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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/profile/reviews/soul-writer
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93 Public Reviews Given
Review Style
I review from a dualistic perspective: analytical and creative. I analyze what problems a piece has and use creativity to offer suggestions on possible fixes. Expect detailed sections of commentary on things like plot, characterization, pacing, voice, dialogue, setting, etc.
 
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To read my rating philosophy, check out *Right* "Invalid Item
 
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I'm good at...
I form my reviews from both a analytical and creative perspective. I'm very straight-forward when I notice something is awry and I analyze what I believe to be the issue and then get creative with suggestions on how to best remedy the given issue.
Favorite Genres
Fantasy, Science Fiction, Action/Adventure
Least Favorite Genres
Erotica, Romance, Children/Young Adult
Favorite Item Types
Static items: chapters, short stories
Least Favorite Item Types
Non-static items
I will not review...
1) Poetry: it's intensely personal and emotional and in that rawest form of creation I feel I have nothing to offer in terms of critique. It's also not a style of writing I feel comfortable commenting on.
 
2) Non-fiction.
 
3) Anything that can be considered erotica or children/young adult. I have tremendous respect for writers of both genres but it's not something I'm interested in reading.
Public Reviews
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1
1
Review of Ice cream night  
In affiliation with Showering Acts of Joy Group  
Rated: 18+ | (2.5)
** Images For Use By Upgraded+ Only **


*UmbrellaB* This is a review on behalf of "Invalid Item! *UmbrellaB*




Salutations LG back to the writing board !



You are receiving this review of "Ice cream night on behalf of "Invalid Item and the services provided by "Invalid Item, the place to receive honest, insightful, and constructive reviews! Suggestions made herein are the product of my own creative and suggestive liberty and are not influenced by or made in reflection of past reviews/ratings given to this item. All comments are guaranteed to be honest, constructive, encouraging, insightful and unbiased. Again, these are only my suggestions; you may use them at your own discretion or throw them out entirely. Thank you for this opportunity to give you my suggestions. Let’s get started!


General Comments
_______________________________



I always look at an Item’s information before starting a review. A lot of reviewers skip past these details, but I happen to think they can be as important as the prose of the piece itself but for an entirely different reason. Most of us place our work on Writing.Com in the pursuit of encouragement and critique. The means of obtaining that rest upon the ability of a potential reading finding your item and then becoming interested enough to read the item. I believe you've done well with the item description. Since this is what potential readers see when looking at your item, you've done yourself a great favor by capitalizing on that. You've wrote something that potential readers will be intrigued by enough to check out this piece.

However, I think you've lost an opportunity with your title. Not only is it improperly capitalized, but it's also rather drab and unimaginative. I'd think of a catchy title that plays one what your scene is about. Here's one that plays on the DQ trip and the sibling reconnection:

Sisters of the Blizzard

Something imaginative can really draw in a reader.

Also, upon reading the entire story, I really don't think this piece qualifies as 18+. There aren't any references to graphic violence—minus mom's one playful thought—or cursing or references of a sexual and adult nature. I'd actually consider this piece to be ASR at the most.

Here's some info on content ratings and how to choose them correctly:

"Content Rating System (CRS)

If a moderator, senior mod, or staff member has changed the rating of your piece and you'd like it to be looked over again for a second opinion, you can ask for one by posting a link to your item here:

"Content Rating Support


Whew, alright. Now on to the actual review! *Bigsmile*


Mechanics | Structure
_______________________________



*Cut* Normal school nights, we have homework [. . .]
*Thought* I believe you're missing a word. You also don't need the comma. I also suggest to not leave the subject in this sentence we so ambiguous. Who is we. I only say this because this is your lead-in sentence and you haven't introduced anyone yet. The use of informal pronouns aren't typically used until an established entity has been given. I've also never been a fan of the word normal because most days never turn out to be "normal" or habitual unless already stated.
*Thumbsup* On most school nights (insert whomever "we" is) had homework [. . .]

*Cut* [. . .] my hubby and me [. . .]
*Thought* A very easy mistake to make. One that still gets me sometimes, too *Laugh*.
*Thumbsup* [. . .] my hubby and I [. . .]

*Cut* [. . .] take the vette out to the country.
*Thought* I know you mean Corvette. And I don't mind the shortening of the word as it displays something about the language of your point of view narrating character. I would either italicize the word because it's informal or capitalize the V or even add an apostrophe before the V to indicate the absence of letters like you would with the word 'cause when shortening because.
*Thumbsup* [. . .] take the Vette out to the country.

*Cut* [. . .] I wanted ice cream, to be specific a banana split.
*Thought* This sentence reads a little awkward. I'd change the order of the wording. Also why that specific type of ice cream? It'd be a good way to show characterization and also an italicized personal thought of reflection at the end could further capitalize on that.
*Thumbsup* [. . .] I had been craving a banana split all morning. They reminded me of summers during my childhood when my brother and I would pile on the whipped cream and chocolate sauce until it'd overflow our bowls. He always managed to get more chocolate on his face than in his mouth. He was now married and had rascals of his own. I should give him a call.

*Cut* Little did I know this was one banana split that I would be talking about for days.
*Thought* I'm not a fan of sentences that indicate something is about it happen. It kills the surprise like when someone has seen a movie you're watching and yells, "Oh man watch this part! They're totally about to be put in a bad situation." It steals your thunder as an author and diminishes the impact of that action and the overall experience of your reader. Rather than tell your reader something is about to happen, just skip to the action and bring them along for the ride by showing it to them. By doing this, you manage to keep suspense in your corner and create a more fulfilling experience for your readers. Thus, I would suggest just cutting this sentence from the piece in its entirety and moving right into the action.

*Cut* My hubby and I know we have little time left with our girls before they are totally grown and out of the house, well all but the little one who is only seven but the other two seventeen and fifteen are slipping out of our hands with each passing moment.
*Thought* This is a run-on sentence. I'd suggest breaking it up into two or more sentences to make a more coherent set of statements.
*Thumbsup* Except for our seven-year-old, my hubby and I knew we had precious little time left with our girls before they were grown and out on their own. It felt like our seventeen and fifteen-year-old were slipping out of our hands with every fleeting moment.

*Cut* So when we start feeling the soon to be empty nest stuff coming on [. . .]
*Thought* This is another awkwardly phrased sentence.
*Thumbsup* Whenever I felt like my nest was emptying [. . .]

*Cut* [. . .] those nights, so at nine-thirty instead of heading them all to bed we loaded them in the car [. . .]
*Thought* I'd start a new sentence after nights. I'd also make the rest of the sentence more coherent.
*Thumbsup* [. . .] those nights. Around 9:30 P.M. we loaded the family into the car [. . .]

*Cut* Only did we remember why we don’t take all the girls at once to do anything together after we were almost there.
*Thought* Awkward phrasing.
*Thumbsup* Nearing DQ, my hubby and I quickly remembered why we seldom brought all of the girls at once.

*Cut* Now don’t get me wrong, I am proud of my girls and can spend two hours and two hundred pages on why that is but at time I wonder why I did not drown them when they were still puppies to save my life, ok that is not true but funny all the same.
*Thought* This sentence is also awkward in phrasing and runs on. And while I know most parents laughingly think of killing their own children, this passage reads more like a diary entry from Andrea Yates than a quip. If you had added some more characterization and personality indicators of your mother POV character I would have found it funny but since that character reads very cold and one-dimensional it doesn't read that way. See the Characterization section below for more on that.

*Cut* Anyways the best of the night was still to come.
*Thought* Another prefacing sentence that steals your thunder; Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief *Pthb*

*Cut* Ordering their favorite treats then ours plus one for my mom who stayed at home the woman taking the orders wanted nothing more than for our order to be over and us out of there.
*Thought* This sentence runs on and also contains more incoherency.
*Thumbsup* We ordered all of our treats—including one for my mom who had stayed back at the house. The waitress taking our order typed on the order in with annoyed fingers after asking if we needed anything else for what seemed liked the twentieth time.

*Cut* With the girls in the back still acting like the world was about to come to an end over a flash light, the hubby shaking his head and the ice cream in hand I drove off wanting nothing more than to be home with my computer and a nice cup of coffee, on ice of course, and work on my next chapter.
*Thought* Another very long and awkwardly worded run-on sentence.
*Thumbsup* The girls were in the back fighting like the world was ending over a flashlight. My hubby shook his head in disbelief as he took another lick of his vanilla ice cream cone. I pressed on the gas, thinking of my computer and the iced coffee in the fridge.

*Cut* However that is not what I got at all & That was when the most amazing thing happened.
*Thought* These are two more sentences that tell the reader something is about to happen. Do less of informing us that something is about to happen and more of the actual showing.

*Cut* Laughing at the way grandma wanted the banana split I got instead of the blizzard I got her, then how the middle daughter’s boyfriend always showed up when food was around, which he was there by then too.
*Thought* This reads like a laundry list of information.
*Thumbsup* We all shared laughs as we exchanged stories. My mother wanted my banana split instead of the DQ Blizzard I had gotten for her. When my fifteen-year-old's boyfriend showed up—he had a gift for showing up whenever food was around—I yelled, "Switch." We all passed our ice creams to our left and enjoyed a new one. It was a tradition and cost-effective way to have multiple treats for less.


Plot | Background
_______________________________



I really like the premise of this story. I brings back memories of my own family trips to Dairy Queen and the sibling bickering in the back seat. However, the lack of description, character depth, and awkward sentence phrasing were distractions and detracted from my ability to firmly establish an emotional connection to the story.

You have a great idea but I think the prose needs to be better flushed out. What's the story you're really trying to tell here? Is it of the human connection we have to our siblings and family? Show us the story by allowing us to experience it through the actions and interactions of your characters.


Pacing | Voice
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Most of your sentences were unfortunately hard to make sense of and I had to reread the passages several times to make them into something coherent enough to be understood. This detracts so much from your story. When a reader has to focus more on what to read and what to take away from the piece, they lose the ability to be interested and invested in your characters and what they do and go through. An easy way to tell if a sentence is a run on or is incoherent and awkwardly worded is to read it out loud like you're having a conversation with someone. If the sentence doesn't sound like something you'd say in a normal conversation that would be understandable to the person you're talking to, then I'd rework the sentence until it does.

I'd slow this scene way down and really focus on the smaller actions. What are your characters doing? Rather than tell us that the girls are fighting in the backseat, provide us some descriptions of what exactly it is they're doing and what they're saying to one another. You can sneak this in by having your main character, Mom, sneak peaks in the rear view mirror to see what is going on. Remember to show, don't tell us. Summarizing action is boring to a reader.

Here are some resources on how to avoid run on sentences and write solid prose:

About Run On Sentences  

How to Avoid Run Ons  


Characterization
_______________________________



All of your characters lack depth and thus realism. They come across as one-dimensional and uninteresting. Make me care about this scene, about their reconnection to one another. I don't know anything about the girls except their age and that your main POV character is the mom and married.

Make your characters memorable. Memorable and detailed characters make for memorable scenes and stories. Show us their personalities through their actions and behaviors, their interaction with other characters, and their dialogue.

Here are some amazing resources that can help you flush out your characters and really make them pop:

Creating Believable & Memorable Characters  

How to Build Motive for Character Actions  

And here's a character sheet that I actually use. Even though your reader may not know every detail about your character, you probably should. I've found that having this knowledge about your characters mapped out as your own personal resource can be quite helpful.

Character Sheet  


Setting
_______________________________



The story takes place within the framework of non-described locations. Because your scene hasn't been anchored into a location via descriptive prose, I'm a little lost. Really embellish the scene with providing some details about the things around them. What does their house look like? What does a DQ smell like when you get a whiff of it? How big is the porch? Give us a hint of where we are. Great locations can be a strong foundation for a story and are sometime just as important as the action happening within those locations. Spend some time really focusing on your scenes and slowing them down, letting your reader experience what is happening in them.

Here's some really good resources for creating powerful and lasting settings:

How to Create Believable Settings  

Writing Dynamic Settings  

Here's a podcast/video of a writing instructor talking about how to describe settings:

Creative Writing: Settings  


Dialogue
_______________________________


I think you could really utilize some effective bits of dialogue to secure realism and personality in your characters. The bickering among siblings could highlight that in the girls.

I'd suggest checking out "Invalid Item, "5 Tips & Advice On Writing Dialogue, and the dialogue portion of "Invalid Item. These articles are really helpful on understanding how effective dialogue can enrich the experience for your readers, reinforce characterization, and propel a scene forward in a meaningful and creatively relevant manner.


Use of Descriptions
_______________________________



You have many areas that could use some expansion via description: your locations, your characters, and the actions of your characters.

The major issue with your use of description was the reader being told rather than shown. When a reader is told about something happening, it denies them the ability to experience it. By not allowing the reader to experience what is happening, it strips the writing from being as effective and emotionally moving as it can be. The best way to know whether or not you're telling when you should be showing is to reread the sentence. If the sentence summarizes (He ate chips before leaving.) than it's telling rather than showing (Placing another salty chip on his tongue, he opened the door and stepped into the warm rays of the summer sun).

Here are some amazing resources that expound on the issue in a better fashion than I could:

"Show Don't Tell

"Creating Motion in Fiction

"Invalid Item

"Dramatize, Don't Summarize!

"Lesson 4: Show, Don't Tell

And here's a contest that's currently ongoing that you can use as an exercise in showing, not telling:

"Show, Don't Tell Contest OLD


Rating
_______________________________



*Star* *Star* *Halfstar*


Your story has a really great premise with the potential to build a very strong personal and emotional connection between your readers and your characters. By building upon that nostalgic innocence of childhood memory and family experience, you can create a powerful and moving scene. Right now that is being bogged down with incoherent sentence phrasing, a lack of character depth and absence of vital descriptions, and improper pacing. By improving the prose in these areas, you'll be able to capitalize on the strong connection this piece could forge. *Bigsmile*


Write on!


My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Go Noticed.
2
2
Review of Growing Up  
In affiliation with Showering Acts of Joy Group  
Rated: E | (3.0)
** Images For Use By Upgraded+ Only **


*UmbrellaB* This is a review on behalf of "Invalid Item! *UmbrellaB*




Salutations aralls!



You are receiving this review of "Growing Up on behalf of "Invalid Item and the services provided by "Invalid Item, the place to receive honest, insightful, and constructive reviews! Suggestions made herein are the product of my own creative and suggestive liberty and are not influenced by or made in reflection of past reviews/ratings given to this item. All comments are guaranteed to be honest, constructive, encouraging, insightful and unbiased. Again, these are only my suggestions; you may use them at your own discretion or throw them out entirely. Thank you for this opportunity to give you my suggestions. Let’s get started!


General Comments
_______________________________



I always look at an Item’s information before starting a review. A lot of reviewers skip past these details, but I happen to think they can be as important as the prose of the piece itself but for an entirely different reason. Most of us place our work on Writing.Com in the pursuit of encouragement and critique. The means of obtaining that rest upon the ability of a potential reading finding your item and then becoming interested enough to read the item.

I believe you have room for an opportunity with your item title. While it is a tale of growing up, I don't feel it truly imbues the emotionality or happenings within the scene. I think a more creative title could bring in new readers. Some suggestions: Oklahoma Heat, August in Oklahoma, Memories of Heat, Fish & Family. I do like your item description. It's simple enough yet mysterious as well. And, since this is what potential readers see when looking at your item I think you've capitalized on the opportunity to write something that will hook—fishing pun intended *Laugh*—a reader into checking out your work.

Additionally, the Intro Rating and Item Rating seem appropriate and you've used three genre selections that I also believe are the most suitable for this item. Great job there! *Bigsmile*

Now, on to the rest of the review! *Reading*


Mechanics | Structure
_______________________________



*Note* August in Oklahoma can be brutal.
*Notew* As your reader and someone who has family that lives near Tulsa, I can attest to the validity of this sentence. However, I really wish you would have shown the brutality of late summer in Oklahoma rather than tell us about it. You can explore these descriptions—such as the scorching temperatures, the lingering humidity, and the aggravation that tends to rile up in people—through the experiences of your characters. Rather than give setting description through narration, allow your readers to be taken right into the seen through participation of the actions rather than listing and summarizing action like a grocery list. It's through experiencing what is happening that readers grow more attached to characters. It also anchor the rest of the story in reality and provides an easily accessible entry for those readers while creating a more vivid and memorable experience for those readers.

*Note* [. . .] three children stuck in a house bickering [. . .]
*Notew* This would been a great scene to let your readers participate in. It'd also provide a means of showcasing characterization via personality and interaction with other characters. Most of your readers probably have siblings and if provided with a descriptive scene of sibling bickering your reader can begin to form an immediate connection with those characters because they share common experiences. It's a powerful tool when properly used and I think you should definitely give it a try.

*Note* [. . .] idea that we we no longer [. . .]
*Notew* Just a word repetition.

*Note* [. . .] needed parent supervision.
*Notew* Parental supervision.

*Note* [. . .] were old enough without question [. . .]
*Notew* The text in bold doesn't enhance this sentence at all. I'd suggest cutting it. If brother and sister are old enough to go to the pond without the supervision of a parent then there would be no question about it and that is implied, so you actually don't need that tidbit.

*Note* It was the mix of our personalities and the gap in ages.
*Notew* Because you've told use the age disparity of those involved and I'm an older brother, I believe that last part of your statement. However, you're asking your readers to believe you, the narrative writer, without any proof. Show us their personalities and how they interact without another.

*Note* Tormenting me was one of their favorite past times.
*Notew* This would be a great area to bust out those creative descriptions and let your readers experience them. Show your characters tormenting the younger character. Allowing your readers to see the torment is way more powerful than being told about it; telling lacks the depth and the ability to provide a strong visual to your reader. Without a strong visual and the ability to experience action the scene falls flat with one-dimensional characters.

*Note* [. . .] Mother was already at her wit’s end
*Notew* It is every child's mission to push their parents' buttons and some are better at it then other *Pthb*. I consider myself a professional of just that and would love to know how the children went about doing this. Again, most readers have memories that they can draw on when reading a passage that describes what you've told us. Those memories make for an awesome connection to your characters.

*Note* The smothering heat didn't bother us [. . .]
*Notew* If the heat doesn't bother your characters and you've already described the heat, then I don't think you need to include this bit of information.

*Note* I loved floating around the water in an old inner tube.
*Notew* What about inner-tubing makes her love it? Childhood memories? Floating effortlessly and carefree in the warm summer sun? Let us inside your character's head.

*Note* They competed with each other in every aspect, keeping track of who caught the biggest fish, the first fish, the most fish, the smallest fish, and on and on.
*Notew* I highly suggest you find a more descriptive and thus meaningful way to incorporate this information into your story. Describe the scene to us of older brother and sister bickering about their fish, making fun of the other's catch, etc. Be creative and lead us through the scene.

*Note* The sun beat down on me as I pretended to float like a princess surrounded by servants in her castle pool.
*Notew* I really like this! You're providing a visual while also showing a little bit of your character's personality. Actually, this entire paragraph is nice because you begin to share and describe a scene and give us present action. I'd suggest you take the creativity of this end sequence and apply it to the rest of the story because it's very engaging *Bigsmile*

*Note* [. . .] both running like an Olympic relay team that’s lost direction.
*Notew* Another really good visual! Great job!


Plot | Background
_______________________________



I really enjoy reading about childhood and the wonderment that comes with it. I think most people do because it brings them back to the innocence of their own youth. With a few adjustments I believe you can better capitalize on that emotional investment from your readers.

I'd suggest slowing the scene down and describe the actions you've summarized to present a more coherent and vivid scene. The last few paragraphs reveal your ability to do this and I'd suggest that you use the magic you found in that sequence and sprinkle it throughout the earlier portion of the story. We go from a laundry list of actions to an explosive scene of family rescue. I think the entire scene should pay homage to that buildup.


Pacing | Voice
_______________________________



This scene is told from the perspective of a 10-year-old but some of the language is a bit sophisticated or worded in a way that I can't imagine most 10-year-olds would use. How is the world really seen through the eyes of a 10-year-old in rural Oklahoma? What matters most to her?

Slow your scene down and reveal this world to your readers.


Characterization
_______________________________



All of the characters fall a little flat. I don't know anything other than their age and where they're from. I don't know anything about their personalities, what motivates their actions, or anything that isn't surface level. But you can easily improve that! *Bigsmile*

Here are some amazing resources that can help you flush out your characters and really make them pop:

Creating Believable & Memorable Characters  

How to Build Motive for Character Actions  

And here's a character sheet that I actually use. Even though your reader may not know every detail about your character, you probably should. I've found that having this knowledge about your characters mapped out as your own personal resource can be quite helpful.

Character Sheet  


Setting
_______________________________



I love the setting idea. But, I don't think it's been flushed out enough. Let you readers experience what life is like in rural Oklahoma. Show us.


Dialogue
_______________________________



I think a lot of your summarized actions and sequences—sibling bickering, the annoyance of mom, the fishing rivalry—could all be helped by showing us these scenes. Dialogue can help cement these scenes.

I'd suggest checking out "Invalid Item, "5 Tips & Advice On Writing Dialogue, and the dialogue portion of "Invalid Item. These articles are really helpful on understanding how effective dialogue can enrich the experience for your readers, reinforce characterization, and propel a scene forward in a meaningful and creatively relevant manner.


Use of Descriptions
_______________________________



You had some really good descriptions that I highlighted above. I think you should go back and really dig into the scene and use more descriptions like that.

The major issue with the use of description was the reader being told rather than shown. When a reader is told about something happening, it denies them the ability to experience it. By not allowing the reader to experience what is happening, it strips the writing from being as effective and emotionally moving as it can be. The best way to know whether or not you're telling when you should be showing is to reread the sentence. If the sentence summarizes (He ate chips before leaving.) than it's telling rather than showing (Placing another salty chip on his tongue, he opened the door and stepped into the warm rays of the summer sun).

Here are some amazing resources that expound on the issue in a better fashion than I could:

"Show Don't Tell

"Creating Motion in Fiction

"Invalid Item

"Dramatize, Don't Summarize!

"Lesson 4: Show, Don't Tell

And here's a contest that's currently ongoing that you can use as an exercise in showing, not telling:

"Show, Don't Tell Contest OLD


Beginning
_______________________________



Rather than giving summarized actions, I would start the scene out with the older brother and sister tormenting the younger sibling and it annoying mom who suggests they go out to the pond while she fixes lunch or dinner. This would provide an immediate scene of action and characterization for your readers to get into the story.


Ending
_______________________________



The ending was very humbling and did bring back a lot of my own memories with my younger brother. Yeahhh, I'm still the cooler one of us two but don't tell him that! Good job! *Smile*


Rating
_______________________________



*Star* *Star* *Star*


With some improvements to characterization, description, and pacing you have the opportunity to remind readers of their family, their childhood, their innocence and human connection. I think that's such a powerful premise!


Write on!


My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Go Noticed.
3
3
In affiliation with Showering Acts of Joy Group  
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
** Images For Use By Upgraded+ Only **


*UmbrellaB* This is a review on behalf of "Invalid Item! *UmbrellaB*




Salutations keikei-love critical reviews! !



You are receiving this review of "Sins of a Woman Introduction on behalf of "Invalid Item and the services provided by "Invalid Item, the place to receive honest, insightful, and constructive reviews! Suggestions made herein are the product of my own creative and suggestive liberty and are not influenced by or made in reflection of past reviews/ratings given to this item. All comments are guaranteed to be honest, constructive, encouraging, insightful and unbiased. Again, these are only my suggestions; you may use them at your own discretion or throw them out entirely. Thank you for this opportunity to give you my suggestions. Let’s get started!


General Comments
_______________________________



I always look at an Item’s information before starting a review. A lot of reviewers skip past these details, but I happen to think they can be as important as the prose of the piece itself but for an entirely different reason. Most of us place our work on Writing.Com in the pursuit of encouragement and critique. The means of obtaining that rest upon the ability of a potential reading finding your item and then becoming interested enough to read the item. I believe you have done a great job with your item description. You've utilize your item description to its fullest. This is what potential readers see when looking at your item and you've capitalized on this opportunity to write something that will instantly hook a reader into checking out your work. I really like the walk with God part and would seriously suggest you consider making that the title of the novel: A Walk With God. It sounds awesome!

The Intro Rating seems fine but the Item Rating doesn't seem appropriate. You have it listed as 18+ but there's nothing within the piece itself to warrant such a high rating. As a stand-alone piece, this item could easily be marked 13+. You've also used all three genre selections. Selecting the appropriate genres—always utilizing all three selections—greatly impacts the exposure of your item to potential readers. Some writers don't utilize all three possible selections but this is a mistake―by not using all three selections, you're limiting yourself of potential exposure your piece could get; one genre selection will make the item only appear on that genre's page listing but selecting three genres will expose it on two additional page listing which means more potential readers and we love our readers! So I'm very glad that you've chosen three very appropriate genres for this piece.

Well, now onto the rest of the review! *Bigsmile*


Mechanics | Structure
_______________________________



*Note* I was seven when evil first came to me.
*Notew* What a powerful first sentence. I'm already hooked!

*Note* [ . .] who couldn’t control themselves.
*Notew* I've worked with abused youth and women during my clinical psychology labs and this is one of the most ignorant excuses our society gives to attackers. You can't control yourself, your hormones were raging. As a society we should focus less on making women less susceptible to attack and focus more on teaching young boys how to be proper men. By focusing more on women as potential prey we assume they have the power to stop an attack. In reality, our society should reinforce equality and moral behavior.

*Note* I honestly, for once, don't have any other suggestions. You have a truly rock solid piece.


Plot | Background
_______________________________



Because this is an introduction rather than a proper chapter, I'm not going to use my usual review template and instead discuss my impressions here in this section *Bigsmile*.

I feel like there's subtle undertones of social commentary in this piece, and rather intentional or not, they really speak to me. I love this premise of fighting for one's soul. Not because of a lack in faith but due to a lack of humanity. I think that's a key component of religion: it reinforces the barren nature and biology of men and instills upon us the aspiration to be more.

This is where a confession comes out. Even as an agnostic, borderline atheist, I am still very interested in reading this piece. Do you know how incredible that is? *Bigsmile* You've done a great job setting everything up and I will be back to read additional chapters!

Rating
_______________________________



*Star* *Star* *Star* *Star* *Halfstar*


What can I say, when I come across a genuinely good item I don't have a lot to say. It's more of a huge smile I have the entire time. Great job Keiann! *Smile*

Write on!


My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Go Noticed.
4
4
Review of The Glimpse  
In affiliation with Showering Acts of Joy Group  
Rated: 13+ | (2.0)
** Images For Use By Upgraded+ Only **


*UmbrellaB* This is a review on behalf of "Invalid Item! *UmbrellaB*




Salutations Drake !



You are receiving this review of "The Glimpse on behalf of "Invalid Item and the services provided by "Invalid Item, the place to receive honest, insightful, and constructive reviews! Suggestions made herein are the product of my own creative and suggestive liberty and are not influenced by or made in reflection of past reviews/ratings given to this item. All comments are guaranteed to be honest, constructive, encouraging, insightful and unbiased. Again, these are only my suggestions; you may use them at your own discretion or throw them out entirely. Thank you for this opportunity to give you my suggestions. Let’s get started!


General Comments
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I always look at an Item’s information before starting a review. A lot of reviewers skip past these details, but I happen to think they can be as important as the prose of the piece itself but for an entirely different reason. Most of us place our work on Writing.Com in the pursuit of encouragement and critique. The means of obtaining that rest upon the ability of a potential reading finding your item and then becoming interested enough to read the item. I believe you've done a nice job with this! You're utilizing your item description to its fullest and that's very important. This is what potential readers see when looking at your item and you've capitalized on this opportunity by writing something that has enough intrigue to make potential readers want to checking out your work.

The Intro Rating and Item Rating seem appropriate but you've only used one of the three genre selections. Select the appropriate genres—always utilize all three selections—as these will greatly impact the exposure of your item to potential readers. Some writers don't utilize all three possible selections but this is a mistake―by not using all three selections, you're limiting yourself of potential exposure your piece could get; one genre selection will make the item only appear on that genre's page listing but selecting three genres will expose it on two additional page listing which means more potential readers and we love our readers! *Bigsmile*

Alright, on with the meat of the review! *Starstruck*


Mechanics | Structure
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*Note* Since your title also appears at the beginning of the body of your item I'd suggest centering it.

*Note* New Orleans, 2030.
*Notew* This is the first sentence of the first paragraph. I think you should make this a stand-alone paragraph and italicize it as it's more of a location descriptor than actual prose.

*Note* It had to be early because as she cracked her eyelids open she saw that dark purple hue the early morning was so known for.
*Notew* This sentence has a lot of words—indicated in bold— that are unnecessary and take away from the beauty of the description.
*Noteb* As she cracked her eyelids open the dark purple of early morning greeted her. By being direct keeping it simple without add-on words that don't enhance the description you make a stronger visual.

*Note* [. . .] the deep purple of the late night but that was not true.
*Notew* This sentence struggles with unnecessary verbal gluttony as the one before it. Trim the fat and keep your descriptions simple and direct.
*Noteb* She swept her feet over the side of the bed with a deep yawn. Or is it still night?

*Note* She heard birds and the quiet.
*Notew* This is showing and it'd make a much more powerful visual for your reader to be able to experience the scene with your character; it starts the formation of a bond between reader and character that is crucial.
*Noteb* The soft chirping songs of birds outside interrupted the silence of her bedroom.

*Note* [. . .] slid her eyes over to her boyfriend.
*Notew* This gives me a powerful visual of a woman taking her eyes out of her sockets like an older woman would take out her dentures. *Laugh* Powerful, but I don't think that's the image you're wanting us to see. I'd suggest another word choice such as shifted or glanced over to.

*Note* He lay like a mountain range [. . .]
*Notew* I really like this description, the visual comes to instantly. It conveys a lot of descriptive characteristics about the character. Nicely done! *Smile*

*Note* his body rise and fall
*Notew* I'd continue the mountain range analogy and make an extended metaphor out of it. Would his rising and falling look like the mountain range was enduring growing in height before erosion cut it back down? Play around with it and be creative.

*Note* She showed her today to be exact.
*Notew* There's too many female pronouns. I'd suggest making the visual more clear.
*Noteb* The cartomancer   had shown her earlier in the day.

*Note* This was the day that everything would change.
*Notew* As your reader I believe you. But I'd rather be shown this. Show me what will change everything. Don't tell me about it, that's just teasing and mean *Pthb*. Let me experience it.

*Note* This would be the day to see if she was the indeed the one who should have been trusted with the knowledge that there were more sentient beings on earth than just humans.
*Notew* There's a lot going on in this sentence and I'd suggest breaking it. Heading the same advice as above, I think you should show this, not tell us about it.

*Note* She
*Notew* You start a lot of sentences with the word she. It starts sounding formulaic and repetitive. I'd suggest either introducing her name so you can interchange between the two or use a description of her as well.
*Noteb* Instead of She got out of bed replace with The lanky woman flexed her toes on the cold hardwood floor as she stood.

*Note* They were smart, she thought, giving a marketer the knowledge
*Notew* When a character is thinking to themselves, I always suggest to italicize the thought to separate if from the prose. Also, by doing this you don't need to include a thought tag. By the way, who is this they you're talking about?
*Noteb* They were smart to give the knowledge to a marketer.

*Note* What if they had picked [. . .] No, they knew [ . . .]
*Notew* Again, who is this unknown they? Why are they important? And why was she selected to have some hidden knowledge?

*Note* [. . .]Café Du Monde.
*Notew* Mmm. Café du Monde. Beignets. You're making my mouth water! This is one of the places I always make sure to visit when in New Orleans. Well, that and El Gate Negro *Cat*. Yummy! *Coffeebl* *Eat*

*Note* He believed her.
*Notew* Believed what? You've left your readers in the dark and then continued to do so. Let us know, too. Let us experience the conversation. How'd she make him believe her?

*Note* It worked, she had done it.
*Notew* She's done what? In the story all we've been told is that she got up, went for breakfast, went to lunch, and then walked out onto the veranda of her office. If she was privy to some sort of knowledge and this all she did with it, what made her special enough to have it given that she didn't do anything with the information? In this case anyone could be given the same information, so why her? You do say she's in marketing. Did she perhaps do a marketing campaign to make people subtly aware of the existence of other beings?


Plot | Background
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I like the idea of a marketer working to make other aware of other sentient beings via marketing. It's a good idea and one I haven't seen. But that's only a premise. There has to be a story based upon that premise for your readers to enjoy it. You've missed that opportunity. I believe if you take you time as a writer to really flush out your scenes, make a coherent background story to entice your readers, and then allow them to journey through the story with your character that you'd have a stronger piece.

Some questions to thinks about:

*Note* What is special about her to be chosen with this hidden knowledge?

*Note* How was it given to her and how was she selected?

*Note* Did it take any convincing for her to believe the information?

*Note* Why is no one skeptical of this information when told?

*Note* I think war would be more realistic than a sudden reveal and instant interaction. Humans as a species fear what they do not know and the implications of other intelligent beings would not be met with a ho-hum no big deal attitude.


Pacing | Voice
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I would slow this piece down a lot and really get into each individual sequence and set it up with descriptions, character interaction and development, and action.


Characterization
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Beyond some base descriptions of what your characters look like, I don't know much else. I don't know their personalities, their ambitions, what motivates them, etc.

I think it'd really helpful to better flush out your characters for your readers. It's through characters, rather endearing or flawed, that our readers experience the plot.

Here are some amazing resources to check out:

Creating Believable & Memorable Characters  

How to Build Motive for Character Actions  

And here's a character sheet that I actually use. Even though your reader may not know every detail about your character, you probably should. I've found that having this knowledge about your characters mapped out as your own personal resource to be quite helpful.

Character Sheet  


Setting
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I like that you add locations to authenticate the New Orleans location. It adds realism. But I'd then go on and describe those locations through your characters' senses. Let us see and feel and hear what they are.


Dialogue
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Your dialogue at the end of the piece was hard to follow because it didn't use any speech tags to clarify who was saying what. A major way characterization comes across is the manner in which they speak. Since I don't know the ages of Leon or Ty, though I think they might be young children, make certain that your characters are speaking in a manner that is true to the age, personality, intelligence level, etc. that is believable for that character.

I'd suggest checking out "Invalid Item, "5 Tips & Advice On Writing Dialogue, and the dialogue portion of "Invalid Item. These articles are really helpful on understanding how effective dialogue can enrich the experience for your readers, reinforce characterization, and propel a scene forward in a meaningful and creatively relevant manner.



Use of Descriptions
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You have some good descriptions sprinkled throughout this piece. Describing her boyfriend sleeping like a mountain range was very effective. I'd focus more on scenery descriptions like that! The major issue with the use of description was the reader being told rather than shown. When a reader is told about something happening, it denies them the ability to experience it. By not allowing the reader to experience what is happening, it strips the writing from being as effective and emotionally moving as it can be. The best way to know whether or not you're telling when you should be showing is to reread the sentence. If the sentence summarizes (He ate chips before leaving.) than it's telling rather than showing (Placing another salty chip on his tongue, he opened the door and stepped into the warm rays of the summer sun).

Here are some amazing resources that expound on the issue in a better fashion than I could:

"Show Don't Tell

"Creating Motion in Fiction

"Invalid Item

"Dramatize, Don't Summarize!

"Lesson 4: Show, Don't Tell

And here's a contest that's currently ongoing that you can use as an exercise in showing, not telling:

"Show, Don't Tell Contest OLD


Beginning
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I would actually start the scene back at the tarot reader. Slow the scene down and really use those descriptions to paint a picture of what happened. I think by starting her and progressing your scene, the piece will make more sense and be better grounded in motivation for your female character.


Ending
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I don't believe the ending. It happened too quickly, too easily, and too predictably. It didn't have a realistic quality to it. If "aliens" (elves, dwarves, orcs, etc.) were to suddenly reveal themselves on a crowded busy street I guarantee most peoples' reactions would be based out of fear. There would be chaos and screaming and widespread hysteria.


Rating
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*Star* *Star*



With some improvements to plot, pacing, description, characterization, and ensuring your readers are presented with a coherent storyline that they're able to experience you will have a great piece of fiction. I love the premise!

Write on!


My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Go Noticed.
5
5
Rated: 13+ | (3.5)
Salutations Matt Gallet !

You are receiving this review of "Hallow Rise: Prologue because of the services provided by "Invalid Item, the place to receive honest, insightful, and constructive reviews! Suggestions made herein are the product of my own creative and suggestive liberty and are not influenced by or made in reflection of past reviews/ratings given to this item. All comments are guaranteed to be honest, constructive, encouraging, insightful and unbiased. Again, these are only my suggestions; you may use them at your own discretion or throw them out entirely. Thank you for this opportunity to give you my suggestions. Let’s get started!


General Comments
_______________________________



I always look at an Item’s information before starting a review. A lot of reviewers skip past these details, but I happen to think they can be as important as the prose of the piece itself but for an entirely different reason. Most of us place our work on Writing.Com in the pursuit of encouragement and critique. The means of obtaining that rest upon the ability of a potential reading finding your item and then becoming interested enough to read the item. I believe you have missed an opportunity with your item description. What you’ve currently written as your item description should be put into the author’s note that appears at the beginning of the piece. Utilize your item description to its fullest. This is what potential readers see when looking at your item and you should capitalize on this opportunity to write something that will instantly hook a reader into checking out your work. Make a potential reader have to click on your item and read it. You’ve missed that opportunity. There’s definitely room for improvement there.

That being said, I looked through your port and saw that you’ve created a Book Item for your novel, "Invalid Item. Although this review is for "Hallow Rise: Prologue, I believe I’d be doing you a disservice if I didn’t tell you that your Book Item has some of the same issues listed above. Always use your item description to intrigue potential readers, focusing on strategic wording to enhance the likelihood that a reader will open your item and read its contents. Also pay attention to selecting an appropriate content rating and selecting the appropriate genres—always utilize all three selections—as these will greatly impact the exposure of your item to potential readers. Additionally, I believe you should give a brief synopsis—think like what you’d expect to read on a book jacket—within the body of your Book Item so that your readers aren't going into the item without knowing anything about your project. This leads to cold readings and half-interested readers. By being direct and letting your potential reader know a little of what they can expect, you can make a sincere attempt to begin shrinking the proportion of views to reviews.

Whew, okay. *Bigsmile* With that out of the way, I do have to say that I am quite impressed with the title of your novel. Hallow Rise is very intriguing and compelling. It may only be two words but they go a long way for me. They're able to imbue something that's rather interesting and mysterious; the title just sounds awesome! I am a bit entertained thinking about whether Hallow or Hollow would be more intriguing. But either way, I'm sure reading more chapters will reveal the significance of a hallow rise.


Mechanics | Structure
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*Note* The rain poured down from above, drenching the battlefield [. . .]
*Notew* This is a little redundant. Rain falls from above and thus doesn't need an amendment or modifier to secure the understanding of the logistics of common weather. Also, I think you could use either a verb stronger than poured or further describe the state of the rainstorm. Why? You state that the rain in fact drenched the battlefield. Therefore, we know it isn't a mere sprinkling or a short-lived passing shower. Stronger descriptions could enhance this opening sentence.
*Noteb* The deluge of rainfall smacked off war-scarred helmets before hitting the swollen ground. Streams of life blood and dirty sweat slipped from the rushing warriors as they clamored beneath ashen clouds. The armor-clad men crashed against one another, the force of recoil anchoring their feet into the sodden earth . Though quickly thrown together as an example, you can see the impact of being more direct with appropriate verbs and using a little artistic description to present a stronger opening visual to your reader. They're immediately taken to the scene and thrown into action.


*Note* [. . .] and drowning out the noises of swords clashing [. . .]
*Notew* The sentence preceding this one is talking about rain and how drenched the battlefield is. Aesthetically, I think using the word drowning—with its attribution to water, although not in this instance of usage—is not the best word choice. I understand the image you're trying to convey to your readers, but you take them from talking about a heavy rainfall that has saturated the ground of the battlefield to another image that relies on a word associated with water but not using it in that context. It's a conflicting passage that made my brain feel like it had been going 60 miles an hour and brought to an abrupt stop. I'd suggest coming up with another word choice to avoid this. Also, I think this sentence could be made more powerful if you describe the noise on the battlefield; rather than telling, show your readers via description.
*Noteb* The clapping of thunder roared over shrilling battle-cries and the clinking of merciless iron swords that sliced men to the ground.


*Note* Leonard Dalian watched from the top of the hill in the center of the valley [. . .]
*Notew* I believe you can enhance this sentence by reordering some of the words, making small aesthetic word changes and showing, not telling.
*Noteb* From atop the central hill, Leornard Dalian stared out across the valley through the thin slits of his helmet. Again, just a thrown-together example but it transports your reader into the scene to experience it rather than being told and thus removed.


*Note* He had to kill Tol'Amen.
*Notew* What an incredibly powerful sentence! I think you could add to it's power by making it its own one sentence paragraph.
*Noteb* Dalian knew there was only one way to win this war and free the world from the dark plague that was haunting it.

He had to kill Tol'Amen.

Drawing his sword [. . .]



*Note* "Show yourself now!"
*Notew* I think you should omit the word now. It doesn't enhance the sentence and actually detracts from the power of the command.
*Noteb* "Show yourself!"


*Note* Dalian felt his heart speed up [. . .] saw what was happening [. . .]
*Notew* This would be a perfect place to show your reader the scene. This is too good, take them there! And I'd omit the last part of the sentence and just jump into describing exactly why Dalian is reacting the way he is.
*Noteb* A surge of adrenaline coursed through Dalian's body as his chest heaved, the pounding of his heart against the plate armor like a drum.


*Note* A small circle of dark energy formed.
*Notew* From where? Describe the formation of this phenomena.
*Noteb* Across the battle-ravaged valley the fabric of the sky appeared to be torn. From within the rift dropped an obsidian-colored orb. Small bands of lightning danced across the dark circle as it hovered over the battlefield.


*Note* [. . .]scream as the dark energy sucked the soul from them [. . .]
*Notew* How did the sphere of dark energy suck the souls from the men? Was it a visible spiritual theft? How can Dalian tell that's what is happening. Transport us and let us see what Dalian is seeing.
*Noteb* A shockwave raced outward from the sphere of dark energy and spilled over the soldiers as the stopped warring and stood awestruck. Within moments the death curdles of the afflicted men echoed off the valley walls as Dalian watched the ghostly vapors of the men sucked into the center of the orb. The empty shells of the soldiers fell to the ground as the dark sphere of energy bulged from its ingestion of stolen souls.


*Note* [. . .] wearing armor made of almost impenetrable bones [. . .] a sword sharper than anything in the known world.
*Notew* If Dalian is seeing this, how does he know the particular qualities of Tol'Amen's armor and sword? These physical characteristics aren't realistically gauged with the sense of site. I'd find a way to describe the qualities.
*Noteb* A barrage of crossbow fire pierced through the air toward the demon. Tol'Amen taunted the archers by stretching his arms outward and pressing his chest forward. The arrows effortlessly bounced off the demon's armor, appearing to be made of entwined bone fragments. The demon lifted its heavy sword and brought it crashing to the earth, slicing the soldiers in half as if they had never been present. In all of his years in the military, Dalian had never saw a blade so sharp.


*Note* Tol'Amen resembled a man but was clearly a demon.
*Notew* In what way? Give us some indication. What marks the difference between a human and a demon?
*Noteb* Tol'Amen was a tortured reflection of a possessed man. After a sentence like this one, go on to describe his physical appearance.


*Note* [. . .] skin was a light shade of blue [. . .] hair was scraggly and dark blue.
*Notew* An unnecessary redundancy in the use of the word blue.
*Noteb* His taunt skin was a light shade of blue and his unkempt hair a hue darker.


*Note* [. . .]his eyes stood out the most.
*Notew* What stood out about them? What makes them special or memorable? You do a great job of explaining the answer to these two questions in the sentence following this one. I'd omit this portion and just jump right into explaining the quality of Tol'Amen's eyes and why Dalian seems so haunted by them.


*Note* "Hello, Dalian." the [. . .]
*Notew* I don't think a dark and twisted being would be so formal in salutary greeting or manner. It makes the demon appear more menacing if it is direct and not bogged down by human formality. Also, capitalize the T in the word the since you're not accompanying the dialogue with a speech tag.
*Noteb* "Dalian." The [ . . .]


*Note* "I don't suppose you're here to surrender, are you?"
*Notew* Again, I don't picture this demonic being sounding so formal. I see him as demanding. If he's here to destroy or take over the world, I don't think he cares about the formal presentation of his diabolic speech. I think it'd be more impressive and serve to build the characterization of Tol'Amen by making him more demanding and short-worded rather than formal.
*Noteb* "Surrender." To me, by demanding surrender rather than asking Dalian's intentions does a couple of positive and important things. 1) It reinforces Tol'Amen as a creature that won't accept anything less than surrender. 2) It showcases the strength of the demon by his demand and his belief that the war is over and Dalian can do nothing but surrender. It builds the intensity, believability, and strength or Tol'Amen as a character and highlights his uncompromising evilness.


*Note* Dalian grew angry as Tol'Amen [. . .]
*Notew* Show us how Dalian reacts to Tol'Amen. It does make a difference and will be a more enjoyable and rewarding experience for your reader.
*Noteb* Dalian's hands tightened around the hilt of his sword as he clenched his teeth.


*Note* "This ends right here, demon!"
*Notew* I think, again, this piece of dialogue could be more powerful by omitting a few words.
*Noteb* "This ends, demon!"


*Note* Tol'Amen replaced his grin with a frown.
*Notew* Tol'Amen is a demon that's come to take over the world. I don't think he'd be upset and frown at Dalian's refusal to surrender. I think he'd shoot an evil smile and enjoy his task of getting to fight Dalian.
*Noteb* Tol'Amen smiled, his grotesque black teeth jutting from gums like knives.


*Note* They collided and the battle begun.
*Notew* There had already been fighting between the Steel Wings and the Lost, which I just realized are never really described at any depth. I would reword and describe the scene.
*Noteb* Dalian and the demon collided with an explosion of force that pushed both of them backward. The strength of the demon was incredible.


*Note* Dalian was able to match his opponent hit-for-hit [. . .] felt himself losing strength.
*Notew* There's a problem here. Tol'Amen's sword is described in an earlier passage as being the sharpest thing in the known world. If this is the case, then shouldn't Tol'Amen's sword cut right through Dalian's? You have described Dalian's sword as being forged in the Temple of the Infinite by the God-Gaurdian Sarrah but that's meaningless unless given context and meaning. What makes this sword special? What are it's intrinsic and otherworldly properties? Is there something about the forging of the sword that enable it to withstand the sharpness of Tol'Amen's blade? Also, the fighting sequence hit-for-hit should be expanded as it's a major climactic point in your prologue. Expand and describe. Describe Dalian's lose of strength. Is he growing fatigued from the fighting? How strong is the demon? Do both make and lose ground in their fight with one another?


*Note* [. . .] it appeared the fight was wearing on Tol'Amen as well.
*Notew* What about Tol'Amen indicates this?
*Noteb* Tol'Amen parried a sword strike. The blades locked as Dalian and the demon pressed against the clinch, drawing deep breaths as they both attempted to shift the other off balance. During a close combat situation, this would be a great place to introduce new dialogue between Dalian and Tol'Amen.


*Note* "Enough!" he roared over the storm. "This is my world!"
*Notew* I believe Tol'Amen says this line but you should indicate it clearly for your reader. I would also italicize the word "my" to show a stronger emphasis on the word, it'll make the statement more powerful.
*Noteb* "Enough!" Tol'Amen growled over the roaring thunder. "This is my world!"


*Note* [. . .] Dalian's sword had shattered his armor and went right through his chest.
*Notew* You've described earlier that Tol'Amen armor was "impenetrable". This is why I believe it is again so vital to properly describe the unique properties of Dalian's sword.


*Note* Tol'Amen laughed demonically
*Notew* I want to experience this laugh. What about the laugh makes it demonic other than the fact that Tol'Amen is a demon?
*Noteb* A hissing wail escaped Tol'Amen's black lips. The sound shook Dalian and sent a chill throughout his body. It felt as if the laughter had come alive and entered his body, pressing tightly around his heart and choking it. Dalian clenched his chest as it constricted.


*Note* "You and I both know something as pitiful as death can't stop me. I'll return, and when I do you won't be here to stop me."
*Notew* Again, I think you better characterize Tol'Amen through his speech.
*Noteb* Tol'Amen rolled his black eyes into the back of his head as if amused. "I'll return, Dalian. Demons do not die. You're coming with me ."


*Note* [. . .] gained the strength they needed to wipe the Lost out.
*Notew* I really wish you had described this. Allow us to see the action as telling denies us that ability. A good way to know if you're telling and not showing is to see if you are summarizing. And here, you clearly are summarizing. This is the falling action of the prologue following the climax; let us feel it with your characters as we've just been on a journey with them.


*Note* The cheer could be hard all across the land.
*Noteb* heard



*Note* [. . .] as the claws of death ripped at him.
*Notew* Now this is a great visual! Well done!


*Note* His final thought was that, if Tol'Amen ever did return, there might not be anything anyone can do to stop him.
*Notew* I would find a better way to show this.
*Noteb* I hope you're right Faron. Keep the legacy of the Steel Wings alive or nothing will be able to stop Tol'Amen's return. A coldness crept over Dalian, stealing the life from his body. Within moments he had faded away.


Plot | Background
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I think you've set up the backdrop to your story fairly nicely. The reader can come to expect what the story may be about—the return of Tol'Amen. I would've loved a little more backstory, however. How did Dalian become the champion of the world that the demon was trying to take control of? What about the world is worthy of an invasion and takeover from Tol'Amen? Are there human factions/nations that are fighting alongside one another to combat the Lost and Tol'Amen? There are a few instances I think you should definitely consider fleshing out. What about Dalian's blade is so special? Is it the only thing that can pierce Tol'Amen's armor? If so, then is there a legacy of the blade being the safekeeper of the world? I think you've got the skeleton to the story, a solid foundation from which to expand and explore.


Pacing | Voice
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I felt like certain areas of the story needed to be slowed down and given some more attention and detail. A lot of the scenes where fighting happens feel rushed and not thought out. You do summarizing during these scenes with a and they fight type of mentality. Slow down the scene and let your readers experience the fighting as it's happening. Here's a great off-site article about sword fighting that can really help you flesh out your battles sequences: Writing Believable Sword Fights  .



Characterization
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Dalian- the hero and savior against the demon, Tol'Amen. There wasn't much description about Dalian, but I will say I truly love his name. It has a very Old World feel to it that comes across as plausible and cemented in history and reality. What kind of leader is Dalian? Explore his psyche, his emotions, and his mannerisms. Make him come alive, make the readers care about his fight and successful vanquishing of the demon. Make us both sad and scared that he dies and the legacy of fighting Tol'Amen's return falls upon men that can no longer count on his presence to ready and rally them.


Tol'Amen- for being a demon bent on taking over the world, the demon doesn't seem very menacing. I'd try and really make his evilness pop. If he's going to be Dalian's foil, I'd work on their relationship and differences—or even more spooky, their similarities just seen and spun under different context—and explore how their personalities mesh and stand alone.


Setting
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The prologue takes place in a valley of some kind. Not much else is described and I'm not entirely sure it needs to be. I'd throw in a few descriptions about the valley just to firmly cement your reader in a location.


Dialogue
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A major way characterization comes across is the manner in which they speak. This is especially significant to the demon, Tol'Amen. Make him come across as evil and vile and everything you'd want to avoid. Make his sentences short and raw. A demon relies on other means to scare; it doesn't need its voice or and expanded vocabulary. I'd suggest checking out "Invalid Item, "5 Tips & Advice On Writing Dialogue, and the dialogue portion of "Invalid Item. These articles are really helpful on understanding how effective dialogue can enrich the experience for your readers, reinforce characterization, and propel a scene forward in a meaningful and creatively relevant manner.


Use of Descriptions
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You have some amazing description sprinkled throughout this piece. The claws of death scratching at Dalian was very powerful and eloquent. The major issue with the use of description was the reader being told rather than shown. When a reader is told about something happening, it denies them the ability to experience it. By not allowing the reader to experience what is happening, it strips the writing from being as effective and emotionally moving as it can be.

Here are some amazing resources that expound on the issue in a better fashion that I could describe:

"Show Don't Tell

"Creating Motion in Fiction

"Invalid Item

"Dramatize, Don't Summarize!

"Lesson 4: Show, Don't Tell

And here's a contest that's currently ongoing that you can use as an exercise in showing, not telling:

"Show, Don't Tell Contest OLD


Beginning
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I really, really enjoyed the beginning! I felt the pacing and setup of the scene was astounding and I commend you on it. I felt the entrance of Dalian's character was appropriately timed and managed well.


Ending
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The great premise of the beginning and rising action fell flat toward the end of the piece. It felt anticlimactic. The scene was building to a great fight between Dalian and Tol'Amen but then plateaued and never recovered. This prologue should leave your readers wanting to read more. And mostly, it did just that. I'm itching to find out if Tol'Amen returns and if/when he does what kind of response, if any, awaits him. The fight sequence, which was the climax of the story, seemed rushed when that was the meat of the scene that should've been slowed down and showcased. I'd work on the ending, leaving your readers anxious to read on.


Cliché Watch
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The only thing I'd watch out for is falling into the evil demon out to take over the world just to take it over. What motivates the demon beyond just being an evil creature? Adding a dimension to Tol'Amen's motivation will make the character more approachable and more realistic to your readers.


Rating
_______________________________



*Star* *Star* *Star* *Halfstar*



You've got a great start to a story that already intrigues me just on premise alone. With a few adjustments to description, showing not telling, slowing down and expanding your story's climactic fight sequence, and working on characterization your piece will be exceptional! I'll be coming back for more!

Write on!
6
6
Review of Shooting Star  
Rated: E | (4.5)
I was there when this was written! Babe, you have such a way with words. The flow is free-form but has a rythmic structure to it. The emotion is reflected within each stanza. I did, however, find some spelling mistakes. *Smile*

convaying should be conveying

acroos should be across

Fix these few spelling mistakes and you have a poem that is as perfect as you!

Love always,

{soul-writer}
7
7
Review of Mr. Lonely  
Rated: 13+ | (3.0)
Salutations Jaywell ,

You are receiving this review on behalf of myself and the services offered within "The Chopping Block, the place to receive honest, insightful, and constructive reviews! Suggestions made herein are the product of my own making and are not influenced by or made in reflection of past reviews given to this item. All comments are guaranteed to be honest, constructive, encouraging, insightful and unbiased in every nature. Again, these are only my suggestions; you may use them at your own discretion or throw them out entirely. Thank you for this opportunity to give you my suggestions. Please enjoy!


General Comments:
The rating/genre selection all looks correct. There weren't any errors in your item information box either. *Smile* This story had a very shocking turn of events. From love to obsession to compulsion. However, I think there needs to be some progression between the levels. You have 95% love, 4% obsession, and then 1% compulsion. Give some depth to the character and let us know that "something isn't right with him." Because, things like this need to be led up to, not jumbled together at the last possible second. The murder comes out of nowhere. That's a good thing. But, it's so unforseen that it's jarring. And, that detracts from the experience of the overal read. The last paragraph of a story should leave the reader impacted. You could easily achieve this, but add some reason behind it. Slow it down and you'll have a very good read. Good job!

Grammar & Spelling:

*Note* His love
*Note6* Whose love? This isn't a very sound way to start out your story. I would suggest rewriting it.
*Note2* He loved Laney. or Eryck loved her.

*Note* big smile adorned her face

*Note* She was 16 and himself 19, they met online in a chatroom
*Note6* I find another creative way to reveal information about your characters. Simply reciting it is unengaging and boring. Draw us into the characters. Ask the relevance of the information. If it isn't needed to further the plotline at the given time, then I would place it somewhere else.

*Note* anyone like her, bright, funny, silly, immature, caring, trusting
*Note6* When introducing a list of traits like this, it's nice to place a colon instead of a comma.
*Note2* anyone like her: bright, funny, silly, immature, caring, and trusting.

*Note* caring, trusting, and she was like the balm on his hurts
*Note6* Aesthetically, this sentence would read better separately.
*Note2* caring, and trusting. She was like the balm on his hurts.

*Note* She whispered as she lean over the seat to breathe in his ear and she licked his earlobe and began lightly nibbling on it
*Note6* You have a lot going on in this sentence for something that can described in a lot fewer words.
*Note2* She whispered, leaning into him. Laney flicked her tongue along his earlobe before taking it between her white teeth, nibbling on it.

*Note* She laughed softly before turning
*Note6* Adverbs are little boogers that don't add anything to the story. I would advise not to use them because there's always a way to rewrite the sentence without using one.
*Note2* She gave a quiet laugh before turning

*Note* He glanced at [. . .] needing nothing else.
*Note6* This sentence is nice, but needs to be rewritten for clarity. Also, I think you're missing a word.
*Note2* He glanced at her, admiring her classic beauty. She only wore a light eye shadow and mascara around her inviting eyes. She didn't need anything else.

*Note* Straight nose [. . .] moved into smile.
*Note6* These sentences seem out of order and are also fragmented.
*Note2* He focused on her pink, bow-shaped lips that moved into a smile. Her eyes sparkled on either side of a small, straight nose.

and the smell of roses greeted them

*Note* “Oh….. my god…….., I love you.”
*Note6* Using the ellipsis isn't done correctly here. I wouldn't use it at all.
*Note2* "Oh my god," She gasped. "I love you!"

*Note* they began to kiss softly
*Note6* Another adverb that isn't needed. *Smile*

*Note* “Actually[,] I should be saying that.”

*Note* if you stay with me……..forever
*Note2* if you'd stay with me . . . forever?

*Note* the buldge in his pocket

*Note* he fingers closed over a handle
*Note6* She be "his."

*Note* With out a sound he pulled away
*Note6* Without is one word.


Plot & Background:
What an unexpected plot twist! I honestly didn't even think that was going to happen! I would explain a little more. Usually killers have a tendency to be very controlling, almost OCD. Also, the character's history is very vague.


Pacing & Voice:
Slow down and let us sink into the story. Build the suspense. Also, you spend several paragraphs setting up the scene, and only a couple of sentences to reveal the murder. Take your time.

You also tend to switch between present and past tense. Choose one and stick to it. Using both is very confusing!


Characterization:
You reveal the names of your characters very late. I advise you to give their names way earlier. Even when we learn their names, you make a habit of referring to them as he and she. This gets boring after the third repeated time. Spruce it up and find new ways to refer to your characters.

Eryck is very flat when he should be very interesting, especially when you take into account that he's a remorseless killer. Make him a dynamic character!

Laney is more depthy than your male character. We know alot about her physically. Let's explore her interior now.


Beginning:
I have a tendency of judging a story based on its first sentence. You didn't draw the reader into the story. The first sentence can make or break your story. Try to hook the reader and and draw them into the rest of the story.


End:
You had a great ending. It was nicely done. I would extend it to cover a few paragraphs rather than a few sentences. It would add suspense and balance to the rest of the story.


Rating: 3.0


Remember mistakes don't become errors unless they go uncorrected.


** Images For Use By Upgraded+ Only **
8
8
Review of untitled  
Rated: 13+ | (1.5)
Salutations vampauthor ,

You are receiving this review on behalf of myself and the services offered within "The Chopping Block, the place to receive honest, insightful, and constructive reviews! Suggestions made herein are the product of my own making and are not influenced by or made in reflection of past reviews given to this item. All comments are guaranteed to be honest, constructive, encouraging, insightful and unbiased in every nature. Again, these are only my suggestions; you may use them at your own discretion or throw them out entirely. Thank you for this opportunity to give you my suggestions. Please enjoy!


General Comments:
The first issues I had with this piece can be found in the general information given about the piece. Your current item description reads as follows: This is the first book I started, back in highschool and this is as far as ive got. I noted the capitalization mishap with ive which is also missing it's apostrophe. However, for what I'm about to propose, you won't have to fix that. I suggest you come up with a more creative description. This description sounds more like an Author's Note that is to be included within the piece, not an item's description. While it describes the state the piece is in, an item description is an author's chance to draw in a potential reader. It should hook the reader and force them to click and read more. A title and item description are the first impression your piece receives. If they're doing their job properly, then a reader will open and read more. If not, it will blend in with the vast quantity of other works on this vast site. This is your chance to make your piece stand out. Make readers want to read more. Also, by naming this piece untitled, your hindering your potential audience from discovering the contents within. Even if you have to put a working title for the piece until your decide a more efficient and longer lasting title, anything is better than simply untitled. Be creative. Another issue with the item info is that you've only used two of the three possible genre selections. Find another genre, however vague, that your piece could fit under. This will only gain more exposure and possible readers. It'll add your work on another page within the annals of the Writing.Com library.

Grammar & Spelling:

*Note* sounds of thunder echoing through the air
*Note6* For some reason this reads strangely to me. Sound reverberates off of surfaces. Air, unless it's some sort of atmospheric barrier, isn't much of a surface. It's more of substance which things pass through. With nothing to bounce off of, a sound cannot echo. So, in a sense, thunder would continue to travel through the air until it hits something. Only when hitting another surface can the thunder cause an echo. Choose a surface, something as simple as trees or buildings, for your thunder to bounce off of. You could even omit the world echo entirely.
*Note2*thunder roared across the strewn bodies laying in rivers of crimson.

*Note* The rage of each soul radiated
*Note6* Which souls? You say each, but these souls haven't been revealed to us until this instance. Thus, your word choice reads awkwardly. I suggest replacing it.
*Note2* The rage of departed souls radiated

*Note* through the field of battle
*Note6* I would replace some words to be descriptive.
*Note2* across the battlefield

*Note* bringing forth a storm of hatred
*Note6* There are some many words that could easily fit this definition. Sometimes it's best to tell your readers something in as few words as possible. And, since there are so many verbs that can fit this definition, you can be creative and describe exactly how the storm was brought about.
*Note2* birthing a storm of hatred.

*Note* Blood coated the emerald colored grass
*Note6* You have a bit of redundancy with emerald, a color, and colored. We usually say the blue colored sky. We simply say blue sky. Same true for your sentence. Also, if you omitted the word, it would strengthen your description. By stating the grass is emerald, we already subconsciously know that it's colored.
*Note2* Blood coated emerald grass.

*Note* the thick scent of copper floating into the atmosphere
*Note6* I would change some words around to make this sentence read more smoothly.
*Note2* the scent of copper hung thick in the air.

*Note* The scarlet liquid trickled
*Note6* I think the sentence would be way powerful without this word.
*Note2* Scarlet liquid trickled.

*Note* into the once crystal rivers and ponds, tainting their purity
*Note6* I suggest switching out some of your words to build a better sentence.
*Note2* into pristine rivers and ponds, tainting their purity.

*Note* The screams of the wounded and dying stretched upwards, the wind carrying them for miles
*Note6* For aesthetic purposes, I would rearrange this sentence.
*Note2* The wounded and dying stretched across the desolate plain, the wind carrying their screams for miles.

*Note* The smell of death lingered in
*Note6* This is a very vague description, and therefore is rather unengaging for your readers. What exactly is the smell of death? Let us experience it with your characters.
*Note2* The smell of decaying flesh and drying blood lingered in the stagnant air

*Note* the once refreshing air
*Note6* This word is needed. I suggest cutting it and getting a more direct sentence.
*Note2* the refreshing air

*Note* taking it all in with a grain of salt
*Note6* This is an overused phrase, and because a reader has read this a million other places, they lose the scope of the description. Cut it and replace it with something new and exciting.
*Note2* taking in the sight of twisted men decorated in blood. Everywhere he turned his sleep-weighed eyes looked into frozen faces of agony.

*Note* They have only lost two thousand of their own.
*Note6* I had a few issues with this sentence. The first being this reference to they. Who is they. Since you haven't mentioned anything about who they are, this is very vague. The other issues I had was the numbers. It sounds like a statement rather than a guess. Unless they've counted the dead of their enemy, numbers such as these are nearly impossible to know in a war and the chaos of the moment as you've described it to be.
*Note2* And our scouts have reported that Marich appears to have lost a little less than half of that.

*Note* Sir Jorgan[']s voice
*Note6* Forgot the apostrophe. The voice is possessed by Sir Jorgan. When a noun shows possession, an apostrophe s is needed.
*Note2* Sir Jorgan's voice

*Note* he couldn[']t quite place at that particular moment
*Note6* I had a couple of issues with this description. Couldn't is a contraction and needs an apostrophe. Also, the highlighted words should be omitted or changed.
*Note2* he couldn't place at the moment.

*Exclaim* The second in command of Marich blood he now fights for the Worthshire army after his family was banished by King Ordipay for high treason.
*Note6* This sentence is both awkwardly written and sums up something that needs more description. You've written into a single sentence what could be covered in an entire chapter or novel. I would either cut this sentence or describe it in more depth. Avoid an info dump though. Most readers skip right over them. My suggestion would be to just cut it. It doesn't add much anyway. We know they're at war.

*Note* "Very well[period] you are dismissed," Ordered King Ethan
*Note6* I would start a new sentence where indicated. Also, ordered needs to be put in lower-case.
*Note2* "Very well. You're dismissed!" ordered King Ethan.

*Exclaim* Being king of Worthshire. He is now fighting the Marich army whom is trying to take over his kingdom for its rich soil and plentiful forests. The rich foliage cried out as if in pain at the thought of being taken over by the cruel Marich
*Note6* This sentence is also written awkwardly. It, too, could be cut without losing anything detrimental to the story.

*Note* "RETREAT!" was yelled through the lines of the Worthshire solders.
*Note6* I would change this highlighted words to build a stronger sentence.
*Note2* A retreat was yelled through the lines of Worthshire soldiers.

*Note* As many men fell back, they were slain by the opposing force that continued relentlessly.
*Note2* As armor-clad men followed the order to retreat, they were slain by the Marich vanguard that sought to capitalize on their enemy's weakness.

*Note* "Sir. The men are unable to retreat they are being slain when the run." Pronounced Sir. Jorgan.
*Note6* Nothing like stating the obvious. *Smile* This is a little redundant and should be cut. It doesn't add anything; it only reiterates what was just said.

*Note* "Very well. Send a rider to the kingdom of Beleth and ask for assistance. Let the King know he will be paid well for his assistance," ordered King Ethan.
*Note2* "Send a rider to Beleth and ask for assistance. Let King Von know he will be rewarded for the aid he sends." Desperation filled the distant eyes of the King. Always a man of independence, King Ethan loathed assistance. But, he knew that without it, he wouldn't have independence over his kingdom. Not with the way Marich had turned the battle in their favor.

*Note* When the rider retreated to his destination
*Note2**Blue* A rider was dispatched to Beleth within moments of the order.

*Note* his horse is struck with an arrow and killed leaving him to run the rest of the way.
*Note2* The experienced arrow of a Marich archer found it target and thrust into the thick neck of the messenger's equine. It collapsed to the ground, throwing the rider from its back.

*Note* With the bloodbath behind him, all that is ahead is green fields and tall trees
*Note2* Pulling himself from the muddy soil, he gathered himself. His brown leggings were sprayed with water as they smacked through puddles of rain and blood. He ran toward the distant hills, far from the bloodshed behind him.

*Note* He crosses a small creek in the middle of a dark wooded area where there are animals drinking form its crystal water
*Note2* His feet barely found footing atop the slick rocks of the creek.

*Note* Further ahead is an open field with houses and castle far in the background. He could not see it yet but he knew it was there.
*Note2* He kept moving forward. In the distance he could make the stark outline of Beleth Castle.

*Note* Upon his arrival, he is welcome with a warm reception.
*Note2* A warm reception welcomed him within the gates of Beleth.

*Note* As he walked to the King[']s thrown room
*Note6* Forgot your apostrophe.
*Note2* As he walked into the King's thrown room

*Note* he notices the detractions hanging on the wall
*Note6* Using this form of notice changes your tense.
*Note2* he noticed the detractions hung against the otherwise cold walls.

*Note* Greens and reds fill the wall, hanging from the ceiling were chains holding wooden chandlers the floor clanked beneath his heavy feet
*Note6* I would omit what I highlighted. It's simply restating the detractions. I would also rearrange the latter part of this sentence. It's awkwardly written.
*Note2* Wooden chandeliers hung from the high-vaulted ceilings with thick chains. His hard-soled boots struck the marble floors with force and determination.

*Note* He noticed that the man showing him to the King now was bowing and he did the same then proceed to tell the King why he was there
*Note6* You've added a lot of words to state a simple movement. I would also get rid of the escort. Since he wasn't mentioned before this, he doesn't need to be here.
*Note2* Before King Von, the messenger knelt in respect and honor.

*Note* "Sir. I am here on behalf of King Ethan he is currently at war with the Mariches and is out numbered; he requests your assistance. He wishes me to inform you that you will be well paid for you assistance in the matter," Announces the noble rider.
*Note2* "Sire, I am before you on behalf of my King Ethan. As I know you are aware, Withershire is currently at war with Marich. We are vastly outnumbered and ask your assistance. King Ethan will greatly reward any efforts put forth by Beleth."

*Note* "Where is your king? Where is the battle young man?" asks king Von
*Note6* Make sure that every new speaker starts his/her dialogue with a new paragraph.
*Note2* "Withershire. Outnumbered? Indeed, Marich seems relentless in their attempts of spreading their vile sovereignty. Beleth offers any help King Ethan requires." King Von spoke with steady and wise eloquence.

*Note* "Sir. The battle is in the west a 30-min ride from here. My king is there as well," announces the rider.
*Note2* "The battle is near Withershire's nothern border. My lord awaits there.

*Note* "Very well go there and tell him I will send ten thousand of my finest men," ordered King Von
*Note2* "Ten thousand will join King Ethan by sunset. That is all I can do."

*Note* After the rider returned for Beleth he informed the commanding officer about what King Von had told him
*Note2* Upon his return, the Withershire commanders were made aware of Beleth's offer.

*Note* As the commanding officer turned to leave, an arrow flew past his head. He spun to see whom it hit only to see the rider was speared through his heart with the arrow and fell dead.
*Note2* Turning on his heels, a stray arrows thrust through his chest. Warm blood poured from his mouth as his hands wrapped around the shaft protruding from his ribcage.

*Exclaim* This section is getting very lengthy. These suggestions are only for the first half of the story. I will revisit this piece and review the second half shortly. *Smile* I think I've given you enough to think about until then. *Laugh*


Plot & Background:
The plot, in the first half, revolves around an epic war between the kingdoms of Withershire and Marich. The underlying story is very vague. We follow a nameless messenger on his journey to the nearby kingdom of Bethel to plead for assistance of the Beleth king, Von. The plot is simple. There doesn't seem to be, at this point I'm only speaking on the first half of your chapter, much depth to it. What are the motivations of war? You stated that Marich was invading Withershire to gain their rich soil. And, you leave it at that. I understand wars of resource and necessity, but there is always an undertone of another, more sinister, reason. Having great soil is a nice coverup and givens Marich a war of opportunity. Perhaps the ruling family of Marich has a vendetta against King Ethan's?

There were several instances in this piece where I asked myself where this was going. This piece needs a major edit. It's vague and very incoherent. You must build a strong foundation in order to build the story. You've gotten several key elements. You just need to weave them into an understandable story. *Smile*


Pacing & Voice:
The biggest distraction in this story is your careless switch of tenses. You move from present tense to past tense to future tense. Sometimes within the same sentence. This makes it awkward reading and distances the reader from the story you've created.

The other distraction was how you have these awesome sequences but give up on them and abandon them before you've even let the reader experience them. It's very jarring. One minute you're here and the next you're here. Slow down. Reveal the story a little at a time. It isn't a race to get to the end of the story. It should be something that the reader wants to never end. I know you've got a great story in there. You just have to piece together the elements.


Characterization:

I honestly don't know any of characters. The two kings and the messenger and Jorgen. That's it. Take some time and develop them. What do they look like? Personalities? What are their motivations? Once you know who they are, you can use them more efficiently to build plot suspense.


Setting:

You have grand settings but lack the descriptions to bring them to life before our eyes. They're first dimensional at best. *Frown* Paint us a picture. Let us in! We want in so bad, but until you open our eyes to your world we can't see.


Dialogue:

"Very well." That seems to be the repeated phrase everytime someone speaks. Remember: when a new speaker has something to say, start a new paragraph. You've group dialogue together in a paragraph. That makes it very hard to understand who is saying what. Once you know your characters, you can begin to understand how different people will speak different ways. Listen to people around you. You'll find that people don't speak so formally. They speak in broken and run-on sentences.


Use of Description:

Some of your descriptions are beautiful. At other times they weren't even there. It was like reading a two different pieces. I'd go through the work and add descriptions to things that don't come across. If we can't imagine where we are, we won't care about what's happening; we're too busy with trying to find out surroundings.


Beginning:
You started off very strong. I liked the opening. It was effective. You gradually fade from great narrative to jumbled words that seems thrown together. A story can't be written to read in a helter-skelter fashion. Take you time and flush it out. Let us leave feeling like, "Wow. That was so well written and developed. You can tell they really take pride in their writing to have something so polished." Like I've said, you've got the piece. Sew them together and show us your world. It'll take some work, but not a single masterpiece was made in one night. You've got talent. *Smile*


Rating: 1.5


Remember mistakes don't become errors unless they go uncorrected.


** Images For Use By Upgraded+ Only **
9
9
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
Salutations silverfeathers ,

You are receiving this review on behalf of myself and the services offered within "The Chopping Block, the place to receive honest, insightful, and constructive reviews! Suggestions made herein are the product of my own making and are not influenced by or made in reflection of past reviews given to this item. All comments are guaranteed to be honest, constructive, encouraging, insightful and unbiased in every nature. Again, these are only my suggestions; you may use them at your own discretion or throw them out entirely. Thank you for this opportunity to give you my suggestions. Please enjoy!

General Comments:
WOW. Just let me start by saying that was some of the best writing I've ever read on this site. I was immediately drawn into the story and kept in throughout the entire piece. I will definitely be a return reader. Great work. Below I have given you my thoughts and suggestions in individualized and specific sections.

Grammar & Spelling:
After a moment, she said, her voice softin a soft voice, "It wouldn't

to the large four-poster bed in the cente

he could use the full force of his own magic, couldand unleash the fury that

the foreign magic went on and on, errodingerroding away with

Her strawberry-blond hair had retained its rich luster

and tentatively placed a hand on his shoulder

and merely eyed him thoughtfully. "I want you

His confessioncomma while under the power of her compulsion spellcomma was enough to condemn him to an excruciating



Plot & Background:
I really like what you've created. Master Vaski is given a choice that he can't choose. That was a nice touch. I also like the way you've set the stage for future events and have described what is going on in the world of Asirov. There is a clear conflict and all ideas were coherent and developed to understanding for the reader. The only thing that confused me was what Master Vaski was doing before he got caught. Perhaps I missed it between the lines, but it really confused me. Was he sent to kill Lady Griflet, Lord Griflet, steal something, killing Lady Griflet's son, or kidnap him?

Pacing & Voice:
The pacing was rather flawless. You have a nice balance between narrative and dialogue which is a very hard thing to do. But, you've made it look rather easy and the outcome is astonishing. Another thing that I rather enjoyed was the fact that you showed rather than told me what was happening. Great job!

Characterization:
Your characters felt very real. You have clear differences and you've portrayed the characters by their personalities. Master Vaski acted like I though he should and you could truly sense the mother instinct in her to protect her family. That really was nicely done. I also felt the actions and reactions between the two were very lifelike. Keep it going.

Setting:
This was actually the only thing I felt that was rather lacking. I know it takes place within the chamberroom of Lord Griflet. There's a four-post bed with white sheets. And there's wood floors. Other than that I have no clue. What about the walls. The scent? I was also confused because the king has the plague but yet they're walking around near him like they can't contract it. Is there a magikal barrier or a net or something to catch the germs? I also know of Asirov and the Hundred Kingdoms vaguely. I really hope these are developed concepts further in the novel. You've set them up nicely.

Dialogue:
Very realistic and true to your characters. You've let the dialogue reflect the personalities Vaskia and Lady Griflet. Excellent. However, they seemed to speak rather formal sometimes and had the same speech pattern and word use. Try and switch it up by using different speech for different characters.

Use of Description:
Your descriptions, once again, really made the chapter a treasure. There weren't too many but there weren't few either. It was a nice balance and you gave description only as needed. Bravo.

Beginning:
The first sentence drew me in and held me. The narrative and dialogue kept me hooked. I thought it was a good place to start the story; right in the middle of conflict. As I said before, though, I was a tad confused as to what Vaski was doing there, though from his reputation I know it can't be something good.

End:
Your ending was very nice. Not a cliffhanger, but it defiantly left you wanting more. Vaski finally allowed the Binding to happen, though he didn't have much of a choice. I will read on, as I am now hooked, and find out if everything works out fine.

Cliché Watch:
Though this is in way cliche, the only thing that I found interesting was that Asirov instantly reminded me of Asimov and his Foundation trilogy. You have similar writing styles. I found that unique. Just try to avoid the whole boring medieval kingdom tales. And the son . . . try not to turn him into the one person who can save the entire world. He must have a flaw. Perhaps Vaski tries to poison his mind and use him against House Griflet by carefully crafted words. Regardless, great opening to what I can assume will be a great novel!

Rating: 4.5



Remember mistakes don't become errors unless they go uncorrected.
10
10
Review of In my borders  
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)


Salutations Jess Sherpa ,

You are receiving this review on behalf of myself and the services offered within "Invalid Item, the place to receive honest, insightful, and constructive reviews absolutely free! Suggestions made herein are the product of my own making and are not influenced by or made in reflection of past reviews given to this item. All comments are guaranteed to be honest, constructive, encouraging, insightful and unbiased in every nature. Again, these are only my suggestions; you may use them at your own discretion or throw them out entirely. Thank you for this opportunity to give you my suggestions. Please enjoy!

General Comments:
I actually found this story very entertaining. Halfway between a rant and fiction, I found it very refreshing. I loved your voice; it was tremendously helpful and hilarious. You have a new perspective for your piece and I truly enjoyed that above all. This is a unique way to write and very entertaining. There were a couple of times when I was totally agreeing with you. The characters and incidents in this piece are identical to the way they are in real life and I commend you on capturing them flawlessly. Great job. Write on!

What I liked:
*Bullet* unique perspective
*Bullet* rough but useful language

Grammar/Spelling

It's justthe people in them

They're there to friggin work in

In (Explicit A-word) Borderscomma I try to

there was nooooo

She KNEW Brendan liked her the WHOLE time I would emphasize the capitalized words with bold.

veins sticking out

seconds until one of them notices

and I get up, cuzbecause I don't have to take

Over at the coffee countercomma I get in line

Bbut when she turns around


Rating: 4.0

Remember mistakes don't become errors unless they go uncorrected.
11
11
Rated: ASR | (4.0)


Salutations AgainstRocks ,

You are receiving this review on behalf of myself and the services offered within "Invalid Item, the place to receive honest, insightful, and constructive reviews absolutely free! Suggestions made herein are the product of my own making and are not influenced by or made in reflection of past reviews given to this item. All comments are guaranteed to be honest, constructive, encouraging, insightful and unbiased in every nature. Again, these are only my suggestions; you may use them at your own discretion or throw them out entirely. Thank you for this opportunity to give you my suggestions. Please enjoy!

General Comments:
The teenage years can be some of the most difficult but rewarding years a person will ever go through. At 18, I can attest to that. Almost out of them, I am reminded of the tears and pains, but more apparent to me are the laughs and smiles I got to have. And I'm thankful that I never decided to end my years during spouts of depression. Much like your character, a complete stranger had more influence on my life than any friend or family member. I find that so peculiar. You've made good use of this concept and applied it flawlessly and at the perfect moment. I loved the natural flow this story has and the way in which you've set up the story. I think you should mention her location earlier on as to not confuse readers. You don't want anything to distract your readers from a piece like this. I also think you should give to some reasons as to why she's feeling like ending it all; certainly something or a great many things have upset her. Let us in her head! You've got a great start to a great emotional piece. Write on!

What I liked:
*Bullet* your premise
*Bullet* you also have a strong presence through your writing


Grammar/Spelling

I sat there: cold,omit comma add and aloneYou say "there." Where exactly is there?

my shouldersperiod and I sobbed asSobbing, I clasped my knees tight towardsagainst my body

My pale white skin, dripping was peppered with raindrops from the raindownpour.

looked across the horizoncomma I felt like

Pushing my hair asidecomma I stared

"My name's Michellecomma" She said, her voice passionate,period "Pplease, get downperiod"

Rating: 4.0

Remember mistakes don't become errors unless they go uncorrected.
12
12
Rated: E | (3.0)


Salutations askpaddy ,

You are receiving this review on behalf of myself and the services offered within "Invalid Item, the place to receive honest, insightful, and constructive reviews absolutely free! Suggestions made herein are the product of my own making and are not influenced by or made in reflection of past reviews given to this item. All comments are guaranteed to be honest, constructive, encouraging, insightful and unbiased in every nature. Again, these are only my suggestions; you may use them at your own discretion or throw them out entirely. Thank you for this opportunity to give you my suggestions. Please enjoy!

General Comments:
This story was very cute. I loved the storyline. I liked the way the kids were taught to fear the Tree but helped a Fairy who lived under it. However, this presents a problem. You say that if the tree were cut down, the fairies would be set free; this means they are trapped underneath it. If they are trapped beneath the tree, how is this one able to come out and ask for food? I also think you need to reedit all of your dialogue. You should spruce it up by using using varying dialogue tags such as replied, stated, questioned, yelled. It's very boring to read he said, she said all the time; it actually makes your dialogue less effective and oftentimes a reader will just skip over it. You want a reader to read all of your work. I also felt as though your characters were not described very well and I therefore had no connection with your characters. What do they look like? I noticed that they had to gather firewood but yet had to wash dishes. Are they from a rural area with a stove that needs fire? If so, you have so many ways you could describe their setting but you've not done so. As the story reads right now, you've only got characters and settings that serve to move the story along. Make your settings and characters memorable and no one will be able to forget about your story. Now, imagine that! I think by reediting parts of this story, you're going to have a good story. Write on!

What I liked:
*Bullet* your storyline is unique

What Needs Work:
*Bullet* dialogue tags other than "said"
*Bullet* physical and character descriptions--- paint us a picture to read

Grammar/Spelling

and not so far awaycomma there lived

Sheppeycomma the family dogcomma enjoyed

start shaking madly to dry himselfperiod and Poppet and Teddy would run

Nowcomma he just lies

That nightcomma Dad sat them

with all his doggy friends up in Hheaven

Poppet had an ideacomma

“Yeah let’scomma” said Teddy.

cost a lot of moneycomma” explained Mum.

hem to take Speedy, the family donkeycomma up to the

Flighty, the mountain eaglecomma circled high

The cClearing was not

That made it a very sSpecial tree.

They looked around but could see no one

Suddenlycomma Teddy spotted a tiny man standing under the sSpecial tree.

with a pointy up hat and pointyed out boots

“What’s wrong?” said Poppetperiod

“Ohcomma dear me.

for children to see meperiod

“Butcomma what’s wrong?

bit about fairies saidcomma “I thought fairies just had to wish and dinner would appearperiod

and I’ve used up all of mine.

eddy saidcomma “Maybe we could save you some of our dinnerperiod

I’d be ever so gratefulperiod

up here after our dinnercomma” said Poppet.

Let me thinkperiod

to Poppet and Teddy he saidcomma “I’ve got it, I’ve got it!"

“ On New Years Evecomma I get my

“Don’t tell me your wish just hold hands, Llook into my eyes and make your wish.

Of coursecomma they couldn’t

a lovely dinnerperiod

Under the tablecomma

We won’t be very longperiod

Suddenly like magiccomma

moved around to the far

“Careful now,carefulperiod” he saidperiod

about your wish,period Ssorry

open the back doorcomma your wish will

“No, no,” said Poppetperiod

or our wish won’t come trueperiod

At lastcomma the Cuckoo sprung out

youthey had ever seen.

Rating: 3.0

Remember mistakes don't become errors unless they go uncorrected.
13
13
Review of Black Cat Cafe  
Rated: E | (3.5)


Salutations Graham Crowe ,

You are receiving this review on behalf of myself and the services offered within "Invalid Item, the place to receive honest, insightful, and constructive reviews absolutely free! Suggestions made herein are the product of my own making and are not influenced by or made in reflection of past reviews given to this item. All comments are guaranteed to be honest, constructive, encouraging, insightful and unbiased in every nature. Again, these are only my suggestions; you may use them at your own discretion or throw them out entirely. Thank you for this opportunity to give you my suggestions. Please enjoy!

General Comments:
What a shocking ending! I've never read a story with that being the ending. And for that, you've earned my eternal gratitude; you've found a way to stay from the cliches that surround the genre of magic and fantasy. I was a little worried about the tavern and the one guy with a cloaked hood sitting away from everyone. That was cliche but how you used it was not. I think you've got some pretty interesting characters; but I feel distance between them and myself. You need to find a way to connect the two. How do you do that? By characterization. You've already got some descriptions--- robust, wiry--- now it's time to expand on those words to encompass what it means to be robust and wiry. What are some characteristics of being robust or wiry? For example, someone whose wiry is going to be bouncing off the walls and speaking a million miles-per-hour; he'd be a funny character to read about. Try to do that with all of your characters. You've got a great frame for this story but you've got to fill it in using you characters. Why do all of the spells and hexes miss him? Is he strong enough to repel him? Do they hit him but have no effect on him/magic tolerant? Think about these questions and look at your characters. Right now, they're very dry and static. Liven them up. Otherwise the readers are going to feel this way: Hmm, the characters are sinking. Serves them right. Now maybe some characters with depth can grow in their place. That's dangerous. With some rethinking about your characterization, you're going to have to start of a good story. Keep up the good work and write on!

What I liked:
*Bullet* twist ending
*Bullet* basic frame of the story

What Needs Work:
*Bullet* characterization

Grammar/Spelling

the upstairs was crowded too with hundreds of drunken men.semi-colon aAll with a pint of

He had a waiter's uniform

of their cupscomma leaving

“Just a coffee.comma” replied tothe stranger.

He staggered backwards.

put to sleep by a rather strong spell,period

Tthis answer came from a particularly wiry man

(Explicit D-word).comma hHe thought as he walked over to the window.

curtains and saw nothing but blackdarkness.

men of the bar,periodWwhat time is it?

Nocomma I think it's about noon.”

Tthe waiter stroked his

Hhe stumbled as the

Suddenlycomma they heard it,semi-colon the man from the

“You guys are idiots.comma” he said softly

from many places at once

All at oncecomma the air was

nearby man who was too drunk to realize that

“We're sinking.”

on a soggycomma wet mound next to a gaping

Rating: 3.5

Remember mistakes don't become errors unless they go uncorrected.
14
14
Review of Escape from hell  
Rated: 18+ | (3.5)

Salutations bentonar ,

You are receiving this review on behalf of myself and the services offered within "Invalid Item, the place to receive honest, insightful, and constructive reviews absolutely free! Suggestions made herein are the product of my own making and are not influenced by or made in reflection of past reviews given to this item. All comments are guaranteed to be honest, constructive, encouraging, insightful and unbiased in every nature. Again, these are only my suggestions; you may use them at your own discretion or throw them out entirely. Thank you for this opportunity to give you my suggestions. Please enjoy!

General Comments:
What a tragic tale with a heart-warming ending. I wished all kidnappings had this type of ending! It's heart-wrenching to hear of them, and even worse when more times than not they end up in death. You've woven a good and engaging story. However, there are a couple of instances when you use cliche phrases to describe condition and feelings. You're story is so good and you should find different way to say them. Being true in nature, your story should have the power to convey feelings without having to rely on phrases used by other people. Dig deep into how your characters are feeling. Once you know your characters and put yourself in their place, you'll be able to describe how they feel without having to say scared to death or my heart was pounding so hard that it felt as though it was going to explode. I also felt that some pieces within this story were missing. What brought back all of the memories of her capture? Perhaps she sees a young girl walking alone on the street and she yells at the girl to never walk alone. This serves as both characterization and a trigger to start a flashback of her kidnapping. Adding simple things like this will make your story more complete and appealing. I would also think about adding a reunion scene in here just to give it some finality and closure. Great story. You write well. Write on!

What I liked:
*Bullet* storyline
*Bullet* ending

What Needs Work:
*Bullet* filling in gaps
*Bullet* cliche phrases

Grammar/Spelling

to muster allof her courage

It was now,omit comma the moment of truth,period Tthe time had finally

she was free eventuallythis is very confusing; have no idea what you mean

Butcomma it wasn't over yet

would be fatal,semi-colon it would be her doom

Butcomma that was not going to happen

AndA a million thoughts drifted

remembered how she got had been kidnapped about a

Sshe hadfought desperatly to break free to no avail;comma the endured merciless beatings she had received for not complying to the monstruous things she was subjected to;comma the spent long hours of humiliation and agony;comma theand had lived with the fear she experienced day after

Why has God allowed that this terrible ordeal to happened to me?

but there iswas something even more drastic and

she had been in: the notion that of the thousands of young women

and girls like herself who haved gone through the same

or similar brutalities;comma some of them didn'thadn't even makde it

were captive for as long as they produced a profit, and after that, theythen were discarded like a used item that serves no purpose anymore. no longer served a purpose.

she was dead scaredscared to death I would try to stay clear of cliche feeling descriptions like this because your piece is so much better than having to rely on them

Butcomma she had to make it to safety

Nowcomma she could hear the steps again more distinctly,semi-colon so they were real

informed aboutnearly three months ago

even though they never found the body no body have ever been found.

a dull voice said: "Hhello. "

"Mmommy, it's me,period I was kidnapped."

"Rebecca, oh my God!

We'll come and pick you up,period Wwe'll take the first flight to Los Angeles

Rating: 3.5/c}

Remember mistakes don't become errors unless they go uncorrected.
15
15
Review of No Coal for Bobby  
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Salutations DelusionsOfGrandeur ,

You are receiving this review on behalf of myself and the services offered within "Invalid Item, the place to receive honest, insightful, and constructive reviews absolutely free! Suggestions made herein are the product of my own making and are not influenced by or made in reflection of past reviews given to this item. All comments are guaranteed to be honest, constructive, encouraging, insightful and unbiased in every nature. Again, these are only my suggestions; you may use them at your own discretion or throw them out entirely. Thank you for this opportunity to give you my suggestions. Please enjoy!

General Comments:
I thought this was such a fun and entertaining Holiday piece. I found myself laughing and smiling the entire time reading it. I can remember trying to wait up and catch a glimpse of Santa myself. Though, I don't think I ever tried to capture him; I should've though. *Smile* This was very clever. Does this story spawn from a personal incident? Your descriptions and use of language were nearly perfect! The only problem I had was with the lack of character description of Bobby. Other than that, I thought your writing was very good. You should try to get this published in a Christmas issue of a magazine; it'd easily be considered I'd bet. Great job! Happy and safe Holidays!

What I liked:
*Bullet* great story idea
*Bullet* humor

Grammar/Spelling

It was Christmas Eve,omit comma and Bobby was busy

been sent to his room,semi-colon

Once againcomma it was Christmas Eve,omit comma and his parents were asleep

He’d been working on the trap that would allow him to trap, humiliate, and eventually kill Santa Claus from the moment he was released from his hellish school. Working on the trap that would allow him to trap, humiliate, and eventually kill Santa Claus

Hecomma too,

Butcomma there would be no

boy of six,omit comma and soon began to grow

Bobby leapedleapt from behind

shone in through the single window in his bedroomperiod He

of his traps waswere gone

Rating: 4.5

Remember mistakes don't become errors unless they go uncorrected.
16
16
Review of William the Great  
Rated: ASR | (4.0)
Salutations zombies ,

You are receiving this review on behalf of myself and the services offered within "Invalid Item, the place to receive honest, insightful, and constructive reviews absolutely free! Suggestions made herein are the product of my own making and are not influenced by or made in reflection of past reviews given to this item. All comments are guaranteed to be honest, constructive, encouraging, insightful and unbiased in every nature. Again, these are only my suggestions; you may use them at your own discretion or throw them out entirely. Thank you for this opportunity to give you my suggestions. Please enjoy!

General Comments:
Great job on this story! You write very well. I must say, I honestly had no idea why you had two different POVs in your story; I was like, "Where is this going?" But, that's a good thing. The story held my attention and made me want to read more to figure it out. Your descriptions are very crisp and vivid, yet your characters seem very bland themselves. They have no depth or development. I have no idea what they look like and only vaguely what they feel like. I think you should work on describing your characters the way you've effectively described their surroundings. Have you thought about perhaps expanding the story? I'd keep the ending the same, it worked great and what a twist!, but feel in the gaps with more exposition. Some of your transitional sections only last a few sentences; give reason as to why there needs to be a transition here. You've got the start of a great story and by fixing these very minor edits, you're going to have a top-notch piece that will gain exposure through word-of-mouth as a great read because of its premise and characters. Write on!

What I liked:
*Bullet* use of language
*Bullet* world within a world concept

What Needs Work:
*Bullet* transitions are very harsh

Grammar/Spelling

his parent's car.comma hHis chin nearly against his chest in silent protest.

He hated Grandma's house,semi-colon it always had an odd smell and at elevenhyphonyearshyphonold he was always shuffled

...Meanwhile, a truly great ruler This is a very sloppy transition. Try using something like this:

*                    *                    *


nearly seventy years of inprosperity and peace.

He was loved by all and seen as a hero to many

In his infinite wisdomcomma he knew

He was very old and, yes as he had long ago accepted, probably dying

he felt was not for himself,semi-colon it was for his great country.

...Back at his grandmother's house,again, very hard transition

It was Definitely a tacky item anywhere in

The antique television was droning on there in front of him

coffee table between the couch and t.vTV or T.V.

A grandfatherhyphonclock stood on the remaining wall

...King Telmah walked out intoone more hard transition

The Ggolden Aage was coming to a close

...William put the nutcrackerlast transition

Butcomma as he swallowed it

Rating: 4.0

Remember mistakes don't become errors unless they go uncorrected.
17
17
Review of The Dark Candle  
Rated: 13+ | (3.5)
Salutations Bark ,

You are receiving this review in response to your request made in "Invalid Item, the place to receive honest, insightful, and constructive reviews absolutely free! Suggestions made herein are the product of my own making and are not influenced by or made in reflection of past reviews given to this item. All comments are guaranteed to be honest, constructive, encouraging, insightful and unbiased in every nature. Again, these are only my suggestions; you may use them at your own discretion or throw them out entirely. Thank you for this opportunity to give you my suggestions. Please enjoy!

General Comments:
I found your piece very entertaining. The storyline is both engaging, suspenseful, and haunting. However, I feel a giant distance between myself and the character you've created. He has no depth, no personality other than talking to the candle and laughing at it, and no physical description. He's very static. I feel he has a strong motivation toward lighting the candle, with the deaths of both parents seemingly because of it, but I feel as though he doesn't do anything about it; it's a desire that goes unfulfilled. I think by adding some descriptions of the setting, character, and actions, you can paint a vivid picture for this mysteriously dark piece. You've got great premise and the storyline itself is very promising. Whenever you use dialogue, you should start a new paragraph. It was very confusing reading three different people's dialogue within the same paragraph. I loved the candle thing. It was very original and tantalizing. The whole disappearing, throwing it away it reappears was cliche. I would stray from that because the rest of your piece isn't cliche. What if Bart were to cut the wick, and then melt down the candle without every lighting the wick? Have him strategize over how to defeat it. With these easy edits, you're piece has the potential to be award-winning in the contest.

What I liked:
*Bullet* storyline

What Needs Work:
*Bullet* narrative/exposition (descriptions)
*Bullet* grammar editing

Grammar/Spelling

Wwritten for Ordinary Horror November ContestI would also have this italicized

splattered everywhere,semi-colon a huge pool of congealed

with object horror and maybe just a little slight curiosity.

of his eyecomma Bart saw the candle that hadstarted the whole

never light thethat candle Bart

When he asked whycomma the reply was always the samecolon “When

“When Tarmingrator comescomma you want

He had never understood what that meant Change the quotation into an italicized thought Ddon’t suppose that I ever will either.

What the (explicit) do you two think

As they scurried out of the housecomma she grabbed the box of matches out of his hand with such force,omit comma add that his hand hadhurt for three days after that.

As they left out the kitchen door she saidcomma “Bart Ethancomma if I ever find you trying to light that candle againcomma I will tan

was standing in the kitchencomma her face was pale and her hands were shaking.

still had the bBox of matches in

had been one burnt match stickmatchstick lying on the

father had just diedcomma leaving him alone

“You stinking piece of crap!” Bart screamed

“I'm going to destroy

He had never felt so alone in his lifesemi-colon and he cried himself

Dad had diedcomma Bart asked himcomma “Do you know

After thatcomma Bart gave up asking for answers. At the timecomma he thoughtcomma “Someday I will throw that thing out.”

One daycomma Bart had told himselfcomma “I will throw the

That afternooncomma he sat on the front porch steps

“Wellcomma that is that and I

The next daycomma he moved

When he went to bed that nightcomma it was sitting on the coffee table

The next morningcomma it was sitting on the table

The bed roombedroom, the closet, bath roombathroom, basement,semi-colon it did not matter where he put it the next daycomma it would be back on the kitchen

“Well candlecomma what do you think of that? Bet you never thought of being a red candlecomma

to clean up the table topcomma he noticed there was

a faint writing on the candlecomma “Hey nowcomma what is this?”

mention of the name the writing seemed to darken and take on a

The milk in his cereal bowl was spoiledcomma causing the cereal

and headed up stairsupstairs

“Mancomma I feel like I have been working for hourscomma” yawned Bart. When his head hit the pillowcomma he was already asleep.

“Oh Godcomma that was horrible,period I wish I could remember the dreamcomma” thought Bart.

“(Explicit)comma might as well

Stumbling into the kitchencomma his eyes snapped wide

be looking at the flameperiod

To Bart’s surprisecomma he realized

Oh my Godcomma the writing on the candle is pulsing a dull dark red!

the single pin prickpinprick

With mounting horrorcomma Bart realized

in his mindsemi-colon yet the

Ddier dem grertperiod

The room exploded in red lightcomma forcing Bart’s eyes shut.

reflected off the beastcomma making the room even

“So insectcomma are you the last on the list? SPEAK NOW! '"I would emphasize this with either italics or bolding, not caps

“Yescomma I am the last on the list.”

Rating: 3.5

Remember mistakes don't become errors unless they go uncorrected.
18
18
Review of Random Potions  
Rated: ASR | (3.0)
Salutations daisuke-chan ,

You are receiving this review in response to your request made in "Invalid Item, the place to receive honest, insightful, and constructive reviews absolutely free! Suggestions made herein are the product of my own making and are not influenced by or made in reflection of past reviews given to this item. All comments are guaranteed to be honest, constructive, encouraging, insightful and unbiased in every nature. Again, these are only my suggestions; you may use them at your own discretion or throw them out entirely. Thank you for this opportunity to give you my suggestions. Please enjoy!

General Comments:
You have very nice dialogue. I enjoyed it very much. But, dialogue seems to overwhelm all of the other aspects of your story. There is very little substance to accompany your lines of talking. Narrative should give descriptions, tell setting, express feeling, etc. I only know that one of the girls is an orphan and the other is red-headed. We need more than that if we're to feel anything for your characters. You do have nice interactions with the characters you've created, but I have no idea what they look like other than what I stated above. This is an easy problem to fix. You also need to describe where your characters are at, their surroundings. I don't know what the Academy looks like, and subsequently don't have a need to care about anything that happens in it. While reading it, I kept thinking to mysefl, "Oh, a description would be extremely useful here!" Also, this read like a twist of Harry Potter. The orphan/magic school/rival thing was her premise and twist. You should consider trying to find your own niche for this story. You've created wonderful characters, but you use them in a manner that's already been used time and time again. What is different about your school than Rowlings'? How are characters different than those in her novels? How was she orphaned? Is magic a born-gift or does it have to be developed? By creating your own world, you can begin to create your own world and stray from the cliche things that haunt us all. I do believe your writing is good, but its tied down and suffocated by small editing fixes. Don't get discouraged, though. You've certainly got the skill! Write on!

What I liked:
*Bullet* dialogue
*Bullet* character interactions/relationships

What Needs Work:
*Bullet* narrative/exposition
*Bullet* finding your own spin

Grammar/Spelling

“Come on Trace, if you don’t hurry up we’ll be late. Stop daydreaming and start walking faster.” "Come on Trace! Stop daydreaming and start walking faster. We're going to be late if you don't hurry up!"

“Oh calm downcomma Ally,period Tthose old teachers aren’t going to be anywhere near the class roomclassroom for a couple of minutes. Besidescomma who would

“Fineperiod Yyou winperiod"

Come oncomma we’ll be late.

“Wellhyphon wellhyphon well,period Llook who decided to grace us with hertheir presencecolon carrot head and the orphan. I thought you weren’t coming.”

I knew who it was.semi-colon Natalia Kingstan

to her faithful followerscomma she was everything Ally and I weren’t;colon rich, popular, beautiful, and blonde

“Ohcomma I’m sorry there

And by the waycomma your tie is crooked.

And by the waycomma your braid is crooked as well

as the twohyphon foot hyphonlong braid that

“Thereperiod Iit's all better.”

Oh yeahcomma I forgot you are

You can't do magic

and walked towards the door

“You will regret thatperiod Yyou can be certain.”

girls started to be impatientcomma almost all of them were tapping their fingers on a desk periodor something like that

After a couple of minutescomma she walked

“Perhapsperiod Wwhat does that

“Ohcomma nothing too obviousperiod” I said

You hadn’t tested that yet!!!!

she got a nasty causecase? of Montezuma’s Revenge

As I rubbed my headcomma I could tell that she was trying not to laugh.

“Aww come oneperiod Aadmit itcomma you think this prank is pretty funny. Huh?”

Rating: 3.0

Remember mistakes don't become errors unless they go uncorrected.
19
19
Review of The Big Game  
Rated: ASR | (4.5)
Salutations The Milkman ,

You are receiving this review on behalf of myself and the services offered within "The Chopping Block, the place to receive honest, insightful, and constructive reviews absolutely free! Suggestions made herein are the product of my own making and are not influenced by or made in reflection of past reviews given to this item. All comments are guaranteed to be honest, constructive, encouraging, insightful and unbiased in every nature. Again, these are only my suggestions; you may use them at your own discretion or throw them out entirely. Thank you for this opportunity to give you my suggestions. Please enjoy!

General Comments:
Short but very good! I really liked this poem because it's "off-the-beaten-path" so to speak. Everyone writes above love, depression, etc. but then one reads this poem about the Super Bowl and you rediscover your love for rhyming narratives. I thought your rhyme-scheme was well executed and your use of centering to be profoundly artistic and aesthetically pleasing. Good job! Write on!

What I liked:
*Bullet* rhyme-scheme
*Bullet* premise of poem

Grammar/Spelling

the stadium quiets to a roar.I really liked this line. I loved how you used quiet to compliment roar; very creative even if you didn't intend it to be!

remember the; I believe adding this word makes the stanza both easier to read and compliments the flow you've set with the poem MVP's

I noticed the rhyme-scheme was missing from your last lines, so I tried to correct this:

the season is overending.

football will be no moreyearly pending.


Rating: 4.5

Remember mistakes don't become errors unless they go uncorrected.
20
20
Review of Black Ice  
Rated: 18+ | (2.5)
Salutations Francis Isaac Davenport ,

You are receiving this review on behalf of myself and the services offered within "The Chopping Block, the place to receive honest, insightful, and constructive reviews absolutely free! Suggestions made herein are the product of my own making and are not influenced by or made in reflection of past reviews given to this item. All comments are guaranteed to be honest, constructive, encouraging, insightful and unbiased in every nature. Again, these are only my suggestions; you may use them at your own discretion or throw them out entirely. Thank you for this opportunity to give you my suggestions. Please enjoy!

General Comments:
I thought the story progressed well. However, there were several factors that have detracted from the greatness of this piece; it yearns to break free. First, your spacing is very troublesome. Using paragraphs greatly helps readers interpret and read your item. You also use quotations but don't use the correct symbols. It was a harsh transition between narrative to "Oh, someone's talking. I believe that by fixing these small issues, you're piece will generate more readers and better ratings.

What I liked:
*Bullet* story progression
*Bullet* descriptions

What Needs Work:
*Bullet* spacing
*Bullet* dialogue marks

Grammar/Spelling

Her giftcomma as her father called itcomma kicked in. "(Explicit F-word)," she said as she put the pillow over her head

hated when she used bad languagecomma even though she had a pottyhyphonmouth.

It reminded her of her mothercomma Francescomma who also had a pottyhyphonmouth.{

b}Tthere was nothing in the world that

thought to be like her mother Frances,semi-colon not that her mother was a bad person

what kid gets to pick their parent.question mark

She was not going to get any sleepperiod Sso comma she might as well study for her impending exam

when she had the most wonderful dad in the world.question mark

John G.Davenport was just the opposite of his wife. He was a man of few words.comma gGiven too much thought on even the most trivial subject.

a slow hmmmm you should put this in italics. You can do this by placing {i.} before hmm and then {/i.} after it; just take out the periods within the brackets.

as he looked up at the

Then slowlycomma he would give

wish you had been theresemi-colon even though most of the people that were there ended up in Herman Keiferscomma Herman Keifer was a very old hospital on the north side of Detroit.

knew it was going to be bad,period Very bad.

Lt. Davenport's premonition had been

She was getting paranoid.semi-colon Tthe same paranoidparanoia that had kept her alive for ten years on the force and two years in the toughest unit in the toughest precinct you use this word twice to describe different things within a very close proximity, making both instances seem less than they are. Try another adjective such as demanding, roughest, bloody, etc.

everyone who still had their teeth and quite a few who didn’tcomma called her Frankie.

called her sir unless she could herehear them, then they called her ma'am.

Frances Unique Ddavenport wanted badly to give her father

Butcomma she had failed at

measure up to her father's dreams of having a son following

"Lieutenant Davenport you have not kept our agreement." The voice over the phone was slow and deliberate. "We must do something about that now mustenmustn't we. In exactly thirty minutescomma Sacred Portals will be no more. Goodbye lieutenant".

c:red}"One David one"commashe spat into the

"Yes One David One."

ecology nuts in the Ssave the Wwhale commercials

Not normal peoplecomma but

If he ran an ad on a t-shirt

colon “Save aA (Explicit W-word) for of such were some of us."

way he lookslooked over

Rating: 2.5

Remember mistakes don't become errors unless they go uncorrected.
21
21
Rated: 13+ | (3.5)
Salutations Dr Matticakes Myra ,

You are receiving this review on behalf of myself and the services offered in "The Chopping Block, the place to receive honest, insightful, and constructive reviews absolutely free! Suggestions made herein are the product of my own making and are not influenced by or made in reflection of past reviews given to this item. All comments are guaranteed to be honest, constructive, encouraging, insightful and unbiased in every nature. Again, these are only my suggestions; you may use them at your own discretion or throw them out entirely. Thank you for this opportunity to give you my suggestions. Please enjoy!

General Comments:
This story was very relaxing to read; the wording matched what was happening in the story perfectly. I really enjoyed the duality there. I also liked your approach at setting. I thought the plane worked very well and your characters interacted well within the space. I also thought that the irony of having Phoenix in first class with ripped jeans and grungy clothing was a nice use of characterization. Spelling was a little problemsome, but that is easily fixable. This was a great short story with a great use of the kb size alloted.


What I liked:
*Bullet* simplistic writing tone made the story very relaxing
*Bullet* realistic dialogue

What Needs Work:
*Bullet* spelling- I suggest putting your stories on a word processor before posting them; that way, you can do a spellcheck

Grammar/Spelling


(ok peeps this is made up super celeb who starred in a made up film and is a made up singer. just thought it would be best to get that cleared up) This is an author note. Try setting it up like this:

Author Note: This story involves a made up super celeb who starred in a made up film and is a made up singer.

Her diary had said the wrong thingcomma which was not too surprising as

But for a changecomma she was

upgrade tospacethat seat for one

In her eyes that looked likespacean alright dealperiod and Ssocomma she had jumped

and a sloppy jacketcomma she entered the first class

twenty hyphonsixhyphon year old she still found hersilfherself retching in

passenger for the fristfirst time

until that aimiableamiable hostess comes

may iI ask where you are destined."

twenty hyphonsevenhyphon years old with a history

back his career.period Ooriginally he had been in the Beacon

through a fase phase of only playing

As the plane landed commaTom slipped on

He wanted to stay as inconspicuous as he could.

Rating: 3.5

Remember mistakes don't become errors unless they go uncorrected.
22
22
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Salutations xoTiaLynne ,

You are receiving this review in response to your request made in "The Chopping Block, the place to receive honest, insightful, and constructive reviews absolutely free! Suggestions made herein are the product of my own making and are not influenced by or made in reflection of past reviews given to this item. All comments are guaranteed to be honest, constructive, encouraging, insightful and unbiased in every nature. Again, these are only my suggestions; you may use them at your own discretion or throw them out entirely. Thank you for this opportunity to give you my suggestions. Please enjoy!

General Comments:
WOW! Let me start by saying wow! This piece was utterly amazing. I loved the concept of duel characters working toward what the other has; what a great concept! Your use of simple language made the story very easy to read and therefore even more engaging. I loved the ending; though sad for Sean, it was unique to see them succeed in their desires. Congratulations! This is now my favorite item.

What I liked:
*Bullet* storyline
*Bullet* simple language allowed the character to be immersed

What Needs Work:
*Bullet* Your spacing between paragraphs needs to be looked at. Put a space between new paragraphs or indent them. *Smile*

Grammar/Spelling

She'd have just as enjoyable of a time would've have an equally enjoyable time at home; after all

walk to the nearest gas station, andsemi-colon she could call

Rating: 4.5

Remember mistakes don't become errors unless they go uncorrected.
23
23
Rated: E | (4.5)
Salutations pattonamd ,

You are receiving this review in response to your request made in "The Chopping Block, the place to receive honest, insightful, and constructive reviews absolutely free! Suggestions made herein are the product of my own making and are not influenced by or made in reflection of past reviews given to this item. All comments are guaranteed to be honest, constructive, encouraging, insightful and unbiased in every nature. Again, these are only my suggestions; you may use them at your own discretion or throw them out entirely. Thank you for this opportunity to give you my suggestions. Please enjoy!

General Comments:
I thought this poem had a very free and nice rhyme-scheme; it flowed together very well. I love when poems can make you think without actually knowing you are and your use of simple words to rhyme, though not usually my forte, actually worked very well. I thought that the story you told was a great idea for a poem. Write on!

What I liked:
*Bullet* rhyme-scheme
*Bullet* storytelling in poetic verse

Grammar/Spelling

to the places that I go

to see whom I saw

Rating: 4.5

Remember mistakes don't become errors unless they go uncorrected.
24
24
Review of A very bad day  
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Salutations DayDream-please RnR ,

You are receiving this review in response to your request made in "The Chopping Block, the place to receive honest, insightful, and constructive reviews absolutely free! Suggestions made herein are the product of my own making and are not influenced by or made in reflection of past reviews given to this item. All comments are guaranteed to be honest, constructive, encouraging, insightful and unbiased in every nature. Again, these are only my suggestions; you may use them at your own discretion or throw them out entirely. Thank you for this opportunity to give you my suggestions. Please enjoy!

General Comments:
What a truly beautiful but heart-wrenching piece. The tragedy in this world is the loss of innocence by caused by those who sickened to steal it and find shelter in it. I think your piece is an exemplum of self-salvation and the protection of innocence. What a strong a message. I loved your descriptions and sudden action-packed sequences. I thought that the quick transition between peace and chaos made the reader get a sense of realism; the truth in life is that the transition can happen that quickly and often does. Great job, and after running through and doing some soft editing, I would definitely suggest trying to get it published in a magazine or other medium,

What I liked:
*Bullet* trueness of story progression
*Bullet* lifelike descriptions

What Needs Work:
*Bullet* I would try to establish your character a littler earlier in the story because the reader doesn't necessarily connect with Lippman until the end where he is confronted with the boy. What's special about your character? Is he a man just out to save himself and his comrades? Or has he had a similar situation happened before? Perhaps go a little more in depth about how the boy reminds him of his little brother.

Grammar/Spelling
He’d been there long enough to distinguish exactly {which type of gun he could hear when fired

You got used to the background noise being explosions, either real ones or tests, and the shaking of the ground semi-colon andthe percussion of mortars were now a lullaby

In the times of true silence, everyone seemed to be waiting for the next shot,omit comma insert the word "or" the next bomb,omit comma to go off and give you something to listen to. begin new paragraphThe bomb squad guys always looked tired.

But he hadn’t even seen his daughter. omit period She’d who would be two months old next week. His son, Tyler, hadn’t been even started crawling when he left. And nNow comma Tyler was running and getting into everything, according to his frazzled wife.

Every time Lippman had the chance to call home, she asked what he was doing there to fill the days, but he always lied and everytime she asked he would lie.

Even though he knew she was trying to be supportive, she worried enough even when thinking he did nothing but watch radar screens,semi-colon which he did in between the raids and door-breaking.

Butcomma so far this mission was quiet enough he could to write home about it.

to stuff his bulk behind a doorhyphonframe.

showering him in woodchips I would use the term splinters of wood

Return fire gradually slowed, ceased to a cease

It was a nasty blend of dirt, blood, hot metal, and smoke. The smoke which carried the smell of burnt flesh, semi-colonand it didn’t take much to

Lippman peered around the doorhyhonframe, hoping to get a clear shot toof someone.

and KABOOMI would emphasize this either in italics or bold lettering but not caps.

Rating: 4.0

Remember mistakes don't become errors unless they go uncorrected.
25
25
Rated: 13+ | (3.5)
Salutations.

You’re receiving this review on behalf of myself and in response to your request made in "Invalid Item. Suggestions made herein are the product of my own making and are not influenced by or made in reflection of past reviews given to this item. All comments are guaranteed to be honest, constructive, encouraging, insightful and unbiased in every nature. Again, these are only my suggestions; you may use them at your own discretion or throw them out entirely. Thank you for this opportunity in letting me give you my suggestions. Enjoy.

General Comments:
I thought this story was really miraculous in most areas. Your descriptions, setups, and dialogue were very creative, and were very successful in not only keeping my attention, but forcing me to read on; very suspenseful I thought. The story started out strong, but as I continued reading it sort got dreary and unfulfilling with the intent presumed from your prologue and beginning descriptions. Strong beginning, but it got weaker as the story progressed. Another thing that took away, slightly, from my attention on reading this story, was the spacing scheme you’re using on this piece. It made it difficult for me read. I think separating your paragraphs by a free line of no text would help this problem. As for when you switch to another sequence, try centering a couple asterisks ( * * * * *) to separate them. Not only will this make your piece easier to read, but it will make your readers further understand that you are indeed switching sequences. All in all, good job.

What I enjoyed:
*Bullet*your use of unbelievable and creative descriptions
*Bullet*the skeletal form of a tremendously awesome story

What Needs Improvement:
*Bullet*your spacing scheme
*Bullet*your fillers (the events between the start of the story and its climax)

Spelling/Grammatical:
upon the Sourcerersorcerer
*note* This word is also spelled wrong throughout the story, unless this is not meant to be spelled properly for it is something you’ve created

bore down upon him; lowercase the ‘t’There had been the

ultimately, a Sourcerous battlebattle of sorcery was one of will

he had been rid of the powers, that had

As he screamed commaa shaft of energy went

The lowercase the ‘h’Helicopter could barely

reached a crescendo minisculeminuscule balls of


definite downswingcomma the frequency of the

atmosphere from the dieingdying notes of

of Mozart,omit comma and replace with a semi-colon tinycomma blue lights

Michael saw a steady stream of shimmeringcomma blue lights


Rating: 3.5

Remember that mistakes don’t become errors unless they go uncorrected.
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