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Review of Wasted years  
Review by Vampyr14
Rated: 13+ | (2.0)
I think this poem is too preachy. The use of 'he' removes the author from the character's pain, and therefore makes him a judge. I think this would be better as a first person musing on the losses. It could be much more subtle, much more sad and much more heart wrenching that way.

'I' brings the reader closer too, making us care more about this poor guy who can't put down that bottle or glass. As written, it feels more like a sermon than a poem, a judgement on those who drink. Maybe focus on the sensations- the befuddlement as you wake up and don't know where you are or how you got there. Who's this skanky woman next to me? Where's my wife? Then the slow dawning of remembering she's taken the kids and gone to her parents', the mortgage payments are overdue, and damn does my head hurt. Another drink will fix that...

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Review by Vampyr14
In affiliation with Let's Publish!  
Rated: 13+
Hello!

Just here to review you in conjunction with "Invalid Item Anything I say is just my opinion so feel free to ignore it if it doesn't feel right to you.


TITLE:Where did Mama Go?

AUTHOR:Winnie

PLOT: A daughterc remembers the mother of her childhood, and describes her descent into senility.

CHARACTERS: The narrator, her siblings, her Dad and her mother. Nobody is developed to be a real character. Mom gets the best treatment, but even she is lacking any real personality.

GRAMMAR: Didn't notice anything illegal.

STYLE/VOICE:Okay, but it's all telling.
In the summer of 2006 my older brother and I sold our houses and helped Mama sell hers house

SETTING: Suburbia I imagine. You could show us so much about this family with setting.

OVERALL: This is all narrative - telling. You could evoke the freedom and happiness of childhood by showing us the childhood scene, throwing us into it with all senses rather than telling us about it. The same later. Focus on a few key moments in Mom's slide into dementia and show us how confused she is, how distressing it is for the narrator. How does it feel as an adult child to be forced to take care of your mother as if she was a baby?

The potential is here to write a heartbreaking piece. As it stands, it feels more like reportage.

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My review has been submitted for consideration in "Invalid Item.
Officially approved Writing.Com Preferred Author logo.
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Review of The Just Phantom  
Review by Vampyr14
In affiliation with Let's Publish!  
Rated: ASR | (3.0)
Hello!

Just here to review you in conjunction with Let's Publish. Anything I say is just my opinion so feel free to ignore it if it doesn't feel right to you.

TITLE: Dennis and the Phantom

AUTHOR: Light

PLOT: A troubled man discovers that his dreams may be linked to a supernatural being that is sighted as accidents happen.

CHARACTERS: Dennis, Ralph, Dr. Stevens and Mrs. Henderson. None of them seem very real. They don't talk like real people and you give no description of them physically or of their mannerisms. You need to breathe some life into them.

GRAMMAR: Not too bad.
he sees a woman, no commagive money to a beggar on the street.

STYLE/VOICE: It doesn't read smoothly at all. And the dialogue doesn't sound like the way people talk. People don't say "would not" usually, they'd say "wouldn't". Try reading your dialogue out loud. You'll see how it needs to be tweaked to read naturally. I think maybe this would be better written in the past tense as well. It doesn't seem comfortable in the present.

If he would just get a job, he would not need to steal from shopping carts. No one crosses me and get away with it. I just wish I knew why our up coming day in court keeps troubling me. this whole line reads awkwardly. People tend to think the way they talk. Try "If he'd just get a job, he wouldn't need to steal from shopping carts. No one crosses me and gets away with it. I just wish I knew why our upcoming day in court keeps troubling me."
A man is running with a woman’s purse, with a woman screaming behind him.avoid repetition where you can
But, I think this is my first time hearing of a phantom aiding a police officer.” again, clunky. Try "But I think this is the first time I've heard of a phantom aiding a ..."
Less than ten minuets pass, when a story catches his attention. Less than ten minutes have passed when a story...
additional witnesses of a phantom, if there are any, will be as dry as the last three. what do you mean by 'dry' here? Sober?
After lunch, Dennis Goggles “premonitions” I think you mean 'Googles"
supermarket tried to steel steal food from
Dennis greats greets Dr. Stevens
He tried to steel steal food out of my
Astro Projection do you mean Astral Projection?

SETTING: I actually have no idea. A city, but how big or where, I'm not sure....

OVERALL: There is a good idea in here, just trying to find its way out. I think given how important the man with the shopping cart is to the story, you should open with that scene. Show us how Dennis reacts to the event. Then everything that follows will have a basis, rather than it being all hearsay.

I also think Dennis needs to be more conflicted and tortured by his visions. He wouldn't open up to a therapist or expert unless he was really having problems with it. He seems very emotionless about it in this version. Personally, if my dreams were mirroring horrific events, I'd be running scared. Especially if I thought anyone like a workmate knew about it. Perhaps this could be Ralph's character quirk: he's super nosy and pushes his nose into everything. This could be what drives Dennis to the brink of madness.

With a good bit of revision, this has the potential to be an interesting and engaging piece.

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Review of Kissy Monster  
Review by Vampyr14
Rated: E | (4.0)
What a fun little anecdote! I think all mothers have their own stories of this kind of embarrassing moment. You could easily expand this into a bigger story, perhaps adding in the POV of your daughter, on the stage, trying not to watch, but unable to look away because she is so horrified and humiliated that it should be her family making such a spectacle.

Write on!

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Review by Vampyr14
In affiliation with Let's Publish!  
Rated: 13+ | (3.5)
Hello!

I am here to review you in conjunction with Let's Publish. As always, take what you want, whatever you find helpful, and leave the rest...

TITLE: just for a little while ( I assume you left it all in small letters on purpose...)

AUTHOR: First Light

PLOT: Like so many of your works, I can't quite figure out what this is really about. But perhaps that is the point. You've given us the basic framework of a story, and left us to fill in the details. From what I can figure out, a man is devastated when his wife/girlfriend/significant other announces the return of another man she once (and probably still) loved. I also kind of get the impression that the man has hurt this other man once before and is itching for the opportunity to do it again.

CHARACTERS: He and She and the other He.... No real characterization, but probably not really needed for something written in this style.

GRAMMAR: No problems there! I assume the parts in itallics are supposed to be stream of consciousness and therefore unpunctuated.

STYLE/VOICE It's interesting in that it isn't really poetic, but has the sparseness of poetry. I like it and dislike it at the same time. I felt like I really wanted and needed more detail to be able to fully appreciate the situation and the actions and responses of the characters.

SETTING A dinner table (I assume). it's not mentioned, but as the guy is eating, that's what I got.

OVERALL I'm really not sure quite what to make of this one. I've read through it a number of times, but I'm still not really enlightened. So as a narrative, it doesn't really work. As there always seems to be in your work, there is a lot of visceral detail of emotions expressed through horrific images. The first paragraph especially is full of this grotesque metaphor. But it doesn't really go anywhere.

And I guess that's what frustrated me about this the most: you begin by telling a story in a way that really grabs the reader, but then it turns into a kind of weird internal monologue. I know you call it a poem in prose, but it isn't really poetic either, has no rhythm or pattern to make it so. It's really just an odditiy. Well written and full of your trademark imagery, but not really a story and not really a poem.....

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Review of The Refuge  
Review by Vampyr14
In affiliation with Let's Publish!  
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
Hello!

I am here to review you in conjunction with Let's Publish. As always, take what you want, whatever you find helpful, and leave the rest...

TITLE: The Refuge

AUTHOR: Jace

PLOT: A woman returns to her childhood home and is assaulted by memories of her tortured past, including memories of her one true friend, Ricky. She returns to their secret place in search of him and finds more than she may have expected.

CHARACTERS: The narrator and Ricky. The parents in memory, but they are no more than shadows.

GRAMMAR: No real problems there,

steal away to their lighthouse and just hold each other commawatching the sun rise over

STYLE/VOICE Very simple. Almost too much so. You have a lot of very short sentences which is not really a problem except when they line up after one another it feels like reading machine-gun fire. Try to vary your lengths within paragraphs to keep the writing flowing and dynamic.

SETTING Small river town. Not a lot of description, even of the lighthouse which is the central image.

OVERALL I liked the idea behind the story but felt a little flat after finishing it. It's all narration, which is not necessarily a bad thing, but it keeps the reader at an arm's length from the emotion inherent in the piece. And this piece is all about powerful emotions, both real and remembered. I wanted to feel those things along with the narrator, not just be told about them.

I think you need to expand this a little, choose a few really important moments and show them in a flashback to make them real. The first time she meets Ricky, the first time her Dad violates her, how she reacts and feels when Ricky knows the future and everything she feels. And then at the end, when she goes back to the lighthouse, it will be that much more poignant.

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Review of Memento Mori  
Review by Vampyr14
In affiliation with Let's Publish!  
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
I'm reviewing you as part of the "Let's Publish" group. I'm no expert when it comes to poetry, so please feel free to disregard anything or everything I say as you see fit...

TITLE: Memento Mori - I like the title. It tells you very little about the poem, but makes perfect sense by the end. I saw a very odd Japanese film with the same name a few years back, and it was much the same scenario: the title seemed wrong until the ending.

AUTHOR: Ben

STYLE & VOICE: It's not terribly poetic in many ways; more like a story that's been cut down to its barest essence, every extra word or phrase excised to leave just the skeleton. I think for fluidity and sense, you should use a semi-colon here:
plunder long discarded skeletons ;,
remnants of an interplanetary past.

WORD CHOICE: The words have clearly been carefully chosen for the desired effect. "Starship" seems a little old fashioned and non-specific, but perhaps that was what you were going for. It made me think of the old sci-fi books of my Dad's that I used to read when I stayed with my grandmother.

This line High-tensile intercostal muscles is a real mouthful when you're trying it out loud!

RHYME & RHYTHM: No rhyme scheme and no real rhythm either if you're defining it by the number of syllables per line.

IMAGERY: The whole poem is very visual in that it is a description (and very well described I might add, given how few words are used). I liked this line the best:
scattered shards of safety,
toothless now.


THEME & MEANING I don't think there is any hidden meaning in this one. It's pretty upfront in saying what it's about. Space junk, left to rot, picked over and junked by people who don't understand the value or meaning in what they've found and taken. It could also be seen to be a piece about the waste inherent in space exploration, and possible futility of spending all that money exploring space when the discoveries made cannot really be understood. At least, not yet. So, kind of a requiem to the age of exploring the universe.

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Review by Vampyr14
Rated: E | (3.5)
Hello!

I am here to review you in conjunction with Let's Publish. As always, take what you want, whatever you find helpful, and leave the rest...


TITLE: Butterfly Kisses and Baby Bear Hugs - good title. It imlies something really happy and fun, but you completely undermine that happiness in the text.

AUTHOR: Jace

PLOT: A grandfather interviews his grandson and finds out how wise beyond his years the child is

CHARACTERS: Taylor and his Grand-Dad. Mum and her husband and Taylor's real dad are mentioned.

GRAMMAR: Not bad. Just a couple of notes.
concertos commaor reading and understanding higher
But he wasn't quite sure he should. this is a fragment. You could use a comma before "but" and make it one complete sentence

STYLE/VOICE: You captured the voice of a five-year-old really well. I know because I have one and he talks just like this.

It was hard to fault the logic of a five-year-old going on 21. this reads a little awkwardly. Try "...the logic of someone five going on twenty-one." Numbers should always be written out in full.
The world in a nutshell, made sense of by a five-year-old.

SETTING None given, but the piece is mainly dialogue, so probably not really necessary.

OVERALL I liked this but felt it lacked any real punch. I kept expecting the baby bear hugs to be something more sinister, that the boyfriend was abusing him, or the babysitter was locking kids in the closet as punishment. All the dialogue really reveals is that Taylor has already developed a sense of responsibility and wants to help his mother out. And that's admirable, but doesn't really make for a satisfying story. I really wanted something big to be in there, something the grandpa could go and fix for Taylor so whatever is wrong in his world could be put right. With his problems being so - small isn't the right word, and neither is generic, but not overwhelming- there's no recourse for the grandfather, nowhere he can go and nothing he can do to affect change. If the step-father had been abusing him (or whatever) then the game at the end would have much deeper resonance and possibly sinister undertones as well. And this would give the piece a depth I think it is currently lacking.

But then, I'm known for exploring the darker side of human nature, so maybe that's just me putting my own crap on your work. Maybe you were trying to write something kind of feel-good... If so, ignore me!

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Review of Lunch  
Review by Vampyr14
In affiliation with Let's Publish!  
Rated: 18+ | (4.5)
TITLE: Lunch

AUTHOR: JD Kell

PLOT: I'm sensing a theme here... Both the stories I've read of yours have been about eating disorders. But we all have our obsessions. I really like that you're telling the story from an outside perspective, rather than going into the head of the anorectic.

CHARACTERS: Leslie and Jessica, formerly best friends, bonded by locality and the fact they were both overweight. Very well rounded (no pun intended) characters with differences and flaws. Well done!

GRAMMAR: pretty good for the most part, just a few places I felt a comma or two might help...

A young man in green hospital scrubs commapushing a cart of covered meal trays comma walked
bone colored
quiet commawith hardness just...
oversized chair

STYLE/VOICE: Very fluid and easy to read. Just a couple of things I noticed that could be changed...

vain of iron vein of iron
them the middle finger I know you're talking about the Snoopy scrubs here, but it sounds like there is more than one person leaving and I had to read it twice before I realised it was the scrubs she was giving the finger

SETTING A diner and then a hospital room. Nice use of details to describe the two places.


OVERALL A very powerful story about the isolation and destruction anorexia can wreck. I totally recognise both girls and can identify with them both. I really like that you've told the story from the friend's perspective and that even though she hates what her friend has become, she can't help envying her a little. The ending offers a ray of hope for both girls and I sincerely hope they both manage to overcome their eating issues and become happy and healthy once more!

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Review by Vampyr14
Rated: E | (3.0)
Great ending!

I laughed out loud! Just the kind of thing that happens to the uber-organised!

Now, before you jump in and tell me you had a word limit, and that's why things are the way they are, I get that. But now the contest is over, you can rework this into something longer and more satisfying. That's what I often do. Use the contest as a starting point, then re-work it later when you no longer have a pesky word limit to work with.

There are lots of wonderful moments in this, but because it is so short, you don't get a chance to savour them. Things like the cold pizza could be made much more of. They're all starving after their big day of packing and rushing around. They order it and it takes a million years to arrive. Everyone is getting hungrier and hungrier, investing this pizza with more and more, expecting it to be the most delicious thing ever. Then... Cold. Disappointing.

Understand? Much of the story could be like that. I need to know more about Brad and why he is so unreliable that he can't even be trusted to bring the dog. Give us an example of another time when he proved he was not to be trusted.

Use this as a springboard and let your imagination fly!

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Review of The Gift--Revised  
Review by Vampyr14
In affiliation with Let's Publish!  
Rated: E | (4.0)
Hi!

I'm reviewing you as part of the "Let's Publish" group. Feel free to take or leave whatever you want from this review.

TITLE: The Gift

AUTHOR : JD Kell

PLOT: The popular girl convinces a less popular one to experiment with bulimia in order to be more "acceptable". It is, unfortunately an all too common occurrence. Good on you for tackling this subject!

CHARACTERS: There are a lot mentioned, but none really important except Maya and Alexis. And perhaps the "fat" girl, Elsa. I knew girls like Alexis at school and you have perfectly captured the the mixture of repellent and overwhelming that all those girls have.

GRAMMAR: Excellent. I didn't find any problems. You have a lot of very long sentences with "and" used repeatedly though. Maybe look at chopping some of them up for better flow, or using commas and semi-colons instead of "and" all the time.

STYLE/VOICE: Very smooth, easy reading. It has almost the cadence of a kid telling a story.

Just a couple of specific things I noticed...

most everyone almost everyone

Miss Read She's Miss Reed the rest of the way through... There are a couple of slips with this name... Consistency!

Maya looked around

SETTING: School for the most part. Very recognisable. I like the description of Alexis's house as being smaller than the neighbours. It gives her that little humanity. Her parents are social climbers and bought in the "right" neighbourhood, despite not really having the funds to do so.

OVERALL : A very good story about a very difficult subject. I like the way you really build up the characters before you get into what the story is actually about. Peer pressure is starting younger and younger these days, and it is frightening to think about 10 year old bulimics. Yet it is quite common... Good work!

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Review of TILTING  
Review by Vampyr14
Rated: E | (3.0)
There is some amazingly vivid description in this piece. The landscape is visible, even to a reader who doesn't know the place. And it is also a very relevant piece, given the concern worldwide about sustainable practices. With a bit of work, this could be an excellent story! It has all the elements already in the wit, tongue in cheek references and the harsh reality of a very real issue.

BUT....

Punctuation! There are a lot of places you need commas. You have a lot of very long sentences, and some of these should be cut up to make for easier reading. In dialogue, if you are following the spoken piece with a tag (eg. he said, she cried), you use a comma inside the quotation marks. If action follows the dialogue, you put a full-stop inside the quotation marks. You haven't put any punctuation at the end of your dialogue.

And just a few specific things... I haven't marked all the things I noticed because I wanted to see where the story was going. But this should give you an idea of what to look for...

brothers you need an apostrophe: brother's
lambs tails again, apostrophe needed : lambs' tails
eye-saws eye-sores
sisters' you used and apostrophe this time, but in the wrong place! If there is only one sister, it goes before the s, if there are more than one, after.
lanky, heads first, you don't need the comma. Second, unless this is a mythical two headed beast, it should be "head"

Just a note about formatting. It is usually a good idea to check the box that says "double space paragraphs" when you load your story. A dense block of text like this is kind of hard to read on a screen...

Welcome to WDC! I hope you get as much out of the site as I do!

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Review by Vampyr14
Rated: E | (4.0)
Excellent tips!

I am a film reviewer (among other things) and this outlines very clearly what you need to do. You might want to add a little bit about finding balance in a review. Unless the film is completely diabolical, I always try to find good and bad points. I hate the reviewers who get all superior and trash films just to make themselves sound smarter. And there is always something redeeming in any film, even if it is something as small as an actor's engaging smile.

If you would like to check out some of my reviews, my blog is devoted to them.

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Review by Vampyr14
Rated: E | (3.0)
Hi!

I am reviewing your story for the Beginning, Middle and End Contest. Please remember that mine is only one opinion and at the end of the day, you're the writer. Any suggestions I make are supposed to helpful, so take them or leave them as you will.

This is a very tragic story of a boy who can't express himself and the rage that overflows as a result. I can't help thinking you have taken it a little too literally though. The inability to shed tears for medical reasons, as you have described here, does not necessarily mean an inability to express emotion. And that is what your story is about.

You have some very good descriptions in this piece and the dialogue for the most part flows naturally. The fight between Zach and Jacob is very real. You used the prompts well too. There are several places where the narrative doesn't flow though. Read over the story, perhaps even aloud, and you will find the stilted patches or places that need commas to make it flow. I think this is a good first draft ,that with a bit of work, could make a very fine story!

Just a couple of copy editing notes...

behind the schoolyard. “ I don't think you meant those quotation marks to go there...
Jacob through some in this case it should be "threw"

Thank you for your entry. I hope to have all the entries read and reviewed by the middle of next week and will announce the winners then. Good luck!

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Review of Bus Stop  
Review by Vampyr14
In affiliation with Let's Publish!  
Rated: ASR | (4.0)
TITLE: Bus Stop

AUTHOR: Dave

PLOT: A very charming ghost story in which a man finds focus and happiness through finding out the truth about another man's suffering.

CHARACTERS: The unnamed narrator is obviously the central character,and you've done a good job f showing his transformation from depressed & suicidal, to having a purpose and finding love. Jack is the other "main" character and you have fleshed him out enough that he doesn't initially seem like a ghost, despite the mist...

GRAMMAR: No problems there. A few very long sentences that might be better if cut up a little.

STYLE/VOICE: Very smooth. Not too formal, but not conversational either. I like it very much. One weird word usage thing though. Towards the beginning you have "walked in the entrance" which sounds odd. Maybe try "walked through the entrance" instead.

SETTING: Not a lot, but enough for the story.

OVERALL : I enjoyed this. I like stories where people make profound changes to their lives. I think it gives people hope.

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Review by Vampyr14
In affiliation with Let's Publish!  
Rated: 13+ | (3.5)
TITLE: 48 minutes

AUTHOR: Hunter's Moon

PLOT: It's pretty simple: the new kid feels sorry for the picked on kid, but when he has the opportunity to do something nice for him, he doesn't.

CHARACTERS: The protagonist and John are the only two characters given any weight. It might be nice to hear some of the taunts of the other kids, a description of the ringleader, the one who starts the teasing and cruelty. There's always one instigator, everyone else just follows along...

GRAMMAR: No problems there.

STYLE/VOICE: Simple, easy to read. Some nice descriptions, especially the one about the rain on the window.

SETTING School bus. I could smell it, feel the hard seats as the driver hit a pothole. Good work.

OVERALL It felt slight. There is a lot of build up, none of it really pertinent to the actual event, and then the whole thing is over. Would be nice to see some of the other kids on the bus, see them ragging at each other before John gets on. Maybe there is some other kid they pick on gently until John, the real focus of their cruelty, arrives. I know this is based on your own experiences, but I'm sure you've seen this. Maybe even "you" could be the object of cruelty before John arrives. New kid and all.... I don't know. It just felt as if it needed more to me.
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Review by Vampyr14
Rated: 13+ | (3.5)
A charming story of love, sexism, expectation and compromise. I was just a little confused about when it was set. It felt medieval with the armour and all, but then the race was started with a pistol. You may need to give some indication about the time frame because it is a little disconcerting when you don't know!

I think Armelle should have been a little feistier. Cailean won her over too easily I'd think a princess who could out-ride a knight would be tougher than that.

And just a couple of little notes...

pride for bided him pride forbade
he boarded his ride and parked it boarded and parked are not really words you use for horses, more for cars or vehicles of some description. Try "mounted" and "lined-up"

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Review of Loss  
Review by Vampyr14
Rated: 18+ | (3.5)
Hi!

I am reviewing your story for the Beginning, Middle and End Contest. Please remember that mine is only one opinion and at the end of the day, you're the writer. Any suggestions I make are supposed to helpful, so take them or leave them as you will.

Oooh! What a nasty, creepy little tale! Good use of the prompts. I really like the way the past comes full cycle and Beverly ends up the same way Michelle did at the beginning. The past never really leaves us, does it? Good work!

Just a few more specific notes...

Beverly screamed; calling mis-use of semi-colon. This should be a comma
The girl’s more than one girl; apostrophe should be after the "s"
metal raiser of the stair should be riser
rolled overcommaholding
She unable She was unable
stomach wretched retched
the Michelle’s babies


Thank you for your entry. I hope to have all the entries read and reviewed by the middle of next week and will announce the winners then. Good luck!

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Review by Vampyr14
Rated: 13+ | (3.0)
Hi!

I am reviewing your story for the Beginning, Middle and End Contest. Please remember that mine is only one opinion and at the end of the day, you're the writer. Any suggestions I make are supposed to helpful, so take them or leave them as you will.

What a great twist! I love that all the emotion and anger is about something so insignificant. But this is not really a story. It is dialogue with a few stage direction. It has the potential to be a great story. Describe Donny getting all steamed up before Danny gets there, then the complete incomprehension he would feel about being attacked like this. I could be great!


Or, or are you somehow so full of yourself that you somehow entertain... try to avoid using the same word twice in one sentence where you can...




Thank you for your entry. I hope to have all the entries read and reviewed by the middle of next week and will announce the winners then. Good luck!

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Review of The Cake is a Lie  
Review by Vampyr14
Rated: E | (3.0)
Hi!

I am reviewing your story for the Beginning, Middle and End Contest. Please remember that mine is only one opinion and at the end of the day, you're the writer. Any suggestions I make are supposed to helpful, so take them or leave them as you will.

This is a funny little piece of dialogue. The interaction between the brothers is very real. I just found it difficult to picture their ages. A little description of the boys, the house and the cake would make this a much better story. And the ending didn't ring true to me, partly because I couldn't tell how old the boys were. If Garon is 16, the ending works; if he's 10, it doesn't.

bulged stomach should be "bulging stomach"
brimmed Garon’s eyelids brimmed over Garon's eyelids


Thank you for your entry. I hope to have all the entries read and reviewed by the middle of next week and will announce the winners then. Good luck!

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Review of Pyromaniac  
Review by Vampyr14
Rated: 13+ | (3.0)
Hi!

I am reviewing your story for the Beginning, Middle and End Contest. Please remember that mine is only one opinion and at the end of the day, you're the writer. Any suggestions I make are supposed to helpful, so take them or leave them as you will.

You did a good job incorporating the prompts in this rather creepy story. I'm not sure exactly what Kat and Jack are though. You refer to them being dead, but they don't seem to be vampires or anything like that. I think this should be made clear. For a while there I thought they had just dropped out of society, become shadow people with no identities, let people believe they were dead. But the ending puts paid to that theory. My confusion about this really ruined the story for me. I think you need to make it clear whether they are literally dead or figuratively because it does make a difference to how you read the story.

And a few more specific notes.

She reached a hand in her pocket should be "into her pocket
watched at the flame watched as the flame...
then down some. down some what? Stairs?
consumed herself should be "consumed her" or, given the context maybe "consumed her identity"
building out of it's back should be "its". You only use an apostrophe when you mean "it is"

Thank you for your entry. I hope to have all the entries read and reviewed by the middle of next week and will announce the winners then. Good luck!

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Review of Joseph's secret  
Review by Vampyr14
Rated: 13+ | (3.0)
Hi!

I am reviewing your story for the Beginning, Middle and End Contest. Please remember that mine is only one opinion and at the end of the day, you're the writer. Any suggestions I make are supposed to helpful, so take them or leave them as you will.

You used the prompts well and you have done a nice job with your characterization in a short piece. I especially like the kids; they come across as very real.

My biggest problem with the story was at the beginning. You never let the reader in on what Tara has done that she is admitting to Joseph. And then you spend the rest of the story waiting to find out, but never do. You probably only need a line. Maybe Tara has maxed out the credit card again, or been forced to pay some huge bill when she knows there isn't enough money to cover it. Then the reader is set up to know that the family are a little cash-strapped and the lottery win at the end will be all the sweeter.

Sighed, Tara Stewart should be "Sighing, Tara...
book keeper book-keeper is usually hyphenated
never ending again, should be hyphenated: never-ending
her skirt and blouse and into shorts and a tank top. that's a lot of "ands" in one short space! Maybe try "...her formal office attire, into shorts and a tank top." or something of the sort.
of interest in the fridge closed you need a comma between "fridge" & "closed"
the kids turn the kids' turn. You need an apostrophe if it is something that belongs to the kids.
had had to face try to avoid double ups like this. Try "faced at...
commotione commotion

Thank you for your entry. I hope to have all the entries read and reviewed by the middle of next week and will announce the winners then. Good luck!

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Review by Vampyr14
Rated: E | (4.0)
What a beautiful poem about letting go. I love the detail in it, reading Browning & Dr Seuss, the Steelers mug, the velvet sack. It's a very physical as well as emotional portrait. Well done!

Just one little grammar note...

Memories shared about you makes us smile.

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Review of Demoness Supreme  
Review by Vampyr14
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
I really like the imagery in this, sexuality as a demon. Very interesting and powerful. In traditional literature (and art and film and...) women are usually punished for their sexuality, for taking pleasure in it. I like that here it gives her power, even if it is demonic power.

But then from the dark ages women have been seen as the gateway to hell, so why not revel in it?

I think the only thing I didn't like about this was all the repetition of "on and on" and "again and again'. In one verse, maybe this works, but not in two. I'm sure you can think of some other way of saying the same thing...

Write on!

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Review of Cruel Sea  
Review by Vampyr14
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
This is a really discomforting poem. It made hair rise on my neck, and I'm not 100% sure why. It is very sad, certainly, but there is an underlying sens of menace too, a sense that the sea can be evil. I like it a lot! It is very honest because even while the ocean can be tranquil and sensuous, it can also be brutal and murderous. And how it has treated you can colour the way you look at it.

I especially like the line "You beckon with your lips". It is a very unusual image, yet makes perfect sense to me.

Great work!

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