying lady. Could he be a relative who is real clergy?

*Check2* Dialog:
          — Review carefully for correct and complete punctuation (especially closing quotation marks). To me this is the hardest part of writing. I hate it.
          — You handled it well.
          — Dialogue in paragraphs 3 through 9 moves very rapidly. I had to go back and read it slowly to keep the speakers straight. That suggests a couple speech tags might help.

*Check2* Grammar:
          — Always read your story out loud. Your tongue will force your brain to slow down, allowing you to catch many mistakes that your eye would pass over.
          — I ran your story through Grammarly which always finds many comma placement mistakes. Many I ignore because I disagree with them, so I do not comment on them in my reviews. The following items are from both Grammarly and me.
          – Paragraph 2. "pace" twice in the same paragraph (suggest synonym)
          – Paragraphs 1 & 2 "desk" four times in two paragraphs (use synonyms)
          – Paragraph 18 "yes of" s/b "yes, of" (add comma)
          – Paragraph 22 "vibrant blue" suggest "a vibrant blue"
          – Paragraph 29 "a prayer" s/b "prayer" (remove a)
          – Paragraph 37 "much" s/b "many"
          – Paragraph 41 "3" s/b "three" (spell out numbers less than 10)
          – Paragraph 41 "words" 4 times in one paragraph use synonyms
          – Paragraph 41 "strange" 3 times in one paragraph use synonyms
          – Paragraph 41 "Teetering ... falling off." Incomplete sentence. Rewrite or connect
          – Paragraph 42 "The experience ... into writing" Wordy sentence, too many noncontent words, rewrite to avoid: the, with, was, at, of, my, and, to, be, into
          – Paragraph 42 "The unmade ... laptop." Sentence fragment.
          – Paragraph 43 "This is" possibly better as "This was"
          – Paragraph 43 "in fact" unnecessary
          – Paragraph 44 "slowed and" s/b slowed, and" (add comma)
          – Paragraph 44 "hours and" s/b "hours, and" (add comma)

*Check2* Mechanics:
          — As displayed on screen in WdC, the paragraphing indentation are inconsistent.

*Check2* How did the writing make me feel? Did it invoke any emotions?
          — A well written story makes me feel good just because I like to see the craft successfully exercised. This one was well written.
          — Emotion: Satisfaction — what a clever plot.

*Check2* Can I relate to the writing through a personal experience?
          — No. I have no personal experience to inform this review.

*Check2* Did the plot interest me? Were the characters believable? Did the dialog flow naturally?
          — Yes, yes, yes.

*Check2* Did the time, place and other setting characteristics work together?
          — Yes

*Check2* What did I like most? What did I like least? Did anything stand out?
          — Most: Writer in his apartment. Very vivid. Stumbling through prayer well done.
          — Least: Nothing.
          — Stand out: Clever plot.

*Check2* Is there anything I would change within the writing?
          — Comments elsewhere.

*Check2* If this were my own writing, what would I want to know from a reviewer?
          — Did I meet my objective?
          — Answer: I assume your objective was simply to write a great short story. You succeeded.

*Check2* Suggestions:
          — See all above.
          — Keep writing and keep posting.

*Check2* This advice I give totally and without reservation or exception:
          — “Stories are always richer when characters, places, and events have names – even fictitious ones.”
          — Always read your story out loud. Your tongue will force your brain to slow down, allowing you to catch many mistakes that your eye would pass over. Our eyes are very forgiving, but our ears almost never let us down, alerting us to something that needs fixing, even if we can’t describe the problem.

Thank you for sharing your story. I believe that one of the best ways to improve my writing is to review the work of others. So thank you for giving me the opportunity to help both of us write better.


*Exclaim* Please remember that you are best judge of what is right for your story! Whatever another person says -- especially me! -- whether positive or negative, is just their opinion! You are the only one who can decide what is right for your story. *Exclaim*

flyfishercatcher



This is my work in progress. I would appreciate review and/or comment on any part of it. Thanks.


Signature for use by anyone nominated for a Quill Award in 2020

A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences,
for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. ... make every word tell.

– Will Strunk







16
16
Review by flyfishercacher
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Story Review


Hello:
I am flyfishercatcher and I found your story on "Please Review
I am reviewing it for
GROUP
The Rockin' Reviewers  (13+)
~Quality reviews given in a positive and encouraging manner
#1630911 by Osirantinous

I enjoyed reading it and hope you find this feedback useful.


Title: "Trenton 1781 - Draft Chapter for Review

*Check2* Objective / Notes from the author:
          — Part of a draft novel that takes place during the final days of the American Revolution.
          — Draft! Expect to find errors / craft issues. Critique setting, dialogue, characters.

*Check2* Was this written for a contest? If so, what were the constraints?:
          — No

*Check2* Word Count: 3,284

*Check2* Overall Impression:
          — I applaud your willingness to step out and take some heat. What follows may seem harsh, partly because I am not into frilly words and sugar coating rather prefer communicating thoughts that I hope will help you (and me) improve our writing.
          — I love American History, especially colonial history. So you engrossed me, and I learned something in checking your accuracy. I was not familiar with the “Overmountain Theater” and the exploits of Lt Col John Sevier. Your piece led me there.
          — I assume this is NOT chapter 1. If it is, most of what I say is irrelevant and you need to fall back and study up on the special requirements of chapter 1.

*Check2* Comments:
You gave a lot of background information, so it was a bit unclear what was actually text to be reviewed. This was my assumption:
Text begins at "John kicked dirt..." that becomes paragraph 1
Text ends at "You just worry about yourself..." that becomes paragraph 129

Time hack:
In some places the words led me to question when this was happening, so I went back and did a time hack:
Paragraph 11 -- "night had fallen"
Paragraph 19 -- "darkness of the night's sky"
Paragraph 27 -- "night enveloped the town"
Paragraph 68 -- "evening dusk" does not fit
Paragraph 82 -- "in the darkness"
Paragraph 124 -- "sun rising soon"

All of the action (disregarding the para 68 misfit) happens in the dead of night. There were several things that stretched my credibility, especially the sharpshooting, and riders recognized at a distance. I suggest you reread the entire chapter asking this question of each sentence: "Could this happen/be seen in a pitch-black night?" Maybe an easy answer is to give them a full moon.

You seem to have an excellent grasp for historic accuracy, so I won't attempt to critique your facts, but there were a few items that caused me to stop and question rather than stay buried in the story:

1. Cherokee -- I always placed the Cherokee in the west and associated the eastern Indians with the Delaware, Iroquois, and Mohawk. I did not take the time to go digging for correctness, but it did cause me to stop reading. Maybe a few words of clarification would keep the reader from tripping over this (or maybe I'm the only one). Also why does this adventure rate a chief?

2. Battle of Trenton -- as interesting as it is, you spent too much time with it - 196 out of 3,284 words (6%), three full paragraphs (4,5,6). I do that a lot myself and I hate to cut it out, but we must keep the story moving.

3. Short paragraphs as bursts of recognition, e,g, para 13 "Odd. Where was everyone?", para 32 "An ambush!". I think you can get away with "Bang!" but the others are, I presume, John's thoughts. They need tags. The convention I use is to put thoughts in italics and tag them.

4. I never did get a satisfactory answer as to why the town was empty. Paragraph 84 doesn't cut it. Why was the whole town wanting/waiting to ambush them? Who were the occupants of the town? Paragraphs 95,96,97 are a setup for a battle. Paragraph 98 reveals the riders to be friends. Then the ambush by the townspeople evaporates.


*Check2* Plot:
          — Characters are carrying an important pouch from Jefferson in Philadelphia to Henry Knox in West Point.
          — This scene is an overnight stop in Trenton gone awry.

*Check2* Scene/Setting:
          — Pretty good except for time and visibility problem.

*Check2* Characters:
          — Personality well developed.
          — Don’t know what they look like. Were they described in earlier scenes?

*Check2* Dialog:
          — Review carefully for correct and complete punctuation (especially closing quotation marks). To me this is the hardest part of writing. I hate it.
          — You did it well.

*Check2* Grammar:
          — Always read your story out loud. Your tongue will force your brain to slow down, allowing you to catch many mistakes that your eye would pass over.
          — Even though you proclaimed that this was a draft and the reviewer should expect some errors, I think you should have polished it a little more before asking someone to spend time reviewing it. I passed over the errors and will not critique them, but there were some that were obvious and would have been caught with even a cursory review. You owe a reviewer that courtesy.

*Check2* How did the writing make me feel? Did it invoke any emotions?
          — Curious
          — Want to see finished product

*Check2* Can I relate to the writing through a personal experience?
          — Yes. I was born and raised in this part of the country and have always had an interest in colonial history.

*Check2* Did the plot interest me? Were the characters believable? Did the dialog flow naturally?
          — Yes, yes, yes

*Check2* Did the time, place and other setting characteristics work together?
          — Partly. See comments above.

*Check2* Suggestions:
          — See above.

*Check2* This advice I give totally and without reservation or exception:
          — “Stories are always richer when characters, places, and events have names – even fictitious ones.”
          — Always read your story out loud. Your tongue will force your brain to slow down, allowing you to catch many mistakes that your eye would pass over. Our eyes are very forgiving, but our ears almost never let us down, alerting us to something that needs fixing, even if we can’t describe the problem.

Thank you for sharing your story. I believe that one of the best ways to improve my writing is to review the work of others. So thank you for giving me the opportunity to help both of us write better.


*Exclaim* Please remember that you are best judge of what is right for your story! Whatever another person says -- especially me! -- whether positive or negative, is just their opinion! You are the only one who can decide what is right for your story. *Exclaim*



This is my work in progress. I would appreciate review and/or comment on any part of it. Thanks.


Signature for use by anyone nominated for a Quill Award in 2020

A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. ... make every word tell. – Will Strunk



*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
17
17
Review by flyfishercacher
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Story Review


Hello Holly:

Title: "The Great Escape (Part Two)

*Check2* Objective / Notes from the author:
          — None.

*Check2* Was this written for a contest? If so, what were the constraints?:
          — No.

*Check2* Word Count: 2,354

*Check2* Overall Impression:
          — Since this is a follow-up review to part 1, I'll just say that part 2 left me dissatisfied.

*Check2* Plot (Nagging questions):
          — If this is a long work, you want to preserve the mystery by not giving away information too early, but you don't want the reader to hang up on nagging questions that prevent him/her/me from staying with the story. There were several that left me dissatisfied at the end of Part 2:
                    — What led the cops to Castle?
                    — How did the cops identify Luce? She was just a citizen with no record.
                    — What about Luce's purse?
                    — Paragraph 32: "CCTV footage from the car park outside Castle." This needs an explanation.
                              — Whose car?
                              — Why was the car there?
                              — Why was the car there with CCTV?
                              — Why was the car there on opening night?
                              — Why was the car there at all?
                              — How did the cops get footage?

*Check2* Dialog (Speech Tags):
          — The general rules for speech tags are "as many as necessary, but as few as possible" and "Can be omitted if it is perfectly clear who is speaking."
          — The questioning of Luce by Officers Forster and Lee is a three-way conversation that requires a little more help to keep the speakers straight and offers an opportunity to introduce bits of character description if Forster and Lee are going to be significant players later in the story. I lost track of who was speaking.
          — Paragraph 15: " 'Take your time,' Officer Lee smiles kindly." could be " 'Take your time,' Officer Lee says, smiling kindly, as she picks up the questioning."
          — Paragraph 24: "Officer Forster rolls his shoulders back, sitting a little straighter." then Paragraph 25: “Everyone that went into that club last night, except you, never came out.”
Is Forster now the speaker or is Lee continuing? Since 25 is a separate paragraph, it does not follow automatically that Forster is the speaker.
Paragraph 25 could be: “Everyone that went into that club last night, except you, never came out,” barks Forster, an edge in his voice, as he takes the ball back from Lee.

*Check2* Grammar:
          — Paragraph 54 (last paragraph): “The was the police” s/b “That was the police” (That not the)


*Check2* This advice I give totally and without reservation or exception:
          — “Stories are always richer when characters, places, and events have names – even fictitious ones.”
          — Always read your story out loud. Your tongue will force your brain to slow down, allowing you to catch many mistakes that your eye would pass over. Our eyes are very forgiving, but our ears almost never let us down, alerting us to something that needs fixing, even if we can’t describe the problem.


Thank you for sharing your story. I believe that one of the best ways to improve my writing is to review the work of others. So thank you for giving me the opportunity to help both of us write better.


flyfishercatcher


*Exclaim* Please remember that you are best judge of what is right for your story! Whatever another person says -- especially me! -- whether positive or negative, is just their opinion! You are the only one who can decide what is right for your story. *Exclaim*


This is my work in progress. I would appreciate review and/or comment on any part of it. Thanks.
 
Renaissance Man - Part 1  [13+]
Story of Torey Campbell, Part 1. Beginning through First Plot Point. Work in progress.
by flyfishercacher


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
18
18
Review by flyfishercacher
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
Story Review


Hello:
I am flyfishercatcher and I found your story on "Please Review
I am reviewing it for
GROUP
The Rockin' Reviewers  (13+)
~Quality reviews given in a positive and encouraging manner
#1630911 by Osirantinous

I enjoyed reading it and hope you find this feedback useful.


Title: "The Great Escape (Part One)

*Check2* Objective / Notes from the author:
          — I’ve updated this chapter quite a lot - I wrote it seven years ago! Hopefully, it’s a lot better now. I’m just looking for honest opinions, would you like to read on, how you feel about Luce’s character, is there anything you don’t understand.

*Check2* Was this written for a contest? If so, what were the constraints?:
          — Unknown

*Check2* Word Count: 3,495

*Check2* Overall Impression:
          — I applaud your willingness to step out and take some heat. I am not into frilly words and sugar coating rather prefer communicating thoughts that I hope will help you (and me) improve our writing.
          — Left my head pounding.

*Check2* Plot:
          — Too early to tell.

*Check2* Style and Voice:
          — First person, present tense. Hardnosed documentary style.

*Check2* Scene/Setting:
          — Late night sneaking out the bedroom window: familiar to all, well done.
          — Club named “Castle” in Paragraph 6. I passed over it almost not noticing. Use the name a couple more times, maybe in Paragraph 8.
          — Club setting well done, appropriately horrible.

*Check2* Characters:
          — Luce – Protagonist: personality well described, likable, no idea what she looks like.
          — Kaira — I’m guessing she will become the sidekick, but too early to tell.
          — Blue Eyes — Will he be the antagonist or a one-off?
          — Isobel Turner — Will she be the antagonist or a one-off?
          — Paragraphs 24 through 30 all involve ‘Blue Eyes’ but you just refer to him as ‘the guy’ and don’t assign him the name ‘Blue Eyes’ until Paragraph 59. Put a statement about his blue eyes in Paragraph 24 and assign the name there.

*Check2* Dialog:
          — Review carefully for correct and complete punctuation (especially closing quotation marks). To me this is the hardest part of writing. I hate it.
          — I like the way you put dialogue in paragraphs of action. However, be sure the reader knows who is speaking and that the action and words belong to the same character.
          — Paragraph 14: Luce’s action; Kaira’s words.
          — Paragraph 18: Kiara’s words followed by actions by both Luce and Kaira. Start a new paragraph at “I follow suit”
          — You have two extended conversations. The first with the as yet unidentified Blue Eyes, and the second with the bartender. I agree with minimizing speech tags, but in these two cases, a couple speech tags would help.

*Check2* Grammar:
          — Always read your story out loud. Your tongue will force your brain to slow down, allowing you to catch many mistakes that your eye would pass over.
          — Paragraph 2: "participation is extracurricular" s/b "participation in extracurricular" (in not is).
          — Paragraph 12: "bar tender" s/b "bartender" (one word).
          — Paragraph 32: "dancefloor" s/b "dance floor" (two words).
          — Paragraph 51: "flash" s/b "flashes".
          — Paragraph 57: "the beat tribal as I weave" s/b "the beat tribal, as I weave" (add comma).

*Check2* Mechanics:
          — You put an extra line between Paragraphs 7 and 8 then again between Paragraphs 21 and 22. I believe you intended to signal a shift in time or place. I suggest you use the traditional symbol “***”

*Check2* How did the writing make me feel? Did it invoke any emotions?
          — I could hear it, feel it, almost smell it. Glad I’ve never been there. Hope my grandkids never go there.
          — I’m ready for part 2.

*Check2* Can I relate to the writing through a personal experience?
          — No. I have no personal experience to inform this review. I have never been in a place like Castle.

*Check2* Did the plot interest me? Were the characters believable? Did the dialog flow naturally?
          — No plot yet, but the characters were believable, and the dialogue flowed well, except as noted above.

*Check2* Did the time, place and other setting characteristics work together?
          — Yes.

*Check2* What did I like most? What did I like least? Did anything stand out?
          — Most: Descriptions of physical sensations. You made it very real.
          — Least: Nothing
          — Stands out: First person, present tense. Can you keep this going for a whole novel?

*Check2* Is there anything I would change within the writing?
          — See suggestions below.

*Check2* Was the writing memorable? Why or why not?
          — Yes. I am anticipating a great adventure. I want to read more.

*Check2* If this were my own writing, what would I want to know from a reviewer?
          — Did I meet my objective?
          — Answer:
                    — Would you like to read on? -- yes
                    — How you feel about Luce’s character? – description woven in nicely, I think I will like her.

*Check2* Suggestions:
          — If this is going to be a long work, I suggest using the Book Entry format.
          — In prose, the basic unit of reading is the chapter, but the basic unit of writing is the scene. Someone once advised me to write scenes, then put the chapter breaks into the finished work, in a way to keep the reader hooked. I agree with that and have incorporated it into my writing process. I offer it for your consideration.
          — There are many books, magazine articles, and websites that discuss the special role and the burdens that Chapter 1 carries with it. It is not just the first, it is different than other chapters. I suggest you look into this subject before you get too far into your story.

*Check2* This advice I give totally and without reservation or exception:
          — “Stories are always richer when characters, places, and events have names – even fictitious ones.”
          — Always read your story out loud. Your tongue will force your brain to slow down, allowing you to catch many mistakes that your eye would pass over. Our eyes are very forgiving, but our ears almost never let us down, alerting us to something that needs fixing, even if we can’t describe the problem.


Thank you for sharing your story. I believe that one of the best ways to improve my writing is to review the work of others. So thank you for giving me the opportunity to help both of us write better.


flyfishercatcher


*Exclaim* Please remember that you are best judge of what is right for your story! Whatever another person says -- especially me! -- whether positive or negative, is just their opinion! You are the only one who can decide what is right for your story. *Exclaim*


This is my work in progress. I would appreciate review and/or comment on any part of it. Thanks.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
19
19
Review of Life Lessons  
Review by flyfishercacher
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
Story Review


Hello Odessa:
I am flyfishercatcher and I found your story on "Holiday Short Story Contest
I am reviewing it for
GROUP
The Rockin' Reviewers  (13+)
~Quality reviews given in a positive and encouraging manner
#1630911 by Osirantinous

I enjoyed reading it and hope you find this feedback useful.


Title: "Life Lessons

*Check2* Objective / Notes from the author:
          — Fiction, Horror/Scary

*Check2* Was this written for a contest? If so, what were the constraints?:
          — Yes. "Holiday Short Story Contest
          — Word count between 750 and 1,000
          — National Teachers Day: Write a story that takes place in a classroom.

*Check2* Word Count: 863

*Check2* Overall Impression:
          — You packed a lot into 863 words. I did a double-take at the punch line, then laughed. Really good. Sorry it didn’t scare me. May be my sick sense of humor.

*Check2* Plot:
          — Paint an eerie picture then hit with a surprise ending. Well done.

*Check2* Style and Voice:
          — Good. First person with an edge. Slightly sarcastic.

*Check2* Scene/Setting:
          — Excellent descriptions.

*Check2* Characters:
          — “Jim Jones” Did you select that name on purpose? As soon as I saw it, I figured we were headed for a ‘Jonestown’ finish. That threw me off track and set me up for the surprise ending.

*Check2* Dialog:
          — Minimal dialogue. Appropriate for the story and the contest constraints.
          — Review carefully for correct and complete punctuation (especially closing quotation marks). To me this is the hardest part of writing. I hate it.

*Check2* Grammar:
          — In several places: “stop watch” should be “stopwatch” (one word)
          — Para 2: “They looked a neat” should be “They looked to be a neat”
          — Para 2: “military short” better as “short military”
          — Para 5: “clip board” should be “clipboard” (one word)

*Check2* Mechanics:
          — Para 1, sentence 2: “(at least … feds)” I think this was intended to be a hint about something, but I didn’t get it.

*Check2* How did the writing make me feel? Did it invoke any emotions?
          — I love short stories with a surprise ending. As you might guess, I read a lot of O’Henry.
          — Increasing suspense with a great zinger at the end.

*Check2* Can I relate to the writing through a personal experience?
          — Yes. The surprise ending is my favorite story form and I am always looking for situations that fit well into that mold.
          — I always try to write stories with a surprise ending.

*Check2* Did the plot interest me? Were the characters believable? Did the dialog flow naturally?
          — Yes, yes, yes.

*Check2* Did the time, place and other setting characteristics work together?
          — Yes. No clue as to where or when -—– good.
          — School descriptions appropriately spooky.

*Check2* What did I like most? What did I like least? Did anything stand out?
          — Most: Punch line.
          — Least: Confusing hint in para 1.

*Check2* Is there anything I would change within the writing?
          — No. Well done.

*Check2* If this were my own writing, what would I want to know from a reviewer?
          — Did I meet my objective? — Horror/Scary, contest constraints.
          — Answer: Yes to a great extent. I hope the ideas expressed above will get you the rest of the way.

*Check2* Suggestions:
          — Rules may prohibit, but this is a good story for "Twisted Tales Contest
          — I have resolved to review one item every week for one year. Thanks for giving me something good to review on Monday, so I don’t have to scramble on Friday.

*Check2* This advice I always give totally and without reservation or exception:
          — Stories are always richer when characters, places, and events have names – even fictitious ones.
          — Always read your story out loud. Your tongue will force your brain to slow down, allowing you to catch many mistakes that your eye would pass over. Our eyes are very forgiving, but our ears almost never let us down, alerting us to something that needs fixing, even if we can’t describe the problem.


Thank you for sharing your story. I believe that one of the best ways to improve my writing is to review the work of others. So thank you for giving me the opportunity to help both of us write better.


flyfishercatcher


*Exclaim* Please remember that you are best judge of what is right for your story! Whatever another person says -- especially me! -- whether positive or negative, is just their opinion! You are the only one who can decide what is right for your story. *Exclaim*


This is my work in progress. I would appreciate review and/or comment on any part of it. Thanks.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
20
20
Review by flyfishercacher
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Story Review


Hello:
I am flyfishercatcher and I found your story on "Please Review
I am reviewing it for
GROUP
The Rockin' Reviewers  (13+)
~Quality reviews given in a positive and encouraging manner
#1630911 by Osirantinous

I enjoyed reading it and hope you find this feedback useful.


Title: "Surviving the Storm

*Check2* Objective / Notes from the author:
          — What it was like to go through Hurricane Ivan with wind surges reaching 160+
          — An exciting, first-hand account of what it's like to live through a Hurricane 3-4. Hurricane Ivan had sustain winds of 140+ mph

*Check2* Was this written for a contest? If so, what were the constraints?:
          — I don’t think so, but cannot be sure.

*Check2* Word Count: 1,778

*Check2* Overall Impression:
          — A very well-done account of what was certainly a horrible experience.
          — Hurricane Ivan happened in September 2004. You first wrote this piece on October 4, 2004 while still in the midst of the destruction and waiting for your FEMA trailer to arrive. I am curious about where you were living while you wrote this — para 20 says “staying in our living room.” Was the house habitable?
          — What made you bring it out and modify it in May 2020? I have done that a few times just to incorporate my improved writing abilities.

*Check2* Plot:
          — Straight forward live experience of surviving a hurricane. Plenty of tension and suspense.

*Check2* Style and Voice:
          — Several places where passive voice dulls the story. Search them out and try to replace with active voice and action verbs to heighten tension.

*Check2* Scene/Setting:
          — Readers need a time and place anchor very close to the beginning, otherwise they spend too much time trying to figure out the details instead of diving into the story.
          — Very vivid, but some specific time and location references would be good. Ivan was a real hurricane, but I had to look up that it was 2004, and that it apparently passed over Florida twice.
          — Since I live in Florida (now, not in 2004), I would like to know where the narrator lived.

*Check2* Characters:
          — You treat Ivan almost as a character which is very good. However, you don’t name him until para 8. Suggest you identify him early in para 1
          — Not clear who all was with you in the house. Para 9 mentions your husband and a friend, but only your sister is identified, and her name is “Jackie”. I assume you are “Tracey.” Your husband and the friend lived this adventure with you yet they get no coverage in the story.
          — Early clarification on the identity of all characters would be helpful

*Check2* Dialog:
          — Dialogue is a great way to express emotions. That night had to be full of emotions. The reader could get to know the characters and the terror they lived through by the use of dialogue. This story could use a lot more, even if it is just scared chatter.

*Check2* Grammar:
          — Always read your story out loud. Your tongue will force your brain to slow down, allowing you to catch mistakes that your eye would pass over.
          — I ran your story through Grammarly which always finds many comma placement mistakes. Most I ignore because I disagree with them, so I do not comment on them in my reviews. The following items are from both Grammarly and me.
          — Para 1: “noon tomorrow” would work better here that “noon the next day”
          — Para 3: “by the time it made landfall” should be “by the time it makes landfall” (future and past tense in same sentence)
          — Para 6: Who is the speaker?
          — Para 7 (near the end): “once again, hear only” should be “once again to hear only”
          — Para 12: “scattered about. On top” should be “scattered about, on top” (one sentence)
          — Para 16: “good size tornado along, with several smaller” should be “good size tornado, along with several smaller” (misplaced comma)
          — Para 16: “awful sounds were stemming from” should be “awful sounds were coming from” (stemming not the right word)
          — Para 19: “awkward angles, I didn’t know” should be “awkward angles I didn’t know” (no comma)
          — Para 19: “streets littered” should be “streets were littered” (sentence needs a verb)
          — Para 19: “Flooded areas complicate cleanup because” better as “Flooded areas will complicate cleanup because” (sentence needs a verb)
          — In these two para 19 instances and a few others you use past and future tense in the same para and even in the same sentence. I can’t cite a grammar rule, but that doesn’t work for me. I have trouble with jumping between past, present, and future too casually.

*Check2* Mechanics:
          — Paras 4 and 5 — confusion about ‘inside’ vs ‘outside’.
                    — Para 4 “Fighting the strong winds, I stood inside the front door” (I don’t understand “fighting winds” inside.)
                    — Para 5 “With all my might, I leaned on the door”
                    — Did you go outside? If so, when? Did the door blow open by itself? Do para 4 and 5 refer to one or two separate instances of the door opening? Need a lot of clarification here.
          — Using time hacks to get through the night is an excellent idea. I found three (1AM, 3AM, daylight). You could use more or add words to show how the long the night was, e.g., “I looked at my watch. It was only 2AM. God, will this night never end.”
          — Para 17: What are “furbabies”?
          — Para 19: “three feet of insulation” I don’t think your house had insulation three feet thick, especially in Florida. Fix wording.

*Check2* How did the writing make me feel? Did it invoke any emotions?
          — I could sense the horror of that night and the depression that followed. I imagine writing about it was painful.

*Check2* Can I relate to the writing through a personal experience?
          — No. Thankfully, I have no personal experience to inform this review.

*Check2* Did the plot interest me? Were the characters believable? Did the dialog flow naturally?
          — Yes, the plot interested me. Narrator was believable. Sister was believable but character could have been developed more. Third and fourth persons left totally unknown. A lot more dialogue would help the story.

*Check2* Did the time, place and other setting characteristics work together?
          — Yes. A couple calendar references to anchor the reader would help. Maybe adding a few statistics, as an epilog, about the damage of the storm — lives lost, property destroyed, families displaced would illustrate the magnitude of the tragedy.

*Check2* What did I like most? What did I like least? Did anything stand out?
          — Most: Narrator’s descriptions were very good.
          — Least: Little or no attention to letting me know about the other people who shared this experience.
          — Stood out: Little or no attention to letting me know about the other people who shared this experience.

*Check2* If this were my own writing, what would I want to know from a reviewer?
          — Did I meet my objective? “An exciting, first-hand account of what it's like to live through a Hurricane.”
          — Answer: Yes

*Check2* Suggestions:
          — Be careful about shifting between past, present, and future tense.

*Check2* This advice I give totally and without reservation or exception:
          — “Stories are always richer when characters, places, and events have names – even fictitious ones.”
          — Always read your story out loud. Your tongue will force your brain to slow down, allowing you to catch many mistakes that your eye would pass over. Our eyes are very forgiving, but our ears almost never let us down, alerting us to something that needs fixing, even if we can’t describe the problem.


Thank you for sharing your story. I believe that one of the best ways to improve my writing is to review the work of others. So thank you for giving me the opportunity to help both of us write better.


flyfishercatcher


*Exclaim* Please remember that you are best judge of what is right for your story! Whatever another person says -- especially me! -- whether positive or negative, is just their opinion! You are the only one who can decide what is right for your story. *Exclaim*


This is my work in progress. I would appreciate review and/or comment on any part of it. Thanks.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
21
21
Review by flyfishercacher
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: 18+ | (3.0)
Story Review


Hello:
I am flyfishercatcher and I found your story on "Please Review
I am reviewing it for
GROUP
The Rockin' Reviewers  (13+)
~Quality reviews given in a positive and encouraging manner
#1630911 by Osirantinous

I enjoyed reading it and hope you find this feedback useful.


Title: "The Sixth Commandment

*Check2* Objective / Notes from the author:
          — A detective getting too close to the truth expects to be promoted to Chief Inspector. There are those however, politics being what they are, who don't want her to get the job. She is forced to accept early retirement and becomes a private investigator.
          — This is the beginning of Chap. 1 rewrite. All feedback welcomed and needed. Looking for comments on: content, presentation, mechanics, what's working & what's not, strengths, weaknesses, if the reader is drawn into the story and how it makes you feel.

*Check2* Was this written for a contest? If so, what were the constraints?:
          — No

*Check2* Word Count:Not relevant

*Check2* Overall Impression:
          — I applaud your willingness to step out and take some heat. What follows may seem harsh, partly because I am not into frilly words and sugar coating rather prefer communicating thoughts that I hope will help you (and me) improve our writing.
         – I think you are asking for input too early. This is barely a scene, not yet a chapter.
         – This looks at first glance to be a great story in the making. I would appreciate the opportunity to read more when you have it developed further.
         –I have tagged it as a favorite so I can follow your progress.

*Check2* Advice:
         –Somewhere a long time ago, I picked up this piece of good advice:
“Don’t write chapters: write scenes. Add chapter breaks when you are finished.”

         –Nevertheless, there is a ton of advice on the special nature of chapter 1 (even before it is a chapter). Here are three excerpts on the subject from K.M.Weiland, an author and writing coach I follow closely.
                    — • Your story’s first chapter is one of the most important pieces of your story. Not only does it provide the foundation for a solid storyform to come, it is also your first and only chance to pique readers’ curiosity and suck them in. For better or worse, the first chapter is also one of the most challenging parts of any story. There’s just so much that has be set up in these opening moments.
                    — • Arguably, your first chapter’s most important job is hooking readers. But if you’re going to provide readers with all kinds of juicy hooks in your opening line, opening situation, and characteristic moment, then you have to have a place to put them. Your story’s opening scene is the box that holds all the goodies.
                    — • The reason the first chapter of a story is so complex is because it bears a triple load of responsibility. First, it must hook readers. Then it must offer a compelling and interesting scene of its own. And finally, it must set up the entire story to come.

         —Put another way:
                   —The first sentence must get the reader to read the first paragraph.
                   —The first paragraph must get the reader to read the first chapter.
                   —The first chapter must get the reader to read the whole book.

*Check2* Comments:
          — So much for the preaching. Here are my comments on what you provided:
                    — 1. I think you are asking for input too early. This is barely a scene, not yet a chapter.
                    — 2. Just start the story (which appears to be paragraph 5). Come back and write the beginning later.
                    — 3. The one-sentence paragraph 1 is awesome. That’s a keeper.
                    — 4. Paragraphs 2 and 3 are extremely well written, but they are a flashback in excruciating detail too early. There is a whole story there before I even know her name.
                    — 5. Is this going to be a story about a police detective, a private investigator, or both?
          —Based on paragraphs 5,6,7, and 8. Here is what I know and don’t know.
                    — 6. Paragraph 5 tells me she is still a detective.
                    — 7. Eric and Jodi are unknown characters who are important but not here for Christmas.
                    — 8. She is expecting three visitors for dinner:
                              — a. Brother: Patrick
                              — b. Father: Michael Jay Hawkes
                              — c. Unknown friend of father: Skelly
                    — 9. When she opens the door there are four: the three she expected plus an unwelcome fourth — Detective Tom Clark. Is it important that all four arrive together? If not, I would separate the arrivals. It confused me.

*Check2* If this were my own writing, what would I want to know from a reviewer?
          — Did I meet my objective?
          — Answer: No. There is not enough material to evaluate.

*Check2* Suggestions:
          — From the small amount you have provided, I believe you are a good writer with a firm grasp on language and how to use it.
          — This advice I give totally and without reservation or exception:
                    — Always read your story out loud. Your tongue will force your brain to slow down, allowing you to catch many mistakes that your eye would pass over.

Thank you for sharing your story. I believe that one of the best ways to improve my writing is to review the work of others. So thank you for giving me the opportunity to help both of us write better.


flyfishercatcher


*Exclaim* Please remember that you are best judge of what is right for your story! Whatever another person says -- especially me! -- whether positive or negative, is just their opinion! You are the only one who can decide what is right for your story. *Exclaim*


22
22
Review by flyfishercacher
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: E | (3.5)
Story Review


Hello:
I'm flyfishercatcher and I found your story on "Please Review
I enjoyed reading it and hope you find this feedback useful.


Title: "Black Cat Superstition

*Check2* Objective / Notes from the author:
          — The objective it to write about a Pet's possible superstition. I'm attempting to convey that it is a black cat's superstition that crossing a human's path and invoking fear, is for them, good luck. Something seems to be missing though...

*Check2* Was this written for a contest? If so, what were the constraints?:
          — Listed as a contest entry but contest name and constraints unknown.

*Check2* Word Count:433

*Check2* Overall Impression:
          — I applaud your willingness to step out and take some heat. I am not into frilly words and sugar coating rather prefer communicating thoughts that I hope will help you (and me) improve our writing.
          — I enjoyed this story. It is a clever idea, well executed, with real possibilities.

*Check2* Plot:
          — Annual reckoning on black cat’s score card of scaring humans.

*Check2* Scene/Setting:
          — Good description. This would be a good tale to associate with Halloween. If so, make the association strong enough to be visible to the reader. Harvest moon is the only hint.
          — Give the event a name.

*Check2* Characters:
          — Ameillia – give her a bigger role or get rid of her. Remember the principle of Anton Chekhov's Gun. "If in the first act you have hung a pistol on the wall, then in the following one it should be fired. Otherwise don't put it there."
          — Give the leader a name.
          — Add a couple lead characters, give them names, e.g., Puss and Boots (My friend has two cats thusly named), and more description than just black cats.

*Check2* Dialog:
          — Some dialogue amongst the cats would help a lot. Humorous, light hearted, ”catty” would be best.
          — Maybe get some ideas or inspirations for cat dialogue from the musical Cats
          — Review carefully for correct and complete punctuation (especially closing quotation marks). To me this is the hardest part of writing. I hate it.

*Check2* Grammar and Mechanics:
          — Always read your stories out loud. Your tongue will force your brain to slow down, allowing you to catch many mistakes that your eye would pass over.
          — I ran your story through Grammarly which always finds many comma placement mistakes. Many I ignore because I disagree with them, so I do not comment on them in my reviews. The following items are from both Grammarly and me.
          – Para 1
                    – It appears that the noun moon might combine better with an adjective other than vivid. Consider rewriting this word pair or choosing a synonym for vivid such as bright or glowing.
                    – The intensifier very modifies the weak adjective small. Consider replacing the phrase with a strong adjective in order to sharpen your writing, such as tiny or minimal.
          – Para 2
                    – "euphoric purring. As all" s/b "euphoric purring, as all" This appears to be an incomplete sentence. Consider rewriting the sentence or connecting the fragment with another sentence.
          – Para 3
                    – The word easily is often overused. Consider using a more specific synonym to improve the sharpness of your writing.
                    – The word great is often overused. Consider using a more specific synonym to improve the sharpness of your writing.
          – Para 4
                    – The whole paragraph is a single quote but it is not obvious. Add a close quote at the end and an action tag to clearly show that it is the leader who is speaking.
          – Para 5
                    – The word taught appears repeatedly in this text. Consider using a synonym in its place, such as shown, instructed, prepared.
          – Para 6
                    – The word fear appears repeatedly in this text. Consider using a synonym in its place, such as concern, anxiety, doubt.

*Check2* How did the writing make me feel? Did it invoke any emotions?
          — Story is full of possibilities and many directions.

*Check2* Can I relate to the writing through a personal experience?
          — No. I have no personal experience to inform this review.

*Check2* Did the plot interest me? Were the characters believable? Did the dialog flow naturally?
          — Yes
          — Need a couple well defined lead characters so that you can have
          — More dialogue

*Check2* Did the time, place and other setting characteristics work together?
          — Yes, somewhat. “harvest moon” implies October, which implies Halloween. But this needs to be stronger.

*Check2* What did I like most? What did I like least? Did anything stand out?
          — As described from the cat’s point of view, walking across the path of a human is not a matter of luck but rather a task, chore, requirement to be sought out, executed, then graded. For them, it is not superstition or a matter of fortune but a directive with rewards and punishments.

*Check2* Is there anything I would change within the writing?
          — If you want this to be dark, make it darker. If you want it to be light-hearted, add more humor. Either way, kick it off the bland dead center.
          — I would go for a humorous piece. Make the characters a Mr. and Mrs. Have them bring a picnic basket of catnip, then get tipsy and playful during the meeting.

*Check2* If this were my own writing, what would I want to know from a reviewer?
          — Did I meet my objective?
          — Answer: Yes to a great extent. I hope the ideas expressed above will get you the rest of the way.

*Check2* Suggestions:
          — I have written stories for contests against a word count limit. At 433 words, I suspect your limit is 500 words. If so, much of what I offer above cannot be incorporated. However, use what you can and good luck.
          — This advice I give totally and without reservation or exception: “Stories are always richer when characters, places, and events have names – even fictitious ones.”
          — Always read your story out loud. Your tongue will force your brain to slow down, allowing you to catch many mistakes that your eye would pass over.

Thank you for sharing your story. I believe that one of the best ways to improve my writing is to review the work of others. So thank you for giving me the opportunity to help both of us write better.


flyfishercatcher


*Exclaim* Please remember that you are best judge of what is right for your story! Whatever another person says -- especially me! -- whether positive or negative, is just their opinion! You are the only one who can decide what is right for your story. *Exclaim*


 
Renaissance Man - Part 1  [13+]
Story of Torey Campbell, Part 1. Beginning through First Plot Point. Work in progress.
by flyfishercacher
23
23
Review of magpies  
Review by flyfishercacher
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Story Review


Hello:
I'm flyfishercatcher and I found your story on "Please Review
I enjoyed reading it and hope you find this feedback useful.


Title: "magpies

*Check2* Objective / Notes from the author:
          — First short story in a while
          — First time with darkish theme
          — My first short story published here! Reviews incredibly appreciated!

*Check2* Was this written for a contest? If so, what were the constraints?:
          — Unknown

*Check2* Word Count:525

*Check2* Overall Impression:
          — Recognizing your three firsts noted above, I applaud your willingness to step out and take some heat. What follows may seem harsh, partly because I am not into frilly words and sugar coating rather communicating things that I hope will help you (and me too).
          — Story left me confused.

*Check2* Plot:
          — Not clear. Here's my best guess
                    — Father disappeared (how long ago?).
                    — Mother unconcerned.
                    — Daughter(I think it's a young girl?) drawn to spot in the garden by Magpies activities but fearful.
                    — Overcomes fear and mother's prohibitions.
                    — Goes to garden.
                    — Finds father's corpse obviously murdered.
          — If I'm right (or close to it) this plot could work into a good story. But I should not have to guess.

*Check2* Style and Voice:
          — I'll defer on this one. It still needs to develop.

*Check2* Scene/Setting:
          — Lower garden pretty well described.
          — Maybe add a few words about porch.

*Check2* Characters:
          — Good description of mother.
          — POV character -- not sure if male, female, child, grown. My guess is young girl but I should not have to guess.

*Check2* Dialog:
          — Review carefully for correct and complete punctuation (especially closing quotation marks). To me this is the hardest part of writing. I hate it.
          — Not much dialogue in this story. That's OK. Not much is required.
          — Action beats good.
          — I found no glaring dialogue problems.

*Check2* Grammar and Mechanics:
          — Always read your stories out loud. Your tongue will force your brain to slow down, allowing you to catch many mistakes that your eye would pass over.
          — I ran your story through Grammarly which always finds many comma placement mistakes. Many I ignore because I disagree with them, so I do not comment on them in my reviews.
          — Your grammar, punctuation, and spelling were good. I like that, it indicates a careful writer.

*Check2* How did the writing make me feel? Did it invoke any emotions?
          — Confused not scared. I could not lock on to a timeline:
                    — Para 2 starts this morning and ends last night.
                    — In para 3 *Cut* house quiet since Daddy ... *Cut* implies that Daddy disappeared or died and it was a long time ago.

*Check2* Can I relate to the writing through a personal experience?
          — No. I have no personal experience to inform this review.

*Check2* Did the plot interest me? Were the characters believable? Did the dialog flow naturally?
          — Could not determine plot. What I wrote above is my best guess.
          — Mother believable.
          — POV character ill defined.

*Check2* Did the time, place and other setting characteristics work together?
          — No. Time span confusing -- one night or several weeks?

*Check2* What did I like most? What did I like least? Did anything stand out?
          — Para 2 stood out. It destroyed the story. Sent me spinning and I didn't recover.
          — Should have added information, emotion, tension. Did none of that.

*Check2* Is there anything I would change within the writing?
          — Para 2
                    – Second sentence
                             *Bullet* Your text:
                             *Cut* One for sorrow *Cut*
                             *Idea* My Comment:
                             *Idea**Paste* What does this mean? *Paste**Idea*
                    – Third sentence
                             *Bullet* Your text:
                             *Cut* You salute ... boring into my soul *Cut*
                             *Idea* My Comment:
                             *Idea**Paste* Shift in person from you to my in same sentence *Paste**Idea*
                    — Starts in the morning and ends the previous night
                    — I get no message, information, or meaning from this paragraph. Why is it here?

*Check2* Suggestions:
          — Para 2 is the place for a lot of setup material. Delete it and start over answering the question "Where do I want to take the reader.

Thank you for sharing your story. I believe that one of the best ways to improve my writing is to review the work of others. So thank you for giving me the opportunity to help both of us write better.


flyfishercatcher


*Exclaim* Please remember that you are best judge of what is right for your story! Whatever another person says -- especially me! -- whether positive or negative, is just their opinion! You are the only one who can decide what is right for your story. *Exclaim*


                             
 
Renaissance Man - Part 1  [13+]
Story of Torey Campbell, Part 1. Beginning through First Plot Point. Work in progress.
by flyfishercacher

24
24
Review by flyfishercacher
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
Story Review


Hello:
I'm flyfishercatcher and I found your story on "Please Review
I enjoyed reading it and hope you find this feedback useful.


Title: "The Queen's Last Knight

*Check2* Overall Impression:
          — Good story. Well told.

*Check2* Plot:
          — Heroine returns from battle, learns that she is a hero, one moment of love, heroic end.

*Check2* Style and Voice:
          — Comfortable, easy to read.

*Check2* Scene/Setting:
          — Very well done.
          — Good descriptions.
          — Progress of the enemy interjected often to maintain pace and increase tension.

*Check2* Characters:
          — Both characters well described and believable.
          — Backstory well developed but not excessive.

*Check2* Dialog:
          — Action tags good.
          — Review carefully for correct and complete punctuation. To me, this the hardest part of writing. I hate it.

*Check2* Grammar and Mechanics:
         – You capitalized Knight and Queen in some cases but not in others. Both styles are acceptable, but it’s best to use just one style throughout your document.
         – The ellipsis ( ... ) seems to be a controversial item of punctuation with too many 'experts.' I use it a lot, probably too much. However, when I use it, I include a space on both sides. Often when I reread my material out loud, I reconsider the appropriateness of the ellipsis and change to a comma. Just a thought.
         – Para 01 — "Both dressed in white robes, one held a pillow and the other, a gold chalice embedded with colorful jewels." You appear to have two independent clauses improperly joined with a comma. Consider correcting the comma splice.
         – Para 03 — 'dawning' wrong word. I think you meant 'donning' which still doesn't fit because it is a verb. How about just plain old 'wearing'
         – Para 07 — 'sauntered' I doubt it. More likely 'timidly crept' or ‘ran terrified’
         – Para 10 — First sentence is possibly a wordy sentence. Too many non-content words may indicate wordiness. Consider rewriting to avoid some of these words: a, to, her, and, in, his, while, over.
         – Para 14 — Collapse this sentence into para 13 as the last sentence.
         – Para 23 — 'what will come' s/b 'what would come'
         – Para 24 — 'jumped' s/b 'jump'
         – Para 27 — 'no man could ignore, I command' s/b no man could ignore, "I command (restart dialogue)
         – Para 31 — 'hilt her sword' s/b 'hilt of her sword'
         – Para 33 — 'slide' s/b 'slid'
         – Para 40 — mankind’s deliverer” s/b mankind’s deliverer.” (add closing period)
         – Para 43 — 'revealed his ball' ??? I don't understand this phrase. Did you mean 'bald'?
         – Para 44 — 'want to see you' s/b want to see you.' (add closing period)
         – Para 49 — Sentence beginning with 'For once I' is possibly a wordy sentence. Too many non-content words may indicate wordiness. Consider rewriting to avoid some of these words: for, once, all, the, of, your, and, to, our.
         – Para 55 — 'flings' s/b 'flung' and 'flood' s/b 'flooded'
         – Para 61 — ### why here? My understanding is that ### is used for end of story, and *** is used for passage of time.
         – Para 62 — 'floor.created' s/b 'floor created' (no period)
         – Para 62 — lie s/b lay
         – Para 62 — Passive voice 'room was set ablaze' better as 'set the room ablaze'

*Check2* How did the writing make me feel? Did it invoke any emotions?
          — Story captured me.
          — My one emotion is that you are a good writer with a great imagination.

*Check2* Can I relate to the writing through a personal experience?
          — Some reading of the period, but I’m more into history than fantasy.
          — I have no personal experience to inform my review.

*Check2* Did the plot interest me? Were the characters believable? Did the dialog flow naturally?
          — Yes, yes, yes. Good job.

*Check2* Did the time, place and other setting characteristics work together?
          — No time and place set but for me it fell into place as Europe in the medieval times.

*Check2* What did I like most? What did I like least? Did anything stand out?
          — Liked the clever double meaning of ‘Knight’ and ‘Night’ in the title.
          — Did not like the contradictions. Strong verbs are desirable for sure but they must support and be supported by the surrounding text. I found several contradictions. To me they stood out.
                    — Early paragraphs paint the picture of someone wounded, delirious, fatigued, almost unconscious, then suddenly she "booms" for wine. It doesn't fit. Neither does 'weary lady yanked it from the tray'
                    — Para 16 & 17 — I presume the scribe presented a blank scroll for her to write a message. She rejected it and gave him a verbal message instead. Need to make that clearer.
                    — Para 43 & 44 — bald and in his twenties. It doesn't fit. 'Head shaved' could work if you insist.
                    — Para 54 — 'yanked her sword from the floor' and 'stumbled forward' don't fit.

*Check2* Is there anything I would change within the writing?
          — Errors noted elsewhere.

*Check2* Suggestions:
          — Work on harmonizing action with description, i.e., action verbs in action scenes and docile verbs in docile scenes.

Thank you for sharing your story. I believe that one of the best ways to improve my writing is to review the work of others. So thank you for giving me the opportunity to help both of us write better.


flyfishercatcher


*Exclaim* Please remember that you are best judge of what is right for your story! Whatever another person says -- especially me! -- whether positive or negative, is just their opinion! You are the only one who can decide what is right for your story. *Exclaim*


 
Renaissance Man - Part 1  [13+]
Story of Torey Campbell, Part 1. Beginning through First Plot Point. Work in progress.
by flyfishercacher



*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
25
25
Review of Ironic Despair  
Review by flyfishercacher
In affiliation with SENIOR CENTER GROUP  
Rated: 13+ | (3.5)
Story Review


Hello:
I'm flyfishercatcher and I found your story on "Please Review
I enjoyed reading it and hope you find this feedback useful.


Title: "Ironic Despair

*Check2* Overall Impression:
          — Left me confused. Too many “whys” and a time disconnect.

*Check2* Plot:
          — Plot fulfills the meaning of the title.
          — Vagrant, intent on suicide is dissuaded by opportunity to safely pilfer a convenience store.

*Check2* Style and Voice:
          — Your style is comfortable and easy to read. I like it.

*Check2* Scene/Setting:
          — Para 5 -- "dim light" — convenience stores are usually brightly lit both inside and outside.
          — “cliff” and “city” don't go together. How about a bridge? Make it a famous one with a reputation for suicide jumpers.

*Check2* Characters:
          — Too many descriptors — vagrant, poor gentleman, beggar, homeless man.
          — Give him a name so reader can identify with him and more description early, then refer to him by name throughout the story.

*Check2* Dialog:
          — Para 2 – Consider a verbal exchange between vagrant and cyclist.
          — Para 6 and 7 should be one: action tag and words together.
          — Para 8 – Consider a verbal exchange between clerk and thief.
          — In several places, consider replacing narrative with mumbled monologue from vagrant or if you keep the dog have him talk to the dog.

*Check2* Grammar and Mechanics:
          — Para 1 -- "plummetting" s/b "plummeting"
          — Para 1 --"tired body, shivered" s/b "tired body shivered" (no comma)
          — Para 8 -- "lifeless his" s/b "his lifeless"
          — Para 8 -- first sentence wordy with many non-content words: the, a, from, under, and, at, who, despite, in, his, was, now. Consider rewriting.
          — Para 8 -- last sentence wordy with many non-content words: as though, had to, the, as to why, already, been, before, even. Consider rewriting.
          — Para 9 -- "Magically" never works. It's the writer's escape for explaining away something impossible.

*Check2* Can I relate to the writing through a personal experience?
          — No. I have had no life experiences that would inform me for this writing.

*Check2* Did the plot interest me? Were the characters believable? Did the dialog flow naturally?
          — Plot interested me, except that I kept tripping over the disconnects.
          — Character was believable. One of my favorite types to write about.
          — Story would benefit from more dialogue.

*Check2* Did the time, place and other setting characteristics work together?
          — No.
          — Time disconnect:
                    —Para 1 - First sentence implies morning
                    —Para 2 - "evening mist" Whole day traversing concrete jungle by foot?
                    —Para 3 - "end had to be today" but whole day was gone.
                    —Para 3 --"Wasn't too far from destination" A cliff in the city?
                    —Para 4 - "late night convenience store" implies that now the whole evening was gone too.
                    —Para 9 - "back to his spongy cardboard box." Time and distance reality vanish. He is wounded and has spent all day and evening getting from cardboard box to convenience store. Now return trip is quickly dismissed in order to end story.
          — Cliff in the city doesn’t work.

*Check2* What did I like most? What did I like least? Did anything stand out?
          — To me the link between the title and the story was subtle and the real zinger of the piece.
          — What stood out was that I was left with too many "whys"
                    — Why the dog? Remember the principle of Anton Chekhov's Gun. "If in the first act you have hung a pistol on the wall, then in the following one it should be fired. Otherwise don't put it there."
                    — Cyclist: Why the return trip? Implies a specific motive which doesn't fit. Have him crash into vagrant on first pass, exchange nasty words, then disappear.
                    — Why the foul odor from the convenience store? Unnecessary and doesn't fit.
                    — Why cashier sweating?

*Check2* Suggestions:
          — Substitute bridge for cliff
          — Use monologue and dialogue more to carry the message and replace narrative.
          — Collapse time span.

Thank you for sharing your story. I believe that one of the best ways to improve my writing is to review the work of others. So thank you for giving me the opportunity to help both of us write better.


flyfishercatcher


*Exclaim* Please remember that you are best judge of what is right for your story! Whatever another person says -- especially me! -- whether positive or negative, is just their opinion! You are the only one who can decide what is right for your story. *Exclaim*


 
Renaissance Man - Part 1  [13+]
Story of Torey Campbell, Part 1. Beginning through First Plot Point. Work in progress.
by flyfishercacher

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