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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/profile/reviews/tallguyarrow
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101 Public Reviews Given
Public Reviews
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1
1
Review by JDMac
Rated: E | (3.5)
I like this one, especially the title. It sets up an expectation that is soon broken, much like our passage into adulthood.
2
2
Review by JDMac
Rated: E | (3.0)
To repay your review, I thought I'd take a look at your portfolio and give you one of my own. I skimmed a few of your other, shorter entries before arriving at this one. The title is clever and creates interest on its own since, as far as I'm aware, Newton only had three Laws of Motion. I gather from the structure and the writing itself that you're just starting out, so please don't take any of my following comments as being too critical. I believe honest, constructive feedback is the only way we learn and grow in our craft.

First of all, your writing style is, to me, very sterile and lacking in important descriptors. When telling a story, it is important to not only set the scene but help the reader understand the mood. We do this through our character's facial expressions, their motions, how they walk. Don't simply say someone is excited, show us through your words. Remember, we the readers can't see into your mind. Paint the picture as thoroughly as possible.

Secondly, the tense of any work of fiction needs to be consistent. It can change, under certain circumstances, over the course of the plot, but the main narrative needs to stick to one. Otherwise, you risk creating confusion in your readers. Your opening paragraph is a prime example. The first sentence is in present tense, while the ones that follow are in past. As a suggestion, if you're writing the story in first person, past is a common choice since it's easy to imagine your hero is telling us this story as something that happened to him in the past.

Thirdly, watch your structure. Sentences should be complete, unless leaving them as fragments is an artistic choice to control pace. Using correct grammar is paramount, except in dialog. Characters are allowed to speak as real people do, errors and all, but remember that highly intelligent characters such as your scientist should probably use proper grammar to be plausible. Furthermore, when a new character speaks, the quotations usually start a new paragraph. Putting dialog in the middle of a large paragraph is another way to confuse readers.

Here is an example of some paragraphs that I've restructured. Please take note of tense, punctuation and grammar adjustments. Also remember, these are only suggested changes and you as the author can choose to ignore me if you wish:

It was another boring press meet. As usual, it started with a speech by my dear friend, Fred. He was a handsome man. Standing nearly six feet tall, he looked good in a black tuxedo. He started by welcoming the guests, which included the reporters and me, of course. He went on to tell them about my fantastic new invention, the humaprosthesis.

“Prosthetics," Fred said, "or artificial limbs, have been in use in the medical field for centuries. However, the ones Robert Cruz invented are nearly identical to human body parts and almost replace them in every way. It’s almost impossible to differentiate original limbs and organs from humaprosthesis without medical tests. I'm pleased to announce that my company has started full production of humaprosthesis as an economical solution to catastrophic physical injuries worldwide. Now, I'd like my friend, the inventor of this medical miracle, to takes over. Robert, if you please.” He gave me the mic with a smile on his face.


As I said, the adjustments are merely suggestions, so disregard or change them if you wish. I noticed in your text, you never fully explained what the invention in any more detail than lifelike prosthetic devices so I just guessed at its function.

All in all, you have a decent start. Don't worry about the need for adjustments and revision. Every writer has them. I'm currently working on the second draft of a novel and making corrections and changes to improve the story from my first attempt. Just look at this as your first draft and know that simply writing something is half the battle. I hope I didn't overwhelm you too much with my suggestions. I only meant them to help you grow as a writer.

Keep writing!
3
3
Review of Chess  
Review by JDMac
Rated: E | (3.5)
Interesting structure and subject matter. You followed the syllable count very well. If I could offer one minor suggestion, it would be to either add a comma after 'learning' in the fourth stanza or rearrange the line to read "I am learning". Again, it's a minor thing and really subject to personal opinion.
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4
Review by JDMac
Rated: E | (4.5)
I figured a read and review deserved one in return. I admire your restraint with your students. I didn't really notice any errors in your text and it was an interesting read. If I can make any suggestion for improvement, and this is really a very minor detail, it would be to break up the paragraphs a bit should you decide to revise this piece. That last paragraph especially seemed rather daunting and the eyes can easily get lost amid the sea of text. Overall, this is an entertaining story with a point.

Don't lose that ruler and keep writing!

TGA
5
5
Review by JDMac
Rated: 13+ | (3.0)
I suppose I should start off by welcoming you to WDC. I joined a couple years ago and it has only spurred me on to write more and given me the confidence to complete my own draft of a novel. I should warn you that I like to review others as I prefer to be reviewed, with honesty and constructive feedback. Listening to the comments I've received from others has done nothing less than help me improve the quality of my writing and, if you're open to it, I have no doubt it will do the same for you. You'll have to forgive the length of this review, as I like to be thorough.

Also, I'd like to express that any suggestions I make are merely that. This is your work and you ultimately have the power to ignore any opinions I may express and keep things as you like them. I only wish to help you in the process.

Your concept for this story seems interesting enough to have potential, yet it seems to have a ways to go. Don't be discouraged, however. I only mean to say that I view what you've posted as a first draft. With some revision and editing, I believe it will tell an interesting story.

First and foremost, beyond the few spelling errors and minor structural mistakes, it seems to me that you're trying too hard. This was something I had a hard time with when I first started writing. For some reason, I felt that long, verbose sentences made me seem like more of a writer than simply telling the story well.

I wanted to get into your story, but often found myself struggling with your unnecessarily complex sentence structure. Here's an example from the second paragraph. You wrote,

"Had it been anyone else, this close to my birthday, I would be itching to find out what it was but he hadn't expected my stepfather to donate anything more than a fiver and my stepfather looked drunk and so a distant, freethinking part of my mind started to whisper to me that my father may have finally decided to carry out one of his many threats, after all he could be holding anything behind his back, a hammer, a knife, a pan or maybe even a..."


This sentence, as it stands, instantly knocked me out of your story when I had to go back and reread it three times before I understood the thoughts you were trying to convey. Remember, on top of relaying your story to the reader, your sentences also establish the pace. Slow, bulky lines of text aren't very entertaining and may cause your readers to lose interest before the really awesome stuff starts to happen.

Here, I've taken that same quote, separated and cleaned it up a bit to make it easier to read:

Had it been anyone else this close to my birthday, I would have been itching to find out what it was. I hadn't expected my stepfather to donate anything more than a fiver. He looked drunk again. A distant, freethinking part of my mind started to whisper that the inebriated man may have finally decided to carry out one of his many threats. After all, he could have held anything behind his back like a hammer, a knife, a pan, or maybe even a...


Now, this is just a possible way to simplify this line of text. Feel free to adjust it any way you like if you decide to make any changes. Please note that I've done more than add a few periods. Another thing to keep in mind when you're writing is what tense you're using. You established that you were using past tense from the start, yet occasionally fall into writing in the present tense. Don't worry, everyone has a problem with that at times.

Also, watch out for unplanned repetition. This is something I have trouble with, too, and spend a lot of my revision time proofreading for words I've used too frequently. In your original line, you mentioned your character's stepfather/father three times. We understood the relationship the first time, so mentioning it again (at least in the same paragraph) is redundant. Try using descriptors to enhance the scene and give us more insight into your narrator's views or, at the very least, try a few more pronouns. Using a thesaurus will help increase your word choices. I use one every time I write.

I think I'll leave on that thought. I had planned on pointing out a few more examples, but I seem to be writing quite a lengthy review. Feel free to ask me any questions about anything I've said. I'll be happy to elaborate. That is the purpose of this site, after all. So, please, don't be discouraged and keep writing.
6
6
Review by JDMac
Rated: E | (4.0)
I found this poem with the Random Read button and found that it had a nice sombre tone to me. I like the repeated final line, as if the speaker is trying to convince him/herself that it's okay to move on with life after the ceremony of remembrance. All in all, I enjoyed it. Nicely done.
7
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Review of War of the Sunset  
Review by JDMac
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
As promised, I'm reviewing you plot only, since I mentioned what technical issues I saw in my email.

The general plot is interesting. It has the feeling of being the beginning of a story and that there's more to come. I think this is the first post-apocalyptic zombie tale I've heard of that doesn't actually feature a single zombie. I liked that. Too many people get pulled in by convention when doing monster/horror stories. The villain choice was nice, though I wish there would have been more interaction between him and the heroine but I do understand the characters' natural distance from each other.

All in all, you have a good concept here. I look forward to seeing your second draft.
8
8
Review by JDMac
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
I hit the random read button and this one popped up, providing a pleasant surprise. Overall, a nice tale. I enjoyed reading it.

I did, however, notice one grammatical error you may wish to address. In the last sentence of the first paragraph, there I believe there should be the word 'and' between receipts and copies instead of a comma. If this was done on purpose, feel free to ignore me. It is, nevertheless, a good story.
9
9
Review by JDMac
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
I liked this piece and it seems to be underrated. To me, fiction is always more enjoyable when the reader is allowed to fill in some of the details and the brevity of this work allows for quite a bit.
10
10
Review by JDMac
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Imaginative concept and, overall, an enjoyable story.

I did, however, find the sudden changes in the point of view to be confusing. I found myself needing to reread certain sections again. If you wish the audience to be able to hear your protagonist's thoughts, perhaps a first person perspective throughout the plot would help. If you like the third person omniscient, with which I have no problem, then a paragraph break or italics labled with 'he had thought' or some other structural adjustment could be made to reduce confusion in your readers.

Again, overall, you've got something interesting here and I thank you for posting it.
11
11
Review by JDMac
Rated: 13+ | (3.5)
I have to say, I liked your story. It had an interesting premise to get me reading in the first place and the characterization was well written to keep me reading. So, overall, great job.

I do, however, have a suggestion for possible imrovement. Though interesting, the story itself is difficult to read because of the many lengthy sentances--some almost as long as the paragraph which contains them. On several occations, I found myself needing to reread sections in order to comprehend what was written. The last sentance of paragraph 4 is a good example. This problem could be alleviated with some additional puctuation and/or seperating it into smaller sentances.

Now, this is all just my opinion and the piece is, of course, yours to write however you please. So, feel free to disregard anything I've said if the story is as you want it to be.
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12
Review of The Liar  
Review by JDMac
Rated: E | (4.5)
This was an amusing piece of poetry. It flowed quite nicely and had an easy rhythm to pick up. My only problem with this piece is that the final two lines seem to lose this. It almost seems, and this is only an opinion, that the final line was chosen because a more fitting one couldn't be decided upon. However, that's just me nitpicking. Feel free to disregard it if you like. Overall, I liked what you wrote.
13
13
Review by JDMac
Rated: ASR | (4.5)
A very nice start, I must say. You provide just enough detail to maintain interest while leaving quite a lot to feed the imagination. The cliffhanger at the end of the chapter is a nice touch to draw the reader to "just read one more chapter". I'm quite fond of using them myself.

Your grammar and spelling seem solid, though I did spot one instance you make want to check. In the fourth to last paragraph, you wrote: The sand between my bare toes felt odd, it tested my balance. The comma should be replaced by either a semi-colon or a period to seperate the line into two sentances. This, of course, is only a suggestion. If you like it the way you wrote it, by all means ignore me.

It's a little late for me to continue now, but I'll be sure to read more chapters and let you know what I think. Oh, and I just noticed that you're relatively new to WDC, so I'd like to wish you a belated welcome.

TGA
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Review by JDMac
Rated: E | (4.0)
First off, the title is awesome. I like it quite a bit. Secondly, the poem itself is interesting. You conveyed the emotion well and it was an enjoyable read as a result.

One possible typo I noticed. In the last stanza, you wrote: tyres moved on gravel, but you won't leave. Shouldn't it be "tires"? If the misspelling was on purpose, then ignore me.

Nice job!
15
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Review by JDMac
Rated: E | (4.5)
Nice poem with a steady flow. Not a bad read at all. I did notice an error or two you might want to address.

You wrote: For I hear gods words through beauty,

Shouldn't "gods" be either god's or gods'? The same question could be asked two lines later.

You wrote: But than I begin to fear.

"Than" should be swapped out for "then".

Otherwise, I didn't notice anything wrong. Good work.
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Review by JDMac
Rated: E | (4.0)
Nice little piece. Personally, I like to remember. It helps me to write better characters.

Anyhow, on your piece, I found a couple typos you might want to fix.

1. ...and keep the good memories **locked** away in our hearts to reminisce when we choose to do so.

2. However, we mustn't forget that **we're** human...
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Review of Glass Half Full  
Review by JDMac
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Nice. I seem to have gotten that point a little late as well. Better late than never, right?
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Review of Life Came Along  
Review by JDMac
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
Um, I don't know who reviewed this one before, but it definately deserves higher than two stars. It's unique in that it's short. I think many of us, myself included, are afraid of keeping things simple. Well done.
19
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Review of The Beauty in you  
Review by JDMac
Rated: E | (5.0)
Ok...that was great. If there is a single writer who reads this and doesn't give it a five, then they are the only human alive who is immune to flattery. Nice job!
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Review of Cold  
Review by JDMac
Rated: E | (4.5)
Wonderfully descriptive, although short. Gotta love "Planet Earth". That show always has a way of sparking the imagination.
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Review of 5933  
Review by JDMac
Rated: E | (5.0)
Short, but wonderfully written. Interesting title too. I liked it very much.
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Review of Pain or Love  
Review by JDMac
Rated: E | (4.5)
Wonderfully written. Very nice piece. I did notice one possible typo in the third line.

"Is the fairytales that we all see, just a dream?"

Either fairytale should be singular or the line should begin with the word 'are' instead of 'is'.

Otherwise, excellent work. I liked this one a lot.
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Review of Pendulum  
Review by JDMac
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
Oooooh. Great poem. I liked it a lot. Nice job!
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Review of I'm Not Alone.  
Review by JDMac
Rated: E | (3.5)
This was a decent poem, though I would have liked it more if it had more of a rhythm to it. However, if it was your intent to write in more of a free verse, then, by all means write it how you wish. Although it seems like your topic is pretty straight forward, in my case, some of your word or phrase choices confused me for a time and made it necessary for me to reread them.

The first was by EP #3 "so now why cry" (I'm not sure if this is a question or a statement.)

The second was by EP #5. Since you used the word 'emotion' in the previous line, the word 'emotionally' isn't needed here.

By EP #10, might I suggest adding a word or two to increase the syllable count to help the piece flow a little easier. Perhaps "never was I the one to blame"?

I noticed two typos, EP #1 (realize) and EP # 4 (Finally)

Lastly, I was a little confused my the last line of your poem, at least the second part of it where you spoke of the game. Maybe a reworking of the phrases might help.

I know I've said a lot, but I believe in honest feedback that's actually helpful. You've got a nice start here. Keep writing.
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Review of Tasty.  
Review by JDMac
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Good little story. It was very descriptive, almost to the point that I might actually have nightmares about this girl. Although, I'm not sure how I feel about the whole vomiting scene, but it is your story and I did like the final line.

I only noticed one typo in the first paragraph:

...molded to *gravity's* (not gravities) pull and nearly poured from her shirt

Nice job.
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