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82 Public Reviews Given
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I'll give you my honest opinion about your piece, what I like, what I don't like, any questions I may have, and how I think you may be able to improve what I'm reviewing.
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1
1
Review by SSpark
Rated: E | (3.0)
Hi, Ben!
I've never reviewed a play script before, so I don't know exactly what to look for. What I'll do is critique the idea, the flow, and the actual writing because your script needs to be written well in order to get anyone to read it. Hope that's ok!

First, while your descriptions are lush, they sound like they're written from a thesaurus not penned by a normal person. Big, fancy words are not needed. You need the reader to read the words and see the picture you're painting, not have to stop to go to the dictionary in order to figure out what you're talking about. Your words, and the picture in the reader's mind, should flow like the river you're talking about.

Also, while you give very detailed descriptions of the house, not everything is needed. Readers' eyes begin to glaze over when they have to read a bunch of stuff that's not related to the story. Look at the house as if you're driving up the driveway. Describe that. Then, if they're important to the story, describe the inside rooms. You'll see that I don't describe the bedrooms or kitchen because they're not important to the story.

Here's what I got from the first part. I'm not British, so the conversations sound very American, but I wanted to give you an idea of what I mean:

Nestled deep in the heart of the XYZ forest lies a hidden mansion, luxurious in every detail, surrounded by expansive lawns. A secret, known only to a few, the place stands like a trophy shining brightly among trees twisted and tangled from lack of sunlight.

Located only three meters to the north, the Scenic River, surrounded by flowering plants and lush shrubbery, flows quietly, a peaceful reprieve from a clattering world.

For reasons unknown, not one human has set foot on the property in over sixteen years, until three Brits choose it for a month-long holiday meant to blot out the haunting memories of their parents’ deaths. The travel agent who booked the trip was reluctant to provide many details, saying only that she had never seen the listing before it just popped up on her computer screen.

Choosing the mansion for their respite had been simple. No arguments, no debates over which location best suited each brother. The sprawling home surrounded by natural beauty came at a price half the cost of others they had viewed.

Richard, 34, a Physics professor, Mac, 33, a Botany professor, and Donald, 31, a Psychologist, had remained inseparable after moving out of their parents’ home. Meeting at Donald’s house the afternoon of February 11, the trio made the trip together, laughing, talking, and singing to the radio as they travelled further into the forest.

As the car slowed, turning into the driveway, the brothers were speechless, taking in the magnificence of the place.

Donald had always been the skeptical brother.
“There has to be something wrong with this place, for the rental to be so cheap,” Donald said.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” quipped Mac. “We really lucked into this deal.”

“I’m sure not going to look a gift horse in the mouth,” Richard added. “I’m just going to enjoy myself!”

By the time they reached the house it was too late to hike down to the river, so they each retired to their bedroom and unpacked. A short time later, they met in the kitchen to grab a sandwich and beer, and make plans for the next day, retiring to bed shortly thereafter.

The next morning, as Richard and Donald busy themselves in the kitchen while Mac decides to take a walk.

“I’ll be back in time for breakfast,” Mac says over his shoulder, as he opens the back door. “I just want to get a better look at all the plants growing around here, so I’m headed down to the river.”

“You’d better be back in time for breakfast,” chirped Richard. “Donald has a great meal planned, and we’re not going to wait for you to devour it!”

As he makes his way down the well-worn path leading from the back door toward the river, Mac is struck by the beauty surrounding him. Colorful flowers spring from lush green plants, scattered along the trail. Running toward the river like a lover catching sight of his mistress, he disappears into the sunlight.

Back at the house, Donald and Richard add the finishing touches to the breakfast feast they happily prepared. But as the clocked ticked half-past ten and they still saw no signs of Mac’s return, Donald begins to worry.

“It’s not like Mac to miss a meal,” he tells Richard as he peered out the window. “I don’t like this at all.”

“Oh, he probably just lost track of time,” Richard replies. “I imagine this place is a wonderland for a Botanist like Mac. I’m betting he headed over to the river. Let’s walk down there and bring him back.”

>>><<<


Write like you speak. Since this story is happening in 2022, in the UK, write like a Brit would talk in today's terms. You want the reader to float over your words, drawing a mental picture of what they're reading, so your words need to flow.

You have such a great imagination! Focus on that, not on trying to use impressive words. In 2022 few people even know what they mean. =)

I hope this helps!
Stephanie
2
2
Review by SSpark
Rated: E | (5.0)
Love this!
3
3
Review of 2034  
Review by SSpark
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
Yes, Orwell was one of the greats. I sure hope people are listening now!!!

Good job!!!
Stephanie
4
4
Review of No More Questions  
Review by SSpark
Rated: E | (5.0)
Great job! You made me laugh - thank you!!!
ss
5
5
Review by SSpark
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
I like this version much better! There's definitely more depth. =)
ss
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6
Review by SSpark
Rated: 18+ | (2.5)
Hi, Puppetmaster! Thanks so much for asking me to review your second chapter. I'm not sure what you're looking for, but when I ask for a piece to be reviewed, I look for complete honesty. I have a lot to learn, and I learn a lot from reviews and critiques. So, let me start out with an overview.

First, I can tell you're a creative person who has a great imagination - both critical when writing, so that's a good start. I read through your first chapter in order to understand the background before I read this chapter, and I'm somewhat confused about the overall focus. My most important question would be, what is your target audience? You're writing a romance, so the majority of readers would be women. What age range? This is an important question because older women will be turned off by your language choices: hot, foxy, dude, getting it on - that kind of thing. In order to attract the largest audience, your dialogue should be ageless except where absolutely necessary. A child's words or a teen's words, for example.

The next thing is, learning the art of "Showing" rather than "Telling." It's not easy, and it's something I'm working hard to do better, myself. Think about books you've read. Great writers write in such a way that the reader can actually "see" what they're reading. When you're talking about the presidential palace, as an example, I want to be able to imagine what it looks like as characters are walking through the rooms. When you say Naberg is standing at a window, watching Victoria and Kirby, what does that look like? Describe the picture. If I was across the street, viewing this unfold, what would I see?

One last thing: make the story more believable. As I read, my brain kept stumbling, making it hard to just enjoy. The president of any country is not going to be driving himself and his family anywhere. They would have a driver, with bodyguards. As a politician, Kirby would never take the chance of being seen in public with his opponent's secretary, much less his wife. Kirby would not be driving a 1968 bug in 2022, and Naberg - if he did drive himself anywhere - would definitely not be driving a 2010 Prius. See what I mean?

The good news is, you have created a story that can be fleshed out quite a bit. It's kind of like you've got this skeleton and if you start adding in the muscles and cartilage and skin, it can turn out to be a beautiful person. Take the opening paragraph, as an example. We close out Chapter 1 with Victoria getting all she could have hoped for, but start out Chapter 2 with her being unsatisfied for some reason. What is that reason? What happened between her wedding and the debate that caused her to be on the prowl, looking to replace her new husband? (Usually, people living fairy tale lives are still at least relatively happy after two years. You could write a completely new chapter that paints the picture of her settling in to her new life, her new relationship with Naberg's kids, as well as Naberg. How does it feel to be thrust into the spotlight, in front of the camera instead of behind it? What kinds of things take up her time now that she is First Lady to a country? How did her marriage go from ecstasy to blah? Those kinds of things.

I'm limiting your star rating because I think you have the ability to turn what's here into something so much better. But please don't be discouraged! Writing is hard work - and I think you're up for the challenge!!! *HeartP*

7
7
Review of Going Blonde  
Review by SSpark
Rated: E | (5.0)
Love it! So cute . . . and so true!
ss
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8
Review of The Joy of Aging  
Review by SSpark
Rated: E | (5.0)
LOVE this! Great rhythm, great flow, sounds like something you know something about. Lol!

Great job!
ss
9
9
Review of That Chair There  
Review by SSpark
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hi, Axton Gard!
I read this over and over, and think you could really do something with this piece, especially as an illustrated children's book. It kept running through my head all night. I'm certainly no illustrator, but I could visualize illustrations that could cover the book.

Can I get an email address so we can talk offline?
ss
10
10
Review by SSpark
Rated: ASR | (5.0)
*Laugh* *Laugh* *Laugh* This is AWESOME!!!! I, very literally, laughed right out loud! I was a little worried the Lord would think me irreverent for laughing . . . but I'm pretty sure He's laughing, too.

THANKS!
ss
11
11
Review by SSpark
Rated: E | (5.0)
I love this! It flows as poetry should, and the message is heavenly. (Pun intended.)
ss
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Review of The Followers  
Review by SSpark
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
I like this! Great story, great flow, and a clever response to the prompt!

No technical issues, except one sentence I'm not sure I get. "Lyryk reloaded the crossbow and pointed down it at the woman." Did she point the crossbow down at the woman, or did she point down the crossbow at the woman? I can't see how she could point down the crossbow since she would need both hands - one on the crossbow and one on the arrow. But then again, I'm not a crossbow master by any means.
ss
13
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Review of MOM  
Review by SSpark
Rated: E | (4.0)
I love this! Your mother is a wonderful woman, and you are a wonderful daughter!
ss
14
14
Review of Loneliness  
Review by SSpark
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
Amen! I'm so glad you found writing!!! Maybe I should have read this piece first, since I wrote you about a lot of the same thing when I reviewed Gina. I'm betting that you'll find your background, even the painful parts, will be a great catalyst for your stories.

Actually, I think you're in a perfect position to help others understand Cerebral Palsy. You can speak about both the physical and emotional pain and scarring you've endured, and possibly help those with Cerebral Palsy all over the world understand that they aren't alone - that there are others who feel their pain.
ss
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Review of Gina  
Review by SSpark
Rated: E | (4.0)
Oh, Renee! I am so sorry for your loss of Gina. What an exceptional friend - and person - she had to have been! I'm also sorry about the pain you feel in your loneliness. But I'm so glad you are writing. Once you take your feelings out of your heart and place them on paper, your heart can feel lighter and ready for new feelings. I hope this is so for you.
ss
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Review of Freedom's Gambit  
Review by SSpark
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
I really like this one! Good movement, great dialogue, and left me wanting more at the end. Bravo!
ss
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Review of Beauty  
Review by SSpark
Rated: E | (4.5)
Nice! Sadly, I can relate to everything you've said here. You wove the story in a cohesive way, and I could imagine the different scenes. The story is comforting, too, because it shows beauty can survive, even in the most trying times. It's nice to think that, even if everything does go south, humanity can remain.

I caught a couple of typos, but you did a great job!
ss
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18
Review by SSpark
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Oh, wow! Is this the beginning of a book? Sounds like Hannah is apt to find a LOT of surprises along the way! Good story - left me wanting to know more.

There are a couple of typos you probably want to correct, but the story is strong.
ss
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Review of Stallion  
Review by SSpark
Rated: E | (4.5)
I like this, Jatog! The sentiments flow like a story that is easy to read. I feel his strength.
Good job!
ss
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20
Review by SSpark
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
Ha, ha! I like this!!! I hope I get a robot like this one; love his/her/it's personality. =)
ss
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Review of Stowaway  
Review by SSpark
Rated: E | (5.0)
Indigo, I love this! It flows perfectly and is a beautiful sentiment. I feel safe and warm, just reading it.
ss
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22
Review by SSpark
Rated: ASR | (5.0)
Lol! I love this!!! So cute!

I have a hard time understanding poems lately, because many don't seem to flow. Sometimes they rhyme but, when they do, the words often don't make sense. This is just perfect from The to muttonhead. Well done!!!
ss
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Review by SSpark
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Aw, man - this kept me going right up to the ending. Great job, Kathie! The piece flows really well, and it's easy to feel the strength of Dan and Lindsey's bond. It definitely had me thinking, "I wish I had met the Ying to my Yang."

The story is told in a cohesive way; there are no "Wait! What?" moments. The only thing I would have liked to have seen is more description in some areas. I struggle with the same thing, and I'm trying to learn to be more creative. I tend to tell a story rather than show a story. As an example, you do a nice job of describing their wedding location: "They had married on a coral beach. The secluded island was a tropical paradise. There were cool breezes and a postcard sunset. It was a spectrum of lavender, scarlet, turquoise, and ribbons of gold intertwined." But you have an opportunity to paint a Lindseyesque picture here if you add a few things. Did the waves crash or roll? Was the water blue, green, turquoise or some other color? Was the sand white or pink? Did the scent of hibiscus or other flowers linger on the breeze? We're also around the same age, so I know The Prophet (still have the little book), but quoting just a little from it, or penning a few poignant lines from their vows might have been nice.

I hope I'm making some sense, and I hope you don't mind the critique. This is such a beautiful story.
ss
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Review by SSpark
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
Oh, Kathie! What a wonderful piece! Life is not always easy, is it? In fact, it can be downright cruel at times. I wish so badly that we could save our children and grandchildren from the pitfalls we know they will and do face! You handled Chris' addiction so well, though - and are using it to inform others. Bless you!!!
ss
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Review by SSpark
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
Another great one, James! Now I have to ask - is this fiction? If so, you have an awesome imagination. If not, you have a life-story just waiting to be told!!!
ss
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