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1
1
Review of Paper Curtains  
Rated: 13+ | (3.0)
Review Given For: "Please Review


Formatting, Paragraphs, Sentence Structure, and Wording

She watched as dogs chased cats and cats chased birds.
*Right* Comma
She watched as dogs chased cats, and cats chased birds.

At 4pm she tucked the paper
*Right* Abbreviation
At 4 p.m. she tucked the paper

She recalled the colorful flowers her mother had kept on the window
*Right* Kept is already past tense
She recalled the colorful flowers her mother kept on the window

She pulled out the steak... She formed it into circles.....She reached below her....She set it on the stovetop...She reached below her...She turned on the water
*Right* This is just a small sample of paragraph 1. I understand that you are trying to convey the feeling of monotony; however, 15 start sentences in the paragraph start with "she". It becomes flat and one toned. Might you consider showing what Maria is doing, describing her actions, instead of telling what "she" is doing?


wouldn’t have her over for dinner.
“I’m busy mom! Why do you have to be involved in everything

*Right* Spacing. Even online, spacing is important. It makes your work easier to read.
wouldn’t have her over for dinner.

“I’m busy mom! Why do you have to be involved in everything


“What is this,” Lenny seethed.
*Right* Question mark. Also "seethed" is his state of being, a verb or a noun; it is not a description for how something is said, adverb.
“What is this,” Lenny seethed.

A week into their marriage... A week after that...A week later, the paper over the windows had gone up.
*Right* Might be a pattern worth switching up.





I Liked

You could always hear laughter echoing in from the living room.
*Star* The comparison of Maria's kitchen to her mother's childhood one. It shows an immediate contrast in the situations and environments.



Storytelling

At 4pm she tucked the paper corner back under the tape at the edge of the glass.
*Question* I had to reread this several times. I did not know what paper or tape you were referring too. At the middle I understood. Suggest stating that the window is covered and she is recovering it without explaining. It would add an air of mystery and make readers press on to find out why the windows are taped up.

Marie forced herself to chew as she sobbed and gagged
*Question*I wasn't very connected to Maria by this point in the story. I was a little thrown back that Lennny behaved as he did--there was no foreshadowing of it. However, I think adding some more information about Maria's internal feelings, or better yet showing her flinch or shake, might make a reader feel more of what she is going through. For me, the key to empathy is allowing the character's feelings to be well communicated.

She tried to figure out when her life had become this.....“Marie!” her mother exclaimed when she answered, “I thought I’d never hear from you again.”

*Question*I was wondering why Maria's family wasn't doing more. No clues of this behavior before the wedding? As a newlywed, if it started after, this change is recent. A loving family never stops trying to get loved ones out of abusive relationships. So if this is a new situation, wouldn't they be more gunho in their efforts? I feel that I must be missing some factors.

*Question*I think you have a good story to end with the contest's requirement. It is seamless, and fits in as a perfect ending. You do have 111 words let to play with. I would suggest that you use them to add meat to the emotions of your female character, portraying her more as a prisoner, friegthened and scared.


Rating reflects...

*Bullet* Good start
*Bullet* Few technical issues
*Bullet* Few storyline questions
*Bullet* Seamless ending, fitting contest requirements.


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2
2
Review of First Contact ~  
Rated: 13+ | (3.5)
Review Given For: "Longswords, Lasers, & Literature: CLOSED


Formatting, Paragraphs, Sentence Structure, and Wording

This would be their final sunset walk and he intended to remember every detail, the harsh call of falcons flying above, the sibilant beckoning sound of the tide lapping against the break wall, the wind chanting a dirge for his loss.
*Right* Because I read the details as a list of things that the character wanted to remember the punctuation choice of a comma seemed odd. A colon seems more appropriate.
This would be their final sunset walk and he intended to remember every detail: the harsh call of falcons flying above, the sibilant beckoning sound of the tide lapping against the break wall, the wind chanting a dirge for his loss.


He wept, mourning the loss of the one person who loved him absolutely, despite his difference, delighting in his every accomplishment, challenging and encouraging him throughout his life.
*Right* Odd tense switch from someone who died, and thus loved, to the present progressive of delighting, challenging and encouraging. Suggest sticking to one tense.
He wept, mourning the loss of the one person who loved him absolutely, despite his difference, delighted in his every accomplishment, challenged and encouraged him throughout his life.

“What are you doing here, this is private property.” he stammered
*Right* Punctuation
“What are you doing here? This is private property,” he stammered

hacker had been monitoring him on line.
*Right* Space
hacker had been monitoring him online.

I’m used to it, but why today, this is cruel.”
*Right* Reads like 3 separate sentences.
I’m used to it. But why today? This is cruel.”

replied, you’ve evolved to the
*Right* Missing opening quote
replied, "you’ve evolved to the

your computer indicate you’re well on your way to deducing that.”

“That is why we chose you,” Mink sm

*Right*I thought that Mink was the one speaking the entire first block of dialogue about the mathematical equation. This is because she is the last person that spoke, and nothing written indicates that there was a change in speaker. If this is the case, then opening the following sentence with a quote mark isn't necessary.




I Liked

His feet traced the route they had walked together so many times before, the grass beneath his feet a carpet of sorrow, each blade weeping a glimmering tear, lining his path.
*Star* Beautifully descriptive sentence. Well written, and used early, It set the tone for what was to follow.

Lattice Theory
*Star* Oh, "hard sci-fi" is so rare these days. Very cool!





Storytelling

Mark looked about and found the source seated on a tree stump at the edge of the break wall
*Question*Wondered what a "break wall" is, and where it came from. To this point I had an image of a meadow in mind--a lake surrounded by grass and nothing else.

The figure led him through a tangle of brush with an opening just barely four feet high, admitting the two of them without bending.
*Question*If Mark didn't have to bend, does that mean that he was under 4 feet too?

Looking up the gangplank, his eyes were captured and were held in thrall by the most vivid violet orbs with dancing gold flecks framed by cascading golden curls. The figure laughed once again, ...
*Question*I was a bit confused by this description. At first I thought he was looking at orbs, not a person's figure.

He was simply transfixed by the beautiful doll sized fingers reaching for his.
*Question*If Mark is small like everyone else, would her fingers look doll sized to him, or would they be normal-looking to him? At this point in reading I still wasn't sure of Mark's size. He seems taken back by the visitors size, yet there is supposed to be something different about him. The visitors say he is normal. The description of Mark might need clarification--specifically his size in relation to the visitors.


Rating reflects...

*Bullet* Short stories can't answer every question, so you did a good job of setting the mood and tone, and conveying an important piece of what seems to be a larger concept in a small window.

*Bullet* Still a few nagging questions about what makes Mark different

*Bullet* The fact that it is nagging me means Mark was made real to me in a very short piece--a hard feat to accomplish.



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3
3
Rated: E | (3.5)
Title: The Tree on the Dike
Chapter: 6
Author:


Formatting, Paragraphs, Sentence Structure, and Wording

Then the events of the previous day came back to her and she remembered where she was, in her grandparents' house and in her mother’s old room.
*Right* Dash
Then the events of the previous day came back to her and she remembered where she was--in her grandparents' house and in her mother’s old room.

7:45, I’m late, she thought.
*Right* Same formatting suggestion, italics on internal dialouge


“What? No way.”
*Right* Expression through punctuation
“What? No way!”

Her grandmother had been right about one thing; she was a little scared of walking alone.
*Right* Since neither of these is independent clauses, dashes here
Her grandmother had been right about one thing--she was a little scared of walking alone.

Susan saw the old oak tree just as she had left it.
*Right* The phrase “as she left it” suggests she did something to it, and left it in a certain state.



I Liked

It seemed to Susan that this was a deceptively cute feature to be part of such a monstrosity.
*Star* Interesting image! I liked this dream she had.


Storytelling

“I guess.” Susan looked down at her sneakers. “I hate riding on the bus. It’s so crowded and smelly. Please let me walk to school.”
*Question*I find it odd that this family wakes up, still not knowing where their beloved ones are and they talk about things like this.

Susan looked down at the hole in her sneaker.
*Question*Her grandparents look in a Victorian style house, yet Susan’s clothing indicates poor. Is there something you can do to make this stand out more?

As she lay there, Susan imagined that she saw the tree transform into a huge beast.
*Question*Can’t remember anytime someone who has passed out as dreaming. However, I’m sure they could—just was odd.

She began running as fast as she could. She had just reached the bridge at the entrance to the dike trail when she heard the bell ringing in the distance.
*Question*This ending didn’t make me want to turn the page.


Rating reflects...

*Bullet* Nice dream sequence
*Bullet* Ending of chapter didn’t work for me.



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4
4
Rated: E | (4.0)
Title: The Tree on the Dike
Chapter: 5
Author:

Formatting, Paragraphs, Sentence Structure, and Wording

I wonder where Mom is right now, Susan thought.
*Right* It’s easier for me to read pieces where internal dialogue is set off some how. Normally it’s done by the use of italic.
I wonder where Mom is right now, Susan thought.


I Liked

“That story of the old oak tree being knocked down reminds me of another story about a construction crew and an old tree.”
*Star* Foreshadowing! Yeah!

Susan dreamed about a large man who grabbed her and threw her into a grove of trees where a group of fairies tortured her all night.
*Star* Oh, creepy foreshadowing! Yeah!

Foreshadowing makes me want to read more, by causing me to form predictions that I want to prove or disprove.


Storytelling

Susan, Brad and the two officers got out of the car. Susan walked up to the front door and knocked.
*Question*I found this part a little confusing. The two officers never introduce themselves, yet you just state that they are John and Frank after their dialogue. But they never introduced themselves. If they aren’t important, then why bother to give them names? In fact, why not just one officer? If they are important, why no physical description? Why don’t they introduce themselves? Also, you normally call an officer of the law by their last name, seceded by their title: “Officer Smith”

The children’s grandmother picked up the overnight bags and took their coats.
*Question*If she’s important, I’d like more description here. All I know is that she had on a red dress and glasses.

“Hi, Gramps,” she said as she sat down next to him.
*Question*She comes home to the house in shambles, and her parents missing, and she doesn’t seem to have reacted.

“My, what a day you’ve had.” Grandma handed Susan a mug. “Here, drink up. It will help to relax you.”…. “That story of the old oak tree being knocked down reminds me of another story about a construction crew and an old tree.” Grandpa put down his mug and sat back in his chair.
*Question*Um, their daughter is missing, and even if she is grown, I would expect more of a reaction from them. Instead they are drinking coco and telling stories?

Most of the men were afraid of the fairy folk and started talking about building the road around the grove.
*Question*I was confused, because the world that you’ve built until now hasn’t been mystic at all. They were invasions of mystic elements (the cat who was a man), but the characters didn’t seem aware of them. It didn’t even cross Susan’s mind that the man and cat were the same. Now they are telling stories about fairy folk like they believe?

I wonder where Mom is right now, Susan thought.
*Question*What about her dad? *Laugh*


Rating reflects...

*Bullet* Confusion about the storyline
*Bullet* Good foreshadowing



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5
5
Rated: E | (3.0)
Title: The Tree on the Dike
Chapter: 4
Author:

Formatting, Paragraphs, Sentence Structure, and Wording

“Sue, you in here?” Brad poked his head into the door.
*Right* Brad’s last short reference to her in "The Tree on the Dike - chapter 1 was “sis”



I Liked

Normally, Susan enjoyed visiting her grandparents but something about the shadows on the doorstep made her nervous.
*Star*Nice ending. Makes me want to turn the page.


Storytelling

Susan grabbed the phone a second before Brad could get it. “This is my phone.
*Question*Her mom is missing. Who cares whose phone it is?

You should lock yourself in the washroom until we get there.” Officer Bailey hung up the phone.
*Question*Just wondering why the washroom


Rating reflects...

*Bullet* Still have some questions
*Bullet* Ending makes me want to turn the page



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6
6
Rated: E | (3.5)
Formatting, Paragraphs, Sentence Structure, and Wording

"Look at the bright side. Bad things only happen in threes.
*Right* These clauses should be together. The first one modifies the second
"Look at the bright side, bad things only happen in threes.

Susan walked up the path to the front door; past the rose bushes, which looked like thorn bushes this time of year.
*Right* No semicolon here. The first one isn’t an independent clause.
Susan walked up the path to the front door past the rose bushes, which looked like thorn bushes this time of year.

Fall can be nice with all the pretty leaves, she thought, but I can't wait until it's spring again.
*Right* Suggestion- why not distinguish the internal dialogue? Maybe italics?
Fall can be nice with all the pretty leaves, she thought, but I can't wait until it's spring again.

She expected to hear her Mother's cheerful voice greeting her from the kitchen and was surprised to hear only silence.

Walking into the kitchen, she saw several bags of groceries on the kitchen table. It was not like her mother to leave groceries lying around.

*Right* Capitalization of Mother. Capped in one place, not in another place.


She went over to the table to put the groceries away and noticed milk splashed on the floor. Walking around the table, she saw two smashed milk cartons.

The milk was splashed everywhere, as if someone had been dancing in it.

*Right* Maybe another adjective besides splashed for the second instance?


The cupboard doors, which she had assumed were opened to put away groceries, now revealed the fact that the cupboards had been ransacked.
*Right* Again, same word in close proximity: cupbaord


He was an officer in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and he would know what to do.
*Right* Unless you plan on using it, why show the adjective. Also, if you want to show it, maybe there is a smoother way besides parathesis to place it there. Maybe
He was an officer in the RCMP, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and he would know what to do.



I Liked

One of the larger limbs was pressing into the ground as if the tree was trying to push itself up.
*Star* Nice image!

*Star* Chapter ending!



Storytelling

The tracks nearby suggested that a bulldozer had pushed the tree over while clearing the area for a parking lot.
*Question* I understand how she could know that a bulldozer did it, but how would she know it was cleared for a parking lot?

"Look at the bright side. Bad things only happen in threes.
*Question*Why would Jill think that bad things happen in 3s? I’m just wondering where that belief comes from?

I was in the locker room changing and I saw a man spying on me. At least I think he was spying on me.
*Question*Is she supposed to be lying? She wasn’t in the locker room, I thought it was the bathroom. Also, why would she say he was spying?

Sitting on the stair, she rubbed her knee until the pain subsided.
*Question*She’s scared someone dangerous might be in the house, and she sits until the pain subsides?

Had the man returned for her?
*Question*For me what happens at the end is exciting. However, I think it would have ended more exciting if you’d left the question off and let me think “Oh, did the man come back?”


Rating reflects...

*Bullet* The ending
*Bullet* Nice suspense


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7
7
Rated: 13+ | (4.5)
*Gift1* Thank you for giving a review to "The Gahazen Stone Saga. I thought I’d return the favor. *Gift1*


Formatting, Paragraphs, Sentence Structure, and Wording

but she had nothing to put on it, he could not keep laudanum down.
*Right* Conjunction
but she had nothing to put on it, and he could not keep laudanum down.

His fever was so high, and yet he did not sweat! … Some people said tiny animals caused infection, and that they were in everything!
*Right* These two exclaimed statements are pretty close together. Seeing emotion (indicated by the exclamation marks) in narrative, but not in the voice of the character, gives the impression to me that the author is telling me something, not the character.


Carter! or Rausch, or Giroux.
*Right* Odd punctuation


Mr. Andersen:
We found these cattle dead near our pond. We were so tempted by the meat that we gave in and ate some of it, but it isn't ours. Please send us a bill for the missing portion.
Mrs. Jack Thomas

*Right* Suggestion- can you make this stand out by italicizing it?


"You accusing me?”" Wortheim
*Right* Typo
"You accusing me?" Wortheim



I Liked

used her flatiron to cauterize the bullet wound in his leg.
*Star* Wonderful vocabulary choices!

She continued to sit next to the bed, occasionally sponging his forehead, but sometime near midnight, Jack's hand lost its warmth and stiffened in her grasp.
*Shock* What a wonderful opening! You make me want to read the rest of this. And for me, a struggling writer and a reading teacher, that’s a big deal. I read a lot, all kinds of stuff- from reviewing, editing, to books for my kids. So for my to finish the prologue and already decide I have to read the rest, that’s a big deal.

The last thin pillow was uncomfortable, and she thought absently that she would have to start saving feathers again from the chickens to make new ones.
*Star* Little thoughts like this help make the piece more time-line authentic.



Storytelling

went inside to prepare supper, and sent Luke out to milk the cow, feed and water the animals and to settle them for the night, and to bring wood in.
*Question*At this point in my reading, I still don’t know who Luke is.

*Star* By the beginning of chapter 3 I realized that I had no physical description of Ruth or Blake. No hair or eye color. Chapter 1, while in the house with body, would be a good time to describe Ruth.


This is a great story. I can tell you’ve worked on it, and revised it many times. I do hope you have serious plans for this! *Smile*. I know you said if people email you, you’ll provide the pdf version (*Star*which I’ll read if you send it!) , but I hope you’re trying to publish it. Bah- I don’t even like cowboys or romances, and here you have me thinking this could be a Lifetime Movie!



Rating reflects...

*Bullet* Very interesting piece. Makes me want to read more!



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8
8
Rated: E | (3.0)
Title: The Tree on the Dike
Chapter: 2
Author:

Formatting, Paragraphs, Sentence Structure, and Wording

*Star*Nothing popped out at me!*Star*

I Liked

Susan pointed to the place where the grass stopped and the red, iron-rich mud of the Minus Basin began.
*Star* Your description of the dike.


Storytelling

The sound of the man's breathing grew closer with each passing second. The smell of rancid meat was everywhere.
*Question*It took seconds for the man to cross the space, or moments? Also, where is the smell coming from? There is obvious source. Is it the man? His skin? His hair? His breath? His body? I think more description here will help.

Ms. Kennedy, the gym teacher, was framed in the doorway. The light behind her white blouse and short, light brown hair made her look like an angel.
*Question*Why is a gym teacher wearing a blouse?

"You look pretty shaken up. You should go home and rest. If you hurry, you might still catch your bus."
*Question*Did the teacher believe her? If she did, wouldn’t she do more?

"Could you let me and my friend off at the next corner?" Susan asked.
"Fine. Now please sit down."

*Question*I know this is fiction, but you’re targeting young people. Somethings just don’t happen, and are more farfetched than a cat man attacking you in the bathroom *Bigsmile*. For example, once you get on a school bus, the driver won’t just let you off on the corner.

The grass keeps the water from eroding the gravel away
*Question*Does grass keep the gravel from eroding (“to wear away by the action of water, wind, or glacial ice” – Merriam-Webster Dictionary) or washing away. Water can actually erode gravel? Or would it wash it down the hill? (maybe water can erode the dike)

Some of the roots still grabbed at the earth in an attempt to stay alive. It looked so sad and crippled that Susan felt sorry for it.
*Question*This ending didn’t really peek for me. It didn’t end on a note where I had to turn the page. For me as a reader, that’s very important for the first few chapters. Before chapter 4 or 5, I’m not really committed to reading a whole story. A week chapter ending may make it so I just put the book down. You did an excellent job with thin on chapter 1 *Smile*. Is there something you can do here?


Rating reflects...

*Bullet* Couldn’t see any mechanical problems
*Bullet* A few storyline questions.



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9
9
Rated: E | (3.5)
Title: The Tree on the Dike
Chapter: 1
Author:


Formatting, Paragraphs, Sentence Structure, and Wording

A cat, with fur as black as a shadow,
*Right* This was a hard image for me. How can fur be a shadow?


She's here, he thought, I can smell her.
*Right* A nice way a lot of writers distinguish internal dialogue, to cut down on reader confusion, is to either set it as a stand along paragraph, or put it in italics.
She's here, he thought, I can smell her.

"Sorry sis."
*Right* Comma
"Sorry, sis."

Susan looked him over, noticing the ripped knees on his jeans and grass stains on his muscle shirt. "Have you been fighting again? Wait until I tell Mother."
*Right* Muscle shirt? *Laugh* I haven’t seen one of those in a while. Anyways- I think what got me here was that “Mother”. If these two are from the same family, and he says “sis” (informal) instead of “sister”, why is this tenth grader, with low academics, speaking so properly? Another words, why not “mom”?


Susan reached into a front pocket of her faded jeans
*Right* Faded jeans? When did this happen? I think the specifics on clothing might age this piece faster. If the cycle of fashion says faded jeans are out when someone picks up the book, you might run the risk of them thinking “When was this published?”


Besides, I need to concentrate on my studies.
*Question*What public school kids says they have to concentrate on “studies”. I’m talking terminology here.




I Liked

She only realized the washroom light was off when everything went
*Star* Nice ending. It was just about this time I was thinking, what happened to that darn cat? I like how you started with the cat, and ended with the cat (who is really a man, right)?


Storytelling

A mixed aroma of cooked food and perfume assaulted the friends as they entered the cafeteria.
*Question*Why perfume?

Now she was in school with Fiona for another whole year
*Question*I didn’t get the feeling that Susan was a freshman from the first part. If she just started school, this part makes sense. I would just make that more clear earlier in the story. If this takes place, even a week into school, the sentence "Looks like you finally made it into Horton." doesn’t make any sense.

I thought you enjoyed being chased around the schoolyard."
*Question*And 11th grader is going to threaten to chase someone around the school yard?


Rating reflects...

*Bullet* Few mechanical things
*Bullet* Nice ending makes me want to read chapter 2


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10
10
Rated: 13+ | (3.5)
Formatting, Paragraphs, Sentence Structure, and Wording

Ariane stood in the ankle deep water of the lake staring across the horizon as the sun bled into the patched blue sky,
*Right* A whole lot of “the” going on here. A bit pattern-y.


There was more but the more she tried to remember, the more they slipped away, grains of sand sliding through her fingers.
*Right* I found some pieces a bit choppy. I think it’s because I’m used to more transition words for fluency. I also found some comma placement issues in here. For example, here
There was more, but the more she tried to remember the more they slipped away, like grains of sand sliding through her fingers.

The battles frightened her and she feared that the Gods that ruled their worlds had chosen her as a Seer.
*Right*Adding a word here would help with clarification, so the reader doesn’t have to think to realize were still talking about dreams.
The battle scenes frightened her and she feared that the Gods that ruled their worlds had chosen her as a Seer.

To rebel meant banishment, to be sent into the scorching desert where none returned.
*Right*Wording and punctuation.
To rebel meant banishment, to be sent into the scorching desert, form where none returned.

It looks worse this year, did you bring excess supplies should it last longer?”
*Right*Punctuation
It looks worse this year. Did you bring excess supplies should it last longer?”

smiling at her mothers worry
*Right*Punctuation
smiling at her mother’s worry

Yes, the Seer has already warned us, we have gathered enough supplies to get us through the next two weeks.
*Right*Punctuation
Yes, the Seer has already warned us. We have gathered enough supplies to get us through the next two weeks

after us, ‘the Thirteen shall awaken soon’.
*Right*Punctuation
after us, ‘The Thirteen shall awaken soon’.

Ariane’s mind drifted off, why were the Thirteen at the gorge?
*Right*Punctuation
Ariane’s mind drifted off. Why were the Thirteen at the gorge?


I Liked

*Star* Very dark. I love the whole storm, battle of the gods thing. Very good imagery! You’ve successfully made me wonder enough times “Who are these Thirteen anyways?” that I’d definitely read on.


Some things that may need work

*Bullet* The first paragraph is so long. It’s a solid block of writing. Scary! If I opened a book full of small writing with the first paragraph being so big I might pull it down mumbling how it’d take me two years to finish the book. I personally find modern ADD society can’t take long unbroken text like this. They might if their fully into the story already, but presenting something this long and unbroken in the first paragraph might not be such a good idea.

There are lots of places for fluid paragraph breaks. For example:
Her auburn hair whipped in the wind that blew from the East as gentle voices called on the air, reminding her of the voices in her dreams.
*Paragraph* Her dreams bothered her, the dreams of the Swords and of the haunting figures swathed in cloth.


and

the scorching desert where none returned.
*Paragraph* Ariane’s thoughts were broken by a cry, far away.


*Bullet*Respacing the piece for more blank space, putting space between lines, will really help the overall appearance of the piece. Sounds crazy, but if your pieces doesn’t look easy to read, with lots of blank space and a easily recognizable format, less people will read it, no matter how good it is. Go figure.



Storytelling

Thoughts occurred in broken fragments, memories from lives that weren’t hers.
*Question* I read a fragmented sentence giving the idea of fragmented thought. However, I had to read this a few times to understand what you were saying. The possibility that others would do this is especially dangerous because this is the first sentence of the first chapter. You might want to make sure this first part is so crystal, a person wouldn’t possibly put your book down because their first few lines were confusing.

*Question* Do you need three sentences in the opening paragraph to describe the sky?

Ariane’s mind drifted off, why were the Thirteen at the gorge? Ariane sighed, she did not even know what they were. Figures from history, dead, but why wouldn’t they stay dead?
*Question* Doesn’t Ariane know what the Thirteen are? If she doesn’t, why would she first be questioning why there were at the gorge. Maybe they have business at the gorge. Shouldn’t her main question be “Who or What?” not “Why?”

If she does know what the Thirteen are, why doesn’t the boy talk like he knows what they are too? And how come I, the reader, and still a bit hazy on it? I’m getting this EarthSea forbidden door vibe off the story. That’s just a guess though, because it isn’t that clear to me yet.



Rating reflects...

*Bullet* A few formatting and punctuation things
*Bullet* Nice overall overtone to the story: dark, mysterious, and electrifying.

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11
11
Review of Chapter 3: Rescue  
Rated: 13+ | (3.0)
Chapter number: 3


Punctuation and grammar problems:

About an hour of traveling passed before Prescott finally broke the silence, “We must stray from this path and head to
*Right*Punctuation
About an hour of traveling passed before Prescott finally broke the silence. “We must stray from this path and head to

His name is Vision and is my second sight.”
*Right*Wording
His name is Vision and he is my second sight.”

Plot problems and Questions:

*Bullet* I don’t understand the purpose of that opening, which appears before the first time-lapse break. It is short, and provides no information or addition to the storyline.

*Question* Why isn’t Jonathon, who appears to be a nobleman, most likely trained to fight, close to the king, and possibly in love with Anne, going? I still have no idea why the king would trust these random volunteers to return his daughter safely.

They began to travel down the laid path in front of them.
*Question* How did they know which way to go? And why, if they knew where to go, would they spend the night feasting and sleeping instead of instantly going after her? She is in danger, right?

“Seriously now, let’s just head in there and see what we can find. It’s obvious that there is something of worth here and that others are also interested in whatever that may be.”
*Question* Why is that obvious? It’s a temple. All you said was people entered the temple. That’s not too unusal, is it? Unless it’s an old, abandoned temple- which it turns out to be. But you don’t let us in on that until after he says this. You may want to describe the building’s exterior.

“You ok, lad?” Grom said
*Question* Change of dialogue pattern… why is Grom using “lad” in this chapter so much? He never said it before, did he? If he did, maybe it’s just more concentrated here.



General comments:

His name is Vision and is my second sight.”
I like comment on things I read if they remind me vividly of something else- just in case you were inspired by something mainstream that most readers would pick up on. And that connection isn’t always a good thing. As I read this In instantly thought BeastMaster. Have you seen that? If not, you might want to investigate, because so far Prescott is a fairytale version of Dar. The movie/series may inspire you, or you might need to switch it up a bit so they aren’t too similar. I hoping Prescott doesn’t cozy up to a wolf and some rodent-like creatures in the forest.

Faded paintings of angelic beings
I just found this odd, because usually stories with fairies/elves don’t have angel references, and visa-versa.

*Star* Nice Orc description

More description of princess Anne’s reaction to being rescued would be nice.



My own personal opinion:

I’m starting to get a feeling for your fairytale-like style. I love the Grimm Brothers. Have you read the originals? Might be some inspiration if you haven’t.

I’m surprised to see Anne rescued so quickly. So surprised that I think I’ll read the next chapter to see where you’re going with the storyline.



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12
12
Rated: 13+ | (3.0)
Title: The War of Heroes
Author: The Lemon
Chapter number: 2


Punctuation and grammar problems:

The last of the plates were sitting beside it.
*Right*Was

“My lord,” Prescott’s voice rose from across the table, “What can you tell us
*Right*Lowercase “what”


Plot problems:

To make it perfectly clear that Grom has a daydream sequence, I would place everything he is imagining, including the dialogue in italics.



Questions:

Only two questions thus far: A king and a Lord, two powerful men, have lost someone near to them. When organizing the search party they don’t even attempt to find the best fighters in the land, or the most skilled among the guard. They just walk into town and ask for volunteers? I don’t understand why he would do that- it’s the kings daughter. Wouldn’t they attempt to recruit the best of the best instead of just taking the willing volunteers? And even if they did take the willing volunteers, wouldn’t they be under the direct supervision of multiple skilled leaders?

Only Prescott and Cloey showed themselves to have any unusual skill set that would earn them a spot on a very important mission like this. I have no idea why Grom or Isac are being received so well as heroes when there is no proof they are anything out of the ordinary.

Also, second question: If whatever it is that took the girl is dangerous enough to takeout anything in it’s path single-handedly, why aren’t these four scared, or at least considering the danger? You give no indication that they care about this monster thing at all.


General comments:

I noticed some redundancy with you using the same word/wording in consecutive sentences. For example:
A worn wooden desk sat against one of the walls, covered in dirty dishes, empty bottles of ale, and a few rolled up pieces of paper. A few discarded articles of clothing lie strewn about the floor, which looked as though it hadn’t been swept in weeks.
*Right*It is done often, and I didn’t know if it was a subconscious repetition- so just to make you aware.

His eyes that were once stern and menacing seemed calm.
*Right*Saying his eyes were “once” some way indicates a long-term continual state of being; as my hair was once long. We only met him once, and on that one instance his eyes looked like that. I’m sure that they didn’t always look like that. Here, saying his eyes formally were or some other word change would make more sense.



My own personal opinion:

*Star*Favorite line: “Oh baby, I knew you couldn’t resist...” Isac mumbled in his slumber.

I’m still wondering about why these four are the best candidates for this mission. I think that needs some flushing out in chapters 1 and 2 to make it more believable.

Also, I’d still really like to know what this big, scary thing is that kidnapped the princess. Knowing this, having some preinstalled dread from chapter 1, will make me appreciate more what these four are going up against.

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13
13
Rated: 13+ | (3.5)
Title: The War of Heroes
Author: The Lemon
Chapter number: 1


Punctuation and grammar problems:

As the sun was rising from the east, the last of the stars fled from sight.
*Right* Extra wordy.
As the sun rose from the east, the last of the stars fled from sight.

They passed by the doors of the only inn the town had.
*Right*The word “had” isn’t needed, and it sounds odd hanging at the end there.

While some were at the tavern, the majority of the people were going about their normal business.
*Right*I suggest, for clarity, you move the subject of the sentence into the first portion.
While some people were at the tavern, the majority were going about their normal business.

The potential customer’s mouth began to water, as if he could almost taste the fruit’s sweet juices.
*Right*His mouth either watered “as if he could taste the fruit’s sweet juices” or “he could almost taste the fruit’s sweet juices” You’ve combined two hypothetical here.

She sat herself down
*Right*Having her do an action to herself sounds awkward. It would be OK in dialogue, but not in narration.

“Mmm...nummy yummy!” she squeaked

The one who looked more most important stood in the middle of the now cleared square.

Out Our King is worried beyond compare

At the gates stood two guards and Sir Jonathon, himself.
*Right*The “himself” isn’t needed, and sounds awkward at the end of the sentence.

What gives you any right to confront me in this state!
*Right*I really don’t think that he’s confronting him.

Plot problems:

Nothing thus far.


Questions:

A few of the early morning patrons were just getting up to stagger to their small, quaint cottages,
*Right*Would you call them early morning patrons if they had been there all night?

*Question* Why so many dwarfs? If there is no reason, I’d make the barmaid a regular sized person, because this pattern is distracting.


General comments:

I had a bit of trouble following who was doing what along the middle. Right after Isac got kicked out the tavern the POV.


My own personal opinion:

Seems interesting so far. I think the thing that’s drawing me into reading chapter 2 the most is that one man did all that damage.

Speaking of damage- you’d automatically make the villain “scary” by showing us the damage. You say there are some bodies. How many? Are they soldiers or townspeople? That makes a difference. Why aren’t people mourning? Any structural damage to buildings? Adding information like this will make the story stronger.


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14
14
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
Formatting, Paragraphs, Sentence Structure, and Wording

As she walked down the hall, Misty quickly looked over the Archmage's list again
*Right*Lowercase Archmage because it’s not accompanied by a name

To think of the years she had struggled to teach herself the few words she had known, and he had given her this gift in minutes!
*Right*this wording sounds a bit odd

Misty headed down to the kitchens.
*Right*multiple kitchens?

A Gorangan priest stood in the doorway, its filthy brown robes stained with rust-colored marks; its drawn hood concealing its face in shadow.
*Right*Not an “its” because it’s a person.

"Little man," the priest hissed, "You will be the first to die!"
*Right*Capitalization
"Little man," the priest hissed, "you will be the first to die!"

The entire main road between the Keep and the market was a solid mass of brown robes.
*Right*What is “the Keep” and why is it capped?


Storytelling

She found her friend up to her elbows in soapy water with the other scullery maids, scrubbing breakfast dishes. Before she could say a word to her, she was enveloped in a giant, floury hug.
*Question* Why a “floury” hug when her friend in dealing with water? Shouldn’t it be a wet hug? Shouldn’t any flour be a pasty residue?

the priest thing's hand
*Right*Refering to what’s obviously a man, as a “thing” with no detailed explanation sounds odd and choppy- like you don’t have words to describe it. You’re a writer; you should be able to give a description. If you do that the reader will make the conversion that it’s inhuman.

Misty smiled and started to relax her spell as Kris climbed to her feet.
*Right*I don’t understand what happened here and why Misty is smiling. I think this needs clarification.

*Star* Excellent chapter ending… perfect level of suspense introduced!


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PS- I;ll probably get to section 6 this week *Smile* Just because I want to read ahead... lol
15
15
Rated: E | (4.0)
First, welcome to writing.com *Smile*

Formatting, Paragraphs, Sentence Structure, and Wording

*Paragraph* Be careful of your spacing. There should be a empty line between two paragraphs. This is just easier on the reader’s eyes

The dinner train has been in continuous operation since 1995, with year–round Saturday departures from Dillsboro, N.C., located just two hours from Greenville.
*Right*Need a transition word
The dinner train has been in continuous operation since 1995, with year–round Saturday departures from Dillsboro, N.C., which located just two hours from Greenville.

The south side of The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is just a short scenic drive from the railroad and the Cherokee Indian Reservation and casino are located just 15 minutes away.
*Right*The way you use the word “and” here confuses. That’s because you have two different ideas in here, and they aren’t written like they are separate. Try this
The south side of The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is just a short scenic drive from the railroad. The Cherokee Indian Reservation and casino are located just 15 minutes away.

He counts diners requesting his autograph on the printed menus and giving him standing ovations at the end of dinner among the best compliments he has received.
*Right*This was a bit confusing at first, because the “meat” of the sentence is at the end. I’m asking myself “what is he counting?” until the last few words. Therefore, I suggest you flip it!
He counts among the best compliments he has received diners requesting his autograph on the printed menus and standing ovations at the end of dinner.

"Long a destination in itself for special occasions and celebrations, the dinner train presents the perfect backdrop," said Kim Lyons, marketing manager, GSMR.
*Right* Two problems with this attribution- first, it needs to be mechanically correct. That means the grammars a bit off. Second, while I know what GSMR stands for, but you haven’t used it until now. After the first written out title, you should start using the abbreviations right then, not after writing the entire title out two or three times and then switch.

Wedding parties have chartered entire cars, and proposals, birthdays and anniversaries have been feted in their turn.
*Right*Punctuation
Wedding parties have chartered entire cars; and proposals, birthdays and anniversaries have been feted in their turn.

who celebrated her 50th wedding anniversary with husband, James, June 12.
*Right*Wording
who celebrated her 50th wedding anniversary with husband, James, on June 12.


I Liked

*Star* The first line- strong start!

*Star* Most of the quotation choices

*Star* Subject matter

*Star* Food description


Some things that may need work

*Bullet*I would love to see some environment description. You point out that besides the food, the scenery is one of the reasons people love to dine on the train. Ok, so what does that scenery look like?


Storytelling

Not applicable


Rating reflects…

*Bullet* Some mechanical problems
*Bullet* Great food essay
*Bullet* Strong introductory line
*Bullet* Need for more description


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16
16
Rated: E | (4.0)
First, welcome to writing.com *Smile*

Formatting, Paragraphs, Sentence Structure, and Wording

*Paragraph* Be careful of your spacing. There should be a empty line between two paragraphs. This is just easier on the reader’s eyes

The dinner train has been in continuous operation since 1995, with year–round Saturday departures from Dillsboro, N.C., located just two hours from Greenville.
*Right*Need a transition word
The dinner train has been in continuous operation since 1995, with year–round Saturday departures from Dillsboro, N.C., which located just two hours from Greenville.

The south side of The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is just a short scenic drive from the railroad and the Cherokee Indian Reservation and casino are located just 15 minutes away.
*Right*The way you use the word “and” here confuses. That’s because you have two different ideas in here, and they aren’t written like they are separate. Try this
The south side of The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is just a short scenic drive from the railroad. The Cherokee Indian Reservation and casino are located just 15 minutes away.

He counts diners requesting his autograph on the printed menus and giving him standing ovations at the end of dinner among the best compliments he has received.
*Right*This was a bit confusing at first, because the “meat” of the sentence is at the end. I’m asking myself “what is he counting?” until the last few words. Therefore, I suggest you flip it!
He counts among the best compliments he has received diners requesting his autograph on the printed menus and standing ovations at the end of dinner.

"Long a destination in itself for special occasions and celebrations, the dinner train presents the perfect backdrop," said Kim Lyons, marketing manager, GSMR.
*Right* Two problems with this attribution- first, it needs to be mechanically correct. That means the grammars a bit off. Second, while I know what GSMR stands for, but you haven’t used it until now. After the first written out title, you should start using the abbreviations right then, not after writing the entire title out two or three times and then switch.

Wedding parties have chartered entire cars, and proposals, birthdays and anniversaries have been feted in their turn.
*Right*Punctuation
Wedding parties have chartered entire cars; and proposals, birthdays and anniversaries have been feted in their turn.

who celebrated her 50th wedding anniversary with husband, James, June 12.
*Right*Wording
who celebrated her 50th wedding anniversary with husband, James, on June 12.


I Liked

*Star* The first line- strong start!

*Star* Most of the quotation choices

*Star* Subject matter

*Star* Food description


Some things that may need work

*Bullet*I would love to see some environment description. You point out that besides the food, the scenery is one of the reasons people love to dine on the train. Ok, so what does that scenery look like?


Storytelling

Not applicable


Rating reflects…

*Bullet* Some mechanical problems
*Bullet* Great food essay
*Bullet* Strong introductory line
*Bullet* Need for more description


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17
17
Rated: 13+ | (3.5)
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Formatting, Paragraphs, Sentence Structure, and Wording

The Archmage stood in the open doorway
*Right*I just noticed, sometimes you capitalize “Archmage” and sometimes you don’t. Since you plan on giving us a name for him, then the “a” should be lower except if it’s accompanied by his name, just like the capitalization rule used for the pope.

her state of undress
*Right*Sounds odd. I don’t think I’ve ever heard the phrasing “state of undress” I’ve heard naked, in the buff, nude, birthday suite, all-natural- Hump, never “state of undress” though. I like it. Maybe I’ll start saying it. I don’t, however, think it sounds right here.

"My dear Baron," he scribbled down, "Again
*Right*Lowercase “a”

Your appear to have a bit of mage blood
*Right*You


I Liked

*Star* The mind-to-mind learning- very cool!

*Star* The way she attracts him


Some things that may need work

*Bullet* Once again, chapter lengths are irregular from one to the next/


Storytelling

looked up to see Mistral standing over him with a tray of food
*Right*Who’s Mistral?

"Would that I could have that burned, but yes, do have it cleaned. I shall unfortunately need it again to impress the councilors tomorrow with my grand self-importance."

"Thank you, sir."

*Right*Why would she say “thank you”? He didn’t give her anything.

For me, I like that Kai is attracted to Misty. In fact, I really like they way he feels her and it’s breaking his concentration. I do think it’s a bit much right at the end when he’s daydreaming about her. I mean, a big powerful, important man like him daydreaming in the first place seems a bit out of character. But then on top of that, he is doing so on the beginning of the second day? Just seems a bit out of character for the type of guy you’ve built so far.

Overall, though, still loving the story. Very intrested in seeing how Kai and Misty progress!

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18
18
Rated: 13+ | (3.5)
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Formatting, Paragraphs, Sentence Structure, and Wording

He entered behind her and placed her small bundle of possessions on the bed.
*Right* It sounds odd to use the word “her” so close together

*Question* Did I already mention the capitalization of words meaning YELLING and not emphasis? I think so, but just in case.

He was soooo handsome and the magic and all..
*Right*One too many periods, unless you meant an ellipse, in which case it’s one too few. However, if you mean an ellipse, the proper punctuation here would be a hyphen (-)

She smelled something foul, like slops left too long in the hot sun.
*Right*Because you have a star-line directly preceding this, indicating a change in time or space, I would start this sentence with her name- just to make sure the reader is correctly oriented
Misty smelled something foul, like slops left too long in the hot sun.

Blood red eyes looked down
*Right*blood-red

The robes
*Right*Unless he’s wearing more than one, singular


I Liked

*Star* Misty’s new friend

*Star*The fact that Misty must only be in service for seven years- adds a new layer to the story

*Star* Hint of her powers


Some things that may need work

*Bullet* For me, that evil guy you painted wasn’t all the scary. It might just be because I’m all sci-fi and fantasy’ed out- but a robed guy with flaming eyes and maggots sounds, well, “done.” I dunno. If you want to scare the bejesus *Shock* out of me, it’s going to have to be something else. What? I dunno? If, however, this is more like a Harry Potter targeted audience, where it’s adults, young adults and juveniles, this description might be just fine.

*Bullet* Something I’m currently working on with my book too- chapter size. A chapter that’s 6K in size is pretty short. Not much happens here. I actually think combining it with chapter 2 may work well.


Storytelling

See point on chapter length.


- YOLI *Smile*
19
19
Rated: ASR | (1.0)
I had to respond to this poll, as in send comments.

First, just so you know where I’m coming from, I’m a sociology student, which means I’m mind is stuffed full of analytical thinking on social issues and “how to” write surveys from class.

There are a few red flags in the wording of your poll that will skew your results.

Thousands of illegal aliens pour into the U.S. every year, bloating our cities with an ever-expanding population of proven lawbreakers.
*Right*So, the survey writer is anti-illegal alien? Very strong American nationalist? Has a few stereotypes, to say the least, about illegal aliens? Even if you say “No I don’t!” your words say otherwise. The phrase bloating our cities is negative and assumes that the poll-reader has as strong a connection to the “cities” you indicate. What if I live in Little Rock, Ark. Do I have the same knowledge and feelings as people, say in LA? Not really.

Also, that proven lawbreakers. I’m not getting into the politics of it, because that’s a sociological debate not needed in the review, but just a point. You do realize there is a very negative image you’re putting out here that you say is proven, but really is a blanketed unproven statement that is probably more “wrong” than “right”?

Some feel their presence damages legitimate markets in regards to fair wages.
*Right*Some, you? The previous sentence tells me the poll-makers view.

Others think that it's their right to seek a better life.
*Right*”Others” is a distancing word which pushes a group away.

Who ultimately gains from an infusion of illegals?
*Right*Infusion? Once again a word that carries with it a negative connotation in this setting.

The poll choices don’t reflect all options. Gee, I could give you a list.

I reason I wrote this is because people don’t understand how difficult survey writing is! The slightest indication of partiality by the poll writer in one-way or the other will tint results. People who have opposing views from you’re or who disagree with where your coming from may simply not take the survey, distrusting the reason for it's creation and what the poller will do with the results. Thus, no matter how many people take the survey, it isn’t accurate because it doesn’t represent a population that does exists, but simply decided to opt-out of sharing their view.

Here’s and example of a tint survey with a similar to yours:
Should ILLEGAL ALIENS be given citizen status or deported?
First, take note of the words they choose to put in caps. The results said 96% of those surveyed said deport all illegal aliens. It’s results are tinted because of who took the survey; if you'd try to base any assumptions on it you'd probably be well off the pulse of society. But the survey was given by the GOPUSA to members and interested parties. Yeah a conservative group would get that finding!
http://www.gopusa.com/california/pollvault/040104_...


Also, you’re results might be tinted, because as I said, you’re missing a whole lot of options. For example, I’d argue that the US government itself benefits the most from the illegal alien issue. Followed closely by the agricultural sector in particular. Did you know some are forced to be slaves in fields or in the adult entertainment sector? One would never guess many illegal aliens are actually harmed when the come here, and from the tone of your poll, one would never guess.

I do, however, applaud you for placing such a topic in the community. Open discussion of social issues is the only way the world will become a better place! I would love you to share your thoughts in an article! Also I’d love to see the results of a carefully written poll on this subject!


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20
20
Review of Let me be  
Rated: 13+ | (2.5)
Interesting poem. Seems a bit personal though. The reason I say this is not because the material is personal, because hey, the best writing often comes from the inner bowels of the soul, right?

The reason I say this is because there are a lot of gaping holes that indicate to me this is meant to be read by someone who knows what you are talking about.

For example, to the line’Don’t remember us in Scotland ‘ I reply: No I don’t. That has no meaning for me. But the person you and the person who you’re writing this to do remember Scotland. I have no idea what happened there.

Because it’s so vague, a child or an adult could have written this poem. This would give off two very different emotions, so I’m left not knowing how to feel.

While I don’t think this necessarily needs editing if it’s written for someone, as the intended party may feel the full power of the poem, I’ll suggest something based on the premise you want others to read and fully grasp the piece.

Suggestions
*Snow2* Clarify who the speaker is
*Snow2* remember who your readers are, and that they don’t know the underlying story or emotions attached to it. You need to guide us with your words so there is no confusion on how the writer feels. When we clearly understand your feelings, we’ll reaction emotional in the way you’d like.


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21
21
Rated: E | (3.0)
Formatting, Paragraphs, Sentence Structure, and Wording


Other times, they would confuse him just to get him out of their hair.
*Right*Do you mean they would refuse him?

Hope had long ago given up hope on getting her five dollars back, which was okay.
*Right*Even though one is her name, it sounds odd to use ‘hope’ twice in the sentence. A thesaurus would give lots of other powerful words you could replace the second one with.


Storytelling

Interesting story. I kinda knew what was happening, so I hope you’re not going for suspense, because it’s lost on me. Maybe because I’m a writer and my mind is trained to unravel and predict stories. Maybe a non-writer wouldn’t foreshadow as accurately. Don’t know. Maybe have some people off site read it and see if they could do the same.

Nice moral. It always works, so good choice. Produced a good emotional pull.


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22
22
Rated: 13+ | (3.0)
Formatting, Paragraphs, Sentence Structure, and Wording

He'd been drawn to her when he'd first seen her standing there in the courtyard
*Right*Use of “he’d” so close together, and grammar, and unnecessary word.
He'd been drawn to her when he first saw her standing in the courtyard
*Star*You actually use “he’d” a lot in concentrated areas throughout this chapter and it sounds a bit odd. Maybe look for places where you say “he’d” twice in the same sentence and try to eliminate one.

Touching her then had been a mistake.
*Right*The word “then” isn’t needed, and is a bit confusing, because it brings up the unnecessary question: touched her when?

Although, they'd probably be pleased if his mission failed.
*Right*This is a incomplete sentence.

Kaimana inwardly winced--laying it on a little thick there, Kai...
*Right*I’d italicize the internal dialogue


Storytelling

He approached the Baron's strategy room.
*Question* He sort of just “appeared” via magic at the bidding- how come he didn’t just pop back into the meeting room with the Baron the same way?

This chapter ends kind of abruptly. I was actually really shocked when I came to the end. Somehow I feel like it was wrapped up or concluded. I think, mostly, it’s because compared to the first chapter it’s very short. Section 1 is 3,668 words in comparison to the 993 words in Section 2. That means chapter one is 2 2/3 longer than chapter 2. That’s a big difference. I’m not a stickler for chapter lengths and stuff, as you could plainly see from my own book, however this is too big a jump from chapter 1 to chapter 2. I’d consider lengthening it- maybe it merges into the next chapter? Also, the way this chapter ends isn’t too exciting or alluring. I think the last words would have more punch if you fill in the background and add a bit of images of just what this Scourge is, and who the Gorangas are, and why mages have a problem with their piece. This is really an ideal chapter to filter in information to build suspense that would launch us through the rest of the book. And, as I said, you have lots of room to do this in!

I really like you female lead- did I say that already. Maybe, *Idea*, you can jump back to her and looking at his back as her new master walks way. How does she feel? That would be real intresting.

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23
23
Rated: 13+ | (4.0)
Formatting, Paragraphs, Sentence Structure, and Wording


Misty tucked the mirror into the small bundle of belongings she had packed. Not much, just the silver mirror and comb, her work dress, a few pretty stones, her needles and thread, and a stale heel of bread for her noon meal. Those, and the clothes on her back, were all she had to show for seventeen years of drudgery.
*Right*The chosen adjective “those” sounds odd to referring to a group of dissimilar items listed in a completely different sentence. When I read the paragraph aloud it sounded odd t o the ear.



Not here, silent, still, not here, she thought.
*Right*For the sake of clarity I’d put all her thoughts she’s imposing on others in italics, or create some other formatting standard to make this non-verbal dialogue standout.

baron of Tiassa.
*Right*I’m not sure, but I think there is a difference between capitalization rules for US politicians and royalty titles. While the word “president” is lowercase if not accompanied immediately by the person’s name, I think in the case of royalty as long as the title is followed directly by location it’s capitalized. As in “duke” standing alone, OK. But “Duke of Earl” is a capital “D” because that whole thing referrers to one particular person, and acts as a title replacing his proper name.
Baron of Tiassa.

It was early yet and most were street vendors and cookcarts, jostling for the best positions lining the edges of the thoroughfare leading to the castle.
*Right*This sentence, standing alone, is confusing. The “most” doesn’t refer to anything contained in this sentences- it refers back the “crowd” mentioned in the last sentences. So basically, either join the sentences or add a few words to this one so you don’t get confused and jump backwards to re-read the last sentence for clarity.

You would be wasted on the Servant's guild
*Right*Capitalization

"Yes, the robes ARE a bit much,
*Right*Since caps online means yelling, and you want to indicate an emphasized word, I’d change the caps to italics. Same for where caps occurs elsewhere.


Storytelling

Closing her eyes, she concentrated, feeling the headache begin to build behind her eyes.
*Right*I know it’s not the same thing, but as a migraine suffer I never say I feel a headache building; I always describe it using adjectives or adjective phrases like “pressure” or “throbbing pain.” I think most chronic headache suffers do. Changing up the descriptive lingo will not only make it more believable, it will also make the reader understand from the very first instance what affect the headaches have. This is especially important if she is going to use her powers and get a similar, or worse, headache later. It makes up sympathetic because we have a better understanding, or description, than the simple one word “headache.” Later on you use things like “blinding” to describe the pain, but you might be able to make this dimension to the story more of an impact with a description that occurs earlier and uses more descriptive language.

*Star* I love the way you describe the Guild process and the position of servants; also the difference between servants and slaves. Well done.


He smiled again and Misty watched him uneasily as he joined the crowd of other bidders.

***************************************

At noon, the guards began pushing the great gates closed so bidding could commence.

*Right*I don’t think you need to indicate a time lapse. What has it been, two or three hours? I think simply stating ”At Noon” is enough. You use it later on also, and there the time lapse is only a few minutes. You’re in the same location with minimal time lapsed. Unless it’s just a personal style thing, you don’t really need the break.

Well, I don’t read many romances, so this should be interesting. At first I thought this was a fantasy-Cinderella: but you’ve taken it to a completely different place. Bully for you. I like the guilds set up, I like Jesse, and I can’t wait to see where this goes.


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24
24
Review of beastiarii  
Rated: 18+ | (1.5)
Formatting, Paragraphs, Sentence Structure, and Wording

the lions!" the lanista told his Gladiators.
*Right*Small “g” for Gladiators because it’s non-specific

You Bestiarii push the hunt with your spears.
*Right*The name “Bestiarii” is an appositive (it follows a pronoun and restates it, namely “you”). Therefore you need to use commas
You, Bestiarii, push the hunt with your spears.

Do not! Get caught in the open by yourself!
*Right*Punctuation and capitalization
Do not get caught in the open by yourself!

every inch of sand in the arena.
The gates were pulled open and the Bestiarii…

*Paragraph* Spacing between paragraphs

Tigers, Lions, bears chained to bulls,
*Right*Lowercase “l” for lions

elephants, and gazelle.
*Right*No comma, and the plural, since all the other animals are polarized, is gazelles

the deadly combat quickly turned from Animal versus animal, to animal preying on man.
*Right*Capitalization. Also, the word “prey” implies that the humans were defenseless victims. However, they weren’t. Gladiators had weapons and trailing. It might have been a ill-matched fight, but they went in there to kill or be killed. They weren’t helpless.


Storytelling

Tigers, Lions, bears chained to bulls, elephants, and gazelle.
*Right*Why are the bears chained too bulls? I would think you’d have more of a matching of the two chained animals then them against the gladiators. Also, you know gazelles are herbivores, timid, and more likely to be eaten by the tiger or lion than attack anyone. No Roman coliseum goers would be interested in seeing gazelles in the arena, even if the purpose was to see the lion attack them.

*Bullet* Another thing to think about is the relationship you set up between the lanista and the gladiators. You show the lanista as caring and the gladiators as respectful. Almost the image of a sragent and his men right before battle.

However, most gladiators were not free. They were slaves or criminals forced to fight for their lives. Others were ex-slaves, former soldiers or men so poor they sold their freedom for a period and became less than Roman citizens, virtually less than human. They also were used as gladiators. Their hope was to become rich and famous. However, even the “free men” volunteers were social outcast.

There would not be a friendly or cordial relationship between the lanista and the gladiator any more than a slave master and the field hand. So you need to switch up the relationship for the story to become more realistic. Also, the type of gladiator you choose, bestiarii, is the lowest ranking of all gladiators. He’s the last one someone would dote over. A great reference for you if you decide to revise or expand this is here: http://www.vroma.org/~bmcmanus/arena.html

My scoring is a mixture of the mechanical problems, keeping in mind this is a very short piece, and the storyline vs. historical accuracy issue. I know it’s fiction, however because you based it on a real time period and real historical events, they need to reflect the mood of what was really going on back then.

I think it’s an interesting subject (can you tell I never sleep in history class?). I would love to know more about what was going through these guys’ minds as the walked into the arena floor with the loud crowd, and the animals ripping at each other. What did that feel like? The sweat trickling down from the brow under that heavy head armor? If you ever revise this, I’d love to see it and I’d be happy to re-rate! Nice subject choice- very rarely touched!

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25
25
Rated: 18+ | (4.0)
Formatting, Paragraphs, Sentence Structure, and Wording

*Paragraph* Placing a blank line between each new paragraph would be easier on the eyes of the readers.

Use yer deadlights, Lookout
*Right*If this is meant to be two separate sentences than the comma should be a period. If “Lookout” is the title for someone then the comma should remain and the “L” should be lowercase since occupational titles not accompanied by a name are always lowercase.

The galley shook with such force, barrels were strung out across the platform as men were sliding over wet planks groaning and shouting from injuries and fatalities.
*Right*The phrase ”The galley shook with such force” implies the force caused something to happen, and therefore it needs to be connected with what it caused.
The galley shook with such force that barrels were strung out across the platform as men were sliding over wet planks groaning and shouting from injuries and fatalities.

“Damage report!” The Captain called out.
*Right*Lowercase “the”

*Star* Since I see it throughout I’ll just say this instead of pointing it out a bunch of times: If the word that follows at the end of quote is a part of the sentence, do not capitalize it.
For example; ”Bobby is outside!” The mailman yelled. is incorrect. ”Bobby is outside!” the mailman yelled. is correct.

Whispers in elven tongue
*Right*Capitalize “Elven”

*Question* Since not all spelling is universal, I like to ask: are you sure the spelling is elven and not elfin? I’m not a Fantasy-know-everything, but I’m not sure “eleven” is a word. I mean the plural of elf is elves.

Storytelling

Well, this is a great way to draw people in. A bit of information provided, but not too much.

*Star* I also like the way the captain used lots of maritime lingo. Very cool.

Since I’m one for description and drama, you can add a real punch to the story by making the, er, for the sake of the public board, de-flowering, of the lady more- well make it hit you in the stomach. It might be uncomfortable to write and you’ll have to determine when enough is enough, however the way it’s written now you seem to rush over a opportunity to make us really hate the captain and really feel for the woman.

Mission accomplished: you’ve made me want to read chapter 1!


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