*Magnify*
SPONSORED LINKS
Get it for
Apple iOS.
Creative fun in
the palm of your hand.
Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/profile/reviews/stevengepp
Review Requests: ON
388 Public Reviews Given
Review Style
Minimalist. Focus on technical.
Favorite Genres
Most, really.
I will not review...
I will not review porn, fan-fiction or pro-religious/OTT-pro-USA essays
Public Reviews
Previous ... -1- 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 ... Next
1
1
Rated: 18+ | (3.5)
After the last two chapters, this felt very out of place. Yes, it explains the hole in the chest in the ghost, but there was something about this that felt tacked on.

I think it could do with a better introduction. Maybe have Angie remember it, not just use it as an extended flashback. Sorry. It almost drew me out. And then ending was just repeating what we already knew -even after death. There was also a bit of tell instead of show. I think there could have been a much greater build-up to the heart reveal.

I did like the way they explained to friends it was a pig's heart, and yet the implication is it was a form of reality between them. That was a strong positive; not sure if I am reading it right, but after chapter 2, that is how it comes across to me.

Again, a few punctuation errors.

Sorry...


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
2
2
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
Well... that got interesting.

The thoughts of Angie were very life-like, as were her responses to the death. Again, that natural feel. And then the end of the chapter, which I was not expecting at all. I was waiting for a slow build-up, but - bang! - there it was. I am not complaining; it is quite good that this plays with expectations.

Not as many punctuation errors this time. but there was a bit of tell instead of show. The transition from funeral to house could have been a place where slow build could have occurred - it was just there, and then Thomas.

However, I am still going.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
3
3
Rated: E | (4.0)
Interesting tale. Did see the end coming, but that's okay because you delivered it well. Being Australian, it piqued my interest in that regard as well.

Now, I only review things I like and as WdC is about helping writers:
* Some pluperfect tenses were missing.
* "I nice..." should be "A nice..."
* You don't see many tarantulas. They stay hidden.
* An Outback tour to Uluru (never Ayers Rock) from Sydney? It'd take 3 days to get there. You'd either fly to Alice Springs and then drive from there or to Adelaide, and then a small plane to the resort.
* You aren't allowed to leave a touring party. The rock is freakin' huge!
* Huntsmen aren't that poisonous and they really are fine to have crawl over you. The Australian Tarantula, now that's nasty!
* The section from "He turned in a circle..." felt like it went by too quickly. Build up more tension, more terror in Ethan. We want to know what's going on in his head. All we get are physical reactions. Build it up, make us as scared as he is.

Okay, a lot of this was nit-picking over facts. But if I said it took me a day to drive from New York to the Grand Canyon, that would be wrong.
However, as a tale of terror, use your language better. You clearly have a great grasp of the technicalities - it is one of the cleanest edited works I have seen here in a while - and you have a strong vocabulary for this sort of writing. Extend the end. Make us feel what he feels. This could be truly horrifying.

Good luck going forward.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
4
4
Review of That's a Wrap  
Rated: ASR | (3.5)
This is an intriguing little tale. Nice use of the Egyptian Book of the Dead mythology, and the concepts of the era.

Now, WdC is about helping authors, and I only review things I like, so with that in mind:
* check your punctuation. There's not much out of place, but it does affect meaning in at least one case.
* "glistering" - should that be "glistening"? And I'm not sure if you've been in a sandy wind - it doesn't glisten, no matter where the sun is.
* I don't know if you had a word count limit, but finding Luke bound, the priests being described as "undead", and "I fought against" is all tell instead of show. To increase the tension in a tale of horror/terror, the show is important so the reader gets a feel for the fear, especially in a 1st person POV story. As it is, the last line could be very effective if the sense of dread had been built more slowly beforehand.
* the use of the word "something" twice in a row sticks out. Change the second. Again, draw it out.

Now, this sounds negative, and I apologise, but there is definitely a good story here, most of the editing is clean and you know your mythology. It could well become a great puece.

Good luck going forth.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
5
5
Review of Tales to Tell  
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Great concept and well delivered.
Technically this was great.
Story-wise, I have read similar but not in dialogue-only.

Now, I would suggest this - the two voices sound very similar. The Grey Ghost comes from a different era; there should be a distinct difference between their voices - language, idioms, frames of knowledge, slang terms, terms of address, etc. Yes, this will make the dialogue even more obvious as to who is speaking, but it will also differentiate the characters more.

Apart from that, nicely done.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
6
6
Review of Alphabet Soup  
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
An entertaining alphabet poem, and quite timely. But I suppose that's the point...

Two little things, though:
1) I read poetry out loud. A rhyming poem needs a good rhythm in order to give it that sound, especially one like this that relies on the rhymes so heavily. The syllable count is inconsistent. It makes it awkward to read at times.
2) A couple of forced rhymes - W/X and Y/Z really stuck out.

Apart from that, I enjoyed this piece. Nicely done.

Good luck going forth.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
7
7
Rated: ASR | (4.5)
This was quite a good piece. While you have labelled it satire, I think it is something a number of writers genuinely go through. However, you did make me smile a few times, so the satire part of it worked for me at least.

And, look, speaking from a technical point of view, it was fine. Maybe one or two small things, but that was all. Certainly cleaner than a lot here at WdC.

A few things did get in the way of a complete enjoyment. First was the sheer volume of ellipses. I don't mind them - I have been accused of using too many as well - but sometimes the did drag me out of the narrative.

Next, I personally would have rephrased "I couldn't wait to read me... only better." as "only improved." But that's probably personal.

Finally, I think your conclusion that "she was right to change my text" rankled. I have fought damn hard to keep my "voice" when I sell my stories. If they don't like it, why accept it in the first place?

But as a piece about the pitfalls of editing - this was nicely done.

Good luck going forward!


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
8
8
Review of Muppet Madness  
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Yes, one of life's great imponderable mysteries - would would happen if...?

Done quite well with a 8-6-8-6 syllable count and abcb rhyming scheme.

Just a few things (because critics gotta critic). The opening stanza does not quite fit the syllable count, and it does feel odd reading it out loud. There are also a couple of forced rhymes (cute-mute, looks-books) which does make for some awkward sounding lines to fit the rhyming words.

But this was, in general, a great poem that brought a smile to this old curmudgeon's face. Nicely done.

Good luck going forward!


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
9
9
Review of NSA Recruit  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Interesting little piece of flash. The intricacies of code deciphering are explained quite well, and fit into the story nicely, with the addition of the countdown to having to get it done, so it does not feel bogged down in detail.

Now, I only review things at WdC I like, and WdC is about helping authors, so:
* A quick explanation of why the 1900 would go at the end would clarify what feels like a random thing.
* There is a fair bit of punctuation that needs work, especially with direct speech. A good functional edit is needed.
* For ease of reading, the block of numbers could possibly be formatted a little different, maybe with spaces every 7 digits or so? Just a suggestion. While it's probably not the way it is done in real life, a reader might be turned off.

That punctuation thing is something you will need to work on. Sorry, but that's the way it is.

Anyway, I did enjoy the story.

Good luck going forward!


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
10
10
Review of The Party  
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
Unfortunately, I can say - been there, done that. Mate's place, he was grounded for a month. I helped with the clean-up. Terrible. The smell of vomit would not leave the study for months.

You captured the essence of the out-of-control party very well. Nice start, then flow-back, then escalation.

Now, I only review things at WdC I like, and in the vein of helping authors:
* You said at the start twelve hours to go, then had the police come at 11, so you need to confirm times.
* The punctuation of direct speech needs a lot of work. An editor looking at that will send it back and tell you to make the corrections.
* There are a few other punctuation issues as well, particularly lack of hyphens.
* Mum's name is not necessary.
* The dog came out of nowhere. Add it into the previous narrative - being scared, having drinks spilt on it, gorging on dropped food, whatever - a couple of times to establish it is there.

That seems negative, but a lot of it is technical. The words used, the way the story was told, all of that is really good and amounts to a decent tale of being a kid.

Good luck going forward.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
11
11
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
This is a very good romantic poem. It sets a mood of being unsure before letting yourself go. It has a feeling of surrender to freedom about it as well.

A couple of little things. Now, I read poems out loud to get a better feel for poetry, so that's where some of this comes from.

In the opening stanza, "water" and "underwater" feel wrong being close together. It does not sound right.
Likewise, the repeat of "battle wounds" to "scars from battles" feels out of kilter. I would change the second "battles" to something else, maybe "the past"?
The word "romantic" in the final stanza feels also out of place. It does not quite fit with the tone or language of the rest of the poem.

Of course, my opinion. That's all.

Good luck going forward.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
12
12
Review of Coerced  
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Well, that was a story I couldn’t stop reading. I guess a part of it is reading something on here set in my own backyard, but that’s by the by. Your opening court-room scene and the final denouement between the two were both very well done. The final ending – condemning his brother as his brother had condemned him – was a little sad. No good guys? That’s how it seemed to me, although David did feel like he had been put upon a fair bit..

Now, WdC is about helping other writers, and I only review things I like, so, with that in mind:
* The questions in the court case were definitely leading the witness. David should have told the story in his words.
* The bit on the road, with the bike going incredibly fast, passing a Toyota that just happened to have his brother, so must have left earlier… it was all way too convenient. I think I would have had the Toyota come from the other direction, but it is still convenient, even considering Andrew’s obvious pre-planning.
* The closing phone call with his wife – if nothing had happened to David’s family, how did she know anything was wrong? And it made the Toyota being in the right place feel even more out of whack.
* Technically:
- The long sentence fragment starting “Heavy brown furniture…” either needs a verb, or needs to be a dependent clause of the previous sentence.
- twin brother does not need a hyphen
- “cracked pot” or “crack-pot”
- “Who’s there?”, not whose
- to make it stand out more, I’d make the words of the note italics
- he had all that time to check the finger, and didn’t? Doesn’t follow the way he has been portrayed.

That sounds negative, and I apologise, but this is a great story idea, and some well-written tension at the end really lifts it.

Good luck going forward



*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
13
13
Review of Tanka: Fuel  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Nice work. The syllable count is spot on, and the idea behind the poem is a good one.

Two things, though, did stand out.

First, "who had used..." cars are whats, not whos. "Which" could be a better choice.

The line "our lives combust the future", though I get what you're saying, feels quite awkward. It just didn't quite get the meaning across. However, in the 7 line restriction, and with the fuel motif, I can't really think of a decent replacement off the top of my head. Sorry.

Good luck going forward.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
14
14
Review of A Christmas Bribe  
Rated: E | (3.5)
Nice little tale. I liked the bribe aspect to get a first performance - it was how it worked for me, to be honest - and the father's advice was quite good, to focus on him.

Now, I only review things I like here at WdC and WdC is about helping writers, so with that in mind:
* The dialogue felt unnatural, especially from Devin. It does take the reader out somewhat.
* "A young years of five..." is a very clumsy phrase.
* The constant mention of church play, especially in the opening para, belabours the point a bit too much.
* A few missing pieces of punctuation throughout.
* The ending felt way too convenient. I think, though, it could work if you use it as a framing device. Make this an anecdote told by the character of Devin to some interviewer when he is already a famous whatever, describing his start. That way it would not seem quite so unrealistic.

Sorry if this sounds too negative, but I do think there is the basis here for something really strong.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
15
15
Review of "How are you?"  
Rated: E | (5.0)
I liked this... and can relate.

Look, there is nothing I can say. No forced rhymes, the rhythm/syllable count is spot on, reading it out loud, it rolls off the tongue in a good, sing-song way - one of the best examples of a rhyming poem I;ve read here on WdC. Well done.

May I recommend you look up the Wergle Flomp humour poetry contest for next year? It's free to enter and is world-wide. Judging by previous winners, I think you might have a shot...

Anyway, sorry there is nothing for me to help - this is spot-on the way it is.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
16
16
Review of Elvis  
Rated: ASR | (4.5)
I liked this. The set-up, the use of lyrics, the "for a moment" section - it all felt so good and had a positive air about it.

Now, I only review things I like at WdC, and WdC is about helping authors, and with that in mind:
*I review poetry by reading it out loud. This sort of comedy poetry relies on its rhythm to get the rhyming scheme to work. Reading this one, the rhythm was inconsistent and I lost it many times. The syllable count was all over the place. It does detract from the way it sounds.
*Not sure about the ending stanza, and the drinking line. Just didn't sit too well.

But that's just me. Still a fine piece.

Good luck going forward.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
17
17
Rated: E | (3.5)
A strong, impassioned essay here about a topic that is clearly close to your heart, and one that does need a greater eye put upon it.

What I am about to say has nothing to do with your arguments, but as an example of the essay writing form.

Now, I only review things I like here at WdC, and WdC is about helping authors, so, with that in mind:
* Your opening paragraph needs to be very clear in what the essay is putting firth. At the moment, it starts in a rambling manner. There needs to be a clear focus put forth. Some of the information here is irrelevant to your topic, and some would make for a decent second paragraph.
* Each paragraph should have one topic as a focus, with your examples and arguments backing up that one idea. The "Female Infanticide..." paragraph has 2 topics in it.
* Your closing paragraph is what is needed, as offering a potential solution to the problem; however, it is lacking the usual summary of an essay form.

As a piece of writing, it is fine, but to make it more powerful, if you go over how an essay is structured, this could become very strong indeed.

Now, this all seems very negative, but I did like it, and I think your passion in this regard needs to be applauded.

Good luck going forth.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
18
18
Review of Fixing Things  
Rated: E | (5.0)
Well... that was certainly the denouement! I did not see that coming, and I love it when I don't see the ending coming.

I liked the dialogue only opening, and - for me - I was actually a little disappointed when there were non-dialogue sections at the end. I mean, I understand why to tell the story, but it just felt a little jarring.

And that is my only complaint. I could not see anything wrong technically, the lack of names worked in the story structure, and the set-up made sense.

So one quibble, which is personal - otherwise great tale.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
19
19
Review of Pieces  
Rated: ASR | (4.5)
This is an intriguing concept. I've read similar things of anthropomorphisation of inanimate objects before, but I think you've done a really good job here. I especially like the way we feel the knife's despair at what its life has become.

Now, I only review things at WdC I like and WdC is about helping writers, so, in that vein, some comments. Some might feel like nit-picking, but I really did enjoy this piece.
* 1899 - good opening. "...but yet..." should be either "...but..." or "...and yet..." The word "soon" before "thrust" does not fit. Because it is written in present tense (which I normally dislike a lot, but it works well in this story) it does not fit. "...now..." I think fits better.
* 1927 - Cold tale; well done. Using the phrase "...the tip..." twice so close together feels awkward; maybe "...the point..." the second time?
* 1940 - works really well.
* 1972 - this one was the one that didn't do it for me. The boy is too young to have the strength to thrust a knife - an old knife at that - into flesh. It's hard to do. I think if it was a teenaged girl doing this, it would work better.
* 1999 - this was rather poignant and a fine way to finish the piece.

So, yes, well done. Liked it a lot.

Good luck going forward.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
20
20
Rated: E | (4.5)
A sweet little tale. Not sure if based on fact or not, but it is the sort of story that feels like it would be passed down in legend from year to year at a school.

Now, I only review things I like here at WdC, and in the vein of offering help, a couple of things:
*Technically, it was very clean. No obvious grammar errors or spelling/homophone errors. A few places where there were some commas used I wouldn't have used, and some where a comma would have helped, but I think that is more a personal style thing.
*Visually, separating the paragraphs better would help the reader.
* In the first line, sentence 3 starts with a "But..." and this does not really fit. There is no but clause, but a following clause. "Worse" might be a better word choice.
*"Sara moved forward toward the door" feels like over-writing. "Sara moved to the door" feels much cleaner, especially with the tone of the rest of the piece.
*"...to give her first speech." You've already established it was first, so that isn't really needed here, especially not in a piece this short.

Now, that seems like I'm being overly negative, but I did like the work,. and the positive tone of it was really nicely done.

I am going to choose to believe it really happened. *Smile*

Good luck going forward!


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
21
21
Review of The Pigeon  
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Cool poem. It is one of the few rhyming poems I have read here at WdC where the rhythm was constant throughout. I read poems out loud to give me an idea of how they roll off the tongue, and yours was really good. I liked the topic, I liked the way you put it forth. Very cool.

Having said that, there were one or two forced rhymes (e.g. "no more than a clown"), and some lines felt awkward to say (e.g. "Oh yeah, just look around."). But these are small things in what was a really fun poem.

Well done!

Good luck going forward.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
22
22
Review of Meant to Excite  
Rated: E | (4.5)
I liked this poem, a nice job of anthropomorphisation. I didn't get until the end that it was a car (although "inside of me" should have been a huge clue...) and it all feels nicely formed.

Now, I only review things I like at WdC and I really liked this. I would normally list the things I think need work about here, but there is only one detail that sticks out to me.

As a rhyming poem, it lends itself to a steady rhythm so the rhyming scheme works. When I review poetry, I tend to read it out loud, which helps me get a feel for that sense of rhythm. In this poem, there were a few lines that had a few too many syllables to allow that rhythm to be there consistently (and one with not enough syllables). Some tweaking with this and, to my mind, it would be brilliant.

Good luck going forwards!


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
23
23
Review of Fifteen  
Rated: E | (4.5)
I liked this. It was a nice story with a great denouement.

Now, I only review things here at WdC that I actually like, and with that in mind:

*Technically, the main issue is the opening section, Susan's story. When direct speech spans more than one paragraph, it is normal to put the double quotation marks at the start of each paragraph, and then at the end of the final spoken paragraph (which you've done). This tells the reader that the direct speech is continuing.

*Andy is 15 in the story - do 15 yr olds have their own barns? Wouldn't he say "our" barn, meaning the family one?

*I think it would be helpful to a reader to have an understanding that Jane is their daughter.

But, really, the story as a whole is very well done. The ending, especially, is a good one, and Andy's comment just sets it off nicely. Well done.

Good luck going forward!


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
24
24
Rated: E | (4.0)
A nice bit of memoir. Riding horses is something that is rather exhilarating (although I did spend one summer learning to fall from a horse...) and I think you captured some of the joy you felt on the animals.

The opening paragraph was an excellent set-up for the rest of the tale - the dream of a little girl then made reality.

However, I wanted more of the feelings you had - the sensations, what was going through your mind, the comparison to the dream-ride - to capture some of that exhilaration. About the only time we had a hint of sensations was the saddle sores and bath water.

Technically, the story was very good, but some (not all) of the ellipses felt out of place and would have been better with em-dashes.

So, a good tale, the sort of thing that could easily be sold with the right market. Reader's Digest and the like, some of the magazines for younger readers, memoir magazines... I think they might give this a go.

Nicely done.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
25
25
Review of Spinning Top  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Interesting story. The tale of a memento being the source of a haunting is an old one, yet it is good to see the old tropes used.

Now, I only review things I like at WdC, so, with that in mind:
* The clock "thrummed"? That does not seem right - a long humming sound. If it was that loud, then the clock would be electric and something would be wrong with it. Did not feel right, and so, right from the word go, I was taken out of the story.
* You have some nice turns of phrase in the opening section, but I would avoid the word "ghostly" as giving away something to come.
* Some commas and apostrophes missing.
* The dialogue of the grandmother being split over three paragraphs made it feel like three different (or 2 different) speakers. It would have been fine in one para. Also be careful of verb tense when talking about memories - pluperfect would be best here.
* How did grandma know what it was like when he was 11? That is one long courtship!
* The feelings when the narrator tried to stop the top were very much a "tell"; "show" could have really upped the eeriness.
* The mention of the clock in the ending felt forced and made no sense. The grandfather's ghost thing was sort of implied. Yeah, not keen on the way it was ended.

This sounds negative, but it is not meant to be, as I can see this working as a nice little horror tale. Some word count extension, some judicious editing and a but more show not tell, and you might even be able to sell it. I know I would have been interested in a revised form of this when I was working as an editor.

Good luck going forth.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
192 Reviews · *Magnify*
Page of 8 · 25 per page   < >
Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/profile/reviews/stevengepp