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315 Public Reviews Given
320 Total Reviews Given
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Review of Raven  
Review by WayneThornton
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
A woman mounted upon a brilliantly white = search the net for words to avoid when writing a novel == Agents tell us to avoid ly adjectives and adverbs. Instead we should use strong verbs and nouns that show the reader your story instead having to read your opinion when you tell the story.


horse rode in haughtily = ly == what verb would show "rode hauntily"
through the palace gates.

Both men and women = the word "both" is not needed and is just one more word the reader has to step over to get the crux of your story.

abandoned their work, and hushed conversations whispered through the rising dawn = grammar error
This sentence seemed contrived + They eyed a nose as straight as the ocean’s horizon, peered at a soft and slender mouth.


They murmured of a stubbornly = ly word
set chin, and scrutinized two slim and powerful shoulders. = grammar error
Was and were are the two most boring words in the English language


Her sheathed arms were
appraised, her callused fingers were
dissected, and arching straight and proud, her noble back was


Indeed, = refrain from using that word
the eyes of the shocked public furtively = ly word
gaped at this passing figure = ing verb

I suggest you search the net for words to avoid when you write a novel or story.
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2
Review by WayneThornton
Rated: ASR | (4.0)
Delete this sentence.

Then next sentence is a great way to start the story.

On the third sentence write it without the the word "I" == we already know you are telling the story.

Agents tell us to refrain from the use of ing verbs. They have no beginning and no end. = They take the sense of urgency away from our stories.

(you used way too many ing verbs in your story)

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3
Review by WayneThornton
Rated: E | (4.0)
You wrote a pretty good story except for one glaring mistake:

Search the net for what agents say bad about 'ing' verbs.

In one page you used over 60 'ing' verbs.

4
4
Review by WayneThornton
Rated: 18+ | (3.0)

A very interesting little story. (If you take a novel writing class, and learn a few principles of writing, I bet this story could win a contest.)

My software program showed the following :

You used adverbs ending in ‘ly’ = 46 times is only 6 pages of your story.

You used ‘ing’ verbs = 97 times in 6 pages.

The irony of ignorance = With such flair some new authors tell others to use several ly adverbs, and ing verbs to “spice up” their stories. The publishing agents tell us the exact opposite, (Search articles written on the net by publishing agents)


= Ing verbs are handy little rascals but they are disastrous and called ‘sleeping pill words’ by publishing agents because they remove the sense of urgency from our stories. (Read the second article below, or just Google it.

I suggest you search the net before you use another adverb or adjective ..... or verb ending in ‘ing.’

About 50 publishing agents have written articles on the net warning us to refrain from using adverbs, ing verbs and adjectives.

I’ll give you these two articles, but simply Google “Using adverbs, or Using ing verbs in a novel.

All writers want to make their work as vibrant as possible. Often, however, new writers will rely on the use of adverbs and adjectives to achieve their goal, rather than choose more descriptive nouns and verbs. As a result, the novel loses the very sense of vibrancy and strength that the writer hoped to accomplish.

Adjectives modify nouns; adverbs perform the same function for verbs. To put it another way, think of adjectives and adverbs as the seasoning you'd add to a pot of soup. The core ingredients — vegetables, meat, pasta — are the nouns and verbs. Just as seasonings should enhance the natural flavor of the main ingredients and not overshadow them, so should adjectives and adverbs.
To see if you're overusing adverbs in your novel, have your word processing program search for all words ending in ly. While not all ly words are adverbs, the majority of them will be. Once you've identified an adverb, analyze the sentence to see if you could use a stronger verb instead.
Why Using Modifiers Can Be a Problem
Sometimes, problems arise from the use of adjectives and adverbs. Usually, this occurs when an author relies upon the modifiers to do the job of making their writing vivid when using more descriptive nouns and active verbs would have sufficed. For example,
• Susan ran quickly down the hall: The adverb quickly describes the verb ran; replacing the verb and adverb with a stronger, more active verb solves the problem; i.e., Susan raced down the hall or Susan sprinted down the hall.
• The witch gave a harsh, sharp laugh: The adjectives harsh and sharp describe the noun laugh; since a “harsh, sharp laugh” is a cackle, the sentence can be rewritten as, The witch cackled.



STOP USING “-ING” VERBS IN YOUR NOVEL
Posted on February 5, 2013 by Ellen_Brock
0
Want to add instantaneous strength to your novel? Cut out verbs ending in “ing.” These verbs weaken your writing and reduce the reader’s perception of immediacy. So avoiding these verbs can increase tension and improve flow.
And of course, this has a cumulative effect. The more “-ing” verbs you cut out, the stronger your writing will seem. Consider this paragraph:

Abigail was walking along the bike trail. There was a boy riding his bike. He was smiling up at her as she passed. She started wondering what the boy was so happy about.

Now consider the alternative:

Abigail walked along the bike trail. A boy rode his bike and smiled as he passed her. She wondered what the boy was so happy about.
5
5
Review by WayneThornton
Rated: 18+ | (3.0)

I liked the way you tried to use metaphors in your story, but don't forget the basics.



My father was a locksmith
I was a child,
I was more interested
there was a knock at the door
He was a short man
Within that tube was



My software program showed that you used the word ‘was’ 75 times in your story.

My program showed that you used verbs ending in ‘ing’ 117 times.


Agents who write articles on the net tell us that the word ‘was’ is the most boring word in the English language. It is a dead word, it just sits there. It is a sign that the writer is telling the story in a preachy way instead of showing the reader the story. I suggest you search “Don’t just tell your story; show your story to the reader.”

Verbs ending in ‘ing’ are place holders, and are frowned on by agents who call them sing song sleeping pills. They have no beginning and no ending. They denote no urgency. Example: “John was swinging his arms.’ The reader can take a coffee break, come back 30 minutes later, and not have missed a thing. “John will still be in the process of swinging his arms.” Get it?

The following is a good example of an exchange of ideas between a new writer and a publishing agent:


Hello fellow writers, I have a problem that I cannot find an answer for. When I write, I use the words "was" and "were" quite often. I also use words like movING and fightING. Essentially, words that end with the ING letters. I joined a critique group and some of the people that critiqued my work told me I should not use
"to be" verbs like: was, were, became, etc... I was also told i should not use words that end with "ing" because they are the tell tell signs of passive tense. They said I am telling the story instead of showing the story. So I been trying to minimize my use of "was" and "ing" words. This has severely slowed own my writing as I have to find ways to rephrase sentences.

A sentence that previously read: He was moving at an amazing speed is changed to, He moved at an unparalleled speed.

However, I read a lot YA and adult books that use the "was" verb like there was no tomorrow. There are some pages that have the word "was" over ten times. IN ONE PAGE! Its not only one book. There are a lot of books I read that use the words "was" and "where" and "ing" words throughout the entire book. IM confused. Why am I being told to not use "was", "where", and "ing" words when successful authors are doing it, and getting published. Please help!


Answer from a publishing agent:

Good question. Avoid overusing participles ("-ing" words), as they have to be used with "to be" verbs - was, were, is, etc. These are all what I call "dead" verbs which denote no action; they are intransitive verbs, usually, and serve only as "placeholders" in lieu of more active verbs.

Another verbal to avoid is "there is", "there was", etc. Same problem.

Why do novels which overuse these verbs sell? Dunno. Why did "Night Circus", which is replete with comma errors, especially comma splices, and even the wrong words ("though" for "although") ever get published? Who knows? Probably for about the same reason that "Fifty Shades of Grey" and the "Twilight" series are in print. They all appeal to the lowest-common-denominator readers, who probably couldn't care less about split infinitives or grammar problems.

Most agents are not at the low-end reader level. They (we) can smell a dead rat a mile away. They know the dead words and the stall words, and they will not publish a new writer who uses them. However, they will publish “any” writer who is famous or already has a following. == They are well aware that some readers will buy books out of loyalty and many times not even read the books. – Go figure. As a new writer, you must do better than the authors who are already established. == Tough to do if you insist on using dead words and stall words that put a reader to sleep after about ten pages.

And that's all I'm going to say about that. Some of my best friends are lowest-common-denominator readers, and I don't want them to come after me with blunt sticks.


Observation: Your sentence about how he moved is an example of telling rather than showing. Instead of telling us that he moved with amazing speed, show your reader how he moved.

End of conversation I found on the internet.

Also: I suggest that when you write dialogue you look in the mirror and actually speak it – to see if it sounds realistic.

Also: You need to use quote marks when you write dialogue.

Also: You need to use metaphors that make sense and are realistic. – The agents say to be imaginative, but don’t exaggerate.

Also: Try to not use worn-out clichés. Example: “Porcelain face” = tantamount to stealing someone else’s expression. It has been used so much, that if you use it, the reader might think he or she is reading another novel. = That’s what the agents say, anyway.

I suggest you search the net and read articles written by publishing agents. Search “words to avoid when writing a novel” –there are about 400 of them, and I think you used most of them during your story.
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Review by WayneThornton
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
I think your pitch showed that you have a great imagination and the enthusiasm was written all over you query letter.

I liked this about the idea: metamorphoses him into an immortal being using his formula for spontaneous regeneration.

caution: There is no such thing as "very' unique. The agent knows that. (I suggest you delete the word 'very')





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Review of Life  
Review by WayneThornton
Rated: E | (5.0)
When all loved was lost,

My heart still survived,

Did you mean to write 'When all love was lost'?

These were my favorite lines:

And deep, threaded lies. = threaded lies = yeah, I've witnessed those being told in my life too.

*******

Best ending, I've ever read:

And when I was ready,

Out of the blue,

God smiled, then lead me

Directly to you.
8
8
Review of The Color of Jade  
for entry "Invalid Entry
Review by WayneThornton
Rated: E | (4.5)

Good story. I liked it except for the following two distractions:


What I wouldn’t give to see someone pass by my house. To see life as it was before. = deleting this sentence would give your novel a great opening.


over the dead == I suggest ........ compared to dead people

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Review by WayneThornton
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Pretty good little story.

You need to work on your punctuation.

Also: Don't use a tag unless it is unclear who is speaking without a tag.


anyways = distracted me


sir = In the Military, sergeants are not referred to as "sir" == They get angry if you do.





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Review of Lost and Found  
Review by WayneThornton
Rated: E | (4.0)
Good story = I love testimonials.

Try not to use "was" so many times. Instead, try to use active verbs.


existence into = Should be existence in

Ministry did not come as easily for him instead of saving souls he was selling shoes with soles to those that did not have them = should be == didn't come easy for him, instead of saving souls, he sold shoes with soles to those who didn't have them.

out for God. A peace came over me that I had never known before. I found myself going the opposite way I had been. I found a cool mountain stream that I took a dream from = should be = took a drink

At a cool mountain stream I took a drink.


Good luck.
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11
Review by WayneThornton
Rated: E | (5.0)
Excellent story. Good imagination and witty. It held my interest the whole four pages (or so).

I rate it a 5 because it was a short story.

However, if you used the same style for a novel, it would never be accepted by an agent - unless you already had a following of loyal readers who would buy your book.

Over 50 agents have written articles on the net about 'words not to use when writing a novel.'.

The following is a good example of an exchange of ideas between a new writer and a publishing agent:


Hello fellow writers, I have a problem that I cannot find an answer for. When I write, I use the words "was" and "where" quite often. I also use words like movING and fightING. Essentially, words that end with the ING letters. I joined a critique group and some of the people that critiqued my work told me I should not use
"to be" verbs like: was, where, became, etc... I was also told i should not use words that end with "ing" because they are the tell tell signs of passive tense. They said I am telling the story instead of showing the story. So I been trying to minimize my use of "was" and "ing" words. This has severely slowed own my writing as I have to find ways to rephrase sentences.

A sentence that previously read: He was moving at an amazing speed is changed to, He moved at an unparallel speed.

However, I read a lot YA and adult boks that use the "was" verb like there was no tomorrow. There are some pages that have the word "was" over ten times. IN ONE PAGE! Its not only one book. There are a lot of books I read that use the words "was" and "where" and "ing" words thrughout the entire book. IM confused. Why am I being told to not use "was", "where", and "ing" words when succesful authors are doing it, and getting published. Please help!


Answer from a publishing agent:

Good question. Avoid OVERusing participles ("-ing" words), as they have to be used with "to be" verbs - was, were, is, etc. These are all what I call "dead" verbs which denote no action; they are intransitive verbs, usually, and serve only as "placeholders" in lieu of more active verbs.

Another verbal to avoid is "there is", "there was", etc. Same problem.

Why do novels which overuse these verbs sell? Dunno. Why did "Night Circus", which is replete with comma errors, especially comma splices, and even the wrong words ("though" for "although") ever get published? Who knows? Probably for about the same reason that "Fifty Shades of Grey" and the "Twilight" series are in print. They all appeal to the lowest-common-denominator readers, who probably couldn't care less about split infinitives or grammar problems.

Most agents are not at the low-end reader level. They (we) can smell a dead rat a mile away. They know the dead words and the stall words, and they will not publish a new writer who uses them. However, they will publish “any” writer who is famous or already has a following. == They are well aware that some readers will buy books out of loyalty and many times not even read the books. – Go figure. As a new writer, you must do better than the authors who are already established. == Tough to do if you insist on using dead words and stall words that put a reader to sleep after about ten pages.

And that's all I'm going to say about that. Some of my best friends are lowest-common-denominator readers, and I don't want them to come after me with blunt sticks.


Observation: Your sentence about how he moved is an example of telling rather than showing. Instead of telling us that he moved with amazing speed, show your reader how he moved.
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Review by WayneThornton
Rated: E | (5.0)
Excellent. You have a vivid imagination.

Now to get accepted by the agents who have software programs that scan our work - to see if its worth reading.

small things:

work on your punctuation
try to avoid ly adverbs - select the right verb, and it will not usually need an adverb.
Don't tell the reader that something is magnificent, show the reader, and let the reader deduce that something is magnificent or grand. == Search the net for "show, don't tell.'


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Review of The Free Fall  
Review by WayneThornton
Rated: E | (5.0)
Great subject matter and it was a good realistic story.

Watch those ing verbs, and try to use direct verbs. A few are great, but don't let them overwhelm you.
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Review of Dear Me  
Review by WayneThornton
Rated: E | (5.0)
I liked your story because I felt you, the author, shared your feelings with no bars held back. Then to my surprise I saw the entire piece as a free form poem, poetry in motion so to say. I usually don't like to read poetry, but I enjoyed reading yours.

The only suggestion I would make is what agents, when they write articles on the net, warn us not to do. They tell us to beware of using certain words that might slow down the pace of our stories. The word you used that seemed to interrupt the flow was 'so.'

Dear Me, I began. The words stared at me on the stark white paper until I couldn't stand it any longer. So, journal in hand, I went outside, settled down in the grass and leaned against the Maple.

(Delete the word ‘so’ and see how it makes the reader want to go with you outside.)

“Journal in hand, I went out side, settled down in the grass, and leaned against the Maple.”

The agents also warn us about the overuse of verbs ending in 'ing.- a few are fine, but if we see that very many times in a story they seems to be distractive. Also the use of verbs ending in ing sometimes force us to use the word ‘was,’ which is the most boring word in the English language.

My software program showed that you used words ending in ‘ing’ 31 times. – I’m not proposing that you eliminate all ‘ing’ words. A few of them are great, but try to use mostly direct verbs like you did in your opening .

I give you a 5 for your imagination and boldness in your writing.


15
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Review by WayneThornton
Rated: 13+ | (1.0)
His wispy [hair] = what does that mean? Why must a reader have to step over that word to get to the crux of who was giving the speech?

was parted neatly to either side and a similar mustache adorned his face =

How does one part his hair on both sides?

How does one part his mustache on both sides?

Is this a comedy?

I suggest you read any article by any agent on the net. They will all tell you to refrain from using ‘was, were, or is’ = Those are dull boring verbs and show that the writer is only telling the story instead of showing the events and circumstances
.
You used the word ‘was’ 25 times in 4 pages.

He was dressed well, but not formal = there is that was word again, and this time you plugged it into a clunky phrase = I suggest you rewrite.

Grammar error = You need a verb = Along with failure to discharge the duties of your office to the best of your ability, soliciting bribes, and, informally, putting yourself before the needs of your countrymen."

The large room = large means different things to different people. If you ever submit a manuscript to an agent, he or she will jump down your throat for using that little kiddy term.

On either side of the room …. parted neatly to either side …. Standing to either side of him, two large men

I suggest you not keep misusing the term ‘either’

With unkempt hair, the overweight and aging yella' dawg of a former West Virginia senator began spewing expletives and making demands, as expected, and started to rise from his seat. The two men beside him helped him back into it. "Get your hands off me." He indignantly brushed off the manhandled shoulders of his tux and straightened its lapels. Evidently he had been taken by miscreants but, other than a sharp pain in his neck, he didn't seem to be hurt. "Do you know who I am?"

My software program shows that your entire story is replete with run-on sentences like the one cited above.

I suggest you take a night school course on how to write.

If English is not your native language, I think you’re doing pretty good.

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Review of Dark Days  
Review by WayneThornton
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
Good poem, but watch your grammar.

"I can’t even believe I’ve felt even worst

Then I did before I fell ill"

Also, I suggest you not reapeat 6 lines three times.

You can usually get away with one or two lines repeated, but repeating six lines bores the reader.

PS: I hope you are not as sad as you appear in this poem.




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Review of Abort  
Review by WayneThornton
Rated: 18+ | (5.0)
An excellent story indeed.


However, unless you are a combat veteran of the Vietnam, and actually served in the Jungle, you had no right to use that expression, "the first day of the rest of my life." We paid our blood for the right to use that expression that was written at the three entrances to the Jungle area of Vietnam.


Captain Wayne Thornton -- combat veteran of Vietnam -- shot twice in the jungle war.

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Review by WayneThornton
Rated: E | (4.0)
This was a very interesting idea you had. I appreciated it, but I can see that this type of thing can cause one to chase rabbits when trying to write a novel or short story.

golf, and, of course, he = rule for flow – in short phrases, commas are not needed, unless they are critical to understand the sentence.

He plans on using the old cherished nine iron that his father gave him when he was a boy. = Rule of agents who give advice on the net: Avoid using slow motion verbs, and avoid the use of the word ‘that’ when not needed = it is a stall word.

“He plans to use the cherished nine iron his father gave him when he was a boy.” = rule of flow; don’t plug in commas for your English teacher, omit commas when you can.

= don’t stutter two words that mean the same thing, and don’t tell the reader that a cherished nine iron is ‘old’. It is like calling the reader ignorant. Cherished items given by the man when he was a boy are always ‘old.’ Don’t make the reader step over that word and then hear again a description of the nine iron.

By definition, cherished items are old, especially when they were given to an adult when the adult was a boy. == are you getting this, or have I wasted my time.

I suggest you search the net for advice from agents and publishers on the subject of “Words to avoid when writing a story.”

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Review of The Fun House  
Review by WayneThornton
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
A great story indeed. It seemed well researched in regards to the Fun House.

The following are my suggestions for improving the mechanical parts of the writing:




I'm hoping that getting my story down on paper will help, = slow motion verb tenses drag a story. ‘Down on paper’ is a cliché and words that a reader must step over to get to the crux of the sentence.
I suggest direct words: Especially for the opening of a story.

I hope my story will help [you], without making the warning come true.
*****


Johnny interrupted before we could continue. “I’ll go if Becky goes,” he said.
The above ‘he said’ is not needed.


I thought for a moment and then looked at Becky and said, “Okay, but if you run out screaming, you’re on your own.”
The above ‘and said’ is not needed (try to cut down on your ‘he said, she saids”

See how the above sentence doesn't need an "and said"

I thought for a moment and then looked at Becky. “Okay, but if you run out screaming, you’re on your own.”


I was excited as we rode our bikes home from school that Friday afternoon …

‘as’ is a lazy word to use. It is a catch-all word. And sometimes it gets you in trouble. It is a bad habit for a writer to use that term. Agents and Publishers on the net recommend the use of the specific word that applies. For example, while, when, during or whatever you can think of the describe the event.

I suggest: I was excited when we rode our bikes home



KEEP OUT == all caps are very distractive these days. I suggest italics or half quote mark around the word instead of all caps.

“Not here,” I said. “Happy birthday for real. We’re the same age for another month.”

When one character asks a question, and they are the only ones in the scene, you do not have to say ‘I said’.

It’s almost an insult to the reader.



I said as walked up the ramp = typo


You are an excellent story teller. And, because of that, I would like you to review the first chapter of my novel "Ancestors of God" -- Please find something wrong with it, so I can improve it.



20
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Review of Take it all  
Review by WayneThornton
Rated: 13+ | (3.0)
I suggest you search the net for How to write a story, and "Words to avoid when writing a novel or short story"


Stomache = typo
'this isnt happening,' = punctuation mistake = Capitalize ‘This” -- same for others on this page

Good. = not a sentence = should not capitalized or end with a period. Plus, it is talking to the reader instead of telling the story.

anxiously awaited = my software says to use the word waited.

Five minutes was up. I looked. = punctuation error

My stomache dropped. My vision blurred. My head spun. = Jerky My My MY Learn to join your thoughts/



Five minutes was up. I looked. = rewrite form a smooth sentence that includes the information.


It read: positive. = no colon needed.


As I waited for the water to boil, I honestly wasn't focused on dinner. = never use the word ‘honestly’ == first it is an adverb, and second it implies the narrated just lied earlier, but has now chosen to be honest.
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Review by WayneThornton
Rated: 13+ | (3.0)
Dear Martha,

You show good enthusiasm, but you need to search the net on "how to write a story."

You wrote:
“The fire in the grate flickered erratically as the door to the little tavern opened and closed once again. The innkeeper looked up from his work, scowled deeply.”

= you started a sequence of events and then stopped before you added the third part of the sequence. If there are only two events, it should read. “looked up from his work and scowled.” “

Why is the fireplace important in this sentence?

Why did the innkeeper scowl?

Did you want us to know the tavern scene was in a time period before people had a better way of heating a tavern?

Did the innkeeper scowl because he didn’t like the customer?

Or did he scowl because someone slammed the door?

*******************
Here is my rewrite of your opening:

“The tavern, heated by a fireplace, provided a peaceful resting place except when someone opened its door, chilled the room, and slammed the door, which sometimes blew out the fire and scattered ashes on the floor. The innkeeper flinched and then scowled when a customer shut the door with a loud bang.”
******************

Well anyway, here are the mistakes I found in your story:

= Why force the reader to step over words that are either not needed or support a verb that failed to convey what the point of the paragraph or sentence is?

Flicker means erratic, erratically is not needed

As = a lazy word which usually required mental gymnastics == I suggest you replace It in this case with ‘while”

Door to the little tavern == little is a matter of opinion, and the agents say to avoid using that word.

Door to the little tavern = clunky = I suggest ‘the tavern door.’

opened and closed = lazy words = look for words that give the door some life or some action. Don’t tell the reader, show the reader with a good strong set of verbs.

“Once again” = why use the word “once” = it is not needed to convey the point = it is just another word the reader must step over to read what is happening.

Once again = I suggest you find a better way to show this concept.

Looked up from his work = did he really look upwards, or did he look at the door? What type of work? Was it so secret that you can’t divulge the information to people without a security clearance?

Scowled deeply = deeply is an opinion and scowled already describes the action – just another adverb that the reader must read but not needed. Proof = is it possible to scowl lightly? If not, then scowled deeply does not add to the expression. It stops the reader, who asks, “What is a deep scowl compared to a shallow scowl?”

For any sentence, determine what point you want to make, and stick to it using the least number of dead words in the sentence.

Wayne Thornton
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22
Review by WayneThornton
Rated: 13+ | (3.5)
Not a bad story, but you need to search the net on how to tell a story. The first thing you will learn is to avoid using certain useless words that the reader must step over in order to understand what is happening.

Large = large compared to what = lazy word per agents who teach on the internet

The planet was not on any known star chart = try to avoid the word ‘was’, also “known’ is not needed. = don’t make the reader step over unneeded words.

Rewrite= The planet did not appear on star charts.

and was a smooth blue and green sphere == avoid using the word was, it just sits there and does nothing. All planets are spheres = word not needed plus it insults the readers intelligence. What does smooth blue mean?

Rewrite: Blue, green, and without mountains, it looked like a paint swirled bowling ball.
Or: Blue, green, and without mountains, it looked easy to land on.

At the helm of the spacecraft was Prell, the Captain. Like all Pern he was huge, heavily muscled, and hairless with a thick skin resembling an extinct Earth creature known as a Rhino. = clunky sentence.. (never use the word ‘all” nobody ever knows what all of anything is covered by any statement.

Don’t make your reader step over words to get to the issue. – search the net for words to avoid when writing a novel.

Rewrite: Captain Prell, muscled, hairless, and rhino-like skin, stood three meters high and weighed about 400 kilograms.

Don’t ever say someone weighed an exact amount, unless it is a track meet, and the person is standing on a scale.

(You don’t need to say huge if you give his height and weight.)
23
23
Review by WayneThornton
Rated: E | (1.0)
Here are a few examples of your mistakes:

Sits = a static word, it is also a slow motion verb. It has no beginning and no ending. The reader can stop reading, take a break, go get a cup of coffee and Randy will still be in the process of sitting.

Tall = lazy word, Search the net, Agents tell us that is not only a matter of opinion, but the first sign that the writer is lazy about word choices.

His green and brown camouflage pants are neatly tucked into his black combat boots

= green and brown = useless words = green and brown is the color of camouflage pants because they are to blend in with bark and vegetation. Get it? Saying that Randy’s camouflage pants were green and brown insults the reader’s intelligence.

= that is like saying “the narrow alley” all alleys are narrow or they wouldn’t be alleys, they would be roads or streets. = get it.

Black combat boots = same as above = by definition, combat boots are black. Why use a word that is not needed?

The important thing is === What is Randy thinking? or what has Randy done that got him into that seat?, or what is Randy planning to do?

“How long did it take him to get those boots so spiffy?” = never ask a reader or yourself a question, It takes them right out of the story, even though you wrote it to bring them into the story. The reader starts guessing how long it would take him or her to shine boots, and the reader is still thinking that when you make your next statement. – strange eh?

I wonder to myself == If you wonder it, then why did you write it in quotation marks, as if you said it? You just threw the reader a curve ball. Was it your intention to confuse the reader early in the story?

quick sideways = why is quick needed? Also the reader stops to wonder “how quick?” and the next thing you write takes second fiddle to what you want to convey. Plus, “quick” is a term that agents will flame you for using. It’s another sign of not finding the right word to describe what is happening, so the writer throws in a crutch to support a weak verb or other type word.

I suggest you search the net for words to avoid when telling a story.

Shining = a slow motion verb tense. Search the net for slow motion static verbs.

so brightly = Search the net, adverbs are a sure signs that a better verb could have been used.

And why in the heck does the reader have to jump over the word ‘so’ = which is a writer trying to force the reader to be impressed = preaching at the reader.

The boots are shining so brightly that I catch a reflection of sunlight off of them. = clunky sentence, plus another slow motion verb = shiining. plus too many words for what you seem to want to convey.


I suggest you search the net for words to avoid when telling a story.

I think this entire story could have been written in one or two paragraphs. (And it could have included Randy's motivation.)

I quite honestly wish I didn't have to rate your story, because it is, in my opinion, one of the most boring things I have read on this site. Most of your narrative and dialogue seems contrived and I had to step over useless word in your story in an effort to understand what you thought was important. And you completely missed cause and effect, and motivation.

I suggest you start over and just tell the story in your natural voice as to how you felt when you took Randy to fly for the first time in an airplane.
24
24
Review by WayneThornton
Rated: 13+ | (5.0)
Reginald was a vampire == love that name. I knew the next sentence before I read it.

(greatest start yet, in the genre of such tales)

Anorexic vampire on the planet. == Wow! What a phrase. –egads! I need to give you a 5 right off the bat, and then come back later, when my mind is sharper,
and help you make this story a winner that no publisher can deny. – chagrin – sorry for that brag, but I have just spent about a thousand hours on the internet in regards to spiffing up a story. (I have applied that knowledge to only some of my story so far.) There are a lot of tricks in story telling - and I will share them with you.

Also, I can see that your story, with such a great beginning, is well worth my effort, so that I can be proud when you succeed in the publishing world.

PS: This does not have to be limited to a short story. Can you imagine the adventure that could be added to this short story?

(((hugs)))

Wayne Thornton
25
25
Review by WayneThornton
Rated: E | (4.0)
pretty good effort.

But he and Gwen could not seize that land, since = rewrite

The following was great:

Then, suddenly one day, there appeared in the sky,
Armored bears and cheetahs perched atop dragons –
These malevolent creatures set up camp close by,
An army of invaders in countless, dark wagons.


Suggest you rewrite the following
Then Ivan received a declaration from Merton –
He must surrender the sword or face ruinous attack,
From these warring bears and cheetahs, who most certain

Under deep red, orange skies, the sword, did he draw – = Under reddish orange skies the sword he did draw

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