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Printed from http://www.writing.com/main/profile/reviews/shandralyn
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38 Public Reviews Given
Public Reviews
1
1
Review of Ode to Solitude  
Review by Shandralyn
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Wow, that is some really great imagery! I love the personification here. If Solitude were a person, I think she might be very like you have described. You do a really excellent job with the description aspect. You might be able to improve on the rhythm somewhat, although it's not bad. Your syllable structure does not have a discernable pattern, i.e. the lines are: 12 / 9 / 14 / 5 / 12 / 12 / 12 / 13 / 12 / 8 / 14, so you could try to even it up a bit if you want to work on the fluidity of the flow. It doesn't have to be perfect for freestyle but it helps with rhythm. If you're strictly going for freestyle imagery, though, I do think you've got it.
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Review of Tears of a clown  
Review by Shandralyn
Rated: E | (5.0)
Oh I loved this! It so vivid and concise. The imagery is great as is the metaphor to clown makeup. The rhythm flows really smoothly and lyrically. Well now anything more I say is just detracting from the near perfection of this piece so I'll shut up now. Excellent job! Oh wait, one minor imperfection, but really not important.. clown-like should probably have a hyphen in there.
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Review of The Glitterer  
Review by Shandralyn
Rated: E | (3.5)

Reviewed by Shandralyn *Reading*

*Check1* Overall Impression
         You do have a gift for description. The imagery is vivid. I liked the concept for this story a lot. I did have a hard time understanding completely what was going on. Perhaps it is because the whole thing is from the main character's perspective which is necessarily distorted. I don't think I understood what was happening at the end with the shop keeper. Was he real? Why was he wanting her to stay? Or was that in her head?

*Check2* Technical/Mechanics
         A few areas where the wording is slightly awkward:
"It is rare for a sky to be such a certain shade, as if it were the one, not the sun, that was shining the clear light."

Maybe... as if it were the one, instead of the sun?

"Marilyn loved the way they reflected the light oblivious to its or any others color."

oblivious to what? I think I got very confused at the end of that sentence.

"Sometimes Marilyn would hate her tenuous and indefatigable illness."

tenuous and indefatigable are somewhat antonyms, perhaps instead of tenuous you mean tenacious? not sure...

*Check3* Stylistic Elements & Writing Structure
     Character/Setting Development
         As I mentioned, the description and visualization is awesome. If you can revisit and clear up some of the wording to make is clearer, i think that could only improve it.

     Flow: Mixture of Dialog, Action, and Passive Desc
         The plot is very simple, but somehow I still managed to get a little confused as to what was going on. It's not bad but I wonder if there is way to more clearly illustrate the reality, outside of the character's perception, of what is going on. You may be able to use some additional actions or dialog from external parties to help clarify some of this? I don't know..

     Conflict Development
         You have conveyed the feeling of conflict at the end, but still not sure what it is exactly. Why is she feeling like she is? Does soem part of her recognize that she has lost some time and needs to get back? Is she uncomfortable with the shopkeeper? And if so why? Is he real, or a part of her mind which is calling her to abandon reality? You have a difficult task here to help the reader to understand what is going on while still maintaining the authenticity of her delusion.

*Thumbsup* What I liked best
         I like the concept of what you're trying to do here as well as the beautiful imagery. Great job! Write On!

*Idea* Suggestions and Ideas for Future
         I am giving this a 3.5 rating because I feel like you still have some work to do. I think you have tremendous potential here, and I want to see you develop this piece more fully. Please let me know if you revise, and I would be pleased to re-rate. Thank you very much for sharing.


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Shandralyn
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4
4
Review of Live On  
Review by Shandralyn
Rated: 13+ | (3.5)

Reviewed by Shandralyn *Reading*

*Check1* Overall Impression
         I enjoyed the emotion and sentiment of this piece very much! You have a gift for emotional expression.

*Check2* Technical/Mechanics
         Fairly good application of freeverse. You did spell "croud" wrong, should be "crowd".

*Check3* Stylistic Elements & Structure
     Visualization
         Since it is expressing more of a state of mind than a scene, there wasn't a lot of visualization. You could use some metaphors to add a visual aspect to this emotional expression, if you felt so inclined.

     Rhyme and Meter
         You were somewhat inconsistent in your rhyming versus non-rhyming. It made for a little disruptiveness in the rhythm. I think this line in particular was jarring from the surroundings: "Have I already let my picture be painted?" I'm also not sure I liked: "To change that dream is to change my mood." because it felt like you were forcing the line to fit a rhyming schema.

     Emotion/Impact
         Strong, bright emotion. Really great! You do an excellent job of expressing a feeling of determination.

*Thumbsup* What I liked best
         The emotion. I felt passion as I read it.

*Idea* Suggestions and Ideas for Future
         Although freeverse is often used for a method of abstract expression, I feel that structure can enhance any point you're trying to get across. The content and message should be primary. Perhaps you could try writing it without rhyming first and then add rhyming if it fits after? I don't know if this is the problem or not, but something struck me as disjointed. The underlying plot is there, from feelings of imposed contraints to deciding to break free of these bonds. I would just wish the transition between was a bit smoother.

Overall, good job. Write On!


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Shandralyn
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5
5
Review of Sanity to Shame  
Review by Shandralyn
Rated: 18+ | (5.0)

Reviewed by Shandralyn *Reading*

*Check1* Overall Impression
         It is nice to find a writer who knows how to properly use the English language. Intelligently written, and great storytelling. I can’t say I “enjoyed” it so much, due to the subject matter, but I appreciated it.

*Check2* Technical/Mechanics
         No errors or problems. At first I thought “skilful” was spelled wrong, until I looked it up and realized that is the British spelling. So, I guess I learn something every day.

*Check3* Stylistic Elements & Structure
     Visualization
         Excellent imagery and description. The metaphors are effective in conveying the feeling behind your meaning. They add depth to the piece

     Rhyme and Meter
         The words flow well, no stumbling spots. The alliteration adds to the fluidity and grace of the poem’s structure.

     Emotion/Impact
         It feels a little dispassionate in its descriptive style, though that does not detract from the message. It kind of represents the disconnected and impersonal nature of the she-wolf encounter.

*Thumbsup* What I liked best
         Interesting combined use of metaphors and personification. There is good skill in use here.
My Favorite lines:

Nightclubs slowly awakening to the crush
Of fevered souls, seeking freedom from routine fetters.

And into this chapel of conflicting creeds,
Creep the wolves, hyenas and jackals, to prey.


*Idea* Suggestions and Ideas for Future
         None really. I think it is excellently done. I would like to see you write a simpler, more “free” piece. I’d like to see the real you away from the bonds of structure. May seem an odd thing to say about a freeverse poem… but it’s actually fairly tightly structured. I wonder how you would express the experience of a simple joyous experience? Something pure and in opposing mood to this…


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6
6
Review by Shandralyn
Rated: 13+ | (2.5)

Reviewed by Shandralyn *Reading*

Rating: *Star**Star**Halfstar* Note: Don't be too alarmed by the rating, it's mostly just because this is so early on and unfinished. I'm not trying to tell you that your writing is poor, just unfinished. I'd be happy to re-rate later after you've gotten a little further along. I'll give you half a star more for correcting the errors and another 1-1.5 stars for more story development.

*Check1* Overall Impression
         I'm not completely sure how I feel about this one. I think it's because I still have so many unanswered questions. Why are they all wearing blue? Why are the doctor and her colleague so unusual-looking, and why is the girl afraid of them? It is fairly well written. It does have the 'hook' effect of drawing the reader in by making them want to understand what is going on. But I'd have to withhold my full opinion until I know where this story is going.

*Check2* Technical/Mechanics
         Reasonably well written (I do tend to be very critical on the technicals). No major grammatical or spelling issues; a few small ones.
*Bullet* I noticed you seem to like to combine statements a lot, lending to run-ons. Sometimes you use commas (which is incorrect), but I also see you recognizing that by attempting to segregate the ideas with semi-colons in later examples. Unfortunately, this leads to a lot of semi-colons. You might think of just making them separate sentences. The statements stand on their own just fine. An example would be:
"It seems you have finally woken up, I will be there shortly. "
In that particular case you actually have a comma, which is incorrect, but in others you use semi-colons.
         *Bullet* Also I think the more common spelling is 'T-shirt' but 'tee-shirt' is also correct.
         *Bullet* And, 'clipboard' is one word.
         *Bullet* "The boys sighed the unison." Pretty sure you meant 'in'.
         *Bullet* And how about instead of "said the boy with pink in his hair, Gin" to "said Gin, the boy with pink in his hair"?

*Check3* Stylistic Elements & Writing Structure
     Character/Setting Development
         Needs more character, setting and plot development, but that may come with further story. What description was there was pretty good.

     Flow: Mixture of Dialog, Action, and Passive Desc
         Good balance of internal dialog, action and external dialog. Good reading flow. Reasonable descriptive level for this point in the story.

     Conflict Development
         Almost non-existant at this point.

*Thumbsup* What I liked best
         I like the unusual doctor character and the little girl. I feel like there is some potential conflict here and I want to know what it is.

*Idea* Suggestions and Ideas for Future
         I did have a problem with the part where the doctor asks if 'Fire wants this stranger who she has just met to be her legal guardian. That seemed unrealistic. If the situation is different because this is a different world or different rules or something, you might want to lay that out before so I don't think to myself, 'why is this doctor acting this way? are they incompetent?'

Overall, it's a pretty good start. It's not boring. It feels like you have a strong feel for the story, but have yet to work out exactly what is going to happen next. You might try writing out a brief plot outline to help structure your direction.

I hope this review has been helpful.


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7
7
Review by Shandralyn
Rated: E | (3.0)
I want to preface my review by letting you know that I am an extremely critical, technical reviewer. So please do not be discouraged by my comments. I read all of your available Chapters (1-5), and so here is the review you requested:

Reviewed by Shandralyn *Reading*

*Check1* Overall Impression *Star**Star**Star*
         I loved this story! I can’t wait to find out what happens next! You have a true gift for storytelling and I hope that you continue to pursue writing. That being said, you do have some serious technical issues with grammar and spelling. But I attribute most of that to your age and experience level, and that is something you can learn over time. The innate talent, creativity and energy that your story displays is not so easily learned.

*Check2* Technical/Mechanics *Star*
         Oh dear, where to begin… well, my best suggestion is to carefully re-read and edit your work. Once you have done all you are able, see if you can find someone who would be willing to act as a copy editor for you. If you want, I would be willing (I say that while cringing to myself because I see a lot of work in store). Maybe a few people; that way each can do a part of the work. Pay attention to what they correct and learn from it. Also find some good reference works, either books or online sites that you can read and learn from. Try to apply one concept at a time to your work. Over time you will see your writing skills greatly improve. Just your luck, you picked a reviewer who is all about the technicals. *Wink*

*Check3* Stylistic Elements & Writing Structure *Star**Star**Star**Star**Halfstar*
     Character/Setting Development
         Your characters are very well developed, and fascinating! I can really envision them, and each is distinct and unique. They really come alive for me.

     Flow: Mixture of Dialog, Action, and Passive Desc
         Pretty good here, too. The flow is constant and fast-paced as befitting an action/adventure style. There is a good mix of dialog, action and description.

     Conflict Development
         Excellent. You seem to have an instinctive understanding of how to draw the reader’s attention and keep them on the edge of their seats.

*Thumbsup* What I liked best
         Everything! …except the spelling and grammar. I love the character of Marty the Raccoon. I love your talent for developing plot. I love your energy and creativity.

*Idea* Suggestions and Ideas for Future
         Well as I mentioned before, there is a difference between talent and skill. Keep exercising your talent to hold onto that energy and creativity you have, and slowly build up your skills. I sincerely hope you never stop writing, whatever you do. You might get some people commenting on your grammar and spelling. Try and learn from those types of comments but don’t take it too seriously. I can feel how much you love the creative process in your writing and that, I believe, is essential to hold onto.

I would be more than happy to read any further chapters when you get more. And if you want me to revisit my rating for you after you make some grammatical corrections, I'd be happy to. *Bigsmile* Write On!!


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8
8
Review of Indigo Girl  
Review by Shandralyn
Rated: E | (4.5)
This was a very engaging story. Unique, and possibly not something the average reader would relate to. But I personally enjoyed it and found it both touching and interesting. The flow of the story really pulled me along; it was an easy read. Although Samantha isn't the typical heart-tugging orphan one might expect, she is a very well defined character and the sense of her isolation is strong, if not her internal emotions. Actually I think it was an excellent portrayal of a child living with emotional detachment. Because I can relate, myself, I don't find Sam's lack of emotional expression offputting or unrealistic. I also really enjoyed the way you illustrate the indigo persona. This feels like an idea which has potential for a much fuller story. You should write more of it!
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Review of THE LEGACY  
Review by Shandralyn
Rated: 18+ | (5.0)
*Check1* Overall Impression/Comments
This is really a great short story. It's impactful, engaging, and well written.

Intro Marketability
The opening is definitely catchy and draws the reader in. But even better, my interest level was retained through out the entire piece. I love the way you've consistently tied in the $8.5 mil theme throughout. Good choice in title.

*Check4* Artistic comments
You're overall style is very simple and clear to read, but at the same time energetic and intelligent. You show an excellent use of vocabulary. Good use of white space makes it easier to read.

Character Definition
Being a short story, there isn't a lot of time for full character development. I do think the main character is well defined and has made an impression on me. The husband and detective are just one-dimensional and static, but that's fine given the short length.

Setting Descriptiveness
This is the one area you might be able to improve in. It would affect your style some though. I did not have a good sense of time or place and there was little environmental or character appearance description. Like I said, it's fine if you want to leave it as more of a monologue style, but it is probably not going to create vivid imagery for the reader.

Conflict Development
Perfect.

*Check3* Technical comments

Mechanics (Grammar/Spelling/Punctuation)
No noticeable errors. The dialog doesn't indicate who's speaking, but we could chalk that up to style, and it is fairly clear who's saying what.

Stylistic Elements
Consistent style, consistent POV and tense, smooth transitions.

*Thumbsup* What I liked best
A quick and easy read that left an impact. It's a good dramatic storyline, but not too overdone.

*Idea* Suggestions and Ideas for Future
I'd like to see you write something longer, with more external action and description. I bet you could write a great noir-style detective story with your sense of drama and action.


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*Reading* Shandralyn
10
10
Review of The Creek  
Review by Shandralyn
Rated: E | (4.5)
That was a great surprise ending! The story itself was descriptive and flowed well. I did have a slightly hard time with the first paragraph, although I understand the desire for some foreshadowing. I guess I just had a hard time at that point understanding it. And it was a little weak on transition from there to the rest of the piece. But I couldn't find fault with the rest of it. It was interesting and well written.
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Review by Shandralyn
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Once again a very well written section. You have been consistent and accurate in your historical relevance, the characters are vivid and real, and the conflict is engaging and well developed. The story really feels like it flows along well. Much less important, there are a few minor technical issues. I have included the ones I caught, below, for your review:

"The Briens bed chamber" (Briens' needs possessive apostrophe?)

"What success they had had ended in sorrow" (those double verbs are tricky, you can try this: '..they did have, had ended..' if that helps?)

After twelve years of futile attempts to have a child they resolutely decided (needs a comma after long prepositional phrase, after child before they)

"the normality of the Brien's home" the Briens' is a plural possessive, so the apostrophe goes after the s, I believe.

The paragraph that begins “He's such a quiet baby,” runs a bit of dialog together. You should have new paragraphs when dialog switches between subjects. Try putting a paragraph break before “Are you alright dear?”

“Séamus had no choice he did what had to be done. It'll be fine dear; you'll see, things will turn out all right.” (The punctuation feels odd, it maybe needs adjusted? Here is how I would do it:
“Séamus had no choice; he did what had to be done. It'll be fine dear. You'll see, things will turn out all right.”)

Once again, excellent job so far! I enjoy reading your work and look forward to the next installment.
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Review of Life Runs Deep  
Review by Shandralyn
Rated: E | (4.0)
Although it is short, something in it reaches out to me. It resonates with a topic often on my mind, that of enduring through the increasingly maddening world we live in. This may not have been your exact intention; as I know the poem is not specific in it's subject matter. But the emotion, the feeling behind it is quite clear. And it is a strangely heartening perspective. I love the ending "life is still warm". Lovely.
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Review of Junkie  
Review by Shandralyn
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
I did feel like this was a bit of a teaser. What I mean is it catches you up front and draws you in, very well, but I wanted to read more! Very good start to it. Technically, solidly written. I saw no grammatical or structural errors. It's a little passive in voice. But that's not necessarily a negative. You could play with the style some by punching it up with more 1st person approach if you want it to be more edgy. But the way your style is now, there is a soft feel to it. Depending on how you're going with the story, I could see it leading to a more sad, but distant tone. It could be more poignant and personal-feeling if you offer some emotional inner dialogue from the main character perspective once you've built some of the story up. Mostly, I'd just like to see how you'll progress this story and further develop the character.
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