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87 Public Reviews Given
Review Style
I prefer to take an in-depth approach, citing examples of referencing, style, voicing, and grammar errors, but at the same time I try to be encouraging. My goal isn't to pick a writing apart a piece at a time but to help make it the best writing it can be. I often will include links to articles that may help with an error, if that error seems to be a writer's weak point (we all have one). I try to do all of this while at the same time being energetic, encouraging, and positive!
I'm good at...
Style is to me, the single most paramount key to a good narrative after plot and emotional effect have been established. As such, I tend to find structuring, wording, and voicing concerns quicker than anything else.
Favorite Genres
Fantasy, Dark, Supernatural, Occult, Horror/Scary, Action Adventure, SciFi, Thriller/Suspense.
Least Favorite Genres
Hmmm... If I had to pick one, Erotica. I just don't think there's a language that truly captures those tender moments. I've found some good writers of the genre, but I still tend to avoid it.
Favorite Item Types
Short Stories, Chapters, Novels, Novellas, Contest Entries, and Poetry.
Least Favorite Item Types
I don't really have a least favorite, but I would say the most difficult to review is a Novel simply for size.
I will not review...
Erotica, sorry, Heterosexual or Homosexual, it's just not my thing. I'm sure that whatever you have is lovely, but I just can't read it.
Public Reviews
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Rated: E | (5.0)
Hello Vera, Chuck and Dave and welcome to writing.com! I’m happy you found this great community, and I hope you enjoy many years amongst these wonderful folk. I found your item whilst searching our newest members, and I thought to myself, what better way to say hello than to RAID YOU! Yes indeed, this is a

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That might sound a little scary, but in this case, I assure you it’s not! I’d like only a few moments to share my thoughts with you regarding this particular writing. As always, I review not only to help better improve my own skills as a writer, but to assist others with developing theirs. Keep in mind these are just my personal opinions and can vary greatly in comparison to other reviews you may receive. That being said, let’s get this review started.

Title: "A Fraught Relationship with Writing

Chapter: N/A

Author: Vera, Chuck and Dave

We are taken on a journey through the reflections of a writer whose in a slump, now questioning and doubting their abilities.
Overall the message is strong, and I think every writer can likely relate to this piece in their own way.

Style and Voice:
The stylistic choices of the piece are lovely. Your word choices as well as your sentence structuring make for a very powerful read. I particularly like your super-comma preceding your simile. It added a lot of drama to this monologue, and really showed off a bit of stylistic flare.

The voicing fits the piece well. It’s a gloomy little tale; quite tragic and emotional in its own right, and correlates well to the inner reflections of one going through such a struggle.

Your grammar seemed to me, spot on. I found no errors. I do want to say, your sentence beginning with “and” is such a nice slap in the face to the unweighted claim that “and” has no place at the beginning of a sentence! This according to many is a grammatical and stylistic error, but that particular claim is in fact its own error. Condemning that sort of thing out of hand is to set a fetish to English idiom, therefore I can only sit back and applaud.

Just my personal opinion:
I have to say that you have a strong command of the language you write. Your words are rich with the felicity of expression, and flow quite well from one sentence to the next. Your use of metaphors and similes is quite vivid and well accepted by me as a reader. Well done!

Examples of possible corrections:

None. Truly, I found nothing to fuss over, and I tend to be quite picky.


Overall, this message speaks volumes! As a writer, I can only feel for you because I’ve been there too. I know all too well how it feels to make writing a chore rather than an art. I hope this struggle of yours goes away, and you find yourself fulfilling those childhood dreams of yours.

This was a writing of singular talent and craftsmanship. I applaud your style and handle on the English language, and I thank you wholeheartedly for sharing it with us. Again, welcome to writing.com! I hope to see you around the community! Thanks for giving me the opportunity to review this work!

This raid review brought to you by: "WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group

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*Gold* My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Get CASH!.
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Rated: E | (4.0)
Hello TJ Klein Welcome to Writing.Com and thank you for taking the time to share some of your work. I’ve arrived at this item based on your request in the General Discussion forum to trade reviews. As such, here I am, as promised.

First and foremost, I’d like you to note that I review for the purpose of not only improving my own skills as a writer, but also to assist another in the improvement of their own. As such, you shouldn’t expect a review laden with praise. I’m here to give you an honest and in depth critique of your writing based solely on my own opinion. This is an important point as my opinion could differ entirely from another’s.

That said, what do you say we get this review kicked off huh?

Title: "On A Whim, Chapters 1 and 2

Chapter: 1 and 2

Author: TJ Klein

Plot: We’re introduced to a small, tightly wound circle of friends in a somewhat small town in Kansas. Through the writer’s colloquialisms and often time, well executed pauses, we are given an early affinity to the small towners of the Midwest. Our writer captures the dialect well (having lived in Junction City, Kansas for 5 years, I feel I’m qualified to say that).

They are simplistic in exposition, but good things sometimes come in small packages, and in this case I’m quite impressed with the application of that little cliché.

The Plot is still in its infancy this early into the story, but I’ve gathered that our young Protagonist, Stella is looking for anything to spice up a rather mundane lifestyle she’s grown so accustomed to. This is elaborated on a bit further in Chapter 2 but through the perspective of another character who early on is revealed to be a star of a coming movie being filmed in Stella’s hometown. The tie ins are enough to keep the story flowing without making me double back in the reading so I think though it’s still forming, the plot thus far is working.

Style and Voice:

First Person Narrative, predominantly the PoV works very well with the way the story reads, and the inward reflections give me a sense of reserved and pent up frustrations from our protagonist. Her voicing is spot on to what I would think a young woman might think and say about herself and those around her. She’s easy to connect with for a reader, even a male reader such as myself. The overall voicing of the piece is abrupt at times in ways that enhance the overall dialect of the area in which our characters reside, in which case I think it works well with the story.

Our PoV changes in Chapter 2, but remains First Person Narrative.


There were some minor issues in this regard. I’ve included some examples below as well as in the edit points of the piece.

Just my personal opinion:

I'd like to make a suggestion regarding your intro rating, change to to 'E' as there is nothing in the introduction that would be unsuitable for people of all ages. For a guideline of how the writing.com ratings system works, you may view it here:

Writing.Com 101  (E)
Explanations and instructions of all things Writing.Com.
#101 by The StoryMistress

More specifically "Content Rating System (CRS)

I wish we’d have heard the name of your protagonist from Chapter 2, though from the title of the chapter, I assume his name is Matt, it would be nice to establish whose head I’m in while I’m reading at least once.

Examples of possible corrections:

*Cross2*“OMG!! PINKY, there’s a production company in town looking for extras for a film they are shooting right here in MOUNT PLEASENT,” I yelled.

I’ve underlined the dialogue tag in this opening that sticks out to me. Tags in and of themselves are a tricky business in writing, and I don’t delve too deep into when they are right or wrong, but I note this one specifically because due to the amount of exclamation points in the punctuation, I’ve gathered that you were in fact, yelling. Thus, “I yelled” is a somewhat redundant point to which offers no real benefit to the dialogue itself other than showing the reader who is currently speaking. Perhaps a different tag, or action that still states that this particular statement is coming from our first person PoV.

*Cross2*…11 years ago when we were in high school[,] eventually we all moved into Pinky’s parents’ house when they downsized.

Here we have a common grammatical mistake known as a comma splice or in other words, a comma separating two independent clauses without conjunction. In this case, I’d replace it with a period, and it would not encumber the message you’re conveying.

There are instances where a comma splice can be revised with uses of ‘but’ ‘and’ ‘or’ and a plethora of other lovely and simple words. Other times the use of a semicolon can be placed, which can often times display a nice little stylistic understanding of the English language. This is entirely the discretion of the writer, as it’s your story after all, and you know how best to tell it. These are just my own thoughts on comma splices, which through all my writings and re-writings, still slip by me from time to time.

*Cross2*I totally love her, even more than I do Steve

This is a referencing issue for me. In the previous paragraphs leading up to this statement, it didn’t seem to me that your character loved Steve at all. It seemed as though she were just going through the motions of having some sort of relationship without any feeling of commitment.

After you’ve done so well a job at making me hate Steve, it seemed rather an abrupt change of pace to remark on the fact that you felt any love for him at all. Perhaps elaborate on your feelings for him a bit further prior to arriving at this statement.

*Cross2*Excitedly, Pinky starts telling Carey about the casting call…

There are a lot of cases where I can let an adverb slide in terms of the overall weight it has in reference to the sentence it’s in, but in this case, considering there’s some exclamatory dialogue following this, a reader can gather that Pinky is excited without have to say that she is. This can contribute to a wordiness and overall telling of the story rather than showing. Eliminating this adverb will not diminish from the message you’re conveying here.

*Cross2*…how are you,” I asked

This is a dialogue tag which entirely does not belong here. As “How are you?” is in fact an interrogative clause, and thus you don’t need to tell the reader that your character just asked a question, we’ve already figured that out.

*Cross2*…I’ve been out here for ten years.

Though the statement itself isn’t wrong, your character currently isn’t “here” he is in Mount Pleasant. This was very disconnecting, but can easily be fixed with “There”


I want to say, your first line seemed a bit lacking in an opening hook, but if you’re referring to the Mount Pleasant, TX, which is a town I’ve visited on numerous occasions, you’ve got my attention. If it’s not the same town… well you’ve got my attention anyway, GO YOU! (I know it’s not Texas, but a little affinity like that to some place in the world, can pull a reader in, so despite what some might call, and uneventful first line, it worked on me.

Overall, I was able to connect with your characters’ perspectives pretty well. You’ve touched on the natural feelings of day to day life, and the inward emotions of two characters well enough that they feel less like words on paper and more like living and breathing creatures in your story. Your PoVs do very well for this type of narrative I must say.

I’m not truly following any sort of plot elements at the moment, but I can guess as to where this is all leading. Perhaps I’m wrong, and if I am, then oh well, at least you had me guessing to begin with.

I think overall it’s a well executed story, it has a few quirks which I’ve highlighted in your edit points as well as in the snippets above, but overall, I think it works well.

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Rated: ASR | (3.5)
Hello Mr.Sideburns ! As I always promise, a review for a review! Thank you for taking the time to look at my work! I'm now returning the favor and before I get too far into this I'd like to welcome you to WDC! I see you've been a member for a little over a month and I'd like to thank you for sharing your work with us! Without any further rambling, onto the review!

Title: "What Was Watching Me

Author: Mr.Sideburns

Plot: We are introduced to an anonymous woman, skeptical of the paranormal, who recollects a particular three nights of hauntings in her new home. I've seen "Amityville Horror" (DONT CALL THE COPS CALL THE LOCAL PRIEST!) *Smile*

Style and Voice:There's some issues here regarding the voicing. There is a lot of passive and telling sentences. This is a common issue among writers, myself included. Show us the story, don't tell us. Remark on the fear but go in depth with it. We as readers need to feel the fear of this woman. A bit of depth on the setting may help here. Remark on the dreariness, or the oppressive atmosphere of the bedroom, put some depth and body to it, this does a lot for a scene. Also, take a look here: "Invalid Item This is a great resource regarding this point.

Grammar:I saw nothing worth fussing over. Nice job here!

Just my personal opinion:

I'd like to first point out that I love the title of this piece! It's a good eye-catcher.

I think you have the makings of a very ominous and very dark story! The only thing that holds it back on this regard is the telling rather than showing. I think it would also help to establish the setting with a bit more detail. Give us some images of this house. Is it old in a way that the floorboards creak? Is it drafty? Does it have that distinct, old house smell? This would also help better paint the picture.

Examples of possible corrections:

I did find a spelling flaw in the item introduction. You wrote:

Ever feel like your being watched?

It should read:

Ever feel like you're being watched?

Until the night I saw this thing that watched me at night.

There's some repetition here, consider replacing one of the "nights," perhaps the first one could be replaced as follows:

Until the evening I saw this thing that watched me at night.

...when our first child would be born.

This reads a bit strange to me I'd consider revising to:

...when our first child was born.

I’m sure our friends would love...

This is a change of tenses. The story thus far has been narrated in first person - past tense, the use of I'm (I am) signifies a present tense form of "to be." It would be better if it read:

I was sure our friends would love...

We had seen a group of deer on our way to the house that had jumped...

This is an instance where the sentence is padded with "had." In effort to show rather than tell the story, it's suggested to minimize the usage of this word as often as possible. In this case, both of these can be eliminated without affecting the sentence:

We saw a group of deer on our way to the house that jumped...

Those eyes scared the hell out of me.

Why did they scare the hell out of you? If you spent a couple sentences or even one sentence discussing the reason they frightened you (considering that you established that you're hard to frighten) It would add a good mood to this story! (good as in scarier)

*Cross3*What I saw filled me with dread.

This is a bit telling rather than showing. Describe the feeling with more depth, fear is the premise of your story so it is imperative that you show your mastery of describing the emotion. Talk about that strange tingle in your nose when you're frightened, or the pin pricks on your skin, or the light ringing in your ears. Things like that will add a lot of depth to this emotion more than what a single word can do. I've yet to see a single word that can describe a scene with such detail that nothing else needs to be said. (besides bamboozled *Smile* And I only say that because I like that word.)

*Cross3*...and I once again seen the hand.

This is a case which you can confuse a reader by mistaking the tense of "see" To write in a perfect tense e.g. "Seen" It also should be accompanied with "had" e.g. "had seen" To avoid wordiness I'd simply change it to "saw."


I like the ending, it has its own little bit of absolution regarding the skeptical boyfriend. Overall its not at all a bad story, but it could use some polishing as I mentioned above. If you should revise this and like a follow up review, I would be very happy to do so! Also, if you would prefer a more in depth, line-by-line review, you have but to ask and I will do one in Private.

I thank you for sharing this, and I like the story, good job!

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Rated: E | (5.0)
Hello QPdoll Guess what, you're being raided! Yes, This is an "WdC SuperPower Reviewers GroupDare to Review Raid Review!

As such, I received an e-mail today that led me here. I offered my own character and now if you would permit me, I'd like to share my thoughts on your activity.

*Cross3*I must say this is a good little in & out! It not only challenges a writer to describe a character in 250 characters, but also allows them to interact, though indirectly, through displaying some of their creations. Good thinking!

*Cross3*The prompt is easy to understand and pretty fun to try! I hope you get some more responses soon, until then, thanks for this!

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Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
Hello Arakun the Twisted Raccoon ! Guess what, you're being raided! Yes, This is an "WdC SuperPower Reviewers GroupDare to Review Raid Review!

As such, I happened across this great little contest, and of course I made an entry before this review. I'd like to take a moment to share my thoughts with you regarding this page.

*Cross3* First I have to say, this contest is a lot more challenging than it seems. To develop a start and end with a plot, characters and setting in 300 words is no easy task. This in itself is an awesome exercise for writer's to tap their muse! I love it!

*Cross3*The guidelines for this challenge are clearly laid out for contestants and are plenty easy to read. Your font size and style is clean and an excellent choice for those with not so great vision e.g. me. Thanks!!!

*Cross3*The prizes are quite generous for a modest size entry!

*Cross3*Overall, you have a great activity here, and I'll make it a point to return daily for the prompts! Thank you very much for building this page and for your efforts in judging!

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Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
Hello Tileira ! Guess what, you're being raided! Yes, This is an "WdC SuperPower Reviewers GroupDare to Review Raid Review!

As it so happens, the NaNovember event has led me here and I'd like to take some time to share with you my thoughts regarding your contest.

*Globe*First I'd like to mention that the title is superb. It is definitely an eye catcher, and I must say you've got my attention!

*Globe*I'd also like to mention that the appeal of your page is stunning! That banner really sets it off with the theme you're going for, and I have to say the theme is brilliant!

*Globe*This is well beyond your simple contest as it is as much a championship as it is a great writing exercise!

*Globe*Your rules are clear and concise and leaving no guessing for a potential entrant, well done!

*Globe*The prizes seem fitting to the amount of work involved, they aren't over the top and they aren't lacking so I'd say you've done splendid in that department.

*Globe*Overall this seems like a competition that anyone would enjoy. It spans any genre, and offers a good deal of exercises to help establish a writer's story. Superb creation! I truly commend you for creating this page, and I look forward to its next startup in 2016!

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Rated: E | (5.0)
Hello Matt Bird MSci (Hons) AMRSC Guess what, you're being raided! Yes, This is an "WdC SuperPower Reviewers GroupDare to Review Raid Review!

How could I celebrate this NaNovember raid without reviewing one of your great pages? I couldn't that's how!

*Dragon2*First I have to say the banner that graces this group's page is phenomenal! I tip my hat to the designer! It's very appealing and very fantastical!

*Dragon2*The quotes you utilize between the sections are brilliant, and bring to life this little niche genre we both share in common.

*Dragon2*The video is a great introduction to this great group, and is very inviting to those looking to join!

*Dragon2*The plethora of activities and forums within the group are rich and educational alike. There's some great resources here for those following the Fantasy/Sci-Fi craft and they would be hard-pressed to find information much better than this!

*Dragon2*The membership goes to show just how popular this group is! With 132 Members, there's a myriad of great stories and great writers within the walls of the Fantasy and Science Fiction Society.

*Dragon2*Overall, the page is clean, easy to read, and easy to navigate. The graphics between sections are gorgeous, like something you'd see on the cover of an epic saga. I've been here too short a time than I would like, but I recall a certain coffee shop of similar magnificence, and this group has only improved the excellence that began there in 2010!

Well done, my friend! Keep up the great work, and thanks for this wonderful group!

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Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
Hello Sophy v.2021 guess what, you're being raided!! Yes, This is an "WdC SuperPower Reviewers GroupDare to Review Raid Review!!

As such I couldn't continue this NaNovember raid event without stopping by and saying a few words. Your prompts after all, have tapped some strange potential in me that two days ago, I had not dared to touch!

*Cross3* I must first touch on your opening statements, as these have struck such a chord in me that I can't avoid not saying: Well said! I try to write by that example and offer that advice to those I review as well!

*Cross3*Your judging disclaimer is well understood, and I can only imagine how much work it is for your volunteers. I must applaud them for their service!

*Cross3*Your guidelines are clear and concise and the only way one could not follow what was contained within is if they didn't read them.

*Cross3*I must also shed light on your credits to your donors. Generosity is a scarce thing in this day and age, and that you give them their due notice is outstanding!

*Cross3*Overall, what else needs to be said? I love your prompts and the reward is fitting for such a short time frame. You manage to tap potential in your entrants, and encourage them every step of the way through your statements. I love this contest, and I look forward to entering its stakes any time I can. Thank you again for your hard work, and a special thanks to your volunteer judges!

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Rated: 13+ | (3.5)
Hello MightyWolf guess what, you're being raided!! Yes, This is an "WdC SuperPower Reviewers GroupDare to Review Raid Review!!

As such, I happened across this interactive of yours and it seems like something that is up my alley. It is this reason that I'd like to share my thoughts with you.

Your exposition to this is quaint, and just enough for your participants to have enough history to understand its theme. There are however some flaws that I'd like to bring to your attention:

*Cross3*...humans as well. But there was a confrontation between the humans & the mythical creatures.

The underlined is marking a grammatical error, wherein these clauses should be separated with a comma and then the coordinating conjunction. I've bolded the final two words because they are repetitive in comparison to the previous lines. I'd replace them with a simple pronoun:

...humans as well, but there was a confrontation between the humans and them.

This is an example of such a correction.

*Cross3*The humans started getting greedy & stealing treasures from all the myths.

I've underlined a section of the above sentence because it is wordy and weak. I'd consider a revision with something more active. The bold is simply marking what I assume is a slang for your creatures? I like that!

The humans became greedy and stole treasures from the myths.

This revision is much shorter, and grants the same, yet stronger point.

*Cross3*Humans started to be determined to wipe out all the myths so that they will no longer be hunted by the myths.

The above markings are stressing wordiness. Try to avoid padding your sentences with non-descriptive words such as "that" "had" etc. as this can contribute to passive telling of your story.

Humans were determined to annihilate the myths so they would no longer be their prey.

This revision is 6 words fewer and still provides the original point.

You may be wondering why I would pick apart your exposition as I have as though it were a full fledged story.

Well, it may not be an extravagant high fantasy novel, but it's the beginning of your living story! This story is written by your participants and many, like me, can be deterred by grammatical flaws and passive voicing written by the story's creator. It is for that reason that I offer you these possible corrections. You may do with them as you please and you're not at all expected to change them word for word, I merely offer you my own ideas.

I'm also guilty of writing in a passive tone, but it's with feedback that I have the opportunity to re-read and rewrite my work. I use a great resource here at writing.com that can assist with the explanation of active and passive writing:

 Invalid Item 
This item number is not valid.
#1933010 by Not Available.

It's what I would consider my holy grail of showing and not telling.

Moving on from that, I read each of your characters, and they are quite relatable. Each of them have a well described personality and background. You've certainly done well in that department.

All in all, it appears to have the makings of a very entertaining interactive and I thank you for sharing it with us! With some minor corrections in the opening I think you could very well have a masterpiece!

Thank you again!

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Rated: ASR | (5.0)
Hello TopsyTurvyMumsy guess what, you're being raided!! Yes,This is an "WdC SuperPower Reviewers GroupDare to Review Raid Review!!

As such, I happened upon this activity through a listing of potential reviewees and I'd like to take a few moments to share my thoughts with you regarding this page.

*Menorah*First, I'd like to say that this is a great idea, very original. I love the concept, and you were even good enough to include the translations of the Hebrew letters.

*Menorah*Your terms seem quite enjoyable, and I look forward to seeing this play out!

*Menorah*The leftovers are getting donated to such a great cause! NaNoPrep is a great resource for anyone, even if they aren't participating in NaNo!

*Menorah*I do like that leftover coins are redeemed at the end of the event, that's something I haven't seen. Very considerate of you.

*Menorah*What I truly enjoy about this page is you've included links to the histories of this holiday. This is a good way for people to educate themselves on other cultures.

*Menorah*The stakes of this game seem quite fair, odds wise, there's a very good chance for folks to walk away with a good bit of GPs. I'm not a mathematics expert but it is certainly better than roulette odds *Smile*

*Menorah*Overall I love the concept! You can expect my hat to be tossed in the ring soon! Well done, and thanks for coming up with such a great idea!

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Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
Hello Jeary Guess what, you're being raided! Yes, This is an "WdC SuperPower Reviewers GroupDare to Review Raid Review!!!

Here I am, in a place I could call home, in a genre that I've held a love since I was young. As such, I'd like to share with you my thoughts on this activity of yours in aim to aid you at refining this interactive. Keep in mind this is just my personal opinion.

I would like to first point out that your rules on the previous page are plenty straightforward for anyone looking to participate.

You're next page has a bit of exposition regarding these races of yours, and within this introduction, I found a few flaws:

*Cross3*Before we begin this fantasy adventure, I have Five races, I thought of for the interactive, that you could get to choose from before you begin creating your character.

This is a pretty daunting sentence to begin your introduction! 30 words to be exact, what a whopper! At any rate, I think if you restructured it, it would flow a bit better to those looking for a bit of backdrop.

Before we begin this journey, I've thought of five races. You may choose one prior to creating your character.

Restructuring it in such a way is easier on the reader, and therefore will be more appealing for someone to participate.

*Cross3*Here are your choices[']

This apostrophe implies possessive which is unnecessary. Simply replace it with a period.

*Cross3*The First is Human, humans...

This is a comma splice, wherein you're combining two independent clauses without a coordinate or subordinate word such as "and, but, or" and "while, though, ergo, etc." You can either replace the comma with a period or separate these clauses with a semicolon.

*Cross3*Which gives the them the most adaptability.

Aside from a typo I'd suggest replacing "which" with "this." otherwise this is a sentence fragment.

Ok, I know you're probably asking why I would pick apart grammatical and stylistic issues such as this for something that's not really a writing and my answer is this: Your interactive like all others is a living story, constantly evolving and writing itself at the fingertips of your participants. As such, those that are looking to participate could easily be deterred by writing flaws by this item's creator don't you agree?

That said, you've got some fun races. All of which seem suited to a particular style of fantasy folk such as myself. Well done in that regard. Also, you're outline is well established and seems to flow well, perhaps I'll find myself involved in this activity at some point. Until then, I hope this review serves you well. I apologize for the pickiness of these comments, but as I said, my goal is to aid you in bringing out the best of your activity! Best of luck to you and thanks for creating it!

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Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
Hello Glassboots Guess what, you're being raided! Yes, This is an "WdC SuperPower Reviewers GroupDare to Review Raid Review!!!

Here I am in this happy little corner of my niche genre, and I'd like to share with you my thoughts on this contest.

*Cross3*The content of the page is clean and easy to read. Well separated from each section, and the link to your sister contest is a nice touch.

*Cross3*Your entry rules are described well enough.
I would suggest that you boldface the deadlines however, I've overlooked some in the past, and it would be nice for them to stick out a bit.

*Cross3*Your rewards are quite generous, but I suppose 5000 words is worthy of merit.

*Cross3*It's hard to imagine that you're the only judge, no way I could do that. I hope you don't get too burdened!
It's your contest but perhaps another judge or two would certainly lighten your load.

*Cross3*Your listing of entries is also well done. I don't see that on a lot of contests.

Overall I like the idea, perhaps I'll enter a work of my own in the future, until then I'll be following this! Thanks for coming up with the idea!

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Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Hello law558 I came across this piece on the review request page, and I’d like to thank you for sharing it. I have a few words regarding this writing that I hope you find useful. Keep in mind this is only my personal opinion and you may take or leave these words as you wish.

Title: The Leviathan

Chapter: Prologue

Author: law558

Plot: We are introduced to a well ‘experienced’ courtesan… ‘tending’ to the desires of a likely wealthy man of office. Her curiosity pans out through these words, and though she fights her wills, she can’t contain herself.

Style and Voice:Third person objective. Voicing is predominantly active with some passive voicing thrown in in small bits. Though a weak sentence here and there are more than excusable amongst such well written and structured paragraphs they are a bit distracting, see my comments below.

Grammar: There wasn’t much here, your use of the English language is well proven in your writing. Your word choices are stunning, and the overall structuring of your sentences suggests that you have a good command on writing.

Just my personal opinion: Well, I’m not really hooked by your first line. It’s not at all telling me to continue reading this piece, you should definitely consider thinking about this line, as it is one of the most important ones in any writing. Ask yourself, is this imploring me to keep reading?

Aside from that, you certainly have my attention! The start of this story is more than enough for me to keep reading. I love fantasy, and I love the political backstabbing and imperialism that you’re vague to paint in this prologue. You offered just enough to keep me intrigued and not so much that I got the whole backdrop in a few paragraphs. Well done.

Examples of possible corrections:

A thin line of black running along the rich polished auburn of the aged desk, calling out to her, tempting her in this most perilous of places.

There’s an awful lot of gerunds in this sentence and it doesn’t read as eloquently as it could. In comparison to the rest of your writing I would consider revising this. An example of such a revision is:

A thin line of black ran along rich polished auburn of the aged desk. It called out to her; a temptation in the most perilous of places.

…a burning cage of fervour

Misspelling should read: fervor

What use was a courtesan that couldn’t be trusted?

Summary: All in all, you’re story is quite good. I’m intrigued enough to want to keep reading. There were few errors in the writing that I could see, and I’ve marked them above. Your PoV is well written and though I didn’t get to know this Jezebel as well as I would have liked, what you’ve got so far is well executed for an early exposition. I’m very impressed with your writing and I can say, you’ve earned yourself a fan. Thank you again for sharing this with us, and I look forward to reading your next chapter!

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Rated: E | (3.0)
Hello Danza , and thank you for the review request!
I apologize that this did not occur sooner, but I’m afraid that the events in Paris had left me a bit incapable of reviewing or writing for a couple of days. At any rate, I hope you still find this review helpful.

Please keep in mind these are my own personal opinions and therefore may vary to some degree in comparison with other reviews you have received. I intend to be encouraging and helpful, so if anything comes off as a little blunt please keep in mind I do not mean that.

Now let’s get this thing started!

Title: Family Drama Angels & Karma

Author: Danza

Plot: We are introduced to the reflections of our Author, reminiscing of an all too common eruption of backlash on facebook, following this, she receives a chain message that speaks to her in a sort of divine way.

Style and Voice: First person. The voicing is predominantly passive, similar to a person writing in their journal. I will say, there is an awful lot of repetition in this writing. You’re use of ‘I’ becomes overbearing, and I would suggest either combining some of your simple sentences, or rewording them.

I do however understand that the writing is first person, and therefore it can be difficult to not use ‘I’ too many times, but I’ve been corrected for this same mistake so I wanted to bring it to your attention.

Grammar: There’s some issues with grammar in this piece. First, we see a grammatical error in the title (Not a great way to start a writing)

It should read:

Family Drama, Angels, and Karma

There’s a few sentence fragments that could be joined with a comma and conjunction. There are instances of ending sentences with prepositions. These can be fixed with some rewording. There are also an awful lot of simple sentences, though straightforward, they don’t show much stylistic writing. I get the point of the story you’re telling, but to throw in some more advanced sentences would allow the reading to be less dry.

Just my personal opinion: Well, who hasn’t been the centerpiece of facebook attacks? You’ve grabbed my attention with that premise, as it is something that almost anyone can relate. I do feel for you, being a traveler myself, I understand that living out of a suitcase can be difficult, especially with folks trying to hurt you through words.

They say that words can’t hurt you, but they can. Your reflection of this is good but I wish you would have remarked a bit more on your distress. Allow the readers to feel sympathy for you, it will increase the emotional connection we have with this writing.

I did rather enjoy your feelings of receiving this chain message, you displayed your emotions well there.

Thank you for sharing this writing with us! I did enjoy it.

Examples of possible corrections: Below you will find a few examples of some errors I mentioned in the comments above, I’ve also accompanied them with ways to correct these errors. You may however, write it however you like, this is just my opinion.

It was one of those chain messages. Now those I’ve never participated in.

We have here, two simple sentences that could easily be joined, allowing you to end this sentence with something other than a preposition. An example of such a correction is:

It was one of those chain messages; I never participate in those.

I will not get into details but lets just say it wasn’t good.

There’s a few errors here that can be corrected. One of which isn’t really an error, but the start of this sentence could be changed with a contraction to cut down on its wordiness. Also, there is a misuse of ‘lets.’

Saying “I will not get into details,” is a bit of a trite phrase.
And please, DO GET INTO SOME DETAILS! Let us relate to your emotions! I understand that it can be difficult talking about things like this, but it will allow the reader to connect with you if you DO go into some details.

A correction for this sentence (assuming you still don’t wish to go into further detail of the ordeal) is as follows:

I won’t get into details but let’s just say it wasn’t good.

We were told KARMA was going to get us back. Which I didn’t ever pay attention to.

This can be connected with a couple of commas

We were told KARMA, which I never paid attention to, was going to get us back.

Overall, it’s not a bad start, it could use some rewording and work in the grammar area as well as a cutting down of the overuse of ‘I.’
Should you use any of this advice, please contact me again and I would be happy to re-review this writing.

Should you prefer a line by line review rather than the few examples I have listed here, please let me know, and I shall do it in private.
Also, I again would like to thank you for sharing this. It was enjoyable, and with a bit of rework, it would be loveable. Keep writing!

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Review of Arina's Last hope  
In affiliation with Newby Novelists  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Title: "Arina's Last hope

Chapter: N/A

Author: Karl

Plot: The plot pacing was good and consistent. The storyline weaved its enchanting tale around me as I read.

Style/ Voice: Third Person Limited, Active Voice.

Referencing: There were a few things that stuck out to me in this area, mainly the exact measurements used in correlation with the time period portrayed. See line by lines.

Scene/Setting: Colorful scene and setting overall, I believe we could have established a bit more depth with the populace. Surely there would have been panic if they were being besieged.

Characters: The characters were interesting and believable. The seer was beautifully written.

Grammar: There were some grammatical flaws, see line by line.

Just my Personal Opinion:

Overall, it’s a very good story and I enjoyed reading it. In the line by lines, you’ll see some comments I made. Mainly I’d suggest to watch the overuse of TELLING adverbs, and show us the scene. You’ve done a pretty good job at showing rather than telling, but I believe some improvements can be made. I would very much suggest changing all the exact measurements you used in the writing. To me, the don’t fit with the overall context of the story and better wordings could be used, you’ll find my suggestions in the line by line. At any rate, it’s a story worthy of reading, and with some proofreading and small fixes it could very well be a beautiful writing.

Line By Line:

Hello Karl, in response to your review request, I’d like to take this time to share with you my thoughts on your short story. I apologize for the lateness of this review, but things often get in the way, I hope that it will still help you.


Arina struggled to keep herself from fidgeting as she awaited the appearance of the seer. The readings, cast at midnight on the night before, alarmed her enough that she had to come here - had to know I believe the ending of this sentence would read better if you preceded it with “she”. So there she sat, inside a gaudy pavilion tent south of the grand market, waiting. She didn’t have long to wait, because, at that moment, the curtains stirred and an emaciated hand beckoned her into the reading chamber. She rose without a word and followed the seer into the dimly lit bowels of the seer’s sanctum. Unless this is the name of the place she is going, I’d replace “seer’s” with “his”

The exposition here works well. You’ve started the read off with a flowing strength of words. Though the opening isn’t as gripping as it could be, I do like that you’ve shown a sense of nervousness rather than told us that she’s nervous.

The imagery isn’t extremely deep, but it’s also not entirely too bland. Overall, it works with the reading so far, and you haven’t droned on and on about the setting, though I do hope we see more depth soon.

Arina had no idea how old this woman was, but to call her ancient would have been a gross understatement. She wore a beige robe that gathered about her in a myriad of folds that resembled those on her face. Very good imagery! To Arina, it seemed that she must have lived three or four lifetimes to accumulate such a collection of wrinkles. Most appalling, however, was the flesh stretched across the hollow emptiness of her vacant eye sockets. Her blindness was her curse and her blessing. Despite all the power of her ability comma here she was unable to see the visions that she showed her customers.

You did a remarkable job at the image of the seer. The comparisons of her robes to her wrinkles was vivid and not wordy. There was a small grammatical error in the sentence above that I’ve commented in the text. You could correct it as suggested, or revise it to a stronger read. In my opinion the latter of the two choices would be better, as the sentence is weak.

This is a common occurrence in writing, and though sometimes it works when necessary, in this case I feel that it doesn’t. The problem with it is this:

You’ve started the sentence with a weak clause followed by a strong clause. An explanation of how this works would be as follows:

A strong clause cannot stand as its own sentence i.e.
Despite all the power of her ability.

Whereas the strong clause can stand as its own sentence i.e. She was unable to see the visions that she showed her customers.

Starting a sentence with the weaker of the two clauses contributes to an overall lack of strength in the sentence and could be corrected as follows:
She was unable to see the visions that she showed her customers despite all the power of her ability.

Arina started to speak, but the crone held up a single knobby finger to ensure her silence. The hand extended, and Arina reached her own out in response. The withered fingers caressed her own turning it so that her palm was exposed. Then, in a flash of movement she could barely see, much less react to, the crone pulled a tiny blade from her sleeve and slashed Arina’s palm. The blood welled up instantly, and the crone guided the hand as drops of blood fell into the bowl. Rather than sink, however, the blood remained floating on the surface of the water, expanding unnaturally until it formed a thin red sheen. The crone closed Arina’s hand into a fist to staunch the flow of blood and then leaned forward to blow gently across the liquid’s surface.

I like the action here, but I’d have liked to see Arina recoil a bit from her hand being sliced open. I think it would have felt a little more natural to the scene.

There were a few things that stuck out to me in this paragraph. Mainly, there seems to be a lot of gerund usage in your sentences. i.e. words ending in “ing”

The verbiage here is a bit dry due to this, and I think replacing them with more active words would really pop this paragraph to the intended effect.
There was a few adverbs here as well that didn’t sit well with me. The one that really caught my eye, I underlined. I’d eliminate that and be done with it, or I’d describe the flow of blood a little deeper. Something like:
The blood welled up into a pool before she could notice the pain.

I’m not telling you to word it exactly like that, but it would show us that the blood is flowing quickly with a better image than an adverb ever has a chance to show us.

As she turned, she saw gouts of flame pouring out over the wall, incinerating small patches of enemies, but the obsidian sea quenched the flames and flowed in quickly to refill the gap. This is a pretty long sentence, I’d break it down. Catapults flung scores of twenty pound You can’t really measure an intangible vision can you? stones into the maelstrom, but their effects were as insignificant as a bucket of water on a forest fire. She flew back across the wall and the city, continuing up the slope to the main keep and beyond. Above the keep, just below the snow line, was a large shelf standing at the mouth of an immense cave. The stone of the shelf was barely discernable because of the dragons crowded on its surface. They were organized into phalanxes, with a core of five red dragons at the center of each and five green dragons on each side as flankers. Passive voice Each dragon, green and red alike, bore an armored rider with a twenty foot lance. I don’t like the exact imagery here, I don’t think it works with the context see comments below. They were a magnificent sight to behold: The Dragon Riders of Myridon. A great bellow resounded from within the cave, and they began to take to the air. In minutes, the first five phalanxes were airborne, speeding down the slope toward an engagement with an enemy that sought their utter annihilation.

It’s pretty neat imagery to say the least, but a few things stuck out to me big time in this paragraph. First, I’ll address the long sentence that starts it. It’s way too large to open with in my opinion. I’d break it down.

Secondly, there’s a lot of exact descriptions here like “twenty pounds” and “twenty foot” To me it doesn’t work with the context. I would replace the descriptions with something a little more powerful.

Twenty pound:
boulders twice the size of a man’s head

Twenty foot:
with a lance twice as long as a man.

As I said before, you don’t have to use these exact words, but I think they would be more effective in the context.

The last thing I’d like to address is the sentence written in passive voice. Often times, these things are hard to avoid, but in this case I think it can be revised for stronger verbiage as follows:

Five green dragons stood at the sides of the phalanxes, and five red dragons formed their core.

Another bellow sounded, and five more phalanxes exited the cave and took to the sky. After they had taken off, a massive form approached the cave mouth. The stone shelf trembled as a gigantic blue dragon stepped out into the light of day. His scales glistened, and atop his back sat a knight that was as impressive as his mount. The Lord Commander’s pure, white tabard was encased in Mithril plate armor, with the sigil of the Dragon Knights emblazoned across it, shining in the brilliant light like a beacon of hope. Passive Voice Rather than a lance, he carried a jewel encrusted staff that was six feet in length Exact description again. The huge blue reared back on its hind legs and let out a great bellow that echoed across the city before leaping upward and taking to the sky.

The sentence that was underlined holds two things that stuck out to me. First, it’s passive and second, it’s long. I think you can break it down to smaller sentences while at the same time, eliminating the passive voice.

Mithril Plate armor encased the Lord Commander’s pure white tabard. Emblazoned across it, the sigil of the Dragon Knights shined in the brilliant light like a beacon of hope.

As the flights of dragons neared the Dragon Wall comma here a great cheer erupted from the defenders massed there. Seconds later comma here they were soaring over the obsidian sea, spewing great swaths of fire upon the defenseless multitudes. Immune to the arrows that deflected off their adamantine hide, the dragons attacked with impunity, and the knights began to hope that they might carry the day.

Good action here. I’ve marked areas in the sentences that have grammatical errors.

The bellow of their leader diverted their attention just in time to see a dark cloud approaching. Suddenly the air was filled with hundreds of Harpies, their raptor claws tearing at the dragons’ scaled hides with astonishing ferociousness. The fact that their heads and bodies resembled those of human women caused the knights to hesitate. The effect was devastating. Bodies fell from the sky as riders were torn from their mounts. Severed wing tendons caused a number of dragons to spiral to their doom. The harpies were so close that lances were no longer effective, and flaming breath would undoubtedly hurt as many friends as foes. The knights tried to use swords to fend off the monstrosities, but the harpies were so agile that they could easily avoid their reach.

Interesting imagery here.

The massive blue bellowed a command, and the remaining dragons and their knights retreated. In their wake, the blue came barreling toward the harpies. As he roared, sparks of electricity began to flash around his head, building energy with every beat of his wings. When he got within fifty yards of the first harpies comma here he released a sizzling bolt of electricity that shot forward at the speed of light. With knights in the story, I’m assuming this is medieval. Speed of light was argued in early history, but its first measurement attempts were not until the mid 1600’s and did not have a close to exact measurement until early 1900’s. To me this exact measurement does not work at all with the context. The first wave of harpies hit by the powerful bolt was vaporized. The coruscating energy continued on into the next batch, leaping to the next in a chain that brought dozens of the beasts down, leaving a stench of burnt feathers and ozone. The enraged beast and rider pressed the attack, scattering the cloud of harpies like chickadees under the shadow of a hawk. Atop the gigantic blue, the Lord Commander of The Dragon Knights lashed out with his staff, sending forth orange bursts of flame as a counterpoint to the electric blue pyrotechnics of his mount. The ferociousness of the assault sent the harpies into a panic, and they lost all coherence in their frenzy to escape. As they did, the remaining Dragon Knights flew in from their flanking positions, cutting off the avenue of escape for the enemy. Charred and skewered harpies fell to the ground like rain as the Knights concluded their decisive aerial victory.

I liked the imagery and the action, but as I mentioned above, there was some exact descriptions that really stuck out to me.

Far below, amid the thronging hordes of the enemy, a glowing sphere of sickly green grabbed the Lord Commander’s attention. As he veered his mount towards it, a bolt of energy burst forth from the sphere, moving faster than thought as it impacted a red dragon. The red stiffened immediately and dropped like a rock. The blue increased his speed as two more bursts flashed by to either side. Nearing maximum velocity, the dragon drew in huge gulps of air, filling his lungs in anticipation of the fury that he was about release. When he was just about to strike, the green light vanished. Misuse of a conjunction. Eliminate the period and replace it with a comma, start “but with a lowercase “b” But there was only a fraction of a second to ponder the mystery before a wave of blackness exploded in front of him. A shell of void energy raced outward, and every airborne creature that it touched lost consciousness and plummeted from the sky. In less than a minute, the legendary Dragon Knights were wiped from the face of the earth.

Good images here.

The images in the scrying bowl faded, as Arina clutched the armrests of the stool until the dizzy spell passed. When she was able, she stumbled to her feet, and thanked the seer as she made her way back through the curtains and out into the crowded market. In a city under siege, the cost of food had skyrocketed, and people in the square were nearing a state of desperation. Arina shouldered her way through the throng, eliciting more than a few derogatory remarks in the process, and eventually reached her servant who stood holding the reins of her horse. In moments comma here they were off, making their mad dash up the mountainside.

Good depth of the setting here. You established a nice perspective with me in this paragraph, but I think we could have shown a bit more of panic. Assuming that they’re under siege, I don’t think that they would have been conducting such day to day activities without notice.

In most places, the thunder of the approaching hooves was more than enough warning to clear the way, but the milling mass simply had no place to go. Arina was forced to wait impatiently as the commoners flowed in a slow, steady trickle around her and her servant before they were once again able to navigate the continual switchbacks up the road to the castle. By the time Arina finally reached the castle she was in a panic, ignoring both soldiers and courtiers alike as she dashed toward the spiral staircase that led upward into the dragons’ eyrie. ? Down the halls she sped, scattering servants and nobles in her wake. Large mosaics of dramatic battles fought ages ago blurred in her peripheral vision as she urged her body to expend more energy. Behind her, a well-intentioned lieutenant and his small unit struggled to close the gap between her and them, and thus be in a position to assist her in whatever dire emergency was taking place. However, the fully armored men never stood a chance as the lithe woman vanished before them.

The last section sort of reads like a head-hop from arina to the lieutenant. I’m not sure if it works in the context.

By the time Arina reached the cave that housed the dragons, she had little stamina left. Glancing around in horror, she saw that the cave was empty. NO! She couldn’t be too late! With the last bit of energy she had, she ran toward the cave entrance, stumbling as a tremor passed through the mountain. Her heart leapt with joy. Her Knight Commander had not yet left for the battle. Time slowed to a sickening pace as she broke free of the shadows to see the majestic blue dragon leap into the air. Her plaintive cries were lost in the cacophony of his bellowed roar. All that she could do was sink to her knees and watch as the blue dragon and her lover flew to their doom, her world came to a final and unavoidable end.

Strong ending. Very enjoyable.

Review by
J. M. Kraynak 10th Year at WDC
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Review of Chp 1. A Surprise  
In affiliation with Newby Novelists  
Rated: E | (3.0)
Title: "Chp 1. A Surprise

Chapter: 1

Author: Sage Blacke

Plot: Pacing is sort of slow at first, but it does pick up. Not sure what the exact plot is right now. If I had to guess, it’s a conflict of love?

Style/ Voice:First Person/ Past Tense/ Narrative

Referencing: No comment

Scene/Setting: A high school “Chorus?” class? I’d have loved to see some more depth here.

Characters:Your characters are unique and believable. Your colloquialisms assist with their punch. It’s difficult to discern who is who in some of your dialogue though.

Grammar: There were some grammatical flaws here. See line by line. Also there is a lot of adverb usage. 9 times out of 10 this contributes to a weak read.

Just my Personal Opinion: You seem to know what you’re doing with dialogue. The problem here is that is all that’s here… dialogue. This chapter needs some action and depth as far as charater development. PoV perspectives, and some setting description. You have a strong sense of speech, but you need to add the rest of the elements to this, as this is your first chapter. PUNCH YOUR READERS IN THE FACE! Lay it out, don’t reveal everything, but give a reader what they want. Action. As such I feel that it could use a substantial revision and rewrite. Don’t be discouraged, the key to good writing is a whole lot of rewriting.

Line By Line:

The bell rang furiously.

First lines are the most important of your book. This is your one chance to tell the reader “you want to read the rest of this!” This does not grab my attention. What I would suggest, is utilize it as a PoV from your character’s perspective. By doing this you could eliminate the adverb as well

The ringing of the bell was deafening to my ears.

something like that, although that’s not much of an attention grabber is it?

“Come on twin, let’s get to class.” I sighed to myself quietly and started to walk toward two green doors.

“Brittney, I don’t feel so good today.” I scratched at my blonde hair; which was in a bun.

“What do you mean?” she asked as she opened up the door,this is a comma splice… see below I walked in first. The halls smelt like cleaning stuff, the custodians had just mopped the floors.

“Just deep down inside I feel like something bad is about to happen.” I said softly. The door shut swiftly behind us.

“Did you get your monthly gift?” she asked sighing.

“No, and no it’s not that.” I replied.Since there are only two people in this conversation, you can eliminate this narrative tag.

In the above text, I underlined some adverbs that seem to hurt the flow of your descriptions. 9 times out of 10 an adverb does not assist in your showing of what is happening, rather it does the opposite, and Tells the reader what is happening. This contributes to a weak read.

Your dialogue as it is right now is a bit hard to follow. You have first person tags, and Brittney I think?

The problem is, your first person tags are included in the ends of all the lines. This contributes to my question: Whose saying what here? It’s very confusing.

You can fix the adverbs as follows:

Since sighs are usually quiet in the first place, you can completely eliminate that adverb “quietly” and the sentence would still work.

I said softly. in a soft tone. The door shut swiftly slammed behind us.

We’ll Well, today is Monday, and nobody likes Monday.” She said. We took a right and went through a double door, and then we walked just a few feet down, and made another right, and entered through a double door again. We then stopped just a few inches from another double door.

There was a typo here that I corrected, and a misuse of a conjunction which I also corrected. There’s a lot of wordiness here, that makes it a bit hard to follow, but I get what you’re saying.

“Well maybe you’re right. Maybe it’s just Monday.”

“Exactly, now how do I look?” she asked.

“You look like me, same hairstyle, same blue eyes, same height, same hotness, and humor.” I smiled.

“Now, what about me, do I look ok?” I asked.

I like the colloquialisms here. Made your characters nice and believable.

“You look like me.” She giggled. We entered through the double doors in front of us.

“I love to act in the mornings.” Brittney said.

“Good morning girls!” A voice called to us.

“Good morning Mrs. Hackenburg.” Brittney and I said cheerfully together. I smiled and surveyed the classroom and saw my everyday classmates. But then I frowned and saw four new faces. Three looked like they were juniors and one looked like a senior.I don’t think a year’s difference in education would change someone’s looks.

Try to avoid starting a sentence with a conjunction. By eliminating it, it feels less like a ramble, and it still makes sense.

As I mentioned above, I don’t understand how a person can “look” like a senior. Show us how they do. Are they wearing a letterman jacket? A Varsity Uniform? Things like that suggest seniority in schools.

“Are you freaking kidding me?” I cried softly.

“What’s wrong twin?”

“Brittney, I think I know why I’m feeling so down today,”

“Why?” she asked.

I’d consider replacing the adverb usage with a stronger verb such as “whimpered.”

“We have new students.” A boy, who looked like a junior, looked at me. He was so beautiful and young; he had luscious chestnut hair with deep ocean blue eyes. They looked sad, yet they were beautiful. He wore a black solid V neck shirt with dark blue jeans. His face was stern and unpleasant, so were the other three.

I like the thoughts here, the descriptions are nice. But as I underlined, show us how he looked like a junior, don’t tell us “he looked like a junior.”

“Hey, he looks kind of cute.” Brittney pointed to a one of the two people who looked like juniors. There were 3 guys and one girl.

“You’re already taken.” I said softly. separate these two sections of dialogue. They are spoken from two different people.“I know, but I can state my opinion” she pointed back at me. “Who do you think is cute?” she asked. I was quiet and cautious. separate this as well. “The one that looks like a junior, the chestnut haired one,” I replied. The boy suddenly smiled at me. The other three grimaced at each other.

I’ve bold faced the “looked like juniors” because it’s getting repetitive. Perhaps earlier in this, you can describe their features. This would work with discerning who is who.

The adverb usage can be replaced with

As mentioned above, anytime you have dialogue spoken from two different people, it should be separated in different paragraphs. This make keeping track of who is speaking, much easier for the reader.

“ELIZABETH!” I turned my face to the left.

“Why do you look so down?!”

“Alyssa,” I rolled my eyes at twin. She smiled and walked to her seat. Finally realizing why I was so distressed, I decided to just be normal and calm down.

“Oh you know how it is Alyssa, it’s Monday, and nobody likes Monday.” I lied and hollered across the room. Then I winked at twin and laughed.

Other than the strange grammatical style you have here with the “?!” I understand the dialogue. Normally I would advise against something like this, but it works here.

“Yep, yep that is true” she said. “Oh! Oh! Dane don’t you look lovely today?!” Alyssa continued to holler. Dane was wearing a favorite t-shirt of mine. Her t-shirt came from the book “Twilight.” The shirt was white, on the front add a comma and the conjunction “and” it has two blue cool designs on the top, below it don’t understand this , and it said eliminate AND and replace it with a period to avoid a run-on ‘stupid lamb.’ I remember reading that passage, where Bella and Edward were talking in the woods, and how Bella finally realize that Edward was a vampire.

In the underlined, you switched tenses. So far this narrative is being told in past tense. “has” is a present tense verb. Replace with “had”
There’s a few grammatical errors here that I mentioned above.

“And so the lion fell in love with the lamb…” he murmured who is he? Dane?. I looked away, hiding my eyes as I thrilled to the word.

“What a stupid lamb” I sighed.

“What a sick, masochistic lion.” is this dane speaking? So beautiful it was. I walked to my seat, sat down, and took off my coat. The tardy bell rang and everyone immediately settled and quieted down. I crossed my right leg over my left and crossed my arms across my chest, but I didn’t stay in that position too long. We stood up and said the ‘pledge of allegiance’ when the announcements came on. I glanced behind me; the four new people stood up, but didn't say anything. The junior chestnut haired boy didn't look at me at all anymore. As soon as we finished saying the ‘pledge of allegiance’ comma here the announcements came. We sat quietly and listened. I watch Mrs. Hackenburg stood close by the double doors listening, for the speaker for the announcements were above the doors, and were very soft. very wordy consider breaking up into smaller sentences I chuckled every time she did this. When the announcements came and went, the classroom was ultimately quiet, I’m pretty sure if someone dropped a pin, you could hear it.

There’s some hard to follow dialogue as I’ve mentioned. I don’t know who is speaking there.

There was a lack of a comma in one of the sentences as I mentioned. I don’t know if you understand the grammatical usage here, so I’ll explain it. Sorry if you already do and forgot to put one in.

When referring to a specific point in time, at the end of the statement, place a comma.

When I finish my work, I’ll give you a call. whereas, When signifies a timeframe.

For your above sentence it was: “As soon as”

I marked a couple typos with strikes. There’s two possibilities for correction in this case:

I watched as Mrs. Hackenburg stood


I watched Mrs. Hackenburg stand

In this case, both would make sense.

I bold faced a change in tenses. You said: “I’m pretty sure if someone dropped a pin, you could hear it.”

The correct tense would be

I’m pretty sure if someone dropped a pin, you could have heard it.

So,” Mrs. Hackenburg sliced the silence after checking role.

“We have some new students as some of you may know” she looked at me, replace with a period I winced.

“By Mrs. Stricklet we have Mr. Wes Dé Court, a junior, to his right, his sister, Rebecca Dé Court, a junior, to her right is her brother Robert Dé Court, also a junior, and to his left their brother, Viktor Dé Court, whom is a senior and will only see this school for one year.” Mrs. Hackenburg said sadly.

Nice wording

“Where did you say you all moved from?” she asked curiously.

“New York.” The one name Viktor answered. His voice was deep and soft.

“Mhh, that’s where twin use to live.” Brittney said aloud. The four looked at me curiously.

“Yes, I use to live up there.” I went along.

“What part?” The girl named Rebecca asked. Sepereate this section of Dialogue“Middle Town, New York. Kind of a small town, not really widely known.” I replied. She smiled brilliantly at me. I smiled back warm and calmly.

In the above section, the strikes are indicating wordiness to me. Eliminating these words would still make sense with your sentences.
The bold faced statement is a sentence fragment. It can be fixed by adding a simple pronoun to the beginning of the sentence such as “it’s”
The last sentence here is telling, and wordy. I’d replace it with something simple like “I returned the smile.”

“Alright, well welcome to Roanoke Rapids High School home to the yellow jackets.” Mrs. Hackenburg said happily. “Yes, welcome to Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina!” Alyssa cheered sarcastically.

“Alright,” Mrs. Hackenburg continued. “Let’s stand up and stretch. Come on guys don’t be shy” she said to the new folks. They stood up gracefully and did as they were told. Mrs. Hackenburg turned some music on and started to stretch, we mirrored her movements. After about a quick five minutes Comma is needed here she turned the music off and asked us to get in a circle around the piano. The four new students stayed together and stood opposite of me on the other side. I stood in front of the piano they stood behind it.

There’s a lot of adverbs in these couple paragraphs. I’d consider revising them for stronger reading.

“Since we have new students I want you all to clap to the beat and say anything about yourself. Get to know each other a little bit more” she said smiling. Now I always liked being the teacher’s pet and I always spoke my mind when I wanted to, I was the occasional talker and friendly person.

“Mrs. Hackenburg we already did this game” I groaned.

“Well you know what? We’re doing it again, so just deal with it.” Alyssa, the comedian junior, chimed in. Alyssa was always joking and was always funny, not one time had I ever been put down by her speech or jokes.

A nice addition of backstory here.

“We’ll start with you Brittney, you know how to play.”

“What’s the topic?” Brittney asked. “Just anything about you” Mrs. Hackenburg replied.

“What you like” I stated. “What I like, well, I like ice cream” she said confusingly.

“Wow twin” I said sarcastically.

“Shut up” she mumbled. We went around the circle, and then we got to the new people. Viktor said he liked to play sports, Rebecca said she like to paint and draw, Robert said he like liked to work on cars, and Wes, well, when I heard Wes’s voice I almost melted. His voice was so beautiful and tender.

Lovely description of inner emotions here.

“The velvet voice said to me,” reading an almost quote from “Twilight.” Bella always thought of Edwards’s voice as velvet. I guess you could say that Wes needs to be possessive voice was velvety. He said he liked to read in his spare time. We kept going around until we got to me and I said the unthinkable.

“I like vampires” I said.

“Why am I not surprised, reading all that “Twilight” crap” Travis laughed.

“Yes I do like vampires” the new people didn’t smile at all, but just gave me the ‘are-you-crazy?’ look.

nice flow of time and dialogue

“Fine,” I huffed.

“I’m infatuated with them and would do anything to be just like them” I said back. Join this and the previous sentence together since they are spoken from the same person.

“I still wouldn’t be surprised” Travis still laughed. I rolled my eyes and looked at Brittney, who was trying to hold her laughter back.

“Shut up” I mumbled.

“You brought it on your own self” she busted out. I rolled my eyes and smiled.

“Well hey; I wasn’t the one who say said ice cream, was I?” I barked back. She stopped laughing for a second then went right back to it.

nice dialogue

“Aright Lindsey, go will you?” I asked to the left of me. The little game continue continued, Robert, Viktor, and Rebecca looked at the others when the rest of them spoke, but Wes every now and then looked at me. The game ended and we started improvisation or an opening quote. “Elizabeth, why don’t you and Wes go together?” asked Mrs. Hackenburg.

“Come on Wes, let’s get this show on the road.” Wes quietly stood up and walked toward me, he walked gracefully down the three steps.

“I will take an open quote that is if you don’t mind Wes?” I asked looking his way. He shook his head no. “Well then.” I put my hand into the envelope and retrieved a slip of thin paper.

nice natural action here.

“Oh wonderful,” I sighed. Wes stood before me smiling. I bawled my hands into fits and placed them on the side of my hips, and leaned toward him.

“Why do you love me?” I asked softly. Wes looked at Rebecca, Viktor, and Robert; they smirked and looked at each other slyly. Wes took a deep breath and looked at me with soft blue eyes.

“Why do you love me?” I repeated.

“I love you because you are the most beautiful, delicate creature I’ve ever seen.” Wes replied. His voice and his speech shivered down to my heart, I was caught off guard. The room became suddenly silent, Wes continued.

Excellent section of dialogue here. The bold faced is indicating a PERFECT way of “showing” and not “telling”

This is strong verbiage, this is what I’m referring to in my comments above. I’d like to see more of this.

“Your hair may be tied up in a bun, but when it’s out of its cocoon it flows and shines just like the sun and her rays. Your eyes may be small, but when you’re outside in the sunshine your blue eyes shine, just like how the sun lets her rays fall upon the ocean and the ocean shimmers brightly like heaven. So in the end I have to say the reason why I love you is because you are my little ray of sunshine, my sweet beautiful heaven, my delicate tender love.” His words were full of passion and the way he spoke them… MAN! I was quiet; I don’t even think our little audience was breathing. I opened my mouth but nothing came out. My eyes looked deep into Wes, his eyes might’ve been blue but deep in the middle of them were grey,consider ending this with a period and beginning the next sentence with “they had” something sad deep within them. He was hiding something; it looked like he was hiding… pain. I glanced at his brothers and sister, they had blank expressions of their faces, I couldn’t tell if they were blushing, mad, or just plain crazy. Not one single emotion rose from their faces. I shook my head and finally found my voice,period here

This was lovely wording here. I’ve struck out some repetition that I think hindered the flow, but overall this excellent writing.

“Mrs. Hackenburg I have no response to this reply, but I will say and admit Mr. Dé Court, you are quite the poet” I said walking back to my seat. I left it at there. that

Nice line. But where’s the ending? Where’s the hook?

Review by
J. M. Kraynak 10th Year at WDC
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Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Hello April Dawn, in response to your review request, I'd like to offer you my opinions on your rather beautiful writing.

Please keep in mind that this is just one reader's opinion and should be taken as such.

Title: "A Loss of Innocence

Author: April Dawn

Plot:A woman reflects on her past with an abusive lover.

Style/ Voice:First Person Sililoquy. Classic style and verbiage.

Grammar: There’s a few grammatical errors and spelling mistakes. See line by lines

Just my Personal Opinion: I want to say, that this piece is touching in a way that few can achieve. It’s a very sad yet inspiring writing. There is real depth and talent here that demands for attention. I’m usually not found reviewing these sorts of things, but this is a true piece of brilliance. I feel for you though. I cannot begin to fathom what it would be like to live under such oppression, and as such you have my greatest sympathies if this is true.

You’re writing itself is full of a rare elegance that reflects that of Shakespeare. It has a classical tone and mood that drives on with vivid metaphors and similes. With a quick proofread this would really shine.

Truly remarkable.

Line By Line:

There was a time, not two years ago, when I could hardly go a night without the memories keeping me from sleep. I was suffering what was termed post-traumatic-stress and had difficulty engaging in interactions with others without feeling unwarrented unwarranted panic. I was prone to fits of tears, moments of long reflective needs a comma quiet, and uncharacteristic outbursts. My mind was plagued by the pains of emotional recovery from, what had been for me, an excruciating ordeal.

Now, my days are calm, my work relatively unhindered- but still there are those occassional occasional nights when a passage from a story, a newsreel on television, the notes of a song, or the words of a coworker will bring this past life to the forefront of my thoughts as if brought forth from a dream. It hardly seems to come from the life of the same person, the sharp emotions that were once so fresh and heavily attached to the memories fading with the healing of mental scars though the memories themselves remain, never to be erased.

Never was there a suspicion in my mind that I might experience abuse. My life was a good one, a healthy one, and I was always reserved and prudent in my relationships. Yet my good life also left in me an ignorance and naivity naivety that was once valued as innocent romanticism. When I felt the first touch of infatuation for a man, I was carried away by fantasical fantastical dreams for where this relationship would lead... what my future would hold. I was convinced that no barrier would be beyond the healing and joining power of love and affection.

There was, however, no "happily ever after". Reality struck like a silent serpent, wrappings it coils around my heart and slowly seeping it's poison into my soul. How does one express the profound nature of a relationship gone so awry? There are volumes of books and studies on domestic violence- expounding the dangers, the hardships, the warnings... But can anyone who has not experienced such tragedy for themselves needs a comma here ever truly understand what a shock it is to face such a perversion of so sacred a trust?

I gave my heart to a man who shattered it upon his own hardened soul. I was broken as a mustang who that was crushed under the dominating power of a being more powerful and superior- forced to give up notions of freedom and self to accept the rule of an iron fist. It did not happen suddenly; it was not easy to see. Rather, it came upon me as slowly as the darkness creeps upon us at dusk, the light gradually fading until we realize that the sun is no longer present and night has arrived.

How many other men, women, children, and even animals have had to accept the cruel realities that there are some who rely on strength and force to exact their way? These abusers need not even be horrible people- but their resolve to maintain control twists their minds into the acceptance of the most perverse behaviors and actions. With professed love, they seek to cow those under their power- and perhaps this is the only way through which they understand how to express their devotion. For in their minds they see a singular path toward happiness and expect to force that happiness upon those in their control.

These dominators fail to realize that truer happiness is gained through tenderness and understanding- that individuals must be free to use their own judgement judgment, make their own decisions, and chart their own course. Learning from their mistakes, they can then turn to their loved ones for comfort and guidance, seeking compromise and equality. While such lives may not be perfect or free from suffering, they will be content and full in that the spirit is made free and wisdom gained through experience and contemplation.

Never should a loving hand be raised with the intent to crush the explorations of a care-free soul. Gently coaxed, guided, prodded in the direction of growth and discovery, but never squashed as a flame deprived of oxygen. Such was the state of my being after one year of what started as a blissful relationship. Once a roaring flame of curiosity and vitality, I had become little more than a meek and flickering candle. My heart was broken, my spirit crushed, and every moment was plagued with fear.

The trauma was more than my sanity could bear, and I felt trapped. Closed off from friends and family, forced into a state of dependance dependence on my abuser, staggered with apprehension and self-doubt, stepping away from my torturer to face the wide world seemed infinitely more terrifying than continuing to accept my abject situation. Though frequently fearful for my very life, I had come to value that life so little that it mattered not, and I was convinced that time would only see an improvement.

Were it not for another small and helpless life that depended on my own, it is likely that I never would have escaped the trap that had been sprung around me. Yet escape I did, for I found strength in my need to preserve the life and health of my child. The threat to his safety worked as a trigger in my mind, as I realized I was living with false hope for improvement. If anything was to improve, I had to drastically alter the situation through the removal of my captor.

The planning was no easy feat, for I was certain that letting him catch wind of my intent to leave would stir up his anger and tighten his grip so that my life itself would be forefit forfeit. If my days had been spent in fear before, they were now spent in absolute terror. I could not eat, could not sleep, for fear he would discover my thoughts, my intentions, and I would face the fulness fullness of his wrath. I lived three days in this state of constant tension before my opening came, but flight did not bring with it immediate freedom. Though my body had escaped and was now free from physical harm, my heart, mind, and soul were still stuck in the state of the abused.

Not moments away, I was struck with a desire to return and tearfully confess my betrayal. Yet again, I knew that doing so would likely cost me my life, and if it weren't for the child I bore with me I may have caved to that desire. The damage that took a year to instill took another year to mend... mostly. It has been almost three years now, and while I would consider myself healthy I fear I will never be rid of my newfound cinicism cynism and distrust. This journey through the harshness of reality has been, for me, a loss of innosence innocence. Never will I be able to recover the sweet and trusting nature which was once a part of my virtue.

What's more, these memories remain always fresh, and it is nights like this when my heart seems to twist in my chest that I wonder if I will ever, truly, recover. I have read and studied, sought the advice of professionals, spoken with others who have experienced lesser and worse abuses than my own, and reflected often on my own personal experiences. I have focused my time and energy on fruitful endeavors that have driven me forward with purpose and direction, giving my life meaning. Yet still, I feel as though this single year in my history, this singular intensive traumatic experience of my past has shaped the whole of my future and given me more definition than anything else.

I do not want to be defined as a "battered woman", though my heart remains beaten. It is not something that can be seen on the outside. No one who meets me knows that I have experienced one of the horrors so terribly common in our society, don’t think a comma is needed here and those with whom I have shared seem unable to truly understand. I am greatful grateful for the lessons I've learned and for the circumstances which fascilitated facilitated my escape and recovery. Though it was an experience I would not wish on anyone, I feel that it has granted me a portion of wisdom that could be gained no other way. But was it worth the price? Worth the cost.... of my innocense?

I'm not particularly fond of the ellipsis here, but I'm guilty of using them myself. However, this ending is well written to say the least.

Review by
J. M. Kraynak 10th Year at WDC
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Rated: 18+ | (3.0)
Hello sujg, in response to the lovely review you gave me, I’m here to return the favor. Please keep in mind that this is just my opinion, and should be taken as such. I do however, hope that it helps you develop your abilities as a writer.


Author: sujg

Plot:A woman reflects on her previous and current relationships.

Style/ Voice: First Person Narrative, some weak verbiage that throws in passive with active voicing, see line by lines.

Grammar: I found several grammatical flaws. See line by line.

Just my Personal Opinion: Overall, the point is there. I like the reflections in this writing, and her point of view on things. It’s very heartfelt and simple. You do have promise in writing, but I believe that piece could use a substantial edit. See line by line. You are a good writer Sujg, you just need a bit of proofreading to polish this story up.

Line By Line:

Delhi’s heat was rising . As the monsoons were far off . spacing The DESU were not making it any easier to bear the heat. The constant power cuts were making life unbearable. No power means no water either. This was the time anyone who could headed for the cool north- west. London was home to many Indians in summer. The city did not seem foreign .spacing But this time we did not have money to spare .spacing We were buying a new flat. A friend of ours suggested we go to the hills near by nearby. After checking our schedules and the availability of hotels the choice was made .spacing We set off to Dhamrshalla .spacing and capitalization it is located in the foothills of the majestic Himalayan range. The drive is breath taking .spacing Once you reach the hills you feel the crisp cool air. All your tensions disappear . spacing My worries melted away. I was enjoying the serenity of mother nature.

Well this first paragraph contains a lot of flaws that I can see. The first line is not an attention grabber. You should consider rewording it.
I found a lot of spacing issues between periods and the ends of sentences. I know this seems superficial, but it grabbed my attention immediately and pulled me right out of your story. This is a simple fix however, and can be done rather quickly.

I also found some repetitive words in close proximity i.e. “heat” and “bear” I’d change the second of each one. Pull out the thesaurus, there’s plenty of words for heat.

The other, “unbearable” is close enough to bear, that it feels like repetition I’d replace it with “insufferable”

In the underlined sentence above, I’m not sure what you’re trying to say. Is it:

This was the time anyone could head for the cool north-west

If so I’d correct the typo.

I also discovered some wordiness that I took the liberty of eliminating with strikes. As well as corrected a few typos.

You sort of change tenses here with your PoV. I, we, is first person and your speaking in past tense. You switch to a second person, “you” and speak in present tense. This is a narrative, which sort of makes it work, but it takes me out of the story.

Since we were two couples with kids comma is needed here a cottage was easier to stay in .spacing and capitalization the small garden reminded me of London .spacing In this place my husband was only mine. He had no distractions.I’d compound this sentence by use of a comma and the conjunction “and” He claimed his love for me once more. It was an illusion I could enjoy in this paradise.

One day comma is needed here we were taking a trek. My kids were in the garden .spacing We saw a man walking along with a child of five .spacing Both of them were enjoying each other .spacing One could see that they were very close. He took time to let the child pick up her little treasures. He I’d combine this sentence with the conjunction “and” even pointed out interesting leaves .spacing The man cared .spacing The child ,no comma seemed to be his lifeline. We reached them and smiled. The little girl gave a shy smile .spacing and repetition She then asked me about my kids . spacing I told her they were playing in the hotel’s kids need an apostrophe at the end of “kids” to make it possessive corner. She asked her dad to walk her back. two periods? .Suddenly comma is needed here the kidsapostrophe at the end of “kids” to make it possessive corner seemed attractive to her. In the morning comma is needed here Priya and she had started playing .spacing We carried on our walk while the father and daughter headed back to the hotel.

I found some more repetition that I mentioned. I’d replace “smile” with “grin.” Again I found spacing issues that I also mentioned.

I also found some possessive issues that I mentioned above.

The above underlined are marked as they are passive voice in that they are weak clauses preceding strong ones, and can be changed to active voice as follows:

A cottage was easier to stay in since we were two couples with kids.

We were taking a trek one day.

She and Priya started playing in the morning.

The last of the three sentences should also be transposed to the end of the paragraph, as it jumps from one period of time back to another.

At lunch time comma is needed here we were taking a table for four. two periods? .Just then I heard a shriek of delight. The little girl was pointing to us and imploring her dad to let her join Priya. Priya on the other hand had seen her and leaving us left to join her new found friend .this sentence doesn’t make sense to me. She did not even ask .spacing Normally she does not wander off on her own. Rahul had not yet found a friend .spacing Adults finally give in to their kids .sentence does not make sense to me This father was no exemptionexception .spacing He came towardstoward us with a sheepish grin. The two girls were already in tiertheir own world. She was not aware of the embarrassment her father was facing. As our children sat onat the same table, my husband asked him to join us too .spacing We introduced ourselves. His name was Mahesh Gupta. He ran a garments export division .spacing He told us he was here on a holiday. He was a divorced , add the conjunction “and” here. living with his daughter in Sunder Nagar. What a small world .spacing

I corrected a couple mistakes I found above.

The above underlined again is in passive voice, you can fix it as follows:

We took a table of four at lunch time.

What I highlighted in blue is a change from past tense to present tense. You can fix it as follows:

Normally she didn’t run off on her own.

We told him we lived in Defence Colony . spacing He was a man full of life and laughter. His company was welcome. After four years of marriage comma is needed here a husband and wife have little to say. We shared the names of school, our business. this sentence doesn’t make sense to me. The next day we planned to sight see together. He could hold a conversation on most things. He travelled a lot .spacing His wife had just left him for another man. He was hurt .spacing He said they could not make the marriage work. They had parted as friends. Very fewspacing share the blame . I liked his honesty. SPACING The next day , the children no longer looked bored. They had someone else to play and fight with .They quickly finished their breakfast and were ready to leave. Rahul, had also started playing with Diya. Mahesh told us she was born on diwali .spacing Diya was very active .spacing She constantly found new things to play .spacing and I’d add the word “with” at the end of that sentence. She did not throw a tantrum if she was denied .spacing Very not needed. I’d join those sentences together. unlike my kids . Mahesh, was a loving but firm father . spacing He did not spoil her, even though he did not live with her .spacing At meal times she would never fuss. SPACING One night , we were drinking beer .spacing Our talk came around to our lives. He told us that his wife was going to get married soon. We shared some names .spacing We realized there were some common people .spacing He mentioned Jatin Ahuja in a passing remark. My ears picked up the name. I asked him how he knew him. The two of them had a business deal. It was during the time that his wife fell in love with Jatin .spacing Soon after comma is needed here they went for a divorce .spacing Diya was small , it was better for her to stay with her mother. He provided for her. He will do so even after his wife gets married . He loved his daughter too much. That is why he came for a holiday with Diya..two periods? Perhaps an ellipsis “…”

I added in what I think could be changed.

The above underlined are passive voice which can be fixed as follows:

A husband and wife have little to say after four years of marriage.

We were drinking beer one night.

They went for a divorce soon after.

I was stunned. Jatin was my ex-husband. The world is truly small .spacing The rest of the holidays were no longer fun for me .spacing An old link had surfaced,add the conjunction “and” my husband also withdrew into a shell. I finally, no comma needed here found Mahesh alone one evening .spacing The temptation to inquire about Jatin was too much .spacing He was still in my system .spacing Mahesh, was as surprised to hear about my relationship with Jatin. Anywaycomma needed he did not mince words . He blamed Jatin for luring his wife away. Before ,spacing and no comma needed here he entered their livescomma needed here everything was perfect. Jatin flirted and showered attention .spacing Women fall for that .spacing He has promised her marriage .spacing Mahesh now sees that Jatin always played with the emotions of women and then left them .spacing But it is too late to salvage his broken home . For his sake I wish we had met earlier . spacing but it’s a good ending

Nice ending. The underlined could be rewritten for stronger wording as follows:

Everything was perfect before he entered their lives.

Review by
J. M. Kraynak 10th Year at WDC
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Rated: ASR | (4.5)
Hello Marlin Spike, for reviewing one of mine, I shall gladly review one of yours. Remember always, that this is my personal, non-professional opinion. My professions lie outside of writing, but being an avid reader and writer myself, I hope my opinion has some weight to it.


Oh how I love writings like these.

This is reminiscent of a time long forgotten, and for you to bring it into the light again, I applaud it.

This is a quaint little peice, but it echoes in my heart with several emotions.

Firstly, you portray heartfelt compassion with such vivid enthusiasm, that I immediately fell in love with your nameless character. There is vague referencing to the 1849 gold rush in California, and you add in the method of riverboat transportation. A very common means of getting from point A to point B in those times.

On that note, I must say that adding elements of what was, to a historical point is a strong method of referencing your setting, something that you have done quite well.

When the side of a mountain collapsed, changing the waterway and releasing hiden bounty, geologically buried until an act of Nature released a natural, buried ,organic treasure, pushed up by the forming of the Earth itself!

I want to tell you that this is an excellent line, it did require me to re-read it, but I did not mind that. In my opinion, re-reading lines, can often time further immerse a reader into the story. With this line, you've added an element of natural science and geology, this assists in making this story more natural and more believable.

There is a point, where the emotions of your character change from acting because he had to, to regretting what he did. This is a common thought pattern for any respectable man, and this adds to the overall aura of this story. This creates a noticeable thought process of your character, and it manifests him into a human rather than a bunch of words on a web page. Well done.

These men are still with with me to this day. One never leaves my wife's side.

This line contains a minor typo, which I have underlined for your attention. Other than that, I see no problems.

My eyes grow weary. When I next pick up my pen it will be to continue from where I have left off. Almost home.

I could not imagine a better way to end this writing, It reminds me of a Robert Frost poem, one of my favorite poets.

In summary, I truly enjoyed this writing. You have a style that is rare in modern literature, which is a releif from the mundane. Aside from the typo mentioned above, I found no mispellings or grammatical errors.

It flows well, and portrays a beautiful setting.

Overall, this is an excellent story.

Review by:
J. M. Kraynak
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Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
Hello there, I found your writing on the review request page, and if you would permit me, I'd like to share some of my thoughts on it with you. Keep in mind that this is just my own opinion and will not reflect other opinions that you may receive from others. As always I will be reviewing this as I read. As a reviewer I feel that it is my responsibility and obligation to you the writer, to offer the most detailed review that I can.

You will likely find pros and cons mixed with one another as I read, I hope it is not too jumbled for you.

Anyway, On to the review.

Your introductory line lacks the essence that draws me in as a reader. Don't get discouraged, as a writer and reader I feel that this is by far the most important line of your entire story. As such, it is often times, the hardest line to write.

Early on, I was nearly turned away from this piece due to a few things which seem to subside in following paragraphs. There was a structuring issue with your dialogue that made it hard for me as a reader to read coherently. I'm not entirely saying that that is a bad thing.

Personal preference and styles differ greatly from one writer to another so I'm willing to take that with a grain of salt.

And now I'm afraid that I can't mark the cons without marking the pros. I do like the references to Jeffrey and his cartoons. You've managed to write this well, and for that I applaud you.

“See you next year,” he whispered.

I've been trying to not copy as much of a writer's work as possible in my reviews, however I feel that this line needs particular mention. Personally I felt certain amount of heartfelt sorrow upon reading this. Bravo.

Is this a feeling of Euphoria that you are describing here? If so you've done a remarkable job at it.

Your next several lines were incredible. I don't mean it as they were incredible... I mean, I was wowed. I finally realize this old man's story. You've put forth a great deal of emotion here. Sorrow and anger, I can feel them pouring from this writing. Very well done.

The imagery you used, wasn't incredibly vivid, but it was respectful and tasteful for the young Italian boy you have mentioned. A sad story indeed.

A brilliant ending!

Your choice of words is outstanding. I felt a lump in my throat from this.

This writing, excels in many ways that I can't describe. The only thing I can say, is breathtaking. It's made me speechless.

As such you have my absolute recognition for this.

I want you to know that the line the old man speaks to the spider, is quite close to one of the single best lines I've read in a long time. I clearly see you've put a lot of thought into this writing.


I was at first, deceived by this writing. I told myself "this isn't for me."

However, I forced myself to continue reading, and as I did, I was drawn ever more into this story. The amount of emotion in this is worthy of praise.

Justin labors to make us shed tears as we read, and to be honest, if that were his original intention, I can say that this writing is greatly successful.

There are a few structuring instances that I had a hard time deciphering, however I feel that this could be a certain style.

Above anything else, it is an excellent writing worthy of my highest rating. Bravo sir.

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Valimaar a.k.a. J. M. Kraynak
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Review of Paper World.  
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Rated: E | (4.5)
Firstly, thank you for requesting the review. This is the first time I think I have seen you around as well, so Welcome to WDC. Anyway, I'd like you to know before we get down to the reviewing, that this just my own opinion and will most likely differ from another.

And away we go.

To be honest, when I first looked at it I thought to myself, "well there's not much to review here."

At any rate, I changed my mind after reading it once more.

I've heard the saying before that there is beauty in simplicity and this displays that sentiment very well.

Though there's only a few sentences here, the message written goes well beyond a few words. And though inspiration or spiritual reading isn't my preference, I can honestly say that I was touched by this writing.

In depth, it has simple style with strong language and feeling that truly conveys a powerful message. Though it may seem a little over the top, I'd like to think of this writing as a borderline of proverb and fervor.

And at the risk of inciting some mild argument, It's a message that has largely gone overlooked in this day and age. A delightful change to what I normally read and review, and in its simple appearance, the complex beauty of it shines.

No spelling or grammatical errors that I can see.

Good strong language.

Simple yet lovely style.

Overall I give this writing 4.5/5.

It can be misleading from the lack of content, but it's well worth reading. And it's well worth reading again. Well done Khaki.

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Review of Homesick  
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Rated: E | (4.5)
I just happened across your poem here and thought I would take a look and perhaps give my two cents on it.

Keep in mind this is just one reader's opinion, and will most certainly differ from others which you may receive. Oh and HAPPY 1 WEEK ANNIVERSARY!!! So how was your first week at WDC?!!!

Well it's a bit late but WELCOME!!!

anyway, onto the review.

Now as I said this is just my own opinion of this, which is not all that educated in the style of poetry. Structure, trochaic, iambic, that stuff is greek to me when it comes to poetry. However, this poem did catch my eye due to my own experiences. Well, somewhat.

The amount of love that one can have for there alma mater or home state, home town, etc. Is so strong, and you've done remarkable well at telling me that. And though it seems a bit over the top perhaps, it is an eye opener to me as a person, not as a reader.

Generally I don't review like this, but this one really hits home in regards to attachments in one's life. Me being the guy who never left town because I love it here, may never know exactly what that feels like, but it is a breath of air to see what it feels like to someone else. In particular someone whom I happen to know quite well.

The care and love, reminiscing, and joy you have in your home state is greatly shown here. Though I don't know much about poetry and what makes a good poem, I know what makes a good writing. And this is it.

Well done Meepsy. Very well done.

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Keep hold of those memories and places you've grown to love. They not only effect you but those who read it too. Again, Well done.
Review of Kleptomania  
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Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Oh my oh my oh my... Another new member... I LOVE reviewing new members!!!

First of all welcome to WDC Shimon!!! I hope you enjoy your time here in the community, and I trust that in the days to come you will find this site to be not only a great community of great people, but also a very helpful resource for developing yourself as a writer. Let me first commend you for finding the courage in yourself to place your works here on this site. Though it sounds easy... you never really know what goes through the heads of people nowadays right?

Anyway.... ON TO THE REVIEW!!!

I'd like you first to note that this is just my own opinion and will most certainly differ from what others my have. I hope you find this review helpful and encouraging, and if I seem blunt at times, believe me it is not at all my intention.

Generally I review as I read, but due to the short length, I didn't have to this time.

The Pros:

This was remarkably enjoyable reading to say the least. I couldn't quite place if it was supposed to be whimsical or dark, or perhaps both. That sort of writing is interesting to me, since I do enjoy a good dark humor.

I like the simplicity in your work, it's not mundane, but its not so gaudy that I get disconnected. You have strong wording in a mild tone which is a hard thing to do if you truly want to avoid making your writing too wordy.

I love the point of view of this piece, it's straight and to the point, but it has plenty of comparisons and metaphors that give it a complexity of its own.

The last line was great. A perfect ending to this short work, and in today's society, it is a good solid reference to your descriptions.

I noticed no spelling errors in this piece and for that I applaud you.

The Cons:

Though there's not too many here, but I do have to bring them up so bare with me.

I'm no grammar guru, but I do believe I noticed some comma splices (commas connecting to complete thoughts with no conjunction.) For example:

My fingers are numb, my toes are freezing.

Should be written as:

My fingers are numb. My toes are freezing. OR My fingers are numb, and my toes are freezing.

I think you get the meaning of that. It's minor details in punctuation. Though to me, it's not at all that distracting, but to some it can be awful. I don't mean to knit pick, but I would suggest polishing up the grammatical errors like these.

My best advice to you for this sort of stuff is to read the story out loud to yourself and find where the flow can be interrupted by the incorrect punctuation. Otherwise spend a lifetime trying to understand the science behind punctuation (something I tried, and to be honest I still don't get all of it)

Your first line to me as a reader was somewhat odd... I don't know if it is a good thing or bad thing, but unfortunately it ended up down here with the cons. Not because I don't like things to be out of the ordinary, but because of my biggest pet peeve when I'm reading. The First Line!!!

It's the most important line of your story; it's the line that says "Hey read this and you'll want to keep reading" That is what I look for in the introduction to a story. If it doesn't keep me interested, there's really no reason for me to read the rest of it. However, as I said, it was odd and offbeat which counteracted the negatives and kept me interested. Play with it a little and see if you can tweak it up a bit.


It's short, sweet, and to the point. A quick, well developed point of view by a nameless protagonist or simply an idea. I like that about this particular piece. I'm not getting lost in description or translation. And I'm not being disconnected due to incoherent development. It's well thought out, and well written.

With some fixes to the grammar, you will have an excellent little story here. Enjoyable enough in some way or another, for anyone to enjoy.

Again, thanks for posting this work, and thanks for the read.

Don't get discouraged if you get some somewhat shrewd reviews or comments. Just like yours truly, those that do normally don't intend it. We are all trying to be honest and as helpful as possible and a push in any direction forward or backward is still a push in some direction of creativity. Good luck to you Shimon and enjoy your time here at WDC!!! WRITE ON!!!

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