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Public Reviews
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201
201
Rated: E | (3.5)
"Creeeeaaaaakkkkk," groaned the green, skinny door as it opened, it’s diamond doorknob glittering in the moonlight. A cool, silver light spilled out of the crack as the opening grew wider and the air filled with a rich smell of grass and freshly turned soil.

Another sound then came softly padding through the door. "Swish, swish, swish, swish, swish, swish, swish." It was the rustle of someone running through the tall grass outside. Each second, the footsteps grew louder than the ones before them, yet they still sounded muffled and faint.

They were the noises made by rabbit -- or something like a rabbit -- running! "Thud, thud, thud, thud, thud, thud, thud!"

A cool breeze entered the room as a shadow darkened the door. As it came ever nearer, into the light, the darkness began to shrink until, what had at first looked like a giant, was now no bigger than a small child.

The creature's nose was long and stuck out of his head like a ripe banana. His ears, too, were round and oversized, and his round face was covered in brown skin, the color of a walnut and just as rough. The intruder's name was Peeayah, and he was known as a Peanut Butter Troll.

Hi, my name is Bob and I've taken great liberty with your story. I hope you will forgive me for doing so. I also hope you will take a moment to study the changes I made. They are not perfect, nor do I suggest you use them exactly as I've laid out. But, the grammar, punctuation, and usage is now extremely accurate and correct.

I did this because I really like what you have happening here. The story has great potential, and with the correct structure, I feel it's a winner and that children would love it. Please study the alterations I've so mercilessly *Smile* inserted, because they are important and, I think, speak for themselves.

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask. Assuming we're still on speaking terms *Facepalm*
Bob


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
202
202
Rated: 18+ | (1.5)
Hi, I wanted so much to review this, because it was quick, to the point, and started out in an interesting fashion. Unfortunately, the piece quickly loses all meaning, and ends in a totally ambiguous manner. Please don't take these comments as anything other than an attempt to be helpful. The paragraph just needs to be rewritten, almost completely, with the words changed until the meaning is crystal clear. As hard as I tried, I was unable to understand what it was you're wanting to say. Not to worry, this is very fixable; it just needs reworking, and if and when you do, please let me read it again. Thanks.
Bob
203
203
Rated: E | (3.5)
Hi, my suggested title for this is: "Panic is not an Option"

I liked the way this is structured and it works fairly well. I think it's written well, also, but not without some suggestions that I think would make the whole thing "sing" even more. See what you think.

First, single and double-digit numbers almost always work better when written out. This would be especially true in your piece. For example:

Ten...nine...eight...

This is then consistent and works great with the "one" at the end. I don't think you need the emphasis at the end. As in:

twisted until you are stuck fast... no, better to let it run its course.
One...
Solitude, Isolated, alone...one. (I added a period and reduced all the "ellipses" to three only (correct usage).

I also kept the consistent form of the number by itself on its own line, then the rest underneath.

These kind of works should be as absolutely "clean" as possible -- sterile almost. With a minimum of punctuation. As few distractions as possible. It's the words that are important, not the "look" of the piece. No author editorializing *Smile*

I think you'll like the look of this if you make the changes I recommend. Some awkword word usage here and there, but overall very nice indeed. I really liked it, and found the presentation interesting, different, and fresh. Best of all, I felt the meaning, and feeling, of futility and controlled panic, quite compelling. Sweet.

Let me know if this is helpful, and keep up the great work. By the way, if the numbers were spelled out as I suggest, this is easily a 4-star presentation. Just so you know that I liked it 4-stars worth, but gave you only 3 1/2 *Smile*
Bob




*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
204
204
Review of One dark night  
Rated: E | (3.0)
Hi, I decided to comment on this because these things can be very clever, and you caught me with the twist at the end. These sort of tales are like jokes in a way, with a long lead-in, and a final payoff or punchline if you will.

As with all anecdotal stories which are intended to sneak up and surprise the reader, there is, however, some risk involved. Which means you either pull it off, or you don't -- or the "victim" groans that they were "cheated" in a way because the ending is not worth the wait in getting there. Its not strong enough or funny enough, given all the preliminary hoopla that led to the inevitable conclusion.

These are all just my opinions, of course, but I think they're valid and worth expressing. See what you think.

Since the ending is supposed to be funny -- and it is -- we don't want any humor elsewhere. It only dilutes and diminishes the power of the punch at the end. No "midnight mouse" for instance, and overall, we want these guys to be genuinely frightened -- something easily achieved by tightening up the dialogue and making it more serious.

My advice is offered, by the way, for the purpose of making a good piece of work even better. And not in trying to make something good out of what I believe is a poorly executed story. So let's keep that part straight. Some of the writing is rough, some word choices could be better, but that's not my point in reviewing this.

I'm concerned that these two guys come across as a couple of goof-offs, trying to scare one another more than being frightened themselves. It's not a make-it or break-it problem, but if written straight, in deadly serious earnest, I guarantee the great ending would hit like an iron hammer instead of a rubber mallet.

Similar pieces have used this theme in the past, but the story never gets old. Which is all the more reason for doing it really well. Sometimes a work like this can require 4-5 drafts before it "sings" just right.

I hope this is helpful and let me know if you adopt some changes accordingly.


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205
205
Review of Devourer  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Whoa, this one caught me by surprise. A pleasant one, despite the despairing nature of the theme. Very nice, well done, and powerful. I was distracted slightly by the present tense structure and if you permitted me to be very persnickety, I'd change it to first person past. But that's just me *Smile*

Standing before it, I subjected myself to the dispiritingly familiar scent of the polish my grandmother had favored. I opened the thing and stared long into its ordered cutter of memories. A moment later, my wedding band clattered into the mix.

Very subjective to be sure. But an added perspective that is always interesting to consider. Let me know if you make any changes accordingly, otherwise, allow me to stand and applaud. A wonderful, thoughtful work.
Bob



*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
206
206
Review of I Wonder  
Rated: ASR | (3.0)
Hi, this was so good until the last line! And even that's not all that bad. The whole thing reads like satin on silk until we get to the end. Two separate problems for me (as if you're waiting with bated breath *Smile*

1) The rhythm deviates from the rest of the lines. About four syllables too many? Make it quick, just like the others.

2) "field of green" is so yesterday *Smile* and too oft used as a cliche. I feel free to come down on you with these comments because the rest of the poem (like 90%) is sooooooo gooooood.

Ten syllables throughout, except for the last line, which just kind of oozes into some kind of puddle of words. I like the sign of forever stuff -- cool. But you in a field of green has got to go. Where? I don't know; it's your poem. *Smile* Take me somewhere I've never been before and keep the syllable count consistent. Too good a piece of work to let it not be as great as it wants to be.

Let me know if this helps, and if you change it, I'd love to see it again. Nice job. With a decent final line, this easily jumps from 3 stars to 5. Seriously.



*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
207
207
Review of The Schism  
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
I only wish that I was erudite enough to give this beautifully written piece the great review it so richly deserves. I'm not even sure I could delineate its meaning, either superficially or in depth, let alone do it justice. The phrasing and word choices are delectable, and roll off the consciousness like fine food in the palate of a gourmet. This is novel-quality writing at its best and illustrates how excellent prose should look and sound. Congratulations on one of the better works I've had the pleasure of coming across.

That said, what did I really think of this? I think the title is a bit weak, and not up to the quality of the piece itself. That's about it. I love the whole "being at war with oneself as well as others" stuff. It all works and makes me dizzy trying to analyze what doesn't need to be analyzed, but just is what it is.

I will share one brief interlude that this brought to mind, if only for a moment. In the masterpiece, "Animatrix" -- the animated companion piece to the "Matrix" film series, there is one scene in particular where a flag-wielding robot warrior, astride a robot horse, is shown galloping into battle with his human adversaries. Not a direct connection to the work in question here, but the glory and irony, the sheer odor of victory and defeat, are much the same as conveyed in that singular monster of an image.

I derived much of the same sensations from what can be found here. This website needs an icon which portrays a person standing and applauding. And I'll leave you with that image. Have a nice day *Smile*
Bob


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
208
208
Review of BUT I HAVE NOT  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hi, Kristie, this is a terrific little piece of work that I thoroughly enjoyed. Congratulations on an original essay that I unforgivably turned into a poem (or a monologue). I put the part I changed down below and hope you'll take a look. And that you'll do the whole thing in a slightly different, but much improved way (in my very humble opinion). Sometimes a really good thing can be turned into a really great thing, and I think that's what we have here.

Your original form is largely horizontal. As you can obviously see, I changed that to a totally vertical form. The difference is that now it reads like, "boom, boom, boom, boom..." Instead of "this, then that, then that, then this..."

This is my only criticism, by the way. If you can't tell by now, I otherwise loved this from beginning to end. And the end was perfect. If, and it's a big if -- I get that -- you take my suggestion and go vertical with this, and do it as a kind of free verse monologue, please take note of the few but important word changes I felt were necessary in order to make it work in the revised format.

Please let me know also, if you change this accordingly, as I think the piece is very exciting and very publishable. But, I'd also have to submit -- only if changed from a horizontal essay to a vertical "monologue". See what you think and I hope this is not only helpful, but doable *Smile*
Bob


My name is Kristie Wilson.
I am the creator of the iPhone,
And I have killed 20 rattlesnakes with just my pinky finger.
I have jumped to the moon and back,
crash-landed an airplane with no fatalities,
And imagined up the imaginary number system.
I've been to Jesus' warehouse party,
Was a star in the movie "Up"
And been a flower girl for Princess Diana's wedding.
I have successfully performed brain surgery,
Am the unrecognized co-writer of Great Expectations,
And I'm the one who put the butter in peanut.
I was the founder of the Illuminati,


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
209
209
Review of The Microphone  
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
I almost ignored this and moved on, when I noticed the title again and it hit me. Of course, the relationship in question is between the person on stage and the standing microphone, which is its own person, its own personality that loves us, abuses us, and without whom a performance (metaphorically our life) can never exist.

My sudden re-evaluation turned this from a two-star rating to a solid four and one-half stars. Pretty darn good for age 13. Congratulations for a nice piece that is suitable for any age, and more than one interpretation. I instantly loved it once my understanding (and cognition) got up to speed. I even like the absence of punctuation, and I usually love punctuation.

I'm so glad I paused to smell the flowers thrown onto the stage. Some of which are now my own. Sweet.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
210
210
Review of Write Right  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hi, Nadine, this is certainly the right place for your fun and informative article. I've reviewed numerous would-be writers thus far who would make perfect additions to your class. The difference, unfortunately, is that these older students seem to have lost somewhat, their willingness to ask about rules and such, and are much more interested in putting down random thoughts and ideas -- most of which are disjointed and only slightly related to the English language *Smile*

I really enjoyed one part in particular: "Remarkably, this teacher found, that through the freedom of written expression, the students wanted to create writing that communicated to themselves and their audience. (Who is the writing for?)"

There is, in my humble opinion, no more profound principle in writing, than the question: who am I writing this for? In many of my reviews, I ask this very question of these wannabe authors, poets, and essayists. As their reader, I ask them if they are writing just for fun, for self-amusement, or more for self-improvement, and the ability to say something meaningful, lasting, that adds to the world some of that color you mentioned *Smile*

In most cases, the writers remain moot on the issue and I either don't hear back, or the question goes unanswered. Which is precisely why, of course, that the query is so extremely important. Picasso is said to have spent his whole life trying to view the world again as does a child. I liked your literary piece because I pictured myself as one of your pupils who, as an adult now, wanted to maintain the child-like joy, wonder, and magic that comes from learning to write well.

So am I fin? Not yet! Thanks for giving me a reason to put an apple on your desk. *Smile* Or does that date me too much?
Bob


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211
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Review of A new path  
Rated: E | (4.5)
Hi, I'm new myself around here, though writing for me is an old game. I really liked your poem and felt it was worth commenting on. Extremely so.

One thing worth doing is the removal of the divorce reference. Totally unnecessary. This piece is so good and so well written, that it can apply to any tragedy or any other painful experience where we pull ourselves together, especially with the help of another person. Except for a comma here or there, I'd be hard pressed to mess with this in any significant way. It's pretty damn good just as it is without any added tinkering.

Just my opinion, but this work is done, stick a fork in it, hang it on the wall, and move on to the next piece of business. I especially like the last line which explodes with renewed vigor and a real lust for life. Well done, yada, yada, move along, next one, please *Smile*

Bob


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
212
212
Review of Dystopiapolis  
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Okay, so just when you think you've read the last book on cockroaches, or seen the final film about them, here comes a fresh new take that makes you pause, step back, and smile; you've been had and don't mind a bit.

Hi, this intro is just my way of clapping my hands in applause. I really enjoyed your short story, which comes to us as one of those rare gems we really appreciate when they're found. With a final polish, punctuation and grammar check, this is a highly publishable piece of work. How you do that is your challenge, but it belongs somewhere where such things fit in with other bits and pieces of the best stuff around.

It's hard to get in a good twist nowadays, especially with a bug story, and especially with cockroaches; they've been done a lot. If I was forced, at gunpoint, to be super critical, my only complaint is that roaches have been done to death, and still you pulled something terrific out of the pile. Spiders, maybe? That could work. Nope, I think it has to be roaches. They're prehistoric and the idea of their being intelligent -- and loving -- just seems to be a fit. Damn! I hate it when I can't offer something better than what you already gave me *FacePalm*

That said, let me know if you'd like some hints on giving this that final polish I mentioned, otherwise I have nothing else to say. Bravo, kudos, and write on!
Bob


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
213
213
Rated: E | (4.0)
You're preaching to the choir and count me in as one of the congregation *Smile* My only quarrel is that as good as this is, and truthful -- and scary -- the only ones who will cheer are already members of a group for whom this kind of information is painfully familiar. No young person, let alone a Democrat or other disgruntled miscreant will read this and decide they've been on the wrong track all this time *FacePalm*

That said, this is written about as well as this kind of thing can be. The message is not one where we might spend time picking over a comma or a missing period. It is what it is. One either gets it, or they don't. And the piece isn't provocative enough, in terms of insult, injury, and accusation, to prompt a nonbeliever to want to know more. Nope, it's more of a "get out the vote" thing, which is never bad or a waste of time.

I hope you've written other political stuff; you're a good reporter, and feel free to do some name-calling and finger-pointing while you're at it.
Bob


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
214
214
Review of Life  
Rated: 18+ | (2.0)
Joe, you're not a quitter (the correct spelling) you're also a wannabe writer, too, correct? If so, we have our work cut out for us. First of all, I salute anyone who has the courage to take keyboard in finger and put their thoughts down where anybody and everybody can read them. It's sort of like being naked in a crowd, except everybody here is naked as well, so welcome to the local nudist colony *Smile*

Second of all, Joe, what in the world do you have going on here? And why is this rated 18+ (just curious). On the plus side, you have something you want to say, and you say it in style. The completely wrong style, perhaps, but with pzazz nonetheless.

This reads like one, long, nearly incomprehensible, single, run-on sentence. A nonstop stream-of-consciousness that leaves us exhausted before we're halfway through. I have to smile -- not at you -- but in the realization that for some people, all those books on grammar and punctuation are just so much kindling for a good fire. Don't be one of those people, Joe. Learn the basics, then separate your ideas into single, well stated thoughts that don't all just run together like a train wreck of opinions and observations.

Does that sound too harsh? Think of it more as "tough love" for would-be writers. We all have to pay our dues, and you're in arrears on yours, Joe -- big time. That said, I'd really like to know what's on your mind and what it is you'd like us to hear. For now, however, I haven't much of a clue at all. I hope you give this another shot -- or two. And bone up on a rule -- or two.

Let me know if this helps. Believe it or not, I'm here to help and not just quibble. So are you a quitter, or a writer? You tell me.
Bob


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
215
215
Review of Watching Over Us  
Rated: E | (3.0)
Hi, Paul, I liked your short story a lot. Naturally I have to nag you with ideas and recommendations, but overall it grabbed me. In spite of my nature to be very critical.

What you have here is a screenplay. Well, sort of. It's written as one, though the form would be considered wrong. But in general, imagine that a storyboard (a series of small illustrations that guide a director) were to accompany this. All you'd need would be a camera and some actors.

All screenplays and their like, are written in "first-person, present tense". Prose is typically "third-person, past tense". Why is this important? To begin, your story could be twice as powerful if written in another "voice" as it's called. By putting everything in the present tense, you deny the reader the ability to "visualize" -- on their own -- the action taking place. You, as the author, are in effect putting "training wheels" on the scenes, and guiding us along every step of the way. This is what you want in a screenplay, but not at all in a great story like yours.

I want to be an observer, a witness who, while we feel sympathy or empathize with the boy, his father and so forth, are not actual "participants" in the story. I don't want to be an "extra" in your movie, but rather an audience member.

I liked the dialogue and felt it suited the tone just right. I would still pick at this and that, but not here, and not now. When you learn and practice the fine points and nuances of third-person writing, a lot of present tense errors will correct themselves. And then you get to play with a whole bunch of new ones *Smile*

So, could this also be written in the first-person, but done so properly and exactingly, as first-person requires? Yes, but why? Especially when, in my humble opinion, it would be so much better otherwise.

Let me know if this helps. And if you do a rewrite in third-person, I'd love to read it. Write on!
Bob


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
216
216
Review of Dusk  
Rated: E | (2.5)
Hi, although I've written lots of novels and poems and essays, I'm a noobie here, so we're both walking the same trail, so to speak, in the forest of your poem *Smile*

Your poem is short enough that you might want to consider my suggestions. I like what you're trying to say, and the right mood is there, I'm just not sure what it is, the words actually mean. That sounds silly when it comes to poetry -- they're often supposed to be enigmatic. But we also need the right word choices, even when mystery lies at the core of the piece.

Almost all poems can be written as prose. Your poem, for instance, could, if you wanted to, be written as a very short story, not much longer than the poem itself. You wouldn't have the luxury of using just any words that fit your own mood, however, but you'd have to make it sound suitable for the average reader, meaning it would make total sense to most readers.

Even as a poem, I found your piece just a little too vague in meaning and word usage. Some of that is opinion on my part, some of it is just the plain truth. That said, I like the bird metaphor which tries to carry through to the end, but doesn't work because of words like "paves" and "ridden".

I'd like to read this as that short prose piece and see what "you" think the poem says.Then compare that to the poem itself and see if the two things gel. Each should complement the other. And say pretty much the same thing. As I said, this would be easy to do in your case because the length is perfect for this kind of critique.

Let me know if this helps and if you take me up on my suggestion. I'd like to see it again.


*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
217
217
Review of Dark night  
Rated: E | (3.5)
Hi, welcome, I'm a noob myself, you'll like it here, lots of nice folks and great writers. Okay so much for that. Now down to business *Smile*

I like the one, continuous stream of thought, no paragraphs, no breaks. Very cool, moves fast and frantic, conveys that sense of quiet desperation, until all hell breaks loose.

But lots and lots of small grammar and punctuation errors. Lots. Big deal? Not really because they're mostly all minor and easily fixed except for one biggy. A big no-no in any writing, is where two or more people are speaking, and the poor reader can't tell who's saying what without a program guide *Smile* Change those odd "a's" with the "hats" and dump them. There appears to be confusion concerning the use of quotes, also. That said, the fixes I suggest might be very helpful. Maybe not. You tell me.

You can't have it both ways. You can't retain this dramatic, single paragraph format, and at the same time, insert conversation and dialogue into it. Only two fixes are available to you.

1) The standard separate paragraph for each speaker that stands alone. Two peeps never speek in the same paragraph. Period. End of subject.

Or, 2) You keep the form and format as is, but only the girl speaks. The intruder remains silent, and does nothing, says nothing, that we don't see exclusively through the eyes and ears of the main character. It may even be more frightening if the intruder doesn't speak, but is more ominous, moot and mute but threatening, and the girl puts words into his mouth and idea into her own mind. This could be very cool. It could also have an extended ending if you wanted.

Let me know if this helps.
Bob
218
218
Review of Call of the Void  
Rated: ASR | (4.0)
Hi, this is nice work and I liked it very much. The timeless question of life and death so close they almost overlap one another. I've done exactly what you describe, and I think we would both be amazed (and shocked) as to how many others have "teased" themselves in similar fashion. I think the font should be at least twice as big. Some people have small computers *Smile* Since we don't know what Death is, you point out the bizarre nature of how we toy with something so profound. It draws us in, beckoning almost. But then we see that spot of green, so full of life, and the urge to rejoice in the light quickly dispels our dark fascination with the unthinkable and unknowable. Until another day. Very nice, congratulations, and welcome. Feel free to welcome me, also, as I'm a total noob who can't tell one icon from the next. I know a good little story when I read one, though.
Bob
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219
Rated: E | (4.0)
The restless spirit for whom vengeance and desolation are its refuge and motivation, the wronged soul for whom mercy is no longer an option. I liked this a lot. It is indeed the ghost spirit that haunts our nightmares and threatens to snuff out the unwary and unwise. Lot of vivid imagery that hangs a bit too loose for me. I find myself fidgeting over what is the common thread of dread that bind it all together? What is this guy (or gal's) real problem? The specter from whom life has already taken its unknown toll, and now blind fury and rage are its only solace.

Hi, and welcome to Writing.com. I'm a total noob myself, although just to this site. I'm trying to put my experience in writing six fantasy novels and scores of essays to good use. How "good" may be debatable *Smile* If the place looks a bit overwhelming, join the crowd. I've gone through three sets of batteries so far, trying to find my way around.

This particular piece appears to work without punctuation, but I think it would be better with it. Just my opinion, because I'm old school. That said, you took me to that dark, inner place where angels fear to tread.

Let me know if this helps.
220
220
Rated: E | (4.5)

Hi, I came across this as a "random" review and am glad I did. I think I can give you some helpful pointers. First of all, I'm a Vietnam vet, so you're being reviewed by a U.S. Army combat veteran from 1965-1969. I just heard you say, "Thanks for your service." You're welcome. Don't get me started what's going on with out country presently.

Poems should look pretty as well as sound pretty. Notice how yours has kind of an "odd" look to it? This has to do with word order. After writing six novels and dozens of poems, let alone a professional art career, I feel some level of confidence in giving you a few tips. Which you are free, of course, to take to heart or ignore.

I've copied your poem below because I want to punctuate it a little, and show you what I'm talking about. Compare my version, word-for-word, with your original. Look for periods, commas, spelling and such. Thanks. This is just the fastest way to zip through this where you can learn the most, the fastest. Then apply what's here to future work. Or retroactively to older works as well. Sometimes, not always, this is very subjective, meaning it's my opinion. Mostly, however, I'm inserting "rules that make writing "sing". I'm changing some word order, but that's me. If you like it, try to catch why I did it that way. Then get back to me with a specific question (or two) if you like.

I live in a small town near an air force base.
The days are either really hot or really cold;
A happy medium would be a shock to everyone.
At the bank, I noticed two members of the military.
My normal reaction is to shake their hands,
And as each walked past me, I held out my hand.
"Thank you," I said, "for your service to our country."
One asked if I had someone in the service as well.
I told them that my husband had served in Vietnam.
They both then held their hands out to me,
And thanked me for my husband's service.
After all these years, my beloved finally got his thanks.
Though I could feel my eyes welling up with tears,
These were happy, grateful tears.
Three strangers shaking hands,
And sharing what our country is all about.
A Brotherhood and Sisterhood,
Each looking out for each other, willing to
Right the wrong and carry on.
To make valor and courage ring loud and clear,
Step up and say, "Thank you!" when you can.
You have no idea what it means to hear.

This is difficult because I can't see it all centered as I'd like. I might still want to adjust a few lines, but I think you get the idea. Notice all the many little punctuation bits that, in poetry, are not always critical. But sometimes they are, such as in this kind of piece. The reason is because we want the reader to know exactly what you're saying, and how to read it. No funny business with this kind of stuff. It should be written in near-military fashion, if you catch my drift. And again, if you don't agree with all my words, put in your own -- just always have a reason for doing so. I did. Let me know if this was helpful. I really like it. Any vet would *Smile*
Bob

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Review of Relief  
Rated: E | (3.0)
OMG, this thing really sucks! Okay, I couldn't resist your invitation to be as harsh as we wanted *Smile* Now that I've exhausted the sum total of my humor (which may actually suck) I'll give you a down and slightly smudged review of your writing. It's fast (as it's supposed to be, of course) it's clear, written fairly well, it's funny, and I liked it. The piece won't go down in history as earth-shattering, but it's fun and accomplishes its purpose in being. BUT...

Always a "but" right? Where did you learn to use those funny little << or whatever they are -- as quotation marks? Is that an international keyboard thing that I don't know about? Please, "Tomorrow, and I still have a page and the bibliography to write," Amelia groaned. And better yet, this is the preferred form: "Tomorrow," Amelia groaned, "and I still have a page and the bibliography to write."

By telling the reader, up front, that Amelia is groaning, we know how to read the rest of the line of dialogue more clearly. Instead of waiting until the end. For example: "Stop, watch out!" he whispered. As opposed to" He whispered, "Stop, watch out!"

I'd give this 3.5, maybe even 4 stars, but the large number of punctuation, grammar, and spelling errors is problematic and needs a lot of fixing. The good news is these are relatively minor mistakes and reflect either too hurried a pace, or a laziness that affects us all when it comes to learning the rules. If you were willing -- most aren't -- I'd take half this work and make all the corrections necessary. Your job, should you choose to accept it (shades of Mission Impossible, right?) would be to take what you learn from my first half, and then apply it to the second half. See how easy this is. And then you send it to me to read again in its finished form.

Let me know if this helps and I look forward to hearing from you.
Bob
222
222
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Shades of The Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs. I like this -- I think *Smile* My only concern is that it almost (but not quite) comes across as a drug-induced stupor, where the ramblings of the addict or inebriate make their own kind of sense. This is how it was in Naked Lunch. My fear is that in today's jaded world, most readers will jump to an unfair conclusion that this dude is on something, and it ain't good. I think more is going on here than meets the jaded eye, however, and not only is it clever, but is different enough from Burroughs' work so as not to be a problem. If anything, Whitemorn, you're holding back too much. You know something funny? I didn't even know who wrote this until just now. Seriously. So you caught me by surprise from two different directions.

What I say holds true, though, now that I'm committed to this review. My best suggestion is to double the intensity of the descriptions. More adjectives, more colors, more smells, the whole deal. It all works really well in these kind of things. You can't show any inhibitions whatsoever. Now go for it. The crazier the better and you're off to a great start. The difference between a 4-star and 5-star review, for me, is a big one. Sort of like the Richter scale on earthquakes *Smile*
Well, I'm glad I could sneak in another review for you. If you can pull out a few more stops, this could be a total winner. You know my only complaint? Killing the cats. Can we flatten them and use an air pump or some such to reinflate?
Bob
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223
Review of All-Star: Flash  
Rated: E | (3.0)
Kirby, I gave you three stars because I was impressed with your enthusiasm and passion for the project you're working on. As for content, all by itself, I'd have to drop down a bit because I'm confused and maybe you can help me. I've pitched various properties and projects to Hollywood studios, but it's been a few years. What is it you think you have here? I'm familiar with film treatments. I written a few. I know scripts and wrote a couple of those also. I'm also not a stranger to screenplays. Those are the main three: treatments, screenplays, and scripts. You also need a talent agent to get you in the door to see anybody. So help me out here. And maybe I can be of help to you.

What you currently have written, from what I can see, is a hybrid mix of all three submission formats, all combined into one. All of the visual elements that you dutifully explain in detail would have to be physically drawn out (as roughs) before anyone would look at them, let alone read them. My best advice is to do a Google search for reference materials related to all three forms I mentioned. They lay out perfectly how each is done, step by step.

That said, do you have something going here, that I'm just not familiar with? The work here reminds me of what I might expect to see regarding the layout for a graphic novel. Or panels for the same. Since I'm dumb when it comes to how graphic novels (or video games) are presently pieced together, maybe I've missed something? But if so, wouldn't you have described the work as a graphic novel piece instead of a script? Help! *Smile*

Let me know what you intend to be happening here, and I'll give you (should you want it) the benefit of my 25 years of experience beating around Hollywood, publishers, and agents.

Bob
224
224
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hi, Spacecat, I think you ruined my childhood remembrances of Walt Disney's "Fantasia" and the cohesive, friendly relationship that appeared to exist among the seasons, especially as seen in the Pastoral sequence with the centaurs -- the only censored scenes in the whole movie, btw -- but I digress.

If it is your intent to paint an adversarial relationship among seasons, especially where the others almost appear to gang up on poor summer *Smile* then your poem is very successful. And it is quite well written. Maybe a tweak here or there, a bit of rhythm in need of tuning, like the strings of a guitar, but overall, you nailed it.

So it's as if Summer is the Queen, but the she grows weak and vulnerable, her power ebbing but not without a fight. Finally she is forced to retire the rest of the year. Some such kind of thing. Shades of "Night on Bald Mountain", where instead of goblins, the other seasons get their turn to come out and play. Though Summer doesn't like it a bit. Okay, I can live with that. The title itself is also a bit startling. My only question is...why?

I suppose one answer is, why not? I like the originality and always love fresh new takes on traditional themes. When we see the destruction wrought by the other seasons, tornadoes, storms, freezing cold, the occasional heat wave and drought aren't all that bad. Maybe Summer had PMS that year?

Overall, I must admit this is good. Although I do so begrudgingly. I give it a grumpy 4 stars. With some added work and refinement, I'd probably have to give it a gouchy five stars. Well, it is what it is. Just 'cause it I still prefer those lovely centaurs, doesn't mean one over the plate isn't a strike. Good job. Give it the extra polish it deserves. Just don't send it back and force me to give it five stars. Take care and let me know if this was helpful.
Bob

225
225
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
NayNizzy, okay, you captured, for me, the downward spiral of someone dying. Breathing their last, a kind of drunken stupor from which there will be no return. Just a thought. You have a lot of verbs ending with "ing", known as participles. Verbs acting as adjectives. These are great words with lots of power. They give this poem its strength. And the last stanza is the very antithesis of all that. It is possible to alter this such that even more participles are possible.

Tumbling twisting, turning
Further and further
Down and ever deepening
A bottom never ending

See how these changes I made add to the effect even more? Don't you love it when some stranger comes along and rearranges your words? *Smile* Hey, just one possible alternative to what I'm getting at.

If you can jam, stuff. stick, push, and shove as many of these particples as possible, without making it look too obvious, that dead-end ending will crash like Han Solo slamming the floor while encased in carbonite.

A five-star waiting to get out!
Bob
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