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1
1
Review of Juliette  
Review by Schnujo
In affiliation with The Witch's House  
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
Great story! I love how you made the voices seem so real like using "Oooeee" and "Where we going" instead of "Where are we going" because, in reality, that's how folks talk. Great job! I also like "...agencies known by initials." That's a great description! It lets us decide what agencies. *Smile*

The only issue I had is sometimes I wasn't sure who was talking or, even if you said who it was, I wasn't sure, well, who that was. Maybe a little more character description? Or carry it on a little farther like give a partial description, then a bit farther down, describe a little more, but reference a past description? An example of that might be describing one as having a shock of hair that falls across his forehead and say his name is Bob. Then later mentioning that Bob tries to wipe away the shock of hair from his forehead, but it immediately falls back into place. But keep in mind, I have a brain injury, so maybe it's just me. *Bigsmile*


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
2
2
Review by Schnujo
In affiliation with The Witch's House  
Rated: 18+ | (3.5)
Just so you know, I really hate reviewing. But I'll do this because you asked.

First, I always make all my stuff a bigger font as there are so many older people on here, but that's me. *Wink* I use 4 pt. I'm not sure what the original font is, though.

I'd also suggest a space between paragraphs. Then when you are jumping to a new time or place, you can do something like

----------
or
*****
or something along those lines. The breaks between paragraphs give our eyes a place to rest. Not to mention, if the lines go too long, it helps ensure we know where the breaks are. After all, the line length isn't dependent on when you stop writing as much as on the width of our window we are reading it in. *Wink*

In the 1st paragraph, I like that you used the word "morn" instead of "morning." Nice change. Same paragraph, you said, "...the sheets were soiled with more than just his own excretions." At first I thought it meant they'd slept together, but then when you said he didn't know her, I was confused. Maybe it will become clear what these excretions are, but at the moment I'm confused. (I review as I read because I don't like reviewing so I'm definitely not going to read for first impressions, then go back and reread for the review. You get what you get from me. lol)

The next paragraph, "As he was finishing a final brush of his graying red hair with a tortoiseshell comb, 'clank, clank, clank' went the knocker against the ship cabin door that he had found on the shore near where he was wont to vacation during the hottest part of the summer in Seekhome." That's just 1 giant sentence. First, a sentence isn't a whole paragraph. Second, this is long and unwieldy. Maybe try something like "...went the knocker against the ship cabin door. He had found that door on the shore near..." It's less rambley that way. (Yes, I know "rambley" isn't a word.) *Wink*

There should be a comma, not a colon before she says, "Let me in, love." And there should probably be a comma after "dry" when you describe her "...dry, cracked lips..."

I like the style of writing and the details like the ship's door and the area of town where he lives, even though it means nothing to me. lol It adds interest, IMO. *Smile*

Several corrections in the section about Tim. Fyi, you have me intrigued. I'm guessing she's a ghost. I thought maybe so when she was at the door with Thane, but then thought maybe not. I guess I'll find out. I HOPE I'll find out. lol Anyway, to the corrections...

"She turned to face him, her husband, (comma) Tim Michaels, (comma) was still wearing his Guard Captains uniform. (period) (capitalize W) "Why haven’t you changed out of your uniform?" (question mark) she asked. (period) (capitalize W) "We have to go to dinner at the palace in 45 tolls." (capitalize H) Her life began with a kiss. (period or semi-colon, if you prefer) she had no memory of anything prior to the kiss." You seem to have stopped capitalizing the beginning of sentences for some reason.

I love the description of Tim finding her in the "devil's hour." (Needs an apostrophe, btw.) Great descriptive idea here!

(Capitalize W--I'm not going to correct all the capitalizations, just know you need to capitalize the beginning of each sentence. *Wink* ) "Where the priests would burn the burn the king in effigy to appease the gods of the sea..." I assume you see the problem with the sentence and the word burn. *Wink* "...ensure a bountiful harvest. (period, then capitalize the Y) "You can stay with me until we can find a more permanent solution."" Though I think usually speaking is it's own paragraph unless it's mixed in with describing the person's actions of voice or whatever. But keep in mind, I'm not a professional reviewer. *Wink*

It's a little confusing where it says that Tim suggested they get married, then suddenly they apparently are without mention of it. Consider moving the part about who married them to just after he suggested it. Also, you are having capitalization problems again. Review the whole thing for capitalizing the beginning of each sentence and also the beginning of each quote when a person speaks. Also, if you don't have a period before a quote, you probably need a comma. I won't correct all those, either. I do like that she used a "judicious" amount of makeup. Good word choice. *Smile*

"...he was sitting on a bench in the magistrates square." That should be "magistrate's" and you forgot the period after "square." I just noticed you also didn't have an apostrophe when you mentioned "magistrate's quarter" above this part.

I like how you describe time in "tolls." Nice touch.

When she's just coming to, when she's starting to hear the voices, you left out "The" in "Hangman's Daughter." Also, you said she felt, rather than heard her fingers as they bit into his neck...uh, yeah. It's normal to feel, rather than hear, your fingers. Did you mean that she heard, rather than felt? Otherwise, it's just odd.

After the attack, you say one of them is inching toward her. Did you mean away? It seems like he'd inch away, not toward, just my opinion. Also, "inching" (toward or away) is a common expression. You have a lot of good and different descriptors. I'd suggest you see if you can find something better here.

Okay, I've already spent over a half hour and I'm not even half finished. Did I mention I hate reviewing? lol How about a half a review? Maybe I'll do more later. I also never purposely review something so long because I can't keep my attention on it. No offense to your story. It's interesting. I just have a short attention span because of my brain injury. Anyway, you have a lot of work to do on capitalizations and cleaning up punctuation around quotes and such. I'll see about doing more later--maybe just in an e-mail since I don't know if I can add to this later. But no promises. I normally don't do review requests, especially of something so long. *Wink*

Good luck and keep at it. The rating isn't because the content isn't good. It's mostly just all the minor mistakes that are easily fixable. Fix them and I think I can re-rate it higher. But you have a lot of minor mistakes to clean up. *Wink* No worries. You got this! The content is the hard part and yours is pretty good. Remembering to capitalize at the beginning of a sentence is easy compared to being creative. *Wink* Good creativity!


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
3
3
Review of Yet Again.  
Review by Schnujo
In affiliation with The Witch's House  
Rated: E | (4.5)
"Yet again, I didn't hear the alarm." Normal, average sentence, yet I'm already interested...probably because it's happened to us all. lol

"I threw myself out of bed, shrieking like a banshee caught naked in the shower. I was late for the most important job of the day; fully aware of the reality that the plausibility of my justifications had been running drier than my bank account." I just got done with your story about Professor Pinkerton and his frustration with the new administrator. It was, no offense, disappointing. (We all write disappointing stuff, so don't freak out. *Wink* ) THIS, on the other hand, is already shaping up to be more like what I expect when I read your stuff. YAY! *Bigsmile*

""Jenny? Is breakfast ready?"I snarled..." You need a space between the quotation marks and "I."

"...with the hastiness of an NBC soldier wearing a radiation suit after Defcon 1." Would an average civilian know what an NBC soldier is? I'm not sure they would. Consider spelling it out or using another term. Also, I don't think it would be "after" Defcon 1. It would be either after the announcement of it or it would be during it. After it, things would be calming down, I'd think. *Wink* Yeah, I'm just being picky, but I can be because your writing is so great. It deserves the picky comments. *Bigsmile*

"I knew Jenny would always look stunning as the they she came to my home." Is that "the they she" part supposed to be there? If so, consider "...as the they/she came to my home."

"With a bellyful of calories in my stomach to keep my boiler burning..." Leave out "...in my stomach..." because you just said "bellyful." "With a bellyful of calories to keep my boiler burning..."

""Ground floor" creaked the elevator speaker..." Add a comma after "floor." ""Ground floor," creaked the elevator speaker..." Also, I'm not sure "creaked" is the best word here. Just think about it. Maybe you can think of a better one, especially considering you are then saying it's like a fake British accent.

"I threw myself in the back seat and barked "C'mon Alfred." You need a comma after "barked."

"...and always ended up clugging the city's arteries with their 2010s' junk." I assume you meant "clogging."

""It'll be my pleasure, Mr. Marlowe."" There seems to be an extra line space just above this sentence.

""Have a good day, Sir" said Alfred." You need a comma between "Sir" and the quotation marks after it.

""Yeah, Yeah. See ya" I answered, irritated by the umpteenth attempt from that pile of bolts to establish some "Master-Servant" kinda human relationship. But, at least, I knew I had to be thankful he would have never asked for a tip as a human drivers used to do." You need a comma after "ya." (Fyi, if you don't already know this, in American English, the period also always goes inside the quotation marks, but an exclamation point and question mark don't, depending on the usage.) I think you can do better than the description of "pile of bolts." You're more creative than that. *Bigsmile* Also, at the end, you have "a" with "drivers." Pick singular or plural. *Wink*

""Good Morning, Mr. Marlowe" followed my passage like the trail of a dress. I twitched my head in a series of nods, hating every and each moment of it." You want a comma after "Marlowe." I love the description using "the trail of a dress." So YOU (meaning super creative and outside-the-box as a description)! Usually the phrase is "each and every moment," not "every and each moment." That sounds weird. *Wink*

""He wished to inquire about your whereabouts, as it seems you didn't attend his birthday, last night."" It would be more normal sounding to say ""He wished to inquire as to your whereabouts. It seems you didn't attend his birthday last night.""

""...as long as your business in the red district of this fine town doesn't cease, your bank account will stay in the red."" Funny!

"There wasn't much difference between a whore and a businessman, to be honest. Both were just experts in trading valuable commodities: the former their own body, the latter their soul." Interesting. Creative. Insightful. I really like this and hope I can remember it. *Smile*

"I threw myself on the armchair and stared at the computer..." If you throw yourself "on" the armchair, it sounds more like you are sitting on the arm, or maybe the back. If you are sitting in it, you'd be throwing yourself "into" or possibly "in" (but "into" is more common).

I like this story much better than the one with Professor Pinkerton, but feel like it's a bit unfinished or like it didn't really go anywhere. What was the change in the character or situation? What was the purpose of the story? I don't really get it, but I think this just needs more ending and a bit of polish. For the most part, it's really good. Nicely done! This is more like the writing I expect from you. It's not your best, but it's definitely you. *Heart*


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
4
4
Review by Schnujo
In affiliation with The Witch's House  
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
"Pinkerton strutted through the school hallway..." I'm not sure "strut" is the best word choice here. This suggests he's proud of something, usually himself. But in this scene, he doesn't seem proud as much as frustrated, maybe even beaten down, which definitely isn't a strut.

Also, I have to say that the above paragraph is the first time I see a tiny hint of the Xarthin writing I know and love, but it's not even really there, either. I'm not sure if you were having an off time or if this item (especially the dialogue in the beginning) just doesn't lend itself to letting you shine or what, but it's just okay. Normally I am totally in love with your writing from the very first paragraph. This time, at least not yet, but let me keep reading. Maybe you need to rework the beginning. Maybe I just need to read further.

In the 2nd big paragraph, you say Professor Pinkerton "...kicked the air and snorted." First, that seems like something a kid or teen would do, not a full grown professor, though that's my opinion. Also, it's pretty cliche and definitely not something I'd expect from your writing. You definitely have better descriptions than that inside you. *Wink* You also have "...had the principal not rallied to the bureacraut’s defense..." but misspelled "bureaucrat." *Wink*

In the next paragraph you use the word "abstrusal." I assume you are just making fun of the administrator since that doesn't seem to be an actual derivative of that word. That was on purpose, right?

In the paragraph where he enters the class, you say, "Please be so kind to do your duty as class representative..." It's more common to say, "Please be so kind as to..." I saw it without "as" in some places, but less commonly

"Pinkerton gazed at the students flowing to their chairs. Just like bees after their queen he thought with a grin. Miss Vera Steiner had perfect grades, absolute command of everything he taught her, not to mention of the classmates she represented. There had never been a doubt in his heart that girl was the tip of a pilum eager to carve her way into the body of society." This is a little more of what I expect from you. Good job. *Smile*

"A leader should never show weakness he thought, trying to reassert himself." This is from the next paragraph. Normally when you show thinking, you put it in italics. I'm not great at this type of thing, but I think it would be "A leader should never show weakness, he thought, trying to reassert himself." (The quotation marks wouldn't be in your version.)

“Wasn’t today the day of the oral exam, Professor?” Since class is just beginning, they'd probably ask this in present tense with "Isn't today..."

"The boy mouthed what seemed to Pinkerton a mixture between an answer and a plea for mercy." Hilarious. Good job!

""...Today Mr. Stukov will be examined” said the teacher..." There should be a comma after "examined."

"“Professor Pinkerton, what is the meaning of this?” asked Mrs. Steiner.

“Exactly what I said, Miss Steiner.”

“With all due respect, we find this highly irregular—”" I think part of what I don't like is that the speech seems kind of stilted and fake--like you are trying to make it too academic. I've been to college and folks don't talk like that. lol

"...the boy was not able to distinguish an Ode of Horace from a fart." I don't care for the word "fart" here. I feel like he'd use a more academic term since all his speech is so high. But that's just my opinion. Maybe that's what you were going for, but since it's from the professor's point of view, I'm not sure I buy it.

"...Mr. Stukov today has well earned an A+, with my compliments” said Pinkertoon..." There should be a comma after "compliments." Basically, if you are doing any kind of "said" stuff after speaking (or before), there should be a comma. And I'm not sure if you know this, but at least in American English, the comma ALWAYS goes inside the quotation marks. In British English, it varies, or so I hear, but I say in this case you should adapt the American way since it's easier. *Bigsmile*

"...eyes flashing with the rage of a Gorgon." As usual, I've used Google several times throughout reading your piece. lol Nice addition here, for sure.

"A lesson you will have to learn once you graduatd." Note the typo at the end there. *Wink*

“And what kind of lesson would that be, Professor?” I'd like some sort of description of her as she's speaking here. Otherwise it seems like just a normal question, IMO.

"The teacher shrugged. “As I was saying, once you leave these hallowed halls you will enter the real world. You will get a job, probably in some company making soap, woodwork or whatever else our consumer society loves to consume. And no matter the amount of knowledge or wits you possess, you will no doubt end up taking orders day after day from a moronic boss who will be less intelligent, less skilled, less capable, less knowledgeable than any of you. And he, or she, or whatever else sexual identity this age of profligates is able to conceive, will receive all the credit for all your achievements and hard work, a higher paycheck, better benefits, a wider office and longer vacations. This is but a taste of what is bound to happen.”" Very interesting lesson here. Though I'm not sure about the sexual identity thing. I know where it's coming from and I get it, but it seems perhaps a bit out of place since there was no reference to anything like that before.

"Like a Centurion leading legionaries he thought with a smirk and a tinge of pride." Again, I'd use italics. "Like a Centurion leading legionaries, he thought with a smirk and a tinge of pride."

"“Vox Populi, Vox Dei” said Pinkerton, bursting into laughter." Several times you use Latin without translating. I'd suggest a translation so the reader can get the best benefit from the quote. Most folks are probably too lazy to google it. *Wink*

Well, I'm not sure how I feel about this story except perhaps disappointed--Sorry. I mean, it wasn't bad. But it wasn't your typically awesome stuff. I'm not sure if you were off or what. It's an interesting concept, though. *Smile*


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
5
5
Review of Life is Dukkha.  
Review by Schnujo
In affiliation with The Witch's House  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Thanks for the description of what dukkha means located at the top. *Wink* I think this is well done, but for me, if I'm adding info like what contest I entered, the prompt used, or whatever that isn't important to the actual item, I use light grey font for it. But I think bold black is a good choice in this case. I was just letting you know for other things you might do. I will often try to remember to include not just a link to the contest, but also the name so if the contest is turned private, I can still remember what I wrote it for (and others can see as well). *Smile*

"Hatisha felt the phone buzz against her chest. She darted a hand into the pocket and checked the screen, grimacing as the new message icon sent flickers of light through her pupils. Her temples started throbbing as the adrenaline flowed into her veins, whipping her heart to a quicker pace." You never fail me with your writing skills! And though you say you'll never be a famous writer, now that I know you are so young, I can't agree with that opinion. *Wink*

""Oh my! Oh my! Oh my! It's finally here!"" Not sure I agree with 3 "Oh my"'s. That seems a bit much to me. Maybe 2? Or switch it up with something like, "Oh my! Oh no! Yes!" or something, I don't know. You're the creative one. lol

"Her pupils slalomed down the pile of unread messages..." HOLY COW! HOW AWESOME!

"Your interview and credentials are excellent..." Just me being picky, but I'd say "were" instead of "are" because the interview is over and though her credentials are still in affect, they were presented in the past and that makes it fit with the interview being in the past.

"After all those efforts, sleepless nights, excellent grades and years spent slaving internship after internship, all in the hope of catching the right eye." On a personal note, this does not encourage me as I am about to start school soon. *Laugh*

"Her family stared at her beyond a web of cracked glass." I especially love how you made the family alive here as they stare. Nicely done!

""You all thought I could do it. I am so sorry."" I'm not sure what she's sorry about. Is she sorry they believed in her or that she failed them? Maybe add another sentence like "I'm sorry I ever let you believe in me" or "I'm sorry I failed you" or something to clarify that bit.

Another great story!


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
6
6
Review by Schnujo
In affiliation with The Witch's House  
Rated: 13+ | N/A (Review only item.)
I'm reviewing this for "Blast Off!. Good luck in the contest!

Interesting setup from the beginning. I like the character introduction. I just have a few comments on cleaning it up. Sue and Andy don't have a dash and then their job title like the rest do. Also, there is a space after the opening parenthesis in Andy's section. For some reason, Saundra's job title is capitalized when no one else's is. And Zoe seems to only have 1 dash instead of 2 like the rest. Just a note, I'd expect first and last names in the intro since they are astronauts, but that's just my opinion. They'd probably be calling each other by their first names, but we don't call Neil Armstrong just Neil. *Wink*

In the sentence above the title, is there a reason "underground caverns" and "xenobiologist's" are capitalized? I don't think they should be.

In the 2nd paragraph when Sue is telling everyone to check their suits, when she says they're going in, you have 2 periods.

"We ourselves only reached this area two days ago." I'm no comma expert, but I think there should be a comma before and after "ourselves" because it can be removed without changing the meaning. Also, he says, "...get more personnel out here with us" when he'd probably say, "...get more personnel IN here with us" since they are in caverns. *Wink* I like that he's sort of scared of the light situation. It makes PERFECT sense and someone has to have sense for the story to make sense. *Laugh*

I love the backstory paragraph where Andy is talking about Sue making impulsive decisions and how someone has already disappeared. Not sure how she got to be team leader after that, but NASA is basically a mostly military operation, so I totally buy that stupid decision making. lol...Wait...that's not funny. *Think*

"That light leaking over the stone boulder beneath the archway was unnatural, not scientifically possible." Great description--especially using the word "leaking." I love that!

"...whatever space was beyond was clearly brightly lit, impossible for a Cavern deep inside a Volcano." In this sentence, "cavern" and "volcano" shouldn't be capitalized. "Thinking back, I should have realized—we all should have—that the entry at the base of Olympus Mons we too easily located, and that the tunnel we followed to reach this archway, despite the numerous twists and turns, was far too steady a progress, lacking dead ends and side caverns, to be natural and not artificially designed and constructed." Great sentence that really gets me to the edge of my seat! I probably wouldn't have thought about the lack of side caverns and dead ends, but you are 100% right. That is nature.

In the paragraph where they discover the lab, neither "professor" nor "laboratory" should be capitalized.

"The thermometer of my unease had already reached tremendous proportions and its mercury threatened to erupt." Great sentence! Fyi, in the last sentence in that paragraph, it appears you wrote "row" with a 0 in it...or a capital O.

Why are the dust particles clogging Andy's lungs? Good detail, but I assume he's wearing a suit. Maybe put something else about the dust as I like the detail. *Smile*

"...a shared mass hallucination brought on by lack of oxygen..But no..." THere should be 3 periods in an ellipses, not 2. This is a great sentence, though. The next sentence seems to have an inappropriate space after "At least mine..."

EEK! What an ending! My only question is how they get infected if they are wearing their suits, but otherwise, creepy and awesome! Great job!

Good luck in the contest! You did a wonderful job!


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
7
7
Review by Schnujo
In affiliation with The Witch's House  
Rated: 13+ | N/A (Review only item.)
I'm reviewing this for "Blast Off!. Good luck in the contest!

A slightly larger font would be nice, but I forgot to enlarge mine, so I can't complain too much. lol Fyi, I review as I read, so sometimes something might seem unclear that is later cleared up. Consider whether you left this intentionally ambiguous at the point that I mention it or if this is something you want to clear up. *Smile*

I love that opening! True that we remember where we were or what we were doing when something significant happens. I also love that we think he's trying to impress her by sticking out his chest, but he's not. He's making fun of her husband. Nice twist. This sets us up for pretty high expectations for the rest of the story. *Wink*

Those last 2 sentences in the 2nd paragraph, wow--Yeah...definitely high expectations for this story! lol

I'm not a punctuation expert, but in "Earth was so very far away it wouldn’t be feasible to even think about traveling to it," it seems you have 2 complete sentences, so I'd put a semicolon after "away" (or a period).

It's sad that Earthlings don't like Martians, considering I assume they used to live here, at least a few generations ago, if not more recently. But I can't say that this is unrealistic, unfortunately.

"I wasn’t affected near as bad as most people..." I believe that should be "I wasn't affected nearly as badly as most people..."

"Their will to exist was weak. “I won’t be like them,” I whispered for no one to hear." Great touch! Though you are generalizing that everyone's will was the same--weak. Perhaps say, "Their will to exist was weak, or in some cases, nonexistent." That at least gives a little variety to their wills, though they are all bad.

"Now, it didn’t matter. I trudged in between the bodies of the living and the dead with a very heavy heart. I managed to mark the ones that could still take water, but those were becoming fewer. I threw my bucket down and it bounced, spilling the water onto the ground. This was useless." You really give us a sense of the situation here. Great work. Fyi, I've not finished all my reviews, but I've switched my favorite story to this one. *Wink* I actually switched it by the 2nd paragraph. You're a really great writer!

"I hated Tabby’s star up there and I fully believe it responsible for bringing Skeletons to life." You seem to almost switch tense here. Maybe "...and I fully believed it was responsible..." Also, if they made everyone feel better and some people started worshiping them, why were all the names people called them bad?

"I managed to get away from my skeletons for a time, but I lost energy after being away from them for any amount of time." You use "time" here twice. Maybe "I managed to get away from my skeletons for a bit, but I lost energy after being away from them for any amount of time."

I sort of like that he starts experimenting on them. lol It shows his sense of curiosity about the world and things around him. *Smile* "Fingernails did scratch them, but they did heal over a short time, like it never happened." In that sentence, you used "did" twice. Maybe the 2nd time, consider "...but they healed over a short time..."

Why is it surprising that people on Mars were willing to tell people on Earth what was going on? I didn't think the people on Mars disliked Earth or Earthlings and most folks love sharing stories that make them the center of attention. The situation on Mars certainly does that. Also, you mention a Dyson sphere. What's that? I just looked it up. Cool! And the thing I read mentions Tabby's Star. Interesting. Fyi, you didn't capitalize "star" and while some places on the internet didn't, most did. Probably because "star" is considered part of the name, like Atlantic Ocean.

"The thought of getting away from my own personal skeleton made my stomach clench..." He had 2 skeletons, so just throw an S on "skeleton." *Wink*

"Even my own body has turned against me in this." You changed tenses here. Most of the rest is in past tense. Change "has" to "had" and you'll be fine. *Smile* The same goes for "Breaking things has become the new me" in the next paragraph.

"A growl came from somewhere and it didn’t take me long to realize that it came from me. My mind could tell I was spiraling, but it didn’t do any good. I was out of control with nothing left to break. Drool dripped from my mouth and I wiped it away…" Nice descent into madness.

Interesting ending. I'm curious to know if eating them is a permanent cure, just as being around them is only a cure if you are, well, around them. Very interesting story and certainly well written! Great job! And, I learned about Dyson spheres and Tabby's Star, so extra cool. *Bigsmile*


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
8
8
Review by Schnujo
In affiliation with The Witch's House  
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
You're in England, right? So I can't say for 100% sure about there, but here's my feedback on the medical and military aspects from a US point of view.

We don't normally call the haircut a buzz cut anymore, though people will know what you're talking about. I suppose it depends on when the guy went into the military. Maybe he still holds on to that term if he joined right out of high school (haven't read far enough to know yet), though I joined like 14 yrs ago and don't recall them using the term much then. Mostly crew cut is used and maybe another term I can't think of. It's really not a big deal, though. It also might depend on what branch he was in. I'm assuming he's a Soldier, but perhaps a Marine? It might say later in the story, but I don't know if Marines use the term buzz cut. Oh, I see he WAS a Marine. Then I can't give an opinion on that. *Wink*

I like how God is a part of the story. *Bigsmile*

You mention the tumbler he drinks from. Usually, for sanitation, most places use paper cups these days.

I could be totally wrong on this as I was a mental health tech, not a nurse or doctor, but I'd expect someone to say "end-stage renal failure." At least that's what they kept saying about my cousin who died from it.

Not sure how long Ron was in the Marines (haven't read that far yet), but he'd be more than a sergeant. Though, honestly, it's fine because civilians never use military ranks correctly anyway. *Laugh*

It's not uncommon for folks to dislike their Purple Heart, especially if it hasn't been that long and/or they have really bad PTSD from the incident. Fyi, at least in the Army, they sometimes jokingly call it the "enemy marksmanship badge." Hahaha!

The part about him being in uniform, if he were, he'd most likely be in his camo, not his dress uniform, but again, civilians don't know these things, so it's fine for Sam to say this. Most of the military avoids the dress uniforms whenever possible because they are such a pain to ensure they are perfect. lol

I'm writing this as I read it, so don't know if Ron got anything from the nurses, but he definitely shouldn't have. Yes, sometimes they will say things they shouldn't, but usually not if you aren't family and/or they have express permission. (They aren't even supposed to talk to family if the patient says not to.)

Marine should be capitalized. And while I'm not a Marine, so I can't say for sure, I'm pretty sure Drill Sergeant and Marine Sergeant should also be capitalized, though sergeant might not be in the party when Sam is talking about he knows he's a Marine sergeant because civilians don't capitalize that. Fyi, Ron wouldn't be just a sergeant if he was in 15 years. Did he join straight out?

The line under the paragraph where it talks about Ron's Marine Drill Sergeant being able to give him pointers, that line under that paragraph has "chose" instead of "choose."

Otherwise, nice work. *Smile* Good luck!


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
9
9
Review by Schnujo
In affiliation with The Witch's House  
Rated: 18+ | (5.0)
I love this story and see why it won! Your part about the "Sad Children’s Institute for the Crainially Impaired over in Literaryville" reminded me of that institute for "children Who Can't Read Good" or whatever in the movie, Zoolander. *Laugh* I also loved the reference to Rick Grimes riding into Atlanta on horseback. Awesome! This is a fun and well-written story. Great job! Thanks for featuring me (and what I'll just assume is a reference to my animal auction, "SuperPower Animals Auction for Charity, as well). *Bigsmile*


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
10
10
Review by Schnujo
In affiliation with The Witch's House  
Rated: E | (5.0)
This is such a wonderful activity! Thank you for what you do!

These gift points are from Lilli ☕ who won them by participating in a game I was playing with "SuperPower Animals Auction for Charity. She's so generous!
11
11
Review by Schnujo
In affiliation with The Witch's House  
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
You are SUCH AN AMAZINGLY TALENTED WRITER!!! I assume this is, at least somewhat, based on a true story. Though obviously not 100% true since you are writing it. *Wink*

Here are a couple of things I found that should be fixed, though. *Wink*

Section I, paragraph 3 "...triggered by some unsuspecting solider..." "Soldier" is misspelled Also, at least nowadays, Soldier is capitalized...at least in the Army. *Bigsmile*

Section III, paragraph 7 "...studying him for a moment through wise serious eyes..." There should be a comma after "wise."
"...a moment to collect his thoughts."You need to take all that pent up anger..." You need a space after the period.
"Don't fight the man just the attitudes, but do it by being smart." I think there should be a comma after "man."

Section IV, paragraph 2 (counting that 1st sentence by itself as a paragraph) "Oh, mama how I long for tall glass of sweet tea with a twist I think he should long for "...for a tall glass..." instead of "...for tall glass..."

Section V, paragraph 2 "Yes, poverty laid her cold cruel hand over Harlem..." I think there should be a comma after "cold," but I could be wrong.

Section V, paragraph 3 "...just like the mud in this hole I call hell." I think "hell" should be capitalized here. Not only is it a place, but in this usage, you are using it as a name of a place.

Section VIII, paragraph 4 "I try to stay calm as I speak keeping my voice level and amiable." I'm pretty sure you need a comma after "speak."

Section VIII, paragraph 6 "...we want to take you home.I know your pain. Let's not end it this way." Obviously, you need a space after "home."

Section IX, paragraph 2 (with "Dear Mrs. Johnson" counting as paragraph 1) "Your son, my friend would have wanted you to have the letter he was writing..." There should be a comma after "friend." Though it's a letter, so maybe he's not good at punctuation. lol
"And I'm telling you from my perspective, he was a leader among his fellow soldiers; he was the pillar of his beliefs, he had grit and tenacity and love resided deep in his heart for life, for family, for God and for friends.' This sentence is too long, IMO. I'd end after "fellow Soldiers," then put a semi-colon after "beliefs." Either way, you need a semi-colon there.

Section IX, last paragraph "When you look at an American flag mama, picture me smiling." "Mama" should be capitalized and there should be a comma after "flag."

Some of my more favorite phrases...
"Dusk's last spray of light has bowed down to the full moon rising."
"Beams of silver moonlight sneak around the small openings between thick trees."
"Jimmy D's face is riddled with anger. His dark eyes laced with the weight of past regressions."
"Their iron stances unwavering as they waited with rigid bodies..."
"I didn't care about the worn down buildings sagging from the excess of life and lost hope."
"...the smell of death lingers like cold, sticky rice..." (One of my favorites because the rice specifically harkens to Vietnam.)
"Will I be forever haunted by the image of men lying mangled, forgotten, a carpet of corpses littering the forest ground?" Powerful! I hope it doesn't still haunt you. The images of dead Soldiers in Iraq still haunts me.
Talking about knowing who the enemy is--"Here, there is so much confusion and I am so weary." Yes, not knowing who was on our side in Iraq was so horrible and so exhausting!
"...we're wound up tight, coiled like vipers in a dank crevice waiting to strike out at anything that moves."
"I've seen that look and it's enough to make a man's soul crawl."

You did a phenomenal job on this! I only gave it 4.5 stars because of the errors, but it's an amazing piece! Great work!


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
12
12
Review of The Exam  
Review by Schnujo
In affiliation with The Witch's House  
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
I was so impressed by your last story, I had to read the other one. *Bigsmile*

"...born in Germany during the lasts decades of the 18th Century." That should be "last." *Smile*

"A little help please? Please you've got to help me!" Sarah pulled the brake of the time machine..." I'm pretty sure you need a comma before the 1st "please" and after the 2nd one. That bit about pulling the brake of the time machine--AMAZING WRITING!!!

"Thirty minutes left and i don't know..." Capitalize the "i."

"...slaloming in and out of words and sentences..." Oooo--I LOVE this!!!

"Are you done hon'?"The air liquefied and her friend's word reached her..." I'm pretty sure there should be a comma after "done" and that should be "words," not "word."

You have several paragraphs that don't have spaces between them. Be sure to include those!

"Then Sarah's too a part of the human race." I think you need a comma before and after "too" but I could be wrong. Also, you need a period after "race."

"... I see your ass on edge" Sara forced her lips in a smile..." First, this seems to be all 1 giant paragraph, but it shouldn't be. Each time you change people, change paragraphs. I'm not just talking about the part I included here. This part is in a giant, incorrect paragraph. Also, there should be a period after "edge." And I'd say "into a smile" instead of "in a smile."

Still a part of that giant paragraph that needs to be broken up, "There are... worst things in life." That should technically be "worse" but if they are speaking, you can get away with it because people use the wrong words sometimes. But just below that, her friend does it too, so it just looks like you didn't know to use "worse." Also, you can have a space after the ellipses (...), but if so, you need one before, as well. Personally, I don't use the space, but as I understand, either way is acceptible. But you have a hybrid, no space before and a space after. I'm pretty sure you can't do that. *Wink*

"I wish I could have those kind of problems, Chloe. I really do" You need a period after "do," on the inside of the quotation marks.

"...your parents've got cash." I like the "parents've." That's just how folks speak. Well done!

"And... ive' spent the last ten being an asshole, didn't i?" Again, erase the space after the ellipses (or add one before). Capitalize "I've" and move the apostrophe. And capitalize the last "I."

"Sarah smiled "Yes, you're right. Could you—"," Commas ALWAYS go inside quotation marks.

"Sarah flinched, as Chloe threw her arms around her neck." I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure you don't need a comma here. *Smile*

"Thank to you I did! Without your help I would've been able to even put the pen..." That should be "thanks" instead of "thank." Also, there should be a comma after "help" and that should be "wouldn't've" instead of "would've."

"...letting the flow of students who were still swimming in adrenaline walk past her. "I am... I am afraid that drink will have to wait" muttered with the throat in an icy grip." There should probably be a comma after "students" and "adrenaline." Again, either a space before and after the ellipses or not, but not both. *Wink* There should be a comma after "wait." And that should probably be "...with her throat..." instead of "with the throat in an icy grip."

"Yes. A cancer examination. And that's one I cannot afford to fail." Nice ending! I like it!

I actually thought this might be a continuation of your other story because in the other story, the girl was studying for an exam. It would be cool to write a story from the point of view of both the student and the pilot from your other story as companions to that story...just a thought.

This is a good story, but I feel like you did better with your unique wording and descriptions in the other story. I'm going to nominate you for Best New Portfolio in the Quills, because this is a good story, but mostly on the merits of the other story being so awesome! However, in order to have a shot at winning, not only should you revise both of these stories to improve them, but you should had some more works. You won't win with just 2 items. I know you are new, so it's fine. The judging doesn't start until like January, I think. But be sure to add stuff before then! I actually run a challenge called "The Contest Challenge where I post 3 (or sometimes more) contests to enter. The point is to enter at least 1 each month for a year and then you get 2 MBs. *Smile* It might be a good way for you to find new contests and keep you writing--just a suggestion. No pressure. *Wink* Also, you don't NEED to do this, but something I do is write what contest I wrote an item for and the prompt. I also go back and record if I won the contest (if I remember to do so lol). Then I turn the color light grey so it's obviously not a part of the story. It's fun to go back and see what the prompts was for a story or poem. Also, sometimes it helps people understand why you did something in a certain way if there is something weird in the item. *Wink* Again, not necessary, but it's cool to read what contests you've entered and what the prompt was long after the contest is over. *Bigsmile* But, again, be sure to turn them light grey. You can do this by highlighting that part and going to the little color button at the top of the item and changing it there.

Congratuations on such great writing skills and good luck in the Quills!


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
13
13
Review by Schnujo
In affiliation with The Witch's House  
Rated: E | (4.5)
What a great story! I was looking for things to nominate for a Quill (WdC's version of the Oscar's) and decided this was a winner. *Smile* I encourage you to thoughtfully go through all the reviews you've recieved and make any recommended changes, as you see fit. Don't lose the category of Best Short Story because you didn't make this the best it could be. *Smile*

Speaking of making it the best it can be, in the 2nd paragraph, right after, "Wind from the West," your comma is next to "thought" instead of "west." I would like to add, though, that you have an amazing way with words!!! From the very beginning I was impressed--especially for a newbie! No offense, but a lot of newbies don't arrive with such natural (or practiced) talent. I LOOK for newbies to nominate and it's not always easy to find one. lol GOOD JOB!!! "The chains of the swing dangled like a hanged man in the last spasms of agony." Just WOW!

You have such a creative way with words! I could have never come up with something like, "...struggling to penetrate the festering duvet of dark clouds..." Even if you suggested "duvet," I probably would have said something like "thick" or "fluffy." You have some real talent! My writing is often just "meh." lol

""Oh, heya, Nadia. There you are!" The girl ran a finger through her hair. Same show, same audience." You should separate the "The girl ran..." because it makes it seem like she's the speaker. I didn't realize she wasn't until the next paragraph. You should probably connect it with that paragraph to keep things clear.

"You really ought to cut your hair, flyboy ,she thought." Another comma accident in that 1st big paragraph. *Wink*

""This story again?" he snorted." I recently learned the "he" shouldn't be capitalized. Nice job!

"Just the thought of failing seemed to me like like—", she let a sad smile blossom on her lips, "Like the end of the world"." Commas ALWAYS go inside quotation marks. Periods ALWAYS go inside if you are American, but vary by usage if you are British. If you're neither, I don't know. lol

"And mankind gets a permanent F in history." I can't describe my feelings about this sentence, but they are deep and powerful--in a good way. lol

"And the EMP wave fried all your systems" said Nadia, butting in.
"Oh yeah. I lost control of my bird, plunged into the asphalt jungle, nicely lit by big mushrooms, and crashed—" There should probably be a comma after "systems." Also, you should separate Nadia's talking from Rudolph's, even though she butted in. I'd just like to say that EMPs are a concern for me. Out of all the doomsday scenarios, that's my big one. We experienced communications problems in Iraq when I was there--almost a week of problems, because of sun spots. Also, if you look at history, there was, I believe it's called the Carrington Event, from the 1800's that they say if it had happened today, would have knocked us back to, well, to the 1800's. I think there was also a big issue in like the late '80's or early '90's that caused a lot of the power in the northeast US and Canada to be knocked out. Scary stuff!

"Then one day the peasants will realize that a pickaxe can pierce a skull as well as it breaks a rock." Another great sentence!

"Rudolph, my good Rudolph. Look around you. Do you really think you could ever be scarier than this?" Powerful!

You could have easily turned this into a very political story, but I'm glad you didn't. I sort of wish you'd kept it a secret that they were ghosts until the end, but there were too many clues. If you wanted, you could move some of the clues to the end, but I'm not sure if that's best.

Anyway, GREAT STORY!!! Good luck in the Quills!


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
14
14
Review of Trenches  
Review by Schnujo
In affiliation with The Witch's House  
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
I LOVE THIS! As a Soldier, I really appreciate you writing this! However, as a Soldier, I have a couple of notes on accuracy. Take them or ignore them as you wish. *Wink*

Solders grab their rifle or weapon, not their gun. Yes, it's a matter of semantics, but it's more accurate. *Wink* Your spelling suggests you live in Europe, so I can't say for 100% sure there, but I can tell you that it is very rare for a US Commander to be actually in the fighting with their troops. They are usually behind doing the planning. It is usually a lieutenant and a bunch of enlisted Soldiers doing the fighting. Also, there aren't really "front lines" any more. War is much more fluid and confusing these days. Perhaps they are attempting to cross the lines of fire to push back the enemy? Or perhaps they are surging forward to find an enemy weakness? Just suggestions...consider them and try to find something you like, even if it's something different. *Smile*

I love how you start out with "The fighting has already started." That pulls us right into the action. Great work!

I like your description of the noise and confusion of war. Very true! And, unfortunately, it can be the same every day, depending on where you are, what your job is, and what unit you are with.

I especially love when you say, "Those braver than I..." It's a wonderful description of the speakers humanity! I also love that you say, "We will remember and honour them for their bravery and sacrifice." I think that's very important! When I was at war, we had a large, triangular, painted structure where we would write notes to and about our fallen. It was a way to remember and honor them.

"...wondering who's life have the cards dealt. Mine or the enemys?" I think I like it better as "...wondering whose life the cards have dealt." Btw, that should be "whose." "Who's" is short for "who is" which isn't what you mean here. Also, the life belongs to the enemy, so it should be "enemy's."

I'm TOTALLY down with your description of their hearing cutting out after firing, though for me, I had a piercing pain, but whatever. I will NEVER fire my weapon without earplugs again if I can help it! And that was just at the firing range. lol But I'd left my earplugs behind me on the table and once we approach the range, we can't go back until everyone has emptied their magazine. SERIOUS PAIN THAT DAY! *Pthb* In that same section, you say, "...only for a matter of seconds, before the bullet strikes my enemy between the eyes." It sounds like it's a few seconds before the bullet reaches the enemy. It's almost instantaneous. Either restructure the sentence if that's not what you meant, or if it is, say something about it SEEMING like several seconds.

"... few more seconds of hesitation, then my time would be up." That should be "...then my time would have been up."

"There is no guarantee of life in war and we all know that." AMEN, BROTHER! (Or sister, but I assume you are a guy based on the topic and your writing. Fyi, I'm a girl. Yes, I'm a war vet. I came back with a brain injury from Iraq. Though I didn't fire my weapon at the enemy. I was never close enough when they were firing at me. They were using long-range mortars and such, not small arms like a rifle.)

"I will never know the answer." Weeeeell, TECHNICALLY if you live to get home, you'll know the answer. I'm not sure I love this sentence, but I'll leave that up to you. *Wink*

"The only thing I know is that I am fighting for my country and I am proud." HECK YEAH! I have never felt more special, important, more like I was doing exactly what I should be doing, and more proud than when I was in Iraq! Not everyone feels that way, of course, but I sure did!

Thank you for writing this! I know I made a lot of corrections/suggestions, but I'm really glad I got a chance to read this! Change what you want and keep what you like.

THANK YOU!!!


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
15
15
Review of Darkness  
Review by Schnujo
In affiliation with The Witch's House  
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
I like your poem describing your anxiety. There are just a couple of tweaks I'd make. *Wink*

"I'm trapped again,four walls surround me"--I'm assuming you see the mistake. There should be a space after the comma and before "four."

Also, the next to last line confused me. "I want to scream, I want to cry, I can't do this alone." It seems to me that you are saying that you can't scream or cry alone, but I know you mean you can't go through this ordeal alone. It becomes clearer on the last line, but here it's confusing. Perhaps consider moving "I can't do this alone" to the last line and ending that line with "Won't someone help me" and put the rest on the last line? Then again, I feel like the "nightmare turned reality" is a bit trite. I feel like you can find something else to describe it. Or don't describe it. You've already done that throughout the poem. These are just my opinions. Take what you like and ignore the rest. *Wink*


On that same line, "I want to scream, I want to cry, I can't do this alone," you should have those commas (not the last one, that one is because it's a part of this sentence lol) either be periods, or if you REALLY want it to be one whole sentence, they should be semi-colons.

My favorite line is "Here comes a black snake coiling around my throat." That seems pretty accurate. Nice job. Though I'd probably finish the rest of the sentence on the next line and also cut the one above it as they seem a bit odd poking out so far, but maybe it's me. *Smile* Who knows? Anyway, like I said, take the opinions you like and ignore the rest. lol

I like this description of anxiety, though to me this seems to describe my panic attacks more than just my anxiety, but everyone is different. I'm sorry for what you suffer through, but I'm glad you are writing about it...and doing it so well. Good job and keep it up!

Welcome to WdC!


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
16
16
Review of Apartment 15  
Review by Schnujo
In affiliation with The Witch's House  
Rated: ASR | (4.0)
WOW! What a creepy story! I got chills! Nicely done! I especially like how you bookend the story with the "I am a rational man. I am a man of science," etc. Great! I also totally love your thesis title! lol

I did notice a few mistakes. I REALLY should have written this as I was reading so I could show them to you, but I didn't. I apologize. My best recommendation is to proofread it. *Wink* I do recall a couple of mistakes, though.

At the end of the 1st paragraph--""Nature cannot transcend itself", is what I tell them." The comma always goes inside the quotation marks.

In the 5th paragraph you used the term, "watchdog-cum-nanny service." I'm not sure if this is a real term or if you made it up, but I googled it and your story was the only thing that came up. lol Anyway, are you SURE that is the correct "cum" to use and it shouldn't be "come"? The 1st one refers to semen and I've not seen it in other contexts, so I'm just making sure. *Wink*

In the 7th paragraph, you said, "...around-the-clock medical service who would dispatch paramedics if needed within 15 minutes of our call to them." There should be a comma after "paramedics" and after "needed."

At the beginning of the paragraph just before all the dialogue--"Whenever a resident called, their location and I would automatically pop up on the screen." I assume that was supposed to be "...their location and name would automatically..."

I can't find it now, but I thought there was 1 or 2 places where you were missing a word.

In the dialogue you forgot the ending period several times. *Wink*

Overall, this is really creepy...AKA well done. lol Nice job! Keep up the good work!


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
17
17
Review of Amber and Violet  
Review by Schnujo
In affiliation with The Witch's House  
Rated: E | (4.5)
This was a really creative story! I love the idea behind it! I'd love to know what the prompt was. *Smile* Something I sometimes do (and always try to do, but I sometimes forget) is to write at the top (or you could do the bottom) the prompt and contest I wrote it for. Then I turn those words light grey so they can still be read, but are clearly not a part of the story. That's just what I do. Take the idea if you like. But it is sort of fun and interesting to go back and see what contests you entered and what the prompts were long after you've forgotten. *Smile*

My only criticism is that I was confused and part way through the 1st large paragraph, I went back and reread the whole thing. But maybe that's what was supposed to happen. After all, if I KNEW it was a suitcase (or carry on, whatever) talking from the beginning, it wouldn't be so fun. I'm not sure if there is a better way to do it, but I love your idea! Great job!


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
18
18
Review by Schnujo
In affiliation with The Witch's House  
Rated: E | (4.0)
This is a lovely story. I like how you slip in there that it's about race as well, but without ramming it down my throat. Well done. My 2 suggestions for improvement include consider changing the uncle's name. It's just "too" cowboy, IMO. But then, all this is my opinion. Maybe you want to keep it. Also, the last sentence just doesn't feel like the end to me. Maybe end it with something going back to the girl? Maybe he quit staring so much and finally decided to ask her out. You can even leave us dangling about whether she said yes or no. *Smile* Otherwise, I think this is a cute story. Thanks for sharing!


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
19
19
Review of Briefly  
Review by Schnujo
In affiliation with The Witch's House  
Rated: E | (5.0)
I really like this poem. I didn't get that it was about a TV show except from the description, but when you TELL me that, I can kind of see it. I'm not really sure what calls me into this poem, but I really like it. My favorite line is "arrow's aim taken true." Nicely done! Thanks for sharing!


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
20
20
Review of The Lonely Bear  
Review by Schnujo
In affiliation with The Witch's House  
Rated: E | (4.5)
This is such an adorable, yet melancholy poem. I really feel for the bear. I need to go back and reread the original nursery rhyme. Actually, it would be nice if you included that. I include things like info about the poem, the prompt if it's for a contest, etc. by changing the color of that font to light grey so folks can still read it, but so that it's obviously not a part of the actual piece. But that's just what I do. Consider it. *Wink* I do wonder about the next to last line because it looks weird sticking out so much. Anyway, cute poem!


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
21
21
Review by Schnujo
In affiliation with The Witch's House  
Rated: E | (5.0)
WOW! That gave me chills...like literally! I love this! I also love how you mentioned the light shining on the flag at night. I don't know if you know this, but you aren't "allowed" to fly the flag at night without a light on it. Just a little FYI. *Wink* Anyway, thank you SO MUCH FOR SHARING! This really touched me! Beautiful poem!


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
22
22
Review by Schnujo
In affiliation with The Witch's House  
Rated: E | (5.0)
What is this that I see?
It looks sort of sonnet-ey
But who would write such a thing for me?
Oh, it's my good buddy, Bob Baker(y)

*Laugh* Okay, not my best work, but I LOVE YOUR sonnet!


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
23
23
Review of Man Cave  
Review by Schnujo
In affiliation with The Witch's House  
Rated: E | (4.0)
WOW! You might be "uber new" as you told me, but you are also uber talented! This is really impressive work! I wish I could write this well!

I especially love how you use alliteration as well as approximate rhyme...even in a non-poem. Wonderful!

I did find a few mistakes or things that could be improved.

In the 1st full paragraph, you said, "They just gives a false sense of reality..." That should, obviously, be either "This (or that) just gives..." or "They just give..."

In the next paragraph, you said, "Because of course, it is not any of us..." You need a comma after "because" as well.

In the last paragraph, you start with "I tell it like it is." I don't like that at all. That's such a trite/common saying and your piece is definitely not trite or common! See if you can come up with something else. As for "Forked tongues lick up sweaty stories..." I don't fully love "forked tongues" but I can also see why you used it. If you can find something else here, I say go with it. But if not, I understand.

This is a really wonderful piece. I wanted to read it because I was in Iraq, so the fact that this deals with the War on Terror, I wanted to know what you had to say. Very well written--I'm impressed!

It's hard to pick my favorite part because you had so many creative things in here, but I really loved, "How could I be seen in this dark light?" You are going to be a fantastic addition to WdC and I can't wait to get to know you better!

Here are some GPs to help you get started. *Wink*


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
24
24
Review by Schnujo
In affiliation with The Witch's House  
Rated: ASR | (4.0)
Great idea! I'm glad you are doing this! I didn't realize it was something I should participate in monthly-ish, but I will certainly do my best to try. (I'll probably regret saying this, but if you notice I haven't participated in a round, feel free to pester me. *Wink* )

I found a couple of errors in the content. In the 2nd sentence of the 1st paragraph, it says, "So if someone follows alone for an entire year..." That should be "...follows along..." *Wink* Same paragraph, I'm pretty sure sentence 3 isn't a complete sentence. "Allowing them to explore any idea that they are presented with." Try adding that to the previous sentence with a comma. *Smile* The last sentence in that paragraph ends with "...to write on a variety of topic throughout a wide span of topics." First, you used "topics" twice. I feel like one of those is supposed to be "genres." Second, the first time you actually had "topic" as singular when it should be plural. *Bigsmile*

I like how you list and number your rules to make them easy to find. I hate having to dig through a bunch of crap to find rules. Good job! I would suggest considering putting, either in rule 7, or as a rule 8, a rule that the deadline changes from time to time, so to be sure we check to be sure of the current deadline. I know you put it in the prompt area, but if folks remember that it was on the 1st last time, they might not notice that it's not this time, because they skipped that part since they already "know" it ends on the 1st. Remember, people can be dumb and/or unobservant. *Wink*

I disagree with having multiple genres in a round...or at least not letting us enter each type of genre. If the purpose is to make it so we write in each genre, why give us a choice? This time we have a choice of sci-fi and fantasy. I'm more uncomfortable with sci-fi and VERY uncomfortable with the 2 combined, so I'm writing in the fantasy genre. Yes, I'm being bad and should pick the one I'm less comfortable with. But then, there are plenty of sci-fi contests on here, so if I REALLY wanted to branch out, I'd have done so already. You're going to have to "make me." lol I am interested in the idea of combining genres, though, like the comedy/fantasy idea. Cool.

I love the "How to enter" section! Great way to make it quick and easy for folks to see what they really want to know! I'm considering adding that to my own challenge! Thanks! A couple of things, though--the sentence, "To tag something with bitem use this {bitem:x x x x x} (replacing the x's with the number ID of the item you wish to tag}," first, doesn't end in a period. Second, it ends in braces instead of parentheses. A very common error on here. lol Also, for brand new folks, I'd erase the spaces between the x's so they don't think they need to put spaces between the numbers if they are typing them in themselves for some reason. *Wink* You know, newbies are totally clueless! lol In case you put the spaces in there to prevent it from coming up as an invalid item (I can't see your ML, of course), you can use double braces or brackets or whatever "db" stands for. Use and put db at the beginning and /db at the end of the example bitem thing and it will show the content as x's. Or did you already do that? If so, good job! *Wink*

In your Round 3 prompt, it says the deadline is "12 EDT" but I'd include something like, "that's 12 WdC time" for those who live overseas and know WdC time, but don't know it's on EDT. Also, your guest judge for Round 3 is different from the one listed in the main part of your info (under "How to enter"). I used to make mistakes like that all the time when I first started my challenge. *Laugh* You get better at knowing what to change when as time goes on. *Wink* Finally, it seems you are using a template for your info under each round which is a great idea for both you and the repeated entrants. However, your template doesn't have a space after "1st place" and "2nd place" before the awardicon they win. I'd hate for you to have a whole year of mistakes just because your template had mistakes. *Wink*

One final suggestion, for the less obvious genres or genres that might be confused (such as sci-fi and fantasy--honestly, I never thought about the difference between them until now), I'd suggest a brief bit about that genre and things to include to make it that genre, but that's just me. I say this because the 1st time I tried to enter a steampunk contest, I had to look up steampunk because I had no idea what it was. *Laugh* Ironically, I was doing that contest to broaden my genre horizons. I say this knowing full well that I also told you I picked fantasy because I'm scared of sci-fi. lol Well, sometimes I feel brave and other times we're all just lucky I wrote something. *Rolling*

Anyway, I hope this review wasn't too discouraging! I'm excited about this contest and think it's generally well done. The errors are all easily fixable and the suggestions are just suggestions. Take them or leave them. *Wink* Good luck and I hope your contest is a huge hit!
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Review by Schnujo
In affiliation with The Witch's House  
Rated: E | (4.5)
I'm so sorry it took so long to review and judge your piece! Unfortunately, our fearless leader ran into some less than pink and fluffy problems. But he's back now and thus the judgment comes! (Cue ominous music...lol)

Please accept these GPs as an apology for the late review and judging. Remember that I'm not a professional reviewer or editor. Take what you find useful and ignore the rest.

First, I'd like to suggest you consider enlarging the font on all your items for those of us with old eyes. *Wink* Just a thought...lol

Second, I'm so glad you decided to enter the Child/YA category! It's so much fun to read and write!

"...prettiest pure white fur..." Not to be picky, but horses have hair, not fur, so I assume unicorns to as well. lol

Fuchsia is an adorable unicorn name, by the way. *Bigsmile*

"...but they couldn't put their hoof on it..." Cute change from a human term to a unicorn one.

OH! She's HORNless. I totally read the title as HOMEless. HAHAHA!!! I was wondering if she like lived in the streets of New York City or what. *Rolling*

"Filly," "cantering," "stallion"--Good use of horse words in this. I really appreciate that.

"“I don't want to leave,” Fuchsia whined." Just as suggestion, but what if she "whinnied" instead of "whined"? *Smile*

"...a dozen bottles of milk packed on her back." Adorable addition...and it keeps me from wondering what she will eat. *Wink*

You've got me curious. I want to know more about her journey. *Smile* I would like to see a bit more description and detail as I think that's where you shine, but it's a cute beginning to a story. Thank you so much for your entry!


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