|You listed your Author's Note twice at the top. Though the 2nd one has an additional sentence. But I like that you let us know that this is based on historical fact. Cool!
I like your title and it's nice that you give credit for it.
You start with, "Welcome back Jon." There should be a comma after "back." You also write, "Special project? Wait a minute, where am I?" Pretty sure there should be a period after "Wait a minute." Or you can use a dash...at least, I would.
"“You may call me Ishmael.” As he said this, he fought hard to hide a smile. Moby Dick had always been a favorite book, he found he related well to that character." There should be either a semi-colon or a period after "book." Also, I'm a little confused about the "he." I assume Ishmael always found that Ishmael related to that character, but perhaps Ishmael found that Jon did. I especially thought this after the alien's name was also Ishmael...which made me wonder if the man doing the experiments was an alien. (Obviously, I'm going back and filling in some stuff here. lol)
"“Ishmael huh. Nice. But you didn’t answer my question Ishmael.”" There should be a comma after "question."
"You are not a guinea pig for us, this is entirely voluntary on your part." There should be a period instead of a comma.
“Yes Jon, of course.” There should be a comma after "yes."
"Remember Jon, you are not confined. You are free to leave at any time." I'm pretty sure the rule is that if you can take out the name and the sentence still makes sense, you set off the name, both front and back, with commas, thus you would need a comma after "remember."
The story starts off interesting and has my attention. Though just above Chapter One, you said, "...where he had been" twice in 3 sentences. Perhaps make the first one "...what he could remember about the moments just before he awoke in this room" or something like that.
Not sure if this is on purpose, but usually Manuel is spelled with an e, not an a. An a is how you spell the manual that you read.
"They needed every available acre for them to graze on, getting that junk cleared out had to be a priority." Those both seem like full sentences to me, so I'd suggest a semi-colon instead of a comma.
"It seemed the world was moving faster in 1947 than it had before." "...than it ever had before" seems more natural to me--but that's just me.
"A light cloud of dust seemed to herald their approach, though that wasn’t the case at all. One couldn’t drive anywhere in Southeastern New Mexico without stirring up dust." Nice detail. I really like this.
"Mack spent a little bit of time locating Jose. It didn’t take too long, he found Jose easily..." To me, the first sentence seems to contradict the 2nd one. (Ignore the fact that I'm mixing first and 2nd...and any other boo-boos. lol) Anyway, the first sentence seems to me like it did take a bit of time, but then the next one makes it sound pretty quick. Perhaps add "only" like "Mack only spent a little bit of time locating Jose." But then the beginning of the of the next sentence isn't needed. You can follow it with "He found Jose easily..." YAY! I made the story shorter! Sorry. I hate reading long stuff, but for you and Quills, I will. Fyi, unless things go down hill, you'll be getting a nomination. I'm hooked. Now, if only it was in an audio version so I could just LISTEN to the rest of the story. lol
I'm impressed you are able to get the little accent over the word "cafe." Well done!
“I’m not sure what more I can say, but I will answer them as best I can Jean.” Pretty sure there should be a comma before "Jean."
"I’ve always told the truth when asked, it just seems to be the right thing to do." Again, because these both seem to be complete sentences to me, I think you should use a semi-colon instead of a comma.
I know the dialogue is made up, but I really want to know if there was a reporter who claimed to be working with them to protect the aliens! Was there???
"Oh c’mon!" Good job with this bit of dialogue. Too often we write properly, not as we speak, so the dialogue doesn't come across as naturally as it could.
"You are aboard what your friend Jean calls our main ship, our mothership." Pretty sure there should be a comma before and after Jean.
Why are they blue? If they were really blue, okay. But if you just made it up, I'd go with grey or something like that...or at least describe them as a pale blue. The images I see of them is generally a grey-ish color, so when you called them blue, I immediately thought, "Oh. Okay. This part is made up." Maybe not, but the blue made it seem fake. Plus, the dialogue here seems sort of hokey. I can't really explain it, but he's not freaked out. They're speaking matter-of-factly, though maybe that's okay. I'm not sure, but it just seems out of place compared to the rest of the story.
"The truth’s been told already, how can I backtrack?" At least a semi-colon, but I'd recommend a period to break these two up.
"It’s getting late, I should head back to the ranch." Again a semi-colon or period. Or you might be able to use a dash here, but I'm a dashing kind of girl. lol
"...he’s Colonel Blanchard’s superior, and over in Fort Worth by the way..." There should be a comma after "Worth." Also, the parentheses make it seem like this statement is for the reader, not something the announcer actually said. Again, I'd go with dashes to separate this.
"I helped the Army recover that stuff, it was balloon debris. It’s happened on the ranch before, will probably happen again." Both these need at least a semi-colon. Though I'd probably use 1 semi-colon and one period (or dash heeheehee) so as to not look weird by using a bunch of semi-colons so close since they aren't the most common piece of punctuation.
This part is after the dashes across the page, when Jon is back in the present. He asks how long he was gone and is told that it was about 45 seconds, perhaps less. I feel like if they are doing experiments and research, as it seems to me they are, they'd be timing it exactly, especially if it's that short a time.
"I know, time isn’t the same when you’re out, is it?" Either 2 sentences or a dash after "know."
"He placed in military custody for a week, and never mentioned what happened while he was there." That should be "He WAS placed in military custody..."
Also, there was an extra space between the end of the Prologue and the beginning of Chapter One. I think there should be an additional space between the end of Chapter One and the beginning of Chapter Two. Otherwise, they look like the title, "Chapter Two" belongs to Chapter One. lol Also, maybe put in even one more space between the end of the chapters and the next chapter title since you have 2 spaces between the chapter title and the beginning of the chapter. And I'd recommend putting the chapter titles in bold.
I see you just copied and pasted from the Prologue. First, be sure to correct all your mistakes. Second, I'd think the words would be a little different, even if the basic interaction was the same. Third, it doesn't make sense that Ishmael again is thinking almost smiling because of Moby Dick, but I assume that's just because of the copy/paste thing and you forgot it was in there.
Side note--My cousin was named Michelle because of that Beatles song.
"I think we’re fine Michelle, at least I am. I’m not so sure about Jon here." I'm pretty sure there should be a comma before "fine."
Also, is the yellow supposed to stand out this much? I'm assuming she's Jean. Maybe tone it down if this isn't supposed to be so obvious--unless I'm wrong. Then I guess it's kind of fun/funny to make the reader think they already know something they don't. lol
At the end of Chapter 2, I could be wrong, but I think there should be a comma after "unemotional" in "His voice was low, unemotional as he related his recent adventure." To me, it's not a necessary word, but clarifies the intent of the "low" voice, so it should have a comma after it. Maybe get Winnie (I forget her username) to help with the comma stuff.
Why is the first time he wakes in the Prologue, but then Chapter 2 is his waking? Why not just start his waking with Chapter 1, then the alien ship crash is Chapter 2, waking is odd chapters, story is even chapters... Just my opinion. The Prologue now doesn't seem like a prologue as much as it just seems like the 1st chapter.
You have a LOT of space between the end of Chapter 2 and the words announcing Chapter 3. Honestly, I prefer it. Nice separation and it helps me find the chapter more easily. But whatever you choose, do it the same way throughout.
In the first paragraph of Chapter 3, you talk about him choosing this cafe (with the accent over the word--still impressed lol) because he found it on a trip to Dallas. So? Who cares? What makes this cafe so special? Maybe mention that it makes coffee a boldly roasted like his college girlfriend did or the flaky, buttery cressants (can't figure out how to spell those crescent-shaped rolls lol) are unlike anything he's ever had. Tell us why he likes this cafe. Also, I like that he's into cafes, no matter where he goes. It lets us know that some part of Jon is still there. Nice touch. Though I'd add something about him wanting to go to a cafe or missing the coffee from his favorite cafe or something at some point when he's actually being Jon.
"Good morning sir! What can I get for you today?" Comma after "morning." (I'm getting tired and recently took a break so I'm cutting out some complete sentences. It's a review, so I can be as lazy and incorrect as I want. )
"Jerry is a good man, he has connections." Again, semi-colon or 2 sentences...or maybe a dash.
"I don’t have time for idle chit-chat, I want to be on the knoll when the President’s motorcade drives by." Same as above. Yes, I'm that lazy.
"Try to get some good shots, the looks on people’s faces will be priceless." Same as above.
"Arthur felt a little rebuffed her lack of response to his small romantic repartee.." First, I think it should be "Arthur felt a little rebuffed BY her lack of response..." Second, well, as you can see, you have 2 periods there.
"When he looked up again, Marta had disappeared among the small crowd gathering to see the presidential motorcade pass-by." I think that should be '...pass by," but I could be wrong.
"Afterwards he relaxed a few minutes, enjoying the late morning." I'm pretty sure there should be a comma after "afterwards."
Funny story--The fireworks comment is about where I was able to figure out this was Kennedy. I mean, I knew it was, but somehow had his story mixed up with Archduke Franz Ferdinand (who caused the beginning of WW I with his assassination). The confusion came from my memory of some of the killers waiting for their opportunity at a cafe. Somehow I was thinking it was Kennedy who they had to try 3x before they succeeded. Kennedy-Franz Ferdinand-whomever. Can you tell I'm a huge history buff?
"Arthur tried not to show his shock and surprise, and did his best to see what was happening on the TV, but there was no live coverage of the motorcade, just a news report." Uh, isn't shock and surprise a normal and appropriate reaction? Wouldn't he WANT to show those? Also, why would he even have them? Didn't he know it was going to happen? I'm a bit confused here.
"After a few moments he sat down at his table, as did most everyone else." I think there should be a comma after "moments." But also, a few moments isn't very long. Usually people hang around the TV much longer than that when something like that has happened, unless times have changed or people were turning away because of the weeping newsman. Maybe at least put that he sat down, but others lingered longer? Just my opinion
"He never saw the rifle, it was still hidden." You know, semi-colon/period/dash choice.
"I had no idea it was late, then the janitor ran out to see what was going on and came back blabbering about a shooting going on." Same as above after "late," but also, I think you might want to say, "I had no idea it was SO late." Otherwise, it sounds a bit odd to me.
"About that time the television screen went blank momentarily, then an obviously upset announcer came on the air." I'm pretty sure there should be a comma after "time." I feel like after "momentarily" you need a semi-colon.
"Wasn’t today a sort of holiday due to Kennedy’s Motorcade?" Motorcade shouldn't be capitalized.
"And I don’t know why the janitor was there, I was very surprised to see him." Semi-colon/period/whatever that isn't a comma.
"Keep to the plan, we’ll talk later." Same as above.
"Arthur slowly found his way back to his hotel, and sat in his room." No comma needed after "hotel."
"Lee Harvey Oswald, an employee at the Texas Book Repository has been arrested in connection with the assassination of President Kennedy this afternoon." There should be a comma after "repository."
"So your film’s gone…." You seem to have a set of ellipses and a period. You don't need the period. (First time I've told you THAT.
Marta’, we need to…” He never finished his statement as Marta interrupted him. What's the apostrophe after "Marta" for? As far as I can tell, you don't need it. Also, if you say, "He never finished..." that seems more like a long time passed while he was making a statement, at least in my opinion. I think, "He DIDN'T finish his statement BEFORE Marta interrupted him" sounds better. Again, just my opinion.
"I know, I know. But what was I supposed to do? They took my camera too Arthur." I would suggest ellipses (or a period) after the first "I know" and I'm pretty sure you need a comma between "too" and Arthur."
"What. Were you seen with Oswald?" I'd recommend a dash between "what" and "were" to show more immediacy, but you at least need a question mark, IMO.
"We need to change our plans, now!" Again, I'd have a dash instead of a comma to show more immediacy.
"There was to be no one upstairs with him, I gave everyone the day off to see the president!" Again, semi-colon or period or something that isn't a comma.
I'm a bit confused. Why do they think they are being framed for killing the president when they WERE going to kill the president? I don't get it. Why not just let them do it? It would save the trouble of framing them and then the evidence would be more realistic...you know, if you arrange things like pictures and eye witnesses and such to prove they did it.
"This janitor was no janitor at all, he was there watching Lee, and us, all along." A period is probably best here. While a semi-colon will work, it occurred to me that you might just have a crap ton of semi-colons by the time I'm done and I wouldn't recommend that since they aren't a common piece of punctuation. People usually just use periods. lol
"Well, you know I have to leave, I am expected in the homeland tomorrow." Same as above.
"You better disappear too." Pretty sure there should be a comma after "disappear."
"I will see you when I can Marta. Take care of yourself, travel safe." Comma before "Marta" and maybe a dash or ellipses between "yourself" and "travel."
Just a couple of thoughts here as he's kidnapped or whatever. First, he holds his breath, but then finally has to breathe. Granted, I've never had chloroform or whatever used on me (thankfully), but many things like that have very strong fumes and they go up your nose, whether you are breathing or not. Maybe at least have him feeling them burn (don't know if they do, FYI) as they go up his nose while he's holding his breath. Also, he's flailing wildly in the chair, but he's secured so he can't really move (since his head can't move, I assume the rest can't, either). Maybe having him ATTEMPT to flail wildly, but can't?
"Well, hello there sleepy head." Not 100% sure, but I'd put a comma after "there" because "sleepy head" is being used like a name. Nice touch, BTW. I already like the bad guy. Not that I think he's a good guy, but that I think he's an interesting bad guy.
"Look Mr., Dowling, your gunman is dead." Was that comma after "Mr." a mistake? If it was meant to mean a pause, I'd use ellipses, but you only need 3. I'm pretty sure you never use them with a period.
"He was glad at least one of them was free, maybe there was some hope yet." Comma that should probably be a period thing again.
"We will find her, rest assured we will find her." There should be another comma after "assured."
Did I mention I hate reviewing? It's a good thing I like you, Elle, the Quills, and most of all, your story! It is a really neat idea and I'm interested to see where it goes. Otherwise, you'd be killing me here. Instead, I'm just wounded, but not mortally. #ReviewingSucks
"That is not the correct answer Arthur!" Comma before "Arthur."
"We know your team killed the president, ballistics prove it." Probably a dash, but definitely not a comma. Ellipses would work if you wanted a pause there.
"Your ballistics my ass." Comma before "my."
"We’ve been set up, Oswald told me he never got a shot off." Turn that comma into a period. Interesting that he's confessing to trying to kill the president and no one seems to care about that. lol
"You really shouldn’t lie to me Arthur, this will only get worse with more lies." Comma before "Arthur" and period in place of that comma.
Just my opinion, but if the body odor is so bad it makes him retch, he'd probably smell it from a good distance, not just when the guy gets up close. I realize the mouth odor was probably part of the problem, but just my opinion. Maybe he smells it from a distance and it's gross, but the only thing he can really identify in the room since he can't see anything or hear anything except the voices? Just a thought.
"He knew he would talk, and soon at that." I think there should be a comma after "soon," but I could be wrong.
The last sentence just before Chapter 4 says, "For me, it was a few days, yet here it was only a few seconds." Was he really gone a few days? I thought all that happened in 1 day--cafe, hotel, kidnapping... No? I don't feel like going back to verify, but maybe you should. lol
Also, I'd recommend more space between the end of Chapter 3 and the beginning of 4, but definitely decide on a spacing plan and stick with it.
"Rhonda, help me Rhonda." Comma after "me."
"Go share your findings, see what Brian has learned, we’ll be fine here." That's 3 sentences.
"You’re sure you are okay with all this? It’s a lot you know." Comma before "you know."
"I will be fine, Jon will be fine, now get going!" I think that should be 3 sentences. Also, I wouldn't end with an exclamation point as it seems like she's yelling rather than just speaking loudly/firmly.
"Jon glanced at her, and couldn’t help wondering where she came from." Personally, I don't think you need that comma, but maybe check with someone else.
"This field is new, just starting to explode into the forefront of science." I like how this sounds so natural with the way you've done the dialogue. Great job.
"Ish came up with this project, and I was lucky enough to join him." Again, not sure you need this comma, but maybe check with someone else.
"But he’s a huge fan of Moby Dick, his father read it to him as a youngster, and he’s read it many times himself." Again, this should be at least 2 sentences, if not 3. No commas.
"Really, why. How early?" That should be a question mark, not a period, but you probably know that.
"He started to get up, and as he did he simply fell over, and never moved." I think there should be a comma after "did" and I'm not sure about the one after "over."
"She blamed no one and nothing." I'm not sure why this is in here. I didn't think she was blaming anyone. Maybe connect it to the next sentence better by using "...no one and nothing, but I know she had a broken heart..." Yes, I'm telling you to make 2 sentences into 1.
"I’m sorry to hear about your mother Michelle." Comma after "mother."
"Your aunt must have been a special lady to keep your mother’s wishes in mind, and help you get started." No comma.
"I met Ishmael at a conference, and we hit it off quickly." I don't think you need that comma, personally.
"He asked for my resume; I guess you could say the rest is history." Good semi-colon use.
"How long have you been standing there Jeffrey?" Comma after "there."
"Oh don’t be preposterous Jeffrey!" Comma after "oh" and after "preposterous."
"I know Michelle, but you two do get along well." comma after "know."
"Abruptly Jeffrey changed the subject." Comma after "abruptly."
"Yep, set exactly as we calculated in the lab, all we can do now, is wait of course." Period after "lab." Don't think there should be one after "now." Comma after "wait."
Don't forget to work out the spacing plan for the chapters. We are now on Chapter 5.
"Welcome back Jon." Comma before "Jon."
"Ishmael huh. Nice. But you didn’t answer my question Ishmael." Comma after the first "Ishmael" and after "question."
Don't forget to take out the bit about him trying to hid his smile when he says "Ishmael," or at least take out the rest. And if you plan to keep the same information about how things happen and such, switch it up some. Things like him seeing himself in the mirror or noticing the machines beeping can be said differently each time so it's not like you just copied and pasted it. Also, don't forget to fix the errors I mentioned previously. I won't go over them again to save time.
Chapter 6--Again, I like the extra spaces after the last chapter, before the next title, but that's me.
"Where are you Fred?" Comma before "Fred."
"Her voice fell quietly on the soft wind blowing across the sand." Very nice! You should include more things like this!
"She looked around the moonlit beach, then out at the waves crashing on the shore." I like the last sentences better, but still, more of things like this would be good.
Amy was never one to admit defeat, and refused to do so now. She sat back down to try and relax, but bolted upright when she saw something move in the cockpit." I'm confused. She refuses to accept defeat, but doesn't keep calling or looking for Fred?
"But the brief, weak movement, had stopped." No comma after "movement."
"It wasn’t a long swim, but it took more of her remaining strength than she thought it would." Nice, realistic detail.
"Despite his body being soaked with seawater, she could see that his breathing was irregular, his skin pale and flushed." I'm not sure why being soaked would make it hard to see these things as it suggested with "Despite his body being soaked with seawater..." Was it mostly covered in seawater? That would make it harder to see. Not to mention, it was night, so that would definitely make it harder to see. But his body being soaked (but not covered) would actually make it easier to see his irregular breathing, IMO, because his clothes would be sticking to him...just my opinion. Yes, I'm being difficult.
"All that can wait Fred, we have to get you out of here!" Comma before "Fred," but not after. Make it 2 sentences...or maybe consider a dash. I think dashes are just so handy.
"No Amy! I know I’m done, whether you free me or not. Now get to the beach before the tide comes in." Comma after "no" and probably after "now" as well.
"She looked around the tiny cabin, and gathered what supplies she could." I don't think you need that comma.
"She looked back at Fred one more time, and saw no sign of him breathing, his head loosely rolling from side to side as the plane was rocked by waves." I don't think you need the comma after "time." This is a GREAT sentence. I'd love to see more descriptions like this!
"She had never been one to cry much, but found tears rolling down her cheeks as she climbed from the shattered cockpit." Didn't you just say she'd never been one to give up? Maybe word that differently.
"Grabbing a life preserver, she lay across it and paddled towards the beach, the waves seemingly stronger with each crest." I like this description as well.
"‘At least I don’t have to worry about freezing here on this island.’ Amy thought to herself." I don't understand. Why not? I don't remember any mention of the temperature. Or did she rescue some matches? If so, they should be mentioned sooner or this should be thought later.
"Amy stared at her plane as long as she could, as if she was trying to will it to float to the beach." Another great sentence. It's sort of like you wrote differently or grew as a writer between what was written earlier and this part. Well done.
"As the plane became submerged, she saw it roll a little in the waves, its wings now broken from the fuselage. The waves inexorably pulled it towards the open ocean, as if trying to hide its wreckage from any searchers. Finally it disappeared, leaving Amy alone on the beach." While this is a great bit, it doesn't match the tide coming in. If the tide was coming in, it would be bringing the plane in, not pulling it out to sea. Yeah, I know, details, details.
"She was pretty sure that the island was uninhabited, and as she took stock of her situation, she realized her true plight." She just took stock in the paragraph before. Maybe use another word.
"They had not carried much food with them, the space had been very limited and the extra weight would have consumed more fuel." Make it into 2 sentences instead of using a comma.
"She regained her strength faster than she would have thought, but her mind couldn’t focus on the task at hand." I'd say, "At first she regained her strength..." because at first she had a few food supplies. Otherwise, it sounds like she's totally on the upswing, but in reality, it's just a temporary upswing. Also, I'd say "...the taskS at hand" because there were many tasks she needed to do. I assume you meant the one she was currently focusing on, whatever it was, but it sounds like there was only 1 thing to do.
"She finally managed to start a small campfire, but struggled to keep it going." Nice detail.
The few provisions she had grabbed from the plane didn’t last too long, she was now living off the meager fruits and vegetables near her beach shelter, and the few fish or crabs she managed to trap. Make it 2 sentences--breaking at "long." I don't think you need the comma after "shelter."
"...she would have seen the wreckage of a tramp steamer sitting high and dry on the rocks, its back broken in two places." Super description, especially that last part! Though it makes it sound like that might be important later, but I'm thinking probably not. Anyway, I love the description!
You mention in the last paragraph of this part, just before the tildes making a page break,
that she's probably suffering from shock. Admittedly, it was like over 10 yrs ago, but I got EMT certified and am pretty sure shock happens at first, not a few days later. By now, I'd expect her to be out of her shock.
"It was late June, but Amy felt sweat forming in her armpits quickly." Is Papua New Guinea in the Southern hemisphere? If so, maybe mention that since I'm thinking, "Well, it's late June. Of course she's going to be sweating." Most readers are probably from the US and Canada.
"She wasn’t surprised, they were at Lae Airfield, Papua New Guinea." Make this 2 sentences.
"The next leg of their flight would be over nothing but ocean; she wanted to be sure the craft was in tip top shape." Good placement of a semi-colon.
"Amy! Amy, whatcha doin?" Again, good dialogue, but personally, I'd put an apostrophe after the N in "doin.'"
"As they walked, they softly discussed the coming flight." The next sentence has an exclamation point, so they aren't really discussing softly. See below.
"Amy, you should be resting! You’re not completely recovered from your spell of Dysentery." Also, dysentery doesn't need to be capitalized. We don't capitalize colon cancer or strep throat. Plus, I googled just to be sure.
I must admit, I don't know what historical event this is referencing, but I'm intrigued.
"Instruments be damned, I bet you could have gotten us here, and onward without them." I'd put a dash between "damned" and "I." Fyi, in case you don't know, a dash is longer than a hyphen. If you don't know how to make a dash, just put 2 hyphens together like this --. Just one is wrong. I'd hate for you to put in a bunch of hyphens after I told you to put in dashes.
"Once again she smiled at him with her impish smile. Fred could only wonder what she was thinking of, or planning." First, while I'm sure this isn't the first time he's seen that impish smile, it's the first time we have. I'd suggest something like, "Once again she smiled at him. He never got used to that impish smile" or something like that. Also, why is Fred wondering what she's thinking of or planning? Shouldn't she be thinking about and planning the next leg of the flight? I haven't seen anything to suggest otherwise. I haven't noticed any flirtation between them or her love for playing practical jokes or something. I'd leave that out, myself.
"Well, you’re the pilot, I’m just the navigator. We’ve discussed this before. It’s a team effort, we’re a team here." This should be 5 sentences, not 3. Though you could put a dash after "effort," if you wanted. I wouldn't after "pilot." I think 2 sentences is just better here.
"One thing that will not happen again, is that crazy business with the radio." I don't think you need a comma here.
"Amy’s look of anger was not lost on Fred; he knew they couldn’t experience that problem again." Here you are saying he knows what she's talking about, but in the next sentence (below) he seems to be verifying what she's talking about. I realize it's probably just to tell us, but maybe have him make a comment about the failure or think something in his head about it to tell us what she's talking about.
"You mean the radio failure? We have to make sure the Itasca knows what frequency we’ll use, and we need to know theirs of course." I'm not sure you need the comma after "use," but maybe. I think you probably need one after "theirs."
"I’m sure that’s been taken care of, I’ve been exchanging cablegrams with them about that problem since the Darwin flight." This should be 2 sentences.
"This is an adventure as you know." Comma after "adventure."
"And I always say, ‘Adventure is worthwhile in itself’." I think you live in the US. If so, the period ALWAYS goes inside the quotation marks, even ones like these. Same for commas. In England, it varies with periods and I'm not sure about commas. In both, question marks and exclamation points vary, depending on usage.
"Once we have this adventure completed, maybe we’ll have others together…." No period needed after ellipses.
"He relished the long walk, it gave him the chance to think about this trip, their flights, and what was going to happen once they arrived in Oakland." You can use a semi-colon, period, or dash after "walk," but don't use a comma.
"That was fine with him, he was not a man who yearned for the spotlight." Again, no comma--pick something else.
"At times he wondered what it would be like to have the spotlight on him." You just said he didn't yearn for it. I realize yearning and wondering are different, but to clarify, maybe say, "Of course, at time he wondered what it would be like..."
"He had a past though, and knew things might get ugly if the press looked into his history enough." Oooo...Intrigue! I love it!
Fyi, I'm at over 32k characters. I bet this is your longest review EVER. So help me, if it says it can't post the review because it's too long, SOMEONE WILL DIE!!! Probably me, just a heads up.
"Amy had not successfully used the Radio Direction Finder (RDF)." It's not really clear what that does.
"It was understandable in many ways, the Bendix system was difficult to grasp, and in testing it the day before, Amy had not been able to find the sharp minimum which would indicate the direction of the RDF beacon." I'd put a dash or period after "ways."
"Despite these thoughts troubling his mind, Fred finally found peace, and sleep deeply." That should probably be "slept deeply." Also, I don't think you need a comma there, but I could be wrong.
"Fred rotated the directional antenna to gain a null, but was unable to obtain a suitable one." Later we get an idea of why it's important, but maybe a clue as to what it is would be nice, too. Just a thought...
"Fred, with no null, we won’t know their position, we can’t get to them!" Period after "position."
"Itasca, we must be near you, how do you read? Over." Period after "you."
"KHAQQ calling Itasca, we must be on you, but cannot see you…. gas is running low…" Two more periods that need to be erased after the ellipses.
"We are running North and South." You need a line space after this sentence. The next one starts immediately on the next line, without a normal space.
"With gas running low and unable to communicate with the Itasca, she set their course due south as she’d just reported." I'd make some mention of them trying to raise the Itasca for a bit. Otherwise, it sounds like poor planning where she barely had enough fuel...unless that's the historical reality.
"Right, I’ll do my best Fred." Comma before "Fred."
"Amy knew the engines were close to running on fumes, and throttled back until they were almost idling." I don't think you need that comma, but might be wrong.
"Slowly the plane lost altitude as it approached the island." Comma after "slowly."
"Suddenly a downdraft caught the small craft and quickly pressed it down. Amy jerked the column up, but it was not enough. The planes wheels hit the water, the plane slamming to a stop." Exciting!
"The two of them were thrown about, screams and grunts from each as Electra was wrenched violently by the waves." Perhaps a personal choice, but shouldn't it be "the Electra" since it was never previously used as the plane's name, but as it's model?
Dang it! I just realized I saw an apostrophe you needed in the word "plane's" somewhere when you wrote "planes," but I can't remember where. Oh well. No doubt, while I like to think I've improved things, there are probably still lots of errors.
"She wasn’t too worried, the Itasca had heard them, that much was obvious." Period after "worried."
"She did not realize that she had missed a plane flying over as she slept." But you said the plane was flying high, right? It didn't seem like a search and rescue plane would be flying that high. If she's exhausted or a heavy sleeper, she could still sleep through it if it was fairly low.
"It was during one of those moments of searching that caused her to fall." I'm being picky here, but technically the moment wasn't what caused her to fall, as the construction of this sentence suggests. It was the searching. Perhaps something like "It was during one of those moments of searching that she fell."
"She fell clumsily, her head banging hard against a thick branch. Blackness engulfed her as she passed out." Dang! Poor girl can't catch a break!
Note that you have different amount of spacing around the tildes before and after this section. Probably pick a spacing and check all the tilde line spacings.
"You are far more than a mere guinea pig, I hope you know that." Period or dash or something instead of a comma.
"Well, I don’t know that, but thank you. I hope that one day I will regain my complete memory, and can know who I really am." Not sure you need the comma after "memory," but maybe.
"I do too Jon." Comma before "Jon."
"All in due time Jon." Comma before "Jon."
"As they spoke, a young woman entered the room wearing a pale yellow slacks and a white shirt. Her shoes complimented her slacks, being an off yellow type of sneaker that Jon hadn’t seen before." She's probably wearing pale yellow scrub bottoms since she's a nurse. Also, I just realized, we didn't see yellow this time, did we? Not that I remember.
“Why thank you Jon, I am doing well, I can see you are too!” Comma before "Jon" and probably after "are." This should also be 3 sentences, not 1.
"“Michelle.” This time, Ishmael spoke." I like that you changed up how you said this. Nice touch.
"During his most recent adventure, Jon was Amelia Earhart! We’ve always wondered if one of our subjects would only be someone in their gender, now we have an answer." I thought it could be her, but didn't know enough about the situation. I didn't know she had someone else with her. I didn't know she went by Amy. I didn't know she was trying to land on a ship at one point. Very interesting...though I assume a lot of this is made up since we don't really know what happened to her, right? lol It reminds me of the movie...dang it. I can't recall the name. But basically, it's a true story about a couple that gets left during a scuba trip and their ordeal. They die in the end. I realized that since they died, we have no idea what really happened and basically, everything after the boat leaving them was 100% made up. lol
"Yes my dear, I will, I promise." Comma after "yes" and probably a period after "will."
"She found working with him far more satisfying that she had thought possible." Should be "...THAN she had thought possible."
Don't forget to check spacing for each chapter. We are now staring Chapter 7. I'm getting closer! Thankfully--since I've been at this for HOURS. Did I mention I hate reviewing? Nothing personal at all. It is a good story that I will nominate. Oh crap! I forgot I was supposed to nominate this! I think I was just going to be so happy to be done that I was going to forget to nominate it. That would have SUCKED! lol Let me do it now... GOOD LUCK! What's the word count on this again? I'm nominating it for Best Novella. If that's wrong, just let them know. Novellas are 20k-60k for Quill purposes. Also, don't forget to make it public by January or whenever they start reading the longer ones. And you'd better make a bunch of corrections after all the work I did to suggest them!!! Actually, the only reason for the 4 stars is the corrections. Otherwise, I'd have scored it 4.5. But I'd need more of those awesome descriptions you teased me with from time to time before I gave it 5.
Okay, at the beginning of Chapter 7, don't forget to make all those corrections I've previously suggested and I'd make the whole scene similar, but not exact. He can ask the same or almost same questions, but the answers shouldn't necessarily be word for word and the descriptions definitely shouldn't be.
"This was my last excursion, after I tell you where and who I was, I’m done." Period after "excursion."
"Are you sure Jon?" Comma after "sure."
"Well, tell me about this latest excursion, and I will fill you in on everything we’ve been doing." No need for a comma in the middle.
"Good, I have to return to this last excursion though!" Uh, but didn't he say he was done?
"Jon lightly rubbed the ‘token’ in his right hand as he said this." What token?
Chapter 8--Of course, watch spacing.
"He detested large crowds of people, and could never get used to the throngs of people that seemed to be everywhere he went." I don't think you need that comma.
"Being from the Bay Area of San Francisco, he was used to crowds, but here in the New York City Metro area, it was a little different. The rush of people here was unlike the Bay Area. There was a difference in the people that he couldn’t put his finger on." Interesting description. Good job.
"Now he was wishing he’d taken a taxi since his feet were feeling like lead." Umm...but just 2 paragraphs up he was hurrying. Did more time pass than I realize? That seemed like the present, not before the subway.
"But his destination was close, and he trudged on." Not sure you need that comma.
"After all, the millennium had passed a scant eighteen months ago, and cellular phones were all the rage, he knew they really needed to dive into that business." Not sure you need the comma after "ago," but maybe. I'd end the sentence with "rage."
"“Alan, we really need to meet more often, how else can we brainstorm?” Nick shook Alan’s hand also, hugging him just as his brother had." There should be a period after "often" and maybe one after "him," but I'm not 100% sure.
"Well guys, I can’t always just up and run here y’know. But things are advancing quickly in our world, who knows how we’ll meet in future years?" Comma after "here" and period after "world."
"So true Al, so true...She was highly recommended, and lives out in your neck of the woods!" Comma before "Al." Those ellipses show I left out stuff. They aren't yours. I'm getting lazier and am combining stuff. lol It's 11:30 pm and I'd rather be in bed, but am REALLY trying to finish this before bed. We'll see how that works out... Anyway, I'm not sure you need the comma after "recommended" and I wouldn't use the exclamation point. Instead, show the excitement with some action.
"As they were talking about projects each of them were involved in, a young woman who looked to be in her late twenties approached the table. Comma after "woman" and after "twenties."
"Rick, you’ve told us this is your favorite place to kick back, relax and eat, what do you recommend?" Period after "eat."
"Rick looked at the three of them without looking at the menu and said, “We have to start with the Brasato e Peperoni Secchi, maybe see if we can get a large Insalata Caprino e Pera, and one of us just has to have the Spigola al Forno.”" Period after "Secchi." Should that be capitalized in Italian? I don't know and don't care to look it up. Sorry for the slack reviewing. Bad Jody!
"What did you just say? I understand one of them is a salad, but c’mon man! Speak English!” Al exclaimed." I'm not sure if he's irritated or teasing his friend. Make that a bit more clear.
"But I dined here so many times in the past that I’ve almost memorized the menu. Much like Rick here it seems." The 1st sentence is fine. I'm just including it so you can find the 2nd one more easily. Comma between "here" and "it."
"Well we’ve hired you on with this project, and while I know a little about you, tell us in your own words about yourself." "...in your own words?" Whose words would she use? lol I'd leave that part out.
"He wasn’t killed in combat, he just had a massive heart attack, and died almost instantly. I’ve raised our daughter Shelley ever since." I'd use a period or dash, maybe a semi-colon after "combat." And I don't think you need a comma after "attack." I like that you have him dying of something else over there. Nice touch. There should be commas before and after "Shelley."
"We don’t need to know your personal history right now." "...right now" is an interesting choice--like they'll need to know it later, but it can wait. I'd leave that end bit off, myself.
"Thank you Al, but no, talking about it is making me feel better." There should be a period after "no" and I'd say, "Talking about it makes me feel better." That sounds more like it's a progressive thing because talking about it right now doesn't seem to be making her feel better right now, which is how the sentence seems to sound as it is.
""Anyway…..” Melanie stopped to lightly blow her nose and wipe her eyes before continuing." Erase those extra periods and whatnot going on there. Just 3 dots/periods for an ellipses.
"I have always sworn that I’d never fall in love like that again. But I also know things can happen, and that I may. If I do, I will die if he dies. I do not want to suffer that kind of loss again." Stupid brain injury! This part sounds familiar and I'm pretty sure I'm supposed to be connecting this with some other character, but I can't remember! Bad Jody! I'm a pretty terrible reviewer! lol But nice loop back to this, you know, for the rest of the world who can remember things.
"...I studied at USC and managed to get a Master’s Degree in Business. I’ve worked with a variety of corporations, and am very good at meeting people, preparing marketing documents & materials. I excel at that kind of work." YAY USC!!! Anyway, you used an ampersand when you should probably use a real "and."
"No, my sister Sarah is taking care of her back in the Bay Area while I’m here." Commas both before and after "Sarah."
"Al couldn’t decide what to choose, and thought about Spaghetti & Meatballs. It was Melanie who tsk’d tsk’d over that, and said, “What’s your favorite meat? You can’t just have Spaghetti & Meatballs in a place like this. Try their ‘Pollo Osso Buco’." Not sure you should go with the ampersand here, either, but I'm slightly more accepting of it because maybe that's how the menu presents it. Also, the period should go inside the apostrophe at the end of "Buco."
"There was good reason for this too. In the world of modern technology one couldn’t be too careful. A careless word uttered in the wrong location may lead to a competitor mimicking your product. Each of them knew of these dangers, and naturally kept their work out of the discussion." Probably a comma between "this" and "too." Probably one after "technology." Not sure about the comma after "dangers." Maybe. Maybe not.
"Cellular phones are here, there will be a day when they’re as indispensable as our computers are." Period after "here."
"Al leaned back, hands linked behind his head and said, “What do you mean Rick?" Comma before "Rick."
"Well Al, first we have to make a cell phone, huh." Probably a comma before "Al" as well.
"Easy for you to say that is. But go on…" Funny, but who is speaking? Probably a comma after "say."
"Wait a minute Rick. A user on a cell phone has a contract with a carrier, don’t they?" Comma after "minute."
"What if you could then have the phone search for a valid cellular signal, and switch the phone to that network?" Not sure this comma is necessary.
"Call it ‘The Millennial Phone. It’s short enough, yet it’s different from all other phone names." You need the other apostrophe thingy after "Phone."
"Because naming a new product is very important. More important than most people who create them realize. We’re in the new millennium now, it fits. Universal is a bit redundant is all." Dash or something before "it fits."
"Nick nodded as he looked at her with new respect. “You’ve been with us for a couple of hours now, but that one little statement says quite a bit about you, and how you fit in."" Not sure you need that comma after "you."
The rest of the evening passed quickly, and they all retired for the night. They haven't actually retired yet...just saying. Also, pretty sure there's no need for that comma.
"Well hell, I’m staying there too! Cancel your cab, ride with me!" Probably a comma after "there." I'd put a dash between "cab" and "ride."
"They’re locals, Nick lives on Staten Island, Rick’s in an apartment on the Upper Wide of Manhattan. They’re both heading to the subway. I took that here, but walked the last bit, a longer walk than I thought. So cab it is for me." Period or dash after "locals." Period after "Island." Is Rick's apartment on the Upper WEST SIDE of Manhattan? lol Period after "bit." Comma after "thought" and after "it is."
"Al was lost deep in thought about the cell phone project, Melanie spent her time texting her sister Sarah and Shelley. Once at the hotel they parted ways, agreeing to meet after breakfast in the morning." Semi-colon or period after "project." Commas before and after "Sarah." Right now it seems she has 2 sisters and you just made a mistake using a singular "sister." Comma after "hotel."
"Rick & Nick were busy meeting with their Engineering Design team to get their new product design finalized." Don't use the ampersand here. Go ahead and use "and" between "Rick" and "Nick."
"Al replied, “I’m not leaving until Wednesday on an early United flight.”
“I’m flying United too!"" You need a line space between these two lines.
"Won’t Rick want us working though?" Comma probably after "working."
"Don’t worry about Rick, he won’t mind either of us taking some time off." Period after "Rick" instead of a comma.
Al called that night and changed his flight to Tuesday morning, and arranged for him and Melanie to sit together. Not sure you need that comma...maybe.
"The two of them visited about every tourist attraction in the New York City area." Uh, in my experience, this isn't really possible, but whatever. Suspend belief.
"They spent the evening walking Times Square, and Melanie shocked Al by leaning in to kiss him lightly in Central Park." Not sure that comma is needed here.
“Wh, What was that for?” I'd write, "Wh--What was that for?" But that 2nd "what' might not need to be capitalized. Not 100% sure.
"You are quite the gentleman Al." Comma before "Al."
“Well, you told me last week how you love hiking, how you take your beautiful walking stick with you when you go. So, I got this for your walking stick at West Point.” No idea what "this" is. I assume it's the token previously mentioned, but I don't have a walking stick and, unless it's the rubber part on the bottom, which I'm assuming it isn't, I don't know what it is. Will this be cleared up later?
"Melanie, it is special, it’s from you after all…” Comma after "you."
“Melanie, what’s gotten in to you all of a sudden? I mean I love it, but what’s going on?” Comma after "mean."
“I’m sorry Al, I didn’t mean to come on like that. I haven’t kissed a man since my… since my husband died. This weekend has been terrific, I guess I lost my head there for a minute.” Comma before "Al." Period after "terrific."
"Melanie, you didn’t come on to me, you just surprised me. But lose your mind again soon will you?" Period after "...didn't come on to me."
"She grabbed his hand as they continued their walk. Dinner was perfect, both were sorry to see the night end." Huh? When did they have dinner?
"Al kissed her goodnight at her door, then slowly walked to his room." I'd get rid of this and the part about walking home from dinner. We assume they enjoyed dinner.
"The next morning they met earlier than usual, and caught a cab to the airport. Traffic was terrible, and they ran late. After checking in, they realized they needed to hustle to get to their gate on time. As they were walking, Al felt himself getting a little dizzy. “Melanie, let’s sit down, I feel a little dizzy." I don't think you need those first 2 commas in those first 2 sentences. You use the word "dizzy" twice really close. Maybe use "woosy" (don't know how to spell it) for one or he could just say he doesn't feel right.
Over 51k characters now. I'm sure you are MORE than sick of me telling you your commas are all wrong. I hope I'm more right than wrong... ALMOST DONE! Only 2 sections left! YAY!!! I CAN DO THIS!!! I'd totally go to bed if there was a "draft" tool on reviews, but I don't see one. I would TOTALLY FREAK OUT if my computer restarted itself and lost all of this!!! It restarted recently, so shouldn't, but I don't trust it. I'm almost done. Sure, it's like 1 am, but who needs sleep?
You'd better seriously review all my suggestions. I'm not promising they are correct, but I nominated you, so I at least expect you to do your best to win. You got this!
Okay, there's a line of tildes--the next to last one. I'm trying to keep it so you can keep up with where I am, otherwise all my suggestions are worthless. lol
"Jon finished relating his story with tear filled eyes. He was surprised to see tears in Ishmael’s eyes also. He had never noticed Michelle entering the room, she was seated next to Ishmael, her head buried in his shoulders sobbing softly." That should be "tear-filled," I'm pretty sure. Period after "room." Comma after "shoulders." How did Jon not notice her there? Was he not looking at Ishmael as he talked? Seems a bit odd, but whatever. lol
"“Why is she crying Ishmael?” Jon was beside himself, he never intended for Michelle to hear the whole story, and definitely never intended to make her cry." Comma before "Ishmael." Period after "himself." But I'd also try to think of some gesture or action to show he's beside himself. This caught me off-guard because at first he seemed just curious or whatever.
"Instead of answering Jon’s question, Ishmael asked one of his own. “Are you sure that was your last mission Jon?”" Comma after "mission." I"m confused. I thought he was going back. But he's not? I don't get it.
"“Yes Ishmael. Somehow, I need to go back and see Melanie again. So I’m done. I need to be with her, more than you or anyone else could ever know.” Jon placed in his pocket, his fingers wrapping around a small object that hadn’t been there before. He smiled inwardly, and knew he would see Melanie again. Her gift would drag him back, it had to!" Comma after "yes." So, he IS going back to see Melanie? But how if he's not doing another mission? Confusion for me. But it's after 1 am and I have a brain injury, so check with someone else. Is that "Jon placed HIS FINGERS in his pocket...?" Probably no comma after "inwardly." Perhaps a dash after "back."
"You know there’s no way to know where you’re going. Nor will I revive you again." Comma after "know?" Normally, yes, but in this case, I'm not sure...or am too tired to decide.
"Yes Jon, each time you’ve experienced another’s life, I’ve used these this equipment here to bring you back." Comma after "yes."
“I’ve never been able to ‘send you to another place and time’, that’s been random." The comma should be inside the quote thingy. Also, perhaps make it a dash between "time" and "that's," or just a period instead of a comma.
“I know Ishmael, but I have to try to go back.” Comma before "Ishmael."
“I guess all we can do is let you leave the project. Only you will know where you go. I won’t hear about this story, much as I want to.” Huh? So, he's leaving the project? But how will he go back? Confused. Hopefully it will all clear up soon.
"I know, as they say, It is what it is." Period after "know." Quotes around "It is what it is." You can do double quotes. Or you can do single ones. Not sure if there is a right choice and don't care enough to look. Yep, lazy reviewer. lol
""Well, if you absolutely positive…. when you die this time Dad, I will not bring you back, nor...” Erase that period after the ellipses and capitalize "when" or just make it one sentence, but either way, get rid of that period. Comma before "Dad."
“Yes Jon, you’re my father. I’m Jeffrey, your son. You’ve been terminally ill for a few months now. I developed this advanced form of life support, but I guess it’s become more of a Life Reviver. This time, when you die, your soul will go wherever it should go, and that will be it.” Comma before "Jon." Why can't he revive him again? Still confused.
"Jon looked at Jeffrey/Ishmael in disbelief..." Nice crossing to ensure we know what's going on.
"Oh Jon, there’s so many questions I want to ask you, but know I can’t!" Comma after "oh" and why can't she ask questions?
“Oh God, I’m so tired, I need to ….” Attach the ellipses to "to" and get rid of the period at the end.
"The EKG beeped a couple more times, then emitted a shrill sound as it flat-lined." Nice description.
"Suddenly Jeffrey let out a soft moan and collapsed into a nearby chair. Shaking uncontrollably, he held his head in his hands as he wept. Michelle moved by his side and put her arm around his shoulder. She held him close until he quieted, the sobs softening, then ending altogether. “I’m sorry honey, I don’t know what came over me.”" Comma after "suddenly" and after "sorry."
“It’s fine my love, after all you’ve been through with him these last few months, I would be shocked if you didn’t need a moment to grieve.” Comma after "fine."
"Taking Michelle’s hand, Jeffrey said, C’mon honey, let’s call this in and get him cared for properly." You need beginning quotation marks at "C'mon honey" as well as a comma before honey.
“We have to make a few calls Jeffrey, someone needs to come get your father after all.” Comma before "Jeffrey." Probably a period after "Jeffrey." Comma after "father." And again I'm confused. I thought he was saying they were going to call someone to get him, now she's the one saying they need to?
“He’s fine where he is for now. Brian was automatically notified the moment he flatlined." He just said, "C’mon honey, let’s call this in and get him cared for properly." I'm confused...still or again or whatever.
"I’m sorry Melanie, how long was I out?" Comma before "Melanie."
“Only a couple of minutes, but I couldn’t rouse you, I thought I’d lost you! I don’t want to lose a man again, I told you that the first night.” First, a couple of minutes is a pretty long time. Second, where is the airport staff? They should have been all over him after just a minute or so, not to mention, people standing around staring as she's trying to rouse him...just saying. I'd change that comma between "you" and "I" to a dash. Did I mention I like dashes. Semi-colon, perhaps, after "again" and "I."
“No, not yet Al. But give us a little more time.” Comma before "Al."
“Melanie, we have all the time in the world. We haven’t missed our flight have we?” Comma after "flight."
“No, the gate is right over there Al.” "Comma after "there."
"Tomorrow is the 12th, Michelle will be turning eight!" Period after "the 12th."
Wow! Pretty sure I'll understand this more in the morning, but I like it! I get that it's flight 93, but the whole space-time continuum has me a bit thrown off. Perhaps I just need some sleep.
Thank you for sharing! I definitely think it's worthy of a Quill nomination!
Fyi, over 58,900 characters in this review.