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744 Public Reviews Given
Review Style
Check out: "Invalid Item. When I review an item, the criticism offered aims to address the main problems I personally feel the writer has at the moment. So, if I critique a story that is full of typos, lacks a clear plot and a sympathetic character, I'll tend to ignore the typos and focus on how the writer can craft a better plot and protagonist, while if the story is near perfect yet full of typos, I'll focus on the typos. I don't enjoy reviewing poetry. This isn't because I don't enjoy poetry, but because poetry is a very personal statement of feelings, and it's difficult to comment on such without upsetting the author.
I'm good at...
Critiquing opening chapters and offering advice on hook, character development, plot development and initial setting. In real life, I love to read novels, so I particularly enjoy reviewing opening chapters. Check out: "Invalid Item
Favorite Genres
Fantasy, sci-fi, speculative and historical fiction — I especially love time travel and YA fantasy/sci-fi
Least Favorite Genres
Poetry, erotica, romance, crime, thrillers, horror
Favorite Item Types
opening chapters and short stories
Least Favorite Item Types
poetry, lyrics, interactive stories
I will not review...
Your shopping list. Anything else goes. *Bigsmile*
Public Reviews
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1
1
for entry "CHAPTER 18
In affiliation with Novel Workshop Group  
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
Hello, DMT - PASSED!



Set up — is your chapter opening confusing?

*Star**Star**Star**Star**HalfStar*

Your opening effectively reminded the reader what happened in previous chapters and set this up well for this chapter to begin. However, I did feel that Jake's viewpoint could have been better established. It appeared to be from Adrian's viewpoint in the first few paragraphs.

Characters — are they well rounded?
*Star**Star**Star**Star**Star*

I like the banter between Jake and Callore. I like the way their relationship is slowly developing.

Plot — is it driving the story?
*Star**Star**Star**Star*

The ongoing plot - Callore introducing Jake to the life of a warrior etc - is going well.

You have a plot point about a stranger wandering into camp and stealing a map. The problem raised by this is that the map gives the location of the camp and the General is concerned about that. HOWEVER, the way you have arranged things in the story it's not a genuine problem. Think about this. The stranger already knows exactly where their camp is, otherwise he couldn't have gone there to steal the map. *RollEyes* IF you have him steal the map from somewhere else, like if he met up with a long distance patrol and shared their camp overnight, then he could steal the map without needing to first know where the camp is. Otherwise, you could have the map providing other important information, like the distribution of the forces and position of their assets etc. If the map showed where they'd hidden arms caches and food caches in secret locations around the country, THAT would be information they wouldn't want the enemy to have.

Pace — does your story feel like it's going somewhere?
*Star**Star**Star**Star**Star*

Pacing is good. You have a good balance between setting, dialogue, and plot and character development.

Language and voice — does this reader 'feel' the story? Are your characters' voices distinct?
*Star**Star**Star**HalfStar*

Your prose is generally clear and it's always easy to understand what's going on. However, you have quite a large number of typos, like forgetting apostrophes in contractions or using possessive apostrophes when the 's' is actually a plural 's'. Try to make your text more varied. Use dialogue tags for some speeches, but not all of them. Just use enough tags so that we don't get lost about who is saying which speech line. Also, vary sentence length and sentence construction.

Notes

"I can see them," Adrian shouted as he pointed to the mouth of the cave. -> think about viewpoint. If this is from Jake's viewpoint, he's outside the cave right now so his view won't be like this. Try to keep everything how he would naturally see it and phrase things from Jake's pov. Also, establish Jake's pov as strongly as possible at the beginning of the chapter. Having another character's actions and words there kinda undermines Jake's pov.

Jake rubbed his hand over his face, "Cant this wait? We have been on the road for days and I can -> period after 'face'. Can't needs an apostrophe. Suggest We've been. Comma after 'days'

Jake and Callore locked eyes, sighed, and followed him. -> Don't need the end 'him'. When it's obvious who you're talking about, you can often omit objective pronouns.

he boomed as he pushed his chair back, walked around the desk and gave each of them in turn a wolf hug. He marched to the drinks cabinet, poured himself a shot of whiskey. He glanced in their direction, studied their faces and took out two more glasses. He gestured for them to sit and handed them each a drink before he sat in between them and sipped his. -> watch out for too many sentences with similar construction, eg. he boomed/He marched/He glanced/He gestured -> all start with He + verb.

Jake shrugged his shoulders. "Derek -> don't need 'his shoulders' here. There's nothing else you can shrug so the words are redundant.

Callore stood up and saluted. "What do you want us to do, sir?" -> why is she saluting now? It's very random. She might salute on first meeting him, on receiving an order, or on being dismissed. But this is just a weird time. And while this is on my mind, you DON'T need a dialogue tag for every single speech. In a long conversation, it's sometimes better to have a few exchanges of speech without other non-spoken text between.

Jake waited for her while she raided the kitchen for provisions -> kitchen or mess tent?? It's a camp, and their general's office is a hut. Why would they have a proper kitchen?

Jake reached into the rucksack and pulled a deer leg out. He put it on the spit and turned it. -> he's only just arrived here and is laying on the ground exhausted. How did we get from that to a spit? Didn't he need to gather wood, build a fire, light it, and then set up a spit first??

When you get a certain age your sense of smell -> you get to a certain age, your

So, vampires are not so good while they are trainee's and not so ->, trainees

He took a leg off the fire and handed it to her. -> the way this is phrased, it sounds like there are several legs on the fire and this is just one of them. If I recall, there is only ONE leg

Jake ran at the oak tree again. as he got near the tree, he heard Callore yelled "now." -> either 'he heard CAllor yell, "Now!" OR 'the tree, Callore yelled, "Now!"

"Now we need to kill him before he wakes up and its almost dusk." -> and it's almost

The head rolled off the bed and hit the ground. -> he's sleeping in a TENT but he has a BED with silk sheets?! Sorry, but I can't imagine he's lugging a bed around with him when he goes hiking through the woods. Shouldn't he have a ground mat and sleeping bag?

Other son's make their fathers proud by winning trophies -> other sons

Settings — is this reader grounded in 'real' scenes?
*Star**Star**Star**Star**HalfStar*

I like all the information about the tree and the venison and the smells etc. Think about the consistency in setting, though. If the general is using a hut, and people are in tents, they won't have a real kitchen. If a man is a wanderer who sleeps in a tent, he won't have a bed and silk sheets. Try to visualize the whole scene when writing details on setting.

Conclusion — a summary of how this reader personally felt about your chapter.
*Star**Star**Star**Star* *HalfStar*

My feeling is that this chapter fits well into the overall flow of the novel BUT there are inconsistencies in the setting that need addressing, and the minor subplot within the chapter simply doesn't work for me. It's implausible.

Thank you for sharing your chapter. Good luck with your writing.

Best wishes,

Bob *Bigsmile*



This was a review from "The Novel Workshop

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2
2
Review of Ice-Cream Aliens  
In affiliation with Novel Workshop Group  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hello blueflowers777

Welcome to WDC!!! *Heart*

I hope this review proves helpful. Please remember that everybody has different tastes. My critique is the opinion of only one person and offered in the spirit of constructive criticism with a hope that it will be useful if you decide to further develop or edit your tale. Approaching your writing, I'm searching for specific elements that I shall address under separate headers.


Hook — does your opening have something that stops this reader putting down your story?
*Star**Star**Star**Star**HalfStar*

Your opening is very traditional for a children's story. It works for me. I was quite hooked by the idea of ice-cream munching aliens.

Characters — are they well rounded?
*Star**Star**Star**Star**HalfStar*

I like how they had different colors and changed color depending upon which ice-cream they ate. However, it might be simpler if you just had them as color changing aliens whose typical color reflected their food preferences. I mean, you currently have your reader imagine them as a specific color, blue or green, but then add in the complication that they change color when they eat ice-cream. That means that Jeb and the Greeens don't actually have the color you attributed to them most of the time, if you catch my drift.

Plot — does your story contain a clear plot with a strong resolution, or hook if it's a chapter or serial?
*Star**Star**Star**Star*

It's simple and cute, BUT it's not, strictly speaking, a story. A story, rather than a scene setting or character description, happens when there is A CONFLICT. Conflict doesn't mean fighting or war, in this context. Conflict means something that the protagonist(s) must struggle to achieve or defeat. So, for example, your conflict might be that the aliens want ice-cream BUT they don't have money and nobody will just give it to them. Then you can resolve that conflict to end your story when the aliens figure out how they can exchange the gold/diamonds/whatever that is common on their world for the ice-cream, which is much more valuable to them than gold. That's just an example conflict. To make this a true story, think about WHAT your characters want, WHY they can't have it, and HOW they go about getting that thing that they want but can't have. This struggle to achieve a goal is what is called conflict resolution.

Pace — does your story feel like it's going somewhere?
*Star**Star**Star**Star*

The pace is a tad fast for me. You could have done more scene setting.

Language and voice — does this reader 'feel' the story?
*Star**Star**Star**Star**HalfStar*

The style and tone you use are specifically aimed at children, and that's fine. Be aware, though, that the way you begin your story is 'telling' rather than 'showing' the story. 'Telling' is generally frowned upon, but I personally believe that's fine for children's stories.

You flip between past and present tense in your prose. It's generally better to stick to one. Past tense would be best for this story, imho.

Notes


Once upon a time, there existed 12 aliens that only came down to visit Earth just to eat ice-cream. -> although 'that' may be used as a pronoun, it's preferable to use 'who' when referring to sentient beings, ie. twelve aliens who only visited Earth to eat ice-cream. Note that it's considered better style to write out small numbers rather than using numerals, though an exception is made for names like Greeen 3 or R2D2 etc. Try to be succinct in your narrative. Rather than the complex and wordy 'came down to visit' you can simply write 'visited'.

"Oh Jeb! When can we go down to Earth to eat some ice-cream again?" Said Greeen 1 eagerly. -> 'said' should begin with a lower case 's' not 'S'. Same with 'exclaimed' in the following paragraph and 'said' in the paragraph after that.

The Greeen especially ate green flavored ice-cream -> green-flavored? I think you mean, The Greeen especially enjoyed pistachio ice-cream, as it was colored green. Likewise, Jeb loved blueberry-flavored ice-cream, which was blue.

Settings — is this reader grounded in 'real' scenes?
*Star**Star**Star**Star*

The scene setting was a little sparse. Show us what their spaceship looks like and the reactions of people when they land. Describe the ice-cream parlor. Let us taste the ice-cream along with the aliens. More, please.

Themes — is this reader blown away by mind-blowing philosophy or originality?
*Star**Star**Star**Star**Star*

You've gotta appreciate the UNIVERSAL appeal of ice-cream. *Laugh*

Conclusion — a summary of how this reader personally felt about your story.
*Star**Star**Star**Star**HalfStar*

You've got the premise and characters for a great story, BUT you need to add in some problem (conflict) for the aliens to resolve in order to make this an engaging story with a satisfying resolution.

Thank you for sharing your story with me. Good luck with your writing.

Best wishes,

Bob *Bigsmile*



This was a review from "The Novel Workshop

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3
3
In affiliation with Newbies + Poetry Group  
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Hello, Boogedy Beastie!

I'm reviewing your poem as an official judge for "Invalid Item.

 Invalid Item 
This item number is not valid.
#2113126 by Not Available.


What I liked

I liked how you visibly set the brown "chocolate eggs" in a sea of green grass when speaking of hiding them for the children to hunt. The unicorn horn ingredient was original, and I'm delighted that it was painless for baby unicorns. I loved how the meaning is forgotten and only the eggs remembered. *Laugh*

What might need work

He sets them free / To live as foal. -> them is plural, so foals, not foal.

Conclusion

You've gotta love bunny chocolatiers! Great poem. *Heart*

Thank you for entering the contest!

Best wishes,

Bob *BigSmile*

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4
4
Review of Waiting for sleep  
In affiliation with Newbies + Poetry Group  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hello, 🏳‍🌈 Me ~ Duf ♏!

I'm reviewing your poem as an official judge for "Invalid Item.

 Invalid Item 
This item number is not valid.
#2113126 by Not Available.


What I liked

This is a truly unique and wonderful poem. I love it! I especially love the hot pink hoof polish she doesn't want to chip. *Laugh* There's also the beautiful emotions of a mother trying to do something really special for her child. Fabulous!

What might need work

You didn't really place any evidence that the mommy in this poem is a unicorn rather than a normal horse. I know fro the poem's description it is, and the hot pink polish also hints at it, but maybe you should have mentioned her horn at some point, or her foal's.

The foal is inquisitive ❓❓❓-> at this point in your poem, you're using the viewpoint of Mommy Unicorn, so "My foal is inquisitive" or maybe better, "My filly is inquisitive", to apply gender.

Maybe she will read my words -> at this point in your poem, you swap viewpoint from unicorn mommy to yourself. Why? It works better, imho, if the viewpoint remains that of Mommy Unicorn throughout.

Conclusion

What a wonderfully hot pink and fluffy poem! *Heart*

Thank you for entering the contest!

Best wishes,

Bob *BigSmile*

CLICK ON MY SIGNATURE TO FOLLOW THE PINK FLUFFY UNICORN HOME!!!
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5
5
Review of The Easter Bunny  
In affiliation with Newbies + Poetry Group  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Hello, Dominique!

I'm reviewing your poem as an official judge for "Invalid Item.

 Invalid Item 
This item number is not valid.
#2113126 by Not Available.


What I liked

What a fantastic premise. A little girl has her dreams spoiled only for a unicorn to come along and restore her faith in the EB. *Heart* I loved the flow of your poem, the word choices you made, and the pastel colors of your font.

What might need work

Rushing me down the stairs by two's -> I don't think that you should have an apostrophe here.

Conclusion

This is a marvellous, pink and fluffy poem. *Delight*

Thank you for entering the contest!

Best wishes,

Bob *BigSmile*

CLICK ON MY SIGNATURE TO FOLLOW THE PINK FLUFFY UNICORN HOME!!!
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6
6
Review of The Petting Zoo  
In affiliation with Newbies + Poetry Group  
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Hello, Mastiff is the walking dead.!

I'm reviewing your poem as an official judge for "Invalid Item.

 Invalid Item 
This item number is not valid.
#2113126 by Not Available.


What I liked

The story told within your poem was original and interesting with a strong ending. I liked your use of colors to mirror the animals' progress, where their life begins all grey and turns black, but then changes to vibrant colors when they escape and the magic rolls in.

What might need work

The lines read more like prose than free verse. Think about the tools used in poetry, such as assonance, alliteration, repetition, and succinct lines with powerful end words etc.

Conclusion

A worthy entry into the contest. *Delight*

Thank you for entering!

Best wishes,

Bob *BigSmile*

CLICK ON MY SIGNATURE TO FOLLOW THE PINK FLUFFY UNICORN HOME!!!
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7
7
Review of chasing bunnies  
In affiliation with Newbies + Poetry Group  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Hello, Rhyssa!

I'm reviewing your poem as an official judge for "Invalid Item.

 Invalid Item 
This item number is not valid.
#2113126 by Not Available.


What I liked

What a wonderfully original take on the prompt! I love your use of the bunny as a muse and the rabbit hole for the descent into plotting madness where weird and wonderful ideas kidnap the story and lead it in implausible and ridiculous directions. Steampunk unicorns? What a great idea!

twists and turns, up, / down, all around, lost / silver horns and copper cogs - love the alliteration, internal rhyme, and assonance.

I laughed at the seventy-two pages lapse.

*Heart*

What might need work

Nothing. This is fantastic!

Conclusion

A truly marvellous poem.

Thank you for entering the contest!

Best wishes,

Bob *BigSmile*

CLICK ON MY SIGNATURE TO FOLLOW THE PINK FLUFFY UNICORN HOME!!!
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8
8
Review of Unicorn and Me  
In affiliation with Newbies + Poetry Group  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hello, Mina on leave!

I'm reviewing your poem as an official judge for "Invalid Item.

 Invalid Item 
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#2113126 by Not Available.


What I liked

This clever poem contains wonderful imagery, especially the ice flowers on grass. *HEart*

What might need work

I didn't see any reference to rabbits in this poem, though the unicorn was clearly noted.

That day hailstones falling from the sky -> fell from the sky, to match the tense of the rest of the poem.

To feel and pick some natures wonder -> nature's or natural.

Conclusion

A very visual and pretty poem.

Thank you for entering the contest!

Best wishes,

Bob *BigSmile*

CLICK ON MY SIGNATURE TO FOLLOW THE PINK FLUFFY UNICORN HOME!!!
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9
9
In affiliation with Newbies + Poetry Group  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hello, Phantom Jeannie!

I'm reviewing your poem as an official judge for "Invalid Item.

 Invalid Item 
This item number is not valid.
#2113126 by Not Available.


What I liked

I liked that you created a place where unicorns are born during the Easter period and bunnies go to visit them.

What might need work

Although I liked how you brought the bunnies and unicorns together, you don't really provide a motive. Why do the bunnies go to see the unicorns? Apart from seeing them, what do they do in this magical land? Why are unicorns born at Easter? I suppose it's good that your poem raised so many questions in my head, but I would have liked some answers within the lines of your poem.

Conclusion

A thought-provoking poem.

Thank you for entering the contest!

Best wishes,

Bob *BigSmile*

CLICK ON MY SIGNATURE TO FOLLOW THE PINK FLUFFY UNICORN HOME!!!
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10
10
In affiliation with Newbies + Poetry Group  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hello, trailerpark bodhisattva!

I'm reviewing your poem as an official judge for "Invalid Item.

 Invalid Item 
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#2113126 by Not Available.


What I liked

You address two serious and linked issues: freedom and belief; the conviction we hold that we possess freedom. You make interesting use of the rabbit to contrast its relative freedom, unconstrained by laws and social mores, to human notions of freedom. You further point out that our conviction is simply a belief rooted in our ethnocentric and anthropocentric belief system.

What might need work

To me, this reads more like "free verse" than structured.

running endlessly from monsters with shining bodies and stinking belches -> this sounds like a very specific foe, but I couldn't work out what it was. Foxes are the first that come to mind, though eagles and wolves are partial to rabbit pie, too. But the stinking belches confused me as I don't really associate it with these creatures. However, the juxtaposition of "shining bodies" and "stinking belches" does sound quite poetic.

I was rather confused by the line - "Belief is nonexistent for those who would ignore truth". I would have thought that those who ignored the truth found it easier to believe in mythical creatures.

Conclusion

You have an interesting premise here but could perhaps have been a little clearer. Having said that, some of the deepest poems rely on ambiguous verses.

Thank you for entering the contest!

Best wishes,

Bob *BigSmile*

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11
11
Review of Easter Friends  
In affiliation with Newbies + Poetry Group  
Rated: ASR | (4.5)
Hello, IceScreaming SugarCube!

I'm reviewing your poem as an official judge for "Invalid Item.

 Invalid Item 
This item number is not valid.
#2113126 by Not Available.


What I liked

This is short and sweet. I love how you show rather than tell that the unicorn and bunny are soft toys rather than real creatures through the plastic grass. Your poem captures the magic of childhood and those wonderful Easter Egg hunts. I liked the way you used a combination of assonance and alliteration in lines like "For plastic is the grass, and wicker the walls" where you associate 'plastic and grass' through assonance and 'wicker and walls' through alliteration. I also like the association of lucky and seven. *Heart*

What might need work

In the line "A small hand tosses pastel eggs in the grass", I didn't get why the small hand was doing that. I assume that the small hand means this is a child, but wouldn't the child be searching for eggs rather than hiding them?

Conclusion

This is a really cute poem about children at Easter.

Thank you for entering the contest!

Best wishes,

Bob *BigSmile*

CLICK ON MY SIGNATURE TO FOLLOW THE PINK FLUFFY UNICORN HOME!!!
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12
12
In affiliation with Newbies + Poetry Group  
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Hello, Snow Vampire!

I'm reviewing your poem as an official judge for "Invalid Item.

 Invalid Item 
This item number is not valid.
#2113126 by Not Available.


What I liked

The story in your poem was humorous and flowed well. You made good use of the structure, and I liked your occasional use of internal rhymes to supplement the end rhymes, eg. wheeze/breeze.

What might need work

A couple of small typos:

She touch his head with her golden horn -> touched
"This is your Easter guise until you learn practical jokes aren't t wise." -> aren't wise.

Conclusion

I hope that Peter Cottontail learned his lesson in the end! *Wink*

Thank you for entering the contest!

Best wishes,

Bob *BigSmile*

CLICK ON MY SIGNATURE TO FOLLOW THE PINK FLUFFY UNICORN HOME!!!
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13
13
In affiliation with Newbies + Poetry Group  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Hello, 👻 Ghostly Moon!

I'm reviewing your poem as an official judge for "Invalid Item.

 Invalid Item 
This item number is not valid.
#2113126 by Not Available.


What I liked

A fantastic inspirational poem about being the best you that you can. Fantastic structure, with internal and end rhymes throughout. Wonderful flow and word choices.

What might need work

That final couplet is a bit naughty! *Laugh*

Conclusion

What a wonderfully pink and fluffy poem. *Heart*

Thank you for entering the contest!

Best wishes,

Bob *BigSmile*

CLICK ON MY SIGNATURE TO FOLLOW THE PINK FLUFFY UNICORN HOME!!!
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14
14
Review of Grandma's Garden  
In affiliation with Newbies + Poetry Group  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Hello, Moon Fae!

I'm reviewing your poem as an official judge for "Invalid Item.

 Invalid Item 
This item number is not valid.
#2113126 by Not Available.


What I liked

I love your story. It's very simple and sweet. The rhyming structure is used effectively.

What might need work

A bunny stood in a vest then bowed saying "I beg your pardon", -> missing comma after 'saying'

Conclusion

I really like this cute little poem.

Thank you for entering the contest!

Best wishes,

Bob *BigSmile*

CLICK ON MY SIGNATURE TO FOLLOW THE PINK FLUFFY UNICORN HOME!!!
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15
15
In affiliation with Newbies + Poetry Group  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hello, L.A. Grawitch!

I'm reviewing your poem as an official judge for "Invalid Item.

 Invalid Item 
This item number is not valid.
#2113126 by Not Available.


What I liked

I like that Sasha found the joy of the season when she helped the Easter Bunny to hand out baskets to the kids. I love your description of the Easter Bunny. *Heart* Nice image of a unicorn flying through the clouds. *Delight*

What might need work

You began with conflict, which is always a good thing, where Sasha was concerned about her field. However, you implied in this introduction that her grass had all been so badly trampled that there would be none left for her to eat. This established a problem in the flow of your poem which wasn't really addressed within the resolution. Did the grass magically reappear when the children found the eggs? Did the Easter Bunny reward her with a sack full of carrots? I just need something to show that the poor Pink Fluffy Unicorn didn't starve after this event. *Sad*

Conclusion

An interesting story that ends with kids getting pretty Easter eggs on Easter Day. *BigSmile*

Thank you for entering the contest!

Best wishes,

Bob *BigSmile*

CLICK ON MY SIGNATURE TO FOLLOW THE PINK FLUFFY UNICORN HOME!!!
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16
16
Review of UNICORN HUNT  
In affiliation with Newbies + Poetry Group  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hello, Monty, The Grim Reaper!

I'm reviewing your poem as an official judge for "Invalid Item.

 Invalid Item 
This item number is not valid.
#2113126 by Not Available.


What I liked

I'm pleased that the rabbit 'appears' to have found his unicorn by the end of the poem, even if all the other rabbits think he's cuckoo. *Laugh*

What might need work

Two uses of 'just' in the opening quatrain stood out to me. A little rewording would improve the sound of those lines, I feel.

Conclusion

A worthy entry. *Delight*

Thank you for entering the contest!

Best wishes,

Bob *BigSmile*

CLICK ON MY SIGNATURE TO FOLLOW THE PINK FLUFFY UNICORN HOME!!!
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17
17
In affiliation with Newbies + Poetry Group  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hello, Gravedigger Dave!

I'm reviewing your poem as an official judge for "Invalid Item.

 Invalid Item 
This item number is not valid.
#2113126 by Not Available.


What I liked

This description of a Sylvian scene kinda reminds me of the dressing-up scene of Disney's Cinderella, where woodland animals come to help Cinders dress in a ballgown. It's very vivid and easy to picture.

What might need work

I'm a bit confused about the nature of the event within the poem. In the opening, it's described as a glorification of the Easter holiday, but in the third stanza, it's described as a memorial. As you know, Easter is a celebration of rebirth—reincarntion—not death, so why is it a memorial? Also, I wasn't sure from the wording if all the characters in the poem were supposed to be 'real' in your world or Disney creations. I was further confused by the fact that Disney doesn't own Buggs Bunny. Maybe more consistency and showing of the exact nature of the characters would make things clearer.

Conclusion


Thank you for entering the contest!

Best wishes,

Bob *BigSmile*

CLICK ON MY SIGNATURE TO FOLLOW THE PINK FLUFFY UNICORN HOME!!!
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18
18
In affiliation with Newbies + Poetry Group  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hello, Jesse Madison!

I'm reviewing your poem as an official judge for "Invalid Item.

 Invalid Item 
This item number is not valid.
#2113126 by Not Available.


What I liked

Your poem is very vibrant and positive. I especially liked your use of the word 'crappiness'. Crappiness should get used more often in literature. *Wink*

What might need work

Wash away and haters and crappiness. -> did you mean, Wash away all haters and crappiness? Otherwise, it doesn't really make sense as a sentence.

Conclusion

I liked this upbeat poem Yeah. Let's wash away the haters. *Heart*

Thank you for entering the contest!

Best wishes,

Bob *BigSmile*

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19
19
In affiliation with Newbies + Poetry Group  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hello, J.L. O'Dell(The Reaper)!

I'm reviewing your poem as an official judge for "Invalid Item.

 Invalid Item 
This item number is not valid.
#2113126 by Not Available.


What I liked

When I began reading this, it so reminded me of the "99 Bottles Of Beer On The Wall" song. *Laugh* I love the upbeat rhythm of your pink and fluffy verses.

What might need work

I'm not sure that you need that final quatrain. The story told within your poem comes to a nice resolution, plua a full circle point, at the moment when the unicorns see the happy people from atop their rainbow. Although you leave us with a nice image of the unicorns gallivanting on the grass, perhaps it would be better to focus on the happiness within your resolution.

Conclusion

A sweet poem and worthy entry.

Thank you for entering the contest!

Best wishes,

Bob *BigSmile*

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20
20
Review of An Easter Tale  
In affiliation with Newbies + Poetry Group  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hello, Ray Scrivener!

I'm reviewing your poem as an official judge for "Invalid Item.

 Invalid Item 
This item number is not valid.
#2113126 by Not Available.


What I liked

Your poem flows really well, and I love the image of a cotton candy unicorn that you create within your verses.

What might need work

Now’s not the time for wild stunts, / But joy and wondrous Easter hunts -> given that the bunny just got distracted for a while by a wild stunt, this resolution is a little strange. *Laugh*

Conclusion

This is a fabulous entry.

Thank you for entering the contest!

Best wishes,

Bob *BigSmile*

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21
21
Review of The Unicorn  
In affiliation with Newbies + Poetry Group  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hello, OOT™!

I'm reviewing your poem as an official judge for "Invalid Item.

 Invalid Item 
This item number is not valid.
#2113126 by Not Available.


What I liked

Great imagery surrounding the flight, and a very funny resolution when you tell the Easter Bunny.

What might need work

It could have been a little more Easter or spring themed. Like, the scenery they passed could have hinted at the season.

Conclusion

A wonderfully described vision of pink and fluffy things. *Heart*

Thank you for entering the contest!

Best wishes,

Bob *BigSmile*

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22
22
In affiliation with Newbies + Poetry Group  
Rated: E | (4.5)
*BalloonR* Welcome to WDC from "Newbie Welcome Wagon! *BalloonR*


Hello Marcus!

*Books3* *Quill* This is a Newbies + Poetry Group Review *Quill* *Books3*


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What I liked

As a Yorkshireman, I emphathise with the sentiments of this poem. We're the people the GoT Northmen are based on, and our accent is like that of John Snow and Ned Stark.

I like the structure and ABAB rhyming scheme, though I don't get why you arrange them like couplets rather than quatrains. I love the GoT theme. The Night King is totally gonna win, though. *Pthb*

What might need work

You said, "I don't have any friends," in the newsfeed. I suggest that you join the Newbies + group and make some friends. One of the reasons for being a member of this site is the opportunity to network with other authors. Reach out and talk to some people! *Wink*

Notes

Every day is like December. -> in fantasy, authors create their own worlds and calendars. I don't think they have Roman calendar months in Westeros, my friend. *Laugh*

I ask you- look after son, alright? -> this line sounds kinda awkward, like you're ignoring grammar to suit the syllable count -> I beg thee to hold our dear son tight.... Maybe?

If I die from an enemy foe. -> enemy and foe are synonyms. Can you rephrase to add more? -> If I fall to an enemy's bow, maybe?

Remind him I fought with the embers. -> do you mean the Umbers?

Conclusion — a summary of how this reader personally felt about your poem.

I rather like your GOT fan fiction. *Heart*

I do hope that you found this review useful.

Best wishes,

Bob *Bigsmile*


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23
23
Review of The Trump Card  
In affiliation with Novel Workshop Group  
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
Hello Xarthin!

I hope that this review proves helpful to you. Please remember that everybody has different tastes. My critique is the opinion of only one person and offered in the spirit of constructive criticism with a hope that it will be useful if you decide to further develop or edit your tale. Approaching your writing, I'm searching for specific elements that I shall address under separate headers.


Hook — does your opening have something that stops this reader putting down your story?
*Star**Star**Star**Star**Star*

It's the President and he's entering a secure location. That's great. Also, the implicit threat from the President's attitude is well shown.

Characters — are they well rounded?
*Star**Star**Star**Star**HalfStar*

Both the President and Knight were well sketched in your story. I'd like to see more of a sympathetic side to Knight, though. Some actual reason why he holds the beliefs he does so that the reader can somewhat empathize with him. IT's difficult for a reader to get engaged in a story if they don't like or at least respect the protagonist.

Plot — does your story contain a clear plot with a strong resolution, or hook if it's a chapter or serial?
*Star**Star**Star**Star*

The main conflict was great, but the resolution kinda tailed off toward the end. I felt that the story really ended with DT choosing the wall over this new project, but that stuff about Taiwan at the end was just superfluous, imho. It wasn't really plausible that Knight would work for the Chinese given his personal position.

To me, one big problem with this story was that Knight and his team had already built the machine at the core of this story. If they haven't already secured funding, how did they actually build the machine? I'm sure that the construction of this machine would be a huge chunk of the cost of the whole project.

Pace — does your story feel like it's going somewhere?
*Star**Star**Star**Star*

I feel that you could do with slowing this down a little and giving us a bit more in the way of both setting details and deeper background character information on Knight.

Language and voice — does this reader 'feel' the story?
*Star**Star**Star**Star*

The voice of the story was good, but there seemed to be quite a few typos and not enough variety in sentence construction for my taste.

Notes

access code on the pad out of a well honed istinct. -> instinct. Throughout this story, there are simply typos like this where a similar word is used rather than the appropriate word, like Americas instead of Americans.

We don’t have time for tone -> I don't understand what this means.

Knight hardened his lips in a smirk as the President strut into the lab. -> first, strutted, not strut. Second, it's generally better to put cause before effect in order to make the time sequence in a story linear. So, in this example: As the President strutted into the lab, Knight hardened his lips into a smirk. You use "as" quite a lot in other sentences. Try not to get too dependent on the "as he" type construction because it quickly becomes too repetitive.

Covfefe *Laugh*

Settings — is this reader grounded in 'real' scenes?
*Star**Star**Star**Star*

I didn't feel like you gave us enough descriptions of this location. What did the machine look like? What did the base smell like? Were there weird machine noises all around? Flashing coloured lights?

Themes — is this reader blown away by mind-blowing philosophy or originality?
*Star**Star**Star**Star*

Personally, I liked the theme. HOWEVER, please remember that half Americans are Republicans rather than Democrats, and this story kinda implies that they're all racists and white supremacists. You're going to offend an awful lot of members of this site with your story. It implies things about Donald Trump that are quite extreme and not funny in the way it's presented. I mean, the story is humorous and includes comedy BUT the overall realist approach to the narrative makes it appear to be an actual accusation that DT agrees with the opinions and actions of an illegal terrorist organization, ie. the KKK. So, while I generally agree with your political position here, I can't help but feel that you're going to seriously offend a lot of people.

Conclusion — a summary of how this reader personally felt about your story.
*Star**Star**Star**Star**HalfStar*

I feel that the characters are good and the core of the plot interesting enough to make this work. However, I'm not sure that you can make the comedy of the piece enough to overcome the potentially offensive nature of the portrayal of DT.

Thank you for sharing your story with me. Good luck with your writing.

Best wishes,

Bob *Bigsmile*



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24
24
In affiliation with Novel Workshop Group  
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Hello, Messiah of Darkness!

Thank you for requesting a review from "Invalid Item


Before I start, do not forget,
writing's an art, so do not fret
if you should find that I am blind
to your fine flair, and be aware
this opinion — it is but one.


When approaching your opening chapter, I'm searching for specific elements that separate the chaff from the wheat, and each will be addressed under a different header.


Hook — does your opening have something that stops this reader putting down your book?

*Star**Star**Star**Star**HalfStar*

Your first sentence involves blood, and opening paragraph the conclusion of a fight. It successfully introduces the protagonist. This both introduces conflict and a hook, which is great.

Characters — are they well rounded?
*Star**Star**Star**Star*

Rydia and Lydria are sympathetic characters because they're being chased down by overwhelming opponents. However, later in the chapter, there are hints that their motivations may not be pure, that they seek revenge and that Lydria may actually be some kind of monster linked to a prophecy that dooms the world. This leads to conflicting feelings about these two girls for me as a reader. I'd like to like them and cheer them on, but I'm not sure if I'm backing the right horse. It's like I'm a German teenager in 1939, cheering for the Nazi party and military parades but unaware of the concentration camps being built and ignorant of the impact of my government on ethnic and religious minorities. Are they the "good guys" or what. *Laugh*

We don't get any feeling for what kind of person the viewpoint character is other than she's caring for her sister. Does she like music, for example, or dance? That might seem kinda out of context for a chapter with fights and running away across a forest, but think about it. Often in scenes like this, the main character will think about things while they're running. For example, to occupy their mind while running they'll hum a bawdy tavern song they heard from one of their guards before he got killed. Or, while watching over her unconscious sister, she'll remember their birthday last month before the s*** hit the fan, when they celebrated with a huge ball, and she'll recall her sister wearing that flowing white dress and dancing with a handsome prince beneath a glittering crystal chandelier. Such thoughts allow us a glimpse into an area of the protagonist's life that is beyond the plot and so makes them more rounded as characters.

Masked girl is a bit more straightforward. She seems pretty happy to be backing the Dark Lord.

Plot — does your first chapter introduce or hint at the main conflict?
*Star**Star**Star**Star**Star*

There's good hook action to begin with, and tension, and an interesting hook ending. It's all good.

Pace — does your story feel like it's going somewhere?
*Star**Star**Star**Star* *HalfStar*

I feel it's a little too fast paced. You might like to bring in more setting detail and characterization rather than rushing through from dispatching the enemy to being confronted by Mask Girl.

Language and voice — does this reader 'feel' the story?
*Star**Star**Star**HalfStar*

At the moment, I feel that this is your biggest weakness. Your prose is a little too verbose and would benefit from tightening. You need to avoid using the same constructions too often, like the "as she" construction which gets used twice or three times in several paragraphs. Watch out for filter words and filler words. Try to make sentences more succinct, especially in dialogue where people naturally use more clipped sentences.

Your narrative can have a subconsicous effect on your reader. If you vary your vocabulary, use stronger verbs, vary sentence length and construction, they will somehow ffind reading your story more pleasurable and get the feeling that it's a more exciting aand fast paced story to read.

Notes

Warm blood ran down Rydia Velthwithe’s cheek as she wiped the trickle off her face, a cool torrent of rain drenching the earth as her hazel eyes stared down at her fallen opponent -> in your opening sentence, you have two uses of "as". Also, you use the "as She" construction again in the second paragraph. The opening two clauses contradict one another because blood cannot be trickling down her cheek if she's wiping it off. The second use of "down" is redundant. A shorter opening sentence might have more impact. For example:
Warm blood trickled down Rydis Velthwithe's cheek which contrasted sharply with the cool torrent of rain drenching the earth. Her hazel eyes examined her fallen opponent. Actually, I'd prefer She glared at her fallen opponent. I'm not entirely comfortable with the viewpoint character seeing their own eye color.

as she watched him take her last breaths. She sighed softly as she shook the blood off the blade. -> two more "as she" here, and we're still in the opening paragraph. "his last breath" not "her last breaths". You use "sighed softly" here, "soft sigh" a sentence above, and "soft skin". Try to vary vocabulary and avoid too much repetition.

"Looks like he's the last of them. To think that they would pursue us even a week later." She kept speaking -> identify the speaker as soon as possible. So, here: "Looks like he's the last of them," she said. "To think they would pursue us even a week later."

"You ok Lydria?" Rydia asked as she walked toward her twin sister. -> "You okay, Lydria?" Rydia approached her twin sister. -> when addressing somebody in speech, use a comma to separate their name from what is said to them. "Are you sexy, Bob?" "Sue, be serious. Have you seen how fat I am?" -> if you have an action in your speech tag, you don't always need another verb to describe the act of speaking, so here, no need for "asked" Also, another "as she"! You're obsessed with this construction.

She kneeled on the ground and examined her sister's body. -> She knelt and examined her sister. -> when I first read this sentence, I thought that there was a third sister who died in the ambush and she was examining the corpse.

Rydia watched her sister lower her head. -> by this stage, it's clear that we're in Rydia's viewpoint. There's no need to remind the reader of that with filter verbs like "watched". Whenever you describe something, we'll always assume it's Rydia feeling, hearing, seeing, smelling, tasting, unless told otherwise -> Rydia's sister lowered her head -> this gives the same information without filtering.

“Lady Rydia, hand over the Dark Princess or prepare for death.” ->: if she's a queen, why "Lady" rather than "Queen Rydia"?

You are the Queen of Transa, and the one who will someday us to power. -> missing word. lead?

Rydia raised her knife as she saw the woman jump to the ground.. -> two periods -> up until this point, it was a "figure" and now it's a woman. What makes her think it's a woman? And whatever made her think this, wasn't it obvious from the first moment she spoke to Rydia? Maybe have her hear a feminine voice in the opening dialogue.

Settings — is this reader grounded in 'real' scenes?
*Star**Star**Star**HalfStar*

Your setting is rather minimal for a fantasy story. You have some interesting cultural setting but very little physical setting. In the second paragraph, one tree is mentioned and closeness to a border, and that's all the reader has to go on to construct an image of where these actions are taking place. About halfway through the chapter, it's first mentioned that we're in a forest. Really, that should have been well established in your opening paragraphs.

They're constantly fighting people. Why are they using daggers? I know swords and axes are heavier to run with and more cumbersome, but with only a knife to defend herself, any swordsman or woman could defeat her without getting close enough to suffer one cut.

Themes — is this reader blown away by mind-blowing philosophy or originality?
*Star**Star**Star**Star**Star*

It's fairly standard fantasy fare. Interestingly, all the main characters are female warriors. To be honest, that's becoming a bit trope these days. Most new fantasy or sci-fi series seem to have strong, young female protagonists who are proficient at the martial arts and often have some magical ability, eg. Katniss, Bella, Beatrice Prior, Temple, Vin etc.

Conclusion — a summary of how this reader personally felt about your opening.
*Star**Star**Star**Star**HalfStar*

I feel that you have a strong plot here, but you need to develop the setting a lot and the characters a bit. As I noted above, your prose needs the most work, imho. Take a look at how your favorite fantasy authors use a variety of sentence lengths and structures to make their narrative more interesting to read.

Thank you for sharing your opening chapter. Good luck with your writing.

Best wishes,

Bob *Bigsmile*


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25
25
for entry "The Lawyer
In affiliation with Novel Workshop Group  
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Hello, IceScreaming SugarCube

Thank you for requesting a review from "Invalid Item


Before I start, do not forget,
writing's an art, so do not fret
if you should find that I am blind
to your fine flair, and be aware
this opinion — it is but one.


When approaching your opening chapter, I'm searching for specific elements that separate the chaff from the wheat, and each will be addressed under a different header.


Hook — does your opening have something that stops this reader putting down your book?

*Star**Star**Star**Star*

Beginning with children's song lyrics that have a possible dark meaning was a nice touch. It reminds me of the opening of some crime thrillers that James Patterson or similar authors wrote. You also introduce Miranda and her initial settings really well and with action. However, there wasn't much of a hook in the opening paragraph. The opening hook is that there's somebody on the phone and she might wonder who it is. If show more of her internal thoughts and have her think along the lines of nobody ever calls her at three o'clock in the afternoon, who could it possibly be, then you'll create more of a hook from this. To be honest, as somebody who has worked in many shops over the years, I found the idea that she would answer the phone in the middle of a customer transaction rather implausible. When I'm working on a till, I find it really, really annoying when a customer halts to answer their cell, especially if there's a queue behind them and they're supposed to be paying, so I would NEVER answer my phone in front of a customer in that situation unless I was actually expecting a really, really important call, like from the hospital about the condition of one of my relatives who's had an accident, that kind of stuff. She might, however, sneak away from some stocking up job, hanging out or folding clothes, to answer the phone and then get caught by the boss. That's much more plausible.

Characters — are they well rounded?
*Star**Star**Star**Star**Star*

Miranda is a very sympathetic character and introduced very smoothly. I like that she's just shy of a crazy "old" cat lady but kept from that by the existence of a friend, Tammy, and her genial relationship with her ex-husband. She's extremely well rounded, with clear, relatable interests outside of the plot, such as soap making and cats. She's an underdog character in terms of social status and work relationships. The loss of her baby is good character development.

It would be better if you showed what Shantel looks like in contrast to Miranda rather than later stating that it's a young person's shop. As it is, there's no indication of what Shantel looks like, though her annoyance is shown really well.

Jack has a distinct voice and is quite likable. Jamison is also a nicely sympathetic character.

Plot — does your first chapter introduce or hint at the main conflict?
*Star**Star**Star**Star**HalfStar*

Miranda's struggle with her environment is shown well enough and provides the initial drive for the story. However, I felt you could have perhaps hinted a little more at why Miranda doesn't have the skills or qualifications for a better job when she's clearly an intelligent and capable person. Something that particularly bothered me was Miranda's lack of curiosity regarding the lawyer after the initial call. I mean, why is her dead aunt's lawyer calling? The implications are obvious, and I would expect her to show more curiosity and eagerness to find out as soon as possible rather than pushing it to the back of her mind as soon as the call is over. She doesn't even give it a thought until later.

The inheritance makes for a nice end hook, though it is pretty predictable.

Pace — does your story feel like it's going somewhere?
*Star**Star**Star**Star**Star*

Your natural pacing is good.

Language and voice — does this reader 'feel' the story?
*Star**Star**Star**Star**HalfStar*

Overall, the chapter read really smoothly. I get the feeling you've edited this a few times through. It has just the right mix of dialogue and actions and is a pleasure to read.

Notes

“All scarves are thirty dollars,” I pointed to -> a little note about commas and periods. If the verb in the tag relates to how the speech is spoken, like whisper/shout/hissed/said/mouthed etc, then a comma is used. If the verb in the tag is an action separate to the speech, then it is a different sentence and so a period is used. Why, I don't know. I only "work" here. *Laugh* So, in this example, it would be "thirty dollars." with a period, not a comma.

I thought you would have heard by now. Millie died two months ago.” -> might he use gentler language here? Millie passed two months ago, or something like that

I wasn’t surprised. In fact, it had been so long since I’d even heard her name that I assumed she was already dead. -> This threw me out of the story a bit. If she'd assumed she was dead, why did she wonder how she was doing in the previous paragraph, and if she wasn't surprised, why did she sound surprised when she realized that the lawyer had used the past tense to talk about her aunt?

Look, it’s not just the phone call. You’ve been here a while, and I hoped you’d be a good fit here, but that just doesn’t seem to be the case.” -> try not to overuse "just". Sometimes it's used as a stall word, filler word, that doesn't add much to meaning. The first use here is essential for comprehension, but the second isn't


Though I wasn’t poor, I desperately -> yes, it wasn't a very good simile. *Laugh* What I'm concerned about, though, is the 'I'm not poor' thing here. You've shown her in a minimum wage job. You've shown her in an old car. You've shown her in a crappy sounding apartment. You've used a dodgy simile to describe how eager she is for her payslip. So how can you claim she isn't poor? It sounds contradictory. If she said, "Though I wasn't broke" or "Though I wasn't destitute", then it might work.

rolled my eyes. “The usual. Everyone hates me -> at this point, I'd expect some internal thought about why she isn't telling him she just got fired.

Such an informal greeting could only mean that this was his cell phone -> watch out for "that" because it's a filler word. Try removing "that" from sentences and then reading them aloud to see if they still make sense. If they do, delete it.

We typically like to wait to announce an inheritance -> But Millie passed two months ago. If it's so straightforward and Miranda is the only living relative, why did it take two months to make contact and why hasn't the lawyer already done all the things before contacting her?

Apparently, you’re pretty much the only one left. -> he's a lawyer and, informal chat or not, when dealing with a serious matter like this, I think he'd be more exact in his phrasing. More like, you're the only one left, or, we believe you're the only one left, or, inquiries show that you're the only one left.

Settings — is this reader grounded in 'real' scenes?
*Star**Star**Star**Star* *HalfStar*

The settings are pretty bare-boned but sufficient to ground readers in the scenes. You might immerse them better with a bit of sensory information, such as how the clothes she's folding feel, perhaps Shantel is wearing a particular perfume like kids do (Britney Spears, candy shop type smell, rather than the musky smells of older scents), feeling the cold when she steps outside rather than mentioning it in the car. I mean, she carries her coat (she grabs it, but there's no suggestion she put it on), but then she waits for the heater in the car. That makes her sound kinda dumb. *Laugh* If she shrugged into her coat and then holds it closed as she rushes to her car to get out of the cold, then you'd have stronger settings. The grey clouds bit was good, as was the lavender in the kitchen.

Themes — is this reader blown away by mind-blowing philosophy or originality?
*Star**Star**Star**Star*

So far there's nothing blowing my socks off, though it's always nice to see a "middle-aged" protagonist rather than the really young, strong, female protagonist we seem to get in so many stories these days. The struggle of an older person in a teen culture dominated world is a theme all of its own.

Conclusion — a summary of how this reader personally felt about your opening.
*Star**Star**Star**Star**HalfStar*

Generally, it's a good start to your story. I feel that you need to bring in more of a hook earlier and have Miranda more curious about the phone call, but other than that it's all good.

Thank you for sharing your opening chapter. Good luck with your writing.

Best wishes,

Bob *Bigsmile*


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