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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/profile/reviews/robertbaker
Review Requests: OFF
757 Public Reviews Given
Review Style
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.
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
Previous ... -1- 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 ... Next
1
1
Review of The Semicolon  
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
Hi!

Sorry it took me so long to get around to this. I've been lazy about reviews.

I was pleased that you explained the use of the semicolon in easy terms and with examples. I know that a lot of people struggle with semicolons. I recall a Sherlock Holmes story in which a badly-written letter by an uneducated person was uncovered as a fake because the author correctly used a semicolon which Holmes concluded meant it was written by an educated person pretending not to be capable of grammatically correct composition.

I used to use semicolons a lot until I was told to leave them out by so many reviewers. There seem to be lots of anti-semicolon Nazis around these days. The idea they spout is that readers don't understand semicolons and so are put off by them. To be honest, I think it's true that many people don't comprehend the difference between a semicolon and a comma.

The most imaginative use I ever saw for a semicolon was in the novel Maps For Lost Lovers by Nadeem Aslam. In one paragraph, he wants to describe the protagonist's wife's bracelet and uses the analogy that it looks like a series of semicolons thus: ;;;;;;;;;; *Wink* I don't personally recommend the book, though it did receive widespread literary acclaim. Literary simply isn't my preferred genre. *Wink*

The only issue I had with your article was the example from MLKJ. The font you used was smaller than the rest of the article. Given that it's a relatively difficult sentence/paragraph to read, the small font size isn't helpful at that stage of your argument. In fact, I suspect it leads many readers to skip the ending, which is a shame since it's such a great sentence!

Note that according to Merriam-Webster, 'keyword' is usually written as a compound noun and not two separate words.

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/key%20w...

Your section on sentence length was good as far as it went. However, although it mentioned long sentences for description and short sentences for reflection, it failed to cover the use of mixed sentence lengths within a paragraph to prevent boredom. Your paragraph actually implies that you should only use short and long sentences for the stated purposes. If you use all the same length sentences in multiple paragraphs, even if it's all short sentences in action scenes, the narrative lacks variety and becomes less engaging. A mixture of sentence lengths within most paragraphs is required for maximum immersion.

Anyway, sorry I couldn't be more helpful. Your article is simply great as it is.

Best wishes,

Bob *BigSmile*


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maps_for_Lost_Lovers...
2
2
In affiliation with Novel Workshop Group  
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Hello Thankful Sonali I AM WRITING!!

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 header.


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

You begin with a problem and immediately identify the characters. That provides a nice hook.

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

Although I liked that Hermoine's love of house-elves is mentioned and she is generally shown to be a nice person, her taking advice from Jeeves seems kinda out of character. She's always the truly bright one who comes up with the best ideas. It's Harry and Ron, especially Ron, who have bad ideas. Have you thought about making Ron the mc and Hermoine on holiday with her muggle family?

You rely on readers being familiar with Jeeves' and Hermoine's appearances rather than sketching them within your story. You can get away with that with Hermoine, but I think there will be a lot of people these days unsure who Jeeves is.

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**HalfStar*

I wasn't entirely convinced by their non-magical solution. Also, if Jeeves lives at Hogwarts, how is he so familiar with the latest muggle technology? Your final resolution was funny. I liked that. However, the main resolution, the solution to the main conflict, came not from the protagonists but from an outside source, so it was a little Deus ex machina. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deus_ex_machina

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

The pacing is good.

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

Your narrative is clear and I can see what's happening at all times. You might like to make the language more active at times. Note the specific suggestions below.

Dialogue — are your characters' voices distinct, and do they add to character building?
*Star**Star**Star**Star**Star*

Yes, they sounded like the appropriate characters. Well done!

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

You did set out the first scene very well. However, consider adding a bit more sensory information to the story, such as the smell of the drink or the leather and wood polish smell of the library etc.

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

I like that the house-elves play an important part in the story.

Suggestions — a few ideas for possible improvement.

Miss, you seem to be perturbed about something." -> cut "to be"

Jeeves put Hermione's goblet of pumpkin juice on the desk in front of her, having first moved aside the huge tome propped against the candle-stand there. -> cause before effect -> Jeeves moved aside a huge tome then set down a goblet of pumpkin juice next to the candelabra.

the way the sit on cake and rub their little legs -> they sit on cakes and

I tried to tell him they're pests and don't need to be care for. -> cared for or taken care of

"I have." / "Well, they're little creatures that can be operated by something called a remote control. -> Hermoine needs to tell Jeeves this, not Jeeves Hermoine, because she said she does know, so him repeating the information is the writer addressing the reader, while if she said it, it would be Hermoine addressing Jeeves.

accepted it at the gate and Hermione wiped the memory of the delivery-girl. -> at the gate, and Hermione wiped the delivery girl's memory.

Chaos reigned almost as badly as it had when Fred and George had let off their famous fireworks upon

He seems to have got a nice lot of plants for his lessons, -> He has found/procured a nice selection of plants for his lessons

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

I think this starts well and the plot is good. The mosquito ending is great. I'm a bit concerned about Hermoine acting out of her usual character. The narrative needs a bit of tlc, imho.

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

Novel Workshop Logo by Kiyasama


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
3
3
Review of Sophie  
In affiliation with Novel Workshop Group  
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Hello John Yossarian!

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**HalfStar*

Stan is well established in the opening paragraphs, and we get that he's old and Sophie is his nurse.

There's no conflict, though in the opening. Personally, I was intrigued by where the story was going. However, that's only because I know you as a writer and was expecting something good. There's no hint here that there's anything going on beyond the obvious. So, until the twist at the end, there are no questions raised.

I also noticed you broke quite a few pov rules in the opening paragraphs. For example, he can't see that his lips are pale and he can't see that his eyes are milky. However, he could feel with his tongue that his lips are dry and he could regret that his vision wasn't as clear as he would like.

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

In some ways, Stan is a well-constructed character. We know he's old, he likes younger women, he's suffering dementia, he had a daughter etc. However, we have no idea about his hobbies beyond the plot or what his job used to be before he retired etc. I mean, some things could be worked into their conversation as he deteriorates, such as offering Sophie a great deal on a new model Porsche or something.

Ms. Grace Latoya Jones./ -> you've given her the same name as "old lady Jones" mentioned earlier.

The staff need a little work to make the setup more realistic. I mean, the implication here is that there are 2 members of staff and a robot for one patient, but you somehow need to show that they have a much bigger schedule. For example, by having "Old Ms. Jones" still alive and almost up to 63 days now on floor 6 and Bob, or whatever his name is, regretting that he chose 39 days in the pool. I'd like more of the feeling that they're rushed off their feet, like hospital or hospice staff usually are. I mean, what's the point of bringing in expensive robots and then having the staff do next to nothing. You need a better reason why there are two members of staff in here rather than just one. At the moment, it's kinda obvious you're only doing that because you need an excuse for a conversation that shows the reader what's happening. With the robot and automated coffin, one person could easily do all the work described.

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**Star*

I'm liking the plot a lot. You create a nice twist at the end.

“Sophie’s a good reason to live by the golden rule.” -> you never explain what the golden rule is, though I expect it's about keeping good relationships with your family.

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

I liked the pace of this. You never let it get dull.

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

Your narrative was very clear and accurate. I sometimes felt you showed rather than told, such as with the milky eyes, but generally that was not a problem.

Dialogue — are your characters' voices distinct, and do they add to character building?
*Star**Star**Star**Star* *HalfStar*

“Can…can I go -> you do this ellipsis thing a lot. Have you considered using a stutter occasionally instead, i.e., C-can I go?

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

I liked the way you showed the robot. However, you didn't get in much sensory information. For example, Sophie could have a nice perfume to contrast with the nasty smell of hospital disinfectant that Stan hates. His sheets could be nice and silky, not like the nasty cotton sheets in the ICU.

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

The themes about dealing with a growing aged population and dementia are really topical right now.

Suggestions — a few ideas for possible improvement.

I think you need to create more of an opening hook. Work in more background stuff into the story, such as Stan's career and the size of the hospital through the staff's dialogue. Also, more sensory information would be nice.

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

Overall, I liked the story. I have no idea why someone gave you a low score earlier. That's weird. It's original and deals with issues that are becoming more and more important every year.

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

Novel Workshop Logo by Kiyasama


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
4
4
In affiliation with Novel Workshop Group  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hello K.HBey!

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*

Your opening does establish important information about your mc and successfully paints her as a sympathetic character because she lost her parents young and was banished from home. However, you really need to begin a story like this with some kind of conflict, or a hook, or a question, or action. You have conflict from paragraph one, but it is past conflict from her childhood. You need conflict now.

You have conflict and action in paragraph four, when Nada is addressed by an officer. You could easily begin your story there and then work in the details about Nada's personality and past in the following paragraphs. That would provide more of a opening hook.

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

Nada is well described, and she is established as a sympathetic character. However, she needs a little more depth. We need to know what kind of person she is. For example, she could show consideration or kindness to the people serving her. You see this a lot in military films where the senior officer asks his junior how his daughter is doing at school or if his wife had her baby yet. It shows that the mc has a deeper good character.

Also, she needs interests and hobbies just thrown into the story as asides. These are not important to the plot and so give the illusion that there is a story beyond the plot. This is common in popular films, such as Edward's interest in music and playing the piano in Twilight or James Bond's fondness for Martini, shaken not stirred.

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**Star*

You have a clear conflict and a satisfying resolution. No big problems here.

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

The opening is slow because you have a lot of description up front with no action. However, overall the pacing is good.

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

Your language is clear, but you need to show the story rather than telling it. For example, take this paragraph:

She was a blond girl with big blue eyes and long golden hair combed into a long ponytail.
Her modern blue suit was constituted of a short dress with body pants. It was made of synthetic special fabric that released magnetized fields. One was positive and the other was negative. The suit allowed her to fly too.


Here, you are telling the reader what she looks like. Showing is more like:

Preparing for battle, Nada secured her blonde hair into a ponytail and donned the smart blue uniform that utilized magnetic fields enabling her to fly.

You basically "show" by having the character do actions that incidentally tell the reader what she looks like.

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

Wonderland is an interesting nation. When mentioning places, ensure they are capitalized, i.e., Fir Kingdom, The Pearl (or Pearl Island would sound better), and Pink Galaxy Island.

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

There's nothing really revolutionary in this story, but it does follow a nice "once upon a time/happy ever after", tried and tested fairytale theme.

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

You have a strong plot and appealing characters. Your main issue is with telling rather than showing the story and an opening that lacks a strong initial hook.

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

Novel Workshop Logo by Kiyasama


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
5
5
Review of Bond's Last Stand  
In affiliation with Novel Workshop Group  
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
Hello Odessa Molinari!

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*

Awesome opening. I'd love to see an octagenarian 007! And you captured his character and humor very well, introducing the mc and hooking the reader.

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

Very good Bond character. I wasn't convinced about the nurses becoming ninjas without any other dedicated security. Don't get me wrong. I love the BBC TV show Our Girl about a military medic, so I can easily see that happening. However, I feel that in a location like this they would also have dedicated security staff that would outrank medical staff in an emergency situation.

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

The plot is great…so far. However, you have so much more potential here. He hasn't even used his armchair weapons yet!!! Have you ever seen Hot Fuzz? The guy in the weaponized wheelchair really holds his own in the high street shootout.

I feel you should have a few more guards, dedicated ones, who come into the room to help James. They should attempt to relocate him to a panic room. All the defenders except the nurse should get killed, and then James saves her life by pulling her onto his chair, pressing a button, and the chair shoots through the roof on rockets like the ejector chair on his Aston Martin…just sayin'! *Wink* Then, at the end, you could make it ironic by having him kiss the nurse, as you have, and then die from a heart attack with a smile on his face…that way you can keep your great ending. *Wink*

You need a few "try-fails", eg. guards come into help him, but they get shot down by terrorists. they try to move James to a panic room, but an explosion damages the doors so they won't open or something. He gets to the roof for a helicopter escape, but the helicopter is taken out with an RPG. You get the idea.

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

Pacing, at the moment, is a bit fast. That's because you haven't got any "try-fail" cycles in. you only have a "prepare-fail" and then it ends.

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

It's generally clear. I have a few suggestions below.

Dialogue — are your characters' voices distinct, and do they add to character building?
*Star**Star**Star**Star*

The military talk doesn't work for me. Maybe do a bit more research there. Isn't roger only used on the radio?

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

A few good things. You need a panic room and some sensory information, such as hospital smells to begin with and cordite later on etc.

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

An aged James Bond is an awesome idea. Very original and funny.

Suggestions — a few ideas for possible improvement.

This needs to be much, much longer. You still have plenty of word count to use up before you meet the contest limit.

Specific points ->

"It's time for bed Mr. Bond." -> when speaking to someone, place a comma between what you say and their name, it's time for bed, Bob. You might also want to make the phrase more suggestive. A nurse might say, Shall we head for bed, now, James? When in longterm care, it's common for staff to become on a first-name basis with patients. And use of the royal "we" when persuading someone to do something is also common.

The curvy blonde in the figure hugging uniform -> a figure-hugging -> a hyphen is required, and you should use the indefinite pronoun "a" unless it's a very specific uniform or one we've seen before.

No time for that. The shutters were down. A hologram was talking to him. -> The armor-plated shutters rolled down. A hologram appeared and addressed him. -> more active.

"Your orders Commander?" -> comma before Commander. Also, as he's retired, there should be an actual commanding officer or senior non-commissioned officer here.

"Are all the patients guarded?" / "Roger." -> Are there no panic rooms here? I mean, if they have so much security with flack jackets and automatic weapons, it seems silly not to have a panic room that is much easier and more reliable to use until help requires. The use of "roger" becomes a bit repetitive. Check with someone who has worked with the Royal Navy, but I would think that a single "aye-aye, sir" followed by "yes, sir" after would suffice.

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

Your story has an awesome premise and great mc. However, it's currently too short and the plot too linear. You need to develop it a lot more. If you throw in a few try-fail cycles and a more satisfying resolution, this could well be the contest winner, imho.

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

Novel Workshop Logo by Kiyasama


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
6
6
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hi Ken!

I've come crawling back. Couldn't resist it anymore. I hope this review finds you well and enjoying your quarantine.

Structure
Generally, the AABB structure works well. The theme flows well within the structure and comes to a good conclusion at the end. The repetitions work well within the structure.

I'm not convinced that "moms" rhymes with "alms". *Wink* I'm not sure why "soldiers, dads, and moms" are capitalized, though I suspect you did this for emphasis concerning the past important positions these unfortunates once held. "Passersby" not "passerby's". " how can we reject/to acknowledge their pain" - this enjambment doesn't make grammatical sense. Perhaps, "reject/acknowledgment of their pain".

Content
As you may remember, this is the kind of theme that appeals to me, so obviously this poem meets with my wholehearted approval. I love the tumbleweed metaphor. The final suggestion, that we should show compassion to the tumbleweeds, is a great one, though I feel you could have delivered it with more strength given your level of talent.

I hope this helps!

Bob *BigSmile*




*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
7
7
for entry "CHAPTER 18
In affiliation with Novel Workshop Group  
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
Hello, DMT - THANK YOU WRITE.COM!



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

Novel Workshop Logo by Kiyasama




*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
8
8
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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9
9
In affiliation with Newbies + Poetry Group  
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Hello, Laurie Razor!

I'm reviewing your poem as an official judge for "The Pink Fluffy Unicorn Contest.

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#2113126 by Batty Bobby Baker


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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10
10
Review of Waiting for sleep  
In affiliation with Newbies + Poetry Group  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hello, FrankenDuf 🦵👂🦶!

I'm reviewing your poem as an official judge for "The Pink Fluffy Unicorn Contest.

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#2113126 by Batty Bobby Baker


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*

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11
11
Review of The Petting Zoo  
In affiliation with Newbies + Poetry Group  
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Hello, Cerberus Mastiff!!

I'm reviewing your poem as an official judge for "The Pink Fluffy Unicorn Contest.

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#2113126 by Batty Bobby Baker


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*

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12
12
Review of chasing bunnies  
In affiliation with Newbies + Poetry Group  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Hello, Rhyssa!

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#2113126 by Batty Bobby Baker


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*

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13
13
Review of Unicorn and Me  
In affiliation with Newbies + Poetry Group  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hello, Mina~!

I'm reviewing your poem as an official judge for "The Pink Fluffy Unicorn Contest.

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#2113126 by Batty Bobby Baker


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*

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14
14
In affiliation with Newbies + Poetry Group  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hello, Screamie🎃Jeannie!

I'm reviewing your poem as an official judge for "The Pink Fluffy Unicorn Contest.

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#2113126 by Batty Bobby Baker


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*

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15
15
In affiliation with Newbies + Poetry Group  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hello, trailerpark bodhisattva!

I'm reviewing your poem as an official judge for "The Pink Fluffy Unicorn Contest.

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#2113126 by Batty Bobby Baker


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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16
16
Review of Easter Friends  
In affiliation with Newbies + Poetry Group  
Rated: ASR | (4.5)
Hello, IceSkating SugarCube!

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#2113126 by Batty Bobby Baker


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*

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17
17
In affiliation with Newbies + Poetry Group  
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Hello, Snow Vampire!

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#2113126 by Batty Bobby Baker


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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18
18
In affiliation with Newbies + Poetry Group  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Hello, 🌓 HuntersMoon!

I'm reviewing your poem as an official judge for "The Pink Fluffy Unicorn Contest.

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#2113126 by Batty Bobby Baker


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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19
19
Review of Grandma's Garden  
In affiliation with Newbies + Poetry Group  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Hello, Angie Marie Buxman!

I'm reviewing your poem as an official judge for "The Pink Fluffy Unicorn Contest.

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#2113126 by Batty Bobby Baker


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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20
20
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 "The Pink Fluffy Unicorn Contest.

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#2113126 by Batty Bobby Baker


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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21
21
In affiliation with Newbies + Poetry Group  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hello, Dave, the gravedigger!

I'm reviewing your poem as an official judge for "The Pink Fluffy Unicorn Contest.

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#2113126 by Batty Bobby Baker


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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22
22
In affiliation with Newbies + Poetry Group  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hello, Coffee Breath Writer!

I'm reviewing your poem as an official judge for "The Pink Fluffy Unicorn Contest.

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#2113126 by Batty Bobby Baker


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*

CLICK ON MY SIGNATURE TO FOLLOW THE PINK FLUFFY UNICORN HOME!!!
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23
23
In affiliation with Newbies + Poetry Group  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hello, J.L. O'Dell-Your Scare Master!

I'm reviewing your poem as an official judge for "The Pink Fluffy Unicorn Contest.

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#2113126 by Batty Bobby Baker


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*

CLICK ON MY SIGNATURE TO FOLLOW THE PINK FLUFFY UNICORN HOME!!!
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24
24
Review of An Easter Tale  
In affiliation with Newbies + Poetry Group  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hello, I, Raven Scryer!

I'm reviewing your poem as an official judge for "The Pink Fluffy Unicorn Contest.

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#2113126 by Batty Bobby Baker


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*

CLICK ON MY SIGNATURE TO FOLLOW THE PINK FLUFFY UNICORN HOME!!!
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25
25
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 "The Pink Fluffy Unicorn Contest.

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#2113126 by Batty Bobby Baker


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*

CLICK ON MY SIGNATURE TO FOLLOW THE PINK FLUFFY UNICORN HOME!!!
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