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Printed from http://www.writing.com/main/profile/reviews/shiki105
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24 Public Reviews Given
Public Reviews
1
1
Review by LazyWriter
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: E | (3.5)
Hi, Connieann is blogging again !

I enjoyed reading this glimpse into your past. It was educational and I'm so astounded by how things have changed over the course of time! Your writing reflects how special your relationship was with Jim. I'm quite envious! :)

I think you could smooth it out a little bit, although from what I understand of the title of the piece, these are thoughts you write as and when they pop up? It's just that the focus shifts to years already gone by and you add new stuff, but if you ever decide to make a memoir or something, I'm this would be addressed.

I enjoy your writing style. It's concise and to-the-point. I found myself getting drawn in and reluctant to stop reading despite the fact that I came on the computer to do some writing of my own! I don't usually read stuff like this but it has been wonderful. I loved the bit where you added the spider plant getting stolen - it was a nice bit of humour and a call back to something mentioned before.

I said that it was educational, in that the piece provided a glimpse into the past. But it's also nice to take a step back from the hustle and bustle of everyday life now and realise that it wasn't always like this, that mingling with people was a thing once upon a time. I know that sounds pessimistic, but it feels somewhat like we can't make time for other people anymore because there's so much to do and not enough time to do it in. Although it does sound like you've led quite a busy life, there was still time for other people and that's wonderful.

This was a good experience! Thank you for sharing!

Shiki


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
2
2
Review of The Theme Park  
Review by LazyWriter
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: E | (1.5)
Hi, Benny !

I have just read your short story "The Theme Park". The overall impression I got was of a surreal down-the-rabbit-hole kind of story. It seems like a fun story and I am intrigued by the character of the mouse.

However, here are some of my opinions on your piece and some advice, meant in the spirit of helping a fellow writer!

The plot was very straightforward - so much so that it's in the description of the story! All well and good, and maybe it's because it's such a short piece but there are no stakes involved here. What happens if she doesn't get home? What if she's not able to meet with the witch? Is there a time limit? And what about what the mouse said, about people being teleported to the park because they're running away from something? You haven't explored the story much and I feel like there is a lot you can do with it.

It's a brilliant setting - you mentioned there were other animals like the mouse dressed up and wandering about and people are wearing odd clothing. It would have been nice to see more descriptions of it as opposed to being told that there were some brightly-coloured streets and people in odd clothing. You lessen what could have been a very grand effect by telling us about the things Rose saw as opposed to showing them to us.

For example, instead of:

"Many weird looking houses and a few castles were here and there. There were lots of rides to go on, but Rose had to stop herself from getting on one. The rides looked magnificent and very enjoyable to go on."

You could have put something like:

"She saw a few castles, their pointed towers reaching for the sky. Strange houses with colourful roofs could be seen here and there. Roller-coasters swept this way and that, taking passengers upside-down and around in loops, and they screamed in delight. Queues stretched out from many other exciting rides, and Rose was tempted to join but restrained herself."

At this point, I'd like to ask why Rose didn't join in the fun. She's a child and she has entered this magnificent theme park. Why is she not joining in? Did the mouse perhaps tell her that she had to get home? If so, don't forget to mention it! It lends an air of urgency to her mission if the mouse keeps insisting, or even if she herself keeps telling herself that she has no time for fun.

Your characters, particularly the mouse like I said before, have the potential to be quite interesting. However, I feel like you've skimmed over the story, telling only the bits that move the plot forward. But characterisation is important too, even for a short story. If you flesh out your characters, they make the story more memorable and enjoyable. As I also mentioned before, you left out Rose's backstory, and I feel that you could have done a remarkable job in fleshing her out if you'd delved into her reason for being at the park.

Some suggestions for you:
Cut down on repetition. Every time Rose does something, her name is mentioned. It gets very repetitive and makes the narrative quite jittery. You want the narrative to be smooth so make use of other identifiers, like "she" or "the little girl". If there are only two characters and they're both female and there is a part of the story where the focus switches rapidly between them (for example, in dialogue), then using names might be all right, but even so, other identifiers can help break up the repetition and sometimes you don't even need to mention who's talking - the readers can figure it out.

Also, cut down on adjectives. For example, "brightly coloured purple ovals sparkling delightfully" - this could be simplified to "sparkling bright purple ovals". Adjectives are not challenging for you as a writer. They're kind of lazy, in fact. The less you use them, the better.
Similarly, try to avoid words like "very, very". Like adjectives, these kinds of words are indicative of poor or lazy writing. And there's just no need to use the same one twice in one go!

The ending: It could have been left as a cliff-hanger. In that case, you shouldn't have gone back to the mouse wondering what to do. You should have just left it with the main character falling into the darkness. If you detract from that by adding in a line about another character, it takes away the sense of horror and the tension that the story would have ended on.

I enjoyed reading your story and I hope you can have fun with exploring where you can take it from here! You've got a good plot and I feel certain that it could surprise even you! Enjoy yourself and challenge yourself and your writing will flourish!

Happy writing!
Shiki


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
3
3
Review by LazyWriter
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hi, Sum1 !

I really liked your poem "Carpe Diem and Semper Fi". The overall impression was quite bleak - Oscar feels like he is still living like a Marine even though he hasn't been one for a while.

Your use of rhythm and rhyme helped the poem progress smoothly. I enjoyed reading it immensely!

I like how you mentioned his coffee mug - it just seems so...mundane next to what he's thinking and feeling. It's a nice bit of normality next to the almost extreme feelings he's experiencing in being a clown and also being a war hero. I can see that he clearly longs for his days as a Marine.

It seems he doesn't really look after himself, as you say in the opening line that he is unshaven and looks rather unkempt. I also noted the use of the word "broken" when you say mention his comb. It feels like a reflection of the man himself.

Your use of imagery, for example in the line "It hit the ground with a thud, shattered like a pumpkin", helped me to visualise the scene and the subsequent chaos that Oscar would no doubt have had to endure.

Something to consider though: in the final line of the fifth stanza, "He lived each day as if his last, at least he was still here", the part where it says "as if his last" sounds a little awkward. Maybe it's just me but it doesn't sound that smooth, because there are a couple of words missing.

Another thing which I'd like to point out is the comma in the first line of the sixth stanza. "But now he thought once more, about his final foe". The comma gives it a pause which I didn't think the line really needed. On the subject of punctuation, the stanza I just mentioned is completely devoid of full stops. It must have been your own choice to do it that way since you are otherwise consistent with your punctuation throughout but I can't see the reason.

The reason I have given it a 4.5-star rating is because I think it is very nearly perfect :)

You've done a great job! Happy writing!
Shiki


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
4
4
Review by LazyWriter
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hi, Dave !

I really liked reading your poem "The Rabid Rhetoric". Although I usually don't indulge in political pieces on the whole, your poem was fun to read - I read it many times, just because your use of rhythm and the alternating rhyme scheme made it roll right off the tongue. I'm glad I came across it!

The uniform syllable count for each line and the structure of the poem made it very easy to read and follow. Also, your use of plosive consonance in the first stanza really grabbed my attention, and this then leads onto the second stanza where words like "disdain" and "insane" leave the mouth almost as if they're being spat out! It's like I can feel your emotions of helplessness and anger coming through. It is very well done!

Although prevalent throughout the piece, your use of imagery specifically in the third stanza, where you have tied politics to sewers - along with what I felt was a very strong word choice in your use of "noxious", giving fuel to the overall picture of something quite disgusting - tells me even further of your unfavourable feelings towards the current political situation where you live.

This was just something that I caught sight of which struck me as a little odd but the first stanza ends in a comma and the first word of the second stanza begins with a lowercase letter, so I'm assuming it isn't a typo. I am by no means an expert on poetry but I have learnt that punctuation should be consistent throughout a poem and the second stanza ends in a full stop, followed by an uppercase letter in the following stanza.


All in all, I very much enjoyed your poem. It flows well and your word choices and use of rhythm and rhyme truly conveyed brilliantly how the issue affects you. It has been a truly fun experience reading and reviewing your work! You're doing a great job! Happy writing!

Shiki


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
5
5
Review of Annie  
Review by LazyWriter
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: E | (1.0)
Hi, carlton607 !

I think your story "Annie" has some potential. The overall impression I got was of a very troubled young woman, and I believe you could improve greatly on this.

I couldn't see where the plot was going. There was no indication that it would end that way so her death was like a punch in the gut that came out of nowhere. There are several mentions of "what happened in the past" but what actually happened is never revealed or even hinted at. We are just told that it worries her a lot. I think the story could have been improved a lot by the inclusion of this mysterious incident that occurred in her past.

I had a bit of difficulty following your writing style at times. At several points, the narration goes away from what is currently happening to tell us about extra facts that are not needed. For example, "She was popular and she liked to knit socks in her spare time". I feel that this is completely unnecessary and it adds lightheartedness to and takes away from an opening that I'm assuming was supposed to be suspenseful.

While I'm on the subject of the opening, it felt to me like the starting line was trying too hard to set a dark tone. Instead of the overused "dark and stormy night" opening (even if you did switch the words around), you could have used something like "Rain hammered at the darkened windows. A terrified Annie screamed out loud". It's not much better but I feel it's still a somewhat decent alternative to "dark and stormy night".

Your character comes across as a little unstable, but that might just be the way you've written her. Not much is known about her except that she's terrified of storms, she likes her dog, she's blonde, and she's popular and likes to knit socks in her spare time. The addition of past events which make her so upset would have been a good way to add some depth.

There are a lot of spelling/grammar errors, which I'm sure will be fixed after a thorough read through. Just as an example, the word "peaceful" is written as "pieceful". Also, another thought on the part of the story where this particular word is used - if she's so agitated with all these thoughts running around her head, would she really be able to drift off into peaceful slumber?

These are just my own opinions, of course. I wish only to help. Please take note if anything you think I have written is useful. If not, that is up to you. Wishing you all the best with your writing projects!
Shiki
6
6
Review by LazyWriter
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: 13+ | (3.5)
Hi, Ellie !

I was amazed by your short story. I really loved it. It was very dark and quite hopeless at the end. Just the kind of thing I like, from time to time.

In terms of plot, it seems a little ambiguous. You do have a clear ending - a very literal ending, if you will. But there is little to suggest why she would do that or what prompted her to. I know she's trapped in the manor and her eyes don't appear to have healed very well and she can't see but why is she trapped there? How did she lose her eyesight? What made her fall? Who is this master? What was that about the snow burning her? Was the dream really just a dream? Was there really a mountain? I guess some hint of her situation would have helped to answer some of these questions. I'm still new to short stories so maybe it's my own understanding which is a bit off, but there's so little information about her to go off of.

The writing style was easy to follow and understand. Elodie consistently comes across as downtrodden and with little hope, which is understandable if she's always alone in that place.

I liked the opening scene best, where she's dreaming and comes across the mountain. I was intrigued as the title mentions a blind girl and she didn't appear to be blind at that point. Her running wildly through the forest to make up for the winter in which she would be stuck indoors really gave her a sense of childlike abandon, although it stops being childlike when her legs start to ache and bleed. Her desperation is palpable.

What I don't get though is the fire. Is it just a fire in the hearth? Did she stumble across it? Is the smell of the smoke just getting to her? Does it trigger some trauma within her? Was she imagining the whole thing? The part where "the flames parted like the sea for her" suggests that it's in her mind, that she's just imagining it.

I encountered a few minor errors, but nothing a proofread won't fix. I'm puzzled as to the use of the word "carcass" in regards to her form when she's on the floor and the fire is getting to her. It's not a carcass when the person being burned is still alive, right?

All in all, a good read! I wish you all the best for your future projects!

Regards,
Shiki


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
7
7
Review by LazyWriter
Rated: ASR | (3.0)
Hi, Red Fork !

So I finally got around to reviewing your story! I like the premise - it's quirky and quite lively, but my first issue with it is that your main characters are teenagers but the overall vibe of the story makes it feel like it's for a much younger audience. In fact, I did actually think of PJ Masks when Frosty appeared. I guess it was the nature of their interactions. Maybe you could make your main characters younger? If not, make the writing and the language used a little more advanced so it appeals to an older audience.

I've mentioned it to you before when I reviewed your other story but your tenses tend to get mixed up at times - most of the story is in the past tense, but random words here and there switch to present tense.

When you're introducing your characters, you don't really need to tell the audience what they're wearing. You introduced them as three teenagers who were very good friends. I think you could leave it at that. Unless their features and clothing play a part in the story, there's no need to mention them. I guess for the sake of mixing up the "Alex said" and "Boulder said" and "Frosty said", you could drop in some features to clarify who is speaking. For example, "the blue-eyed teen said" instead of "Alex said". It could be worse I guess - like, just referring to them all as "he" without specifying which "he". I get that you want to paint a clear picture of your characters, but all of this information about hair colour, eye colour, skin colour, and clothing is quite useless. They're dressed in a pretty standard way, right? That doesn't bear pointing out. It clutters the narrative.

Speaking of the narration, there's a lot of repetition. Let's take this paragraph as an example:

"Alice and Tommy barely managed to get out of the frozen part of the ground, and reach a part that's covered in snow, allowing them to move without slipping. However, they still couldn't run, since their sandals didn't let them run in the snow. Instead, they felt even colder as the snow touched their toes. They ran to the nearest building, an ice cream shop near the coast. Frosty continued shooting ice beams at them, but they managed to enter the shop without getting frozen by the ice beams."

- Alice and Tommy barely managed to get away from the frozen part of the ground and get to a part that was covered in snow, allowing them to move without slipping.
The bit right after this is completely unnecessary, as you've just pointed out that they can't move without slipping. Mentioning their footwear is irrelevant - the audience gets it that they are not dressed for the cold. The bit about being even colder because their toes were touching the cold is also irrelevant. Onto the building now. So they ran to the ice cream shop and then you repeated the words "shop" and "ice beams". I think it would sound better as "Frosty continued shooting ice beams at them but they managed to enter the building." If they managed to enter, it goes without saying that they managed to avoid getting frozen. Repetition in writing should always add something to the narrative - it should evoke certain feelings, or be used to emphasise a point, but when it's used like this, it comes across as a bit careless and clutters the story. You have a lot of that going on throughout the text. In all honesty, if you were to revise this without all the repetition, you could cut down a considerable amount on your word count.

I hope that wasn't too harsh. I'd like for you to grow as a writer so I hope you will take my advice for the constructive criticism it was intended to be. Continue writing! I found that more than anything, continuing to write and looking out for how my favourite authors wrote really helped me hone my skills.

All the best!
Shiki


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
8
8
Review by LazyWriter
In affiliation with The Rockin' Reviewers  
Rated: E | (4.0)
A review for a review!

Overall, I think it's a very cool poem. Not that I understand much of it! Is it about a person in love who can't quite spit it out and says hurtful things instead? Or about a mutually abusive sort of relationship?

I loved your use of language, some very vivid imagery there. I especially liked the stanza about hiding behind sincerity and "my love, often, is the language of war".

Now for some things I thought you might find to be worthy of mentioning:

There's a full stop at the end of second stanza's first line. It feels like the first two lines are part of the same sentence so the full stop shouldn't be there.
And how about changing up the line structure a bit?

Leaves my heartbeat trapped, frantic,
On the back of my tongue.

It just seems odd to me that "Leaves my heartbeat" is so short in comparison to the other lines in the stanza.

I must say that the rhythm in the third stanza seems a little irregular. What about making "For you" part of the next line? The bit about "a little practice" doesn't seem like it's necessary. "For you I can be fearless" seems to flow a bit better.

In the second to last stanza, wouldn't it sound better to use "night" instead of "dark? It'd make it smoother by having something to rhyme with "fight".

I did enjoy it immensely though. I also feel that the title you've chosen doesn't really fit. Any of the more fantastical elements that you've introduced might make a better title, like Desert Heart or Fearless. But that might just be the fantasy-lover in me talking.

Keep up the good work!
Shiki


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
9
9
Review of Mother  
Review by LazyWriter
Rated: E | (3.5)
Hi!

This is heartbreaking! I liked the overall rhythm and the general dark pensive mood it appears to have to me. However, some things to consider:

Some of the stanzas feel like they ought to be joined, for example where the stanza ends "for I am always near/ You always say". I mean, I don't know if there's a specific purpose behind the uneven length of the stanzas, but isn't there usually some consistency in how many lines to a stanza? The first two have four lines each but then it comes two or three lines.

Also, is "loosing stealth" in the second to last stanza supposed to be "losing stealth"? That stanza also feels like it should be joined onto the one after it, to make it one four-line stanza. It flows better to my ears.

In the fourth line, "never seem to say hello" - is "never" supposed to be in there? Isn't the idea that a mother's love will never ever end? So if it ends when the earth and sky never meet...that means the mother's love has already vanished? Or it never existed to begin with?

In the stanza after it, "a secret never kept" again I'm a bit confused with the "never". If the POV person never knew where their mother went, wasn't the secret actually kept?

You might want to consider punctuation and grammar too. I've been told off for not adhering to it in my poems lol so if you're going to use punctuation, be consistent with it. In some stanzas, the first letter of each line is capitalised but in others, it isn't. There is one case of "Mother" being capitalised when it shouldn't be. "Hold my hand and come here dear" - there should be a comma before "dear".

I know this review was all over the place but I hope I was able to help in some way. Good luck with your future projects!

Happy writing,
Shiki


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
10
10
Review of Hi Daddy  
Review by LazyWriter
Rated: E | (4.5)
...I'm in tears right now. I think I started crying at the second paragraph all the way down. I don't know if I should applaud you for writing such a moving piece or if I should hate you for doing this to me :'D I didn't look at the rating and stuff but I mean, the title did suggest what it was going to be about so I guess I've only myself to blame XD

Very well written, I can imagine myself in the room with the little girl sitting by the window. So what would you call this? An excerpt from a larger story? Though it didn't feel that way. A drabble? A short story? I write novels, you see, so I don't know much about shorter fiction.

Happy writing!
Shiki
11
11
Review of Fog  
Review by LazyWriter
Rated: ASR | (3.5)
So I kinda saw the ending coming lol, which sort of diminishes the horror a little bit. She woke up right as rain afterwards? I'm interested to know why the thing didn't get her too.

Some typos - a few instances where "officer" is written as "office", minor stuff I suppose. I don't really know how to review yet, particularly when short stories aren't my forte, sorry O_o

But it was good enough to keep me reading till the end, if that means anything at all.

Happy writing!
12
12
Review of Phineas  
Review by LazyWriter
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hi!

So cool! I enjoyed this! At first I was like "No, this is going to make me cry, I can't bear to finish", but I did it anyway and I'm glad I did! The ending was a nice, happy twist. I'm not a short story writer so I don't know how to really critique but I guess my only issue is that the transitions are a little too...abrupt? But then again, I understand that it's a short story so you have a limited amount of words to work with.

Great stuff! Happy writing!
Shiki
13
13
Review by LazyWriter
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hi! So I'm here, since you asked so nicely :)

So, here goes!

Once upon a time, there was a young man with eyes the colour of the earth. Everyday, this young man saw the world in shades of grey, as if bleached of colour, the wonder of the world revealed only in short bursts, like flashes of lightning. One day, he came upon a young woman with a cheerful smile. Because of that, he began to see the world in colour and he saw the deep blue of her ocean-coloured eyes. Until one day, he gathered up the nerve to talk to her, finding in himself the desire to feed the flickering flame of his fledgling love. He spoke to her all the time until finally, he asked her to dinner.

But she said no.
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