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Reviews from
'Dear' Crossing


Viewing comments for Chapter 1 " The Wrong Side of the Bars"

An investigation into a grisly death in Widmer, MN

  30 total reviews 
Comment by
ddsaar
 
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Hi Marjorie. as i promised i am atrying to catch up on this.

I think this is a very good chapter, you describe woody well. the scene setting is very well done. You have painted Ray as the wronged man and in drowning his sorrows he ends up in a brawl - well handled.
you have some nice lines in here which made me smile.
1.One just had to be civilized about such things. - Impossible
2.From the looks of things, he?d have to be carried out on a stretcher. - This was me and I am still on it.

the dialogue is good and the whole easy to read. people will want to have more.
david



 Comment Written 01-Feb-2008



reply by the author on 02-Feb-2008
    I'm thrilled you've started at the beginning, David. That's a huge compliment and I thank you just as hugely!

    Marjorie

reply by the author on 02-Feb-2008
    I'm thrilled you've started at the beginning, David. That's a huge compliment and I thank you just as hugely!

    Marjorie

reply by the author on 02-Feb-2008
    I'm thrilled you've started at the beginning, David. That's a huge compliment and I thank you just as hugely!

    Marjorie

reply by ddsaar on 02-Feb-2008
    Marjorie you are welcome I enjoy your writing.
    who told you about my hugely? ;)
    cheers

    David

reply by ddsaar on 02-Feb-2008
    Marjorie you are welcome I enjoy your writing.
    who told you about my hugely? ;)
    cheers

    David

reply by ddsaar on 02-Feb-2008
    Marjorie you are welcome I enjoy your writing.
    who told you about my hugely? ;)
    cheers

    David
Comment by
Ambrosia_Babe
 
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G'day Marj,

What happened to the rest of chapter one?

Constructively speaking: this chapter jumps either forward or back in time and the reader is left to wonder which. it also seems an unusual place to pick up after the opening chapter.

I'd suggest at the top you give the reader an indication of where in the time line this chapter is taking place.

xxABxx :)


 Comment Written 11-Dec-2007



reply by the author on 11-Dec-2007
    I know you've already read that I plan to make the current Chapter 1 a prologue, so no need to address that issue. Using it as a prologue does make more sense, I think.

    Thanks, AB!

    Marjorie
Comment by
Minataur
 
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Good dialog, but seems awfully short for a full chapter. Would change some had's to a more active version, such as had driven to drove... Keeps up your pacing.

Headed for the next chapter. I'm hooked!

Hugs,

Maggie


 Comment Written 05-Dec-2007



reply by the author on 05-Dec-2007
    That's great news, Maggie. Keep going.

    Thanks very much!

    Marjorie
Comment by
Pooka
 
 
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I just read chapter 1 - which was great - excellent pacing, nice introduction, very effective narrative in describing Valerie in the opening scene. Then ending with Ray finding the body...
I'll admit, I got a bit confused by this chapter... I'm not exactly clear on when this takes place in relation to Ray having discovered Valerie's body. I'm sure I'll find that out in the next chapter but it was a bit disorienting - though I suspect the purpose of this chapter is to describe Ray's other issues.
One idea I've come across lately in reading the book "Don't Murder Your Mystery" (Chris Roerden) is to try working this entire chapter in elsewhere, but in smaller pieces. Anyone that knows Ray could be thinking about his fights, being in jail, his wife's infidelity. Not having chapter 3 yet, I don't know if this will work... but this chapter did seem a bit out of place, though it was excellently written. :)
Best Wishes,
Pooka


 Comment Written 30-Nov-2007



reply by the author on 30-Nov-2007
    You make a very good point. I'll have to think how to go about doing something on that order with this. I appreciate your feedback. It's the only way I know what's working or not.

    Thank you!

    Marjorie
Comment by
Blaidd Drwg
 
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Another great chapter. You have a real knack for dialog. I love the fast pace, the short paragraphs, and the well written narrative. I love your descriptive style. Couple of standouts for me:

"Whatever the dispute, he mused, they would settle it according to the laws of nature and then be on their way -- survival of the fittest."

"A deputy sat at a desk, busily extracting a piece of apple peel from between two molars." Gross, but we get the picture :)

"His overhanging belly jiggled as he parked a hefty hip on the corner of the desk." contributes brilliantly to the picture of this deputy.

Thanks for a great read.
John


 Comment Written 24-Nov-2007



reply by the author on 24-Nov-2007
    Wow! I'm very grateful for your wonderful review. Thank you so very much, John!

    Welcome to FanStory.
    Marjorie
Comment by
marty1947
 
 
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marjorie, i can't imagine anyone having any constructive criticism concerning this story or your write'n. if they do, let me know. just kidding.....well,kinda.
marty


 Comment Written 22-Oct-2007



reply by the author on 22-Oct-2007
    You're a sweetheart, Marty, and very funny too!

    Thanks, tough guy! LOL

    Marjorie
Comment by
davidray
 
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Hi Marjorie. A good section to read. Sorry I'm getting to this late. I tis worth only 1 point to me, but I want to read as much as possible of your postings, since you're on my list. Just my opinions, of course ... no duh, right? But you seem to use the word 'had' often enough, I think, and it isn't neccessary.

-As he [had driven] (drove) past Wells Fargo
-a phone call from Deputy Neil Lloyd [had] roused Woody from his warm bed.
-Ray's initial suspicions [had left] him standing in left field,

What about these edits to tighten things up a bit?
-The pain [it caused] showed in his face[.](;) [T](t)he damage was evident in his actions.
-?All right, [then you] fill me in.
-His need for sleep still showed [itself] in his eyes.
-the well-muscled, two hundred-thirty-pounder. (you're missing 'and' after 'hundred. It doesn't sound right without it.)
-When Ray got up and came at him again, reportedly, (extra space before 'reportedly')

Marjorie, I have a lot of respect for you and I may be wrong ... and obviously you can ignore me and chalk it up to this yappy Canadian, but this is what I read. Super good, though. I will continue on and work myself up-to-date.
Later gator, David

This rating does not count towards story rating or author rank.
The highest and the lowest rating are not included in calculations.


 Comment Written 20-Oct-2007



reply by the author on 20-Oct-2007
    Hi again, David!

    I'm sorry you're not getting the points and cents that came with the chapters when they were freshly posted. It's good of you to play catch-up despite that. I'm very glad to hear you're reading them all, but don't feel like you HAVE to do it. If you're enjoying the story ... sensational! If not, please don't think I'll be upset if you stop.

    I have to tell you I find most of your suggestions very, very helpful. We disagree a couple very minor things, but that's normal for anyone. Your tightening suggestions work awfully well. I wish I'd thought of them myself -- should have, in fact, but then, that's why I've asked for help. I can be so blind at times! I've made those changes, and I want you to know I appreciate your comments and critiques very much! Thank you, David!

    Marjorie

reply by davidray on 21-Oct-2007
    Dear Marjorie.
    I am not feeling I have to read them. I WANT to read them. I learn with reading other people's things, and your is enjoyable. It's m own fault for not getting around to them earlier. Besides, there's more to life than points and cents. Thrilled to hear I'm helping. Goodness knows you've helped me enough .... and, hopefully, will continue to do so! (hint, hint)
    Have a super Sunday!!
    Hugs, David
Comment by
azbukivedi
 
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All right, a new plot line here. Let's see...
No, I won't say anything, I'll wait how this develops. So far, so good. Going on to the next chapter...


 Comment Written 20-Oct-2007



reply by the author on 20-Oct-2007
    The "cheaters" are doing their cheating in Minneapolis. When Valerie Davis is found dead in her summer home in Widmer, they and the characters you've met in this chapter will all come together during the course of the investigation.

    LOL This is strange replying to chapter comments in reverse order! I don't mind, though!

    Thanks.

    Marjorie
Comment by
ransomme
 
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My curiosity is peeked, I will continue to read. I did not see any errors to be corrected. I am sure there will be others with a more critical eye than I.


 Comment Written 15-Oct-2007



reply by the author on 16-Oct-2007
    Some of my mistakes can be pretty glaring ... to everyone but me! Keep your eyes peeled, Ransomme; something will probably catch your attention. When it happens, just let me know, okay?

    Thank you.

    Marjorie

reply by ransomme on 16-Oct-2007
    Will do.
Comment by
Pit Bull Mom
 
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Hey, Marjorie! Finally, I'm able to sit down and read a bit!

Okay, the main thing I see wrong with this chapter is the transition. I know cutting stories up on FS is hard, because of where we have to break chapters, but even if in the "real" book the first chapter doesn't end where you have it on FS, the first few lines of this chapter are a bit confusing.

I assume, because this background being offered is from Newell's POV, that he's alerady been contacted by Ray to meet him at the Davis house. From what I understand, as he is headed out of the house, he is thinking of Ray Schiller, so you can offer Chapter 2, 3, and 4 as background. Actually, Chapter 2, 3 and 4 would make one really good long chapter (IMO), but either way, the transition is a bit off. If the reader set down the book after Chapter 1 and then picked it up the next day, they would have to wonder if the skipped something. We need to see more of what the Chief is doing when he starts recollecting. I'd suggestion pointing out the POV more obviously in the first few lines to set the mood, i.e., he's driving, stunned by Schiller's call, not knowing what to expect. The week before, .... and then go into the next three chapters as the "town's" background as you lay out your characters.

Also, that first line ... WAY too many comas! Perhaps restructing would help?? If you retransition the beginning, that line will probably fix itself.

Other suggestions:

Then there were others like Ray Schiller. (how about, Then there were men like Ray Schiller. - to simplify).



Hugs, off to the next chapter.


Heather

P.S. - I really like the character build and the descriptions of everything. It sounds like you have a really interesting story going on here.



 Comment Written 14-Oct-2007



reply by the author on 14-Oct-2007
    I've just made the comma and wording changes. Getting the idea across that the (current) second chapter begins a week before Valerie's death is a big issue. I tried to convey that with past perfect tense in the first paragraphs. You, like a couple others, have missed that. That's a primary reason I know I should have made Chapter 1 a prologue. Short of making that change now and messing with the chapter numbers, can you suggest how I can make it clearer?

    Thanks much!

    Marjorie

reply by Pit Bull Mom on 15-Oct-2007
    I saw, after writing this, that in your author's notes for, I think, chapter five, you say you're making the first chapter the prologue. I didn't see that note, of course, until after I'd mentioned it in an email.

    For now, I'd just rename Chapter One: Prologue: ___________. (I can't remember the name of the chapter right now ... then put a note at the bottom of it and Chapter Two, for anyone who comes in midway through the story and goes back to read from the beginning. That way you don't have to redo the chapter numbers and confuse anybody.

    Did I make any sense at all??? ha, ha!

    Hugs,

    Heather

reply by the author on 15-Oct-2007
    You probably did make sense, Heather, but I'm running literally this morning on "zero" sleep, so I can't be sure. Hahaha

    After I get a nap, I'll read your suggestion again and try to follow through on it.

    Later.

    Marjorie
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