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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/profile/reviews/smeedyer
Review Requests: OFF
211 Public Reviews Given
Review Style
I like to go in depth on how I felt whilst reading it. I'll point out where I was tripped out of my flow by sentence structure or oddity. What confuses me. What intrigues me. Examples can be seen in my recent reviews. Happy to review privately on request. Default will be public.
 
I use "Comment-In-A-Box for my ratings.
Favorite Genres
Sci-fi Fantasy Humour
Least Favorite Genres
Poetry Romance
Favorite Item Types
Short Stories / Chapters 1-5
Least Favorite Item Types
50 chapter novels - I don't have time to get through that much.
I will not review...
Artsy emo poems
Public Reviews
Previous ... -1- 2 3 4 ... Next
1
1
Review of Awakening  
Review by Smee
In affiliation with Fantasy and Science Fiction So...  
Rated: 13+ | (3.5)
Hey Maldakir,

Spotted your greetings in the Newbie Academy forum, and checked out your port. We've shared a very similar love for reading - the WoT and SoT series in particular were big parts of my growing up.

It's fantastic that you're now taking up the quill to get some of your own writing down. Let's take a looksee at what you have so far.

Remember, all my comments are just my opinion. Take from them what you will.

Technicalities & Observations

I am not sure why I came to be as I am now, all at once there was an awareness inside me.
I think we need a stronger break than a comma between the red parts. Probably separate sentences.

~

Names and places called towns, what need have I of these my Mistress.
Likewise here. Two separate parts. I'd even go so far as to put the second part in speech marks. "What need have I of these, my Mistres?"

~

murderous lightening,
Small typo on lightning, but I like 'murderous'. You have some great descriptions throughout in fact.

~

The ground, so long had it held me true was heaving me out.

Need another comma after true. You can picture it such that if you remove the parts between the commas the sentence still makes sense. i.e.

The ground was heaving me out.
The ground, so long had it held me true, was heaving me out.

~

The searing pain was subsiding, the fire inside me passing.

Tenses are starting to get weird here. The rest of this paragraph is in present tense, yet you start it in past.

I opened my eyes, seeing for the first time all that was and had been around me always.
Same here. Slipped back to past tense briefly.

~

The sight of her struck him as magnificent,

The leap to 'him' after being first person perspective for the whole thing was very jarring.

The warmth that came from her hand made him think of sunshine.

Awww, that's a lovely thought.

Summary

Quite a fascinating 'awakening' from tree to man. This story could go anywhere as he learns who and what he is, and we learn why and how he's been awakened. Very intriguing.

Watch your tenses (I suggest just doing the whole thing in past tense - present tense is tricky at the best of times) and your perspective. Otherwise very solid writing with some delightful word use.

More!

Happy Writing *Bigsmile*

WIP : Membership sig for FSFS


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
2
2
Review of Snowflake  
Review by Smee
Rated: 13+ | (3.5)
Hey there Anthony

I'm here at your request, for a review. Remember, all my comments are just my opinion. Take from them what you will.

Technicalities & Observations

“We…can’t,” I said slowly, struggling to resist the urge [to] of kissing her back.


Summary

Technically there isn't too much wrong in this piece, but I think you tried too hard to be extra flowery with your language, and it comes across a bit weird and forced.

"I peered through her tormented eyes for reconciliation, but to my dismay, there was none."


I stared into her eyes, hoping for understanding and receiving only

Most of the time, simple is better.

My heart began to pound rigidly

I have no idea how a rigidly pounding heart differs from a normal pounding one.

Otherwise I will be forced to leave you here alone in this numbing cold.

Again, not wrong precisely, but it seems odd for someone to speak like this unless they're enacting a Shakespeare play.

There's definite talent here. There's awareness of some deep concepts in writing. There is also great emotional depth. Practice, practice, practice - and the right time to use all that you know will follow.

Happy Writing *Bigsmile*

WIP : Membership sig for FSFS


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
3
3
Review by Smee
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
Hey again Jace,

Haha - I think I've read near everything in your port to find this. A quick moment to add I loved the 'Dear son' tradition story in particular, but you have so much good stuff.

That said - lets get to finally dunking you. *Laugh*

Technicalities & Observations

One half hour that was at once too long a time to think, yet too short to make sense of her actions.

Just one example of the excellent insights you show here. Events like this make paradoxes all over, and this is one such.

Summary

Touching on the subject of depression again, with the introduction of suicide attempts too. You once again do great to show some of the effects it can have on those around the person - not to take from their own suffering - but they aren't alone.

In particular I like how you captured Mike's guilt. Emotionally cheating is really working hard to lay some blame on himself, but at the same time there's some logic to it. There are different ways of being unfaithful I guess. I can't blame him for needing a friend though. Living on eggshells is no way to live.

You also touch on aspects of faith - most strongly on the idea of a person of faith reconciling to take their own life. I'm with Mike with this one - very hard to wrap your head around. Without getting too deep on it, I find that the most dangerous aspect of building a life around a foundation of belief. If that belief falters it can tumble everything down.

That's a lot you cram in to so few words. Excellent once again.

Happy Writing *Bigsmile*

WIP : Membership sig for FSFS


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
4
4
Review of Poinsettia Boy  
Review by Smee
In affiliation with Fantasy and Science Fiction So...  
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Hey Sapphirose,

Saw this on the review request page, and remembering the story of the little matchstick girl told to me as a child I had to give it a look. I wasn't expecting this at all, what a little gem you have here.

Is this for the LGBT contest? If so, I love the choice of story rather than the more typical fairy tales. Very well done.


Technicalities & Observations

Similes:

So many many great examples, including the very first line.

Winter bears down on the valley like a wolf holding its prey


Some of my other favourites :
and fell like acid rain across his face and chest

Anger welled in the young man like magma in the crater of a volcano. Hot, thick, and waiting for an escape.


A little on from there you say :

He magma rage cool to a cold hard pumice stone that ground

I think that is supposed to be 'The' and 'cooled'.

Characters / Dialogue

You build up a lot of sympathy for this boy, and without going overboard on the description too. The balance is spot on.

Pacing and Plot

I love how you turned the tender and momentary warmth of the matches into the warmth of his memories. The image of his uncle being there. Just lovely.

Summary

Best of luck in the contest. Regardless of your placing, this is a great piece and a wonderful twist on an old classic. Don't stop writing.

Happy Writing *Bigsmile*

WIP : Membership sig for FSFS


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
5
5
Review by Smee
In affiliation with Fantasy and Science Fiction So...  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hey Jace,

I'm back again - and man did this take some finding!

Summary

It's the time of year where the dreaded C-mas threatens to appear in shops, despite there still being numerous events before it in the calendar. I can easily appreciate the rising tensions.

I love the opening stanza. It reminds me of my times skiing, alone, early morning. The snow is still fresh and crisp. The air clear and bright. Alone with nature.

On reading again I think I realise this is more than just a walk through nature before the holiday season descends. It's actually about the hunt for a christmas tree. Not an intuitive activity for someone who typically hunts them at a store. This simple understanding brings new depth to the verses and I appreciate it all the more. I particularly like

The tree long sought is just a fleeting badge,


Fleeting indeed.

Happy Writing *Bigsmile*

WIP : Membership sig for FSFS


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
6
6
Review by Smee
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Hey again Jace,

Dunks abound as we continue on.

Summary

I have to wince that you chose a poem, and a free-form one at that. I often don't get them, nor know what to say about them.

The topic here though, like so many others, has touched my family so I think I follow with this one. I remember asking my Dad if he was ok, whilst dealing with my step-mum's depression. Even secure and far away from her, with no way for her to find out, he couldn't bend for a moment and show truly how it was for him. He wasn't the one with depression, but it sure took its toll anyway.

afraid to rock the boat.
afraid to show my fears, my apprehension.
afraid of my weakness.


Clearly lines my Dad would resonate with.

And yet he would also answer the final question with a resounding yes.

A clever poem delving into a difficult topic with insight and understanding.

Happy Writing *Bigsmile*

WIP : Membership sig for FSFS


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
7
7
Review of Little Ships  
Review by Smee
In affiliation with Fantasy and Science Fiction So...  
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Hey Jace,

I'm back for more dunking. Although with another emotional roller-coaster it's more like me that's getting dunked here.

Technicalities & Observations

beach south of Dunkirk almost seventy years ago

You do the reveal of 'miracle of Dunkirk' in the next line. It felt awkward with Dunkirk repeated here. I suggest removing this mention - perhaps hinting to the geography more subtly.

She died in my arms. I never saw my mother again.

the youngest sixteen. The youngest one never made it home.

Lines like bullets - you set them off flawlessly.

flashes from the shelling turned the night to day for a few seconds like some macabre circus show.

Amazing imagery.

Summary

You captured the idea of a flashback really well, and somehow get into the head of an 80 year old going back to the head of a 9 year old. It felt natural and smooth.

I liked the moments of french, and you covered the language barrier amazingly well at first, but then it seemed to dip. From understanding 'a little' it became a non-issue afterwards except a final confusion over 'linguist'. Perhaps have a couple mentions of Owen translating, and perhaps some extra language issues at the end to compound Owen's loss.

Heart wrenching and beautiful, with a lovely ending.


Happy Writing *Bigsmile*

WIP : Membership sig for FSFS


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
8
8
Review by Smee
In affiliation with Fantasy and Science Fiction So...  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hey Jace,

I'm just taking a moment out, nothing to worry about, no one here is out to dunk you. *Smirk2*

Technicalities & Observations

"My name is Taylor. T-aaa-y l-ooooo-r."

What a great opening. I am immediately given a taste of what's to come and can all but hear his voice as he spells it out.

I thought I'd interview him--you know, like a reporter on TV. He loved that.

And I'd love it too - great idea.

"But I have to be quiet so's the other kids don't know."

*giggles* Oh I love kids with secrets. It's like they are covered in grease and they just can't hold on to them no matter how hard they try.

He looked down and started fiddling with his hands.

We kind of never really grow out of this. We might be able to control it a little as we grow up, but really when it comes to the harder stuff we are all just little kids again.

picked up a yellow squirt gun, and pointed it at an imaginary villain.
Lovely observation. It is great how unconscious feelings come out.

"Butterfly Kisses and Baby Bear Hugs," he said triumphantly.

Ok - adorable-overload. *Heart*

"Sometimes I have to trip on purpose. I have to let him catch me so's I don't miss out."

*melts*

Summary

I'm sure any parent, or grandparent would be an absolute mess after a piece like this, because as a 33 year old bachelor with little intention to have his own kids you completely wiped me out. Just utterly adorable. A very special little boy that could surely melt the coldest heart.

Thank you for sharing.

Happy Writing *Bigsmile*

WIP : Membership sig for FSFS


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
9
9
Review by Smee
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hey Steve,

Where to begin with this one! No not because it's in any way bad. I just find myself awash in a vortex of nostalgia tinged with horror and amusement. A potent combination, but not conducive to coherent commentary! *Pthb*

I'm going to skip my usual headings and just waffle about what comes to mind and bits that stood out.

The opening section is great. Introducing two concepts I immediately adore. Free-range boys, and helicopter parenting. I've always wanted a brother. I grew up with a sister, 18 months younger. I'm not sure if it would have made a difference to my own treasure chest of considerably more conservative stories, but it's there all the same. I had my summers in the woods with the child-minder's boys, and my friends. We played 'manhunt', made small fires, and constructed horrifically perilous tree swings that would have melted the faces of modern H&S officials had they seen. But I was a smart kid in school. Always did my homework. I've never broken a bone. Never been to hospital. Whether through cowardice, or luck I'm not sure but I think it's a healthy dose of both.

So it's only with some wincing that I read through these tales of red smears being measured and gravel-absorption world records. Additionally tainted by the shadow of my thirties, yours sounds like a terrifying childhood.

But all's well that ends well (except for Marty).

~

==> We were Tyrannosaurs riding across that colossally free, unfettered era before the asteroid of bike helmets.

I love it. This whole piece is festooned with remarks like this. I read Tyrannosaurs and wondered where on earth you were going with this one, and then the ending just blew me away. You take metaphors to new heights throughout, and this was one particular highlight for me.
~
==>Our bike ramps provided us with one of those many wonders of nature: great height,

Reading it again here on it's own, this sentence is fine, but at the time I tripped over it, such that I found myself rereading it a couple of times trying to get it untwisted in my head. I think in this case it's just a little wordy.
~
==> smoking under the full strain of leg muscles bulging and gravity boosting

I'm not sure what you mean by gravity boosting.
~
==> Variously viewed as a victim or villain, a vindicated Vinnie vaulted to the vertex of virtuoso violinists.

Hahahaha, now you're just showing off. *Laugh*

Summary

As a fatherly/grandfatherly type tale of youth, sat around a campfire, or reminiscing one sunday afternoon, this piece is awesome. Funny, well told and thought provoking.

If you're looking in the direction of publication though I would say this gets a bit too waffly in places and could be cut quite a lot shorter without losing much of the meat. The foundations section for example.

Thanks for sharing. I'm heading back to my parents house in a couple of weeks, and I think now I'll be making time to head back into those woods.

Happy Writing *Bigsmile*

WIP : Membership sig for FSFS


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
10
10
Review by Smee
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Hey OW,

As requested I am here for your review, and I'll try to be gentle *Laugh*.

Technicalities & Observations

==> “Ours is not the [to] reason why!

Small error with the quote.

==> resulting fragments were like wooden shrapnel.

Surely the result IS wooden shrapnel, not like. Perhaps the fragments could be like 'miniature spears seeking flesh' or something like that?

==> endearing military term for “The Leader,

This might be what you meant, but just in case - might this be enduring?

==> creamed both enemy divisions with a B-52 strike with hundreds of thousand-pound bombs.

The repetition of with is a little awkward. It should work fine if you change the latter to 'and'.

Summary

An interesting tale. I don't know much about the Vietnam War, only what I remember from the Robin Williams' film, and Forest Gump, although as a Brit it wasn't that big a thing for us.

The diary style is good, but makes it harder to critique as realistically a diary (particularly written in such a setting) wouldn't be word perfect anyway. Idiosyncrasies and colloquialisms are expected, just as if it were dialogue in any other story.

Typically you should be writing out numbers that are less than 25, so places like:
past 8 days, 2 KIA and 4 WIA

I liked the moments of humour - the old man nickname, the GI farts, base camp warriors etc. You sprinkle them throughout nicely and keeps things from being a bit too dark.

Hope this helps.

Happy Writing *Bigsmile*

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11
11
Review by Smee
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
Hey Charlie,

Last review then - and I'm not big on poetry but it seems to be a big part of your port so I couldn't ignore it. The title, along with it's rating seemed to be something of a contrast here so I was pulled in.

Summary

The rhyming is solid - and that's my technical knowledge exhausted!

So this is a visit to Grandma, it felt almost like a hospital visit with the 'getting better' part. It seems he has some relationship with her which he can't share with his parents around. He's some kind of bad boy, getting into trouble a lot, but despite that she supports him and he repays that by sitting through holiday photos and visiting.

His parents don't see his good side, and don't trust him with her which makes him angry and probably leads to another bout of bad behaviour in a vicious circle. Perhaps visiting her is the last place he has to go, the last person who doesn't look at him with the disappointment, or anger he's used to. He's clinging to that but not enough to change.

Yeah, I'm sure I'm misunderstanding some (many) parts but still a different kind of story. Such a poem could have been biscuits and mushy kisses, yet you build in a deeper and darker background into it. A good read.

Thank you for all your hard work throughout GoT - enjoy your raids, and have a good rest in July. *Laugh*

Happy Writing *Bigsmile*

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*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
12
12
Review of Into The Rain  
Review by Smee
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hey Charlie,

Raid review number 2!

Technicalities & Observations

==> Even if it hadn't, I wouldn't have moved.

I think you missed saying he 'noticed' them in the previous line, as this sentence doesn't make sense on its own.

Summary

I loved this. And I loved the concept too. I'll be trying this out sometime as I think it's a great writing exercise. You paced it really well, giving details and background but always leaving the hook of what exactly is going on to the last point of view. I actually felt sad his kids didn't join him in the end.

When the answer was finally revealed I enjoyed reading the first two points of view a second time, seeing the action again but knowing what's happening and it works just as well.

A lot more dialogue in this one and it is very nicely done. You capture good personalities and characteristics in the word choice.

800 words this time - again possibly some wiggle room for more detail. Perhaps him hearing the front door being locked and not caring would have been a nice touch. Maybe the neighbour part could have been a little longer too, although the shortness of it does kind of remind me of that saying when people worry about what other people think...

"You wouldn't worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do"

Great story.

Happy Writing *Bigsmile*

A sig for my reviews and posts during the GoT event


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
13
13
Review by Smee
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
Hey Charlie,

Raid time on behalf of House Targaryen. Let's get to it.


Technicalities & Observations

==> November fourteenth will go down in history as the day of the Cheez-its.

I like to check out the first lines in short stories, as that is where the first hook should be found. This one works well. Instantly I need to know what and why.

Summary

Haha, I've never even heard of Cheez-its but suddenly I want one. A bizarre prompt handled well. You capture the essence of a work day impressively too. I've uttered the 'Only four more hours' phrase enough to myself for it to become a mantra

I got a little confused as to what happened at the end - you dialed up the weird to dream-like crazy - but that actually makes it work, and allows me as a reader to think of it perhaps being him day dreaming at his desk, awaiting lunch, so desperately bored.

The spelling/grammar was solid, and the dialogue was limited, but realistic. 705 words is an odd limit for a prompt so I guess the limit might have been less than 1000, leaving you some scope for adding to this. Perhaps things got out of hand a little too quickly, and that could have been padded out more. A good story.

Happy Writing *Bigsmile*

A sig for my reviews and posts during the GoT event


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
14
14
Review of Warrior  
Review by Smee
Rated: 13+ | (3.5)
Hey Izzy,

At your request I'm here for a review of this piece. Lets take a look-see at what's going on.

Technicalities & Observations

==> Niklas Kronwall slowly walked into his girlfriend Elizabeth's room at the hospital, hoping to find her awake.

First lines are always important, and particularly so in short stories. This isn't too bad. I'm intrigued as to what happened to Elizabeth.

When we look at the second line though :
When he had gotten the call from the hospital that his girlfriend had attempted suicide, he felt sick to his stomach.

We see straight away repetition of information we've already been told in the first line.

Lets try to work these two lines together. Get the same information, but try to give it a bit more impact by removing the repetition and adding some details to the senses.

Niklas scurried down the pale green corridor, ignoring the smell of disinfectant, and counting down the numbers to Elizabeth's room. Hopefully she'd be awake. When the call had come through his girlfriend had attempted suicide it had hit him like a punch to the gut. As he approached the door he slowed down to get his breath back, and also an unconscious part wanting to delay seeing her condition.

His surname doesn't matter in the first line. It doesn't add anything to the hook, and in a short story like this isn't necessary. Perhaps you could work it in later during the proposal if you wanted.

==> and looked over her scarred covered arms

Scarred arms, or scar-covered arms.

Summary

From my experience, even something like a proposal would do little to push through depression that powerful, but it makes for a lovely ending so I think it's fine.

You capture a lot of very accurate and intimate details about the disease here which tell me you likely write this from some experience of your own. The feeling worthless, the not understanding why others stay with you. All poignant and important details.

Niklas's words are good too. The 'fighter' concept is lovely, and he delivers it passionately.

I think the beginning is too heavy as you try to info dump all the history behind all he has done looking after her. I think it would work better to split this information up and sneak it inbetween the conversation between them (making the conversation longer if necessary). You could have a nurse or doctor visit, allowing for another moment of flashback/history whilst they are checking charts, or plumping pillows.

You achieve a lot in these few words. I think you could achieve even more with some reordering and an extra 500 words or so bringing in some depth, feeling and senses so the reader is a close to the scene as possible.

Great start.

Happy Writing *Bigsmile*

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15
15
Review of George Loses It  
Review by Smee
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hey Jim,

Third and final review then.

*CakeB* HAPPY WDC ACCOUNT ANNIVERSARY FROM "Anniversary Reviews*CakeP*


I step in somewhat cautiously, after reading the tag line. After seeing something of your imagination this morning I'm not sure what I'm expecting. *Laugh*

Summary

Technically flawless again - at least to my level. And definitely not what I was expecting!

I enjoyed the story, but I've always struggled with these kinds. I don't understand why people would get so worked up over something like this. I like to think I would be quite delighted if I found the forest to be talking to me, and would react completely differently in a similar situation. Probably the same part of me that wishes the owl due around about my 11th birthday telling me of my place in Hogwarts is just 22 years late, and will get here soon.

Of course you've added your own evil-genie twist to it. And the cute cuddly animals turn quite naughty at the end.

I wonder how he ever managed to kill something in the past, if, like the voices are suggesting, they are all connected and communicating. Surely his past victims would and could have been alerted to his presence and the kill avoided. Although maybe they allowed it to entice him back again whilst they worked whatever magic was necessary for him to hear them.

Like all your stories today, you raise interesting questions.

Enjoy the rest of your anniversary.

Happy Writing *Bigsmile*

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*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
16
16
Review of Moving On  
Review by Smee
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Hey Beast,

Back for more on behalf of House Targaryen on this Anniversary day.

*CakeB* HAPPY WDC ACCOUNT ANNIVERSARY FROM "Anniversary Reviews*CakeP*


Summary

I didn't spot any technicalities, so a very easy review. Solid writing that I just flowed through without being jolted out like I so often am. A pleasure to read.

So to the story. How I empathise with Jim. I know I have amazing dreams, but that is pretty much all I remember of them. So frustrating, and at the same time fascinating. Often, after waking up I can all but physically feel the memories draining away. A most peculiar feeling. If I manage to write bits of it down then I do have some success with holding onto those parts, but I can never write them down to make the same sense they did at the time.

That said, was it even a dream in this case. Was his will, and desire to go back so great as to push the entity to allow him to return under the stipulation he forgets it all? Possibly so.

I like that the story asks these questions of the reader, and leaves it up to us to decide, even though it seemingly tied up the ending.

All that said though, can't say I've ever known what it was to bear a child in my womb. That's a crazy dream. *Laugh*


Happy Writing *Bigsmile*

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*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
17
17
Review by Smee
In affiliation with Fantasy and Science Fiction So...  
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Hey Beast

Seems a little odd considering you run it, but...

*CakeB* HAPPY WDC ACCOUNT ANNIVERSARY FROM "Anniversary Reviews*CakeP*


A fun story, with an unexpected ending.

Technicalities & Observations

==> Yeah, you [and] about every other man in this bar.” Ron said.

Think you have a missing word there.

Summary

I do enjoy the mean-genie stories, and I think your guy here is perhaps up there for being one of the meanest I've read. *Laugh*

Death-by-transformation-into-hotdog-and-sucked-by-toothless-old-dog. That's fairly unique. I did stop to look up what the song was though - I'm not familiar with that brand on this side of the pond.

==> Alex learned to live his mother’s old warning, ‘Be Careful What You Wish For’.

It seems he didn't though really. His wishes did all seem to be fairly loose and wishy-washy. Never does he get really specific. I want a cheeseburger that is fresh, cooked to my preference, at a temperature greater than room temperature but low enough I won't be burnt eating it. I will be able to eat it with enjoyment, and won't choke or in any way be injured because of eating it.

I'm sure there's still ways around it, but as Alex I'd atleast want to make the Genie work to be an asshole.*Bigsmile*

The writing is solid. I spotted only the one minor typo. A good read.

Happy Writing *Bigsmile*

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*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
18
18
Review by Smee
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Hey Derek,

Thank goodness your name is at the top of this piece - sorry I just couldn't seriously call you Donkey Hoetay. *Laugh*

I'm here on behalf of House Targaryen for "Game of Thrones event. Congratulations on your recent third place in the newbie competition. Let's take a look at this story.


Technicalities & Observations

==>He realized, as he looked under the couch, that the pool of blood was seeping progressively towards her feet.

Holy ... ok this isn't going where I thought it was.

==> Then, inexplicably, they popped forward like the reptile eyes in a slot machine, along with a grin only a serpent could muster.

Uh oh, no you're not surprising me a second time. *Laugh*

Characters / Dialogue

Very nicely done. I'm not even all that familiar with the American accent variations, and yet the change in Clint was very nicely done as he reverted back to his roots.

The dialogue was elegantly done throughout. Sounding natural and flowing.


Pacing and Plot

The pacing was stunning. The big reveal moments were peppered brilliantly throughout, leaving me on an excited edge consistently from the very first reveal.

Summary

I've reviewed all the winning pieces today, and all three were very good. This was the most gripping of the three though, and to me would probably have pushed it higher up the rankings because of that. You didn't shy from interesting description to set the scene either, so the whole story was very vivid in my mind.

Very well done - here's to more breaks from the second novel and more shorts like this.

Happy Writing *Bigsmile*

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19
19
Review of Deception  
Review by Smee
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Hey Pamela,

Congratulations on 2nd place!

I'm here for a review on behalf of House Targaryen in the "Game of Thrones event.

Let's have a look at this story!

Technicalities & Observations

==> "So, what is it you want?"

I love dialogue opening lines. Typically gets you right involved and hooked in.

==> Kate looked at her father through the security screen. She thought he looked absurd in his day-glow orange jumpsuit,

The first looked could be 'stared' to avoid the repetition.

==>"Of course, she answered. "You're my daddy."
"And you're my princess" he responded automatically.

Lovely dialogue and character moments in this piece.

==> She tried for a grin but didn't quite make it.

Another clever character building line. Love it.

==> One minute impatient that he came

I'm not sure came is the right word/tense here.

Summary

How did I not see that ending happening?*Laugh* Excellent, and the answer is because I was wrapped up in your storytelling and not thinking about the ending. You paced it out nicely, ensuring we knew how nervous she was, but without it dragging on and being whiny. Good job and very well done in the competition.

Happy Writing *Bigsmile*

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20
20
Review of THE WAITING ROOM  
Review by Smee
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hey Scribe.

Many congratulations on your win.

I'm here for a review on behalf of House Targaryen in the "Game of Thrones event. Can't wait to see this winning story!

Technicalities & Observations

==> It had the feel of a children's waiting room, the type of room I had sat in with the children, when they were young

A minor point, but the repetition in this sentence was a little jarring. The latter part isn't really needed, just a different way of saying the first part again. You could just combine it into ...

It had the feel of the rooms I had sat in with the children when they were younger.

Summary

A very solid story. Easy to see why you won, and well deserved. You captured the feelings very well. The little interactions, and the smiles. The paranoia and worries. An interesting little thing to note. People commonly yawn when they're nervous, might be a good snippet to include somewhere. Otherwise you get it all.

You don't let on at the end whether it's good news or bad, so when I say that this kind of depth hints that it comes from experience, then I hope it was good news for you. Or perhaps it's not from direct experience, but just good empathy and observation. Either way you deliver an emotionally charged short which would resonate with anyone.

Congratulations again.

Happy Writing *Bigsmile*

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21
21
Review by Smee
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Hey Mumsy

It's entirely you're fault I couldn't resist going for Chapter 2 rather than picking something completely different like I usually prefer to do. I take none of the blame *Pthb*

Technicalities & Observations

==> I’d watched him work many times. His pride in his work was evident

Repetition was slightly jarring. There's another use of work just a couple of sentences above too.

==> The air conditioning was a welcome change [relief]

I don't think 'change' is the right word here.

==>eau de human

Ha! *Laugh*

She left Eden Lake to attend some hoity-toity private college, while I’d stayed in Eden Lake.
Just repetition again. I don't think one of these is necessary.

Characters / Dialogue

==> I suppose I should mention that my parents are writers.
==> Did I mention I’m not a morning person?

In the first chapter I felt I was along for the ride with Ella. In this chapter it changes slightly, with these 4th wall breaking lines to my feeling like I'm sat having Sunday brunch with her and she's telling me the story. Not a bad thing, it works fine, especially with Ella's humour. But I wanted to mention it.

A lot more new characters again, and again you're riding the line of too many. A precarious position, but still skillfully handled.

Pacing and Plot

Things slowed down here. Not an awful lot happened. It seemed like this chapter is lacking some push to the plot and was mainly filler to allow for introducing more characters. Still amusing, the meal in particular with the varieties of food made me laugh, but filler all the same. I'm not sure what, but putting something of substance plot-wise in here would be welcome I think, even if it makes it a bit longer, as it's a relatively short chapter.

Summary

You're building up the story very nicely. You have a wonderful way with characters and dialogue that makes me feel like Ella and I have been friends for years. Lovely to read.

Happy Writing *Bigsmile*

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22
22
Review by Smee
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Hey Mumsy,

I'm back for review number 2 of this Raid on behalf of House Targaryen. Picked a first chapter here, so I'll be focusing on whether it makes me want to read on.

Technicalities & Observations

==> I noticed my reflection on the stainless steel refrigerator door.

Ha, I had to briefly cringe at the 'reflection' self description. But it's cliche for a reason, it's convenient, and you mix it in well and don't go overboard.

==> Chocolate Chip, or Chip for short, was a small brown and white kitten

*Melts* So adorable a name. Awww Kitty.

==> that seemed to pop up [like mushrooms] literally overnight

Perhaps it is implied, but I felt like the simile was begging to be added here.

I thought about it again, as I walked out into the shop. “It wouldn’t be a bad idea to get it sooner, rather than later,” I thought to myself.

The repetition of thought was noticeable.

Characters / Dialogue

==> Chip insisted he was starving

*Laugh* Yeah, don't they always.

There was a lot of characters in this opening chapter. Perhaps pushing the edge of too many. But you introduce them all richly, unobtrusively and it's fine. Whilst I couldn't tell you any of their names without checking, that's more my failing with names, than the story's.

You dialogue is flawless. From the playful bickering with her brother, to the banter with her boyfriend, it is all lovely and genuine.

“Just a bunch of old men,” he teased. “No one in the slightest bit sexy.”
Love it.

Pacing and Plot

Plotwise we're just going through a day with Ella, but we are given a lot of background information, paving the way for the big reveal at the end leading to the upcoming mystery. It's all done delightfully. I never felt bored with background information, or bogged down in endless conversations. It was all paced well.

Summary

Mysteries aren't really my thing, nor the typical urban setting. I'm more fantasy/sci-fi. Yet here I find myself quite charmed by Ella's life, and her circle of friends/family. You've opened a window on her life that is elegant and somehow you're also a mind reader. On reading about the Raspberry bars, I almost copied the sentence to mention they sound delicious, and what do I find at the bottom - the recipe! Remarkable *Laugh*

Happy Writing *Bigsmile*

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23
23
Review of The Carousel Ride  
Review by Smee
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hey Mumsy,

Welcome to the start of a Port Raid from me on behalf of House Targaryen. This is the first piece I found, lets get to it.

Technicalities & Observations

==> The full moon hung high and bright in the evening sky, illuminating Anna’s way as she slipped carefully through the bent iron bars.

I like to look closely at first lines, particularly for short stories like this. I want to feel hooked into to carry on. Here it is the bent iron bars which work as the hook. I have to work through a fairly long sentence to get to them, but then I'm instantly drawn onward to find out why are they bent, what do they guard against. The rest of the sentence gives some nice scene setting without going overboard.

==> She waited patiently until he had left the area, then crept out from her hiding place.

Such tight word counts in these Writer's Cramps. The red words here I don't think add anything I didn't already know, and would be viable choices for saving a few words to perhaps add more detail elsewhere.

==> Her objective loomed in the distance, shadow and promise

I love the blue phrase. It is full of mystery, and also a kind of contradiction - shadow not something usually mixed with desire/aims.

==> her ears keen for any sounds.

Surely in a fairground there'd be loads of noise. This struck me odd and deepened the mystery of what Anna was up to. And of course it is explained shortly after. Very cool.

Summary

Aside from finding the bold text a little off-putting, this is a great story. You build up so much emotional connection in the latter half of the story over something seemingly so simple. With so few details the story comes alive, and my mind was filled with pictures. In this case, contrary to the usual saying, I think a few hundred words is worth a 1000 pictures!

Happy Writing *Bigsmile*

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24
24
Review by Smee
In affiliation with Fantasy and Science Fiction So...  
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Hey Storm,

I'm back for review number 2 and I've been digging deeper into your port.


Technicalities & Observations

==> The Doctor’s Lair was populated with many unnamed creatures.

A most intriguing first line. The capitalisation of Doctor, and the unnamed creatures are good hooks, hinting as to the story but leaving a lot of mystery and questions I want to read on for.

==> His children were nearly grown now.

This struck me a bit out the blue. I know it explains a little later how Greonteo didn't mate permanently, but I still think mentioning a partner (the one thing that could (albeit briefly) distract him from his work) first would help.

==> The Doctor’s illegitimate work ran for breeding

I don't know what this sentence means - the red words don't seem right. 'Focused on' perhaps could be an alternative.

==> a protein or a stabilizer or a spell to make everything viable.

In a mainly sci-fi story you suddenly throw in spell work as an option, so casually, and without any explanation. At this stage it works well, just pushes me onwards, highly intrigued.

==> The assistant returned with a generic formula the Doctor had created when he’d begun genetic alterations to the unborn. It worked on most species that breathed the air he breathed. The others he was still experimenting. The formula still funded half the facility since it was so wildly popular with the egg-houses in the Empire.

A bit like the children, this part came out of nowhere again. One minute they were checking out the new hatchlings... aah wait, I just remembered, American's call baby bottle milk formula I think. It is confusing still though, after a whole story of a scientist - to which a formula is a very specific thing - that to suddenly talk of this other form of formula threw me completely, and it's called 'generic' and yet funds so much, suggesting it's actually quite special and impressive. All a bit confusing.

Summary

Wow, you've opened up a wide old universe with this opening snippet. It's going to be highly tempting to go on to part 2 for your final review, and see more of this world. So many questions I want to know answers for. Why are humans the slave of choice? What are these spells, and how does magic mix with science? What are his other kids up to? Isn't there a worry they might expose him? All kinds of interesting avenues to explore. Great stuff.

As it's an intro, I'm willing to overlook the general 'telling' narrative style to this piece and still give it a 4. It isn't great to read though. I would have like to feel more in the story, and I felt this was more like a documentary about him. A fascinating one, but I didn't feel in the story.

Happy Writing *Bigsmile*

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25
25
Review of The Visitor  
Review by Smee
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hey Storm,

The "Game of Thrones Raid number 2 is underway, and so I'm here on behalf of House Targaryen, in conjunction with House Martell. Onwards!


Technicalities & Observations

==> “Remember, you can only inhabit metallic objects.”

I'm a big fan of checking out first lines carefully, particularly short stories, looking for the hook that will pull me in. This is an excellent example. Immediately I am completely baffled and fascinated about who/what could be saying such an odd thing. Great.

==> must be an inferior planet. Why would they send him to invade an inferior planet?

The repetition of inferior was noticeable. Perhaps an alternative word for one of them. Junior planet perhaps, or backwater?

==> “Hello there? Hey – you! Excuse me? Stop!”

Haha, *Laugh* Love it.

==> He caught sound

'Caught' feels like the wrong word here. Perhaps 'detected', or 'noticed'?

==> water to put out a fire.

This felt a bit un-alienlike, calling it water and fire. Maybe get a bit technical, and call it a liquidised hydrogen-oxygen compound? A minor though.

Summary

A very fun story. There's actually an entire subreddit on Reddit devoted to stories where humans baffle, or otherwise confuse/frighten aliens. This story would be much loved there, especially as it's different from the usual Humans-kicking-ass types.

Happy Writing *Bigsmile*

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