*Magnify*
SPONSORED LINKS
Creative fun in
the palm of your hand.
Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/profile/reviews/tessat
Review Requests: OFF
40 Public Reviews Given
Review Style
I am fair with my assessments but blunt. I give my impressions and offer suggestions that might be useful on the particular piece I am reviewing or to use in the future. Please don't expect flowers and emoticons. I review for free, so even though it takes 900 GPs, I will send them back with my review.
Public Reviews
1
1
Review by TessaT
Rated: 13+ | (3.0)
Hi Jack,
I received your note to review your blog and have read all your current entries. I've never reviewed a blog before and find it a little difficult since these normally can be whatever the author would like it to be.

It looks like you are using it to write up any topic you are thinking about and not one subject in particular. That's great. Many people use blogs to up their word counts, to make themselves more accountable to write, to get over the fear of having their work out before anyone who might come across it, and to help gain experience in putting words down to express their ideas.

I think you've made a good start. You surprised yourself when your first blog post was about a subject you didn't expect to write about and yet you did. You first line of that post stated you were at home. You opened your post with the idea of safety amidst the danger and ended that "just had to talk about this." It was important enough to you that it needed to be shared and you did even though it was far from what you expected to write. That is what happens with blogs. You are allowed to change things up and readers of blogs often expect that to happen.

Your posts about the teacher and the awkward route in Amsterdam are relatable stories. You gave opinions about freedom. These are all things people post in blogs.

Your last post was about quitting because no one was reading your blog. I would encourage you to keep going and stop worrying about statistics. You stated in your introduction that the main reason you started this blog was because you like writing. This is a great vehicle to do that, no matter how many people stop by and read it. How do you know if the few people that DID read when you checked your stats didn't take away something that had an impact on them without you knowing? There are also all the reasons I gave above to keep blogging. It's a great way to polish the very tools needed to write in other forums. So keep at it!

I am returning the 1800 GPS since I do not accept for reviews. I do them free. Thank you and keep it up!
Theresa


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
2
2
Review of Melanie  
Review by TessaT
Rated: 18+ | (3.0)
Hi Elena,
I received your request for review and can give you some thoughts on your piece. Please keep in mind these are only my opinions and I don't have the definitive answers. I can only make suggestions that you may or might not want to use or discard.

You have presented a situation that is familiar to many. There is an unexpected pregnancy and serious decisions to be made. You have described the circumstances concisely with some very good dialogue. You tell the reader exactly what happens with a lot of information including backstory of the protagonist.

I think it would help the story by trying to figure out what the actual theme or main idea you want to get across. Since this is a familiar circumstance, what makes this story stand out? Is there a link to the decision she makes at the end to the memories she has of Chernobyl? You could work on making that more prominent and clear. You already make reference to how the landscape "shook me up to see a place so much like Belarus in America". If that is the link you want to use, it would work well.

I also think everything is very abrupt. She tells her boyfriend, she tells her roommate she's leaving, she tells her stepmother she's tired, and then tells her the plan. I would work on showing more empathy and show how Melanie is feeling with each instance. The boyfriend is very dismissive and the dialogue is good but during the story, the reader never gets a glimpse of how Melanie is feeling. She seems cold, so why should the reader care?

I might suggest starting at the beginning and trying to imagine how you can work some feelings into story. How does Melanie feel about leaving school? She brushes off her roommate without an explanation and the roommate doesn't question. She see's how the landscape is a reminder her of home but the reader doesn't know how that makes her feel. Even if she is confused it would be something for the reader to connect with. During the procedure there isn't a glimmer of what is going on in Melanie's mind or heart. It's just a bare description that leaves the reader without anything to hold on to. Give the reader a chance to care about the characters so they can have some empathy toward her and her story.

I know you can do this since you managed it at the very end when you said, "I hid my head in her shoulder. I just wanted to crawl inside of her and disappear." This action tells the reader more than all the telling in the entire story. It shows a vulnerability that the reader never had a chance to see before but it happens too late. Show us more during the story.

Please understand I only give suggestions with the intent to improve. If my suggestions do not ring true to you, there is no obligation to use any of them. Hopefully, something might be useful.

Keep writing,
Theresa


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
3
3
Review by TessaT
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Hello,
I received your request for review of this first chapter and I would like to let you know I enjoyed it. You have a good starting point and enough interest to peak my curiosity to want to know more.

Your beginning is fast-paced and captures my attention right away. You give the reader an opportunity to get the feel of what the protagonist is going through. You have placed them in that field running and getting hit by bullets. Good start.

You continue with the introduction of two other characters as she wakes in the barn. They help and you want to keep reading to find out why they would put themselves in danger and if the protagonist will still trust them when she isn't so weak.

It's a good first start to what may be interesting story. I would say to continue writing and edit later but if you want my thoughts on editing now I would say to make those first few paragraphs more powerful.Make sure you link the actions that are taking place in the correct order. Keep in mind the idea of cause and effect. An example:"I fall over. A bullet has hit my right shoulder..." A bullet would have to hit first, then fall. It would be like saying I answered the door, I heard a knock. You see what I mean? Cause/Effect. It's harder for the reader to logically follow along if you don't paint a clear path and it slows down the pace.

I would also question the very end when the woman kisses her brow. Why? She's a stranger and although she is obviously caring, isn't this a little far-fetched? I could see her covering her, tucking her in (so to speak) but a kiss? I would think that would be something to build up to in their relationship. I mean they let her continue to heal in a barn and didn't' invite her to the house so how much love is there yet?

Overall, I think you have done a good job of getting an interesting story started. Your descriptions are good and I can see characters starting to form. Keep it going!
Theresa


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
4
4
Review by TessaT
Rated: 13+ | (3.0)
Hi Velvet Grey,
I received your request for review and will try to give you some helpful suggestions. Please take or disregard all or part of anything I might offer and understand it is given with the best intentions.

You have strong, descriptive abilities which is a plus in keeping a readers interest. You were able to relay the depth of emotion V has for Aida and how much she is yearning for reciprocation. This is a very strong resource for a writer to have and kudos for the brilliant way you were able to get this across.

My concern and question is, where is the story? You obviously have the ability to write but so far nothing has happened. You have presented long soliloquies of how V feels but no action has taken place in the present. There is no anchor for the reader to hold onto as far as where this is starting, where the action is taking place, or where is it leading.

You have written some lovely words but you need to think about your plot and where V is starting out, how she might grow and change, and how it gets her to the end. I'm sure you have some interesting places you could take this, so figure out her journey and tell it. It's the only way to keep readers interested enough to go along with you.

Keep writing!
Theresa


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
5
5
Review by TessaT
Rated: E | (3.0)
Hi Danza,
I received your review request and have made some notes below. Please understand these are only suggestions given with the best intentions to be helpful.

You expressed an almost emotional interest in making this piece an interesting testimonial. I commend you on wanting to put in the work that will make it the best it can be.

My first impression is that you presented the reader with one big block of text. The current format allows you to wander from one thought to another without any stopping points. It doesn't allow any flow and leaves the ideas disjointed.

I would suggest starting by separating the current piece into paragraphs whenever an item changes topics. Once you have the ideas divided, you can work on each one individually to make each thought more precise instead of rambling. Example: You start with a FB war, then go into Karma, then about responding.

The rambling order in which you present the facts does not allow your story to build and never has a chance to make a strong impact. Once your ideas are separated you might decide to re-arrange them to help it build up to the final closing of the piece.

I would also suggest describing how all these things made the narrator feel. I believe in this type of piece it helps to draw a reader in so they can feel some empathy toward what is being experienced. As a reader, I have to take the narrators word for how things progressed (it even says, "I will not get into details...") which make me skeptical since you aren't offering anything else. I have to take the narrators word for everything. Describing how it felt would go a long way to help identify with what happened and put the reader on the same side as the narrator.

Next I would make sure that the primary message you want presented to the reader is strong. It states, "God used the message my sister sent me to speak through me. Where it said I sent you an angel last night. It was God letting me know he sent me an angel." I won't mention the grammatical errors but just stating this at the end of the piece doesn't convince me as a reader. To make this stronger as a testimonial, it would be better to express the emotion behind it. If this is done well, the reader might not agree with your point of view but will have to acknowledge the emotion you left because of what and how it happened making it a stronger piece.

I will stop here in case I have gone overboard. I am also returning your GPS since I can't figure out how to set my reviews to zero instead of charging. Hopefully, you will find something here useful.

Keep writing!
Theresa


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
6
6
Review by TessaT
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Hi Mary Ann,
I received your request for a review and am happy to give my opinions of your poem. I'm not sure if there is something going on with the site that prompted you to choose me to review or if it was a random request?

In any case, I found your poem quite wonderful! I'm not an expert in poetry but I think this piece was light and meaningful at the same time. You captured the very feeling of someone moving along, all alone, day after day. I could picture him walking, sitting, sleeping in the elements with no issues doing it again the following day.

I did feel your second verse and on lost some rhythm which was a slight distraction. Also, your rhyming scheme was every line in the second verse (meet-street, found, ground) but then changed to every other in the third (ponder-yonder, foil, toil). I know there are formal ways of stating this, but I am lacking that information. I'm sure someone here on the site can help define those.

Overall, I still think your poem was fresh and whimsical. I enjoyed it very much and hope some of this information might be helpful.
Best,
Theresa Tintori


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
7
7
Review by TessaT
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Hi there!
I've read your short story and have to say it was quite engaging. I'm not much of a war story kind of gal but since I lived through this era I can appreciate your telling of this incident. You have a way of presenting it in a very military type fashion that puts the reader in that frame of mind and I could visualize the action as it was taking place.

The first sentence started out in a roundabout circle that had me slightly confused. 'Today, or was it yesterday, well at least the last twenty-four hours'. If the author wasn’t sure, how could I as a reader be sure? I wonder if you should start with the action since you've already labeled it 'Daily Journal entry of Staff Sergeant Gene Huff, November 22, 1968' and start with, ' The day began when Colonel Hunt called me into the headquarters tent well before dawn. This was an unexpected call as my platoon was on stand-down and scheduled to have the day off - our first full day of rest in thirteen days. I can best describe it as the worse day in my short life thus far.
I would also re-arrange the sentences in the next two paragraphs to focus on the facts of the platoon being tired and Colonel Hunt wasn’t going to let up. Maybe something like, ‘Colonel Hunt informed me that an urgent and very important mission had developed over-night(.) r(R)egardless of the fact that my Platoon resembled a rag-tag bunch of military rejects (and) was tired, T(t)he mission would be carried out. h(H)e was in no mood to offer pity and consolation, D(d)espite my pleading looks and frazzled appearance. The Colonel was well aware that we had fought in four major battles and undertook three long-range reconnaissance missions over the past two weeks, and we had yet to receive replacements in men, materials and weapons.
You go on relaying the activities that needed to take place and you did a good job of helping me understand all the military procedures. I wonder if you could add more personal ways of bringing the reader into this young man’s world. An example: You mention ‘my Platoon Sergeant’ early on but it isn’t until paragraphs later you tell us ‘we call him The Jolly Green Giant’. I think this information told earlier would help the reader identify on a more personal level.
I think you should shorten your sentences right about the time the tree explodes. I think with shorter sentences at that point, it will keep the action coming at a faster clip and propel the arc of the story.
I feel the last paragraph should sound more as if he is ending his entry and reflecting on the day. Again I’m re-arranging… With all the officers back in Base Camp tied up with more, “important things”, someone has to teach these youngsters and lead them into combat. My ETS (End of Term of Service) is coming up soon, but I think I will re-enlist! I think it takes the focus away from the obvious issue that officers get out of missions and keeps it more in the young man’s aspect of what he will do about it. I think it says more about that man this way.
BUT…These are only suggestions and it doesn’t cross my mind for one second that I have all the right answers. I don’t. Hopefully, something here might be of value but if I have gone too far, forgive me. My only intention is to help and give you ideas.
I think you’ve done a good job and and it's a good story. (I’m just not sure how you might have chosen me to review).
Best,
Theresa Tintori


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
8
8
Review by TessaT
Rated: E | (3.5)
Hi Misty,
I came across your chapter in the Recent Review Requests.

I hope you will take my impressions of your chapter in the spirit they are intended, which is to help you progress on your piece. Please use or discard all or any of the suggestions I offer.

You have a story here and you can write. You've worked out many details about your character and what has happened in her past. The dialogue you have included is real and rings true.

The entire beginning of the story until you reach your first # is mostly backstory. There is no action happening. It's not that it isn't good information but some of it should be presented later. I think you need to decide where your story really starts. As an example, I might start the story with:

Nestled amidst the long stretch of Maine coastline, on the West side of Penobscot Bay, there is a timeless collection of little New England communities.,one of which being my home town.I have lived in the small, east coast town of Rockport my entire life, with the exception of this the last year. Ffifteen months to be exact. As excited as I was to be back home, a huge part of me was nervous to face a few of the people I thought I had left behind.

About a year ago, – close to halfway through my Sophomore year in High School, my mother decided to move us closer to the big city., knowing iIt would reduce her travel time to work and her guilt for not spending that timethereby provide more time that she could spend with me. I willingly banished myself there, hating the very thought of leaving behind everyone and everything I had ever known for a big city full of strangers and strange things, but I knew it would make her happy – and ultimately, that was all that mattered.

Do you see where this immediately puts the reader into the story? It gives them an idea of where the action is starting and it introduces the main character. We now know she is a H.S. student who lives with her mother.

I would suggest copying the portions of backstory narratives into another document. It will keep your story clean and you can pull from that document to fill in when it's time to use the information. Don't overload the reader with data, but place it in spots that would make sense for it to be brought up. You want a reader to continue to want to know more.

I will stop here in case you totally disagree, so I don't waste any more of your time. I feel it just needs some editing and better placement of the information. I would be more than happy to clarify anything I've mentioned and will look again further if you like.

Hope something was helpful! Keep writing this!


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
9
9
Review of EPHEMERALITY  
Review by TessaT
Rated: E | (4.5)
Wow. You have captured some really nice thoughts which provokes some deeper thinking! I'm partial to mental images so this works well for me.
I'm liking your contrasts of words, images, and meanings as in:
Broaching eternity
everlasting as a stone
eroded by the wind and waves of time.

You have a very nice way of using your words to present visual imagery (waves) that reflects deeper thoughts (of time).

Love is as everlasting as a day and yet the days go on and on.

I really enjoyed this! Thank you!

(you can take the second 'with' out after Broaching eternity)


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
10
10
Review by TessaT
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hi there,

I thoroughly enjoyed your piece! You put me in the moment from the beginning of the story.
I felt and breathed in the cold air in this calm place you created. I stood perfectly still as the voice behind beckoned me away and into the reality. What a wonderful connection for a reader to feel about a character. You did an excellent job!

You created the atmosphere and mind frame of the main character. You moved the story forward by actions and gave it a conclusion.

There are grammatical errors, but since this is for the Cramp you are probably aware. (I'm not familiar with those rules, except there is only a specific amount of time involved which may prevent writing more than a draft).

I also would have preferred if you left the cause of the brothers death more ambiguous instead of stating that he passed from a skiing accident.

“Henry, it’s been three years since Brian past. (instead of 'died in the skiing accident'). My reasoning for this is because I found it unbelievable for the brother to have left a letter for his sister if he was in an accident and didn't know he was to die. If the reader doesn't know exactly how he died, there is more probability he could have prepared a letter.

This, of course, is only an opinion/suggestion. The fact is, I enjoyed your piece very much!

Good job!

Theresa Tintori


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
11
11
Review by TessaT
Rated: 18+ | (5.0)
Hi there,
I came across your story in the Random Reads section of The Hub. I couldn't resist the opportunity of telling you...thank you for the big grin you put on my face!

You nailed this character to a big, fat, capital T! Your characterization is superb and dialogue excellent. I could hear and picture both characters as they progressed the story with their exchange in the truck. Of course, the reader knows exactly which doctor they are going to see but wait...they don't!
Excellent! Thank you for a great read!
Theresa
12
12
Review by TessaT
Rated: 18+ | (3.5)
I am far from a poetry expert so I can only offer my humble impressions of your piece.

I believe you have done a good job of capturing the overall message. You are very clear on what happened.
It seemed the middle stanza's and beyond became lengthy or longer than the rhythm's you originally set out. It was slightly distracting and I'm not sure if fewer words would accomplish a better effect. It also lacked a more solid connection with the protagonist and point of view. She didn't have a clear way of thinking for me to follow. She mentions, "The father has rights, no harm done", just before saying she was "living a nightmare" due to what he had done. Those things seemed conflicting to me as a reader if I am trying to see the situation from her side. Also, the line, "My babies taken by the courts cause I got sick and out of control," seemed out of place. I'm not sure what to think of that information about her since it wasn't elaborated. I'm not sure it was necessary.

I think you have a good item that could be sharpened by taking a look at what information needs to be removed or tightened up to say it in a more concise way. I think it will give the words and feelings more impact. Hope something here is helpful!
Theresa Tintori

13
13
Review by TessaT
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
How brave of you to put it all out there for everyone to see. It's emotionally painful and you may or may not ever fully understand the why's and how's of what brought you to this point. He stole from you more than your future life, but also your future trust to love others. Try to consider it isn't love that you mistrust but a particular person's behavior. Don't apply it to everyone.
I'm truly sorry you went through this experience. You wrote of it eloquently and realistically. I could feel the ache in your words and know from your tone you are strong and will move yourself forward to a happier life. All the best!
Theresa Tintori


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
14
14
Review of The Baseball Mix  
Review by TessaT
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hi there!
I wanted to let you know I enjoyed this piece very much! It felt exactly like sitting in the stands, and brought back all the feeling of being there at a game.
I believe you captured the baseball game in this instant. Good job!
Theresa Tintori


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
15
15
Review of Goals  
Review by TessaT
Rated: E | (3.5)
Hi Jeffrey,
I like your inspirational piece about goals. I happen to believe in exactly what you describe. You do a good job at the beginning using the basketball game, as an example, and all throughout, your research is very impressive.
There are some grammar and punctuation errors, but since I am working on these issues myself, will need to defer suggestions to someone more capable. Personally, I start by using my Word spelling and grammar tool to help spot obvious mistakes, and I also set it to find passive voice. I've re-written many sentences making them sharper, and easier to read with this tool.
Overall, you have a good piece! Keep up the good work!
Theresa



*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
16
16
Review of Requiem  
Review by TessaT
Rated: E | (3.5)
Hi there,
I enjoyed your piece! You have good contrasts in characters that matches their differences in opinions. I can almost hear the guitar strings as the music is played. I do think there are a few things you could do to improve the flow.

The first sentence captures my attention, but is confusing. You say 'as he plugged it into' but only Stuart is mentioned so far, and he is across the room. I believe abashed is a verb or noun, not an adjective, so it can't describe a smile.
Maybe?...
The speaker belched to life as it was plugged into the outlet. Across the room in his recliner, Stuart twitched at the sudden noise. The old man offered an embarrassed smile and said, “Sorry,” in a voice trembling with anxiety.
The second paragraph is also important since, I believe, you are telling more about the musician than his appearance. I thought it might be good to connect the information about the musician's eyes to give clearer hints.
Maybe...
His face was ageless, with smooth features. A tribal tattoo wound from the left side of his jaw and plunged beneath his collar. His meaningful stare reflected a depth of centuries through silver eyes. He grinned, “Jitters happen sometimes.”

Later you say, Stuart’s face trembled, becoming motley of emotions. I believe it should be 'motley with emotions'.

I hope you find this helpful, and, of course, these are only suggestions. I think your beginning needs to be clearer, whichever way you think is best, so the reader continues into the interesting story you present. It's a good one! Good job.
TessaT


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
17
17
Review of Five Candles  
Review by TessaT
Rated: 13+ | (3.5)
I enjoyed your story and it is a very current topic. You've done a good job of capturing the idea of an young mother that isn't at a point to take on the responsibility of a child and how it affects the people around her. That isn't an easy chore and you managed it.
My suggestions are only that. I will share my thoughts only to help areas that stood out to me but are entirely up to you to accept or decline.
I would have started the story with 'Sitting in her History exam, Emma feels an excruciating pain', to get right to the action. I would then place your beginning...
"I wish everyone would stop staring at my belly," Emma (remembered) groan(ing), whilst fumbling relentlessly with her school shirt, trying desperately to cover up her bulging abdomen." Continue on through that first portion to fill the space until...
'Sixteen hours later, a rotund midwife' It's up to you and some wording might need to be changed but I thought it would get the story off to a faster start and fill in the small background during the sixteen hours of waiting(?).
I like the baby's thoughts in italics. A personal thought came to me that Suzie might have noticed that the '3 teddies above my head, (trying) to play a soothing tune' instead of 'playing a soothing tune' due to the blaring television. She is aware and 'trying' might make this nuance stronger.
I also think you need to reword her last bit of thoughts starting with 'I like this smell, sweet and fresh. I'm gazing...' There is too much telling how the baby feels which breaks down some of the connection with the reader. Try using more description and impressions Suzi might be feeling. It would be a good place to show not tell. Imagine that portion from the baby's point of view and describe that instead of telling me what the baby is thinking. Describe what Suzi smells, sees, feels, don't tell me.
You also need not be afraid to carry through with Emma's 'don't care' attitude. She is immature and it will make your story better if you follow through with that attitude throughout. I thought you could make the leaflet part stronger and show the mother's hesitancy by having her slide the leaflet over to Emma with a quivering hand...then Emma snatches it up off the table. It reinforces the mother's care and Emma's continued attempt at teenage intimidation. I might even change her response from a hushed tone to a pronounced, what's next? You've already shown Emma to be less than caring...don't worry about softening her now.
I hope I haven't gone overboard. These are only suggestions and purely my opinion. I enjoyed your story. Good job!
Theresa Tintori


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
18
18
Review of Final Exam  
Review by TessaT
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
Applause! Loved, loved your story! Whatever work you put into this piece has made it superb.
Everything about the story is easy to relate to. You worked every bit of nuance to it's fullest to bring the turnaround to it's absolute perfect conclusion. I don't think there is a thing I could suggest for this piece to make it any better than what you have already achieved.
Even when it became obvious after the quirky kiss how the switch would happen, you lead me through the process making it believable and exciting. Great job. Thank you for a great read. Enjoyed it!


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
19
19
Review of Kite Chasing  
Review by TessaT
Rated: 18+ | (3.0)
I think have a good story to tell. It's interesting but it took too long to get to it. You might want to consider starting the story with "I didn't kill Carly." You would have the readers interest at the start and could reveal more about what happened sooner. Maybe the scene with the woman about the cat happened on his unexpected way home? It might help to establish his state of mind instead of the reader just having to be told. Keep it up. Don't be afraid to edit to keep the story tight. You can do it. You are on the right track!
19 Reviews · *Magnify*
Page of 1 · 25 per page   < >
Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/profile/reviews/tessat