*Magnify*
SPONSORED LINKS
Creative fun in
the palm of your hand.
Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/profile/reviews/timtuink/sort_by/r.review_creation_time DESC/page/4
Review Requests: OFF
579 Public Reviews Given
Public Reviews
Previous ... 3 -4- 5 6 7 8 9 10 ... Next
76
76
Review of Deception  
In affiliation with Showering Acts of Joy Group  
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Pamela,

The good news is that I liked your story. The not-so-good news is that we need to talk about the mechanical quality of your writing. The really good news is that I really liked your story. I think it's positively terrific. *Smile*

If I was a teacher and you were my student, I'd give your story an "A". Your writing, however, would receive a "C-". I'm still going to give you four stars because the story itself is that good, and I want to encourage you to learn how to turn mediocrity into greatness. You've already achieved this in your storytelling ability. Now you need to do the same with the mechanical "grunt" work that's involved.

Just as lyrics without a melody do not a song make, a great chronicle without good punctuation and grammar, do not a story make.

You'll likely want to see a few examples of what I'm talking about, so here goes:

"So, what is it you want?"

Kate looked at her father through the security screen. She thought he looked absurd in his day-glow orange jumpsuit, the uniform of all high-risk prisoners.
She paused, knowing that, after her next words, there'd be no going back. "I want to get rid of Alex."

Her father looked up, careful not to let any emotion show. "I'm guessing you mean permanently or you wouldn't be visiting the Belmarsh hotel."

Kate nodded. "I can't see a choice. He's going to dump me for sure. He's out every night, no explanation, won't discuss anything. Five months now and when he's home, it's like he isn't really there." She sighed. "He just says he's tired, mutters something about business and that's it."

Pamela, I'm stopping here for a minute. Notice how I'm spacing the paragraphs between each character and their dialogue. This same pattern should continue throughout the story. Note also how each speaker is fully enclosed within each paragraph, with no extra spaces or separate lines while the speaker is talking -- or doing whatever. It's very important that you compare your original with my version, word for word, and pay close attention to every single detail. Thanks.

"Business? I thought he'd inherited a stash. What sort of business?"
see the space here between these lines
"I've no idea dad and he's not going to be telling me."

There was a silence broken only by the sounds of the prison. Keys turning, clanging metal doors and a guard yelling to someone, "Get a move on!"

the paragraph above stands alone as separate narrative. some important changes there, also.

"And you think I can help from here?" He watched closely for her reaction, touched that she still turned to him for help. (no semi-colon needed)

"Of course, she answered, "you're my daddy."

"And you're my princess," he responded automatically.

Pamela, if you look close, you'll find a large number of small changes which I've made. Some are absolutely necessary, while others could be written in a number of different ways, but all of them better that what you had to begin with. Don't be discouraged, however. You're a diamond in the rough, as they say, and nobody loses interest in a real gem simply because it needs polishing. *Smile*

If you have a questions, don't hesitate to ask. This is such a winner of a story, it would be my pleasure to help you more with it. Seriously.

Bob

** Image ID #1922401 Unavailable **


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
77
77
In affiliation with Showering Acts of Joy Group  
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Hi, Neva,

I liked your story that hints at the idea that cats really do rule the universe. *Smile* The ending caught me by surprise, and is almost the reverse of that Twilight Zone episode, "To Serve Man." Or in this case, to serve cats.

I think the story is charming and well thought out. You may also be happy (maybe not?) to know I am somewhat of a professional editor. I don't do it for money anymore, but for friends, I enjoy helping out. So if you'll pardon my jumping in, somewhat uninvited, I took the liberty of editing your entire story.

Of course, it's strictly up to you as to whether you incorporate the changes I recommend, but just in case you're curious to see where some of your weak points are, please review the following.

This is a case of making a good story into a great story. So I hope you'll accept my presumptuousness that you might find this interesting. See what you think and let me know if this was helpful and made sense. *Smile* I also found the story to be very funny.


A teenager looking through his telescope discovers a new star.

In the headline above, a better form of a news headline might read:

Teenager looks through telescope and discovers new star.


Unfortunately, at that moment my pure bred Siamese cat, King Mongkut.

The sentence above is incomplete. I think you meant to say the following:

Unfortunately at that moment, my pure bred Siamese cat, King Mongkut, needed to go outside.


When I opened the door, I saw that it was snowing, so I placed my mug on the stand in the foyer, sat down in the chair, and put on the cowboy boots that were next to the chair.

Above, I changed "sit" to "sat".


I knew from the tone in his voice that I didn't have time to get my coat out of the hall closet, so I took my sister's silver mink coat off the tree in the hallway. Putting on the mink, I picked up my coffee and followed the cat down the front steps.

Please compare my version above to your original. I think the needed changes are pretty easy to see.


Anyway, I was standing on the front walk, sipping coffee, and watching Mong search for the perfect spot to relieve himself, when I heard a noise. At first, I thought it was the front door closing, but then someone behind me spoke.

"Please, human."

I turned around to see who was speaking. There stood a three-foot-tall creature with grayish purple skin and huge, insect-like eyes.

Notice how the above one paragraph, is now three separate ones. The alien needs his own paragraph is the reason. Pay close attention to all the small changes compared to your original single paragraph.


"Yes," I smiled, thinking that one of the neighbors was shooting a video which would appear on YouTube in a couple of hours. "May I help you?"

Above, I added a comma after smiled.


I think it might be really cute to have the alien first try talking to the cat directly. What do you think? Or would that give things away too soon?


"Yes." I had to bite my tongue to keep from laughing because I had not intention of screwing up a video that could go viral.

Above, I put a period after "Yes." And changed "bit" to "bite".


"Good." The creature managed a big grin.

Above, I put a period after "Good." And capitalized "The".


"Uh..." I heard Mong yawl and then I lost consciousness.

Above, I changed "yawl" to "yowl". A better choice, I think.


When I came to my senses, I was sitting in a cot in a small windowless and doorless cell. Mong and another cat, a large female Maine Coon, were sitting next to me and looking very proud of themselves.

Neva, I have an 18-pound rescued Maine Coon who is more human than feline. Or is that, more alien? No changes needed above.


"Well," I said as I continued sipping, "at least I didn't spill my coffee when I blacked out." I looked around and wondered where I was.

Lots of small changes above. Please compare with your original. Thanks.


The wall in front of me slid open. "Good morning, Miss...?" said another grayish purple creature carrying a tray of food.

Above, note the period after "open". And the question mark after the ellipsis in Miss...? This allows you to answer in the next line.


The creature seemed to frown. "When we took Queen Moxie Gore, her teenage human was looking through a telescope.

Above, I put a period after "frown". It could also be written: The creature frowned as he spoke. "When we


Before we could capture him, he ran into his house, apparently excited over something."

Above, I added "apparently".


"OK," a panel opened in the wall next to the cot and a table emerged. The creature placed the tray on the table.

It's not clear what you're saying here. The creature gets its own paragraph, however, when he does anything. Do you mean, "OK," I said. If so, then the next lines all go on a separate paragraph as follows:

"OK," I said.

A panel opened in the wall next to the cot and a table emerged. The creature then placed the tray on the table.


"Uh," I just stared.

Above, the line reads better this way:

I just stared and only muttered, "Uh...."

Above, note the fourth period in the ellipsis, which means the dialogue just trails off.


"You wish a...job description? I think that is what you humans call it." The creature started toward the door and then turned around. "Miss Margo, your job is to care for Queen Moxie Gore, her mate, King Mongkut, and their offspring."

Above, I closed up the space in: a...job description? And added the question mark. Otherwise this reads fine.

Okay, that's enough out of me. *Smile* Consider yourself thoroughly edited, and I hope it has some value for you.

Be well.
Bob

** Image ID #1922401 Unavailable **


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
78
78
Review of How You Say It  
In affiliation with Showering Acts of Joy Group  
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
Hi, Maranda,

I ran your little poem through my own filters, trying to determine the best possible way, including grammar and punctuation, to structure the piece. While you may not agree with my alterations, I think the newer version is superior to your original. I think it's stronger, clearer, and nothing reads better than clean, uncluttered punctuation.

See what you think and get back to me if you have any questions or comments. Even though you might think this is a small, insignificant work, it is strictly conversational, and I approached it as a piece of important dialogue, as if taken right out of a novel -- albeit an angry one. *Smile*

Thanks for letting me mess with your stuff. I just hope I don't incur your wrath in doing so. *Facepalm*
Bob

Your original:

It's not what you say
but how you say it?

Well,
then how do you
kindly say
"I hate your guts,
now get the fuck out"?

My version:

It's not the words we say,
but how we use them?

Well, then,
how do I
kindly say
that I hate your guts?

Now get the fuck out!


** Image ID #1922401 Unavailable **


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
79
79
Review of Carpe Diem  
In affiliation with Showering Acts of Joy Group  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hi, April,

I think your poem is quite lovely, and poignant in its reference to the California drought. I think you captured the moods, both sad and uplifting, just right, in how you structured the work. Kudos on a job well done.

If you're waiting for a "but", I won't disappoint you in that regard as well. There are some problems here. Nothing major, but little stuff you might want to pay attention to. It is, however, the difference between a good, okay poem, and a great one that leaves a lasting impression. Unfortunately the last impression I got, as a reviewer, was a last line that made the whole thing sadly forgettable.

Please allow me to explain my reasons:

Your punctuation in terms of periods, semi-colons, and so forth, is inconsistent and without a pleasant or pleasing pattern. How one punctuates a poem is largely subjective, but even so, a certain degree of consistency is necessary. Otherwise readers can become confused, either pausing or failing to pause where you want them to.

provide an enhanced verdant scenery

Always watch out for sneaky redundancies; they like to turn perfectly good lines into overkill. In the sentence above, "enhanced" is a bit repetitive for "verdant", where verdant kind of already means, enhanced. My suggestion is to use a different word for enhanced, and see if you can find one that more precisely says exactly what you mean.

The day might grow hot –
or not,
for one can never really predict the weather,
at least not here
in the Bay Area.

Even in poetry, we can have long, run-on sentences which quickly grow tedious. Try some added punctuation in the stanza above, wherever you want, that makes the reader pause a moment -- where you want them to.

Nocturnal night owl turned early bird
I am;
how fortunate I am to carpe diem.

The term, carpe diem is not a verb, as you use it. Rather the words together form an interjection, their own phrase, as if they act as a collective noun. I had to do some real research on this in order to discover why I didn't like it -- I just knew I didn't.

Here's a better way to say the same thing:

how fortunate I am to embrace the adage, carpe diem!

See the difference? You can also see, now, how there's a bunch of different ways to say this. If possible, I'd eliminate the double use of "I am". One is enough, in my opinion. It's up to you, of course. It's not a matter of right or wrong. Except for carpe diem, which strictly is.

I know it's probably hard to believe that I liked this poem as much as I do, given all my criticisms of it. But that's why they pay me the big money, to be a critical nag. *Smile* Did I earn my wages?

Let me know if this helps. And thanks for letting me nitpick.
Bob

** Image ID #1922401 Unavailable **



*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
80
80
Review of May Day of Doom  
In affiliation with Showering Acts of Joy Group  
Rated: ASR | (3.5)
Hey, Brom,

This is a great story with a ton of potential. I'm always looking for a new take on the same old themes and plots, and you've hit upon a certain something in this interesting variation on a story that's been done dozens, if not hundreds of times.

I highly recommend you rent the movie, "Melancholia". The reason is because that, too, also put a different spin on the classic doomsday tale. I think your story could benefit from whatever you take away from the film I suggest, and add to your own version.

One of the things I really like about your story is the happy ending. We don't see that a lot; it's rare and works really well here. I love the idea that this huge asteroid is just small enough that it burns up, but is otherwise so terrifying that no one doubts it's the end. This is a fairly unique twist and I was both surprised and pleased with how well you pulled it off.

Okay, now for the bad news. This work needs a ton of work. Gobs of misspellings, loads of grammar errors, and a host of other problems plague this otherwise great story, as if it, too, had suffered an actual hit from the "bad English" asteroid. *Smile* But take heart, my friend. I'd rather see you struggle with proper English and have great stories to tell, than know your grammar like an expert and say nothing interesting about anything. Thus you're on the right side of street, so to speak. *Smile*

As just one example, I copied your first paragraph below:

John sprinted out of the classroom and down the hall then made a sharp turn at the school exit. He hopped onto his bike and raced home. As he energetically burst through the front door, the fourteen year old greeted his mother Irene.

Although not the only revision possible, here's a sample of how this paragraph ought to be written:

John sprinted out of the classroom, sped down the hall, then made a sharp turn at the school exit. Hopping onto his bike, he raced home. As he energetically burst through the front door, the fourteen-year-old greeted his mother, Irene.

In order to properly edit this story, I'd have to rewrite almost every paragraph in the same manner. Which I'd never do. The idea is to encourage you to do it, and do it better than before. Nobody's looking for perfection. But we all want to work towards writing better, and gaining a clearer understanding of what that process is all about.

By listening to me, you've taken your first big step to greatness and stardom. Okay, so maybe that's overstating things a bit. *Smile* But you get the idea. And yeah, it's a lot of work, and it's a pain in the rear, but the rewards are tremendous -- especially when you've converted a good story into a truly great one. The idea is to do things well enough so nags like me never have more than a little to complain about.

So you have your work cut out for you, my friend. If you're willing, I can help you with this, but not so much the grammar end. I can't teach you all the stuff you still need to get a handle on. But I'm great with content and theme.

I hope you bring this back to me once you've fixed all the nasty little grammar gremlins that haunt this particular story. As I said, it's a marvelous tale with lots of potential. You've got your finger on the pulse, as they say, of something truly original, and let that remain as your primary focus. The rest is just eating your vegetables.

Thanks for letting me spout off.
Bob

** Image ID #1922401 Unavailable **


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
81
81
Review of To The Surface  
In affiliation with Showering Acts of Joy Group  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hi, Walter's Not My Real Name,

Mine is Bob, and I'm first-generation German. My mother was born in Austria and moved to America as a teenager. Unfortunately she died when I was young, and mein vater was more or less out of the picture. I only mention this because you might find it mildly interesting.

That said, this is one beautiful, absolutely terrific poem. With one, horrible ending. There, I said it! *Smile* And I feel much better now, thank you.

I can only assume that you meant for this piece to be introductory in some way, or have an additional twenty stanzas still waiting to be written. All things considered, I reduced your score by a half-star because of the lousy ending, which ruins an otherwise gorgeous piece of outstanding work. Some of the best rhyming lines I've seen in a long while. My sincere congratulations -- and condolences -- for what you've left me with, as a reviewer.

If you're not familiar with what is called, "steampunk", I should be very surprised. The punkers will love this poem, they'll positively adore it, regardless of your actual intentions. I refer to how the sudden and unexpected appearance of the robot comes as a rather shocking -- albeit not altogether unpleasant -- surprise.

It's a nice touch that I liked in spite of my more critical tendencies. The fact that our "nameless" lass utilizes some kind of technology, the description of which is too little, and a bit on the odd side, is as problematic as the lackluster ending. Were it not for the poem's strong and eloquent writing, I should quite dislike this item and rate it accordingly.

The piece is written so damn well, however, that I am forced to mostly overlook its shortcomings and applaud what there is. With a standing ovation, as they say. If this is indeed an experimental work and you're looking for encouragement to continue, then please allow me, mein freund, to urge you, in no uncertain terms, to move forward with this story. Either as a full fledged poem, or a short story, even a novel. You obviously have the "chops" to do whatever you wish and accomplish the endeavor extremely well.

By the way, allow me to reiterate the notion that if you're not familiar with steampunk, you may want to look into it. Or not. The genre is not for everybody, but most sci-fi peeps tend to like it.

I'm still somewhat amazed at how quickly you took us from us a Disneyesque "Little Mermaid" kind of thing, to a solid, more serious -- and inventive -- type of story. I look forward to the next chapter, literally and figuratively. If and when you choose to take us further, please consider me as a fan before I read a single word.

Regardless of how this work eventually evolves, can you promise me one thing? I don't ask for a lot. But some kind of an ending would be nice. You know, just for us stubborn nitpickers. *Smile*

Once again, kudos on a fine, wonderfully executed piece of work.
Bob

** Image ID #1922401 Unavailable **


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
82
82
Review of Amazon  
In affiliation with Showering Acts of Joy Group  
Rated: E | N/A (Unratable.)
Hi, Osirantinous,

Wow, that name is both a mouthful and keyboard full *Smile*

My name is Bob and whenever possible, I always like to look at what writers consider to be their weakest style of writing. Usually it's poetry and in that respect, you were a pleasant exception to the rule. The exception sometimes proves the rule, so they say, and in your situation, this is certainly the case.

Your drawing a parallel between your mum's loss of a breast, and the Amazon warriors of old, is sheer genius as far as I'm concerned. I'd not seen that exact comparison made before, in reference to female cancer patients, and I found it positively brilliant, stirring, touching, and poignant.

I'm proud of you for writing this, so I can imagine Mum was pleased as punch. It's quite the heartwarming story packed into a compact, superbly written poem.

I had forgotten the legend of how the Amazonians cut or burned off their right breast, I believe, presumably to enhance their archery skills and so forth. I did a quick fact check to make sure, and was, of course, satisfied in short order.

In my never to be humble opinion, this poem should be posted (as a poster) in every cancer ward in the country. I think untold numbers of women would greatly appreciate its powerful message. I'm a stinky old man, and I did.

Well done, my friend. Very nice.

Bob

Watter puddle Fractual--SAJ signature by Gaby



*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
83
83
Review of Sounds of Spring  
In affiliation with Showering Acts of Joy Group  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hi, Lynda with a y,

My name is Bob with a b, and I was originally going to send you an email only, with my comment. Rather than do a whole review thing. But then I realized that there is a small lesson here, perhaps, for others to pay attention to, and that could only be a good thing.

Speaking of good things, your lovely poem hardly needs a critical review. And although it's a bit Disneyesque, so to speak, meaning your anthropomorphized all the creatures (I just like using that word), *Smile* you used your skill to paint a pretty picture for us, one that captures the spirit of Spring with just the right, few words. Not too many and just enough. Sweet.

There is one line only about which I have a concern:

And have you seen
the trees are glowing.

Enough people (not all by any means) will likely derive the same impression as I did. It's a commentary on the times, however, and not your writing ability. There's a joke in the common parlance, as they say, which attributes glowing trees to nuclear radiation -- whether from war or a nearby power plant. Since this is utterly contrary to your meaning, you might want to reword the line in order to disassociate yourself from an unnecessary (and unfortunate) distraction.

These things often sneak up on us without our knowing it, and sometimes it matters to us, and sometimes it doesn't. Part of my job is to bring this to your attention and let you do with it what you will -- or won't.

I also don't want to suggest a different wording, which is not my job in this particular situation. Only you know what you want to say, and how to say it. *Smile* I'd probably say something silly like "the trees are booming!"

I also took note of your commas and periods, most of which are just fine.

I saw the caterpillar
weaving it's cocoon.
soon it will be a butterfly
enjoying all my flowers.

In the stanza above, you put a period after cocoon. That means "Soon" should be capitalized.

My backyard is
full of chatter and joy.
All the animals
and insects too,

Are happy Spring is here.

In the closing lines above, you put a comma after "too". The first word of the next line,"are" should therefore be lower case. You could also put a period after "too". This makes things very interesting because it effectively doubles the meaning. Can you see that? With a period, all the animals and insects are full of chatter and joy. Plus they're simultaneously happy that Spring is here. It works both ways.

People will think you did this on purpose and consider you brilliant for doing so. And I won't let on that you heard it from me. *Smile*

Oh have you heard
the Cardinals chirp.
She is calling,
Spring is here.

If you want to have some additional (and optional) fun, the last line above, "Spring is here." could be written in italics and include an exclamation mark. Spring is here! The reason is because the Cardinals are chirping the words, and announcing it for all to hear.

Thanks again for sharing this piece, I really liked it. Let me know, too, if you have any questions.

Bob

Watter puddle Fractual--SAJ signature by Gaby


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
84
84
In affiliation with Showering Acts of Joy Group  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hi, Dogpack,

My name is Bob and that seems like a terrible way to say hi to a stranger, calling you "dogpack". Then again, I love dogs, so anything with the name "dog" in it, is okay by me *Smile*

I have a special place in my heart for service animals, especially of the canine variety. I just love it when I see the two together while out shopping or walking. *Smile* The perfect union of animal and human. When we see riders atop horses, doesn't it seem almost too natural of a match-up? I feel the same way when I see folks with physical challenges matched with dogs who are more human than some people *Smile* (and smarter).

Your delightful poem captures this connection in a wonderful and strongly personal manner, and I think you just may have had the last word the subject *Smile*

I did have two, small, Chihuahua-sized critical suggestions as follows:

We travel all over
Even walk through the clover
Some people call her rover
Now this ditty is over

In the last line above, saying the ditty is over, comes too soon in the poem. See if you like this better:

Now this ditty is far from over

My only other concern is periods and commas. You have no commas and only a period here or there. It's okay not to have any commas. Who needs them? Not you or me. But periods are nice, if you put all of them where they go. And not just some. If you go back and look, I think you'll see where you want the periods, and if you do, feel free to sprinkle them in where you think they should go. I counted half-a-dozen or so.

That said, I'm sure Bella is a sheer joy, and she even looks it in the pictures. Pits have gotten a bad rap of late, and I like how you admonish us not to get in a snit over it. Only an ignorant person would. And who needs them? Not you or me.

Thanks again for sharing this. I loved it.

Bob

Watter puddle Fractual--SAJ signature by Gaby



*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
85
85
In affiliation with Showering Acts of Joy Group  
Rated: E | N/A (Review only item.)
Hi, Jeannie,

As a Vietnam vet, I'm either the perfect person to review your terrific letter, or the most unabashedly biased. There's no such thing as a "bad" version of this kind of thing. Or one that needs more of this, or less of that. They're all great, and every combat soldier loves getting them.

There's not much else to say other than this well written piece contains just the right mixture of patriotism, parent-like concern, and sympathy for the hardships that troops endure. As these things go, your letter, however, is certainly up there among the best of their kind.

As you may know, there are numerous resources on the internet where citizens can obtain the names and addresses of soldiers all over the world, and send them everything from letters like yours, to gift boxes which contain any number of necessary or luxury items. It's amazing (and very alarming) how often our troops lack some of the basic necessities, and welcome packages which are shared among their comrades.

Over the years, my wife, Madeline, alone, has mailed out over 1500 boxes to troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Letters from children are also a special treat. Of special note is how the Post Office offers fixed-price boxes of varying sizes for which no weight limit exists. So as you can imagine, those packages are filled to the brim and bulging.

Worth mentioning, also, is how frequently it's the case where soldiers have no loved ones back home -- no friends or family who might otherwise write to them. Part of the reason for this is that orphans, loners, and others who are less than gregarious, tend to make up a certain percentage of today's enlistees. Many of these folks in particular, submit their names as potential recipients of "letters from home".

On occasions too numerous to count, we received "thank you" letters in return for both our correspondence and gift boxes. It's a great feeling to do "our part" as stay-at-home citizens, and your missive represents the quintessential best of its kind. I'd go so far as to say that you've designed a template, a guide of sorts, for others to copy if they don't know where to begin or what to say.

Congratulations again on a great piece of work. Betsy Ross would be proud *Smile*

Bob

Watter puddle Fractual--SAJ signature by Gaby



*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
86
86
Review of The Big Bang  
In affiliation with Showering Acts of Joy Group  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hi, Ken,

My name is Bob, and nice work on The Big Bang piece. Right before it ended, I saw the ending coming and wasn't disappointed. Well, that isn't completely true. You pretzeled up that last sentence as if it got caught in the tail rotors of your chopper. *Smile* But otherwise the writing is as good as story itself. Well, that's not entirely accurate, either. There are a few other little things that make this review worthwhile, I think. Did I tell you, first, how much I really liked this? I really do.

Okay, so what's my beefs?

"According to my calculations, we'll be there in ..." Alex paused. In the blackness, he couldn't see the chronograph. "... soon," he finished lamely.

"According to my calculations, we'll be there in ...." Alex paused. In the blackness, he couldn't see the chronograph. "Soon," he finished lamely.

Too many elipses get tedious really fast. I like the first usage, but since Alex definitively paused, then we need a period at the end of the elipsis. To add another elipsis before "Soon" is dramatic overkill, I think. It works fine without the added emphasis. Short works like this should "look" good as well as read well.

His theories on time and space had led to this moment. He had found a way to use the energy of tachyons to not just move almost instantaneously across any distance but to short circuit time itself. It was possible to go anywhere and anywhen ... and Alex had proved it.

The word, "when" should be italicized in the word, "anywhen". The reason is because anywhen is a made-up word that doesn't exist, but is obviously a play on anywhere. Italicization alerts the reader to the fact that you, the author, know what you're doing and haven't just messed with language ludicrously.

Secondly, try not to use elipses in both the narrative and dialogue both. They work great in dialogue, but when they start appearing all over the page, things get problematic. A period works fine after anywhen. New sentence: Alex had proved it.

Harlan Ellison, he recalled, an early twentieth century science fiction writer, once said, "The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity." I stand here, Alex further surmised, and proclaim him the world's greatest prophet!

I like the quote above, but see how I changed it? Now it's really good! Writer, not write, with comma. Comma after "said" and the only part in italics is the actual quote itself. Not that my version of this is perfect, but it's better than the awkward construction of your original.

"Rebekkah, have you ever heard of 'Murphy'?" In this line, the quote marks before and after Murphy are unnecessary. Instead, put Murphy in italics.

There's still other little nit-picky grammatical stuff further on, but I wanted to jump right to the end, because you probably don't like me messing with your stuff any more than I have. *Smile*

Alex's last thought, as he, Rebekkah, and everything that existed – but shouldn't - disintegrated into primeval atoms was, we're here, Rebekkah – and we always will be ...

As he, Rebekkah, and everything that existed – but shouldn't – disintegrated into primeval atoms, Alex's last thought was, We're here, Rebekkah! And we always will be ...

Again, I would experiment with a few of the other possibilities as to how this might be stated, but notice the most important rearrangement I made in structure. Makes all the difference, and see how much smoother (and sensible) the line reads. I would also consider Alex's comments to be said aloud, rather than a thoughts. But either way is fine.

Well, this is enough damage for one night. I hope you can see some of the madness to my methods. I noticed that your forte is poetry and that prose is something you want to do more of. If this is true, then you could do a lot worse than follow my suggested changes.

That said, let me know if you have any questions; I'd be happy to explain myself. Especially in exchange for instructions, via email, on how to fly a helicopter *Smile*

Bob

Watter puddle Fractual--SAJ signature by Gaby


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
87
87
Review of Stingy Jack  
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hi, TJ,

What a delightful slice of history this is, which I thought you did well in the telling, and reminds us how colorful and interesting are the backgrounds to many of the things we take for granted. Particularly how so many of them come to us from other countries. The transition from potatoes and turnips to pumpkins was especially fascinating.

Because of the Irish potato famine and the historical role it played as well, I found myself wondering where that tragic event fits into the chronology of the tradition you describe. I forget what the years were during the famine, but it wouldn't surprise me if there is some additional connection to all the details you provide.

I couldn't help but notice, too, that as generally well written as this is, lots of minor errors riddle the work from beginning to end. Nothing major, but enough to warrant mentioning. I'm tempted to think that this was written in haste, and that many of the mistakes are a result of rushing to finish.

If this is not the case, I'd be happy to show you a quick run-down of where the problems are. If you're interested. I can do this as a separate email, and none will be the wiser *Smile*

The reason for this review is also due, in part, to your fanning a piece of my own writing that you apparently liked. Which made my night, thanks. You have a lot of great stuff in your portfolio, and like I say, I think you'd find my technical critique to be helpful. That said, keep up the good fight and the good work.

Bob

A shared group image


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
88
88
Review of Arachnids  
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Hi, Neva,

I like spiders, so it was a natural for me to gravitate to this particular piece. Your mind is very fertile and you've certainly grown a lot of crops around here. Along with some crop circles. *Smile* Your portfolio is very impressive and you're to be commended for both the quantity and quality of your accomplished collection.

That said, I thought this was very well written, got funnier as we read on, and finished up with an entirely satisfactory end. I only had two questions as follows:

There had never been so many of them all in one place.

The first line above is too long for me. Though I know why you likely made it one long sentence. I like this version better, however:

There had never been so many of them
all in one place.

Sometimes writers (including me) make the mistake of "forcing" their own sense of drama on their readers. Notice in the two lines above, how it still reads beautifully, without the bolding, and carries as much if not more dramatic impact than your original. Though it's tempting to add extra emotion using "other than the words themselves", I generally find it to be both unnecessary and needlessly distracting. Take a look at the Newbies section and you'll see many writers using color, different font sizes and styles, all in an attempt to dazzle their readers with things other than words. *Smile* It's up to veterans like you and I, to show these whippersnappers the best writing possible. In form and substance.

You know, there's one line also, that left me scratching my head, and in my never to be humble opinion, needs to be changed. A lot. Here's the line:

He left after my house completely razing.

Forgive me, but I can't make hide nor hair out of this. It just makes no sense to me, no matter how I try to read it. Maybe it's me, but I don't think so. See if you can reword this a little, and fix what is otherwise a near flawless piece of work.

Please let me know if you do, I'd love to see the new line. Then again, if I had my way, you would have taken the jar, released the spiders into the yard, and saved yourself a hefty expense. *Smile* Someone has to speak up for them, so it fell on me to do so.

Nice job, well done. Truly.

Bob

A shared group image


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
89
89
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hi, Irina,

My name is Bob and I thought your poem was very well written. In fact, I enjoyed everything about it, except the very end. Which I felt was weak, and didn't do justice to the rest of the piece. My two main comments, beyond what is worth repeating, namely the work's beautiful structure and nice, rhyming rhythm, are as follows:

Truth versus honesty? The word, truth, sounds so...universally knowledgeable, as if you're sharing some great wisdom you've come by. It's the word that bothers me, because although I know what you mean, I don't think it's the exact word you're really intending to say. Then again, if neither of us can offer a better word, then truth is fine. This is why they make thesauruses. *Smile*

The word I like is honesty. And if you don't care for that as much as truth, then there may well be another term which means both, and I'd have to look around to find it. If you do, please consider using it. *Smile* I think the poem would be stronger for it. Just my opinion.

My second and most important quibble are the last two lines:

One thousand hearts can mend one broken heart –
That is the very essence of my art.

I must confess that I don't understand the meaning, and it's critically important because they come at the very end, where every word takes on added emphasis. It may be me. I don't claim to be an expert decipherer of poems. But you would want me to be truthful and honest *Smile* which is why I mention it.

Obviously you know what you mean. But I want to, also. Sometimes what is clear and plain to us, may appear obtuse or too esoteric to others. You do such an outstanding job throughout the rest of the piece, that in my humble opinion, we need a stronger (or just clearer) conclusion. I even like the last line, and its summation quality, but I just can't wrap my brain around the thousand hearts stuff.

So either help me out, or pity me *Smile* I guess. Because as I said, otherwise, I think this is all pretty terrific, and tells me that I would enjoy reading just about anything else you write.

Thanks for sharing.
Bob

A shared group image


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
90
90
Review of Yes, All Women  
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
Hi, Alyx,

My name is Bob and I have no inappropriate comments to make about your well written monologue *Smile* The most striking part of your first portfolio entry is, as a matter of fact, the excellent writing in which I found very few errors. You appear to have a natural flair for storytelling, and I appreciated the skillful manner in which you presented each of your anecdotal tales.

In all honesty, I found myself wondering, what is the point here? Okay. Many men are pigs. Check. Many if not most women, from their youngest years on, are forced to endure the crude and offensive behaviors that our sexually obsessed society seems to encourage. Lastly, how often it's the case that women don't respond directly to abusive incidents, nor report them to friends, family, or the authorities. The classic case where most rapes go unreported because the trauma of doing so is almost worse than the assault itself. Check. Got it.

In the end, however, you leave us hanging without a personal conclusion or constructive overview on your part. What did you learn from your experiences, and what suggestions would you make to other women, both young and old, in terms of dealing with the issues you so rightfully raise?

That said, I want to return to the obvious quality of the writing itself that is present here. Instead of a somewhat rambling piece that takes us no where in particular, I would respectfully request that you give consideration to turning a work like this into an actual story with a beginning, middle, and an end, of sorts. Fictional, but based on fact, if you catch my meaning. You certainly have the ability to do so, and I'd love to see you fly free, so to speak, and be totally creative, inventive, and give your readers something we can all relate to, both men and women.

Good luck on what I hope will be, for you, the beginning of a long and pleasant journey here. WDC needs all the real talent it can get, and writers like you (no one's like you) *Smile* make the place shine even brighter.

Let me know if you have any questions, and thanks for sharing. Now go tell us a bit of who you are, and feel free to let me know when you add more to your portfolio.

Bob

A shared group image



*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
91
91
Review of Let Me Out  
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
Hi, Lezismore,

What a rare and exhilarating pleasure it is to read the poem of someone who, in my opinion, is truly gifted.

My name is Bob and I, for one, hope you stay around this site for a long time to come. This is one of the better pieces to be found here, and you're to be congratulated for sharing it with the rest of us. The work totally blew me away, and I felt like I was reading some lost Poe piece only recently discovered.

I have only one suggestion which is the space break indicated below:

Oft times inside these padded walls,
I hear those dreaded chanting calls.
I clasp my ears to drown them out,
By stamping feet and start to shout,
With swollen fists I bang the door
"I can't take no more! I can't take no more!"

The Doc he listens to my woe
But what I endure he does not know,
He does not hear that haunting cry.
From the man who did not die,
It's not madness that makes me shout
"I'm not insane, so let me out!"

I hope you consider entering this in one or more contests to be found here. I think it's a total winner. It's so good, that I feel a bit uncomfortable even looking for errors to correct, or word choices that might be better than your own. I know when I'm out-gunned, so to speak, and the best I can do here is applaud what I believe is a masterful work of art.

Again, allow me to encourage you as much as possible, and emphasize the great contribution I think you'll make to this community. There is much that fledgling poets can learn from this piece alone.

Beautiful job, my friend. Like I said, but it's worth repeating, I hope you're around here for a long, long time.

Bob

A shared group image


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
92
92
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (3.5)
Hello, Irina,

My name is Bob and I really liked your poem. I wanted to leave it and go elsewhere after reading it, but something about the work pulls me into it, calls to me, and won't let me leave without making a few comments.

I think the theme is excellent and strikes a chord with anyone who's ever suffered, or still does, from the daytime nightmares and evening terrors that can plague us the same as a physical disease.

Though there is much to like here, a lot of which I love, some of the wording is awkward and rough. Something I think you know, and struggled with here and there. The footnote stuff is interesting but out of place with respect to a poem. If this were an essay, it would fit just fine, but few will want to stop reading, go check your footnote, and then resume where they left off. It's just an unnecessary complication to your fine verse and while it may hold some personal meaning for you, it won't to your average reader. It's one of those things we have to let go of, but stings when we do.

I like how you've given life to thoughts as if they were living demons that might be punished, banned, even destroyed. If only we could. How often we've seen in books and films where a guilty conscience alone brought a criminal to justice -- often voluntarily. Equally frequent, but nonetheless awful, are regrets, embarrassments, and other acts where, although no laws were broken, the punishments inflicted upon us are precisely what your poem strives to address.

The grammar is also inconsistent, but nothing that isn't quickly fixed. Overall, however, this is a great little piece that wants to shine just a little brighter, which it can with a couple of rewrites and if you wish to really make it sparkle.

I'm available to help along these lines, should you want to take this to another (and higher) level of excellence. That said, thanks for sharing this interesting and diverting peek under the covers *Smile*
Bob

A shared group image


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
93
93
Review of Crush that Crush  
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (3.5)
Hi, Jehn,

I enjoyed your essay/monologue about crushing crushes. My name is Bob and I'm sure everyone, whether male or female, who reads this will relate to everything you're talking about. The whole piece tends to ramble on a lot, but that fits well with the topic. The tone and tenor of the writing itself reflects the confusion and indecisiveness that is so much a part of being drawn to someone despite our best judgment and better instincts *Smile*

The idea of seeking out and presenting intellectual solutions to emotional entanglements is indicative of the helplessness we feel when our heart thinks it's smarter than our brain. The situation reminds me of the fish who flops around with the hook in its mouth, as if all the twists, turns, and gyrations will somehow save it from the frying pan. In similar fashion, people sometimes get their hooks in us and finding our way back into the water can be difficult. As you point out very well.

It might be fun (and therapeutic) if you included the definition differences that exist among love, crushes, and infatuations. Once we figure out exactly what we're feeling and why, which can be the direct result of defining ourselves more clearly, that can put us on a real path to recovery.

My other thought about this piece is how it would also work as a poem. I frequently come across well written items like yours, and it often appears obvious that the person is capable of doing a nice, free verse version of what otherwise reads like a complaint letter stuffed in a suggestion box.

In the end, I think this work has a lot of merit, but could be much better if you wanted to spend more time refining it. Pieces like this are not easy to write and to do them well can take some work and several drafts. I still like the poem idea, and if you do too, let me know and I'd be happy to help you get started.

I'm also available for any additional questions you might have.

Bob

A shared group image







*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
94
94
Review of Hunger  
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hi, Justine,

I made the mistake of reading your devastating poem, and so now I'm stuck with having to comment on it, because I share your contempt for, and dismay with, the human disparities you so aptly describe.

Hi, my name is Bob and I've written an essay or two myself about the contradictions and dichotomies of the human condition. None is more striking, however, as you point out so well, than the issue of hunger.

I like how I can read your powerful poem and take it literally, as presented, or interpret the word, hunger, as the perfect metaphor with respect to so many things that comprise the best and worst of humanity. Hunger for knowledge, versus hunger for attention, affection, wealth, and last but not least, food itself.

This is a classic piece of work that says it like it is, and I love everything about it. Well, almost everything. There's a bit of punctuation here and there, maybe a word choice that might be improved such as:

Thin. Skinny. Pretty.
“Starvation is beauty,”
they tell her. (lower case "t" because a comma precedes it)
Is not that poor, (I removed the word, then, which reads awkwardly)
Pitiful, hungry urchin
of a boy
the most beautiful creature
to ever bless this hideous earth? (I don't like the word, hideous, here. It's as if you're angry with the planet itself, instead of the selfish stupidity of people themselves. Try to find a better word, impervious, maybe, that keeps things real and less judgmental)

Be that as it may, this is one fabulous piece of work. Although fabulous might not be the right word. *Smile* More like how I started out with, devastating. I was rightfully moved by your accusatory, if not condemning message. Anyone who isn't, is part of the problem. You touch upon one of the great ironies of humanity, and do it with finesse. That being how, at one and the same time, so few have so much, while so many have so little. It is indeed the enigma of our existence.

Congratulations for a job well done. If I was younger, you tempt me to quit my day job and go help somebody less fortunate than I am. The least I can do is compliment a good poem when I read one. Or in your case, a great one.

If the rest of your portfolio contains this quality of work, well, you don't need me to say anymore, that's for sure.
Thanks for sharing your stuff with the rest of us *Smile*
Bob

A shared group image


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
95
95
Review of Joe Leprechaun  
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Hi, Shaara,

Wasn't this more about a first date where everything went right, more than wrong?

Hi, my name is Bob and I really liked your little story. No pun intended *Smile* The romance was just enough, without crossing any lines that might make one uncomfortable, and the first person POV -- while difficult to pull off well -- was just right. Congratulations on a great piece of work that moves fast, gets to the point, and leaves the reader feeling as satisfied as the main character herself.

I also like how I didn't jump ahead of you and that you surprised me at every turn, especially the ending which is complete with its own epilogue of sorts. Nice.

Okay, that said, what's not to like, right? Not much. Overall, this is quite well written. But not without its share of flaws and a slew of minor punctuation errors. For example:

He was frankly gorgeous, and I salivated over his body.

You didn't really physically drool onto his actual body *Smile* Try this:

He was frankly gorgeous, and I salivated at the sight of his body.


I guess I should back up and fill you in on the details...

Either a period or a colon. No on the ellipsis.


The problem is it grew into a lot more than that...

Once again, a period is fine. An ellipsis just mucks things up and doesn't work.


Now, any girl would have been happy to be with Joe Leprechaun, given the way he looked

This was a bit more tricky, but the comma puts the emphasis in the right place. And "given" is the right way to word these kind of things. Other ways are also possible. Your way, however, is just plain awkward, even as a thought. *Smile*

There's a bunch more, but unless you're interested, it's silly to belabor the points. Let me know if you want to see the rest.

Nonetheless, though, worth repeating is how good, otherwise, this piece truly is. If slightly revised and its errors fixed, this is definitely award-winning material, in my never to be humble opinion. *Smile*

Now where's that green suit I used to have?

Bob

A shared group image


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
96
96
Review of I am That  
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hi, Clarence,

My name is Bob and I really enjoyed your poem. I think I'd love it if not for a technicality that bothered me and still does. Maybe you have an explanation that will scratch my itch, but it's doubtful.

So what's not to like here? I think you covered all the bases, so to speak, and that you described perfectly the special kind of relationship that exists within the framework of pure, unconditional love. Well done, my friend. Very nice.

That said, most writers are unfamiliar with the grammatical differences between "that" and "who". For example:

I like people "that" like my poems. This is an incorrect usage of the word, that. Here's the correct version:

I like people who like my poems. See the difference? It even "feels" more natural, don't you think?

It was a dog that ate my homework. Correct.

It was a dog who ate my homework. Wrong.

Here's what's going on:

The rule references the differentiation between humans and objects. We should always use who when discussing people, and use "that" with everything else.

Ever since I learned about this, I've really grown attached to the rule, and I think you will, too. And I'm not all that big a fan of rules, generally. Assuming you wish to rewrite your poem accordingly, how would that look?

I am he
He who wishes
He who desires
He who knows

or

I am he
he who wishes
he who desire
he who knows

Personally I like this second version with lower case. In either case *Smile* I leave the remainder in your capable hands, heart, and mind. This would then apply to a woman, of course, if we changed the gender of the pronoun. That makes the poem even stronger in my opinion.

Let me know what you decide, and how this looks if you change it. Thanks for listening and keep up the great work.
Bob

A shared group image


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
97
97
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (3.0)
Hi, Maurice,

My name is Bob, and I've got a soft spot for all action and adventure stories. I think you're off to decent, interesting beginning, but your prologue is all skeleton with no flesh on the bones, so to speak. Granted it's a short piece and you likely have more to add to this, allow me to help you along if I might. I've written and published six action/adventure fantasy novels, so you can understand my desire and enthusiasm with regard to what you appear to have in mind. *Smile*

Right now, what you have would be about the minimum length for a prologue, and given what you have going, it is currently much too short -- or abbreviated, I suppose, would be a better description. You have the right idea in terms of a prologue setting the stage, and "hooking" a reader so that they can hardly wait to jump into chapter one. But prologues can be tricky, risky, and even dangerous to you, as the author. Dangerous with respect to losing readers before they even get started.

A prologue sets the stage in more ways than one. It tells us very quickly how good, average, or even poor a writer is, and what we, as readers, can expect in the pages that follow. If I were reading this as a potential novel, I'd soon be moving on to another, different book -- not because the writing here is so bad, but simply because it's sparse, empty, absent any particular shine or sparkle. I love the idea of the five gates and the characters' arrival at Forbidden Island. But the writing style itself is so devoid of the kind of details that make these stories come alive, that boredom threatens us far sooner than whatever -- or whoever -- lurks behind those gates.

So what kind of details am I referring to? Okay, that's the key question, isn't it? The answer has to do with the proposition that as soon as possible, the author must answer the following questions: Who, What, Where, How, When, and Why.

These are the big "six" that put the reader inside the helicopter, let him or her step out onto the ground (along with the rest of the crew), and then survey the immediate environs. We want to smell the odors that hang in the air, hear the sounds that emanate from what is likely a surrounding jungle, feel the humidity of the warm, summer heat, and watch as the sun sets low on the ocean horizon.

Based upon the skimpy pickings you've given us thus far, we know the Who, and a teeny bit about the What. All the rest is unknown. At the end of a good prologue, however, the only one of the six that is typically left out of the mix is the Why. That's what we're here to find out, right?

There's a number of small grammar and technical issues that also need to be addressed, but I don't want to do too much all at one time. Certainly not before you've had a chance to "juice" this up like I hope you're now inclined to do *Smile*

In closing, keep in mind that the reason we love movies with these kind of themes, is precisely because five of the six items I list here, are not only answered, but done so with lots of music and other fanfare. Although you can't provide the music, you can offer your readers all the rest, and do it with style. So grab your dictionary and thesaurus, and start dog-earing those pages *Smile*

Let me know if I've shaken the ground a bit, and if you have any questions. I'd also love to see a rewrite of this, if and when you do. Thanks for listening.

Bob

A shared group image


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
98
98
Review of Welcome to Earth  
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
Hi, Tab,

Okay, you got me with this one. I am so proud of you, I could spit -- and I don't even spit. What you've created here is about ten times better than it was previously. I usually don't re-review the same piece because there's no point, but in your case the rewrite was so terrific, so blew my proverbial socks off, that I wanted to give you the stars that it deserved. I'd give you a slew of GPs if I weren't saving them for a contest I want to host one of these days.

So why did I like this so much? First, I was glad to see that you took my suggestions and instead of incorporating them literally into the new version, you adopted my ideas in the broadest possible context and made the piece totally your own. I never expected you to take things in the direction you did, and I'm truly amazed by what you came up with.

Secondly, I had to read the damn thing about five times before I finally got it. The good news is that it got better each time, and the smile on my face grew wider with each reading. I was looking for something, I think, that got in the way, but new readers ought to zero-in pretty fast on what's happening here. It may still take a couple-three readings, and for those who take the time, the reward is more than worth it.

The fact that you "invented" this out of the meager pile of fluff you had before, tells me you have a real knack and flare for this kind of thing. Nicely done, my friend. I am so glad that I prodded you, and that you took it all in stride. Even more, that you developed a rather intricate storyline which certainly went way beyond what I had intended or envisioned. I feel it is no wonder you wanted me to look at this again. I think you know how good it is.

Time to nit-pick a bit:

put a space here

“But sir--" (two hyphens form a dash)
“Yes, yes, I know; (semicolon)
they are a type of dinosaur,
but are they intelligent?
NO! So I don’t want to hear another word (added "So") (combined the lines so it's clear who's speaking)
about any damn birds!”

“In that case, sir,
there is nothing more
for us to do here.”

“Right. Let's check our progress (I like combining the lines so they're not too short for no reason) (all the others look good)
on planet Blue32.”

“Yes sir. The course is set.”
"Then let's go."

Tab, even if with my nit-picks, this is one tricky piece. I debated whether or not you even need the quote marks, but I think so. It has to be crystal clear who is speaking what. It is, from what I can tell. Thus my suggestions which may or may not be valid. I think they are, though.

I wonder how many peeps will pick up on the idea that these aren't even necessarily humans who are debating the problem of another failed attempt at promoting life to stage-two, presumably where these quasi-human types (or whatever they might be) survive their own setbacks or vices. Don't get me started. I could go on and on with this thing. And each time I come up with something slightly new and different. And funnier.

I don't give out many five star ratings. This one is well deserved. In a perfect world (on a more perfect planet) this ought to win a prize of some kind. Until then, take care and be well.

Bob

A shared group image



*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
99
99
Review of The Fences  
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (3.5)
Hi, 21,

My name is Bob and I'm and old timer around here, since October of last year. *Smile* I really enjoy reviewing written pieces by newer authors, but it takes a while sometimes sifting through the many items available, before I find one that deserves some serious critiquing. Yours is certainly the sort of thing I look for, which is to say it's rough enough to warrant a good deal of constructive criticism, and definitely good enough to take the time doing so.

There's a lot of potential here, but it needs a lot fixing, tweaking, and maybe some additional thinking. That said, I really like the whole mood of the piece, the characters, and the underlying -- and terrifying -- message that rides on the truck like just another of its doomed passengers.

I think this work may well be better than you realize, and deeper and more all inclusive. The theme of political, religious, or any other form of persecution is so universal, so strong and powerful, that there is no need to identify it with a particular country or government -- such as you've done with the Russians here. This kind of terror could exist in any country at any time, even in America -- which is what happened during WWII when the Japanese were rounded up and placed in concentration camps.

The true horror that your story presents comes precisely from its vagueness and lack of specificity. It could be some future situation where social unrest, even a plague, may have resulted in losses of freedom, and arrests based on God only knows what kind of criteria.

The focus on the woman and the young girl is perfect, and the inter-generational span is an additionally eerie touch that I liked. My only criticism here is that the child's dialogue is far too sophisticated for her age. Otherwise her innocence shines through the chaos and fear just as it should.

That said, I don't want to waste your time with the bunches of technical corrections that are needed throughout the piece. If you're interested, I would be happy to make the necessary punctuation changes, and let you see what is wrong and what is needed to make something like this "sing" grammatically. At which point, it will read even better, faster, and leave us breathless instead of just perspiring *Smile*

I think the ending is okay. But just okay. Not bad. Not great. In a final, totally finished version, you might want to consider another line or two that doesn't "drop" the reader quite so abruptly. Justina might give us an added response, or Rosita might see (or think) something else that heightens the tension even higher, then cuts off, leaving us hanging.

Overall, I think this is a wonderful little gem that, with some added polish, would truly glitter as a terrific -- and frightening -- glimpse of the kind of thing that has happened all too often, still does, and may be growing even worse. Not only is this a short tale right out of today's headlines, but may, in fact, be a persistent threat of things yet to come.

Again, let me know on the grammar stuff, if you'd like to see where the various issues and concerns exist. Also once again, thanks for sharing this remarkable piece of writing. I really like things that make me think and touch us where we live, so to speak.

Bob

A shared group image


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
100
100
Review of Motion Blur  
In affiliation with WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hi, Alexander,

My name is Bob and I liked your poem a lot. I almost love it, but something is holding me back. When I say I love a piece of writing, btw, what I mean is that it strikes me as possessing a profound importance which is not immediately apparent, and grows better the more it's read and thought about.

Just for fun, I want to try something, if you'll indulge me:



We're dying one second at a time and you're getting lost in the motion blur.


So take the job and spend the money.

Drive the car and see the stars.

Stand up high and don't fear the fall below.

And most importantly

Tell them how you feel.


Life is loud

and it's bright

and it's impossibly fast

and you'll die

before you even get a bite out of that sandwich.


Just tell her how you feel before it's too late,

live life like the sky is falling.


If you blink you'll miss it

and you'll regret what you did.


Life goes by too fast

and you've gotta meet people

in the motion blur.


As is obvious by now, I reversed your whole poem and played it backwards. I must be honest. I like it even better this way. But I'm not sure why. I'm hoping you can tell me, and by doing so, add the small, indescribable detail that might be missing. It reads so well to me, now, however, that I could easily live with it as is.

If nothing else, I hope this demonstrates how fluid and dynamic these kind of things are. There is no up and down, right or left. Success is spawned via experimentation, and this is never more true than from the manipulation of words. Or poems *Smile*

I love the term "motion blur" and it's the perfect title. The poem is haunting, all too true, and does it job extremely well. Congratulations on an excellent piece of work.

The right punctuation for this is somewhat complicated, I think, and would require a bit more thought than we can give it here and now. As it is, there's some inconsistencies that could be quickly resolved, one way or the other. No big deal.

For now, it's time for me to reenter the motion blur of my own existence *Smile*

Bob

A shared group image



*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
229 Reviews · *Magnify*
Page of 10 · 25 per page   < >
Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/profile/reviews/timtuink/sort_by/r.review_creation_time DESC/page/4