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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/profile/reviews/vzabel
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1,383 Public Reviews Given
Public Reviews
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Review by Vivian
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
This item creates a lovely and enticing memory. Thank you for thanking us. I know everyone joins me in wishing you another successful 11 years.

Viv
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Review of Give It 100  
Review by Vivian
Rated: ASR | (4.5)
Ah, Puppy, I have enjoyed watching you mature into a lovely young woman who has style and is now an editor, a really good editor.

You have expressed yourself well, and I'm proud of you.

Viv
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Review by Vivian
Rated: E | (3.0)
First, allow me to welcome you to W.Com. This site has been my home away from home for over eleven years, and I've met some wonderful people here.

Now, may I share my opinion of your article?

Content: Your information is correct concerning the dangers of smoking, not only to the smoker but to everyone around him. Many cities and states in the United States have banned smoking in public places for those reasons.

Style: When typing in block style (no indention of first line of paragraphs), please have extra space between paragraphs for easier reading and understanding.

Organization: Having a thesis sentence in the introductory paragraph and then using it as a guide to organize your article creates a better flow. For example, with your information, your thesis might be "Smoking harms the environment, the smoker, and people around the smoker." One paragraph would then cover the environmental harm, the next the harm to the smoker, the third the harm to others. A final paragraph would tie everything together in a conclusion.

I hope my comments help you become an even better essay writer.
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Review by Vivian
Rated: E | (5.0)
Excellent advice concerning a growing problem. If I'm not sure about an email, I won't open it. If the subject line is something I don't want to know about or that I don't trust, I don't open the email. However, some people open everything and trust too much.

I use Avast! for protection, and it has saved my computer too often, even though I'm extra careful.

My brother-in-law sent something to my husband, who doesn't have an email account, to mine. He said it was safe when he received it on his computer. Thing is, his computer sent a worm with the email attachment. My protection saved my laptop, although my computer was frozen for a while.

I hope everyone reads this article and heeds your advice.

Viv
5
5
Review by Vivian
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Interesting take on the picture prompt for the short story contest. I enjoyed the story very much.

I found some clarity problems due to mechanical problems. For example, in the following, your sentence construction shows Barry Manilow tucking you into the corner: Tucking myself into a corner table at the Social Cafe, Barry Manilo streamed Copacabana in the background.

There are other places where clarity was a bit unclear.

Congratulations on placing in the Short Shots competition.

Viv
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Review by Vivian
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
I wish I could give two different rating for this story: one for content and one for mechanics. The story was gripping. The characters believable. The ending heart breaking. I was drawn into it completely.

However, some punctuation and possible spelling problems need addressed. Anytime there is dialog with a tag like he said, the pronoun must not be capitalized, even if the dialog ends with a question mark or exclamation point. For example, you wrote:
“Julie! Karen!” He called, making his way toward a larger crowd gathered near the water.
It should be he called.

In other places, a period was used before the closed quotation marks rather than a comma, which is needed with a speaker tag.
“It was just an accident guys. It wasn’t your fault.” Brandon said in an effort to reassure them.
Should be a comma after fault, not a period.

When a sentence comes after dialog that is not a speaker tag, it needs to begin with a capital letter. Also, in the U.S. all right is two words, just as all wrong is. Another thing, in literary writing, number under 100 are written as words. Need to have a correct verb form, too.
“We didn’t see her! Is she alright?” a freckled boy of about 13 bent panting over them.
"We didn't see her! Is she All right?" A freckled boy of about thirteen panted over them.

I just gave a few examples of the mechanical problems I found. I didn't want to do a full edit; however, I hope you do find someone to edit this for you once you've revised using my suggestions. This is a powerful story.

Viv
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Review by Vivian
Rated: E | N/A (Review only item.)
So true.

I enjoyed reading this, since I know The Milkman, too. There are a few rough places, but the slice of life essay is interesting.

One rough spot: Yet, in that same time period, it was considered "weird" to do the exact same thing, except instead of in a newspaper, it was "on the Internet."

I would suggest changing to something like the following to avoid confusion:

Yet, in that same time period, advertising on the Internet, rather than in a newspaper, was considered "weird."

Also, you might want to double space between all lines, just between paragraphs, or not at all. Double spaces between clusters of sentences that are single spaced but which don't make a paragraph is a bit distracting.

What a fun item to read.
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Review by Vivian
Rated: E | (5.0)
What a fun poem, full of memories to which I can definitely relate. I enjoyed strolling down memory lane with you. Maybe it takes growing older to appreciate what was, feeling the cold and all the other pains that come from getting old.

I found a few rough places in the punctuation, but definitely not enough to distract from the impact of the emotion and wording.

Vivian
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Review of Eleventh Dress  
Review by Vivian
Rated: E | (4.0)
Cute idea. I'm not sure about a black wedding dress, but it was a twist for sure.

You used past tense, which is fine, but you switched to present tense which isn't. Of course the mall is busy all day long and iMaybe she will have the wedding after all are present tense.

Watch using the same verb close together: decided, decided.

Who did the manager greet? Should be greeted her or someone.

Hope that helps.

Viv
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Review of Hourglass  
Review by Vivian
Rated: E | (4.5)
I really enjoy shape poetry, where the shape of the words adds meaning to the poet itself.

I noticed a few punctuation problems. For example in line one, a comma shouldn't be between by and like.

I really like the wording: Yet all through our lives, we share, we give.
A part of ourselves, an essence, our soul.

However I believe a period isn't needed at after give since we give a part of ourselves goes together.

There are more comma/period problems, but I gave an example of each to help you.

I love the wording and message, but I would have like to see you keep it first person and not switch to second.

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Review by Vivian
Rated: E | (4.5)
Love the "hook." Very good.

Be sure to put a period after you and before " in His instructions were to "seek first the kingdom of GOD and all these things will be added unto you (add period)"

Also, I wouldn't dod God and Him and Jesus in all caps.

Check wherever you have end " and make sure any period or comma is inside the quotation marks.

Last line, Seek Him (add comma) and when ...

Can you give a few examples to "prove" how to seek. how success is found or examples of success found, etc.?

Good, good beginning.
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Review of Obituary  
Review by Vivian
Rated: ASR | (5.0)
I love this. Someone can talk about short and sweet, but this is short and soooo funny. You managed to put together a whole story in such few words and make it hilarious. This review probably will have more words that your whole scenario. It takes talent to pull off something so successfully.
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Review by Vivian
Rated: E | (5.0)
What an interesting idea for raising funds for groups. Congratulations on being different and creative.

I hope this concept works well for you and the groups you are aiding. I don't bake much anymore, not since my legs and back protest so much, but I'll gladly help spread the word.

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Review by Vivian
Rated: E | (4.5)
You managed to do what the instructions required, to write a complete story with nothing but dialogue. The only problems I saw were some over use of exclamation marks and an unexpected lack of impact with the end.

I know from experience that writing a complete story in dialogue isn't easy, but it is a great exercise for learning how to use good dialogue for other works.

Good job.
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Review of Hoarder's Pesto  
Review by Vivian
Rated: ASR | (5.0)
Excellent word usage to condense everything into so few words. The verbal picture painted is exact and concise. I can understand your situation without your writing paragraph after paragraph.

What can I say? This is extremely well-written. Congratulations on a job well done.

Viv
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Review of King For A Day  
Review by Vivian
Rated: E | (4.5)
Very enjoyable story. I could relate as a reader to that short, skinny boy. I remember being the one who really didn't "fit" as a teen. The humor is the type that brings a smile or a slight chuckle.

The one thing that bothered me about the writing was the run-on sentences, not enough to spoil my enjoyment but still noticeable to a grammarian as I am. The formatting, where paragraphs weren't indented but no double space between them, should be corrected. That problem often occurs when something is copied and pasted.

Good writing, Dave. You take the reader back to those awkward teen years.
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Review of Longing  
Review by Vivian
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Although I was slow to catch the drift of this poem, the message soon burst upon my brain (slow moving as it is tonight).

I definitely like the poetic images evoked with your words, even if a few places seem a bit awkward. For example,
whose crafted words lay him bare
when spoken like a pleading prayer

Whose words?

Overall, the poem presents a strong visual of forbidden love

Vivi
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Review of Darkened Life  
Review by Vivian
Rated: E | (4.5)
*Reading* This poem is smooth and filled with imagery. I like it.

*Idea* Personally, unless the poem is shown as written for a particular "you," I prefer that second person not be used.

For example, you wrote you could see the images of my life
in a heap upon the floor.


One could see the images of my life
He could see the images of my life
She could see the images of my life
Anyone could see the
All could see


Other wise, I think this poem is a winner.


Panther sig by Undocked
19
19
Review by Vivian
Rated: E | (4.0)
*Snow1* You've written an interesting poem with a desirable concept of peace. Wouldn't it be great if all men would work together rather than fight?

*Snow2* The poem seems rather choppy due to punctuation that isn't where it should be. For example, the end of line 2 should have a comma and a colon at the end of line 3.

*Snow3* Even in poetry, state of being verbs (is, am, are, was, were) should be avoided whenever possible. You have the verb was three times in the first stanza alone. Then you switch from past tense, was, to present tense, are.

         Try avoiding the state of being verbs. For example, A miracle was happening could be a miracle happens or happened (depending on which tense you decide to use.

*Snow1* I don't believe that war and hostilities have the ability to cease on their own. Enemies or those fighting have the ability to stop war and hostilities.

This can be an excellent poem with just a bit of fine-tuning.



Christmas deer
Have a wonderful holiday season.
Vivian

20
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Review by Vivian
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
*Reading* The story brings home the message that love for a child never dies. It reminds me of the prodigal son; in fact, the title "The Prodigal" comes to mind.

I like how he used the long walk from the road to the house as a time for interspection, and how the walk built tension.

*Idea* Avoiding so much passive voice would enpower the story, make it more show and less tell. For example, you wrote He needed some time to clear his head, to make sure this was really what he had wanted. Deleting had changes passive voice to active. Also, in this sentence, the reader has to assume what this is. Perhaps change the sentence to something like He needed some time to clear his head, to make sure he wanted what waited at the end of the drive. But that's just one idea.

*Idea* In places the writing seems a bit stiff, stilted, caused by not using contractions. "...he stepped into the driveway he had not walked on in over two years." That part seems ackward. One suggestion might be " ... he stepped on the driveway he hadn't walked in over two years."

*Idea* You might want to write as if you are the "eyes" of the reader, recording what is happening, rather than telling what happened. Using active voice and more strong action verbs helps. For example, you wrote She had come, expressing doubts, and mocked his choice the whole afternoon. The ground was hard. The ants were annoying. The flies were biting.{c} One suggestion for change might be She came, expressing doubts, and mocked his choice the whole afternoon: the hard ground, the annoying ants, the biting flies.

*Idea* One place that could be expanded to add to the conflict and plot would be where the son comes home after three and finds his father sitting on the front porch. You state the father's face was a mask, no emotion showing, but I'm left wondering exactly why: Was the son young enough that he broke curfew, or what did the son feel at that time? That scene seemed a bit incomplete.

*Idea* With some fine-tuning, this story will be excellent, while it is already good.

Panther sig by Undocked
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Review of Life  
Review by Vivian
Rated: E | (3.0)
Welcome to Writing.Com. I hope you find this as much a second home as many of us do. If I can be of help, just send me an email.

*Reading* The content of this poem certainly hits home for most of us. Our lives all have ups and downs. As you show, we have to keep going.

*Idea* Your writing would be stronger if you could go deeper and avoid clichés. "Life brings you down" is surface only and a cliché. Maybe if you could show the under the surface meaning, the poem would be more powerful. Just one example (a sample to show what I mean) might be to write "Sometimes life's burdens push us to the ground."

*Idea* Avoiding using second person (you, your, etc.) creates better poetic language.

*Idea* Using the word "and" is better than using &.

*Idea* I don't know if you're young or not, but your writing gives me the impression that you are. Please keep working at developing your writing skills and discovering deeper meanings and wording. Work with poetic devices, too, which will help add depth to your work.

Please keep developing your skills because you have a good start, just need to tighten and fine tune your work.

sig by Toad
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Review by Vivian
Rated: E | (4.0)
*Reading*I read this the first time to get the message of your words, and the message is heart warming. I read again to be able to give you suggestions so you can refine your work. I think you should work on this and submit it to magazines such as Reader's Digest.

*Idea*I found some sentence structure problems, including run-on sentences. When two sets of words that could each stand alone as a sentence are joined by a conjunction (and, or, but, nor, yet), a comma is used before the conjunction.

Here's an example: Karen(my wife) and Amanda were rushed out of the birthing room and I did not get to see them again for about an hour.
         A comma is needed after "room." Also a space is needed after "Karen."


*Idea* I would be glad to do a complete edit if you wish. Just let me know.


Viv

My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Go Noticed.

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Review by Vivian
Rated: ASR | (5.0)
*Reading* As someone who meets physical challenges every day, I can understand only too well where you are coming from when you talk about the challenges you face.

I like that you give different kinds of information in your journal as well as the struggles. You have links to places that warn us, help us, and/or entertain us.

*Idea* Even when your upset with someone or something, you keep an optimistic attitude, even if it sometimes nearly hidden.


*Idea* I haven't any suggestions for improvement because a journal or blog is the individual's province.


Viv

My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Go Noticed.

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Review by Vivian
Rated: E | (5.0)
*Reading* Wow! what a creative and interesting introduction for a folder. Just reading it and looking makes me want to know more. Hmmm ... I need more time to read now.

*Idea* Your illustrations add much to your folder, and I like the way you divide your main folder (the castle) into rooms or areas found in the castle - great design.


Viv

My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Go Noticed.

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Review by Vivian
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
*Reading* As I read this chapter, I realized that the first time I read it I hadn't really given it enough evaluation (if that's a word this late at night). The characters are believable. I felt as if I were present. This writing is definitely showing the reader what is happening. The description aren't so detailed and boring that the story gets lost, but have the right amount of detail to move the story and let us discover the characters as people.

My attention was help from the beginning, and I'm definitely interested in reading the rest of the book.

*Idea* The only reason I didn't give this 5 stars is because of the run-on sentences and a few other stumbles in grammar. I know that this already published, but I wish I could have helped earlier. *sigh*

*Idea* All right is two words, as all wrong is two words. In fact, that's my trick to remember how to spell all right. It's one I used with my students, too.

*Idea* The trick to being a good writer is to write well enough that a reader can suspend reality enough to "believe" what is written. You manage to write well enough to accomplish that.


Panther sig by Undocked
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