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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,


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227
Rated: E | (3.5)
Hi, Roselle, I love the informal, up close and personal "'tude" expressed here. It sounds fresh, alive, and full of spirit. I like writing which is as much conversational (in tone) as it is straight prose. I think the words and wording are done well enough that I'd be hard pressed to find anything in particular to gripe about *Smile*

I don't see this as a chapter or even part of a chapter, but rather a prologue to chapter one. And a nice one. Its the proverbial "hook" that makes us want to read on and find out what's going on. But by now, you're waiting for the second shoe to drop, so I won't disappoint you *Smile*

I found myself confused as to the sudden jump you make from the third paragraph into the fourth. And then from the fourth to the fifth. We go from you're being a teen in modern California to presumably a knight in armor dueling with a dragon. Then it's back to your room as a youngster, except you're reflecting back, in retrospect, as what, an adult living with your mother? I seem to be all over the place, chronologically and location-wise. This is easily fixed and I have no doubt you will, if my critique makes any sense.

I think a segue or two would help us stay on track (or get on one) and blend one scene (paragraph) with another more smoothly. It's as if one whole paragraph is missing, and only you know what it is and where it goes *Smile* The segue(s) I have in mind would bridge the current gaps (as I see them) among fairytale, present day, your life as a teen, what your intentions are, and how you plan to correct the wrongs of the past. Yada, yada. A hint or two more are all that's needed to heighten the intrigue and mystery even more.

Let me know if this helps. And if this made any sense to you. And if it did, let me see it again with whatever revisions you make *Smile*
Bob



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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.


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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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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


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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


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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


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Rated: E | (4.0)
Ouch! More to life than giving roses and nothing else. I like it. Or loathe the truth of it.

Hi, Roselle, nice work. Well written, and I'm wondering if I can read this two different ways. The first is of a crumbling relationship where flowers are intended to somehow amend a past of indifference otherwise? Something like that. The other you might find interesting, and me as being weird.

I pictured the deceased spirit (at someone's grave site) decrying the mourner who appears regularly, bestows their flowers and tears, then departs. If interpreted in this manner, some other interesting ideas come into play that might not exist otherwise. Just a thought.

For me, I like this latter interpretation. How often do we wonder if our lost friends, relatives, whoever, can hear us when we visit? And is our presence welcome, or for those who pay our respects out of habit alone, without genuine caring, are we held in contempt?

Then again, I like the first impression, too, which is more realistic, and less fanciful.

Then again, neither may be what you had in mind, at which point a little rewrite (which never hurts) could, if you wanted, drive home a more specific message. Let me know how I did. Keep up the good work *Smile*
Bob


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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


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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!.
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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!.
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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
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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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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.
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240
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
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242
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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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

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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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245
Rated: 13+ | (2.0)
Hi, Kaz, since you requested a review, I feel better being straight with you. And you need someone to be honest and very straight with you about your writing. Kaz, if you drive a car on the road, or even while out walking around, there are rules that have to be followed. There just are. You can't drive around in any manner you want, and if you do, you'll get into trouble fast. Writing has its own rules, and the bad news is that I think you broke every one of them. But that doesn't mean your story's no good, only that it needs lots of work.

Writing is a skill like any other, and we need to understand that while we're free to use our imaginations, we are not free to write in a style or manner that we just make up or invent on our own. Where we design our own rules of grammar and punctuation that no one else will understand except for you. You have a lot to say, and apparently a driving passion to do so, and here's the good news: what you do have is an excellent rough draft of your first chapter. All the characters are there, the scenes are there, so that's not the problem. Without going into a whole big spiel about grammar and punctuation, it's your dialogue that is most lacking -- or wanting -- as reviewers like to say.

Dialogue has its own rules, and they are very strict. And for good reason. If we just invent our own language, and slang at that, how is anybody -- who doesn't speak that language or use that kind of slang -- going to know what the heck the author's characters are talking about? Answer is they won't. If I try real hard, and take lots of time, I can eventually decipher most of the slang lingo that you used. Reading is supposed to be fun, however, and not require that the reader waste lots of time trying to figure out what certain characters are saying. So that's a big deal, right to start.

So what are the rules of dialogue, and how is slang written properly? I'm glad you asked. The answer can be found in grammar books, but the best place is to look and see how other author's (famous ones) write their dialogue. And especially how they write slang or "broken" English of a given character. Some grammarians don't like slang at all, and after a character establishes early on that he or she speaks a certain way, then their speech is changed to sound more normal. I don't like that method myself, and instead use characters who might speak strangely, but always understandably.

As for grammar and punctuation, the dreaded G&P*Smile* those rules require either grammar books or joining a writers critique group, which would be my best advice to you. Suffice it to say, for the purposes of this review, that every single period, dot, and comma have an exact purpose and reason for being. And a rule that governs when they should and should not be used. These rules can sometimes be broken, but not until their learned.

“Are... ye... go... in... ta... 'end... me... away?” He asked between sobs. This is only one of your lines that I pasted here. Where did you learn that this form was okay to do? It just isn't. I love your enthusiasm, but it just isn't acceptable. Here's an example, but not the only one, of how this ought to be written: Between sobs, he asked, "Are ya goin'...to end me -- anyway?" There's about three or more ways to write this depending on the exact meaning, but this is one that's correct. This kind of dialogue requires a real knowledge of how to use what are called ellipses and dashes. Let alone commas and the like.

Lastly I'd like to share another tip: when a character's dialogue involves them crying or whispering or whatever, let the reader know beforehand, which is why I redid your sentence the way I did. Anyway, I know this isn't what you want to hear, but you know what? It's what I heard way back when, about my own writing, and they weren't nearly as polite as I *Smile*

Good luck and let me know if this was helpful.
Bob
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Rated: 18+ | (2.5)
Hi, Ricky, let me first say that your enthusiasm (and bravery) is impressive, and should be commended. You've taken on a huge task that would be challenging in the hands of a polished, experienced novelist, let alone someone like yourself, who shows great promise, but has much work to do. I zeroed in on you as I was perusing some of the pieces by other writers, mainly because I like to encourage people who display your kind of passion for both the subject matter, and a desire to write about it. That's the good news. That if you can sustain that passion, it will carry you through to the end, whatever that may mean in your case.

Although the story is somewhat too difficult to read at this point, with too much going on, all at once, coming from every direction, I liked the idea that it's all there, all the basic pieces are in place; it's just that I felt like one of the soldiers who was fighting to understand everything, rather than a reader who was rooting for the heroes. So here's the real news, that I think you need to hear: Join a writers critique group. Beg, borrow, steal, do whatever you have to, but join a critique group. There are too many separate and individual problems with the structure and construction, grammar and punctuation of the writing, to be addressed in this forum. I joined a critique group when I was starting out, and my eyes were opened, big time. I shared your passion, and all the same technical problems. It took me a few years to learn the craft of storytelling, and as I look back, I could never have done it without the help of some fellow writers in an intimate setting.

That said, it bears repeating that if you do your homework, your writing could be riveting. You have the ability to visualize and the passion necessary. If this were a video game, the basic programming of a great idea still needs to be written. Good luck and let me know if this was helpful.
Bob

247
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Rated: E | (4.0)
Hi, Lynda, two quick points: first is that I couldn't help but wonder if you were alluding to the fairly well know Buddhist saying (I think it's Buddhist) about the person who wondered if they were a human dreaming of being a butterfly, or a butterfly dreaming it was a human. The first line certainly took me there, and I was almost disappointed that you didn't take us any further in that direction. I suspect the connection was inadvertent on your part. The first paragraph might be broken up into two smaller ones, also, so that the overall look of the piece is more uniform. Undue emphasis is placed on the first paragraph, I think, by making it stand out. That said, and secondly, you totally captured the joyous, short-lived life of a butterfly. The words and descriptions flit about like the beats of its wings, and are full of the celebration and wonder of a being who is happy just to be alive. If a newborn baby could articulate its impressions of the world, I'd expect the tone to be very similar to what your charming (and innocent) "character" conveys. So nice work. This would also make a lovely poem, if written as free verse. Just a suggestion, but it would be even more wonderful, I think.
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Review of Mundane Moments  
Rated: E | (3.0)
bees, what are we going to do with you? This will be my last review unless you are a glutton for punishment as they say *Smile* Okay, so here's the problem: I've read several of your pieces, now, both poems and prose. I have to ask you if English is your first language? It makes a big difference in my approach, which you may not be interested in, in any event. I'm currently working with a Lithuanian who speaks excellent English, until it comes to writing it. If English is your primary language, then you have some work to do -- if you want to change what are now barely readable works, into well written prose and poetry both. This isn't to say your stuff isn't good; it's just "rough". And you'd be amazed at how good it could be, if and when the bumps were smoothed out.

As is so often the case, you write with your heart, with your soul (and do it really well), but not so much with your brain, which hurts your writing when that part is not done so well. I'm referring to things like structure, grammar, spelling, and punctuation. I know, BORING! *Smile* Which it is until you get it down, then it's fairly easy and natural.

It's difficult to review and rate writers such as you, because your spirit is strong, you have a lot to say, and the last thing people like me want to do is dampen or discourage your energy. Maybe redirect it, and encourage you as strongly as possible, to force yourself to learn more of the basics.

Readers want to know what you're saying. YOU want us to know what you're saying, and that is only possible when the basics I refer to, are practiced and applied. The good news is that it need not be perfect. Getting close is sometimes all you need to do, but even then, it still needs to be pretty close. And right now, while your writing is in the ball park, as they say, your team is not on the playing field as yet. As I said, before, if you ask questions, I will answer them. If not, that's okay too, of course.

And as you let your heart guide you, as it should, do give some thought to all that boring stuff I talked about; you'll be thrilled that you did -- when you do.
Thanks for letting me ramble on.
Timtu (aka Bob)
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Review of On My Own  
Rated: E | (3.0)
Hi, Kahriyya,
I have a character in one of my novels whose name is Jadu, I kid you not. And you might be 13, but you're no kid. But you knew that already, didn't you? I suspect the answer is yes. Your poem deserves 4 stars, but I gave it 3, for two reasons. Reason one: You're too smart and wise for 13, I'm envious that I wasn't smart or wise until about 3 years ago, so I'm being immature and taking back one star just because *Smile* Okay, that's not the real reason, but you knew that already, didn't you. Of course you did. Here's my concern: I don't think this poem needs to rhyme. My feeling is that because you want to make certain words go with other words -- and rhyme -- that you're not able, perhaps, to use other, maybe better words instead. My suggestion is to dump the rhyme; you don't need it, and the poem would be stronger and more powerful as "free verse". Rhymes that look, feel, or sound "forced" -- and some of yours do -- can work against an otherwise great poem. Just my opinion, but see what happens to this when you use the absolute best possible words, and not just those that rhyme. Let me know if you give it a try and like the results. Then again, you probably have about 80-90 more years to smooth out the rough edges, so not to worry *Smile*
Otherwise, very nice. Friendships are a big deal, but you knew that already.
Timtu
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