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Printed from http://www.writing.com/main/profile/reviews/sillywaimin
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32 Public Reviews Given
Public Reviews
1
1
Review of The Tenant of 306  
Review by Silly Waimin
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
Hi Blackwell,

Good story! Heck, it's much better than the novel I recently picked up (and swiftly put back down). I'm rather fond of stories told from a darker perspective - getting into the heads of people with serious issues is always strangely fascinating.

I just have a few suggestions for improvement. Although your opening paragraph is vividly written there's a bit too much in the way of, well, vivid vocabulary (ha ha maybe I'm just jealous at the moment). Lines such as "Morning had arrived with warm embrace, energizing the dust particles it soaked up in its rays." have less punch than a simpler line with an excellent verb carefully inserted. You do a really good job illustrating what's happening, even if it's something as mundane as light falling through a window. Please don't sap energy from your own writing by having too much of a good thing!

As far as the story itself, I don't entirely understand why you began with Gemma and then moved on to Vanessa, who was really the central focus of everything happening. The timeline felt a bit awkward. To a certain extend you could tell the story and leave Gemma out of it completely, but I love the canary and think it adds a really interesting aspect to the mood of the story and the characterization of Adam. Now that I think about it, I feel his mistreatment of the canary would be more shocking if you didn't reveal until later that it actually wasn't Travis's at all. Playing with the timeline could do a lot to smooth the story out.

Despite the above, it was a really good story, to the point that I would be interested in reading a novel about Adam if you wrote one. Great job!
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Review by Silly Waimin
In affiliation with Showering Acts of Joy Group  
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
Hi Big Bad Wolf,

I loved this! Twisting fairy tales always makes for a fun write and an even more entertaining read. You did a really good job building a strong voice for your narrator, making the story fluid and realistic.

My only bit of advice would be to explain, in some way, how the BBW heals so quickly. I kind of assumed that maybe he was given something/somehow genetically modified so that he healed so well, but a little bit more clarification would be nice.

I cracked up when I read the Muffin Man part. Great work!

** Images For Use By Upgraded+ Only **
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Review by Silly Waimin
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Hi Web Witch!

I really liked this story. Great characterization, intriguing plot, and just the right length to enjoy over a cup of coffee without getting too caught up and darn near being late for work. Great job!

The only bit of advice I have is to reconsider using italics for the paragraph "Estelle got up and thanked me". I don't know if you meant it to be Lou thinking back on what happened instead of showing it in the narrative, but I found it a little confusing and it busted up the great flow you had already created in the story.

Outside of that, however, what a fun read!
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Review by Silly Waimin
Rated: E | (1.5)
This is a very.....intriguing way of making your point. While I too feel that everyone has a right to food and opportunity, I fail to see how New Year's celebrations are a slap in the face to the poor. However, because I agree with most of what you are trying to say, I'll present my review as a form of questions/inconsistencies that I notice in this article so that you, if you would like, can revise it so that the message is much more clear and heartfelt.

1. While I think I know what you mean about how fireworks may seem like a silly waste of money by those that have it, I would argue that fireworks are there for everyone to enjoy. It is difficult, if not almost impossible, to display fireworks in such a way that only the "rich" can view them. Fireworks strike me as a show that the rich pay for, sure, but that everyone can enjoy without having to pay a thing. I'm sure as heck not rich enough to pay for my own fireworks, but I still appreciate that I get to see them.

2. New Year's is often considered a time of rebirth and renewal, a time when everyone can celebrate that they have lived long enough to see the passing of another year and also a time of reflection to try to create a better future. This is a time when many people make resolutions to try to give more back and help those in need, and it falls right at the end of the "holiday season" in the West, during which people who usually don't contribute to charities for the poor often volunteer time and money. Choosing New Years, as opposed to some other holidays, almost sounds like you are bitter and resentful because people haven't continued to give, whereas this is a time when many resolve to give MORE.

3. Some facts would make your message have a lot more impact. Just saying that rich countries shouldn't spend so much on New Year celebrations means a lot less than "Countries spend an estimate of 1.3 billion dollars per year on New Year celebrations - imagine if that money went towards raising people out of poverty?" (made-up figure, fyi, NOT factual.) I have a pretty good feeling that people in "rich" countries personally donate much more money to charity than the government spends on New Year celebrations. Most developed countries have a very strong network of charities to donate to, and there are even watchdog groups that find figures on how much of every dollar goes to charity. People want to make sure that their money actually goes to people in need, NOT to the "rich" individuals running the charity, and charitable donations will often be impacted by these watchdog reports. So, instead of thinking "Wow, that is a lot of money wasted on celebrations!", I was left thinking "People were just giving to charities like crazy, trying to spread the wealth. What's the big deal about throwing one party?"

4. Your argument didn't seem to add up very well. At first you made it out like people celebrating New Years are being selfish, greedy, and simply trying to show off to the poor that they have money and can drink champagne, but then you turn around and say that you are not against New Year celebrations. Which is it? Are the people celebrating New Year's cruel, innocent, or simply wasteful?

I like that you are trying to comment on the unequal distribution of wealth, but remember its not due only to some nations being more developed than others. Even in the United States the majority of wealth is held by very few, so even Americans could argue about unequal distribution of wealth (and they do). Almost all nations have a small, extremely rich upper class, and then a much larger lower class. A reasonable quality of life is achieved when the majority of a citizenry is middle class. But this isn't due only to "rich" nations "wasting" their money - this is also due to the government of developing nations and how they choose to run the country. If the government suppresses worker's rights and doesn't provide basic services (such as education) then there will be small chance for a middle class, and aid money constantly being poured in from "rich" nations will only help that small number of people get even richer. Unfortunately, oftentimes the officials running the government are corrupt and embezzle aid money for themselves, leaving the developed countries with little recourse to try and help.

I think this is a good argument to make, but I also believe it could benefit greatly from some concrete facts, a more focused thesis, and stronger organization.
5
5
Review of Gray House  
Review by Silly Waimin
In affiliation with Showering Acts of Joy Group  
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
Hello Kris,

This is a review from Showering Acts of Joy. Thanks for sharing with us!

First of all, GREAT work. I really enjoyed the story, although I will admit that my favorite part was the conversation at the end. Very thought-provoking. Also, I liked the use of texting. To be honest, I fished out my phone and typed the number in myself before scrolling down to see that you had written it. I'd almost suggest changing that (chapter title? Section header?) to something else, forcing all of your readers to do it themselves. It added a very personal, I'm-in-the-story touch.

The only thing that stuck out as far as needing work was your use of italics. You're not doing anything wrong with them in particular, but it does feel like they are overused in the narrative. I liked how you had King Nothing use them like crazy because it really gave his speech an over-the-top, circus ringmaster sound. However, you also used them frequently just to add emphasis in the story telling (outside of expressing Aaron's thoughts), and to be frank I don't think they were needed. Your writing already has a very powerful voice and the frequent italicizing just distracted from it, making it sound a bit unnatural.

Despite that I really enjoyed reading the story (regardless of length). Very intriguing!
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Review of 121 days  
Review by Silly Waimin
Rated: E | (5.0)
Hello Julie,

I appreciate that you are addressing this issue, which likely has strong emotional repercussions for you, in such a non-accusatory and professional manner. My boyfriend's brother is addicted to MMORPG to such an extent that, at age 26, he is now living with his parents, doesn't have a job, and dropped out of college despite the fact that he is very intelligent and collegiate-level work is fairly easy for him. We've taken him out for drinks before to try to get him involved in the "real world", but he does show strong signs of being extremely socially awkward and hostile to others UNLESS the subject of gaming comes up, at which point he is much more conversational and borderline respectful. Its painful for me to see my boyfriend's brother, who has so much potential, spend his life this way, but his parents are unwilling to give him any constructive help about it and its really not my place to butt in outside of trying to get him out of the house occasionally. My boyfriend feels the same way, but his family dynamics are such that he also has nearly no recourse to help his brother.

You have obviously done your research, and its great that you have backed up the problem that you started to see at home with facts, statistics, and especially solutions. Sometimes academic-style papers such as these focus only on the problems with little more than a brief paragraph on possible solutions, but you have obviously tried to find the cure in addition to tackling the issue head-on. I also liked your prevention-focused approach. One thing I think would have contributed well to the paper is if you were to include some suggestions as far as what has worked with your husband and his treatment. You begin the paper with a close-to-home issue, and ending it the same way will tie it up in a neat little bow, really bringing everything to a close.

Great work!
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Review of SOS Help me  
Review by Silly Waimin
Rated: E | (2.0)
Want some advice, huh? Well, you asked for it.

When I first read this, I thought it sounded like it could be a great story but really didn't know what to do with you saying its all true. Granted, I'm not entirely sure if you aren't just trying to pull my chain, but hey, the concept you lay out is pretty darned interesting.

There are two key things you say here, and I think here is where its most important to place advice. You say "Life really doesnt want me. Its trying to prevent me from writing down my story." and later on say "Never has life given me the one thing I truly wanted.".

To be honest, it sure does sound like you're trying to blame everything except the true source of most of life's problems: ourselves. "Life" is trying to prevent you from writing down your story? How? Does it guard your laptop with a baseball bat? Do you go into convulsions if you even try to think of your story? If so, then sure, "Life" is actively trying to prevent you from writing down your story. If not, then the most likely cause of the non-writing is YOU (just like the reason why my novel isn't written yet is because I've spent time watching movies and playing video games).

About the second comment, well, guess what: that's life. If life always gave us the one thing we truly wanted then I would have traveled back in time to see Ancient Egypt in action when I was eight, I would have woken up twenty pounds lighter on several occasions, and I sure as heck wouldn't have to be busting my butt on my novel right now because it would already be a published bestseller with a movie in the works and my characters plastered on collectible fast food cups. But I haven't seen Ancient Egypt, I had to lose those twenty pounds over time with diet and exercise, and I spend most of my day working things out in my novel.

Life doesn't give us what we want - it gives us an opportunity to get the things we want, which makes them infinitely more satisfying. Consider, for a second, kids from extremely wealthy families. Does not seem like many of them don't value their good fortune at all, and instead are very spoiled and expect everyone to just fall at their feet? Now imagine if you got your book published and made millions of dollars. How much would you appreciate your situation?

Sure, things like love are tricky, and there is a sense of luck that comes into play, and in that regard you'll just have to be patient. But your true love isn't going to just fall out of the sky and into your lap and start slobbering kisses all over you because she just loves you so Darn MUCH! You'll still have to win her heart after you meet her, and then make sure that you treat her well and communicate well so she continues to be able to focus on her love for you without any relationship frustrations (this goes for both guys and girls). That's where the work comes in.

To put all this as succinctly as possible, there are three things you need to do:

1) Stop considering yourself a freak. If what you say is true, embrace it - some people would love to be a "freak" like that (not me, but I've known people). Think of the stories you could write from living like that! Just accept that not everyone will be able to believe or accept it, so yes, you will turn some people off or they will think you're crazy.
2) Quit moaning and complaining about what you don't have and blaming other people or entities for it.
3) Get off your butt and get to work. Start writing. Win the girl back. If you do all that, you'll have one heck of a story - the story of your life.

But hey, if you see the future then you might already know I was going to write all this. So what's stopping you from getting started on creating a wonderful and fulfilling tomorrow?
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Review by Silly Waimin
Rated: E | (4.5)
VERY nice. Emotional, descriptive, with rounded characters and beautiful imagery. You said you were branching out a bit, and I say "Keep going!".

A couple of small notes. "My mom is balling" should be "My mom is bawling."

The next question is a bit uncomfortable to ask. I'm not sure if you've seen a bag of ashes or not, but I wouldn't describe it as "little". My grandfather was cremated when I was about eleven, and I carried him at one point while we were traveling to spread the ashes. As soon as I got them into my arms I exclaimed "Grandpa is heavy!", much to everyone's surprise and hearty laughter (just how my family is). It was approximately the same size as a bowling ball, maybe a little smaller, and weighed at least ten pounds without an urn. Your story is already very good - please change the way you describe it, or somehow reference that the grandma was incredibly small. Right now its a wording mistake that sucked me right out of your beautiful writing, and trust me, I wanted to stay engrossed in the emotionally touching story you created.

Outside of that, good job!
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Review by Silly Waimin
Rated: E | (3.5)
Hi there!

Ha ha, this is so true! I've spent years traveling around other countries (currently in China) and have been in similar situations several times (usually as a female traveling alone, and while barely being able to speak the language!). I and/or my friends got to our destinations safely so often we start joking if we are worried we are being taken to "the rape factory", as we put it. We still remain careful and aware, but after the worst HASN'T happened so many times its easy to be a little more relaxed about it.

One question: why didn't the girls contact a railway employee to help them with their seats? I've had the same thing happen to me here, and while people are always good about getting up I've planned on getting an employee involved if someone refused to get up.

The writing is good. There are a few mistakes here and there but they are all relatively minor, and may just be an accident because of the length of the story. I did notice, however, that near the beginning you often dropped the subjects of sentences, for example:

7 became 6, “I have my exams coming up, need to prepare."

6 became 5, “my mom says if Nina is not going, am not going!”

5 became four, “am getting engaged so…”

While your meaning is quite clear, its a little distracting for the subjects to be missing. It's more natural to say "...if Nina is not going, I am not going!" and "I am getting engaged so...". You do this in a few other places as well (such as when Helen yells soon afterward). Its not a big deal, but it is distracting.

That said, the rest of the story is very realistic and your description is quite good. Good job!

Silly Waimin
10
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Review of Starting Over  
Review by Silly Waimin
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Hello Kit!

First of all, beautiful writing. Your use of description is fantastic; I particularly enjoyed the personification of the sun "longing to hibernate below the surface of the horizon". As far as the use of description goes, I would encourage you to be a little careful when using several adjectives. Lines such as "by the early morning sun’s golden red rays’ trying to shine their way through" can get a little confusing and muddled when reading (I had to read it twice just to make sure I caught everything). You don't want to disturb the very natural flow your writing already has.

Jenny seems quite realistic in her reaction to Darren's death in the flashback, but it might be nice (in a weird way) to get a little more into her head, bringing her fear and pain out more in the story.

I'm intrigued as to how you say this is a prologue, because I'm not entirely clear on where the story could go from here (it already feels very complete). I assume it will have something to do with the baby, but I have no idea what. I think I would be much more intrigued if you tell the story of his death without using a flashback, using that as the prologue/beginning of the story and moving directly forward from there. This is partly because I felt a bit distracted by all the "she'd". However, I don't know where you intend to take the rest of the novel, so go with whatever feels right for your book.

Overall fantastic work!
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